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New 1-6x: Leupold, Swaro or Razor?


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Now that I am back from living overseas the past several years I am planning on doing some 3 Gun in the near future. I bought a 1-4x DFP US Optics for a deployment to Afghanistan mainly due to its ruggedness and ability to take some smacking around. The problem that I have with it is in the red dot not being daytime visible. I was lucky enough to have a 100m range about 10 feet outside my backdoor there, and plenty of free ammo in the bunker so I shot roughly 3 times a week for about three of the months we were there and then around once a week the other 6 months. So I was able to get plenty of trigger time behind the US Optics. I am still having a hard time breaking shots fast on things in 1x though because I am relying on centering the crosshairs and because in most daylight situations the red dot just doesn't cut it. So I am looking for something to bring to the arena that will help me out in this arena.

My focus has mainly been on the Leupold Mark 6, the Swarovski Z6i and the Razor HD II 1-6 with the JM-1 reticle. Can anyone shine some light on these as far as daylight visibility? I haven't been able to find many direct comparisons between the three. Also wondering how well the JM-1 does compartively since it has no wind holds marked. I'm used to having some kind of tree to be able to deal with wind calls. Overall I am leaning toward the Leupold just due to the fact that if I head back overseas I would easily be able to take it off my fun gun and throw it on my duty gun and be able to do whatever the mission calls for, but I have read a few reviews that say its limited in the daylight visible category.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I know the best way to figure it out is to try and get my hands on each one, but I am waiting for my gear to get here from storage and just trying to plan ahead, so I haven't been able to get out and see what anyone is shooting these days. Thanks.

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Can anyone shine some light on these as far as daylight visibility?

The Vortex is easily daylight visible in bright Texas sun with light backgrounds. See the link in my sig to videos showing the light-colored berms for reference.

I can't compare the three, as I haven't seen the Mk6. Haven't looked through a Z6i since last fall, so can't comment on it versus the Vortex side-by-side, but I recall the Swaro was easily visible as well.

Also wondering how well the JM-1 does compartively since it has no wind holds marked. I'm used to having some kind of tree to be able to deal with wind calls.

The lack of windage marks is about the only common complaint about the Vortex out there (some complain about its' weight, but I've never noticed the weight on the clock at all). What I've done, and there is reference to it in AlamoShooter's post about the Vortex in the rifle subforum, is use the width of the hash marks at the respective distance to establish windage hold. The local range we commonly use regularly sees wind 7-15mph sustained, gusting 15-20mph, and I don't feel the Vortex lack of windage hold marks has hurt my game anywhere near the benefits I see from the scope. I've gotten hits out to the 500y targets just fine with wind, just had to hold a hash mark or two width over from the steel. Hell, a really good shooter out of the Houston area with a jersey cleaned the same targets using an EOTech in Limited division by just doing similar.....holding center dot widths off the target. Not that I'd be sad if they further developed the reticle to have some windage marks or dots. The Z6i has some simplistic windage marks, but I haven't used it so can't comment no how people set it up with their loads.

Reticle info:

sub_rzr-g2_s_1-6x24_jm-1_moa.jpg

I am still having a hard time breaking shots fast on things in 1x though because I am relying on centering the crosshairs and because in most daylight situations the red dot just doesn't cut it. So I am looking for something to bring to the arena that will help me out in this arena.

I'm a big fan of Aimpoints. The Vortex is the closest thing in the variable scopes (along with the Swaro) that I've looked through that is like an Aimpoint. It is very fast and plenty bright. Again, haven't used or looked through the Mk6, so no comment there unfortunately. Hope to see one though!

Edited by AustinWolv
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I have the Leupold MK6 on a JP LRP07 and a Swaro on my JP SCR-11 and they are both awesome pieces of glass. The Mark 6 is a FFP and has a small bright red dot at 1x that never washed out at the TXMG 2 weeks ago. It is a sturdy, compact scope and will serve you well. The Z6i is just exactly what you have read on this forum. There is no equal to the Swaro in my opinion, but I'm sure there will be others chime in. I have several friends with the Vortex 1-6 and can say that I would definitely buy one, and probably will for my backup rifle that is coming soon. I have the Razor HD 5-20 on a precision rifle and it is also a phenomenal piece of glass and equals the Nightforce 8x32 NXS that I have on another rifle. I am a self admitted optics snob now as you can tell.

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If you are a fan of your USO, check out the new USO SR8. I have been running one for about a month and it is impressive. It's a lot of scope, but if you are going to be taking shots at little poppers at 300 yards+, you will appreciate it. The red dot is definitely day light visible on this one and with the FFP reticle it makes for a nice, fast, close range optic. You have to buy the top of the line one to get the Red Dot feature. They got it right when they made this beast...

I've looked at all the others and for my money, I'd go with the Vortex (if the USO isn't an option). The Swaro is a little nicer, but I couldn't justify the jump in price. The Vortex is just an all around great choice in my opinion. I've yet to meet someone who is using it that is not extremely pleased with their choice. The dot in both the Vortex and the Swaro is daylight visible.

