Hey sigfreund, I discus meplat pointing in my stickied thread on handloading for competition in the Reloading forum here. Here's a link to the post in which I first mention pointing.
Unfortunately Bergara doesn't make a .223 B14 HMR or that would be my recommendation.
We often meet our destiny on the road we took to avoid it.
The Savage Model 12 VARMINT LOW PROFILE is on order from a local shop. It should be in next week.
Time to think about optics. I've read the Riflescope Primer thread at http://sigforum.com/eve/forums...0601935/m/4890078914. It's an excellent source of information. Thank you NikonUser for taking time to share your knowledge.
There's a lot to sort out. Budget is $700. Recommendations are requested, given the usage parameters discussed earlier in this thread.
Before you get a bunch of "recommendations," I suggest you sort out in your mind what specs you are looking for in this riflescope.
I have not gone back to reread this thread, but I seem to remember something about .223 and "long range" interest but not competition.
The .223 cartridge can be amazingly precise inside of 600 yards, provided you pick the proper bullet. In order to complement this available precision, you need to have sufficient magnification. I would suggest you look for a riflescope that will have a top end magnification in the 20X or so. I don't think there was hunting involved here so a long zoom range is not critical, like a 1:6, 1:8 or 1:10 zoom. I should think a 1:4 zoom or 1:5 will be plenty.
A 30mm tube would provide more adjustment range, but the 30mm tube is usually more expensive than the corresponding 1 inch tube. I also would stay away from any type of DBC reticle, preferring a regular crosshair, dot or duplex reticle. A Mildot reticle can be more expensive, but it needs to be matched with mil/mil adjustments. The Christmas tree-type reticles are definitely not desirable for your application. I would also look for an adjustable objective or a side-focus. First of second focal plane is up to you, but for target shooting, second focal plane is probably better as the reticle remains small at higher magnifications and does not occlude as much on the target. A bigger objective lens will make it easier to aim at higher magnifications, so a 50, 52, or 56mm objective is probably something to look for.
Since my screen name is NikonUser, I went looking at the current offerings from Nikon and they have this, which sort of punches several of the buttons I listed. This is NOT a recommendation, it's a possibility or something to help in your thinking.
Correct, .223, from a bench, no hunting, no competition. Home range is 200 yards max. There is a range where we vacation that goes out to 300 yards. So no true "long range" for the caliber.
Second focal plane is preferred since precision is the goal.
You did a nice job explaining size of exit pupil in the primer thread, so I do understand the importance of the larger objective lens at higher magnification. What I don't understand is what's a reasonable min and max zoom for 200 to 300 yards. Is 5-20 still suitable, or is it best to drop down to something like 4-16? Is 6.5 too high for a minimum?
Gotcha on the BDC reticle. I was leaning towards a simple, fine crosshair reticle. The MK1-MOA reticle you linked to would allow for hold-off (?) or dialing in elevation/windage compensation.
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in your pants
For a new shooter trigger time is very important.
I would go with the .223 because of the cost of ammo.
I see the Thompson Center rifles on sale now with rebates that make them a real bargain. I have read great reviews on them.
I'll echo the Monarch suggestion, love the 4-20×50 on my Tikka. One of the clearest/crispest scopes I've used.
The Enemy's gate is down.
Figuring out the level of magnification to you need is something that needs some consideration.
Intended usage is the driving factor in that decision, everything else can fall in behind it. I pointed out the need to have a top end in the 20X range for bench shooting at targets from 100 to 5-600 yards. The lower end is the other side of that top end and it's all a function of the zoom ratio.
In the old days, the standard variable riflescope had a 1:3 zoom ratio and would start at 3X at the low end; so a 3-9X was THE scope to have. It was fine for hunting in most places. You kept the power down to 3X for easy target acquisition and if you needed more magnification, you could zoom up to 3 times more.
For target shooting from a bench, the low end is not important; more often than not, you will find the scope zoomed to its max power. There really is not such thing as too much magnification for bench shooting; when I develop my loads, I am shooting at a target at 100 yards, at 40X or even sometimes at 50X. My aiming point is very small and I know how to hold on target even at that magnification.
The adage "aim small, miss small," really comes into play here.
I've long considered 20X to be optimum for a .223/.308 in target shooting (non-competition). I have a couple of scopes in that range, one of them being an older Nikon Monarch in 6.5-20X44 (1:3 zoom). It's a great scope (20 years old). I've recommended a 20X top end many times to various friends and others, and they've always raved about their scopes.
The difference between a 16X and a 20X in that the 20X scope is one third again more magnification. I find that is an easily discernible factor.
