SWFA 5-20 vs. Burris XTRII 5-25 or 4-20

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
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#1
I've read whatever I could find on these scopes, but not much info directly comparing them.

I'm very curious what people with experience on both (or all 3) think about how they stack up. Ruggedness, tracking and glass being the 3 biggies. Then controls and reticle choices, then weight or size. Thanks in advance!
 

just browsing

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 18, 2017
416
95
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Louisville, KY
#2
Glass on the SWFA is the best of the bunch hands down. The 5-20s will compete - clarity wise - with scopes costing a lot more. They are practically bomb proof and track very consistently.

That being said, the XTR2s are also excellent optics. For what they lack in glass quality, they do make up for with their feature sets. Zero stop, reticle selection, control manipulation, etc. are all things that you will forego with the SWFA. The Burris are also known for being durable (probably to a lesser extent than the SWFA) and tracking very well.

Really comes down to application. If it’s a dedicated ELR or hunting optic, I am going SWFA all day. If it’s a match optic or something that you could use some of the other features with, you might consider the Burris. Either way you’re not going to go wrong as both of them are very proven options.
 
Oct 17, 2017
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Dallas
#3
I agree that, to my eyes, the glass on the SWFA is significantly better, and it's built tough with very reliable tracking and decent turrets. The XTR is a tough scope as well with more features than the SWFA, but glass quality is probably it's weakest area. It's maybe the worst glass in its price range IMHO (with some Bushnell options giving it a run for its money), but it makes up for that by having good features, decent reticle, and good build quality.

If you need the extra features or hate the mil quad reticle, get the XTR II. If you don't need zero stop or illumination and the mil quad reticle is palatable, then the SWFA is clearly superior IMHO.

On the XTR II, I am not a big fan of the 5-25. Maybe it was the one I looked through, but the glass was nearly unusable at 25x - very hazy and blurry. The 4-20 and 3-15 seem to be much better in this regard, but all of them are still inferior to the SWFA glass-wise, and not by a small margin.
 
Jan 5, 2014
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Wabaunsee, KS
#4
Never touched a SWFA, but have three xtr2.

I've used the xtr2 5-25x scr-mil mostly on .300WM(24)


It works in ice and snow and rain and humping thru the woods. It is a bit heavy and long compared to some others. I shoot from tripod and prone. Day and Night with thermal and NV clipons. And from 50yds to 1400yds. Use 220gr Otm Barnes Precision.

The zero stop is not tool-less, but it can be done in the field. I have never detected a tracking problem. I can see holes in white paper from 500yds. If mirage is bad, I do have to crank down the magnification, but that is even more true on the Night Force 7-35x T3 I also have.

The diopter and parallax are easy to adjust. The parallax is not 100% removable at 50yds, but it is at 100yds. Somewhere in between is the actual minimum distance parallax can be removed. The eyebox is generous, more so than two L&S scope I have.

The CA (chromatic aberation) is definitively noticeable, but it has not prevented me from hitting any target.

I like this reticle, the SCR-MIL



The illumination gives you a "T" to shoot with on low power and I can even see the sub-tensions well enough to hold with.

For a rifle that will be routinely going over 1000yds, I like the 5-25x. For a rifle never going over 1000yds I like the 3-15x. The 4-20x is of course somewhere in between. But it also depends on your target sizes. For 1/2 dots at 100yds, 15x is not quite enough.


I have been using xtr2 scopes for 2.5 years and never had a problem. Other scopes I've had, got to experience the customer service. Not the xtr2 scopes.

The price right now is around $900 even seeing a little less. I am jealous. I paid $1,100 for mine :)
 
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TimK

Gunny Sergeant
Jan 13, 2010
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Woodland Park, CO
www.timkulincabinetry.com
#5
As others have stated, the glass battle goes easily to the SWFA. I make a zero stop for it, so that shortcoming goes away.

That said, I own no SWFA 5-20's (neighbor has one) and two XTR II's. For me, the glass is good enough at the price point, they track great and seem to be reliable. It's the reticle that sways me. I think the SCR is one of the best reticles ever designed for those who exclusively dial for elevation. I have four scopes with it, and I wish NF had something as good.

IIRC, the field of view at 20x is wider on the 4-20 than the 5-25 set at 20X. One of mine is a 5-25, and I wish it was a 4-20.
 

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
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#6
As others have stated, the glass battle goes easily to the SWFA. I make a zero stop for it, so that shortcoming goes away.

