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Thread: Sightron 10-50 vs Nightforce 12-42

  1. #16
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    Great post Tony, spot on.
    Niteforce seems to have a ďhistoryĒ of fixing stuff without admitting to anything, but they do fix it.
    I guess the Kahles are great if youíre shooting ARA, just canít make 10.5lbs.
    The absolute best scope I own is a March high master 48X, but itís on a PPC, March 40Xís have been rock solid for years as well.
    Last edited by tim; 10-24-2020 at 12:50 PM.

  2. #17
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    Jun 2014
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    We all have different experiences and profiles regarding all gear pieces... that said, scopes included, we are biased, either because we own them, or had good/bad experience with some.
    I 100% agree that the scope is not the best place to cut on cost. The other area is the scope rings, but we are not dealing with them for now.
    Let me share my experience with those mighty optics we put on top of our rifles, and that, from very hot (~40ļC) to very cold climate conditions (-7ļC)...

    Below my findings and follow-up on the scopes I have used and still use today:

    Sightron SII 36x42 BRD (very nice for the price, perfect reticle, POI was not perfect, and on a match it lost control of the elevation - sold)
    Sightron SIII 10-50x60 (good for the price, POI ok, but not enough IQ and too heavy - sold)
    Hawke (several models, not enough IQ and mechanics - all sold)
    Nightforce 8-32x56 BR (perfect IQ, not easy parallax adjustment, too heavy - sold)
    March 10-60x50 (everything ok, but not enough IQ - sold)
    Leupold FX 6x42 (not enough IQ, good reticle for IS, but tricky parallax adjustment - not on use for now)
    Leupold VXII 6-18x42 (excelente IQ, be aware that due to sample variation one should choose the best we could find. For me this is the 3rd! Parallax adjustment so-so - on use IS)
    Nightforce 15-55x52 (excellent IQ, perfect clicks, medium weight - 2 on use)
    Leupold 6.5-20x50 TGT (good/excellent IQ, good parallax adjustment, clicks ok - on US for a reticle change, to be used on IS)
    March 5-32x50 (the best scope for IS, but too heavy, leading to a tricky rifle handling - sold)
    Nightforce 42x44 (excellent IQ, perfect clicks, light weight for the size - 5 on use, one needed factory correction)

    So, for the time being, I had enough scope syndrome...
    Still on the trying list, March 48x and Signtron SIIISS 45x... but, have to confess, not much willing...

  3. #18
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    What does IQ mean?

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeye62 View Post
    What does IQ mean?
    sorry for not explaining...

    IQ = Image Quality

  5. #20
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    Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin USA
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    Scope feedback

    PedroS, thanks very much for the summary. Gosh, you've owned a lot of scopes, and sold a lot too! I appreciate your experience and thoughts!

    RS

  6. #21
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by PedroS View Post
    sorry for not explaining...

    IQ = Image Quality
    Thank you for this summary. How did/do you establish IQ - subjective, or quantitative? RG

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.G. Robinett View Post
    Thank you for this summary. How did/do you establish IQ - subjective, or quantitative? RG
    Being for many years a bird in nature photographer, I'm used to big tele lenses, like the Nikkors 600mm f4, and the likes including Leica field scopes, so I know quite well what to look for.
    Scopes are a bit different of course, but IQ should be there...

    The key points I seek are:

    1. Clarity (ability to see clearly my target (50m) at down and dusk. That's why I tend to prefer big objectives)

    2. Image definition (ability to perfectly identify the numbers/letters/dots on targets, not to be confounded with big power. Of course with 60x seing them will be easier than with 6.5x, but, and that's a big but, definition has nothing to do with power. On zoom lenses, we have to accept that increasing magnification will degrade the definition. I only accept that to a certain level... reason that some scopes have been sold)

    3. Distortion/aberrations on image, particularly at periphery. For me that's too annoying.

    4. Eye tiredness after training/competing (I tend to train for hours and can easily tell which scope is better or worse in this respect)

    So, as you see, very personal/subjective, but essential for my right attitude and performance.

    Just an end note:
    Points 2 and 3 are the culprits cost wise...
    Point 1 is the leader to size and weight...
    Point 4 is the one you should look after...

