Illuminated Reticle?

Discussion in 'Hunting Equipment, Gear & Optics' started by Ray B, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    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?
     
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  2. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    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.
     
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  3. vancewalker007

    vancewalker007 AH Senior Member

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    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.
     

  4. crs

    crs AH Fanatic

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    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.
     

  5. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    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.
     

  6. Scrumbag

    Scrumbag AH Fanatic

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    Have several from Swaro, Zeiss and Meopta. Doubt I'd buy a scope without one now.
     
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  7. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    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.
     
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  8. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    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).
     
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  9. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    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.
     
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  10. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    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
     

  11. Scott Slough

    Scott Slough AH Fanatic

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    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.

    [​IMG]
    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.
     

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  12. vancewalker007

    vancewalker007 AH Senior Member

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  13. sheephunterab

    sheephunterab AH Fanatic

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    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.
     

  14. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    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
     
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  15. Jwg223

    Jwg223 AH Veteran

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    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!

     

  16. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    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!
     
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  17. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    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
     
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  18. JGRaider

    JGRaider AH Fanatic

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    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.
     
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  19. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog AH Veteran

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    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.
     
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