what scope for F class and long range varmites

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by tjonh2001, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. tjonh2001

    tjonh2001 Well-Known Member

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    i am haveing a 6x47 lapua built by nate at ssg it will be done in the next week.this will be used for f class and long range varmits. i am wondering what scope you guys think i should put on it. i am leaning toward a nightforce nxs 5.5x22x50. i am open to your opinion and why. i have a couple mark 4s and am looking to try somthing new,i want to spend about 1500.
     
  2. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    If you go down the line at most F-Class matches, the scope you see the most is probably a Nightforce 12-42x56mm, either the NXS (side focus, 1/4 moa clicks) or the BR (front focus, 1/8 moa clicks).
     

  3. tjonh2001

    tjonh2001 Well-Known Member

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    i have heard that that much magnification is tomuch ona hot day.
     
  4. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    You don't have to turn it up so high you can't see. My goodness gracious, I bet that didn't occur to you. light bulb

    Milanuk is the expert, so you got advice from the expert even if you didn't like it.

    It is possible to shoot F-class with the 5.5-22X56 being as I do it but then you have to realize that I don't win.
     
  5. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    Magnification is a little like money... you can rarely have too much of it :D

    Some people hate mirage; they feel it distracts them too much as they can't see the target clearly. It certainly does add a noticeable degree of eye strain and subsequent fatigue to the equation. Others hate not being able to clearly make out the edges or lines in a target as it gets all squiggly. I know I used to hate trying to shoot prairie dogs when it looked like they were out there doing the moon walk in the heat waves ;)

    Then you have the other camp; mirage is there, whether you can see or not. Just because you back off the magnification to where you can't see the optical distortion does not mean the heat waves are not displacing your target image from where it is in reality. More importantly, mirage shows you the wind - often people refer to mirage as 'wind you can see'. If you can see the mirage angling up and to the right across the target... it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise when you have to hold a little low and left from your zero to actually hit the center of the target. Likewise, if you see the mirage (wind) suddenly flip the other way (up and to the left), you know you better hold off to accommodate the condition change. How much depends a lot on the individual range and its layout, but hopefully you get the idea. I've had situations where I was having to hold off as described to hit the center, and it was driving me nuts (didnt click off, as it wasn't quite enough to merit that much compensation). However when a breeze would dip down across the target face and blow off the mirage for a few seconds... I'd literally see the target 'jump' down and left - surprise, surprise.

    As I said, mirage can be your friend - it tends to be more responsive faster to small changes than flags which have mass and take longer to show, or may just flutter in a quick little shift in the wind. Too much mirage can drive you batty, though. I've shot where there was an asphalt shingled roof over a firing line down range giving off horrendous mirage... enough so that the gun was wobbling slightly one way, and the mirage image was wobbling far worse going the other way. If I was more susceptible to motion sickness, I'm pretty sure it would have made me puke!

    The 5.5-22x will work just fine, especially if you get a fine crosshair like the NP-R1 or R2, or one of the CH reticles. Perhaps even w/ the 2DD... just anything that doesn't cover a lot of real-estate on the target. I think you'll find that the 42x scopes allow you to refine your call much tighter... shots that you would have called 'rock-solid' and had no idea why it ended up in the 9 (or 8) ring will look a bit less steady... and you just may see your last split second 'jerk' or flinch that sent that round off for the back 40...

    FWIW, I hardly *ever* turn down the magnification, and I know I'm not the only one who shoots like that. Other people like to turn the magnification down to where the worst of the mirage goes away and the image stabilizes, but they can still see shifts and let-offs and pick-ups and such.

    YMMV,

    Monte
     
  6. Flybuster

    Flybuster Well-Known Member

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    Good post, It looks like I'm going to have to bite the big one and get one too. Boy, that's alot of money for a scope. My F-class rifle won't be done for a while yet, so I have time to think. Thanks for the good discription on mirage.
     
  7. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    The Weaver T24 and T36 are popular choice for people who don't want to spend the $$$ on a Nightforce. Unfortunately, they are fixed power only.
     
