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*Admin edit:

Yup, I stickied this post.

Not because it has the answers, but because it has some of the questions.

Hopefully it'll give the 'Hey - I just joined and want to know the best scope!' newbies a little something to mull over before asking such a loaded question.

So - to any newbie reading this:

You wouldn't go to a car forum and ask 'What's the best car?' Would you?

Ferrari! Yeah, but I have a family and dogs.
Electric! Yeah, but I drive 300 miles a day.
Pick up! Yeah, but I don't want anything too big.
Etc.

What do you need it for? What are your requirements and what are your constraints?

- Ravenblack

_____________________________________________________________

Scope decision process (for most of us there are probably several answer to the question of which scope is best for us - so perhaps the process for making the decision is what is important more so than whether we wind up with the one right scope - which probably doesn't exist :) ):

I have another scope in my budget for this year and I'm pondering on it harder than I thought. Several months ago I had my mind "made up" now I'm reversing myself almost completely. Why is that? I think it is that as I learn more about what kind of shooting I can regularly do, versus what I want to be able to do, my priorities change and also as I learn more about how to use scopes, my ideas about what will work best for me change.

Originally my priority goal was 1k+ shooting. I still want to do 1K+ shooting but I realize the places I can do that are few and far between and hence the frequency of shooting at that distance will be low. It will take time and money to do it. I still think I can and will shoot at 1k+ at least once a year, but now I realize that 90% of my shooting will be a under 1k.

Things I like about shooting are the exercise (I shoot on my own land and walk to the targets and back and forth a lot) and the challenge. I shoot in bad weather and at night and in non-optimal terrain. I'm not looking to shoot in "perfect" conditions, more the opposite. I hide my targets in bushes and shoot from tall grass on purpose to increase the challenge.

I used to think, "the more magnification the better". Now I almost think the opposite. I shoot with my 3.5-10x TMR Leupold scope at 3.5 most of the time. Why? Shooting at night, I want more FOV and also too much magnification makes the NVD get fuzzier.

I used to think FFP was a no-brainer (I have one of each FFP and SFP). But when I'm shooting a bullet at a distance that it has 100+ inches of drop, I might "top out" with the elevation knobs. If I have to hold over 5 mils (TMR reticle) I'm in the "fuzzy" space on the reticle. With an SFP scope I can reduce magnification and I move my hold towards the "sweet spot" of the scope. Shooting .22LR at 300yds or 7.62 subsonic at 300yds I've experienced this "benefit" of SFP scopes.

Some scopes achieve high magnification at the expense of a higher minimum magnification. So there is a Leupold scope which is 8.5 to 25x this is a 3x zoom scope. A minimum of 8.5x would be a pain in the butt. I'm not even sure it would focus at 100yds ! So we need to watch our minimum magnification for a scope purpose. We need to decide how many "zooms" we want and can afford.

The S&B PMII 12-50x scope is probably a $5000 scope by the time you get it working on your rifle. That is the scope I had in my budget, I figured it was a "king" in the LR space. But my recent experience with low power shooting has showed me the a 12x minimum magnification is a show stopper for me. Only 4 zooms trying to do 50x is not a good idea, for me. I didn't know that for a while. The S&B 5-25x scope is a 5 zoom scope, much better idea, we give up high power but we gain lower power.

Reticle. Both my current "good" scopes (Leupold 3.5-10x and 6.5-20x) have TMR reticles and I'd consider that to be a good basic reticle. I'd like to get something "fancier" with more "marks". The TMR has half-mil marks out to 5 mils and one 5 mil mark at the 10 mil level. Shooting at 1000yds, 1 mil is 36 inches. With the TMR reticle, I think I can hold .25 mil ... aim at the white spot between the 2 half mil marks. At 1kyds that is 9 inches and 2kyds that is 18 inches. So even at 2Kyds my guess is my TMR reticle will not be what prevents me from hitting the target, if I can hold, or crank, to within 18 inches. So, that means I can "live" with a TMR reticle and I don't need to spend $800 more for a fancy reticle. Those are my thoughts today anyway.

