Rifle Scopes SFP Scopes for Hunting

wapiti16b

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Mar 16, 2014
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I already have a nice FFP scope for my fun gun and may end up with a PST GEN II anyway for my hunting rifle , however if I can't afford the PST II , I would like opinions about SFP scopes for less than $700.00 .
Specifically which one has the best Turrets & Reticle ( similar to the PST II ) and low light capabilities !
I'm not opposed to a custom calibrated BDC model but prefer turrets comparable to the PST GEN II , I can't stand mushy turrets !
Let's be honest I'll probably get the PST but if I can get a SFP with great turrets, reticle , and glass while saving enough for ARC Rings that would be a plus !
 

goalie

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Question for you: What are you hunting, and where?

Where I rifle hunt for deer, the longest shot I've taken out of the last dozen deer I've shot was with a 44mag revolver wearing a 2x Leupold handgun scope and it was around 75 yards. Any scope that holds a zero season to season fills the freezer.

Or, are you talking longer range elk hunting in a western state, or beanfield deer hunting with possible 6-700 yard shots?

 

BurnOut

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My vote is for a Zeiss HD5 3-15x50. Ought to be able to find them used around that price point.
 

wapiti16b

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I'm out west here in New Mexico but I hunt the entire west except CA , I do not expect to take shots beyond 6 or 7 hundred yards but my 300WM is capable even if I'm not !
Last year I harvested a one shot Mule Deer buck in Utah @ 473 with my 308WIN , my fun gun , and that was about the limit for that particular rifle .
I'm not opposed to swapping out my GEN II Razor to my 300WM but would prefer not to .
I will look into the Zeiss HD5 but if you can give me first hand experience with the turrets and reticle that would be great !
Thanks !
 

roggom

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That is a great scope, I have the 3-15x42 with Z800 reticle. No need to worry about turrets because it has hash and drops out to 800. Zeiss has a phone app that goes along with it, although I suggest getting to a range to test it out to 800 if possible. You can also get an external turret from Kenton Industries. Eurooptic currently has them on closeout, the x50 as a plex, the x42 in a Z800. Exit pupil is really not bad considering its a 42 objective.
 

BurnOut

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In all honesty, the reticle in mine is a simple duplex, so I really don't have any comments there beyond the simple fact that it's usable. Aside from that, the turrets similarly are unremarkable (which is a statement of sorts, I suppose) in that they do what they're supposed to do. They're certainly not tactical in nature, with a lack of a zero stop, etc..., but more of the traditional hunter's "get it zeroed and quit messing with it" type. That said, if you do want to spin the dials, there are options from Kenton Industries (as roggom mentioned) that may make them a bit more useful: http://kentonindustries.com/custom-turrets/ziess
 

WB300

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I had the same Zeiss scope roggom mentions above and can't say enough good about it for hunting. Once i got my velocity plugged in to Zeiss's ballistic program, i turned the power ring to 11.5 (iirc) and was able to ring a 8" steel plate out to 400 yards without touching the turrets. I can't speak for the long term durability of twisting the turrets as i only twisted to zero at 200. I sold the scope because i wanted a similar performing scope without a side parallax adjustment. For 300 yards and in on big game with possibility for quick shots, I didn't want to fool with side parallax. Now in all honesty, i could set the parallax anywhere from 200 to 300 and could still hunt without enough error to matter.

My intent was to buy a used NF SHV 3-10x42 (same price range) until i realized they have side parallax. With the Zeiss already sold, i just did a reticle swap on my NF 2.5-10x32. If The NF SHV 3-10x42 did not have side parallax, I'd buy several. If you prefer side parallax or don't care, then this is all moot. I just wanted to give you the reason why i sold it to eliminate that question.

When i compared the Zeiss to the SHV, MY observations were: SHV gave up a smidge to the Zeiss in low light, but not enough to be a deal breaker. Turrets felt good on both (again, no long term use on the Zeiss). Weight was within 2 oz (Zeiss was 19 oz, SHV was about 21 oz). Reticle on the SHV matched the turrets instead of being a BDC type. Both scopes can be used for holds or twisting, but the SHV gave me the option of going down to half power(5x, hash marks = 2MOA and 1 MOA on 10x) instead of staying on a certain power for holds on the Zeiss. Zeiss was a 1" tube, SHV is 30mm. I was told that the Zeiss HD5's would need to go to Germany for repair/service (didn't need it), vs the NF is CONUS. FYI, the NF reticle swap was back on my rifle in under 2 weeks.

