Help Picking Scope for First Rifle -- $3k budget

Paul_H

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May 20, 2019
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Norwich, CT
So, the 6-8 weeks that Mile High quoted me for my new, and first, rifle is actually only two weeks and if I'm going get a scope from them and have it mounted I need to make a decision soon. I have no real preference for brand. Looking for recommendations.

Here are the answers from the FAQ page:
Platform: TL3 bolt action
Cartridge: 6.5 Creedmoor
Use: PRS, Benchrest, Target
Conditions: lowlight to daylight
Distances: 100yds - 1200+yds.
Specs: MOA
Price: ~$3,000 (scope only not including rings)

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Paul

Edit: upped the price range.
 
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SIlabs

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Mar 21, 2019
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So, the 6-8 weeks that Mile High quoted me for my new, and first, rifle is actually only two weeks and if I'm going get a scope from them and have it mounted I need to make a decision soon. I have no real preference for brand. Looking for recommendations.

Here are the answers from the FAQ page:
Platform: TL3 bolt action
Cartridge: 6.5 Creedmoor
Use: PRS, Benchrest, Target
Conditions: lowlight to daylight
Distances: 100yds - 1200+yds.
Specs: MOA
Price: ~$3,000 (scope only not including rings)

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Paul

Edit: upped the price range.
I just started back after a 10+ year absence from long range shooting....over that time there has been a lot of advancement in equipment and accessories. Unfortunately, I live in a desert when it comes to precision rifles and related equipment...I purchased a Nightforce ATCAR that I like and a Zero Compromise (from Mile High) 4-20x50 mpct 2 that I really like....I will most likely be purchasing another ZCO for my next rifle build....your budget is not far from ZCO territory, worth a look.
 
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lancetkenyon

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Used S&B PMII 5-25x56, 5-20x50 US, 3-20x50 (US or Non-US)
Used Tangent Theta 5-25x56 or 3-15x50
Used NF ATACR 5-25x56 F1 (maybe new?)
Used ZCO 4-20x50 or 5-27x56
Used Minox ZP5 5-25x56 (maybe new?) or 3-15x50
Kahles K624i 6-24x56, 5-25x56, or 3-18x50
 
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Hollywood 6mm

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Flori-duh.
Personally, I'd jump on one of the Bushnell XRS2s at GA Precision that come with a free Kestrel Sportsman, drop the $190 from kestrel for the upgrade to the full AB Elite software, and spend the rest of your optic budget on ammo. The XRS2 is a great optic on its own, but this way you're getting a great optic for half your budget, getting a $700 kestrel for $250 ($190 software upgrade, $60 cable), and still have over 1k for ammo. Since this is your first LR rig, having the extra money in ammo (and a Kestrel from day 1) will be a huge benefit in learning, and you're not giving up much on the optic to do it.

As far as I know, the GAP deal ends this weekend, so if you want to get in on it, I'd order quickly.

Edit: Just realized you said MOA. The XRS is MIL only, but if you're interested in PRS/NRL matches, MIL is the way to go.
 

VegasHKShooter

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Personally, I'd jump on one of the Bushnell XRS2s at GA Precision that come with a free Kestrel Sportsman, drop the $190 from kestrel for the upgrade to the full AB Elite software, and spend the rest of your optic budget on ammo. The XRS2 is a great optic on its own, but this way you're getting a great optic for half your budget, getting a $700 kestrel for $250 ($190 software upgrade, $60 cable), and still have over 1k for ammo. Since this is your first LR rig, having the extra money in ammo (and a Kestrel from day 1) will be a huge benefit in learning, and you're not giving up much on the optic to do it.

As far as I know, the GAP deal ends this weekend, so if you want to get in on it, I'd order quickly.

Edit: Just realized you said MOA. The XRS is MIL only, but if you're interested in PRS/NRL matches, MIL is the way to go.
There is ALOT soft good info in this post.

Now, if you’re set on a Tier 1 optic, ie: NF, S&B, ZCO, TT, then there is no answer that we here can give you. At that level, they’re ALL fantastic. Most folks will tell you one of two things: buy this brand (insert brand they shoot here), or, shop features and reticle.
I say that as well. At the top level, they all track, the glass is so good it takes a VERY trained eye looking at them side by side to tell any difference. And that’s assuming there really is any. I’ve owned S&B, and now shoot ALL NF, and have been behind several Kahles. They were all three awesome. NF has me now because I have an outstanding relationship with their LEO rep, and they take phenomenal care of .mil and LEO’s. The durability of NF has never been a question either.
I can’t speak to TT or ZCO, as I haven’t been behind them. I hear NOTHING but positive, and have no reason to doubt that.

