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Max Online: 16728 @ 03/25/12 08:51 AM
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#6009142 - 11/03/15 04:49 PM Need Scope Help!
Oldpaint Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/10/13
Posts: 99
Loc: Frisco, TX
I have a new 6.5 Creedmoor and a 338 Lapua I need to put glass on. I have Swarovski and Zeiss on most all my guns. I was building these for more long range hunting. Everyone talks about Nightforce, but I have never used them before. Trying to stay under $3k for each one. Should I try the new ATACR ? First Focal or Second? Or should I go with a total different setup.

Thanks.

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#6009154 - 11/03/15 04:53 PM Re: Need Scope Help! [Re: Oldpaint]
ZK-315 Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 10/11/13
Posts: 1559
Loc: Temple...Hunt in Freestone Co.
I have the new ATACR F1 just waiting for my gun to finish building, and oh is it sweet!! I'm a FFP guy, but the FFP vs. SFP is kind of a personal preference type thing. For the record, my scope took a while to come in due to being backordered.

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#6009266 - 11/03/15 05:44 PM Re: Need Scope Help! [Re: Oldpaint]
Oldpaint Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/10/13
Posts: 99
Loc: Frisco, TX
What focal is the standard Swarovski/Zeiss?

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#6009403 - 11/03/15 06:54 PM Re: Need Scope Help! [Re: Oldpaint]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Swaro and Zeiss are SFP. The reticle is only true at one magnification, usually max, with SFP.

$3K is a ton of wiggle room. I would not hesitate to try a NF ATACR in Mil/ Mil FFP. Not last year or the year before was the vast majority of NF scopes SFP, that's why I don't have one, since I am die hard FFP. But since they make this one in FFP, I would like to try one.

Other options:

S & B (used)
Vortex Razor
Bushnell Elite Tactical
SS 5-20 HD

Very importanly, get high quality pic rails for both rifles, and a high quality set of rings. It will make moving the scope between two rifles a breeze.
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#6009481 - 11/03/15 07:23 PM Re: Need Scope Help! [Re: FiremanJG]
Oldpaint Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/10/13
Posts: 99
Loc: Frisco, TX
FiremanJG, I appreciate the info. I always thought you were down in Austin area for some reason. I now know you are up by me. I live in Frisco. I would be interested in coming out to shoot with the new rifles and learning some good skills. If it was your dime which way would you go?

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#6009550 - 11/03/15 07:48 PM Re: Need Scope Help! [Re: Oldpaint]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
I always try to advise like it was my listed budget.

I'd be inclined to lean toward a FFP Mil/ Mil Night Force. They have a reputation of being bomb proof, and every one I have looked throught had great glass. I need to research the ATACR more, so I can better advise.

Once you get base, rings, and scope, make sure the bases fit, and bring both rifles out, and the scope. I'd be happy to mount them, then show you all I know before the sun sets.
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#6010349 - 11/04/15 09:24 AM Re: Need Scope Help! [Re: Oldpaint]
Cleric Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 03/11/12
Posts: 2579
With that price budget, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the ones mentioned. Although I would not put the Swfa in the same league.

I am a fan of vortex. I like the new gen 2 razors. Depending on your distance and intended to use a 3-18 would make an excellent hunting scope imo

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#6010400 - 11/04/15 09:51 AM Re: Need Scope Help! [Re: Cleric]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Everyone's eyes are different. A friend of mine has a Gen II Razor. Three of us observed the SS being clearer than the Razor. Then he took the scopes to west Texas and was shooting a mile. Both shooter and spotter had better clarity with the SS. Would I use a Gen II Razor? Absolutely. But I also know therr are other scopes that will hang with it, and the SS is one of them.

I can't understand why the one you have for sale has not sold yet.
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Long Range Shooting Instruction
Memberships and Classes Available


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#6010450 - 11/04/15 10:18 AM Re: Need Scope Help! [Re: Oldpaint]
daniel1381 Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 03/07/12
Posts: 3503
Loc: longview texas
ss all the way. never had a issue on my 338lm with the ss hd 5-20x50
I run a swfa fixed power 12x on my 16 in 6.5x55 and love it. I took it out to 800 yards at FiremansJG's range.


