6.5 Grendel Hunting/SPRish Optic

YotaEer

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I’m looking to upgrade from a strike eagle 1-8. Needing more magnification and better glass/eye relief. FFP instead of SFP. Illumination preferred for low light shots. Not looking for a complicated reticle. Less is more in my case. Budget is $1000.

The scope will be used on my SPR/hunting build. Shots are from 50-500 yards ranging from ringing steel to coyotes, ground hogs and white tails. Gun is carried around the mountains quite a bit so weight gain is a concern. However, I understand I will have to deal with some added weight over the strike eagle (16 oz) to get an optic that fits my needs.

Scope Shortlist:

Sig Tango 4-16
Bushnell LRTS 3-12
Weaver Tactical EMDR 3-15
Athlon Ares BTR 2.5-15
SWFA 3-15
Vortex PST Gen 2 3-15
Nikon Black FX1000 4-16

Any thoughts or suggestions?
 
Last edited:

ZY100

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Athlon Ares BTR 2.5-15 : for $414 shipped from Cameraland with a sunshade, this is a solid option. No, its not the same as some of my other scopes that start with a "K", but its a pretty good step up from a strike eagle.

ZY
 

YotaEer

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Athlon Ares BTR 2.5-15 : for $414 shipped from Cameraland with a sunshade, this is a solid option. No, its not the same as some of my other scopes that start with a "K", but its a pretty good step up from a strike eagle.

ZY
Ive been doing a lot of research and the entire Athlon line of scopes seems to be getting good reviews.

I’m a little hesitant about the China manufacturing, but seems like a great bang for your buck
 

stello1001

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Can't say enough good things about the weaver tactical. Had it for a whole season where I clocked in many many hours out in the field and found the glass to be very superior. Thing is built like a tank too and tracks. It may not have a million features or an updated reticle, but it's a great reticle for hunting.
 
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YotaEer

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Can't say enough good things about the weaver tactical. Had it for a whole season where I clocked in many many hours out in the field and found the glass to be very superior. Thing is built like a tank too and tracks. It may not have a million features or an updated reticle, but it's a great reticle for hunting.
This is exactly what drew me to it, great Japanese glass and a simple reticle.

The weaver, Sig with milling reticle, Nikon and SWFA are my preferred Reticle designs
 

YotaEer

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Honestly, I would probably give SWFA 3-9x42 a close look. It really works very well for an application like yours while keeping weight under control.

ILya
I was hoping you would give your take. If the SWFA was illuminated, the choice would be easy
 

RFutch

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Vista has shut Weaver scope manufacturing down. If you have problem with a weaver it goes to bushnell for "warranty". Bushnell then tells you your scope is discontinued and you can buy one of their scopes for a discount. No way I'd go that route.

I've had three of the scopes on your list. The Bushnell 3-12, SWFA 3-15, and the Nikon 4-16. Nikon is the only one I still have currently.

The SWFA 3-15 seemed to have a small eyebox to me but was probably the best out of those. All of those 3 are 23-24 oz and will all work well.

I kept the Nikon because I like the reticle, zero stop, and 50mm obj features the best.

As far as Athlon I know they get good reviews but I stay away from chinese made optics.
 
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stello1001

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I've only ever heard of one and only one incident of a weaver scope having to go back in for warranty and the customer was given a much higher end scope being that his was discontinued. Now granted, I have no idea if this was already through Bushnell or not. Regardless, they all seem to be decent options that would work but I would still pick the weaver, especially over the SWFA.
 
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sea2summit

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In the same boat and looking at the LRTS but damned if it's impossible to find a review on it. Cameraland's blackfriday deal has me ready to pull the trigger.
 
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YotaEer

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Vista has shut Weaver scope manufacturing down. If you have problem with a weaver it goes to bushnell for "warranty". Bushnell then tells you your scope is discontinued and you can buy one of their scopes for a discount. No way I'd go that route.

I've had three of the scopes on your list. The Bushnell 3-12, SWFA 3-15, and the Nikon 4-16. Nikon is the only one I still have currently.

