MOA or Mils?


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kis2
June 12, 2011, 12:15 PM
I'm doing some scope dream shopping, and thinking my next one will have MOA turrets and a MOA reticle (since my brain is biased to that). Something like the nf NP-R2.

This just got me thinking, how many of you precision shooters out there use matching units, or different units in turret/reticle. And why you chose the unit of measure/setup you did?

Thanks!

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TonyAngel
June 12, 2011, 03:40 PM
kis2, this is a question that will get different answers, depending on where you ask it. If you go to someplace like snipershide, you'll be an idiot if you want anything other than a FFP reticle with a mil/mil setup.

Personally, I run a Nightforce 5.5-22X50 with an NP-R2 reticle in an moa/moa setup. I'll just lay out why I chose this route. First, I went with the NF because it's a helluva scope. I think NF will give you a prize or something if you can kill it. Just kidding. Secondly, I prefer SFP reticles because in all of the scopes that I've seen with FFP reticles, the reticle covers more of the target at maximum magnification and I'm just fine using a SFP reticle for ranging.

I went with MOA because I'm a target shooter. I don't have dreams of being a "real" sniper and am worried about more than just hitting man sized targets. I shoot at small stuff and the MOA scale allows finer adjustments than the mil scale does. This is probably a bit over simplified, but a mil scope will adjust the point of impact by roughly 1/3 moa with every click. An moa scope will adjust the POI by 1/4 of a moa with every click.

If you don't need the finer adjustments, the mil scale also has its advantages. First, it's simpler. The reticle will be marked in mils or tenths of a mil. All you have to do is think in tenths. I'm probably not doing a very good job of explaining it. I'm an MOA guy and never left that camp. I will say that I've talked to guys that shoot long range and they shoot in pairs, alternately shooting and acting as spotter and they've told me that mils makes communication easier.

In any case, if you are dream scope shopping, I'd suggest that you check out the Nightforce line. They are the best bang for the buck when you start talking high end scopes. Depending on what your needs are, check out both the 15X and the 22X. If you want to look at a MOA setup, check out the NP-R1 reticle. It's a bit more cluttered than the NP-R2, but I have had situations where the NP-R1 would have taken some of the guess work out of dialing. For a mil setup, look at the MLR reticle.

You might also want to take a look at the new Super Sniper 20X that SWFA is releasing. It's a FFP scope, but still worth checking out. You may like that and you can get the scope for around $1K right now. Reports so far put the SS about on par with the NF, although I AM a Nightforce fanboy and will stick with them.

kis2
June 12, 2011, 05:38 PM
TonyAngel, thanks for the reply, it's great news you have this scope already! I have a few questions for when you have time...

Illumination: with no batteries, how's the reticle look, good? Is the illumination adjustment still under the focus knob? seems like a pain.

Does the entire eyepiece move when you change mag? seems like that would be a pain with flipup caps.

with SFP, what mag setting is the reticle accurate at? FFP doesn't do anythingn for me :)

Finally, with the moa knobs, how much adjustment do you get per rotation?

I'm sold on the nightforce line, and the 5.5-22 seems like the way to go. I'll look into the npr1 based off your recommendation.

Kinda hijacked my own thread there... back to the point, I'm in the MOA camp as well. I'm sure mil is a great system too, but I figure I'll stick with what I know and continue to get more proficient with it. In my mind, it works slick. I'm real excited for a moa reticle.

taliv
June 12, 2011, 07:17 PM
I disagree on several points. There's nothing wrong with moa/moa and it's popular on the hide and just as easy to communicate.

Sfp is ok for static shooting at known ranges as long as you have all day to twist knobs.

Nf is ok.

TonyAngel
June 12, 2011, 07:24 PM
Illumination: with no batteries, how's the reticle look, good? Is the illumination adjustment still under the focus knob? seems like a pain.

With no battery, the reticle looks as it should. From what I've gathered, the purpose of the illumination is to aid in the use of the scope in conjunction with night vision equipment. That is why the illumination control is where it is. It's a set it and forget it proposition. It is not and was never meant to be a daytime bright illuminated reticle. It simply doesn't need it. In the time that I've had the scope, I've only used the illumination a couple of times just to provide some contrast between the reticle and the background. When I set mine, I did it in pitch black darkness. I set the brightness so that it just barely bloomed in that environment. With that setting it has worked when I needed it to.

