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Discussion Starter · #302 ·
Well, here is my list ... in price order ... but again, this list was built to match my requirements (stated in an earlier post about 3 pages back) ... this is NOT a "best of 2018" list ... though it might overlap with some people's idea of a "best of 2018" list ...


==
Hensolt 3.5-26x H59 $5,000

TT 5-25x G2XR $4,500

NF 7-35x HT-3 $3,900

USO 5-25x HT-3 $3,900

Steiner M5 5-25x HT-3 $3,200

L&S Mk5 5-25x HT-3 $2,500
 

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Discussion Starter · #303 ·
I am ruling out the Hensolt H59 and the L&S M5 ... both of those are 35mm tubes and for my bolt guns I want to use Spuhr mounts, so I can have the high raptar mount and be sure I can see the raptar display with my aiming eye still looking thru the scope at the target.

So that narrows the field to:

TT 5-25x G2XR $4,500

NF 7-35x HT-3 $3,900

USO 5-25x HT-3 $3,900

Steiner M5 5-25x HT-3 $3,200

==
I am still a little worried about the TT Gen2 XR reticle not having sufficient markings on the horizontal for holding for movers. But I am encouraged by this:



Which shows 15 mils of hold (5 mil marks are perfect for the extended holding for movers)

And if the TT implementation is the same as the Premier implementation then I'd be more than fine:



But I cannot be sure what the TT reticle looks like until I can see the whole thing ... so still a question mark on that aspect.

So with only 4 scopes left on the list, I think I can call this the "short list" and I can make up a chart of differences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #304 ·

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High end reviews of high end scopes are hard to find .. this one is already several years old ... but until I find a better one, here it is anyway.

Tactical Scopes: Field Test Results Summary & Overall Scores - PrecisionRifleBlog.com

Top 5

01 S&B 5-25x
02 NF BEAST 5-25x
03 Kahles 6-24x
04 Hensolt 3.5-26x
05 USO 5-25x

Note the TT was not included in the test as it was not generally available at the time.
While the test was a few years old the one thing notable is how close together the top scopes scored on the basics. Hard to separate the top performers when only considering optics and mechanical performance. The field started to spread out when it got to the part of the more subjective scoring based on shooter input.

I think that somewhere in the several blog posts there was a comment that S&B got some bonus points from shooters merely because of their popularity over the years.

I'd like to see the same evaluation run again, with same criteria, only using the current crop of $1500+, 2-25X scopes built for Tactical use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #306 ·
Aye. I realize it is a lot of effort to do every year ... but even every 2 years would be great and every 3 years would be acceptable. They did a "PRS" scope review this year ... but different batch of scopes in that review, though with some overlap.

==
I was particularly interested in the USO entry as I know the least about them. But the USO seems to hold its own in this group on optical clarity and mechanicals. I can make my own judgement on "features". I did note the USO will NOT fit into the Spuhr mounts I want to use :( ... (neither with the BEAST, though I had already ruled out the BEAST due to TALL turrets).

Then I found Spuhr makes special longer 1-piece mounts for the USO and Beast!

https://spuhrwebshop.com/en/isms/sp/extended/

But alas these are 1.48+ center and I am not sure that will work with one of my 1.31 clipons. I know 1.4 rings do work. I know a 1.55 mount does not work. I just found a 1.50 mount I have and so I will try that. If that works with the 1.31 clipon (works = zero POI shift) then I can use the Spuhr extended mount with the USO. Otherwise, I will have to use aluminum rings. And also I will have to replace the scope base on my .300WM ... and I'd rather not use aluminum rings on the .50BMG !!!
As they say ... "the devil is in the details" ... :)

==
Oh and in that 2014 review, the S&B 3-27 did not do well on mechanicals ... but maybe they did get a lemon as they say ... I have a buddy with one and he swears by it ...
 

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and I'd rather not use aluminum rings on the .50BMG !!!
...

When I think of 50 BMG the first name that comes to mind is "Barrett". Here's a little tidbit from their website regarding the scope rings they sell:

Barrett rings are made from high-strength 7075 T6 aluminum for long-term durability.


7075 T6 aluminum is definitely not ordinary aluminum. In many strength categories it actually exceeds many steel alloys you'll find used in scope rings.

If Barrett is willing to sell them for use on their 50 BMG's why the reluctance. I've changed all the scope rings on my precision rifles that have some fairly heavy scopes on them with Seekins or when Seekins rings are out of stock I use the same rings that are marked "Vortex". They don't break, move, or leave nasty marks on my multi-thousand dollar scopes.

