- What is the platform for the scope? Bolt Action w/ multiple barrels
- What cartridge are you shooting? .300WSM & .223Rem
- What is your intended use for the scope? 50% Range use to 1,000yds /// 50% 0-800yd Elk, deer, bear hunting
- What type of conditions will you typically shoot in? Dawn/Dusk/Rain/Snow
- What are the typical distances you intend to shoot? Range: Up to 1,200yds /// Hunting: Up to 800yds
- Are there any specific specifications you would like? FFP, light weight, reliable mil turrets, good FOV, Reticle (and/or illumination) that make is usable at point blank and at longer range.
- What is the price range you can afford? $1,800, buying used is fine
I've been fairly stumped in looking for a scope I can use for a single rifle for hunting and range use and training new shooters. I've got a .223 and a 300WSM barrel for the rifle. I hunt mountain lion, black bear, deer and elk in the woods of W. Oregon and in the more open, hilly E. Oregon.
I have a Vortex LHT 3.5-15 with the HSR-5i reticle. It's a scope that I hate to love. It works great up close, it's lightweight and has fairly good glass. The illumination is ok but I don't feel confident dialing it. It also has a magnification ring that is ridiculously tight but that's not a big deal, I can get a throw lever.
I've narrowed my selection as far as I can find to the following, but none of these are really jumping out at me:
Vortex LHT 3.5-15
I already own it. It's fine. I don't trust the turrets for dialing. It's a great close range hunting scope. 19oz.
Vortex LHT 4.5-22
The FFP brother. Kind of pricey for what seems like another mediocre Vortex? I don't know that the reticle/FFP are that good for close range use. I also don't know that I trust the turrets for dialing, which I will do for longer shots and at the range. 22oz.
Vortex AMG 6-24
The base power is 6x, but the FOV is equivalent to a lot of 4.5x scopes. Good illumination, great glass. Big turrets. 28oz.
Bushnell LRHSi/LRTSi 4.5-18
I have an LRTS 3-12 and it's excellent, but the reticle is too thin for hunting. I need an illum model and they're hard to find. The FOV is also a bit narrow. 27oz.
Great donut milling reticle that draws your eyes to the center, very good glass. Fairly narrow FOV with no illumination. 26oz.
Nightforce SHV 4-14 F1
Reliable, $1,200 and would check the boxes. Glass is just ok. Modestly good reticle. Illumination is by dial, but not daylight bright. 30oz.
Nightforce NX8 2.5-20
This one is ranking fairly high for me. A little expensive and heavy, and I hear they have a tight eyebox which usually isn't a problem for me. Thoughts? 28oz.
March 2.5-25 (SFP) / 3-24 (FFP)
If I could find a used one of these for a good price with a 52mm objective I'd really like to try it. Their reticles look great for hunting and range use. Expensive scopes though. 23oz.
Leupold Mk5HD 3.6-18
This one also ranks high for me. I hear they have good light transmission. Leupold's reticles suck. Illumination costs $900. Otherwise, high points. 25oz.
Leupold VX5HD 3-15
These seem well loved by hunters, but I don't like SFP outside of 300yds. I don't need another thought process in my head. Doesn't seem like an enjoyable range scope. 19oz.
Leupold Mk3HD 4-12
For $500 I could run this scope and just run a separate scope for benchrest/fun shooting. It's cheap, mediocre, SFP and has low magnification.
Another heavy, mediocre scope, but with a useful illuminated reticle.
Great glass, turrets and build. Comes in an illuminated model. Affordable. 30oz.
Solid contender, lightweight, good reticles, illumination.