Rifle Scopes Better Scope = More Points?

lamppost

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Mar 21, 2017
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I'm considering a scope upgrade, but I'm not really sure why. I'm not quite broke, but I don't like spending money just to spend it. I try to make my dollars count.

I'm in my second season of PRS. This coming season I really want to up my game. I'm a good shooter, generally scoring in the top 1/3 to 1/4 of the results whether it's a big official PRS match or my local club matches. I already handload and have a good prefit barrel in 6.5 Creed for my chassis gun and I pay a lot of attention to my dope. I also train for PRS specifically with barricades and stuff. In other words, I cover the big bases when it comes to preparation.
Anyway, how much of a difference is it going to make to buy a $1500 scope (new or used)? I am considering a Razor Gen 1, an ERS/XRS, or MAYBE a Razor 3-18. I'm currently shooting a Classic 12x SWFA with the Mil-Quad reticle. I can see the targets, the adjustments are super repeatable, and it holds up fine.
Has anyone been in my place and bought a new scope and immediately seen their scores rise? I dont really feel like my SWFA is holding me back, but there's certainly a trend that people who score better than me all have scopes that are much more expensive than mine. I don't care about bling or status or the latest/greatest or any of that. All I care about is getting better scores in PRS matches. If I got an extra point per stage, I would generally be in the top 10. That would be amazing. But I also dont want to go down the path of thinking I can just buy points by buying gear.
Anyone been here? Can anyone tell me what it is about a "good" scope that will make my scores go up?
 

FUNCTIONAL

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  • Feb 19, 2012
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    I haven't been in your shoes. But I will say the flexability a variable power will give you will likely make stages easier. A 12x is closer to the max i run my scopes at for a typical stage. Im normally around 8-10x. However there are some stages like learn your limit where I will crank it up to the 20x range. Worn paint on small targets hung by fire hose can be hard to see and the extra X has helped my find my targets in a good amount of instances. I also dial it down sonetimes to 5x if the targets are spread out enough to warrant needing a larger field of view. I have a razor2 in the 3-18 and 4-27. The 3-18 has been more than enough for prs events i go to (out to 1k) . But the little extra of the 27x is sometimes nice to spot others misses and get a better idea for your own holds.

    also things to note...my 3-18 razor was more useable than my bushnell ERS at 21 power due to the razor having better glass. So power isnt everything either if the scope has sub par glass.

    if yiu decide to switch... on the hire end id look at the 3-18 razor (some 4-27s have been under 2k lately also) and if you want to save your pennies a bit the 5-25 pst2 would be my choice. I leave out the razor 1 because the cost of most used/new ones you can spend $200 more and get the better razor2 used. Ive used both and the razor1 honestly didn't impress me.

    if you are finding your targets and spotting misses fine I cant say a new scope will guarantee more points but it will absolutely give you more flexability to tailor your scope to the stage at hand.
     

    steve123

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    You probably have young eyes, I don't, at 12x I can't see where I miss or hit half the time. Going up to 15-18 I can see more of what I need to. Then there's the FOV thing, it's nice to be able to dial down to find targets faster. For stages where I am at one distance for most or all of the stage I can shoot tighter on high mag, like 29x.

    I've mentioned this before. Sometimes we'd have small playing cards to engage, like half size, that we had to identify. The only reason I did well on those stages was because I could resolve which card to shoot at with 26x. I felt sorry the guys trying that with 10x or whatever.

    Best policy is.. better to have and not need, than need and not have. That goes for illume and close focus too.
     

    morganlamprecht

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    You probably have young eyes, I don't, at 12x I can't see where I miss or hit half the time. Going up to 15-18 I can see more of what I need to. Then there's the FOV thing, it's nice to be able to dial down to find targets faster. For stages where I am at one distance for most or all of the stage I can shoot tighter on high mag, like 29x.

    I've mentioned this before. Sometimes we'd have small playing cards to engage, like half size, that we had to identify. The only reason I did well on those stages was because I could resolve which card to shoot at with 26x. I felt sorry the guys trying that with 10x or whatever.

    Best policy is.. better to have and not need, than need and not have. That goes for illume and close focus too.

    this^^

    some of the kyl/tyl and paper stages ive shot and unpainted steels in shadow or on dirt backdrops...people with lower power scopes complain they cant hardly see them or make them out
     

    Mordamer

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  • May 11, 2010
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    I shoot with a Nightforce ATACR 4-16x42 F1 and it is great, but I shot my long range rifles for years with a 10x SWFA. I truly believe I could replace my Nightforce with a 10x SWFA scope and it would change my score by less than 5 hits out of 100. Most stages my score would probably be exactly the same with either scope. I think the few shots where it might make a difference were if I could spot my hits on steel with the Nightforce and could not see them with the SWFA. If you are hitting the very edge of a plate and can't tell to make the correction you will drop a few shots off the edge.
     

    delfuego

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    Aug 21, 2011
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    I would skip the middle of the road scope and step to the next level. You are gonna end up there anyway. Look for a used Razor 4-27, Kahles, Atacr, S&B, Etc. If your liking PRS and it sounds like you are you need a great scope. You aren't going to buy your way up the the leader board but a mediocre scope can hold you back.
     

