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Thread: Lightweight mountain scope recommendations

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    Member GDinAK's Avatar
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    Default Lightweight mountain scope recommendations

    What are you guys running for lightweight scopes? It will go on either my Kimber Montana in 280 AI or 300 WSM shots are typically under 400 yards and hopefully taken in the mountains at something white. I am partial to variable power scopes with obj less than 40mm. Quality, weight, features (CDS/ballistic reticle), value and finally price in that order ($1000 or under hopefully) I have typically run a lot of Leupolds in the 2.5x8, 3x9, 4.5x14 on my hunting guns and have been happy with them I just wanted to see what else is out there? Thanks in advance for any input! Greg

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I use several Leupold fixed powers… for mountain hunting that little FXII 6x36 is just tough to beat. Light weight (10oz) and the 36mm objective lets you mount it really low on the action and keep it out of trouble in the rocks. If you can't hit it with a 6x you need to get closer. IMHO it's a good match for the 280 or the 300. Put the aluminum scope caps on and it really protects the scope too.

    Are their brighter, clearer, more feature laden scopes out there? Absolutely… but I've got a slew of dead critters with mine and I've never found it lacking in any way.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member akprideinvegas's Avatar
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    I just bought a second one because it fit the bill, but the leupold 3x9x33 ultralight is what I have found to meet my needs. Have one on the tikka that has been around the block and have one on my newer kimber. Without going fixed power you wont find a lighter scope and at 9.3 oz's I didn't find anything that beat it much over an ounce.
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    Member GDinAK's Avatar
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    Thanks guys at 9.3 oz for 3x9x33 that Leupold is so pretty good option anyone know how much weight adding the CDS would add? Anyone running the Z3 I have heard the optics are great but wonder if it is worth the extra money/weight?

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    Member GDinAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akprideinvegas View Post
    I just bought a second one because it fit the bill, but the leupold 3x9x33 ultralight is what I have found to meet my needs. Have one on the tikka that has been around the block and have one on my newer kimber. Without going fixed power you wont find a lighter scope and at 9.3 oz's I didn't find anything that beat it much over an ounce.
    Wow Midway lists the 3x33 ultralight with CDs at 8.8 ozs...

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    I've run 3-9X33 for awhile, but the eye relief shifts dramatically from 3 to 9 and its fairly critical. For hunting rifles I use Leupolds in 6X42 or 3.5-10X40 and prefer the 6X42 for big game. They weigh just a tad over 11 ounces and that extra 1.5-2 ounces is a bargain for the difference in performance......
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Kahles Helia-C 4x36 or 6x42, 4A reticles.
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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Greg, I'm running a swarovski Z3 in 3.5 x 10 x 42 with BRX reticles, on my 280 A.I. titanium strata, they come in at around 11-12 ounces. I used to run 2.5 x 8 x 36 leuopold in VX-III but I got the bug and switched to swarovski's on a couple of my rifles, and prefer to hunt with them if you stay with the z3 and z5 models you can keep your rifle weight down. IMO I like them, I think they are worth the money, and once you try one, you'll want another. As you can see they still keep the rifle weight down:


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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I have a couple 2x7x33 that I have used on my mountain rifles, but the last couple years I have switched over to 3x9x40 with CDS and I have to say I much prefer them over the 2x7x33. That said, last year I was unable to make a shot on a Ram due to low light, using the 3x9x40 Luppy. My eyes are not getting any better so this year I bought a Swarovski Z 3 4x12x50 Ballistic Turret with 4W reticle, that will go with me this year. I will be able to give it a good review by this fall, but so far by just looking through both side by side, the Swaro is much brighter.
    Last edited by stid2677; 03-03-2014 at 21:58.
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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    The Z3 4-12x50 with ballistic turrets is less than 2oz more than the Z3 3-10x42 and is the way I am leaning for my next rifle project.