SFP versus FFP. I majored in math, so I'm comfortable with numbers. Reading 7.2 mils on my ballistics calculator and translating this to 2.4 mils in my head, for my 3.5-10x scope at 3.5x is not a problem. Being able to shoot at lower magnification and not have to hold as much if I "top out" I see as a benefit. Especially for under 1k shooting, where I now realize I will be doing most of my shooting.

MOA versus Mil. One of my scopes (the 3.5-10x) has MOA turrets and a mil based reticle. Everyone says don't do this. When I got the scope, I was such a novice I didn't know any better. But having used that scope for months, maybe it is not a totally bad thing. I forget my phone (with AB Bal Calc) a lot when I go out and I have to do the math in my head a lot and switching back and forth between real inches and MOA and Mils has become fairly comfortable now, and that is probably good. What if my scope breaks or my Bal Calc breaks etc. So, I'm not dead set on matching Mils and MOA or on one versus the other. And when I'm shooting iron sights I think in terms of IPHY.

Ill Ret. One of my scopes, the SFP 10x, has an Ill Ret, the other, the 20x FFP does not. There have been a very few cases where turning on the Ill Ret helped. One was a twilight situation where there were lots of tree branch shadows on the target and the other was a night shoot with tac light where it seemed I could see the reticle a little better with a little Ill. But this is less than 1% of my shooting, so I'm not sold on the need for Ill Ret. I can take it or leave it.

Reliability/Quality. Here I'm very happy with the Leupolds. I have not seen them prevent me from being able to shoot in any conditions, snow or rain. They just keep on working. I seem to be able to see better looking through those scope (more light) than I can with my Mk-I eye balls (good glass). So I don't want to compromise here. I think I'd rather give up anything else, than give up in this area. So that probably limits me to the top 5-10 manufacturers and sets certain price bands. My equipment gets used in the field and it gets dirty. Last time I was out playing in the mud and my equipment got muddy. I'm in the use the equipment business but also in the clean the equipment business, but I detect no issues with the Leupold scopes being used hard in the field so far (one year down the road).

==

So, of course, we should get the scope that best matches our needs. I'd put those into three groups:

01 - Reliability/Quality
02 - Budget
03 - Features

I isolated "quality" because as I said, I don't want to compromise there. In terms of budget, the scope, for me, competes with everything else in my "gun budget" but I always want to pay zero, or if that isn't possible, the least I can. I expect to pay somewhere between $2k and $5k for the scope, including the mounting. I keep in mind that the less I spend on the scope, the more I can spend on something else, like a FLIR Thermal for example.

I'll set one feature as the low end magnification cannot be greater than 5x or lower than 3x and upper magnification cannot be lower than 10x.

So, where does that leave me?

Re-stating my purpose for this scope: Under 1k in the day time, with a lot of night/low light shooting at under 500yds. Shooting will be target shooting mostly, but under non-optimal conditions, like different firing points, rough ground, poor target visibility, etc.

Magnifications could be things like: 3-12, 4-16, 5-15 even up to 5-25. Knobs could be mils or moa or a combination, reticle, I'd prefer mils, just because everything else I have is and my spotting scope will probably have a mil based reticle as well.

As to other features, for the knobs I like knobs that have a very positive feel and mitigate "slippage". I crank my knobs up and down a lot and the idea of being "zeroed" at a particular range, doesn't mean much to me. I'm "zeroed" at where ever my knobs are set at the moment.
So, bottom line ... I don't have much on my list in terms of "features", that why "features" is my #3 priority (above). As to SFP versus FFP I'm ok either way with a slight preference for SFP (I surprise myself :) )

Manufacturers: S&B, USO, Leupold, Nightforce

The above manufacturers, at least, should be on my list, still thinking about others. I have about 6 weeks before I ought to make a decision.

Any thoughts welcome!!!

