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Old July 6, 2013, 07:31 AM   #1
DaveBenham
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Long Range Scope

I just purchased a Barrett MRAD in 338 Lapua. I'm trying to decide on a scope. Right now I'm torn between a Zeiss Conquest HD5 it's 5-25x50 and a Leupold Mark 4 its 8.5-25x50. The Zeiss is about $300 cheaper. But I want the best for my money. Any thoughts or other recomendations?
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Old July 6, 2013, 07:54 AM   #2
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Use?
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Old July 6, 2013, 08:42 AM   #3
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Re: Long Range Scope

If we are to give you other recommendations, what is your budget?
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Old July 6, 2013, 09:20 AM   #4
DaveBenham
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My use is to punch holes in paper. I want to shoot 500 to 1,000 meters. My budget is up to about $1,500. The scopes I mentioned in the original post are both under $1,500. I could spend as high as $2,500. But consider this is merely a toy for me. So I can't see any point in spending a bundle of money on it. But I did spend $5,500 on the rifle. So I don't see a point in putting a cheap scope on it either.
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Old July 6, 2013, 10:06 AM   #5
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First off you are overgunned for the stated ranges as a 30.06 will do fine. Now at 1500 you are getting up to speed which is one of the intended effective ranges Bob McCoy (Ballistic Research Lab, APG)designed the round for when I was there and he briefed me on it as it was getting finalized.

Your problem is identifying a scope with repeatability.

Here is how to check to see if your internal adjustment scope repeats.

Fire a five shot group at 300 yards, crank up 20 clicks, right 20 clicks, down 20 clicks, left 20 clicks and up 20 clicks and see if the next round goes in the five shot group.

Continue this exercise in all four quadrants and if you don't see a increase in group size you have just received your Christmas present. If it doesn't repeat then you know you are among friends here haha. Very few internal adjustment scopes will pass the above four quadrant test.
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Old July 6, 2013, 10:27 AM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
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At those price ranges, I'd be looking at Nightforce and US Optics.
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Old July 6, 2013, 11:04 AM   #7
DaveBenham
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I have looked at Nightforce and thought about a Huskemaw too.

Last edited by DaveBenham; July 6, 2013 at 11:34 AM.
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Old July 7, 2013, 06:18 AM   #8
DaveBenham
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Yes I do realize I'm over gunned for that range. But I wanted the MRAD the first time I saw pictures of it. So I plan on at least shooting it. My goal is to do some 1,000 yard shooting. Who knows I might catch the bug and start long distant shooting. If I do I won't have to gun up. I will have one that will do it.
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Old July 7, 2013, 06:45 AM   #9
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Have fun with it. Hope you can find a 1000 yard range nearby.
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Old July 7, 2013, 12:35 PM   #10
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'Tis my opinion that any "boxing" of a rifle scope up - right - down - left on its adjustments chasing a group on paper needs a rifle and ammo that one can shoot no worse than 1/10th MOA at 100 yards if they want to measure the scope's repeatability to 1/4 MOA with near 100% confidence. The shooter's errors plus the ammo and the rifle's errors are part of the group.

A cheaper and more accurate way is to put an optical collimator in the muzzle, set the scope's power to maximum, adjust the scope's reticule on the collimator's reticule, then box the scope in 1-click, 4-click and 20-click legs. 1/4 MOA errors are easily seen. Especially when only one click is made then reversed; a lot of scopes won't move the reticule back at all with a single click one way then back one click. Make a 1-click box and watch what happens; you may be surprised.

Then with the scope dead on the collimator, change the power ring from max down to min them back up again watching the scope's reticule make a figure 8 on the collimator. If that figure 8's less than 1/4 MOA across its widest points, you have a very repeatable scope when its power's changed. Few do this to less than 1/4 MOA error. Which is why fixed power scopes are typically more repeatable than variables.