The SWFA 3-15 seemed to have a small eyebox to me but was probably the best out of those. All of those 3 are 23-24 oz and will all work well.

I kept the Nikon because I like the reticle, zero stop, and 50mm obj features the best.

As far as Athlon I know they get good reviews but I stay away from chinese made optics.
thank you for the input. Very helpful.

how would you say the glass compared between the 3?
 
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YotaEer

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I've only ever heard of one and only one incident of a weaver scope having to go back in for warranty and the customer was given a much higher end scope being that his was discontinued. Now granted, I have no idea if this was already through Bushnell or not. Regardless, they all seem to be decent options that would work but I would still pick the weaver, especially over the SWFA.
Definitely like what I’m gathering about the Weaver. Wasn’t aware that they were part of Bushnell. Big positive there.

The LRTS was what I decided on until I figured I’d want more magnification, so the weaver seems to fit nicely
 
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lou400a

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I've had LRHS 3-12 on my 17.5" Grendel and just switched to Steiner T5xi 3-15 because I wanted illuminated reticle. I may switch it back to shed few oz as the circle of death on the LRHS is fairly visible in low light.
I've put Vortex HD LH 1.5-8 G4 on my 11.5" SBR and took two does with it this season. I'm really happy with that setup.
It's fairly light, decent low light performance and the G4 reticle is easy to work with. Turrets are mushy, but there's no need to dial on this setup.
As mentioned above the XTR II 2-10 is a great option as well
 
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YotaEer

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I've had LRHS 3-12 on my 17.5" Grendel and just switched to Steiner T5xi 3-15 because I wanted illuminated reticle. I may switch it back to shed few oz as the circle of death on the LRHS is fairly visible in low light.
I've put Vortex HD LH 1.5-8 G4 on my 11.5" SBR and took two does with it this season. I'm really happy with that setup.
It's fairly light, decent low light performance and the G4 reticle is easy to work with. Turrets are mushy, but there's no need to dial on this setup.
As mentioned above the XTR II 2-10 is a great option as well
I’ve actually looked at the Razor LH and the T5xi. Would get some weight and length savings over my other options and I don’t plan on dialing much. Unfortunately they’re SFP and no illumination in the Razor’s case.

Still something to think about
 

lou400a

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I’ve actually looked at the Razor LH and the T5xi. Would get some weight and length savings over my other options and I don’t plan on dialing much. Unfortunately they’re SFP and no illumination in the Razor’s case.

Still something to think about
The T5xi is FFP and illuminated, but the HD LH is not. They show up in PE once in a while
 

ed308

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On my 6.8 and 270AR, I use a Leupold scopes with Fire Dot Reticle in 3-9x or 4-12x. The Fire Dot is nice at dusk. Leupold are my preferred scopes for hunting since they are very durable and lightweight.
 
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YotaEer

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On my 6.8 and 270AR, I use a Leupold scopes with Fire Dot Reticle in 3-9x or 4-12x. The Fire Dot is nice at dusk. Leupold are my preferred scopes for hunting since they are very durable and lightweight.
Any model in particular? VXR, VX5 etc?
 

rookie7

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I am almost in the same boat.

I would prefer a 2nd focal for big game, and something lightweight. I am currently using the pst gen2 3-15x44 but it’s a heavy beast.

what about the Leupold VXR patrol 3-9x40 with firedot TMR?
 
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YotaEer

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I am almost in the same boat.

I would prefer a 2nd focal for big game, and something lightweight. I am currently using the pst gen2 3-15x44 but it’s a heavy beast.

what about the Leupold VXR patrol 3-9x40 with firedot TMR?
love the reticle, firedot and the lightweight. Just worried that I will want more magnification.

does the PST make the rifle unbalanced or too heavy to carry all day in your opinion? The biggest benefit of the SFP scopes is the weight savings
 

FireShooter

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I like my LRTS better than I liked my T5XI. The LRTS has much less CA and it is very effective at twilight in my experience. I’ve tried different scopes but it somehow keeps winding up on my Coyote rifle. For the price it can’t be beat.
 

steve123

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OP, I don't know if the Gen2 Ares BTR 2.5-15 is out yet but that could be an option, well except that it has a tree reticle that might be too busy for you.

