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Posted: 5/4/2003 10:39:49 PM EDT
I'm going to be buying a new scope to go with a new AR 20" rifle. I'm considering either the Leupold M3 LR 3.5-10x40mm or the Springfield Gen 3 6-20x56mm MilDot w/Illum Reticle. They are both about the same price which is why I'm considering these two units.

On one hand, I like the magnification of the Springfield along with the Illuminated Reticle, but the Leupold glass is excellent and the 40mm objective isn't nearly as cumbersome.



Do any of you have an opinion or advice between these two?
Link Posted: 5/5/2003 6:07:27 AM EDT
IMO, there is NOOOO contest here. I have owned a Springfield Gen 3 and currently own a Leupold 3.5-10 illuminated M1 LR. Like I said, no contest. The Leupy has waaaay better glass and adjustments (the clicks actually do return to zero, unlike mine, and a friend of mine's Gen 3). The Springfield's objective is also quite large, 56mm. Thus requiring you to mount the scope higer from bore than the Leupy. You may not mind the higher scope, but I personally like the lower Leupold better. A friend of mine also had a Gen 3 scope, he had it for a few months and the thing just went kaput. His adjustments started flying all over the place (was mounted on a .308 700P). He sent it back to Springfield and they did fix it and get it back to him in about 3 weeks, so the service was good. But, as soon as he got it back he sold it and bought a Leupold 3.5-10 LR M3. The glass on my M1 made his Gen 3 look sick. Also, that little bubble level on both of our Gen 3's, were off a little bit.
Link Posted: 5/5/2003 6:13:14 AM EDT
Leupold.....no contest. There are more horror stories about broken reticles, lack of precision adjustments, etc,etc,etc about the Springfield scopes. You can find them all if you like, or just take our word for it: Buy the Leupold. I have an M3LR sitting on my LTR .223. Works very well, crisp, clear, bright.... Yep, Leupold.
Link Posted: 5/5/2003 6:22:00 AM EDT
Also, forgot to mention. If your worried about the power of the Leupold, you could look into the new Leupold M1's in 4-14 and 6.5-20. Unfortunately, the M3 knobs are not available on those yet though. My lcoal shooting areas only go out to 300 yards. The 10x on my M1 LR has been more than adequate for that range.
Link Posted: 5/5/2003 9:28:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SHIVAN458: Leupold.....no contest. Buy the Leupold.
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yep, Leupold is a much better scope! I have a 3.5-10x40mm M1 with illuminated reticle on my 24" AR & it's the best scope I have the optics are so much clearer than the Springfield
Link Posted: 5/5/2003 9:45:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/5/2003 9:51:53 PM EDT by Green0]
I actually am on the other side of the boat I have owned a SA GENII and a Leupold LR M3 10x [b]I really think you should look at the SA .223 reticle BDC scope[/b] The SA HAD BETTER OPTICS (56mm lense has no problem being clearer/brighter than 40mm) HAD A clear reticle Had a Level (nice) Had Shit ajustments (so the reticle does all the work except windage) no problem with me as I am not great at estimating wind anyway so I just calculated and held off for windage. THE Leupold Had dim optics (I wasn't impressed especially at $1000) Had Nice 1/2 MOA ajustments (but how close is 1/2MOA at 600meters? about 3.5 inches to a click.) Was lighter Had a crappy focus that side focus isn't all that good a system as it really never focused "just right" [b]My Brother had a Leupold M3 10x as well and he WISHED his scope was as clear as my 2nd gen SA acope Don't believe the hype the SA has damn good optics and the Leupold M3 10x is DIM it gathers very little light A friend of mine has the cheaper civy M3 with 3.5-10x magnification and it is clearer than my 10x and at 3.5power sucks in the light if you get Leupold don't get the Gov't model [/b]
Link Posted: 5/5/2003 10:33:27 PM EDT
The only SA scope I've ever used was the same model GreenO used, and I really liked it. Good optics, and the adjustments in mine were dead-on. When I zeroed it, my first round was 1 inch low and a quarter-inch to the right. After going 4 clicks up, 1 to the left, and it was perfectly zeroed. The only thing I don't like about it, is that it's calibrated for match ammo, and I shoot regular milsurp ball-if it weren't for that, I'd still have it.
