Rifle Scopes  150 Scopes tested, Results Posted !

darkearth

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Dec 17, 2011
23
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No surprise on the Bushnell's. I've had a DMR, DMRI, and XRS II all track accurately.
 

deersniper

Twisted Predator
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  • Feb 22, 2007
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    If you havent noticed.....the dumb fucks greatly outnumber the ones capable of independent thought. Surrounded on all sides.

    Empty barrel makes the most noise.

    They are quite proficient at running off people that actually have knowledge and experience as well as the industry people
     

    oneforall

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    Dec 21, 2011
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    Thanks for doing the work and sharing with us. love to read this kind first hand information, scopes field tested by experts. You rock!
     

    Quarter Horse

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    Minuteman
  • Apr 17, 2010
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    Wow, I read the original post yesterday morning and now there are more posts than there are data points on the chart. One thing is evident. There are a significant number of members that find the data valuable. From reading LLs later posts I am not sure whether he is going to continue updating the data points. I hope it continues.

    I have two things to add. I started lurking here about eleven or twelve years ago and joined nine or ten years ago. It was still during the phase of SH where a stupid question, a stupid statement or a question that had already been answered ad nauseam would get the posters head handed to him. Sometime before Scout, or maybe during, the administration directed members to be more respectful of new members. Part of the change was driven by the realization that more shooters would benefit the shooting community. It has worked. But, with it have come the same old questions. Sometimes the poster will be answered by someone whose post demonstrates an evident lack of knowledge. Shit happens.

    I would posit to @lowlight and Marc that your results are based in the real world and that is their value. You guys have been doing this for longer than the chart has been around. You've already figured out the things that induce errors. As the fields become more populated, trends will become evident and what were originally possibilities will crossover to being probabilities. Think how many data points would be available four or five years from now.

    OK, that's it. Just another opinion from amongst the great unwashed.
     

    robeast2000

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    Minuteman
    Mar 29, 2019
    65
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    Florida
    Khales are excellent scopes. They sit on all of my precision rifles, with the exception of the wife's gun, which has an older Steiner M5 of mine.

    Khales arguably doesn't really excel above it's peers in any one single category, but it performs in every category very well, to make it a great all around scope. The reticle choice is excellent, the tracking is perfect, and I personally love the ergos of the LH windage and the position of the parallax. There's a lot to love with the Khales scopes.

    The only scope brand that excites me as much as Khales is Zero Compromise, which is no surprise since the same designer was behind both. I don't own a ZC scope, but love what I see, and perhaps I'll have the opportunity to try one some day. But until then, I'm very happy with my Khales.
    I’d say they have always excelled in mechanical performance.
     
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    sirhrmechanic

    Command Sgt. Major
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Finally catching up on SH stuff after a long and annoying week.

    This is really excellent.

    The random sampling and the fact that these are student scopes... which can range from NIB to Rode Hard.... is really a great aspect. No cherry picked factory supplied ringers.

    Hope you keep this up. It’s something that keeps this place at the top of the food chain info-wise.

    Sirhr
     

    fxdrider

    Deplorable
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    Minuteman
    Jan 3, 2014
    504
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    Volksrepublik Virginia
    I enjoyed this post for sure. Hope you guys will continue to share this kind of data. I own one of the "fails". Vortex Diamondback Tactical. Haven't done a tall target test on mine yet, but after reading this I'm going to. I fully expect it to have some flaws - I only paid a little over $300 for it. I also have a Gen II Razor, which I'm happy to see does well. Mine's on my Tikka 6.5 and it's been a laser.
    Thanks for all you do Frank and Mark. Much appreciated.
     

    Slowroll

    Cat herder
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  • Jan 13, 2012
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    Foothills of Mt.rainier
    Reading Franks post on the level of thought that goes into scope position to body position was honestly the best part of this entire thread. I can appreciate the the thought and experience that goes into setting up students for success. Thanks guys.
     

    USMC 308

    G14 Classified
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Apr 13, 2003
    271
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    Central TX
    Great info....Frank, regarding the Athlon Cronus, what are your thoughts/impressions about it? Made by LOW in Japan, same place as the Razor Gen II. The ones you sampled track well....turrets may be mushy, not locking, but I really like my two. Great choice for high end scope on a budget IMO.
     

    MLS2GO

    Sergeant of the Hide
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    Minuteman
    Feb 4, 2019
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    Thanks for posting, it is very interesting, I hope you find a way to continue it.
     

    Willy24

    Private
    Minuteman
    Oct 15, 2020
    2
    0
    In the Field Scope Tracking Test

    View attachment 7457819

    As many shooters have read in the Sniper’s Hide Forum, or have heard on the Everyday Sniper Podcast, during our precision rifle classes we removed and test scopes for tracking. The genesis behind this was twofold, first, we used to only accomplish this in our PR 2 class, and second, it solves a rifle set up the problem we often observe. Today we do it in all our basic Marc & Frank PR Classes.

