Looking to get new scope for big game rifle! Need advice

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by matt_3479, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. matt_3479

    matt_3479 Well-Known Member

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    i have been practicing for the past few months on shots up too 600 yards with my new 243. win and vortex viper 6.5-20x44mm and so far im doing good. with much more practice i hope my groups shrink, and even sometimes hits become more consecutive. every once in a while i take my 300. wsm to practice as well as for last year i had a shot opportunity at 740 yards and 1 at 550 yards. The year before that i had a shot at a Large black bear at 460 yards and i had to pass due to my scopes ability and my ability. I began practicing and i consecutive and confident out to 400 yards. I would like a scope that will allow me to make shots easier, clearer, and is meant for long range.

    This year i am going to Montana to do a Deer/Elk combo hunt and i talk to the guy who's property he is hunting and he missed a BIG 6x6 and a really really good 4x4. He has also seen numerous monster whitetail but hasn't been able to get the shot due to shots being 300 yards and out. I want to be prepared.

    This scope will be placed on a Browning A-Bolt 300. wsm. I would like the lens to be 56mm and smaller preferably around 44-50mm. The power should be around 4-12, 4-16 or 5-20 ish. I like the 4-16 idea. not to big but big enough. I dont want to be spending too much money that i cant afford the hunt no longer if you know what i mean. I would like to stay under a 1000 but if taxes included come to over a 1000 im okay with that.

    I have heard many say the Zeiss conquest 4.5-14 is what im looking for with z-800 reticle. I prefer the dialing method more. I have heard a lot of people tell me to stick with Vortex since i have good experience with them i would like too. People say the Vortex Viper PST with or without FFP , 4-16x 50mm would be a good choice. whats your thoughts
     
  2. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    The scope you have, albeit a different model/product line perhaps, has had good reviews and strong recommendations in this forum.

    So, what exactly do you not like about your Vortex?

    magnification?
    light gathering?
    diopter focus?
    adjustable objective?
    definition?
    contrast?
    fogging?
    repeatability of the turrets?
    reticle type/thickness of the cross hairs?
    bases?
    rings?
    consistency and accuracy of your groups at 100 yards and long range?

    There are a lot of scopes to choose from if $1000 is your budget. But, iIt's hard to make recommendations when we're not sure of your requirements.

    Thanks,
    Richard
     

  3. matt_3479

    matt_3479 Well-Known Member

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    The vortex i currently have is on a different rifle. My 300. wsm has a very old bushnell. I want a scope that can compete yet do better then the vortex i have. The next step up was a long range scope and the size up was the PST
     
  4. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    I would definitely look at the PST. That was my thoughts just before I read your last post. That's if you want to stay with Vortex. The next option would be Sightron 8-32 SIII, Leupy VXIII or MK4, Nightforce, IOR, or Horus. If you want to spend a lot of money then go for the S&B, Premier, U.S. Optics, or Vortex Razor.

    What's your budget?

    Tank
     
  5. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

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    I recently went through what you are going through as I prepared for a Montana elk/muley hunt. My conclusions:

    You need no more than a 50 mm scope. Bigger gets too heavy.

    I needed a low power for hunting in the timber & needed a reticle where I could get off a FAST shot out to at least 500 yards. Outfitter warned me that shots may only have a 3-4 second window before an animal disappears in the timber & told me clients often can't get a shot off fast enough if they have to twist turrets.

    I needed enough power & turret adjustment for 800 yard shots on big game.

    I decided to shop for 3.5-10 through 4.5-14 power scopes with a ballistic reticle. I ended up with a VX3 in 3.5-10 with a lighted Boone & Crocket reticle. The Zeiss conquest 4.5-14x50 with the Rapid-Z-800 reticle was my first choice but I got a very good deal on the Leupold & my old eyes like a lighted reticle so I bought Leupold. I can say I had the nicest scope in camp & it worked perfectly on this hunt. If I go back for the same hunt in the future I'll add the CDS turret to make elevation changes easier & faster.

    Remember, a ballistic reticle, whether the Rapid-Z 800 or the Boone & Crocket, doesn't keep you from turning turrets IF you have time, but they do let you get off a "close enough" shot in a hurry when you don't have time to turn your turrets. This makes sense to me & worked well on the hunt.

    Yes, I got a beautiful elk but passed on the only shooter muley I saw.

    In truth, more people were upset with their binoculars than their scopes on this hunt. Make sure you have EXCELLENT binoculars.

    Good luck!
     
