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bobapunk
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Posted: 4/26/2013 1:27:59 PM
I am looking to get a variable power scope. It will be on an 18" barrel AR Rifle. I use this rifle primarily for 3-gun, but I want a scope that is durable enough for a SHTF battle rifle (In case I drop it on a concrete shooting pad...)

I was looking at the Leupold Mk6 1-6 x 20mm for about $2,000 with a Larue mount.

However, for slightly more I could get a Bushnell Elite Tactical SMRS 1-8.5 x 24mm (Its about $2,150).

I already have an LT-104, so adding more for a mount is not necessary if I got the Bushnell.

Or, I could get a Bushnell Elite 1-6.5 x 24mm with BTR-2 FFP Reticle ET1624J for just $1,195!

I like the 34mm tubes that the Leupold Mk6, Mk8, and the Bushnell Elite 1-8.5 use, but saving $800 to step down to a 30mm tube might be tolerable...

I have a $300 Sightmark 1-6x now, so any of these choices will be a nice upgrade.

What says the hive?
Hydra-shokz
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Posted: 4/26/2013 3:25:20 PM
The new SS 1-6x or the Vortex Razor 1-6x would be my top choices.
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bobapunk
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Posted: 4/26/2013 4:36:10 PM
Thanks for your input... Now I have even more choices... Although I can not find the SWFA SS HD 1-6x24 for sale anywhere...

Originally Posted By Hydra-shokz:
The new SS 1-6x or the Vortex Razor 1-6x would be my top choices.


bobapunk
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Posted: 4/29/2013 9:38:06 AM
Is the even out yet? It appears on their own website that its only available for pre-order.

I took the Vortex Razor 1-6x off my short list because I want a FFP...
Hydra-shokz
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Posted: 4/29/2013 10:28:38 AM
Give SWFA a call. I know they are out. A lot of guys got in on a group buy for the SS 5-20x50mm/ 1-6x24mm combo. Some of the guys just wanted the 5-20x and got the 1-6x to recover some of the cost. You can find new ones for sale in the EE and Snipers Hide.
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bobapunk
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Posted: 4/29/2013 10:31:03 AM

Originally Posted By Hydra-shokz:
Give SWFA a call. I know they are out. A lot of guys got in on a group buy for the SS 5-20x50mm/ 1-6x24mm combo. Some of the guys just wanted the 5-20x and got the 1-6x to recover some of the cost. You can find new ones for sale in the EE and Snipers Hide.

Thanks,

I just found another good looking option, the GRSC 1-6x24 FFP Combat Rifle Scope.

It looks like the 1-6x field is full of good choices at or below $1,000...
ziarifleman
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Posted: 4/29/2013 10:47:08 AM
Originally Posted By bobapunk:
Is the even out yet? It appears on their own website that its only available for pre-order.

I took the Vortex Razor 1-6x off my short list because I want a FFP...


The Vortex rep I talked to about that was confused why I wanted such a low powered FFP scope.

All of my scopes will be front focal mil/mil, I want continuity from one gun to the next.
"I am roughing it. I've only got one bar on my cell phone."

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Hydra-shokz
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Posted: 4/29/2013 11:05:13 AM
I have FFP on my 2.5-10x. I'm really not convinced that it is needed. On a 1-6x, you will probably only range on the 6x anyway. It might actually be a benefit to go SFP on 1-4x's and 1-6x's. The rets get pretty small and hard to read in the lower settings. Why would you range on 3x? I can't really see that I will ever range with anything less then 10x with mine. Just my thoughts on the issue.
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ziarifleman
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Posted: 4/29/2013 11:11:19 AM
I have a laser rangefinder for ranging.

I use mil holds for ballistic compensation when I need to shoot at multiple, varied distance target, and often when I'm doing that I don't want much power. Sometimes even 4x is too much.

Not having to double check what power I'm at just leaves one less thing to remember. And whoever makes the fewest mistakes usually wins.
"I am roughing it. I've only got one bar on my cell phone."