Tim,

I thought they voided the warranty on that scope? Do you know what the issue is?
 

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
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#7
Curious to hear what Tim says on this, but I just got off the phone with SWFA (my scope's illum stopped working), and they said that the use of the shims does not void the warranty.
 

Hoyt7mm

Bow Shooter
Apr 6, 2017
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West Bend, Wisconsin
#8
I had a 3-15 XTR and still have the SWFA 5-20. As stated above, there is no comparison glass wise. SWFA wins hands down. Both scopes track great from my experience, although I am a fan of the SWFA turrets more than the XTR. XTR does have a zero stop that is very easy to set and pretty bomb proof if that makes a difference. Both have good reticles imo. SWFA is almost a touch thick, but I found the XTR to be too thin for my taste. Winner? SWFA
 
Apr 25, 2014
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Boise, Idaho
#9
Well I have a dog in this fight being a Burris team shooter, so I'll chime in with my two bits.. I've been fortunate in the fact that the glass is pretty nice on the Burris scopes I own, and haven't really exhibited some of the issues others have encountered.

I have not one bad thing to say about SWFA. I like them, I think they are a very good scope in their price point. My contribution is in the fact that I have spent more time behind XTR II's than just about anyone I know. I have them on my 3 gun rifles, my two PRS rifles, and my hunting rifles. They have all been rock solid through a LOT of hard use and abuse. I thought I actually experienced my very first Burris breakage this weekend at the Dog Valley NRL match in Nephi Utah. My rifle made a 7 hour drive flipped over and riding on the top turret of my scope. The turret was locked up when I took it out of my bag. My groups were atrocious while zeroing. So I swapped to another Burris and found out it was actually the rifle. We got it squared away, the scope is fine. So I can still claim I have had zero issues in reliability in performance with Burris optics.

The XTR II is a solid scope that consistently performs very well. Thanks for considering it!!
 

TimK

Gunny Sergeant
Jan 13, 2010
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Woodland Park, CO
www.timkulincabinetry.com
#10
SLG, this is the first time I've heard that the zero stops would NOT void the warranty on the 5-20. I'm guessing the person you spoke to is confused. They don't void the warranty on all the other SWFA scopes, but I'm 99% certain they do on the 5-20.

Back to topic, if this matters to you, Burris is a huge supporter of the shooting sports. I paid for my 3-15, but I won the 5-25. I like to support those who support us.
 
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SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
931
322
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#12
SLG, this is the first time I've heard that the zero stops would NOT void the warranty on the 5-20. I'm guessing the person you spoke to is confused. They don't void the warranty on all the other SWFA scopes, but I'm 99% certain they do on the 5-20.

Back to topic, if this matters to you, Burris is a huge supporter of the shooting sports. I paid for my 3-15, but I won the 5-25. I like to support those who support us.
Maybe give them a call again and check? I spoke to a guy there, specifically about the 5-20, as I have to send it back to them. If you want his name, PM me. If it does still void the warranty, do you know why? Maybe they changed their minds?

I only support those who make what I want to buy and use. :) I'm sure that's true of you as well.
 
Jan 5, 2014
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Wabaunsee, KS
#13
the glass battle goes easily to the SWFA

glass is pretty nice on the Burris scopes I own
I wonder if it is time to drill in to "glass" ... what do we mean when we say "glass is good" or "glass is better' ?? :D

==

So what about RESOLUTION. So when I got my NF 7-35x t3, there was a review in this sub-forum that influenced me. That guy was doing 100yds USAF eye charts and the NF 7-35x won by two eye charts? So that is RESOLUTION?
So does that mean NF had the BEST glass in the review?
Two other aspects were mentioned.
CA (Chromatic Aberration) ... this seemed to be a bit more subjective, but the reviewer and several commenters stated they did not think CA would prevent anyone from hitting a target, so perhaps this is a less important aspect, though it is an aspect.
POP. POP was the other aspect and presumably the TT and the MINOX were top dogs on POP and the NF was behind on POP. I'm not real sure what POP is, but since I've never looked thru a TT or a MINOX, I guess I would not know!!!

So what is "GLASS" ... is that
RESOLUTION
CHROMATIC ABERRATION
POP

Anything else?

