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Joined: Nov 2013
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If you mean the tritium, the half-life is 12.5 years. But as mentioned above, any time there’s skylight, the fiber optics carry the load. For better control of the illumination, get a battery-powered model. All of them are usable sans illumination, just select a reticle that is good for you both ways. The duplex in the 3-9 Accupoint is excellent, lit or not. The website has really detailed reticle illustrations for each model to help you pick. It’s important to check the specific model when you look because the dimensions vary a lot, even for the same reticle type.


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I have never had an illuminated reticle scope. I had a friend who had one years ago, a Trijicon I think, that had a red dot in the center of the reticle and I was impressed with it. I ordered a new scope a few days ago from Tract. I had originally wanted an illuminated red dot in their T-Plex reticle 2.5-15x42 until I saw the price difference between that and the plain T-Plex reticle 3-15x42 - $440 more. Same glass, etc. in each. It's a nice feature, but I just could not see it (pun intended). Tract scopes are excellent quality and come with a lifetime, no paperwork needed, no cost warranty. No matter if you are the original owner or not. So, not an issue for me about the quality or any future maintenance expense, other than changing out a common CR2032 battery. Maybe this feature is cheaper on other scopes? I don't know. I was sold on wanting a Tract Toric and the illuminated feature just wasn't what I was willing to pay that much more for.


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I change the Battery in my handgun scopes every month
I buy a 10- pack of Sony batteries and just change them religiously
. I change the batteries in my binocular and long guns annually. Never an issue


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Originally Posted by Henryseale
I have never had an illuminated reticle scope. I had a friend who had one years ago, a Trijicon I think, that had a red dot in the center of the reticle and I was impressed with it. I ordered a new scope a few days ago from Tract. I had originally wanted an illuminated red dot in their T-Plex reticle 2.5-15x42 until I saw the price difference between that and the plain T-Plex reticle 3-15x42 - $440 more. Same glass, etc. in each. It's a nice feature, but I just could not see it (pun intended). Tract scopes are excellent quality and come with a lifetime, no paperwork needed, no cost warranty. No matter if you are the original owner or not. So, not an issue for me about the quality or any future maintenance expense, other than changing out a common CR2032 battery. Maybe this feature is cheaper on other scopes? I don't know. I was sold on wanting a Tract Toric and the illuminated feature just wasn't what I was willing to pay that much more for.

Henry, the light isn’t all you get for your $400. It also has a 30mm tube so has double the adjustment range of the 1” you (and I, BTW) bought. Makes a difference for some people’s use, plus likely adds some strength as well.

It also weighs 7oz more, one reason I’m still thinking about one. Trijicon has some lighter options. I don’t worry about the warranties of either, and since both are built by LOW, the durability either. The regular T-Plex is pretty good in dim light as well.


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Originally Posted by Oldelkhunter
Take out the battery at the end of each hunting season.



Sorry. That's ridiculous.


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I have ~~50 illuminated scopes.
Trouble with the illimitation on one:
Burris FF II LRA 3x9x40, purchased 4-14-2004 from SWFA for $200
Problem: Batteries discharge when not in use.


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i've been hunting and shooting illuminated scopes for years. swarovski, nightforce, vortex, aimpoint. every couple of years i'll change the battery to be safe, i usually keep a spare in my bag cause i like to be prepared.


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Originally Posted by local_dirt
Originally Posted by Oldelkhunter
Take out the battery at the end of each hunting season.

Sorry. That's ridiculous.

Yeah.

The battery in my truck AR with a VX6 3-18 TMOA is going on a year having never been shut off.

The Leupold Fire Dot shuts down after 5 minutes of not moving and I set the illum level low enough it's only visable in low light.

It's a pretty slick system.


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They can't stop the signal.

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Originally Posted by gsganzer
I was noticing the recent trend of illuminated reticles amongst the various manufacturers and it got me to thinking. How reliable are they and what would the serviceable lifespan be? Many of us shoot with scopes that are 20- 30 years old or more. Would you expect that with an illuminated scope? If the illumination fails, is the scope still useable or is it now a paperweight? Anyone have one fail at a crappy time?

How about batteries leaking from sitting unused? I think most use the coin style batteries, so not sure if it's an issue with that type.

My only experience with an illuminated scope is the Trijicon Accupoint that uses fiber/tritium. I've had it about 10 years now and it's still bright, but I understand it's pricey to get them repowered. I just bought a second one in 1-6 x 24 and expect it to serve me just as well, but it got me to thinking about scopes with electronics.

Any scope with an etched or wire reticle shouldn't care if the battery is installed or not - only the added feature of illumination.

As commented several times above, I've never seen a coin battery leak. I'm pretty sure the battery in my old Millet RDS is about 15 years old, and still worked last week when I checked it.

I didn't notice anyone above commenting on fully-illuminated vs. partially-illuminated reticles, but I have a STRONG preference for only having a center dot or small crosshair illuminated. Anything more tends to get distracting in the low-light conditions where they're most useful.

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I've had no problems with my illuminated scopes. The batteries seem to last a long time (more than a year) and I really like an illuminated dot in the center for low light and densely wooded and/or brushy situations.

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I have five illuminated scopes from HAWKE, Burris, and SIG, and just ordered another last night.

So yeah, Im a believer, especially for night predator hunting and hog hunting.


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I like them, Nightforce and Schmidt and Bender.

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I have a Sightron SIII 3.5-10 LRIMOA that has illumination. Most of the time I never even think about turning it on, but when it starts to get dark or I'm shooting against a dark back drop the little illuminated .25 MOA dot in the middle is very helpful because the reticle is so thin that without illumination sometimes I can't see it.

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