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Looking for Scope Thoughts

Posted By: DogTired

Looking for Scope Thoughts - 02/28/20 08:16 AM


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?



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) 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...
Posted By: DogTired

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 02/28/20 09:14 AM

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
Posted By: SkunkHunter

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 02/28/20 10:23 PM

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.
Posted By: DogTired

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 02/29/20 05:21 AM

Sigh... First world problems grin
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/01/20 02:17 AM

DT sent you a PM.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/01/20 11:12 AM

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.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/01/20 11:18 AM

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.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/01/20 11:20 AM

Illuminated reticles are a MUST HAVE.

In the Mk5 the IR option adds $700.

Same scope without $1850 or with $2550.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/01/20 11:24 AM

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.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/01/20 11:26 AM

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.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/01/20 11:27 AM

One of my staff has a $6k optic on his rig.

He wins competitions.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/01/20 11:48 AM

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.
Posted By: lazi

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/01/20 04:11 PM

Nikon has decided to get out of the rifle optics business. There's quite a few of their scopes out there selling at clearance prices. Their tactical lines seem to be heavily discounted. If you check out the "" website you will see some pretty good deals on Nikon scopes. I have been tempted to get a Nikon Black 4-16x50 for my CZ550 "tacticool" but haven't gotten around to it yet.

As for long rang shooting... I can't say what's best and what features you should look for. I'll say that I sold my nicest scope because it was too nice for what I do. But later I turned around and bought a rifle it would've been perfect on. So I bought a similar style of scope for about 1/6 the price. While I do notice a difference in quality between the two I have to admit it won't make much of a difference to my usage. I mostly just liked seeing folks reaction when I told them I had a $2000 scope LOL...
Posted By: lazi

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/01/20 04:17 PM

Oh... I have 4 or 5 Vortex scopes. None of them go above 10x magnification but I do like them all. If I saw the right price something with a higher magnification range I would probably snag it.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/01/20 06:37 PM

All of my 22LR have $500+ scopes on them and I wish I had bought better optics.

I have 11 Vortex (had 12 until last week ... sold my 1-8x Strike Eagle). All of my Vortex are up for sale.

My goal is to turn those 11/12 optics into 2 optics.

Best rifle in the world wonít perform to its ability without the right guy behind it or best glass on top of it.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/01/20 06:39 PM

In fact, my entire gun view has shifted from WalMart to Boutique.

Iíd selling almost everything except the few items I have that are the very best.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/01/20 06:41 PM

You can only use one at a time anyway.

As an example ... Iím even selling my Colt ARs because there are better options.

Most would be happy with a couple of Colts, but Iíd rather have a single LMT MRP.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/01/20 06:43 PM

Sold the Strike Eagle 1-8 with cantilever mount for $325 on Friday.
Posted By: gun dog

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/02/20 03:00 AM

Ok so I hate being that guy but Iíve come to the conclusion that itís better to have one top tier LPVO (1-6 or 1-8) and one top tier long range precision optic than it is to have glass on every gun you own. With modern mounting solutions that almost perfectly return to zero and turrets that truly track it is very possible to do as well. Just record what it took to rezero when you move the optic and when you move that scope back to the original input the offset and confirm zero.

I have managed to get some decent glass over the last few years and review some. LPVOs being vortex razor, night force NX8, Trijicon accupower, EOTech vudu, Burris XTR II, leupold MK6, Steiner and a few others below that grade of optic for long range Iíve got or been behind razor genII 4.5-7, leupold MK5 both models, Burris XTR II, sig tango 6, viper gen II, and a few others

You absolutely pick up capability with the top tier optics. Optical clarity in all lighting and target area is incredibly better with the best optics, the turrets tracking and having a SF knob for parallax is crucial, your reticle selection is also better and will measure true.

