Scope upgradePosted by Davidnorrisnz on October 24, 2014 at 6:23 pm
I have a T3 in 270wsm sitting in a B&C Medalist stock. Consistently getting 3/4in groups with Federal PowerShok 130g soft points, which is hard to believe for me but I am not complaining. I am using a Leupold VX-1 3-9×40 which has been great but limits me to 300-400 yds for sheep hunting I am doing in wide open spaces. I am looking to upgrade to a $700-$1000 range scope.
I am first deciding between first focal plane and second using a ballistic reticle. I have been leaning towards a FFP with a ballistic reticle so the sub tensions stay the same through the whole zoom range. But shooting long-range I figure I will be zoomed in close so second focal plane at the set magnification would work too.
The two scopes I have been looking at are the Zeiss Conquest HD5 3-15×42 and the Vortex Viper PST 4-16x50FFP.
I would love any advice or comments on your experience with any of these focal planes or specific scopes.
MemberOctober 25, 2014 at 3:47 pm1 Bullseye
They are both good scopes but if you need service the Zeiss is going to cost you a arm and a leg. Not sure about Vortes factory service. Why not stay with a Leupold, American made, excellent optics, and best factory service in the industry?
MemberOctober 25, 2014 at 5:27 pm64 Bullseyes
FFP are nice if you plan on ranging objects with the reticle, or you like to hold off for wind and/or elevation. That way you don't have to remind yourself to set the power ring to the correct setting. If you plan on dialing for elevation and wind a SFP might make sense.
The downside with FFP is that the reticle can get really thin when you're using a lower power setting. Illumination can help this a bit though.
MemberOctober 25, 2014 at 5:47 pm1 Bullseye
Coyote268 I agree with you on the USA made and that Zeiss would be more difficult for service, didn't think about that. Vortex are USA made and have one of the best warranties I have been able to find they'll replace it even if I break it.
ShtrRdy I do like to hold over rather than dial for my purposes, and the Vortex does come with an illuminated ret. Thanks for your input.
ModeratorOctober 25, 2014 at 9:57 pm291 Bullseyes
For my money the Zeiss is in a totally different league, why if your worried about after sales service and it not being made in the U.S. why have you got a Tikka ?
MemberOctober 25, 2014 at 11:35 pm1 Bullseye
Larkin, I'm not overly concerned about the support and USA made but if I can get it I will always prefer that. I did handle the Zeiss and agree the quality is very high that's why I am still very much considering it.
The reason I have a Tikka is probably the same of most of us on here. They are an awesome rifle! And I can get parts and service online here too 🙂
MemberOctober 25, 2014 at 11:42 pm1 Bullseye
Let me jump in here. I am a retired (hopefully) Gunsmith and to answer your post, number one, the Tikkas just plane shoot. Now to the Zeiss. Excellent optics, but if any problem arises they will take care of it but not in a timely fashion and at pretty good expense. Their optics are good but their service is slow it was my experience. Didn't do anything with Vortex but with Leupold I sent in four scopes for a customer that were over 20 years old. Leupold went completely through them, calibratede them to make sure they were right, replace seals and re nitrogen filled them and sent them back with no expense to the customer. Being a Tikka owner myself, the only thing that I have done to them is put DNZ rings/bases on them replace the bolt shroud with a metal one and put a Limbsaver recoil pad on them. Let me add one more thing, Tikkas are good but Beretta customer service sucks!!!
MemberOctober 26, 2014 at 11:53 pm1 Bullseye
I've had both – and the zeiss hd glass is great! But…. I still have the vortex 4-16 FFP.
The z600 reticle in the zeiss was nice, too, but it had a crappy turret. The vortex glass isn't as good, but the turret more than makes up for that (I benefit from good eyes).
I don't like the pst as much as the HS LR FFP vortex, either. Having 1/2 moa clicks & the XLR reticle more than make up for illuminated reticle.
I haven't had opportunity to exercise the vortex warranty yet , but I've never heard a bad thing. I have warrantied a zeiss & my experience with them was great.
MemberOctober 27, 2014 at 9:13 pm1 Bullseye
Thanks so much for the input and advice. I ended up going with the Zeiss. In the end the Rapid Z 800 reticle matched my caliber perfectly and I don't plan on dialing with my turrets. The less math and calculating I have to do in my head the better and I won't need the exactness of dialing.
Will post a review as soon as I get it mounted. Now I need a new T3 for my old scope hahah!
MemberNovember 11, 2014 at 8:28 am1 Bullseye
Took the Zeiss Conquest HD5 3-15×42 out to the range and on a hunt over the past couple weeks and can make a few comments now. Was able to get 3/4″ groups with factory ammo and bag a Mouflon/hybrid ram this weekend.
One of the big things for me is the simplicity and compact size of the scope. For what I am using it for I didn't want big turrets and “lots going on” on the exterior of the scope, just sleek and simple.
The glass is amazing, I have seen a few scopes in this range ($1000 and lower) with good glass but nothing yet that has the same edge to edge clarity and brightness. The 5x zoom is great and I love having 3x for closer shots but 10-15x for the longer shots. The parallax adjustment works great and not having the yardage numbers on the knob didn't really bother me cause I was looking through the scope while I was adjusting. Very precise and clear clicks on the elevation and windage turrets.
One of the big things I got this scope was for hunting with the Rapid Z 800 ballistic reticle but I have yet to use it except for sighting in at 200yds and inputting the data for the current round I am shooting. Technically I should be able to shoot out to 800yds but I want to practice on steel before hunting beyond 300yds.
So far love the scope, hurts the wallet but worth every penny and fits my needs perfectly.
MemberNovember 11, 2014 at 8:05 pm1 Bullseye
David, thanks for posting your experiences with your Zeiss scope. You didn't mention at what range you shot your ram? BTW, I applaud your decision to limit shots on wild game beyond your proven ability to make a clean kill.
I opted for the Vortex 4-16×50, however, I don't really expect to do much hunting. I am having issues with focus and parallax, so I've sent my scope in for service, already. Nice folks out there at Vortex! I hope that they come through for me, in terms of service after the sale. I found the 1 mil knobs and clicks were distinct and adjust spot on as proven out by “shooting the box”. IMOHO, I think the lighted reticle will make up for any issues with reticle size at low power and/or low light conditions. But if I can't see my target in sharp focus, I will doubtless regret my decision to go with Vortex. I'll be updating my own posts on these subjects, shortly.
MemberNovember 11, 2014 at 8:30 pm1 Bullseye
The ram was shot at around 100yds prone off my bi-pod. I didn't get an exact range as we were stalking a few sheep and they busted out of the forest into an old lava flow and presented me with short window to take a shot. Happened really quickly but I got a clean heart shot and he only went a couple yards.
From everything I have heard Vortex service is really good so hopefully you won't have any issues there. I still would really like to give that scope a try, but I will need to get another rifle. I would really like to have a setup with target turrets that I can tinker with.
I think the one thing I did wish my Zeiss had was an illuminated reticle for dusk and dawn. I'll keep you updated when I am able to do some more longer shots on targets and if I get any low light opportunities.
Would love to hear how everything goes with Vortex
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