Is an illuminated reticle worth it?

Loyal2no1

Active Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
36
I'm looking at purchasing a Bushnell Elite Tactical ET6245F 6-24 x 50mm scope with an illuminated reticle as my first optic for a precision rifle.

I like it what it offers, the price is right and 8541 does a fantastic and thorough review and I like what it's capable of;

However, there is a substantially cheaper, non-illuminated reticle version (ET6245) so I'm wondering how others feel about illuminated and non-illuminated rets' - are they gimmicky/tacticool or do they have a real world use such hunting as low light condition/dusk conditions?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

rcoody

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2015
Messages
1,026
I'm looking at purchasing a Bushnell Elite Tactical ET6245F 6-24 x 50mm scope with an illuminated reticle as my first optic for a precision rifle.

I like it what it offers, the price is right and 8541 does a fantastic and thorough review and I like what it's capable of;
Bushnell Elite Tactical 6-24x50mm Rifle Scope Review Part 1 - YouTube

However, there is a substantially cheaper, non-illuminated reticle version (ET6245) so I'm wondering how others feel about illuminated and non-illuminated rets' - are they gimmicky/tacticool or do they have a real world use such hunting as low light condition/dusk conditions?

I have a Luepold vx-6 2-12 illuminated on my hunting rifle. It is very good in low light conditions.

That said the crosshairs are much too thick for target shooting at the range. I put my 4-24 non illuminated on it when I take it to the range.

I have no idea how the scope you are talking about is illuminated or how thick the crosshairs are but if I were buying another illuminated scope I sure would check that.
 

Loyal2no1

Active Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
36
I have a Luepold vx-6 2-12 illuminated on my hunting rifle. It is very good in low light conditions.

That said the crosshairs are much too thick for target shooting at the range. I put my 4-24 non illuminated on it when I take it to the range.

I have no idea how the scope you are talking about is illuminated or how thick the crosshairs are but if I were buying another illuminated scope I sure would check that.

Interesting. Now that has got me thinking... I haven't had the chance to compare the two but I'll look into it. Thanks! (y)

Out of curiosity how do you find the illuminated reticle overall - a must have, nice to have or not really bothered?
 

StrutNut

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2015
Messages
293
Location
Blaine, MN
I was thinking illumination was not as much needed but I saw one picture that changed my mind. I was on another site at sunset on the silhouette of 2 deer. I buying mine for hunting and I can tell you you can easily see the reticle on the scope BUT not on the dark deer silhouette. you would need illumination to make that shot. I guess its one of those things that you likely wont need it but when you do, you do and its better to have and not use than to not have and need.
 

rcoody

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2015
Messages
1,026
I was thinking illumination was not as much needed but I saw one picture that changed my mind. I was on another site at sunset on the silhouette of 2 deer. I buying mine for hunting and I can tell you you can easily see the reticle on the scope BUT not on the dark deer silhouette. you would need illumination to make that shot. I guess its one of those things that you likely wont need it but when you do, you do and its better to have and not use than to not have and need.

those big boys walk early and late. they are the last ones to step out into the open. You are right crosshairs disappear on that dark body but that little red light stands out nicely

Really depends on what you want the scope for.

Some of the fancier illuminated reticles are lit somehow from the front or back and the crosshairs don't have to be so thick. The reason they are so thick my understanding is that there is a wire running though them to power the dot.
 

SidecarFlip

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2011
Messages
4,442
Location
S.E. Michigan
This is my take on any scope/rifle combination. Weight is everything. Lugging a tank around at 10K feet is no fun, in fact it's work.

I want the lightest possible stick.

Illuminated reticles add weight just like a 30mm tube weighs more and a 35 mm weighs even more than that.

Realize what your planned use is and buy your accessories accordingly.

I always shoot for a stick that weighs less than 8.5 pounds, loaded and ready to go. Thats not gonna be cheap but in the end, a lightweight stick is a whole lot better than carrying a tank.

My latest piece weighs under 8 pounds with 3 in the galley and one in the chamber. Was it cheap? No. Is it light? You bet.

Additionally, Vortex Vipers with illuminated reticles have extremely fine crosshairs (I know I have one) but my druthers are non-illuminated scopes with larger objectives to allow in more ambient light
 

Loyal2no1

Active Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
36
those big boys walk early and late. they are the last ones to step out into the open. You are right crosshairs disappear on that dark body but that little red light stands out nicely

Really depends on what you want the scope for.

Some of the fancier illuminated reticles are lit somehow from the front or back and the crosshairs don't have to be so thick. The reason they are so thick my understanding is that there is a wire running though them to power the dot.

Dusk/dawn shooting for game exactly as you mentioned it plus the occasional attempt at distance shooting for kicks. If the ret' isn't too thick like others have mentioned then I'll go the Bushnell illuminated. It's my first real scope so I think it's better to go with something that has a few extra features to find out what I like/dislike than something that's bareboned.
 

Loyal2no1

Active Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
36
I was thinking illumination was not as much needed but I saw one picture that changed my mind. I was on another site at sunset on the silhouette of 2 deer. I buying mine for hunting and I can tell you you can easily see the reticle on the scope BUT not on the dark deer silhouette. you would need illumination to make that shot. I guess its one of those things that you likely wont need it but when you do, you do and its better to have and not use than to not have and need.

My thoughts exactly. Others in the forum have said the same thing you have so I think it's definitely worth getting if it doesn't make the ret' too thick.
 

jfseaman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2012
Messages
4,171
Location
California Central Coast
I have lots of illuminated and non-illuminated.

Dawn/Dusk. Even moonlight for tactical game time but you need good glass.

So like was said. Mostly not used but when you need it, is it worth the extra $.

For me: Yes on certain rifles.
 

Rick Richard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2014
Messages
4,113
Location
North Carolina
Lots of interesting comments, but I find when the reticle becomes too dark to see than it is past LEGAL shooting hours anyway. So, I don't see the need for illuminated reticle in my hunting applications.
 

rcoody

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2015
Messages
1,026
Lots of interesting comments, but I find when the reticle becomes too dark to see than it is past LEGAL shooting hours anyway. So, I don't see the need for illuminated reticle in my hunting applications.

30 min after sunset. still quite bright in open fields but a much different story in the shadows and deep woods or even in the bottom of a valley.
 

Loyal2no1

Active Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
36
Lots of interesting comments, but I find when the reticle becomes too dark to see than it is past LEGAL shooting hours anyway. So, I don't see the need for illuminated reticle in my hunting applications.

This is for use in New Zealand - aside from waterfowl/pheasants etc we generally don't have seasons nor any restrictions when hunting pigs, deer, etc as they're an introduced species and a pest which are often culled
 

SidecarFlip

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2011
Messages
4,442
Location
S.E. Michigan
I have lots of illuminated and non-illuminated.

Dawn/Dusk. Even moonlight for tactical game time but you need good glass.

So like was said. Mostly not used but when you need it, is it worth the extra $.

For me: Yes on certain rifles.

Exactly. Good glass will make up for a non illuminated scope.

Good example is my spotter. I bought a Vortex Razor spotter (not cheap) and I picked up about 20 minutes of viewing time just on the glass quality.
 

Primary

LRH Assistant
Here are some related products that LRH members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to LRH’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to LRH discussions about these products.

 
 

Recent Posts

Top