Backpack Mt. Rifle Scope Opinions

idig4au

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I'm building up a custom 300 WSM for backpack mountain hunting, mainly sheep and goats. My 'smith is estimating sub 6 lbs before glass. This build isn't for long range shooting, so I'm looking at 500 yards max. The objective is a more packable and compact gun to cut some weight off my backpack setup. I'm considering glass now to complete the package. In the perfect world, I'm looking for something with slim profile, lightweight, outstanding optically and mechanically, and with BDC elevation turret that I can tune to my ballistics.

Here is my short list:


*Swarovski Z5 3.5-18x44 at 16oz (i don't need the 18 power though but could be nice to have I suppose. Probably the best choice between power and weight)

*Swarovski Z3 3.5-10x42 at 12.7 oz (is this compatable with their BDC turret? Could be the perfect mountain scope if BDC compatable)

*Swarovski Z6 1.7-10x42 at 18 oz (getting heavy w/30mm tube but HD glass)

*Lieca 2.5-10x42 at 16.6 oz (little on the heavy side w/ 30 mm tube, but great glass from what i hear)

*S&B PH 3-12x42 at 20 oz (I love my other S&B scopes, glass, and performance, but
so heavy, this would be my perfect scope if 4 oz lighter, but the glass....)

So of these choices, which one would you prefer for a mountain specific rifle? I'm not too keen on the Leupolds these days...I have many of them, but had a few issues in the past, kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. I've had great luck with the European stuff, so want to stay with that route for this build. I don't really have a budget for glass, so I'm after the very best.
 

swat8888

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I run the Leupold ultra-light which I know you aren't interested in. However, I've been happy with the 3-9 magnification on it, I probably wouldn't shoot past 450yds with my setup...and would prefer not to shoot anymore than 400yds. My preference has always been nothing more than 12x, I've used shot a few buddies rifles and I hate how much reticle movement there is when you're out at 18x....messes with my confidence and hence I'm not as comfortable shooting it. Based on that and the weights you have listed I'd go with the Z3 due to its low weight. No idea if BDC compatible.
 
R

red

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Z5 with the ballistic turret. I love mine! After letting a few buddies shoot my rifle, 4 of them have also bought the Z5...... You will love the 18x w/ballistic turret, I have shot a bear at 770yrds and a mtn. goat at 700yards with mine. Both one shot kills....
 

BuckSnort

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With you're list I'd pick this one *Swarovski Z3 3.5-10x42 at 12.7 oz (is this compatable with their BDC turret? Could be the perfect mountain scope if BDC compatable)

Not sure if the BDC turret is compatable but if not you can go here http://kentonindustries.com/ and get a custom turret... A MOA scale under a marked yardage turret would be ideal and have you covered for all shooting situations and bullet choices with just one set of turrets...
 

Ryan Avery

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If you truly want light weight and are going to keep it under 500 yards. I'd go with the Z3.

I started with the Z3 on my WSM and switched to the Vortex PST 4-16. I like to dial.
 

luke moffat

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For a backpack rifle I want as light as possible. If I can't sneak to within 400 yards I need to re-evaluate how sneaky I am during my stalks. My backpack rifle is 4 pounds 13 oz before scope/rings/sling. Right at 5 pounds 8 oz or 5.5 pounds with scope/rings/sling. Not need to haul extra weight up the hill for me. The difference between a 5.5 pound rifle and a 7 pound rifle is the difference for another days worth of food in the field. So I use little leupold scopes for my wife and my hunting setups. Granted to each their own of course, but off of your list I'd opt for the Z3 for sure. I just can't chisel open my wallet far enough to get past a simple VX-2 or VX-3 from Leupold, but if someone wants to get me one I won't hesitate to give up a couple oz in favor of that sweet Swaro Z3. Until then I'll keep trying to kill animals with a much lesser scope.
 

belly-deep

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I wouldn't pick any of those scopes. Leupold makes the lightest ones. 2.5-8x36 weighs 11.4oz.
 

Yellowknife

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idig4au...

You might be on the wrong forum to ask about those scopes. I suspect that only a few people are going to have experience with any of them, much less enough field time with several to actually do a good comparative analysis. I could be wrong though.

For my uneducated 2 cents, I would point out that you can get Zeiss Victory's from Kenton industries with a ballistic turrets installed. Might give you another option. The Victory 1.5-6x42 would be a reasonably compact scope for a mountain rifle. Not that light, but then only one of the ones you are looking at is...

Although I can see the purpose of Lukes 5.5 lb set up, and there are a few times I've wished I had it, I also really see the utility of a +/- 7 lb rifle with good glass. No question it's easier to shoot at longer range, especially with the .300. European and Asian sheep and goat can run bigger than our NA animals, and the ranges are reported to be longer, so I like your concept as a world wide mountain rifle.

