First long range rifle, what scope?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by codybrown, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. codybrown

    codybrown Well-Known Member

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    Well, kinda my first long range rifle. This will be my first target rifle and I need some help picking optics out. The previous owner was shooting 3.5-4" groups at 1k yards with a Nikon Monarch 8-32 mildot scope. I don't currently have anywhere to shoot that far, but I can get 5-600 yards at a friends house. I would like to buy a scope that will allow me to shoot further in the future when I get a chance. I'd like to stay at or under $1000. I've looked at the SIII's in 8-32 but don't have any experience with them. I have also looked at the Leupold 8.5-25's. The 8-32 Monarch with the mildot was a limited run so I think I'll have a hard time finding them. I don't have a problem going used as long as it's a quality scope. What brands/scopes am I missing? I want to look at all my options before I drop a lot of money.
     
  2. 42769vette

    42769vette Well-Known Member

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    Why do you want so much zoom?

    Lots of zoom does not make it a long range scope, it actually limits the internal travel so it has the opposite effect.

    I would look at no more than 6-24 zoom range, and I would look at the Vortex PST
     

  3. codybrown

    codybrown Well-Known Member

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    A 8-32 was what the PO had on it. I haven't looked into the Sightron scopes that much, that was just one I saw in the for sale section. I'm leaning toward the Leupold right now, but I'll take a look at the Vortex
     
  4. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I prefer higher zoom scopes. I shoot with my 5R .308 scope zoomed up at 32x and clarified at 100 yards. That allows me to make surgical precision shots.

    Also, when at distance the 32x will help you see what you're aiming at farther away. You might not always have a spotting scope with you.
     
  5. D.ID

    D.ID Well-Known Member

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    I love 6-24 and would say it is plenty for your intended distances and a little more versatile but 8-32 is in the same ballpark.
     
  6. codybrown

    codybrown Well-Known Member

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    Well I'm still leaning on something with a top magnification of between 24-32. I'm pretty sure I want some sort of mil-dot. I'm looking at Sightron, Vortex, Leupold, and maybe a Huskemaw. I couldn't find a Nikon with a mildot in the power range I wanted. Any other brands to look at or advice on reticle?
     
  7. jakelly

    jakelly Well-Known Member

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    swfa SS 5-20x50, Weaver tactical 3-15x50 EMDR, 6-24 PST, Bushnell 3-21 HDMR are all in your grasp. I chose the Weaver tactical and have been pleased so far, great glass and repeatable clicks. The zeiss products seem to win the loyalty of most shooters that use them.

    Couple of things to help you decide:

    Internals, internals, internals. Vertical adjustment range will determine how far you can reach. Pay for internal part performance and craftsmanship.

    Click adjustment accuracy and repeatability are essential to long range performance. Don't compromise on this.

    If your scope fails you're done long range hunting. Warrantied or not I want my scope to perform first time, every time. Durability matters even more at long range.

    MOA or Mrad or IPHY, if you aren't ranging with the reticle it won't matter much. Make sure the reticle and click adjustments match.

    Glass is secondary, but also important. Glass appraisal is nearly the same as conventional hunting just to a greater degree. At extended ranges weaknesses in the glass or system are greatly exaggerated and can/will cost you the shot.

    Using these parameters it is easy to understand why Nightforce is so highly lauded in tactical or long range shooting and almost never discussed in conventional hunting gear.
     
  8. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Don't overlook the Konus M-30 8.5-32x52. It's a 2nd Focal Plane scope, and is not quite NightForce or Zeiss quality, but for $350, it blows away all the other scopes anywhere near its price range, that I've looked through.

    Also has tons of features. Some people didn't like them, or thought they were cheap.....Mine has been a pleasure to shoot. I have high-end scopes, and have shot lots of very high-end scopes before.....And for a shooter on a budget, this is hands-down the best scope for the money.

    I have one on my Remington 700 5R .308. It tracks nicely. It passes a "box" test. It has a glass etched reticle. Illuminated reticle (both red & blue). Has big turretts with locks on them. Handles the recoil very nicely, and doesn't jump or eclipse when shooting. The eye relief is nice and easy, and not too picky.

    I mean, I hate to rave on and on about a $350 scope, but it really is ALOT of scope for the money.

    Another guy I know out in Cali bought one for his .308 AR, and he said he loves it, too.
     
  9. codybrown

    codybrown Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the replies so far, keep them coming in!!!
     
  10. AH3682

    AH3682 Well-Known Member

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  11. codybrown

    codybrown Well-Known Member

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    I have a few Nikon scopes and am pretty happy with them, one of them does have the BDC reticle. I'm not sure if I want to have that reticle on a long range rifle where I won't be able to compensate for both windage and elevation though.
     
  12. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Forgot to mention the Konus is a Mil-Dot reticle. Also, Midway USA sells them.
     
  13. Topstrap

    Topstrap Member

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    Most of the shooters that are recommending the really high power scopes aren't the ones shooting 1000 yards and beyond. They may be great for Bench Rest for really precise work but much above 20X -24X at the extended distances tend to get darker and most days the mirage will be so bad you'll be cranking the power back just to see the target. We've been using 5 -20 X 50 SWFA on our guns and have never felt we needed any more.

    You really need to look thru various scopes at real distances and targets so you'll see what others are telling you. Like others mentioned, it has to be reliable first with good mechanics, nearly all in that price range have decent glass. Everyone's eyes are different so what I find clear and crisp you may not. Visit a range that has the distances you're wanting to shoot on a practice or match day and nearly everyone will let you look thru their scopes.

    Good luck

    Topstrap
     
  14. lever-hed

    lever-hed Well-Known Member

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    Supersniper, quality economy
    Premier
    Swarovski
    Schmidt & Bender
    Zeiss, manageable
    Falcon Menace, quality economy
    Leupold, manageable
    Nightforce

    I don’t like mil-dots as they are counterproductive to the type of magnification you are seeking. I like hash marks.. tough to give pointers, since this is an extremely personal criteria, but, for me, I look at reticles first and foremost, do you want a simple crosshair? Or ballistic type? I assume you want very fine reticle? In this case you will be looking at least $1500. I started with a Burris FFII 10x to start, it was $250 and still have it mounted, I had the reticle switched to a fine reticle. But that is a cheapy that I bought because I couldn’t make up my mind. But can’t complain, it is a solid scope. Others that want high magnification, sometimes compromise on clarity.. (once you get past 15x or so, a lot of scopes’ glass quality goes down, but there are some that do fine) .. I suggest either you experiment with a Leupy or just go full out for a Nightforce which in my opinion has some of the best reticles availabe, but so does Premier, Leupold and S&B. You will have to pull the trigger, so I can’t make the decision.. My guess is if you splurge, you will be more than happy, just get ready for your bank account to hit rock bottom in the near and distant future… good luck!:)


    ps. forgot to ask if this is for competition? if so, by all means, splurge.!:D