Does the entire eyepiece move when you change mag? seems like that would be a pain with flipup caps.

Yes, the entire eye piece moves when you adjust the magnification. When I first got the scope, I had the same feeling that you do; however, since I've had the scope for as long as I have, I don't think that I could go back to using a scope with a conventional adjustment ring. Being able to just grab the whole eye piece is really convenient. I don't use a rear flip up cap. I just cut off the eye piece portion of the cover that came with the scope and attached it to the body with a couple of zip ties. When I need the cover, I just pop it on.

with SFP, what mag setting is the reticle accurate at?

On the 5.5-22X, the reticle is accurate at all settings, provided that you do the simple math and is one of the reasons that I suggested the NP-R1 rather than the NP-R2. I sort of have an idea of the types of shooting that you do and you do much more long range than I do. With the NP-R1, the graduations are at increments of 1 MOA rather than 2. So...at 22X, each graduation accurately represents 1 MOA. At 11X, each graduation is accurately represents 2 MOA, at 5.5X each graduation represents 4 MOA.

Finally, with the moa knobs, how much adjustment do you get per rotation?

I have an older NF, so I only have 10 minutes of adjustment per rotation. The NF scopes being sold now all have Hi Speed turrets that give you 20 minutes per revolution.

Check out Nightforce's website and click on the "library" link. It will lead you to a bunch of PDF documents.

If, after shopping you decide that you're not wild about spending over $1500 on glass, at least check out the Sightron SIII line. They have a long range model with an MOA reticle that goes for around $900. I also have a Vortex PST on my rimfire rifle and it's pretty nice. I got it for $750, but to tell the truth, the more I use it, the more I don't like it. I'm just not crazy about the turrets.

taliv
June 12, 2011, 07:29 PM
To add an example for illustration:

In zaks steel safari match last week, the winner stated he used a USO 3-17x that was on 13 power the whole match. If that were a sfp scope he would have had to dial windage for almost every shot. My guess is few if anyone dialed windage in the match and everyone just held instead using their reticles.

So sfp presents the shooter with a dilemma: crank up the magnification so you can hold wind or lose more time trying to find the targets

kis2
June 12, 2011, 07:50 PM
taliv- I can appreciate your comments on windage, it makes good sense. However, going back to what TonyAngel said, if I know what my SFP reticle is calibrated for on 3 different settings, surely I can select a field of view appropriate for what I'm doing at the time. Then I can leave it set (like the match winner did) or just be aware how the changes affect my measurements. and obviously more time behind the same scope would make you more proficient at your given technique. Is that not a valid thought?

For me, I'd rather have the SFP, all things being equal. But I'm also not a match winner :)

TonyAngel, thanks for the answers! I figured that's how I'd treat the illumination as well (I was actually looking for a model without it, to save some cash on a feature I don't really need. then I realized they all have it)

I was hoping they had the presence of mind to place the mag/calibration levels evenly apart so you could use them just as you stated (2x value, 1x value, .5xvalue). That's great!

TonyAngel
June 12, 2011, 07:59 PM
Man, regardless of the sort of optics equipment you are used to, I think that calling a Nightforce just "ok" is unfair. Of course, it is an opinion and everyone is entitled to theirs.

I can understand what taliv is trying to say with the use of the above example, but I think that it is a bit of an exaggeration of the advantage offered by a FFP scope. I really don't think that 13X was some magical magnification that the shooter purposely used. He probably just dialed down to something that allowed him a wider field of view. In any case, it's a misrepresentation to say that a guy shooting with a SFP reticle would have been dialing for wind or loosing time trying to find the targets. I never dial for wind. In the above example, a shooter using a SFP 5.5-22X NF could simply have used 11X magnification to get to an easy scale to convert and then hold for wind. I do it quite often.

I'm not saying that FFP reticles don't have their benefits, it just isn't always the best answer. For some, a SFP reticle is more flexible over a broader range of uses. In this particular instance, what I know of kis2 tells me that he shoots at targets ranging from paper to targets of opportunity.

I do a fair amount of shooting at paper and appreciate that SFP reticles (for the most part) cover less of the target. To have that, I'm willing to make the necessary sacrifices.

