Scar17 - Leupold, March, NF, or Zeiss?

penguinofsleep

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So I've been running an old Vortex PST HS LR 2.5-10x32 for a while now and the SCAR17 made this optic crap out recently (turrets wouldn't adjust properly anymore). Vortex was great about fixing it and all but I was already wanting to upgrade before this anyways. Have it narrowed down to a few options, any feedback about durability on a SCAR17 and feedback about the optic itself would be appreciated.

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EDIT: Updated options and questions here based on feedback below. Done to save people time from scrolling

1. March 3-24x52 (FFP) - Anyone know anything about the warranty situation? All other feedback seems to indicate that this is probably the best scope "technically speaking" amongst all of my options. As mentioned below, March what I really wanted at the start until I heard of the supposed warranty issue. ~$2700 (2950 for illum). 52 instead of 42 as its only 2oz more and ~$150 more but you get a bigger eye box
2. Leupold Mark5HD 3.6-18x44 - One issue I did have with some Leupolds in the past was reticle washout in the middle of the day or hard to see when slightly dark out. Is the illuminated a must here or are the reticles a bit more defined in the above conditions now on the new Mark5HD series? ~$1.8-2k from what I'm seeing, please share if there is a "best place to buy" (no mil or le discount). I will also need a new 35mm mount.
3. NF NX8 2.5-20x50 - No new questions or feedback. ~$1900
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Criteria: Would like to run something mid powered with an offset red dot. Optic will be mounted in an ADM Delta mount. The 1-6 or 1-8 route didn't work for me. Priorities are durability / reliable tracking on a S17, good enough glass, bigger eye box, lower weight if possible w/o sacrificing durability. Open to both SFP and FFP. Prefer MIL based reticles but can work with both. Illumination is nice but not a must have. If the scope doesn't come with a throw lever for magnification adjustment I'll buy or have one 3D printed. Other criteria not mentioned are mostly filtered out already. A few pros/cons I've observed are listed below as well but they're educated guesses as I haven't got to look through any of these exact scopes in person. Feedback about the eye-box in particular would be great.

1. Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44 with impact29 reticle:
Pros/Neutral: Seems like a safe bet, lightweight at ~19oz, "only" ~$1-1.2k. None of their stuff I've ever used has been cutting edge or "the best", but they don't really seem to do much wrong.
Cons: supposedly some of the recent optics have had mechanical / tracking issues, including the 5HD and 6HD line, not sure if this has been resolved yet. Any insight here would be appreciated.

2. March 1.5-15x42 with FD2 reticle
Pros/Neutral: Seems very well built, glass is good on other March scopes I've seen so far and is supposedly the best out of these 4, have never heard of any mechanical issues with March scopes. Average weight at ~22oz. Short and compact size.
Cons: A bit more spendy at ~$2600, 10 year instead of a lifetime warranty, and the warranty is done in Japan and supposedly you have to ship it to them on your own dime if something goes wrong, company is still relatively young in the US from what I understand and there is always the risk of it "disappearing" - all of this is scary on a platform that "eats optics" with no planned revisions or "fixes" to the rifle itself in sight. Has anyone had experiences here?

3. NF NX8 2.5-20x50 with Mil XT reticle
Pros/Neutral: many NF used previously on S17 without issue, "middle price" at $2k, good experiences with other NF scopes, NF generally track very reliably, similar to the Leupold nothing really seems to be "wrong" here.
Cons: A bit heavier at ~28oz (not bad considering the 8x zoom though).

4. Zeiss Conquest v4 4-16x44 with #64 reticle (or a 4-16x50, but not likely)
Pros/Neutral: "only" $1150 . Average weight at ~22/23oz.
Cons: Very little info about these being used on a SCAR as Zeiss seems to primarily market and present themselves as "hunting scopes" although from those using them on bolt actions, I haven't heard of anything going bad.

