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gnumadic

Reticle Decisions

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I am looking for a scope for my in-progress AR308 build. It will be used first for hunting and second for dipping my toes in the long range shooting waters.
 

Primary Arms currently has their Gold series (GLx) scopes at a great discount. I am honing in on the 4-16x50 FFP model, but can’t decide between the two reticle options: 1) ACSS HUD DMR .308, and 2) R-Grid 2B. 
 

Curious if anyone has any experience with both reticles and could provide thoughts on the intended purpose? The latter seems more versatile while the former is dialed in with caliber specific BDC marks. That said, my hunting loads are likely to be more in the 150gr range versus the 168-175gr that the HUD scope is calibrated for. Thanks!

Edited by gnumadic

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I've used both of them, as well as a ton of other variants of the R-GRID reticle.  I'm a big fan of the PA scopes, and I've got a few of the ASCC HUD DMR scopes.  They're great for ranging distances, and immediate shots on target - with the projectiles that they work for/are designed for.  The R-GRID reticle would work better for different calibers that a BDC reticle won't work for, or different loads that don't match what the BDC was designed for.

The downfall of both those scopes it the illumination.  They only illuminate the center, and not the rest of the reticle.

image.thumb.png.29ea4402dc36d0f0b33439d819bafaef.png

image.thumb.png.7689295af3cb09fe7db49e99a10a8adc.png

That can be an issue in low light, with wind. 

Not to take you away from a great deal on those PA scopes - buuuut...   Athlon Argos BTR, 6-24x50, illuminated mil reticle.  It's a very good scope, street price on it is sub'$400, it's a WAY better illuminated reticle, and it still has a lifetime guarantee. 

Here's it's reticle:

APMR-FFP-IR-MIL-PWR-624-1.png

It fits more of what you'll be doing - hunting, and getting into longer-distance shooting.  It'll be far superior than both those PA scopes for hunting, especially if you find yourself in a low-light situation, with wind.  That's where that illuminated reticle will really shine.  I can tell you with 100% certainty, that the illumination level gets down low enough that you can shoot in a NO-light situation with it, in the middle of the night, and the reticle isn't "too bright" where it would wash out what you're trying to observe.  I have two of these, and will probably end up with more of them in the future. 

They also offer this specific scope in MIL and MOA reticles...

https://athlonoptics.com/product/rifle-scope-argos-6-24x50/

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98Z5V, thank you for your reply! You didn't talk me out of something, but provided very helpful information. I do think the center only illumination is a little bit of a drawback (although most of my hunting is likely to fall under MPBR). A pricier model I was looking at is the Vortex PST Gen II 3-15x44 FFP scope, which like the Athlon has the whole grid illuminated. I have the 1-6x24 scope from the same Vortex line and love it.

If I do go with one of the PA scopes, I think the R-Grid would make the most sense of the two. More versatile in terms of .308 loads and other calibers. Of course, I could always look longer at the Athlon scopes or maybe just bite the bullet on the Vortex.

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34 minutes ago, gnumadic said:

If I do go with one of the PA scopes, I think the R-Grid would make the most sense of the two. More versatile in terms of .308 loads and other calibers.

Exactly right.  :thumbup:

I'm sold on the Athlon stuff, man.  I picked up a closeout on a Gen 1 scope, 2.5-15, and that thing is CRAZY.  They were closing it out at less than 1/2 price so they could release this version, the Gen 2.  It's a BADASS scope.

https://athlonoptics.com/product/rifle-scopes-ares-btr/

I also picked up a budget 4-14 mil-dot scope.  I like the two from PA that I have, and they're $230 retail - but completely non-illuminated.  Not even an option.  I found out that Athlon makes a 4-14 illuminated mil scope, retail $360.  Street price is much less than that, and it's got damn near the same reticle that the Ares above has.  BIG bonus...