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    Member GDinAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kahahawai View Post
    Greg, I'm running a swarovski Z3 in 3.5 x 10 x 42 with BRX reticles, on my 280 A.I. titanium strata, they come in at around 11-12 ounces. I used to run 2.5 x 8 x 36 leuopold in VX-III but I got the bug and switched to swarovski's on a couple of my rifles, and prefer to hunt with them if you stay with the z3 and z5 models you can keep your rifle weight down. IMO I like them, I think they are worth the money, and once you try one, you'll want another. As you can see they still keep the rifle weight down:


    Wow sweet rifle that is light light.... Looks like a great setup heard lots good about the Z3 and looks nicely balanced on the rifle. Congrats on the build and thanks for sharing!

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    Member GDinAK's Avatar
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    Stid/LuJon like the ballistic turret concept and I have used the CDS quite a bit and I have been impressed by their accuracy,reliability, and repeat ability. May have to bite the bullet on one of these Z3s. Thanks for the input...

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    Member GDinAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Kahles Helia-C 4x36 or 6x42, 4A reticles.
    I will check them out thanks for another option to look at.....

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    Member Johnny Bruin's Avatar
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    GDinAK - I was actually going to post the same question that you did. I just got a Tikka chambered in 7MM, for my new mountain rifle, and was pondering what kind of scope to mount on it. Decided to go with the 7MM due to the "punch" it will provide (Billys can be a tough out).

    Any suggestions out there on glass?

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    My Z3 3-9x36 is only 12 oz and it is a bit clearer than my ultralight leupold. Regardless- lots of great scopes/options under a pound. Even a Z5 3.5-18x44 is under a lb... Nothing like a simple fixed 6x as well.

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Default Lightweight mountain scope recommendations

    Hey Greg, I have Leupolds on all my rifles also, and have a VXIII 3.5X10 on my Kimber Montana .300 wsm. The wt. on this set up, with scope caps, is 7.18 pounds.

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Kahles Helia-C 4x36 or 6x42, 4A reticles.

    I could be wrong but, I think Kahles got bought out by Swarovski. They do have good glass no doubt, I have a Helia in 4x12x56, its a big scope and on the heavy side. They are somewhat harder to find but some stores are still selling whats left of the stock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Bruin View Post
    GDinAK - I was actually going to post the same question that you did. I just got a Tikka chambered in 7MM, for my new mountain rifle, and was pondering what kind of scope to mount on it. Decided to go with the 7MM due to the "punch" it will provide (Billys can be a tough out).

    Any suggestions out there on glass?
    Not a suggestion on glass since some mighty fine scopes have already been mentioned. But with a Tikka you might want to consider another scope mounting system other than the factory rings. DNZ and Talley both do a much better job than factory rings.

    With the 7mm you can probably use a Limbsaver recoil pad too. Limbsaver pad number 10011 is an almost perfect fit.
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    Member Carlak2fl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boliep View Post
    Not a suggestion on glass since some mighty fine scopes have already been mentioned. But with a Tikka you might want to consider another scope mounting system other than the factory rings. DNZ and Talley both do a much better job than factory rings.

    With the 7mm you can probably use a Limbsaver recoil pad too. Limbsaver pad number 10011 is an almost perfect fit.
    i bought the exact limbsaver for my tikka in 300wsm. ended up never installing it. i believe i paid 40ish for it. id take 30 if you decide you want one. 227-3305.
    i opted for the swaro 4-12 with the BT and couldn't be more pleased. only gripe is that it does make my other leupold scopes seem inadequate
    its better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt...

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kahahawai View Post
    I could be wrong but, I think Kahles got bought out by Swarovski.
    I believe they're located just up the road from one another, and their quality is very comparable. And yes, I believe they were under the Swarovski flag for a few years, but are back on their own again. Their fixed scopes are no longer cataloged and getting hard to come by, but they're my favorites. You can find scopes an ounce or two lighter, but not near the same quality, imho.
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