Rifle Scopes  High end 22 competition scope

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I'm kicking around getting a high end scope for NRL22/NRL22X type matches. I think the two front runners are the Nightforce ATACR 7-35 and the S&B 5-25. Their advertised parralex adjustments show they both go down to about 11 yards. I'm guessing glass is equal in the two, with the S&B maybe having an edge. The S&B is a smidge cheaper. I think I like the new GR2ID reticle more than the Nightforce choices. The turrets seem a little better on the Nightforce, and it has 10x more power on the top end. Am I missing anything? What are your thoughts?
 

CSTactical

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  • Nov 18, 2009
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    Lots of 22 shooters, especially the NRL guys, really love our ZC527 for a high end optic. Parallax will get you down to 25, usually less depending on environment conditions. Great reticles. Crisp turrets. Phenomenal optics.

    www.zcompoptic.com or ask around here on the hide. Good luck!

    1605735634325.jpeg
     

    Moose

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    I have a ZC-4X20 on my Vudoo and it works out great.I can see the bullet holes on paper at 300 yds.
     
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    phlegethon

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    I would definitely say ZC527. The optics in the Nightforce don’t compare.
     

    Rob01

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    Debating on whether to get the Athlon Cronus or the Vortex Razor GenII 3-18 for my .22. Anyone have thoughts on those two?

    Ran a Razor II 3-18x on my Vudoo up until this year when the Strike Eagle came out and I wanted to put it through its paces. That said the 3-18x Razor is sitting there waiting to get put back on. ;) Haven't used the Cronus but they have a good rep.
     

    PRPAmmo

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    Debating on whether to get the Athlon Cronus or the Vortex Razor GenII 3-18 for my .22. Anyone have thoughts on those two?
    The Cronus would be a great option for the money, Athlon is definitely holding their own in the market with their higher end optics.
     

    buffalowinter

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    I own Nightforce, Schmidt and Bender, Kahles, and Vortex as far as high end scopes go. It all depends on your budget. Of my scopes, S&B and Kahles are the best as far as actually seeing the target. Nightforce is excellent. Vortex is ok, but compared to the others it's like looking through a bottle. If you're on a budget, get a used Nightforce. No expense, get S&B or Kahles. More magnification is better IMO, better to have it and not need it.
     

    steve123

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    I really like my March HM 5-42x56!
    Even with my crappy old eyes it's a beautiful sight picture below 30x. Superior IQ near the center of the FOV compared to my S&B 5-25's, a Kahles 5-25, and to a NF 7-35, the only other expensive scopes I've compared to with it. It's comparable to them from the middle of the FOV on out to the edges.
    It seems guys with good eyes like the glass on 42x. 42x doesn't work well for my eyes though.

    It has locking turrets and I like the locking levers more than the pull up/push down method used on other the brands locking turrets.
    I also like the wide 10 mil turret spacing and medium feeling action. You won't over turn a click by accident and they are very distinct, no lash, and line up perfectly. My favorite of any I've felt including TT and ZCO.

    Most guys love the FML-TR1 reticle. I don't even ask those who have looked through my scope if they do, instead that's the first thing they bring up. Seeing the reticle on 15x last weekend during the NRL22 match was easy and fast to pick up when transitioning to the next target.

    40 mils of elevation travel but it's not advisable to "use" the max amount of travel in either direction due to IQ degrading, however it's there if you need it. Most scopes have IQ deterioration when travel is maxed out.

    It focuses down to 8 yards on 42x, 6 yards on 10x. In case you want to shoot ants :p or air rifle matches. On 15x I didn't find the parallax touchy, in other words it was a lot like my S&B PM2. On 42x it ranges better than any FT scope I've used. Only FT shooters understand what I'm meaning.
     

    Glassaholic

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  • Nov 30, 2012
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    The new March 5-42x56 HM goes down to 10y parallax and makes for a unique rimfire option, talk with @steve123 as he has one specifically for rimfire competition. Outside of that, the ZCO scopes are some of the best and like gebhardt mentioned above, while official specs say parallax down to 25 you can often get closer
     

    littlepod

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    For NRL22/NRL22X given that it's out to only 400ish yards at most and generally you're doing 90% of your shooting within 200 yards, I'd choose the reticle that you like the most and is easiest for you to be able to hold wind, and do holdovers on the clock.

    For the NRL22X matches I've been there have been CoF with 12 shots in 90s across multiple distances and positions. So holdovers/trees with wind are a must. A lot of stages have back and forth holdovers, so you're jumping across different holds over and over.

    Reticles are a very personal thing. For myself I had trouble with a lot of reticles where the mil marker was on the edge of the tree. Maybe with enough practice I could really be confident that I'm on the holdover but tracing the # on the tree was just slower and was costing me time. The reticle that ended up being my favorite out of everything I used was the Razor HD AMG. It has the markers right down the vertical stadia.

    The other thing to note is that like general PRS competitions, balance of the rifle is rather important. It's not essential but, balance + light triggers, you can 'game' yourself a few points. Same way people do it in PRS, they rest the rifle on the barricade and free recoil it to eliminate as much wobble by the body as possible. Given that majority of the chassis are built for centerfire in mind, getting your rifle to be balanced in front of the mag well is actually a challenge in rimfire, unless you plan on adding a ton of weight to the front. You can do it, but now you're looking at an 18-20 lb rifle.

    18lbs rifle are fine, except that NRL22 always has an unsupported offhand stage. 18lb rifles are a bitch to offhand...