Open to other suggestions - previously ruled out EOTech Vudu, Trijicon Scopes, Vortex Razor HD LHT, NF NXS and SVH. Don't want to spend the $ on Kahles, SB, Tangent Theta, etc. USO 1.8-10 looked nice but didn't have the Christmas Tree style reticles I prefer.
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For the offset red dot, I am deciding between the Trijicon MRO and Holosun 509.
For reference, RMR is a bit smaller than I'd like, the Aimpoint H / T series is more than I want to spend on an offset red dot, Deltapoint only has a somewhat slow to adjust manual brightness adjustment and I typically mount the offset red dot more forward, would prefer the auto of the 509 or a big knob like the MRO. From what I understand, the 509 comes with an RMR adapter and MRO pattern mounts are already available.
 
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lennyo3034

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I handled a Conquest V4 recently and was thoroughly unimpressed with it optically. Also didn’t seem like the most durable turrets.

You may want to consider the Leupold Mark 5 as well.
 

Strykervet

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    Well I got one and decided on a Trijicon Accupower 1-8x so... But I'm SBR'ing mine with a 13"bbl. The mount isn't here yet but it looks like it'll get it done. I've got a Mk20 with a 4-16 ATACR though so no need to treat the 17 the same way.

    The 4-16 is the shit on the Mk20 and it sounds like that's what you're trying to do here. I figure on an RMR for the offset on it one day but I hear you on cost, hopefully something better for less will come along. There is the new Aimpoint Micro (not the T1/H1, it's smaller than that, will fit on a pistol) but it's costly too; I have the same Detla mount on it but I keep the dot's rail to the rear canted to the right vs. in the front. It does put it in the way of the knobs a bit but with the RMR it won't really be much of an issue. Fucking army decided to center the dot in front of the elevation cap, now can you imagine that?

    I got that Accupower not because it was necessarily my number one choice, I got it because it turns out after all these years the reason those MRO dots looked like smudges are because of MY astigmatism and not because the MRO has a shit dot (it's actually very crisp). 20/15 or 20/10 vision and I have a fucking astigmatism to go along with it. Goddamnit. Anyway, I traded two nice MRO's with ARDs, caps and QD mounts for that Accupower and $100 --a solid fair trade in both directions, gotta love this place. Etched reticles don't smudge and that Accupower is actually a damn nice and solid looking 1-8x and if it can't take the life on the 17 I know Trijicon will unfuck it and make it right. I think it's a solid choice though. Their other offerings are somewhat limited so I get you there.

    Anything USO would also be a solid choice but a heavy one. Their 1-8x was revolutionary and responsible for all these 1-8x's today as I understand it, but tunneling? It's like looking through a paper towel tube at lower mags and the Accupower isn't like that at all. So not all 1-8x's are the same. Uh, the one I have has a simplified tree reticle so USO does put those in smaller optics. I think they've got more custom reticle choices, right? I've got a few USO's and they're 1. solid as fuck and 2. apparently my old USO's are every bit as good as my new ATACR's and that's a side by side comparison --was planning on selling or trading 'em but couldn't justify selling at what they'd be worth used given how solid they still rank alongside newer optics. So I'd consider USO I guess, lots of used deals, at least there were. They brought back EREK and now the old ones are popular again.

    The 17 is super light for a 7.62 though and they say the deal about eating optics has to do with the fact it recoils in both directions and I guess it's that impulse where it changes direction that makes it so lethal to glass. FN keeps everything a secret though so who really knows without actually testing it? Personally, I wouldn't put anything on it that doesn't have a 100% lifetime warranty, which thankfully includes most of the good ones.

    Uh, there is the Elcan 3-6-9 that was made for it? Somebody has or had one for sale on here recently, I PM'd him so if you're interested you could PM me and I could dig up his info. Maybe he still has it. I think the 1.5-6x would be nice too.

    A 6x ACOG would be super nice but they are sort of limited I suppose. I have one on an M2HB and it's the absolute titties on that monster. The damn ocular is almost as big as a television screen and it's got an awesome FOV. It is sort of a special beast.

    If you really like that 17 but want bigger glass, I'd highly recommend that Mk20 if/when you can --it's a completely different animal in a lot of ways but a lot more suited to that kind of treatment IMO.

    100% agree with that mount, I'm not a fan of ADM's shit really but for a SCAR it's really the only one I know of that doesn't rake the knuckles so I've got a couple that being said.