In any case, kis2 isn't a newb at this stuff. I'm sure that he's just scouring for opinions to make sure that he doesn't over look anything. Again, I do have to mention the SS 20X. It looks to be a nice scope and might pick one up just to try it out. I have an 18" build idea smoldering in the back of my mind and that SS looks like it might sit nicely on top of it.

TonyAngel
June 12, 2011, 08:01 PM
Ooops, I was typing while kis2 was.

TonyAngel
June 12, 2011, 08:18 PM
Oh, I know that your rifle went in for a refit. I just don't know the profile of the barrel that you got. I went with the 50mm objective, as opposed to the 56mm, because my barrel is heavy and I would had to have gone with high rings if I went the 56mm route.

taliv
June 12, 2011, 08:29 PM
i was tempted to say "if it's what you want, then go for it" but honestly, sometimes people just want the wrong things. If all things are equal, including price, choosing a SFP over a FFP would be a bad choice. what redeeming feature does SFP have? what can it do substantially better than a FFP? I took the high score in 2 1000 yrd F-class matches last year with a FFP scope, so even on paper targets, it's not like the P4F reticle in my S&B obscured the 5" x-ring. (in fact, it's about 1.3" wide at 1000 yrds) so it's not really clear to me under what practical circumstances that would be a problem.

beyond that, you don't really KNOW it's calibrated on 3 different settings until you test it. there is usually some variance in manufacturing. and it assumes you can dial it exactly to 11x or whatever. and if it's off say a quarter to a third power, what does that do to your simple math? nothing i guess, if you want to re-label it.

think about it this way: if you had no detents (clicks) on your elevation knob, only numbers printed on the outside, and if you needed 6 minutes up on the gun, and you just freely spun the dial around (like you would the power ring) to about where it says "6 minutes", is that good enough for you? at the same time that you think 1/10th mil increments aren't granular enough?

and yes, there wasn't anything magical about 13x. he could have used 11x.

price is the only reason i can think of that would cause me to buy a SFP instead of a FFP. I'm not saying everyone has to buy a FFP and that SFP are useless. but if you're just dreaming about them, dream about a better one :)

i own two NF scopes. very happy with one, very unhappy with the other. i averaged it out.

kis2
June 12, 2011, 09:02 PM
hahaha, I can see what you're saying taliv:) very valid points. I think you're right, there probably isn't anything a FFP can't do that a SFP does way better. And I know I was the one who said 'all things being equal', but they aren't, you pay for that FFP. Worth it to me? I need to think more perhaps.

let me think out loud here for a moment though, bear with me:

lets make the assumption I get a scope that, upon testing, proves that it's calibrations work on the three different levels. nightforce has some real nice markings on their magnification levels to line up with, but I misdial my setting by an entire half power (so 11.5 instead of 11). how far off does that put me? like .1 moa? heck, at 800yds I can't even estimate any kind of moderate crosswind accurately enough for that to be an issue.

That entire paragraph is based off my 'top of the head' math (which could be way off :rolleyes: ) and theory. obviously the cleanest way to not worry about any of this is buy FFP.

kis2
June 12, 2011, 09:09 PM
TonyAngel, my barrel is coming back a lite palma, so I would THINK it should clear a 56mm with my current seekins rings, which are medium. To be honest, 50 or 56, I doubt I could appreciate the difference. but hey, go bigger if you can right?

TonyAngel
June 12, 2011, 09:22 PM
I also wanted to point out that the SS has a FFP reticle.

taliv, I can understand that you are using your S&B as an example, but I really don't think that scope falls in the same category. It is hardly what I'd call a "bang for the buck" scope, which I think the NF is. Put simply, your S&B is a better scope than the NF is and it sounds like the reticle option that you opted for helps you to cover all bases with the FFP scope. Still, I don't think that you're S&B falls into the category of run of the mill FFP scopes. Of course, I assumed that kis2 had an idea of what he wanted and that the NF was within his price range. I do believe that the S&B is, at the least, another step up in price range.

kis2, unless I'm mistaken, the palma profile barrel should clear the 56mm objective with your medium rings. When you go shopping, don't forget to check out the used market at places like ar15.com and snipershide. Lots of good guys on those sights selling used equipment for reasonable prices.

taliv
June 12, 2011, 09:38 PM
tony, i wasn't trying to compare them... or say either brand was better or anything. just saying the reticle as an example, doesn't hurt you when you dial up the magnification

spot checking:
USO PCMOA reticle is 1.2 MOA wide
my NF has a .1875 MOA dot and a .125 MOA dot
NF also offers a .030 MOA crosshair

point being... the S&B P4F reticle is actually among the thicker reticles available and still only covers 1.3" of a 5" x-ring at 1000 yrds.