It should be improved over the Gen1 in different ways, especially the turrets. Also the reticle line thickness is a good width for hunting vs the thinner reticle like in my Midas TAC 4-16.

I sold my LRHS and bought the G1 Ares which I liked better in different ways, mostly that it focused close but I do like .2 mil reticles. The only thing that I thought the 3-12 LRHS had the best of was glass and I did like the circle of death but 12x wasn't cutting it for me. It's amazing the difference between 12x and 15x if you are shooting at steel a lot.

If I could stand moa and wanted to spend the least amount on a FFP scope with a thicker reticle that was decent for holdover/offs I'd buy a Primary Arms 4-14.

But for 500Y as your longest shot I don't think FFP is absolutely needed. I'm a 95% FFP guy but my rifle for such purposes has a SFP scope with a thick mildot reticl as well as .1 mil with capped finger adjust turrets. It also focuses at 10Y. 4x is okay for close and fast and the fact it has a thick reticle is why I bought the scope in the first place, 10x is where mils are correct for holds, and 16x if I need to dial. It's only a sub $200 scope but the rifle is just a 20-221AI varmint rifle so I don't care and I'm actually fairly satisfied with it since it seems to have found a home on it's host. It's a Athlon Argos 4-16x40. They do have a 3-12 version of the same scope that is even lighter weight.
 
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koshkin

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I’ve actually looked at the Razor LH and the T5xi. Would get some weight and length savings over my other options and I don’t plan on dialing much. Unfortunately they’re SFP and no illumination in the Razor’s case.

Still something to think about
I have two of those 1.5-8x32 HD LH scopes. Quite happy with them.

ILya
 
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ssdrew

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I've had an LRTSi 4.5-18 on my Grendel for about 1.5yrs. I use it primarily to hunt with and occasionally shooting some steel. To me it is an awesome optic. Glass is very clear, it's not extremely heavy, but not lightweight either. I liked it until I took it hunting for the first time and tested how well it did in low light, then I loved it. I was blown away by how well it did. I do wish I had got the 3-12 although, with the prices of used ones, I will probably pick one up. They are a steal imo for the prices I have seen them go for on here.
 

Cotay

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When I first started flirting with the 6.5 Grendel I wanted to have one rifle to do it all. Now I have five 6.5 Grendel rifles (3 ARs, 2 Howa Mini). The current optics I have on them are:

1. 16" AR for midrange (intended as a budget lightweight AR hunting setup): Weaver Tactical 3-10x40 (Midway Special) (16.6 oz)
2. 16" AR for close to midrange: Bushnell SMRS II 1-6.5x24 (23 oz)
3. 18" SPR-ish AR: Sig Sauer Tango 6 2-12x40 (Gen 1) (30.2 oz)
4. 20" Howa Mini in MDT Chassis (heavy contour barrel): Sightmark Pinnacle 3-18x44 (33.5 oz) [formerly had LRHSi 4.5-18x (26.5 oz) that is now on an AR-10]
5. 20" Howa Mini in Boyds Stock (lightweight contour barrel): Vortex Razor HD LH 2-10x40 (15.4 oz)

I also have the Bushnell LRTSi 3-12x44 (28 oz) on an SPR-ish .223 Wylde and the Leupold VX-R Patrol 3-9x40 (16.3 oz) on a coyote AR.

If I were in your shoes I'd get the LRTSi 3-12x44. I paid close to $1k for mine and at the $750 that Camera Land is selling them at, it's a steal.
 