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by PedroS View Post
    Being for many years a bird in nature photographer, I'm used to big tele lenses, like the Nikkors 600mm f4, and the likes including Leica field scopes, so I know quite well what to look for.
    Scopes are a bit different of course, but IQ should be there...

    The key points I seek are:

    1. Clarity (ability to see clearly my target (50m) at down and dusk. That's why I tend to prefer big objectives)

    2. Image definition (ability to perfectly identify the numbers/letters/dots on targets, not to be confounded with big power. Of course with 60x seing them will be easier than with 6.5x, but, and that's a big but, definition has nothing to do with power. On zoom lenses, we have to accept that increasing magnification will degrade the definition. I only accept that to a certain level... reason that some scopes have been sold)

    3. Distortion/aberrations on image, particularly at periphery. For me that's too annoying.

    4. Eye tiredness after training/competing (I tend to train for hours and can easily tell which scope is better or worse in this respect)

    So, as you see, very personal/subjective, but essential for my right attitude and performance.

    Just an end note:
    Points 2 and 3 are the culprits cost wise...
    Point 1 is the leader to size and weight...
    Point 4 is the one you should look after...
    Again, Thank You, PedroS! Excellent points, which few know, and many refuse to believe!
    I prefer "image definition" (RESOLUTION) to be determined via some form of resolution chart, which supplies quantifiable differences. Resolution is HIGH on my list of necessary attributes - second only to maintaining ZERO. RG

  9. #24
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    Jun 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.G. Robinett View Post
    Again, Thank You, PedroS! Excellent points, which few know, and many refuse to believe!
    I prefer "image definition" (RESOLUTION) to be determined via some form of resolution chart, which supplies quantifiable differences. Resolution is HIGH on my list of necessary attributes - second only to maintaining ZERO. RG
    I think you touched too, as I did with POI, a much underrated point...
    Ability to maintain zero.
    Of course, anything matters if the scope can't do it!

    Regarding definition/resolution, as you know, these words don't mean the same thing, even if at the end of the day we use them for the same approach.
    I prefer definition, as I'm not able to measure it, because image definition refers to how sharp and distinct the edges of fine detail are.
    Resolution is, in film photography, measured in line pairs per millimetre (LP/mm). So, as you said, with charts and optical measuring devices.

    Very nice to be able to discuss these points.

    Other thing to be taken in account is the scope ability to maintain POI adjustments after a long period of rest. I'll explain. In benchrest, in particular, as we shoot as the same distance, we tend to let the scope knobs long period of times without moving them. This is a stress for the spring mechanism, that could gain a "softness" zone. What's the issue? When you'll need one or two clicks, it won't respond... only after a couple of shots, as the recoil will "awake" the spring mechanism. That's why, every time I pick a rifle, I click the knobs (easier when they can be zeroed).
    On my experience Nightforce, March and some Leupold are safe... but, moving the knobs doesn't hurt.

  10. #25
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    Nov 2006
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    ME
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    The only Leupold

    I have had luck with from the point of maintaining POI and moving the impact point honestly is the VXIII-and the VXIIIi. The competition scopes I have had have all gone bad, most sooner than later. My experience with March, so far, has been great.

    A fellow I know said he had 3 Leup competitons....on on his rifle, one at Leupold and one in the mail.

    I still have 2 Leup competiton scopes, but both are in Brackney external adjustable rings. They work fine if you can adapt to the micrometer adjustment feel. all have been on CF rifles though.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by glp View Post
    I have had luck with from the point of maintaining POI and moving the impact point honestly is the VXIII-and the VXIIIi. The competition scopes I have had have all gone bad, most sooner than later. My experience with March, so far, has been great.

    A fellow I know said he had 3 Leup competitons....on on his rifle, one at Leupold and one in the mail.

    I still have 2 Leup competiton scopes, but both are in Brackney external adjustable rings. They work fine if you can adapt to the micrometer adjustment feel. all have been on CF rifles though.
    So....Iím guessing this was some time ago?
    Youíve told this before but the LCS optics for some time have been pretty solid.
    Check equipment lists on most group CF group shoots including the last couple super shoots top 20......about 50% LCS. After the 2nd generation POI issues got resolved it would seem.