    The point of the weight thing was that adding a 40oz scope to your rifle makes it just that much heavier.

    A lot of the benefits of cutting through mirage, 56mm objectives, and all of that when shooting out to 1400 yards, in dusk/dawn etc, doesn't really happen in the rimfire world out to 400 yards, so that's why I think it's plausible to get a lighter 30mm scope, NX8 4-32, Razor HD AMG. Cutting 2lbs off the weight of your rifle to have it balanced is pretty nice.
     
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    NewsShooter

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    Debating on whether to get the Athlon Cronus or the Vortex Razor GenII 3-18 for my .22. Anyone have thoughts on those two?

    Vortex is nice, but I'd choose the cronus with the dot reticle for a .22. I have one on mine, the dot is great for close in precision work. I can see the bullet hitting the target while shooting at 50 and 100 yards on max power. If you want to spend more you certainly can, March, ZCO etc certainly have better glass.
     

    Nik H

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  • Jan 22, 2014
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    I run an S&B 5-25 PM II with the Gen II XR reticle on my Annie 64.

    Really couldn't be happier. The reticle is perfect for the type of shooting that you are doing to my mind. Focuses down to 10 yards as well. The slight amount of tunneling at the low end of the magnification range is never an issue.

    You can find these at extremely reasonable prices these days as well, especially in the used market
     

    Rob01

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    Vortex is nice, but I'd choose the cronus with the dot reticle for a .22. I have one on mine, the dot is great for close in precision work. I can see the bullet hitting the target while shooting at 50 and 100 yards on max power. If you want to spend more you certainly can, March, ZCO etc certainly have better glass.

    The Vortex 7C has a dot also.
     
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    fdkay

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  • Nov 27, 2009
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    It all depends on how you identify "high end".
    SOmetimes folks come on here, asking about high end, thinking along the lines of 1000-1200 dollars. When the responses start at 3000 and go up, they tend to redefine the "high end" part.
    I'm not a high end guy. I'm one of the "poors".
    I will tell you that the Sightron SVSSED 4.5-24 can focus down to 13 yards, which is quite important in both the tactical world and the .22 rimfire game. The model without zero stop can sometimes be had for around 1700 bucks. The ZS model is more.
    Very good glass, i like the reticle very much, nice, crisp adjustments.
     

    Glassaholic

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    I also just picked up a Burris XTR III 5.5-30x56 for my rimfire, it has a very wide FOV and parallax down to 20y. SCR2 reticle is pretty thin but I think will work well for rimfire work. It may not be the "high end" but if glass is anything like my 3.3-18 was, it should be very good.
     

    drglock

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  • Jan 13, 2012
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    Debating on whether to get the Athlon Cronus or the Vortex Razor GenII 3-18 for my .22. Anyone have thoughts on those two?
    I’ve owned both and used the Cronus in NRL22 matches. You won’t go wrong with either one but I prefer the eye box and the parallax on the Razor. I now only run Razors on my rifles. 4.5-27 on my 22 match rifle and the 3-18 on my hunting rifle. Plus with the price of the Razor 3-18 being around the same cost as the Cronus it’s a no brainer to me.
     
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    ThatTron

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    I’ve owned both and used the Cronus in NRL22 matches. You won’t go wrong with either one but I prefer the eye box and the parallax on the Razor. I now only run Razors on my rifles. 4.5-27 on my 22 match rifle and the 3-18 on my hunting rifle. Plus with the price of the Razor 3-18 being around the same cost as the Cronus it’s a no brainer to me.
    The 35 yard parallax on the razor 4.5-27 doesn't hurt you for the 25 yard targets?
     

    ThatTron

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    No not once has it affected me, like Rob01 said just dial down plus in a match I hardly ever shoot above 15x . I bet i shoot 95% of stages on 10x
    So what is the benefit of the 4.5-27 vs the 3-18 if I plan on shooting only nrl22 type events?
     

    Rob01

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    So what is the benefit of the 4.5-27 vs the 3-18 if I plan on shooting only nrl22 type events?

    More top end power. Some like it if shooting smaller targets at longer ranges. Everyone gets hung up on 25 and in with Rimfire when that might be a couple shots a match and everything else is farther out and if small it helps to see it.
     

    drglock

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  • Jan 13, 2012
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    So what is the benefit of the 4.5-27 vs the 3-18 if I plan on shooting only nrl22 type events?
    I only use the 27x if I’m shooting groups such as the 6x5 here on the hide other than that I very seldom shoot a stage over 10x-12x. If it’s one position say prone and a TYL swinger I’ll go 15x-20x or if shooting beyond 250yds but that’s just how I do it. In a 22 match the 3-18 will do anything the 4.5-27 will but if you go with the 3-18 your limited to the 18x. Like I said either one will serve you well.
     

    beetroot

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    I also just picked up a Burris XTR III 5.5-30x56 for my rimfire, it has a very wide FOV and parallax down to 20y. SCR2 reticle is pretty thin but I think will work well for rimfire work. It may not be the "high end" but if glass is anything like my 3.3-18 was, it should be very good.
    Be sure to share your thoughts.
    I'll be interested to here if you find the thin reticle as much a issue with the higher magnification model.
     
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    Tortuga

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    My high-end 22 glass journey landed on a Kahles K525i. Parallax, weight, and reticle seemed to be the big go/no-go features on what made the cut. The ATACR, ZCO, and Leica PRS all made my short list. But even with a MIL/LEO discount, I couldn't justify the big price increase of the ATACR and ZCO over a used/demo Kahles.