==

Oh, p.s. I'm also thinking about a dot sight with a magnifier for shorter distances and I already have pic mountable iron sights. But there is a separate line item in my budget for the dot sight with magnifier, so "scope" discussion is separate.

p.p.s My "default" selection, might just be to repeat my purchase of the Leupold 3.5-10x TMR Ill Ret scope. The pluses for this scope are that I've used it for about 70% (800 rounds) of my scoped shooting over the past year and I like it a lot. It meets my needs at under 1K for day or night. It would cost about $1,500 for the scope and say another $300 to get it mounted. So it is probably the lowest cost option for me. Downsides are the knobs (M2) can slip and this is about a 10 year old scope design, so it is fairly poor in the general features department. But if I get a different scope, I would want to be convinced it increased my capabilities somehow in terms of my shooting goals, otherwise why not just go with the "tried and true"? So I'll call this scope the "baseline".
 
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I used to think FFP was a no-brainer (I have one of each FFP and SFP). But when I'm shooting a bullet at a distance that it has 100+ inches of drop, I might "top out" with the elevation knobs. If I have to hold over 5 mils (TMR reticle) I'm in the "fuzzy" space on the reticle. With an SFP scope I can reduce magnification and I move my hold towards the "sweet spot" of the scope. Shooting .22LR at 300yds or 7.62 subsonic at 300yds I've experienced this "benefit" of SFP scopes.
You completely lost me here. Having accurate holds at lower magnifications is the trait of FFP scopes, not SFP scopes.

Some scopes achieve high magnification at the expense of a higher minimum magnification. So there is a Leupold scope which is 8.5 to 25x this is a 3x zoom scope. A minimum of 8.5x would be a pain in the butt. I'm not even sure it would focus at 100yds ! So we need to watch our minimum magnification for a scope purpose. We need to decide how many "zooms" we want and can afford.
There are plenty of good scopes with a 5x or more magnification ratio.

The S&B PMII 12-50x scope is probably a $5000 scope by the time you get it working on your rifle. That is the scope I had in my budget, I figured it was a "king" in the LR space. But my recent experience with low power shooting has showed me the a 12x minimum magnification is a show stopper for me. Only 4 zooms trying to do 50x is not a good idea, for me. I didn't know that for a while. The S&B 5-25x scope is a 5 zoom scope, much better idea, we give up high power but we gain lower power.
Actually, the S&B 5-25 is not a "true" 5x magnification ratio scope. It is only marketed that way. http://www.sniperforums.com/forum/optics/44960-tunneling-here-s-what-looks-like.html

Reticle. Both my current "good" scopes (Leupold 3.5-10x and 6.5-20x) have TMR reticles and I'd consider that to be a good basic reticle. I'd like to get something "fancier" with more "marks". The TMR has half-mil marks out to 5 mils and one 5 mil mark at the 10 mil level. Shooting at 1000yds, 1 mil is 36 inches. With the TMR reticle, I think I can hold .25 mil ... aim at the white spot between the 2 half mil marks. At 1kyds that is 9 inches and 2kyds that is 18 inches. So even at 2Kyds my guess is my TMR reticle will not be what prevents me from hitting the target, if I can hold, or crank, to within 18 inches. So, that means I can "live" with a TMR reticle and I don't need to spend $800 more for a fancy reticle. Those are my thoughts today anyway.
Have you seen the GenIIXR reticle? I think it would be right up your alley. It's one of my favorites.

SFP versus FFP. I majored in math, so I'm comfortable with numbers. Reading 7.2 mils on my ballistics calculator and translating this to 2.4 mils in my head, for my 3.5-10x scope at 3.5x is not a problem. Being able to shoot at lower magnification and not have to hold as much if I "top out" I see as a benefit. Especially for under 1k shooting, where I now realize I will be doing most of my shooting.
Math isn't the concern. The concern is, how do you know if you are on the correct magnification to make your math work correctly? Especially in the dark when using NV? Even with a calibrated mag ring, in the daytime, it's quite difficult to get the mag ring in the exact correct place to not introduce error. It also has to do with speed. Often times how fast you can apply a firing solution to a target has more to do with whether it dies than how precise the firing solution itself is. To mean, you can often be off on your firing solution a bit, and still score, so long as you can capitalize on an opportunity that presents itself. Equipment limitations that are not otherwise present, often show themselves with violent intent when you apply a clock.

