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Old November 5, 2019, 05:39 PM   #1
TrueBlue711
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Long range scope under $1K

Looking for advice on long range scope that's under $1000. I'm currently using my ol' Nikon Monarch 6-24x50mm, but the view gets a bit blurry after going past 12x on the magnification. Any good experience or thoughts on a scope that's in my price range that is clear at long range and/or high magnifaction AND has fine crosshairs so not to cover the target? Bench/prone shooting only, so weight is not an issue. Not picky on FFP or RFP.

The rifle is a 6.5 Grendel w/ 22" bull barrel. The gun will definitely outshoot me, so just looking for better glass to start reaching 750+ yds with.

EDIT: Current top contender is the Leupold VX-3i LRP 8.5-25x50mm. It's MSRP is $1300, but Leupold offers MIL/LE discount that'll knock it down to $715.

Last edited by TrueBlue711; November 5, 2019 at 05:58 PM.
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Old November 5, 2019, 05:40 PM   #2
Ben Dover
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Good luck!

Under $2,000....MAYBE!!!
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Old November 5, 2019, 06:20 PM   #3
jmr40
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These are highly thought of, especially the fixed power scopes.

https://www.swfa.com/swfa-ss-hd-3-9x....html?___SID=U

If you want more than 9x they also make this, but the quality of the glass is reportedly not quite as good.

https://www.swfa.com/swfa-ss-3-15x42....html?___SID=U

I have a couple of 6X fixed power's that have shot sub MOA out to 600 yards (4" groups). My brother and several others we know use them.

https://www.swfa.com/swfa-ss-6x42-ta....html?___SID=U

In addition to the 3-9X42 they make fixed powers in 6X, 10X, 12X, 16X and 20X. For what I do 6X is enough, and I wouldn't recommend anything over 10X-12X. My nieces husband has one in 20X and I think it is too much of a good thing. With most any scope once you get above about 10X the negatives start adding up. Especially with sub $2000 scopes. A 10X or 12X should be enough to shoot to 1000 yards.

Added.

They offer these in MOA or MIL-quad I didn't really pay attention to which style in my links. But I'd advise going with the MIL-quad over MOA. It appears all of my links are for MOA scopes.

Same scopes with MIL-quad

https://www.swfa.com/swfa-ss-hd-3-9x....html?___SID=U
https://www.swfa.com/swfa-ss-6x42-ta....html?___SID=U
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Old November 5, 2019, 06:40 PM   #4
emcon5
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I have an older version of that Leupold scope, works fine. Depending on the target, you really don't need super high magnification. I have shot Standard IPSC targets at 1000 yards with a 3.5X WW2 era Soviet PU scope.
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Old November 5, 2019, 07:46 PM   #5
Ernie Bishop
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Sightron S-III's are great scopes for the money!
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Old November 5, 2019, 08:18 PM   #6
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If you qualify for mil/leo discounts you wont get a better deal than a leupold or vortex.
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Old November 5, 2019, 08:48 PM   #7
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First-hand experience, I recommend the Burris Veracity scopes. Absolutely great scope for the money! Optical clarity is superb at its price point, it tracks well, and has the lifetime warranty. They are a hybrid long range target/hunting scope, but what I would buy again if I were in the market.
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Old November 5, 2019, 09:25 PM   #8
TXAZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Dover View Post
Good luck!

Under $2,000....MAYBE!!!
Unless you can find a good deal used from a seldom used Nightforce at an estate sale, I don't think you'll easily find what you're looking for.

PRB (Precision Rifle Blog) has an excellent overview of high end scopes that meet (all but your $) criteria: https://precisionrifleblog.com/2017/...opes-pros-use/

One other opportunity is to look for last year's model of a Steiner scope (like the T5Xi 5-25x56). Incredible optics (I have one) but they're not in near the favor they were several years ago and the price is getting softer (was $3K, now
a few for about $1700)

Good luck!
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Old November 5, 2019, 11:28 PM   #9
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I have a Leupold VX-3iLRP 6.5-20x50. Mine is SFP, but FFP is available for a modest increase in cost. The scope is available in Mil-Rads or MOA. I think they go for about $900.

