Rifle Scopes  Dedicated hunting scopes

BallisticPrimate

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Feb 11, 2017
640
654
I'm interested in how many of you have and use high magnification (12x or more) larger dedicated hunting scopes instead of the 'tactical' scopes you run on match/steel rifles.

I've got the opportunity to pick up a Minox ZXi 3-15x56 and it's a departure from the mil/mil scopes/reticles I usually run. It's got a very clean reticle (German #4) and appears very much a dedicated hunting scope. I could move it on and use the funds to pick up something more in line with my other scopes but I'm intrigued as to what (if any) the benefits are of a pure hunting scope of this type.

Note I'm not referring to typical 1-4/2-7/3-9 type scopes used on many hunting rigs - I have those and get the niche they fill. Given the Minox is a full sized scope comparable in size/weight to a tac/target scope how many of you run such a thing and what are your thoughts?
 
Last edited:

Crews

Sergeant
Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
  • May 11, 2017
    1,303
    656
    40
    Spring, Tx
    I see very little difference in what scope features I need to effectively hit a target, wether it be a deer, hog, or a steel plate. A FFP “tactical” scope works just fine for both as far as I’m concerned. As long as its illuminated.... don’t need that for target shooting but definitely needed for hunting.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

    beretta_man11

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 17, 2010
    865
    180
    37
    MS
    I'm always looking for the perfect hunting scopes. I had the minox zx5i 3-15x56 but the reticle was just too fine for my likings.
     

    BurnOut

    DDOJSIOC
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Nov 24, 2013
    1,833
    771
    Dallas
    I tend to look for 15x-18x on the high end for my hunting scopes. While I would dearly LOVE to have FFP Christmas tree reticles in my hunting optics, I just haven't found an affordable option there (though the Athlon Ares may be what I've been looking for).

    In any event, for my non-short range hunting-oriented (read: the 300 BLK bolt gun doesn't count) guns, I generally run a 3-15 or thereabouts (the exception being a hunter-weight Grendel AR, which wears a 2-12). I have 3-15s on my .270 and 30-06 and the in-progress 338 WM will have a 3-18. I find that the lighter weight (vs tactically-oriented optics) is nice, and the compactness of (most) capped turret designs is also pleasant while handling/carrying. Let's be honest... hunting guns are carried/handled a hell of a lot more than they're shot (varmint rigs excluded), so any features that reflect that reality are most appreciated. That said, I still need to be able to see my target and distinguish it from the background... so good glass is important.

    In regard to dialing, etc..., my thoughts are that there's a difference between ultimate accuracy (how does the rifle/ammo/shooter group?) vs practical accuracy (can the shooter hit the vital zone using less-than-ideal body position with a cold-bore shot?); it's essentially the difference between your fired round landing in the X ring vs landing somewhere on a coffee saucer (at the distance at which you'll be hunting; again, varmint rigs excluded). If a hunting rig allows you to make that coffee saucer shot, that's all it realistically needs to do.

    For me, for the area of the country that I live in (Dallas) and the hunting I am likely to do, a 400 yard shot on a white-tail sized animal would be a LOOOONG shot (which I likely wouldn't take)... I'm far more likely to be under 200 yards on the same size animal.
     

    260284

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Feb 15, 2017
    1,815
    932
    53
    Kansas
    I have used both the Bushnell LRHS and LRSTi in 4.5-18 for matches and hunting. The LRHS in the illuminated version would be hard to beat. They make both in 3-12 versions also. I made a 75-85 yard neck shot offhand with the LRHS last year on a buck that was trying to get up after my son shot it. Shot two does at 225 yards last Saturday morning with the LRSTi. I have shot matches out to 1400 yards with both scopes.
     

    BallisticPrimate

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 11, 2017
    640
    654
    I'm always looking for the perfect hunting scopes. I had the minox zx5i 3-15x56 but the reticle was just too fine for my likings.

    Any thoughts on the zx5i 3-15x56 other than the reticle? The #4 reticle has a centre dot so that should mitigate any issues with reticle visibility. Thanks
     

    SRPowah

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 13, 2017
    958
    426
    Black Hills SoDak
    I personally think hunting optics should be lighter than their tactical counterpart. If it is going to weight the same, I would rather have a full fledged tactical optic that I am used to being behind. If i am comfortable putting rounds on target consistently with a certain optic, I would be confident in putting rounds on game with the exact same scope as long as it doesn't hinder me in some other way (i.e. weight, illumination, etc).
     

    beretta_man11

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 17, 2010
    865
    180
    37
    MS
    Any thoughts on the zx5i 3-15x56 other than the reticle? The #4 reticle has a centre dot so that should mitigate any issues with reticle visibility. Thanks


    The glass was very good, for me, it was right there with the Meopta r1 I had. Adjustments were ok, not outstanding.
     

    BallisticPrimate

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 11, 2017
    640
    654
    I have used both the Bushnell LRHS and LRSTi in 4.5-18 for matches and hunting. The LRHS in the illuminated version would be hard to beat. They make both in 3-12 versions also. I made a 75-85 yard neck shot offhand with the LRHS last year on a buck that was trying to get up after my son shot it. Shot two does at 225 yards last Saturday morning with the LRSTi. I have shot matches out to 1400 yards with both scopes.[/QUOTE

    I've got a LRHS and really the only thing it lacks is illumination. It's an outstanding scope.
     