MOA versus Mil. One of my scopes (the 3.5-10x) has MOA turrets and a mil based reticle. Everyone says don't do this. When I got the scope, I was such a novice I didn't know any better. But having used that scope for months, maybe it is not a totally bad thing. I forget my phone (with AB Bal Calc) a lot when I go out and I have to do the math in my head a lot and switching back and forth between real inches and MOA and Mils has become fairly comfortable now, and that is probably good. What if my scope breaks or my Bal Calc breaks etc. So, I'm not dead set on matching Mils and MOA or on one versus the other. And when I'm shooting iron sights I think in terms of IPHY.
Get a matching reticle/turret combo. To do otherwise is foolish. As for MOA vs mil... that has more to do with your shooting partners and your own preference than anything. Communication is easier if everyone you shoot with is running the same system, though either system can call for each other... as *3.5 or /3.5 is not that hard to do. My brain works better with a 10 base system, so I like mils.

Ill Ret. One of my scopes, the SFP 10x, has an Ill Ret, the other, the 20x FFP does not. There have been a very few cases where turning on the Ill Ret helped. One was a twilight situation where there were lots of tree branch shadows on the target and the other was a night shoot with tac light where it seemed I could see the reticle a little better with a little Ill. But this is less than 1% of my shooting, so I'm not sold on the need for Ill Ret. I can take it or leave it.
Most any serious scope will have a lit reticle. Not really a choice here.

Reliability/Quality. Here I'm very happy with the Leupolds. I have not seen them prevent me from being able to shoot in any conditions, snow or rain. They just keep on working. I seem to be able to see better looking through those scope (more light) than I can with my Mk-I eye balls (good glass). So I don't want to compromise here. I think I'd rather give up anything else, than give up in this area. So that probably limits me to the top 5-10 manufacturers and sets certain price bands. My equipment gets used in the field and it gets dirty. Last time I was out playing in the mud and my equipment got muddy. I'm in the use the equipment business but also in the clean the equipment business, but I detect no issues with the Leupold scopes being used hard in the field so far (one year down the road).
If you think those leupolds look nice... you truly won't know what to do with yourself when you get some "real" rifle telescopes in front of you.

The best scope that I've ever used with a night vision clip on is a Premier 3-15 Tactical. As Premier was purchased by Tangent Theta, and a new line of scopes released... the Tangent Theta 315P would be my best recommendation for you. It is a true no-compromise rifle scope.
Model TT315P | Tangent Theta
Model TT315P Specifications | Tangent Theta
Tangent Theta - 3-15x50 P-Series

The next step down from that, would be the Nightforce 3.5-15 F1
We also sell this scope, but do not have them currently listed on our website.

If you'd like to talk about optics selection on the phone sometime, just give me a call.
 

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You might give a hard look at the 2014 Bushnell Tactical Elite G2DMR 3.5-21X50 scopes with zero stop if you don't require an illuminated reticle.
 

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Most people don't think this way...most people spend money they haven't earned, buying things they don't truely want, to impress people they don't even know...

I would make this a sticky if I had the juice...

+1
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry I haven't been able to engage today, I've been helping to clean out of the apartment of a friend who just died (cancer strikes again) :( ... I'll try to get back in the saddle tomorrow ...
 

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Most people don't think this way...most people spend money they haven't earned, buying things they don't truely want, to impress people they don't even know...

I would make this a sticky if I had the juice...

+1
People living the "American dream".

And people wonder why I drive the same old vehicle. It's paid for, should get another 200k miles (diesel).

No need to owe money when what I own works fine.
 

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Sorry I haven't been able to engage today, I've been helping to clean out of the apartment of a friend who just died (cancer strikes again) :( ... I'll try to get back in the saddle tomorrow ...
The IOR 3.5-18X50 is the best damn scope on the planet, bar none.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the input!

On the benefit of the SFP versus FFP I was mentioned, it wasn't so much greater accuracy at low power I was trying to talk about as just the ability to go to distances beyond where I've run out of elevation cranks on the turrent. Reduce the maginifcation and reduce the mils needed to hold. Not an accuracy play, just an ability to use the lower power to some advantage. I'm sure it reduces the accuracy in the sense of "aim small miss small".

I've made a preliminary list of "candidate" scopes that fit my initial parameters. But I think I will reset the maximum allowed "low end" maginifcation. I had said this would be 5x, but on reflection I think this is too high. I think 4x is probably better. So I will remove the 5-25x scopes from my list, though I will show them this first time. I think those scopes are really 1k+ (yards of distance) scopes and I've specified I want a 1k and under scope. Further, they are more $$ !!! (except for the NF ATACR)



I just looked at the GenIIXR reticle and it looks fine! I recall trying to look at Premire several months back but my brain got confused. Maybe due to the merger. I couldn't figure out if Premier made "scopes" or just "parts of scopes" at least that is how I remember my confusion. But I'd be happy to add Premier or whatever they're called this week, to the list. I said 5-10 manufacturers (on the long list) and right now I only have four.

Regarding "math" ... on my 3.5-10x TMR scope, which I use with the NVD, so far, I have either run it on 3.5x or 10x. So it is easy to find those two, they are at the opposite ends of the dial. Also, I only use 3.5x at night. If I ever decided to use 5x (which I would at over 500yds at night) then I would have to get out my 3L nav light, set on "red" and look at the dial.
So, I don't have a "dial" problem since I only use the two positions and they are easy to find and the math is /3 not /3.5 since this is really a 3xzoom scope ... I think internally it is 3.3 on the lower end and 9.9 on the top end ... the 3.5 and 10 are just "marketing" ... I think.

As to Bushnell, are the scopes made in USA? It seems some of the Bushnell LRFs are/were made in PRC. For me the scope needs to be top quality and I'm not sure that would apply to PRC made scopes.

==
So, for next iteration of the candidates chart, I will remove the 5-25x entries, I will add some Tangent Theta entries, I will verify whether Bushnell scopes are made in PRC and I will look at IOR, though I must be a dummy (granted from day one) as I have never heard of them. And I will review Leupold candidates and probably hadd a few of those as well.
 

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On the benefit of the SFP versus FFP I was mentioned, it wasn't so much greater accuracy at low power I was trying to talk about as just the ability to go to distances beyond where I've run out of elevation cranks on the turrent. Reduce the maginifcation and reduce the mils needed to hold.
Yes, I understand. However, how exactly are you planning on having those holds be where they are suppose to be? Even with a calibrated mag ring, there will be error. ... and at distances beyond your optics available travel? It seems you are more concerned about the academic application here, than real world scenarios. I spend every day, all day, helping people choose various pieces of kit professionally, but I can't help them unless they want me to.

I maintain that the TT315P, TT315M, and Nightforce 3.5-15 F1 are the best options for your application.
 

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Thanks for the input!

After reading your last post I think the 3-18X42 SFP moa/moa is your best bet.

The 3-18x42 SF 35mm Tactical is Valdada's best all-time seller. The scope features a near perfect magnification range and compact size (13.5 inches long). Introduced in 2004, this model offered a 6x zoom ratio long before any of our European competitors even dreamed about this revolutionary optical design. This scope can sit ultra low on a 1.250 shank heavy barrel bolt gun, making a very compact package. Illuminated MP-8 dot, HR-5 or VRM reticules sync MOA/MOA @ 18x. Side focus, new exposed knobs with zero reset, new ocular design and sunshade, this scope is used by real operators and snipers every day. The new oversized exposed tactical knobs, offer 25 MOA of adjustment in 1/4 MOA clicks (100 clicks) in one complete turn. Every scope comes with a set of 35mm HD premium tactical or QD rings of your choice, included in the price! Use Low rings on bolt action rifles, medium rings on AR 10's and FN-FAL's and high rings on AR Flat tops.
 