For me, resolution is #1 probably because it can be more easily, objectively measured by me ... and for that .. while I think the NF resolution is clearly superior to the xtr2, I do not think that resolution prevents me from hitting the targets I want to hit. IPSC-D steel out to 1200yds (with .300WM(24)) or NATO-E steel out to 1400yds or 3/4 inch dots at 100yds. What it does enable is using lower power magnification with the NF so I can shoot out to 1,000 yards with no dial shooting with the T-3 and still see the target really well. With the xtr2, I will be dialing for that target and so can use higher magnification to make up for the reduction in resolution. At least that's how my brain is thinking about this.

==
 
Likes: SLG
Apr 17, 2010
850
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#14
SLG

What does your 5-20 have to go back for? If your calling to ask about the zero stop shims ask for Skylar or owners. If Tim's zero stops are approved for the 5-20, I'm going to get in line for three sets.
 
Likes: SLG

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
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#15
SLG

What does your 5-20 have to go back for? If your calling to ask about the zero stop shims ask for Skylar or owners. If Tim's zero stops are approved for the 5-20, I'm going to get in line for three sets.
The illum stopped working. great scope otherwise.
 
Apr 25, 2014
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Boise, Idaho
#16
I wonder if it is time to drill in to "glass" ... what do we mean when we say "glass is good" or "glass is better' ?? :D

==

So what about RESOLUTION. So when I got my NF 7-35x t3, there was a review in this sub-forum that influenced me. That guy was doing 100yds USAF eye charts and the NF 7-35x won by two eye charts? So that is RESOLUTION?
So does that mean NF had the BEST glass in the review?
Two other aspects were mentioned.
CA (Chromatic Aberration) ... this seemed to be a bit more subjective, but the reviewer and several commenters stated they did not think CA would prevent anyone from hitting a target, so perhaps this is a less important aspect, though it is an aspect.
POP. POP was the other aspect and presumably the TT and the MINOX were top dogs on POP and the NF was behind on POP. I'm not real sure what POP is, but since I've never looked thru a TT or a MINOX, I guess I would not know!!!

So what is "GLASS" ... is that
RESOLUTION
CHROMATIC ABERRATION
POP

Anything else?

For me, resolution is #1 probably because it can be more easily, objectively measured by me ... and for that .. while I think the NF resolution is clearly superior to the xtr2, I do not think that resolution prevents me from hitting the targets I want to hit. IPSC-D steel out to 1200yds (with .300WM(24)) or NATO-E steel out to 1400yds or 3/4 inch dots at 100yds. What it does enable is using lower power magnification with the NF so I can shoot out to 1,000 yards with no dial shooting with the T-3 and still see the target really well. With the xtr2, I will be dialing for that target and so can use higher magnification to make up for the reduction in resolution. At least that's how my brain is thinking about this.

==
What I've discovered about glass is it's interpretive. I think you would be hard put to nail down a specific method of categorizing it. There are no if's, and's, or butt's about it that everyone sees it differently. Some people are driven nuts by CA, I know myself and others who have posted here could care less about it. I only notice it when I look for it. If I can resolve my target clearly then that's good glass.

I'm not sure what you consider lower magnification, or why you would intentionally choose to stay on lower magnification for longer range shots when you can better see your target on higher magnification. Even in matches if I have a near to far target layout I'll use my cat tail to adjust up. It never occurred to me to intentionally shoot longer targets on unnecessarily low magnification ranges. So I'm afraid I can't speak to the glass quality of the Burris or any other scope in comparison in that scenario.

I've had my 4-20 H591's alongside a fair number of scopes, and myself and others who compare seem to think they have pretty good glass.

I happen to have a nice real world analogy from this past weekend. The Dog Valley match this weekend presented us with a 700 target shaded by a tree, early morning sunlight behind it. Steve Eames was the first shooter and said he couldn't see the target with his Gen II Razor, but could see a little area that he thought might be the target, so he fired at it and hit it. Looking through my Razor spotter at 30x, the plate blended perfectly with the backdrop. But you could see a little 3" piece of grey strap. I was able to see that strap through my scope. On a position where everyone struggled to see the target, I was still able to get my hits. So when I say I have good glass, I think my glass get's the same job done that everyone else's does. I've never been in a scenario where I couldn't resolve my target in hunting or competition. How much nicer than that does the glass have to be? That answer is different for everyone. Bulletproof tracking and reliability are number 1 and 2 on my list. Good glass comes in at #3.
 
