Best long range target scope


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spook22
November 7, 2010, 01:50 PM
I am looking for a long range target scope with a mil dot recticle for my rem 700 .308 sps varmint. I do not want to spend more than around $800 but if there are higher priced scopes that i can sometimes get for a bargain below 800 please don't hesitate to list them. I am looking for a magnification of of at least 20. Thank you.

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Gordon
November 7, 2010, 02:09 PM
Well there are conditions where the 20x is almost useless, heavy mirage being one. I have a fixed 16x Mark 4 Leupold on a Barrett .50 as that seems plenty for a mile or so and has not yet washed out with mirage in the environs one can shoot a .50 at long range. A 6-24x is a handy varmint scope and a Busnell 4200 is the bottom tier of good glass. I think you could get a 6-24 good scope for below what you want to spend. A 5-18x or 4-? would be good too. I have a Nightforce 3-15 on my 5r .308 with Badger magazine bottom metal, mounts and rings and a Jewell trigger. It is a true 1/2 MOA gun and just makes F class weight.
On my .308 SPS "Tactical" I have currently a huge old S&B 8x56 'night glass' that fullfills the rifles intended 'urban counter sniper' mission well. It is a 3/4 MOA rifle.
What ever the scope you put on it please add a good (like Badger Ordinance) Pic rail and use pic rings. You can swap out the scope easily and these type rings do not fail like the dismal "Redfield" style rear opposing set screw weakness. Talley Rings, Game Reaper and Weaver system (Warne Maxima) are OK too but except for the Weaver system are hard to swap out an optic .

Gordon
November 7, 2010, 02:15 PM
Want a bargain on a highly rated scope ?
http://www.natchezss.com/product.cfm?contentID=productDetail&prodID=WE94545&src=tpCtg

just put it in some good PIC type rings and mount!

G27RR
November 7, 2010, 02:15 PM
In that price range, the Bushnell 4200 Elite 6-24x Tactical is very nice. Zeiss makes great scopes, as do Nightforce, US Optics, and Leupold in the Mark IV series, but they are typically about $1,200 and up. The Bushnell is in the $600-$700 range if I remember right.

Maverick223
November 7, 2010, 02:16 PM
Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50mm (http://www.opticsplanet.net/vortex-viper-pst-6-24x50-rifle-scopes.html) would probably be my choice. Has all the features I would want including: good glass, matched reticle & adjustments (Mil/Mil), target turrets, and FFP (available for about $150.00 more (http://www.opticsplanet.net/vortex-viper-pst-6-24x50-ffp-riflescope.html)).

:)

G27RR
November 7, 2010, 02:17 PM
If yo can settle for less tha 20x, the Nikon Monarch 4-16x40 mildot I good too, at under $500 or so.

GunTech
November 7, 2010, 02:44 PM
SWFA supersniper has received pretty good reviews and is very reasonably priced,.

http://swfa.com/SWFA-SS-Scopes-C1719.aspx

I had an early one and was very happy with it.

USSR
November 7, 2010, 03:08 PM
spook22,

Whatever scope you end up with, if you intend to shoot LR with a .308, do two things: get a quality 20 MOA picatinny rail, and get a scope with at least 40 MOA of W&E adjustment in it.

Don

Maverick223
November 7, 2010, 03:13 PM
Whatever scope you end up with, if you intend to shoot LR with a .308, do two things: get a quality 20 MOA picatinny rail, and get a scope with at least 40 MOA of W&E adjustment in it.
+1, being able to see the target isn't worth much if you can't put the cross on the target.