Zak Smith
June 12, 2011, 09:38 PM
Knowing what your SFP scope is calibrated at at 3 different magnification settings is great when you're not in a hurry and under no stress. If you've just "lost" the target you're trying to find, and crank the power down a bit, what are the chances that you'll remember to reset it to exactly 8x or 10x or whatever before you call wind and make the shot when in a hurry?

On the poll question, mils make more sense across the board: less digits, one tenth is one click (ie, vs. 0.5 to 0.75 being one click), more reticles are in mils than MOA (for spotting commonality)


I can understand what taliv is trying to say with the use of the above example, but I think that it is a bit of an exaggeration of the advantage offered by a FFP scope. I really don't think that 13X was some magical magnification that the shooter purposely used. He probably just dialed down to something that allowed him a wider field of view. In any case, it's a misrepresentation to say that a guy shooting with a SFP reticle would have been dialing for wind or loosing time trying to find the targets. I never dial for wind. In the above example, a shooter using a SFP 5.5-22X NF could simply have used 11X magnification to get to an easy scale to convert and then hold for wind. I do it quite often.

I'm not saying that FFP reticles don't have their benefits, it just isn't always the best answer. For some, a SFP reticle is more flexible over a broader range of uses. In this particular instance, what I know of kis2 tells me that he shoots at targets ranging from paper to targets of opportunity.

Let me put it this way. FFP scopes totally dominate matches like the Steel Safari. The level of magnification the winners typically shoot at is 12x-15x. Many people like to use 4-16's, 3.2-17's, and 5-25's, and this means that the max power (where a SFP scope is typically calibrated) is not where the scope is being used.

The FFP scopes are more flexible and more usable than SFP. The only reason FFP scopes are considered "special" or different is that they are relatively new to the US shooting community. If you look at them feature for feature and application for application, the SFP is clearly the one that has a more specialized application (ie, requirement for extremely fine reticle at max power).

-z

1stmarine
June 12, 2011, 09:49 PM
Mil-dot reticule and MOA turrets all day.

The key is to quickly mil out the range then Know what is your dope and keep your chart handy (ie: in the back of the scope caps) so you can quickly put the correction. One I use is the Nightforce's NP-R1 reticle that has 1 MOA increments and high speed turrets that allow you to get 20MOA for every turn.

I prefer mil subdivisions or the oblong dots.

Less is more. Simple is good.

Zak Smith
June 12, 2011, 10:00 PM
There is a significant advantage to having your turrets in the same units as your scope-- namely, you can apply dope corrections directly using the reticle. EG, dialed for 400, need quick holdover/unders for 350 and 500, just look at the difference on the data card and hold that in the scope. If you have mixed systems you have to multiply or divide by 3.4

-z

kis2
June 12, 2011, 10:15 PM
My current setup has minutes on the turrets and a mildot reticle. While I've learned some great techniques for range estimation, I have had ZERO fun trying to do hold overs (which is more important to me). So I'm pretty squarely against mismatching, unless someone can show some compelling reasons.

Zak,

Do you have or know of any good articles describing how to pracitcally use mils? I would appreciate it.

I think with either SFP or FFP, you have to commit to some level of training so mistakes under stress don't happen. Based off of what you're saying, it seems the FFP system is more intuitive, and less apt to errors you'd otherwise have to 'train out' with SFP. I don't think I disagree, I'll just have to see if it's worth it to me. I'm also confused about nightforces reticle offerings for FFP. For the record, Nightforce does seem to be the only thing in my price range, but I will take a look at others whilst window shopping.

taliv
June 12, 2011, 10:18 PM
honestly, this is probably the best deal i've ever seen on a scope
http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2556286#Post2556286

$1000 for a good FFP, mil/mil, 5-20x with good glass? come on

like them on facebook too and maybe they'll throw in the seekins rings

1stmarine
June 12, 2011, 10:37 PM
I am so used to converting that I don't even have to thing about it but I agree having both the reticule and the turret matched can be faster specially if you are training from scratch. I also can see how the NP-R1 could be easier for many folks.

