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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to outfit a .308 for target shooting up to 500 yards or so (I can't see any farther than that!) Realistically, most of my shooting will probably be at 100 yards however, as long distance ranges are quite a bit of a drive around here. No hunting or low-light shooting requirements - 100% target use. From a supported position, vast majority of the time sitting at a bench.

This will be for a Ruger Precision Rifle http://www.ruger.com/products/precisionRifle/models.html I haven't decided on a price range for the scope yet, or a magnification range, since that's way premature at this point given that I don't know what I'm doing. I want to learn longer range shooting, and just happened to bump into one of these rifles this afternoon. So I bought it.
 

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Congratulations my man! You want one with very thin cross hairs. I bought a 4-16 online. And it's OK with less than 100 rounds. But has a fat retical. I would start by choosing what magnification you want, then from there pick a retical you like. From there I would look at price point, followed by size/looks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Has anyone tried any of the SWFA SS fixed power scopes? They get good reviews and are inexpensive. You save a lot of money by going to fixed power over variable. Since I'm looking for a target shooting only scope, I don't really need the lower powers/wider angles that are crucial for hunters.

https://swfa.com/catalog/product/view/id/105768/category/6896/

They come in 6x42, 10x42, 12x42, 16x42 and 20x42. I'm thinking the 10x or maybe the 12x would be the most useful.
 

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I put a Vortex Viper PST 6-24X50 on my Remington 700 CDL Tactical I won in a raffle. I have had a number of people tell me that you need to spend as much or more on your scope than you spend on the rifle. I have not had a chance to shoot more than 100 yards yet. You can use it like a spotting scope at that range. At 500 yards at 24 power you might be able to see the bullet holes. They have several different radicals to choose from. You can find a lot of scopes on EBay for about 1/2 retail. A great rifle with a so so scope will shoot so so. A good rifle with a very good scope will shoot VERY GOOD. That is from people that shoot long range all the time. My Vortex is at the bottom end of very good. You could step up to Night Force for ONLY $2000.00 or $3000.00 more and have a long range rifle that is hard to believe how good it shoots. I paid about $ 800.00 for mine and it beats the pants off of my Leopold V-X2 3X9x40 scope. Also use good rings and a pickatinney (sp) rail to mount. I think your rifle has the rail on it from the factory. I used EGW heavy duty rings. I called them and got a deal on some blemished rings for $99.00 shipped. They are marked so you won't mix the caps and bases up. They are a work of art.

You asked and I tried to keep my mouth shut I just couldn't :eek::eek::eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info. I have also been looking at that Vortex Viper PST, albeit in 4-16x rather than 6-24x. As best I can determine, the major difference between the PST and the HS-T is the PST has an illuminated reticle whereas the HS-T does not.

The HS-LR that I am also looking at is similar to the HS-T, non-illuminated.

Optically, I think all these scopes are equivalent. They all fall within the "Viper" line of Vortex's offerings and have the "XD" glass with "XR" coatings. Don't know what those marketing terms actually mean, but all of these scopes use that same glass/coatings.

The PST and the HS-LR can be had either FFP (First Focal Plane) or SFP (Second Focal Plane). The HS-T is SFP only.

My scope preference changes hourly as I research more and more, but as of this moment, the top spot on my list is occupied by the "Vortex Viper HS-T 4-16x44 SFP VMR-1(MOA)". Maybe MRAD instead of MOA, I haven't decided on that part yet.

The high dollar scopes like Nightforce and Schmidt&Bender, to name two, are not under my consideration. There's a point of diminishing returns when you keep paying more and more, and those scopes are so high priced that their return has severely diminished IMHO. If I can get to 98% performance for X dollars, I'm not one who will spend 4X dollars to get to 99%.
 

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The illuminated reticle may help in some lighting conditions. I really don't know. It will help if you decide to hunt with the scope. I was able to look through a scope like mine before I bought mine. The gun shop could only get one of the scopes every several months. The one I looked at was sold before in arrived at the gun shop. I sold a pistol to buy the scope. I liked the 6x24x50 because of the extra power and the larger front end. A little more light is good for these OLD eyes. I talked to Vortex tech and EGW tech and both said to use low rings. They worked out very well. This may be my last high dollar gun setup for me. My time here is running out and I should start selling my investments soon. :):):)

Steve
 

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The single power is the best way to keep the cost down and get quality.

If you remember a few years ago I brought a Zeiss ($550) to Kentucky. It is just really sharp compared to a $300 scope. A $250 scope is fine, until you compare it to a better one. It's hard to put a value on it, but there definitely is a difference. There are lots of good brands.

I found this caution on the Zeiss website:

COUNTERFEIT PRODUCT ALERT

We have learned that counterfeit ZEISS products are being sold on eBay by ebay sellers “bestofferwatch” and “sportpolar” (items shipped from Singapore). Please be advised that the following products are not genuine ZEISS riflescopes and they are not supported by ZEISS either through our U.S./CAN Limited Lifetime Transferable Warranty or repair program. (Actual product description may vary):

GOLD Scope Carl Zeiss 3-9x40AOMC Multi-X HD Riflescope Sight Aipr quake-proof
GOLD Scope Carl Zeiss 3-9x40 RED/GREEN Reticle Multi-X H Sight Aipr Quake-Proof
Carl Zeiss Rifle Scope 3-12X50 RED/GREEN Reticle Multi-X H Sight Aipr Quake-P
Carl Zeiss Rifle Scope 3-12X50AOMC Red/Green Telescope Sight Aipr quake-proof
Zeiss Rifle Scope 4-16x50AOMC Illuminated RED/GREEN Reticle Multi-X H Sight
Golden Carl Zeiss Rifle Scope 6-24x50AOMC Red/Green Telescope Sight USA New

To purchase genuine ZEISS products, please refer to our Dealer Locator for a listing of authorized ZEISS dealers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I was mostly considering the Vortex HST, but then I stumbled into the higher model, the PST, for a phenomenal price today. So I bought it on the spot.

Here's the one I got:

http://www.vortexoptics.com/product...fp-riflescope-with-ebr-1-mrad-reticle/reticle

Vortex Viper PST 4-16x50 FFP EBR-1 MRAD reticle

I don't really need the illuminated reticle, but I guess it doesn't hurt to have it. The cool thing about this scope is the First Focal Plane reticle, plus the front objective is 50mm (the HST model I was looking at was 44mm).
 

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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. :eek::eek::eek: Old age is a bummer. :eek::eek::eek:

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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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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. :D:D:D I gave the replacement scope to my grandson to go on his Christmas rifle. :):):)

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
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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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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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/15...actical-signature-picatinny-style-rings-matte
I have been holding off, waiting for my Gen 1 Red Lion fore end to sell, before I bought a set of these. I could not pass up the sale price & free shipping. :eek:

I bought a set a few minutes ago....:rayof:

Thank you haertig...;)
 

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Has anyone tried any of the SWFA SS fixed power scopes? They get good reviews and are inexpensive. You save a lot of money by going to fixed power over variable. Since I'm looking for a target shooting only scope, I don't really need the lower powers/wider angles that are crucial for hunters.

https://swfa.com/catalog/product/view/id/105768/category/6896/

They come in 6x42, 10x42, 12x42, 16x42 and 20x42. I'm thinking the 10x or maybe the 12x would be the most useful.

Have a 10x and a couple 3-15x SWFA scopes. As you said they are good scopes for the money. The time to buy their scopes is Black Friday as they have good sale prices then.
 
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