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  1. #1
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    Scopes, what’s the best bang for your buck $1-$2k

    Snooping around for for scope ideas for a bolt gun..idea..Bored and looking to get back into a bolt gun setup.

    Looking around and there are tons of good options and more and I’m out of the loop on anything much more then lpvo’s
    Looking for a quality setup, even if you got/know someone with something good. I’m not opposed to great shape, used scopes.

    Anyways..looking for

    - good edge to edge clarity
    - good eyebox,
    - illumination is not needed
    -Nothing huge in size or range

  2. #2
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    Can you share a few more thoughts on how you think you'll be using it? E.g, from a bench shooting paper at 100-200 yards, or hiking through mountains looking for a 300 yard trophy knowing that the shot will probably be at the edge of light in the dawn or dusk?

    I ask because when constrained by budget you may have to sacrifice a little bit on glass quality to pic up other features or even just find the reticle you want.

    For a simple, light weight scope with excellent glass, I think Swarovski is really hard to beat. A Swaro Z3 2-10x42 with BRH reticle is great general purpose hunting scope for a bolt gun and they run about $800. That's about the cheapest scope Swaro makes, so you can go up from there.

    The Zeiss Conquest V6 line is also fantastic in that $1,500 +/- price range.

    However, both the Swaro and Zeiss features typically favor hunting so the reticle options are limited and the turrets are capped on most models, but the glass is fantastic...really hard to beat. The Minox "all arounder" is worth a look in this category, too.

    Also, I do think that you can never go wrong buying the most expensive Leupold you afford as their glass always seems to give great bang for the buck. The only reason I don't own any Leupold right now is I just don't like their reticles. The Mark 5 HD line has a great reputation and is at the top of your price window.

    The Vortex Razor HD LHT line is also supposed to be a great scope and value in that price range

    If you want more "tactical" features, then the Burris XTR III is recent release that is getting great reviews and the XTR Pro should be available in a few months. Of course, the Razor Gen II are great but are heavy but can also be picked up on the EE at good prices, especially as folks are trading up for the Gen III.

    Lot's of good options in that price range but those are my immediate reaction...

  3. #3
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    Not a swaro fan

    Good eye box and clarity/glass is top of list
    Weight would be next
    Razors are nice but 3-4 lbs is more then I want.

    Gun will not be a bench only gun, out in the field, do whatever. I know a lot to ask, but it’s where I’m at.

  4. #4
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    What's your issue with Swaro?

    The Razor HD LHT is the light weight version of Razor glass for the crowd that cares about weight. Worth a look. Also, I think you can pick up a used AMG for your price point. But, yeah, a Razor Gen II wouldn't be my first pick for something I'll be walking around with in the field.

    I think I had similar criteria in mind when I went with the Zeiss Conquest V6 3-18x50.


    I'm considering selling this, btw, as this isn't a rifle that gets much use and my safe is crowded. Let me know if you want to meet up and take a look.

  5. #5
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    Check out the Trijicon 2.5-12.5 Accupoint for a good compromise between a Recce and long range scope.
    Great glass and eye relief.
    https://www.trijicon.com/products/details/tr26-c-200104

    The 3-9 Accupoint is a decent alternative at a lower price. I have both with no complaints.
    “What in the world is a moderate interpretation of a constitutional text? Halfway between what it says and what we'd like it to say?" -Antonin Scalia

  6. #6
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    For the swaros I’ve looked at, was not impressed nor cared for most of the reticles and Not necessarily looking for lightweight.

    Just trying to find something that fits the bill and willing to spend for it..

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustangfreek View Post
    For the swaros I’ve looked at, was not impressed nor cared for most of the reticles and Not necessarily looking for lightweight.

    Just trying to find something that fits the bill and willing to spend for it..
    Understandable as Swaro reticles are designed for hunters. I actually like the BRH for hunting.

    What reticles do you like?

  8. #8
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    I like some of the Horus type.

    I want/prefer a very small center dot or something around that area. And nothing super heavy..sux the razor is so damn heavy..

    What’s the opinion on us optic stuff? I see they have a couple lines.. and prices are far apart per say.. what’s up their?

  9. #9
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    Buy once, cry once. For my eyes Steiner's are the best optic I've used.

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  10. #10
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    US Optics of today is not the USO of old.

