Illuminated Reticle?

Ray B

AH legend
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
2,387
Reaction score
2,648
Location
WA St, USA
Media
76
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
I can see where an illuminated reticle could be an advantage in low light conditions or when in deep shadows on a dark animal, but I talked with a rep from Leupold and the expected battery life of the battery in the VX-6 scope, once installed but not turned on is 2 years. So if the battery is installed right before the hunting season it would be good through that season and the next, but if it had any use would be going dead before or during the third season. So I'd be changing the battery (which may not be commonly available in years to come) every two years.

I've never used illuminated reticles- am I missing something? are they worth the apparent need for regular changing of the battery?
 

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,103
Reaction score
7,405
Media
53
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
I have one and I can defintiely see how it would be handy in dark conditions chasing buffalo. I'll caveat that by saying I've not used it in such, but just simulated this out hunting on dark objects.

The batteries typically used are the kind you find in small digital cameras, calculators, watches and whatever else. The small disk kind, roughly the size of a nickel. I'd be quite surprised if after we are all dead and gone and there's nothing living on the earth except the coyotes and cockroaches, there will be some sitting on a shelf in a store somewhere.

But to confirm it is a common battery, find out what the Leupold uses and then check in Radio Shack and wherever else you buy batteries and get a feel for how many are available.
 

vancewalker007

AH senior member
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
75
Reaction score
56
Media
7
Member of
NRA, RMEF, SCI
Hunted
RSA
We found the firedot in our VX-6 2x12 scopes very useful on our 2013 African trip. I was able to make a very fast one-shot kill on a warty because of it. The pig was close and on his toes to take off when I grabbed my rifle from the corner of the blind and leveling it on his should in about 5 seconds with the red dot ensuring to me that the aim was true. Just take a couple of extra batteries with you and you are covered.
 

crs

AH fanatic
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
987
Reaction score
1,243
Location
Republic of Texas
Website
sheltontechnologies.com
Media
6
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
1
Member of
CRS, NRA Patron Member, TSRA, DWWC, DRSS
Hunted
RSA
My scope with illuminated reticle defaults to black and is variable from green to red and in intensity. It does help locate the duplex cross hair intersection in poor light and on dark animals such as feral hogs.
 

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,407
Reaction score
7,402
Location
Colorado
Media
231
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
I have an older Bushnell Elite 4200 1.25-4x illuminated. It worked great in AK for a nice black bear on a drizzly overcast day. At 30-40 yards I don't think I could have found the crosshairs without the dot.
 

Scrumbag

AH fanatic
Joined
Jul 13, 2016
Messages
756
Reaction score
513
Media
40
Member of
BASC, SCI
Hunted
Europe
Have several from Swaro, Zeiss and Meopta. Doubt I'd buy a scope without one now.
 

Pheroze

AH legend
Joined
Jul 6, 2013
Messages
3,755
Reaction score
4,045
Location
Ontario
Media
70
Articles
17
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
Member of
OFAH, DSC
Hunted
South Africa, Canada, USA
I absolutely love my trijicon. In the middle of the afternoon the red triangle on my 1-4x 24 glowed like a badge on the zebra's chest. We were at about 40 yards and he was looking right at me. Time for a quick decision. Thank goodness he waited for what seemed like 30 minutes for me to discuss the situation with my PH ;)

But yes, it is great and no battery BTW. Equally helpful on the 120 ish yard shot on the Gemsbok moving between bushes. Really easy to see where you are at.
 

Hank2211

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
Jan 12, 2010
Messages
2,867
Reaction score
6,341
Media
141
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
10
Member of
SCI, DU, Pheasants Forever
Hunted
Canada, United States, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Eastern Cape; Northern Cape; North West Province, Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo), Namibia, Cameroon, Benin, Ethiopia, Argentina
Lots of threads on this subject . . . likely will get agreement as soon as we get agreement on which is best caliber.

Having said that, I have illuminated reticles on all my scopes now and have used them, in both day and night situations. I have found them invaluable, to the point that I wonder why anyone would buy anything else (I do recognize they are more expensive . . .)

I have never heard fears over future battery availability. With the greatest of respect, if that were a concern, it who'll be a concern about almost everything in this technical world. My earmuffs take a battery, my rangefinder takes a battery, my phone takes a battery, etc., etc,. etc. I expect one day my hearing aid will take a battery.

I will still buy the items (but will likely turn the hearing aid off at home to save battery life).
 