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Likes: gigamortis
Jan 5, 2014
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#17
... I'm not sure what you consider lower magnification, or why you would intentionally choose to stay on lower magnification for longer range shots when you can better see your target on higher magnification. Even in matches if I have a near to far target layout I'll use my cat tail to adjust up. It never occurred to me to intentionally shoot longer targets on unnecessarily low magnification ranges ...
Oh, this is simple, I'm sure I just did not express my self clearly :)

GUN: 7.62(22)
Cartridge: 7.62x51 175 SMK (M118LR LC)
Scope: NF 7-35x T3
Zero: 100yds

Distance Elevation hold Max Magnification to see sufficient reticle to hold, plus a little more to get it off the bottom edge
750yds 6 mils 25x
875yds 8 mils 20x
985yds 10 mils 17x
1035 11 mils 15x

Now that's as far as I can get with this setup on the t3 reticle. In fact the wind dots stop at 10 mils, but they can be easily extrapolated to 11 mils, and I shot that.

==
To go further requires dialing up 5 mils, but then the wind dots loose half their value. Which can be done, but I am trying to illustrate how with no dial shooting and use of wind dots, you dial down your magnification to a point. And with the higher resolution of the NF this is not an issue.
Of course with the xtr2 5-25x scr-mil, I just dial up and so do not have to reduce magnification. So that enables the xtr2 to compensate with magnification what the NF does with resolution.

Does this ^^ explain why magnification might be reduced for greater distances with no-dial shooting?

==
I have been in situations where I could not resolve my target.

01 - Mirage - in worst cases, even as low as 20x I could not see the target ... I had to reduce the magnification, once that was done, I could see the target.

02 - NV/Thermal clipons - too much magnification makes the image fuzzy, can't resolve the image, need to reduce the power. This point varies with gear and conditions.

There are probably others, but those are the first two that come to mind.

==
But you are saying that for you, the most important aspect of "good glass" is resolution, correct? Am I getting that part right?? :)
 
Mar 15, 2017
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#18
If SWFA did a small tweak to the reticle and added zero stop I would buy more. It’s a very good scope just itching to break into “great” territory.

They are an absolute steal for what they go for in the buy/well section.
 
Oct 17, 2017
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Dallas
#19
If SWFA did a small tweak to the reticle and added zero stop I would buy more. It’s a very good scope just itching to break into “great” territory.

They are an absolute steal for what they go for in the buy/well section.
Add zero stop, add .2 mil hash marks to the first 2 mils of windage, make the center 2 mils of windage and elevation bars .03 mils instead of .05 mils, and add a center floating dot. I’d pay $2k in a heartbeat and never consider anything else. Leave the rest of the reticle alone for low-power aiming.
 

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
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#20
I asked them about improving their reticles earlier today. A very non committal "people are looking into it" is what I got back. Reminded me of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Great people every time I've dealt with them, but I have to wonder about the disco era reticle.
 
Mar 26, 2006
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#21
Interesting. Own both. Perhaps anecdotal but I really can't agree with the sentiments giving glass props to SWFA. I like the SWFA but get what I pay for and like the Burris better.
 

TimK

Gunny Sergeant
Jan 13, 2010
1,140
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Woodland Park, CO
www.timkulincabinetry.com
#22
So the thing about better glass for me is not about seeing the target, it's about all the other little details before and after the shot. Through really good glass, I'll see grass moving, dust in the air, even insects or general debris moving in the breeze. Before he shot, I get a better idea of what the wind is doing at the target. After the shot, I have an improved chance of spotting my impact precisely.

It doesn't often play a key role in making a hit, but to say that great glass plays no role in making a hit is, in my experience, too much. I'm not suggesting that anyone here is making that claim, but I've heard it made in other circumstances.

If I have to choose between a great reticle and great glass, I'll choose a great reticle. My only gripe with the SWFA is the clunky reticle. Usable? Absolutely. Great? Not by a fair margin.

As to shooting at reduced power...well suggesting that it has no value tells me something about that shooter's style of shooting. In a fast paced competition environment with compromised shooting positions, field of view is key the spotting impacts, be they hits or misses. Most of my competition rifles wear 5-25 scopes, and they rarely get dialed past 17x except for load development or positions that are super stable.
 
Likes: SLG

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
2,600
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#24
So the thing about better glass for me is not about seeing the target, it's about all the other little details before and after the shot. Through really good glass, I'll see grass moving, dust in the air, even insects or general debris moving in the breeze. Before he shot, I get a better idea of what the wind is doing at the target. After the shot, I have an improved chance of spotting my impact precisely.

