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  1. #31
    The Gunsmithing Moderator blacksmithden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizz View Post
    It's actually 100% your experience that has caused me to rethink the Vortex .

    What are your thoughts on the SHX 5-20 x 56?


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    I'm not familiar with that exact model. I looked at the SHV with 15x magnification, and the NXS with 22. A guy who's been into long range shooting a lot longer than I have, and I, had this conversation.

    Me: What's the "go to" Nightforce scope for new long range shooters ?
    Him: The SHV...but....the higher you go, the better the optic quality and the higher the light and color transmission.
    Me: Do you think it would make a difference with me, knowing my eyes are kind of crappy, and I'm color blind ?
    Him: You probably wouldn't notice that much of a difference

    That's when I had to chose between 15 magnification, and 22 magnification. Knowing I would be shooting out to a mile with my crappy eyes, I decided to go all in, and go with the "every little bit helps" NXS 5.5-22x56 option. In hind sight, I'd make the same decision. I've got a scope that you can practically drive nails into the bench with, bolt it back on the rifle, and shoot the same group that you shot before the hammering started. I probably went through $500 worth of ammo and gas to find out that the damned Vortex was the problem with my groups. I know the Nightforce price tag hurts...it hurts A LOT....and from experience, I can say that they're worth what they cost. I know you won't be disappointed with anything made by Nightforce as long as you buy one that will do what you want it to do as far as magnification goes. They really are a scope for life.
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    TDC (11-08-2016)

  3. #32
    Canadian ForcesMember Grizz's Avatar
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    Help picking scope and reticle

    Thanks to everyone for all the advice and guidance so far it has helped me more than you know!!!! I think, at this stage, I am going to simplify things and scale the price point down a little sticking with the 800-1000 all in max price. While I am an incredibly lucky guy who's wife simply said "If you need a 3,000 dollar Nightforce scope then get one." I don't want to end up with an incredible optic on top of an ok rifle (Savage 10BA in 308) that was put together for what may turn out to be a temporary obsession. I LOVE the idea of LD shooting and competition but want to make sure once I try it, I will still love it. Once I can answer confidently I definitely see the NF NXS in my future.

    1. How much am I rally going to get into LD shooting

    2. Exactly what do I want in my optics once I get into it

    I think it may be prudent to get something slightly cheaper so I am not kicking myself later.


    Reticles still confuse the heck out of me but I am starting to see that, while they all offer some edge over the other, you don't really need any of it once you truly learn your scope and rifle in conjunction with documented come ups and practice. Also a set or custom turrets with yard markers couldn't hurt either 😁

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    Swampdonkey (11-06-2016)

  5. #33
    The Gunsmithing Moderator blacksmithden's Avatar
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    I'm going to Edson next weekend with a buddy or two. If you want to be ruined for life, come up and shoot our rifles/scopes a few times.....then I'll give you Steve's phone number, and you can be in the poor house with the rest of us....but damn...we're smiling poor.
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    The High River Gun Grab - NEVER FORGET !!!!
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  6. #34
    Canadian ForcesMember Grizz's Avatar
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    Help picking scope and reticle

    Thanks for the invite brother but what you said is EXACTLY what I am afraid of!!! I know I've decided to scale back FOR NOW but I am also weak and easily influenced 😎

    That being said though, once I am set up maybe we can meet somewhere you can "school" me in the way of the LR world if you're into it and we can get our schedules to sync.


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    blacksmithden (11-06-2016)

  8. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizz View Post
    I was under the impression that the Vortex line and their quality was way up there???


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    Vorte higher end models are excellent, their low end ones...not so much.

  9. #36
    Canadian ForcesMember Grizz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WSA View Post
    Vorte higher end models are excellent, their low end ones...not so much.
    Out of curiosity, what would you consider higher end.....HS-T and up, PS-T and up or strictly the Razor series?


