Help choosing a scope for upcoming hunt... details inside

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by bhtkevin, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. bhtkevin

    bhtkevin Active Member

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    I am going on an Ibex hunt this year where the shots are expected to be between 200-500 yards. We are also going to hunt wolves and we plan to call them in close if possible (buddy is taking his recurve). Hunt is going to be in elevations between 9000 ft up to 14000 ft. I live a sea level and am working on getting in shape (no real weight to lose but being skinny and being in shape are two different things).

    Rifle its going on:
    Rifles Inc Strata in 270 WSM (5 1/4 lbs)


    Anyway, here is what I am looking for...

    Low profile MOA dials/turrets, Zero Stop required
    Wide Range of Magnification
    Excellent build quality (gun will be in horse scabbard most of the time)
    Identify and estimate deer sized animal at 500 yards
    Light weight for hunting (anything over 1.5 lbs is excluded)

    These are the scopes I am looking at:

    Leupold VX-3 4.5-14x50mm Long Range
    Pros: CDS MOA windage and MOA elevation dials (low profile w/Zero Stop), Cost
    Cons: 19 ft FOV at 4.5, 30mm tube

    Leupold VX-3 VX-3 6.5-20x40mm Long Range
    Pros: CDS MOA windage and MOA elevation dials (low profile w/Zero Stop), Cost
    Cons: I feel 6.5 might be too strong for the low end of a hunting scope, 30mm tube

    Swarovski Z5 3-18x44 w/BT - Custom MOA Turret
    Pros: Swarovski Quality, 5x zoom range, 30ft FOV, 1" tube
    Cons: Price, No windage turret or aftermarket options

    Minox ZA5 4-20x50 SF
    Pros: Great mag range, 1" tube, cost
    Cons: No experience with minox scope - quality? rugged?, Not sure if it has zero stop or MOA markings

    Any others I am not mentioning? I dont care if a scope is made in the US, Germany, Argentina, Canada or elsewhere, it just needs to be good quality.
     
  2. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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  3. marinetowgunner

    marinetowgunner Well-Known Member

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  4. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    I admire your requirements-driven approach to selecting a rifle scope. It sounds like you'll be well prepared for a great hunt.

    Please bear with me, however, while I poke a bit at your assumptions. Your mag range seems pretty high for this scenario. It sounds like you're planning to use your rifle scope in place of a spotting scope. I think you would fair better using a lower mag range rifle scope and a compact 25X spotting scope for spotting and assessing game. That way you'll have a rifle scope with a wider field of view and better contrast (less glare), and a much better scope for spotting game.

    Also I suspect that a single BDC turret won't be accurate over an altitude range of 9,000-14,000 ft. If you live at sea level, even making the range shots needed to accurately get ballistic drop for your load and rifle at a high altitude may be difficult. I think I would lean instead toward a mildot reticle and range cards that I prepared ahead of time. You could prepare them at something like 2,000 ft intervals and 20 degree intervals. You would be covered with 8-12 cards. The range cards could also be the back-up to a portable ballistic computer.
     
  5. bhtkevin

    bhtkevin Active Member

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    Good point on the spotting scope. I am going to borrow a Leica from a friend so I should have that covered.

    I agree with the BDC turrent being a PITA. I am talking about a MOA turret, which essentially lets you dial in MOA a lot quicker and has a zero stop. IE if your chart tells you to adjust for 7.5MOA, you can either try and count off 30 clicks with no reference point beyond your zero, or just dial in 7.5 on your turrent. I tend to over analyze everything, lol.

    My buddy that I am going with will be my spotter and I will be his when he shoots. We will both bring our iphones for ballistics calculations with a set of cards for both rifles. He's talked about getting a Kestral 4500 NV w/ Ballistics but I am not sure quite yet if hes going want to spend the coin. We are trying to save money when possible, but don't want to skip anything essential (ie I had to buy a pair of good mountain boots).
     
  6. bhtkevin

    bhtkevin Active Member

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    Any idea on the prices? I found that kelbly.com is a distributor but I cant find prices anywhere.
     
  7. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    Oops. I misread your post about the turrets. I'm on the right page now.

    If you're taking a spotting scope, I recommend you look at something like a 3-12X50. That should be ample for big game up to even 800 yds. You'll have much better contrast.

    That assumes you have good vision or can wear correction. If you have vision problems then you may have to go to a higher mag.
     
  8. bhtkevin

    bhtkevin Active Member

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    That's something I haven't thought about. My vision has always been 20/20 or better but lately my shooting eye is getting a little double vision. (getting older sucks!) I have a 12x Sightron on my 223. I'll take it to the range tomorrow, I always need an excuse ;)
     
  9. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    Ditto here about growing old. I thought I was seeing a little double vision at long distance in my weak (left) eye. A vision exam revealed weak astigmatism. You can't correct that with the diopter/focus knob. A vision exam might be a good investment before the trip.
     
  10. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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