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Help Me Choose a Scope

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by red rick, Aug 17, 2021.

  1. red rick

    red rick Member

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    Virginia
    I want to setup my rifle for nighttime predator hunting . Looking for advice on a scope and or light setup . Distance will be less than 200 yards and mostly less than 100 . I am debating using it on my AR .223 or my bolt action 6.5 rifle . Budget is around a $1000 dollars . Let me know the best place to purchase it also . Thanks in advance .
     
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  2. red rick

    red rick Member

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    I am looking for more nighttime setups , either a light setup or night scope . I am looking at the ATN pro scope or a Wicked Light . I am leaning more towards the ATN scope .
     
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  3. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    I've hunted with thermals and night vision, and thermal is so much better it's not even funny. Now, thermal is not $1000. It's more like 2-3K. I cannot afford either at the moment, but after using both, I will even bother with night vision. It's thermal or nothing.

    unless there is a full moon and a bright night, what you can see with night vision is what a flashlight would put out. Imagine if prey wasn't spooked by light, trying to hunt in pitch black, with a flashlight taped to the end of your barrel. It's possible if you know there is something out there, and vaguely where, but is it fun? no. With a thermal, you can quickly scan a field and say "cow, cow, skunk, mouse, coyote deer, PIGS!!! BLAM BLAM BLAM"
     
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  4. red rick

    red rick Member

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    Thermal is out of the question for a beginner IMO . I have watched some videos on the ATN and you can tell the difference between a possum and a house cat at 100 yards . The difference between a coyote and dog might be a challenge . A friend of mine has the Wicked Light and he killed 16 bobcats last year . He bought a thermal scope after the season , but he doesn’t want to sell his light setup . He paid over $4000 for his thermal and bought the exact same rifle to put it on . A Savage Axis II . Something to be said for paying as much or more for your optic as your rifle .
     
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  5. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    For budget night vision, the Sightmark Wraith is hard to beat. I have the 4-32x50 HD with a Sniper Hog Lights 66LRX illuminator on my Savage Axis 243. Haven't had it out for actual hunting yet, but played around with it. With what I have, I have no problem seeing out to 400 yards and probably farther if you really wanted to. That's not guesswork FWIW, that's known distances confirmed with a rangefinder. Because the zoom is digital, I wouldn't expect to zoom in farther than 16x and expect it to be usable as far as pixelation. You could get the 4K version which is 3-24x50, more expensive but still under budget and better resolution.

    Also, aside from being a night vision scope, it can also be used during daylight too which is nice.

    SHL makes one size larger light (the Coyote Cannon) which can reach out even farther but is twice the weight and 400 yards is farther than I'll ever shoot. They also make smaller illuminators that are still upgrades over the stock Sightmark one as far as brightness and throw. With that being said, under 200 yards you MIGHT be able to get away with the stock illuminator, I didn't experiment enough with it to really get a feel as I bought the SHL illuminator right away.

    My whole setup (not counting the rifle and stock) cost me:

    $375 for the Wraith (law enforcement discount direct through Sightmark)

    $165 for the illuminator/mount/batteries/etc. (Not shown in my picture below, that's the stock one)

    $60 for the bolt action mount for the Wraith through Ron Bimmer Outdoors. On a bolt action, you'll want this to move the scope back for proper eye relief. If you run it on an AR, you shouldn't need it.

    So, about $600 for the whole setup.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
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  6. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    I forgot to add in my previous post, Sniper Hog Lights does offer interchangeable bulbs so you can swap for white, green, red, 850nm IR and 940nm IR as well. I'd venture a guess more people run the red and green than the IR/night vision probably. They really are impressive with their output. I couldn't recommend a scope to go with it, though, never tried the red light method.

    This is a chart of the throw for their different Lights and colors. Like alot of companies they may be a smidge optimistic, but honestly I'd guess they are pretty close. My 400 yard number was based on the farm shed near my in-laws house, I'm willing to bet with the right "target" to look for more than that is very possible.

    For the record, I have no affiliation with them, just really impressed by their product.

    x-light-distances-graph-10-21-2020.png
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
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  7. HoosierHunter128

    HoosierHunter128 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2017
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    331
    https://cameralandny.com/
    Call Doug at cameraland. It’s a family owned business and he knows his stuff. Also let him know you were referred by me on here and you’ll get a nice discount. He is very knowledgeable and takes the time to figure out what you want and need and gives great recommendations. That’s where I’ll buy all optics moving forward. Really nice guy.
     
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