https://athlonoptics.com/product/rifle-scopes-talos-btr-4-14x44-aplr-ffp-ir-mil/

I do alot of night shooting - dark, not low-light.  The illumination (and it's intensity) is important to me.  If it's a mil-dot scope that I need, I switched over to Athlon several years ago.  If it's a BDC scope that I need for a certain caliber/load, and PA makes it - I'm all over it.  For my mil-dots scopes, and the calibers I shoot - I switched to Athlon, and I'll never look back.   :thumbup:

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Thanks again for your help. I decided to pass on any scope at this time. I won't finish my AR308 build until the spring anyway. I've got the Aero receiver set and hand guard already. I'm waiting for Ballistic Advantage to ship the barrel. But the rest of the parts need to wait until I finish a few house projects. If I build another rifle before those projects, then I'll have more than reticle decisions to worry about! That'll give me plenty of time for some more research, check other sales/closeouts, etc.

What I liked about that GLx scope was 1) made in the Philippines, 2) the zero-lock turrets (similar to Leupold's); 3) and overall construction/design (e.g., I like having the illumination controls coupled with the parallax knob). And while I don't really do any night shooting, I think it's the horseshoe on the R-Grid 2B that I dislike more than the rest of the reticle not being illuminated. It seems more geared toward fast target acquisition at low power and less for precision shooting. If the 4-16x50FFP came with the Athena reticle I'd probably grab it, but that's only available on the 6-24 GLx model.

I had contacted PA about the GLx discount ($479.99 from $799.99), because the same scope was listed on Optics Planet as discontinued by the manufacturer. The guy said there was a trademark disallowed by the patent office, so they were closing them out and will be re-branding them in the new year (with the same internals). There was also an additional 12% off sale, so it would have been $422.39. That's almost half off the MSRP.

But with tax and shipping I was at $469.76...and then I started thinking about what price I could perhaps get something like a Vortex PST Gen II 3-15x44FFP (e.g., Optics Planet...$809 with a $100 gift card and free shipping). Now we're only talking a difference of about $240--not chump change but when you're already spending close to $500 it makes me stop and think. Plus the Vortex has a reticle I like, a very good reputation/warranty, and if I wait I may even do better on price in the next 5-6 months. Or I may look further into some other brands, like Athlon for example.

Here is the Vortex reticle:

subret_vpr-pst_ebr-7c_mrad-3-15x44.thumb.jpg.47447ee43ffaee2db83b2d3a75d69211.jpg

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14 hours ago, 98Z5V said:

I'm sold on the Athlon stuff, man.  I picked up a closeout on a Gen 1 scope, 2.5-15, and that thing is CRAZY.  They were closing it out at less than 1/2 price so they could release this version, the Gen 2.  It's a BADASS scope.

https://athlonoptics.com/product/rifle-scopes-ares-btr/

Been looking a little closer at the Gen 2 version of this one. I like the reticle a little more than the Vortex (slightly less cluttered at the center aiming point). It seems to be ideal for my purposes. Of course, the street price is also comparable to the PST Gen 2...around $799.99. Everything I'm reading seems to indicate the Ares BTR is one of the nicest scopes to come out of China--closing in perhaps on the Philippine made scopes--but for equal cost it's hard to not choose the one with the longer track record. Yours has been rock solid so far?

The only thing I still like on the PA over the Athlon and the Vortex are the push button-locking turrets. That's a very nice option to have on a scope used for hunting.

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Camera land has a pretty smoking deal on a  Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR II 3.5-21x50 - G3 Illuminated Scope--WITH-- Kestrel CONX Sportsman Ballistic Weather Meter for almost a grand.

If you're not interested in the Kestrel,sell it and get a nice scope for about 1/3 of retail

https://cameralandny.com/shop/bushnell-elite-tactical-dmr-ii-3-5-21x50-g3-illuminated-scope-kestrel-conx-sportsman-ballistic-weather-meter/52f5b590-e2e9-0137-543a-1d4d9e47e6b5?variation=2043878

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7 hours ago, gnumadic said:

Been looking a little closer at the Gen 2 version of this one. I like the reticle a little more than the Vortex (slightly less cluttered at the center aiming point). It seems to be ideal for my purposes. Of course, the street price is also comparable to the PST Gen 2...around $799.99. Everything I'm reading seems to indicate the Ares BTR is one of the nicest scopes to come out of China--closing in perhaps on the Philippine made scopes--but for equal cost it's hard to not choose the one with the longer track record. Yours has been rock solid so far?