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Before taking any recommendation from Recondo, about anything... I'd consult this thread: http://www.sniperforums.com/forum/optics/45395-went-back-range-morning.html

... and this one: http://www.sniperforums.com/forum/optics/45291-nightforce-b-e-s-t.html

My favorite part:
I must say I'm a recreational shooter. I do not spend my days doing box drills. When I go to the range I practice on shooting groups. When I go to my friends house we have four targets set up around his lake 100yds, 200yds, 438yds, and 600yds. Sometimes we shoot at targets, but most of the time its gatorade bottles filed with water, bleach bottle bottles filled with water ect... I'm not a competition shooter. I've never shot in one. I'm thinking about it, but as of today I have not. So I'm not the greatest shot in the world (as you can see). I was thinking while out there today the best way for me personally to do a box drill would be for me to have gun in a fixed position so I would only have to adjust the scope. I"m not really steady enough to know whether it's the scope or is it me. But this is not to prove anything to orkan but more of a post for you other guys to give me some advise on what I can do to get better. Thanks.
Anyone reading this would do well to filter "advice" from people that have next to zero experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
... It seems you are more concerned about the academic application here, than real world scenarios ...
I'm talking real world, I'm sure I'm just not explaining myself with sufficient clarity, I will try harder!

==

I'm looking at my Applied Ballistics calculator and I'm starting from the point of being zeroed (dialed up to) 197yds with AM22 ammo in my .22LR rifle. Now I want to go shoot at 323yds. I need 25.4 MOA or 51 clicks on my Leupold 3.5-10x TMR scope (1/2 MOA per click), but I only have 42 clicks up of elevation remaining. So after "topping out" I click back down to 197yds. Now I'm dialed for 197yds again.

Now AB says I need to hold 7.4 mils, but if I set my maginfication to 3.5x this becomes 2.466 up that I need to hold. So by holding 2.5 mils up I have a solution even though I've run out of clicks. I could try to hold 7.4 mils ad I've done that in the past, but I'd rather stay closer to the center of the reticle and hold 2.5 with lower power. Also when shooting at night 3.5x works better with my NVD than 10x does. And in general I'm trying to shoot on the lowest power I can to gain more FOV.

So I've faced this situation twice recently and acted as per the above. And an almost identical situation occurs when I'm shooting 175gr 7.62 subsonic rounds as the drop profile of those rounds is fairly close to the drop profile of the AM22 rounds. I've faced that situation twice recently as well. So four times in the past month I've done this.

So for me, this is real world. I just hope I explaned myself better this time!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok, here is second pass at the candidate list. Having gotten to this point, I actually feel like the hardest part of the process is complete.
Over the past six months I've better understood my requirements and I've changed my ideas about what will work for me and my conditions dramatically. I think there is still a little room for "refinement" in the requirements area, but realizing that under 1K distance is part of the requirement is key and being able to support the NVD is another key.




So looking at the candidate list, one eye openener is the Leupold Mk6 entry. Note the comparison between the two choices I've shown. They want an extra $1k for the ill ret. for a TMR reticle? That is crazy, this is one case, where I'm fine removing the Ill Ret. Absolutely not worth $1k to me for an Ill Ret. I think I've needed it 3 times and had it 2 of those times. Unfortunately one of those times was with FFP and I couldn't take the shot because I couldn't see the reticle, due to shadows from branches (cut down the dang trees Joe !!!). Subsequently, I've learned if had increased the power, the reticle would get larger and I probably could've taken the shot. I had the reticle on min power. So my use case for Ill Ret is still very low, though I'll take it if I can get it for a reasonable price. I'll remove the Ill Ret version of the Mk6 for the third pass, but wanted to show why.

