Best low light hunting scope and why?

wapiti16b

Sergeant
Belligerents
Mar 16, 2014
521
46
34
New Mexico
Title kinda says it all even though it is a broad field to choose from, Tactical scopes included, primary concerns are low light performance and weight to a lesser extent . Price is subjective so break it down by price.
$500.00
$800.00
$1,200.00
$1,800.00
$2,000.00 and above!
Long range reticles a must!
SFP or FFP!
What say you?
 

WB300

Sergeant
Belligerents
Jan 15, 2011
384
26
34
49
GA
Wish i could offer personal experience with the following, but these have been mentioned in the past from similar threads....

Henny 72mm Obj.
TT
Zeiss Victory HT
S&B T-Polar
Leica Magnus

No idea on weight and price, but I've always kept up on threads like this in case i ever hit the lottery.

Actually i think it was @koshkin who gave them all high remarks in the lowlight category. Hopefully he will chime in.

Hope this helps.
 

athanasios23

Sergeant
Belligerents
Dec 28, 2009
456
26
34
33
New York, USA
I have a zeiss victory diavari 4-16x50. Exceptional glass and great at low light. Is discontinued but there are still some available at online retailers. Pricey but well worth the investment.
 

STI_1911_Guy

Sergeant
Belligerents
Feb 1, 2011
485
14
22
30
Michigan
I dot have a schmidt and bender so i cant say there but i can say the Leupold mark 5 for FFP and light weight or the Leupold vx5 HD or VX6 HD for SFP and light weight hands down. The low light performance of the HD glass is outstanding much better than my nigthforce NXS, My vortex razor. I really think leupold did a good job with these and its showing in the market.
 

GoForBroke

Private
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 25, 2006
128
7
22
Central Oregon
I don't know about best but my old VariXIII 2.5-8X Premier Reticle Mildot has been a good performer for around or under 500 bucks. And very handy on Winchester Model 70 FWT pushfeed. 30-06 so nothing exciting but I hit steel out to 800 yards without dialing. Not really long range but I try to stalk in close anyways. It's reasonably bright and clear especially for the money. I got it in the late 90's from an article by Chuck Mawhinney. It was one of his favorite scopes at the time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 65x55guy

45.308

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Nov 15, 2007
1,233
54
154
Glacier Valley Alaska
Glass is too subjective to be "best". What my eye/brain says is super best is not what another eye/brain sees. Plus in my opinion, yes opinion, name brand gets extra points depending on who you ask. We did an outside optics demo with most top shelf brands, had them covered and masked up as best we could. Had customers come up and take a peek through, answer some questions. It was funny to see high majority percentage of customers say Swaro is top shelf to pick another brand as their best. Scientific and prove the point, no just a demo but the results were interesting.

Trijicon to me has super glass both in clarity, low light, true color, the whole gamut. USO is top shelf to my eye and I believe they both use the same glass, Schott.

Exactly what you are after?

How much extra time do you think a $3000 scope gives you Vs a $500 or how much extra time do you want/need?

From my experience, Leupold offers some of the industry lightest and smallest scopes for a comparable scope. The reason I prefer them topped on my hunting rigs.

FFP in my book not needed for hunting as neither is a milling ret but I hunt to fill the freeze not make it a sporting event at how long I can shoot, I prefer to use hunting skills not shooting skills.

good luck
 

wapiti16b

Sergeant
Belligerents
Mar 16, 2014
521
46
34
New Mexico
Lot's of good suggestions, I've had Swarovski , Leupold, Zeiss, Vortex Razor HD GENII, SFP FFP . I prefer an objective no larger than 50mm and weight between 25-32 ounces along with bomb proof turrets. Glass is subjective but for my eyes the Swaros and Zeiss were better in low light than most I've looked through, as far as reticles go illuminated is a plus as is something like the choices from Vortex on the GEN II Razors. I'm impatiently waiting on the Meopta Optica6 for a low cost alternative providing Meopta has a reticle I like!
I will have to look at Trijicon as I have no experience with them.
Please keep suggestions coming!
 

JoedirtPNW

Private
Minuteman
May 15, 2018
37
7
12
Someone needs to do a side by side test, there is a website that tested binos. He used a light box to shine light through the binos onto a white backdrop and recorded the brightness and color hue. That was probably the best test ive ever seen. All others are subjective.
 

wapiti16b

Sergeant
Belligerents
Mar 16, 2014
521
46
34
New Mexico
I've seen the aforementioned video, promising performance!. Elevation adjustment is as of yet undetermined as this scope will pull double duty between a 300WM and a 7SAW ranging no further than 700 yds 300WM and 500 yds 7SAW!
Limitations of rounds and shooter!
 
  • Like
Reactions: GoForBroke

XTREM HTR16

Sergeant
Belligerents
Nov 19, 2011
1,143
139
169
Carmel, IN
Over $2000 I’d say S&B or Tangent Theta 3-15x50m or the new hunter coming out. 26-28ounces and @koshkin says it’s about the best you can get within that size and 30mm tube.
 

koshkin

Dark Lord Of Optics
Belligerents
Feb 22, 2006
1,944
1,685
219
Los Angeles
www.opticsthoughts.com
Generally, when we are taking about low light performance in the $1k range, Meopta Meostar should be on your list. Not sure if they have reticles you like, do take a look at that.

If you can drop $3k ok this, get a Tangent Theta TT315M and be done with it. It is perfect for crossover applications like this one.

ILya
 

Maxduty

Quae Moriatur
Belligerents
Mar 8, 2014
513
845
99
Oklahoma
How low light are you talking about? I've got cheap scopes that I can see 300-350 yards on full moon nights in the country. glass matters, but more important is exit pupil. 6 to 7 mm is ideal. SFP wins in my mind, FFP is too hard to see at lower magnification. Add in an almost black background and it's lost. As an example of exit pupil, I have a Taco world class scope on a .22RF. It's lowest setting is 8x. With a 56mm objective, it gives a 7mm exit pupil and I can effectively shoot it's fatal range on critters. However, since it has fine crosshairs and an 1/8 minute dot, it's worthless after sunset. The 2x7 scope with a 42mm objective still gives me an exit pupil of 6mm at 7 power (and 7mm at 6 power). With the circle of death reticle I can see after dark, I can still kill coyotes all night without light within 200 yards on a full moon night, no clouds.