I have handled the Leupold at SHOT, but I've read a few poor reviews on it for gaming use. I should have one here in a few weeks to try out and I'll do a write up on it after I've put enough rounds through it to have an educated opinion on it. I remember being impressed with the size and weight of it at the show.

Edited by winmagfrog
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I own the Swaro and the Vortex. I like both. I like the reticle a bit better on the Swaro for the drops (matches my load a bit better and has wind holds) and I like the lighter weight of the scope. That said The Vortex has a forgiving eye box a smaller more precise illuminated dot in red which I prefer. Both are great however if I were starting out today I would get the vortex because its like 1k cheaper. I am not selling my Swaro and I paid a lower price being a LEO but for a new shooter who does not get the discount the Vortex is the scope to have in my opinion.

Pat

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Roger_Out, welcome back brother. I just got home from deployment myself and was looking at the Z6i and the Vortex. Based on what I read on this forum and the much cheaper price tag I went wight the Vortex and managed to purchase one from another member here. It is Aimpoint bright and absolutely awesome. I could not be happier with the illumination, clarity and the very forgiving eye box.

If you are military as it appears you can get a mil discount from SWFA if you give them a call. Best price I was able to find other than lucking out here in the classifieds.

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I got the Swarovski and love it. Soooo much that I got another and might get a third.

Look at how many top guys use them.

Edit: lol I typed SWARO and my IPad fixed it by itself to Swarovski. Haha

Edited by Mr Player
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I got the Swarovski and love it. Soooo much that I got another and might get a third.

Look at how many top guys use them.

Edit: lol I typed SWARO and my IPad fixed it by itself to Swarovski. Haha

Great Scope but if you can afford 3 I envy you. I have just 1.

Pat

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I got the Swarovski and love it. Soooo much that I got another and might get a third.

Look at how many top guys use them.

Edit: lol I typed SWARO and my IPad fixed it by itself to Swarovski. Haha

Great Scope but if you can afford 3 I envy you. I have just 1.

Pat

I'm single, have no kids, work hard, and love 3gun.
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I got the Swarovski and love it. Soooo much that I got another and might get a third.

Look at how many top guys use them.

Edit: lol I typed SWARO and my IPad fixed it by itself to Swarovski. Haha

Great Scope but if you can afford 3 I envy you. I have just 1.

Pat

I'm single, have no kids, work hard, and love 3gun.

I am single with no kids and love three gun too. As for working hard thats a bit out of my control. I work hard when others make bad choices.

Pat

Edited by Alaskapopo
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I got the Swarovski and love it. Soooo much that I got another and might get a third.

Look at how many top guys use them.

Edit: lol I typed SWARO and my IPad fixed it by itself to Swarovski. Haha

3 isn't enough. I still need two more.

I agree. I need more as well. Funny thing is I know a guy that has 3 one of which is on his "truck" gun. That gun also happens to be a registered M16!!!!

So.....there is always someone to envy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have the Leupold 1-6 Mark 6 with the CMR-W 5.56 reticle I think its the best thing out there its a 34mm tube and the field of view is great

the illumination is spot on and the zero stop turrets with locking position is great as well.

Its a great piece I used a American Defense cam lock mount very sturdy and light weight.

Love It. Used it to shoot Midwest 3 Gun just the other day I dialed on the hold over on the 385 target and hit it first shot.

good product from Americas Best Optics Company.

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The Z6i is what usually comes up as a point of comparison. I bought one and am extremely happy with it. Scopes and 3 Gun equipment is dynamic, continually changing with new solutions so if you can afford it right now the Swaro is at or near the top if you have the cash. Just two cents

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I own the Swaro and the Vortex. I like both. I like the reticle a bit better on the Swaro for the drops (matches my load a bit better and has wind holds) and I like the lighter weight of the scope. That said The Vortex has a forgiving eye box a smaller more precise illuminated dot in red which I prefer. Both are great however if I were starting out today I would get the vortex because its like 1k cheaper. I am not selling my Swaro and I paid a lower price being a LEO but for a new shooter who does not get the discount the Vortex is the scope to have in my opinion.

Pat

+1 swaro reticle is hard to beat, I think when vortex puts out a mil reticle i'll switch then. I really wanted to like the vortex but couldn't get past the reticle. I don't reload so there's no way I could make or find a load to match it.

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No BDC is going to perfectly match factory ammo, unless you get an ACOG and use the MIL ammo it is set up with.........

Here's a Strelok picture of factory PRVI 69gr at 2641fps out of my 18" rifle, zero'd at 200y. The target circle shown is 20", so 4MOA at 500yards.

In other words, hold at the hashes out to about 400, then start holding upper-1/3 to top of target after that. Has worked like a charm for me.

The hashes are ~8.6" across at the respective distance so you can measure off for windage using that. Not as quick as having windage marks, but hopefully the JM-2 would add that. This reticle works across a pretty good range of bullet weights. It isn't a precision reticle and doesn't need to be for our game.

