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Help finding a mid level 1-6 scope


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Hi all, I'm sure this topic has been covered a 1000 times but I'm not finding it in my search. I'm looking to spend about $550 street discount price. I Shoot out to 400 yards on 10-12" plates. I need a true 1:1 on the low end. I need capped turrets and preferably a BDC. It needs to hold zero as I drop my guns in the dump barrels. I don't baby them. Most shops in my area don't have anything other than cheap strike eagles or high end NF for me to look at. My research leads me to the Vortex Viper PST Gen2 1-6 and Athalon Midas 1-6. Of course I cant find one to look through or try. Is there anything else that has a good reputation that I'm missing? BTW I have a Burris XTR2 1-5. I like the BDC, holds zero, glass is ok. Don't like the weight, turrets keep getting knocked off zero, and illumination has gone out twice. I'm guessing not much can be done about the weight. 20-22 oz seem standard on 1-6. Please don't recommend a Razor Gen 2 or something in that class. I cant afford it. I looked at a Burris Rt-6. It looked ok but I don't trust the low price.

Edited by Dchi
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The PST G2 is 85% of a Razor in my opinion, and the best 1-6x I've looked through under $600. If you can stretch your budget a bit (still well under $1k) there's one optic that gets very close to the Razor. Also these guys are almost giving Bushnells away:  https://cameralandny.com/shop/brands/bushnell/bushnell-elite-tactical-smrs-1-8-5x24mm-illuminated-btr-2/594bd790-792c-0135-0d94-00163e9110c0?variation=1588817

If you're into that type of LPVO.

 

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I just bought 2 used Leupolds online; the discountinued Vari-X II  1-4X and the 1.5-5X. 

I don't know if they woul suit you or not but they are great hunting scopes found for under $250

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18 hours ago, TonytheTiger said:

That is incredible - $700 for a 1-8.5x scope.   Is the quality as good as

the Vortex Razor ?

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4 hours ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

That is incredible - $700 for a 1-8.5x scope.   Is the quality as good as

the Vortex Razor ?

Its a high quality optic for sure. But its not in the same category as the Razor. By that I mean there are two types of LPVO's. Type 1 leans towards being a red dot with magnification on tap. Huge FOV, bright dot, fast reticle, generous eyebox. The Razor rules here, Kahles K16, Swaro Z6I etc. Type 2 is the 6x or 8x scope that also goes down to 1x. Reticles are usually better designed for precision, uncapped turrets, less emphasis is put on speed. The Bushnell is here, Nightforce NX8, Leupold MK6, most FFP LPVO's live here. 

The Razor G3 is the first optic I've seen that looks like it might cover both ends of the spectrum equally well.

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The other option that comes to mind is a used higher end scope. I think as the makers keep pushing the envelope there are plenty of us that chase that tiny edge at any cost and end up passing down what was the top end gear a few years ago at significant savings. In the age of lifetime warranties your risk is pretty low.

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Thanks for the advice. I'm going to shy away from the 1-8 or higher variables. The high dollar ones I've seen ($2K+) that go up to 1-8 1-10 look terrible to me. Eye box was so small at higher magnification that it was unusable for any quick shooting especial from weird positions. Also their 1X seemed off. Anybody actually use the Bushnell 1-6.5 for 3 gun here? Its out of my price range but I might still have a Bushnell discount voucher.

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21 minutes ago, Dchi said:

 Anybody actually use the Bushnell 1-6.5 for 3 gun here? Its out of my price range but I might still have a Bushnell discount voucher.

I have one. Its no Razor. Biggest complaint is dot brightness, most other aspects are pretty good.

I'd sell it for a price I think its performance warrants.

 

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19 hours ago, NateTSU said:

I picked up a used PST 1-6 and I am very impressed, the glass is very clear and I think the reticle is a big improvement from the 1st gens.

Great scope, we have been shooting one for a couple of years. Not quite as good of glass as my son's Razor, but reticle and dot brightness are the same. recommend it highly. Glass is every bit as good as my Burris XTR 1x8. 

 

gerritm 

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On 2/20/2020 at 5:52 PM, TonytheTiger said:

The PST G2 is 85% of a Razor in my opinion, and the best 1-6x I've looked through under $600. If you can stretch your budget a bit (still well under $1k) there's one optic that gets very close to the Razor. Also these guys are almost giving Bushnells away:  https://cameralandny.com/shop/brands/bushnell/bushnell-elite-tactical-smrs-1-8-5x24mm-illuminated-btr-2/594bd790-792c-0135-0d94-00163e9110c0?variation=1588817

If you're into that type of LPVO.

