Illuminated vs non illuminated reticles

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Len Backus, May 15, 2014.

  1. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,395
    Joined:
    May 2, 2001
    The illumination technology today is much better than the first time, 14 years ago, that I tried illumination and felt it did not aid me in my shooting.

    What say you?
     
  2. Browninglover1

    Browninglover1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,154
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    I have a Sightron SIII 3.5-10 LRIMOA that has illumination. Most of the time I never even think about turning it on, but when it starts to get dark or I'm shooting against a dark back drop the little illuminated .25 MOA dot in the middle is very helpful because the reticle is so thin that without illumination sometimes I can't see it.
     
  3. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

    Messages:
    2,861
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Helpful when it is needed, but I have rarely needed it.
    I guess if someone drags me out an hour before sunrise to shoot as early as optically possible at distance it would be real helpful:D
     
  4. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,395
    Joined:
    May 2, 2001
    If I were you I would learn to stand up on your own two legs and just say "NO!" using your big boy voice. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

    Messages:
    2,861
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Ha!:D
     
  6. texas 527

    texas 527 Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    I have had an illuminated recticle on my 44 mag T/C Contender scope for 15 + years. Useful in marginal light hunting hogs and deer and as my eyes approach 60 years old. I use the minimum illumination required to make the cross hairs easy to see. Have been looking at scopes for a new rifle including some with illuminated recticles. It's a nice to have, not a deal breaker for me. Shooting at 25 to 200 yards with the pistol.
     
  7. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,667
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    I recently returned from a Carolina razorback hunt. We started hunting just before dark and stayed on stand for as long as you had the patience. Other than the dim green LED lights which were mounted on the feeders, it was DARK. I eventually used my 1x4 Leupold illuminated scope to take a nice boar. Most of the other hunters complained that they couldn't even see their crosshairs in the nearly non-existent light.

    I also like the illuminated reticle when hunting black bears under a dense canopy which seems to be the norm. A black reticle can easily be lost on the dark, dense fur of a black bear in marginal light.
     
  8. NWmissouriman

    NWmissouriman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    232
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    The first illuminated scopes I had were Viper PST's before I got my NXS and ATACR. I primarily hunt coyotes from about 9:00 p.m. to as late as I can manage staying up and I couldn't get by without illumination on my coyote rifle. Though I don't use it as often on my LR bigger game rifle, I would have a hard time purchasing a scope that wasn't illuminated. When it's needed, it's REALLY needed. I'd hate to think of myself seeing the trophy of a lifetime and not being able to take a shot because I couldn't find my crosshairs on it. I've had missed opportunities before and I don't doubt they will haunt me for a lifetime:D.
     
  9. LouBoyd

    LouBoyd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    770
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    If it's too dark to see the reticle superimposed on the the target, illuminating the reticle will only make the target more difficult to see. Realize that the resolution of the human eye is only about 1/10 as good when dark adapted as when using the color sensitive cones in the eye's fovea.
    Three solutions are:
    1. Use a spotlight to illuminate the target (where and when legal)
    2. Use an image intensifier (where and when legal)
    3. Don't hunt when there's not enough light for your naked eye color vision to be active. No non-electronic scope allows color vision in lower illumination.

    Illuminated reticles seem like a good idea until you try to use them. I consider them useless.
     
  10. Browninglover1

    Browninglover1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,154
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    The illumination in my Sightron actually helps quite a bit and does not distract from the target image. If the reticle were thicker it wouldn't need illumination but it helps a lot on shots against dark backgrounds or as light begins to fade. It is my only experience with a "nice" illuminated reticle so I don't know how it compares to everything else.
     
  11. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,170
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    I'm in agreement with LouBoyd. I have 'em but they don't have batteries in them and then I have them without. Makes no difference to me.

    I do use an illuminated railway sight in 50 foot match pistol competition but thats a different animal.
     
  12. Outlaw6.0

    Outlaw6.0 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,097
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    I don't use them enough to justify them. I've had 4-6 scopes with illumination, i'm not sure i've ever used it other than playing around. I think there are applications where they would be advantageous however, I rarely, if ever, find my self in those situations.



    t
     
  13. Varberger757

    Varberger757 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    586
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    I don't want to miss ill. reticles! Since they are on the marked they make hunting i the dark a precise pleasure, even hunting in bright daylight has become easier due to them! Using highend scopes with fitting ill. reticles is just about progress. gun)
     
  14. sitkadeer

    sitkadeer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    157
    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    I have a couple 5-20 trijicons with the posts. During daylight hours, most of the time I turn the illumination off, as it doesn't have a an advantage how I use them. However, after sunset they really come in to play and have absolutely aided me many times and made life much easier not straining my eyes.

    If I was just a big game hunter, I don't know that illumination would serve much purpose unless it's getting dark. In the canopy, as I think someone else has mentioned, especially in places like western Oregon and Washington, I imagine they'd be of great use. One time in western Washington, I was shocked at how much light some of that forest blocks and how dark it can get back in there. It was pretty cool, a very different environment.