I still think Weaver's Micro Trac adjustments are the most repeatable internal adjustments.
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Old July 7, 2013, 01:49 PM   #11
Ralph Allen
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Dave, You have already purchased a quality rifle, look for a quality scope. I have a Nightforce 3.5-15X56 that I put on anFN SPR. It has over 100 MOA of elevation adjustment, and you can not beat the clarity and quality of this scope. A 338 is not a lightweight rifle, so I wouldn't imagine weight would be an issue. You may have to raise your budget of $1500 by a few dollars, just a few, but you'll not be dissappointed.
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Old July 7, 2013, 02:49 PM   #12
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Re: Long Range Scope

Just know that the only Nightforce scope in the NXS line that has a first focal plane reticle is the 3.5-15x50 F1. The others are all SFP scopes.

That being said, they are great scopes, and I would take a Nightforce NXS (first or second focal plane) over the two mentioned in the OP.
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Old July 7, 2013, 04:35 PM   #13
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FFP would be a disadvantage for precision paper-hole punching at known, long-ranges. More precise point of aim with a SFP reticle. When ranging isn't a requirement the SFP scope is a better "fit", IMO. Which is probably why, as you say, most NF's are SFP.
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Old July 7, 2013, 05:30 PM   #14
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Okay so the first focal plane is an advantage for me? I'm not a sniper so I'm not sure. I just want to get the best I can have for this particular weapon. I do like the NighForce scopes. I see they all have a large MOA adjustment. That I will need if I plan to zero it at 200 yds. And still shoot it out to 1,000 yrds. Would I just be wasting money if I were to save up and get the Nightforce The BEAST 5-25x56mm F1? Also I want to know more of the pros and cons of the first focal plane. I'm really not an expert. I have been hunting for about 35 years. I achieved an expert marksman status in the Air Force about 25 years ago. I shoot pretty good. But this is all very new to me.
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Old July 7, 2013, 07:36 PM   #15
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Re: Long Range Scope

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBenham View Post
Okay so the first focal plane is an advantage for me? I'm not a sniper so I'm not sure. I just want to get the best I can have for this particular weapon. I do like the NighForce scopes. I see they all have a large MOA adjustment. That I will need if I plan to zero it at 200 yds. And still shoot it out to 1,000 yrds. Would I just be wasting money if I were to save up and get the Nightforce The BEAST 5-25x56mm F1? Also I want to know more of the pros and cons of the first focal plane. I'm really not an expert. I have been hunting for about 35 years. I achieved an expert marksman status in the Air Force about 25 years ago. I shoot pretty good. But this is all very new to me.
If you are only shooting known distance then the second focal plane will work just fine. However, if you intend to use the scope for rangefinding then it is easier with a FFP scope.
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Old July 7, 2013, 09:34 PM   #16
DaveBenham
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Nightforce The BEAST 5-25x56mm F1?

Any thoughts on the Nightforce The BEAST 5-25x56mm F1? This scope worth the $3,200 price tag?
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Old July 8, 2013, 07:03 AM   #17
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This video from Vortex explains- and shows, the differences between FFP and SFP scopes.

At long range, the reticle will be thinner on the target with a SFP scope, which will allow for a more precise point of aim. Subtensions on a FFP scope remain constant throughout the magnification range, which make it superior when ranging is required.

http://www.vortexoptics.com/video/fi...nd_focal_plane
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Old July 9, 2013, 05:17 AM   #18
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If you're going to buy a rifle chambered in 5 dollar bills, buy an appropriate scope or you'll be wasting your money.

Do you need FFP? Depends. FFP is good because if you have to take a shot at multiple distances, you can hold at different points on your mil reticle at any magnification, and it will hit where you point.

On a SFP scope, the mil scale is only accurate at full magnification. With a 15x scope, this isn't so much of a problem. With a 22-25x, you pretty much need FFP because you'll want to dial down due to mirage.

on the other hand if you click in your adjustments and don't use the mil scale on your crosshair, SFP is cheaper than FFP.

At minimum I would get the nightforce 15x F1, fantastic scope for the money. But you might want a little more magnification, so any of the 25x FFP scopes (S&B PMII, Premier or NF would be fine)
The NF Beast is supposed to be a great scope, but I don't think it has hit the streets yet.