It doesn't often play a key role in making a hit, but to say that great glass plays no role in making a hit is, in my experience, too much. I'm not suggesting that anyone here is making that claim, but I've heard it made in other circumstances.
This. ^^^^

I have both, SWFA's (non-HD and HD) and have an XTR II 5-25 (first one replaced by Burris). The glass in the SWFA is noticeably better (you'd have to be blind not to see the difference), and concurred by multiple people. As stated above, shit glass will not incur a miss per se, but does limit seeing other things, like mirage, blowing grass around the target, and target ID at lower mag.

It really depends on what the OP intends to do with the rifle/scope. PRS/NRL style comps? The XTR is probably a better decision. Hunting/Varminting? SWFA would make more sense, since eye fatigue is a factor (and crappy glass just wears on you as the day gets long).

Both track well and are robust in their reliability. It just comes down to what is most important to you, the OP.

IF you (the OP) do go with the XTR, I'd recommend the 4-20x version. Personally, I think the 5-25x version is just pushing the optical design and lenses past it's limits.
 

D_TROS

Flag-Sword-Cross
Aug 19, 2010
1,361
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North Denver, CO
#26
Interesting. Own both. Perhaps anecdotal but I really can't agree with the sentiments giving glass props to SWFA. I like the SWFA but get what I pay for and like the Burris better.

I also owned both. Sold the SWFA due to I like the rect better in the XTR2, like the Knobs way better on the XTR2 and the lines line up perfectly as well as click feel, zero stop.

The glass was close enough to a push as to not matter. Everyone going off on a tangent like we are comparing tangent glass to tasco glass is laughable at best. Neither scope is shit glass and neither is TOL. Pick the scope with the rect you prefer and you will be gtg.


This. ^^^^

Both track well and are robust in their reliability. It just comes down to what is most important to you, the OP.

IF you (the OP) do go with the XTR, I'd recommend the 4-20x version. Personally, I think the 5-25x version is just pushing the optical design and lenses past it's limits.

I def agree the 4-20 is a better design. It has better eye box and better FOV and better clarity at 20x than the 5-25. I sold my 5-25 for another 4-20.
Ive also never got eye fatigue from either but I am seeing that mentioned.

as mentioned get the one with better features and be happy happy for only spending $1k and getting at that awesomeness in a scope.


Regards,
DT
 
Apr 25, 2014
831
195
43
Boise, Idaho
#27
Oh, this is simple, I'm sure I just did not express my self clearly :)

GUN: 7.62(22)
Cartridge: 7.62x51 175 SMK (M118LR LC)
Scope: NF 7-35x T3
Zero: 100yds

Distance Elevation hold Max Magnification to see sufficient reticle to hold, plus a little more to get it off the bottom edge
750yds 6 mils 25x
875yds 8 mils 20x
985yds 10 mils 17x
1035 11 mils 15x

Now that's as far as I can get with this setup on the t3 reticle. In fact the wind dots stop at 10 mils, but they can be easily extrapolated to 11 mils, and I shot that.

==
To go further requires dialing up 5 mils, but then the wind dots loose half their value. Which can be done, but I am trying to illustrate how with no dial shooting and use of wind dots, you dial down your magnification to a point. And with the higher resolution of the NF this is not an issue.
Of course with the xtr2 5-25x scr-mil, I just dial up and so do not have to reduce magnification. So that enables the xtr2 to compensate with magnification what the NF does with resolution.

Does this ^^ explain why magnification might be reduced for greater distances with no-dial shooting?

==
I have been in situations where I could not resolve my target.

01 - Mirage - in worst cases, even as low as 20x I could not see the target ... I had to reduce the magnification, once that was done, I could see the target.

02 - NV/Thermal clipons - too much magnification makes the image fuzzy, can't resolve the image, need to reduce the power. This point varies with gear and conditions.

There are probably others, but those are the first two that come to mind.

==
But you are saying that for you, the most important aspect of "good glass" is resolution, correct? Am I getting that part right?? :)
I get you, yep, we're on the same page. ;) I was thinking you were talking like LOW magnification. Single digit type stuff at 1k plus.

In reality you do what you have to do to resolve the target and hit it. If you have to go lower to clear up the mirage or you can zoom in, then that's what you do.

And yes, I do seem to think resolution is my hot spot. I just want to see the target as clear as I can to shoot it. I don't care if it's bright or not, and I don't care what color it is. I can see where I impact on a plate, and see enough clarity on mirage and movement to make an educated decision (guess ;) ) on wind. The Burris is up to the task.

