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Thread: High expectations for HFT scope!

  1. #1
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    Default High expectations for HFT scope!

    Hi all!

    Based on my ongoing experience of HFT, and the current SAHFTA rule set, I've put together a wish list of features that I'd like to see in a rifle scope.
    I've scoured the current offerings from Hawke and Nikko Stirling, and nothing I've seen has everything I want.

    Other factors have also been taken into account:
    - What models are actually available from local retailers (as advertised on BidorBuy, PriceCheck and WantItAll).
    - That some models carried by local retailers are discontinued.
    - That I don't have the time or inclination to track down every retailer in SA, find out what stock they're carrying, and do research on all that stock.

    So, I need to tap the brain pool for advice. My ideal HFT scope would have:
    - Maximum magnification of around 16x to 18x.
    - Fixed parallax.
    - An illuminated reticle would be nice, but not essential.
    - 40 to 44mm objective.
    - Half-Mil-dot, Hawke AMX or similar reticle.
    - Lowest possible weight, and shortest possible dimensions.
    - Made by a reputable manufacturer.

    My biggest issue so far is that I can't find anything with fixed parallax that also has magnification above 12x. What rifle scopes are currently available that fulfil all the criteria above - or at least as many of them as possible?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick V View Post

    My biggest issue so far is that I can't find anything with fixed parallax that also has magnification above 12x. What rifle scopes are currently available that fulfil all the criteria above - or at least as many of them as possible?
    Why do you want fixed parallax and a magnification of higher than 12x? Both will be a disadvantage in HFT.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiaanduToit View Post
    Why do you want fixed parallax and a magnification of higher than 12x? Both will be a disadvantage in HFT.
    Hi Riaan!

    The current SAHFTA rule set specifies that you may not adjust the scope in any way after taking your first shot.
    Given that you're shooting at distances that are (very) variable, if you have adjustable parallax, your chosen parallax setting is going to be a compromise no matter what it is.
    In my mind, a fixed-parallax scope would allow the target image to stay reasonably clear between 7m and 41m (the minimum and maximum target ranges specified in the rule set).

    The scope I'm currently using has magnification of 4-12x.
    At the HFT shoot I did in George on Saturday, the three targets in every shooting lane were all placed within five degrees of each other. I stuck with maximum magnification and had no problems with target acquisition.
    The trouble I have is that even at 12x, I struggle to visually resolve the kill zones on the far targets. My solution here is 'Aim small, hit small'.
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  4. #4
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    Just a few pointers from my requirements list.

    - Have an adjustable parallax (you will need to fine tune this most people settle between 20 to 25m for tacking part), But while you are training, it helps to be able to go down to 10m and up to 40m.
    - Magnification this is personal preference, but most settle between 8 and 12. (I have a fixed 10 times current.)
    - Reticle, as fine as what you are comfortable with.
    - Illumination, not important in SA, but last year at worlds I truly missed it.
    - A sunshade is also important

    Some pointers:
    - Glass, glass, glass - Always go for the best in your budget. Chinese, Korean, Japanese and German (From low to high)
    - The smaller your objective in front the smaller your parallax errors will be.

    I was very happy with this Hawke: Hawke | Vantage SF 3-12x44 Mil Dot
    Currently I'm on an SWFA: Buy SWFA SS 10x42 Tactical Riflescopes at SWFA.com

    The SWFA reticle is very fine, and is more sensitive for the placement of my eye, but better glass than the Hawke

    Have a look at the Vortex scopes as well.
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  5. #5
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    It is beneficial to be able to fine tune your parallax so that it is optimally set for the very close and very far targets. It also helps a lot to be able to change your parallax when training and/or troubleshooting. The higher the magnification the smaller your depth of field becomes meaning your very close and very far targets will be more blurry at higher magnification for the same parallax setting.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by vantheman View Post
    - Have an adjustable parallax (you will need to fine tune this most people settle between 20 to 25m for tacking part), But while you are training, it helps to be able to go down to 10m and up to 40m.
    - Magnification this is personal preference, but most settle between 8 and 12. (I have a fixed 10 times current.)
    - Reticle, as fine as what you are comfortable with.
    - Illumination, not important in SA, but last year at worlds I truly missed it.
    - A sunshade is also important
    With this kind of input comes perspective that I didn't have before.
    Adjustable parallax: I'm convinced.
    Magnification: I'll be holding off any purchases until I can try out something in the 16x range. As far as depth of field goes, I think magnification higher than that would be a waste of time.
    Reticle: I have two Hawke scopes: an Airmax 8-32x50 with AMX reticle, and a Vantage 6-24x50with half-Mil-dot reticle. I've found the Hawke reticles to be razor-sharp, and a near-perfect compromise.
    Sunshade: Seconded. Dead weight at midday, but essential in the early mornings and evenings if the sun is ahead of me.