Link Posted: 5/6/2003 5:48:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Green0: I actually am on the other side of the boat I have owned a SA GENII and a Leupold LR M3 10x [b]I really think you should look at the SA .223 reticle BDC scope[/b] The SA HAD BETTER OPTICS (56mm lense has no problem being clearer/brighter than 40mm) HAD A clear reticle Had a Level (nice) Had Shit ajustments (so the reticle does all the work except windage) no problem with me as I am not great at estimating wind anyway so I just calculated and held off for windage. THE Leupold Had dim optics (I wasn't impressed especially at $1000) Had Nice 1/2 MOA ajustments (but how close is 1/2MOA at 600meters? about 3.5 inches to a click.) Was lighter Had a crappy focus that side focus isn't all that good a system as it really never focused "just right" [b]My Brother had a Leupold M3 10x as well and he WISHED his scope was as clear as my 2nd gen SA acope Don't believe the hype the SA has damn good optics and the Leupold M3 10x is DIM it gathers very little light A friend of mine has the cheaper civy M3 with 3.5-10x magnification and it is clearer than my 10x and at 3.5power sucks in the light if you get Leupold don't get the Gov't model [/b]
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That is very surprising Green0. I personally have never handled one of the Leupold MarkIV M3's so I can't comment on those. I personally only have the civie M1 model (1/4 MOA clicks), and my buddy now has the civie M3. I know for a fact, that my 3.5-10x44 LR M1 is gobs brighter than was my, or my friends Gen III SA 4.5-14x56mm. I am serious, the view through the glass is amazingly different. I will say this about the SA scope though. I did actually like the "Government" reticle on that scope a lot. I didn't find it to be too crowded as some people do. And, it was very close when using .308 Fed match ammo. Ranging was a piece of cake with it. But, whenever I did have to make adjustments, the turrets just would not track consistently. I could move the reticle to the left or up say 5 clicks, and it would take anywhere from 4-7 clicks back to get the reticle actually in the same position. As far as the bubble level goes, neither of our scopes' levels were accurate. I could place our rifles in the vise, level up the rifle and then check the scope, and they were quite a bit off. You could actually see that you were cocked on the bench when lining up to that bubble level even. I don't really think the SA scope is junk. I just think it is vastly overpriced. For it to be in the low to mid $600's is a joke to me. If this scope was low to mid $400's, I'd say it was good for the money then.
Link Posted: 5/6/2003 5:50:38 AM EDT
The Leupold is at a disadvantage when you're comparing it's 40mm objective to Springfield's 56mm objective. I had a 6.5-20x50mm Leupold and a same power springfield gen III with the 56mm objective. The Leupold was just as bright if not a bit brighter but it was much clearer.
Link Posted: 5/6/2003 6:08:20 AM EDT
Yeah 40mm vs 56mm objective can gather all the light you want, but if the exit pupil is the smaller on the 56mm you will "see" less light. How about the broken reticles, failure to return to zero, imprecise movements from edge to edge.....these are present ONLY in the Springfield. YMMV......
Link Posted: 5/6/2003 10:23:08 AM EDT
Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it. I am leaning towards the Leupold right now...but now I have another question. I like the interchangable CAMs on the M3 vs the M1 knobs. Anyway, on to the question...I found a guy on the EE that has the 3.5-10x40mm M3 he said he'd sell me for $599 or he said he also has the 4.5-14x50mm M1 he could let go for $100 more. Both units are brand new. As you can tell, I don't have much experience between the M1 and M3 knobs. Would it be worth getting the higher magnification for the extra $100? Also, is it still easy to adjust for bullet drop on the M1?
Link Posted: 5/6/2003 11:07:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/6/2003 11:10:56 AM EDT by Green0]
"That is very surprising Green0. I personally have never handled one of the Leupold MarkIV M3's so I can't comment on those. I personally only have the civie M1 model (1/4 MOA clicks), and my buddy now has the civie M3. I know for a fact, that my 3.5-10x44 LR M1 is gobs brighter than was my, or my friends Gen III SA 4.5-14x56mm. I am serious, the view through the glass is amazingly different. " Good for you (you didn't get screwed by paying more for the [I believe inferior] 10x model). "I don't really think the SA scope is junk. I just think it is vastly overpriced. For it to be in the low to mid $600's is a joke to me. If this scope was low to mid $400's, I'd say it was good for the money then." [b]I totally aggree (I bought mine used never mounted In box for $500 shipped[/b] The Leupold M1 does not have the BDC numbers so you will have to know them otherwise yes it would have 1/4MOA clicks which are nice. If you are thinking 10X I would get the TASCO SS10x42 it is a lot cheaper and similar or superior in quality + the tasco has 120MOA of internal ajustment which is enough for approx 1600 yds with the .308. If you are talking Variable M1 go for it IF YOU CAN GET SOMEBODY TO GIVE YOU BDC FROM THEIR M3 BDC's (I sold mine and all I remember is up 42MOA to 1000) [b]another issue is zeroing you may have trouble zeroing the M3 as it only gives you a 10MOA window in which to zero [my brother had a badger clipslotted base with 30MOA rise and a 20MOA base and he had to buy the Leupold straight MK4 base to get a 100yd zero[/b] As far as exit pupil it will be bigger with the 56mm at any equal power (IE set the Leupold at 4x and set the SA at 4X the SA has a larger exit pupil) at 12x the SA probably compares to the Leupold at 10x.