Dad bought the razor gen 2 and that thing is like having a brick on your gun! Clarity in both of our eyes goes to the 1400.00 swfa ss hd
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"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain - and most fools do."

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#6010526 - 11/04/15 10:58 AM Re: Need Scope Help! [Re: FiremanJG]
Cleric Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 03/11/12
Posts: 2579
Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
Everyone's eyes are different. A friend of mine has a Gen II Razor. Three of us observed the SS being clearer than the Razor. Then he took the scopes to west Texas and was shooting a mile. Both shooter and spotter had better clarity with the SS. Would I use a Gen II Razor? Absolutely. But I also know therr are other scopes that will hang with it, and the SS is one of them.

I can't understand why the one you have for sale has not sold yet.


Maybe it says something about there value....Swfa offered 600 on trade in. That just added salt to the wound

I think making broad basing optical conclusions is hard. My bushy 34mm tube scope is clear and bright too. But I prefer the razor turrets far more than the swfa. I like the reticle a bit more on the razor too.

I think the op has two issues with selecting a scope
A) fanboys who say one brand is far better than another (not saying anyone is doing that here). All the scopes mentioned will do an awesome job
B) not understand slight differences like turrets and reticles (it looks like he is doing research which is good)

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#6010556 - 11/04/15 11:10 AM Re: Need Scope Help! [Re: Oldpaint]
MacDaddy21 Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 1626
Loc: CO
Not knocking NF at all, they are great scopes but if you are going to allow yourself $3k on each optic you should definitely look through some S&B glass. I went to a dealer in the Houston area, IIRC the place was called The ScopeSmith. He had almost every NF and S&B scope. I looked through every single NF, side by side with S&B. Not only did I prefer the S&B reticles (the H2CMR in particular), but to my eyes, the S&B glass was noticeably better than the NF glass.

FWIW, I have the S&B PMII 5-25x56 on my LR 300WM and it is truly awesome

I've also been around the Bushnell Elite scopes quite a bit and have to say I am impressed. Great value for the money.

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#6010578 - 11/04/15 11:26 AM Re: Need Scope Help! [Re: Oldpaint]
Skylar@SWFA Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 04/16/11
Posts: 2756
Loc: SWFA Outdoors
I'm late to the party and agree with most of everyone's comments.

Ryan recently reviewed the NF and his findings on it are quite interesting.


I have used both the Razor and the SS. I have thoroughly enjoyed using them. Personally I opted for the Razor, because it has a windage tree in the reticle. However I like the simplicity of the SS mil-quad reticle.

My only compliant with the Razor and it is as Daniel mentioned...the weight. They are very heavy and not something I would say is optimally a hunting scope.


Knowing your budget, the Swarovski X5 is just a touch over it, but I think it may perhaps be something worth entertaining as well.
http://swfa.com/X5-C13013.aspx

Sighting the X5


I'm not the only one impressed with this offering.
Here's what Jason found after spending a week shooting with one;

Originally Posted By: JasonK

Iíd like to thank Swarovski and Snipershide.com for the opportunity to attend the
X5(i) Long Range Scope media release event at FTW Ranch in Texas. The event
consisted of a short classroom discussion on the features of the scope,
instruction on how to use these features, as well as some really great
information concerning the design and manufacturing process. There were 5
gun writers in attendance including myself, 4 people from Swarovski North
America, and the real treat was the attendance of 3 Swarovski project
management engineers from Austria. These three gentlemen literally know
every screw, spring and other part of the scope. They have been part of the
Swarovski X5 from the initial idea phase, managed the design and engineering,
and now are overseeing the actual manufacturing and release of the final
product to us long range shooters. (Note, youíll see me use the model X5 and
X5(i) in this review, I use them back and forth as they are the same scope with
the (i) simply indicating ďilluminatedĒ in the models).