    Sheldon N

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    Sep 24, 2014
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    I would skip the middle of the road scope and step to the next level. You are gonna end up there anyway. Look for a used Razor 4-27, Kahles, Atacr, S&B, Etc. If your liking PRS and it sounds like you are you need a great scope. You aren't going to buy your way up the the leader board but a mediocre scope can hold you back.

    This ^^^

    Ability to see targets clearly, see splash and misses so you can correct a wind call, forgiving eyebox, and wide field of view all play into success in PRS. One other factor is that with really good glass you might be able to run a stage on a lower power setting but still see clearly, and the even wider field of view can speed up target acquisition.

    I wouldn't look at it as "buying points" since it doesn't really work that way. Good glass is more about "removing roadblocks that might otherwise have cost you a point".
     

    demolitionman

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    Feb 26, 2013
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    I shoot a fixed 12 swfa on two rifles a 6.5 creed and a long range .243. I also shoot a 10x on a .308 bolt. They do fine until; the steel gets really beat up by lead and turns that off gray color. On stages where there are different sizes of steel for different points I simply have to choose steel that has some color left because I can't exactly make out the POA on the beat up plates. This isnt' a problem on freshly painted steel as these fixed scopes hold their own right along the high dollar stuff on the line but; I have laid side by side my fixed scopes and my buddies razor gen2. Absolutely will make a difference and would allow me to see my exact poa on the beat up plates.
     

    Quarter Horse

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  • Apr 17, 2010
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    If you are comfortable with the SS12X and the mil-quad reticle go to SS 5-20x50 HD. SWFA usually has them on the Black Friday sale at about $200.00 off. What you won't get is a X-Mas tree reticle or a Zero-Stop. I don't have a need for either and use a piece of tape on the turret to give me a visual reference for my dialing zero. The glass on the 5-20 punches well above it's weight class. I PM'd Morganlamprecht awhile ago as I was thinking about stepping into the $2k-$3k class and he was currently competing with a couple of scopes on my list. The problem that I was having was that scopes that had served me well for years didn't any longer resolve the diamond on a one inch target dot and the dot itself was fuzzed. When I told Morgan that I had a couple of SS 5-20s that were still alright he noted that he too had used them and for my uses I wouldn't see enough improvement to justify the additional expense.

    I took his advice and bought a pre-owned SS 5-20 NIB from a member here. With the intro. of the AMG, ATACR F-1s, Razor IIs, etc., etc., a lot of guys are moving up and there are some screaming deals in the "Optics for Sale" section.
     

    lamppost

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    Mar 21, 2017
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    These are exactly the sorts of responses I was hoping for. There is obviously lots of good information and experience in this thread. I think it's very interesting that all eight responses focused primarily on image quality and magnification/zoom ratio. I think the only post that mentioned a zero stop, fancy reticle, illume, or other technical "feature" was the very last one, and that guy didn't really argue for them.
    Thanks to everyone. I think this will help me a lot in my decision making process.
     

    Birddog6424

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  • Apr 25, 2014
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    I would skip the middle of the road scope and step to the next level. You are gonna end up there anyway. Look for a used Razor 4-27, Kahles, Atacr, S&B, Etc. If your liking PRS and it sounds like you are you need a great scope. You aren't going to buy your way up the the leader board but a mediocre scope can hold you back.

    I agree with this partially. Having used a gamut of scopes in competition, I agree that a certain performance threshold is necessary. But the level of scope you are suggesting is higher than you need to go to achieve that. I can think of a handful of scopes in the $1100 to $1600 price range that will perform perfectly for what you need. You won't give up anything to run them. You can see hit's, misses, and tracking will perform as expected. All you're getting in those high end scopes is nicer glass. Buy that if you want it, they are sure nice to look through. But a mid level scope won't hold you back or cost you points by any means.

    This competitive venue doesn't require a $2000 plus optic to be competitive. There is a plethora of great scopes out there for less.
     

    Bender

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  • Feb 12, 2014
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    A 3-21 Bushnell with DMR2 reticle just sold in the scope section for around $700. With that you get 21 power and a Christmas tree reticle. That would be one hell of a deal