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Posted: 2/20/2016 11:08:12 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/20/2016 11:30:41 PM EST by JoeMal]
Got my first 'big' caliber rifle recently, a 308 bolt, and I'm looking for someone to help guide/ground me on what I really need to care about and what I can let go for now.

I've shot rifles for a fair amount of time, and have used various budget-minded scopes, but this will be my first foray into shooting with more of a purpose, thinking more about the scope I would like to use. Gun will primarily be used for target/bench/steel shooting out to 1,000 yards. Maybe a small amount of hunting.

My "wish" list in a scope looks like this (again, without really knowing much): high magnification, a "Christmas tree" reticle for holding, good warranty (just in case!), obviously clear glass, target turrets, MIL/MIL, FFP.

One immediate contender that checks all of these boxes is the Vortex Viper PST 6-24x with the EBR-2C reticle. But it comes with a $1,150 price which is more than I'm looking to spend.

I know Vortex offers other stellar products, but I would lose at least one of the items I mentioned above. And giving up FFP, for example, really opens up the possibilities. So does a more standard reticle like mil-dots or hash marks. Then you throw in the PA 4-14x which hits most of my wants, but are they really as good as people claim? Is PA really the exception to "buy once cry once"?

So as a beginner looking to dip my toe into longer range shooting, with an off-the-shelf Savage by my side....am I wanting too much? Do I need to worry less about FFP and a crazy reticle for holding? Would the cheap PA keep me happy for a few years while I settled in and learned? Or do I bite the bullet and save for the scope I think I need?

What features should I really be looking at, and what, at this point, is not as important?
Link Posted: 2/21/2016 12:39:08 AM EST
Originally Posted By JoeMal:
Got my first 'big' caliber rifle recently, a 308 bolt, and I'm looking for someone to help guide/ground me on what I really need to care about and what I can let go for now.

I've shot rifles for a fair amount of time, and have used various budget-minded scopes, but this will be my first foray into shooting with more of a purpose, thinking more about the scope I would like to use. Gun will primarily be used for target/bench/steel shooting out to 1,000 yards. Maybe a small amount of hunting.


My "wish" list in a scope looks like this (again, without really knowing much): high magnification, a "Christmas tree" reticle for holding, good warranty (just in case!), obviously clear glass, target turrets, MIL/MIL, FFP.

One immediate contender that checks all of these boxes is the Vortex Viper PST 6-24x with the EBR-2C reticle. But it comes with a $1,150 price which is more than I'm looking to spend.


I know Vortex offers other stellar products, but I would lose at least one of the items I mentioned above. And giving up FFP, for example, really opens up the possibilities. So does a more standard reticle like mil-dots or hash marks. Then you throw in the PA 4-14x which hits most of my wants, but are they really as good as people claim? Is PA really the exception to "buy once cry once"?


So as a beginner looking to dip my toe into longer range shooting, with an off-the-shelf Savage by my side....am I wanting too much? Do I need to worry less about FFP and a crazy reticle for holding? Would the cheap PA keep me happy for a few years while I settled in and learned? Or do I bite the bullet and save for the scope I think I need?


What features should I really be looking at, and what, at this point, is not as important?
View Quote


The PA is a great deal for the money, they're not quite as clear as the vortex or Leopoldo scopes, but they're not $79 academy scopes either. The only latest and greatest feature they don't have is a zero stop. If you want a bit more max magnification, check out the new Athena scopes, they look to be the same or similar package but offer a 6-24 and an 8-32x and a christmas tree type reticle. You could also look into swfa fixed power scopes, as they are supposed to be better glass at a more wallet friendly price.


Link Posted: 2/21/2016 1:56:12 AM EST
The best advice I can give you that I learned the hard way, is to find some friends who have some different scopes with the features you want, if you don't have any shooter friends or they don't use the type you're after join a local range/shooting club or group in your area that does, doesn't matter where you live, I'm sure you can find someone who'll let you handle/loan you their optics in the field/range, that is what is most important. You can look at specs all day long online, and you can finger scopes for hours at a gun store/show, but the lighting or distances in those situations is rarely adequate to make any real decisions.

