I don't know shit yet, different turret increments or reticles is a foreign language.

So far I'm looking at a Hensoldt ZF 6-24x72 or US Optics B-25. Open to s&b, nightforce or whatever else.

The rifle is a 300wm 110fp I have had laying around since I was 18.  It is in a good chassis with a good bipod but no glass yet.  Also, I have no idea on rings, or a brake or can.

I'm hoping to one day shoot well past 1000 yards, but want something that will work at much much closer ranges for taking precision courses. I also want something that will work in poor lighting for occasional hunting.

On the Hensoldt, would I be making a mistake if I didn't pickup a first focal plane scope, or one with turret zerostops/counters and all that other fancy stuff?  Looking to buy once cry once.

Thanks in advance for your time.


 "We have no scars to show for happiness.

We learn so little from peace."

Original Post

I have a Steiner M5Xi 5X25, the M (military) version is built on a different assembly line, & in Germany, I have read that the T models have had several issues. Overall the turrets are excellent, zero stop, and resetting the "zero" is simple. I like the MSR reticle. The eye box is good, and overall I think it's built like a tank. The glass IMO is as good as S&B. However all this is subjective.  I believe that German SF just adopted the same scope. YMMV.

Certified Glock, S&W, SIG  Armourer

Colt, REM Armourer

Take this FWIW. 

I own or have owned most all of the brands you ask about. 

I see them all come through classes populated by professional and hobby users, that see a variety of use conditions in class and at their home. I teach or talk to someone from a major metro SWAT sniper team weekly.

I applaud your buy once, cry once mentality.

So, here goes...

I would not recommend a USO under any circumstance.

I would not recommend a Leupold under any circumstance.

I would not recommend a Vortex, Bushnell, etc., etc., etc.

I've been burned or seen others be burned by those manufacturers over, and over, and over.

I spent years defending Leupold as I had mainly good experiences. Then I had my turn. No more.

I highly recommend the Nightforce ATACR as a rugged, clear, easy to use optic. I have four of them now and will purchase more.

The SB PMII is still the standard by which others are judged, and is a solid choice.The Steiner Military continues to give a good showing and BSO's observations are valid. A lot of the euroglass is good; it then comes down to features/reticle combos to narrow the decision.

For me it's quite simple. FFP and an H59 or Tremor 3 reticle. Illumination is a plus. Spuhr ISMS mount. Accuracy 1st cant indicator. Period.

Realize any manufacturer can ship a bad one once in a while. 

Good take on the current market JS7SFGA, I've never owned an NF yet, however I do recall the Marines went with the ATACR, so that certainly means something. I work for a very large Federal agency and we have sent more than a few of Leupold's Mark 6 & 8 back because of "reticle shift", I couldn't see myself investing in a Mark 6 or 8. I may try there VX3 line if the "price is right". I think for now I'll stay for with Steiner, or NF down the road. 

Here's my personal take on reticles, we use the H59, however for the most part, they use the turrets for adjustment instead of using the reticle? I prefer a "simpler" reticle, however I do understand the advantage of the H59. I also agree on FFP and MIL/MIL turrets and reticle. 

Certified Glock, S&W, SIG  Armourer

Colt, REM Armourer

It's like a lot of things, if you have a good one, you have a good one. 

My older MK4 tacticals are GTG.

My Mk6 is a POS and the sloppy pinch turrets can't be made right. They've realized it, and stopped building them. Between myself and a half dozen other people I can name, when there is a tracking error (I had one with an EIGHT PERCENT VERTICAL TRACKING ERROR) Leupold's repair shop response was "the scope checks to spec". Which is why I will never recommend a Leupold for duty use ever again.

Never be the first on or the last off.

The NFs have all been outstanding.

The one example I know of when there was an issue with an NF scope it was repaired and back in the agency's hands in under two weeks.

NF or Vortex...even better if you have MIL/LEO discount!

-------- "We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America." -George W. Bush

Heed JS7SFGA's advice. He knows whereof he speaks.

I have run a 3-12 S&B for a decade now- My ONLY complaint is that I should have bought a 5-25. However, at that time, there was not much in the over 18x market.

I did own a couple USO models- a 3-18 Canadian and a 3.8-22. Neither stayed around long- The Canadian had very stiff adjustments- I returned it to USO for service- They indicated it "Met  specifications". The 3.8-22 was a boat anchor with continuous internal dust problems among other things. USO's FAQ on the website was that internal dust is normal, and they would clean it for free once. I sent it in for that service and they moved the dust around inside. I was upset and sold it immediately with full disclosure to a USO fanboy.

I ran a Premier Reticle 3-18 for awhile- It was solid but was flash in the pan offering.

The S&B was and is better in every metric.

When you are spending a significant sum, it pays to research as you are doing. It would be worthwhile for you to attend a PRS match and look though the glass you are considering.