 

👆This

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I have a used PST G2 I bought on ARFcom new in box with an Aero mount for $500. My only complaints are the weight and the mag ring is tight as all hell. To me, it was still the best optic for the money for what I wanted to do. The glass is world's better than the Strike Eagle it replaced. 

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Even when you can afford more $ it's hard to pick a scope. I had a Razor II (not the "e"), the bright dot is amazing and glass/build is excellent... but it's a heavy beast. And I grew to hate that zoom ring even with a throw lever. WTF were they thinking?

 

Somebody find me a 16-18 ounce 1-6 SFP with the Razor's brightness, glass and build quality... with good customer service. I don't think it exists. 

 

Still, the $2K Razor IIe is down from 26 to 21.5oz and the new $3K Razor III 1-10 is the same 21.5oz. That's awesome but it's $3K. 

 

Refurbished Vortex: https://aaoptics.com/Refurbished-_c_93.html have had two great scopes from them. 

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3 hours ago, Frankly said:

Still, the $2K Razor IIe is down from 26 to 21.5oz and the new $3K Razor III 1-10 is the same 21.5oz. That's awesome but it's $3K.  

To be fair thats MSRP..

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On 2/24/2020 at 5:22 PM, Frankly said:

 

Somebody find me a 16-18 ounce 1-6 SFP with the Razor's brightness, glass and build quality... with good customer service. I don't think it exists. 

The K16i has been pretty amazing, light, fast, clear, nutty fov, only need customer service if it breaks, no issues in 2 seasons.

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I was in the same situation as you, and just went with an RT-6 to hold me over until I raised the funds for a Razor. It is a pretty solid low-end scope, the only real gripe being the somewhat poor illumination. OTOH, where I shoot, we don't have up-close rifle targets, so the poor illumination tends to not be a big deal (I'm cranked up to 3 or 4x most of the time, depending on the target arrays). If you were skeptical of it due to price, I would not be.

 

I have an SMRS 1-8.5x; it is a great optic for tactical stuff where you're dialing, but I would not recommend it for multi-gun. The illumination and reticle are not suited for it. At that sort of price point, you're better off with a Steiner p4xi or a Viper PST Gen2. If you're like me and also don't have up-close rifle targets to deal with both-eyes-open, a sub-$500 XTR II 1.5-8x might also be worth a look. Glass isn't as good as the XTR II 1-8x, but it is otherwise pretty solid, and has utterly excellent illumination.

 

(Someone brought up a Viper with a JM-1 / BDC reticle, and I agree that would be my definition of a perfect mid-tier 3 gun scope. But it would probably eat into the Razor's marketshare too much for Vortex to consider doing it.)

Edited by erwos
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  • 2 weeks later...

They are cheap but I don't hate my old strike eagle 1-6, in fact just bough another.  You can spend twice as much for not much more in my opinion.  They are by far the cheapest scopes I own but for what I want them for (0-400 yards range conditions) I'm happy.  I do have one sig Tango 1-6 that I think is a couple shades better in less than ideal conditions, and have seen them for under $700 as open box/demo in the past 6 months. Better reticle for longer range in my mind as well. If I saw that again and was in the market I'd snatch a spare!

 

For reference, I shoot mostly bolt actions longer range and have use scopes in the 24-30x range like zeiss v6, leupold vx6, and one razor, so I'm not an expert in the LPVO world. Take it with a grain of salt. PST's (gen 1 or 2) have never impressed me that much for glass quality, although the features are great.  I still love vortex for what they are but don't think that line measures up for my needs on most guns. I'd pay a bit more for a pst for durabiltiy over the strike eagle if you're wanting that, as well as the added features, not necessarily much more $$ for better glass. 

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Since my last post in this thread I bought a PST Gen 2 and now that I have more time behind it I can say it is the best sub $700 LPVO I've been behind. It has some faults, and its definitely not a Razor but its very good and is probably where the dollar to performance ratio starts leveling off and more money gets you diminishing returns. 

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  • 2 months later...
On 2/28/2020 at 2:13 PM, farinx said:

I'd definitely recommend the Vortex PST 1-6.  The value is amazing with this scope.   The razor "disappears" a bit better, but the glass in both scopes is excellent.  

My second Viper had broken illumination out of the box

 

Pass

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  • 2 months later...
On 3/3/2020 at 9:07 AM, NoKimberDave said:

I do like my PST G2, but wish it had the JM-1 BDC reticle.

 

If Steiner would do a 1-6x24 PX4i with their same reticle for under 800$ I'd buy it right now.

That is for sure!  I love my P4Xi for woods deer hunting and would like a 6X model for more open terrain on my other deer gun. (note this is in Illinois so long range deer shot is still just 150- 200 yds and under with shotgun slug)

Edited by eric4069
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