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I'm still on the fence about it. When I compare features, capabilities, specs, etc. with other optics in the same class, it seems the juice just isn't worth the squeeze for a swap, unless my goal is to change the role of the rifle altogether, which isn't in the cards. Just entertaining the thought, not really committed to going through with it. The S&B pretty much answers the mail in every way except maybe overall size and weight (which isn't all that bad really considering it's role), but I prefer it over the Leupy Mark 6 for example. The ATACR has an arguably better Horus reticle option and is more compact, but the weight difference is negligible. The Vortex Razor G2HD is a solid option, but it tips the scale on being too chubby. Would love to have one on a dedicated bolt action precision rig though.  The Steiner T5xi seems to be a good candidate, but not sure if that would be a step down.  And of course we have the offerings from Minox, Kahles, USO, etc., but again, not sure they'll offer something over the S&B. For now it'll sit pretty on my MWS, which I plan to outfit with a 6.5 Creedmoor barrel sooner or later. It's been the primary optic for that particular set-up and at this point it would seem strange to have another optic sitting on top of it. First world problems. 

 

This is interesting, especially as the electronic SIG sights and LRFs I have seen are... fine, not great. 

http://soldiersystems.net/2018...ated-marksman-rifle/

Updated – US Army Selects SIG Optic For Squad Designated Marksman Rifle

Earlier this year, the Army conducted a Limited User Evaluation of the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle. Based on the M110A1 Compact Semi Automatic Sniper System program, SDMR consists of a 7.62 NATO G28 rifle built by Heckler & Koch, equipped with an OSS Suppressor and Harris Bipod. The missing piece was the optic.

The Army’s Program Manager for Soldier Weapons invited industry, through the Tailored Logistics Support program, to submit 1-6x variable optics for the evaluation. They selected the SIG Optics TANGO6 1-6x Optic...

shoobe01 posted:

This is interesting, especially as the electronic SIG sights and LRFs I have seen are... fine, not great. 

http://soldiersystems.net/2018...ated-marksman-rifle/

Updated – US Army Selects SIG Optic For Squad Designated Marksman Rifle

Earlier this year, the Army conducted a Limited User Evaluation of the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle. Based on the M110A1 Compact Semi Automatic Sniper System program, SDMR consists of a 7.62 NATO G28 rifle built by Heckler & Koch, equipped with an OSS Suppressor and Harris Bipod. The missing piece was the optic.

The Army’s Program Manager for Soldier Weapons invited industry, through the Tailored Logistics Support program, to submit 1-6x variable optics for the evaluation. They selected the SIG Optics TANGO6 1-6x Optic...

 

I won't be testing any SIG scopes.  

So after running the ATACR and having had the opportunity to compare it to the Mark 6, I definitely feel the ATACR is the overall better optic and superior in several areas. One item to note up front is that the ATACR, like most LPVOs, is not a true 1x, and I did detect some slight magnification at the low end, so essentially it's more or less a 1.1-8x. Whereas the Mark 6 appears to be more of a true 1x in terms of what you're seeing when looking through the glass. Shocking I know. However, I suspect this would not be a deciding factor for most people, and it is easily overlooked when you consider the other areas where the ATACR shines.

At 1x there is virtually no edge distortion in the ATACR, whereas it is noticeably visible on the Mark 6, and this holds true across the power band. I compared each optic at 6x, and the ATACR appeared to have slightly more magnification (read: slightly less FOV), but the optical clarity was superior to the Mark 6. I was able to make out finer details when viewing objects at a distance, and the image appeared brighter and the colors had more pop. At the low end the ATACR clearly had the larger eyebox, which translated into being more forgiving when set at their respective max power settings. Chromatic aberration was more prominent on the ATACR at 8x, but I've yet to come across any top tier optic that doesn't display this to include the likes of S&B, Kahles, etc. Nevertheless, it's not as sensitive to slight head movements as the Mark 6 at max power. Bottom line, the ATACR proved to be the better optic throughout the power range.