The only thing I still like on the PA over the Athlon and the Vortex are the push button-locking turrets. That's a very nice option to have on a scope used for hunting.

Absolutely rock solid.  I wish I would have ordered 5 of these things when they were closing them out to their dealers. Seriously.

It's the smartest, easiest zero-stop setup I've ever seen, too.  I don't know what they changed to make this a Gen 2, but it's a badass scope with a great reticle and great illum.

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14 hours ago, Ravenworks said:

Camera land has a pretty smoking deal on a  Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR II 3.5-21x50 - G3 Illuminated Scope--WITH-- Kestrel CONX Sportsman Ballistic Weather Meter for almost a grand.

If you're not interested in the Kestrel,sell it and get a nice scope for about 1/3 of retail

https://cameralandny.com/shop/bushnell-elite-tactical-dmr-ii-3-5-21x50-g3-illuminated-scope-kestrel-conx-sportsman-ballistic-weather-meter/52f5b590-e2e9-0137-543a-1d4d9e47e6b5?variation=2043878

Wow, that scope is a beast! It may be a little heavy for lugging around the woods hunting. Then again, while it's 34 oz the Vortex is 28 oz...only a third of a pound difference. I wonder what the Sportsman model of the Kestrel could sell for on Ebay? It says they are new but don't come in the retail packaging.

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10 hours ago, gnumadic said:

I wonder what the Sportsman model of the Kestrel could sell for on Ebay?

Street price is $369.  It's the 5700 series.  "Sportsman" was the older model, under the Elite.  I can explain the differences to you, but they're small.  The new version says "Ballistic" in the same place that the older one says "Sportsman."   Still not an Elite 5700.  So, you'd be selling an older version on eBay - which people will try to nickle and dime you with. The new one "Ballistic" has a ballistic program in it, but it's not the Applied Ballistics-branded version of software that's in the "Sportsman" model.  Applied Ballistics programs are much better.  That is the info you use to counter the naysayers.  Doesn't change the street price of $369, though.

I own a hybrid - "5700 Ballistics," right when they came out, and made that transition.  It's got the new firmware, but it's loaded with the Applied Ballistics software.

Edited by 98Z5V

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6 hours ago, Ravenworks said:

They come in a zippered field bag, it also has all the accessories.

The Sportsman sell for $399

 

They typically do not come in a zippered field bag, with any accessories.  That's all extra stuff.  I didn't see mention of that anywhere in that add.  TYR Tactical is the manufacturer for the case, that you get with a weathervane.  That's Kestrel part number 0783 - that's the zippered bag and vane setup. 

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I keep debating the Bushnell DMR II. If I could successfully sell the Kestrel then it would net out to a really great deal. There's at least one new/open box for sale on Ebay, but it does have the bag and accessories. I also read a review of the DMR, but there isn't a ton of info out there. I'm just wondering if it's too much scope for what I'm intending.

In the meantime, Dvor.com has a 5 day Vortex sale going on. I can pick up the Viper PST Gen II 3-15x44 for $669. 

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I wouldn't buy something like this from ebay unless you want to chane getting a Chinese rippoff.

That happens more than you would know, something like that you should stick with a known source.

https://www.scopelist.com/?affid=top-10-clearance-sale-2019&utm_source=List+OCT+14&utm_campaign=08d42ef696-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_12_23_08_54&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fb6f6ff23b-08d42ef696-450774181

 

Keep in mind that Nikon is selling off its inventory as they are quitting the scope game.

 

 

Edited by Ravenworks

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1 minute ago, Ravenworks said:

I wouldn't buy something like this from ebay unless you want to chane getting a Chinese rippoff.