    As Sinner stated….buy once cry once. I’ve admittedly turned into a bit of a glass snob over the years……but once you see real glass in wide array of different environmental conditions as opposed to good enough glass you’ll come to appreciate your investment. Although I don’t dial, I still think one should also consider the turrets, tracking, and certainly find a reticle you want in addition to glass performance.

  11. #11
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    Leupold mk5hd is my top pick, especially the 3.6-18x. It’s lightweight and compact, great eyebox, Horus reticle are available.

    Another option is the NF nx8 2.5-20x. Not quite as forgiving eyebox but top notch glass and turrets
    FFL 07/ NFA 02
    TWN Certified Hydro Dipper

  12. #12
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    Well, after thinking I really wanted the Razor Gen III 1-10, I ultimately realized that's not the best optic for how I'd actually be using the rifle (308 AR in more of a DMR setup) so I ended up within roughly the same set of decision criteria as you. I ended up ordering the Nightforce ATACR 4-16x42 F1 with MIL-XT reticle. That busts your budget a bit, but deals can be had that make it very close. https://www.eurooptic.com/Nightforce...Demo-C615.aspx The 2nd FP ATACR 4-16x50s can be found under $2k

    I did really consider the Leupold Mk 5HD since that's the Army's choice for the M110, but they really aren't available right now and it's pretty easy to find trash talk regarding Leuopold's reputation for Tracking. That said, I put a Mk5HD and an ATACR side by side at Cabela's and I really like the turrets, glass, and size/weight of the Mk5HD better, but the ATACR seemed more forgiving in the eyeybox...just easier to "get behind", and I prefer NF reticle. But, since I can't even order the Mk5HD I'd want right now that simplified the decision.

    I'm going to have to wait for the ATACR as it's backordered but could have got the NX8 2.5-20x much sooner, but I really don't need the 8x mag range and my understanding is there is a pretty big jump up from the NX8 to the ATACR such that the NX8 line is not really that attractive to me.

    If the Kahles K318i with SKMR was $500 - $800 less expensive I might have chosen it as I really like Swaro glass.
    Last edited by BoilerUp; 6 April 2022 at 20:46.

  13. #13
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    The atacr is on my list, But don’t like half the reticles

    And looked thru a mk5 lately
    Yuk
    From eyebox to turrets and the $$ ..phuck no..and doesn’t make me wonder why I never look at loopy

    The nx8 is ok, don’t like the thick reticle again though on most of the reticle options. I like the small dot/Horus style of theirs

    The razor 3-8 or even 4-27 are 4 lb bricks . Literally.

    It doesn’t matter. I’m abandoning that and all my other projects. Life has thrown me a curveball.

  14. #14
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    Well, sorry to hear about the curveball. Good luck with whatever it is.

    The good thing is you only have to like one of the reticles. But I actually agree with you. I'd give the Tremor3 a try but I think I'll like the Mil-XT so that's what I went with. Similar to the EBR reticles but not quite as busy the Tremor3. And, yeah, the poor reticle choices is the main reason I don't own a Leupold. But, like I just said, I'd give the Tremor3 a try. I'm surprised you don't like the MK5HD turrets. My initial impression was I preferred them over the ATACR turrets.

    All that said, $2K is a lot of money for glass for most folks, especially if it isn't for "work". The Viper PST Gen II or Burris XTR III lines give a lot of bang for the buck and get the job done just fine for most of us.

  15. #15
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    I recently sold my Mk5HD with the PR1 reticle. Was a great optic, clear, turrets were very responsive etc but the reticle was wrong for the shooting I’m using the rifle for. I’ll probably end up with one with a PR2-MIL reticle eventually

    Steiner had several options I liked but were out of my $2k budget for the time being.

    I looked at the NX8 but the eye box was very unforgiving (looked through several) and I don’t know if it was the demo model but it was difficult to focus the parallax along with the eye relief

    I liked the Eotech Vudu 5-25 especially the size, but not how the entire ocular bell rotates with magnification change…makes having caps difficult.

    The Trijicon Tenmile 4.5-30x56 seems decent; wasn’t able to look through one.


    The Razor 4.5-27 for the rifle I’ve got in mind is out of the question…48oz? Maybe on a bench gun

    Athlon makes a couple in the $1-2k range that get recommended but I’ve never used one

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