Drop Proof low power scope for bears question. Trijicon? SWFA?

Luke S

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Jul 7, 2019
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I hunt bears in Alaska with a light 375 Ruger (customized) and occasionally a 358 Ruger American (redneck customized).

Since 2018 I've had a Leopold 1-4 on my Ruger in Alaska Arms QD mounts. It's fallen 3 times that I know of. Once it fell from leaning against a jeep, once from partway up a stand, and once it fell onto a dying black bear after I leaned through bushes to put a finish shot in at point blank range. As far as I can tell it's held zero. It might have shifted a tiny bit but that might have been me (not a super precise scope to).

BUT the drop test forums have got me thinking. My scope hasn't been tested to that level. Also heard a few stories of big African rifles breaking Leopolds (my 375 is "small" there but lightweight means more recoil). An upgrade might be smart since a broken scope and inbound grizzly are bad.

What do you guys think would be a more rugged scope that goes down to 1x or max 1.5? The Nightforce looks good but outside my budget. Options that might work would be a Trijicon or a SWFA 1-4 or 1-6. Seems like I heard the 1-4 would brake but the 1-6 was better. Any thought? Those $450 Trijicon Ascents look interesting. I like the less cluttered reticle for close in.
 

Formidilosus

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Shoot2HuntU
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I hunt bears in Alaska with a light 375 Ruger (customized) and occasionally a 358 Ruger American (redneck customized).

Since 2018 I've had a Leopold 1-4 on my Ruger in Alaska Arms QD mounts. It's fallen 3 times that I know of. Once it fell from leaning against a jeep, once from partway up a stand, and once it fell onto a dying black bear after I leaned through bushes to put a finish shot in at point blank range. As far as I can tell it's held zero. It might have shifted a tiny bit but that might have been me (not a super precise scope to).

BUT the drop test forums have got me thinking. My scope hasn't been tested to that level. Also heard a few stories of big African rifles breaking Leopolds (my 375 is "small" there but lightweight means more recoil). An upgrade might be smart since a broken scope and inbound grizzly are bad.

What do you guys think would be a more rugged scope that goes down to 1x or max 1.5? The Nightforce looks good but outside my budget. Options that might work would be a Trijicon or a SWFA 1-4 or 1-6. Seems like I heard the 1-4 would brake but the 1-6 was better. Any thought? Those $450 Trijicon Ascents look interesting. I like the less cluttered reticle for close in.

The 1-4x SWFA Classic available now will not stand up to the 375. The 1-6x HD will from what I’ve seen. The Trijicon 1-4x and 1-6x will also generally.
 
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Credo HX 1-8 is a beast. Might be more than you want or need, but it is a tank and worth looking at.
 
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Luke S

Luke S

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Jul 7, 2019
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181
Thanks. Care to define "generally" any of those better durability wise?

Guess I should clarify. I've heard of plenty of people putting Trijicon scopes on big rifles. I think it will handle the recoil. But my Leopold does that. I'm wondering if the durability for bumps and drops is better.
 
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I have an SWFA 1-6 HD on a LW 375 H&H. It's been great reliability wise, but it hasn't been carried a ton. I very much enjoy the reticle for a 375. On low X it's fast like a large aperture peep; on 6 X it's a bare MQ. I don't have any experience with the current 1-4 SWFA.

FWIW, the 1-6 HD is built in Japan by LOW. The current 1-4 SWFA is built in the Philippines by Kenko, IIRC.
 
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Dang I like the Burris RT1 3X and 5X. Objective focus, sharp illuminated reticle. I shot some 3/4 inch groups at 100 with my Ruger 5.7X28 with the 3X yesterday.
 

JCMCUBIC

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Nov 22, 2020
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I don't have experience with the SWFA 1-6 HD but have heard great things about it.

I know you said NF is a bit past your budget, but I'd prefer to save longer or sell stuff, to pick up an NX8 1-8.

If you can find a S&B 1.5-6x42 I'd recommend it. It's what I'm using right now on a .375....it replaced an NX8. The larger exit pupil helps me as light dims.
 

eamyrick

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Central Texas
Trijicon Accupoint 1-4s have been carried by guys in our department for a decade. You aren’t getting much more abuse than a patrol car trunk or rifle rack. Haven’t heard of a single issue. I’m about to make the switch myself after years of success with Aimpoint (my eyes aren’t what they were 15 years ago).
 

