Best Scope for Baited Leopard Hunt at Night

Mac13

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Looking for suggestions from you Cat Guys for best magnification range, objective size and specific brand/model for a night leopard hunt over bait.

Obviously, illuminated reticle or fire dot would be a must.
 
The shot will be typically be inside 100 yards. I have successfully used both:

Swarovski Z8i 1.7-13.3x42 - 4A-IF

Leupold VX-6HD CDS-ZL2 2-12x 42mm Rifle Scope - FireDot Duplex

Both are excellent and purchase from @markbiggerstaff who gives excellent pricing.

HH
 
Looking for suggestions from you Cat Guys for best magnification range, objective size and specific brand/model for a night leopard hunt over bait.

Obviously, illuminated reticle or fire dot would be a must.
I choose to use a Leupold 50 Objective with low to high variable with Fire dot reticle. Certainly a top end I looked at was the Swaro V8i. Having owned a variety of top end Swaro I just found too many of them had limited horizontal adjustment. For the money I paid for them I just found Leupold had greater adjustment ability to get my scopes spot on so I sold all my Swaro and converted to all Leupold. Just is nothing more than my personal experience but when it happened on three scopes and it was not the rings I changed
 
I’m hunting leopard for the first time next year. So I‘m not an expert. That said, I’m using a Leica Amplus 2.5-15 50mm illuminated scope. It has a 30mm tube, so it gathers a lot of light.
 
Looking for suggestions from you Cat Guys for best magnification range, objective size and specific brand/model for a night leopard hunt over bait.

Obviously, illuminated reticle or fire dot would be a must.
@Mac13: I do a lot of Night Hunting for Predators here in U.S. (but never Leopard). I’ve been very pleased with Trijicon Accupoint, 3-9 x 40mm with duplex reticle and ILLUMINATED “Green Dot” in center of reticle. The fact that it does Not require any battery was important to me - runs on Tritium gas and/or fiber optic. I believe any battery can fail unpredictably (though Unlikely) and never wanted to take any chances of that - not even on a coyote and certainly Never on a Leopard.
Also the scope is fairly trim & light at about 17oz. Glass quality is very good, daylight shooting also very good - perhaps not the glass quality of Swaro or Zeiss (although I’ve compared and can’t tell the difference) but I’m hitting coyote & fox out to 225 yrds at night so the scope is great for me….I’ve also never had to re sight in (even after 8 years shooting 20-40 hunting rounds a year), it’s still zero’d at 200 yrds.
 
The shot will be typically be inside 100 yards. I have successfully used both:

Swarovski Z8i 1.7-13.3x42 - 4A-IF

Leupold VX-6HD CDS-ZL2 2-12x 42mm Rifle Scope - FireDot Duplex

Both are excellent and purchase from @markbiggerstaff who gives excellent pricing.

HH
Both of these are at the top of my list as they are versatile and can be used for Buffalo as well.
 
I choose to use a Leupold 50 Objective with low to high variable with Fire dot reticle. Certainly a top end I looked at was the Swaro V8i. Having owned a variety of top end Swaro I just found too many of them had limited horizontal adjustment. For the money I paid for them I just found Leupold had greater adjustment ability to get my scopes spot on so I sold all my Swaro and converted to all Leupold. Just is nothing more than my personal experience but when it happened on three scopes and it was not the rings I changed
50mm objective will definitely gather more light and for a dedicated night scope would be hard to beat.
 
@Mac13: I do a lot of Night Hunting for Predators here in U.S. (but never Leopard). I’ve been very pleased with Trijicon Accupoint, 3-9 x 40mm with duplex reticle and ILLUMINATED “Green Dot” in center of reticle. The fact that it does Not require any battery was important to me - runs on Tritium gas and/or fiber optic. I believe any battery can fail unpredictably (though Unlikely) and never wanted to take any chances of that - not even on a coyote and certainly Never on a Leopard.
Also the scope is fairly trim & light at about 17oz. Glass quality is very good, daylight shooting also very good - perhaps not the glass quality of Swaro or Zeiss (although I’ve compared and can’t tell the difference) but I’m hitting coyote & fox out to 225 yrds at night so the scope is great for me….I’ve also never had to re sight in (even after 8 years shooting 20-40 hunting rounds a year), it’s still zero’d at 200 yrds.
Another excellent choice. I wasn’t thinking about trijicon.
 
Human eye pupil size approx 7mm in the dark.

Riflescope exit pupil is basically objective lens÷magnification. (50mm objective @ 7x = ~7mm exit pupil.. 40mm@6×= ~6.6mm) any higher magnification reduces light transmission to your pupil)

Summary = no reason to have more than ~6x or 7x magnification on a scope you are shooting in low light.