If Spuhr rings are in your wheelhouse, certainly a set of Barrett's wouldn't scare you when you look at the price :) If I had a rifle capable of utilizing a 40 MOA extra elevation I'd consider a set of their ExRings. Pinned adjustment points for either 15 MOA or 40 MOA. One for the shorter ranges and the other to reach way out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #308 · (Edited)
Hey, thanks! I hadn't read that about Barrett rings ... I've been using steel for my "real" rifles for several years and like the "heft" ... but if AL works for Barrett it ought to work for my Barrett :D

==
But I still need certain center heights and RAPTAR mounts on top. But that allows Spuhr 2-piece solutions to enter the option list.
The Badgers are 6061 T6
The Spuhr are 7075 T651
So another reason to try to find a way to make Spuhr work ... but I don't think I can get the 1-piece to work unless it is custom ... so it will have to be 2-piece ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #309 ·
Based on a recommendation from a buddy, adding kahles 624i to the list



Kahles 6-24x finished 3rd out of 18 in the 2014 review (behind S&B 5-25x and NF BEAST 5-25x).

There are a couple of hold over reticles ^^ but no Tremor-3
 

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Discussion Starter · #311 ·
Good review of Kahles 6-24x AMR by our very own grandaddy, Mel.
;)

Kahles K624i - Full Review - Sniper Central

The mechanicals sound great. The glass resolution sounds great. The eye relief might require some thought, 3.5" since I plan on running this on a .50BMG some of the time. And since scope doesn't have a Tremor-3 reticle, I'll need to study up on the options. The SKMR3 is the one I'm leaning towards ...



And the image of the SKMR2 showing 50 mils left and right hold at unknown power, gives me some hope that this aspect is repeated on the SKMR3 allowing good support for holding for fast movers.



==
CS Tactical seems to offer the scope with the SKMR3 reticle in FDE with a sunshade ... though not in stock. I guess I will call and see if there is any idea (in months) of when any might be available.

So, eye relief, nailing down what the reticle actually looks like at all powers ... and availability ... need to check those out. But preliminary investigation indicates this guy is definitely on the list !!! I'm surprised. I've heard of these scopes before, but had never looked at them closely !
 

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Discussion Starter · #312 ·
I think I am down to three on the short list

TT 5-25 Geb2XR $4,500
NF 7-35x Tremor-3 $3,900
Kahles 6-24x AMR or SKMR3 $3,000

==
USO ruled out due to:
Reports that turrets are less precise and you can wind up stopping between the hashmarks on the turrets
Extra long erector box forces difficult mounting scenarios, requiring either custom mounts or reducing the strength of the mounting solution, which is not good for a scope that will spend some time on .50BMG. Will require new scope base for .300WM(24)
out of limits eye relief 4 inches on min power 2.8 inches on max power causing difficulties managing length of pull and eye releif
extra long scope, "might" causes issues with PVS-30 mounting on some rifles. Won't really know until I try it. But there is some risk here and it would be an expensive experiment

Pluses of USO ...
can get FDE
can get eyebox cant indicator
can get sunshades with ARD
Low turrets allows viewing of LRF display when mounted on top of scope
has tremor-3 illum reticle


==
Steiner M5 5-25x ruled out due to:
#13 out of 18 in the 2014 High End scope review
#13 out of 18 in the optical clarity aspect of same review

Plusses of Steiner
Has tremor-3 reticle
has never ending warranty

==
Hensolt 3.5-26 H59 Illum
Ruled out due to 36mm mounting requiring compromises, I hear Spuhr might have a "custom" solution, so need to check that.

==
L&S Mk5 5-25x Tremor-3
Ruled out mostly because too new, unknown.

L&S Mk6 3-18x Tremor-3
Ruled out as I think I want more magnification, though at long distance, if holding for elevation to any extend (purpose of T-3 reticle) I doubt I would be able to use more than 18x
I already have an L&S Mk6 3-18x. I am upgrading the turrets from M5B2 to M5C2 for $220 and might upgrade the reticle to Tremor-3 for $600, though it would not be illuminated. So this might wind up being my second "XMAS Tree" scope anyway. Well it is already, since it is an H58 already.


==
So with TT the only issue is the reticle. I am trying to get more information on the reticle.

With Kahles, the issues are the elevation 26 mils, the short eye relief 2.6/2.8 and the reticle. I think the elevation can be lived with and the NF that is still on the list is only 27 mils (versus TT 30).
The reticle I am trying to get more data on. The short eyerelief is a concern as this scope is intended to be run off a .50BMG for part of its life.

