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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
COP1 Ok, so my SA loaded is now loaded into the Troy MCS S.A.S.S. Chassis.... Harris bipod installed....time for the optics!
My shooting ranges will vary from 300yrds to 1000yards.
The Leupold Mark 4 6.5-20X 50mm Mil 1 is my current choice.
Any thoughts? Concerns? Too much? too little?
 

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i have the nightforce NXS 2.5-10x32 with MOA turrets and NP-R2 reticle on my M21 . i think it is a pretty good choice for the application. you should check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank You Mr. Baer, gmbellew.
I will look into those options. I was sticking to Leupold because I have a "hook" with a tactical company that deals Leupold. However, Nightforce is still in the same price range....
I will not be out to 1000 yards that often (few ranges in NJ) but when the occasional PA trip comes up, I'm ready. Thank you again.
Sarge
 

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i have the nightforce NXS 2.5-10x32 with MOA turrets and NP-R2 reticle on my M21 . i think it is a pretty good choice for the application. you should check it out.
That's the one I'm looking toward for the near future. Sure seems to be alot of varied opinions about the reticle choices, etc.
 

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That's the one I'm looking toward for the near future. Sure seems to be alot of varied opinions about the reticle choices, etc.
I don't know why they limit the reticle choices on this line of scope. The mildot reticle gets poor reviews, and they didn't offer a different mil reticle. The NP-R2 is ok, but I would have preferred the NP-R1 for better wind holds.

If you don't mind the MOA scale (i actually prefer it), then
NP-R2 is a pretty decent choice, even with the lack of a better scale for wind holds.

They do have the velocity reticles, but I wasn't in to that for this rig.
 

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The Burris XTR 4-16X50 has parallax adjustments out to 1000 yards. And with the Ballistic Mil-Dot reticle, it works very well with .308. Also has holdover out to 700 in most cases. All made right here in the USA. A non lluminated or illuminated Mil-Dot is also available. The adjustment turrets are MOA. The reticle is a second focal plane.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great! More choices! I am leaning on the Mil dot reticle because I have range experience with that set-up. With a high quality weapon, I want a good optic. I appreciate all input, good and bad. I want to be sure before I drop $1000 plus dollars.
Sarge
 

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The XTR will run about $850. You may also look at the Weaver tactical line. I saw one of these and they are a very good price. I don't know Weaver's track record at all but it looked like a decent scope. Front focal plane reticle, Mil-Dot, 4-20 magnification, adjustable side parallax, and the turrets felt pretty good. I have no personal experience with them. Not illuminated though. All for around $620 to 800 depending where you shop. They are made in the Philippines.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=560186

http://swfa.com/Burris-4-16x50-Xtreme-Tactical-XTR-30mm-Rifle-Scope-P45513.aspx
 

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I think it depends a little on what you are doing with the rifle.

If you are shooting F class competition at KD (Known Distance) ranges, I prefer to go with a non-distracting simple cross hair reticle, and have MOA target turrets on the scope (target turrets being larger, and marked in MOA on the shooter side, with the intent being that you can change them during the competition, as wind conditions warrant).

Adjustability range of the drop can be important. Most scopes can handle a 600 yd drop, but some run out of adjustability range to get to 1,000 yards. Two options are to cant the entire scope rail, which gets you on at 1,000, but you can't shoot 100 anymore. This is fine for a dedicated long range gun where you will never shoot 100 with it. The other option is to spend more money to make sure your scope has enough drop compensation. This may not apply to you. At 1,000 a .223 has a LOT of drop, the .308 might still hold enough at 1,000 to be good. I forget the come-ups, but 1,000 is likely in the 30 MOA range.

If you are in a tactical competition with unknown distances, you are more likely to sight in your scope once, and never touch the turrets, rather using the mil dots or other information in the reticle to judge holdoff and elevation. I think mil dots are specifically developed to range estimate a 6 foot target (ie a man), if you are not doing on-the-fly range estimation, and are not shooting 6 foot targets, you are giving up on alignment precision of fine cross hairs for no real benefit, other than being tacti-cool. Net, this is a bad move if you are shooting normal groundhogs, but a very good move if you live near a nuclear toxic waste dump, where the groundhogs are 6 feet tall.

