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  • Nightforce vs Leupold vs ?

    I am looking for a tactical scope for my custom M1A build. I have the rifle set to go, but I can't decide on the scope. For a long time, I was set on the Leupold Mark4 LR/T 3.5-10x40 M1 Illuminated scope. Lately, I've heard some people/shooters that have been trash-talking Leupolds and saying that there are better brands for the money. I own 2 Leupolds, but they're VX-IIs. So, I've been looking around.
    After having done some shopping online, I've noticed that NightForce seems to be a highly respected brand.
    The rifle is part personal project, part 3-gun competition rifle. I can put any scope I want on it, and the longest ranges I'll be shooting will be probably no more than 500m. I MIGHT find myself going for 800m at some point, but not with any frequency. The way I figure it, a larger scope would really over-power the rifle. I think that the best way to go for looks and functionality would be an objective lens smaller than 50mm. I think a 50mm or larger objective may look too big? (your thoughts please..)

    My budget is a little as possible, but the top end is $1300, I think.

    Right now, I have 3 major options I'm considering:

    Leupold Mark4 LR/T 3.5-10x40 M1 ($1049 // $1229 Illuminated)
    Leupold Mark4 MR/T 2.5-8x32 M2 ($979 // $1149 Illuminated)
    NightForce NXS 2.5-10x32 Illuminated ($1291)


    Questions:

    1. I know Leupolds can take a beating and keep on going, but is there any truth to their lack of clarity in the Mark 4 line?

    2. Is there a better option for the price range?

    3. Would a ___x50mm scope be too big for the rifle?

    4. What would be the maximum power/magnification desirable for this rifle (7.62x51mm/.308) ?









    The gun:


    "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
    -John Adams


    Disclaimer: My statements are personal opinions, and in no way reflect those of my agency.

  • #2
    Sorry, but I don't have any experience with Nightforce products. Based upon my extensive experience with Leupold though, I'd stick with them. I've never had a Leupold scope fail on me and they've got a solid reputation for dependability. Re: the 50mm objective- If you have an adjustable comb (as shown) and really need the extra light gathering ability, it's your dime. Personally, I have 40 and 50mm objective scopes and don't really believe the extra expense/weight is worth it.
    "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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    • #3
      Leupold is the best scope out there.........until you look through a Nightforce!!

      I think Nightforce is probably the best scope out there, the clarity is incredible.
      "My faith, my country and my family will guide me; nothing more, nothing less" -Gen. Tommy Franks

      Comment


      • #4
        I was sold on Leupold until July, when I looked through a Trijicon Accu-Point and was blown away by the clarity. I would love an Accu-Point, but the only real tactical model is a 6.5-20x50, which I think is a HUGE overkill for the rifle.

        I've never looked through a NightForce, so that's why I'm a bit of a skeptic. I hear good things though...
        "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
        -John Adams


        Disclaimer: My statements are personal opinions, and in no way reflect those of my agency.

        Comment


        • #5
          Both are excellent scopes. For me it is a ford or chevy thing. I use luppys. Its all I own and will continue to own.

          Comment


          • #6
            Other manufacturers to consider in your price range...

            US Optics SN-3 1.8x-10x
            Trijicon Accupoint 2.5x-10x
            Nikon Monarch X 2.5x-10x
            IOR Valdada 2.5x-10x


            Or if you feel especially frisky, look for a Schmidt and Bender, Swarovski, or Zeiss scope.
            Last edited by beavo451; 11-23-2009, 07:42 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by beavo451 View Post
              Other manufacturers to consider in your price range...

              US Optics SN-3 1.8x-10x
              Trijicon Accupoint 2.5x-10x
              Nikon Monarch X 2.5x-10x
              IOR Valdada 2.5x-10x


              Or if you feel especially frisky, look for a Schmidt and Benfer, Swarovski, or Zeiss scope.
              at twice your budget; fixed it...
              It's not the will to win that matters...everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters.
              Paul "Bear" Bryant

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              • #8
                Originally posted by oneoldcop View Post
                at twice your budget; fixed it...
                No kidding! I would love a Zeiss Hensoldt Tactical Scope or a Zeiss Victory Diarange. I don't have $4k sitting around for a scope, though.
                Those Euro optics are fantastic, but to get a tactical scope costs 2-3x that of an American manufacturer.