Another option if you have ready cash is buy used examples off of Snipershides EE, try them and flip them back on to the 'Hide if you don't care for them. Those crazy guys on the 'Hide change optics more often than some people change underwear. I never lost money doing that when I was entering the LR world. In just a few months, I traded through a handful of high end optics that were used  and therefore had already taken the initial depreciation hit. At one point I had three different $2500 optics sitting on my bench simultaneously. It allowed me to dial into exactly what I wanted out of a scope. I have been happy enough with the 3-12 that I have not bothered trying to trade up to a 3-18 or 5-25.

MSR is clean but leaning towards Tremor 3  for moving targets or rapid far then close shots.

Guess it is better to have the 7-35x and not need it. I thought there was a 1k price difference but  it looks around $400

I still have a week before the funds arrive.

So 7-35x56 ATACR Tremor3 in a Spuhr ISMS, accuracy first cant indicator,

NF ok for a  cosine indicator?

Only thing left is what to put on the muzzle.

If I see a scope I like 100x better or technology changes I think the ATACR would be easiest to unload.

That's a good idea with attending matches.



 "We have no scars to show for happiness.

We learn so little from peace."

JS7SFGA posted:

Take this FWIW. 

I own or have owned most all of the brands you ask about. 

For me it's quite simple. FFP and an H59 or Tremor 3 reticle. Illumination is a plus. Spuhr ISMS mount. Accuracy 1st cant indicator. Period.

Realize any manufacturer can ship a bad one once in a while. 

Lens cap choice?

I've had it with Butler Creek.

Lowlight: I never use a cosine indicator. I removed them from my guns as I never used them. In high angle shooting like public venues, a "high" angle from a light stanchion is like 20 degrees, which at 90 yards, is still less than .1 mil of difference in horizontal. If I had opportunity to do the same at 800 yards, I'd rethink it. Most guys who have a cos indicator tell me they've never used the damn thing. 

Linz: The Tenebraex are fantastic. They're standard on the higher end NF now.  I'm with you, the Butler Creek all break after a few uses in the field. The Tenebraex have a two-piece design and the covers can rotate, so I keep dope inside my eyepiece lid and I can rotate it to suit.

If you're willing to play pricing "Whack-a-mole", Schmidts can get pretty "reasonable" for the 5-25x56mm and the Ultra Shorts pop up on occasion under $3k from time to time.  I've taken my time and gone 3-20 Ultra Short across the board.  The 5-25 was unnecessarily large for me and I'm good out to the limits  of my setups with the smaller Ultra Short.

I dabbled with other brands, but S&B is my #1 recommendation for no BS scopes.  NF is my #2.  I would consider Tangent Theta as an alternate, but they are more expensive and have less support than the above.  ZCO or Zero Compromise Optics are supposed to be the sleeper optic that has Jeff Huber (that helped make Nightforce a name and helped bring Kahles back into the game) in their ranks.  They're marked to be a major player in the optics game in the near future.

Regarding reticles... realize that your first impressions are almost always correct.  If you think it looks cluttered, too thin, too thick, or confusing...it probably is.  Horus reticles are pretty much love 'em or hate 'em...neither side is wrong.   There's pro's and con's to both, and a viable user can put either to good use.  Likewise, there's places where certain reticles are going to make things harder on the users.   Regarding the Tremor3 specifically...I just don't get the appeal.  "But you get wind holds!"...provided your ballistics match up and you properly noted the wind.  And correct me if I'm wrong, but if you dial at all you effect/change the wind values and the whole thing goes to shit.  I'm not saying anyone with a Tremor is wrong (roll with what you like), but I'm willing to bet there's a lot of Tremor 3 scopes being bought by people who don't know what they're buying in to. 


I see you mention "easy to unload optics".  Go over to Sniper's Hide and witness the sea of lightly used high-end optics that exists over there.  It absolutely SUCKS to sell optics.  Opening the box is like driving the car on the lot.  Unless you happen to magically have a special config and find the right buyer, expect to take a 25% hit more or less. 

Muzzle device?...APA bastard (fat, little), Insite Heathen, Area 419, or a Thunder Beast can.

"Pain, we endure...faulty weaponry, we do not."

lowlight posted:

By the way, I really appreciate the headaches and wasted money you guys are saving me from.

A couple of fun stories since you're learning from mistakes....

Not quite 15 years, I decided to go all in on a S&B 5-25x56 PMII.  I had no clue who S&B was; but they were more expensive than Zeiss so I knew that must be good...I mean they're also German!  I will also admit that it took an embarrassingly long time for me to realize my adjustments were not in MOA.  Ultimately, I traded that scope for a PMII in a configuration more suited to what/how I was shooting.   I guess the moral here is "the best" isn't necessarily the best fit for you.