The Mark 6 is known for it's nice DLV illumination (but suffers from "flicker" due it being eye-alignment sensitive and not very forgiving as it relates to consistent head positioning), and the reticle illumination on the ATACR at setting 9 was equal to the Mark 6 at its highest setting (7). The FC-DM was "ludicrous daylight visible" when turned up to max power (10), which didn't wash out even against the brightest daytime backdrop. The ATACR also features additional NV reticle brightness settings, giving it even more of an advantage over the Mark 6. I spent Sunday high up in the Rocky Mountains engaging targets at varying ranges (200-500) and had absolutely no problems making consistent hits on steel plates at 500 yards against a wooded backdrop without having to use any illumination at all.

The elevation and windage adjustments are much more refined on the ATACR, crushing the Mark 6 in this area as well. Very positive click adjustments, similar to an S&B in feel, but more refined audibly, and I harbor no doubts that it tracks true (although I did not test tracking). The CMR-W and FC-DM are pretty much equal in capability in my opinion. I really like both, but a slight edge goes to the ATACR for execution considering the thinner mil hashes and a more refined sectioned cross hair, which does a better job of drawing your eye to the center segmented circle. Weighing in at 6 oz. heavier than the Mark 6, the ATACR feels much more robust, yet does not necessarily feel that much heavier than the Mark 6. The weight difference did not affect the balance of the rifle at all (SR25 ACC). The ATACR gets bonus points for the added PTL and beauty rings if you decide to run it uncapped.

To be perfectly fair, the Mark 6 is still a very capable scope, and the fact that it can still hold it's own against the ATACR is a testament to it's design. However, the ATACR takes it to another level overall, refining the areas where the Mark 6 could use improvement, and I personally feel it's worth the price of admission.

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Regarding chromatic aberration...it's more of a product of the spec/dimensions than that of the maker.  The S&B 1-8CC had a notable amount while, I don't observe it in the 1.5-8x26mm.  Likewise, I remember my a few of my NF NXS compacts had a fair amount of it.

Thanks for the insight on the ATACR...still trying to figure out if I'm going to give it a whirl or not.  I like most of what it's about but I've never had much use for the circle-dot style centers.  Probably going to take my other 1-8's out and ruminate on it while I shoot.

After going through a few LVPO's (P4Xi, Trijicon 1-8, Eotech 1-6), I finally worked my way up to a Kahles K16i.  Even on my 12.5" SBR, that optic is stunning in its clarity, light weight, eyebox, and the reticle is very fast for my eyes (using the S1).  I recently used it at a class, and even in awkward positions, I could see the reticle pretty easily and put good shots out fast.  It has so far blown away the other scopes I've owned, and even the 6x with Kahles glass, I believe, is better at mid ranges than the 8x from Trijicon.  The price tag is considerable, and I nearly bought a NX8 instead.  I'm very happy that I didn't, at least for this gun.  If there's a better LPVO out there for a general purpose 5.56 gun, I'd like to see it and be surprised.

2018 seems to be the year that I moved optics around on my rifles like a Chinese fire drill.  New prescription lenses and Aimpoint's updated tech saw the return of the RDS back into my inventory. 

I got to spend some time with the old 1-4x's, and after experimenting with the Kahles and Vortex, not all of them retained their luster.  Some are still good to go, but the Short Dot LE now seems noticeably more cramped.   Makes me wonder really how good/bad some of these other scopes really are given that their perception is largely dependent upon the "scope" of their experience (or lack there of).  Some have not had the (dis)pleasure of having to try and roll with older tech and they believe their red-dot-esque "true 1x" is an achievable thing in a series of curved lenses. I've always been a "fuck it, I'll find out for myself" kind of guy but that adds to my reasoning.

 

This past month, I was doing a lot of role-playing in active shooter training (exclusively OPFOR) and I've also been writing some DM policy which has required me to pretty much show the merits (or lack of) for barrel length, ammo selection, as well as 1,2,4,6,8, and 10x max power capability.  I guess what's old is new again...I've found myself taking out the Aimpoint guns in some cases and wishing my SPR's and DMR's had more power...at least 12x (Lord help me I've even looked at the 30mm Tangent Theta 3-15x for 5.56's).   But I guess that's to be expected when one leaves the middle of the pool and swims to the CQB shallow end or long-range precision deep end. 