Hunting is yet another set of needs, since you tend to zero your scope once, and will not try and adjust the knobs as the shot appears.

As to quality, I don't believe optics matter that much at the very high end of the spectrum. High dollar lenses are built to give minimum distortion or chromatic aberation across the entire range of the lens, so you don't get warps or rainbow fringes at the edge of the image. This is important for photography, where someone will look at the entire image, but both of these optical errors are cosine errors, where the degree of error is a function of the angle that the light is passing through the lens. For the image passing straight through the center (ie at the crosshairs), the angle is zero (or maybe a few MOA), so these errors are very small. I am not saying that I recommend a cheap knock-off lens, but within the spectrum of Leupold. NF, S&B, US Optics, etc, I just don't think there is a visible difference that justifies extra great glass versus very good glass.

Another requirement for hunting might be reticle illumination, as you could be out early or late. For competition and target work, you will never need this, it is just one more thing to go wrong, that you are paying for, and is extra weight.

Parralax correction, or objective focus is a nice feature to have if you get a big objective scope. This is a financial double whammy - big objectives gather more light, and will give a brighter image, but they cost more - 56mm lenses are more than 40mm lenses. As you go up in objective diameter, your optical f-ratio decreases, giving you less depth of field. Non- adjustable scopes have the distance focus fixed at one spot, and if your target is not at that spot, it is a little blurry. With a small objective, you get a pinhole effect, and the degree of blur on the target is very small. As objectives get bigger, that degree of blur gets bigger, and is no longer acceptable, so you have to build in an adjustment to tune the target focus.

Second plane focus (I think that's what they call it) is where you do zoom a certain way - basically comes down to if you zoom the image, does the reticle image zoom with it, or not. I forget the details, but basically, if you use mil dots to range a man-size target, the mil dots either only work at one specific magnification, or else the reticle needs to zoom with the image so the ratio of dot size/spacing to the image size remains constant. This adds a bunch of money, but unless you are a sniper, or competing at UD against silhouettes, you won't want this feature on your scope.

Just some thoughts. I think a Leupold is a fine choice. Not the best, but I think the value for the money is good. A lot of people buy way more scope than they will ever need, because they are either ignorant, or want to have the name brand, to show off.

Art
 

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art7, your article has some misconceptions, and some good points as well.

A milliradian is a unit of measure dealing with angles, ie mil-dot. And is specifically used to assist in ranging a known target at an unknown distance, as well as some other functions. Most tactical scopes have enough adjustability out to 1000. Getting a scope with a 30 or 34mm tube helps. Tactical competitions demand that a user adjust or dope their scopes regularly. Average hunters are more likely to sight in their scope and never touch it again. Reticle choice is a matter of preference. Most tactical applications and competitions use targets that are 1 MOA. So at 500 yards, the target is going to be 5 inches.

I did like your explanation of lenses and found that to be useful.

Parallax adjustment is not meant for focus. That is a side effect of Parallax adjustment
It is defined as the apparent movement of objects within the field of view in relation to the reticle. It can be the difference between a hit or a miss.
FFP and SFP reticles are where the reticle is located inside te scope. A SFP reticle is located near the eyepiece. art7 is right. you have ot be at a certian magnification to range correctly or as in the Ballistic mil-dot reticle, to have the correct holdover. FFP reticles are towards the front of the scope (front focal plane) and calibrate on any magnification. It is really a matter of personal preference.
 

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I'm running a Premier Reticle 5-25X56mm on my 1000 yard target rifle. (I'm using a +20 MOA canted base for mount here) I just picked up a used Premier Reticle 3-15X50mm that I plan to put on my M1A. I have a Leupold VXIII 4.5-14X40mm on the M1A now, but even though the Leupold is good glass it lacks a bit for ranges past 600 or so yards in resolution of image. (Possibly my aged eyes) The PR's and other scopes such a Night Force, Schmidt-Bender, and U.S. Optics have given the best resolution of image for me for very long range shooting in my somewhat limited experiences in the 1000+ yard shooting game. I'm sure their are other brands out there that are near as good for somewhat less $$$$ then the afore mentioned brands but I wouldn't know which ones they would be except for maybe Vortex brand. I hear that Vortex scopes offer good bang for your $$$ for longer range shooting, however I've yet to try one out.