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bobapunk
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Posted: 4/29/2013 12:09:53 PM
[Last Edit: 4/29/2013 12:12:20 PM by bobapunk]

Originally Posted By Hydra-shokz:
I have FFP on my 2.5-10x. I'm really not convinced that it is needed. On a 1-6x, you will probably only range on the 6x anyway. It might actually be a benefit to go SFP on 1-4x's and 1-6x's. The rets get pretty small and hard to read in the lower settings. Why would you range on 3x? I can't really see that I will ever range with anything less then 10x with mine. Just my thoughts on the issue.

Its not the visibility of the ranging at 6x that makes me lean toward FFP, its the fact that the ranging/BDC "noise" all but disappears at 1x! So you and I agree, ranging will only typically be needed at full zoom, so my opinion is, get it out of my view when I don't need it!

Hydra-shokz, what do you think about the GRSC 1-6x24 ?

Thanks!
Hydra-shokz
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Posted: 4/30/2013 6:17:52 AM
Never seen the GRSC 1-6x24 in person. The reviews/comments. I have read about it has been fairly positive.
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DonofKalifornia
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Posted: 4/30/2013 7:05:18 AM
I had a GRSC 1-6. It's a good scope for general shooting but very weak for 3 Gun. Has two big problems, first the reticule is overly complicated, with 3 Gun you know the target distances so no need to range the target. The GRSC scope is designed to range targets. Second is a very small eye relief making it hard to get a good sight picture real fast in difficult positions. I've looked at the Leupod MK 6 and the VX-6 Multigun. The VX-6 has way to heavy reticule and the MK-6 another very complicated reticule. The VX-6 is also pretty poor on eye relief not like the GRSC but still not great.

I've tried or looked though all the scopes listed except the 2 Bushnell Elites.

The best all round 3 Gun scope with good value is the Vortex 1-6 Razor, #2 if you shoot 200 yards and under is one of the Trijicon TR 24's. Good reticule if not needing to range those over 200 yard shots. Also one of the most forgiving eye reliefs of any scope I tried.

As far as toughness, one of the local 3 Gun shooters is in Afghanistan currently, he has his Razor on his service rifle.

The only scope I have seen that puts the Vortex to shame is a Swaro Z6I. Reticule slightly better that the Vortex but not a game changer, but the glass is real clear. The Swaro is the only scope I would buy over the Vortex but it is over a grand more.
brewsky101
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Posted: 5/1/2013 3:25:15 AM
[Last Edit: 5/6/2013 3:41:56 AM by brewsky101]
Conversely...

Second focal plane and BDC reticles are outdated, imo. Red-dots are ideal for 50 yards and closer. Acogs are good for 50 yards and further. Second focal plane low mag variables are decent for ~0-300. An AR chambered in 5.56 with 14.5" or longer barrel will be effective from ~0-600 yards (ammo dependent). Why not choose an optic that excels through that entire spectrum. An ffp low mag variable does just that.

If you want a reticle on the ffp, then definitely don't let anyone talk you out of it. A ffp reticle and matching turrets will give you a lot more versatility, precision and speed at longer range than anything else available imo. Speed at point blank range is more dependent on reticle design. This is where the horse-shoe reticles really shine, especially in ffp optics because the entire reticle becomes your aiming point. It is (in my case) a 3 mil radius or 6mil diameter circle (instead of a 19.5 mil radius or 41mil diameter circle as it would be in a sfp version) which balances out to a happy medium between speed and precision.
It sounds like you've already grasped this concept OP, but I think there are some who don't realize why people are starting to manufacture low mag variables with ffp reticles when I read comments like "ranging would be useless at 1x". It has less to do with ranging and more to do with balancing speed and precision at short range which is also why they are 1x at the low end.