  12. #27
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    Yes

    10 yrs ago or so. Nice to hear they have solved their problem.

    At the recent IBS 200/300 championship in Orangeburg, SC there was two 40X Leups in the VFS class and one Sightron. Nightforce was the predominant scope with a sprinkling of Marchs. Perhaps we are overlooking a diamond in the ruff?
    Last edited by glp; 10-27-2020 at 03:26 PM.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    12

    BR Optics

    I would like to offer a bit of a contrarian point of view. The rifle has no idea what type of sighting equipment is mounted on top of it and will shoot the same regardless. As long as your scope is clear enough and has a fine recticle and you can see to reliably, and consistently aim the rifle the rest will take care of itself. For BR I prefer a fixed power optic because they contain fewer lenses and that usually results in a more clear, more bright image. 36x is enough. More is not necessarily better. Very powerful optics make tgt acquisition harder and can lead to dumb mistakes like shooting your neighbor's card or failing to shoot all of the bulls because your field of view was too restricted.

    I am currently using a 36x Sightron and the recticle is perfect, The 1/8 MOA turrects allow finer POI adjustments and mine has remained repeatable thru many years of use. Weaver, Leupold and others make similar optics which will work just as well. I would offer that for fun shoots I have a few old vintage Unertl and Fecker scopes in 20x - 10x and they are of such great image clarity that I rarely feel handicapped using them in matches. The important variables in scope selection are:
    1. Image clarity
    2. Fine adjustment of the turrets prefer 1/8" over 1/4" for this
    3. Good, simple tgt dot recticle with a very fine dot. or a simple fine cross hair.
    4. Price - I don't go cheap but have never felt the need to spend buckets of money for the biggest, baddest scope on the market.
    5. Simple parallax adjustment is also important but keep in mind that once it is adjusted you should not have to fuss with it again.

    BR scopes for rimfire are mostly going to be shot at 50y and 50 meters. They will not require lots of adjustment from match to match. It is not like PRS or NRL22 where a fancy FFP optic capable of rapid adjustment is a requirement. Also some of the tactical recticles are so busy that they can get distracting and some like the Athlon have a FFP recticle in their 2FP scopes and the center dot is so tiny that it is almost impossible for some shooters to see it. If I am having to hold off more than 1/2 moa then I have much more to worry about so the christmas tree recticles are not necessary for BR. Lastly, the BR game has a high concentration of older shooters. Our eyes may not be what they used to be. Before you spend $2500 on a super high end HD scope, go see the eye Doc and make sure your vision is 20:20. A dietary supplement called Lutein will sharpen and brighten your vision if you are like me and getting older. If you have good vision then any clear scope at 20x or higher is enough to shoot BR quite well. If you doubt me, try a simple test. Shoot a card with your variable scope at max power. Then with the same ammo and on same day shoot another card with the optic dialed down to the minimum magnification. I think you will be surprised how well you do at 6x or 8x. I shot a fun shoot the other day that used the ARA Factory tgt at 50y but we were limited to 6x scopes or less. I was using an old vintage 6-24x optic and dialed it down to 6x for that event and was pleased to be able to not only see the bullet holes but to also see the center dot. I shot a perfect score on that card for 1st place.

    Let's face it, the wind and the ammo variance are two big variables that we have only some control over. Both will cause more variance in your POI than the optic will as long as your scope is at least a good one and you can see the center dot on the tgt.

    Irish

  14. #29
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    Overall, pretty good except you need to shoot more RF at more locations because at virtually every match we shoot you need a scope adjustment and with regularity you need to adjust in the middle of a card.
    Long and short of it is that all roads lead right back to the mandate of absolute reliability of POI.
    Many of us shoot a variable on sporters as well although the ARA factory target pales in comparison to the IR50/50 target through a 6X scope.....try a few of those.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by JG26_Irish View Post
    I shot a fun shoot the other day that used the ARA Factory tgt at 50y but we were limited to 6x scopes or less. I was using an old vintage 6-24x optic and dialed it down to 6x for that event and was pleased to be able to not only see the bullet holes but to also see the center dot. I shot a perfect score on that card for 1st place.

    Irish
    Disregard. It was a Factory target I see. Still good shooting, but I was thinking an Unlimited target. That would have been a record for sure.

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