Scope for light weight long range hunting rig

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by magnum, May 23, 2011.

  1. magnum

    magnum Well-Known Member

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    I seek advice on a scope for a light weight long range hunting rig.

    As a newbe getting/building my first long range hunting rifle outfit, I seek advice from forum members on what you recommend.

    The rifle will be a custom build (probably on a Rem 700) or one of the specialist rifle makers. I am thinking of a HS Precision CHR as an alternative to custom.

    I have set a weight limit for the outfit (rifle, scope & mounts, and bipod) of 8.5 lbs or lighter. Given that the HS precision weighs (as per thier catalogue) 7.15 lbs, that leave only a little over 1 pound for the rest.

    I was thinking of a Leupold (have Leupolds on all my rifles) Mark 4 6.5-20x50mm ER/T M5 but this weighs 22 oz (too heavy) and I am now thinking of Mark 4 4.5-14x40mm LR/T Target at 16 oz in Leupold 2 piece tactical bases (which I understand provide 20MOA) and Leupold Mark 4 aluminim rings (though the Leupold website does not give a weight for the bases or rings).

    In this part of the world most the long range hunting means climbing high, hence the weight restriction and I plan to do some occasional long range target shooting too (bench rest and F class).

    Advice please?
     
  2. Oliveralan

    Oliveralan Well-Known Member

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    A light weight scope in the 4-16power range with a 40mm objective sounds good for a lightweight LR rifle build.
    However like many other newbies here try, you cannot cram 3 vastly different task into one rifle. There is no way you will be competitive in f-class or BR with an 8.5lb rifle, unless there is some really specialized class at your local shoots for custom hunting rifles. Not to mention rapid strings of fire through thin barrels is horrible for barrel life.
    What caliber are you thinking about? 7WSM, 7-300WSM, and 6.5-284 come to mind if i were to build one like this. Should be a great rifle, make sure you get a good trigger, as shooting light rifles at long range can be tricky, especially with a excessively heavy trigger.
     

  3. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    Magnum, Im pushing 50 and I still do 2-3000 verticle up. My 338 Norma w/26'' is 7-2oz, ready to hunt 8-12 oz, that is w/ mark 4 6-20x50. My leupold rings where 4 oz. if I REMEBER right,M4 alum. My rail is a steel pinned oversized screws. I think some of my other rails where close to 4 oz. 2 pcs and talley will save weight. I have shot several 1'' to under 2'' at 400 yrds. I shot 3 in 6 1/4 at 1003. I was shooting at 1200 and myself and a friend had bullets inside 20 inch w/ some wind, several shots where very close in group, the light rifles will shoot , they may take more practice but it can be done. my leupold vari 3 4-14x40 is 13 oz.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  4. lovdasnow

    lovdasnow Well-Known Member

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    i opted for the nightforce 2.5-10x32, 1/4moa turrets, and zero stop, for my lightweight long range rig. you can quarter a clay pigeon at 1000 yards at 10x, so the magnification is enough.

    i just can't bring myself to trust a leupold any more after having some issues with them holding zero. i still have 6-7 of them, but after starting to use nightforce 5-6years ago it's hard to use anything else.

    i really wanted to use a leupold 4.5-14x40 with just the elevation turret installed along with a custom reticle for wind holds. they are very light, but in the end i settled on the nightforce(19oz, a little heavier than a leupold) for the peace of mind. now if i fall and bang my gun i'm not worried about if it got "bumped off of zero"
     
  5. dig

    dig Well-Known Member

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    With your weight of 8.5 lbs you have a lot of options. I would opt for aluminum picatinny and aluminum rings, Talley started making or even EGW in the "practical" line. I went through this and chose a Leupy 4.5x14x 40 1 inch with target knobs and mil dot. Weight is just over 13 oz for a very good quality scope with pleanty of adjustment on the 15 MOA EGW base. Love the Zeiss and Night force but weight and bulk is significantly more.
     
  6. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    now that the vx-3's have been out a while they've shown where they aren't very tuff. they break with heavy kicking guns, won't hold zero. get a nightforce if you really want a good scope or if weight is "the main thing" the swarovski 3-10 is about 13 oz. and that's a way better scope than leupold.
     