It was time for and upgrade and I went through this decision process not too long ago. I ended up with a Bushnell 1-6.5x ffp BTR-2 because it has more of what I want (mil based ffp horse-shoe reticle, matching turrets) and less of what I don't need (exposed target turrets, 34mm maintube). It is the highest quality scope I've ever owned or used so I don't have much to compare it to. The closest comparison for me would be a Meopta K-dot and the Bushnell is leaps and bounds ahead of that.
The 30mm maintube gives me just enough vertical adjustment to reach out to the transonic barrier with my setup and ammo, according to JBM ballistics.
What others have said about the unforgiving exit pupil is only true when the scope is cranked all the way up to 6x. I'll be honest, it took some time for me to get used to. However, the issue is non-existent at 4x and below and I have actually come to appreciate the tiny eye box at 6x because it helps to reduce parallax error since there is no parallax adjustment on this or any of the low mag variables that I'm aware of. Mine will stay at 1x 80% of the time anyway. The only criticism I have of this scope are the hash marks on the horizontal arms of the reticle. They are kinda arbitrarily spaced and are not of much use for wind holds. If Bushnell had gone with mil hashes in that area, this scope would be damn near perfect, imo.

For some reason I feel like I need to qualify this post. Most, if not all of it, is only my opinion. However, it is based on my experience with low mag variables which began in '05 and other more conventional optics which began when I was taught to shoot at age 12. I haven't owned many low mag variables but the ones I had got used quite a bit. They have become my optic of choice because it gives a shooter the most versatility, especially if it has a first focal plane horse-shoe reticle, mil or moa hashes and matching adjustment turrets. Maybe someone, somewhere, will find my opinion intriguing, if not helpful.

eta; clarification of reticle size
Hydra-shokz
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Posted: 5/1/2013 9:46:56 AM
[Last Edit: 5/1/2013 9:47:29 AM by Hydra-shokz]
Originally Posted By brewsky101:
Conversely...

Second focal plane and BDC reticles are outdated, imo. Red-dots are ideal for 50 yards and closer. Acogs are good for 50 yards and further. Second focal plane low mag variables are decent for ~0-300. An AR chambered in 5.56 with 14.5" or longer barrel will be effective from ~0-600 yards (ammo dependent). Why not choose an optic that excels through that entire spectrum. An ffp low mag variable does just that.

If you want a reticle on the ffp, then definitely don't let anyone talk you out of it. A ffp reticle and matching turrets will give you a lot more versatility, precision and speed at longer range than anything else available imo. Speed at point blank range is more dependent on reticle design. This is where the horse-shoe reticles really shine, especially in ffp optics because the entire reticle becomes your aiming point. It is (in my case) a 3 mil circle (instead of a 19.5 mil circle as it would be in a sfp version) which balances out to a happy medium between speed and precision.
It sounds like you've already grasped this concept OP, but I think there are some who don't realize why people are starting to manufacture low mag variables with ffp reticles when I read comments like "ranging would be useless at 1x". It has less to do with ranging and more to do with balancing speed and precision at short range which is also why they are 1x at the low end.

It was time for and upgrade and I went through this decision process not too long ago. I ended up with a Bushnell 1-6.5x ffp BTR-2 because it has more of what I want (mil based ffp horse-shoe reticle, matching turrets) and less of what I don't need (exposed target turrets, 34mm maintube). It is the highest quality scope I've ever owned or used so I don't have much to compare it to. The closest comparison for me would be a Meopta K-dot and the Bushnell is leaps and bounds ahead of that.
The 30mm maintube gives me just enough vertical adjustment to reach out to the transonic barrier with my setup and ammo, according to JBM ballistics.
What others have said about the unforgiving exit pupil is only true when the scope is cranked all the way up to 6x. I'll be honest, it took some time for me to get used to. However, the issue is non-existent at 4x and below and I have actually come to appreciate the tiny eye box at 6x because it helps to reduce parallax error since there is no parallax adjustment on this or any of the low mag variables that I'm aware of. Mine will stay at 1x 80% of the time anyway. The only criticism I have of this scope are the hash marks on the horizontal arms of the reticle. They are kinda arbitrarily spaced and are not of much use for wind holds. If Bushnell had gone with mil hashes in that area, this scope would be damn near perfect, imo.

For some reason I feel like I need to qualify this post. Most, if not all of it, is only my opinion. However, it is based on my experience with low mag variables which began in '05 and other more conventional optics which began when I was taught to shoot at age 12. I haven't owned many low mag variables but the ones I had got used quite a bit. They have become my optic of choice because it gives a shooter the most versatility, especially if it has a first focal plane horse-shoe reticle, mil or moa hashes and matching adjustment turrets. Maybe someone, somewhere, will find my opinion intriguing, if not helpful.