Yk
 

Shrek

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The z3 at 12.7 oz would be my choice. The z3 4x12 at 14.5 oz is another good option with a little more light gatherinh. Even though the z3 line is their bottom end it is still far superior to anything leopuld makes. If you are used to high end glass you will not hate the z3 . Its not top end 30mm ht glass but its darn good for what you want.
 

bhtkevin

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Jul 28, 2012
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The Z3 3.5-10x42 would be my choice. It's a $800 scope and you can get it with the ballistics turret. It's light years better than the Leupold weighing 1oz less.
 
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idig4au

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Back to Central Asia again...
My backpack rifle is 4 pounds 13 oz before scope/rings/sling.

That is crazy man! Awesome. Sounds like a Kimber or another Ti action rifle that you've modifed? Does it shoot well being that light? There is nothing wrong with Leupold scopes, they get the job done. Probably 2/3 of my rifles have VX3 or VX7 scopes on them. I'm just once bitten twice shy and going a different direction with my recent builds.
 
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idig4au

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Back to Central Asia again...
idig4au...

You might be on the wrong forum to ask about those scopes. I suspect that only a few people are going to have experience with any of them, much less enough field time with several to actually do a good comparative analysis. I could be wrong though.

For my uneducated 2 cents, I would point out that you can get Zeiss Victory's from Kenton industries with a ballistic turrets installed. Might give you another option. The Victory 1.5-6x42 would be a reasonably compact scope for a mountain rifle. Not that light, but then only one of the ones you are looking at is...

Although I can see the purpose of Lukes 5.5 lb set up, and there are a few times I've wished I had it, I also really see the utility of a +/- 7 lb rifle with good glass. No question it's easier to shoot at longer range, especially with the .300. European and Asian sheep and goat can run bigger than our NA animals, and the ranges are reported to be longer, so I like your concept as a world wide mountain rifle.

Yk

Thanks YK, I've been thinking about this build for some time after a few of my hunts and finding out what is working well and not so well. Sounds like many of the guys here already have things sorted out. Good place to bounce ideas off one another. I'm thinking 7lbs +/- is a good middle ground for weight and moderate range.

I've considered the Zeiss Victory as well. I have one of their 4-16x50 FL models and its absolutely outstanding but at +25 oz, its more at home on my longer range gun that is 9 lbs or so. I'm just wondering if the high end glass is worth the added 1/4 lb or so in addition to the added risk of issues with scopes and rings with these lightweight guns. I can definitely see the advantage of going light as as possible with the scopes for these kind of builds to mitigate this risk.

Sounds like many are keen on the Z3 and Z5 scopes.
 

HellsCanyon

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For a backpack rifle I want as light as possible. If I can't sneak to within 400 yards I need to re-evaluate how sneaky I am during my stalks. My backpack rifle is 4 pounds 13 oz before scope/rings/sling. Right at 5 pounds 8 oz or 5.5 pounds with scope/rings/sling.

My current hunting rifle weighs almost 3 times as much as yours.... :D:eek:
for some reason I find a tiny bit of awesomeness in that fact.... lol :D
 

tstowater

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I'd go with the S&B. Seems like you like that scope and its past performance, so why are you worrying about a few ozs? Put in one less cartridge and kill on the first hit and you won't know the difference. I would rather use what I want to rather than sweat a few ozs. of weight. I love 3.5-10 glass, but 3-12 should be better. Really can't go wrong with any of them. My opinion.
 

luke moffat

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My current hunting rifle weighs almost 3 times as much as yours.... :D:eek:
for some reason I find a tiny bit of awesomeness in that fact.... lol :D

Oh and I do have a 9.5 pound .338WM with a 6-18X scope on it, but the dang thing is so dang heavy I only take it on ATV/boat based hunts really. Rest of the time my 5.75 pound 325WSM or my 5.5 pound .308 get the nod....I don't like my shoulder as you can see. :D
 

HellsCanyon

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HAHAH...well that means you are aleast 3 times tougher at a minimum :D

Hah well I kind of doubt that, but I'll roll with it... :)
That 5.75lb 325 WSM has got to buck pretty good! You got a brake on it? I'm a wuss when it comes to recoil so I like brakes... people shooting next to me sure don't though! :-/

Mike
 

luke moffat

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Hah well I kind of doubt that, but I'll roll with it... :)
That 5.75lb 325 WSM has got to buck pretty good! You got a brake on it? I'm a wuss when it comes to recoil so I like brakes... people shooting next to me sure don't though! :-/

Mike

it does bark, but in order to save weight I just magnaported it rather than add a brake. I do have a brake on my 9.5 pound 338WM I mentioned earlier though as I am a recoil weeny as well. :D
 

mtnkid85

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Beartooth Mtns, MT
What length barrels are you fellas running on these ultra light mountain guns, if you dont mind me asking?
I shoot just a factory Ruger M77 long action which has a 22" barrel and a Leupy 3-9x40. All set to go it comes in at ~8.5lb. I would sure love to get it closer to the 7lb mark.

Is there already a thread on this else where, dont want to derail the OP thread too much?
 
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