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New to AR Bench... recommendations?


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#1 Cundiff5535

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 03:54 PM

Hello guys, I am in need of some help... I just got my Target AR delivered and its time for some glass.



Here is the breakdown of my rifle, what I want to do with it, etc. I think this will allow you all to help as much as possible.



Basic breakdown/specs:


Giessele NM trigger


223 Compass Lake Upper w/26" Fluted Krieger Barrel



What I want to do with it:


95% Benchrest target shoot from 100-500



With that said, my budget for glass is around 1300.00



I have always wanted to try out a Nightforce (I was thinking the NF BenchRest would be awesome but I also think its going to be overkill... not that I care about that). If I were to get a NF Bench, what one would you go with reticle, power, etc? Also, I know I do not need this scope but, I think this is the one I want. I do know, that I could get a Nikon and it work out just fine as well for 1/3 the money. I have heard Sightron's are great and even Leupold (I have a few of them) are nice as well.



Thoughts?



What about a Leupold Mark 4 6.5-20x50mm LR/T M1 Illuminated Reticle (TMR)?


What do I do here... or is there something I left off that you would say go with?



Thanks for the help


Bobby


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#2 ClutchUSMC

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:13 PM

500 yards max with a $1300 budget and a desire for a nightforce sounds like NF NXS 2.5-10 to me.

http://www.opticspla...riflescope.html

I had one of the older ones with the straight tube and it was great.

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#3 AlamoShooter

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:17 AM

Its not secrete that I have a fever for Vortex Glass. Just yesterday I shot my best 500 yard group with a 260 and the Razor 5-20

But I also have this scope and it has been very good to me. What the Mil Dot will give you is room to grow to other shooting games

This scope can be had for the $800 or less 6-24 The mill reticle will help you hold for wind

http://www.vortexopt...reticle/reticle

And if you don't go Vortex you should go for the Nightforce

Edited by AlamoShooter, 10 December 2012 - 10:21 AM.

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#4 Graham Smith

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:58 AM

Nightforce is a great brand, but until you start to push the distance out further, you probably won't see that much improvement.

Dollar for dollar, two of the best contenders right now are Vortex and Bushnell. For that rifle, the Bushnell Elite Tactical 2.5-16x42 is a very good choice. Very good glass and an excellent power range. I shot one on an AR during a long range rifle class and was very impressed.

The Vortex PST is also a very good scope, but I would recommend the 4-16x over the 6-24 for your use. You don't need 24x and having a lower power on the bottom is a better choice for shorter ranges because you have a much better field of view (and that's one of the things that sets the Bushnell apart).
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#5 Jaxshooter

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 04:54 PM

I would definately go with the Nightforce over the Leupold. If you are trying to save money and do not want to spend the $1300 go with the Vortex or Bushnell.
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#6 mike4045

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:16 PM

500 yards max with a $1300 budget and a desire for a nightforce sounds like NF NXS 2.5-10 to me.

http://www.opticspla...riflescope.html

I had one of the older ones with the straight tube and it was great.


I have an older model that I leave on 10x for all shooting out to 1,000 yds. I got it from Clutchusmc. Love the midots with 500 yd zero.

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#7 loneranger04

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:01 PM

Just me but for bench rest shooting I'd prefer a second focal plane. Nightforce would be a great choice but in that price range you'll either go with the lower power or used. There certainly not anything wrong going used NF. I don't know much about the Bushnell Tacticals but I think they are mostly first focal plane and you don't need that for known distances and the thicker crosshairs would actually be a detriment to small groups. I've got a Vortex PST in a FFP that's very repeatable for cranking it up and down and the thicker crosshairs are fine for shooting steel out to 1000 yards but isn't as handy for target work and shooting small groups.

#8 lucky #7

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:49 AM

My Dad shoots benchrest with a Panda bolt action and an AR. If you plan to compete in AR Benchrest competition you will need more magnification. Most benchrest guys are running 36x to 42x. 24x minimum. It makes a big difference beyond 300 yards. Heck, it makes a big difference at 100 yards.

