Help with Scope Purchase for Whitetail!

golferjsh69

Newbie
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
6
Hey All,

I'm on the market for a new scope. I currently have the original Leupold VX-3 3.5-10x50. It will be going on a Winchester Model 70 7mm Mag. I generally sight in for 200 yd zero. Longest shot I could possibly have is about 500 yds but most are 100-300 yds. First question, do I need a BDC reticle? My bullet shoots pretty flat out to 300 and only about 14 inch drop at 400. I generally think they are too busy and I like easy to see reticles.

Criteria:
More Zoom (at least 12)
Better Low Light Ability
illuminated reticle

Scopes I am considering and prices I have found:
Athlon Midas HMR 2.5-15x50 $489
Meopta Optika6 3-18x56 $599
Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x56 $1099
Zeiss Conquest V4 3-12x56 $900
Nightforce SHV 4-14x56 $1120

Value is important to me and I could get one of the higher dollar ones but it would hurt. I'm really leaning towards the Meopta because it has the best zoom range and features at a really good value price compared to the others. My one concern is that I read one review that said the glare is bad and they don't make a sunshade for it.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
 

gr8fuldoug

Senior Member
Joined
May 21, 2013
Messages
2,452
Location
Old Bethpage, NY
IMO, out to 400 yards you do not need the power of an 18x. You'd be best served with a lower power wider FOV scope starting at 2x and going to 10x or 12x
Meopta, Steiner, Swarovski, Athlon & NF all offer great options. It would be our pleasure to discuss options with you if you have the time to give us a call, 516-217-1000
Doug
 
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golferjsh69

Newbie
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
6
IMO, out to 400 yards you do not need the power of an 18x. You'd be best served with a lower power wider FOV scope starting at 2x and going to 10x or 12x
Meopta, Steiner, Swarovski, Athlon & NF all offer great options. It would be our pleasure to discuss options with you if you have the time to give us a call, 516-217-1000
Doug
Thanks for the response. I'm on a plane right now so I may call tomorrow. A couple situations brought this new scope search on. I'm a member of a trophy club in KY with a 140" minimum. Twice this year I had really good bucks at 250-300 yds with about 10-15 of legal light left and I just could judge them well enough to tell if they would make the 140". Could be my eyes, could be the scopes light gathering ability, could be magnification, I'm not really sure.

In one of these situations I got a trail cam pic of the deer I was watching when I checked the card the next day and he was probably 155-160" deer. I do not want this to happen again. Cause now I may eat a tag sandwich.
 

Forest

Senior Member
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Sep 23, 2016
Messages
244
Location
Richland MT
Higher magnification will make it darker unless you get into some really good glass. I would focus on mid range power (14-15x) at most and a larger objective size of at least 50mm. At that yardage a bdc is definitely not necessary. Although the simple versions don't bother me personally and nice to have in the right situation. But that's more of a personal preference deal there.

Also, a riflescope is not a spotting scope. Your money may be better spent on a midsize spotter

Sent from my SM-G973U1 using Tapatalk
 
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gregory r

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2018
Messages
58
KurtR is right on the money. A good bino is better to determine inches in low light, than the best scope.
 

Txrookie

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
120
You should look at a Swarovski z3, 4-12x will run you $800-900. Won’t be illuminated but it will surprise you how well you can see the crosshairs in that last 10-15 minutes of legal light.
 
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golferjsh69

Newbie
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
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One more question though, a couple of you have said the lower power scopes will have better low light performance and better FOV? So are a 3-12 and a 3-18 scope not the same low light and FOV if they are both on say, 8 power? Maybe I'm missing something? Why wouldn't you want the extra zoom just in case you need it?
 
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golferjsh69

Newbie
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Dec 10, 2019
Messages
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So I think I’ve got it down to 3.

zeiss conquest v4 3-12x56
Swarovski z3 4-12x50
Nightforce 4-14x56

can anyone compare these in low light?
 

backcountry_hunter

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
632
My general rule of thumb is 1x of zoom per 100yds..... In normal hunting scenarios there's nothing I can't accomplish with 6x or less. In your situation 500yds and closer I'd be ripping out my wallet as fast as possible for an SWFA SS HD 3-9 or 6X.... of course I maybe would have done it during their black friday sales and picked up one of their 3-9's for cheap but they're still a bargain at full price.

I'd seriously reconsider using your rifle scope as a spotter in low light conditions also. Binos/spotter will be your friend and safer....
 

Forest

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Sep 23, 2016
Messages
244
Location
Richland MT
So I think I’ve got it down to 3.

zeiss conquest v4 3-12x56
Swarovski z3 4-12x50
Nightforce 4-14x56

can anyone compare these in low light?
You are really splitting hairs there honestly. I've looked through the zeiss and the nightforce, both great. And can only assume the swaro is just as good. I wouldnt say they are leaps and bounds above a vx3 that you already have tho. I really dont think the scope is your limiting factor, not that the new ones wouldnt help some. But imo you're really not addressing the problem.

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stevevan

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Joined
Mar 23, 2016
Messages
275
You are really splitting hairs there honestly. I've looked through the zeiss and the nightforce, both great. And can only assume the swaro is just as good. I wouldnt say they are leaps and bounds above a vx3 that you already have tho. I really dont think the scope is your limiting factor, not that the new ones wouldnt help some. But imo you're really not addressing the problem.

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My advice is go with the Zeiss. The V4 scopes are bullet proof. I've used and owned all the scopes you mention. Lot's of discussion on this Forum concerning tracking/holding zero, etc. The Zeiss is rugged and you can rely on its performance. It won't disappoint.
 

fwafwow

Senior Member
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Apr 8, 2018
Messages
435
Location
Alpharetta, GA
Take a look at the Tract scopes but also agree with the recommendations to get good binos.

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BjornF16

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Texas
Spend your money on binoculars...nothing wrong with the scope you have.

Swarovski Binoculars on sale now...you can get extra 10% off from S&S Archery with their Rokslide code, or gr8fuldoug at CameralandNY can probably match or beat S&S Archery.

If you insist on getting a scope, then I would vote Swarovski. I just picked up a Z5 2.4-12x50 and I really like how bright and clear it is. I have an older Zeiss Conquest that is good as well...just not as good as my Swarovoski

Just my $0.02
 
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mcseal2

Senior Member
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May 8, 2014
Messages
1,710
I've had Swaro Z5 rifle scopes, Swaro 80mm HD spotter, lots of good glass. Nothing I have tried works as well for identifying and judging a whitetail buck inside 800 yards in low light as Swaro 15x56 binos on a tripod. A great set of binos held perfectly steady is the best for judging a buck to me at mid range. The scope you have is probably good enough to take the shot once you decide to take it.
 
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golferjsh69

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Dec 10, 2019
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Thanks all. I have a lot to consider. Currently have Athlon Midas 8x42 binoculars.

If I were to upgrade to the Swaro SLCs, Monarch HGs, or Meopta Meostar B1s, would 10x42 be enough to use in all around and for low light situations?

Just trying not to drop 3K on binoculars and a spotter and I don't want to buy 2 pairs of binos if I don't have to.

Also, can I get a decent spotter for $500?
 

Lukej88

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Messages
20
Location
MINNESOTA
If you are looking for a decent spotter in the $500 range, take a look at the Athlon Ares 15-45 65mm, it is great glass for the money and compact.
 
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