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There have been a couple of questions lately about which power scope, reticle, etc. is better, etc. My question is: What is the

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  • DakotaMan
    replied
    jhjimbo, I am no optics engineer but my understanding is that a prerequisite to a parallax free image is that the image and the reticle are exactly on the same plane as you suggest.

    However, due to the numerous lenses in the path, and the mechanical controls that move them around, a lot could go wrong in delivering the properly sighted image to you. Microscopic errors in some lens alignments or contours will still allow you to perceive cross hair movement as you move your eye off that imaginary line you so aptly described. These same errors or inconsistencies in the mechanical lens controls can also distort the optical view of the image and its proper alignment with the reticle.

    Scope manufacturers strive to perfect these lenses and their controls but perfect design and manufacture is an elusive goal. Some get real close and some miss a long way. I do believe that most scopes costing over $2000 have succeeded beyond most others in the market in reducing these errors. A few of those priced below $2000 have come pretty close.

    Consider for example, going to a National Match 1000 yard competition and removing a shooter's scope (Schmidt & Bender, NightForce, U.S. Optics, etc.) and putting a Nikon Monarch in its place. I doubt that the shooter would waste a bullet. The shooter would simply retire from the competition. That is not a knock on Nikon. I love my Monarch and it meets deer hunting requirements better than most. It just isn't nearly as accurate as some other scopes. The rifle, the bullet, the shooter and the scope are all components of an accurate shot. They are all variable in quality.

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  • jhjimbo
    replied
    If the parallax is properly adjusted so the target image and the reticule are exactly on the same plane, the accuracy or POI should not be affected by anything in the scope - accuracy is then dependent on the shooter, the gun or the bullet.
    Tolerances for getting parallax exactly on the reticule plane are very small , especially at high power magnification and an undetected parallax error could occur that would then result in change in POI.

    Leave a comment:


  • chuckles
    replied
    I generally use Leupold scopes on the rifles that deserve it. For less expensive guns or for plinking I have some lower end Nikons that do everything I need out of a scope. I have never looked through a Swarovski or some of the others mentioned. I can't see spending any more than I already do but I am sure they are nice. If you can swing it, why not?
    Good glass really is a pleasure to look through.

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  • DakotaMan
    replied
    jhjimbo, there are many variables in scope accuracy having to do with the quality and alignment of the many lens. One of them however is parallax and of course parallax is affected by eye movement behind the reticle. Perfect cheek weld would improve this variable but it would have to be perfect. We humans are often prone to imperfections and putting a head harness on our scope for long range accuracy improvement is not allowed in most competitive settings. That is why competitive shooters use low parallax scopes rather than depend on the perfection of human frailties. Do you really feel that all scopes are equal in terms of accuracy?. I have not found this to be the case.

    Sarge... great comment. The scope just needs to meet your requirements. Mid-price scopes nearly all meet normal large game hunting requirements. Such things as competitive shooting or long range varmint hunting may have differing requirements.

    Most of us are discussing good Ford or Chevy performance. Happy contributed a note on Rolls Royces. However, if our requirement is to get 10 miles down the road to work any of them will get the job done.

    My experience has been that for normal hunting, all mid-priced $450-$750 scopes work. If you go below the mid-price range, you will most likely not be satisfied in one way or another. If you go above the mid-price range $750-$27,000 the improvement in performance may be barely discernable and is only worthwhile for two types of requirements.

    a) those who have a need for exceptional accuracy such as competitive shooters, military snipers, long range varmint hunters.

    b) those who simply want the best or want to look better than their neighbors at the range.

    Gary, most of these scopes have lifetime warranties for the original buyer (e.g. Burris). Some also cover the owner whether they were the original buyer or acquired the scope used (e.g. Leupold and Vortex). Some manufacturers also provide exceptional customer support on these warranties than others (e.g. Leupold and Vortex). I personally am most comfortable with the latter category. I don't know how many are in that category but I know Leupold and Vortex are. I suspect there are others but I have not personally used them.

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  • Gary Devine
    replied
    Most of my scopes are Leupold.
    I have a Nikon scope on my black powder Encore.
    No complaints here.

    Do all the scopes mentioned above have life time warranties?
    Just curious.

