Illuminated reticles, worth having or not?

njc110381

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Just wondering what people's thoughts are on this? I have a Leupold Vx3 (I think) 1.5-5x20 that I plan to put on my .416 Rigby. It's the 1moa dot type reticle with a larger ring around it - great for moving game and close range. The problem I have is it's supposed to be illuminated but doesn't appear to be working. I can't decide whether to send it in for repair (Leupold warranty is good but doesn't cover electrical issues) or not bother and use it as it is? Is much of the hunting done in low light? The flashdot is great in dull conditions where every little helps
 

Philip Glass

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I have many Leupolds with the red dot and don’t want to hunt without it. There are so many circumstances where it is beneficial and it actually spoils you. What do you think the problem is? Have you called Leupold? When is your safari? I only use Energizer Lithium batteries in my devices.
Let us know if you get it to work.
Philip
 

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Like Philip, I’m a big fan of illuminated reticles! Even my last PH really liked it. I’m a bit long in the tooth and I find they help especially on dark animals such as Cape buffalo and black bears. I do a fair amount of night critter hunting each trip to Africa and they help a lot in those situations.
I wasn’t aware the VX3 series could be had with illuminated reticles. I’ll have to check those out.
 

Shootist43

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Njc, how old is your Leupold? Did you buy it new? Has it ever been abused? I don't own any Leupolds with a lighted reticle but I'm having trouble with the idea that Leupold won't take care of your issues under warranty. Have you spoken to Leupold directly? Contact them at https://www.leupold.com/
 

sierraone

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I have many Leupolds with the red dot and don’t want to hunt without it. There are so many circumstances where it is beneficial and it actually spoils you. What do you think the problem is? Have you called Leupold? When is your safari? I only use Energizer Lithium batteries in my devices.
Let us know if you get it to work.
Philip
Philip, I believe you are correct. I currently don't own any illuminated scopes, but firmly believe any time new tech comes on line, we quickly become spoiled with it. I guess all of the high end scopes have illumination and it wasn't that many years ago it didn't even exist! I wonder what a $2500 scope would retail for without illumination?
 

njc110381

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Thanks for your replies.

I've not contacted Leupold yet. I did look at their website the other day to see who the UK distributor is and it was then that I noticed them saying electronic parts aren't covered. I guess the best thing I can do is get it sent off to them and see what they have to say.

I got the scope with a second hand .45-70 I bought, so it's not new to me but appears to be very well looked after. The rifle was virtually unused and the scope doesn't have a mark on it. I'm not sure what's gone wrong with it - I've tried a new battery but beyond that it's out of my area of expertise!

Perhaps it's not a VX-3? I need to look into it more. When I tried to look it up that was the model that looked like my scope, but that's about as far as I've got with it! Time to get it out of the safe and have a good look at it I think!
 

Rule 303

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Illuminate reticles can help, no doubt about it. I have some however I am a realist and know that electrics will probably be the first thing to go in a scope. I view scopes with electronics as a short term optic. That is you will most likely not have a working dot in 20 years time.

Send back to Leupold and see what they say.
 

njc110381

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Illuminate reticles can help, no doubt about it. I have some however I am a realist and know that electrics will probably be the first thing to go in a scope. I view scopes with electronics as a short term optic. That is you will most likely not have a working dot in 20 years time.

Send back to Leupold and see what they say.

I think that's probably a sensible way to see it. Especially on a calibre like the .416 or indeed a very small, light .45-70 that has been used with quite stout loads. Although no big game rifle, it recoils in a manner that most "can I have a go?" range folk find quite unpleasant! I think the scope is of the same opinion!
 

Dwight Beagle

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I have one scope with an IR, a VX-R 2-7x33 with Firedot 4. I wish I had more. I’d be leery of inexpensive scopes with IR. I’ve looked through a couple and the reticle wasn’t bright enough for daylight use. One was a Hawke and I don’t remember what the other one was.
 

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There are several brightness settings. Have you tried pushing the button several times to increase the intensity? I've found on some of my Leupolds that # 1 or 2 settings are not bright enough to see very well.
 

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PS to above. My old eyes are not what they used to be so I swear by illuminated reticles, especially hunting in shade, early morning or dusk. Even on lighter colored animals it helps to pinpoint your shot.
 

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Most of my scopes are Swaro and Leupold and most have illuminated reticles. I have to admit I’m a bit of a sceptic. I shoot and hunt extensively. In all honesty, I am not convinced that I have ever made a shot that I could not have made without an illuminated reticle.
 

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IMO, the Trijicons are the best way to go, no battery, no electronics and the tritium lasts around twelve years.
 

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If you decide to switch, consider the Trijicon AccuPoint (1-4 or 1-6); illuminated reticle without the electronics (fiber optics from a window on top to the reticle). Love mine and works in any light. No light...then the tritium kicks in. Best of all worlds and very nice!
 

Hogpatrol

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Don't know the regulatory scheme for shooting hours in many states or countries but the ones I hunt allow a half hour after sunset, prime time for game movement. In a brushy or wooded are where a standard black reticle will blend in with the background, the lighted one stands out and can extend hunting time.
 

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I quite like them, I find that they help both in low light and in bright light. During the day they make aiming quicker which matters on fast moving game i.e. on a driven hunt. At night and in low light the gently lit up dot or cross makes placing the crosshairs in the right spot considerably easier. Are they be-all and end-all? Not for me but I’m in my mid 30s and have healthy eyes. I reckon once you’ve used one you’ll want to continue using it. As for reliability, I’ve got a Leica Magnus 1-6x that so far survived about half a thousand shots on top of 375H&H and several long distance flights and I bought it second hand.
 

curtism1234

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IMO, the Trijicons are the best way to go, no battery, no electronics and the tritium lasts around twelve years.

What happens after that, can the tritium be replaced? Does it have to be sent in or can it be changed with the scope still mounted?

I have always viewed the electronic sights with skepticism that it was needed in the first place. 30 minutes past sunset you can still see the black reticle. If you want to fudge things a few minutes after legal shooting light, I could see where that would be beneficial (though seeing horns and antlers would be very difficult if not impossible).

Hundreds of thousands of black bears have been killed with regular scopes, but I could see where that would help in the last hour of the day.

What I don't particularly care for are the red dots/holographic that do not have a regular reticle inside. You are out of luck if those things don't work right. The red dot I feel much better about than the holographic sights - I have never found a holographic sight that turned off / on reliably.
 

Hogpatrol

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@curtism1234 Yes, the tritium can be replaced and you're back to a new lit reticle. Also if you do any night hunting, the lit reticle is a plus.
 

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