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Upgrade scope from Vortex Viper HS LR

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So I've been hunting with this scope for a few years and I'm looking to upgrade.   I'm not Mr. Optics when it comes to rifle scopes but I know I need and want a better scope on my rifle.    The last two years I've shot bucks where I needed clearer glass at longer ranges and this scope just isn't getting me there.  

So my question is which scopes would be a good option?   I don't really need or want more than 25 power (give or take), would prefer it be much higher end, adjustable turret and hopefully doesn't weigh a ton.  What are my options?  

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What is your Budget?

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I'm thinking BEAST, Atacr, swaro Z8 type of scopes but I really don't know where to even start.    Really looking for the best.    I'm more of a one rifle guy and want it to be awesome.  

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Several people including Lance are big money scope guys. I dont have alot of input on stuff that nice. 

Paging Lance...

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I'd suggest you get down to the Outdoorsmans or get to a range where some guys are running nice glass. If you want to be a one rifle/scope guy you need to see as much as is out there to determine your personal preferences. 

Key factors (no personal bias here):

1. Mechanical repeatability (internal components linked to external (DIALS))

2. Glass Quality


Anything after that you get into lots of shooting style and personal choices... some things that are important to me are

1. Turret feel / zero stop or lock mechanism-- do you want a lock, a stop, a set? 

2. Eye relief / eye box-- some are tighter than others or shorter than others-- makes a difference depending on rifle/recoil 

3. Magnification and parallax adjustment feel/ease-- how stiff or lose; smooth or rough are these controls? Are they fine-- meaning very little room for movement or is there a wide range. Some scopes are definitely easier to find a sweet spot than others. 

4. Weight- all my scopes are hunting scopes and weight matters to me


Some top of the line stuff that I'm sure will come recommended will be March, Tangent, Kahles, Nightforce... of which I've only owned Nightforce (NX8 and ATACR); I've also run Leupold Mk4, VX5HD, VX6HD, Swarovski Z5, Zeiss V4, and Vortex (previously an HSLR but now a Razor AMG HD).


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 Run several full customs with Swarovski X5 scopes and a few with nightforce scopes. Your welcome to look through them. You can find a scope to fit ur needs under 3000 dollars absolutely no reason to spend 5 grand.....

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You are asking about my obsession.  I have owned, or shot behind, almost every high end scope out there.

Let's get some clarification.

FFP or SFP?  You mentioned options for both.


What is your max yardage you plan on shooting/hunting?

Rifle and chambering it is going on?

Preferred weight range?

Budget will get you almost any scope you could want.  Very few are above that price range, even though there are a few.

To be honest, I would take a true top tier 3-15×50 over a mediocre 5-25×56 any day.  I also think a 3x low mag range is used far more often than a 25x top end.  My longest kills on coyotes at 1327 & 1365 (x2) were with a 5-25x56 set on 17x.


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I've had both FFP and SFP scopes.   Probably would want a FFP scope.   

I'm an MOA guy.  

Probably wouldn't shoot more than 1000 yards unless I'm going to screw around and get crazy but that would be rare and probably only for fun.   Most of my shooting is in the 300-800 yard range when I develop loads and practice.   

Got a BAT machine 6.5 X 284 with a 22" brux barrel pushing a 143 grain ELD - X at 2910 and I would call it an honest .25 gun with days better than that.   In the last year the gun has killed CWT deer at 450, 625, 813 and 964 yards.   

I'm not really looking to spend 5K but I do want the best available scope that fits my needs.  I expect to pay in the $2500-4000 range for a great scope.   

I think another important part is I want a very low starting magnification.  Right now I'm at 6X24 and there are times where I wish I had a 3X scope for up close or low light conditions.   

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OK, you are REALLY talking about my preferences now.

FFP Alpha glass.

If you really want the best scopes money can buy, there are 3 brands I would suggest.

1.  Tangent Theta. 

The TT315M is fairly lightweight @ 27.7oz.  There is also the newly released TT315H with the same features, but a simplified reticle and locking turrets.  They "only" have dual turn 20MOA turrets, so 40 usable MOA for elevation.  I have shot my 6CM with one out to 1500 yards, so don't let the limited elevation scare you off.  They can be hard to come by, but if you want one, they are worth the wait and price.  I use CS Tactical for my purchases of the TT315M.   Ask for Richard, and tell him I sent you.

