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Savage308 01-15-2011 12:59 PM

Any suggestions?
Hey, new to the forum and new to the firearm world. I've have my license (I'm Canadian) for about 9 years but just recently starting buying some firearms.

Just ordered my Savage BAS 10 .308 and am looking for some advice on optics. I've been told to check out the Bushnell 6500 and 4200 elite series and a couple of Leopolds I believe the X3 model and another I can't remember.
I'm looking to do some serious long distance shooting anywhere from 300-1000 yards. Does anyone have experience with optics for these ranges, and also do you have any reviews, suggestions, or helpful advice for me?

Scratchammo 01-15-2011 01:12 PM

I hope this helps:
Three Scope Tests: Bushnell, Hawke, Holland/Leupold

Welcome to the forum.

Savage308 01-16-2011 01:42 PM

that was very informative, thank you. Although it was helpful, it was someone writing an article based on some testing procedures the writer does and not any experience in the field at long distances. I'm looking for people who have specific experience with long range shooting and can share their knowledge about an optic they used and how well it worked for them.

TCH2FLY 01-16-2011 02:15 PM

Zak Smith wrote a good article on the subject, it is a couple years old but the players are still the same

Optics for long range rifle shooting

Savage308 01-17-2011 05:54 PM

Thank you very much for posting that article. It proved very useful and quite informative.

My next question would be mils vs moa. Which is better and why?

Also what do you prefer, mil dots or hash marks in your reticle and why?

TCH2FLY 01-17-2011 10:42 PM


Originally Posted by Savage308 (Post 423913)
Thank you very much for posting that article. It proved very useful and quite informative.

My next question would be mils vs moa. Which is better and why?

Also what do you prefer, mil dots or hash marks in your reticle and why?

It is not a question of better, neither is better than the other they are different ways to do the same thing.

I do think that a scope with a reticle that is marked in mils is easier to use if the turrets are also marked in mils but many people use moa turrets with mil-dot reticles. My "all purpose" scopes have simple duplex reticles and moa adjustments and my precision scopes are mil/mil.
It also will depend on what you need the scope to do for you ... are you planning to use it to measure range, are you planning to use reticle hold over vs twisting turrets for elevation adjustment?

I would suggest you go to Shooter Ready and try the demo. It will show you how to calc distance in MOA vs MILs and you can decide which you prefer.

My favorite long range scope is my Premier Reticle with MIL turrets and the GEN II XR reticle. I like the reticle because I prefer the hash marks over dots. I feel I can read and use them more easily than dots ( I suppose they seem more precise in my mind :p) ... your mileage may vary.

Good luck

Savage308 01-18-2011 02:07 AM

Thank you again for a very informative reply. I appreciate all your help!

Forgive my ignorance but can you explain "recticle hold over vs twisting turrets for elevation adjustment"

This will be my first rifle and my first scope purchase (other than the .22 I bought that came as a package deal) so I want to do as much homework as possible to make sure I'm making the most informed decision when I purchase an optic. Considering I'm looking at a 800-1200 dollar purchase.

I've never had to zero a scope before and my .22 I've not yet zeroed because out of the box it was having some issues ejecting rounds so I took it back for repairs.

hunter Joe 01-18-2011 01:16 PM

Don't cheap-out on the rings and bases. Good rings and bases can cost as much or more than some mid level scopes.

Savage308 01-19-2011 12:52 AM

at this point i'm seriously looking at a Leupold LR/T M1 4.5-16x50 with mildot reticule as the other scopes in that class are fairly close to one another but the Leupold has some features I like more after doing some extensive research.

Does anyone know any other scopes that are comparable that I could check out before I make my final decision?

TCH2FLY 01-19-2011 01:35 AM


Originally Posted by Savage308 (Post 424235)
Forgive my ignorance but can you explain "recticle hold over vs twisting turrets for elevation adjustment"

Disclaimer - the examples and figures I am using are purely hypothetical and NOT meant to be exact or accurate. This is just the theory

When you "zero" the scope you are adjusting the point of aim (POA) to match the point of impact (POI). That point is only coincidental for one distance, say 50 yds (typical for a .22), any target that is closer or farther will cause the point of impact to shift (the moment the bullet leaves the barrel gravity takes over) the amount of shift will vary based on the specific ballistics of the ammo. If you only shoot one distance this is no big deal but if you engage mutiple targets at various ranges this can be an issue. I whipped up a diagram that might help.

As above, let's say you are zero'd at 50 yds but need to hit a target 100 yds away. If you don't make an adjustment and simply aim at the bullseye your shot will hit low (green line). In order to hit the target in the bullseye you can shift where you are aiming, or "hold over" the intended POI (purple line).
The only way to have the POA and POI match is to change the zero to correct for distance or "twist the turrets". When you know how much you need to adjust for a distance (data from a ballistics chart) you make the appropriate change (it is really incorrect to refer to the adjustment as "clicks" but many do) in MOA or MILS. In this case I have said you need 1.6 MILs at 100 yds and 3.3 at 150 yds. With the duplex reticle you are "guessing" at how much holdover you have, the mil-dot reticle allows precise holdover and adjusting the knobs allows you to hit where you aim.

Many shooters have no problem guesstimating and holding high but others want to have the bullet hit the spot where the crosshairs meet.

Adjustments are really only practical when the scope's adjusting turrets/knobs/dials are designed to be adjusted on the fly. Many hunting scopes are not setup with finger adjustable knobs since frequently there is not time when the animal is spotted and holdover/under is required. All most all tactical or longrange scopes are equipped to make frequent and precise changes by hand so the POA and POI always match.

Look at Leupold scope adjustment style page. At the top you see the dials that are not really meant to be adjusted in the field (but can be) and as you move down you see finger adjustable dials and knob or turrets. Also note the amount of adjustment, some are 1/2 MOA per "click" others are 1/4 or even 1/8 MOA. At 100 yds 1 MOA is approximately 1 inch (actually 1.047") so you can see that it would take a lot of twisting (or clicks) with a 1/8 dial/knob to move 1 inch in POI but it would also provide very fine adjustment for a precise zero. Other complany make dials/knobs in that move the POI in values of inches ... 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch etc or as in my diagram, Milliradians or "MILs"

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