Scope advice

Rifle scopes, iron sights and optics. Spotting scopes and target acquisition devices.

Scope advice

Post by Uber_petey » 13 Nov 2018, 11:54 am

Please forgive if this particular question has been covered. I am not far off having a pertmit to acquire for a Howa mini action .223 varmint model. Being my first ever rifle, I was wondering if anybody had this particular rifle and what optic they have on it.
Ideally I'd like to keep the price for the scope under the $500 mark. And it will be used for a bit of rabbit n fox hunting as well as some time at the range.
Any feedback or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Cheers
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Re: Scope advice

Post by BangBangSkeetSkeet » 13 Nov 2018, 12:17 pm

i have one in a 24" varmint barrel, just not the mini action. i topped it with a Nikon 3-9 with the .223 BDC. i paid $239. it's good and the BDC works. if i had my time again though i'd probably look for something with a higher magnification, like 6-18 or 8-24. the Howas are certainly capable of pinpoint accuracy and can put the bullet exactly where you want it, provided you can see it
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Re: Scope advice

Post by Gaznazdiak » 13 Nov 2018, 1:48 pm

I'm a big fan of Hawke scopes, I have their 10-50×60 Sidewinder on my 24" Howa .223 fluted varmint.

The model series below might be what you need.

https://www.hawkeoptics.com/vantage-riflescopes.html
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Re: Scope advice

Post by Uber_petey » 13 Nov 2018, 4:55 pm

Thanks for the input guys.
The Nikon scopes seem pretty good, I like the idea of the bdc.
Still got a few weeks to get one sorted.
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Re: Scope advice

Post by SCJ429 » 13 Nov 2018, 5:27 pm

Bushnell make an AR series which goes up to 18x, it has target turrets and is under $160. The only downsize is a fairly thick retical but it is hard to find something better for under $500.
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Re: Scope advice

Post by Hooper22 » 13 Nov 2018, 8:46 pm

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Re: Scope advice

Post by bladeracer » 14 Nov 2018, 2:35 pm

SCJ429 wrote:Bushnell make an AR series which goes up to 18x, it has target turrets and is under $160. The only downsize is a fairly thick retical but it is hard to find something better for under $500.


There are finer reticles, but for the price range I think the AR Optics is pretty fine.
The AR Optics reticle is 0.25MoA.
Nikon BDC is 0.25MoA.
The Leupold LRV Varmint reticle is 0.19MoA.
Vortex Crossfire II has a 0.15MoA reticle - possibly the finest I think in this price range?
Vortex Razor HD has a 0.13MoA centre dot rather than a crosshair.
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Re: Scope advice

Post by SCJ429 » 14 Nov 2018, 7:29 pm

Thanks Blade, I think the retical is good for hunting, I found it covered more than I was use to at the range. I have been spoilt with some very fine reticals. I think the AR Bushnell has a lot going for it for a bargain price.
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Re: Scope advice

Post by Daddybang » 14 Nov 2018, 7:51 pm

There are finer reticles, but for the price range I think the AR Optics is pretty fine.
The AR Optics reticle is 0.25MoA.
Nikon BDC is 0.25MoA.
The Leupold LRV Varmint reticle is 0.19MoA.
Vortex Crossfire II has a 0.15MoA reticle - possibly the finest I think in this price range?
Vortex Razor HD has a 0.13MoA centre dot rather than a crosshair.[/quote]


Hey blade study less shoot more!!! :lol: :drinks:
In seriousness tho over the last two years I've spent $'s putting rifles in the safe and scrimping on optics. The next year I wanna spend some coin on optics so info like the above is great thanks!!! :thumbsup: :drinks:
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Re: Scope advice

Post by valkyrie » 14 Nov 2018, 8:53 pm

I just bought a bushnell engage series scope for my .308. Seems great was on my 450 bucks for a 4-18 x 44 scope with a nice fine reticle and tactical turrets. 30mm tube too.
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Re: Scope advice

Post by Kelsey Cooter » 15 Nov 2018, 5:42 am

I find for around $500 I've never been able to find a scope with glass as good as leupold. Check out the vx freedom, they are all under 500
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Re: Scope advice

Post by TassieTiger » 15 Nov 2018, 3:08 pm

I have the AR scope on 223 and have two issues - with the higher powers (8 and up), you have to have your eye length within 1-2mm to get the full scope picture. It is the most finicky scope I’ve ever used and just moving the slightest tiniest amount, you will be looking at a black wall...of nothing.
On a bench, it’s not really a huge issue, but hunting is a frustrating-pain on even the lower power settings.
On the bench, the reticle thickness does become something of a problem as others have said as well, the point of impact does hide behind reticle- but, the dots in the scope, for compensating - are huge and could hide a group and because of this they are pretty useless...

