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mrd

1-8x single scope vs. 4-12x + offset red dot for IPSC Rifle/3-gun?

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Posted (edited)

I presently use a 1-8x variable magnification scope as the single optic on my gaming rifle and the matches I shoot have targets up to 350 yards away. I feel higher magnification really helps in longer range shooting. I've seen many sport shooters using red dots in 45 degree offset mounts together with a scope. Now I'm thinking about trying out a lightweight higher magnification scope like 4-12x for medium-long range and an offset red dot for closer targets. Weight would be about the same for both setups, whereas I would get higher magnification in the scope for longer range targets and retain fast target aquisition in close range with the red dot. I almost always use 1x, 4x or 8x on my present scope, never anything in between. So a dual optic setup would give me more magnification options without really giving much up, i hope. 

 

Haven't really seen much on the subject so I'm looking for your experiences here. What are the pros and cons? Is the double optic setup slower than the single scope one? What would be preferable for matches with targets at 350 yards? Is it a disadvantage to tilt the rifle for aiming with the offset red dot? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by mrd

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Posted (edited)

Add a 2nd optic like a reddot= open division.

Which means you can use a Reddot on your pistol and shotgun. And use a boxmag fed shotgun, no mag size limits on any guns.

 

Or you can learn to use your 1x8, which is really a lot of scope for 400 (which isn't really long range, just seems like it to a lot of 3gunners that shoot in square berms) and in. Quite a few shooters use 1x4 Scopes and do fine with them. Also, a downside to a higher magnification is the field of view is smaller, making finding targets a bit tougher and sequencing to the next tougher...

 

My open AR15 has a 1x8 and a Reddot, and a rarely use 8x...my HeMan scope AR10 has a 1x6, my HeMan irons has a 1x, and my wife uses a 1x4 AR15. Just for examples...

Edited by RiggerJJ

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Stop over thinking this and spend a solid 3 practice sessions learning how to build stable positions. Start with favorable targets at 200 yards and work out to 400. Once you've realized you CAN hit the target, practice until 400 is easy. Then start adding a timer in to see how quickly you can build a position and get first round hits.

There's no reasonable multigun target you need more than 8x in an optic particularly within 400 yards. Even in the situation of hidden black / lead gray targets hidden in a shaded woods in the early morning 8x has been plenty of magnification to identify and hit any target. Heck, even the iron sight shooters managed to pick them out eventually. 

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8x at 350 yards is like shooting at 43 yards without a scope.

I've shot my pistol at 50 yards.

 

Going to 12x is like going to 29 yards, BUT:

    -  more wobble

    -  less field of view 

 

If you're having trouble hitting targets that appear to be 43 yards away,

then a 12x might be a solution - but most shooters feel like 8x is 

enough at that distance.

 

As Darqusoull13 mentions, I'd try practicing at 350 and see what happens.

 

How much experience do you have shooting at 8x at 350 yards ?

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for your feedback. I'm already shooting in Open division so that's not an issue. I think you misinterpret my reasons for asking - I'm not trying to solve a problem, I know I dont NEED more than 8x power. I'm just thinking about what is the most optimal setup. 

 

I'm thinking that with a dual setup, 1x with red dot is always at hand with a tilt of the rifle, should be faster than backing off the power with the lever. Or in reverse, tilt from red dot to the pre-set magnification on the scope suitable for the long range targets on the stage. So less need to run the power lever during stage. Also, I would like to have higher magnification at hand, just a general personal preference and it would be nice for the recreational  long range precision shooting I sometimes do.

 

But maybe no-one is doing this and for good reason? Still I see shooters running off-set red dots with their scopes. What are their reasons for this? Why not take the concept one step further and run a higher magnification scope with the red dot? 

Edited by mrd

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No one is doing it because it would put you at a disadvantage. The higher power your scope is dialed to, the slower your transition is to the next target.  This is the same reason that 90% of the rifles at a PRS match are 5-25x (or thereabouts) but virtually everyone reports staying between 12-16x for most of the match.  Zooming in too far just slows you down.