Iím considering a Nikon FX1000 for a .17HMR but the turrets suck for dialing as the individual detents to stop on are to close and itís difficult to stump where you need them. The king and queen of the sub $1000 price range will be the XTRII and the Viper Gen II. While not perfect these have show they are 1k yard optics that can be had for below a grand. They might not be the clearest glass but mechanically they have what it takes. If you are serious about trying to shoot long range precision past 500yds on game animals besides targets then you need to seriously be considering going to something that will have better clarity and light transmission suck as the MK5, razor gen II, or NF NX series of glass. Remember eye strain is not a good thing and the lower end options will give it out faster than the nice ones. Iím personally a fan of mill biased Christmas tree reticles in anything thatís going to do true long range work. Illumination is nice but unless your doing low light you wonít need it so why pay for it. first focal plane is a non negotiable feature on anything over 6x for me. I know guys running the primary arms optics and while they work I wouldnt drop below the gold line. Glass really is buy once cry once. So itís worth waiting a year if it takes it to buy the upper class of glass.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/02/20 03:09 AM

I agree with Gun Dog. Its better to have less and better and you 100% can tell the difference between mid and high range quality.
Posted By: RN

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/05/20 11:05 PM

My next gun purchase will be a Ruger American in 6.5 Creedmoor. I bought a Vortex Diamondback Tactical 6-24x50.

I struggle to pay a lot for most expensive is a Aimpoint Pro on one of the ARs...I just can't make that step into higher priced optics.


Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/05/20 11:30 PM

Once you buy a higher quality optic you'll never look back.

I was at the range recently and bumped into a LONG TIME gun-acquaintance. He was shooting his Beuwolf chambered AR. I noticed it had a Primary Arms 1-8x on it so I asked if I could look through it (never owned a PA but know they're popular with the budget buying crowd). He was really proud of the optic and it looked like GARBAGE. The optical clarity was CRAP! I was a little ackward when I pulled out my rifle with a ACOG TA11 on it (range etiquette dictates ... you've shown yours so I have to show mine). I walked it down to him and try to play it off like I was showing him the rifle. He looked through my optic and a string of profanity followed. Said he's getting online to buy an ACOG.

The optic I was using cost me $1,109 in 2013.

Glass is a place that we all want to save money but its really the place you can "see" the difference.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/05/20 11:35 PM

I know I have to sound like a gun snob ... because I've become one.

We all have different financial situations (income, debt, obligations) but after owning more guns that your average store sells during its entire life span I've come to one irrevocable conclusion:

If faced with the choice of only being able to afford one absolute top-of-the-line rig vs 10 to 20 lower range rigs ... I'll take the top of the line. My personal decision became to not compromise on the quality of my gun gear. I'd rather sacrifice some place else if needed.

Each person has to identify the characteristics of what makes XYZ "the best" to them. For example, many people will say KAC makes "the best" AR but an equal number of people will say LMT's MRP is the best. Both are the best ... in very different ways.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/05/20 11:36 PM

These "revelations" shouldn't come as a surprise on a forum hosted by the best knife maker on the planet.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/05/20 11:38 PM

It wouldn't surprise me if several members on this forum have $20,000 or more in knives.

ETA: I only have a handful of knives and they're all Busse/kin (save for a couple of folders ... of which I am well known for being an ardent "non fan").
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/05/20 11:46 PM

Case in point ... when I bought my Viper PST 6-24x50 FFP it was $750. I was totally disappointed in the optical quality past 12x. I should have spent another $750 as now I'm stuck with a scope that I've never and will never take to the range ... and now sells for $500 online.

I admit: optics are tough to splurge upon. I remember paying over $2,000 for my US Optics and thinking ... what am I doing? However, at teh time they were the best option for a LPVO. When I sold it several years later I lost about $150 in spite of being using (on a SCAR no less ... known for damaging optics ... ). My Aimpoints have lost around $100-150 of value but they're RDS. Think about the value of your TV or Computer vs what you paid. My ACOGs have probably lost $150-175 of value but they have tritium which dies over time.

All told, the value of higher end optics will decrease the moment you buy it .. but because it is higher end it won't be nearly worthless (like many lower priced options). I have a safe filled with Vortex (most still in the box) that I've had a hard time giving away (30% below what I paid ... new in box).

There will always be a market for cheap stuff. People are like that.
There will always be a market for top tier stuff.