 

Despite the recent rave about the latest and greatest 6x's like the Kahles, Vortex E Series, and the Leupold (the brave souls that use them seem to like them...so I'm told), my position stays the same.  That is: There is no do-all yet.  There's still a divide between those that can supplant a red dot, and those that are full-fledged precision optics. 

Good evening Gentlemen,

Really grateful for this thread on these optics.  I have been hovering on making the switch out of fixed/rds combos and have decided to go with a LPV; in part to have less “stuff” on my carbine but also to be able to mount it on different systems effectively (read=lever gun/guide gun for when I am working in grizzly bear country).

 I had a chance to play with both the ATACR 1-8 and Kahles 1-6 and like both for their respective features; but am leaning towards the Kahles due to it being SFP/bigger reticle at 1X for dangerous game.  I know the dot when illuminated works well on the FFP ATACR but battery run time etc. has me being conservative with ensuring effective rounds without illumination.  The Kahles 3G reticle was my favourite of the 4 offerings but didn’t see in the thread anyone having used it.  

That all being said, is the substantial price difference worth the piece of mind for recoil management and durability on the NF?  And can the Kahles handle 45-70?  Not the usual request on these forums but big furry forest creatures are my biggest threat most of the time.

I did not like the NX8 in case that was a suggestion; handled it in store and played with it outside but it just wasn’t as forgiving for quick sight picture like the ATACR and Kahles*

 

Thanks for your time,

Andy

I would say look closely at what the reticles look like at lowest (1x) power in the absence of dot/illumination.  Most of these optics will suck a CR2032 dry.  If you can't use it without illumination at 1x, I would pass on it for a walk-around rifle in dangerous game country.  I've not seen the ATACR on 1x without illumination on.  I've seen similar circle-dots on 1x and they were hard to pick up.  

The Kahles is extremely light which is nice and its simple.  If you aren't really going to mess with a bunch or long-range stuff with the offsets and wind holds, I would stay simple.   Maybe not rule out some of the S&B lines like the Stratos and Exos with that in mind.  

never_truly_lost posted:

That all being said, is the substantial price difference worth the piece of mind for recoil management and durability on the NF?  And can the Kahles handle 45-70?  Not the usual request on these forums but big furry forest creatures are my biggest threat most of the time.

I'm not sure if CA military qualifies for the NF pro deal, but it brings it down a fair amount, much closer to the street price of the Kahles. NF's Expertivoice pricing is even better, but they've been OOS there forever.

 

I'm running a Razor-E model now and quite literally the only thing I don't like about it is it's still a couple ounces heavier than I would like which to get down to I really would have to go up to a Kahles K16i.

Are you planning on running this optic almost always on 1x or max power Never_Truly_Lost? If you're planning on running it mostly on 1x I'd go with the SFP options and take advantage of the larger eye box and field of view they offer. 

Is there an LPVO that comes close to the Kahles but with a better illumination knob design?

Not a fan of the free-turning rheostat and would prefer set clicks with an intermediate off between each setting. 

I like the illumination controls on my Swaro Z8i (flip a switch to turn on/off with memory for last brightness) and was looking at the Z6i but seems like they don't make one with useful reticles anymore?

Last edited by Community Member
MG in TX posted:
Melon_Killer posted:

I have a 1-6x Gen 2-E but hoping to keep the weight down on an MCX I just picked up. Maybe I'll look at picking up a Swaro 

Jealous MK as I've been trying to find a reasonably priced 1-6x Gen 2-E Razor for gaming,  just passed on one NIB for $1100. but no mount so .....

I think that's a very good price but keep an eye out for Geissele's 4th of July sale. Might be able to get their optic combo (Razor and Mount) for around the same amount. 

Melon_Killer posted:

I have a 1-6x Gen 2-E but hoping to keep the weight down on an MCX I just picked up. Maybe I'll look at picking up a Swaro 

I've used a Razor HD2-E 1-6 and the K16i. The weight is the main reason I went with the K16i (and I liked the horseshoe reticle.) One of my K16i is back for a reticle change now because I'm hearing the SM1 reticle is something that briefs better than it actually works. I'll give the G4B a shot. But yes, the weight is a major factor.

@Community Member why did you get rid of the Razor? It seems obvious that you much prefer the Kahles, but what would you say about the razor to those of us who can’t justify the big jump in price? 