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Are you shooting IPSC rifle matches, or are you shooting U.S. style 3-gun? Big difference in those two.

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A scope in a higher magnification range and with a bigger objective should give you a more generous eye box (bigger exit pupil) at any given magnification. This assumes you can live with the red dot at all ranges too close for the scope.

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15 hours ago, kurtm said:

Are you shooting IPSC rifle matches, or are you shooting U.S. style 3-gun? Big difference in those two.

 

IPSC Rifle

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I've not shot IPSC rifle, but I tried a 2-10 plus red dot for a year. It worked okay, but SFP sucks more than I thought it would and rarely did I use 10x. Maybe for getting points and smaller target of IPSC it would be worth trying for you.

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I use a 2.5-10× with an offset red dot. Matches in my area mix bay and natural terrain out to 500 yards. The 10x is a definite advantage in the 100-500 yard situations. In bay shooting, I turn down to 2.5x and use it for plate rack, head shots or targets covered by no-shoots, red dot for hosing. Works.

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On 8/13/2019 at 12:05 PM, ClangClang said:

This is the same reason that 90% of the rifles at a PRS match are 5-25x (or thereabouts) but virtually everyone reports staying between 12-16x for most of the match.  Zooming in too far just slows you down.

 

A lot of them have switched to the Nightforce 7-35x actually. Most do probably keep it under 20x though.

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FOV and eye relief are more critical than X power then add it the quality of the glass.  FFV?

 

Swaro 1-8 FOV is about 100 ft at 100 yards with a generous eye relief. Plus great glass.

IOR, narrow FOV and eye relief but great glass.

See the trade offs?

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On 8/18/2019 at 1:34 AM, pjb45 said:

FOV and eye relief are more critical than X power then add it the quality of the glass.  FFV?

 

Swaro 1-8 FOV is about 100 ft at 100 yards with a generous eye relief. Plus great glass.

IOR, narrow FOV and eye relief but great glass.

See the trade offs?

 

I also think you mean eye box, not eye relief, but you are answering a question that I did not ask. know this, that's why I presently run the Swaro Z8i 1-8x24 BRT on my rifle. It seems to be among the best for the single optic setup and I'm very happy with it. But I'm always looking for ways to improve my setup. Perhaps you can read my posts again and see if you have any input on what I actually ask? 

 

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No, eye relief is correct.  "Eye relief is the distance you must hold your shooting eye from the rear (ocular) lens of a scope in order to see the entire image produced by the scope."

 

I run a Swaro 1.7-10x with a BRT type reticle.  It is not a FFP/V.  So changing the X-power changes the POI.  Since most my competitions are either at 1.7 or 10x it is not that big of a deal.  The couple of times I forgot about that and tried to use 5x the pain was severe.

 

Your Swaro 1-8x is ideal for my type of shooting.  8x was great at RM3G and SMM3G distances.  Swaro  only offered the 1-6x when I got my scope.  The clarity is great for the early morning, late afternoon and targets in the shadows. Both competitions put targets out past 500 yards. RM3G has targets in shadows at different times.  The clarity of glass is more important than X power.  I have pounded steel at 800 yards with my 10x without major issues.

 

I did read your post.  Many out here use a second optic but my observation from being a RO/CRO is the second optic appears to be a slight advantage for the less experienced shooters.  They seem to be on target slightly faster.  At 1.7x and 90+ft of FOV I have no problems but I am just a duffer.  

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15 hours ago, pjb45 said:

No, eye relief is correct.  "Eye relief is the distance you must hold your shooting eye from the rear (ocular) lens of a scope in order to see the entire image produced by the scope."

 

I run a Swaro 1.7-10x with a BRT type reticle.  It is not a FFP/V.  So changing the X-power changes the POI.  Since most my competitions are either at 1.7 or 10x it is not that big of a deal.  The couple of times I forgot about that and tried to use 5x the pain was severe.

