Researching Optics for Long Range Rifles

Optics for long range rifles have been the main topic on my mind the last month.  I was helping a friend, who just got a new Accuracy International, find the perfect scope for him.  (On a side note, this means I get the .308 he used to use!! We can talk about THAT later!) He is very experienced, and competes in long range competitions frequently, and he knew exactly what attributes he wanted in a scope.  There is a lot of information out there about each scope individually, but not too many direct comparisons of the scopes.  (I think this is because they are so expensive and it is rare for a person to have opportunity to use them in a setting where that type of comparison is possible.)

Much like a car, the type of scope a person buys is a very personal decision.  Because I am rather green on the topic, I might be happy initially with just about anything.  Once a person begins to actually spend time at the range and maybe even in competitions, it is inevitable that you may find some things you wish your scope did better, faster, with less chance of error, etc.  No matter how expensive, the scope that is perfect for one person may not be the best option for another, and that is ok.  Some people like trucks and some people like sport cars.  They both get you where you are going.

Some of the scopes we were considering:

The process of narrowing the choices down to the “one” was very educational for me. We were leaning toward the Nightforce, but that decision was made for us by the company.  They sent out e-mails informing their customers that the exact model we were looking at was in such high demand by the military, that it would be eight months or more until it would be available.

Ok – Nightforce, off the list.

The Hensoldt and the Premier are actually quite expensive, and because of that – I would expect that they would have all the bells and whistles.  I fell in love with the Hensoldt from reading about it, and since it was not my money, I could love it a lot!  (I will still get to use it!)  What??  It costs over $3000 and it does not have a zero stop?  Isn’t that like a new BMW without bluetooth technology?  (Yes, you do not technically need it – but, it defiantly makes life easier.)

Goodbye sweet Hensoldt.

So – we narrowed it down to the last two, the Premier and the Leupold.  Through Promotive, Leupold actually has an amazing military discount, and because of this, the Leupold was almost $1,000 cheaper.  Since we could not find a really good reason to lean either way, I said lets base it on price.  (Anyway, since the Leupold is so cheap, we should be able to sell it and get our money out of it if we don’t like it, so it is a safe plan.)

**click**  The purchase has been made – the Leupold.  I really like the TMR Reticle.  So, the waiting begins, it will take about a month before it is in our hands.  Do we get buyers remorse?  Nope – good things happen to good people.  Two days after we make the purchase of the Leupold, we started to hear rumors that Premier Reticles might be going out of business.  This seems to be just a rumor right now, but I am a little leery of spending so much money just to risk the possibility of a lack of customer service. It is almost as if a ray of light came from the sky and told us we made the right decision.  Now – if that Leupold would just get here!!!

 

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  1. I currently own 2 Leupold 6.5X20 scopes with dot reticles. They are perfect for the long range Silhouette competition and the return-to-zero has always been spot on.

    Leupold customer service is fantastic also. I once ordered a 6.5X20 from Midway and when it arrived the box (marked 6.5X20) contained a benchrest scope. I called Leupold, explained that I needed a scope right away (so I could get it zeroed for an upcoming weekend match) and they overnighted a scope to me, saying “Ship the other one back at your convenience.”

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