If you're on a budget, get the SFP NXS nightforce and just click in your elevation.

Don't skimp on rings either, I like American Rifle Company rings and NF rings, but badger, seekins, etc work just as well.
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Old July 9, 2013, 04:36 PM   #19
DaveBenham
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If I get the FFP scope couldn't I still click in my distance? Seems like if that is true. The FFP would give me more options. I'm starting to really consider the NightForce B.E.A.S.T
Thank you all for the information. It has been a really big help so far. I just want to make the right choice for a gun I have so much money into. As pointed out cost around $5 a shot.
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Old July 9, 2013, 04:41 PM   #20
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Re: Long Range Scope

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBenham View Post
If I get the FFP scope couldn't I still click in my distance? Seems like if that is true. The FFP would give me more options. I'm starting to really consider the NightForce B.E.A.S.T
Thank you all for the information. It has been a really big help so far. I just want to make the right choice for a gun I have so much money into. As pointed out cost around $5 a shot.
Yes you can still dial in your dope, and it is a good idea to do so. But it helps to know that if you are in a pinch and don't have time that you don't need to.

I will add, I prefer to use a scope with a mil reticle that uses mil adjustments (referred to as a mil/mil scope). I'm not sure about the Beast, but I would bet that it is indeed a mil/mil scope.
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Old July 10, 2013, 12:31 PM   #21
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Don't go night force or any other glass for that matter get a smit & bender pm 2 I'd go the 5-25
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Old July 10, 2013, 12:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Don't go night force or any other glass for that matter get a smit & bender pm 2 I'd go the 5-25
Being more than double the price of other options discussed as well as better than $1,000 (and about 40%) higher than the OPs's max budget, I don't see how that suggestion works out.
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Old July 10, 2013, 02:56 PM   #23
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The problem with FFP is the reticle grows when you add magnification instead of the target which usually means your lines on the reticle get thick and cover your target. Only a problem if your shooting small targets or groups far away.I highly recommend IOR Valdada scopes they use German glass like Schmidt & Bender and are built like a tank.

If you want a SFP scope I think this would be perfect for that beast

http://www.rainierarms.com/?page=sho...roduct_id=1178
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Old July 11, 2013, 04:13 PM   #24
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Vortex Viper PST or HD would be my vote...
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Old July 14, 2013, 10:06 AM   #25
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Here is my opinion of the scope breakdown

USO - not an option, glass is terrible for what you pay and I have seen more USO's go down in competition than any other scope.

Nightforce- tough as nails and so-so glass, tracking is always spot on and if FFP isn't somthing that Intrest you in would defiantly take a look at these. The ffp F1 is a nice scope but i think it's outshined by alot of the competition.

Vortex- the razor line is a great scope from a great company, there warranty is second to none if you ever have to use it. They can be had used for around $1650~ and are a good Baffin for that price.

IOR- beautiful glass and that's about it, don't see any around the tactical shooing comps becuase of reliability issues.

S&B - One of my favorite scopes, glass is awesome and tracking and durability are one of its strong suits. That being said I would not buy a new one, they have raised the price and dropped the lifetime warranty and went with a 2yr. No way I would pay $4k+ for a scope with a 2 year warranty. The older PMII 5-25 one of the best of the best and carry the standard lifetime warranty.

Bushnell- the new bushnell elite DMR and XRS scopes is one of the best values out there. Alot of shooters are switching to bushnell for the retical selection and total ruggedness and tracking of the new line of scopes. IMO the bushnell XRS is is THE best value out there for scopes @ $2k.

Leupold- finally starting to catch up with technology of today's shooters. For the longest time leupold relied in the MK4 line and was not willing to upgrade while other compmanys passed them up. The new scopes in the leupold line seam like quality products but for the money I think they get outshined by the competition.

I would also give a serious look to the new kahles 624i and the Steiner tactical series. I will give the edge to the kahles as far as features and glass but I don't have enough time behind either to give my full opinion.
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