The Bush banner dusk/dawn 4-9 is much more usable in my book for hunting - similar eyebox to Leupold 6.5-20 on higher power and fantastic in low light. If anyone wants to swap my ar for a banner - no worries...
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Re: Scope advice

Post by Apollo » 15 Nov 2018, 3:53 pm

Boy, wouldn't you complain if you used one of my varminting scopes. The best is a March 8-80x56mm and the least power one is a 5-50x56mm. What you refer to and have difficulty with is the exit pupil size and it gets tiny as you go up in scope power. However, if you rifle is setup correctly then it gets really easy to grab the rifle and just look...no black, just a scope image of your target.

It's simply lack of experience and possibly incorrect equipment setup. I don't believe in high mounted scopes, nor do I believe in this tight cheek weld story. My scopes are mounted high and be it shooting off a bench or out in the paddock with a bipod I can instantly get a full scope picture with even the highest power setting.

Perhaps the thoughts are... the scope is not mounted correctly with the correct eye relief. You should be able to shoulder it and/or sit behind it without a hesitation of adjusting your eye relief. Perhaps too far away or too close to your eye.

Experiment by moving your scope closer or further away. On most rifles the rear of the ocular lens is about level with the rear of the stock pistol grip. With experience, you will determine if you are upon sighting behind a scope if you are moving forward or backward to get a sight image correctly. Move the scope to compensate and you will solve that problem.

In my view this mounting a scope as low as possible to the bore just makes the problem worse, jamming your cheek into a stock is not ideal for accuracy nor for a quick fire target/animal choice. Standing/sitting you should be able to shoulder a rifle and have an instant sight picture no matter how powerful the scope is or not. Just learnt over many years of use/practice in various positions.

Don't be afraid to experiment and you will come out the better from the tasks.
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Re: Scope advice

Post by bladeracer » 15 Nov 2018, 4:00 pm

TassieTiger wrote:I have the AR scope on 223 and have two issues - with the higher powers (8 and up), you have to have your eye length within 1-2mm to get the full scope picture. It is the most finicky scope I’ve ever used and just moving the slightest tiniest amount, you will be looking at a black wall...of nothing.
On a bench, it’s not really a huge issue, but hunting is a frustrating-pain on even the lower power settings.
On the bench, the reticle thickness does become something of a problem as others have said as well, the point of impact does hide behind reticle- but, the dots in the scope, for compensating - are huge and could hide a group and because of this they are pretty useless...

The Bush banner dusk/dawn 4-9 is much more usable in my book for hunting - similar eyebox to Leupold 6.5-20 on higher power and fantastic in low light. If anyone wants to swap my ar for a banner - no worries...


That's interesting. I'm using it to shoot out to longer ranges on the .22 currently, with so much elevation that I have no cheek weld, and I'm not having any trouble at all with the eye relief at max power. Hold-over dots are useless for precision shooting anyway, dial the crosshair onto your point of aim. I haven't found any problem with the "thick" reticle either. I was shooting today at a penned cross at 50m, bloody near impossible to see it, and the reticle definitely hides that (near as I can measure the pen lines are about 0.2mm or less in thickness). But I was also shooting at 14mm adhesive dots, which are huge under the reticle - the reticle only covers 0.125MoA at 50m - that's 3.625mm wide. I forgot to do the crosses at 45-degrees so they'd show in the reticle quadrants :-) On the pieces of tape I aim for one of the lower corner points, on the dots I tried at the dot centre and a six-o'clock hold on the bottom centre of the dot, which gave me better results.