I can pick up a Razor with mount from Geissele from $1400. Kahles is $2000 plus the cost of a mount. So you’re looking at a MINIMUM of $600 more. 

Thats a big jump for me

If you don't mind the extra ounces then you will be fine with the Razor. The Kahles is a couple oz lighter (5?) and has a couple feet better FOV I believe but everything else most people will be served just fine by the Razor. I'm looking to upgrade to a Kahles on my patrol rifle from the Razor next year just to save on weight with it (and hopefully a Badger mount when thye release them) but the Razor will be finding a home on another one of my rifles for sure.

senorlechero posted:

@Community Member why did you get rid of the Razor? It seems obvious that you much prefer the Kahles, but what would you say about the razor to those of us who can’t justify the big jump in price? 

I can pick up a Razor with mount from Geissele from $1400. Kahles is $2000 plus the cost of a mount. So you’re looking at a MINIMUM of $600 more. 

Thats a big jump for me

 

My "getting rid of" things is not an indication of good or bad.  Look through this while thread and realize many of the optics I discuss are cycled out.  Case in point, that 1.5-8x26 I offered you, I speak VERY highly of, but I'm still selling it.  I like doing what I do and I share my observations so others don't have to drop the time and money I have. 

Be careful on some of those package deals.  I know Geissele was advertising them as the pre-"E" model that are 1/4 lb heavier (the chunky 25oz. or whatever).

I've said time and time again, at the following price point marks (depending how hard you hunt or discounts you can get):

$500ish - Steiner P4Xi is the standard; it's excellent and the only thing I would approve of at this price point

$1000ish - Razor 1-6 HD 2-E is the standard.

$1500-2000 - Kahles 16i is the standard (sorry NX8 lovers)

$2000+ - The world is your oyster

The more money you have, the more picky you can be.  Given that the S&B Short Dot 1.1-4x20 back in the day was $2300-2400, it's been remarkable to see how close the Steiner comes to it at 1/4 the price and how time and tech has caught up to where the Razor -E model can deliver MORE for 1/2 the cost.   I think those optics are amazing for what they can do at their price points considering what the Gold (and only) standard was 12 years ago. 

In addition to my perception of looking through the optic, I simply believe that the Kahles is a better-built optic.  Same as the Vortex Razor is a better built optic than the Steiner.  They all give you very good, usable optics.   In this lengthy thread and optic descriptions, I try to convey that I am EXTREMELY picky about how I use my optics but I try to apply the same context without price being a contributing factor.  When I compared the Kahles vs the Razor HD, I wasn't really factoring price...merely performance and preference.  I still think both are great, but both have major flaws.  Cherry pick certain features from either and you could have maybe the perfect 1-6 LPVO...in a perfect world.

Price justification is simply down to you and your needs, wants, and budget. 

And if you shop around, you can get Razors closer to $1300 and Kahles closer to $1800 with the used/demo market being a touch less. 

 

 

I need to meet up with you locally @Community Member before you let that S&B go so I can see what its  like. 

On the note of the P4Xi you brought up though, there has been some discussion of the P4Xi being eclipsed by the newer Vortex PST 1-6's (their Gen 2 models) as the P4xi seems to have some reported issues with them including with the one I had and the 6ish week turn around time with Steiner warranty to replace it.

I have neither the money or the professional need for a high end LVPO.   I have my old 1.5x5 Leupold on my primary carbine.  It has an illuminated reticle, but the illumination is insufficient for daylight in bright sun.  Like we get in Nevada.  I have looked at an offset mount with a mini-Aimpoint or quality clone, but the windage knob is smack in the field of view if I mount it from the top rail.  My other alternative is put a piece of rail on the side of the handguard and try it there.  Thoughts?

shadow93 posted:

I need to meet up with you locally @Community Member before you let that S&B go so I can see what its  like. 

On the note of the P4Xi you brought up though, there has been some discussion of the P4Xi being eclipsed by the newer Vortex PST 1-6's (their Gen 2 models) as the P4xi seems to have some reported issues with them including with the one I had and the 6ish week turn around time with Steiner warranty to replace it.

First, congrats on not dying on your bike trek in this fucking weather. 