  8. tjonh2001

    tjonh2001 Well-Known Member

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    of course i know that i can reduse the magnification. are there any other options in scopes with the same quality for the same price. when ssg and i were talking about this gun and scopes we thought 5.5x22. i have never thought of mirage the way that you just said. for what im spending i am just trying not to make a rookie mistake to save a couple dallors. thank you for the advise...
     
  9. gbp

    gbp Well-Known Member

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    Go with the Nightforce 12X42 NXS with the NP R1 retical. That is what I use on my F-Class and I don't think you would regret it. You will also need a 20 moa base or equil IMHO
     
  10. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    The NF scopes are kind of in a 'niche'...there are the Leupold MkIV 8.5-25x scopes, but they are a bit light on the magnification compared to the NF 12-42x. I've had some problems w/ Leupold in regard to repeatability - several scopes worth. IOR-Valdada makes a scope in the 9-36x range for $1400-1500, and I've read some BR shooters commenting favorably on them when they first came out, but I don't hear much about them since, and I haven't seen any on the line at F-Class matches. I don't know of any reason why they wouldn't work, though.

    U.S. Optics has some glass in the 40+ magnification range... but it's over twice the price of a NF BR 12-42x. USO enthusiasts might argue that its worth it, but I'd rather buy two NF and have a spare if I needed it.

    Schmidt & Bender supposedly has some 12-50x glass coming, but its supposed to be in the $2000-2500 range.

    After that, we 'drop down' to the fixed power BR scopes - Leupold Competition scopes in the ~$1k range, and the Weaver & Sightron scopes in the $400-500 range. For the money, I see no reason to get the Leupold fixed power scope compared to a NF BR series variable for the games I play.

    Next tier would be the 8-32x range... Burris has some, but I don't think I've ever seen one at a long range match. Their internal adjustment range is pretty limited, which can be worked around by use of their Signature rings and inserts... Not sure what Bushnell offers in their Elite 4200 series in this range.

    Lots of options to choose from.

    Edited to add: if you look at today's bulletin over on 6mmBR.com, Sightron is bringing out some new scopes for 2008 - including a 8-32x56mm scope. No idea on how it'll hold up, but for $825 it might be another option for you.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2008
  11. Flybuster

    Flybuster Well-Known Member

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    Not trying to hi-jack your thread, but while were on the subject of F-class scopes. I have the 8.5-25x50 VX-III , your right it is light on the magnification. I really haven't figured out how to "read" mirage with this scope, maybe because I can't see it. I plan on starting out using this scope on my new rifle until I can afford a more suitable scope.

    I was intrigued by all these new scopes coming out this year. My question is can you read mirage with a scope on 32 power? Does better resolution on a NF help you see mirage more clearly than a lower grade scope? I really need a variable power because this will be a varmint rifle too, like the fella that started the thread. Thanks for straigtening me out!:D
     
  12. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    The optical clarity has a lot to do with how well you can see the mirage. I have a Kowa TSN 661 spotting scope w/ multi-coating, etc. and a 27x LER/WA lens. I can see mirage 'okay' with that set up. I've looked through other people's Kowa and Leica scopes w/ the fluorite coated lenses (ED or APO designations) and there is a whole world of mirage out there - layers and layers - that I'm not seeing. Guess what I'm saving money for? ;)

    I've had a couple guns w/ comparable scopes on them - 6-18x of one brand, 6.5-20x of another. With one I could see mirage clearly, with the other, not.

    Just a disclaimer here: not even Nightforce is 'perfect'. I've talked with some folks who claimed theirs were dark and not very bright/clear. Looked through theirs, looked through mine. Big difference. From talking w/ some more experienced folks, it gets back to a slight misalignment of a lense during final assembly - easy to do, and the factory will almost always make it right. So if you get a NF and go 'WTF was he talking about?' you might consider comparing it to another one and maybe sending it back to get corrected. I don't think it's very common, but it does happen.

    One thing that can help in reading mirage is to pull the scope back slightly out of focus and look at some thing with a defined edge, like the number boards, etc. that is over the target (where you're bullet will spend most of its time traveling). I don't recommend this with your *rifle* scope, but if you have a spotting scope you can often pick up the mirage part ways down range i.e. closer to the muzzle where it has more effect on the bullet.