The difference is the value the item offered the original owner and the value it retained when it came time to sell it.
Posted By: SkunkHunter

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/05/20 11:48 PM

Gary, you call yourself a gun snob. To ME, gun snobs are those who MAKE SURE you know they are THE expert in what ever you are talking about. YOU, my friend, have been there and done that, and you DO NOT brag about it. You only talk about what you KNOW to be fact. And if for some reason you determine your thoughts are no longer factual, you tell us that.

So you ARE NOT a gun snob, just someone that is trying to save us from making the mistake(s) you did thereby saving us hundreds or thousands of dollars. I for one thank you for all this insight you post here. I have learned so much from your posts I don't think I'll live long enough to pass all that information along.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/06/20 12:47 AM

Thanks Randy.

As you say, my goal is to help others make informed decisions. I've made plenty of poor choices so hopefully someone here can learn from them.
Posted By: RN

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/06/20 12:59 AM

My primary arms 1x6 is one of my good ones! hah! The reticle is awfully cool though and the group of 556 I posted a couple weeks ago was shot with that. I just wish I had gotten the FFP version although my biggest problem is more my 51 yr old eyes

But like you said it's priorities...selling some knives (and stopping buying more) would get me into higher quality glass. I write that as I was plotting earlier about the next WInkler fixed blade I want.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/06/20 01:01 AM

Relevant to the conversation ...

Today I took four ARs to the range with the following optics:

ACOG TA47 2x Green Cross
Aimpoint T-2
Aimpoint CompM4
Aimpoint CompM4S

Based upon what I paid, that was around $2,700 in optics plus the four LaRue mounts (only mount I'll use).

The crystal clear glass on the ACOG still makes me smile (bought my first ACOG in 1994 .... ) and the crisp dot on the AP's (coupled with insane battery life) always help me shoot nice groups.

Today I was confirming 50 / 200 zeros (zero at 50 on paper, and then ring steel at 200 ... POI is very similar on a 50/200 BZ). With old Wolf steel case 55 grain I was shooting 1" groups with the RDS, and hitting an 8" plate 100% of the time (rapid fire) at 200 yards.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/06/20 01:04 AM

Originally Posted by RN
My primary arms 1x6 is one of my good ones! hah! The reticle is awfully cool though and the group of 556 I posted a couple weeks ago was shot with that. I just wish I had gotten the FFP version although my biggest problem is more my 51 yr old eyes

But like you said it's priorities...selling some knives (and stopping buying more) would get me into higher quality glass. I write that as I was plotting earlier about the next WInkler fixed blade I want.

I hope you don't take my comments as offensive or rude. They come from the opposite intention.

Prioritization is something we mere financially mortal people have to contend.

The real intention of my comments is to prevent people from making "rash" lower grade purchases before really considering saving longer and buying better.

It took me a lot of years to finally buy a Busse knife. I had a drawer filled with lesser knives, but after that first one I saw the light and the rest had to go.
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/06/20 01:14 AM


For the vast majority of gun owners a PSA AR would be more than adequate. The same applies to Vortex and PA optics. However, if you're here ... you've demonstrated an interest in having the best gear. Therefore, firearms mediocrity may not apply to you.

Are there diminishing returns on the cost-to-performance of all of our "gear"? Yes, absolutely.

Here are some personal examples ...

1) To me, the CTP is in favor of SR101 over INFI. This is based upon having owned around 125 Busse/kin and a lot of personal testing.
2) To me, paying $1000 for an ACOG vs $300 for a 3x fixed Vortex is in favor of the ACOG. While Vortex has a bombproof warranty ... they don't have a bombproof optic. I've watched a person remove his ACOG, drive a nail into seasoned wood, remount it on his rifle and shoot the exact same POI at 100 yards. For me the CTP of the "end of days" durability makes the ACOG worthwhile.

It really comes down to your personal priorities.

If you're just going to the "back 40" twice a year to shoot beer cans and dirt clods (without even considering a zombie invasion ... there you go Randy ... puke) why spend $2000 on a rifle and $1000 on an optic? PSA makes great dirt clod guns for around $500 and $175 gets you a nice Vortex RDS.

If you're just going to cut open letters and the occasional cardboard box do you really need a $600 Busse? No.

Of course there is the want vs need paradigm to consider as well.

