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Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 #6758570 05/09/17 03:29 PM
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DocHorton Offline OP
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Looking for two hunting scopes to put on my two custom rigs, one is a heavy 7mm-08 the other is a lighter weight 6.5 CM.....currently leaning towards a VX-6. I like the reticle options and magnification options the best out of the ones I've looked at. I also would prefer an illuminated reticle if possible. I know it's a big price range, but I want a scope that will last me the rest of my hunting career so cost is not a major factor if I can get a better scope for the money.

I have looked at the following scopes:
1. Swaro Z5--didn't like the reticle options, too thick, but nice glass
2. Zeiss HD5--too bulky, wasn't impressed by the glass
3. Vortex HD LH--probably my second choice

Are there any others I should consider or pros/cons of these that some could provide input on? Has anyone looked at the new VX-6HD or VX-5HD scopes? Any difference in those vs. the old VX-6 models?

Main considerations for me are in order: 1. Glass 2. Reticle 3. Weight 4. Turrets (I've never dialed in my life) 5. Price

I don't want a 2 lb scope. I want 3-15, 3-18, 4-24, or some similar magnification probably with a 50 mm objective. I have only owned 40 mm scopes in the past and was impressed by how much more light the 50 mm scopes gathered...I was actually surprised how big of a difference it made.

I don't want this to turn into a long range, MIL/MOA, dialing for distance piss fest, because I will never use it for that. Thanks in advance for the opinions.

Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: DocHorton] #6758595 05/09/17 03:54 PM
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I have researched the 40mm vs. 50mm light gathering issue extensively. Here is the deal based on reading a whole lot about the subject. Apples to apples (same scopes - 40mm vs. 50mm objective) the difference in light gathering/low light performance is negligible. So negligible that going down one power (two at the most) equalizes the brightness differences between the two.

This is a matter objective scientific principles. Anything else is just noise and/or not comparing apples to apples.

Thus, IMO, the disadvantages of a big 50mm bell outweigh any slight optical advantage they have.

Of your choices, I like the Swaro. I have that very scope on my primary deer rifle. I am not in love with the thick reticle either but chose to live with it because I like Swaro's glass quality.


Originally Posted by Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: DocHorton] #6758603 05/09/17 03:57 PM
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I went through the same process a few months ago. I ended up buying the Razor LH and I love it.


Originally Posted by KRoyal
Haha yea I polished that thing for hours.
Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: DocHorton] #6758783 05/09/17 05:48 PM
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If you are gonna spend that kind of $ on a scope, I'd recommend you go take JGFiremans class -- I never in a million years thought that I'd dial elevation. It changed my perspective considerably.

Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #6758811 05/09/17 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I have researched the 40mm vs. 50mm light gathering issue extensively. Here is the deal based on reading a whole lot about the subject. Apples to apples (same scopes - 40mm vs. 50mm objective) the difference in light gathering/low light performance is negligible. So negligible that going down one power (two at the most) equalizes the brightness differences between the two.

This is a matter objective scientific principles. Anything else is just noise and/or not comparing apples to apples.

Thus, IMO, the disadvantages of a big 50mm bell outweigh any slight optical advantage they have.

Of your choices, I like the Swaro. I have that very scope on my primary deer rifle. I am not in love with the thick reticle either but chose to live with it because I like Swaro's glass quality.


Right on about objective size.


Don’t roll those bloodshot eyes at me.
Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: DocHorton] #6758814 05/09/17 06:13 PM
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You may want to look at Meopta. I'd be happy with a VX-6.


Don’t roll those bloodshot eyes at me.
Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: DocHorton] #6758887 05/09/17 07:03 PM
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pains me to hear about a custom rifle with no interest in dialing elevation, but anywho......

according to the priorities in the order you placed them, Swaro Z5 hands down. Great glass, very light.

Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: DocHorton] #6758925 05/09/17 07:24 PM
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Z-5
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SPACE FOR RENT


Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: booradley] #6759020 05/09/17 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted By: booradley
Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I have researched the 40mm vs. 50mm light gathering issue extensively. Here is the deal based on reading a whole lot about the subject. Apples to apples (same scopes - 40mm vs. 50mm objective) the difference in light gathering/low light performance is negligible. So negligible that going down one power (two at the most) equalizes the brightness differences between the two.

This is a matter objective scientific principles. Anything else is just noise and/or not comparing apples to apples.

Thus, IMO, the disadvantages of a big 50mm bell outweigh any slight optical advantage they have.

Of your choices, I like the Swaro. I have that very scope on my primary deer rifle. I am not in love with the thick reticle either but chose to live with it because I like Swaro's glass quality.


Right on about objective size.



I liked the Swaro too, but cannot understand why their reticles suck so bad. They should take note from some other companies. I liked it's weight and glass but couldn't get over their thick reticle...When looking out at several hundred yards I like to be able to count points and guesstimate tine length and I could picture that reticle getting in the way.

I read some too on the objective....basically, a 50 mm bell will have a 25% larger exit pupil than a 40 mm scope at 15x. That seems significant to me at low light. On most scopes there was only a 1-2 oz weight difference between the two, and length was the same, so I didn't see any disadvantage on going 50 over 40.

Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: DocHorton] #6759035 05/09/17 08:42 PM
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The "25% larger exit pupil" deal is one often used but is very misleading. First, that doesn't mean 25% more light transmission. Second, at a certain age, one's eye is the limiting factor not the scope when it comes to that issue. There are other reasons why it's not a big deal but I have forgotten them. It doesn't make a significant difference.