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  10. #37
    Always against the grain Booletsnotreactwell's Avatar
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    I'm currently running a Viper PST 2.5-10x on a few rifles via some QD mounts, it's SFP with the MOA EBR reticle and MOA turrets. The scope cost me about $800.

    I don't think your average user needs to spend $1500 or more on glass. The main differences I've seen between $1000 optics and $2500 optics isn't so much the capability but the ruggedness and durability of the optic. I don't find that a $2500 scope will let you do that much more than a $1000 one. The increase in price doesn't seem to be so much paper performance at that point but more about making the thing military/service use ready, so being able to drop the thing on it's head and have it maintain zero, the clicks being 110% repeatable, the turrets not coming off after being banged around in an APC, etc...

    I find too many are elitists about glass, I've seen guys take $300 Bushnell scopes out to 1000 yards and make it work.


    Now as for my Viper PST. The good is that Vortex seems to understand the modern theory around using scopes and builds scopes to fit that. You look at a company like Leupold on the other hand, they still make scopes with freaken mil reticles and MOA turrets, that's stupid and needlessly complicated.

    Vortex is one of the few manufactures that offers a model in whatever combo you prefer; matching turrets/reticle, FFP or SFP and a reticle in either mil or MOA at an affordable price point. Many other scope manufactures, including high end ones reserve such features only for their $1000+ models, their budget models are simple duplex reticles, IPHY turrets or BDC reticles.


    If I could do it again, I would get more magnification than 10x. 2.5-10x is great for field use, it's good enough to hit a man sized target out to 500 yards and for close up work, when you dial it back down to 2.5x you can use it with both eyes open with the illuminated reticle turned on at max like an ACOG. The problem with 2.5-10x is that it's not good enough if you're trying to print tinny groups at 100 or challenge yourself by ringing 6" steel circles at 300.

    SFP is fine for shooting at absolute known distances at max magnification but doing the math at other values, while it seems simple you often forget it and you're adding another variable. I have zeroed the rifle at 10x, dropped it down to 5x, adjusted the MOA values on the reticle accordingly and the zero was off. It's just another variable you gotta make sure ends up "tracking" and it will until it doesn't. Making sure it's FFP would be another thing I would do differently.


    Mil vs MOA. I was already well versed in MOA so I picked that. Definitively would go MIL/MIL FFP if I could do it again. The math for MOA seems simple enough and not that much more complicated than MIL at first glance but in the field you'll often find yourself "cheating" the formulas for making expedited calculations. You'll cheat a bit when you're ranging, cheat your ballistics a little, and at unkown distances the data is already off from the get go since you don't really know the absolute values of the targets height/width so you're making a guess of a guess using a guess. The end result is unless you sit there with a pen and paper your first hit probability is going to be significantly lower, you'll end up being off by about a foot or so.


    My last beef with the Vortex value lineup is that their zero stop system that uses the shims sucks, it's not absolute like the clutch systems of high end models, you can move past your "stop" and loose your zero a bit. The scopes also aren't very tolerant of high in/lbs torque values on the scope rings. My mount specified 30 in/lbs, Vortex said not to exceed 20 in/lbs. I already hit the screws with blue loctite which creates "wet torque" and tightened it to 30 in/lbs. If you look in the scope from the front, you can see slight crushing from the inside of the tube. It doesn't appear to have done anything, everything still works fine but for all I know the second I take it out of the mount it all goes to crap.


    Oh and another thing, after about 250-300 yards I find that you really start needing an adjustable objective. Not for field use on general purpose targets but for doing really precision stuff, gaming yourself, seeing just how far you can take it, etc. Vortex does not offer this on their value line scopes.
    Last edited by Booletsnotreactwell; 12-06-2016 at 12:18 AM.

  11. #38
    Canadian ForcesMember Grizz's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for the write up!!!! I'm actually going to get the Viper PST 50 mag later today. I was going to go SFP as it's nearly IMPOSSIBLE to find FFP where I live and I don't hunt....all my shooting is at known distances


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