    Leave a comment:


  • 99explorer
    replied
    The January, 2014 issue of The American Rifleman features an article on the new Remington 2020 sighting system which, combined with the Tracking Point rifle, retails for about $27,000.
    The video screen scope has an internal laser rangefinder and, using the latest in digital technology, factors in the temperature, barometric pressure, incline/decline, cant, air density, spin drift, target movement and Coriolis effect drift.
    The internal computer then factors all that information in, together with stored ballistic information including lock time, ignition time, in-barrel time, rate and direction of twist, muzzle velocity and ballistic coefficient.
    The unit can compensate for wind drift, but the shooter must manually input the wind speed information. What do you expect for $27,000?

    Leave a comment:


  • jhjimbo
    replied
    If I win the lottery tonight I would probably by Swarovski or Schmidt&Bender scopes. Their service was excellent (my scope was serviced by Swarovski in Rhode Island). I did have to order some replacement screws for the scope rings and was shocked when they were $8 each.
    Otherwise I will stick to the middle priced offerings from the major manufacturers. VXIII and VXII are fine for my use.

    Leave a comment:


  • 99explorer
    replied
    Sarge is spot on, as usual.
    When you are concentrating on the target behind those cross hairs, the picture quality at the edge of the scope is of no importance.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sarge01
    replied
    I guess your post got me to thinking even about rifles. My Sako hasn't done anything more than the Savages I have owned in the past have done. The higher priced scopes that I have had haven't done anything more than the Nikons that I have used for the last 20 years. I'm beginning to think that when we reach the level of quality and performance that we need maybe we don't need to go any farther. That is different for each one and the kind of shooting that each person does and the scope that they need.

    Leave a comment:


  • steve182
    replied
    I do not have any high end scope experience. I own a Luepold, a Burris, Redfield, and a couple i won't mention. The three I named have served me well. I have never considered spending a couple weeks pay on a scope or a rifle. I don't like to cheap out either.

    Leave a comment:


  • WA Mtnhunter
    replied
    Happy Myles,

    Do you think the Swarovski and Kahles scopes are worth the cost difference between them and a Leupold or high end Burris? $$$ Budget matters not withstanding.

    Leave a comment:


  • jhjimbo
    replied
    Dakota,
    It sounds like your scope accuracy description is more how precisely your eye lines up with the imaginary line from the eye through the reticule and on to the target.
    That is more of a positioning of the head against the stock and the position of the eye lining up to that imaginary line through the scope, and less to do with the internals of the scope itself.
    It is important that when you anchor your cheek on the stock, each time, that everything else lines up, if it does not it is not the fault of the scope, it is how you failed to anchor your cheek properly to the stock and therefore not lined up properly when ready to fire and the result is a different POI.

    Leave a comment:


  • LostLure
    replied
    I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Night Force.

    Leave a comment:


  • DSMbirddog
    replied
    From my experience Leupold scopes do a great job. I'm sold on them and have been for years.

    Leave a comment:


  • DakotaMan
    replied
    jhjimbo, I do a couple of things to assess scope accuracy. First I put it on sandbags, aim at a 200 yard target and the move my eye around behind the ocular lens. If the cross hair moves, so will the bullet. This is called parallax and is caused by the image focusing ahead of or behind the reticle internally. Internal image focus point changes with distance. You will have to adjust your parallax (focus) control if your magnification is over 10x.

    For scopes that don't move, I then shoot about ten 600 yard or 1000 yard groups. I use a rifle that is known to very accurate but if you normally shoot an eight inch group, the scope being tested will be compared to that. Some scopes, because of their accuracy, may reduce your groups to half normal size on average. Some scopes may expand your groups by double, triple or even more. There is an element of human error in this but it averages out over the groups. Some scopes are so bad that you don't need to shoot all ten groups. You can tell that you are not in the same ballpark as an accurate scope.

    Aiming toward an intense light source (e.g. in the direction of the sun) can cause extreme light reflection in some scopes. It may literally destroy the target image washing out color, clarity of contrast or at least make the target appear too blurry or fuzzy to aim. Of course looking directly into the sun could destroy your eye. Here we are talking looking TOWARD the light source and dealing with intense light. The normal test I use for this is aiming east in the early morning at a 200 yard target with bright sunshine and fresh snow at the scope’s highest magnification. You may have to put a lens shade on to even see the target. You may also see blurry images or rainbows of color splattered around the image or around the edges. For low power hunting scopes you might not see any difference, or a 24x magnification might be so bad you can only hunt prairie dogs in mid-day.

    Leave a comment:

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