:)

HOOfan_1
November 7, 2010, 04:12 PM
under $800 I would say the Vortex Viper PST or the Bushnell Elite 4200 Tactical with the Illuminated reticle (because that one is First Focal Plane)

http://www.manventureoutpost.com/products/Bushnell-426245F-Elite-4200-6%252d24x50-Mte-Ill-MD-FFP.html

SlamFire1
November 7, 2010, 04:15 PM
I would avoid the March scope. It is priced around $2500.

http://www.deon.co.jp/march/menu2_5.htm

The source of this placed first in her category at the F Class Championships this year. Her Leupold scope worked fine, tracked fine. However several shooters there with March scopes found that their elevation and windage settings were not repeatable with a March scope.

When a product fails in National Competition in the hands of the Nation's best, that is a object lesson for the rest of us.

essayons21
November 7, 2010, 04:25 PM
Check out the Weaver Tactical 5-20 FFP mil-dot

Pretty new, but I've heard good things.

spook22
November 7, 2010, 08:34 PM
Anymore scope suggestions? What are your guys opinions on objective lens size on this type of magnification?

General Lee
November 7, 2010, 08:44 PM
I got a Nikon Monarch 8-32x50 for around $500. Great scope with the BDC I can shoot at range very well. They list for $699 I found it on sale at a local store. I would imagine they can be found for around $500 if you look for sales.

Geno
November 7, 2010, 09:21 PM
I have owned Leupold, Millett, Mueller, Refield, SWFA, Weaver and Nightforce scopes. Not a single one of the others comes even close to the Nightforce for brightness and clarity. At the higher magnification, the glass becomes critical. Given that you want to limit the expenditure to the $800.00 range, I suggest looking for a used Nightforce. You will get very clear glass, and turrets that are both precise and have spot-on repeatability. For the money, you will have a very hard time finding better-quality glass than a Nightforce. JMHO.

Geno

taliv
November 7, 2010, 09:26 PM
I think I paid about $1200 for my nightforce benchrest 12-42x56. It only has a target dot, not mil-dots. but i think it's the best long-range TARGET scope at any price. If you can somehow find a used one (check samplelist.com or ebay?) or save your pennies a little longer, you wouldn't regret it.

Maverick223
November 7, 2010, 09:45 PM
What are your guys opinions on objective lens size on this type of magnification?The bigger, the brighter, the better (as long as you can maintain a proper cheek weld)...the same is not true of hunting rifles IMO (the big objective only gets in the way). Just don't compromise good glass for a bigger objective. Reliability is paramount, closely followed by glass quality, all other attributes are secondary (though some are important).

I guess I am the odd man out...I find that NF glass is mediocre in the high-end market. Not that it is bad, and they make one heck of a solid scope, just sub-par when compared to Euro glass. It still beats the heck out of the Leupy Mk. 4s...and most (if not all) Asian optics (to include Vortex); so if you can find one in (or near) your budget, it would be a good idea to pick it up.

:)

taliv
November 7, 2010, 11:15 PM
mav, i'm not saying NF glass is as good as my S&B or swaro glass. It isn't. It's just that for target scopes, I don't think glass quality is all that important.

and by target, i mean paper bullseyes, which are almost all black and white. so things like color fidelity don't matter. light gathering isn't important because matches are in the middle of the day. you use the center of the lens so a bit of distortion around the edges isn't a big deal. and there's usually a good deal of mirage, so money spent on clarity/resolution is often wasted. and even what Zak calls the "eye box" isn't important either because you have plenty of time and always shoot from the same position.

for target scopes, for me, the two most important things are target knobs that track like you expect, and the ability to dial your parallax/focus in just right.

Maverick223
November 7, 2010, 11:27 PM
mav, i'm not saying NF glass is as good as my S&B or swaro glass. It isn't. It's just that for target scopes, I don't think glass quality is all that important.I suppose it just comes down to the style of target shooting you do...I have my own range and typically shoot steel...what has come to be called "practical shooting" with centerfire rifles, but without some of the challenges found in the typical competition (FWIW, I only compete with myself and a few friends from time to time). If you generally shoot from a benchrest, at paper, at known distances, the requirements are completely different (you don't need, and probably don't want FFP reticles as one example). I shoot my rimfire target rifles "benchrest style"...no mil-dots or FFP needed, and good glass is nice but a secondary consideration. For someone that shoots a blend of the two primary "styles" a blend of features may be best.

for target scopes, for me, the two most important things are target knobs that track like you expect, and the ability to dial your parallax/focus in just right.I consider the former to be a reliability requirement (for use in target shooting, not necessarily hunting and other uses), the later a functionality requirement...but it is true that both are necessary for good target optics (for either use).

