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Looking for Scope Thoughts #1044373 02/28/20 04:16 AM
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DogTired Offline OP
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SHORT VERSION:

I've hit analysis paralysis. Looking for a scope for the Creedmoor I'm building off an Aero upper/lower with an X-Caliber heavy barrel. As with most of my rifles, I'm hoping for the best combination of "do it all," which brings me to my scope. I plan to take a long-range class with a friend in of these months, and want to get something that will work for hunting and precision shooting out to 1k. I've been looking at the following FFP contenders:

-- Nikon FX1000 4-16X50IR or 6-24x50 IR

-- Blackhawk (Weaver Super Slam) Tactical 4-20x50 non-IR

-- Vortex Viper PST Gen 1 6-24x50IR or 4-16 I guess

-- Athlon Midas TAC 6-24x50 or 4-16

-- SWFA 3-15 FFP non-IR (over $500, lowest mag range, and not illuminated... Is the glass/scope that much better than everything else that it merits consideration?)

--POSSIBLY the Athlon Helos in one of the above configurations...if the glass is any good compared to the PST Gen 1 that used to get all the press before the Gen 2 came out...

-- Is there something from Primary Arms that merits consideration above these? I know virtually nothing about their scopes and how they stack up.

What's the best glass in this price range (on sale these are $370-500; Weaver is closer to$600)?

What's the best scope in this range?

Is 4-16 enough magnification for 1k or do I need to look higher? Is higher with a 6x low end too much show for in closer hunting?

Any thoughts? Others I should be looking for in the $500 or less price range?

__________________________________________

TLDR VERSION

Kinda wish all the new Bushnell FFPs had illumination. Not sure they are up for the task in low light otherwise.

Basically, if it's 6-24 or has a Christmas tree reticle, I want an IR scope. I have a Vortex Diamondback Tactical 6-24 NON-IR and it's useless in low light. A 4-16 simple MRAD cross hair would probably work well with good glass. At lower mag it looks any regular cross hairs.

Never having had the chance to practice much past 200, is 16x enough for 1k? I like the lower end being in the 4x range, though I suspect 6x on a 30mm tube will have decent enough field of view to be good if hunting from a tree where they might come in from 15-100 yards.

If 16x is truly enough for 1k yards, then great. I can get more scope for less money.

Realistically, I won't be able to do much really long-range shooting where I live. Nearest 1k range is a couple hours out. That said, I'd hate to not be able to really take full advantage of the chances I DO get if 16x is to low.

Likewise, is hate to have a non-useful rifle for shorter-range work of 6x is too much.

I know glass quality really plays a role. Only glad I'm really familiar with above is the Weaver, and I'm a huge fan. My 2-10 Super Slam let's me see animals clearly long after it's dark, and far better than my other scopes.

I went hunting this summer with an Elite 3500 4-12x40 strapped to the top of a new .308. I had a deer in my sights @300 yards and with that glass@300 would have felt comfortable pulling the trigger (if I was confident the rifle was fully sighted...I let it walk).

That was my first foray into hunting scopes above 10x and as nice as the 10x Super Slam is, @300 I'd have felt better with the 12x Elite. I think the Weaver Tactical 4-16 would be about perfect for a hunting scope--I figure I'd have enough glass to hunt deer at the full range of the Creedmoor, and probably my grandfather's 300H&H.

I have a new Savage Tactical Creedmoor with the 24" fluted bull barrel and the Accustock. I've put my Athlon Ares 4.5-27 on that gun since I think that will really be a track driver once I get it going. I was going for a semi-auto long-range/hunting rifle as well.

Maybe I should just be happy with one 1000 yard set up and keep the semi-auto as a 500-600 yard gun with a 4-16x50 and be happy smile

I really don't have the budget for anything beyond $500. The Blackhawk/Weaver is really pushing the limit at $600 and might be out of range.

I wish I'd picked up a second Athlon Ares BTR Gen 1 4.5-27x50 when they were in sale for $380... It is far better than the Talos glass I briefly had. It's not as good as the Weaver, but then that Weaver is really nice. Better than the Elite 4200s, Diamondback HPs, Sightron SII, Zeiss Conquest, and Leupold VX-iis (or 2s)...as you can see, I don't have any really high-end glass, but I can't tolerate any of the really low end stuff anymore.

If the Blackhawk/Weaver were illuminated, this would be a done deal. I just don't know how well the reticle will be in low light...the bane of the FFP scope's existence...

Anyone have experience with all these/any of these scopes?

I am really intrigued by the Nikon... Mainly because I've never used Nikon glass. The FX line is certainly pricier than the Monarch 3-5 lines, but not able to find out if the glass is as good or better, or if Nikon sacrificed glass quality for scope features. These were at the $800+ range before their sale...

Read the Nikon doesn't stack up to the PST gen 2, but no word on the Gen 1. If it's as good as the Ares, then that sounds good.

PST Gen 2 is out.... It starts at $800 on sale smirk As is, the Gen 1 is $500 on sale, and uses the same body as the Athlon Argos/Helos line... Making me wonder if they share similar glass too

I've heard the Athlon Gen 1 Ares is better than the PST gen 1 but worse than the PTS gen 2.

Athlon Midas TAC (with HD glass) SHOULD have glad on par with our better than the PST Gen 2, but not clear I can find one in my price range. That, and they are either 4-16 or 6-24...none of the Ares happy 4.5-27 median...