Link Posted: 5/6/2003 12:33:13 PM EDT
Green), that is a really good price, I guess I wouldn't be unhappy either. BrainDead, the M3 BDC cams are very nice indeed. You really need to ask yourself what kind of shooting you plan to do and what maximum ranges? The M3 shines if your wanting to make quick shots at varrying ranges. The M3 takes 1 complete turn from 100 yards to 1000yards. On normal scopes, you would need multiple rotations of the turret to get 1000yards. Then, you might forget how many times you actually rotated it to get back to 100 yards. In a stressful situation this might come into play in a bad way. That's what the M3 is for, quick and super simple. I purchased the M1 because I was hesitant about the coarse 1 MOA elev adjustments of the M3. But, since then I have helped my buddy shoot and sight-in his M3 and see that the 1 MOA adjustments aren't really that big of a deal. You've got to realize, youre never really off more than 1/2 MOA. Lets say at 100 yards your 3/4" high. Adjust 1 click down and now your 1/4" low. That's close enough isn't it? If you were 1" high, adjust 1 click, and your on. If your 1/2" off, well, no matter what you adjust, your going to still be 1/2" off, still close enough IMO. See what I mean? Now if your a benchrest contest shooter, this is obviously not the best scope for you. BUt for most recreational shooters, I believe the M3 is wonderful. On the other hand, if you did decide to go with the M1 and still yearned for the good ole BDC. You can contact Kenton Industries ( [url]http://www.kentonindustries.com/[/url] ). They make replacement turret knobs for the M1 and many other scopes that will be compensated, relatively speaking, to your particular preferred ammo, barrel length and elev above sea level. They look pretty nice. I personally have yet to order one (am considering switching my M1 to another rifle right now) but I have read a lot of really good things about them on some of the sniper boards. Another note, Green0 brought up a good point about the M3 and 100 yard shooting. It is well documented that the MarkIV M3's are hit or miss whether they will do a 100 yard zero depending on the weapon and base used. The civie 3.5-10 M3's supposedly are not as effected by this. My friend's M3 zeroed fine at 100 yards on his Remmington 700P with Badger 20 MOA base. But, YMMV. On the two scopes you are looking at, the prices sound really good. Be sure of what type of reticle is in each. The mildot ones are always higher priced it seems. If that M3 has mildot that would be a really good deal. Even if you don't use the mildots for ranging, although you should try and learn it. You can still use the mils for holdovers with a little testing. You can get some good ideas of "new" prices on these scopes here: [url]www.swfa.com[/url] and here [url]www.premierreticles.com[/url]
Link Posted: 5/6/2003 1:47:44 PM EDT
Springfield scopes are trash. I have a LRM1 and I just got rid of a 2ed Gen SA 4-14x56, I had to send it back to the factory right out of the box because the internal bubble was off center from the retical. When I got it back there were hairs left inside the scope, It was a big waste of time. I have never had any trouble with any Leapold Scope, and Leapolds quality control and warrenty service is about the best their is.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 8:04:59 PM EDT
I was real...I mean real close to getting a third Gen Govt scope. I looked through my friend's father's scope on a PSS and I was impressed. This scope was very clear and it was level but it was the second scope. I went to a very nice gunshop some 70 miles away that day and looked through a few Leupolds...man what a difference. Some of the scopes that I looked at was cheaper than the Springfield. Anyway I think Springfield is really on to something. I like the Govt recticle and I can see how it is quicker than mildots. If Springfield would change manufacturers and make a scope that would do what it is supposed to do,plus make a 40mm lense I would get one in a heartbeat. But until then I will pass. By the way I went with a LR M3, I'm less than $100 away from getting it. I should have it in a few days and I'm sure that I won't be disappointed!
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