    Finally, March makes a 1-10x that's fairly compact and looks to be absolute titties (their compact 1-8x isn't much bigger than a prismatic!). If they had a vet discount I'd for sure have one by now so if that's in your price range I'd definitely consider it. May just be the gear queer in me wanting it though, but March is solid glass.
     
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    ScarlettRed

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    Keep it light. I have a leupold mk5 1-6 with 556 reticle. I sighted it in at 200y and the stadia work great out to 400y with my 150's. I limit the range as bullet energy is a limiting factor for hunting. If you want to play games and do some dialing the vortex razor 1-10 is hard to beat. I have one on my 12" sbr and really like it. Power ring is smooth as silk. I tried some bigger scopes on my 17 and realized I was killing the guns sweet spot with the clumsy weight. If you want more, get a 20s and load it with glass. Zco 4-20x50 is awesome on my 20s 6.5.
     

    GUNNER10

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    So I've been running an old Vortex PST HS LR 2.5-10x32 for a while now and the SCAR17 made this optic crap out recently (turrets wouldn't adjust properly anymore). Vortex was great about fixing it and all but I was already wanting to upgrade before this anyways. Have it narrowed down to a few options, any feedback about durability on a SCAR17 and feedback about the optic itself would be appreciated.

    Criteria: Would like to run something mid powered with an offset red dot. Optic will be mounted in an ADM Delta mount. The 1-6 or 1-8 route didn't work for me. Priorities are durability / reliable tracking on a S17, good enough glass, bigger eye box, lower weight if possible w/o sacrificing durability. Open to both SFP and FFP. Prefer MIL based reticles but can work with both. Illumination is nice but not a must have. If the scope doesn't come with a throw lever for magnification adjustment I'll buy or have one 3D printed. Other criteria not mentioned are mostly filtered out already. A few pros/cons I've observed are listed below as well but they're educated guesses as I haven't got to look through any of these exact scopes in person. Feedback about the eye-box in particular would be great.

    1. Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44 with impact29 reticle:
    Pros/Neutral: Seems like a safe bet, lightweight at ~19oz, "only" ~$1-1.2k. None of their stuff I've ever used has been cutting edge or "the best", but they don't really seem to do much wrong.
    Cons: supposedly some of the recent optics have had mechanical / tracking issues, including the 5HD and 6HD line, not sure if this has been resolved yet. Any insight here would be appreciated.

    2. March 1.5-15x42 with FD2 reticle
    Pros/Neutral: Seems very well built, glass is good on other March scopes I've seen so far and is supposedly the best out of these 4, have never heard of any mechanical issues with March scopes. Average weight at ~22oz. Short and compact size.
    Cons: A bit more spendy at ~$2600, 10 year instead of a lifetime warranty, and the warranty is done in Japan and supposedly you have to ship it to them on your own dime if something goes wrong, company is still relatively young in the US from what I understand and there is always the risk of it "disappearing" - all of this is scary on a platform that "eats optics" with no planned revisions or "fixes" to the rifle itself in sight. Has anyone had experiences here?

    3. NF NX8 2.5-20x50 with Mil XT reticle
    Pros/Neutral: many NF used previously on S17 without issue, "middle price" at $2k, good experiences with other NF scopes, NF generally track very reliably, similar to the Leupold nothing really seems to be "wrong" here.
    Cons: A bit heavier at ~28oz (not bad considering the 8x zoom though).

    4. Zeiss Conquest v4 4-16x44 with #64 reticle (or a 4-16x50, but not likely)
    Pros/Neutral: "only" $1150 . Average weight at ~22/23oz.
    Cons: Very little info about these being used on a SCAR as Zeiss seems to primarily market and present themselves as "hunting scopes" although from those using them on bolt actions, I haven't heard of anything going bad.