You're welcome to, but it's remarkably unremarkable until you put it next to a mid-low tier 2.5-10x and can start seeing the difference. 

As covered previously, scopes are touchy things...S&B, Leupold, and NF repair dept. are all in my phone for a reason.   However 6 months is inexcusable.  My P4xi spent most of its life on a rimfire.  Then when more and more people started asking about them, it got shuffled over to a Colt for about 6 weeks for eval before hitting the sale section. 

I don't have any faith in the PST for duty use.  I watched 2 take a shit in the FBI sniper class (one breakage/mechanical failure, the other was tracking related) and wrote them off.  One of my guys (a UPD Sgt.) is running a PST on his spr and likes it, but he's a bit more frugal than me and is willing to gamble more on some kit that I probably wouldn't. 

@Community Member

Reptilia seems to be cranking out some good stuff for secondary red dot options.  I think Larue is still doing their stuff and you can do the ring mount on the optic tube and put the optic where you want it angle wise.

This is new territory to me as well, but with some of the RMR models and others upping their game, it seems the better option than a couple hundred bucks on folding irons I won't use. 

Dorsai posted:

I have neither the money or the professional need for a high end LVPO.   I have my old 1.5x5 Leupold on my primary carbine.  It has an illuminated reticle, but the illumination is insufficient for daylight in bright sun.  Like we get in Nevada.  I have looked at an offset mount with a mini-Aimpoint or quality clone, but the windage knob is smack in the field of view if I mount it from the top rail.  My other alternative is put a piece of rail on the side of the handguard and try it there.  Thoughts?

Windage knob blocks it in a 45* mount? 

senorlechero posted:
Dorsai posted:

I have neither the money or the professional need for a high end LVPO.   I have my old 1.5x5 Leupold on my primary carbine.  It has an illuminated reticle, but the illumination is insufficient for daylight in bright sun.  Like we get in Nevada.  I have looked at an offset mount with a mini-Aimpoint or quality clone, but the windage knob is smack in the field of view if I mount it from the top rail.  My other alternative is put a piece of rail on the side of the handguard and try it there.  Thoughts?

Windage knob blocks it in a 45* mount? 

Yes.

Dorsai I would go with top mount by Reptilia then in that scenario as Pointblank suggested. 

Pointblank, sorry if I typed it wrong the first time. The Steiner repair was in the 6-8 week time frame. I had to call them twice to see what was going on and basically was told "sorry we have none in warehouse and we don't know when we will get them in." For what was my first intro to LPVO's it was annoying at worst for me. Had it been on my duty rifle yet it would have been downright no-go. 
Any idea if your experiences were with the first gen or the second for the PST? I haven't used them just been hearing lots of good about the Gen 2. Personal opinion says nobody in LE especially on a SWAT team should be running a low end optic but my opinion seems to not matter. When I qual'd with my Razor on my duty gun multiple guys tried it and loved it, wanted to know what I spent and they balked (no different than with my light setups). Came in a week later and the one guy who showed legit interest tells me he bought a Strike Eagle and it was "just as good." I love running personal rifles but if I took the optic setups for 75% of our guys that even bother to carry a rifle I wouldn't have the total cost of my gun alone, it makes me weep.

Also thank you, the bike ride was amazing and deathly hot at the same time. Tons of money raised for a great cause though.

Last edited by Community Member

Yeah, that's still not fun.  If I'm not mistaken, Steiner is one that shares the OEM with several other makers and this is where the monetary savings comes back to haunt the user over some others.  To be fair, I was initially leery of Kahles when they showed back up and let a few others walk the warranty route before I bit. 

I don't know the PST Gen's.  I know sarge bought his after a model change where they switched focal planes in his model.  No idea what the guys in the Fed class.  No idea on the guys in the fed class but that was 2015. 

Not surprised to hear about your patrol rifle.  Even with the money you guys make, there is no limit to the cheap fucks.  Zang would probably pony up the dough...he used to run his personally-owned Accuracy International back when he was running your snipers.  You definitely have some shooters over there, but for sure I have seen more than a few of 'em bust out some janky bullshit out of a gun case and think it's all that...and not in an ironic way like when you buy a Mossberg Shockwave as a goof.  

Pilgrims in an unholy land my friend... 

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