:)

spook22
November 8, 2010, 10:24 AM
That for all the responses. What do you guys think of Burris compared to others you have mentioned?

Maverick223
November 8, 2010, 01:28 PM
What do you guys think of Burris compared to others you have mentioned?I don't care for them, they just never have impressed me in any way. They seem to be reliable (at least the ones I have used), but they tend to be heavy, are often large, and quite simply there are a lot of others that I like better (features, glass, et cetera).

:)

spook22
November 8, 2010, 04:49 PM
How do you guys feel about the bushnell 4200 vs the 6500 in a x30 magnification?

Maverick223
November 8, 2010, 05:12 PM
Surprisingly the 4200 series tends to have slightly better glass than the 6500 series IMO (in a side-by-side comparison). That said, the 6500 has a 6.5x erector giving you an excellent magnification range not available in the 4200 series. Personally I don't believe it is worth the extra cash unless you are going to be using the rifle for both deer and varmint (or similar special circumstances).

:)

BrocLuno
November 8, 2010, 05:58 PM
I have the 4200 and wish I had the 6500. Bushies Elite series are very nice scopes for the $$.

spook22
November 8, 2010, 10:36 PM
More reviews of comparable burris models (black diamond, signature) to a bushnell or others would be much appreciated.

coloradokevin
November 9, 2010, 01:01 AM
Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50mm would probably be my choice. Has all the features I would want including: good glass, matched reticle & adjustments (Mil/Mil), target turrets, and FFP (available for about $150.00 more).

Sure, if they ever actually release those scopes again. It seems like their turret redesign has become quite involved at this point! I was really eyeing the Viper PST line for quite some time, but it seems like the release date on these scopes is very tenative at best.

I will say that it sounds like Vortex is really a customer oriented company, and I've had good experiences in speaking to their people on the phone. Unfortunately they've been telling me that the expected release date of this scope is around the 1st of the year, and from what I can see it appears that this isn't the first time that they've tried to bring this scope to market. Plus, it looks like there is a waiting list for the product at this point, so who knows when you'll actually be able to reach out and buy one.

I still plan to look at the PST line when (if) it becomes available, but I had to buy a scope in the mean time. I went with the Weaver Grand Slam Tactical 3-10x40 mil/mil scope. Midway sells it for $400, and has been sale pricing it at $300 for a couple of months now. The scope had a favorable review through Snipershide, for whatever that's worth. I'm happy with it so far myself, but I haven't put this scope through all of its paces as of yet. VERY clear glass though, and a rare find on a mil/mil scope for this price.

Maverick223
November 9, 2010, 01:20 AM
Sure, if they ever actually release those scopes again. It seems like their turret redesign has become quite involved at this point! I was really eyeing the Viper PST line for quite some time, but it seems like the release date on these scopes is very tenative at best.I thought the only ones that have yet to be released were the 1-4x magnification model (and perhaps the FFP ones), I looked at one not long ago (don't recall which model) and was pretty impressed...if anything it had better glass than the standard Viper series (which isn't what I would consider sub-par). I am waiting on the 1-4x24mm Mil/Mil myself.