Dennis

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Colorado
Hunted Alaskan with a famous Master Guide and his choice was a fixed Leupold 2.5 with Heavy Duplex crosshairs. Scope was on his 458 Winchester Mag to follow up on wounded bears.

I build my own 458 based on his rifle for Africa with the same 2.5 Leupold scope and it has never let me down. Both rifles have detachable scopes with backup peep sights FYI. P4210162.JPG
 
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You've got a good optic that you've bumped around and it has held zero and survived and you're thinking you need to change it out because of something some strangers on the internet said... Think about that.

I would keep what you have and what you know works and spend the $$ on something else.
 

Wapiti1

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The Trijicon Ascent 1-4 is a no due to eye relief.

The Accupoint 1-4 and 1-6 will both manage a .375 without issue and have better eye relief. The 1-4 eye relief is longer than the specs state. It's closer to 3.5-3.75". The low power Credo line should be good, but I have no mileage with them. I also don't want the illumination dial on the right side as it gets in the way.

I have shaken apart 4 Leupold 1.5-5 VX3's on big bore rifles (.416 Rem, .458 Lott, .505 Gibbs). The 1-4 Trijicons held up well on those rifles as did the old Nikon Monarch and African 1-4's.

If I were buying now, it would be an Accupoint.

Jeremy
 
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Luke S

Luke S

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Redneck has a point but... If you search around you will find plenty of stories of Leopolds breaking under heavy recoil (usually 458s and up) or from hard knocks. I think there is reason for concern. Now I do think Leopold is better than many brands out there and most Leopolds can take some abuse. Mine might be fine.

But if the concensus is that a Trijicon Accupoint is a bit tougher I might make the switch. That illuminated reticle won't hurt either. Don't believe I've heard nearly as many I broke my Trijicon" stories.
 
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Redneck has a point but... If you search around you will find plenty of stories of Leopolds breaking under heavy recoil (usually 458s and up) or from hard knocks. I think there is reason for concern. Now I do think Leopold is better than many brands out there and most Leopolds can take some abuse. Mine might be fine.

But if the concensus is that a Trijicon Accupoint is a bit tougher I might make the switch. That illuminated reticle won't hurt either. Don't believe I've heard nearly as many I broke my Trijicon" stories.

This forum has a lot of Trijicon fanboys, go to a forum that has a lot of Leupold fanboys and you’ll hear praise for them.

They’re bother good optics. That’s the bottom line.

You hear of more Leupold sent in for warranty because there’s so many more of them out there. Trijicons variable optic sales are nothing in comparison.

FWIW I’ve sent back two ACOG’s that took a shit. Lots of people have sent back RMR Type 1’s that failed. Type 2’s have failed too and it’s still the most reliable MRDS out there.

I’ve never had a Leupold all out fail but I did send back a few MK4’s for canted reticles and one or two that weren’t tracking accurately. That was well over a decade ago though when Leupold had their heads up their asses though about their tolerances. Their reticle can’t tolerance was 3 degrees which is pathetic. They turned themselves around though and make some solid stuff today. They also make some lower end lines that are pretty much pieces of crap though.
 
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Luke S

Luke S

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I do remember Form got a Trijicon to fail a drop test. Everything can break. I'm just getting the impression a Trijicon might be a bit harder the break. I've seen forums with more Leopold fans but even there a few break.
Another theory I have is that all things being equal bigger scopes will break easier than smaller scope. Of course if the dials are hit there won't be much difference. But wider tunes, wider glass etc. just seems more prone to failure.
What is the low end stuff you don't like? My Leopolds are from the Freedom line. The 2-7 has been most consistent, the 1-4 has probably been consistent (accounting for human error).
 

Macintosh

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I've had three leupold scopes fail to hold zero. Out of three I've owned. All were VXIII's, 2 from before they had an i, and 1 more recent, all within the past 10 years. I was told by leupold CS that the internals were the same on all of their VX-series scopes, so I never tried any of the pricier ones. All of mine did the same thing, the zero would shift every range trip by about 2-3moa, and the adjustments would be inconsistent when zeroing. Drove me nuts, in large part because the feature-set is hands-down better than any other scope I am aware of, so I really want to love them. Unfortunately, I am one of those who probably will never own another Leupold scope until I stop hearing similar stories from others.
That said, all of my scopes still shot their nice tight group into minute of deer around my point of aim out to about 200 yards, every time. Depending on how you hunt, that might be plenty and I imagine is why so many people are happy with their leupold hunting scopes, because the way they hunt it simply doesn't matter or they don't zero or track such things closely enough to even notice.