Added two Tangent Theta entries and they look fine. My only two issues are cost, availability (pre-order status only at this point) and some risk with CS from unknown company. I read Greg's write up on his web site and I realize this company isn't just "falling from the sky" but every new company is a new company regardless, I've been in a bunch of them.

I may remove the entries that only have MOA reticles. I realize that since my spotting scope will be TMR, having a MOA reticle in the scope would slow things down too much.

One more thing I need to check, is what is the maximum objective size I can support with the NVD, those objectives at over 50mm might be an issue, so I'll check that.

I looked at the Bushnell. I couldn't figure out where they were made. I would need to spend more time on due dilligence to convince myself those scopes are in the same class as the others on this list. In other words, is Bushnell top tier for scopes? I'm not convinced of that yet. Any evidence is welcome.

I haven't looked at the IOR yet. I suspect this would require a bit of due dilligence as well before I'd be comforatble considering them to be a candidate. Trying to stick with something resembling "high end" manufacturers.

==
Once I really understand my requirements, pulling the candidate list is not too hard and refining it is not too hard. I can add factors like warranty, CS record, accessories etc. Then I'll have a list of scopes of which probably any of them would be fine. At that point much agonizing is probably not value added, because any of them would work. So then it probably becomes a financial decision.
 

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Wigwamitus... I am quite familiar with what you are talking about. I understand you just fine on both accounts.

What I'm telling you is that just because your optic says 3.5x, doesn't mean you are actually on 3.5x, nor does it mean your reticle subtends correctly at 3.5x even if it is actually 3.5x. You need to calibrate the magnification ring to be sure, and after that is done, there can still be error. If your reticle does not subtend correctly, your math is for not. Even if you get it calibrated, the likelihood of getting lined up perfectly with your calibration marks in the dark, is slim to none. This is the detriment of SFP reticles.

Obviously there are two schools of thought: Those that take it as a matter of pride to overcome as many equipment-related obstacles as they can, and those that choose the best equipment they can, to remove as many equipment-related obstacles as possible. FFP reticles remove a variable, freeing you completely from your magnification ring, and giving you full and complete usage of your entire magnification range with no compromises. (if the correct scopes are chosen) I have had some extremely qualified and skilled professional marksmen shoot next to me on a clock with their SFP optics. When the scores are tallied, they are looking to get what I've got... not the other way around.

Also, for me it is entirely academic, because your Leupold probably only has 65MOA of total elevation travel. Any optic I would recommend for you would have far more. The TT315P has 95+ MOA (28 mils) available on 2 turns of the turret, and has 120MOA (34mils) of total internal elevation travel. With the right base or mount, that means you could run your 22lr out as far as you would ever be able to identify that it hit something using nothing but the turret. You'd be able to dial out to 400yds, and likely 450yds depending on your AO... then you'd have an additional 8 mils of fine holds available on the reticle, and a hold every 5 mils past that all the way to the bottom of the reticle at 3x. At no point, ever, with scopes that have this kind of capability, have I wished I had a SFP reticle to do the reduced power mil hold multiplication that you describe, even though I frequently shoot to extended distances with 22lr and centerfire.

I can understand some hesitation in regard to the customer service you might experience with Tangent Theta, but there are a great many people that would tell you it is unfounded hesitation. It is a new name, but the people behind that name are anything but new. Some of the most reputable names in the optics industry are there, and they'd die before they would let their reputation go down a shady path. We'll have the TT scopes in June.
 

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able price.

I haven't looked at the IOR yet. I suspect this would require a bit of due dilligence as well before I'd be comforatble considering them to be a candidate. Trying to stick with something resembling "high end" manufacturers.