    Quote Originally Posted by vantheman View Post
    - Glass, glass, glass - Always go for the best in your budget. Chinese, Korean, Japanese and German (From low to high)
    Seconded. I can't go crazy with the chequebook on this one. But 'budget' scopes are not a consideration.
    I did the last shoot using a Nikko Stirling Mountmaster 4-12x50 which, in terms of almost everything mentioned in this thread, was pretty adequate - given that I'm a relative rookie in HFT terms (only two competitions so far)!
    My current knowledge base extends to Hawke, Nikko Stirling and, to a lesser extent, UTG/Leapers - though I'd be willing to consider other decent equipment.
    I'm more partial to Hawke than the others, though - partly because I've grown to depend quite heavily on the Hawke ChairGun Pro application (having said that, a Mil-dot scale is a Mil-dot scale... and CGP generated good trajectory predictions for my Mountmaster as well).
    I would prefer to spend no more than R2 000 on a brand new scope. Though having said all that, if I can't find anything that gives a substantial advantage over my Mountmaster, I'd be happy to simply carry on using it and practice harder.

    Quote Originally Posted by RiaanduToit View Post
    It is beneficial to be able to fine tune your parallax so that it is optimally set for the very close and very far targets.
    In other words, an 'ideal compromise' that you set once, and leave alone after the first shot?
    My parallax was set at approx. 37.5 yards (halfway between the 25 and 50-yard marks on the AO). I had to deal with three targets that were at 10m or closer, and couldn't hit the kill zones on any of them. I'm still split as to whether I made a fair sacrifice for the targets beyond 35 metres. On balance, though, I think I did.

    Quote Originally Posted by RiaanduToit View Post
    The higher the magnification the smaller your depth of field becomes meaning your very close and very far targets will be more blurry at higher magnification for the same parallax setting.
    As difficult as the equipment choices can sometimes make it, HFT is actually a very well-thought-out sport in terms of forcing you to be adaptable in the face of compromise.
    Either/or situations abound:
    - Higher magnification = better target resolution at longer distances, but lower magnification = better depth of field.
    - Larger objective = clearer image in low-light conditions, but smaller objective = smaller parallax error at given magnification levels.
    - Thinner reticle = easier target acquisition, but thicker reticle = less likelihood of losing the reticle against dark backgrounds and/or in low light.
    Last edited by Nick V; 11-03-19 at 19:18.
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  7. #7
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    Have a look at the Nikko Stirling Panamax range, I have a 4.5-14x50, it's parallax is adjustable from 15 to infinity and it's got pretty good glass too
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  8. #8
    Springer FT World Champion '09
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    The Viper 3-12 x44 is a very nice HFT scope.

    Strangely enough, mine might be up for sale soon. Have replaced it with a NS Diamond LR 10-40 x 56.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kw2112 View Post
    Have a look at the Nikko Stirling Panamax range, I have a 4.5-14x50, it's parallax is adjustable from 15 to infinity and it's got pretty good glass too
    Two Panamax scopes did actually make my shortlist.
    The Panamaxes seem to be quite popular in the HFT scene here. Why is that? Since you don't really need the wider field of view they offer, I'm presuming it has something to do with optical clarity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bludlust View Post
    The Viper 3-12 x44 is a very nice HFT scope.
    When I first tried out my HW100, it was fitted with a Viper in 10x44. Very good scope indeed.
    If I'd known then what I know now, I might have bought the rifle and scope as a package.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bludlust View Post
    Strangely enough, mine might be up for sale soon.
    If you do decide to sell, won't you give me a shout?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bludlust View Post
    Have replaced it with a NS Diamond LR 10-40 x 56.
    Out of curiosity, why go with that kind of power for HFT?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bludlust View Post
    The Viper 3-12 x44 is a very nice HFT scope.

    Strangely enough, mine might be up for sale soon. Have replaced it with a NS Diamond LR 10-40 x 56.
    And what are your thoughts on the NS 10-40 x 56 for FT?
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  11. #11
    Springer FT World Champion '09
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phats View Post
    And what are your thoughts on the NS 10-40 x 56 for FT?

    Have not mounted it yet.

    I aim to give a full report when I have a side wheel for ranging.
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  12. #12
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    My favorite HFT scope, and had quite a few different models including the Hawke 4.5-14x38 SR6 reticle and Sightron 10x40 mildot reticle:

    Vortex 2.5-10x32 Viper PST EBR-1 MOA reticle. Very good glass, small objective lens for good depth of field, good light transmission with illuminated reticle for low light conditions. Tough and holds zero. Relatively small and light weight. Only negative point is you have to re-parallax the objective lens as it only focusses from 50m out the box, but it is not difficult to do.





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  13. #13
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    Hi Nick, I have a optisan EVX 10x44i that will be perfect for your needs, I am in George and shot in the same comp with you.
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  14. #14
    Sharp Shooter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seahorse View Post
    My favorite HFT scope, and had quite a few different models including the Hawke 4.5-14x38 SR6 reticle and Sightron 10x40 mildot reticle:

    Vortex 2.5-10x32 Viper PST EBR-1 MOA reticle. Very good glass, small objective lens for good depth of field, good light transmission with illuminated reticle for low light conditions. Tough and holds zero. Relatively small and light weight. Only negative point is you have to re-parallax the objective lens as it only focusses from 50m out the box, but it is not difficult to do.






    What do they go for and where can you get one?
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  15. #15
    Sharp Shooter

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    At R19159 I dont think so, unless you are minted!!
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