    When we dope a rifle at distance the data needed to hit the target is that value. In other words, if you dial 8.5 Mils to hit a target, that is all you need, unless the environmental conditions changed enough. Under these same conditions, 8.5 is my answer. If you are looking to predict a solution in software, you want to give the software all the variables that may influence the accuracy of the prediction. So, if your scope tracks at 98% of actual, you want to tell the software to correct for the variation. Instead of reading .1 Mils it would be .098. That is why we tall target test, it is one of the variables. This also gives you a baseline for that particular optic. If something is amiss down the road, you now have a model to use where you repeat it and attempt to identify the problem.


    The more we started to remove scopes from students' rifles the more variations we began to see. These included scopes that were improperly mounted in the rings and levels that were not in the correct agreement with the reticle. Since the Target is level, as is the fixture, we can test both tracking and look at the plumb of the reticle. To relate this to those reading this, we see about 1/3 of scopes in a 12 -16 Person Class is not level and about another 3rd which are not correctly aligned to the bubble level or the level has been knocked off.


    Pulling a scope gives us more than one training opportunity during basic class. We can point out the issues above, also we can demonstrate parallax using their optic and after testing is completed, we can help with the rifle set up. The line goes from Marc testing all the Optics to Me assisting the student with set up, mounting, and initial re-zeroing. Each step is controlled, each task is done by the same people. If we do see an error, we put several eyes on it and come to an agreement as to what we are looking at. Many of these variations are minor, top, or bottom of the reference or minor gaps between the reticle and target.

    View attachment 7457821

    We conduct our Test at 100 yards, mainly because that is universal for the ranges we use. But also, because we are shooting alongside the testing, so setting everything up at 100 is easy. With most of the modern scopes we use, seeing is not an issue, but it can be.

    We do not choose the scopes that are tested.

    Any scope on the list was a student’s scope. There are a few I brought to class with me as part of a review, so it might be included, but all scopes were brought to the course by a student.

    All testing is done with the students as a learning exercise, and If any variation is noted it is double-checked by more than one person.

    Our biggest point of variation is atmosphere and parallax. This is the reason we have the same person to check the scopes. Same pair of eyes every time with multiple layers of back up. Seeing the chart is not a big deal and early on, we had someone downrange to confirm on the ruler up close what the tester was seeing back at the line. Today we have a better easier to read chart and as noted we always triple check a variation.

    View attachment 7457826

    • 100-yard tracking of the Shooter Personal Optic giving us a baseline.
    • Identifying Variations that can be used to correct Ballistic Software
    • Reticle Plumb as well as adjusting external Levels to the Reticle.
    • Parallax Demonstration

    We see this test as a field method and consider 2% of 100% to within spec. If we are dialing 10 Mils of elevation, or 36 MOA, being .2 Mils off or .75MOA is an acceptable amount of variation for us. It’s less than 1 MOA at 10 Mils or 36MOA. Today that puts most shooters beyond 1000 yards.


    How to read the Chart

    View attachment 7457830
    Percentage of 100

    The chart is rewritten in a percentage of 100. A scope that tracked 99% moved the reticle 9.9 Mils when the optic was dialed to 10 Mils. A scope that tracks 101% moved the reticle 10.1 Mils when 10 Mils was dialed on. Scopes can vary in both directions.

    Fail

    If the scope failed, and you see “FAIL” it never made it to the line. The scope was replaced with a spare that we carry. If you see an Asterisk the scope failed but was not replaced on the line.

    It’s not really a pass or fails exercise unless there is a problem with the optic. If the scope was listed as FAIL, it did not complete the test or track well enough to get a measurement. As an example, we had a scope marked as fail where you dialed 48 MOA on the turret and the reticle moved 29 MOA. That was considered a FAIL and replaced on the line.

    The purpose is to give you a baseline and establish the value for your ballistic software. If we identify a bigger problem, we are saving time as normally the scope is replaced and sent back. We have had very positive customer service results with all the optics that needed service.


    We have been testing scopes for several years, however, we have only been recording the data in our God Book for the last few. That is why the sample set is 150 scopes vs a higher number.



    Other factors

    View attachment 7457831

    Just tracking alone is not really enough. There are reticle considerations, there are optical considerations. As an example, a lower scope might track 100% but have issues with resolving targets under harsh conditions like heavy mirage. The Top Tier Scopes tend to “see” the targets better. We had a situation just this year where I was on a lower cost optic and was asked to engage a target, I insisted was no longer present on the range because I could not see it through the optic. I moved to a different rifle and immediately saw the target.


    There are reticle considerations, features, and long-term use.


    Because of the math, the number might read to the second decimal place, but our scopes cannot adjust down that far. If the error was less than 1%, odds are the math worked out that way and it was a case of the reticle showing air around the line. Resolving the line that far at 100 can be an issue. So, take those numbers for what they are, the thickness of the reticles we are using, and minor inconsequential numbers. A .03 error is a blink of the eye, it’s a rounding error that should be taken into the context of the scopes ability to dial or hit a target which might be 2 MOA inside.


