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#5728353 - 10/19/11 Best scope for low light hunting ?  
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OK whats your favorite? Looking for a new calling scope. I have a Swarovski 3-9x36 I use on my calling rifle R-15. Monday I called and shot a coyote but it was hard to see him in the scope. It has a 1" tube.I have Leupold's in 3x9,4x12,4.5x14,6.5x20 I use for dog hunting.I always use the Swarovski's on the coyote guns.Just looking for suggestions.
Thanks in advance
224TH

Last edited by 224th; 10/19/11.
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#5728580 - 10/19/11 Re: Best low light scope? [Re: 224th]  
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Your heading reads "Best low light scope?"

Your text doesn't seem to ask the same question.

Here goes. My best low light scope is a Swarovski z5 5-25X52. But my Bushnell 4200 4-16X40 is so close I have to switch back and forth to see which one is better.

Before I sold it my Nightforce 12-42X56 was way better than either of the above. I mean like 12-15 minutes better. Hopefully someone with a different brand of 56mm scope will chime in.


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#5728709 - 10/19/11 Re: Best low light scope? [Re: Ringman]  
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Zeiss Conquest 4.5 X 14 X 44 is the best I have seen in low light so far.


"If you find yourself in a hole, quit digging"
#5728730 - 10/19/11 Re: Best low light scope? [Re: jmp300wsm]  
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My 6x42 Leupold has done all I have ever asked of it.


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#5728905 - 10/19/11 Re: Best low light scope? [Re: 458Win]  
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When formally tested, Zeiss Victory/Varipoint 3-12x56 are "officially" the best (of the variables). Which is probably no great suprise - they are also $2000-2500. I have the 2.5-15x56 Z6 and it is in the same class. The euros always come out on top in formal testing. Which they would want to, because they are very, very expensive. But additionally, the european scopes favour low light performance over other performance measures when they are building a scope, as they do so much of their hunting in low light conditions.

We have a large number of professional shooters who work exclusively at night in this country, and i don't think i have ever seen any of them shooting other than the big-4 Germanic brands. Mostly they use fixed 8x56 scopes (i think mostly just because they are a lot cheaper than the variables, rather than any concerns about reduced transmission).

Last edited by dhg; 10/19/11. Reason: forgot kahles

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#5728914 - 10/19/11 Re: Best low light scope? [Re: 458Win]  
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But where are the guys who have different scopes and have compared them? How is the original poster going to know if Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14X44 is better than a Leupold 6X42 or vise versa?


"Only Christ is the fullness of God's revelation."
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#5728963 - 10/19/11 Re: Best low light scope? [Re: Ringman]  
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2.5-8x32 Conquest.


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#5729093 - 10/19/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: 224th]  
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224th,

On a recent thread I suggested the Tasco as just about the best scope value. One of our .com friends said it is a wonderful thing that I have not experienced some of the better scopes. I think I remember someone saying something about a Weaver, it could have been me.

Anyway I took a few minutes and did some comparing. The scopes compared were a Weaver 6-24X, Bushnell 4200 4-16X, Tasco World Class 4-16X, and a Swaorvski z5 5-25X52. They were set on 10X and focused on "THIS" 127 yards away. When I had to start searching for letters instead of mearly reading the word I marked the time.

Weaver and Tasco 6:07 PM
Bushnell 6:10 PM
Swarovski 6:13 PM

As one can see there is no difference in the Weaver and the Tasco. And not a lot between the las two. My son-in-law came out when all three showed "THIS" with ease. He said, "If I didn't know better I would say all these scopes were in the same price range. They all look really good."


"Only Christ is the fullness of God's revelation."
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#5729457 - 10/19/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: Ringman]  
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Best scope for low light hunting ?

Zeiss Diavari 3-12x56 or the fixed 8 x 56.
That is not a guess.

Next topic please….

#5729472 - 10/19/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: RHutch]  
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This one, and I've tried just about all of them.
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Bravo

#5729490 - 10/19/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: raghorn]  
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I need a twisty thingy on top of mine.

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#5729498 - 10/19/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: RHutch]  
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They work............grin
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#5729509 - 10/19/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: raghorn]  
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Been gettin' by with a FFP mildot.

#5729516 - 10/19/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: RHutch]  
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It's got a lightbulb in it too. Very sweet after dark.