Big bells hinder good cheek weld, proper eye alignment, and also have negatives relating to sight-in flexibility disadvantages of having the sight plane so much higher than the bore vs. a smaller bell. There are other negative factors but I can't remember them all now. Basically, big bells were sold as a marketing ploy as being much better in low light than smaller objectives and over-hyped as such. It is overhype. Anyone who is an expert in such matters always knew this. The hunting consumers are fast figuring it out now - and 50+mm objectives are on the way out for normal hunting purposes.

Personally, I think they are ugly and make a rifle look unbalanced too. But I guess that's neither here nor there really.

There are some increased resolution advantages to big bells at long range that some long range shooters apparently think are worth having - but even other long range shooters do not because of the other negative factors mentioned. I am not a long range shooter.

Great quality glass overcomes a lot of hurdles and allows one to literally have their cake and eat it too when compared to lesser quality glass. Especially at normal hunting ranges. Swarovski is great quality glass.

I understand Swaro has some dialing issues/limitations for long range shooters. But you said that will not be your use. Which is just like me.


Originally Posted by Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: DocHorton] #6759051 05/09/17 08:57 PM
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You can still take advantage of the Swaro glass quality (counting points, etc.) and then use the reticle to take the shot. At normal ranges the thicker reticle should not be an issue.


Originally Posted by Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: DocHorton] #6759105 05/09/17 09:39 PM
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I own this one and love it. Not as good of glass as the Swaro but still very nice glass.

Take Redsnakes advice. I feel the same after attending. With those two rigs give yourself the option to ring some steel in the off season, lots of fun.

This scope has a low profile for a scope you can dial elevation on, and a very hunter friendly reticle. Capped turret for wind elevation which is ideal for hunting and shooting steel as I learned at Jason's class; dial for elevation and hold for wind. Great reticle for hunting situations where you are holding for wind and elevation. Around $1000-1100.

http://bushnell.com/hunting/rifle-scopes/elite-long-range-hunter/lrhs-4-5-18x-44mm

Last edited by Pitchfork Predator; 05/09/17 10:07 PM.

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Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: DocHorton] #6759134 05/09/17 09:59 PM
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Probably find a Nightforce NXS 3-15x50 for the top end of your budget.

Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: Cattleman] #6759202 05/09/17 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted By: Cattleman
Probably find a Nightforce NXS 3-15x50 for the top end of your budget.


"I don't want a 2 lb scope."

That scope is one ounce shy of weighing 2 lbs.


Originally Posted by Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: DocHorton] #6759239 05/09/17 11:30 PM
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Swaro with 4w reticle.

Or go off on a limb and try the new vx5 hd


Bottom line, never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals.-Sen Joni Ernst
Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: DocHorton] #6759263 05/09/17 11:52 PM
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I'd throw khales and S&B in the mix too both make some nice hunting glass too.


"A vote is like a rifle; it's usefulness depends on the character of the user" Theodore Roosevelt
Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: DocHorton] #6759290 05/10/17 12:09 AM
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How about the Bushnell Elite 6500 4.5-30. I had mine next to a Leupold of similar magnification and we didn't notice any significant differences.

Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: BOBO the Clown] #6759295 05/10/17 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Swaro with 4w reticle.

Or go off on a limb and try the new vx5 hd


That 4w reticle looks better than the plex, do you own that scope? Maybe I can do the Swaro Z5 on one and the VX-6 on another.

Any idea of differences in the Z5 and Z6 besides magnification?

Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: DocHorton] #6759298 05/10/17 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted By: DocHorton
Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Swaro with 4w reticle.

Or go off on a limb and try the new vx5 hd


That 4w reticle looks better than the plex, do you own that scope? Maybe I can do the Swaro Z5 on one and the VX-6 on another.

Any idea of differences in the Z5 and Z6 besides magnification?


Swarovski says optical quality of glass the same.
Z6 has 30mm tube. And obviously the magnification range as you mention.


Originally Posted by Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: BOBO the Clown] #6759300 05/10/17 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Swaro with 4w reticle.

Or go off on a limb and try the new vx5 hd


Do you know of any differences in the new HD series vs the regular VX-6?

Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #6759302 05/10/17 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
Originally Posted By: DocHorton
Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Swaro with 4w reticle.

Or go off on a limb and try the new vx5 hd


That 4w reticle looks better than the plex, do you own that scope? Maybe I can do the Swaro Z5 on one and the VX-6 on another.

Any idea of differences in the Z5 and Z6 besides magnification?


Swarovski says optical quality of glass the same.
Z6 has 30mm tube. And obviously the magnification range as you mention.


Good to know, thanks.

Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: DocHorton] #6759336 05/10/17 01:06 AM
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I gotta disagree with you, NP, big Bells do not 'hinder' good cheek weld, eye alignment, etc..A stock pack (or adjustable stock) may be necessary but I do not consider that a hindrance....I use (need) a stock pack no matter the size. The same for sighting-in, allowing for a slight variation in objective vs. muzzle height is negligeable. P_102


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Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: DocHorton] #6759343 05/10/17 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: DocHorton] #6759356 05/10/17 01:19 AM
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If low light clarity/extending your minutes at dawn/dusk is key, the single most effective thing one can do is dial the power setting down.

The second single most effective thing would be to buy a scope with high quality glass.

Maybe vice versa, but both are way more important than anything offered by a huge bell.


Originally Posted by Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Hunting Scope Recommendation: $750-$1750 [Re: DocHorton] #6759405 05/10/17 01:44 AM
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It's interesting that the author points out mounting as low to the bore as possible but never expands on why, how much, etc.. The difference in mounting height between a 40 and 50 mm scope (assuming all else is the same) is .197" and the only time you need to be aware of that is when initially sighting the scope and entering data in whatever ballistics chart/app you use. The difference when holding or dialing between the 2 is only .1 MOA out to 500 yards, far less than 1 click on a scope.


Do not trifle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
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