I guess what I'm saying...it is a very low power scope so I assume you have prioritized very close range shots. You have proof-tested your individual scope already for four years. I understand the consequences of a bear scope going south may be different than a deer scope going south, and peace of mind matters, and I dont know what other types of shots you might take with this gun. I dont recommend leupold to friends who are scope shopping but in this case you already own it and have vetted it. Don't you already have a tested scope that reliably does 100% of what you need? Is your "test" on THAT SPECIFIC individual scope less valid than what you hear on the interweb, even if what you hear online is 100% accurate?

If you're worried about it do your own drop test. Worst case you go and do what it sounds like you are about to do. Best case, you come out more confident in your scope. (maybe test it on a rifle that recoils a bit less and doesn't cost $9 a pop :ROFLMAO:)
 
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Luke S

Luke S

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181
Only $5 a pop since I reload but yes, it's pricey. Hard to get to a good range right now with my normal spot snowed in. But a drop test might happen.
 

thinhorn_AK

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Jul 2, 2016
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I just switched scopes on one of my 375s that I’m planning to use for bears. I wanted a lower power, durable optic with some sort of illumination in it.

I needed up mounting a trijicon credo HX 1-4 with warne mountain tech low rings on warne bases all torques to spec. It’s a good fit for what I want to do with this rifle. It was also nice that euro optic is blowing these scopes out so 400 dollars for a thousand dollar scope is great.

In that pic, you can see the scope I replaced, it’s a Nikon African monarch that I crimped like a dumbass using crappy split rings. The new set up is much more solid and reliable even if s bit heavier. The weight isn’t a huge issue on this gun, it’s not like I’m going backpacking for a week with it.
 

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thinhorn_AK

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The Trijicon Ascent 1-4 is a no due to eye relief.

The Accupoint 1-4 and 1-6 will both manage a .375 without issue and have better eye relief. The 1-4 eye relief is longer than the specs state. It's closer to 3.5-3.75". The low power Credo line should be good, but I have no mileage with them. I also don't want the illumination dial on the right side as it gets in the way.

I have shaken apart 4 Leupold 1.5-5 VX3's on big bore rifles (.416 Rem, .458 Lott, .505 Gibbs). The 1-4 Trijicons held up well on those rifles as did the old Nikon Monarch and African 1-4's.

If I were buying now, it would be an Accupoint.

Jeremy
What does the illumination dial get in the way of? Initially thought the same going from a 1-4 Nikon to a 1-4 trijicon but after mounting it I realize it’s not going to get in the way at all, a total non factor.
 

thinhorn_AK

"DADDY"
Joined
Jul 2, 2016
Messages
10,704
Location
Alaska
I hunt bears in Alaska with a light 375 Ruger (customized) and occasionally a 358 Ruger American (redneck customized).

Since 2018 I've had a Leopold 1-4 on my Ruger in Alaska Arms QD mounts. It's fallen 3 times that I know of. Once it fell from leaning against a jeep, once from partway up a stand, and once it fell onto a dying black bear after I leaned through bushes to put a finish shot in at point blank range. As far as I can tell it's held zero. It might have shifted a tiny bit but that might have been me (not a super precise scope to).

BUT the drop test forums have got me thinking. My scope hasn't been tested to that level. Also heard a few stories of big African rifles breaking Leopolds (my 375 is "small" there but lightweight means more recoil). An upgrade might be smart since a broken scope and inbound grizzly are bad.

What do you guys think would be a more rugged scope that goes down to 1x or max 1.5? The Nightforce looks good but outside my budget. Options that might work would be a Trijicon or a SWFA 1-4 or 1-6. Seems like I heard the 1-4 would brake but the 1-6 was better. Any thought? Those $450 Trijicon Ascents look interesting. I like the less cluttered reticle for close in.
Check out the trijicon credo HX scopes euro optic is selling. I just scored one for 400 bucks. And put it on my 375.
 
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