Last edited by DogTired; 02/28/20 05:47 AM. Reason: Added, subtracted, moved, & clarified (hopefully)

JYD #126
Super JYD #13

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

- Benjamin Franklin

"A free people ought to be armed."

- George Washington
Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts [Re: DogTired] #1044374 02/28/20 05:14 AM
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DogTired Offline OP
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On closer look, the Midas TAC doesn't have illuminated reticles. No Christmas tree either, so the 4-16 would work (if 16x can get me out to 1k yards). Basically the Ares Gen 2 with a 4x configuration and no illumination.

Anyone know how the glass in the Helos/Argos line stacks up to the Gen 1 Ares (non-HD glass)? The Talos line just bites. Had the 6-24 briefly. Anything over 16-18x was unusable. Lower light, nothing over 7-8x was useable. Not sure how much better the glass is on the next line up.

I was unhappy with the quality of that Talos and called Athlon, noting after all the positive reviews I'd read this feel short. I asked if it was just a lemon and was told "No, that's just the quality of the glass." I thought that answer sucked--basically "yep, we know it's not really a useable scope but we sell it that way anyway."

Athlon suggested I go to the Midas line (still Gen 1 I believe). It is sad that companies will knowingly sell junk, but I suppose they all do it, and people have different needs and considerations... Which I suspect is how anyone used to shooting $2-3k scopes feels about this post grin

I wouldn't have given them a second look except they had such a great deal on their Ares several months back. I've been really happy with that one, in that it's useable throughout the mag range. Not great past 20x, but still useable. Even if it's really just a 4.5-20x scope, that's fine by me smile

I am basically looking for the best deal I can find to get $1k worth of scope for half the price grin

I suppose that's why all of us buy SYKCO knives grin grin grin

Last edited by DogTired; 02/28/20 05:54 AM.

JYD #126
Super JYD #13

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

- Benjamin Franklin

"A free people ought to be armed."

- George Washington
Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts [Re: DogTired] #1044388 02/28/20 06:23 PM
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SkunkHunter Online Content
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Man you are really into this glass for your rifles Joshua. MOST of what you said is Greek to me, but I did recognize a few words.


Duty and Honor demands that You have to go in, but
not that you have to come out.
JYD#105
Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts [Re: DogTired] #1044398 02/29/20 01:21 AM
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DogTired Offline OP
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Sigh... First world problems grin


JYD #126
Super JYD #13

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

- Benjamin Franklin

"A free people ought to be armed."

- George Washington
Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts [Re: DogTired] #1044431 02/29/20 10:17 PM
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Endeavour Morse Offline
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DT sent you a PM.


JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts [Re: DogTired] #1044438 03/01/20 07:12 AM
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Endeavour Morse Offline
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A few thoughts ...

1) a LR rifle is never good as a ďdo allĒ. Theyíre specialty tools.

2) the Elite 3500 you have is a scope with good glass for the money.

3) a $500 budget for a 1000 yd scope is not enough budget. You need to double your budget.

4) the FOV At 6x isnít going to be very useable at 15 yards (not to mention parallax ... even with side focus adjustment).

5) for LR shooting you will want the max magnification Ana this will be more true as you grow older. I know a 1000 yard shooter personally who uses a fixed 45x on his rifle. Heís nearly 60 years old.

Iíd scrub your project or reconsider the ďdo allĒ or ď$500Ē.


JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts [Re: DogTired] #1044439 03/01/20 07:18 AM
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Endeavour Morse Offline
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I have a Gen 1 PST 6-24x50IR FFP and based upon the optical quality feel it is a 500 yard scope. When I bought it I paid $750. Apparently the same model is down to $500 now.

Iím looking at a Leupold Mk5 ($2300) or Nightforce ($2000) as a replacement if I ever get interested in this again.

However, the lure of shooting past 400 yards faded quickly for me (my range goes out to 500). Too much cost to be serious and too little opportunity ROI.

I have 20/15 distance vision.


JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts [Re: DogTired] #1044440 03/01/20 07:20 AM
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Endeavour Morse Offline
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Illuminated reticles are a MUST HAVE.

In the Mk5 the IR option adds $700.

Same scope without $1850 or with $2550.


JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts [Re: DogTired] #1044441 03/01/20 07:24 AM
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Endeavour Morse Offline
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A $1000 scope really isnít going to yield ďa goodĒ scope.

Midway has 8.5-24x50 Mark 4 on clearance for $1000 without an illuminated reticle.

Iíve owned 5 Mark 4 over the years. Theyíre ďokayĒ for 500 yards on a bright day.


JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts [Re: DogTired] #1044442 03/01/20 07:26 AM
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Endeavour Morse Offline
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The hunting rifle rule is your scope should cost 75% to 100% of your rifle cost.

LR shooting rule is $2000 scopes are the starting point ... then start getting serious past that.


JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts [Re: DogTired] #1044443 03/01/20 07:27 AM
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Endeavour Morse Offline
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One of my staff has a $6k optic on his rig.

He wins competitions.


JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts [Re: DogTired] #1044444 03/01/20 07:48 AM
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Endeavour Morse Offline
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Forgot to mention, cheap LR scopes like the $1000 Leupold Mk4 donít have matched tracking.

They often have reticles in MILs and turret adjustments in MOA.

Therefore you not only have to convert your ďdopeĒ in the reticle you have the added complication of converting the dope from mils to Moa for your adjustments.

Scrub your project.


JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





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