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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://precisionrifleblog.com/2014/09/19/tactical-scopes-field-test-results-summary/

Above is a link to a field test of some very expensive scopes. Its quite comprehensive and I found it to be an interesting read. I wish he would do a test on scopes in the $700 to $1500 range as thats where I find my purchasing ability. Just thought some of you might be interested although if you are buying $4000 plus scopes, you have probably already seen this. Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Reticle selection help:
http://precisionrifleblog.com/2014/07/31/tactical-scopes-reticles/

Long range scope buyers guide (shows FFP vs SFP difference):
http://precisionrifleblog.com/2013/...scopes-buyers-guide-and-features-to-look-for/

Mil vs MOA comparison
http://precisionrifleblog.com/2013/07/20/mil-vs-moa-an-objective-comparison/

If you poke around on that blog, you will find the above discussions as well as tons of other great info that will help answer a lot of scope questions seen here on m14forum. I just discovered the blog today while reading threads on snipershide. I hope you all find this as useful as I have.
 

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Thanks KyAggie. This pic made me realize something I hadn't seen before since I've never looked through a first focal plane scope. At lower magnification, I'm most likely shooting at a closer target and don't need refinements on the crosshairs. I would go to higher magnification when the target is farther away. That's when I may need to see all of the cross-tension marks on the crosshairs, and I would if I zoomed in using a FFP scope.



Obviously the reticle could be poorly designed so that it was either too faint at low magnification or too thick at max magnification. I would have to look through a 5-25x FFP scope to see if the shift in magnification of the reticle was too much or just right at max and min zoom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
TinMan, I would definitely recommend looking through any FFP scope prior to purchase to make sure the reticle will do what you want at the different power settings. Some companies do this very well, some not so much. I've seen some that were so fine at the lowest power setting I felt the reticle basically unusable at those settings; can't remember what scope that was though. I have a SWFA 1-6 that has a great FFP reticle and I looked through a Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10x32 with the MRAD reticle and thought it would be very useful at all power settings. I can see where the FFP reticles would be nice to have if engaging multiple targets and moving targets at ranges over 500 yards, which is not really an application I have at this time.

Take a look at the SWFA 1-6 reticle, on the link below, you can see what it looks like at 1x and at 6x; good for close range and good out to about 600 yards which is more than any gun range close to me and much more than the average distance one is able to shoot in wooded Kentucky. All the rest of my scopes are SFP and I do not find myself at a disadvantage with them given my area and application.

http://swfa.com/SWFA-SS-HD-1-6x24-Tactical-30mm-Riflescope-P53845.aspx
 

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Thank you Sir, one of the better comparisons on scopes I've seen & like you I'd like a similar comparison in the price range both of us are interested in. Repeatable mechanical accuracy is often neglected in comparisons although IMO it is just as important as lens clarity
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, I would love to see a Vortex PST (especially the 2.5-10x32 FFP), Leupold Mark 4, SWFA, Burris, to Nightforce 2.5-10x42 comparison. I think that's where the majority of us find our purchasing power optics wise and I also think scopes in this range fit the M14 better than a 40+oz. 56mm scope that costs $4000. In one of the responses below the test article, some else asked for the same comparison with scopes under $1500 and he replied back that he may do one after Shot Show 2015. Let's hope he does; I'll try to stay up with it and will post a link if I see it.
 

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I know what you mean some of those scopes are huge by themselves .
IMO those huge scopes overpower an m14 to the point they look like a great dane mounting a chihuahua . Not saying I wouldn't love to have one but if I could afford one that nice and that large it would be mounted on a fifty.cal they'd look great there. There should be a balance in things be they firearms ,bikes ,cars or women, etc.....
 
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Thanks for the link, lots of good info there. The Bushnell Tactical seems to be a great scope and in the price range many are wanting. It is telling that so many top competitors are using it.
 

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Thanks for the links ! Very interesting reports... I am with you though.... 7k is WAY out of my price range.

Excellent reports though.
 

