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Scope Upgrade - Sub $1500

MurphyTX

Private
Minuteman
Sep 27, 2023
17
1
Houston
Hey everyone,

Been reading items for a while and figured now is a good time to finally make that first post. I am looking to upgrade from my Nikon Monarch to a nicer, newer scope.
  • What is the platform for the scope?
    bolt action
  • What cartridge are you shooting?
    308
  • What is your intended use for the scope?
    Hunting, Target, Steel
  • What type of conditions will you typically shoot in?
    Low light hunting situations from 30min before sunrise to 30 min after sunset
  • What are the typical distances you intend to shoot?
    Hunting (600 yards and in) Target and Steel (out to 1000 yards)
  • Are there any specific specifications you would like?
    Lighter weight, low end mag range (2-4x), high end mag range (15-25x),
  • What is the price range you can afford? Under $1,500

I am not a scope guru and a Burris XTRIII purchased last year is my only other comparison. No complaints on the Burris, some eye fatigue if spending a full day behind. Clarity is good, not a ton of CA, dragon scale turrets aren’t that bad, and overall I’m really happy with that purchase.

Lately I’ve been eyeing a variety of scopes and without having hands/eyes on experience I figured I’d get some feedback. If you’ve had experiences with any on the list and compare to another, it would be greatly appreciated. Scopes in no particular order.

Meopta Optika6 3-18x50 Illuminated MRAD 30mm FFP
- Heavier side at 30oz.
- 2-15x optika6 doesn’t save much weight and is only available in SFP. SFP can be good but since the reticle has to be maxed to use it’s a consideration.
Trijicon Tenmile 3-18x44 FFP w/ MRAD Precision Tree
- good weight, reviews seem positive on glass and turrets
- I think ACOGs and not riflescopes, so some name bias from myself on this one
Leupold VX-6HD 3-18x44mm
- Need to find a sale because of price
- great weight, warranty, limited reticle options, SFP
Vortex Razor HD LHT 4.5-22x50
- great weight and warranty
- turrets we’re meh and the scope felt cheap for price
- concerns about reliability in backwoods getting bumped around seem to pop up from some while others state no issue
Leica Amplus 6 2.5-15x56i
- heavier side (50mm model comes in at 25oz, but Eurooptic sale is a pretty good deal)
- SFP, ok warranty (some concerns about CS if needed), supposed to be phenomenal glass
Nightforce NX8 2.5-20x50
- high price, decent weight, wide zoom ratio

Thanks in advance for any insights on how these scopes stack up against each other
 
Tenmile is exceptional bang for buck at $1k. You'll want a 20moa rail to dial past 1000. I sold my mk5hd for one and am a happy customer.

Although I am biased toward ffp and lighter scopes for primarily hunting.
 
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Out of your list, the NF NX8 2.5-20x50 or 4-32x50 with the MIL-XT reticle or Razor LHT 4.5-22x50 (FFP model) would be my choice.

But the newer Burris XTR-III's that are built in Philippines supposedly have better glass than the older US made models. So, a new XTR-IIIi 3.3-18x50 SCR would be a great option, especially since you're already familiar with the XTR-III's.

Contact @Euro.Connor over at EuroOptic and he can get you hooked up with an awesome deal.
 
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Used leupold mark5 3-18 from the classifieds.

Lots of people on here like the lightweight razor.

Leica probably has the best glass quality for dawn/dusk hunting.

Bushnell made a 3-12 and 4-18 lighter weight tactical "LRTSi" model for awhile but they seem to be discontinued.
 
@FuhQ What are your full thoughts on the LHT? I understand that with that light of a scope some “premium” items need to be removed, but the scope feel and turrets at the price left a lot to be desired.

@BCP do you have any experience with the Leica? I was tossing the thoughts of a Mrk5 from the classifieds or a demo/blem but want to side by side it with the XTR3. Lots of people claim this glass is better than that glass, so I would want to get my own eyes through both first.
 
@FuhQ What are your full thoughts on the LHT? I understand that with that light of a scope some “premium” items need to be removed, but the scope feel and turrets at the price left a lot to be desired.