It is mounted on a Ruger precision rifle in 6.5 CM. I am very happy with the scope. I do not currently shoot with a level of competence that would justify a $2500 scope, and I think I would have to spend that much to significantly improve on what I have.
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Old November 6, 2019, 03:09 AM   #10
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I'm agreeing with Emcon5 on this one.

Myself i'm using a Sightron STAC 4-20X50 MOA. $450ish.
Fine lined reticle that doesn't flare out as much as Vortex offerings.
I like Sightron well enough that i just purchased my 3rd.

I really like Nikon camera optics, but to me their rifle scopes leave much to be desired.
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Old November 6, 2019, 09:40 AM   #11
Ernie Bishop
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I have used the S-III in 1K Benchrest, 1K F-Open, and 1K F-TR (6-24, 8-32, and the 10-50).

6mm Long Dasher with the 6-24 S-III

The pics are from The F-Class Nats and Worlds. I shot F-Open individually and then shot on a F-TR team.
284 Winchester with the 8-32 S-III


308 Win F-TR with the 10-50 S-III


One of the best buys out there in my opinion right now for a LR hunting scope is Holland's new Game Getter. When you look at the price point, and the quality of the glass.
https://www.hollandguns.com/31m7/rif...me-getter.html
It beats the Veracity, and I like the Veracity (I have several of them).
It has 30 MOA in the turret adjustment, and then another 20 MOA in the reticle.
Second Focal Plane Reticle. I put one of your new guys on my 6.5 Creed this past summer as he didn't have a capable specialty pistol for my LR handgun Shoot - WYSHOT
https://sebrests-usa.com/wy-shot/
He ended up engaging steel successfully beyond 1,100 yards with it, and I used it for my muley buck last month. I have several of these scopes now, and will probably get more.
It is not secret that Darrell is a friend of mine. We have competed in LR team roving steel matches, hunted together and I have helped him teach for his LR shooting classes. Yes, I can help get a good guy price for these...




Last edited by Ernie Bishop; November 6, 2019 at 09:45 AM.
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Old November 6, 2019, 10:05 AM   #12
TrueBlue711
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Thanks for the suggestions so far! Some additional questions:

Quote:
If you qualify for mil/leo discounts you wont get a better deal than a leupold or vortex.
I do. I get 40% off MSRP on both brands. Which scope model would be the best for long range specifically for both Leupold and Vortex? With the discount, the MSRP can be around $1500 to fall within my budget.

Quote:
Sightron S-III's are great scopes for the money!
Quote:
Myself i'm using a Sightron STAC 4-20X50 MOA. $450ish.
Fine lined reticle that doesn't flare out as much as Vortex offerings.
I like Sightron well enough that i just purchased my 3rd.
I never looked into Sightron before. Definitley going to do some research into them, especially with that price. Thanks for the pics Ernie! Since you're using them on F-Class shoots, I'm guessing the glass is pretty good.
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Old November 6, 2019, 10:10 AM   #13
Ernie Bishop
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The S-III's are a step-up from S-Tac's in several ways. I have one S-Tac.
They may not be flashy, but they work.
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Old November 6, 2019, 10:22 AM   #14
emcon5
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I don't know anything about Sightron, but the price point seems to be about the same as the Leupold you are looking at. I have no doubt that if I have a problem with a Leupold in 20 years, they will still be around to fix it. Will Sightron?


To clarify something, you said:
Quote:
I'm currently using my ol' Nikon Monarch 6-24x50mm, but the view gets a bit blurry after going past 12x on the magnification.
Are you sure that isn't mirage? Does it look the same on a cold day as it does on a hot day? Have you looked through other high magnification scopes in the same conditions?

Nikon has a lifetime warranty, while not a $2000 scope, the Nikon is by no means a cheap scope, and I would take advantage of that.
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Old November 6, 2019, 10:33 AM   #15
TrueBlue711
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Quote:
To clarify something, you said:
Quote:
I'm currently using my ol' Nikon Monarch 6-24x50mm, but the view gets a bit blurry after going past 12x on the magnification.
Are you sure that isn't mirage? Does it look the same on a cold day as it does on a hot day? Have you looked through other high magnification scopes in the same conditions?
Hmm it could be mirage, I'm not sure. I'm in Albuquerque, NM. It's not really hot or cold at this time of the year, but the sun is always beating down. Would mirage be affected by magnification? The image is crisp from 8-12 zoom, but past that, it starts to get blurry.
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Old November 6, 2019, 10:38 AM   #16
Ernie Bishop
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Cheaper glass shows it's colors when the magnification goes higher.
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Old November 6, 2019, 11:20 AM   #17
emcon5
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Quote:
Would mirage be affected by magnification?
It is definitely more apparent at higher magnifications.