I also like some of the BDCs for hunting with rangefinder but that is a different post and story.

Zak Smith
June 12, 2011, 10:52 PM
kis2,

Ranging using mils is widely known and it should be easy to find that formula.

As for using the mil units for elevation and windage, it's no different than MOA, the numbers are just different. To convert MOA to mils just divide by 3.42

1stmarine
June 12, 2011, 10:58 PM
To mil out the range is easy...

1 mil = 3.6" at 100yards

yards = (Target size x 27.78 ) / Nr.of Mils

examples:
6ft person (72inches) at 200 yards - 3.6x2 = 7.2 then x 10 = 72in .... 10 mills ...200yds
same person at 400 yards would be 3.6x4 = 14.4 then x 5 = 72in.... 5 mills....400yds
same person at 1000 yards would be 3.6x10 = 36 then x 2 = 72in.... 2 mills....1000yds

for decimals of mils keep in mind the shape of the dots. Army circle is .22, marines oblong is .25. Fine mil reticules with mil subdivisions are easier.

kis2
June 12, 2011, 11:32 PM
my google skills are failing me today. Does anyone have a single source that reviews the SWFA taliv linked to? if it's built like a rock, that's a good price! sadly, if it's only happening this month, I won't make the group buy.

thanks for the inputs all

pdd614
June 13, 2011, 12:22 AM
Tony,
One myth I always here is that " a ffp reticle covers up too much of the target at high power." This is simply not true. A ffp reticle covers exactly the same amount of the target throughout the power range. The reticle is growing right along and at the same rate the target is. Actually, if you think about it they just have it backwards, because a sfp scope will cover more of the target at low power.

1858
June 13, 2011, 12:56 AM
kis2,
taliv and Zak have said it all but let me throw in my $0.02. Only two of my 12 optics have matching units for the reticle and adjustments. Admittedly, the Aimpoint M4s and Zeiss Conquest are "set them and leave them" types, but if I knew then what I know now, I would have at the very least only purchased optics with matching units. Even on static range formats such as F-Class, matching units is beneficial, not essential, but certainly more convenient. As soon as Leupold offers the milrad adjustment upgrade, my F-Class scope will be heading back to the factory. As for FFP and SFP, there's no question that I'd prefer FFP for all of my optics. I have one Leupold and two Premier Reticles optics that are FFP and they offer a simplicity that is also beneficial. If you use holdovers as many of us do, not having to correct for magnification is a HUGE benefit. How many people have made the error of holding left, right, over or under only to realize that their scope wasn't on the maximum magnification.

Simple version ... if you can afford it, mil/mil or moa/moa and FFP is the way to go.

1858
June 13, 2011, 01:11 AM
One more point, moa/moa for an optic used for something like F-Class would be just fine, and in fact, superior to mil/mil due to the finer adjustment. moa/moa for an optic intended for any scenario where you're using the optic to range the target would be a bad choice if mil/mil is available.

h=d*theta is all you need to easily calculate range with a mil/mil optic. If you know the approximate height of the target (h) and then measure the angle from the bottom of the target to the top of the target (theta in radians) using the reticle, you can calculate the range (d). Obviously, if h and d have the same units (preferably yards or meters) the calculation is a lot easier.

e.g. Man-sized steel target (estimate 2 yards tall), measures 1.50 milrad so d = h/theta. d = 2/0.0015 = 1,333 yards

TestPilot
June 13, 2011, 07:01 AM
Mils.

Other than finer adjustments, MOA has no practical advantage what so ever.

It's merely a different in unit. So, what makes one unit better over the other? Mil used with metric measurements provide simplest calculation. MOA is more difficult to calculate no matter what unit is used in connection with.

kis2
June 13, 2011, 06:25 PM
1858- thanks for your input sir. there's been a lot of good discussion between smart and experienced people in this thread, good deal. I'm going to take a hard look at my needs and re-evaluate.