That happens more than you would know, something like that you should stick with a known source

 

 

I thought Dvor.com was a subscription marketplace owned by Optics Planet? Are you saying it might be coming from a reseller instead of OP?

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5 minutes ago, gnumadic said:

I thought Dvor.com was a subscription marketplace owned by Optics Planet? Are you saying it might be coming from a reseller instead of OP?

You mentioned "Ebay",with that there would be no way that I'd give a seller a grand for a scope of unknown origin.

I've bought stuff from Dvor and never had a problem, again if I'm buying something for a lot of money I most definitely would be buying from a known vendor

Sales page

https://www.scopelist.com/sales_promotions.aspx

Edited by Ravenworks

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Last week a guy bought a mount,when he got it he posted a pictures of it.

What he posted was a couple hundred dollar Gessile cantilever mount instead of the $20 one he ordered.

The mount he received was a knock off mount that Gessile had verified for him.

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1 minute ago, Ravenworks said:

You mentioned "Ebay",with that there would be no way that I'd give a seller a grand for a scope of unknown origin.

I've bought stuff from Dvor and never had a problem, again if I'm buying something for a lot of money I most definitely would be buying from a known vendor

Sales page

https://www.scopelist.com/sales_promotions.aspx

Sorry for not being more specific...there's at least one open box Kestrel "Sportsman" 5700 for sale on Ebay right now, but it comes with the bag and accessories. Your original suggestion was to pick up the Bushnell DMR II scope/Kestrel 5700 Sportman bundle and sell the Kestrel (if I didn't want it). That's why I was referencing Ebay. I was looking to see if anyone else was selling "new" but open box ballistic weather meters.

On 12/12/2019 at 8:36 PM, Ravenworks said:

Camera land has a pretty smoking deal on a  Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR II 3.5-21x50 - G3 Illuminated Scope--WITH-- Kestrel CONX Sportsman Ballistic Weather Meter for almost a grand.

If you're not interested in the Kestrel,sell it and get a nice scope for about 1/3 of retail

https://cameralandny.com/shop/bushnell-elite-tactical-dmr-ii-3-5-21x50-g3-illuminated-scope-kestrel-conx-sportsman-ballistic-weather-meter/52f5b590-e2e9-0137-543a-1d4d9e47e6b5?variation=2043878

The $1049 deal from Cameraland is free shipping and no tax. And the standalone scope from them is selling at $999.99 (lowest I've seen it). So providing I could get more than $50 for the Kestrel, then I would be getting ahead. Could I sell it high enough to match the sale price of the Vortex (and not have to deal with the hassle)? Maybe not. And the more I think about it either the Vortex or the Athlon scope might be a better suited scope.

Completely side question about one-piece scope mounts and AR-10 platforms. Do most people run cantilevered/offset scope mounts, or would a one-piece mount with no offset be preferable? I was thinking that with the extra flat-top space the latter might work.

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9 minutes ago, Ravenworks said:

Last week a guy bought a mount,when he got it he posted a pictures of it.

What he posted was a couple hundred dollar Gessile cantilever mount instead of the $20 one he ordered.

The mount he received was a knock off mount that Gessile had verified for him.

Completely agree...while I've bought many things on Ebay, I try my best to verify the vendor and make sure it's not something at a price that's too good to be true. Caveat emptor!

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2 hours ago, gnumadic said:

I thought Dvor.com was a subscription marketplace owned by Optics Planet? Are you saying it might be coming from a reseller instead of OP?

It is.  You are correct with that info. 

2 hours ago, gnumadic said:

Completely side question about one-piece scope mounts and AR-10 platforms. Do most people run cantilevered/offset scope mounts, or would a one-piece mount with no offset be preferable? I was thinking that with the extra flat-top space the latter might work.

With the eye relief that's built into most modern scopes now, you pretty much want the eyepiece of that scope to end at the back of the upper receiver.  Best way to do that is with a cantilever mount.  Most of them are 1.5" centerline above the rail - which is another inch above the center of the barrel bore.  You wind up with an effective scope height of 2.5", height over bore. 

Example pic:

P1080374.JPG

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