I'm in need of some guidance in shopping for an optic primarily for low light/night coyote hunting, which means out to probably 200 yards. If I use it during hte day, shots can be up 300-400 on a small target. That is going to be the primary purpose of the rifle depicted below. I was looking at a Nikon M-223 3-13x42SF or Leupold Mark AR, but would really like to have an illuminated reticle. I may not need it, but I'd rather have it available. I've been thinking hard about something like a Leupold VX-R with the fire dot reticle, but in that matter, I'd like something with target-type turrets. I don't want capped turrets since they are pretty inconvenient for making adjustments in the field. Also, (I think) I'd something with higher magnification than a 1-4x might be necessary. I'm kind of leaning towards the Leupold Patrol Optic or the zombie version. I've looked at a buddies' Leupold Mark 8 and my astigmatism makes the dot look like a huge ball of pubes. My EOTechs do the same thing. Anybody have any experience with these or maybe give me some options on what else is out there?
Also, which mount would I need. ADM and Larue have so many choices. A scout mount looked like what I'd need if I settle for a Leupold 1-4x type.
As for my budget, I'm probably looking at around $800 max, including mount. Also, I've asked the optics forum but only got one response. Figured you guys might have more useful input.
(She started life as a Bushmaster Predator and has evolved a couple of times. The latest was as a somewhat-A4 clone.) It's the middle one in the family photo.
I bought a 3X9X40 Mark AR Luepold mil dot scope and put it in a RRA cantilever mount. I really like the scope but I am disappointed with it in low light. I have a cheap Famous Maker 2.5 X10X50 mil dot scope with lighted reticle. This scope gathers light a lot better than the Luepold and was around $200. I tried both scopes using good tactical lights and I just wouldn't buy the Mark AR for night use. I ended up buying a Vortex Strikefire red dot which has a night vision setting and a 2X magnifier. I figured when it got to dark for the Leupold I could put on the Vortex or switch guns.
I'm painting with a broad brush here, but in general higher end glass will transmit more light. Also, the more you crank up the magnification, the less light is transmitted. So while it may be nice to have a higher magnification range, you will probably find that you get your best view with whatever scope you end up with cranked all the way down to it's lowest setting.
I don't have much experience with any of the scopes you have listed as choices. The only REALLY nice optic I own is an IOR Valdada 2.5x10 and I night hunt with it quite a bit. For myself, it works the best pulled down on 2.5 and when I turn it up to even 4x it really cuts down on visability. It's a little out of your price range for a new one, but with a little searching you could find a used one. One of the other reasons I really like that particular optic is it has a tiny little .2moa dot in the center of the reticle and 9 (IIRC) brightness settings. You will find that unless a scope has a really low brightness setting that the light really washes out your vision, especially if you don't have much moon light to work with. Sometimes with enough moon light it isn't even necessary to turn the illuminated reticle on.
If you will be using a kill light, or some sort of NV then it really won't matter.
Thanks for taking the time to give me your input. I think I've settled on the Leupold Patrol Rifle Optic or the zombie version. I think that one is calibrated for the 62 grain V-MAX, which is probably the round I was going to switch to once I'm out of 55 gr. PSPs.
I had considered an ACOG. When I was making it into an A4 clone, that was my dream optic. But, in the end I don't think it is going to be suitable for my purposes. I still want one to put on my M4, though.
On another note, I went coyote hunting this morning and realized I need to change up some of my gear. I took my 700 and had to set up in a sitting position. Prone is best, but my setup required that I sit today. My shooting sticks just sucked and my caller remote didn't reach nearly as far as advertised. I think that was the worst thing. I decided to put either a Blackhawk or Seekins rail on the rifle and get a rotapod QD mount and a 13.5"-27" or 12"-25" Harris bipod. I'm not sure which version would work better for my height, though. I also found that it took everything I had to crane my head far enough forward and pull the rifle in tight enough to get the correct cheekweld. Going from shooting prone 99% of the time to a sitting position was very difficult. It felt like the rifle stock grew 3" longer.
Also forgot to mention that the side focus ring that has the range markings on it broke free from the side focus turret on my Super Sniper. Definately got to ring some equipment out today.
I have been in the market for a new scope and low light is always at the top of my list. I am a die hard Leupold fan and have bought many of their scopes. I did a side by side comparison with Trijicon though and my next scope will be their Accupoint scope. The difference in brightness is astonishing and the price is just a little lower.