I'm also a big fan of the 4-20. I still have a 5-25 on my 300 Norma and it treats me well. But the 4-20 and 3-15 just seems to be the optical sweet spot for the scope line up.
 
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koshkin

Dark Lord Of Optics
Feb 22, 2006
1,490
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Los Angeles
www.opticsthoughts.com
#28
And yes, I do seem to think resolution is my hot spot. I just want to see the target as clear as I can to shoot it. I don't care if it's bright or not, and I don't care what color it is. I can see where I impact on a plate, and see enough clarity on mirage and movement to make an educated decision (guess ;) ) .
Not to call you out, but.. what you just told me with that statement is that all else being equal you prefer scopes where the optical compromise leans toward lower resolution, better contrast and slightly warmer colors than normal.

Clarity is not something you see and is really a meaningless term as far as riflescopes are concerned. However, based on years of watching people use that term, after some digging, it usually turns out that they like contrast and warm colors.

ILya
 

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
2,600
1,030
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San Diego, Ca
#30
I'd think eye charts would measure acuity (it's a black and white chart), not necessarily clarity...but I have no where near the background that ILya does on these things...
 
Apr 25, 2014
831
195
43
Boise, Idaho
#33
Not to call you out, but.. what you just told me with that statement is that all else being equal you prefer scopes where the optical compromise leans toward lower resolution, better contrast and slightly warmer colors than normal.

Clarity is not something you see and is really a meaningless term as far as riflescopes are concerned. However, based on years of watching people use that term, after some digging, it usually turns out that they like contrast and warm colors.

ILya
You are probably right. What's most likely going on here is I'm simply not aware of the proper semantics.

I don't know what the proper term would be for what I like to see when I look through a scope.

I need it to be bright enough, and clear enough, to make out what it is. I want to eliminate as much blurriness as possible. I don't care about CA, or what color it is. But I need clearly defined edges as a reference point for my holds.

While hunting, I just need enough light and a clear enough picture to tell elk rump from shrub and black bear from burnt stump. Seeing horns is easy even with cheap glass.
 

koshkin

Dark Lord Of Optics
Feb 22, 2006
1,490
761
113
Los Angeles
www.opticsthoughts.com
#34
You are probably right. What's most likely going on here is I'm simply not aware of the proper semantics.

I don't know what the proper term would be for what I like to see when I look through a scope.

I need it to be bright enough, and clear enough, to make out what it is. I want to eliminate as much blurriness as possible. I don't care about CA, or what color it is. But I need clearly defined edges as a reference point for my holds.

While hunting, I just need enough light and a clear enough picture to tell elk rump from shrub and black bear from burnt stump. Seeing horns is easy even with cheap glass.
You may not think you care what color it is, but your eyes and your brain defiitely do.

Color is closely tied to how we perceive detail.

Chromatic aberration is tied to color and to how the optical system renders edges.

All these things that you say you do not care about are needed to differentiate between objects that are of somewhat similar colors like your examples above.

ILya
 

koshkin

Dark Lord Of Optics
Feb 22, 2006
1,490
761
113
Los Angeles
www.opticsthoughts.com
#35
@koshkin have you done any optical tests of these 2 scopes? any other tests?

thanks for your imput!


DT

I have a fair amount of mileage with both. SWFA is better optically. Both are robust mechanically. XTR II has a zero stop.

Reticles are in the eye of the beholder. I dislike Horus reticle and I am not too crazy about SCR, but it works. Same for Mil-quad. It is not the newest reticle, but I am quite used to it.

Still, given a choice, I prefer Christmas tree style reticles which neither of these offers (to forewarn the next obvious question, Horus is a mosquito-net style reticle which, to me, is distinctly different from the Christmas-tree style designs).

ILya
 
Apr 25, 2014
831
195
43
Boise, Idaho
#36
You may not think you care what color it is, but your eyes and your brain defiitely do.

Color is closely tied to how we perceive detail.

Chromatic aberration is tied to color and to how the optical system renders edges.

All these things that you say you do not care about are needed to differentiate between objects that are of somewhat similar colors like your examples above.

ILya
That's great information. CA is something I've never giving much thought about because it never really seemed to interfere with anything.

Which makes me wonder exactly how much CA it takes to interfere with your ability to perceive detail. Or what kind of scenarios a person may encounter where detail is difficult to define that CA makes it worse.

Given the nature of PRS targets and the rarity in which you encounter one that is difficult to see, the one in Utah being the first plate I couldn't see in 4 years, but pretty much the entire squad couldn't see it., I wonder if it's a non-issue in a decent quality scope.
 

