kahles vs leupold vs nikon

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Youngster, Dec 10, 2002.

  1. Youngster

    Youngster Member

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    im looking for a scope to go on a browning a bolt 270 wsm i plan on using it for whitetail deer hunting in fl, but after i get out of college i plan on going west to hunt for mulies and antelope with it. currently im looking at a vari xIII 3.5x10x40 a nikon monarch 3x9x40 and the kahles 3x9x42 with the tds reticle. does anyone have any experience with any of these?
     
  2. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

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    I have a Nikon 4-12x40 and a VARIX-III 3.5-10x40 too, what do you want to know about them?
     
  3. Youngster

    Youngster Member

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    just wondering what you suggest. which do you find to be more clear and which one offers greater low light visibily. if you could only have one which one would you choose
     
  4. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    I happen to have all three of those scopes here and have used them for several years. Here are a few thoughts, for what they are worth... Happen to shoot three Kahles TDS and have shot several more with the company folk. Have never seen any problems, used the turrets a lot and shot the TDS on in-lines, slug-guns and several rifles including a nice HS varminter. Also shoot several Nikons, both shiny and matte finish, very sharp and bright images, no problems to date and they have been all over N. America, mountains, arctic, Mexican border, very heavy use on range also. Have a couple of Leupolds and they are like a rock, very reliable but not flashy - they are "can't go wrong scopes".

    Sharpness - resolution - in these scopes I would have to rate them in this order Nikon, Kahles then Leupold but that does not mean that the Leupold is not sharp, the others are a tad sharper. This is only relative to my scopes and my vision.
    Brightness - Nikon and the other two about tied - same comment re my particular scopes and my eyeballs.
    Adjustments/turrets - have not had any problem with any, although I like them in this order Nikon, Leupold, Kahles as far as "feel". All have been as accurate as you can expect from that grade of hunting scope
    Finish - Kahles is a softer matte, nicely finished. Tne Nikon and Leupold are also good looking scopes, about equal in apprearance.
    The Kahles has a fast-focus eyepiece, the others do not and this is a very good feature, as long as you do not use Butler Creek flip-ups
    Nikon & Leupold are duplex style reticles, the Kahles's have TDS and it is worth having. Very simple to use (not sure you want to let yourself get too carried away with the instruction manual and "factors"). Just zero it and put some target downrange and see where the bars fit relative to where your groups hit. Bottom line, you have constant aiming points in the scope (at a given power, or they can even be changed by indexing the power ring), gives you simple hold-offs within range of most hunters (5-600 max).
    I have shot the TDS in Swarovski and Kahles since it came out and rely on it for some types of hunts - particularly on my in-line muzzleloaders for shooting out to 200-250 yards.
    TDS stands for TD Smith, retired airforce pilot who is simply bigger than life. You would NEVER forget having met TD. Easily one of the most amazing individuals I have ever met.
    Goo luck on your selection - you are in a good dollar value range, the scopes are going to give good performance and should last a long time. Talk to www.swfa.com about prices.
     
  5. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    May 3, 2001
    I happen to have all three of those scopes here and have used them for several years. Here are a few thoughts, for what they are worth... Happen to shoot three Kahles TDS and have shot several more with the company folk. Have never seen any problems, used the turrets a lot and shot the TDS on in-lines, slug-guns and several rifles including a nice HS varminter. Also shoot several Nikons, both shiny and matte finish, very sharp and bright images, no problems to date and they have been all over N. America, mountains, arctic, Mexican border, very heavy use on range also. Have a couple of Leupolds and they are like a rock, very reliable but not flashy - they are "can't go wrong scopes".

    Sharpness - resolution - in these scopes I would have to rate them in this order Nikon, Kahles then Leupold but that does not mean that the Leupold is not sharp, the others are a tad sharper. This is only relative to my scopes and my vision.
    Brightness - Nikon and the other two about tied - same comment re my particular scopes and my eyeballs.
    Adjustments/turrets - have not had any problem with any, although I like them in this order Nikon, Leupold, Kahles as far as "feel". All have been as accurate as you can expect from that grade of hunting scope
    Finish - Kahles is a softer matte, nicely finished. Tne Nikon and Leupold are also good looking scopes, about equal in apprearance.
    The Kahles has a fast-focus eyepiece, the others do not and this is a very good feature, as long as you do not use Butler Creek flip-ups
    Nikon & Leupold are duplex style reticles, the Kahles's have TDS and it is worth having. Very simple to use (not sure you want to let yourself get too carried away with the instruction manual and "factors"). Just zero it and put some target downrange and see where the bars fit relative to where your groups hit. Bottom line, you have constant aiming points in the scope (at a given power, or they can even be changed by indexing the power ring), gives you simple hold-offs within range of most hunters (5-600 max).
    I have shot the TDS in Swarovski and Kahles since it came out and rely on it for some types of hunts - particularly on my in-line muzzleloaders for shooting out to 200-250 yards.
    TDS stands for TD Smith, retired airforce pilot who is simply bigger than life. You would NEVER forget having met TD. Easily one of the most amazing individuals I have ever met.
    Goo luck on your selection - you are in a good dollar value range, the scopes are going to give good performance and should last a long time. Talk to www.swfa.com about prices.
     
