I like the Leupold 8 1/2 X to 25X with the side wheel focus and 30 MM tube.
I also like a Dot in my view for placement on the animal or for target shooting. It works best for me.
I like a clear view of my target and the small dot allows this. I really don't like to see a bunch of circles, lines or obstruction in my field of view through the scope. Some like this, But I don't. I guess it's what you get use to.
The Leupold LR also has enough elevation clicks to get you where you want to go at the ranges you mentioned.
You can find this scope for around $650.00 in some places.
For the quality of the scope and warrenty provided, it is hard to beat in that price range or a scope of higher cost.
The optics have excellent clarity.
Like Darryl, I don't like alot of lines and stuff which can "hide" my target. I like a fine crosshair duplex. A dot would be a great second choice. Be careful of heavy duplex crosshairs as they will cover too much of your target at long range. I am also looking into the Burris Electro dot which they put into their hunting scopes. Would be a help in low light, dark background conditions. Mil dot reticle are a great alternative too (not cluttered as other reticles and can help in quick adjustments in aiming).
As to scopes, I let my budget decide. Scopes like the Nightforce are very good but muchos bucks. I lean towards the Bausch and Lomb 4000/4200series and most on this site will use Leupolds. IOR is getting popular and well priced for the features.
I personally LR hunt with my 6X24 Elite 4000 scope. I shim the scope (Burris sig rings)and base so that I have the full amount of elevation to use. There is only 26min of adjustment so shimming is a given. With most magnums, you only need 20 to 24min to get from 100yds to 1000yds. I set my scopes up with a 200yd zero and have had no problem dialing up to 1000yds. Excellent and repeatable knobs, very good optics and well priced. The other members of this product line have higher amounts of adjustment.
I also have experience with the "Tasco" super snipers from SWFA. I love my 10X for its repeatability, ruggedness, and amount of adjustment. Optics are good but not perfect. For the money, they are the best scope with over 100min of adjustment.
The next best is the new Elite 3200 10X. Very good design, compact, light, very nice mil dot reticle, pretty good optics. With about 80 min of elev. adj and under $200 retail, a great entry level scope. Mine doesn't move 1/4 MOA clicks but it is consistent and repeatable.
I tried the spotter system with the R2 and was always BETWEEN the 2 MOA lines going after the target.
This called for an adjustment just like the dot or fine cross hair does. I don't like counting lines in the scope either. I would rather click to the range and use the spotter
because of the extended range we normally set up to shoot.
Maybe ONE line is "very fine" in the R2, but put 15 of them in a row verticlly and I most certainly have a problem seeing what I want to. Add the windage marks left and right of the verticle lines and now you even have less view.
Like I mentioned, some use the R2 and like it, but for the newbie and this OLD guy, I would suggest the spotter system and the dot or fine cross hair hands down compaired to 15 Horizontal lines in a verticle plane, to the new shooter.
You have your way and I have mine and both will work, but for "ME" and any suggestion I make to a newbie it will always be the dot of cross hair and spotter system. I'm quite sure we can both teach a new shooter our ways and let him decide what he prefers.
I've tried your way and didn't like it at all. I've had others shoot my rifle and look at the R2 and they didn't like it either.
That doesn't make me right and you wrong and vise-versa.
I guess you could say it's "our" way of doing or accomplishing the same thing.
You dial "to" the impact from the point of aim.
That's why we MUST be able to see the impact at all times.
Hence, less junk, as we call it, in the viewfinder is more desireable for "us".
I too have fired many rounds in my life time.
I'm quite sure in your "thousands of rounds" fired, you have missed the bullet impact at 1500 yds or more one time or another unless your eyesight is unbelievably fantastic.
I wish mine was as good.
Deep snow will hide the impact also.
Another reason the LR hunter needs a GOOD spotter with a set of bigeyes behind him. Even in deep snow he can watch the vapor trail of the bullet going in and help the shooter.
In our style, the spotter is the MOST important person on the "team", "NOT" the shooter.
I agree with the scaled reticle on the spotter round (I'd call it a miss on the first round
no disrespect Darryl, just some Dave King humor) correction.
With the shooter and/or spotter having the same reticle immediately evaluate and correct with great precision is the norm... If you don't get a second round hit when using a scaled reticle you're in some really bad weather or situation IMHO.
As a side note...
We need another style/method indicator. We have the LRH (Long Range Hunter) and ULRH (Ultra Long Range Hunter) down pretty well but we need (I need and it may be helpful to the newbies) an indicator to shooting preference.
How about FRH (First Round Hit) and SRM (Spotter Round Method).
Let's have a vote... All in favor... 1 vote. Opposed..... no votes... It's approved by majority vote. FRH and SRM is now official! Use them as you see fit.
Darryl... You got your post in before I got done creating this masterpiece. I didn't consider that you are using a bench and can redial the scope from the original point of aim (POA)to the round's point of impact (POI). I have used this method at the range but never (so rarely that I can't remember the last time) in the field.
Have you ever tried using the scope dial as a distance determination device... Measure a know size object by "dialing" from side-to-side to top-to-bottom. From a bench it's possible in theory (I'd guess).
..Hey Keith.. I just went thru this very thing, sortof.. It really boils down to this.. Get what looks good to you and learn it.. If it doesn't cut it, figure out what ya need and get it.. I don't know if I'm an FRH or an SRM but I have both reticle styles now and plan to utilize both.. My preferred method now is to click it in but I look forward to learning to use my new NP-R2, also.. Like DC said.. It's just a matter of preference for your particular style of hunting..
.. I mostly hunt groundhogs from a stationary position with a bench style rest or some variance thereof at the ranges you specified.. So I have plenty of time to dial it in, usually.. I'm thinking I may get more use from the NP-R2 for windage corrections than anything else.. We'll see..(In all honesty,it's a well-known fact that I got it 'cause it looks cool.
.. Just enjoy whatever it is ya end up with.. I really think we all get too "squinched up" over this mess sometimes..