Fun anecdote. I was running a match this weekend (1000 yards) and one of our top shooter discovered that his scope was set at 35X instead of the 42X maximum, at the end of the competition. He said he thought things looked somewhat smaller than usual, but he could not understand why until now. The 7X difference represents a 15% reduction from 42X. I'm sure he would have noticed a 33% increase.
It also depends on your eyes. I'm in my mid-60s and so I can use all the magnification and clarity that I can get in a scope. A younger person can much more easily deal with a lower magnification scope than I can.
And before people jump in an say that mirage will be a problem with a 20X scope at 200 yards, let me just point out that if you can actually see any mirage at all in the scope, it will actually be a great help in shooting.
And yes, that reticle would be really nice to do minute holdoffs, but the knobs should be used for easy corrections from varying distances.
As usual, NikonUser does a good job of explaining the scope issues. To emphasize one point, variable power scopesights that cover large magnification ranges are important only if we intend to shoot under significantly varying conditions. The most common examples are hunting and competitions that place hard to find targets at different distances. Professional snipers may also find a large zoom range useful, but for many years the most common military sniper sight was the Leupold fixed 10 power M4.
The reasons low power can be useful is to observe a larger area while scanning for targets and/or to get onto target more quickly. If, however, we’re only shooting at fixed targets, and especially from a solid rest, that’s obviously not important. And as also discussed, if we don’t need the capability of dialing the magnification down to low power, that extra variable range can actually be a drawback in terms of reticle design and being limited in max power to reduce aiming errors.
“I can’t give you brains, but I can give you a diploma.”
— The Wizard of Oz
That is exactly correct, sigfreund. In fact, on a couple of "bench" rifles, I have Weaver T-36 scopes, fixed power 36X40, with an adjustable objective. These scopes are about $400 apiece and they are not really good optically, but the tracking is phenomenal.
I was going to suggest a T-36, but in my opinion that makes the rifle very much a single purpose gun, virtually useless for anything else, whereas a ?-20X makes for an incredible flexible rifle with a tendency for longer range precision target shooting.
On another note, I do remember the military snipers running around with fixed power 10X scopes. In those days, variable power scopes were newish, and certainly not anywhere as sturdy as fixed power scopes. For military applications, and snipers in particular, I would think dependability was paramount. Those days are long gone however, as I believe the current optics favored by the snipers is some kind of Schmidt Und Bender PM variable with a top end in the 20s.
In the early days of F-Class, I frequently competed with active duty and retired USMC and other branch snipers; great shooters but their issued equipment was simply not up to the level of competition. So, when people say, it's not the arrow, it's the indian that makes the difference, I beg to differ; the arrow does make a difference.
Absolutely. “It’s not the Indian …,” is one of the most foolish catchphrases to have entered the shooting culture. Sometimes it’s the shooter, sometimes it’s the equipment, and sometimes it’s both, but to say it’s never the equipment is incredibly silly.
“I can’t give you brains, but I can give you a diploma.”
— The Wizard of Oz
The CZ 527 is a great rifle. I shot a buddy’s a while back. It was in 7.62 x 39. Even with questionable ammo quality, the rifle shot and grouped well. The set trigger on that gun is very good. Wood quality is very good as well.
Another quality option is a Tikka. Great trigger out of the box. Very smooth bolt. Great accuracy as well. Quite a lot of the guys I hunt with have gone to Tikkas.
Unless the OP is looking to buy 2 or 3 rifles, I suspect it's time to discuss optics.
There is no difference in the precision of similar first focal plane and second focal plane scopes. A primary difference is how the reticle appears in size in relation to the target at different scope magnification levels. For your use, SFP probably works well. Just understand that if you have a reticle such as the MK1-MOA, on a SFP scope it will be calibrated correctly for only one magnification level -- likely the highest magnification on the scope. However, if you shoot at ranges which are protected from crosswinds, wind holds won't be as important as they are for wide open ranges.
Definitely pass on any type of BDC reticle.
Magnification levels are personal. I think you will like at least 15x on a target scope. Maybe even 20x or 25x. However, with your budget there will likely be a trade off between magnification level and glass quality. I recommend higher quality glass over higher magnification. In other words, I prefer higher-end glass on a 15x scope than medium-quality glass on a 25x scope. Don't get too excited about the low end of magnification on potential zoom optics.
My use is also primarily different than yours. I generally only shoot at paper targets to confirm load accuracy and to confirm that a scope is properly zeroed. For this use, I will dial in 20x or even 25x magnification. Higher magnification also allows me to spot my own impacts on paper.
On steel targets I back off on magnification, and generally don't dial in 20x until targets are at least 500 or 600 yards. It's just a different game.