  7. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    I have no doubt the NF AND Swaros are better scopes. My 9 yr old Leupold has lived on a 340 WM shooting 225 grainers and a compressed load, plus it flipped off my shoulder in some cliffs and did cartwheels down the mountain, cost was $660 new, I STILL trust it and use it, also survived a broken stock and I fell on it hard and broke the saftey bar.
     
  8. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    it kind of comes down to if a particular brand has let you down. some will swear that their tasco's are just as good as a Leupold. but if one breaks or fails, then it becomes a POS. i've had more than one Lupy let me down, and i have one that's been a great scope. i don't think i'll buy any more, in my opinion, there are better scopes for the same money out there. yours has served you well and you would probably buy another. it's great to have many choices these days.
     
  9. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    Not to turn this into a debate on scopes, but any scope maker puts out bad ones from time to time......Period. The more scopes they make, the more bad ones will hit the market.

    In my experiences, Most of the time Leupold optics are good to go. I've sent back a couple out of maybe 10 or 12. Most of the time, Nightforce scopes are gtg. I've sent back 1 out of 4. It was the brand new compact model (probably didn't have all the bugs worked out yet).

    I have some 40mm Leupolds, and they have been great up until the very last few minutes of legal light when on max power. 12X is about all I can use with a 40mm objective at very low light. If you intend on low light shooting on 16X, I highly recommend a 50mm objective. Swarovski has some tremendous optics, but aren't yet really being classified as "long range" scopes. They are surely light weight though; and most that buy them, seem to buy them because of optics and weight. I know one guy that bought one for long range with a 338 Win Mag, but he is still testing loads.

    As Oliveralan mentioned; "you cannot cram 3 vastly different task into one rifle. There is no way you will be competitive in f-class or BR with an 8.5lb rifle" this is very true...................Not saying you can't run with the big dogs, just saying you're unlikely to finish the race with them.:)

    IMO, the best mid range hunting rifles are fairly light and manuverable, the best long range and precision rifles are heavy and solid. It's pretty hard for most to shoot an 8# rifle with extreme precision, even if the rifle is built for it. It takes a fair amount of practice to shoot an 8# or 9# rifle really well.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2011
  10. coyotezapper

    coyotezapper Well-Known Member

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    Let me preface my opinion by stating that I use Leupold and Nightforce exclusively. In the past year I have bought one of each. The Nightforce is a 5.5-22x50 NPR1 Speed Turret and Zero Stop. This scope is on a 338 Lapua tactical type rifle and is not really a hunting rig in my opinion, but to some it would be. This is an AWESOME SCOPE!! The Leupold is a VX3 6.5-20x40 Long Range w/ Kenton Triple MOA Turret and it is on a 7MM STW hunting rifle. This scope will be sent to T.K. Lee Co. for windage dots before summers end. This model is the same model that Greybull Precision uses for their scope and is very robust and repeatable. I bought 2 4.5-14x40 LR a couple of years ago and I have cranked on the turrets hundreds of times and I have yet to have either one not return to zero or be repeatable. I am currently building a 6.5x47 Lapua for Antelope hunting and I am debating between a Nightforce 2.5-10x32 and a Leupold 4.5-14x40 LR with the turret and reticle mods. After the mods the price difference is minimal but the Leupold is lighter. All that being said about Leupold the Nightforce scopes are TANKS!! I don't think it is possible to break one. As far as optical clarity it is hard to compare if you are not comparing apples with apples, everything like power, tube size and objective size needs to be the same. Remember that just because a scope says it is 6.5-20 the top magnification is only 19.2 on a Leupold. Compare apples with apples. I have been happy with both. Good Luck and Good Hunting!!!
     
  11. mike33

    mike33 Well-Known Member

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    I have a vx-3 in 6.5 - 20 40mm v.hunter ret. I sent it back brand new to have M-1's on. I dial in out to 1100 + and return it where i know 100 yard zero is and it works as good as my 3 nightforces. However you can feel the difference in movement no zero stop but it works darn good. Its hard to beat a lupy.
    mike