Sightron makes good benchrest scopes. Probably the best for the money. I don't believe NF is as common at certified benchrest competitions as some other brands.

Here is a link to the IBS AR rules: http://bulletin.accu...petition-rules/

I personally shoot a heavy AR with a 24" fluted barrel set up for varmint shooting with bag riders, etc. I use a fixed 10x bushnell elite tactical, and its ok for varmints where field of view is helpful for reading the wind, etc., but it isn't as good for benchrest.

Edited by lucky #7, 24 December 2012 - 10:56 AM.

I'm actually not sandbagging... I shoot classifiers this bad all the time.



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#9 CavReconScout

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:56 AM

I have a Nightforce 2.5x10 and can call my own shots at 600 yds on steel. I thought the claims were just hype until i bought one. You can get used NF scopes at great prices if you shop around and watch the ads.

#10 Steve RA

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 12:53 PM

If you are basically going to shoot benchrest, doubt I'd spend any money on illumination. Unless you could not get the particular scope you wanted without it.

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#11 lucky #7

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 09:54 PM

I have a Nightforce 2.5x10 and can call my own shots at 600 yds on steel. I thought the claims were just hype until i bought one. You can get used NF scopes at great prices if you shop around and watch the ads.


Hitting steel at 600 is not anywhere in the realm of benchrest accuracy. We are talking about holding groups smaller than a golf ball at 600 yards. 10 rounds in 30 seconds. You aren't doing that with 10x @ 600 yards. You couldn't see a golf ball @ 600 with 10X.

@ 600 the cross hair line on a 10x NF scope is wider than the required groups. A bendhrest shooter can hit steel @ 600 while sleeping. Like I said 24 min. 36 to 42 preferable. Don't lead the OP astray with BS. You might as well just close your eyes at 600 with a 10X with the groups required to even slightly compete OR even just hit varmints. 10x is good to 300 tops for tight groups. For reference just hitting steel is not a tight group.

Edited by lucky #7, 24 December 2012 - 10:07 PM.

I'm actually not sandbagging... I shoot classifiers this bad all the time.



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#12 CavReconScout

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 12:37 PM


I have a Nightforce 2.5x10 and can call my own shots at 600 yds on steel. I thought the claims were just hype until i bought one. You can get used NF scopes at great prices if you shop around and watch the ads.


Hitting steel at 600 is not anywhere in the realm of benchrest accuracy. We are talking about holding groups smaller than a golf ball at 600 yards. 10 rounds in 30 seconds. You aren't doing that with 10x @ 600 yards. You couldn't see a golf ball @ 600 with 10X.

@ 600 the cross hair line on a 10x NF scope is wider than the required groups. A bendhrest shooter can hit steel @ 600 while sleeping. Like I said 24 min. 36 to 42 preferable. Don't lead the OP astray with BS. You might as well just close your eyes at 600 with a 10X with the groups required to even slightly compete OR even just hit varmints. 10x is good to 300 tops for tight groups. For reference just hitting steel is not a tight group.


The Original Poster commented about Nightforce scopes, and my example of calling shots at 600 yards was to illustrate the optical clarity of the optics, not to sell him on the magnification. I have an old Bushnell spotting scope that has up to 45x, but is unusable in mirage due to poor optical quality at 600yds.

I'm not sure what the rest of your rant is all about, but your golf ball analogy is flawed. 10x at 600yds is the same as 60yds at 1x, and not only can I see a golf ball at 60yds, I can see the head of the bolt holding my steel plate at that distance, and use it as an aiming point for my Aimpoint.

I'm not sure if you are just having a bad day, dislike Nightforce, or if there is some other problem, but if you want to continue to be an ass towards me, why don't we take it to IM so that the OP's thread doesn't get any more off track.

#13 Sarge

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 01:14 PM

You couldn't see a golf ball @ 600 with 10X.

Nice rant until this part. I can see a golf ball at 500 yards with the naked eye.

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#14 Sarge

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 01:16 PM

CavReconScout what are your credentials? I was a 19D for 18 years before becoming a Zulu.