@BCP do you have any experience with the Leica? I was tossing the thoughts of a Mrk5 from the classifieds or a demo/blem but want to side by side it with the XTR3. Lots of people claim this glass is better than that glass, so I would want to get my own eyes through both first.
For a hunting scope, the glass on it is very sharp and nice. Which is why I took it from his list. I don't care what anyone says, Leupold ain't the way forward. If anything, they're still 10+ years behind. Fanboys will argue, but I'm allowed to have my own opinion about them...It's still a somewhat free country.

I think the NX8 4-32x50 MIL-XT would be your best best for a crossover in that price range. HOWEVER, if you could up your budget noticeably, a used ZCO 420 or Kahles K318i SKMR3 from the PX would be phenomenal options, as well.
 
Are you a veteran, first responder, or similar who qualifies for ExpertVoice, VerifyPass, ID.me, etc.?
 
You already own the best sub $1500 scope. I would buy one of the 14-1500 xtr3 pros you can get right now.

Lht is strickly a hunting scope, nx8 has shit optics and the rest are inferior to the Burris, Including the mk5.
 
Lht is strickly a hunting scope, nx8 has shit optics and the rest are inferior to the Burris, Including the mk5.

I had the 5-30 xtr PRO side by side to a 5-25 MK5hd on a particularly hazy day, and the MK5hd was significantly more crisp.

I think they are a good value for ~$1,500, but hardly anything to write home about. I do not know how the xtr3 compares to the PRO
 
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Problem with the MK5 is build consistency. Some look really really good and some look like dog shit. It makes no sense and a bunch of people I know who have owned them had the same issues. Then you get into the other issues.

I think the XTR3 pro is a much better optic all things considered but people will vote with their wallet. Leupold sponsers enough top shooters that the dick hangers will keep buying them in mass.
 
I had the 5-30 xtr PRO side by side to a 5-25 MK5hd on a particularly hazy day, and the MK5hd was significantly more crisp.

I think they are a good value for ~$1,500, but hardly anything to write home about. I do not know how the xtr3 compares to the PRO

The leupolds are fine glass quality wise and win a bit on weight, the reticules aren't my favorite thing though and paying extra for illumination is silly. The newer 4 series leupolds look interesting but again they're all 1000$ or more retail, TMR reticule and pay extra for illumination 🤡
 
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I’ve got 3 NX8 2.5-20x for sale in PX right now. Even fits in your budget
Reticle choice in the NX8 is the only holdback. I wish they offered some more variety in that line.

I am not a vet, LEO, or other discount-qualifying person so it’s full price outside general discounts and the PX.

It seems like outside of the Meopta and the Leupold, the scopes listed are viewed favorably by different camps. Guess I’ll research the new suggestions, weigh all the specs, and see if anyone can swing me one way or another in the meantime
 
Reticle choice in the NX8 is the only holdback. I wish they offered some more variety in that line.

I am not a vet, LEO, or other discount-qualifying person so it’s full price outside general discounts and the PX.

It seems like outside of the Meopta and the Leupold, the scopes listed are viewed favorably by different camps. Guess I’ll research the new suggestions, weigh all the specs, and see if anyone can swing me one way or another in the meantime
You don't like the MIL-XT reticle? I love that reticle in my ATACR F1 5-25x56...
 
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You don't like the MIL-XT reticle? I love that reticle in my ATACR F1 5-25x56...
I feel like I've only seen the F1 and the Horus online. Bad searching on my part I guess. The MIL-XT would be the reticle I would select if I were to go with the NX8
 
I feel like I've only seen the F1 and the Horus online. Bad searching on my part I guess. The MIL-XT would be the reticle I would select if I were to go with the NX8
Horus reticles are extremely overrated. Internet BS will try to tell you that you need one, but in reality about 1% of people can actually use one to its fullest potential. And they damn-sure aren't worth the huge uncharge they charge for them.

Definitely look into the MIL-XT. Much better (and more useable) reticle design.
 
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Checkout EuroOptic. They have a huge NF selection, especially with the MIL-XT reticle.

 
Problem with the MK5 is build consistency. Some look really really good and some look like dog shit. It makes no sense and a bunch of people I know who have owned them had the same issues. Then you get into the other issues.

I think the XTR3 pro is a much better optic all things considered but people will vote with their wallet. Leupold sponsers enough top shooters that the dick hangers will keep buying them in mass.

