Swarovski Z5 BT. 3.5-18 or 5-25?

Jakerex

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Aug 29, 2020
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I’m highly considering the Z5 as my next scope for a 7mm rem that is dedicated for western elk hunting. I can’t decide between the 3.5-18 or the 5-25. Anyone with experience with these scopes have any input to offer? Thanks all for your help.


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n1kmontanari

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Dec 21, 2021
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Well I just bought the 3-18 from outdoorsman (I'd recommend them since you get a free custom turret). So I can tell you what I learned in my consideration.

I'd stick with lower magnifications especially for elk. They are big and easy to aim for vitals. Also, I have a 7mm rem mag as well and with that recoil you will have a hard time getting back on target (seeing the elk) at a higher magnification. I've heard 15 is a sweet spot but others have even said 10x. Depending on the reticle, your reticle marks are usually based on the highest magnification in SFP if that's important for you to use holdover.

If you want to use your scope to judge the elk, then higher magnification may be the way to go and then dial back for shot and you can still learn the holder I guess.

I went with the 3.5-18 since I wanted it to be versatile. I missed a bear at 30 yards because my old scope was 6-24x and FFP. So I like having the lower magnification for those surprise moments and 18 is plenty for me shooting up to 500-600 yards on vitals. If you want to target shoot and at longer ranges, go higher.

Hope this helps.

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Jakerex

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Well I just bought the 3-18 from outdoorsman (I'd recommend them since you get a free custom turret). So I can tell you what I learned in my consideration.

I'd stick with lower magnifications especially for elk. They are big and easy to aim for vitals. Also, I have a 7mm rem mag as well and with that recoil you will have a hard time getting back on target (seeing the elk) at a higher magnification. I've heard 15 is a sweet spot but others have even said 10x. Depending on the reticle, your reticle marks are usually based on the highest magnification in SFP if that's important for you to use holdover.

If you want to use your scope to judge the elk, then higher magnification may be the way to go and then dial back for shot and you can still learn the holder I guess.

I went with the 3.5-18 since I wanted it to be versatile. I missed a bear at 30 yards because my old scope was 6-24x and FFP. So I like having the lower magnification for those surprise moments and 18 is plenty for me shooting up to 500-600 yards on vitals. If you want to target shoot and at longer ranges, go higher.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the input. I was leaning towards the 3.5-18 and then started thinking about only giving up 1.5 lesser zoom for an additional 7x zoom of the 25 power, but im not sure how realistic 25x is in the field.


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sneaky

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Do you plan on dialing? If so, pick a different scope. I had a 5-25x52 that wouldn't RTZ consistently. Switched to a different scope and the problem went away. A quick Google search will show it's a common issue with those scopes. Clear glass doesn't help if the scope doesn't do what it's supposed to do.

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Jakerex

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Do you plan on dialing? If so, pick a different scope. I had a 5-25x52 that wouldn't RTZ consistently. Switched to a different scope and the problem went away. A quick Google search will show it's a common issue with those scopes. Clear glass doesn't help if the scope doesn't do what it's supposed to do.

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Yes I plan on dialing. According to google searches only Nightforce scopes can dial appropriately. I’ve been dialing with a leup vx-2 for years even though according to google, it can’t do it. I don’t know man, it’s kind of overwhelming to search for a scope to dial with because apparently none of them can do it correctly. I’m sure of the thousands of scopes sold annually, there are some bad apples, but I’d be willing to bet the reputable manufactures are not putting out 1k+ $$ scopes that they plan on failing. Don’t know.

Im not out there ripping dials up and down every weekend either.

I do appreciate the input though. No input is bad input.

What scope did you switch to?


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sneaky

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Yes I plan on dialing. According to google searches only Nightforce scopes can dial appropriately. I’ve been dialing with a leup vx-2 for years even though according to google, it can’t do it. I don’t know man, it’s kind of overwhelming to search for a scope to dial with because apparently none of them can do it correctly. I’m sure of the thousands of scopes sold annually, there are some bad apples, but I’d be willing to bet the reputable manufactures are not putting out 1k+ $$ scopes that they plan on failing. Don’t know.

Im not out there ripping dials up and down every weekend either.

I do appreciate the input though. No input is bad input.

What scope did you switch to?


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I switched to a Meopta HTR and haven't missed the Z5 at all. There are several members on here who have had issues with Z5s and Z3s not dialing consistently. It's your money, just don't want you to spend that much and find it out the hard way. Plenty of scopes at that price point that are reliable dialers.

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freddyG

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Those scopes have very little elevation travel, and even less Windage. Depending on what you shoot, 400-500 yards might be the max you can dial.
 
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Jakerex

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Well, instead of the Z5, i bought a VX-6HD 3-18. Probably won’t track, but I’m gonna give it a shot.
Thanks everyone for your thoughts and input


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alaska_bou

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Aug 9, 2020
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I used the 3.5-18 Z5 for years with the BT and mine always held a zero and tracked just as it was supposed to. And I took mine all over the world including destinations that required 4+ flights and 10+ hour jeep rides before hiking or horseback riding into remote areas. Maybe mine was the exception but I never had an issue. I ended up selling the scope due to the single-turn turret design, which would limit my rifle's reach to less than 700 yards.

I have heard of other people having problems, but the Z5 scopes do use the same 4-point coil erector system the Z6 scopes use, just with a smaller 1" tube.
 
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