 

Your Swaro 1-8x is ideal for my type of shooting.  8x was great at RM3G and SMM3G distances.  Swaro  only offered the 1-6x when I got my scope.  The clarity is great for the early morning, late afternoon and targets in the shadows. Both competitions put targets out past 500 yards. RM3G has targets in shadows at different times.  The clarity of glass is more important than X power.  I have pounded steel at 800 yards with my 10x without major issues.

 

I did read your post.  Many out here use a second optic but my observation from being a RO/CRO is the second optic appears to be a slight advantage for the less experienced shooters.  They seem to be on target slightly faster.  At 1.7x and 90+ft of FOV I have no problems but I am just a duffer.  

 

Thanks, good input. I think in the end I might end up trying both setups and see what I like the best. But as someone pointed out, I might be overthinking this. I have a good setup and it would probably be to leave it as is and just shoot. But it's also fun to try out different setups! 

 

Sorry if this is nitpicking, my understanding of the terms is that eye box refers to the space where you can position your eye and still see the whole picture in the scope - a generous eye box makes head placement less critical, good when leaning and shooting different position, weak shoulder etc. As I understand eye relief it refers to the mean distance from eye to ocular on the scope while being able to see the entire image. Thus eye relief has more to do with how to mount your scope at the proper distance from the shooter whereas eye box is more about how forgiving the scope is to head placement. Correct me if I'm wrong. 

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For the mrd

Take Swaro or Zeiss 1-8 and use it alone or get secondary 1x magnification red dot on side.

Rifle World Shoot open division winner had combo system and silver medalist had only 1 scope. Both systems are good to go.

 

Personally I prefer 1 scope system because I do not want to learn new shooting style.

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Zeiss 1.1-8x30 is the current top of the line go-to scope for IPSC Rifle. Having crystal clear glass, a small size daylight bright dot and locking BDC turret. It has the largest exit pupil. Swarovski 1-8x24 is also a very good option, only the dot is a little bigger and the exit pupil is of "normal" size. I like the Swaro turrets better. Most run a BDC turret only on the height adjustment.


Buying a scope that does not start on 1x (or 1.1x) is buying yourself a handicap for IPSC Rifle, and also Multi-Gun for that matter. You usually shoot close targets with the scope set to 1x, and most shoot much better this way than using the 45 degree red dot. The red dot is however useful when transitioning back and fourth between close and far targets, because then it's nice to have some magnification on the scope and just use the red dot on close targets, so you don't have to turn the magnification up and down. (A little magnification (i.e. 3x) can be nice already on tight no-shoots at 50 meters). The extra red dot can also be nice if you choose to dial the scope turrets for very long range targets (i.e. 300 m) before the stage starts, then you can just use the red dot on close targets without having to "hold under". This is why, in my opinion, an LPVO scope starting on 1x + a red dot is the most "practical setup.


I know several guys who have tried various "compromise setups" for IPSC and long range, i.e. 4-16x or 1.8-14x. The Zeiss 1.8-14 may one of the closest things to such a compromise right now, as you seldom need more than 14-15x for any "normal" long range competitions (except when milling). However, the guy who bought a 1.8-14 quickly changed it with a 1-8x30 after shooting some IPSC competitions...

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On 8/23/2019 at 1:57 PM, 2Xalpha said:

Zeiss 1.1-8x30 is the current top of the line go-to scope for IPSC Rifle. Having crystal clear glass, a small size daylight bright dot and locking BDC turret. It has the largest exit pupil. Swarovski 1-8x24 is also a very good option, only the dot is a little bigger and the exit pupil is of "normal" size. I like the Swaro turrets better. Most run a BDC turret only on the height adjustment.


