Help recommend low light scope

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by DWilson, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. DWilson

    DWilson Active Member

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    Welp primitive season is bout to open up here in the bayou state and Mississippi. After checking my trail cams im seeing the big boys are showing up rite at dusk an dawn at the feeders. Currently im using a leupold 3x9 vx2. Its not cutting it in this time of day. My $$ range is up to $1500 maybe a lil more. Sfp is a must and up to 18-20 mag would b nice for some long powerline shots i could take. Also i have a razor gen 2 on another rifle i use for target an sat in my stand looking at them big boys at dusk an wasnt too impressed. They like to hang out rite in the shadows in the treeline edge of the food plot next to the corn feeder. Yall know how that goes lol so i guess im picky with scopes but any help is much appreciated
     
  2. Rich Coyle

    Rich Coyle Well-Known Member

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    DWilson,

    The Leupold VX-5 3-15X56 is a fantastic low light scope. Better than Swarovski z5 5-25X52, Leupold VX-6 4-24X52, and Bushnell 6500 4 1/2-30X50.
     
    257Tony, Barrelnut and Canhunter35 like this.
  3. Roinaa

    Roinaa Member

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    I would recommend Meopta Meostar R1r 3-12x56. It has been trusty scope for night hunting and is maybe the best bang for the buck here in Finland. But if you need more mag maybe R2 2.5 - 15x56 would fit better for you.
     
  4. Garycrow

    Garycrow Well-Known Member

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    I hunt in Mississippi and I use a meopta 3-12x56 with a FFP #4 reticle for my low light hunting. I've also got a swarovski 2.5-10x56 FFP #4 but it's not currently on a rifle.

    It's too bad you're stuck on SFP, heavy reticle FFP is much superior when the light gets dim. CameralandNY has a Schmidt & Bender 2.5-10x56 with an illuminated #7 reticle on closeout now for $1299 that would be the ultimate low light scope for deep south foodplot hunting.

    High magnifications don't lend themselves to low light hunting, the exit pupil gets too small as you turn up the magnification. 12X is about as high as I'd go on a scope I planned to use for low light.
     
  5. Rich Coyle

    Rich Coyle Well-Known Member

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    I have proven to everyone who will come over and take a look. I have deer antlers 13" 131 yards away in the woods. Constantly we observe when a variable scope looses the antlers all one has to do is turn up the magnification ring. Viola, there they are! Works every time.
     
  6. Garycrow

    Garycrow Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I've heard you espouse your methods here and at 24hrcampfire.com. They're interesting to say the least.

    I've been hunting near nocturnal whitetails over foodplots in Mississippi for 35+ years and I also have several high magnification scopes (20-32X) with good glass between nightforce and swarovski. They don't get used in low light, the 3-12 meopta and 2.5-10 swarovski do because they work better. More magnification is better in low light up until it's limited by exit pupil. If you could have a 100mm objective then you could use 20X on the top end, but that's not practical. In true low light, not light where you can see antlers at 20X, cranking up the magnification just gets you a darker picture. It's a trade off and 10-12X has been fleshed out to where the best balance is. The Krauts, Czechs, and Austrians that hunt boar by moonlight have pretty much nailed what works best while still being man-portable on a hunting rifle.

    In practical application good binoculars are more important than the scope. Even with a good scope a pair of high end 10x42 binos will be brighter. It's just the physics behind one eye vs. two and fewer lens in the binoculars which transmits more light. The most important part for the scope is a good heavy reticle for shot placement, that's why a good heavy FFP reticle is so much better than the SFP offerings.

    We'll just have to agree to disagree on it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
  7. Rich Coyle

    Rich Coyle Well-Known Member

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    I guess not all scopes and binoculars are created equal. I bought some Minox 13X56 binoculars and really liked them. I decided to compare them with my Bushnell 6500 4 1/2-30X50 set on 13X. To my astonishment the single 50mm objective lasted two minutes longer than the TWO 56mm objectives of the binos.

    There are a lot of opinions I used to hold that have been destroyed by my comparing. By far the absolute best scope I have compared in low light was the Swarovski z8i 2.3-18X56. It beat the Swarovski z5 5-25X52, Leupold VX-5 4-24X52, and the Bushsnell 6500 4 1/2-30X50 by twenty minutes with all set on 15X! It also smoked my Minox 15X58 binoculars by eleven minutes. Again we have a single 56mm objective beating two 58mm objectives!

    The owner of the z8i and I agreed when the antlers disappeared. By the way the three lesser scopes beat the Swarovski z6 5-30X50 by eleven minutes. The owner said, "I always knew that one wasn't very good." My question is, why does one keep something he doesn't think is what he paid for?