What Features Would You Recommend For A LR Hunting Scope?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by ltrmc02, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. ltrmc02

    ltrmc02 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    46
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    I'm interested in a scope for long range hunting. I've been target shooting at extended distances but never have really done any long range hunting, nothing much past 400yds anyway.

    For now I'm just wanting to know what features are really desirable on a scope for long range hunting and not so much asking about any certain brands of scopes yet.

    Is an illuminated reticle ever helpful? I have a Bushnell Elite tactical that has an illuminated reticle and hunted with it once at dark where I could see the deer but not the reticle but when turning it on the lowest setting I could then see the reticle but not the deer so it wasn't helpful to me that occasion.

    Would you suggest a Mil-dot or similar reticle over just a duplex? If I get something other than a Duplex I think I'd want something of a standard measurement and not a BDC type reticle that’s supposedly matched to any particular caliber or load as I’m sure it’ll be put on different rifles over time.

    What Power range do you prefer to cover all situations from woods hunting at 25yds out to 1000yds?

    You prefer a first or second focal plane?

    Capped or non-capped turrets? High or Low profile turrets? Zero stops?

    I like the look of 40 to 44mm objectives but are 50mm objectives noticeably more beneficial in low light, when comparing same quality glass?

    Any other things you can think to add for consideration I’d appreciate it. I’ve not set a budget for this scope purchase yet, just want to decide what options I really want to begin.
     
  2. rickdavis81

    rickdavis81 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    160
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Good glass, reliable tracking are a must. I like my elevation knob exposed. The windage I'm not picky on, I prefer to hold for wind. I prefer the 50 mm objective to get every bit of light I can in low light hunting. I have illuminated reticles but haven't had to use them hunting. I like a mildot reticle for holding for wind.
     

  3. Hondo64d

    Hondo64d Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    278
    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    How far are you wanting to shoot and with what level of precision? If not going past 800 yards, the Zeiss Rapid Z 800 is hard to ignore. It has windage reference for 5 and 10 mph. Getting it set up to match your trajectory is easy.

    For something longer range, I would look at the Bushnell LRHS. I know you're more interested in features, but the LRHS has the best feature set I have seen on a dedicated long range hunting scope. Additionally, the glass is superb, and the tracking accurate and reliable.

    John
     
  4. ltrmc02

    ltrmc02 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    46
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    I doubt that I'll shoot much past 500yds at game in the near future as I live on the east coast and just don't have that much open land to hunt but I'd like to build a nice long range hunting rifle one day and would like to go ahead and have a scope capable of stretching on out to 1000yds or so. Maybe wishful thinking that I'll move out west some day LOL.

    I have two scopes I use on my target rifles a Bushnell Elite Tactical and an IOR both are FFP with Mil reticles and Mil adjustments so I'm questioning whether I'd want to get something in MOA or not. I'd like to get fairly proficient at ranging off the reticle even thought I'd always take along and use the lazer for precision but I'd just like to learn that skill.

    With not having any field hunting experience of compensating for long range shots I may just put a picatinny rail on my hunting rifle and use one of my target scopes for a hunting season and see from there what options I'd want in a hunting scope. I'm sure when your target is moving and only giving short periods of time to take a clear shot then ranging, adjusting and all that becomes hectic vs ranging for my targets that sit there in plain view until I'm adjusted and ready to take the shot LOL.
     
  5. ltrmc02

    ltrmc02 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    46
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    I had seen the LRHS on SWFA for $1499 and didn't look at it real close because that price was getting into the Nightforce territory but now I see on Optics Planet that it can be gotten for under $1100 so I'm pretty interested in checking one out for that kind of money. That new G2H reticle looks pretty cool but without having long range hunting experience of shooting in windy conditions I really don't know what's most desireable in a reticle for a hunting scope.

    I just went ahead and bought a 20moa picatinny rail to replace the Leupold mount and I'll play around with this rifle this coming season with my two scopes off my target rifles since I can easily swap the scopes around without removing from the rings. Maybe I'll have a better idea of what I want for the following season :rolleyes:
     
  6. Hondo64d

    Hondo64d Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    278
    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    The reticle in the LRHS is very good for a hunting scope. I like to hold for wind and dial for elevation. The LRHS is set up perfectly for that. You can also dial windage if you wish. The clicks are very positive and the zero stop works great. It gives me 10 mils of travel in a single rotation which is very good. The donut is good for close range, low light shooting. The scope is built like a tank, the tracking is accurate and repeatable. For $1100 there is simply not a better long range hunting scope on the market. Any that surpasses its performance and features will cost a good bit more.

    You mentioned that you are not likely to shoot past 500 yards or so. If that is the case, I would highly encourage to check out one of the Zeiss HD5s with the Rapid Z 600 or Rapid Z 800 reticle. It is a very well thought out and effective design for the ranges you mentioned. Extremely easy to use and VERY quick. Much quicker than dialing, yet precise bough to put a bullet in a deer's vitals easily out to the limits of the reticle. Zeiss has a calculator that allows you to put your load data in and it will tell you what magnification to adjust the scope to so that the reticle matches your load's trajectory. It works VERY well. Having the 5 and 10 mph windage references are priceless. The first time out with mine, I got a rough zero at 100 then went all the way out to 600. Made one adjustment at 600 and proceeded to pound my 8" steel plates from 300 to 600 without a single miss. The wind was from about 4:30 at 10 to 13 mph so I held for a 7.5 mph value and never missed a shot. I never dreamed that reticle would be that easy or effective.

    For longer range stuff past the limits of the reticle or for smaller targets like prairie dogs, dialing will be more precise but for deer and larger out to the limits of the reticle, I don't see myself using anything but my Zeiss Rapid Z.

    John
     
  7. 7magcreedmoor

    7magcreedmoor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    542
    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    If selecting a scope with a pattern reticle, make sure the turrets and reticle are calibrated to the same unit. Either Mildot and Mil click turrets or MOA reticle with MOA click turrets. I like 4x-16x mag, 50mm objective, non-illuminated MOA reticle with exposed turret for elevation, first focal plane. (You didn't ask for brands right away, but when you do, that is a Vortex Viper HSLR, I have several, and will buy more in a heartbeat).
     
  8. FearNoWind

    FearNoWind Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,293
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    1/4 MOA with distinct 1 MOA markings, target or hunting turrets,
    5 or 6.5-20 x 50 +/-, best contrast characferistics I could find, rapidly recoverable return to zero settings and a 1 MOA verticle and horizontal reticle.
     
  9. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,689
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    My scope/rifle for LR hunting and shooting will see hunting shots generally to a max of 1000 yards for game,. varmints/targets further. While I have used several scopes thst have filled the job, I found the features of the Gunwerks G7 Nighforce 5.5x22x50 was about as inclusive of capabilities as I have yet used:
    -Good glass and magnification range
    -Nicely weighted reticle with an MOA windage scale and a back-up 600yd ballistic reticle for quick closer shots.
    -A 20MOA revolution elevation turret with both MOA and yardage scales with zero stop
    -Side adjustable parallax
    -Very rugged with superb turret reproducibility, .25MOA click accuracy, and reticle alignment with elevation turret flat.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014