    Open to other suggestions - previously ruled out EOTech Vudu, Trijicon Scopes, Vortex Razor HD LHT, NF NXS and SVH. Don't want to spend the $ on Kahles, SB, Tangent Theta, etc. USO 1.8-10 looked nice but didn't have the Christmas Tree style reticles I prefer.
    -----------------------------
    For the offset red dot, I am deciding between the Trijicon MRO and Holosun 509.
    For reference, RMR is a bit smaller than I'd like, the Aimpoint H / T series is more than I want to spend on an offset red dot, Deltapoint only has a somewhat slow to adjust manual brightness adjustment and I typically mount the offset red dot more forward, would prefer the auto of the 509 or a big knob like the MRO. From what I understand, the 509 comes with an RMR adapter and MRO pattern mounts are already available.
    The Scar 17 is a tricky weapon in some regards.

    Of the optics that you listed I would probably lean towards the NXS, just such a great track record of being an overbuilt optic. The others while they are good scopes, I am not sure that they are right for a rifle that eats optics.

    I would suggest maybe looking at the Vortex razor 3-18. Leupold Mk5 3-18, especially if you have access to the MIL/LE program, both optics have a decent track record on the scar.

    Also maybe check out the trijicon creedo line. I have an older lpvo accupower and it seems solid for the money
     

    penguinofsleep

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    Thanks everyone for the replies. Here is a little more info in case it helps anyone else provide other feedback.

    I do not qualify for MIL/LE discounts of any sort. Would rather not go down the ask a friend route, etc.


    I actually wanted an ELCAN from the start when I first bought the S17 (not long after they came out) but from what I understand they only made it with a ballistic reticle from then until now (which makes sense for the original use case). I have a few different loads I shoot out of the 17 past 500 where there is "enough" of a difference that I would rather just have a mil based christmas tree reticle. Given the light weight of the S17, the next option at the time was a lightweight ~2-10x. After my current optic got "retired" from the S17, I initially wanted another lightweight ~2-10 but it seems like most of the optics $1k-3k (i.e. a noticible upgrade) in the last few years all have a bit more magnification now OR are LVPO (which just didn't work for me here). Hence why I shifted towards the above with more magnification with a little more weight.

    **Mistakenly thought the Mark 5/6/8 series were discont. for Leupold. Glad they're not all discont - will have to look. Since I don't have access to them locally, would someone be able to summarize the differences between the Mark 5HD / 6 vs the VX-5 or VX-6 series?

    **Is anyone able to confirm the warranty stuff about March? I see 10 years on their website but the whole "ship to Japan on my own dime" thing (i.e., probably $200+ ONE way and a lot of time) in case of warranty is a let down. I'll say it now that there has been some feedback already - the March is what I really wanted going into this search until I heard about the whole warranty issue.

    Will also have to look at Minox - price was a little higher than I wanted, but it looks like it will be within reason if I can get some kind of discount from a dealer.

    Was considering the Trijicon Credo and EoTech VUDU lines, but from what I understand (which is believable based on the brief time I spent with a VUDU + knowing they're most likely made at the same factory in Japan to what appears to be very similar specs) they are at about the same level of durability as my previous Vortex and may also get messed up after several years.

    Was a little worried about the turrets on the Zeiss being a potential let-down (for the SCAR at least) based on handling other similar Zeiss. Looks like I'll probably skip this then (it seems like most optics that fail on the S17 have start having adjustment and zero issues). I agree the glass was nothing mind blowing, but would still be acceptable to me on a S17.

    Unfortunately the ZCO options are more than I want to spend on an optic right now. Looks like a promising relative newcomer (like March) though. Also, are they affiliated with NF? I notice they're in the same city in Idaho.
     
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    Khlit

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    The Elcan specter tri 139's are nice in terms of glass and durablity, they absolutely scar rated optics but they are really really heavy for what they are and the reticule leaves something to be desired imo. they are also purely hold over type optics because while dialing them is doable its kinda of a pain in the ass since they are externally adjusted. I had one that I got for a killer price to put on a Daniel Defense DD5 v4 but didn't care for it and sold it.
    I got a leupold mk5 3.6-18 on my 20s, SOCOM seems to use these MK6's and Nightforce atacr 4-16x50's on their mk20's which makes sense they seem to be just about the ideal scopes for it. The Lithuanians are putting Schmidt Bender 3-12x50 PMII's on their h pr's (European mk20), and the French are using 1-8 SB short dots bad ass set ups to be sure.
    All in all i would look for something light weight, good ret, max mag is up to you but would keep it under 20 power, 1-4 power on the low end, obj 42mm-50mm, locking turrets, and of course stick with a reputable manufacture.