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Yeah, I would love to see a Vortex PST (especially the 2.5-10x32 FFP), Leupold Mark 4, SWFA, Burris, to Nightforce 2.5-10x42 comparison. I think that's where the majority of us find our purchasing power optics wise and I also think scopes in this range fit the M14 better than a 40+oz. 56mm scope that costs $4000. In one of the responses below the test article, some else asked for the same comparison with scopes under $1500 and he replied back that he may do one after Shot Show 2015. Let's hope he does; I'll try to stay up with it and will post a link if I see it.
The 2.5-10x42 nightforce is the best 'lightweight tactical' scope out right now if that is what you're asking. The premier light tactical was great too but I don't think they are around anymore, Tangent Theta or something now with a different lineup.
 

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I prefer the NF NXS 2.5-10x32 MOAR Zerostop Model C455. The ability to mount it low on an ARMS 18 mount and need only a cheek pad provides superior balance. Anything more than a 10x on an M14 is a stretch in my humble opinion.



 
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I've been keeping up with that blog. I am in the fortunate position of having (or had) more than one scope in that lineup. I don't quite agree with their scoring on some items. For example: Some scopes took a hit because they don't offer a lot of reticle options. However if the one option offered happens to be your favorite reticle, I don't think points should be deducted for it.

Another issue is that I had two of the optics side by side and going back and forth between the two, I could not reproduce their resolution results. Mine were the opposite of what they experienced. Different eyes for different folks.
 

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I would say their glass quality list is on par with some outliers. It's not just eyes but scopes themselves can vary. Tracking can vary too, some of the scopes he dings for having 1% error but that would never be noticed by your average user.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
You all bring up some great points regarding his test methods and grading; certainly everyone will judge clarity differently. He did try to mitigate those variables as much as possible though and while it may not be perfect, it does give a great idea as to how these scopes stack up against each other. I also found it easy to "read through" the grade on any certain scope to ignore grade deductions that just don't matter to me, like not enough reticle choices. To me this list would help someone select a scope based on what features are important to them, not to encourage one to pick the #1 scope on the list just because in this test it placed #1.

Example: Say I was only interested in Mechanical and Optical performance of a scope, if I add those two values from this test on the #1 scope I get 67 points; the #10 scope gets a 68 when I add those two values. Hmmm, maybe then I can "slum it" with a Nightforce ATACR for possibly half the money if I like the features and reticle. Or for about $1500 I could buy a used Nightforce NXS, the #12 scope, and it would still rate 64 when I add those values and might still do everything I want. Then drop on down to see what he actually says about the scope where you will read:

The Nightforce NXS 5.5-22×50 is another scope providing an enormous amount of performance for the price. The Nightforce NXS shocked a few people with its 5th place finish in optical clarity. It had impressive image quality and brightness, even compared to some of these big name scopes with larger objectives. It also tracked well mechanically. A major drawback of the NXS is it’s a 2nd Focal Plane design (80% of scopes in this test were FFP). It did have one of the smallest zoom ratios (i.e. magnification adjustment range) of this group of scopes, which is what you’d expect from an older (but proven) design.
Heck, a SFP scope might be what you are looking for anyway so for you, that's not a point deduction. And maybe 22x is plenty on the high end so that's ok as well. By using this test in this manner, you can select a scope based on your needs, not on its over all rank.

That's how I would use this test, I would not get too caught up in the rankings. Also here are a couple of paragraphs from the test that are easy to skip over:

This test included $70,000 worth of optics. But for the most part, that only consisted of one test scope per model and many of those were loaned from the manufacturers directly (see where each came from). Ideally, I’d have gathered 5+ test scopes for each model from random retail shelves throughout the world … but that would’ve totaled $350,000. Not only am I not comfortable borrowing $350k of glass (as if retailers were lining up to send me scopes), it took me 400+ hours to test 18 scopes and analyze and publish the data. I realize that’s ridiculous. But testing 90 scopes in this in-depth fashion is ludicrous, and virtually impossible.
I took a fresh approach to quantifying optical performance. Instead of getting caught up in technical aspects like coatings or HD glass, I focused on the end result: overall image quality perceived by the user. This was the only part of my field test that wasn’t directly measurable, so I went to extreme lengths to mitigate human bias. These were double-blind tests (nobody knew which scope they were looking through), and I averaged the results over 6 people of various ages, most of whom were “disinterested parties.”
 
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