Wheels

AH ambassador
Joined
Dec 23, 2012
Messages
6,242
Reaction score
8,945
Media
115
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Hunted
Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe
An IR on a VX6 costs what, $200 more than a scope without IR. Your spending thousands on a safari, it is the last couple minutes of light, you see the trophy of your dreams in the shadows, your crosshairs are still visible against the sky but when you lower the scope into the woods, you can see that majestic trophy but your crosshairs can't be picked up. Black crosshairs against the black shadows. At that moment, how much would you be willing to pay to have a little red dot to place on the shoulder of the animal?


I shot a leopard probably due to the fact that I was using an IR. I was using an IR on the leopard because another member here on AH wounded and lost a leopard because he was not using an IR.
 

Wheels

AH ambassador
Joined
Dec 23, 2012
Messages
6,242
Reaction score
8,945
Media
115
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Hunted
Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe
An IR on a VX6 costs what, $200 more than a scope without IR. Your spending thousands on a safari, it is the last couple minutes of light, you see the trophy of your dreams in the shadows, your crosshairs are still visible against the sky but when you lower the scope into the woods, you can see that majestic trophy but your crosshairs can't be picked up. Black crosshairs against the black shadows. At that moment, how much would you be willing to pay to have a little red dot to place on the shoulder of the animal?


I shot a leopard probably due to the fact that I was using an IR. I was using an IR on the leopard because another member here on AH wounded and lost a leopard because he was not using an IR.


PS: You mention VX6. If I wanted to save money, I would rather have a VX3 or a VXR with IR than a VX6 without.

Midway has a good sale on Leupold's going on.

https://www.midwayusa.com/s?targetL...rpp=48&Ntpc=1&Ntpr=1&Ntt=leupold+rifle+scopes
 

Scott Slough

AH fanatic
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
975
Reaction score
927
Location
Nacogdoches, TX
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SCI, Pineywoods SCI, NAHC, TTH
Hunted
USA, South Africa (Eastern Cape)
I absolutely love my trijicon.

I have a trijicon 1 X 4 X 24 with a German # 4 crosshair with amber dot in the center of pretty fine crosshairs that I love for low/no light hog hunting.


I like the amber light as it is not as bright as the red and the green triangles and doesn't reduce my night vision when I view through it for a few minutes. The amber dot only gets better as the light gets worse. If I can see an animal outline, the dot is VERY visable ... and as Pheroze said ... no batteries! I don't see me every switching to the illuminated reticle.
 

Attachments

  • 71nYr-KoueL._SL1500_.jpg
    71nYr-KoueL._SL1500_.jpg
    54.6 KB · Views: 410

vancewalker007

AH senior member
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
75
Reaction score
56
Media
7
Member of
NRA, RMEF, SCI
Hunted
RSA

sheephunterab

AH fanatic
Joined
May 5, 2016
Messages
808
Reaction score
896
Location
Alberta, Canada
Website
www.outdoorquesttv.com
Media
52
Hunting reports
Africa
5
Europe
2
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
SCI, Wild Sheep Foundation, AFGA
Hunted
Tanzania, Namibia, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Argentina, Canada, USA, Russia
Having played with a few lighted reticles, I'm honestly not a fan. I find them distracting in low light. But, I do like a lighted dot in the middle of the crosshair especially on a low power scope for dangerous game. I find for quick target acquisition, it really draws your eye to the aim point.
 

Philip Glass

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH legend
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
3,473
Reaction score
5,554
Location
Texas
Website
www.dorper.net
Media
81
Articles
13
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Asia/M.East
2
Member of
NRA, Life SCI, Life DSC, Life EWA
Hunted
RSA, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Austria, Australia, TX, NM
I would not use a non illuminated reticle if I had the choice. The battery in my Leupold VX-6 scopes is a simple CR 2032 available anywhere. Take a few extras and all is well! I have two of these scopes and they are the best. When my lion came out after the rain storm and it was not the best lighting I was able to see and place my shot perfectly.
Philip
 

Jwg223

AH veteran
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
100
Reaction score
31
Location
NW Arkansas
Media
1
Most scopes use the CR2032. I have had multiple illuminated optics, and come to the conclusion that I REALLY like the feature, especially at night. My only criteria is that it overpower the illumination from my weapon-light. pretty much any scope can do that. My second criteria is that the optic be usable on 1x WITHOUT illumination, as well. This is where optics like the Leupold MK6 tend to do poorly. They are meant to be used illuminated on 1x, and the FFP retucle is too small without it to be of much use with any speed. The best compromise I have found is the Nightforce 1-4 NXS. The Kahles K16i and Swarovski Z6i are the "best illuminated" in my book, but I sold my K16i and bought another Nightforce 1-4 because I personally prefer the eyebox on the NF, and the bolder reticle, and will sacrifice the 2x and better illumination for the footprint (physical) of the NF. Here is a short video comparison of on my my NF 1-4's and the K16i. The FC-2 reticle has not been produced officially since 2013, so it's been a pain to track down two new-old-stock FC-2 scopes, but worth it!