I would try it first thing in the morning, it doesn't have to be at the range, you should be able to test it looking at something a couple hundred yards away out your window at home.

Quote:
Cheaper glass shows it's colors when the magnification goes higher.
The Nikon is hardly a cheap scope, it looks to be discontinued, but the street price I can see from older listings in in the $600 range. If it is truly getting blurry above 12X, then there is something wrong with it, and it should go back to Nikon under their lifetime warranty.

Manufacturing technology has come a long way, and even "cheap" scopes have decent optics anymore. I have a Vortex 6-24x50 Crossfire I paid like $125 for and it is perfectly clear at 24X.

The idea that you need to spend $2000 for a scope to shoot long range is simply wrong. Like I said, I have shot IPSC targets at 1K yards with a 3.5X PU from 1943. This is only 708 yards, but again, not difficult, even with crappy surplus ammo that only holds about 2.5 MOA. With handloads it is much easier, especially now I have had more experience with the BDC dial on the scope. If I shot that today, I would be surprised if I didn't get a first round hit.
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Old November 6, 2019, 12:00 PM   #18
Bart B.
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Almost all zoom optics have image degradation as power increases. Most zoom scopes move target image around the reticle as power is changed; a 1/4 MOA figure 8 pattern is common.

Mirage is between target and the scope. It appears different with scope range focus. Doesn't change with scope magnification.
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Old November 6, 2019, 12:25 PM   #19
emcon5
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Quote:
Mirage is between target and the scope. It appears different with scope range focus. Doesn't change with scope magnification.
No, it doesn't "change" but it is much more noticeable at higher magnification. It probably isn't the problem, but it is pretty easy to rule it out. And if it isn't, then use this.
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Old November 6, 2019, 12:31 PM   #20
TrueBlue711
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You know, I feel like an idiot right now. Recalling my last range session, I don't think I touched my side-parallax knob. I'll bet that when I get home from work and look at the scope, the parallax will still be set to 100 yds. I'm sure that's my problem. emcon is probably right and there's probably nothing wrong with the scope.

Regardless, all great info and advice so far. Will be great data for when I do get my next scope!
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Old November 6, 2019, 03:56 PM   #21
Nathan
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Why not the Vortex PST Gen II 5-25X50?
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Old November 6, 2019, 05:43 PM   #22
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I have a Vortex Viper PST 6-24 1st gen and a Sightron SIII 8-32 and love them both, no problems with either one
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Old November 7, 2019, 11:12 PM   #23
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If you get the LEO discount I'd register with Leupold and grab one of hte VX-3I LRP scopes. They're a spiritual successor to the discontinued MK4 line of scopes.
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Old November 8, 2019, 01:20 AM   #24
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I'm far from an expert on scopes--but have tried a few top-tiered scopes in the 2-4K range and generally speaking I think what "they" say is true--they are worth the money, even though I personally don't have the skills to fully take advantage of them. A good place to go to get info on scopes is the sniper's hide; those guys live, breath and dream about scopes--but be prepared as it gets "rough and tumble" there at times.

What scope you use is a hugely personally and application specific thing IMO. I've heard great things about the S3 and vortex scopes that fit your budget range. The Nikon Black does as well, though in my opinion the quality of Nikon scopes seems to have fallen off a bit in recent years. For all-around use quality hard to beat a Nightforce.

I recently bought a Leupold VX 5HD 5 x 35 for my 338 Lapua--it is a spectacular scope (and recently upgraded) and while pricey well worth the money IMO; especially if you can get a big discount.
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Old November 8, 2019, 02:10 AM   #25
ed308
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The Leupold VX 5HD is a nice scope. I have one on my hunting AR in 3-9x. I've got one expensive scope, a Vortex Razor. But it's the most expensive and heaviest scope I own. Vortex Viper PST Gen 1 FFP in 5-24x are the scopes I use the most. Nice scopes for the money. I paid around $550 for each of them. The Gen 2 is even better. I've seen them on sale for $700-$800. That will probably be my next scope.
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