TonyAngel
June 13, 2011, 07:53 PM
So....kis2, you looking at a new toy? Man, whether you're into a FFP reticle or not, at least take a look at the Super Sniper 5-20X. They're boasting mil/mil reticle/adjustments, FFP reticle, HD glass, etc. For the $1K that you can get it for right now, I really don't know that you can get better. Of course, I'm just basing this on the SS reputation and what I've read. I haven't had one in my hands yet. From the looks of them, they look to be some pretty tough equipment.

In any case, it just looks like a good deal to me, considering that a SFP Vortex PST goes for $750, a FFP PST goes for $900 and a Sightron SIII goes for about $900. It could very well be the ultimate bang for the buck for the time being. The upside is that if you get it and don't like it, you won't have any trouble moving it.

As I mentioned before, I have a new build in mind and I'm seriously considering the SS 20X. It would be really nice to get a very nice scope without having to spend $1500 to $1800 for it.

kis2
June 13, 2011, 08:23 PM
Just contemplating more than anything TonyAngel. I'm sure my rifle is coming back at a whole new level of capability and part of me feels like maybe the bushnell 6500 on top won't be up for the challenge. I'll throw SWFA into consideration, but that sale price will be done by the time I'd be looking to buy (if decided to buy), so that changes things a bit.

But I'm not sure about my 6500. Downsides: SFP, moa/mil. Upsides: it's been good to me thus far. optical quality is good enough for 1k yard practical shooting. tracks well. and it's paid for :)

I would plan on selling it to offset the cost of the next one. But we'll see. I'll put it through the ringer when it gets back and (word of the day) reevaluate. if thats a word.

helotaxi
June 13, 2011, 08:30 PM
But you've got that big paycheck coming in soon, right?

I'm seriously considering scraping the $1k together and getting the SS myself.

TonyAngel
June 13, 2011, 08:46 PM
I agree that you need to shoot your rig first. You have enough experience to recognize any deficiencies in your rig. It's really hard shopping for a scope. Of course, I haven't seen or used it all, but it really seems that the Nightforce is sort of the threshold to upper end scopes. There are some good bang for the buck scopes that you can find for up to around the $600 mark, but then there's a void between that mark and about the $1500 mark.

There are the Vortex PSTs that many rave about, but I just can't seem to grow to love mine. Mine is sitting on top of a .22 right now and I don't know how long it's going to be there. The newer Sightron SIII look really nice, but for the price, the SS 5-20X just screams at you. It's such a vicious circle, or should I say a winding staircase that goes up in price.

In any case, when you're ready to buy, let me know. I might have a Nightforce or maybe the SS laying around that I'm not doing anything with at the time.

Oh, check out the offerings from IOR Valdada. I've never pulled the trigger on one because of their past (very past) track record, but guys are reporting good luck with them. From what I've seen, they are reasonably priced. I can't offer any more comment than that.

Of course, you could just skip all of the kid stuff, take out a small mortgage and get yourself a S&B and rest assured that you'll never have to worry about upgrading again. I know that my time for doing something like that is approaching.

After the back and forth with taliv, I have to check them out again. I know that my previous research lead me to the Nightforce line, but based on his statement that his reticle only covers 1.3" of a 5" target at 1000 yards, I think I'll have to take a second look.

1858
June 13, 2011, 09:37 PM
but based on his statement that his reticle only covers 1.3" of a 5" target at 1000 yards, I think I'll have to take a second look.

Both of my Premier Reticles scopes have the Gen 2 XR reticle that taliv loves so much. Anyway, if you refer to the figure below, you can see that the width of the reticle denoted by the letter "K" is 0.004 milrad which means that it will cover 1.44" of the target at 1,000 yards.

