Which Scope

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by streamman, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. streamman

    streamman New Member

    May 6, 2011
    Would appreciate collective wisdom/experience to help make scope decision.

    I'd use the scope 80% hunting 20% range shooting. Primary rifle would be Savage 111 300 Win Mag. Trying to decide between:
    NF 5.5-22x50 Second Focal Plane Illuminated
    Leupold Mark4 6.5-20x50 ER/T M5 Front Focal Plane Non Illuminated
    Leupold Mark 4 4.5-14x50 LR/T Second Focal Plane Illuminated

    I like the idea of the first focal plane (Leupold 6.5-22) being able to range at any magnification, but am concerned about the reticle being harder to see at closer range. I looked through one & it's noticeable. The other concern is the lack of illum reticle with this first focal plane scope & there's been times when I had a deer in the shadows and it was difficult to see my black reticle.

    Will probably hold over for shots but am taking 1000 yd class to get proficient at dialing in so that may change.

    Questions on trade-offs:

    For hunting would the illuminated reticle provide more value than first focal plane?

    For 800-1000 yd shots would you choose 4.5-14 or 6.5-22

    How much short range ability is sacrificed going from 4.5 on low end to 6.5 ?

    Thank you very much. I'm thinking myself in circles and appreciate the input
  2. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

    May 22, 2011
    For any type of short range and/or woods hunting, I would not go higher than 5X magnification on the low end (I prefer 1.5-3X). You want a wide field of view and large exit pupil for fast target acquisition. I see no problem using 14X for big game at 1000 yds. The Leupold 4.5-14X50 is a nice scope and quite a bit lighter than the Nightforce, as I recall.

    Again, for hunting the SFP has an advantage: the reticle is larger and easier to see at low mag. This helps in poor lighting conditions. In this case an illum reticle may be optional (really a matter of personal choice).
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011

  3. Jon A

    Jon A Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2001
    That depends. A thin reticle might really need illumination for some situations while a thicker reticle may not. If you use the reticle for holds much SFP might be a PITA but if you don't it won't matter. Of course the best answer to the question is to get both.

    For those ranges I definately prefer the higher powers.

    The FOV on the 6.5 Leupold is quite small. I wouldn't feel comfortable hunting with it in thick cover. For pure open country--like antelope hunting--I'd like it fine but for mixed use I'd want a better low end.

    Let me see if I can help. Check out this scope: http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f18/swfa-super-sniper-5-20x50hd-72157/ .

    It solves many of your problems above.

    It's FFP but the reticle is a bit more visible on low power than the TMR. And it's illuminated so seeing it is never a problem. You get both FFP and illumination.

    Its FOV on 5X is actually bigger than Leupold's 4.5-14 on 4.5X. And yet it still has 20X magnification with extremely good glass for the long stuff.

    At the current group buy price I wouldn't even consider any other scope for a similar application. I really like it that much.
  4. captainjoe

    captainjoe Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2011
    I have wrestled with this question myself. My problem is that I hunt up through timber to get up to some favorite meadows that I like to set up for some long shots in. If you see something in the timber at 10-30 yards (which is not beyond the realm of possibility), 5x or greater could be a challenge to use at that range. Ideally a 4x or less would be better.

    It's all down to compromises. I decided in the end that taking a shot at 1,000 with a 15x is not beyond the realm of possibility and also I might be able to stalk in a bit closer if I am concerned. On the other hand, if you happen to walk up on some big game, you want to be able to take a fairly quick snap shot.