    Would love to get a ZCO 420 or Hensoldt 4-16x56 for my 20s and will eventually get one of those for a bolt gun, but so far im pretty happy with the mk5 on this particular set up.
     

    TheOE800

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    The Elcan specter tri 139's are nice in terms of glass and durablity, they absolutely scar rated optics but they are really really heavy for what they are and the reticule leaves something to be desired imo. they are also purely hold over type optics because while dialing them is doable its kinda of a pain in the ass since they are externally adjusted.
    Considering the mount is built in, they are comparable in weight to basically any major league 34mm optic plus mount. Optically I find them lacking for the price vs say a Vortex Gen 3 Razor.
     

    Tigerbikes

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    The Elcan SpecterDR is definitely heavy and low mag but it is a tank and will be fine on the SCAR 17.
    It also has backup irons.

    Left IMG_1101.jpg

    I tried a NF NXS 2.5-10 on both the 17 and 20 but found that the small size eye wasn't great on the 17 and the 10x max magnification wasn't enough on the 20.

    Left Close IMG_0336 no SN.jpg
     
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    thehun

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    I run an Elcan 1/3/9...it gives you a ton of flexibility. The weight most people talk about is of none concern. It weighs 30 Oz with a super stout mount...most quality optics are 20oz and good mounts go for 7-10oz...relatively the same but the Elcans are 100% SCAR proof as they gave backlash springs within the mount to counter harmonics and they do not have erector tubes to worry about...

    The Elcans are NOT precision optics per say (they do have ridiculous clear glass) but rather a field battle optic. The reticle in the TR is blended for M80/M118LR so it is quite useable and will hit IPSC targets out to 800m without a hitch...the horizontal stadia is in mils and thus one can range common objects...line up the reticle with the corresponding meter mark and go...no need to adjust a thing.

    The impressive part about it is it runs 1X like a red dot...and Elcan nails the illumination every time...and no snag points. It’s a great all in one optic.

    Such an easy optic to actually use...

    I’ve tried to sell it but really hard to let go of it. Just plays perfectly with the role I want my SCAR to perform...that said everything is for sale for the correct price. So if interested. Let me know...

    There are only three other optics I trust on my SCARs: NF, SB or Leupold Mk6/Mk8...in really good mounts or rings...and I prefer ARC...
     

    BigPrince

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    Have a SCAR17 that needs glass also and been thinking about either a Vortex Razer G3 1-10 or a combo of a NF 4-20 ATACR with an offset 509t. Elcans are nice and tanks but they just don't have the same capabilities. A 17 should be able to reach out farther than I would want to use a 6x and I am not a fan of a BDC given load variables.
     

    thehun

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    .308 is a lot more forgiving in BDC...however if you are going to run nothing but Uberkommando match through a 17...yeah Elcans might not fit the bill but 98% of Scar 17/20 owners just run ball or off the shelf match (when wanting to see what it can do) thus Elcans work just fine for most users...hasn’t let me down once nor has made me miss a shot...
     

    BigPrince

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    .308 is a lot more forgiving in BDC...however if you are going to run nothing but Uberkommando match through a 17...yeah Elcans might not fit the bill but 98% of Scar 17/20 owners just run ball or off the shelf match (when wanting to see what it can do) thus Elcans work just fine for most users...hasn’t let me down once nor has made me miss a shot...
    I reload for the rifle, run suppressed, and will be adjusting gas, so my velocities and drops probably won't match what they're set for.
     
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    penguinofsleep

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    Original post updated with final 3 choices and a few final questions. Thanks again to all who have replied so far.


    @Tigerbikes That Minox looks really nice on a 20.
    And yes, I too didn't think the eye box would be forgiving or big enough on the NXS 2.5-10, at least for how I use the S17 (although from what I understand the 24mm objective version has a smaller eye box vs the 4x mm version). And yes, I would want more than 10x for a 20" barrel.
     