#5729519 - 10/19/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: RHutch]  
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$50.00 will change you forever.............grin


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#5729527 - 10/19/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: raghorn]  
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I'm scared it may get lost in transit…grin.

#5729531 - 10/19/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: RHutch]  
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I'd risk it............


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#5729570 - 10/19/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: raghorn]  
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Mine would have to go to Germany. It is an older model with different tops under the caps.
Pursued that option earlier in the year with Karen but kept her stateside cause I was using it. Maybe after season I'll consider it again.

#5729604 - 10/19/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: RHutch]  
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This Burris Signature with the light collector closed is probably brighter than all of the above scopes mentioned.(:

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#5729621 - 10/19/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: RHutch]  
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Originally Posted by RHutch
I need a twisty thingy on top of mine.

[Linked Image]


Specs on that rifle my friend??? Very nice. I like it....


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I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

Originally Posted by Pharmseller
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P


BSA
#5729635 - 10/19/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: bsa1917hunter]  
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Best low-light scope in the world…..grin

#5729806 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: RHutch]  
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Someone is always asking this question, "best low light scope", everyone has an opinion or has one that works for them, rarely do you see a direct comparison. Personally I doubt there is 3 minutes of shooting time difference in any of them from a $200 Burris to a $2000 Zeiss. To my eyes the biggest difference is to be able to see the reticle in low light.

Here is what you want if you got the money, D-740 4X Gen3 PINNACLE


#5729829 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: jimmyp]  
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There are direct comparisons that have been performed that have been published (best known are the Finnish tests - the greatest nation of riflemen on the planet, who know more about low light hunting than probably anybody else). The differences are typically much longer than you might expect. But anecdotally, i can tell you the tests are done informally nearly every night across Australia. Whatever the latest and greatest new scope out on the market, guys will be sitting around comparing it with the benchmark scopes as light falls. Many of these guys are professionals, and they only shoot after dark. Their livelihood rides on the performance of their scopes, and many invest more in their scopes than their rifles.

You are quite correct though - reticle choice is most important. And a lot of folks think if they just get a x56 sope they will get good low-light performance. But many of these x56 scopes have very fine reticles, especially the ballistic-type reticles, which are just impossible to use in dim light. Personally, i like a simple FFP plex, but probably only because i won't cough up the money for an illuminated reticle.


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#5729832 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: dhg]  
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What do you recommend? smile


#5729853 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: jimmyp]  
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Zeiss, as the guys have said. But there is very little between Zeiss, S&B, Swaro and Kahles. I have the big Z6, and it is definitely not quite as good as the Zeiss (but is better in other respects). I think Docter optic is also up there, but that is word of mouth - i haven't used Docter.

Just basically choose a scope from somewhere that beat up on the Frogs last century and you will be right.


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#5729858 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: dhg]  
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And just in case there is a kiwi optics manufacturer i am unaware of, beating up on the Frogs in rugby doesn't count.


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#5729868 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: 224th]  
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It is not that simple as one scope. Basically, the larger the objective lense, the more mmagnification you can use. Which sounds simple, but there is alot more to it.
First of all, alot of people, as they age, loose some of their night vision. That means at some point, all of them quit. Those that have full night vision, it's a matter of how much magnifcation one has availiable with enough exit pupil size to make it work. The more magnification, the further one can see.
Then, as others have pointed out, you have to see the reticle. So, either buy a scope with one of the heavier reticles, or go to an illuminated reticle.
On top of all of this are the tradeoffs one makes especially when going to the big 50-56mm scopes. Big variables tend to have a number of problems. They shift zero more when bumped, they break down under recoil more readily, and they sit higher on the rifle.
I'm not surprised the euro hunters like the 8X56 scopes for night hunting. An 8X56 can see further than a 6X42. Besides being cheaper to buy, they are also probably more reliable.
If the high position of the 50-56mm scopes bothers you, check out the Leupold VX-L scopes. They are designed to sit lower.
BTW, the US and asian rim rifle scope makers have made excellent, fully multicoated optics that work just as well as anything made in europe for sometime. Check out some of Barsness's testing in his Rifle Loony News. E

#5729925 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: dhg]  
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So a multi element Zeiss lets more light thru than a fewer element fixed 6X? I am interested in this comparison!! I have a pair of Victory binoculars and a pair of Pentax DCF SP both 8 x 42, I am pressed these days to see a major difference as the sun sets, but maybe its my eyes.