Since this review will be posted on Snipershide.com I think itís important to first
tell you what this scope is not. This scope isnít a ďtactical scopeĒ. Swarovski
was quick to point out that the scope wasnít designed to be tactical, they are
well aware of the difference between a long range target and hunting scope and
a tactical one. When I first read the specs, without any real knowledge of the
scope, I thought they missed the tactical boat. I made a poor assumption that
with a large turret, zero stops, and some of the other features that they were
trying to enter the tactical scope market and boy was I wrong. They left out FFP
on purpose to keep the reticle thinner throughout the entire magnification
range. Milradian (mil) adjustment and reticles arenít really needed for hunting
and moa is more standard for hunters and allows a finer adjustment. Will a mil
scope be in the future, maybe, but itís not really needed in my opinion. What
they set out to do was design and build the ultimate long range target and long
range hunting scope; Iím pretty sure they succeeded.
I want to touch on the design to build process of the X5(i) scopes before I get
into the details of functionality. I think itís important to note that 6 months ago
Swarovski didnít decide they wanted a ďlong range hunting scopeĒ and just
slapped a big turret on some existing models and call them long range hunting
scopes. Instead, Swarovski started 5 years ago with a blank slate and decided
on the features and functions that their customers wanted in a hunting scope.
After they knew what they wanted the X5 and X5(i) to be they started the task of
designing it. Everything in the Swarovski X5, from the small mechanical parts to
the optical lens system, was designed from the ground up specifically for the
X5. Once design was complete, the easy part was done, now they had to build
it. The engineers from Austria explained that to achieve the precision that the
X5 team insisted on they had to not only buy new higher tolerance CNC
machines and tooling, but they had to purchase new measurement tools.
Standard mechanical means of measuring part thicknesses, tolerances, etc.
werenít accurate enough. I was impressed that after 50+ years of making some
of the worldís most highly regarded rifle scopes that they raised the bar so high
for themselves that they needed to buy even better equipment. I guess the
equipment used to measure the mechanical parts is similar to the machines
used to measure optical surfaces and coatings. These are machines that can
measure in microns, not human hair thicknesses but 1/75th of the thickness of a
human hair. The engineers told us that there were only four parts on the X5(i)
scopes that had been used on other Swarovski scopes. The Swarovski hawk on
the side is one of those pieces, the battery is another and I canít remember the
other two. This is very telling on how truly purpose built this scope is, designed
from the ground up with no expense spared. Two more quick things to mention
before I get on to the real good stuff. Each scope takes hours to hand
assemble, two of those hours alone are hand polishing surfaces to insure that every part works buttery smooth. The X5(i) scopes are built 100% in house at
Swarovski in Austria. People like to use the saying ďruns like a Swiss watchĒ,
well I think those watch makers could learn a thing or two from the Swarovski
team.

Now letís get on to the fun part. The Swarovski X5(i) comes two main models, a
3.5-18 and a 5-25. Both models are only offered with minute of angle (moa)
adjustments and matching moa reticles. Within those models are various
features that you can choose from, this includes reticle design options,
illuminated (i) or non-illuminated, and special order in the 5-25 you can get 1/8
moa adjustments (clicks) vs. the standard ľ moa adjustments.


O v e r a l l i m p r e s s i o n :