  6. trueblue

    trueblue Well-Known Member

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    I too would look at the PST line, but get a SFP scope for hunting.
    Another good option would be the Nightforce 2.5x10-32 mm NXS with NP-R2 reticle. I have one, and have shot out to 800 yards with no problem. Took an elk at 426yards this past year with it set at 2.5 power setting. The scope is light, repeatable and solid, and also illuminated.
     
  7. ScottCoulter36

    ScottCoulter36 Member

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    Trueblue,

    Why do recommend to go with the SFP? Most people's reviews I see say to go with the FFP. I currently have a Viper 6.5-20x50 Target Dot scope and have been very pleased with it thus far. However, to be honest with you, I only had a chance to shoot it a couple times before I had to go out of town to work, and I also can't find anywhere that will tell me whether it's SFP or FFP. Maybe you could enlighten me.

    And as for the original post, I've done tons and tons or research and have been looking through reviews and forums about the PST. For the money I don't think you can go wrong. However, most people, when comparing to the NXS, have said the NF has clearer glass and doesn't get that red tint to white objects. At the same time, you're looking at about 600 more for the same options in the NF. I've also been looking into Leupold's VX-7 and MK4's and those seem to be between the PST and NF, both with concerns to money and to reviews.

    I don't know if I helped out much, just wanted to lend my opinion that I've come up with so far. As of right now I'm personally leaning towards the PST, but constantly looking for someone to give me hard evidence to go another route. At some point you have to think if you are really getting that much more quality out of something versus the money you're spending.
     
  8. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    I'm probably the odd ball here (again). But, I'm usually on max or min power.

    Max power when conditions are good and I want to aim small
    Min when something may appear up close or light fades

    Either way, I prefer my reticle to stay the same size and don't rely on subtension under adverse conditions. If I can't see well enough on Max power, I either don't need to analyze detail because it's too close or too dark.

    I should probably get a fixed power scope with a holographic sight on top. But, as soon as I did that, I'd need an in between magnification for something.

    Then again, I may not shoot under as many varied situations and conditions as others.
     
  9. diriel

    diriel Well-Known Member

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    Being raised with SFP, I think I can mostly address this. For me, I liked seeing a reticle that was always the same. It made me thing everything was the same, only closer or farther away. Not being able to rely on your reticle for hold over / under is actually counter productive, and slows you down.

    Here is the deal: At minimum power on Most FFP scopes the reticle gets so small you do not really see any sub-tensions, you mainly see "The Reticle as a Cross in The Center" that you can easily aim with for those really coming at you fast shots. It is painfully obvious "Where You Are AT" in the power range, but it is still absolutely usable as a center cross, which is what you need at 25/50/75ish yards anyhow. Later when conditions are great, you can dial Up and see the reticle perfect and you can use it the way it is meant to be used, *WITHOUT HAVING TO LOOK AT YOUR GD'FN POWER RING!* ...sorry for caps but SFP sucks Chocolate Covered Monkey Balls for this!! When you want, need, must have fast use of your reticle that is accurate at all times that you can see to use it, then FFP is it. To say I have learned to Hate SFP would be a massive understatement. Think perhaps of a few Why Scenarios that would cause me to really feel this way gun)

    I will only say, when it bit me in the ass I was out of state on a "once in a lifetime" hunt, and I got a small touch of buck fever, a FFP scope would have saved me from myself. I truly hate SFP now days...SFP is a "liar and a fatmouth!"....heh.

    Your mileage may vary!
    best of *_luck_* with SFP if you choose it!
    Gary
     
  10. Red Beard

    Red Beard Member

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    I have also been looking for the same. I also have a Vortex Viper 6.5 X 20 with target dot. Scope has performed as advertised, although I found I dont like the TD on coyotes early and late as much as I like it on Prarie dogs in the middle of the day.

    I decided to go with a Leupold VX-3 4.5 X 14 AO with M1 turrets. A couple of spec differnces led me to my decision. 1) Weight/Length. The viper in that magnification range is nearly 2 inches longer and 1.5oz heavier. 2) eye relief Viper 3.1-3.4 inches, Leupold 3.7-4.4inches. Might make a differnce if having to shoot from a odd position 3) Made in the USA. New Years resolution is to buy American when possible and if not possible to buy from a true US Allie.

    Best of luck with your scope search and hunt.

    Badley
     
  11. diriel

    diriel Well-Known Member

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    Actually you may want to double verify that the Leupy *IS* made in USA. Increasingly they are really not made here. If it does not say right on the scope Made in USA.... Just saying.

    Now, US Optics on the other hand are most definitely made here in the USA :)

    Gary
     
  12. Red Beard

    Red Beard Member

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    I was speaking specifically of the VX-3 line. I believe they are still built right... built here.