Buying a scope that does not start on 1x (or 1.1x) is buying yourself a handicap for IPSC Rifle, and also Multi-Gun for that matter. You usually shoot close targets with the scope set to 1x, and most shoot much better this way than using the 45 degree red dot. The red dot is however useful when transitioning back and fourth between close and far targets, because then it's nice to have some magnification on the scope and just use the red dot on close targets, so you don't have to turn the magnification up and down. (A little magnification (i.e. 3x) can be nice already on tight no-shoots at 50 meters). The extra red dot can also be nice if you choose to dial the scope turrets for very long range targets (i.e. 300 m) before the stage starts, then you can just use the red dot on close targets without having to "hold under". This is why, in my opinion, an LPVO scope starting on 1x + a red dot is the most "practical setup.


I know several guys who have tried various "compromise setups" for IPSC and long range, i.e. 4-16x or 1.8-14x. The Zeiss 1.8-14 may one of the closest things to such a compromise right now, as you seldom need more than 14-15x for any "normal" long range competitions (except when milling). However, the guy who bought a 1.8-14 quickly changed it with a 1-8x30 after shooting some IPSC competitions...

 

Very informative, thanks! 

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If you are going to use an offset red dot make sure to spend square range time to develop data for offset distances

 

When I used an offset, I set my offset red dot at a 25 yard zero, but you should record POA vs. POI impact from 0 ft out to whatever distance you plan to use the red dot before switching to your magnified optic.

 

To clarify this is more with concern for the angular offset than a bullet drop. This can affect the ability to hit small targets at 0 yds and 50 yds with a 25 yd zero, for example.

Edited by chauncey
Clarification

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Can you elaborate on what you mean by angular offset?

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On 9/8/2019 at 3:20 PM, 2Xalpha said:

Can you elaborate on what you mean by angular offset?

When the optic is oriented vertically over the bore of the rifle, the bullet and the crosshair of the optical view cross at whatever distance you "zero" the rifle. This is.due to the distance between the centerline of the optic vs. The centerline of the bore, and also of course bullet drop vs. Light that does not bend (unless you are shooting 3gun in black hole or warped spacetime, which may cause other issues)

 

In many cases the optical path and bullet path cross twice, for instance the M16A2 rear sight at the "3" setting sets the iron sights to align with the path of the bullet at 36 yds and 300 yds.

 

With an optic with a horizontal or angular  offset, the bullet crosses the path of the optic only once. When holding the rifle the offset optic typically will not be vertically over the bore of the rifle, especially when shooting around barriers, etc. This is also an advantage of a holographic red dot, which does not depend on your eye aligning with the sight.

 

You need to make sure you understand at what distance the optical view and the bullet path converge. At distances nearer and further than this point of convergence (POA=POI) you need to account for the horizontal difference, not just the vertical drop of the bullet (holdover).

 

This will become more apparent as you zero your offset optic and notice you may need to make both horizontal and vertical sight adjustments to get on target.

 

Set your offset mount optic at POA=POI at the distance you believe it is most effective OR at the distance you believe accurate shots will most likely be required with the offset optic. I choose 25 yds. Then make sure to shoot the setup at 10, 40 and 50 so you understand how POI varies from POA horizontally, or at an angle, based upon your shooting position.

 

FWIW I use a 1-4 scope (and want to upgrade to 1-8). My daughter uses a 3-9 and a Burris Fastfire. I agree that for new shooters the two optic system is preferable.  I haven't moved to it because I still shoot some HM matches and don't want to deal with an offset recoil impulse from a 7.62x51 And I want to maintain consistency between my 5.56 and 7.62 rifles.

Edited by chauncey

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All the input has made me come to the conclusion that the best for now will be to stay with my single scope 1-8x Swaro Z8i. 

 

I might upgrade to a 1-10x sometime in the future, when there is something on the market that doesn't give anything up compared to my Swaro. The present offerings in the 1-10x variety, like those from March or Ior, have lower field of view at 1x or other disadvantages. 

 

Thanks to everyone for contributing. 

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