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/optics/premier/gen2_xr.jpg

Zak Smith
June 13, 2011, 09:48 PM
As long as the reticle does not completely cover a 6" square at 1000 yards, I'm happy. The S&B P4-Fine reticle works fine for this.

taliv
June 13, 2011, 10:15 PM
all of my comments should be taken in the context of daydreaming about nice scopes

if you are on a budget and already have a bushnell 6500, my strong recommendation would be to spend what money you have on

1. ammo
2. match entry fees
3. gas and lodging

go have fun and learn something. don't sweat the equipment


edit: btw, tony, i think the complaint that people often have about FFP is not that the reticle obscures too much at high magnification, but that it disappears at low magnification. that is probably a legit beef on mil-dots, but hash patterns like the one below on my USO shrink and the hashes sort of blur together and make it look like a fat crosshair at 3x, so it's really just about perfect. I don't have trouble losing the P4F either but I wonder how i would do with a christmas tree like the gen 2xr. (it definitely has some features i like though)

http://usoptics.com/get_image.php?uid=RET-070p3

TonyAngel
June 13, 2011, 11:51 PM
taliv, you guys are talking about very upper end scopes. When you restrict your shopping to scopes in the price range of the NF or even lower, the choices among FFP scopes kind of dwindles. FFP or not, I still feel that the NF is the best bang for the buck in its price range. Now, if I were willing to spend roughly twice as much, then a good FFP scope is within reach. I guess I'm not articulating what I'm trying to say very well. I suppose a simple way of putting it would be to say that I feel that a cheaper scope's implementation of a FFP reticle leaves something to be desired.

I guess that we've been discussing/arguing apples and oranges here.

taliv
June 14, 2011, 10:08 AM
i dunno, $1000 for the SWFA SS FFP HD has great reviews so far and most of the features you'd find in a scope 3x its price. nobody's complained about the reticle or glass that i've seen. about the only extras i'd like to add to it would be on the knobs (and maybe a larger tube)

i'm not really knocking NF, just saying they're not a good deal until the SWFA coupon expires in a week or so :)

TonyAngel
June 14, 2011, 06:31 PM
Well, if that coupon expires in a week or so, I might be missing that boat. I did want to try one of those out.

taliv, if you don't mind, I might be hitting you with some PMs about the S&B, in the near future. As I mentioned, I have a new build in mind. By the time that's finished, I'm hoping to have funds to put glass on top of it and will likely have missed the window for the SS. Since this new build is going to be a shorty model, I'm thinking that I might just throw the NF on top of it and getting the 5-25X56 S&B for my long range rig.

taliv
June 14, 2011, 09:08 PM
sure i don't mind, but i just have one. zak has a collection of them.

if you're anywhere near TN, you should come shoot it a while before you drop 3k on it

Zak Smith
June 14, 2011, 09:47 PM
Once I had shot an S&B, I couldn't go back to shooting NF, Leupold, etc.

1stmarine
June 14, 2011, 11:17 PM
Life is kind of funny how things change. My buddy 25 years ago could hit centermass at 800 using an old issue rifle and a old bitten up leatherwood. and do this all day long. The math is still the same besides all the bells and whistles.
We didn't have thermal imaging and night vision. those are cool though.
I guess many cases it depends what works for you and for your specific purpose. In any case there is nothing better than shooting and almost see the hits in your head before they happen.
Positive visualization I think they call it.
Amazing scopes we have today that is for sure.

BullfrogKen
June 15, 2011, 03:20 PM
I can't contribute much to this debate. I'm still using "old technology".


I'm still using a fixed 12 power Leupold, with the early "Marine oval" Mil-Dot reticle and a MOA elevation turrent. The windage knob is still a plain dial. Leupold must have stopped producing this particular model 15 years ago.


I'd be all over that Super Sniper 5-20 as a good piece of glass on a budget.


I'd have to re-learn how I think, though. I still think of everything in minutes. I don't do much competing. Most of my long-range shooting is informal rangetime done with friends at the formal long ranges.


I've done a lot of ground hog hunting, but even at the big farms I shot at I rarely had shots past 600 yards. I got real used to a laser range finder. It was just too damn hard trying to accurately guess how big the ground hog was, and then measure the part of the ground hog I could see with a reticle.


My shooting is a lot more casual. I don't care about my score, or ranking in a competitive event. And I'm not shooting something that might shoot back at me, or people I care about. If I did, my needs and selection would be totally different.


I'd recommend you figure out what you're going to be doing with this rifle and glass. Varmint hunting? Matches; and specifically what kind of matches? Some of the competitions Zak and Tom do are a lot different than an F-class match. Go to those matches, or those events, and make some friends. I wouldn't spend 4 figures on a piece of equipment based just on someone else's say so. Especially if I'm not shooting the same sort of events or the same type of activities they had in mind when they recommend something to me.

