Viper vs. SIII ???

emn83

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east Iron Range, Minnesota
I was all set to go buy a Nightforce later this year, when my car up and decided it's getting too old. Looking at the possibility of having to replace my car, I came to the conclusion that buying a $2000 scope was not in the cards anymore. Thus began the search for a more modestly priced scope.

so...I have narrowed it down to the Vortex Viper PST 6-24X50 FFP and the Sightron SIII 6-24X50 LRMOA, and am at a point where I go back and forth, every other minute, it seems like, on which one I like better.

From my point of view, there is very little difference in quality, and they both have features the other one doesn't.

This scope will be on my semi custom Savage .308. I use this rifle for hunting, and have also begun doing F-Class shooting, as practice for hunting, but also, because it is fun.

I was wondering if I could get input on how these two scopes stack up against each other. I really like both, so now I need to hear about what other people's experiences have been.

Thanks

Erik
 

ZSteinle

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Both aregoodscopes and you won't go wrong either way... But I like my s3 more than I liked my viper. Simply has better glass. The turrets on the s3 turn a little easy. For hunting I would go with the viper just because of the turrets. If you want better glass the s3 isno brainier in my opinion. I would put the s3 glass just below nf and above leupold vx-3. Viper I would put one step below vx-3 glass. Get a hold of Brian at shoot-long if your thinking of the s3. He has great prices and service.
 

webs

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North Dakota
Comes down to if you feel you need FFP or zero stop. If you do then the PST is your scope. Otherwise I would probably go with the SIII. Also which reticle do you prefer?
 
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mt_archer

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I mostly run night force, but tried an SIII to save weight on a long range carry rifle. It's been great. I made a zero stop by cutting a ring of PVC fitting. I tried a couple mid grade vortex, including pst, and didn't like them. I do like razor. The vortex didn't seem to track. Optics not as good. SIII may not be NF, but very good in my limited experience. A good substitute.
 

bigngreen

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Set up my buddies rifle with a SIII 6-24x50 LRMOA and I have a LR version of the PST and my dad has a PST. The SIII takes the glass by a very slight margin and the reticle is nice with the dot, turrets are accurate and serviceable. I've thought about making a zero stop for the SIII but I'm worried about stripping out the turret since it's not made for that kind of function. I really, really like zero stops!! The PST's count windage up in both directions which I find almost essential and the SIII does not. The SIII has much more elevation available which is why I put it on my buddies rifle since it is made for shooting out a mile + and elevation was the deciding factor. Testing both optics, all of them I've tested have tested within a few thousandths of MOA tracking, so both track basically nuts on!! In you specific case I would choose the SIII for the single reason that it is second focal plain other wise I would go the PST SFP with a 20 MOA rail for hunting.
 

emn83

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Comes down to if you feel you need FFP or zero stop. If you do then the PST is your scope. Otherwise I would probably go with the SIII. Also which reticle do you prefer?
the reticle was something of a toss up, though maybe a slight edge to the Viper. I liked the FFP on the Vortex, but I really like having 100 MOA of adjustment in the SIII, though the 75 in the Viper isn't bad and, with the 20 MOA rail I already have, it shouldn't be that big a deal.

for some reference, I'm currently running a Nikon Buckmasters 4.5-14x40. I LOVE the glass, but the objective is smaller than I want, and the 60 Minutes of elevation are limited enough to worry me when it comes time to try a 1000 yard competition. Hence my upgrading, though I'll rarely be even competing beyond 600

Thanks for the information so far...it gets a little nerve wracking when the scopes are so close in quality (from what I've seen)

Both say they have a lifetime warranty, how does their warranty service stack up against each other?
 

bruce_ventura

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I normally don't jump in when there's an obvious love-feat like this one going on over two scopes, but I think the OP deserves to be fully informed. I think both scopes would be good choices for long range target shooting or competition. Both companies seem to spec decent quality glass and have good mechanical performance. Vortex scopes certainly offer great features for their price point.

For big game hunting, however, I would recommend looking at scopes with less glare and higher contrast. The Viper PST has below average glare performance for that price point. Contrast is mediocre at low mag and degrades fast above 20X.