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
2,600
1,030
113
San Diego, Ca
#38
Hence my comment about Target ID being problematic with lesser grade glass. We have our local matches every month, and two months ago I thought it'd be sneaky to camo an IPSC target that was placed in tall grass and cactus. Most shooter's couldn't find the target in the morning light (8:30am, so not twilight or anything). The shooters who could were all running high end glass. Even the spotters were having issues...except the Hendsoldt 45. Eventually the sun got high enough to silhouette the target.

Glass does matter for certain applications. As you said, PRS tends to have large white targets...but as matches get more challenging, I think you're going to see more of the dirty (or purposely obscured/camo'ed) targets. Same for hunting. An elk or bear is fairly large, a brown prairie dog sitting in a brown hole with just the top of the head exposed at 400yds, showing a single black eyeball is a pretty small target.

JMTCW...
 
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Apr 25, 2014
831
195
43
Boise, Idaho
#39
Glass does matter for certain applications. As you said, PRS tends to have large white targets...but as matches get more challenging, I think you're going to see more of the dirty (or purposely obscured/camo'ed) targets. Same for hunting. An elk or bear is fairly large, a brown prairie dog sitting in a brown hole with just the top of the head exposed at 400yds, showing a single black eyeball is a pretty small target.

JMTCW...
Target obscuration is an interesting point.. Will it evolve at matches or will it be one toe over the line..

I saw a snippet of that trend last year in Craig Colorado for the Mile High NRL match. A 700'something target was hidden in the shade and partially obscured by tree branches. Lots of shooters complained about it and for day two, seeing as how they were using that same target again, they went and trimmed away all the branches. It was much easier to find and see on day two.

I think an MD has to be very careful in using targets of this nature. The most obvious being, this shouldn't be an equipment race. The guy without deep pockets should be allowed to come out with what they have and still be able to see the targets. The challenge should always be, first and foremost, hitting the target. Not seeing it. As soon as you start sending away shooters disgruntled by the fact that they couldn't find or see the targets because they were unable or unwilling to shell out 2k at minimum for a scope, you're going to start pumping the brakes on the growth of this sport.

And at the match in Craig, RO's were having trouble spotting impacts. The target was hard for them to see as well. A branch cut across the bottom of the plate hiding dust splash off the plate. And audio feedback was crap. If that plate would have rang like a bell or had a flasher on it, problem solved. But it had neither. So an MD can handicap his own RO's by trying to get too creative.

And I only hunt BIG game Marine. If I have to start trying to shoot a prairie dog in the eye at 400 yards, it would very quickly reveal how talentless I am ;)
 
Apr 25, 2014
831
195
43
Boise, Idaho
#42
"Wait a second. PRS, an equipment race? Say it isn't so!"

Haha, I know! Huh!

Me shooting stage 11 at Dog Valley. It's pretty much every pump pillow from the entire squad... I call it the Tactical La Z Boy.


 
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MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
2,600
1,030
113
San Diego, Ca
#43
Target obscuration is an interesting point.. Will it evolve at matches or will it be one toe over the line..

I saw a snippet of that trend last year in Craig Colorado for the Mile High NRL match. A 700'something target was hidden in the shade and partially obscured by tree branches. Lots of shooters complained about it and for day two, seeing as how they were using that same target again, they went and trimmed away all the branches. It was much easier to find and see on day two.

I think an MD has to be very careful in using targets of this nature. The most obvious being, this shouldn't be an equipment race. The guy without deep pockets should be allowed to come out with what they have and still be able to see the targets. The challenge should always be, first and foremost, hitting the target. Not seeing it. As soon as you start sending away shooters disgruntled by the fact that they couldn't find or see the targets because they were unable or unwilling to shell out 2k at minimum for a scope, you're going to start pumping the brakes on the growth of this sport.

And at the match in Craig, RO's were having trouble spotting impacts. The target was hard for them to see as well. A branch cut across the bottom of the plate hiding dust splash off the plate. And audio feedback was crap. If that plate would have rang like a bell or had a flasher on it, problem solved. But it had neither. So an MD can handicap his own RO's by trying to get too creative.