#5729931 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: Eremicus]  
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Spot on


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#5729961 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: jorgeI]  
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Here we go again!!

#5730030 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: 300MAG]  
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I have owned and hunted with alot of quality scopes in my lifetime. But no doubt the best low light hunting scope I have ever used was a fixed power 8X56 S&B. However I don't know if I would consider that a good coyote scope.

For coyote I would probably have to go with the Zeiss 3X12X56. That is also a very fine hunting scope. As long as you don't mind the extra weight. Tom.


West By God Virginia
#5730039 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: 300MAG]  
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I agree! If you want a low light "see in the dark scope" buy a night vision Gen 2 or 3 and be done with it. If I can see an animal with my eyes or binoc's, then I can see it in my riflescopes. Who goes glassing the horizon, woods, bushe, and fields in the dark with a loaded rifle??? Not me! The reticle thing I have personally experienced with a 50mm Kahles American set at 3.5X so go figure.

However I am sure I am delusional, someone smarter than me will tell me why in a minute, Phils FXIII is probably as good as it gets logically.


#5730122 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: jimmyp]  
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I have to agree with the people who say the Ziess Victory Series 3-12x56 is the absolute best low light hunting scope.

I have three of them,but they are not the best scope foe every application,Melvin Forbes told me that one of his NULA rifles will reduce one to parts in less than 50 rounds.

Both of my NULA rifles have VX3 Leupolds. It is the toughest,lightest variable IMHO.

Best low light scope for the money is a Ziess Conquest IMHO.

#5730236 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: ruraldoc]  
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Originally Posted by ruraldoc

I have to agree with the people who say the Ziess Victory Series 3-12x56 is the absolute best low light hunting scope.

I have three of them,but they are not the best scope foe every application,Melvin Forbes told me that one of his NULA rifles will reduce one to parts in less than 50 rounds.

Both of my NULA rifles have VX3 Leupolds. It is the toughest,lightest variable IMHO.

Best low light scope for the money is a Ziess Conquest IMHO.

I run a Victory 3x12x56 on one of Melvin's guns with no problems. In all fairness it was a 7STW though..................grin


B.C. don't matter.............Laffin!
#5730238 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: jimmyp]  
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Originally Posted by jimmyp
I agree! If you want a low light "see in the dark scope" buy a night vision Gen 2 or 3 and be done with it. If I can see an animal with my eyes or binoc's, then I can see it in my riflescopes. Who goes glassing the horizon, woods, bushe, and fields in the dark with a loaded rifle??? Not me! The reticle thing I have personally experienced with a 50mm Kahles American set at 3.5X so go figure.

However I am sure I am delusional, someone smarter than me will tell me why in a minute, Phils FXIII is probably as good as it gets logically.

You need some better Bino's.............


B.C. don't matter.............Laffin!
#5730751 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: raghorn]  
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zeiss victory binocs 8 x 42, you guys need to actually get out in the woods more.

Last edited by jimmyp; 10/20/11.

#5730773 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: jimmyp]  
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I've been known to go there on occasion..............


B.C. don't matter.............Laffin!
#5730885 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: raghorn]  
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as have "eye" grin


#5730935 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: jimmyp]  
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Eyes have to. If you open both of them you'll soon learn that you can see stuff later thru bino's that you can thru any scope less batteries..............


B.C. don't matter.............Laffin!
#5730974 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: raghorn]  
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OK you win, I agree I can see an animal past legal shooting time with my binoculars that I cannot shoot legally. I can see some of them with a Conquest 2.5 x 8 that I still cannot legally shoot anyway.


#5731981 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: raghorn]  
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Quote
If you open both of them you'll soon learn that you can see stuff later thru bino's


I compared my Minox 13X56, Bushnell 6500 4 1/2-30X50, and Nightforce 12-42X56 with all set on 13X as dusk was setting in. The 6500 lasted two minutes longer than the Minox and the Nightforce lasted eighteen minutes longer than the Minox.

I will compare the Bushnell 8X42 that I got last week with a couple rifle scopes this evening.


"Only Christ is the fullness of God's revelation."
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#5732022 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: raghorn]  
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Originally Posted by raghorn
Eyes have to. If you open both of them you'll soon learn that you can see stuff later thru bino's that you can thru any scope less batteries..............


