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  1. #1
    Machine Gunner Justin's Avatar
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    Default School me on optics for PRS-style long range

    Ok, so I'm fantasizing about a PRS-style rig.

    And for this kind of a setup, it seems like the following specs are what most people are going with:
    - Click-adjustments in .1 MILs with a MIL-based reticle (not sure I get the ins and outs of all the different reticles)
    - Magnification that is around 5-20x with options up to 25x or higher
    - Front focal plane reticle
    - Zero stop adjustments
    - Exposed knobs so you can dial on the fly
    - ~20 mils worth of adjustment?
    - How much does field of view matter?

    So, in looking at a lot of the scopes that are out there, it looks like there's quite a few that match the above description, but the prices vary from ~$1500 up to almost $4000.

    So what's the difference? Is there really $2500 worth of "better" in a S&B vs. a Burris? If so, what are the objective things that make those scopes better? What experiences do the folks here have with using these optics? Under what conditions do the cheaper scopes crap out or have a serious limitation?
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  2. #2
    Ammocurious Rucker61's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm using the Burris XTR II 4.20x, but that's a function of good enough for the price. I've never even looked through the high end scopes.
    Te occidere possunt sed te edere non possunt nefas est

    Sane person with a better sight picture

  3. #3
    sweet custom title Delfuego's Avatar
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    Default

    Do you really want to shoot PRS/NRL/Field matches? Or just have a rifle that looks like one for occasional range days?

    Simply put yes, yes & yes. They are way better. It makes a big deal. I thought I would never be that guy, now I'm him...

    What's your budget? What's the rifle? What are the ranges you want to shoot?
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  4. #4
    Grand Master Know It All CavSct1983's Avatar
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    Default

    Highly recommend you check out a bunch of scopes before plunking down the cash. Plenty of nice rigs at local matches and rarely will anyone big a Scrooge about you looking through their glass.
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  5. #5
    WOODSMITH
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    Default

    Your basic list of requirements is sound.

    The things that matter most to me are difficult to quantify, measure and explain.

    Everything I say below assumes basic reliability and perfect tracking. In the price range you stated, those should be givens.

    Over the years now, I've come to value the reticle above almost everything else. A great reticle can make getting an accurate wind hold much easier to figure out under time pressure. Which one to choose is a huge topic and subject to lots of personal preference. For someone new to shooting in the wind, I quite like anything that looks like the SCR that's found in the Burris and Steiner lines. There are lots of other good ones, and quite a few bad ones.


    Eyebox is a term you might not have heard yet. It's used to describe how much flexibility you have positioning your eye behind the scope. A scope with a tight eyebox will require you to be perfectly positioned behind the scope to get a good image. This can be very problematic in PRS type shooting where the goal of the stage designer is frequently to make the position awkward. A scope with a forgiving eyebox will be easier to deal with. Sadly, I've never seen anything but subjective measurements. It's difficult to compare scopes on paper.

    Forgivingness of parallax adjustments is another big one for me. Mis-adjusted parallax is one of the largest sources of error for new shooters. Some scope seem to need constant fiddling with the parallax knob when changing ranges. Others are more forgiving. Having to twiddle one knob half as much as another is a big deal when you're on the clock.

    Of course, everyone like good glass. The view through my high end scopes is noticeably better than the view through my mid range scopes. Mostly is just nice to have. Sometimes though, excellent glass allows you to observe environmentals like weeds moving or dust in the wind which will give you information about the wind.


    Safe advice is to spend as much as you can, then add $500. Once you've determined your budget, come back here and we will barrage you with options.
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  6. #6
    Primitive Screwhead Hoser's Avatar
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    Default

    Take a peek through all the scopes at Sundays PRS match in Pueblo.

    You will see everything from mild to wild.

    And showing and telling is always better than telling/reading.
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    until three people can simultaneously look each other
    straight in the eye

  7. #7
    Machine Gunner Justin's Avatar
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    Default

    You know, the time I was really impressed with the glass in the S&B was when I looked through your Short Dot after using my ACOG. There was a noticeable difference.

    But I'm wondering, what are the other things that are important?

    I think Tim's pointing out that eye box and parallax adjustment are important is a really good point, and something I hadn't considered at all.

    And I'm wondering which of these things really make a difference. Basically, since I know jack about scopes and long range shooting, the number of choices seem overwhelming without much of a way to figure out what the best choice is. (I can see this is all going to end in a spreadsheet already.)

    Also, what about rings? What matters when looking at those?
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  8. #8
    I'm the OPie of this thread Irving's Avatar
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    The eye box is a really important point. I have a cheapy Vortex Crossfire II 6-24x40 and under moderate to full magnification, you had better have your face in just the right position or you can't see anything.
    They call Mee Gerald Budders

  9. #9
    sweet custom title Delfuego's Avatar
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    Default

    Tracking should be #1. If it doesn't track, it's worth nothing. I really like the good glass.

    Ring and base are super important too. You don't have to go crazy with those, but don't skimp. Used Badger / Mark 4 rings run about $100. Vortex Precision rings are good to at $120 new.

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    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take

  10. #10
    Former Shooter
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    Tracking is number 1 , it's a gun sight first and a telescope 2nd .
    Go look at a bunch of stuff at some matches first and then spend the money . There is a lot more options now than even 5 years ago and 2k buys a lot of scope now .

    The big secret in rings and bases are EGW bases and Burris XTR rings .

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