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Mar 25th, 2012
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Narrowing down my options #7271432 08/29/18 09:59 PM
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I have .270 used primarily for hunting and 100 yard bench shooting. I'd like to stretch the legs out to 400-500 yards just for fun, but it's primarily a hunting rifle.

The rifle came with a cheap 3-9x40 Bushnell. I don't remember the model, but it's cheap. I recently came into possession of $200 Amazon gift card, so I'm ready to upgrade the scope.

I've been in scope hell the past couple days, poring over all the options and lusting over $1000 scope that are way out of my price range. After creating a spreadsheet to better keep up with the viable options, I've narrowed it down. But first, here's my preferences:

[*]Must be less than $400 on Amazon (since that's where I have a gift card). I know other places might be cheaper, but I have $200 of free money.
[*]Higher magnification than 9x, prefer at least 12x or more
[*]Illuminated reticle is a very nice to have for low light.
[*]Glass MUST be clear because a lot of hunting is at dusk and dawn, or with the case of hogs, at night with a hog light.
[*]Prefer objective larger than 40mm. No good reason, just want it.

All that being said, I've narrowed this down to the following:

[*]Nikon Prostaff 7 3-12x42
[*]Nikon Prostaff 7 4-16x42
[*]Sig Sauer Whiskey 3 4-12x40 or 4-12x50
[*]Vortex Viper 6.5-20x44 - 6.5x is probably too much for hunting
[*]Sightron S-Tac 4-20x50
[*]Athlon Midas BTR 2.5-15x50

I feel confident in the reputation of Nikon's glass to just go with that. But Sightron and Sig Sauer Whiskey 3 are very intriguing, the Sig especially because of the lighted reticle. While I couldn't find many reviews of the Whiskey 3, they were all very positive. The 6.5x of the Vortex Viper at the low end might be too much for hunting applications.

Thoughts? Opinions? I don't need to reach out to 1000 yards.

Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: notenuftoys] #7271449 08/29/18 10:18 PM
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I have absolutely nothing constructive to add tho this discussion, other than this reminds me of a video I recently watched.


Originally Posted by txhuntingguide
If I choose to hunt in a coon tail hat, a pink tootoo and hip waders that is my fine...
Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: notenuftoys] #7271466 08/29/18 10:40 PM
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Definitely scratch that Vortex from the list, primarily for the reason you mentioned.....too much power on the low end. Can't help with the others as I have no experience in that price point with all the features you are looking for.

Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: notenuftoys] #7271511 08/29/18 11:26 PM
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With all the features you want I feel you’re going to suffer at that price point. $400 will buy a decent scope but I don’t know that it will buy a decent illuminated scope, with good glass that you can stretch out to 500 yards. Good luck in your search.

Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: wp75169] #7271548 08/29/18 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted By: wp75169
With all the features you want I feel you’re going to suffer at that price point. $400 will buy a decent scope but I don’t know that it will buy a decent illuminated scope, with good glass that you can stretch out to 500 yards. Good luck in your search.


Agree. You are going to have a hard time finding a quality scope with all those requirements at a $400 price point.


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Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: notenuftoys] #7271551 08/29/18 11:58 PM
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Of those options, I’d try the Athlon.

However, IMO you should sell the gift card for $190. Scratch together another $610, go to GAPrecision and buy the $800 Bushnell LRHSi 4.5-18 with the MUT. Sell the MUT on EBay for $100-125 and for around $500 outofpocket you have a $1200 scope that will do everything you’d ever need.


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Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: notenuftoys] #7271586 08/30/18 12:29 AM
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The 3-9 VX-R with CDS is $499 on Amazon. I think that’s as close as you can get to meeting your needs. But it is $100 higher.

Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: notenuftoys] #7271590 08/30/18 12:33 AM
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Leupold 110687 on Amazon. $384. Great price but odd reticle.

This is only a 3-9 but good glass in a 3-9 beats a crappy 4-12 all day long.

Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: notenuftoys] #7271600 08/30/18 12:40 AM
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I can recommend the Leupold Patrol since I have one. It's only a 3-9x40 but it has Mil turrets and a Tactical Milling Reticle with illuminated fire dot. The only downside is the reticle will be a little thick for long range shooting on small targets but it's great for low light and fast acquisition for hunting. It's on Amazon for $489.



Patrol


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Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: scottfromdallas] #7271740 08/30/18 02:23 AM
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Some good advice listed so far

Take the $200 and upgrade your base and or rings..

It’s the time of year for some holiday deals on scopes. With your budget , watch used.

Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: scottfromdallas] #7271745 08/30/18 02:27 AM
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Originally Posted By: scottfromdallas

I can recommend the Leupold Patrol since I have one. It's only a 3-9x40 but it has Mil turrets and a Tactical Milling Reticle with illuminated fire dot. The only downside is the reticle will be a little thick for long range shooting on small targets but it's great for low light and fast acquisition for hunting. It's on Amazon for $489.



Patrol


Guy on EBay is running those for $379, if you catch a coupon you can get it for ~322


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Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: wp75169] #7271896 08/30/18 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted By: wp75169
With all the features you want I feel you’re going to suffer at that price point. $400 will buy a decent scope but I don’t know that it will buy a decent illuminated scope, with good glass that you can stretch out to 500 yards. Good luck in your search.


This.


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Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: booradley] #7271929 08/30/18 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted By: booradley
Originally Posted By: wp75169
With all the features you want I feel you’re going to suffer at that price point. $400 will buy a decent scope but I don’t know that it will buy a decent illuminated scope, with good glass that you can stretch out to 500 yards. Good luck in your search.


This.


I agree.

Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: notenuftoys] #7272295 08/30/18 06:08 PM
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This is the "good-fast-cheap" problem where you can only have 2 out of 3.