Also the heavier, but far more adjustable and feature rich TT315P. 

All three are 3-15×50, and have MOA reticles available. 

I own three TT315Ms with the Gen 2XR reticles.  Also the predecessor to Tangent Theta, a Premier Heritage Light Tactical 3-15×50 and a Premier Heritage 5-25×56.  I wouldn't own three if they were not amazing.  I have shot them out past 1770 on steel and rocks.  They are plenty for hunting at 1000+ yards.  And the glass quality more than makes up for added magnification of other mid-range scopes.






2.  Zero Compromise Optics. 

While they don't have MOA scopes available, MIL is easy to learn.  I actually prefer MIL over MOA myself.  ZCO 420 4-20×50.  I own two now.  They weigh in at 34oz, so a bit heavier.  Features on them are like a Caddy.  Very nice, and lots of them.  Reticles in MIL are my favorite.  MPCT1 is a simple .2MIL subtensioned crosshair.  MPCT2 has a Christmas tree below.  I have one of each.  

Wide FOV for the magnification, eye box is ridiculous, glass is unreal.  Turrets are perfect, locking, and very tactile.  20x on top end is nice too.  36mm tube limits mounting options, but the ones that are available are top notch.  I use ARC M10 rings for mine.  Spuhr, Talley, Zeiss and a couple others are available too.




3.  Schmidt & Bender.  The scope that all others are compared to, and what they all strive to be.

S&B has a few different models that fit the bill.

PMII 3-20×50 or 3-20×50 Ultra Short.  I have one of each.  Big mag range, amazing glass, locking turrets, many reticle choices.  New or used are plentiful.



Ultra Short



PMII 4-16×50.  These are longer and heavier, but still a good choice.  New or used available, but not as often as the 3-20 or 5-20.

PMII 5-20×50 Ultra Short.  I have one of these too.  Shortest, lightest of the S&B PMII line.  Amazing glass, locking turrets, but mounting options are very limited.  I honestly don't know how or if these would fit on a LA.  But on a SA, they fit well as long as you don't want to move it too far back.  Can be had new or used easily.




If you want to get behind any or all of them, let me know.  We can meet at the range on some weekend.

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WOW!!!   Well thanks for giving me about 10 hours of research to do this weekend.   Lots of glass there that I didn't know existed.   Very interesting.  

Do you think the bigger 36MM tube gets you brighter images?   Does it work better in low light?   

Can you get the custom turrets for any of these if you just want to dial up the yardage and go bang in a known setting? 

Do you feel that 15 power is enough for 1000 yards?   I know the quality of the glass can make a huge difference so I'm just curious.   I'm a fan of magnification but at some point (about 25 power) it becomes really hard to keep steady in field conditions.   

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Any and all of these scopes will keep you hunting during any legal hours.  30mm, 34mm, or 36mm tubes won't be the determining factor.  The glass transmits light well enough that you will see better through the glass than with your naked eyes.  They are all exceptionally bright.

I don't think you can dona custom turret on any of them.  But out to 600 or so, just work up your drops before you leave and tape a drop chart to the rifle.  For 600+, you will want a more accurate real time/condition shooting solution anyway.  Plus, no need to change turrets when you go from hunting Coues @ 3000' & 25° to pronghorn @ 6500' & 85°.  Get your drops and dial.  Depending on your rangefinder of choice, a lot of them now give you accurate shooting solutions besides just telling you yardage and look angle.

I think 15x is plenty for hunting well past 1000 yards.  Two weeks ago, I popped a coyote @ 921 yards with the scope set at 7x for wider FOV just in case I needed to keep him in view for a follow up shot.  Also shot out to 1251 the same day, and on 18x with a couple other rifles out to 1558 too. 

Shot my pronghorn last year @ 450ish on 7x.  I shot a coyote @ 1327 with a 16x.  Two more @ 1365 on 17x.  

15x is even plenty for shooting small groups.  I have a few sub 3" groups out at 950-1000.  Never once felt underpowered.  

But a 3-20 or 4-20 is nice to have the extra 5x on top.  You might not need it, but it is nice.

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