:)

ms6852
November 9, 2010, 01:57 AM
For that kind of money I would recommend the Sightron Big Sky. I'm a huge fan of this scope. Company has excellent replacement warranty and the glass is just as good. At this price range it becomes a matter of preference with leupold, nikon, or sightron.

coloradokevin
November 9, 2010, 06:51 AM
I thought the only ones that have yet to be released were the 1-4x magnification model (and perhaps the FFP ones), I looked at one not long ago (don't recall which model) and was pretty impressed...if anything it had better glass than the standard Viper series (which isn't what I would consider sub-par). I am waiting on the 1-4x24mm Mil/Mil myself.

I was looking at the 4-16 power myself, and I've only heard great things about these scopes. However, from what I understand, these scopes were released only in limited numbers in early 2010 (perhaps it was just the FFP models). Vortex then did a voluntary recall of the scopes to address some limited complaints that they had been receiving regarding the turret clicks (apparently the scopes tracked fine, but people wanted harder clicks). From there it seems like it has been a waiting game. I have no idea how many scopes ever actually made it to market originally, but it seems like a few of them must have, given the fact that I've heard a few positive reviews on those models.

The 4-16x scopes are listed on the Vortex website, and a number of places will allow you to preorder them. But, as of mid-October (when I last checked with Vortex directly) these scopes definitely weren't available yet.

Maverick223
November 9, 2010, 09:01 AM
The 4-16x scopes are listed on the Vortex website, and a number of places will allow you to preorder them. But, as of mid-October (when I last checked with Vortex directly) these scopes definitely weren't available yet.May be a PITA but worth the wait (if you can) IMO.

:)

Txhillbilly
November 9, 2010, 02:01 PM
There are many brands of scopes that will do what you want.It all comes down to finding a scope that has what you want.
I put Sightron SIII 6-24x50 scopes on my last 2 long range rifles,a 25/06 and 308.I have a Swarovski PH 4-16x50 on my 300WM Tactical and the Sightrons are just as clear and bright as the Swaro scope for less than half the price.

This is the best price that I've found on the Sightrons,and their service is great also.http://www.arcadian-sales.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?page=AS/PROD/Sightron_SIII/SIIISS624x50LRMD_25133

spook22
November 10, 2010, 10:54 AM
Can anyone who has experience with some of the scopes here give me some input?
Thank you

joed
November 10, 2010, 11:05 AM
I've only owned 2 brands of scopes, Leupold and Weaver. You can't go wrong with Leupold. The Weaver scopes I own are Target models and they've worked great for 5 years now. I have 2 Leupolds that are 30 years old and work as good as the day I purchased them.

There are other brands, you have to make the decision on what you want.

I always tell friends when they ask about scopes to buy a good one in the beginning or they'll be throwing money away and buying another in a short time.

BrocLuno
November 10, 2010, 11:50 AM
Spook22 "Can anyone who has experience with some of the scopes here give me some input?
Thank you"

As I said, I have the Elite 4200 on a custom 22-250. The rifle/round shoots flat and fast. The 4200 has never been the limiting factor in a shot on a distant critter. The scope is clear, even in high humidity, which out here means coastal fog and heavy marine layer. The proprietary lens coating does work.

But, you have to be careful cleaning it. Like any lens coating, it can be rubbed off. I use plain soap and warm water with a lens brush to clean the lenses. I dry by gently patting with a Micro-Fiber cloth and let it air dry. If I took it rain hunting, I'd let it air dry. By I don't take the custom Mauser out in the rain.

Larger caliber guns I have taken out in the rain have either had Nikon or Weaver glass. Shooting in the rain is not fun. Getting wood stocked rifles all wet is not fun. Both Weavers and the Nikons fogged up and made any shot over 25 yds tough or not doable.

The one gun I have with all synthetic stock wears a rebuilt Kassnar scope that was fixed up and re-nitrogen purged two years ago. That's an aluminum tube scope made in Japan. It's on a 22 WMR autoloader. When it goes out in bad weather, I'm looking to kill a 'coon, skunk, possum or other critter that has been at the garden or larder. I don't have any of those shots over 75 yds. I can't say how that would work for long range?