I used a 5-25x56 with the 4WX reticle mounted on a 6.5 Creedmore for two full
days of shooting. Sending about 200 rounds down range from distances starting
at 100 yards and going all the way out to 1,600 yards. There were 8 shooters
total, all of them using various models of the X5 and X5(i). I think between my
own experiences with the scope, what I witnessed with 1600+ rounds being
shot, and the opinions shared with the other writers I can give a pretty accurate
and honest assessment of the X5 and X5(i).
The glass in these scopes is pretty phenomenal, truly living up to the Swarovski
reputation for producing some of the worldís best glass. Great scope glass isnít
just about clarity, itís also about color and contrast. The X5 optical coatings give
the color, contrast and depth of field that made finding the steel targets on far
away hillsides very easy. Using the parallax adjustment it was always quick to get a clear sight picture no matter the distance or target size, thereís a large and
forgiving sweet spot that not all scopes have. All of the scopes that I looked
through had clear and crisp reticles. The reticles had good contrast and always
stood out well no matter if the targets were surrounded by rocks, brush or dirt. I
also think they did a good job with the reticle subtensions (thickness of the
crosshairs and hash marks). They were thick enough to find and focus on
quickly while thin enough to not block out too much of the target at a distance.
In addition to the 6.5 Creedmoreís we shot for both days, we also mounted
scopes on a Barrett 50 BMG and a lightweight 338 Lapua Magnum hunting rifle.
The very generous eye relief really made shooting these two shoulder shockers
easy. I never got nervous about being too close to the scope and risking getting
thumped in the head and suffering the harassment of our good spirited group.

Mechanically, the scopes essentially performed flawlessly for everyone. One
shooter had to re-zero towards the end of day two, but we determined that this
was due to not tightening the screws enough after he set his zero-stop function
on the scope. Right after his re-zero he went on to win the last 20 round shoot
off where we used dialing and holdovers to quickly engage targets from 250 to
500 yards in some windy conditions. The 1600+ rounds shot by our group was
never at a static distance except for the initial 100 yard sight in. After those
rounds pretty much everything else was done at ranges that varied from a 250
yard chip shot to farther then a lot of people will ever get to shoot. These
varying ranges really gave the turrets a workout as they were twisted up and
down a lot. Never did I miss a shot that I thought I should have hit due to
incorrect elevation, I feel comfortable that all the scopes tracked well. I would
have loved to have done a full tracking test, but it just wasnít possible in the
format that we were shooting.
Fit and finish of the X5(i) scopes is also on par with the rest of the work that has
gone into them. Every scope that I handled had smooth and consistent feeling
adjustments. Power adjustment rings and parallax adjustment knobs all felt the
same, no matter which scope I picked up. All of them felt good throughout the
line. The turrets clicked with precision and had a very tactile feel, you could
easily count clicks without actually looking at the turret itself. This is important if
you need to dial up and donít want to take your eyes off of your potential trophy
and risk not being able to find them again.

T h e c o o l f e a t u r e s :
Besides incredible glass, great eye relief, tactile and repeatable clicks there are
a couple of specific features that make this scope really cool. These next few
features are what really set it apart from all of the other long range scopes on
the market.
Zero stop elevation turret. Long range hunters like to dial, actually they need to
dial, no exceptions in my mind. Having an elevation turret with a zero stop
makes this much easier and eliminates a lot of headaches. I wonít explain all the
reasons why that is in this review, but trust me there are many. Basically a zero
stop turret allows you to quickly make sure your rifle is at zero, true zero, not just
the zero on the little elevation knob. Someone messes with your scope, maybe
the knobs got moved pulling it out of a scabbard, easy enough to just turn it all
the back until it stops and youíre done! Now youíre ready to make quick shots
at 100 or dial up from there, knowing youíll always return to true zero without
fail. Setting the zero stop on the Swarovski X5 is simple and painless after doing
it a couple of times and getting the hang of it.
Elevation turret turn counter. This is a little window that displays what turn of the
elevation turret youíre on, saving you the hassle of cranking all the back to your
zero stop if youíre not sure. There is 20 moa of travel in one complete
revolution of the turret, so itís unlikely that youíll exceed one turn in a hunting
situation. However, shooting out to 1600 I was into the 3rd revolution of the
turret and it was nice to just take a quick look between adjustments and know
that I was on 70 moa for example and not 10, 30 or 50. Iíll also add in here that
having 20 moa in a single revolution makes some very quick adjustments
possible.
Subzero dialing! This is possibly one of the most innovative features in my mind,
if it exists on another scope then Iíve never seen it. This feature essentially lets
you bypass the zero stop and dial down 10 moa below your zero. Letís say
youíve set your 338 Lapua Mag up for maximum range, you have 500 yard zero
so you can really ring some steel out there a waysÖ.but you want to take it
prairie dog hunting for some fun. Well you can dial subzero and actually dial in a
100 yard shot! Pretty cool feature for sure and we utilized it on the 338 Lapua
that we shot to see how it worked. The first couple times itís a little awkward,
just learning how it works, once you use it a few times it becomes rather quick to
deploy.
There are other little things that set this scope apart from the others, Iíll let you
read all the press release literature and Swarovski web pages, I donít need to
retype them for you. If you have any questions please feel free to ask and if I
donít know the answer Iím happy to bug Swaro for them!