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#15 CavReconScout

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 02:19 PM

Thank you for your service First Sergeant. I was a 19D3H, first Armored Cav, then Light Cav, until I got too old and went IRR.

To the OP, if you would like to compare the optics, you don't live too far from me. I have MK4, Nightforce, and Trijicon scopes you can look thru, and compare the glass. They just won't be in the magnification range you are considering.

#16 Griz

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 07:00 PM

For benchrest the more magnification the better... It is TOTALLY different from run and gun on gigantic steel targets. you won't see many serious benchrest shooters using lower than 24x at 50 yards much less 500!

I use a Nightforce benchrest 12x-42x on a benchrest AR and highly recommend it. I can sometimes see my sighters through that scope when people are having trouble seeing thiers through spotting scopes.

I also have a Leupold mkiv 8.5-25 that I retired to a varmint rifle because the lower top magnification was such a handicap.

I have a cheap Weaver 36T for rimfire benchrest but its resolution cant compete with the NF for long range.

Get the NF 42x buy once cry once, it's less expensive in the long run

#17 Cundiff5535

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:57 PM

Just looping back around to this to say thank you for all the help. I ended up going with a New NF Benchrest scope 8-32x56. I got it at a awesome price... right around 1150 price mark, that was to my front door from a great bunch of guys at Sport Optics.

I do not think they are on here but came highly recommended from some folks on other "sniping" forums;)

Just to speak to the scope, its mounted and ready to go... since I am not a cold weather guy, its going to stay in the safe until Spring time.

Thanks again,
Bobby C

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#18 falconpilot

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:44 PM

Bobby,

You made the right choice for your scope in my opinion..I've spent the last 5 years shooting 600/1000 IBS and F-Class on the national level, and I can tell you that if your shooting for groups, get the most powerful, best glass you can! As a matter of fact, because of the advancements that we've seen in optics over the last 6-7 years, we've seen our f-class targets go from 1 moa 10 rings to 1/2 moa 10 rings...it become common to see 200/20x shot at 1000 yards...hell, for that matter, it's becoming fairly common to see 200's at 1000 yards with the 1/2moa targets today! Having shot with and for the US F-Class team, I can tell you that Nightforce is the scope of choice! On a good day, you'll be able to see your holes at 600 on a IBS target. With the 42x, I've been able to see mine at 1000 on perfect days and light target.

What reticle did you end up with..the double d is very popular, but I favor the CH-3...remember to run a mirage shield as well..
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#19 Cundiff5535

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:11 AM

Bobby,

You made the right choice for your scope in my opinion..I've spent the last 5 years shooting 600/1000 IBS and F-Class on the national level, and I can tell you that if your shooting for groups, get the most powerful, best glass you can! As a matter of fact, because of the advancements that we've seen in optics over the last 6-7 years, we've seen our f-class targets go from 1 moa 10 rings to 1/2 moa 10 rings...it become common to see 200/20x shot at 1000 yards...hell, for that matter, it's becoming fairly common to see 200's at 1000 yards with the 1/2moa targets today! Having shot with and for the US F-Class team, I can tell you that Nightforce is the scope of choice! On a good day, you'll be able to see your holes at 600 on a IBS target. With the 42x, I've been able to see mine at 1000 on perfect days and light target.

What reticle did you end up with..the double d is very popular, but I favor the CH-3...remember to run a mirage shield as well..


Hey brother thanks for chiming in... After giving it a lot of though, I did go with the NF BR scope. I went with NP-R2 but, that is only because I am not shooting this in competition. If I were competing, I would have went with your reticle of choice! I can see myself screwing around with this gun in a few different places and I thought the NP-R2 was the best choice for what "I" needed. If I do ever get into the competitive scene Ill pick up a CH-3 and throw this one on another gun. Since this was my first NF scope I figured I would choose this reticle for the reasons listed above!

Anyway, As of right now, I couldnt be happier with the scope of the rifle... Ill post some pics a little later on today!

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