I shot some groups at 50m, 100m and 150m yesterday before I cleaned the bore, then I shot 180rds this arvo at 50m to see if there was any improvement. Prone from the bipod without any rear support, and the 100m and 150m groups I was aiming through tall grass so didn't have a great sight picture, although the bulets were lobbing over the grass. I shot the first "cleaned" groups the same way and didn't see any measurable difference. Then I put a rear bag under it and shot a lot of 5rd groups to see if there was any measureable change as the bore fouled. I finished off with a 40m and 25m group to check point of impact at very close ranges. I also shot some silhouettes nearby which sprayed fragments across my targets.
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Re: Scope advice

Post by Apollo » 15 Nov 2018, 4:18 pm

Interesting targets.

Not what I would use as I want a much better aiming point.

I can't post a PDF file on this Forum but the targets I use are printed at home on an A4 Sheet. I use these from as close as 50m for Rimfire to 500 Metres plus for Centrefire. There are 6 targets per sheet, 1" lines between and the circle is 2".

If you or anyone wants a copy of the PDF then snd me an email address and I'll attach to the reply the file.

The attach image is the initial test loads I did with a CZ 527 Varmint at 180 Metres, 52gr Berger Bullets.

Bottom right is the first shot then adjust for a better centre, top is 10 shots once sighted in.
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Re: Scope advice

Post by TassieTiger » 15 Nov 2018, 5:52 pm

bladeracer wrote:
TassieTiger wrote:I have the AR scope on 223 and have two issues - with the higher powers (8 and up), you have to have your eye length within 1-2mm to get the full scope picture. It is the most finicky scope I’ve ever used and just moving the slightest tiniest amount, you will be looking at a black wall...of nothing.
On a bench, it’s not really a huge issue, but hunting is a frustrating-pain on even the lower power settings.
On the bench, the reticle thickness does become something of a problem as others have said as well, the point of impact does hide behind reticle- but, the dots in the scope, for compensating - are huge and could hide a group and because of this they are pretty useless...

The Bush banner dusk/dawn 4-9 is much more usable in my book for hunting - similar eyebox to Leupold 6.5-20 on higher power and fantastic in low light. If anyone wants to swap my ar for a banner - no worries...


That's interesting. I'm using it to shoot out to longer ranges on the .22 currently, with so much elevation that I have no cheek weld, and I'm not having any trouble at all with the eye relief at max power. Hold-over dots are useless for precision shooting anyway, dial the crosshair onto your point of aim. I haven't found any problem with the "thick" reticle either. I was shooting today at a penned cross at 50m, bloody near impossible to see it, and the reticle definitely hides that (near as I can measure the pen lines are about 0.2mm or less in thickness). But I was also shooting at 14mm adhesive dots, which are huge under the reticle - the reticle only covers 0.125MoA at 50m - that's 3.625mm wide. I forgot to do the crosses at 45-degrees so they'd show in the reticle quadrants :-) On the pieces of tape I aim for one of the lower corner points, on the dots I tried at the dot centre and a six-o'clock hold on the bottom centre of the dot, which gave me better results.

I shot some groups at 50m, 100m and 150m yesterday before I cleaned the bore, then I shot 180rds this arvo at 50m to see if there was any improvement. Prone from the bipod without any rear support, and the 100m and 150m groups I was aiming through tall grass so didn't have a great sight picture, although the bulets were lobbing over the grass. I shot the first "cleaned" groups the same way and didn't see any measurable difference. Then I put a rear bag under it and shot a lot of 5rd groups to see if there was any measureable change as the bore fouled. I finished off with a 40m and 25m group to check point of impact at very close ranges. I also shot some silhouettes nearby which sprayed fragments across my targets.


I was shooting 1 inch orange adhesive dots at 120m and the cross hairs on my AR 223 scope was obscuring at least 40% of the dot...I wonder if reticle wire varies.
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Re: Scope advice

Post by Strikey » 15 Nov 2018, 6:15 pm

I have a Howa varmint in 223, running a Bushnell Engage 6-24x50, I do prefer more expensive scopes but this scope is definitely value for the 450bucks I paid for it, originally looked at the Extreme30 but the reticle is too thick for target work whereas the Engage reticle is much finer. Can't really fault it for the price :thumbsup:
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Re: Scope advice

Post by SCJ429 » 15 Nov 2018, 7:15 pm

I used a 36x Weaver for a number of years Apollo, it has a exit pupil just over one mm, the 80x March is another thing. What do you think of the March? I have spoken to a number of shooters who were not happy with theirs.
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