    Best Practices we may look at moving forward.

    View attachment 7457833

    I recently spoke to Jeff Huber at Zero Compromise to discuss some of the feedback we were getting from the early test results. The information was put out initially in a way that allowed a lot of open interpretation. This gets imaginations to run wild and the internet fired up with all sorts of misinformation. These are random samples, not some large control group.


    Using 50 Meters to test then doubling the results may give us a little finer detail to really nail the reticle and ruler relationship. If one was creating a test chart a different color test target might aid in following the black scope reticles. Black on black can create the variation of .00 offsets we see with several optics.


    Measuring to .1 or less is not easy in the field. You want the fixture to be as secure as possible. We use a 30LBS and the bench needs several people to move it because it is made of composite materials. You can’t let anyone touch the bench or fixture during the test or it will influence the reticle’s location on the target. The process has been refined over the years.

    Scope companies have specialized tools and collimators to do this type of testing. How and where you conduct the test can have a noticeable impact on the results. We have set up and identified issues by finding the scopes all appear to be tracking wrong. We had a laser rangefinder that was 3ft off once, gave the scopes a tracking result of 103%. We stopped and completely reset the test; it was obvious when it happened. You would not expect at $4000 laser to be a yard off, but we found it.

    The best way to use this chart is to play the odds. When buying a scope look at the features that are important to you. First consideration should be on the reticle as that your point of interaction. If your brain bucks the reticle layout, you’ll never be truly comfortable behind it. Then look at your budget and work within that budget. This is where you can help create divisions between the choices. I have two choices both $1500, the one with more success might be better odds, but we guarantee nothing here. We test, observe, and report, the rest is your call, just don’t’ think you are beating the odds buying a $1000 scope because you saw at 98% with a more expensive one. You do tend to get what you pay for, and many might consider these numbers a bit subjective.

    View attachment 7457835

    How we move forward will depend on the reaction from the community. If people want to insert their personal bias to what has been provided, it can create a negative atmosphere around this kind of information. You start bad mouthing companies because you believe they should have performed better, well that is just not fair. Keep this information in context, understand the limitations of what we are doing, and please do not jump to conclusions or insert bias where non exist.


    We see value in this as noted above, whether the results continue to be public will depend on the fallout. Right now based on the questions being field, more education on the subject needs to presented because people confuse about what this means or how to use it.
    Very interesting. I clearly have TONS to learn.
     

    snipersteve

    Private
    Minuteman
    Mar 8, 2019
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    This kind of external (not within a certain company) scrutiny should push manufacturers to develop and keep high standards for accuracy and repeatability. Keep up the good work.
     

    Dr. Davy Jones

    Sergeant of the Hide
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Apr 21, 2020
    128
    86
    Maine
    Reading Franks post on the level of thought that goes into scope position to body position was honestly the best part of this entire thread. I can appreciate the the thought and experience that goes into setting up students for success. Thanks guys.
    Totally agree. Awesome to have access to this quality of info
     

    Johnerz

    Private
    Minuteman
    Mar 5, 2020
    7
    1
    Great data, thanks and keep up the good work. I’d not be worried if you’d found issues with one of my scopes, providing the one I had worked as it should. Despite manufacturers best efforts, there is always one that creeps out the the gaps in testing, each individual scope won’t be fully tested only a small % will get the full treatment, it’s a cost based issue and if you get a duff one sent it back

    john
     

    Campguy308

    Gunny Sergeant
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 26, 2018
    899
    630
    Texas
    You have both? I was looking at that on Modway recently but was unsure if the extra cost over the PST was something I’d even notice as a newbie.
    Yes, i have both. Other than lacking illumination, the DMR II Pro is a much better scope.
     

    Jayjay1

    Gunny Sergeant
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    Minuteman
    Oct 30, 2018
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    Thanks to the team for sharing their experiences here.

    I wanted to follow this thread, but can´t find the button.
    Where is the "Watch" button gone to?
    :unsure:
     

    Jayjay1

    Gunny Sergeant
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    Oct 30, 2018
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    Back too, but even weirder (is that a word?), I didn´t activate it, but it is ...
    :oops:
     

    NY700

    Sergeant
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    Minuteman
    May 23, 2009
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    Dallas
    @lowlight since you have started formally testing and tracking have any “budget minded” scopes jumped out of the pack to you has really good value. 10 years ago I would have told anyone starting out on a budget to grab a SWFA 10x as a bullet proof reliable scope. I still have a couple on QD rings I use testing new rifles. But I often get asked by new shooters starting out who are running off the shelf tikka, howa, savage who either can’t wrap their mind around a 2k scope on a $500 rifle or simply don’t have the money.