Depends on the bino, but if it's a good 8x42 I agree.

#5732030 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: raghorn]  
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That depends on which rifle scope, which binoculars and if your eyes can see the difference. I have an excellent 8X42 Leica BA that has always worked in any twilight, even full cloud cover days w/o any moonlight. But my 6X42 rifle scopes always work in full darkness, when the Leica binocular does not. Why ? Because the 6X42 has a 7mm exit pupil and my vison still has all of it's night capabilities.
Now, I'm sure if I had the 8X56 Zeiss binoculars I once owned, they would work even better than the 6X42 rifle scope. Why ? Two eyes allow more depth perception. And an 8X always allows one to see further under bad light conditions than a 6X. E

#5732048 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: Eremicus]  
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#5732061 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: Eremicus]  
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Damn if I am not going to have to break a long string of ABL and buy one of these just to see for myself. My Night Vision still works, maybe not as good as E's however. I have noticed that in total darkness I cannot see through any scope that I have, the Leupold 6 x 42 may change all of that...


#5732076 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: jimmyp]  
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s*b, Nightforce,Zeiss,meopta in this order

#5732093 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: rickmenefee]  
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I switched to a Pulsar CCI for night work. Can't see through scopes at night much anymore anyway.

#5732122 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: Eremicus]  
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Originally Posted by Eremicus
That depends on which rifle scope, which binoculars and if your eyes can see the difference. I have an excellent 8X42 Leica BA that has always worked in any twilight, even full cloud cover days w/o any moonlight. But my 6X42 rifle scopes always work in full darkness, when the Leica binocular does not. Why ? Because the 6X42 has a 7mm exit pupil and my vison still has all of it's night capabilities.
Now, I'm sure if I had the 8X56 Zeiss binoculars I once owned, they would work even better than the 6X42 rifle scope. Why ? Two eyes allow more depth perception. And an 8X always allows one to see further under bad light conditions than a 6X. E


I'm speechless.

#5732188 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: RDFinn]  
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raghorn Offline
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Finally home!
Originally Posted by RDFinn
Originally Posted by raghorn
Eyes have to. If you open both of them you'll soon learn that you can see stuff later thru bino's that you can thru any scope less batteries..............


Depends on the bino, but if it's a good 8x42 I agree.

Point taken.
I kinda assumed that one would have enough sense to compare like quality/MM bino's to scopes, but there I go assuming again. Guess I forgot where I was at..............


B.C. don't matter.............Laffin!
#5732211 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: Eremicus]  
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Take_a_knee Offline
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Originally Posted by Eremicus
That depends on which rifle scope, which binoculars and if your eyes can see the difference. I have an excellent 8X42 Leica BA that has always worked in any twilight, even full cloud cover days w/o any moonlight. But my 6X42 rifle scopes always work in full darkness, when the Leica binocular does not. Why ? Because the 6X42 has a 7mm exit pupil and my vison still has all of it's night capabilities.
Now, I'm sure if I had the 8X56 Zeiss binoculars I once owned, they would work even better than the 6X42 rifle scope. Why ? Two eyes allow more depth perception. And an 8X always allows one to see further under bad light conditions than a 6X. E


Makes sense to me. There is, IMO, a reduction in depth perception with increasing power, and I'm guessing 7x is the sweet spot. I think this is why 7x50's were the standard in bygone years, especially for nautical stuff.

#5732327 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: raghorn]  
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Originally Posted by raghorn
Originally Posted by RDFinn
Originally Posted by raghorn
Eyes have to. If you open both of them you'll soon learn that you can see stuff later thru bino's that you can thru any scope less batteries..............


Depends on the bino, but if it's a good 8x42 I agree.

Point taken.
I kinda assumed that one would have enough sense to compare like quality/MM bino's to scopes, but there I go assuming again. Guess I forgot where I was at..............


No nothing wrong with your statement, my eyes are probably not as good as E's but NV still works some. Yes my 8x42 zeiss binocs are good, but I am happy with my zeiss conquest scopes within normal hours as well. Just had a thought, my shots are usually pretty close, we maybe talking about apples and oranges.

Last edited by jimmyp; 10/20/11.

#5732494 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: jimmyp]  
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raghorn Offline
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Close helps alot of optics perform better.............grin.
I hunt where a 200 yard or longer shot can come up and high quality MM's rule in both scopes and binos as do FFP reticles.


