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Need a scope recommendation

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Old 01-16-2017, 01:21 AM   #11
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First focal plane. does your reticle stay the same when you increase the power? or does it inlarge the reticle when you increase the power? My scope is in my workshop and we are having a monsoon at this time. My scope is second focal plane and I always get them mixed up. Old age is a bummer.

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Old 01-16-2017, 02:52 AM   #12
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Mine is First Focal Plane (FFP). The reticle grows and shrinks as you change the zoom.

Second Focal Plane (SFP) is the one you see more often. It is cheaper than FFP, and the reticle is always the same, no matter what you set the zoom to. Also, if you are using an SFP scope to range a target using it's MIL or MOA grid, you always have to set the scope to the power where the mil-dots are accurate (usually the highest power).

With an FFP scope like the one I got, the mil-dots are always accurate, at any zoom setting, because those mil-dots zoom in and out as you change power settings.

Most people do not need an FFP scope. But for long range, FFP is better, because you are not always using the max power (where most SFP scopes are calibrated). So if you're holding off, say 2 mils for wind, then you can zoom your scope in and out and you have that 2mils mark always accurate for wind hold off no matter what power you're at. You might think you mostly use the highest power for long range shooting, but that is apparently not the case. I am just learning this stuff. At long range you get a lot of mirage in the scope. To "fix" that, you move to a lower power. But on an SFP scope, moving to that lower power just nuked your ability to hold off for wind, since your mil-dots are no longer accurate.

With an FFP scope for long range, the reticle is thin at high powers so it doesn't blot out your target. But since the reticle gets smaller as you zoom to lower powers, the reticle gets thinner and thinner too. I mean, REALLY thin. You can see it from a supported position on a bench or with a bipod, but it would be terrible for hunting because the reticle would just disappear at low powers. That's why hunters don't typically use FFP scopes (except maybe long range hunters).

I learned a lot about how to choose an appropriate scope in my research. A fantastic hunting scope could be total trash for long range shooting, and vica versa. Also with long range, you have to have turrets that are extremely consistent and repeatable. If you dial in 13.2 mils, you darn well better get exactly 13.2 mils. And then when you dial back to zero, you better be at the exact same zero as when you started. Most hunters use the turrets to zero their scopes, and then leave them there. Not touching them again until they decide to re-zero the scope. This is not the case for long range hunters, since they have the same concerns as long range target shooters.

Good glass is very important in any scope. But arguably, the turrets are even more important in long range scopes.
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Old 01-16-2017, 01:05 PM   #13
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If anyone else is looking for an optic for the same type of long gun, look at the Burris XTRII line. Forever Warranty, better glass than the Vortex and everything you need for precision long range shooting.
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Old 01-16-2017, 04:32 PM   #14
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Yes, the Burris XTR's are nice too. After much shopping and research, my top three scope possibilities came down to The Vortex Viper PST that I ultimately chose (or it's lesser-featured sibling the HST), the Burris XTRII that MarkCO mentioned, and the SWFA SS. The SWFA is a very good scope for the money, but it is a step down from either the Vortex or the Burris. But it is also a giant step down in price. A fixed magnification scope like the SWFA is always going to be a lot cheaper than the variable powers like the Vortex and Burris.

The Vortex and Burris are quite comparable in quality, features, glass, etc. Near twins really. Similarly priced - the Burris is a tad more, but not terribly much. I went with the Vortex based on the recommendations from two of my friends. One, an ex Army Special Forces sniper (quite a while ago - he's 70 years old now) who also shot long range competitively a few years back. And the other, his son. Who recently completed his tour as an Army sniper, was on some kind of elite competitive sniper team and competed while in the Army. Both recommended that if I wasn't going to put out the $2k to 4K for high end like a Nightforce or Schmidt&Bender, then I should go for the Vortex. I valued their insight and experience, so primarily homed in on the Vortex based on their recommendations (Viper line and above).

Both Vortex and Burris have great warranties on these scopes. Lifetime. Good for any owner (buy it used, still covered). No paperwork or registration. No purchase receipt required. Both are state of the art warranties. I am not familiar with details of the SWFA warranty, other than noting that it is reported to be lifetime.

I don't think you could go wrong with any of these scopes for long range shooting.
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Old 01-17-2017, 01:59 AM   #15
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I had a less expensive Vortex on my 308 for a while. When I upgraded to the Viper PST the scope I took off had a crease in the tube. It was mounted by a local gun shop. I called Vortex, they said mail it in and 5 days later I had a new scope in my hands. That is a good warranty. Improper installation and still covered. I gave the replacement scope to my grandson to go on his Christmas rifle.

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Old 01-19-2017, 08:25 PM   #16
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Checking out rings to mount the scope now. Talked to Vortex about that. They are VERY helpful and knowledgeable!

I'm leaning towards Vortex's "Matched Precision" rings. These are made by Seekins Precision for Vortex, and are the standard Seekins rings with a Vortex logo inscribed on them. Reportedly very good rings. I've never heard of them because, well, I've never bought good rings before!

Any thought/concerns/comments on these rings?

http://www.vortexoptics.com/product/vortex-precision-matched-rings-30mm-riflescope-145

Same rings, the Seekings originals without the Vortex logo:
http://www.seekinsprecision.com/parts-and-accessories/scope-rings/scope-rings-30mm-tube.html
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Old 01-19-2017, 11:03 PM   #17
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I have several sets of Vortex rings. They are high quality. I have never used the Seekins rings. For the same approximate price, I would go with the Vortex.

On my precision rifles, I used to use Nightforce rings, but now I use Burris Signature Z rings exclusively. What I am looking forward to is getting the new Burris XTR Signature rings for the precision rifle I am building now. They look really strong and have the Posi-Align nylon inserts just like the Signature Z rings. They provide perfect alignment and prevent damage to the scope tubes.

http://www.burrisoptics.com/mounting-systems/rings/xtr-signature-rings
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Old Yesterday, 03:59 AM   #18
haertig
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Those Burris XTR Signature rings looked really intriguing, and they've been getting good reviews. Midway has them on sale right now for $83.99 with free shipping. That clinched it.

Ordered mine this evening!

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/1548235656/burris-xtreme-tactical-signature-picatinny-style-rings-matte
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