I was a professional oceanographic survey tech for a couple of decades. I have spent more time looking though scopes of one kind or another than most folks here, I guess? I have worked from the Mexican border to Alaska, staring at tiny targets a long ways away for hours at a time and in all light conditions. I have used instruments/glass from Nikon, Wild, TopCon, Swift, Zeiss, Bushnell, and Leuplold. The best is euro~spec Wild or Zeiss - period. If you can afford it, buy it.

If you have heavy weather, really consider the Elite series because Rainguard does work. You'll still need lens covers during carry and a sun hood extension will help keep the objective dry when setting up to shoot. But it will minimize fogging and that makes the shot possible in most cases. If you are only interested in dry weather shooting, you have other choices.

You want to reach out there and you want a Mil-Dot for trajectory compensation. OK, you have some choices. I put my money on Bushnell Elite and Nikon. There are others. I strongly suggest you go to some place like Bass-Pro or Cabellas and takes some scopes out in the parking lot on a hot day and see what mirage looks like and dark shadowed areas look like. You will soon be able to tell what you prefer. I can't tell you what you will like. I can only tell you what works for me.

Maverick223
November 10, 2010, 12:10 PM
Can anyone who has experience with some of the scopes here give me some input?I have extensive experience (and own, now or formerly, most) with: Barska, BSA, Bushnell, IOR, Kahles, Leapers, Leupold, Nikon, Premier Reticles, Sightron, Simmons, Tasco, Vortex, & Zeiss; and some experience with the following: Meopta, Minox, NCStar, Nightforce, Redfield, Schmidt & Bender, Swarovski, Trijicon, USO, & Weaver...the ones that I would and have looked the strongest at are emboldened, the ones underlined are the ones that I have had horrible experience with. The ones present, but without any such indications are decent scopes, but not what I consider a good value.

If you are willing to wait, the PST is an outstanding scope...if not the Sightron S-IIBS and Bushnell E-4200 would be the first I looked at.

:)

spook22
November 10, 2010, 04:49 PM
Thank you very much. What do you mean by PST?

spook22
November 10, 2010, 05:01 PM
Scratch that last question about the pst. Maverick, why did you say if you are willing to wait the pst is an outstanding scope? Is there a new version of the pst coming out or something?

Maverick223
November 10, 2010, 05:02 PM
What do you mean by PST?I guess that is a bit confusing. I had to look it up...apparently it stands for "Precision Shooting Tactical". Anyway, that is the new series of Vortex Viper that has added features for long range shooting (target turrets, matched drop-compensating reticles, FFP available, et cetera). I had the opportunity to look through one a while back and was very impressed, just as good (if not slightly better) glass as the standard Viper, but with all the features necessary for target use. Unfortunately it seems that they were only released in small quantities and have been delayed to the marketplace.

:)

Maverick223
November 10, 2010, 05:06 PM
Scratch that last question about the pst. Maverick, why did you say if you are willing to wait the pst is an outstanding scope? Is there a new version of the pst coming out or something?Too late. :neener:

Apparently it was a very limited release. Perhaps there was a problem with it, or they were just trying to "feel out" the market, I don't honestly know. They are supposed to begin full production 1st qtr. of next year.

:)

Rokman
November 10, 2010, 11:34 PM
I also think that Sightron scopes are pretty good and that they appear to have excellent customer service. I have zero experience with the really expensive scopes mentioned, but have used many Leupolds, Bushnells, Burris, Nikons, Weavers and Redfields in the past and I like my Sightron scopes as good or better than any of them.

racine
November 11, 2010, 01:52 AM
I'm debating on purchasing a Nikon ProStaff 4-12x40 BDC scope primarily for hunting with a 308 cartridge. I don't have the beans to spend on $500+ scopes but somewhere under that would work. Does anyone know if that BDC would work with the 308 for 150-600 yds? Would you buy that particular scope?
Thanks for any input.

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