B.C. don't matter.............Laffin!
#5732561 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: dhg]  
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Originally Posted by dhg
But anecdotally, i can tell you the tests are done informally nearly every night across Australia. Whatever the latest and greatest new scope out on the market, guys will be sitting around comparing it with the benchmark scopes as light falls. Many of these guys are professionals, and they only shoot after dark.


Are you referring to head shots on 'roos in the weeds after dark?


--Randy

#5732656 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: raghorn]  
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RDFinn Offline
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Originally Posted by raghorn
Originally Posted by RDFinn
Originally Posted by raghorn
Eyes have to. If you open both of them you'll soon learn that you can see stuff later thru bino's that you can thru any scope less batteries..............


Depends on the bino, but if it's a good 8x42 I agree.

Point taken.
I kinda assumed that one would have enough sense to compare like quality/MM bino's to scopes, but there I go assuming again. Guess I forgot where I was at..............


Didn't mean to be insulting and only meant the bino and scope should be similar in quality. In Eremicus's example he forgets that a 8x42 bino has (2) 42mm objectives and (2) 5.25mm exit pupils not to mention more magnification and double the FOV of a 6x42 riflescope. Your eyes, if working properly, get more light from the bino but those vision concepts are to deep for him to process. Like Big Stick would say.....vivid "Imagination".


#5732688 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: RandyWakeman]  
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DaSakoMan Offline
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The Southern Cross.
Originally Posted by RandyWakeman
Originally Posted by dhg
But anecdotally, i can tell you the tests are done informally nearly every night across Australia. Whatever the latest and greatest new scope out on the market, guys will be sitting around comparing it with the benchmark scopes as light falls. Many of these guys are professionals, and they only shoot after dark.


Are you referring to head shots on 'roos in the weeds after dark?


As a fellow Aussie , you bet!! I have had the pleasure of seeing a professional roo shooter at work and I must say, these guys dont mess around with their gear. If it doesnt work, they simply wont use it.

Gus

#5732795 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: DaSakoMan]  
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I've been to Australia only once, but the "low light" application was just that-- shining roos all night, strictly head shots. Now, if they just had a cane toad solution. eek


--Randy

#5732800 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: RandyWakeman]  
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Most places
'Roo's are a large part of it these days and are the main deal for professional shooters, although less significant currently as the foreign markets for the meat have fallen over. Guys on the land are also generally much less worried by kangaroo numbers these days, as it seems they don't really represent significant competition for feed most of the time (sometimes they do, but often they are just not worth controlling). When i was growing up, i had an older friend who made a living from helicopter pest control - pack a few ARs into a 'chopper and blaze away like a gun ship at pigs, buffalo and wild horses. They might shoot hundreds of animals in a day! With folks now paying thousands of dollars to take a buffalo, it seems kinda weird now that not that long ago there were guys being paid good money to shoot dozens of them a day.

When i was growing up, the good money was foxes - we could get as much as $20 a skin and you might shoot 10 in a night (it was slow work though). I used to make a pocket money as a kid knocking foxes over at night. We would also shoot a lot of rabbits and pigs, but generally, there was no money in that. Australia has until recently not really had much of a "hunting culture", unlike the US and Europe. If you lived in rural Australia, you started shooting at a young age and it was really just part of the farm chores. You'd get home, and be given a .22 and a box of ammunition and asked to go out and shoot some rabbits (or an old SMLE for pigs and 'roos). It was like being asked to go and do the mowing. Nobody "hunted" - you would just shoot and shoot and shoot. You would often go through several boxes of ammunition in an evening because there were just so many animals to control.

I have also spent a lot of time in the mountains of New Zealand, and the war over there at times on feral animals has been even more incredible. They still have helicopter "gunships" shooting dozens of such desirable animals as himalayan tahr and european chamios. Hundreds of guys were working as professional deer cullers, leaving dead animals in the field, only a few decades ago.

These days, things are much different. We have good deer populations, and we have developed a culture of trying to manage these populations. Most of us get a rifle out these days for fun and we respect the animals we hunt. There was certainly no respect when i was a kid - it was a war!

Last edited by dhg; 10/20/11.

If your dad doesn't have a beard, you've got two mums
#5733263 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: dhg]  
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When it comes to "best," you really have to pick some level of price point and define what hunting at what ranges you might be referring to. It is all well and good to name the most expensive brands: obviously those that buy them think they are worth it.