As i finish typing this, i realized that i just assumed you use MOA. If you want MILs, disregard this post, but i will leave it in case it could benefit someone else with similar questions.

Sorry to be so long winded. Good luck and let us know what you pick.
 

atxhorn4425

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Check out the Vortex Razor HD LH. I have one on order after reading really good things about them. I was looking for a relatively light, SFP hunting scope with capped turrets and some holdovers, and the Vortex fit the bill nicely. Ilya at OpticsThoughts (who also posts here) recommends it as his sub-$1000 hunting riflescope.
 

Sendit6.5

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Most of my hunting rifles have Leupold scopes on them. I love their glass and their relatively light weight. I'm recent years I've switched most of my other models out for the VX6 line because I have a sponsor deal that made them more affordable but I still have some VX3 scoped rifles that I killed lots of animals with. I didn't do a ton of dialing with those scopes as most of my shots are inside 350yds and I don't need to dial for that. So, I can't speak to the robustness of the turrets; but I've never had any problems when I did dial and the return to zero was always right on very close - certainly acceptable for a hunting setup. Their TMOA reticle makes holdovers easy. To me, for hunting, the quality of the glass is the most important aspect because of the likelihood of making a shot in low light and the need to (possibly) judge an animal through the scope. Followed by a reasonably rugged build with a light weight. I don't need a scope with turrets than can handle huge amounts of dialing, like a competition scope. Same thing goes for Zero-stop. I'm not knocking the feature. Heck, I have a lot of scopes with the feature; but it's not a "necessary" feature (for me) on a hunting scope. It's more of a luxury that I'll drop without much thought, if it's not available on some quality glass I found. I'm not in combat, I'm hunting - I don't need a heavy scope that's built like a tank and contributes to a pounding heart and heavy breathing after running up a hill to get into position to make a shot. I prefer SFP scopes for hunting, especially in low light conditions - where most shots take place - unless it has an illuminated reticle. But a SFP scope reduces my dependence on illumination because the reticle is easier to see.

A lot of people (like me) are upgrading to the new VX6 HD scopes and there are a ton of last year's VX6 scopes on the used market that are selling around your budget.

In the end, it's going to come down to your particular hunting needs. An antelope hunt in Wyoming has different needs than a elk hunt in coastal Oregon or a south Texas whitetail hunt or hog hunt.

Good luck in your search!


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Danco411

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Athlon Midas is a contender. I have the 4.5-27x50 on my Grendel for and it's awesome. I actually ran it out to 1000 yards and the tracking was perfect. I have also have the 2.5-15x50 which is also fantastic for shorter ranges. I have this on my .223 Wylde rifle. I may put the smaller one on my Grendel for deer season as I love it on 2.5. The glass is excellent and the price is in your range. You also can't be the lifetime warranty.
 

Sendit6.5

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Athlon Midas is a contender. I have the 4.5-27x50 on my Grendel for and it's awesome. I actually ran it out to 1000 yards and the tracking was perfect. I have also have the 2.5-15x50 which is also fantastic for shorter ranges. I have this on my .223 Wylde rifle. I may put the smaller one on my Grendel for deer season as I love it on 2.5. The glass is excellent and the price is in your range. You also can't be the lifetime warranty.


I keep hearing about Athlon but I've never seen one. I'd sure like to. One little downside of living in the boonies is that there aren't a lot of gun shops out here. Lol! What is the weight on that 4.5-27x50?


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JePhyllis

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Oct 2, 2017
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You may check SWFA 10 fixed magnification scope. It is lightweight and the glass is crystal clear. For hunting, a 10 fixed magnification is enough within 500 yards. The HD glass version is about $700.
 

wapiti16b

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Mar 16, 2014
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I'm going to check out the SHV and the Razor HD LH , I can find them locally and the Athlon has always peaked my interest but none are to be found to fondle . I want a 30 mm tube so the Zeiss looks like a no go even though the glass on the one I looked at was great .
The search goes on , I'm in no hurry as the rifle to be scoped just got finished and I will not hunt with it this year unless I do an OTC Barbary Sheep hunt @ home in NM .
Thanks !
 

CharlieNC

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I have the Sightron SIII 6-24 ffp on my hunting rifle now. It has great optical quality in low light. For a couple of years I twisted the turrets regularly, using it for tactical shoots. Glass is superior to the original PST, but haven't compared to the gen2. Still one of my favorite scopes.