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rookie7

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love the reticle, firedot and the lightweight. Just worried that I will want more magnification.

does the PST make the rifle unbalanced or too heavy to carry all day in your opinion? The biggest benefit of the SFP scopes is the weight savings
IMO at 28 oz the pst gen 2 is not the right fit, but I’m using it right now.

in a perfect world I would have a 2-10x42 with a simple 1/2 mil hash Mark reticle with center illumination that has a capped windage turret and weighs 18 oz or less.

I will probably purchase the Leupold vxr patrol 3-9x40
 

YotaEer

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I’ve found the pst gen 1 4-16 for sale on euro optic for $500. Only 22 oz and has the ebr 1 reticle that is much simpler than the ebr 7.

Anyone have experience with the gen 1 and is it a big step down from that gen 2 pst?
 
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Cotay

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I’ve found the pst gen 1 4-16 for sale on euro optic for $500. Only 22 oz and has the ebr 1 reticle that is much simpler than the ebr 7.

Anyone have experience with the gen 1 and is it a big step down from that gen 2 pst?
I had a PST 2.5-10x32 FFP. Loved the scope (wish I hadn't sold it), but the Gen 2 is a considerably better optic with better glass, tracking, turrets, and reliability.

At this point, I'd suggest you wait for Black Friday to get a deal on a better optic. Being patient pays off and deals will be had if you know where to look (Camera Land, Sport Optics, SWFA, Euro Optic, etc). Even eBay and Amazon sometimes come through with screaming deals if you pay attention to their fluctuations in pricing for less popular or older models.
 

koshkin

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I had a PST 2.5-10x32 FFP. Loved the scope (wish I hadn't sold it), but the Gen 2 is a considerably better optic with better glass, tracking, turrets, and reliability.

At this point, I'd suggest you wait for Black Friday to get a deal on a better optic. Being patient pays off and deals will be had if you know where to look (Camera Land, Sport Optics, SWFA, Euro Optic, etc). Even eBay and Amazon sometimes come through with screaming deals if you pay attention to their fluctuations in pricing for less popular or older models.
With Gen 1 PST, the 2.5-10x32 was the best optimized design overall, although 6-24x50 was better than the others as well. 4-16x50 was not too great, but better than the 2.5-10x44.

With Gen 2 PST, 3-15x44 is easily the best of the line-up, although all of them are a step up from Gen 1.

ILya
 
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beetroot

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I’ve found the pst gen 1 4-16 for sale on euro optic for $500. Only 22 oz and has the ebr 1 reticle that is much simpler than the ebr 7.

Anyone have experience with the gen 1 and is it a big step down from that gen 2 pst?
The Gen2 is vastly better in every way.
 
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Anderhammer52

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For what it's worth on my 16in grendel I have been running a leupold vx3 lrp 4.5-14 with an offset red dot and I absolutely love it. I've had it for over a year now with the CCH reticle and have become very fond of it. Its lacking a bit on low end magnification starting at 4.5x but nothing to crazy and the offset red dot pretty much negates it. It's my 0-1000 general purpose gun and it excels in pretty much every area.
 
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Crang

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IMO at 28 oz the pst gen 2 is not the right fit, but I’m using it right now.

in a perfect world I would have a 2-10x42 with a simple 1/2 mil hash Mark reticle with center illumination that has a capped windage turret and weighs 18 oz or less.

I will probably purchase the Leupold vxr patrol 3-9x40
I use the Nightforce NSX 2.5-10x42 on my hunting rig as its 20ozs. Was about as close as I could get. Had a Patrol and thought the reticlke was too thick for precision shooting as its a dual use rifle for me. Loved everything else about the VXR though-
 
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YotaEer

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For what it's worth on my 16in grendel I have been running a leupold vx3 lrp 4.5-14 with an offset red dot and I absolutely love it. I've had it for over a year now with the CCH reticle and have become very fond of it. Its lacking a bit on low end magnification starting at 4.5x but nothing to crazy and the offset red dot pretty much negates it. It's my 0-1000 general purpose gun and it excels in pretty much every area.
great size, weight, FFP etc. just no illumination.

definitely one I’m going to look at
 
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