Is a coyote really worth the ammo? In Illinois, that's a good question . . . much less a high end scope. Anyway, there are price points that become a factor sooner or later.


--Randy

#5733291 - 10/20/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: RHutch]  
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Originally Posted by RHutch
7WSM
FN SPR action
Jewel trigger
Broughton 1:9 #4 at 24"
McM Sako hunter
Built by APA
Seekins mounts
Best low-light scope in the world…..grin


Thanks Rhutch, I thought that was an FN. Reminds me of my FN PBR XP is why I asked. Great looking set-up, thanks for posting...


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.
P


BSA
#5735300 - 10/21/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: Take_a_knee]  
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[Linked Image]


Originally Posted by mathman
Hate and phobic are terms used to put a negative spin on distaste or dislike expressed in a contrary opinion.
#5735319 - 10/21/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: Magnumdood]  
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Originally Posted by Magnumdood
[Linked Image]


You ain't gonna see schit with an objective that small.


Travis

#5735495 - 10/21/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: deflave]  
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RHutch Offline
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Ohhh hell noo! Dood breakin' out that 72mm schitt. grin
I secretly owned one for a short time. The view was incredible but the bulk I could not live with.
Had to add a cheekpiece to accomodate that monster.
Dont know what I was thinking.
Definitely a specialty piece of kit.

[Linked Image]

#5738019 - 10/22/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: RHutch]  
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I have a lowly VXIII 2.5X8 and it simply gets it done in low light.

This elk fell at the last inkling of legal light, last moments of the season this week.

I owe this one to the leupy and a lucky off-hand shot...

[Linked Image]

#5738200 - 10/22/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: 224th]  
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Maine, ayuh.
Our pupil's maximum dilation is 7 mm. That means, an exit pupil for maximum light needs to be 7 mm. After that, it's a compromise you have to make regarding how much magnification you can handle/use, and how big a front objective you can tolerate in mounting.

exit pupil x magnification = max objective diameter in mm

7 mm x 4x = 28 mm (note: 1 inch=~25 mm)
7 mm x 6x = 42 mm
7 mm x 7x = 49 mm
7 mm x 8x = 56 mm
7 mm x 10x = 77 mm

physics rule:
"The intensity of light varies inversely to the square of the distance from the source."

Bob Bell wrote an excellent article in the 1989 Gun Digest (43rd edition, red cover, page 6) called "Why big scopes make a difference." It addresses why "big" scopes are brighter in darker conditions.

If you have a target at 500 yards away in dark or twilight conditions, you may just be able to make out the object. If you have a 6x42mm scope mounted (a pretty good practical low light scope due to the 7 mm exit pupil it gives and relatively low scope mounting), the effective distance through the scope is 500 yards/6x = 83 yards. Square the number (83x83) to get a value of ~6890. The inverse is 1/6890.

This means the light intensity reflected from the target (visible to the eye) is 1/6890 of what it would be at 1 yard. You would see the object at 1 yard, but the further away it is, it gets harder to see.

Compare the same object (same dark conditions and 500 yard distance) with two other "big" scopes".

An 8x56 scope would give an effective distance of 500/8 = 62.5 yards. Square this (62.5 x 62.5)to get a value of ~ 3900. Take the inverse, and you get 1/3900.

A 10x77 mm scope would have an effective distance of 500/10 = 50 yards. Squaring this yields 2500. The inverse value is 1/2500.

This means the light intensity of a 10x77 scope is 6890/2500 times more "bright" than the 6x42 scope, or 2.7+ times brighter. (6890/2500 =2.756)

Compare that to a 4x32 scope. The 500 yard target has an effective distance of 500/4=125 yards. Square that to get 15,625. The light intensity reflecting off the target is the inverse of the square, so the reading is 1/15,625 or, 2500/15,625 times LESS bright ("intense") for a value of 16% of the intensity ("brightness") of the object seen through a 10x77 scope.

How about that 2.5x scope that was marketed to have a high "twilight factor" due to a "large field of view." Same object/distance/light conditions gives you an effective distance of 500/2.5 = 200. Square this to get 40,000. The inverse of the squard is 1/40,000 or 2500/40,000 = 6.25% of the light intensity compared to the object seen through the 10x77 scope at the same distance and conditions.