Good glass, reliable tracking, low price - you can only have 2 of the 3. Most folks who want to shoot past 100/200 yards opt for reliable tracking and the best glass available (which isn't very good on tactical scopes in this price range).

I'd consider getting an SWFA 3-15. It gives you the zoom you want, the tracking you need, and glass that's about on par with all your other options. You can get the SFP for around $400 used or the FFP for around $500-$550 used.

Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: notenuftoys] #7272374 08/30/18 07:20 PM
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Thinking about this some more, how I'll actually be using it, this scope is primarily for hunting deer, coyote and hog.

The Leupold VX-R Patrol is an interesting option. I found a VX-R 3-9x40 for cheaper. Everything being equal, is the Leupold glass really just that much better than anything else in this price range?

Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: notenuftoys] #7272424 08/30/18 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted By: notenuftoys
Thinking about this some more, how I'll actually be using it, this scope is primarily for hunting deer, coyote and hog.

The Leupold VX-R Patrol is an interesting option. I found a VX-R 3-9x40 for cheaper. Everything being equal, is the Leupold glass really just that much better than anything else in this price range?


I would drop in your nearest sporting-goods store and test drive the ones you like. The Patrol gives you a good option if you know you want to do a little more than just hunt. It would give you a good basis to learn from while you decide if you want more down the road (like get into 500+ yd shooting on a regular basis).


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Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: notenuftoys] #7272506 08/30/18 09:52 PM
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Dont rule out an athlon midas, I dont see the hmr on amazon yet but the BTR is on there for sub $350

Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: notenuftoys] #7272742 08/31/18 01:00 AM
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Personally, I don't think the Leupold glass in this price range is significantly better than anything else. They're all about the same in this price range IMHO glass-wise. The swfa is built in japan and much more rugged than the other options. And if you can find one with the SFP mil quad reticle, it's a heck of a hunting rig.

And if I'm shooting at 400-450 yards, I'd prefer to have something more than 9x. But that's only if you're shooting small-ish targets. If you're shooting nothing other than IPSC or larger, then 9x is fine.

What type of shooting are you talking about doing at 400-450? A duplex or BDC reticle is going to be mostly useless for shooting medium or small targets at longer ranges. If you just want to hit the broad side of a barn, I suppose you can do that with iron sights.

Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: patriot07] #7272778 08/31/18 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted By: patriot07
This is the "good-fast-cheap" problem where you can only have 2 out of 3.

Good glass, reliable tracking, low price - you can only have 2 of the 3. Most folks who want to shoot past 100/200 yards opt for reliable tracking and the best glass available (which isn't very good on tactical scopes in this price range).

I'd consider getting an SWFA 3-15. It gives you the zoom you want, the tracking you need, and glass that's about on par with all your other options. You can get the SFP for around $400 used or the FFP for around $500-$550 used.

Originally Posted By: patriot07
Personally, I don't think the Leupold glass in this price range is significantly better than anything else. They're all about the same in this price range IMHO glass-wise. The swfa is built in japan and much more rugged than the other options. And if you can find one with the SFP mil quad reticle, it's a heck of a hunting rig.

And if I'm shooting at 400-450 yards, I'd prefer to have something more than 9x. But that's only if you're shooting small-ish targets. If you're shooting nothing other than IPSC or larger, then 9x is fine.

What type of shooting are you talking about doing at 400-450? A duplex or BDC reticle is going to be mostly useless for shooting medium or small targets at longer ranges. If you just want to hit the broad side of a barn, I suppose you can do that with iron sights.


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Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: notenuftoys] #7272899 08/31/18 03:18 AM
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Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: notenuftoys] #7272929 08/31/18 04:21 AM
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My opinion on a hunting rig that you also target shoot with needs a maximum minimum power of 4x, preferably 3x. BDC style reticles are a waste of time and ammo unless you redo dope every condition/ammo. The higher power you go the worse the clarity will be on scopes in this range. I see no advantage to anything over 12-15x. A larger objective should in theory gather more light at dawn/dusk but lens coatings and glass play a larger role. There are so many scopes in this price range to choose from, it's going to boil down to what you really want/need. I dont believe any of the nikon's are illuminated, sigs reticles are all duplex, viper is too high in mag and not illuminated, dont know anything about the sightron. The athlon fits all of your requirements but once again clear glass can mean 2 different things to different people. All eyes are different, I cant get behind a $400 scope and say it's clear anymore after being behind S&B, NF, Khales, high end vortex, march, TT and heritage. Your options will be tough to find all in 1 place to test, if finding them at all in a retail setting. Its going to be a click pray scenario unfortunately.

Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: notenuftoys] #7273135 08/31/18 01:48 PM
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After reading through y'all's comments (thanks!), I've rethought what I'll realistically be using this scope to do. Hunting. Forget taking 500 yard shots. Someday I'd like to build a long range rifle, but my need right now is an upgraded scope from the crappy Bushnell for hunting hogs next month and deer in October.

I think I'm going to pull the trigger on a Sightron S-Tac 3-16x42, but I like the reticle on the Sig Whiskey 3 better. It has the illuminated dot. This might be a coil flip.

Believe me, I look at the $750 and up scopes and think one day I'll own one. But right now my banker insists funds aren't available (and she's right). Maybe I can start a gofundme so y'all can help a guy out. grin

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Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: notenuftoys] #7273151 08/31/18 02:01 PM
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The S tac is a very fine reticle.

Find a used swfa

Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: notenuftoys] #7273153 08/31/18 02:02 PM
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A new company but they may have a tekoa or similar , Tract optics

Nice products

Re: Narrowing down my options [Re: Brother in-law] #7273855 09/01/18 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted By: Brother in-law
A new company but they may have a tekoa or similar , Tract optics

Nice products


They are nice.


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