Just my 2 cents worth and a couple of thoughs.
 

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JMG

Parallax and focus adjustment are necessarily one and the same. The way you set your parallax error to zero is exactly by focussing the target image (presuming the reticle image is already in focus).

The light rays coming from the target converge on an internal focal point (before diverging intot he eyepiece to be re-converged in your eye). You want that focal point to be on the reticle plane. When these two focal points are perfectly on top of each other, they will not move relative to each other if you move your head from side to side, so the relationship between the reticle and the target does not move as you shift your head position.

If the target is out of focus, it means that the target image is converging in front of, or behind the reticle. If your head is centered behind the scope, you will be looking at two focal points that are in line, but at slightly different distances from you. To you, this will look like one is in focus, and the other is slightly blurry. ie the crosshairs are sharp, the target is blurry. The problem is that if you move your head to the side, you can now look diagonally between the focal points. To your eye this will look like the crosshairs just moved relative to the target, even though the rifle did not move. This is called parallax error.

The solution is that you need two focus adjustments on a scope: the eye piece focus, which will adjust for your eye to bring the reticle into perfect focus, and then the objective lens focus, which will simultaneously bring the target into perfect focus. Once these two focal points are perfectly superimposed, you will get the clearest focus, and you will have eliminated parallax error.

Various marketing guys can spin this to claim the real benefit is target focus, or parallax error elimination, but the reality is that those are just two different words for the same thing.

Art
 

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Vortex optics are good scopes and do get you alot of of scope for your money. I've got a 6.5-2X44 viper on my bolt action. Will not be putting my extra one on my M14. It feels like the eye relief changes at least an inch throughout the power range and the exit pupil narrows greatly when you get up there. They are releasing a new line called the HS series which are pretty much the PST line with covered target knobs. Come with HD glass as well. The price is right on them too!
 

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If your still leaning toward Leupold; I'd suggest the TMR reticle. It's a mil reticle with fine lines instead of the dots. Allows for finer range estimations and wind holds.
 

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ive been looking at the Bushnell Elite 6500 series. they come in 2.5-16x or 4.5-30x tacticals. ideally id go with a nightforce 5.5-22x but my budget hasnt reached that point.
 

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I've got the Leupold Mark 4 LRT,3.5x10 40mm obl.with Mil. Dot and M1 dials with a GG&G one piece quick detach. mount.I'l post a pix or send you a few to show how it looks.I allso have the MK 4 LRT. 4.5x12 50mm obj. with Illum.Mil.Dot M 1 metric dials on my newly finished Rem.700 308 Bolt Gun.I like the Leupold brand,clairty and glass are first class in my book,I don't think you will be disapointed in purchasing one.USARIBBON
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you, everyone. This has been a world of information to me. I will look into the TMR reticle as a choice. By the way art7, I live in NJ, and we do have nuclear-waste-affected-extra-large squirrels, ground hogs, and sewer rats!! LOL
 

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The way mil dots work is that they are the same size as 1 yard at 1000 yards, so if a man is 6 feet tall at 1,000 yards, he will subtend exactly 2 mil dots.

You ratio the size fron there. If a man subtends 4 mil dots in our scope, that means he is 500 yards away. If the enemy were to recruit midgets, all mildot scopes would be useless.

Hence, if you know the target size in yards, you can size him in the mildot reticle, and estimate his actual range. Obvioulsly, the math gets a little mor involved if you are dealing with other size targets, but the principle of ratioing the sizes remains.

3 foot rats will subtend 1 mildot at 1,000 yards.

Reminds me of a clip that I saw in a movie review about nuclear sewer rats attacking New York. To get the effect, they took Daschunds (wiener dogs), and dressed them up in rat costumes. In the shot where a bunch of these dogs came storming out of the sewer, you could still see their little legs working like windmills as the pack attacked the city. Funny just for how bad it was.

Art
 
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