JM-1%20BDC%2C%20Vortex.jpg

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the widths of the hashes are:

1st one down: 2.865 MOA wide

2nd one down: 2.15 MOA wide

3rd one down: 1.7 MOA wide

4th one down: 1.435 MOA wide

a bit more info here: http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_2_277/226139__ARCHIVED_THREAD____Ranging_with_the_RAZOR_HDII_.html&page=1#i1880619

Edited by dukduk
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I ended up sighting in the Vortex with the first line down being on at 300. The center is shooting 5 inches high at 200 yards the 400 yard mark is pretty much dead on but i was shooting 5 inch steel and hitting it so not sure how exact but within 5 inches. But wish they would have just done 1 mil apart for each hash .
Pat

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  • 5 months later...
I have handled the Leupold at SHOT, but I've read a few poor reviews on it for gaming use. I should have one here in a few weeks to try out and I'll do a write up on it after I've put enough rounds through it to have an educated opinion on it. I remember being impressed with the size and weight of it at the show.
  • Can you elaborate about the bad reviews at all? Sorry if I'm hijacking this older thread, but it's identical to my questions.

I'm making a similar decision to the OP between vortex, Swaro, and Mark 6 1-6x scopes. I'm not liking the Swarovski due to cost and inferior warranty to Vortex; I'm not familiar with Leupold's warranty. I am comfortable playing $1500 for vortex, but the $2000-2500 for Mark 6 of Swaro would hurt more if it's not worth it. I'm working a ton of overtime right now and I could torture myself by working more, so a Swaro is possible and on the table. The higher cost just deters me. The lighter Mark 6 / Swaro weight is a huge advantage for me personally since I'm not what you would call built. The Leupold CMR-W 5.56 reticule seems superior to the Vortex since it factors in wind; I don't like the Vortex reticule. I'm very happy with my Mark 4 on my .308 bolt gun.

  • Swaro owners, is the thing rugged? The big worry for me is that the scope isn't as rugged as the Vortex for the much higher cost. The better reticule and lower weight are huge pros. I plan to cover the scope under my personal articles insurance, but I still don't want to have to deal with it breaking.
  • Is the Leupold "wide circle" / horse shoe better than a red dot for close in fast shooting?
  • Op did you end up buying a scope? How do you like it?
Edited by compulsion1984
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I have a like new MK6 1-6 for sale with a Larue mount. I bought it and used it for two local matches and FNH. It includes the MGM Switchview. I bought it due to my IOR being sent back to the factory. They replaced it and I need the 8x. The bad reviews are due to the illumination appears to move or blick out if you don't maintain the same cheek weld. I have two friends running them and say it does not bother them but it does bug me.

FYI

MK6 = $1950

Larue non QR mount = $165

MGM Switchview = $50

Total =$2165

I will take $1750 for it all.

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I have handled the Leupold at SHOT, but I've read a few poor reviews on it for gaming use. I should have one here in a few weeks to try out and I'll do a write up on it after I've put enough rounds through it to have an educated opinion on it. I remember being impressed with the size and weight of it at the show.
  • Can you elaborate about the bad reviews at all? Sorry if I'm hijacking this older thread, but it's identical to my questions.

I'm making a similar decision to the OP between vortex, Swaro, and Mark 6 1-6x scopes. I'm not liking the Swarovski due to cost and inferior warranty to Vortex; I'm not familiar with Leupold's warranty. I am comfortable playing $1500 for vortex, but the $2000-2500 for Mark 6 of Swaro would hurt more if it's not worth it. I'm working a ton of overtime right now and I could torture myself by working more, so a Swaro is possible and on the table. The higher cost just deters me. The lighter Mark 6 / Swaro weight is a huge advantage for me personally since I'm not what you would call built. The Leupold CMR-W 5.56 reticule seems superior to the Vortex since it factors in wind; I don't like the Vortex reticule. I'm very happy with my Mark 4 on my .308 bolt gun.

  • Swaro owners, is the thing rugged? The big worry for me is that the scope isn't as rugged as the Vortex for the much higher cost. The better reticule and lower weight are huge pros. I plan to cover the scope under my personal articles insurance, but I still don't want to have to deal with it breaking.
  • Is the Leupold "wide circle" / horse shoe better than a red dot for close in fast shooting?
  • Op did you end up buying a scope? How do you like it?

I have used a Swaro 1-6, both the circle dot and the BRT for the last 5 years. I can't speak for anyone else's scopes, but I have never heard of a Swaro breaking, although I'm sure it's happened. I did get to take a good look at a Vortex 1-6 a few weeks ago and the glass is not as good as the Swaro. I was surprised that the Vortex had a bit of fish eye at 1 power and I didn't like the retical. If you decide you want the Swaro, start looking for deals, I got mine at EuroOptic.com as a demo and saved about $600. Also from time to time you see them here on the BE Classifieds. Good luck on your search.

Doug

Edited by Doug H.
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