Is Swarovski the best value in hunting scopes? Thatís not an argument that Iím
going to get into. Iíve killed game with all sorts of scopes, from $300 Leupoldís
to $3,500 Schmidt & Benderís, itís not the arrow itís the indian. That being said,
do I think that quality gear helps, youíre damn right it does!!


I n c l o s i n g :

Is the Swarovski is a
bad value, nope, far from it. Itís truly a matter of getting what you pay for. Hand
polishing, meticulous details, scopes assembled by craftsmenÖ..it all comes at a
price. You can get there in a Ford, but a Ferrari makes it faster, more
comfortable and you look damn good doing it.
Swarovski truly set out to design, build and deliver the ultimate long range
shooting and hunting scope. Did they do it? Honestly, I think they might have,
the scope is both optically and mechanically one of the best Iíve used. I
personally will have one on my rifle come October when Iím shooting game at
long ranges in Colorado this year.
Jason Keim


Just a thought...
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Please give me a call (972)726-7348 Ext. 8334
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#6010722 - 11/04/15 12:44 PM Re: Need Scope Help! [Re: Oldpaint]
Oldpaint Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/10/13
Posts: 99
Loc: Frisco, TX
I have a Swarovski Z6 now and like it. After reading the article the X5 sounds interesting. I'm not totally set on that $3k budget.


Edited by Oldpaint (11/04/15 12:59 PM)

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#6010802 - 11/04/15 01:48 PM Re: Need Scope Help! [Re: Cleric]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Originally Posted By: Cleric
Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
Everyone's eyes are different. A friend of mine has a Gen II Razor. Three of us observed the SS being clearer than the Razor. Then he took the scopes to west Texas and was shooting a mile. Both shooter and spotter had better clarity with the SS. Would I use a Gen II Razor? Absolutely. But I also know therr are other scopes that will hang with it, and the SS is one of them.

I can't understand why the one you have for sale has not sold yet.


Maybe it says something about there value....Swfa offered 600 on trade in. That just added salt to the wound

I think making broad basing optical conclusions is hard. My bushy 34mm tube scope is clear and bright too. But I prefer the razor turrets far more than the swfa. I like the reticle a bit more on the razor too.

I think the op has two issues with selecting a scope
A) fanboys who say one brand is far better than another (not saying anyone is doing that here). All the scopes mentioned will do an awesome job
B) not understand slight differences like turrets and reticles (it looks like he is doing research which is good)


I'm on board with everything you stated. The Bushnell Elite Tactical with 10 Mil turrets and G2 reticle has become my favorite scope. When I want to make fast pure holds it allows me to make holds faster and more accurately than I ever have before. I really like the feel of the turrets, and really like the locking turrets, especially the windage.
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Long Range Shooting Instruction
Memberships and Classes Available


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#6010880 - 11/04/15 02:32 PM Re: Need Scope Help! [Re: Oldpaint]
Skylar@SWFA Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 04/16/11
Posts: 2756
Loc: SWFA Outdoors
Originally Posted By: Oldpaint
I have a Swarovski Z6 now and like it. After reading the article the X5 sounds interesting. I'm not totally set on that $3k budget.


I wasn't certain if you were married to that or not, but I was thinking that for what you have and knowing you have used the alpha in the past, this would make for a smooth transition.
_________________________

Please give me a call (972)726-7348 Ext. 8334
www.SWFA.com
www.SampleList.com
www.OpticsTalk.com

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