BullfrogKen
June 15, 2011, 03:43 PM
I will add this to the debate . . . What Tom said here -

if you are on a budget and already have a bushnell 6500, my strong recommendation would be to spend what money you have on

1. ammo
2. match entry fees
3. gas and lodging

go have fun and learn something. don't sweat the equipment

Your skill matters the most.

Not expensive equipment. Not high-end glass. Not high-end rifles and chasing all that other non-sense.

Shooting matters.


Shoot what you have and learn it. Go shoot with other good shooters and learn from them. Have fun with the activity with what you have now. The most expensive equipment in the hands of someone who doesn't have the skill won't do anything for him.

But someone who has the skills, and has spent enough time shooting to learn how to read wind, can take a simple hunting rifle and spank major butt with it.

Zak Smith
June 15, 2011, 04:16 PM
The only thing I would add is that s shooting/training is investment, and equipment that gets in the way of learning can make the whole process more expensive in the long run.

BullfrogKen
June 15, 2011, 04:32 PM
Well yes, that's true Zak. It can also make it into something unenjoyable. Few of us will spend free time doing things we don't enjoy.

kis2
June 15, 2011, 06:02 PM
I agree with all of those statements BullfrogKen and Zak. I'm not a bad shot and I spend a lot of time out in the field. the purpose of my rifle is primarily competitions like Zak's, with distant secondary of f-class. Keep in mind though I'm not a professional shooter (though that would be awesome!).

so I guess the question for my situation becomes: does my current scope hinder my training investment enough that before going too much further I should trade up? I know consistency = accuracy, so it'd be nice to pick a scope and stick with it early on.

Follow on question of: would spending an additional $2k in optics (given my current scope) be a better investment, than say, a suppressor? I'm sure optics is the answer I will get in return, but it's so tempting...

Ammo and training (and lodging) are all accounted for in the budget. I'm going to start attending a few matches like Zak's a year, f-class in between.

thanks all for the help!

TonyAngel
June 15, 2011, 06:57 PM
I'm not a bad shot and I spend a lot of time out in the field.

Oh, listen to Mr. Modest.

Bud, from what I'm hearing, you made a bit of an investment in that stick of yours. You may as well top it off. Besides, a quality scope is more than just about glass quality. The scopes that you are considering are built tough and will hold zero and track accurately. More importantly, they will hold zero and track accurately after they've taken a slide down a ravine.

Besides, having a mil/mil or moa/moa setup is the only way to go for quick dialing.

Hey, you work hard. Treat yourself.

As for ammo, have you checked out rmrbullets.com? He's selling pulled 175gr SMKs for $170 per 1000. I just ordered 250 of them just to check them out. I think it was $55 shipped.

kis2
June 15, 2011, 10:14 PM
"Oh, listen to Mr. Modest."

hahaha, I have to be modest around THR! there is some very high company!

I should be able to get exactly the scope I would want from USO for about $2500. Would need to pick a reticle still, so I'll be watching taliv's thread. Sell the bushnell and I'd be down to a $2k upgrade. I'll take another look at the vortex line between now and then as well. We'll see how things look in August!

A new gunshop just opened around here, and me and the owner have an understanding :) He keeps 178gr amaxs at a good price, I keep coming back to buy them. I think I'm up to like 500 at this point, so the stockpile is slowly growing. I'm hoping to be able to push those at nearly 2700fps when the rifle comes back.

helotaxi
June 16, 2011, 12:26 AM
Wait, new gunshop?!?

TonyAngel
June 16, 2011, 12:57 PM
The good thing about the decision that you have to make is that considering the grade of product that you are looking at, I really don't think that there can be a "wrong" decision.

I've never been a big fan of USO products. The price/performance ratio just isn't there in my eyes, but I do know a guy that I see at the range pretty regularly and he's just nuts about his USO equipment. He's had his for a while and he says he's had no problems.

kis2
June 16, 2011, 07:09 PM
what I like (in my limited shopping) about USO is the ability to pick exactly what features I want for roughly the same price as a standard model from the other guys. pick the knobs, reticle, tube, illumination colors, even duracoat it! and I feel like if I'm spending that much on a scope, it should at least be the color I want, you know?

That said, I'd be thrilled with any of them I'm sure

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