I highly recommend that you at least fondle and look through any scope prior to buying it. Shooting a rifle with a particular scope mounted is an even better idea.
Nikon makes good scopes for your use and budget. I'm not familiar with their lines, therefore others should step in for recommendations.
If you like their reticles and turrets, other good options include Burris and Vortex -- I've looked through and used both brands. Sig has some nice scopes in your price range -- I like their glass, but not their reticles. Steiner has a couple of scopes that may work for you, and with a little looking they will be in your budget.
For an on-line retailer, Sport Optics is one good choice. Call their customer reps and you can often get better deals than listed on the website.
I've looked at specs on a lot of scopes in the past few days and keep coming back to the Nikon MONARCH M5 5-20x50SF Matte MK1-MOA that NikonUser did NOT recommend .
It does seem to be a good fit for the intended use. Unfortunately, that scope appears to be an old model and isn't readily available at popular sites online. I'll check with the local shop to see whether they have access to it.
I am frustrated by the various manufacturers' websites. The ones I've looked at really suck.
The search continues...
If Nikon is your choice, have you looked at the Black line of scopes?
Which sites and which functions are you finding to be a challenge?
By way of explanation about by "non recommendation," I try to never recommend a product which I have not either owned, or at the very least tried for myself. I look at specs and I can talk about those and compare to others. I have several Nikon riflescopes (and a shipload of Nikon cameras and lenses.) I have a couple of Monarchs, both of which are no longer produced and neither of which I intend to get rid of; one is 15 years old and the other one is 13 years old. The perform flawlessly.
When I looked at Nikon offerings a few years back, I saw that Nikon was offering the Monarch 5 as an incredible value for the specs and it was adorned with ED glass. It was the least expensive scope with ED glass that I had seen so far. You should know that Nikon invented ED glass back in the last 60s, early 70s and it has been in their camera lenses for a long time. It only made sense that Nikon would be the one the bring ED glass to riflescopes at prices that were under $1,000.
I "recommended" the Monarch 5 in the strength of the specs to several people and you saw P250UA5's post above. I never purchased or used a Monarch 5 simply because I don't need a scope with those specs. My last riflescope purchase was a March-X 5-50X56 which has been on my F-TR match rifle for 5 years now. It has ED glass and it cost me over $3,200. Different needs.
I have Nikon spotting scopes, as well as Kowas. I have Nikon riflescopes as well as Nightforce, March and others. I have all Nikon cameras and lenses. Nikon makes some dogs but overall they make very good stuff and they know optics.
An excellent suggestion, fritz. I focused (pun intended) on the $700 limit that was specified earlier and so overlooked the Nikon Black X1000 6-24X50. You caused me to go look at the street price for it and I see that SWFA has it for $650.
I've never looked through a Nikon Black or even seen one, but I have read many user reviews of it and they like it, a lot.
ETA: I was wondering why Euro Optics was showing it at $799 and SWFA was at $649. After some digging I see there are 2 different series of Black scopes: X1000 and FX1000. The FX seems to be newer and pricier.
Nikon has really become a marketing company these days; I wonder what the F the difference is.
And the answer is: X1000 is second focal plane. FX1000 is first focal plane.
I looked at Nikon's Black line of scopes at http://www.nikonsportoptics.co...pes/black/index.page. I too missed the X vs. FX distinction, and was under the impression all of the Black scopes were First Focal Plane. It doesn't help that if you filter on that page to show only those scopes with a 50.0mm objective size, the X1000 6-24X50 does not show up. Remove the filter and it does.
The Black X1000 6-24X50 may be a possibility, thanks for pointing it out. However, I have a question about the lens coatings. From the product description at http://www.nikonsportoptics.co...d-x-moa-reticle.html...
All Air-to-Glass Surfaces... Since the scopes are purged and sealed, are these weasel words that really mean only the exterior glass surfaces are multi-layer coated? Or, are all lens surfaces multi-layer coated?
Also, apparently this scope doesn't have a zero stop feature, like the previously mentioned Nikon MONARCH M5 5-20x50SF Matte MK1-MOA.
You get to choose one, and here are the choices from 18 to 25: 18, 19.2, 19.3, 19.5, 24, 24.3, 25. Oh, and there's a 25.1.
The only other available filter is objective size.
Scopes are grouped by collection. You have to go into each collection to figure out what they are. Sierra3BDX, Whiskey3, Whiskey5.
Just give me a single page with good filtering capability, including ranges for price, objective size, max magnification. Provide a filter for focal plane, reticle style, turret adjustments, etc.
They have some decent filter options, but the bleeping page refreshes every time you select a filter option. Let me select multiple filter options and then apply them. Don't make me wait for three page refreshes in order to filter on 3 objective sizes.
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