Posted By: SkunkHunter

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/06/20 01:39 AM

Your Post was VERY well thought out and stated. Oh and I found you some more Zombie "Stuff". I'll mail it right out, I know you just can't wait.
Posted By: gun dog

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/06/20 01:54 AM

For me. I didnít really get the whole optics thing till I started shooting competitively. Then it clicked while doing rapid CQB style shooting, rapid target transitions near to far. Acquiring targets across valleys 300-500yds away in high grass in sunlight, indirect sun light and shade that optic clarity matters more than your zoom ratio. Having a reticle that makes sense to the end user is critical and it better hold up and hold zero getting knocked off barricades, banged off cars, dropped over walls and whatever hell its going to go through. If Something happened and I had to sell a bunch of optics I know that as long as I had a solid LPVO and a solid long range optic in good mounts I could make do.
Posted By: gun dog

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/06/20 01:57 AM

Yeah a 50-200 zero on a good red dot can do some work. Used my aimpoint our to 200yds on 4 in plates all the time in competition before I switched to an LPVO.

Iím also not a big fan of the primary arms optics. Know a lot of guys that have them but I feel they are repackaged strike eagles lol
Posted By: Endeavour Morse

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/06/20 03:32 AM

I had a 1-8 Strike Eagle (sold it recently) and the glass was much better than the PA. Maybe PA gets the rebranded QA/QC rejects.

I was shooting a dual-fuel (fiber and tritium) Green Cross ACOG today, and had to cover the fiber in the sun to keep it from blooming too much. This is only an issue with the cross reticles. I've never had it happen on the chevron, horseshoe, or dot.
Posted By: gun dog

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 03/07/20 01:32 AM

Yeah the thing that the ACOG have going for them is the glass at fixed power is much easier to have a crisp clean image. The good thing is if your spending ACOG money then your spending the kind of money that can get you into a solid LPVO. I have a 3x24 horseshoe reticle acog on my Arsenal SAM7SF with an RMR piggybacking on it. Itís very capable and the acog is a good option for most shooting you will do with a standard AR from 75-500yds.
Inside that you will experience slower engagement times and you also have to understand the limits of the magnification of the acog for long range. I believe the marine corps adaption of the Trijicon VCOG(Solis choice) and the armyís selection of the sig 1-6(idk why they picked that optic smacks forehead) is a sign that maybe people are coming around the the fact that many of the top tier LPVOs are incredibly durable and offer very real advantages over the previous generations of combat optics.
Posted By: DogTired

Re: Looking for Scope Thoughts - 05/14/20 02:07 AM

Excellent points all around. There's a big difference between hunting optics and long range optics. Also a big difference between a 500 and 1000 yard scope.

As my eyes have gotten older, I have steadily replaced all my hunting glass with glass in the $300-800 range. I don't actually pay that amount, but I know what an $800 hunting scope looks like (a Japanese glass Weaver Grand Slam 3-12x50mm, for instance, or a Zeiss Conquest 2-10). Look for sales. Find them on clearance. Get them for a fraction of their value.

I only need good glass for hunting and for it to hold its zero. I hunt inside 300 yards. No turret manipulation required. I've been thoroughly underwhelmed with Vortex scopes.

I know that long range target shooting is a different animal. I bought a cheap Athlon and realized my mistake. Terrible glass, terrible mistake. Had the chance to get a 4.5-27 Athlon Ares and it was a different ballgame. That's Athlon's answer to the Viper, but I think it's executed better. Actually seems like useable glass

I think I've settled on what will have to be my truth: I'm a hunter. While I'd like to get into long-range hunting, there's few places for me to do it. If I can do 500+ I'll be happy. Later on, when I can afford it, I'll get a higher end scope.

I settled on a Hi-Lux Pentalux 4-20x50mm FFP MOA scope. It's another $800 range scope I found for $380. It's not perfect, but it's good enough for my needs for now. No locking turrets, no zero stops. But MIL dot and MIL turrets, supposedly good glass (I've yet to see it), and tactile turrets.

With luck, the Athlon Ares on my Savage 110 Tactical will do the job well enough if I can ever get out to do the 1k course. Otherwise, maybe I'll wait until the next gun scare and sell off a rifle to fund a better scope.
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