    Khlit

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    Considering the mount is built in, they are comparable in weight to basically any major league 34mm optic plus mount. Optically I find them lacking for the price vs say a Vortex Gen 3 Razor.
    Yep, which is why they aren't relevant to most users these days especially with the quality of lvpos and mounts available now, they just aren't as flexible as other stuff in this price range. The Elcans still have their place for those who need/want the ruggedness and simplicity they offer there isn't anything else out there like them. Gotta disagree about the optical quality on them though, I was very impressed with it's ability to resolve fine detail and handle low light considering it's size. Not to trash on LOW but Elcan is using Leica glass in these things which is to my subjective eye superior to anything LOW puts out.
     

    Tigerbikes

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    Yep, which is why they aren't relevant to most users these days especially with the quality of lvpos and mounts available now, they just aren't as flexible as other stuff in this price range. The Elcans still have their place for those who need/want the ruggedness and simplicity they offer there isn't anything else out there like them. Gotta disagree about the optical quality on them though, I was very impressed with it's ability to resolve fine detail and handle low light considering it's size. Not to trash on LOW but Elcan is using Leica glass in these things which is to my subjective eye superior to anything LOW puts out.
    +1 there. The Elcan has awesome light gathering and excellent resolution.
     

    TheOE800

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    As an owner of one, the reticle is meh and gets lighter when you zoom to 9x. The built-for-the-95th-percentile focus is also a demerit in my eyes.
     

    Octaviancb

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    Have you looked at the Steiner m5xi 3-15? Ive seen them sell on here for under $2k. They’re built like tanks, come with lifetime warranty, super clear German glass (although some might argue not quite to the level of S&B etc, but my eyes aren’t that good so I’ll leave that discussion to the experts). And, depending on you reticle preference, it’s probably the cheapest way you can get into the MSR/MSR2 reticle as S&B and Kahles are the only other manufactures licensed to offer it.
    Just an idea of course...
     

    Strykervet

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    Have a SCAR17 that needs glass also and been thinking about either a Vortex Razer G3 1-10 or a combo of a NF 4-20 ATACR with an offset 509t. Elcans are nice and tanks but they just don't have the same capabilities. A 17 should be able to reach out farther than I would want to use a 6x and I am not a fan of a BDC given load variables.
    I'd reconsider that 4-20 --I had the option to change my order to one the second they came out. I actually DID request it that very morning... THEN I went and read up on it like a moron and had to apologize for bothering the man. I was assuming it was same thing but with a free 4x.

    It's not. And nothing is free.

    In this case it comes at pretty significant cost IMO. The 4-20 looks like a great .22 scope though. The 4-16 is still titties for this application. I forget all the details but FOV took a hit.

    I finally got the Trij 1-8x Accupower installed on mine, a CQC --and it's the shit, perfect for this rifle:

    IMG_1538.JPG
    Trifecta:
    SCAR porn.JPG
    Now to get a tax stamp for that '16 and change it out... Love them "golden guns"! All US made, even that '16. Probably one of the last step down Mk20's.
     

    penguinofsleep

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    Have you looked at the Steiner m5xi 3-15? Ive seen them sell on here for under $2k. They’re built like tanks, come with lifetime warranty, super clear German glass (although some might argue not quite to the level of S&B etc, but my eyes aren’t that good so I’ll leave that discussion to the experts). And, depending on you reticle preference, it’s probably the cheapest way you can get into the MSR/MSR2 reticle as S&B and Kahles are the only other manufactures licensed to offer it.
    Just an idea of course...
    They're a little heavier than I want at 32oz - trying to stay under 28-30oz, ideally at 22-25oz.

    For those who are curious, I'm deciding between the Leupold Mark5HD and Burris XTR III today. Have a Holosun 509 on the way already. 509 only b/c I have an MRO already and would like to compare the 2 side by side.

    Confirmed March Warranty = pay for shipping to Japan both ways + relatively long service times. With that I've seen of March scopes this wouldn't bother me on other rifles, but S17 is not other rifles.
    Asked a few people who have tried the NX8 vs others and they all said the eye box of the NX8 isn't bad, but the 5HD and XTR III would be noticibly more forgiving.
    Found the XTR III by lurking more and realizing I had overlooked it when I was looking at available options.
     
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