Just recently I had managed to convince myself that I needed a Nightforce NXS 2.5-10x32mm, I purchased it and was happy with it (aside from the price tag), until I handled a SWFA SS HD scope my friend had, after examining the two together I returned the Nightforce and replaced that $1600 scope with a $600 SWFA. Now I'm not advocating that one is better than the other or anything like that, it's just that I found, for what I needed that optic to do, I was personally served better with the FFP SWFA at less than half the price, and then I had an extra $1000 that I used to buy another gun and a decent chunk of ammo with.

YMMV but I believe hands-on is always the best approach this to find out what YOU actually NEED, because only YOU are going to be able to qualify that.
Link Posted: 2/21/2016 8:41:30 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WMTX91:
The best advice I can give you that I learned the hard way, is to find some friends who have some different scopes with the features you want, if you don't have any shooter friends or they don't use the type you're after join a local range/shooting club or group in your area that does, doesn't matter where you live, I'm sure you can find someone who'll let you handle/loan you their optics in the field/range, that is what is most important. You can look at specs all day long online, and you can finger scopes for hours at a gun store/show, but the lighting or distances in those situations is rarely adequate to make any real decisions.

Just recently I had managed to convince myself that I needed a Nightforce NXS 2.5-10x32mm, I purchased it and was happy with it (aside from the price tag), until I handled a SWFA SS HD scope my friend had, after examining the two together I returned the Nightforce and replaced that $1600 scope with a $600 SWFA. Now I'm not advocating that one is better than the other or anything like that, it's just that I found, for what I needed that optic to do, I was personally served better with the FFP SWFA at less than half the price, and then I had an extra $1000 that I used to buy another gun and a decent chunk of ammo with.

YMMV but I believe hands-on is always the best approach this to find out what YOU actually NEED, because only YOU are going to be able to qualify that.
View Quote
I get that...but it's hard to do because I'm new to the long-range arena and don't shoot with guys that use inexpensive scopes. Again, they're all 1k+. Two of the other guys at the range that day were using Vortex HD scopes...so there's that. No middle ground, 'common man' scopes.

I don't mind spending the extra coin if that's what is needed, but I guess I am unsure if I'm focusing on the right features now. To me, FFP seems like a high priority to make accurate adjustments/holds at any power, especially at longer range. The reticle I may be able to deal without and do my best to hold without having a Christmas tree to help. Might be a good way to learn, too, I suppose.
Link Posted: 2/21/2016 9:09:47 AM EST
I would say the Christmas tree reticle isn't really needed unless you plan on holding for elevation at some point. Casual shooting from a bench you have time to dial for elevation and then of course use the horizontal for wind holds. If you plan on shooting farther than you can dial then you would benefit from the Christmas tree.

I would suggest you just increase your budget and get everything you want, everybody finds out they have to spend more than they wanted to get the scope they wanted.
Link Posted: 2/21/2016 11:48:50 AM EST
Originally Posted By JoeMal:
Got my first 'big' caliber rifle recently, a 308 bolt, and I'm looking for someone to help guide/ground me on what I really need to care about and what I can let go for now.

I've shot rifles for a fair amount of time, and have used various budget-minded scopes, but this will be my first foray into shooting with more of a purpose, thinking more about the scope I would like to use. Gun will primarily be used for target/bench/steel shooting out to 1,000 yards. Maybe a small amount of hunting.


My "wish" list in a scope looks like this (again, without really knowing much): high magnification, a "Christmas tree" reticle for holding, good warranty (just in case!), obviously clear glass, target turrets, MIL/MIL, FFP.

One immediate contender that checks all of these boxes is the Vortex Viper PST 6-24x with the EBR-2C reticle. But it comes with a $1,150 price which is more than I'm looking to spend.

I know Vortex offers other stellar products, but I would lose at least one of the items I mentioned above. And giving up FFP, for example, really opens up the possibilities. So does a more standard reticle like mil-dots or hash marks. Then you throw in the PA 4-14x which hits most of my wants, but are they really as good as people claim? Is PA really the exception to "buy once cry once"?

So as a beginner looking to dip my toe into longer range shooting, with an off-the-shelf Savage by my side....am I wanting too much? Do I need to worry less about FFP and a crazy reticle for holding? Would the cheap PA keep me happy for a few years while I settled in and learned? Or do I bite the bullet and save for the scope I think I need?