So, my long winded answer is: but the reticle and features you want, and don’t sweat the name as much.
 
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Paul_H

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May 20, 2019
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Norwich, CT
There is ALOT soft good info in this post.

Now, if you’re set on a Tier 1 optic, ie: NF, S&B, ZCO, TT, then there is no answer that we here can give you. At that level, they’re ALL fantastic. Most folks will tell you one of two things: buy this brand (insert brand they shoot here), or, shop features and reticle.
I say that as well. At the top level, they all track, the glass is so good it takes a VERY trained eye looking at them side by side to tell any difference. And that’s assuming there really is any. I’ve owned S&B, and now shoot ALL NF, and have been behind several Kahles. They were all three awesome. NF has me now because I have an outstanding relationship with their LEO rep, and they take phenomenal care of .mil and LEO’s. The durability of NF has never been a question either.
I can’t speak to TT or ZCO, as I haven’t been behind them. I hear NOTHING but positive, and have no reason to doubt that.

So, my long winded answer is: but the reticle and features you want, and don’t sweat the name as much.
Thank you for your input. I understand what you are saying and had not thought of it that way. I'm not necessarily set on a Tier 1 optic at this time, and think the suggestion of the Bushnell scope with Kestrel meter and shoot the rest of the money is also good advice.
 

Paul_H

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May 20, 2019
78
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Norwich, CT
Personally, I'd jump on one of the Bushnell XRS2s at GA Precision that come with a free Kestrel Sportsman, drop the $190 from kestrel for the upgrade to the full AB Elite software, and spend the rest of your optic budget on ammo. The XRS2 is a great optic on its own, but this way you're getting a great optic for half your budget, getting a $700 kestrel for $250 ($190 software upgrade, $60 cable), and still have over 1k for ammo. Since this is your first LR rig, having the extra money in ammo (and a Kestrel from day 1) will be a huge benefit in learning, and you're not giving up much on the optic to do it.

As far as I know, the GAP deal ends this weekend, so if you want to get in on it, I'd order quickly.

Edit: Just realized you said MOA. The XRS is MIL only, but if you're interested in PRS/NRL matches, MIL is the way to go.
Personally, I'd jump on one of the Bushnell XRS2s at GA Precision that come with a free Kestrel Sportsman, drop the $190 from kestrel for the upgrade to the full AB Elite software, and spend the rest of your optic budget on ammo. The XRS2 is a great optic on its own, but this way you're getting a great optic for half your budget, getting a $700 kestrel for $250 ($190 software upgrade, $60 cable), and still have over 1k for ammo. Since this is your first LR rig, having the extra money in ammo (and a Kestrel from day 1) will be a huge benefit in learning, and you're not giving up much on the optic to do it.

As far as I know, the GAP deal ends this weekend, so if you want to get in on it, I'd order quickly.

Edit: Just realized you said MOA. The XRS is MIL only, but if you're interested in PRS/NRL matches, MIL is the way to go.
I also just realized I typed MOA when I meant MIL. The Busnhell/Kestrel package is sounding even better.
 

Paul_H

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May 20, 2019
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Norwich, CT
What rings did you get?
The ones that Ken at GA Precision recommended to go with my TL3 action and heavy palma barrel. Of all the notes I wrote down from our call, I forgot to write down which ones they were. Once I get my invoice I'll update this thread.

I could not find any on their site so called and spoke with them. I have to say the two companies, GA Precision and Mile High Shooting, that I've called for help, have provided some of the best customer service I have ever had over the phone.
 

Hollywood 6mm

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Flori-duh.
The ones that Ken at GA Precision recommended to go with my TL3 action and heavy palma barrel. Of all the notes I wrote down from our call, I forgot to write down which ones they were. Once I get my invoice I'll update this thread.

I could not find any on their site so called and spoke with them. I have to say the two companies, GA Precision and Mile High Shooting, that I've called for help, have provided some of the best customer service I have ever had over the phone.
The guys at GAP are top notch. I've used them for several years for my builds and other purchases, and have never been let down. My Tempest just got back from having my chassis bedded, and my trainer is there right now for a barrel replacement.