With NF, this is a tremor-3 illum ret. The scope came in #4 out of 18 in optical clarity, the elevation turret clicks came out 4 points out of 5 whereas the USO was 2 of 5 and the rest on my list were 5 of 5 (except the TT which wasn't reviewed as it wasn't ready). Ability to read the turret is not a factor for me as I do not read turrets. I either shoot at night or practice to shoot at night and we never look at the turrets when we are shooting, by design. So lack of perfect turrets is the only strike against the NF.

==
Summary

TT - only strike is against the reticle, trying to get more data
NF - only strike is the turrets 4 out of 5 score on the turrets
Kahles - two strikes are the eye relief (2.7 inces) and the reticles (trying to get more data

As to availability, I think the TT and NF are in stock at various places. I assume the Kahles must be special ordered so a 2 month or so delay (my guess). That is not a show stopper for me.
Kahles is the only one with an FDE option, which is an nice to have.

==
Thanks to all those who have provided input!!! And any further input is welcome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #313 ·
Putting it all to numbers.



I will start the vendor hunt for all three and see where the pricing and availability discussions lead. Except for the eye relief issue on the Kahles, I'd be happy with any of these. Maybe the eye relief issue got addressed on the Kahles and I did not get the memo! :D

I usually talk to 2-3 vendors for each item to see what I can learn.
 

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I'm going to take some grief for this from the dedicated TT fans, but for me,the gen 2XR reticle is somewhat counter intuitive. The tiny dots on the horizontal and vertical axis of the cross hairs are the mil indicators, and the larger and more pronounced hashmarks are the half mil indicators. It's something you can learn to deal with, just expected a mil mark to be more pronounced than the half. Only seems to be an issue for me when I go back and forth between my gen II razor and TT. I haven't got a lot of rounds through my TT mounted rifle, but I don't think my opinion of this reticle will change. I would have also preferred a full tree rather than the voids in the TT tree.

I never made moving targets a priority but based on this years experience hunting, I may need to revisit that. For movers you have five mils adjustment left or right on the fine lines with half mil increments. My old eyes don't see the hashmarks well on the thick lines until I crank the magnification up to 7-8. At that setting I see 8 hashmarks well each of which represent 2.5 mil increments of additional left or right adjustment.
 

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The eye relief might require some thought, 3.5" since I plan on running this on a .50BMG some of the time.
Just fabricate a padded forehead rest like what's used on the M-1 Abram's tank's sighting system. Make sure it's mounted to the rifle chassis. Place forehead against the rest firmly and be ready to "ride it out". As an added benefit it can make sure your eye is in the same position every time negating what little parallax may exist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #316 ·
Oops ... is this another entry ? Minox 5-25x with MR4 ?



Looks like the MR4 passes the sniff test ...

Might be equal or better than TT on optical (per this review anyway)

https://forum.snipershide.com/forum...ce-7-35-v-schmidt-bender-5-25-v-vortex-4-5-27

Nightforce 7-35x doesn't come off too badly either ... too bad for me the kahles is not included in this review.

One important detail to me is that the Minox elevation turret is lower than both the TT and the NF.

==
Hum another review comparing just TT and Minox ZP5 ... The Minox turrets take a beating from this reviewer ...

https://forum.snipershide.com/forum...529754-tangent-theta-vs-minox-zp5-5-25-review

Will look for some more reviews.
 

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Discussion Starter · #317 ·
So, I am ruling out
TT - due to reticle. In looking at other reticles, I've realized the Gen2XR might be "good enough" but is not better than "good enough" in my perception, for my purposes and that I can have a "better than good enough" reticle with other scope choices. I think the TT is otherwise the best scope out there for my current purposes and if they add more reticles, I will come back and look again.
Minox - Due to "inconsistencies" in the turrets. I saw a review by one guy who had "great turrets" ... but about half dozen other people reported various issues with the turrets, mostly earlier in 2017. This issue might be fixed, but just not enough data to be sure. Otherwise, the Minox offers TT like optical performance for around $3k and a better reticle (in my perception, for my purposes) in the MR4. The Minox would be on the list if the turret inconsistencies issue can be addressed.

That leaves:
Nightforce 7-35x Tremor-3
Kahles 6-24x AMR or SKMR3

And the selection will be made based on the reticles as well as the "deal". So I will call several vendors on these two and try to determine price and availability. And continue to do some research on these reticles, so I can pick the one that most closely matches my requirements.