 

CAustin

Bronze supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
14,183
Reaction score
11,279
Media
252
Hunting reports
Africa
7
Member of
Courtney Hunting Club, NRA Life Member, SCI Kansas City Chapter
Hunted
South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Kalahari, Northwest, Limpopo, Gauteng, APNR Kruger Area. USA Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas
I can see where an illuminated reticle could be an advantage in low light conditions or when in deep shadows on a dark animal, but I talked with a rep from Leupold and the expected battery life of the battery in the VX-6 scope, once installed but not turned on is 2 years. So if the battery is installed right before the hunting season it would be good through that season and the next, but if it had any use would be going dead before or during the third season. So I'd be changing the battery (which may not be commonly available in years to come) every two years.

I've never used illuminated reticles- am I missing something? are they worth the apparent need for regular changing of the battery?

I have one on the Leupold VX3 on my 300 win mag. I like it a lot. I just bought four batteries and keep a fresh one in the mag. As mentioned it uses a small battery like you would find in a camera. So yes in low light I think they are worth it!
 

cpr0312

AH ambassador
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
9,562
Reaction score
10,597
Location
North Carolina
Media
346
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
6
USA/Canada
1
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA Life Member
Hunted
US (All over), New Zealand, South Africa(Northern Cape, Northwest), Zimbabwe, Zambia
I also have a leupold with lighted reticle option, I think its great in low light. Got it specifically for buff and leopard. Used it on buff this past May in thick cover
 

JGRaider

AH fanatic
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Messages
602
Reaction score
534
Location
West Texas
Media
15
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
7
Member of
B&C, DSC
Hunted
US, Mexico, S Africa, Namibia
I've been using a VX6 with firedot duplex for a couple of years now with the original battery. No problems whatsoever. It is a great piece of equipment. The VX6, with or without Ill reticles, is a very underrated scope. I find it the most user friendly variable made, and I've used lots of differenct euro models. Even without the illumination, the duplex reticle is the perfect size IMO.
 

Desert Dog

AH enthusiast
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Messages
255
Reaction score
438
Media
16
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
1
I have gradually switched over all of my hunting scopes to VX-6s. Always get the firedot option. it is well worth it. I change my battery out every year before I start to hunt, just to be safe, but have never had a dead battery. I have a VX-3 with a firedot on my son's 30-06 that has not been shot in 4 years, and it still works perfectly. You spend thousands of dollars on a hunt, what is the big deal about throwing in a fresh $2 battery every season?

I prefer the small dot in the duplex (firedot) over the style with illuminated crosshairs. The fully illuminated crosshairs are way too busy and tend to wash out a target in very low light. A simple, uncomplicated, unobstructive, and user friendly duplex with an illuminated dot is the best for hunting IMO.

Although I have not had to use the IR in Africa, almost all shot opportunities on my local hunting grounds (California) are right at sunrise and sunset in very low light. I do a great deal of pig hunting, and you never see those hogs running around when visibility is good.

And it is not only for low light, Even at mid-day, when you are looking at a dark colored animal (pig, buff, sable) while it is standing in shaded cover, that illuminated reticle will be the difference between a good hit and a bad one.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
35,513
Messages
662,521
Members
60,018
Latest member
smithpearl
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

Mule deer and Colorado elk seasons almost done! Hunters driving farm roads, looking for racks, their PH driving them along, I ask that you not pull into my drive. The buck behind me, on the boundary line of the GMU somehow knows. The hunter laughs, I would invite you in to see my Searcy rifles but social distancing prevails, darkness arrives and the buck slides away into secret tree grove...
Boyd Brooks wrote on Skinnersblade's profile.
Ellwood Epps has 1 box of 25-20 in stock. Look them up on the web. They are located in Orilla Ontario.
Lkhntr wrote on Warpig602's profile.
On the vx6 2-12 what does the zl2 stand for?

Thanks, Oliver
bowjijohn wrote on AfricaHunting.com's profile.
Many thanks for re formatting my article for the forum

I served my time in both the bush and during the bush war

I hope it did it justice

Education is where it is at - without it the wild places are history

You - sir - are well placed to make a difference

J
Good morning friends

i‘ve taken to heart a suggestion to tell my story about a lion hunt 37 years ago. ‘I don’t know, but am thinking there are site rules as to posting and file type. Three of the four posts (chapters?) are done, I took time away from here to write up the story. I have a couple of photos too.

also, I’m going to dissemble the rifles and see if Butch may have signed them. I’ll let you know.
 
Top