And I only hunt BIG game Marine. If I have to start trying to shoot a prairie dog in the eye at 400 yards, it would very quickly reveal how talentless I am ;)
Oh, I hear you on the gear race thing. That being said, a good match has to have a couple curve balls thrown in it. Shooters can bitch all they want, target ID is a part of the sport, and it certainly keeps some egos in check. But as Frank mentioned once in one of his pod casts, setting up a match is a balance of confidence building stages, and stages that just drive you nuts (some set up for failure, some set up for other near impossible or trick shots; i.e. defilade shots, loop holes, etc.). It's all part of the sport. Obviously they can't all be hard or impossible, but not having them (difficult stages) also limits how much we push people to be innovative and let their ingenuity show as they push to think outside the box. Plus, @hic28 , @NoLegs24 and I enjoy being a little mischievous in how we lay out the match CoF's for our shooters (but there's always a lesson in the stages for the shooters to take back home with them to work on).
 

koshkin

Dark Lord Of Optics
Feb 22, 2006
1,490
761
113
Los Angeles
www.opticsthoughts.com
#45
Oh boy, I guess it is "complicated" !!! :)
No, it really isn't.

The basic point I am trying to make is that it is an optical system. Keyword: "system". When you are talking about the optics of a riflescope, all the different aspects of the image are not independent of each other. If contrast is very poor, resolution does not matter. If resolution is very poor, great contrast will not help you.

If there is severe CA, it is an indication of color management issues. Poorly handled CA, also often goes hand in hand with lower contrast. Flare control issues together with CA, really blur the edges of whatever you are trying to see. And the edges get screwy in different ways depending on where behind the eyepiece you are.

And so on and so forth. A blanket statement along the lines of "I do not care about CA" is pointless. CA is a symptom, not the problem itself. Same for a bunch of other image characteristics.

ILya
 

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
931
322
63
#47
"Wait a second. PRS, an equipment race? Say it isn't so!"

Haha, I know! Huh!

Me shooting stage 11 at Dog Valley. It's pretty much every pump pillow from the entire squad... I call it the Tactical La Z Boy.


That setup screams for a tripod. At 1400-1800 for a nice RRS setup, there is no equipment race going on. None.😎

Cool set up though, and a great pic. Are you tiny, or are those the biggest pump pillows ive ever seen?
 
Jan 5, 2014
1,106
159
63
Wabaunsee, KS
#48
..
No, it really isn't.

The basic point I am trying to make is that it is an optical system. Keyword: "system". When you are talking about the optics of a riflescope, all the different aspects of the image are not independent of each other. If contrast is very poor, resolution does not matter. If resolution is very poor, great contrast will not help you.

If there is severe CA, it is an indication of color management issues. Poorly handled CA, also often goes hand in hand with lower contrast. Flare control issues together with CA, really blur the edges of whatever you are trying to see. And the edges get screwy in different ways depending on where behind the eyepiece you are.

And so on and so forth. A blanket statement along the lines of "I do not care about CA" is pointless. CA is a symptom, not the problem itself. Same for a bunch of other image characteristics.

ILya

Excellent! So if "contrast" is another key aspect of "image" (or "good glass") the how can we most easily measure it ??
:)
 

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
931
322
63
#49
Different companies may define things differently, idk, but basically, a scope is a compromise between resolution, color rendition and light transmission. It is a balance, and though they can be close, especially with HD or ED glass, you have to favor one over the others. That is why a paper punching short range competition scope is different than the scope needed for a hunter or sniper. Which is also different than that needed for something like PRS. There can be a lot of overlap of course, but there are a milion variationsmon that balance, so finding one that is best for you should be easy, but also challenging given the scope, so to speak.

So, a scope with great resolution, but lesser light transmission and color rendition, would not be a good choice for low light shooting, as an example.
 
Likes: wigwamitus
Apr 25, 2014
831
195
43
Boise, Idaho
#50
That setup screams for a tripod. At 1400-1800 for a nice RRS setup, there is no equipment race going on. None.😎

Cool set up though, and a great pic. Are you tiny, or are those the biggest pump pillows ive ever seen?
Haha, I'm 5'11". I have no idea where that monstrous bag behind me came from, but I wasn't complaining. I also have several really large bags on my right side just like the one in my lap. The squad would pretty much gather round and stuff pillows everywhere until the shooter said they felt good about it.

That stage was a sponsored stage. On day one we had to use their tripod and hog saddle. On day two we had to use those shooting sticks as our front support from where I was sitting, no adjusting the height. It was pretty unstable. A rear tripod wouldn't have been bad once we figured out how to lock that shooting stick in place so it didn't move everywhere. But they said no gear restrictions for rear support, so away we went...

The things we do to get a hit.. ;)
 
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