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Scope suggestions for an AR-10?

M1911

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It's time to put a scope on my AR-10. My main use of it will be putting holes in paper out to 300 yards.

The first scope I considered was the Vortex 2.5-10x44 Viper PST 30mm. The price is good (~$500), but I'm a bit worried about optical clarity. I get the impression it is OK, but not great.

The Vortex 5-20x50 Razor HD 35mm is another possibility, but my concerns about that one are 1) big and heavy, 2) large objective will require high rings and I don't have a cheek riser on my stock, 3) expensive at $1700.

A cheaper option would be SWFA's SS line:

SWFA SS HD 3-9x42 Tactical 30mm Riflescope ~$600
SWFA SS HD 5-20x50 Tactical 30mm Riflescope ~$1500

Any suggestions of scopes to consider? No, 1x6 isn't what I'm looking for -- I want more magnification than that.
 

beaker

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I have a Vortex PST 2.5-10x32 ffp on my 308 rifle and the optical quality is great. It is also pretty light weight and with the 32 objective it is low profile. I narrowed it down to the Vortex and the SWFA SS HD 3-9x42. I went with the vortex because of the side focus and the illumination, and I like the Vortex PST scopes. Here is what it looks like mounted.

BeakerSASS_308_4.jpg
 

M1911

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I have a Vortex PST 2.5-10x32 ffp on my 308 rifle and the optical quality is great. It is also pretty light weight and with the 32 objective it is low profile. I narrowed it down to the Vortex and the SWFA SS HD 3-9x42. I went with the vortex because of the side focus and the illumination, and I like the Vortex PST scopes. Here is what it looks like mounted.

I was looking at that scope. The price is certainly right. How does it do in low light? I've read some criticism that it isn't great in low light.
 

andy t

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I like used Leupold MK4's. They can be usually had under $1000. The only suggestion would be to get a scope where the the turrets match reticle's units.
 

beaker

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I was looking at that scope. The price is certainly right. How does it do in low light? I've read some criticism that it isn't great in low light.

I can't say I've shot it in low light conditions but I have looked through the scope at lower light levels and it seems very good. And the reticle is illuminated which I think helps make up for some loss in fidelity of the smaller objective. It is hard to get pictures using my phone but here is a shot of the berm at 10x (100 yard range) and of the illuminated reticle (cover closed). If you do all of your shooting in low light you probably want a larger objective, but if you primarily do day shooting and some low light stuff a very solid choice.

BeakerSASS_308_7.jpg


BeakerSASS_308_8.jpg
 
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M1911 - We have that very model (Vortex 2.5-10x44 Viper PST 30mm MOA version).

It's been a while since we've used it (the rifle it used to sit on got re-purposed for shorter range, so it's been sitting on a shelf since).
I'm quite happy with it, and Vortex customer support is absolutely amazing.

Anyhow, if memory serves it's quite clear across a couple hundred yard pasture. There's a bit of fuzz at high magnification around the very edge of the field of view, but the target's quite clear.
Don't recall any issue with low light either, and the illuminated reticle is quite crisp in evening light.

If you've not gotten a satisfactory answer by then I can take it out around dusk tomorrow and try and get a picture through it.
 
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M1911 - I pulled the Vortex 2.5-10x44 out this evening. Looking in evening dusk at 10X across a pasture to a far field an easy 200+ yards, I could count the leaves on the shrubbery. Whatever the problems making a shot in those conditions, they won't be with the optic.

No good pictures I'm afraid - not having it mounted I couldn't get a good picture juggling the optic in one hand and a camera in the other.. but it ain't too different from beaker's image. :)
 
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I can tell you first hand that optical clarity is not just about how clear the image is when you peak downrange for a few seconds through a scope. Spend a few hours using a rifle scope and you quickly find out what the difference between a $500, $1500 and $3000 scope is.

Eye fatigue is greatly reduced the higher up the scope/glass scale you go. Your eyes are capable of doing a amazing things to focus on a target and make up for short comings of a scope, but they do so at a cost.
 
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Well it looks like your budget is above mine. I ran out of money on my AR-10 build so I settled on a cheap piece of glass to tie me over for a little while. Prior to this, I was planning on getting the Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50 FFP with the EBR-2C reticle in MRADS sitting on a larue or bobro 20 MOA mount. I am a huge fan of FFP and Horus style reticles. That tied with their outstanding lifetime warranty and side focus, it seems like a no brainer. If you talk with Scott over at LibertyOptics he hooks it up. If you have some in with Mil, Vet, LE, Fire, EMS, sniperhide etc, he gives 100 off MAP. That is $849 for that glass - http://www.libertyoptics.com/contents/en-us/d64.html Now, I have not shot behind one of these and I am nothing but an internet opinion. I based my choice off value, quality, feedback and a whole bunch of reading @ snipershide and other places.

Like I said though, I ran out of money. Right now I have the Primary Arms 4-14x44 FFP scope. This is my first run at long range shooting so I can dip my toes in the water and get accustomed to the features of a nice scope while I save my money for the real glass. I got this with a mount for ~330. I am happy with it for clarity, quality, reticle and value. This is not top end glass, but it is worth the price I paid + some. http://www.primaryarms.com/Primary_Arms_4_14X44_FFP_Scope_with_308_p/pa4-14xffp308.htm The only thing this is missing which I would have liked to have used is Zero Stops.
 
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