LOL this is hilarious, you continuously rag on the MK5's but tout the Burris's. This time it's "build consistency"... are you fucking serious? There was just a thread on here where a guy was sent not one but TWO XTR pros with fucking dandruff inside them and 3 trys later they still couldn't unfuck the situation and send him decent products... and you think they have good build consistency? I have NEVER heard of anything remotely similar with Leupold and Leupold doesn't have pages and pages of "blemished" and "refurbished" scopes on Natchez like Burris does.

Are you trying to dethrone the current village idiot and wear the crown?
 
Looks nice but I am only seeing a 4.5-30x and a 5-50x. At 37oz the 4.5-30x scope is .5lbs heavier than almost every scope on the list.

 
LOL this is hilarious, you continuously rag on the MK5's but tout the Burris's. This time it's "build consistency"... are you fucking serious? There was just a thread on here where a guy was sent not one but TWO XTR pros with fucking dandruff inside them and 3 trys later they still couldn't unfuck the situation and send him decent products... and you think they have good build consistency? I have NEVER heard of anything remotely similar with Leupold and Leupold doesn't have pages and pages of "blemished" and "refurbished" scopes on Natchez like Burris does.

Are you trying to dethrone the current village idiot and wear the crown?
You really need to get your meds regulated. I'm pretty familiar with FL's medicade program. Let me know if you need some contact info.
 
Assuming this scope isn’t for competition I’d go with the Razor LHT. I’ve fallen/slipped and so on hiking in the CO mountains with that scope and haven’t had a single issue. Locking turrets is a must for hunting when you are hiking all day. The LHT has a locking elevation and covered windage. I’ve almost lost elk with a previous scope I used because the windage moved 2.5 MOA left while hiking. Luckily I have a solid shot process and checked it after dialing my elevation. From what I have read this really is a hunting rifle you might also shoot steel with practicing.
 
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Problem with the MK5 is build consistency. Some look really really good and some look like dog shit. It makes no sense and a bunch of people I know who have owned them had the same issues. Then you get into the other issues.

I think the XTR3 pro is a much better optic all things considered but people will vote with their wallet. Leupold sponsers enough top shooters that the dick hangers will keep buying them in mass.
Well i don't have the pro but do have the III, IIIi, and MK 5 and the build consistency is much better on the MK5 scopes. Maybe if you dont have 1st hand experience with said scopes you should tie down your cock holster.
I will say all mentioned scopes are good and work just fine,but the MK5 scopes are just a bit nicer to get behind and use. The overall fit, finnish and overall build quality is better.
Then again anybody who has both would know that.
 
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Oh, I see the Everglades Uncle Fucker found his way into this thread. So nice of you to join us and share your bottom of the pack egomaniacal thoughts.
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Oh, I see the Everglades Uncle Fucker found his way into this thread. So nice of you to join us and share your bottom of the pack egomaniacal thoughts.

I thought it was redneckbuttfucker? Or did that start triggering PTSD from the time I railed your mom in the keister and never called her?

Are they still made in Japan or is it Phillipines? I know the older Razors were Japan, the 5-20s. Current ones I *think* are assembled here or something.

All the razor riflescopes are Japanese. Some of the spotters and binos aren’t now (some still are).
 
I thought it was redneckbuttfucker? Or did that start triggering PTSD from the time I railed your mom in the keister and never called her?
Don’t worry, you can be both… And about 100 other funny combos I’ve yet to use. 😂

I love how people attack someone’s parents, thinking it will offend them, not realizing that some of us had parents that were such pieces of work when we were growing up, that it literally doesn’t phase us as an adult, and we laugh instead of getting mad because we hate and dissociate from pretty much our entire families. 🤣😂🤣 But nice attempt, I’m sure it works quite well on most people. 👍🏼
 
@MurphyTX my apologies now that your thread is fixing to devolve into a clown circus now that Ego Bozo has found it, and has to make sure we all know we’re wrong about our suggestions, opinions, and recommendations, and that his opinions are the only right ones. 👍🏼
 
Ah a thread I wanted to read and these three show up to talk shit to one another.
 
