Swarovski Z5 3.5-18 BT 4W. Help me understand my alternatives.

cdherman

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Joined
Aug 9, 2008
Messages
316
Location
Kansas City
First off, I apologize for perhaps "yet another thread" but please hear me out.

Here are my criterion:

It going on a 700 BDL that getting a new original REM contour Bartlein barrel. Blued. Blueprinted, trued and should shoot very well. 280 AI. This will be a long range (we hope) medium weight carry. Hope it harks back to the days where people appreciated the beauty of a gun, as well as functionality. Its also a gun my dad gave me 40 years ago. So the quality of the optic really matters, and a little swag wouldn't be all bad, to be honest!

I do not expect to need 30mm tubes, as this is for real live game, and ethical LR distances I think I can achieve with an 1" tube. Needs turrets of course. Prolly will get Burris signature rings, so I can cant the scope that way. Don' t make fun. You like a marred $1300 scope?

Would like lowest power two be in the 2.5 to 4 range, no higher. 15x is about my minimum top power, and higher to say 25 would fine, if weight and price are acceptable.

Reticle issues abound. Its the real limitation with Swaro I think, but the 4w seems to suffice.

I'd like the weight under 22 oz. Really like the swaro here, at under 16oz.

My worries with Swarovski:

Are there better choices that would at least have an iron clad warranty? I worry a bit more about the German manufacturers wilingness to warrant their scopes down to road.

Its a little older scope, having came out in 2012 I think. Is there something better?

As for top amount I can spend, I don't think I dare go over $2000.

Ok, please help me!
 

86alaskan

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Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Messages
1,189
Location
Central Missouri
I've run a swaro Z5 5-25 and it was a fantastic scope, great adjustments and very bright. Had the 4w reticle, never felt handicapped and the single turn turret had me out to 600 on a short 300wm. Sold that and went to a Leupold VX-6 3-18 with the firedot windplex reticle. I had them retrofit the 2 turn elevation turret to give me a better useful range. I feel like the VX-6 is easily as good as the Z5 if not better due to the better elevation turret and firedot reticle. If you hunt around you can find one for under $1k. I think there is a VX-6 3-18x44 with the firedot windplex for sale in the optics classifieds. You'd be in great shape with either scope.
 

the hunter

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Mar 13, 2017
Messages
689
Location
mississippi
Much to like there. My understanding is that the turrets are capped. I am personally not much of a fan of that -- caps to be lost, or left off in inclement weather.
The leupold vx5hd has an open top turret, but it is big and has a 30mm tube. I like mine a lot. I would git the razor hd lh, or the vx5hd
 

ndczerwinski

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Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
48
Z5 is a great scope. I have one I also have 2 VX-6 3-18x50mm scope. All are great scopes. Swarovski is lighter with better glass and better maginification and parallax adjustments as the Leupold is very stiff.

Leupold have better adjustment range and illumination. But heavier and 30mm tube.

I like the Swarovski ballistic turrent better as it is more versatile. You can dial it in for different loads without having to order a new dial all the time.

Both are great choices. I would go with Swarovski if I were you. A 1” scope with a 44mm objective will look much better on a classy rifle as well, in my opinion.
 

bkillion28

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Feb 3, 2018
Messages
125
Is that the one with the 3 rings on top I just want to make sure I'm on the same page
 

the hunter

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Mar 13, 2017
Messages
689
Location
mississippi
The vx5hd comes with a free ballistic turrent, also the vx5hd has better updated glass than the vx6, it is hevy compered to the z5s 16oz. the vx5hd is 20oz. The top turrent has a zero stop and zero lock.
 

ndczerwinski

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Dec 31, 2017
Messages
48
Is that the one with the 3 rings on top I just want to make sure I'm on the same page

Yes the standard Swarovski BT has the rings on it. You can order a custom engraved ring the same as Leupold if you prefer that as well they just cost extra $. Leupold gives you the first dial for free, Swarovski give you the rings.
 

ndczerwinski

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Dec 31, 2017
Messages
48
The VX5 is a value version of the VX-6HD. The VX-6HD is the same glass as VX-6 only with updated coatings. Glass on the Swarovski is still better for clarity and natural appearance. Leupold has the high contrast coating that makes browns stick out more for hunting, but i feel like it distorts the colors too much. Just my personal opinion.
 

bkillion28

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Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Messages
125
Yes the standard Swarovski BT has the rings on it. You can order a custom engraved ring the same as Leupold if you prefer that as well they just cost extra $. Leupold gives you the first dial for free, Swarovski give you the rings.
I guess it may just be me but I'm not a fan of either really, I guess if they make a custom ring for it it wouldn't be to bad but your screwed if you want to change anything about your bullet would have to order a new one I assume. I would give Bushnell LRHSi a good look they are 26 oz but you get a lot more out of the reticle and the ability to dail and if you want to change some thing about your bullet you just rezero update the bullet info on your cheat sheet or kestral or if you have that new Sig kilo,or phone app, and like the others they have a great warranty, it's a 4.5-18 44, just my opinion but I'd give it a look you may be surprised
 

the hunter

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Mar 13, 2017
Messages
689
Location
mississippi
Glass on the Swarovski is still better for clarity and natural appearance. I have herd sevrale times of the vx6hd beating the z5 in low light and contrast.
 

Schmitty

Active Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
28
Location
Prescott, AZ
I have the aforementioned scope.

Glass is great, scope is lightweight, and has held zero with good repeatability over the past 6 years. When I purchased it from the Outdoorsmans in PHX, they made me a custom 1/4 MOA turret. The included dots on the BT are kind of lame as you are severely limited.

The 4W reticle is one of my favorites. Dial for elevation, hold for wind. It's super clean and easy to use.

My only real complaint is that you only have 14 1/4 MOA elevation which gets me to 750 yds with my 6.5x47 Lapua. It's not a big deal as that's about the effective hunting range for the load combination that I'm using However, I'd like to be able to practice at ranges beyond that, or what happens when the buck of a lifetime steps out cross [email protected] 826 yards in good shooting conditions and I'm unable to close any more distance. My rifle is more than capable of making that shot, but with no holdover marks on the reticle or additional elevation adjustment, the shot becomes unethical as the bullet is is dropping dang near 3 ft over that extra 75 yds. Obviously not a deal breaker for me, just something to think about.

The price has come down $400 since I purchased mine, which makes it even a better deal. The Outdoorsmans includes a custom turret @ $1299.

Lots of good options out there right now.

Schmitty
 
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