I use a FFP scope on my AR but at 300yds it's on 10x. Not sure why I would range on 5x??? If your ranging out past a hundred to 600 why would you range with anything less then 6x? FFP is a good option to have but certainly not needed in a 1-6x. It's really not needed at all if you can do a little math. Chris Kyle used SFP. Seemed to work well for him.
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bobapunk
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Posted: 5/1/2013 9:53:22 AM
brewsky101,

I certainly appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts and experience with low-mag/variable scopes. I can tell that you have put a lot of time and thought into developing your knowledge base on this subject. I really do like the Bushnell Elite ET1624J (1-6.5x24mm Tactical Rifle Scope, Matte Black, Illuminated BTR-2 FFP Reticle) however, I think I am liking the GRSC (1-6x24 FFP Horseshoe Reticle Combat Rifle Scope (CRS)) just a bit more because of the easy ranging features on the reticle.

Just a few questions to help me learn:
  • When you say "matching turrets" do you mean that the turret adjustment is in mils (to match the reticle) instead of MOA?
  • You mentioned that you appreciate the reduced Eye Box at higher magnification. I believe I will appreciate that too as it would help to ensure a consistent cheek weld and overall shooting position. However, you said that you appreciate it, "because helps to reduce parallax error since there is no parallax adjustment on this or any of the low mag variables that I'm aware of." Reading the description of the Bushnell Elite on Optics Planet, I came across this, "Side focus parallax adjustment on the riflescope allows you to make precise adjustments to your long range shots, ensuring optimum accuracy even at 6.5x." Maybe your scope has a feature on it that you didn't know about?

SC-Texas
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Posted: 5/1/2013 11:36:55 PM
Mil reticle mil turrets

Moa reticle moa turrets
RFutch
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Posted: 5/2/2013 12:25:02 PM
Originally Posted By brewsky101:


The only criticism I have of this scope are the hash marks on the horizontal arms of the reticle. They are kinda arbitrarily spaced and are not of much use for wind holds. If Bushnell had gone with mil hashes in that area, this scope would be damn near perfect, imo.


This is the one thing that keeps me from buying this scope.

Just to add. I don't know why people can't understand that the benefit of FFP is not for ranging. That's what laser rangefinders are for.
"You know what I think, don't really matter what I think. Once that first bullet goes past your head, politics and all that shit, just goes right out the window." -Hoot
ziarifleman
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Posted: 5/2/2013 12:50:41 PM
Originally Posted By RFutch:
Originally Posted By brewsky101:


The only criticism I have of this scope are the hash marks on the horizontal arms of the reticle. They are kinda arbitrarily spaced and are not of much use for wind holds. If Bushnell had gone with mil hashes in that area, this scope would be damn near perfect, imo.


This is the one thing that keeps me from buying this scope.

Just to add. I don't know why people can't understand that the benefit of FFP is not for ranging. That's what laser rangefinders are for.


Most of that is due to a lack of experience in a field environment under a time constraint, be it training or competition.
"I am roughing it. I've only got one bar on my cell phone."

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brewsky101
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Posted: 5/6/2013 3:33:40 AM
Originally Posted By bobapunk:
brewsky101,

I certainly appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts and experience with low-mag/variable scopes. I can tell that you have put a lot of time and thought into developing your knowledge base on this subject. I really do like the Bushnell Elite ET1624J (1-6.5x24mm Tactical Rifle Scope, Matte Black, Illuminated BTR-2 FFP Reticle) however, I think I am liking the GRSC (1-6x24 FFP Horseshoe Reticle Combat Rifle Scope (CRS)) just a bit more because of the easy ranging features on the reticle.

Just a few questions to help me learn:
  • When you say "matching turrets" do you mean that the turret adjustment is in mils (to match the reticle) instead of MOA?
  • You mentioned that you appreciate the reduced Eye Box at higher magnification. I believe I will appreciate that too as it would help to ensure a consistent cheek weld and overall shooting position. However, you said that you appreciate it, "because helps to reduce parallax error since there is no parallax adjustment on this or any of the low mag variables that I'm aware of." Reading the description of the Bushnell Elite on Optics Planet, I came across this, "Side focus parallax adjustment on the riflescope allows you to make precise adjustments to your long range shots, ensuring optimum accuracy even at 6.5x." Maybe your scope has a feature on it that you didn't know about?