The rest depends on lens light transfer quality and obviously dependability.

Buy the best you can afford. Leopard hunts are expensive.

Have fun, best of luck!
 
35-40 years ago, I did a lot of varmint hunting/calling at night using a red lense spotlight with either an open sighted 22lr or a 22-250 scoped with a weaver 3x9x24. I actually still have this scope.
During this time I routinely made shots out to a couple hundred yards at night while using the light.
From what I have seen on hunting shows, the PH is using what looks to be a green light.
This being said, I think the light may be more important than the scope in the dark.
At dusk or dawn is where the scope is more important.
Now, I am not saying I would take that old Weaver and mount it on a .375 H&H as I have Swarovski and Leupold scopes that I currently use on all my hunting rifles and you will need a high quality scope that can keep zero while handling the recoil of a DG Caliber which is the most important part of the equation.
 
Looking for suggestions from you Cat Guys for best magnification range, objective size and specific brand/model for a night leopard hunt over bait.

Obviously, illuminated reticle or fire dot would be a must.
You said "the best". Zeiss, Swaro and Schmidt & Bender will be difficult to top for any night or low light hunting. I've used a Zeis 3-12x56 for years hunting legally 1 hour past sunset in the states. Used it in 21 for leopard hunt.

The Schmidt & Bender Polar T96 is like wow!!! Im using one in less than 4 weeks for a cat hunt.

56mm glass, 30-34mm tubes will be hard to top.
 
50mm objective will definitely gather more light and for a dedicated night scope would be hard to beat.
@Mac13 - I’ve used both 50mm and 40mm and did Not notice any difference “At Night”. The main difference was if the reticle was “illuminated” because black cross hairs do not show up well against an animal at night, illuminated reticle or an illuminated “dot” helps me acquire target much faster
 
Great information from everyone and I appreciate it. I wanted to clarify my post last night as I don't want to offend anyone, but all the responses jogged my memory back to when I varmint hunted at night, it's been a minute. As I get older, I seem to have forgot more than I know.
 
For low light performance, it's hard to beat the old Zeiss or S&B 8x56
If you want to see something impressive in low light, try having a look through a Zeiss Victory HT 3-12x56 on 8 power with the illuminated dot only just visible.
 
Human eye pupil size approx 7mm in the dark.

Riflescope exit pupil is basically objective lens÷magnification. (50mm objective @ 7x = ~7mm exit pupil.. 40mm@6×= ~6.6mm) any higher magnification reduces light transmission to your pupil)

Summary = no reason to have more than ~6x or 7x magnification on a scope you are shooting in low light.

The rest depends on lens light transfer quality and obviously dependability.

Buy the best you can afford. Leopard hunts are expensive.

Have fun, best of luck!
Greatly appreciate the formula as I was not aware of it! Many thanks!!!
 
Greatly appreciate the formula as I was not aware of it! Many thanks!!!
So if I understand correctly for maximum light transition for my new Leupold 50 objective Fire Dot scope should be set on 7 variable?
 
So if I understand correctly for maximum light transition for my new Leupold 50 objective Fire Dot scope should be set on 7 variable?
No, max light would be at the lowest setting (50mm ÷ 3.5x = 14mm exit pupil - more than your pupil can use). Anything above 7x is making the scope exit pupil smaller than your eye's pupil.

Try it in a controlled darkness situation like a dimly lit trophy room.
 
A few elements to consider:

- the bigger the objective diameter is, the more light it captures --> so an objective 50 of better 56mm/60mm is best. Maximum power set to 4-6x to make sure you see the full body so it is easier to put the red dot at the right place. It will also be clearer/brighter at lower magnification - as explained in previous message.
- illuminated dot --> the risk with cheap optics is that illumination is too bright for night shot. Typically reticle red dot set for night use, would be almost invisible in bright light. Also some optics will generate internal reflection of the red dots and it will blur in red all what you'll see in the scope.
- if you are using a light source, then it is different as any scope will work.

Where I hunt, we can hunt 1h after sun set, which is pretty dark -->I onIy use German/Austrian riflescopes - Zeiss, Leica or Swarowski (or S&B or Khales but I do not own one) for that kind of hunt. I do have Burris, Night Force, Vortex (non HD) they are far away in terms of light transmission, clarity, flare resistance, definition in low light. Low light is where you see the difference between best European optics and the rest. Same applies to binoculars.
Zeiss and Leica are coming from photography and they make the best photographic optics (some of these camera lenses are selling for +$10'000$) The picture taken on the moon were made out of Zeiss optics on Hasselblad camera. The pictures of D-Day on Omaha beach taken with a leica. Leica made the first 35mm camera) --> They have decades of R&D on optics formulas, glass, coating, etc.