    6point5CM

    Jedi
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 16, 2017
    177
    43
    37
    Seattle / Montana
    I run the new Zeiss V6 3-18x50 and love it. 22 oz, 100 MOA of elevation travel, and GREAT turrets (great feel similar to my ATACR, and great spacing for easy visual of exact dope). I have been very impressed with it this year. I was going to go with a LRHSi but waited for this and am glad I did. SFP however, which I prefer for a dedicated hunting scope, and a top end of the 18-20 which is where I prefer a top end on a SFP to have enough field of view, and still have reticle matching the dope. Very impressed, and will be adding more to my collection. I packed out a buck with my gun on my pack, and took several falls on the rifle and scope (snowy hillside with rocks underneath) and we went to shoot rocks afterwards, and it was spot on at 1380. I was very pleased for a lightweight long range optic. Does not have some of the bells and whistles you may be accustomed to after match optics however (illumination, fancy caps), but a rock solid ZS it does have.
     

    XTREM HTR16

    Sergeant
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Nov 19, 2011
    2,190
    892
    Carmel, IN
    Upon the advice of someone a hell of a lot more experienced than me, I put a S&B PMII 10x42 with P3 mildot reticle on my 6.5 4S for my western big game rifle. It's light (around 20 oz), turrets are great, and it's got enough elevation on the turret to get me way farther than I'd shoot at an animal. Liked it so much I bought a second one to put on my 260.
     

    Marine24

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 7, 2010
    106
    49
    60
    Colorado
    I also have a preference for scopes with a top end of 15-18X on my hunting rifles. Rarely need that magnification in the field but nice to have when shooting from the bench. I don't typically dial my shots since I typically like to keep them inside the MPBR of the round. Simple duplex or BDC reticle is what I have on my scopes and typically hold any adjustments necessary for wind.

    Only exception for me is my varmint rifle that wears an Ares BTR scope since targets can range from 150 to 400 yards.
     

    OH58DViper

    Resumé- have Apache, lacks conscience, will travel
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 16, 2017
    462
    368
    I build my hunting guns lightish, EH1’s with bartlein 3 or 3B contour, occasionally a #12 heavily fluted, or with a proof barrel so I can run a full weight optic. I have a 3-20 PMII on my 28 Nosler that weighs 32 or so ounces plus seekins rings. My wife runs a 5-25 HD Zeiss with Plex reticle on her 7RM TSCustoms Rifle. I am considering putting my new Minox 5-25 ZP5 on one of my other hunting rigs. I would much rather have and not need the mag range and illum...... I also like a 10lb rifle for hunting in general, tactical style optics help achieve that weight.

    What youre putting it on and what type of hunting you do would be more of a discriminator to me. I have a Khales 6-24 on a Savage 220 Slug Gun right now, is it practical or staying on there....nope, but it works for now. Perhaps a 3-15 will replace it when my new 338 Edge is done and is in need of a high mag optic.
     

    rookie7

    Outdoorsman
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 26, 2009
    871
    145
    Georgia
    I have the German #4 in a Leupold VX-R on my daughter's hunting rifle. IMO and experience there is no better reticle for hunting whitetails in the woods of Georgia, or for any Southern State for that matter. The reticle and that small red dot in the center draw the eye to exactly where it needs to be.

    Out West I'm sure it's a different story.

    Regarding magnification - back in the 1990s or 80s I read an article in a hunting rag where the author - I believe it was Jim Carmichael - stated that all one needs is 6x for hunting big game out West. They even said if you can't hit them on 6x you shouldn't be shooting anyway.

    I do not hold that same opinion due to I have zero experience hunting big game out West.
     

    Burdy

    Private
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jul 10, 2013
    919
    605
    Bushnell LRHS is the best long range hunting scope any amount of money can buy, IMO.First Focal G2H with heavy donut for low magnification shots, capped windage turret, short fat elevation turret with zero stop and large arrow painted on top to know you are at zero. 44mm objective and accurate parallax which can help with ranging. I have the LRHSi, if I bought again I would get non illuminated to save a couple of ounces and make the stiff parallax knob easier to manipulate (my only complaint)

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

     

    Burdy

    Private
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jul 10, 2013
    919
    605
    I have the German #4 in a Leupold VX-R on my daughter's hunting rifle. IMO and experience there is no better reticle for hunting whitetails in the woods of Georgia, or for any Southern State for that matter. The reticle and that small red dot in the center draw the eye to exactly where it needs to be.

    Out West I'm sure it's a different story.

    Regarding magnification - back in the 1990s or 80s I read an article in a hunting rag where the author - I believe it was Jim Carmichael - stated that all one needs is 6x for hunting big game out West. They even said if you can't hit them on 6x you shouldn't be shooting anyway.

    I do not hold that same opinion due to I have zero experience hunting big game out West.
    That's because out west they don't have to see every little limb in between you and the game. Plus it's nice to have extra magnification to be able to really check out it's an animal worth taking or not (antler size or age)

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk



     

    BallisticPrimate

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 11, 2017
    640
    654
    Heading into this I was pretty sceptical that a hunting scope could offer any tangible benefits over the standard Mil/Mil 'tactical' scopes I typically use. So I'll admit I was more than a little surprised with just how good the Minox ZX5i 3-15x56 turns out to be. Glass is excellent, eye-box is massive, turrets are very good (even if they are moa) and the #4 illuminated reticle is absolutely perfect for the vast majority of hunting scenarios where one isn't holding wind/elevation. Granted this scope is going on a .223 and not likely to be shot much further than about about 500m - but for a specialist scope I'm well pleased with it. A decent write up here: http://www.rifleshootermagazine.co.u...view-1-4826416

    Now if only my ZP5 5-25 would turn up, the Minox rep told me there's a rather long delay with the MR4 reticle version of that scope.
     
    Last edited: