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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/13/2016 at 14:18
captain23steve View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: December/13/2016
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Hello all, new to the forum, but am seeking advice on some scopes. I am in the market for a new scope and have a budget of $1,200.00. This will be a hunting scope that will need to gather light well and have good contrast. I am in South Carolina, and can hunt 1 hr. before and after official sunrise and sunset. I have a Swarovski z3 4x12x50 and it does well in this environment(best scope I have). I was wondering what other scopes in this price range would compare to , or be better than my Z3. Have been looking at Meopta, Leica, and actually found a Kahles. Would appreciate any information. Not really a fan of illuminated reticles, but do like the 4A.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/13/2016 at 16:03
supertool73 View Drop Down
Optics God
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Superstool

Joined: January/03/2008
Location: Utah
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The brands you listed are all top notch.  Also take a look at Leupold VX6.  I got one of those recently and am very impressed with it. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/13/2016 at 16:29
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
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If I were you, I would consider another Z3, hard to mess with something that works that well.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/13/2016 at 16:57
Marine24 View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman


Joined: June/07/2010
Location: Monument, CO
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Agree.  Z3 is an exceptional scope.  I have the same scope with the BRH reticle on a 17 HMR and has accounted for a number of jack rabbits and prairie dogs.

Given your price point, you might consider the Z5 line.  I prefer scopes with side focus and like their 3.5-18x44 scopes on my hunting rifles.  I have one on a 7mm-08 rifle.

The Leica ERi is one to consider.  I know it has illumination.  I have one with IBS reticle on a 257 Wby rifle and it is great setup.  Better than the Z3 and more in line with the Z5s optical performance to my eyes.

As Supertool mentioned, the VX-6 is another solid choice.  Their 3-18x44 with the TMOA reticle sits on my 260 Rem.  It can be had with or without illumination with an option of going with a 50mm objective.

No clear winner for me between the Z5, ERi and VX-6.  All have excellent quality and I really can't distinguish a significant difference between them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/15/2016 at 21:02
captain23steve View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/16/2016 at 08:29
cbm View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman


Joined: January/11/2008
Location: SC
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Points: 488

I'm in SC as well and I have tried a lot of scopes. I have not looked through a Z3 but I am sure that it's awesome.

I have hunted here with a Zeiss Diavari 3-9x42 1" tube plex , Kahles Helia C 3-12X56 4A, Swarovski PV 3-12X50 FFP plex, Weaver Classic Extreme #4 illuminated 2-10x50, Bushnell 4200 2.5-10x40 firelfy, Bushnell 6500 2.5-16x42 mil dot, several Zeiss conquest but mainly a 4.5-14x44 ZRF reticle, a Leica ER 2.5-10X42 #1 , Swarovski z5 5-25x52 #4 reticle(sent back to Swaro to get)and I just picked up a used Schmidt Bender Klassik 3-12x42 #7 illuminated yesterday and took it out hunting yesterday evening(along with my rifle scoped with the Leica).

I will say for me, that I have mainly been disappointed trying to find something that makes the late hunting we do "easy". I could have easily killed deer with the Weaver that I could have killed with the Kahles. I was actually thinking last night that I don't really know of a scenario that has popped up that I could not have killed a deer(excluding ground checking) with any of the above mentioned scopes. When any of those scopes crapped out at dark, none of the others would have made much difference. Generally when I have not been able to discern antlers with my Leica BR 10X42 binoculars, I need to get down anyway.

But the best in low light have been the Kahles 56mm and Swaro Z5 52mm. Both of those reticles have been too thin to help with the optical performance in low light(struggle with either).

My favorite all around has been the Conquest 4.5-14x44. Not really sure why but I just have liked that scope a lot and would keep it if I only had to keep one scope today.

I think the most helpful thing of any of them for our type of hunting for me, is an illuminated reticle. And having a great pair of binoculars.

Jury is out on the Schmidt and Bender but I did like the illumination a lot while glassing deer late yesterday.


I guess in a long winded way, I am saying don't expect a lot over your Z3! Big Smile









Edited by cbm - December/16/2016 at 09:27
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/16/2016 at 21:00
captain23steve View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: December/13/2016
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Thanks for the input , It sound like you have already done what I was getting ready to do, spend a lot of money to find a better mouse trap. I'll get another Z-3, the one I have now can almost keep up with my binoculars.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/17/2016 at 07:19
Mark2Cars View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: November/19/2016
Location: Sanderson Texas
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Points: 16
Just got caught out late yesterday at our county range here with my newly acquired Conquest 4.5x14x44. I decided to see how it did in low light and was really amazed at it's ability I was shooting accurately (for me anyway) to 1/2 hour past sunset. Can't ask for much better than that. I would rate this particular scope at equal in low light to my Khales. Just my two cents worth.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/18/2016 at 15:55
saltydog235 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: January/07/2013
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 102
I have a 3X12X56 Helia C sitting on my .300WSM. It's hard to beat sitting in a stand late in Georgetown County. Mine has the FFP German #1 and is pretty bold. My other evening rig is my .308 topped with a Trijicon 5X20X50 Amber BAC. I've killed a lot of deer with this optic while everyone else was heading for the camp or already left.

I have a NXS and an SHV F1 on other rifles but have come to the realization that NF just doesn't excel at night. They're great for the range and daylight conditions but leave a bit to be desired as the sun sets.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/18/2016 at 16:42
dw0229 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: December/21/2010
Location: boaz,alabama
Status: Offline
Points: 121
I like hearing from cbm as he has had experience with various scopes. What you read and hear can be good information but nothing beats using optics in the field. Not in a retail store.I myself have used various scopes hunting whitetail deer here in Al.Our deer like many in the south are hard hunted and move very early and late. So a good low light setup is a must. There are many myths about this whole low light thing. Some folks think you are going to buy a scope and turn darkness to light. Not happening ! There are scopes that aid in low light for sure.And there several good choices. For me an illuminated reticle is a must.I will take a little lesser glass but I'm gonna have illumination.Inear darkness I want no guesswork Illumination solves that. Another myth is there are huge differences in one brand vs. another. Bottom line is with good glass, a reasonably good objective diameter and illumination you can close deal.A Schmidt Bender will not give you 15 minutes extra hunt time over a Leupold VX-6 in the same configuration . I can close the deal with either. And there several others that will also fit the bill.The ideal can't I date for me would have good glass, illuminated reticle, and a 56 mm objective. But I do have a Trijicon Accupoint 3-9x40 green triangle that will let me hunt mighty late.
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