What features should I really be looking at, and what, at this point, is not as important?
View Quote

Personally, I'd be looking for a used Bushnell ET DMR or ERS 3.5-21 for $1K or less.
As a second option, you can get the ET 6-24x for ~$850, on Amazon - I like having the lower low-end magnification of the DMR/ERS 3.5-21, but it's not a bad deal, and they occasionally go on sale for less, as well.
Link Posted: 2/21/2016 1:15:46 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By rtpguy:

Personally, I'd be looking for a used Bushnell ET DMR or ERS 3.5-21 for $1K or less.
As a second option, you can get the ET 6-24x for ~$850, on Amazon - I like having the lower low-end magnification of the DMR/ERS 3.5-21, but it's not a bad deal, and they occasionally go on sale for less, as well.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By rtpguy:
Originally Posted By JoeMal:
Got my first 'big' caliber rifle recently, a 308 bolt, and I'm looking for someone to help guide/ground me on what I really need to care about and what I can let go for now.

I've shot rifles for a fair amount of time, and have used various budget-minded scopes, but this will be my first foray into shooting with more of a purpose, thinking more about the scope I would like to use. Gun will primarily be used for target/bench/steel shooting out to 1,000 yards. Maybe a small amount of hunting.


My "wish" list in a scope looks like this (again, without really knowing much): high magnification, a "Christmas tree" reticle for holding, good warranty (just in case!), obviously clear glass, target turrets, MIL/MIL, FFP.

One immediate contender that checks all of these boxes is the Vortex Viper PST 6-24x with the EBR-2C reticle. But it comes with a $1,150 price which is more than I'm looking to spend.

I know Vortex offers other stellar products, but I would lose at least one of the items I mentioned above. And giving up FFP, for example, really opens up the possibilities. So does a more standard reticle like mil-dots or hash marks. Then you throw in the PA 4-14x which hits most of my wants, but are they really as good as people claim? Is PA really the exception to "buy once cry once"?

So as a beginner looking to dip my toe into longer range shooting, with an off-the-shelf Savage by my side....am I wanting too much? Do I need to worry less about FFP and a crazy reticle for holding? Would the cheap PA keep me happy for a few years while I settled in and learned? Or do I bite the bullet and save for the scope I think I need?

What features should I really be looking at, and what, at this point, is not as important?

Personally, I'd be looking for a used Bushnell ET DMR or ERS 3.5-21 for $1K or less.
As a second option, you can get the ET 6-24x for ~$850, on Amazon - I like having the lower low-end magnification of the DMR/ERS 3.5-21, but it's not a bad deal, and they occasionally go on sale for less, as well.
I hadn't seen that option before thanks for the recommendation.

Why do you say Bushnell over Vortex?
Link Posted: 2/21/2016 8:50:59 PM EST

Open box, just what you want, minus the Christmas tree for $849.99.


http://www.cameralandny.com/optics/vortex.pl?page=vortexviper
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 9:58:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/22/2016 10:00:07 PM EST by MS556]
Just start with the basic Leupold Mark AR 6-18x40 MRAD with mildot reticle. About $550 most vendors.

If you like the hobby and stay with it, then move up. Turrets are accurate .1 mil per click and repeatable. Nice glass at its price. Mildot ranging is the way to go to begin. Use turret for elevation come up and reticle for wind holdoff. Don't need Christmas tree reticle until you are much more advanced.
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 11:05:30 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MS556:
Just start with the basic Leupold Mark AR 6-18x40 MRAD with mildot reticle. About $550 most vendors.

If you like the hobby and stay with it, then move up. Turrets are accurate .1 mil per click and repeatable. Nice glass at its price. Mildot ranging is the way to go to begin. Use turret for elevation come up and reticle for wind holdoff. Don't need Christmas tree reticle until you are much more advanced.
View Quote
Thanks for this. I think if I can deal without FFP and open up my reticle options I'll have more choices and will likely save some money. Of course spending less doesn't get me a nicer scope but like you said I can upgrade later.

Though I will say especially in the scope and safe realm people say to buy more than you think you need today.
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