All comments welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #318 ·
Wound up going with the NF ATACR 7-35x tremor-3

It won out in the USAF 1951 chart test over the TT 5-25x and the minox 5-25x

It is a close call for me between the tremor-3 and the SKMR2 reticles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #319 ·
... I never made moving targets a priority but based on this years experience hunting, I may need to revisit that. For movers you have five mils adjustment left or right on the fine lines with half mil increments. My old eyes don't see the hashmarks well on the thick lines until I crank the magnification up to 7-8. At that setting I see 8 hashmarks well each of which represent 2.5 mil increments of additional left or right adjustment. ...
Well the 5 mils gives you 5 mils ... and the 8 x 2.5 mils gives you 20 mils ... total 25 mils ... using the 2 mph = 1.25 mils ... the gives you 40 mph ... which is plenty for yotes and hogs. Every 5 mils is 8 mph (using the A1 formula) ... so est crossing speed to nearest 8 mph and hold 5 mils for each multiple of 8 mph.
 

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Discussion Starter · #320 ·
2018-02-09

2018-02-10

1700-0500

20F

15 MPH N



Goals: Hogs and Yotes



Environment:

Friday: 76F when we arrived, quickly down to 21F with winds 20-25 MPG from N

Large Fields, 0.5 to 1 mile per side, very flat and open terrain, Cows, Deer, Yotes, Pigs, *****, Skunks.

Saturday: Temps in the 20s all day and night. Winds a little lower 15 MPH N.



Team and Equipment:

Dave: Pulsar Quantum, 50mm, 384, 6.5(16), Trail 640, 50mm, 123 SST, Ram 1500

James: 5.56(10.5), Pulsar APEX 50mm, 384, 62gr TSX, PVS-14, PAS-29, Bushy LRF

Joe: 5.56(10.3), Mk3 60mm, Patrol, PVS-14, 62gr TSX



Activity:



Friday:

Rolling and scanning fields near WF, TX

Wind conditions and distances involved made PID difficult. Smaller scanners could detect, but often I would hear calls to "Put the big one on it", meaning fire up the 60mm and try to PID.

A number of initial mis-identifications were made, but eventually corrected with additional study.

No critters were taken Friday night. All the pigs we saw were in fields we could not shoot.



Saturday:

Rolling and scanning fields in Mantag Cty, TX

More hills and trees, but still fairly large fields.

We got one boar. I spotted it from several hundred yards distance and eventually we were able to stalk up to it.

James knocked it down with 1 shot from 125yds.







As we closed up to drag it to the truck, it was still moving. The shot had completely paralyzed the 2 front legs, but the rear ones were still moving.

We gave it a mercy shot.

Had to drag it up a hill and put it on the truck. Girth was 42.5 inches, so est. 225 pds.

Later on that same property we missed when shooting at another group of hogs. Not knowing the distance caused us to aim high. We learned from that to measure the distance before each emgagememt.



Back in WF, we revisted the proerties from previous night.

We were rolling through one field stopping and scanning. James had my Patrol and 14 on his head from right rear seat. He called out "something moving 5 p'clock to 3 o'clock.

I was scanning out front right seat with 60mm and called "yote with no tail". I had never seen a yote with no tail, but that is what I saw, so I called it out.

Dave, out of vehicle scanning with 50mm called "tail is tucked".

I asked James to give distances. Using LRF and 14 he was able to provide several range updates over the next few minutes.

Dave tried calling it, but that caused it to move away more quickly.

He tried calling it again and it laid down facing us.

James called out 205yds. My hold was 6 inches up at that distance.

Dave said "Pop it". I timed breathing to put reticle six inches over neck at top of breathing cycle and fired.

Yote rolled over, legs in air.

Dave and James could not see it clearly but I called out it was dead.

Turned out the hit was 2 inches under the left ear.







Later we decided, the yote realized it was "cornered" and went to ground as a defensive measure.



We saw a group of about 10 pigs in a field we could not shoot, but just across the road from a field we could shoot.

We stalked into the field we could shoot and tried to call the pigs from 100yds. No reaction.

Closed to 75yds called again. No reaction

Closed to 50yds called again. No reaction

Closed to 25yds called again. The pigs ran in the opposite direction. :D



Not a great night for calling !



Rolling, James detected something about 500yds in a field. WIth 60mm on 9x I thought it was a pig, but was not sure as it was end on.

We rolled another 50yds and it turned, still end on. We repeated 3 more times with it continuing to turn as we moved. Eventually I called PID on pig.

We rolled in to the field and stalked final 300yds to 100yds, lased the distance and fired with no hold and got this lone boar. It was smaller than the previous one. It did not detect us.







By then it was 5am again.



==

Summary: Knowing the distances to the critters in the large fields is critical as there are no landmarks.

The patrol, in its first outing, was very useful, though we used it on 2x most of the time, but it still had a very clear image.

The 14 and LRF were very useful at providing distances.

The best long distance spotter we had was the 60mm Mk3, which still had a good image on 9x.
 
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