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I’ve read enough threads to know that a post, especially about optics, will likely devolve into some sort of name calling and “im right you’re wrong”.

Can’t we all just get along?!? Lol

I’m just waiting for more Leica owners to find the post and swing my decision. Comparing specs online it seems like the Amplus has a good eye box, great FOV, and might be pulling ahead considering the sale at EuroOptic
 
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The Leica is a great optic. It has a very good reticle and the glass is amazing. Mine is on my PH2 6.5 Creedmoor and I'll be buying a second as soon as the PH2 7PRC's come back in stock.
 
For a hunting scope i would get the Leica . I wouldn't worry about what everyone says because most of the time it isn't truthful.
My opinion is that a crossover scope is bullshit,get another rifle.
Also my opinion , the MK5 3 18 would probably be the best choice for what you want done.
 
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This is the only shortcoming I can find on the Leica and unless you dial wind it’s a non issue. It dials .1mil per click and the windage turret is engraved that it’s MRAD but the major and minor references on the turret ring are laid out like it out would be MOA.
 

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I have a great deal of experience with the Razor LHT. I ran one on 308 bolt and now on my MK12. Great scope. Works perfectly. It’s a true cross over scope. Not designed to jump out of plans with but more durable than most of us who use them
 
This is the only shortcoming I can find on the Leica and unless you dial wind it’s a non issue. It dials .1mil per click and the windage turret is engraved that it’s MRAD but the major and minor references on the turret ring are laid out like it out would be MOA.
That is weird how the windage turret is marked, but thankfully I’ll be holding for wind 99.9% with the .1% as a safety net. One of the reasons I like the BDC reticle on sale (actually a mil tree which is weird) is so that I can hold wind at max power.

Any concerns on tracking or anything of that nature with the turrets, and what reticle do you have in your Leica?
 
For hunting and range use the leupold is great with low light. Fov not the best but a great option for both id suggest the 3.6-18 mk5hd. Enough travel to lob those 308s in at 1000 and good low light capabilities for hunting.
 
That is weird how the windage turret is marked, but thankfully I’ll be holding for wind 99.9% with the .1% as a safety net. One of the reasons I like the BDC reticle on sale (actually a mil tree which is weird) is so that I can hold wind at max power.

Any concerns on tracking or anything of that nature with the turrets, and what reticle do you have in your Leica?

I’ve only tested tracking as far as dialing in the scope what I saw with the reticle to zero and it tracked perfect for that but that’s hardly a test.

Mine has the 5 mil tree, it’s the one that’s on closeout at euro optic.
 
This is the only shortcoming I can find on the Leica and unless you dial wind it’s a non issue. It dials .1mil per click and the windage turret is engraved that it’s MRAD but the major and minor references on the turret ring are laid out like it out would be MOA.
How does the windage work on yours, is it accurate to .1mil increments? Did they install the wrong dial?
 
I’ve only tested tracking as far as dialing in the scope what I saw with the reticle to zero and it tracked perfect for that but that’s hardly a test.

Mine has the 5 mil tree, it’s the one that’s on closeout at euro optic.
I’m glad that it’s tracked well so far and boy is that convenient that you have that reticle lol

How does the reticle feel at low power(is it too bulky at 2.5x)? The reticle description on Leica makes it look like it might be a little too busy but not sure how it looks through the scope.
 
How does the windage work on yours, is it accurate to .1mil increments? Did they install the wrong dial?

Yeah it dials .1 mil. I don’t know if they installed the wrong ring or just used the same one for both models. I personally don’t really care though since I don’t dial wind and it’s only for zeroing the scope for me.

I’m glad that it’s tracked well so far and boy is that convenient that you have that reticle lol

How does the reticle feel at low power(is it too bulky at 2.5x)? The reticle description on Leica makes it look like it might be a little too busy but not sure how it looks through the scope.

No it’s not super heavy or obscuring on low power. They did a really good job on the reticle IMO. I’m pretty critical about shit and I like it enough I’m buying a second.
 
Oh, I see the Everglades Uncle Fucker found his way into this thread. So nice of you to join us and share your bottom of the pack egomaniacal thoughts.
Dude I live 50 miles from the Everglades. Gorgeous area. More money than you could imagine lives in that area

Best area in USA
 
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