Illuminated vs non illuminated

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by Taylor Self, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. Taylor Self

    Taylor Self Member

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    I am in the market for a new scope for a 6.5 grendel I’m building. It will mainly be used for deer hunting in relatively open fields. I would also like to use it to shoot out to about 400 to 500 yards at steel just for fun, nothing competitive. For these applications what are y’all’s opinions on illuminated vs non illuminated reticles?
     
  2. Ks5shooter
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    Ks5shooter Contributing Member

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    I have Leupold VX-R scopes on all my hunting guns. The motion sensor on/off is perfect for low light and daylight shooting as well. So yes to illuminated. Better to have the option of illuminated and not need it then to not have it and wished you did have it.
     
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  3. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    There’s a trade-off usually. Take a non-illuminated and an illuminated scope that sell for the same price and the non-illuminated scope will have better glass.

    On a rifle for target shooting I’d probably opt for better glass at the cost of no illumination. For a hunting rifle used for crepuscular animals I’d be more inclined to have an IR scope. IR is also helpful when shooting black or very dark animals in bright light.

    I do like IR a lot, if I were richer I’d own more than two IR scopes.
     
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  4. rayatphonix

    rayatphonix Member

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    Illuminated is my preference for hunting. Dawn and dusk are prime hunting and it’s an advantage at those times. It’s turned off when better light arrives.
     
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  5. TRX

    TRX Member

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    I thought the illuminated reticles were a gimmick. I recently got to try out a rifle with such a scope, and while I don't know that it makes me any more accurate, I liked it a *lot*. When the Discretionary Expenses Budget allows, I'll be upgrading.
     
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  6. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    Glass quality first and illumination if it’s in the budget.

    Just beware, MANY scopes with an illuminated reticle are not daylight bright.
     
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  7. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    This.
     
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  8. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    And I have also found that green shows up way better in bright daylight versus red.
     
  9. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    I prefer green myself and would get it if i could have red and green.

    Illuminated scopes have a really short battery life as it is and the green is much worse in the battery from what i’ve seen.
     
  10. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Agree, and the tradeoff can also be weight. It's not that illuminated reticles or red dots necessarily weigh a ton, but take a Leupold VX5-HD for example. It's no lightweight. You can get good glass on a Swarovski Z3 without the dot and without the additional pound of weight.
     
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  11. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I have three lower magnification scopes with illumination and have never needed the illumination to make a shot. Its nice but IMHO not worth spending extra for. The only reason I have the illuminated scopes was the rest of the features where what I wanted and the illumination sort of came along for the ride. All my higher magnification scopes are un-illuminated and never had an issue in low light. By the time its dark enough to need the illumination it's past legal shooting time in most cases.
     
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  12. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    You can't go wrong with illuminated reticles. They come in handy when that trophy buck you have been gunning for decides to show up during the last few minutes of legal shooting light, esp. when your stand is under tree cover or you are in a blind. Otherwise, just don't turn it on if you don't need it.
     
  13. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    This pretty much covers my thoughts.

    I have 2 illuminated scopes and 2 non-illuminated. Illumination is handy in a few circumstances, so if a scope has it its a bonus but its not something I'm going to eliminate a scope over. With deer hunting you might have some utility at the beginning and end of the hunting day.
     
  14. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    Not the decent ones.
     
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  15. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Right. Two of mine take standard AA or AAA batteries and makes spares easy to have around. Not to mention unlike a red-dot if the batteries die you still have an aimpoint to use.
     
  16. Taylor Self

    Taylor Self Member

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    Thank you for y’all’s input. What are y’all’s opinions on exposed turret rifle scopes for the above uses?
     
  17. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    I don’t like exposed turrets but then again I’m not a target shooter.
     
  18. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    I'm kind of on the line when it comes to exposed turrets. What is your intended purpose for this rig? Are you target shooting or are you going to be humping this around in the woods with you?

    Just as a GENERAL rule of thumb, for anything 10X and under, I'd choose covered turrets. I usually have these sorts of scopes on rifles that I'll be shooting at steel with or some sort of faster activity. For shooting at small stuff beyond 300 yards or so, I like to dial, so I usually go exposed.

    Are you looking for something "tactical?" For the money, the offerings from Vortex are hard to beat for whatever you are looking for. I'll admit that it's been a long time since I've had to buy a scope and the last time I bought one, the PSTs were the best bang for the buck...or those scopes in that caliber.
     
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  19. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    For me the exposed turret question also comes down to how your're hunting, static, blind etc. VS still hunt, stalk, hike.

    On my "stalking" rifles, I'm not a real fan of exposed turrets. Based on the OPs posts, I'd "guestimate" this rig will see more use against steel than fur, so I'd go with exposed turrets. I

    On illumination, I've got 4 or 5 scopes with, the majority without. Honestly I've never lost an animal due to an inability to see the crosshairs. Most of the animals I have shot with illumination have been muskrats and beavers at dusk/twilight against a pond bank.

    I'd 2nd the recommendation for Vortex, something in the PST line.
     
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  20. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    I prefer exposed turrets. Reason being, any hunting I'll do will be mainly stationary so I don't really have to worry about them being bumped much. And, most of my use will be informal target shooting, so exposed turrets are just more convenient.

    That being said, though, its not a deal breaker for me especially if the scope has a reticle that makes it easy to hold for elevation and windage instead of dialing. My Burris Fullfield E1 I recently bought fits that bill, capped turrets but a nice MOA based reticle. It is on my bolt 223, which will mainly be used for coyote so probably won't have time to dial anyway.
     
  21. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Illuminated for hunting.
     
  22. BayouBoy318

    BayouBoy318 Member

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    I personally don’t see a need in it. I had been wanting a Trijicon Accupoint for hunting but opted for the Trijicon Huron which is non illuminated and I am happy with my decision. Unless you are hunting after dark ,then that’s a different story.
     
  23. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    I do a fair amount of hunting after dark and disagree. I find IR’s to be most useful early and late in the day. When hunting at night I have another light source(predator light) and don’t need IR as much.
     
  24. TRX

    TRX Member

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    In all fairness, not all of them are intended to be. The ads for the ones in the 1970s and 1980s were slanted toward hunters, extolling the virtues of the illuminated reticles in the early morning and late evening, when it was too dark to see a normal reticle. There was no claim that the illumination was of any value in normal daylight.

    If you're buying a *hunting* scope, it may have been made like that. I'd want a "tactical" scope to be bright even at noon, but it's one of those things I'd want to check before laying down my money.
     
  25. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have some, don’t use them much. If I am hunting in the dark I am generally using a thermal of other NVD.

    I have likely used them more in 3gun matches than in the field using them as red dots on up close stages.

    The last couple of optics I bought have the feature, despite not being a part of my purchase decision.
     
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