Be realistic with your endeavors.  While I am not the long-range whiz I would like to be, I'm light years beyond the above.  After stagnating at the 1000-1100 yard range marks with short action guns (and more due to our geographic limitations), I decided about 2 years ago it was go-time for a super magnum....a .338 Lapua Mag.  I thought I would be doing 1500, a mile...maybe even 2000y!  ONE time in 2 years did I get the chance to get beyond 1300y (about 1560y) and even that circumstance took a lot of special doing and may not have been given the proper due to the prescribed danger area of such a round.  While it was fun shucking big, loud bullets that cost $5 a trigger pull, it was expensive...and maybe not smart.  The point is while it's far sexier to fantasize about 4-digit ranges and shots measured in "mile" to justify my 5-figure expenditure, but I ultimately realized that's not the reality of what I do..or what is safe.  I live 0-1000 (maybe 1200 in the right season).  Lord knows had I been trying at small/odd-shaped targets 600-800y in the time I dicked with that 338LM, my take-home prizes this past year would have been MUCH better.


Maye relevant, maybe not...just puttin' this out there for the masses.

"Pain, we endure...faulty weaponry, we do not."

The guys here have it summed up well.  If you are not a member of snipershide, RUN to join.  Their version of the swap meet is unfucking believable.  It took me a bit to learn what everything is since I’m on my own up here but once I got to the point of knowing just enough to be dangerous, I went thru it like Sherman marching to the sea.

I bought all 4 of my bolt guns, 2 Hensoldt and 2 S&B scopes, magazines, mounts, bipods, tripods, LRF, cases, etc.  from there.  Like PB said, the LR/ELR guys are a finicky bunch.  Not quite like the knife guys but close.  People apologize, take close up pics and circle even the lightest scope ring outline.  It’s amazing to see but you can get some screaming deals.  Be patient and your brand, power and reticle WILL pop up eventually.  Huge deals on S&B 5-25s like I have never seen.

I eventually will try a Horus type reticle but I’m a S&B P4F devotee.  It is very popular and for me at least, easy to use.  My Hensoldts are 4-16x56 with their NH1 reticle.  I don’t do QD mounts on my bolt guns.  I use Spuhr and Recknagel mounts.

The Hensoldt 6-24x72 is known as the “Hubble” by shooters.  It is a sight to see as it were.  The Hensoldt 3.5-26x56 is the best scope I have ever looked through but for $7k, it best be.

The NF ATACR in 7-35x56 is a smoking good scope.  You can hammer nails with NF scopes

Kahles is a solid choice with a great eye box and glass.  Their LPVS for 5.56 or 7.62 guns to me are better than the Short Dots.

I have some Steiner “ACOG”  type fixed power scopes on a couple of carbines.  Their glass is very nice as well.

Calibers are a separate thread but just to follow what pointblank said, the dreams of mile + shots and the equipment to go with it are usually just that....a dream.  I loved the .408CT rifle I once had but that round can almost shoot across my state.  Even my current .338LM is WAY too much for me .  Classic case of eyes way bigger than your stomach.

Except for high end shotguns and double rifles and machine guns, LR/ELR shooting is a fun but wicked expensive hobby.



HRH (Ret.) The Most Reverend Consig

Stupidity is not a skillset.





 Joined: 28 Nov 2004: 0037hrs        Location: The worst run state in the U.S

Has anyone used the NIghtforce LE/MIL program? if so, any chance you could PM me the details? and if it was worth contacting them? I appreciate any discount, just wondering if it's a "direct" program or through a vendor? Thanks

Certified Glock, S&W, SIG  Armourer

Colt, REM Armourer

BSO posted:

Has anyone used the NIghtforce LE/MIL program? if so, any chance you could PM me the details? and if it was worth contacting them? I appreciate any discount, just wondering if it's a "direct" program or through a vendor? Thanks

Yes...I have a lot.  It's one of the better LE purchase programs unlike some where you only get a bit off MSRP and it isn't worth your time.

If you are going NF, it's the way to go (if you can).



"Pain, we endure...faulty weaponry, we do not."

pointblank4445 posted:

Be realistic with your endeavors.  ###truth grenade follows##  I live 0-1000 (maybe 1200 in the right season).  Lord knows had I been trying at small/odd-shaped targets 600-800y in the time I dicked with that 338LM, my take-home prizes this past year would have been MUCH better.

This is a huge statement. Reality is that it is very difficult to find places to shoot beyond a grand. Even out here in the US West where distance is sold by zip code, topography often prevents easy use of extended long range.

ELR is fun, fascinating, and satisfying. It also requires a huge commitment in order to actually do right.  Think of ELR shooters as the same type of people who race sled dogs or climb Everest. If this is not the commitment level you are willing to meet, then building a 2000 meter rifle is not the best use of resources.

BSO posted:

Thanks, ya I think I will be giving them a shout this week. I've seen some "demo" prices at various vendors, does it beat that? Thanks

Yes.  Sonny sent me everything quickly and the prices are generous even compared to some of the used scopes on Snipershide.  If only Shmidt and Bender had a program

All this is very interesting.

I recently chickened out of pulling local $ down on a high end scope till I could study the solution some more: my first inclination had been to match the rifle to the scope you normally see on it: S&BPMII.  A contributing factor was the reticles options I was interested in offered were special order...at a special price.

Interim wise, I scored a couple of new Bushnell XRS 4.5-30x50mm at a price that was hard to refuse.  They will do on the range while I decide if I like the 'Christmas Tree' or not.  I'm thinking I will.

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