                As for the US Optics, I've considered the SN-3, and it'd be my top choice if the $1500 base price was the FINAL price. Unfortunately, that scope came out to $2300 after all was said and done and I had built it up to my desired configuration. The similar Leupold configuration was the Mark4 LR/T 3.5-10x40 M2 Illuminated TMR in Dark Earth coating for $1429.
                "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
                -John Adams


                Disclaimer: My statements are personal opinions, and in no way reflect those of my agency.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Leupolds are extremely over priced when you compare them to the competition.

                  Stay away from the 50mm unless you are going to be doing a lot of low-light shooting.

                  I would suggest going with the Nightforce. I don't think you will be disappointed with it.

                  A USO SN-3 1.8-10x would be an excellent choice if you could swallow the price.

                  If you are going to run that thing in 3-gun I hope you have some upper body strength. The JAC is not exactly the lightest chassis out there, when you get the mount and scope on it, it's going to be a bear to lug. Keep that in mind when you are looking at massive objectives.

                  Most folks think the Leupold Mk4 is top of the line, until they spend some real time behind high quality optics.
                  "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
                  8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What do you guys know about the Nikon Monarch X scopes?
                    "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
                    -John Adams


                    Disclaimer: My statements are personal opinions, and in no way reflect those of my agency.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, I was able to look through a Trijicon Accupoint again and although the optics were great, the tiny dot in the middle of the crosshairs hardly qualifies for being an illuminated scope. A tiny dot. No mil dots light up. Compared to my ACOG, the Accupoint tactical seems like a bit of a jip.


                      I got a chance to look through a Nightforce 5.5-22x56 scope, and was impressed by the optical quality. I'm still not convinced that they're any better than the Leupolds. Given Blackdog's info pertaining to mils vs MOA adjustments, I do see an advantage to a Nightforce scope, since they have a Mil adjustment option.
                      I'll have to all to Leupold and see if they have anything in the cards for future Mils adjustments.

                      I also looked at Counter Sniper Optics. Anyone familiar or have anything to say on them?
                      "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
                      -John Adams


                      Disclaimer: My statements are personal opinions, and in no way reflect those of my agency.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am to cheap *** to buy good optics, and too blind to see the fine detail in the reticle stuff anyway. That being said on my 308 bolt gun I have the Springfield 4-12 with the drop reticle that matches the sierra 168bthp and I like it fine but at the last night time dynamite shoot I sure wished I had the illuminated reticle but on the Springfield scopes those needed to be treated too gentile to be reliable. Problem with all those reticles at night was when aiming at a chem lite on dynamite in total darkness without an illuminated reticle was the chem light would light up a crosshair but I could not tell if it was the central cross hair or some elevated one, or some windage one and by the time I figured it out someone with better optics sniped my dynamite, I did get some daytime ones ok thought. Guy next to me had a FN Minimi on a ground mount and an ACOG and he was going one for one on dynamite out to 300yds no problem, he should not have been out performing a bolt gun with a belt fed machinegun but he was. The Night Force I have looked at but never owned, I though they were kind of loversized. for their magnification range

                        For IPSC type 3 gun shooting I stay in the 1.5X-7X power range, having something starting at 3 or 4 X really cuts the field of view on the closer targets. Of course now adays multiple optics a dot for close and magnification for long gets mounted.
                        Last edited by David Hineline; 03-07-2010, 02:06 AM.

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                        • #13
                          The whole 3-gun thing is out the window for that gun. I'm going to build an AR/SR for that. Most likely a Mk.12 variant.

                          Does anyone know- does that whole crosshair and everything light up in the Nightforce scopes? All I've been told is that no matter what I get, make sure it's able to be illuminated. Won't argue with that one.
                          "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
                          -John Adams


                          Disclaimer: My statements are personal opinions, and in no way reflect those of my agency.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I like an illuminated ret, but if you are not using it for a duty rifle and not shooting at night without a lit backdrop than you might save some money and go without an illum ret. Just a thought.

                            For myself, I also like Leupold scopes. I have used them for years and they have taken some serious abuse without issue and I wouldn't be hesitant to buy Leupold again. As a matter of fact I am looking heavily at the new Leupold CQBSS, which there was a thread posted here about it. I will also say that I own a couple Swarovski's and have Schmidt and Bender and Nightforce mounted rifles at work. If you don't mind the price, they are the way to go IMO.
                            The comments made herein are those solely of author and in no way reflect the opinions of any other person, agency or other entity.

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                            • #15
                              I would buy the Leupold CQBSS in a HEARTBEAT if I knew when it was coming out. So far, I've heard nothing. I don't know how much longer I can wait it out.
                              "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
                              -John Adams


                              Disclaimer: My statements are personal opinions, and in no way reflect those of my agency.

                              Comment

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