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Once I really understand my requirements, pulling the candidate list is not too hard and refining it is not too hard. I can add factors like warranty, CS record, accessories etc. Then I'll have a list of scopes of which probably any of them would be fine. At that point much agonizing is probably not value added, because any of them would work. So then it probably becomes a financial decision.
IOR is as high end as they get, just with out the high end price tag. All scopes have a lifetime warranty. I agree with Orkan, don't listen to me. Email Paul McCoy at [email protected] He's the man when it comes to IOR scopes.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
The Leupold 3.5-10x TMR scope has 90 MOA of adjustment, 180 clicks. I know this because when I move the scope between my rifles I re-center the knobs I click them all the way in both directions and then get them centered. This is for both elevation and windage. Now I see most scopes have less windage adjustment than elevation and I'm fine with that. I don't shoot much in 90 mile an hour winds. Even I draw the line somewhere ;).

I'm sure most people know a lot more than I about SFP versus FFP, everyone I've asked has said "get FFP" but my brain must be in a different place because I still see some benefit for SFP. Not that I'm opposed to FFP, I'm fine with either. But IIRC, in looking at the prices of the NF 3.5-15 MLR scopes, they have both an SFP and an FFP flavor and the FFP flavor was $1,000 more !!! And I would struggle to pay $1,000 extra when I'm not sure the FFP is worth that much more than the SFP, if it is worth more.

Here are the trade-offs that my brain comes up with (is this turning into an SFP versus FFP thread ... maybe we should go read those :) )

01 - SFP reticle easier to see in low light, low power scenarios.
I've experienced this and one time I couldn't take a shot because I couldn't see the FFP reticle in a low light situation. Now I was an idiot, because I could've / should've cranked up the power a bit an then I think I could've seen the reticle and taken the shot. That was when I wished my FFP had an Ill Ret (it doesn't - this is my 6.5-20x TMR scope). But if I had increased the magnification, I think I would've had a shot. I grabbed my other rifle with the SFP with Ill Ret. and was able to take a shot.

02 - SFP can enable holding a small adjustment at lower power.
This is the example I describe above that we have been discussing. For some reason I'm drawn to shoot at the lowest power settings I can and still see the target well enough to hit. This is the opposite of what I did at first. But I like the FOV and with the SFP scope the fact I don't have to hold as much. I also don't like the hard to see reticle of the FFP at low power (but I said that before :) ).

03 - FFP makes the arithmetic easier because you don't have to adjust your hold for lower power.
This is certainly true. But my process so far has been to only use my SFP scope on either max power (10x) or min power (3.5x). I do not think the real powers are 3.5x and 10x I think they are 9.9x and 3.3x. While I haven't calibrated them in a laboratory, I have shot quite a bit with this scope and seen the the "divide by 3" works in the field. At night, if I want to switch from 10x to 3.5x (nominal) I just crank the dial from one extreme to the other. So, far, I've made a rule only to use those two powers. If I wanted to use 5x with the night vision at 600yds (which I might) then I would have to get out my 3L nav light on red light and check the dial or else I would have to set it before I leave the house. So I agree this is a disadvantage.


But net/net, I'm still not in the FFP is always the best solution camp. Maybe I'll get there, but not there yet. And my brain wonders. If FFP was truly a no-brainer in any and all situations, then why does SFP exist? I'll try to do some reading in this direction and figure it out.

But, I'll add the NF 3.5-15x MLR FFP onto my candidate list, I already have the SFP flavor on the list, but I'll put the FFP on there as well. This will give me a chance to reverify that it is really $1,000 more in price. I did switch to the 1/10 MIL knobs version and that increased the price over $200 as I recall, but it would be nice to have the knobs match the reticle, even dumb Joe agrees with that :).

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I need to get my butt out there tonight and make sure I can use the 6.5-20x scope with the NVD at least from an objective size perspective. I think I can, but I want to KNOW and that means I have to do it (twice). In mounting it with the NVD just now I do see that the length of the scope will be important. The 6.5-20x scope is really too long to go on the Sig716 with the NVD rail mounted on the front. I'll have to ratchet back the stock as far as it will go. So this tells me I have to check all the lengths and some of the longer scopes might get ruled out. The Leupold 6.5-20x TMR scope is 14.5 inches overall, so I definitely need something shorter than that.
 
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