There is another post on the forum that links to a youtube video of the same Viper PST scope. The glare and contrast problems are obvious in that video. The Sightron model has even worse glare.

High glare is the primary reason for low contrast. Looking at high contrast, well illuminated targets at a shooting range will not reveal optical contrast problems in a scope. Atmospheric turbulence is also usually high at a shooting ranges, which degrades contrast and resolution to the point that different performing scopes appear to have similar performance.

To assess contrast, you have to look at low contrast targets with bright sky in the background, and under low turbulence conditions. Those conditions are typical of big game hunting.

It seems that neither Vortex nor Sightron does their own optical design, and rely instead on offshore factories for their optical designs. They probably have no equipment for measuring glare, nor any optical engineers capable of using it even if they did.
 

emn83

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bruce_ventura, do you have any suggestions? I'm basically limited to $1k and under right now.

going to try to get my hands on these two scopes, hopefully in the near future, and see what I think looking at them
 

bigngreen

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I normally don't jump in when there's an obvious love-feat like this one going on over two scopes, but I think the OP deserves to be fully informed. I think both scopes would be good choices for long range target shooting or competition. Both companies seem to spec decent quality glass and have good mechanical performance. Vortex scopes certainly offer great features for their price point.

For big game hunting, however, I would recommend looking at scopes with less glare and higher contrast. The Viper PST has below average glare performance for that price point. Contrast is mediocre at low mag and degrades fast above 20X.

There is another post on the forum that links to a youtube video of the same Viper PST scope. The glare and contrast problems are obvious in that video. The Sightron model has even worse glare.

High glare is the primary reason for low contrast. Looking at high contrast, well illuminated targets at a shooting range will not reveal optical contrast problems in a scope. Atmospheric turbulence is also usually high at a shooting ranges, which degrades contrast and resolution to the point that different performing scopes appear to have similar performance.

To assess contrast, you have to look at low contrast targets with bright sky in the background, and under low turbulence conditions. Those conditions are typical of big game hunting.

It seems that neither Vortex nor Sightron does their own optical design, and rely instead on offshore factories for their optical designs. They probably have no equipment for measuring glare, nor any optical engineers capable of using it even if they did.
How many of these two brands have you mounted and hunted with? What other optic in this price point would be better with similar options, always looking for a better optic!!
 

highridge1

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I have used a vortex Viper PST 6-24x50 in many different conditions and it performed excellent. That being said I have also owned many zeiss and swarovski scopes so I do have experience with higher end glass. I don't pay attention to a youtube video or some ones camera pictures looking through scope .I go by what it actually doess in my hands and out in the woods....
 

emn83

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east Iron Range, Minnesota
how good is the illuminated reticle on the Vortex? My only comparison is the $200 TruGlow I had, and that had a nice halo around the reticle when the illumination was set at max. Wondering if early morning hunts, the Vortex might have an edger due to the illuminated reticle, but with the Sightron having possibly better glass if that is a wash.

leaning toward the Vortex right now, but not totally sure, the extra elevation on the Sighton is a real benefit.

So far it looks like this to me:

Reticle: Vortex
glass: sightron (though not by much from what people are saying)
eindage/elevation adjustment: Sightron
FFP/SFP: I like the FFP on the Vortex a little better
Warranty: tied, both have a Lifetime Warranty
Cost: Sightron (though they are close enough that it is not a major factor)


Am I missing any comparison?
 

R.Morehouse

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Western Pa.
I have the 8-32X56 S -III with the LRMOA reticle ( check it out ) sitting on a 300RUM and couldn't be happier in all aspects. If you have a friend with an FFL I think you would be into about $750.
 

emn83

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Feb 11, 2012
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Location
east Iron Range, Minnesota
So I'm very heavily leaning toward the Viper PST, the reticle looks better to me, and I like FFP, so I don't have to worry about what magnification I am at for holding off for windage.

Here's my thing though, I plan on shooting at 1 or 2 1ooo yard shoots. I have a .308 Win, and plan on using 185 Bergers (assuming they shoot well) I am wondering if the extra 25 MOA of elevation adjustment in the SIII, should play more of a role in my decision....really hard choice
 

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