It's not just magnification, it is exit pupil, or the "tube of light image" that gets to your eye's maximum "open iris condition" of 7 mm, which exits the rear objective of the scope into your eye. That's the rate limiting reaction on the receiving end-7 mm exit pupil.

You then have all the mechanical issues with quality of the glass and lens coatings for light transmission. You the have to make the decision of how big a scope you want on your rifle (how high to mount it). An 8x56mm scope has a front objective bell diameter over 2 inches wide (56 mm/25.4 mm per inch = 2.2 inches). A 10x77mm scope would have a 3 inch front objective diameter.

What's the BRIGHTEST scope? It's the scope with the highest magnification you can use, with the largest mountable front objective you can secure, that gives you a 7 mm exit pupil, that you can tolerate or use for your hunting conditions.

That's the physics behind it. The rest is up to you, and your wallet. Try to find Bob Bell's article. It is a classic.


"Behavior accepted is behavior repeated."
#5738239 - 10/22/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: buttstock]  
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Magnumdood Offline
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As a rule of thumb, people up to age 30 or so have an average maximum 7mm pupil dilation. When you reach 40, on average again, your pupil can only dilate to 5mm.

I said average because I'm 52 and my maximum pupil dilation isn't in the "normal" range. I know of a person on this board who is older than me, and his pupil dilation falls way outside the normal range for his age.


Originally Posted by mathman
Hate and phobic are terms used to put a negative spin on distaste or dislike expressed in a contrary opinion.
#5738476 - 10/22/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: raghorn]  
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Mikey300 Offline
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The Zeiss and Nightforce scopes seem to me to be among the best for low light shooting. However, not everyone needs to pay $2,000 or more for another minute of shooting time. I use a Leupold 3.5-10x50 for most of my low light hunting and I'm not giving up too many hunting minutes with that. It has served me very well right down to the last minute of legal hunting time.

I recently aquired a Bushnell 4200 6-24x50 tactical for my long range coyote rifle and love the Firefly mildot reticle even though it doesn't provide quite as bright a view. You can shine a flashlight on the reticle and it remains illuminated for about 2 hours. No more worries about batteries failing just as the coyote moves into range. Although I like lots of light gathering, my biggest night time coyote hunting issue nowdays (since most scopes provide very good light) has been visibility of the reticle. I don't like illuminated reticles but the Firefly I like. I can see my dots perfectly and light is sufficient to see and target coyotes out to 500 yards or more. I even had to crank up to 24x last week to see one in the grass at 600 yards as light first broke and that worked fine (unfortunately, I didn't get the coyote because I was fiddling with my rest).

#5738488 - 10/22/11 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: Mikey300]  
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Magnumdood Offline
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Originally Posted by Mikey300
...No more worries about batteries failing...

Your flashlight batteries could fail. grin


Originally Posted by mathman
Hate and phobic are terms used to put a negative spin on distaste or dislike expressed in a contrary opinion.
#7279031 - 01/07/13 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: 224th]  
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i realize this is a older post but i'll put my 2 cents in. i own zeiss,tasco,bushnell,weaver,redfield,leupold and several others over the yrs. it wasn't until i bought my first zeiss that i realized how much of a difference a quality scope makes. you can not go wrong with just about and german or austria made scope. most of them have been building optics longer then most gun manufactures. when i got my first zeiss i easily added 30-45 mins of combined hunting time (morning & dusk). one of the reason european optics are in a class of their own is their hunting hour are much different then here in the states. in some areas your hunting at 10pm and later. it's not in total darkness but twilight like in alaska. the zeiss conquest line is probably the best dollar for dollar line you can get. sure there are better scopes but your going to pay for them dearly. even zeiss,swarovski,khales bottom line models will out perform 98% optics made here in the states and asia. looking through them in your local sporting good store will not even come close to showing what they can do. it's not until your sitting in your stand in the woods and the sun is down that you'll SEE the difference. and they can take the pounding of the biggest magnum's and not even flinch. i am getting ready to buy my 3rd zeiss very soon. IMHO they CAN'T BE BEAT!

#7279096 - 01/07/13 Re: Best scope for low light hunting ? [Re: jds98zj]  
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SAKO75 Offline
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C.S.A.
Zeiss diavari 6-24x72
ZEISS HT 3-12x56
zeiss diavari 3-12x56


"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered."
― George Orwell, 1984
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