Backcountry Rifle Scope

Desert Hntr

Well Known Rokslider
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Jan 11, 2017
Messages
113
Hey guys I have been researching some scopes and haven’t found a forum comparing some of the best lightweight rifle scopes for the backcountry. I am stuck in my decision between 4. Looking at the Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44, Vortex Viper LHT 3-15x42, Swaro V5 3.5-18x44, Leica Amplus 6 3-18x44. They have their pros and cons as listed below but I am looking to get some experiences and opinions you guys and gals have. I do mostly bow hunting so I don’t have a lot of rifle hunting experience but plan to use for everything from antelope up to bear. So my thought process is to have possible wind ticks for hold over at distance (max 500yd hunting but like shooting long range) illumination for twilight times and black bear in timber etc, second focal plane for closer range hunting situations I.e. whitetail and minimize target shooting features like wind age knobs and huge dials.

Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44:

Pros:
Very good quality glass
Customer service
Good warranty
Nice locking turrets that track great and have good adjustment
Light

Cons:
Illuminated reticle in duplex only
No unconditional warranty


Vortex Viper LHT 3-15x42

Pros:
Great reticle choice
Illuminated
Locking turrets
Lightweight
Warranty

Cons:
Glass not as good



Swarovski V5 3.5-18x44

Pros:
Fantastic glass
Great reticle
Illuminated
Leightweight
Turret is adjustable for quick dial
Accurate turrets

Cons:
True 1/4”@100yd turret
Only one revolution on elevation turret
Have to buy $150 turret for MRAD ticks
No locking turrets



Leica Amplus 6 3-18x44

Pros:
Quality glass
Illuminated


Cons:
Eye relief
No locking turrets
Weight
Larger turrets

Interested to hear what y’all think!


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ReddingArcher

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May 22, 2014
Messages
1,069
if your max distance is 500 and in buy a Nightforce SHV 3-10. Great, great scope for the money. If not the NF, look at the Trijicon Credo.

Good luck!
I’d recommend the same. I just put one on a Christensen Mesa fft and I’m real happy with it so far. The MOAR reticle is great for holdovers, glass is more than usable and has the illuminated reticle.
 

PredatorSlayer

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Jul 20, 2019
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1,431
Nightforce or trijicon is what all my rifles wear now. I have a UL 280 AI that I put a trijicon tenmile 3-18x50 on. I had ordered an NXS 2-10x42, but it wasn’t going to be here in time for my AK hunt. No regrets going with the trijicon.
 
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Desert Hntr

Desert Hntr

Well Known Rokslider
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Jan 11, 2017
Messages
113
I’m a little partial to the ones mentioned because I am going to get a discount too good to refuse. I appreciate the further recommendations and will definitely take a look at them otherwise.

As far as the illuminated reticle have y’all came to a situation where it would have made the difference? I am primarily considering the Leupold with the wind plex reticle so I can do some long range shooting on the side.


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Jr4

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Jan 26, 2022
Messages
121
Illumination if haven’t had you won’t miss it, I like them on everything but, sighting in on paper. Only reason I didn’t go with the leupold is I had a friend on a hunt have an issue, but things happen
 

woods89

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Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
1,341
Location
Southern MO Ozarks
I’m a little partial to the ones mentioned because I am going to get a discount too good to refuse. I appreciate the further recommendations and will definitely take a look at them otherwise.

As far as the illuminated reticle have y’all came to a situation where it would have made the difference? I am primarily considering the Leupold with the wind plex reticle so I can do some long range shooting on the side.


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I don't have experience with any of the scopes on your list, other than having a Razor HD LH and a Viper HS for a bit. I would not consider any of those 4 reliable enough for a backcountry rifle, from what I've read and seen on this site and others.

Read the scope evaluations in the long range huntting section. They will save you a lot of unnecessary trial and error.

At this point you couldn't discount a Leupold VX or Vortex enough to interest me.
 

JFK

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
468
SHV 3-10 with MOAR reticle will check the boxes you listed above.

I’d reconsider the need for big 15x magnification. Particularly when going with a second focal plane scope. It’s important that the top end mag is usable with SFP as that’s where the wind holds are accurate. And maybe more importantly, it just seems that these big mag ranges hang guys up as they are inclined to jack it up to 15x on 200 yard shots…thinking that more is better. It makes it hard to get steady, your field of view is horrible. That much mag is simply not needed for the vast majority of shots.
 
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Desert Hntr

Desert Hntr

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Jan 11, 2017
Messages
113
I absolutely understand where your coming from and came to the realization last not that if I get a larger zoom scope it should be a FFP. But I am coming from a 3-9 and have always felt like I needed more. Shooting an antelope at 300 yards with that thing was super tough. And having the ability to reach out there in the mountains would be pretty helpful.


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BjornF16

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Dec 12, 2019
Messages
1,698
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Texas
For a backcountry scope, I would want durable and reliable, thus the recommendations for NF and Trijicon…discounts are great but don’t do much good in the field when you have a failure.

My scope after a 100 yd tumble/slide down a steep scree slope in MT mountains (with two kills afterwards):

CE0016DD-DDB1-424D-B223-E77916E78674.jpeg
 
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PredatorSlayer

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Jul 20, 2019
Messages
1,431
I’m a little partial to the ones mentioned because I am going to get a discount too good to refuse. I appreciate the further recommendations and will definitely take a look at them otherwise.

As far as the illuminated reticle have y’all came to a situation where it would have made the difference? I am primarily considering the Leupold with the wind plex reticle so I can do some long range shooting on the side.


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I get killer discounts MIL/LEO on most stuff. I was deep into vortex and Leupold and have owned multiples of the ones mentioned. Losing zero and having to shoot a bunch of ammo to rezero or confirm zero costs time, money, and the stress takes years off your life. I don’t have to worry about it any more. The trijicon had the crapped kicked out of it for 14 days on an alaskan moose hunt. 7 flights in a case with minimal padding and in and out of boats and trucks - held zero…no stress, no wondering if it was on after dropping it several times…that peace of mind is priceless. I had multiple VX5’s and VX6’s that had zero shifts everytime I was on a flight. I chalked it up to airlines being hard on gear for the longest time, then decided to drink the drop test koolaid. Have been gradually swapping out all my other scopes for NF and Trijicon.
 

ResearchinStuff

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Jan 26, 2017
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PA
It's not like trijicon or night force don't offer discounts too. Check out the scope testing subforum before making a decision.
 

thinhorn_AK

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Jul 2, 2016
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8,468
Location
Alaska
I just got the trijicon tenmile 3-18x50 from euro optic, it’s over a thousand dollars off the MSRP.

So far it’s a very impressive scope and it’s going to work really well for what I got it for. The illuminated reticle, capped windage, MIL adjustments and eye relief are all excellent. I doubt you could do much better when you take the sale price into account.
 

Formidilosus

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Oct 22, 2014
Messages
4,591
For a backcountry scope, I would want durable and reliable, thus the recommendations for NF and Trijicon…discounts are great but don’t do much good in the field when you have a failure.

My scope after a 100 yd tumble/slide down a steep scree slope in MT mountains (with two kills afterwards):

View attachment 458426

Finally, a picture of a scope/rifle that shows use.
 

Gone4Days

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Oct 29, 2021
Messages
439
Both NF and Trijicon offer LE/Mil discounts. I am LE and bought my NF at a good price from Expert Voice.
 
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