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Explore Optics SF 8-32X 50mm SF TTT Review

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/23/2012 at 22:43
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Just finished a long range shooting course with an Explore Optics SF 8-32X 50mm SF TTT (MIL-Dot reticle.)  In my opinion it is a great scope for the dollar. 

My rifle:  Remington 700 Target Tactical (.308)
Ammo:  168gn Sierra HPBT(2200) over 43.5 gns Varget; Win Brass; Fed Match primer
 
Targets were from 100 to 1000 yards.  The course was the following over three days on the range (about 300 rounds):
  • Zero at 100
  • Work out to 600 yards to develop the dope on your scope
  • Scored event: 5 round 1 MOA groups at 100 to 600 yards (100 yard increments) 
  • Shoot at your own pace out to 1000 yrds
  • Scored event:  600 yard single round (20 x 40 silhoutte)
  • 100 to 600 yards using reticle hold-over
  • Scored Event:  6 targets unkown range (turned out to be between 350 and 750 yards; silhouttes and 12" plates)
I shot all 6 1-MOA groups my first attempt.  Mine was the only rifle to get to 1000 yards on Day 1.
After a day of shooting, returned to 100 yard bore-sight - dead center.  Next day, after a cold-bore at 100, made 1st round hit at 600.  Hit 6 of 6 on unknow range qualification.  I was shooting against Nightforce and Leopolde scopes.
 
Before I took the course, I shot the ladder and found the scope tracked straight and was repeatable.  Shot six 2-round groups (0 to 30 MOA) on the turret with 5 MOA spacing. Shot 1 round on the way back down.  Groups were evenly spaced and third shot was within each group. 
Only issue was that the scope did not shoot 5 MOA spacing.  5 MOA on the turret was 4.1 MOA on the paper at 100 yards.  At 30 MOA, the linear spacing at 100 yards was about 24 inches. Should have been 31.5 inches.  Knowing this, I calculated my MOA come-ups accordingly.  Same story for windage.
 
I also had the luxury of a barber pole with 1 MIL spacing to verify my MIL ranging.  On this scope, a zoom of 17.9 (just under the 18x mark) gave me correct mil spacing on the reticle (1 mil on the reticle as 1 mil on the target.)
 
Bottom line:  Although I don't recommend putting $500 scopes on $2000 rifles, if you have a limited budget, I think this may be the best $500 scope out there.  It was very repeatable.  I could range accurately once I verified the correct zoom setting.  After working out to 1000 yards, my spotter called random targets from 400 to 1000 yards.  Made 1st round hits every time. 
 
I have $1600 screaming to jump out of my wallet for a new Nightforce, but on the other hand, I can't find a thing wrong with this scope other than the difference between the MOA indication on the turret and the actual MOA spacing by the internal optics.
 
Hope someone finds this useful.Big Grin
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/24/2012 at 10:30
oldguy View Drop Down
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Thanks for the review excellent job. IMO I think it's difficult to assume in today's market more money will buy a better product due to global markets, parts from everywhere and manufacturing different brands in same factory. Reviews like yours help those of us who are on a budget and not brand brainwashed.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/24/2012 at 13:25
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very impressive shooting if youre telling me you made first round hits out to 1,000yds with a lightly loaded 168smk, hats off to you.
As far as the optic, having a scope that far off on an elevation adjustment is pretty significant. It doesnt take an expensive scope to expect it to track properly, let alone something you paid $500 for.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/24/2012 at 13:41
Sapper524 View Drop Down
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Originally posted by lumberjack149 lumberjack149 wrote:

very impressive shooting if youre telling me you made first round hits out to 1,000yds with a lightly loaded 168smk, hats off to you.
 
+1
 
If your able to do that, my first thought is, its not the car but the driver.  Guys with Leupys and Nightforce may have flashy gear but if they have done their homework and don't know wind calls and ballistics, having a $2k scope doesn't help much.  As for the tracking error you mentioned, if your willing to accept it and its repeatable every time, you can adjust your dope accordingly, and carry on.  WHen its not repeatable then the issue becomes much larger and for UKD shooting puts the scope in a hold over only setup.
 
I went to the eXplore wesite and didn't find any good info on their reticles.  The price point of the scopes puts them in the WOTAC and Falcon range.  I would be interested to hear how forgiving the eye box was and how cloudy the eXplore got on 20x and above.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/24/2012 at 15:03
cheaptrick View Drop Down
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Hmmm.....

Oh, welcome to Optics Talk. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/24/2012 at 15:16
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Who's class was it? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/24/2012 at 15:45
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An 8-32X SFP scope that has a ranging power of 18 (and then can't even quite be set at that)? And it can't track turret adjustments. I'll take iron sights over this one.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/24/2012 at 15:48
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It would be kind of hard having your spotter calling corrections if your adjustments were not correct. 

I would still take a $300 SS scope if I were on a budget.  Non of these cheap variable seem to get it done. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/24/2012 at 18:36
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Optics GrassHopper
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Let me clarify.  The scope will go to the full magnification.  The reticle is in the second focal plane, so there is only one zoom setting where the spacing in the mil-dot reticle is exactly 1 mil on the target.  For this scope, I found that value to be 17.9x.  Theoretically, at 9x,  1 mil on the reticle would equal 2 mils on the target, but I did not measure this.  Hope that is more clear.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/24/2012 at 18:40
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Optics GrassHopper
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It was the long range rifle (sniper) course at Badlands Tactical in Grandfield, OK.  A very well run course.  Spent a day and a half in class then the remainder of the 4 day course on the range. 
I very definately recommend them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/24/2012 at 18:47
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I did have some help.  Like in most of these things, students paired up.  My partner quit after 1 day (had back issues and could not handle shooting prone) so I shot the course with an instructor as my spotter.  Hence, good wind calls every time. 
 
I did spot for him,  but not as much as I would have if my partner was another student.  I actually got as much satisfaction putting his gun on target as I did pulling the trigger.
 
They really pushed the fundamentals of shooting position, breathing, sight picture and trigger control.  They made a good trigger monkey out of me.
 
As far as their mil dot reticle goes, it is also not quite standard.  It has 6 dots instead of the standard 5, and I don't beleive the dots are not .2 mil in diameter. 
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