  6. Nate Haler

    Nate Haler Well-Known Member

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    Dec 27, 2001
    Re: your possible interest in a Nikon 3-9x40, I've got one for sale. It's the Monarch model (which is their best line), black matte, plex reticle, product #6525 as I recall.

    New in box, untouched since it left their factory. Bought for a hunt, but my pal got sick and the hunt was cancelled. I've got the rifle for sale too...

    $249.00 shipped to you, guaranteed as I say or all your money back.

    Save a few hundred vs. what else you're considering, and spend it on ammo, practice, meals, whatever. You will NOT be disappointed with Nikon optics, especially their Monarch line. One piece tube, blackened internals, fully multicoated lenses, everything-proof, lifetime warranty.

    Good luck, whatever you pick, but I hope you buy my scope. [​IMG]
     
  7. Youngster

    Youngster Member

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    Dec 10, 2002
    nate that is a good offer but right now im saving up for the rifle, and when i get it my dad said he would split the scope with me.
    thanks for the info ian, right now its going to be the nikon or the kahles the only reason i would get the kahles is bc of the tds reticle and its use for longer range shooting
    i have 2 more questions what are turrets and what is the adjustible reticle and whatd does it allow the shooter to do. im new to this so i have alot to learn

    [ 12-10-2002: Message edited by: Youngster ]
     
  8. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

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    In my veiw the Nikon is the best for the buck easily. Probably get a better resale out of the Leopold and a faster sale too if you ever plan to sell it. The Kahles will cost more and sell for more later and is gaining a good name, I've never used one though.

    The Nikon and the Leopold I have are indistinguishable to look through for me, the Leopld has a tad more eye relief though. For me I don't think the Leopld is worth the extra cash, it just doesn't offer anything more. I won't sell my Nikon.

    One thing you can do with the Leopold is get target turrets put on it and change the reticle down the road, don't think you can on the Nikon. They can make it parallax free at whatever range you want too. At 700 yards mine is getting a little parallax but not bad, at 800-1000 it's getting worse. The adjustable objective on my Nikon cures any problem here, although it has to be above the 500 yard setting to get rid of it all at 100 yards and pretty close to infinity at 800 yards. It doesn't affect the focus so I leave it on the upper end.

    Hope that helps you a little.

    What rifle/caliber are you eyeballing?
     
  9. RBrowning

    RBrowning Well-Known Member

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    Feb 8, 2002
    Youngster, you asked "i have 2 more questions what are turrets and what is the adjustible reticle and whatd does it allow the shooter to do."?

    First, the turrets are the knobs that you use to adjust your point of impact to match your point of aim. Typical scopes have them under a set of screw off caps to protect them from inadvertant adjustant and dirt. This is fine for short ranges where you adjust your scope at the range and leave it. Most folks around here use "target" turrets because they are externally adjustable, no caps and bigger knobs for finger adjustment. This is so that you can adjust your scope for the distance thar you are shooting and still hold the cross hairs where you want to hit and not use "hold over". This means you need to know how much to adjust the scope based on distance, weather, bullet shape and muzzle velocity. I suggest you read the book "Ultimate Sniper" for how to develop a "come up" chart for doing this.

    Second question about "adjustable reticle", I believe you are referring to "adjustable objective". This is a feature built on most better scopes. Usually it is done by twisting the front end of the scope. Some have a third turret on the left side of the scope that is easier to adjust while in a shooting position. I don't know the mechanics of the insides, but basically it allows you to focus the scope at different ranges and to make the reticle (cross hairs) centered in the scope. If you don't have this feature, or if it hasn't been adjusted for the distance you are shooting, you will notice that as you move your head slightly the cross hairs will seem to move on your target. If it is adjusted propperly moving your head but not the gun will keep the cross hairs stationary on the target. Without it you must get your head into exactly the same position on the stock every time to hit the target the same every time. This is especially important when hunting and you find yourself in some unusual positions to make the shot.

    Hope this is helpful.
    Rick
     
  10. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

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    Dec 13, 2002
    I've got target turrets on a couple loopys and a Nikon monarch, they also have covers, what do you do leave the covers off?
    JS
     
  11. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

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    My covers stay on until I'm set up somewhere. I don't leave them off hiking through the woods for the simple reason if the "zero tab" gets brushed on something and moved and I don't notice it until much later, one might get screwed up and not be sure of the setting and have to rezero to be sure.

    I have been to the range before out at 800 yards or so then went to shoot at 300yds days later and never got on target until I remembered I was over 15 moa already from the last time out and never set it back to my 100yd zero.
     
  12. RBrowning

    RBrowning Well-Known Member

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    I just have a Tasco with target knobs. The knobs are always open to adjustment. It also has a vernier scale so that once you zero at 100 you can loosen the knob and rotate it so that it's zero mark lines up with the line running along the axis of the turret. Then you can record on your come-up card how many witness marks are exposed below the knob. If you ever get lost on you adjustments you can quickly come back to your 100 yard zero point. If you are familiar with a micrometer that has a vernier scale for reading to 1/10000 inch this may make sence, otherwise I hope It wasn't too comfusing. It really is a very easy and pretty foolproof system.
     
  13. Davo

    Davo Member

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    Dec 17, 2002
    I own the Kahles 3-9 AH with TDS. The Kahles is quite bright and the TDS works very well, but if you want you could buy a Swarovski and pay 2x as much for the same thing...

    [ 01-29-2003: Message edited by: Davo ]