Try a Leica Tempus red dot, and compare it to a Docter or a Burris Fastfire... the Leica is fully neutral in terms of distortion, color etc. wiht the other you feel you are looking through something.

Except for a few collector rifles, usually my riflescope worths more than the rifle it is mounted on. I do not want to miss and opportunity because I rely not on the best i can afford. I also use my Zeiss V8i 2.8-20x56 as a spotting scope to confirm sex/age of chamois when hunting in the mountains and then for red stag in the evening.
Sorry but, for instance, I cannot understand fellows putting +2000$ on a fancy wood stock, engraving, etc. and then put a 800$ scope on that rifle.
These best riflescope brands will give you and amazing field of view for he same magnification ( For instance a leupold V6HD 1x will give you 36m at 100m, a leica magnus at 1x will give you 44m)

Bottom line, If you can afford one, you should consider a 56mm Zeiss V8 or HT, Leica Magnus/Fortis or Swarovski Z8i riflescope.
 
A few elements to consider:

- the bigger the objective diameter is, the more light it captures --> so an objective 50 of better 56mm/60mm is best. Maximum power set to 4-6x to make sure you see the full body so it is easier to put the red dot at the right place. It will also be clearer/brighter at lower magnification - as explained in previous message.
- illuminated dot --> the risk with cheap optics is that illumination is too bright for night shot. Typically reticle red dot set for night use, would be almost invisible in bright light. Also some optics will generate internal reflection of the red dots and it will blur in red all what you'll see in the scope.
- if you are using a light source, then it is different as any scope will work.

Where I hunt, we can hunt 1h after sun set, which is pretty dark -->I onIy use German/Austrian riflescopes - Zeiss, Leica or Swarowski (or S&B or Khales but I do not own one) for that kind of hunt. I do have Burris, Night Force, Vortex (non HD) they are far away in terms of light transmission, clarity, flare resistance, definition in low light. Low light is where you see the difference between best European optics and the rest. Same applies to binoculars.
Zeiss and Leica are coming from photography and they make the best photographic optics (some of these camera lenses are selling for +$10'000$) The picture taken on the moon were made out of Zeiss optics on Hasselblad camera. The pictures of D-Day on Omaha beach taken with a leica. Leica made the first 35mm camera) --> They have decades of R&D on optics formulas, glass, coating, etc.

Try a Leica Tempus red dot, and compare it to a Docter or a Burris Fastfire... the Leica is fully neutral in terms of distortion, color etc. wiht the other you feel you are looking through something.

Except for a few collector rifles, usually my riflescope worths more than the rifle it is mounted on. I do not want to miss and opportunity because I rely not on the best i can afford. I also use my Zeiss V8i 2.8-20x56 as a spotting scope to confirm sex/age of chamois when hunting in the mountains and then for red stag in the evening.
Sorry but, for instance, I cannot understand fellows putting +2000$ on a fancy wood stock, engraving, etc. and then put a 800$ scope on that rifle.
These best riflescope brands will give you and amazing field of view for he same magnification ( For instance a leupold V6HD 1x will give you 36m at 100m, a leica magnus at 1x will give you 44m)

Bottom line, If you can afford one, you should consider a 56mm Zeiss V8 or HT, Leica Magnus/Fortis or Swarovski Z8i riflescope.
Amen!!! Something many folks don’t know is that the eye has a magnification of 1.1
There’s a reason the best scopes have magnifications like 1.1-6 or 1.1-8 etc.
99% of the time, what you see through a scope with a true magnification of 1, is smaller in the scope than with the naked eye.
 
Thread 'Low light hunting riflescope review' https://www.africahunting.com/threads/low-light-hunting-riflescope-review.65951/

Hi All,
Here is a thread I did some time back, the VT is in English which makes it easy, I have no link to these guys though have purchased from them before, the presentation is well worth to watch all the way through.
Hi end German /Austrian optics in the 56/50 objective have great lowlight performance, though cost and are bigger to fit on your rifle, something to consider if you are going to do PG as well, as one above has pointed out it will be a short range shot so absolutely no need to dial, plus a point about the illuminated reticle cheap ones can be to bright!
I am sure the op will at least be able to compare some German optics with a Leupold or Trijicon.
I am currently using a leica with a 4a illustration 42mm objective and I am very pleased with the twilight performance. Leica Ampus is a great product, not at top end of money. You don't need to pay the absolute top end price to get a great low light performance, some manufacturers like Stiener / Minox make a great product, plus they are reliable which you most definitely want!!
 

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Bill J H wrote on gearguywb's profile.
Do you still have this rifle? I'm in the KC area on business and I'm very interested.
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I didn't get drawn for Wyoming this year.




Are you planning to hunt Unit 4 this fall?



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another great review


 
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