1. Yes, the turret adjustments are in mils to match the mil scale reticle.
2. I saw that on the bushnell website as well. The fact is, there is no parallax adjustment on their 1-6.5x scopes. The marketing "professional" who wrote that description made a blanket statement to cover the entire elite tactical line. To expand further, a consistent cheek weld and shooting position are obviously good practices no matter what you're shooting. But, when you're shooting at any substantial range, with any expectation of reasonable accuracy, with a scope that has no parallax adjustment, they become far more important. Parallax error can play nasty tricks on your eyes. Consistent cheek weld will help to reduce it.

I looked hard at the GRSC 1-6 as well. I didn't get to look at it in person but from what I can tell, the main differences are the 0.5x at the top end and the reticle design (I don't remember if the turrets are mils or moa). The only reason I ended up with a bushnell instead of a GRSC was because of the reticle. I like the BTR-2 better but if you like the GRSC reticle then, by all means, go that route. I don't think you'll be disappointed.


I also wanted to say something to people who argue that ffp reticles are useless on low mag variable scopes:
You all say, "using the reticle to range a target will only be done at the highest power, therefore it makes no difference whether or not the mil/moa scale is accurate at any given lower power". I agree with you to an extent. When I use the reticle in my scope to range a target, it will be set to 6.5x.
However, you fail to realize that having a correctly calibrated mil/moa scale at any power is not the only, or even the primary, benefit to an ffp reticle on a low mag variable optic. The primary benefit is that, on 1x, the entire reticle becomes your aiming reference, which means faster time on target because you have a larger reference point. On the other hand, a larger reference point means less precise fire. A reticle on the first focal plane will appear to shrink as the power decreases, although it actually is staying the same size it always is. Therefore, on 1x, the reticle will appear to you and me as a smaller reference point than it would be otherwise. Which in turn means more precise fire on 1x. As I said before, it's a balance between speed and precision.

I really only use my ARs to hunt and I'm gonna throw a scenario out here that might be food for thought.
Keep in mind this all happens inside of 5 seconds usually, and that I keep my scope set at 1x unless I have the need and the time to crank it up.
So here we go. You spot your target. It's quartering away from you at 3/4 of full speed. Based on your experience, you guesstimate it's moving at 15-20mph. Also based on your experience, you guesstimate it is anywhere between 75 yards to 150 yards away. No time for an accurate range but you know it's inside point blank distance so no need to hold over. Not even enough time to crank up the power, this time all you have to work with is 1x. You're firing off-hand and unsupported, the vital zone is ~4"^2. While all this was racing through your head you shouldered your AR and picked up the target in your optic. Now you have 3-4 seconds to make an accurate shot (it usually takes at least 3 shots to score a hit for me in these circumstances).
Now tell me this, for this shot, would you rather have a reticle with a center dot diameter of 6.5 moa and a horseshoe diameter of 140 moa, as my reticle would be on 1x if it were on the second focal plane? Or, would you rather have a 1moa center dot with a 21.6 moa horseshoe, as it is on 1x on the first focal plane?
Do you see what I'm getting at? It's less about ranging and more about balancing speed and precision, as far as 1-nx scopes are concerned. Honestly, I probably would have bought the bushnell with a first focal plane reticle even if it didn't have the mil scale because the close-medium range benefits are what I like the most about the whole concept. Then again, the mil scale reticle and mil turrets let me stretch my legs out past 400 and why spend money on glass if it won't help you with that? You might as well spend your money on a red dot and be done with it.

To me the benefits are obvious and I was super jealous of those who could afford S&B short dots when I was running a K-dot. I like the BTR-2 reticle better than any of the reticles I've come across so at this point, I'm a happy camper!

Again, this is only my opinion. Sorry for the 'wot' but I hope it helps somebody to make a more informed decision before they drop a grand or more on glass.