Optics Advice From Experienced Elephant Hunters or Professional Hunters

neckdeep

Gold supporter
AH enthusiast
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
426
Reaction score
420
Media
149
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SCI DSC DU Pheasants Forever
Hunted
Zimbabwe, Mozambique, USA, Argentina
I talked to Wayne about building me a mounting plate for the Leica Tempus, I am going to put a 2.0 on my AHR Lott and give it a try, If you want to go that route will have him build two of them, same footprint as the Noblex Doctor site.
 

Newby

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
138
Reaction score
253
Location
Australia
Hunted
Australia, New Zealand, North America, UK, Central Asia
@One Day... what do you think of the 2.0 MOA dot on the Leica? Seems it would be a good compromise? Big enough for close shooting and small enough for 100 yards if I was to ever use it for something besides elephant?
Scott, I have the 2 MOA dot in my Micro and it is certainly fine enough for 100 yard use on deer. Big 4moa dots were what held me back from buying a red dot sight for many years, BUT I am not hunting ele at 30 yards.

I agree that the apparent size of a dot increases as the brightness is increased, but how bright do you want it to be ?

It's also worth remembering that a 2moa dot will be only about .5" at 25 yards. Mine is still easy to see, but bigger may be better under pressure. If 4 moa seems too restrictive range wise, 3moa may work for you.
 

DWB

AH veteran
Joined
Apr 15, 2014
Messages
237
Reaction score
389
Location
South Africa
Media
12
Member of
Lowveld Hunters, BASA
Hunted
South Africa
I have yet to hunt elephant, but have plenty of shooting time with Aimpoint Micro on DG Rifles. I would not go bigger than 2 MOA dot.
 

Tanks

AH elite
Joined
Aug 2, 2014
Messages
1,550
Reaction score
2,659
Media
48
My friend said the EOTECH temperature issues weren’t at the extreme ranges you mention and also said he had trouble with the springs and mirrors. He probably used a pre 2016 model and likely just didn’t trust them anymore with his life on the line.

The EOTech model I use was purchased in 2014. However, summer months in Africa are not extreme temperatures anyway. I have left one of them with the PH that liked it and purchased more.

No one is going to Iraq to hunt nowadays in the summer months. ;)

However, for double rifle I have moved on to an RMR. Mostly due to lower profile.
 

DWB

AH veteran
Joined
Apr 15, 2014
Messages
237
Reaction score
389
Location
South Africa
Media
12
Member of
Lowveld Hunters, BASA
Hunted
South Africa
I have yet to hunt elephant, but have plenty of shooting time with Aimpoint Micro on DG Rifles. I would not go bigger than 2 MOA dot.
20210102_193035.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

One Day...

Gold supporter
AH elite
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
1,305
Reaction score
3,508
Website
www.huntershillsafaris.co.za
Media
381
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
PHASA
Hunted
Europe, America, Canada, Africa
@One Day... what do you think of the 2.0 MOA dot on the Leica? Seems it would be a good compromise? Big enough for close shooting and small enough for 100 yards if I was to ever use it for something besides elephant?

What does a 1, 2, or 3 MOA red dot mean?

A minute of angle (MOA) represents approximately 1" at 100 yards, 2" at 200 yards, 3" at 300 yards, etc.

What this means is that a 2 MOA red dot covers 2" at 100 yards, and half that area at half that distance, i.e. 1" at 50 yards.

Two thoughts therefore come to mind about the size of red dots for short range DG hunting:

1) A 2 MOA red dot that covers 1" of Buffalo or Elephant hide at 50 yards is considerably more precise than the hunter shooting the DG rifle off hand at that distance. Unless the hunter is an Olympic champion in a discipline involving shooting standing off hand a high power rifle, the hovering of the rifle muzzle OFF HAND will cover a lot more than a 1" spot at 50 yards. The same logic applies in spade for a 1 MOA red dot that covers 0.5" at 50 yards, and a 3 MOA red dot that covers 1.5" at 50 yards. It follows that for DG hunting, it is completely irrelevant, in terms of shot placement, whether the red dot is 1, 2 or 3 MOA. Hence my personal choice to use a 3 MOA red dot that is much easier/faster to pick in the optic than a smaller red dot.​
2) The same logic applies, of course, to smaller DG such as Lion or Leopard. The 1" dot at 50 yards of a 2 MOA red dot covers essentially 1 rosette on a Leopard, and I am not aware of many PH out there encouraging shooting a Leopard, or Lion, at much more than 50 yard, and certainly not more than 100 yards where even a 3 MOA red dot would cover 3" or only about 2 rosettes...​

Therefore, Scott, I think that the 2 MOA Leica Tempus is fine if this is what you prefer. It is important to like and trust the hardware you are shooting.

I would personally still prefer the 3 MOA Leica Tempus (well, 3.5 MOA to be specific, but it makes zero difference whatsoever) for DG shots probably within 50 yards on Elephant and cats, and likely within 100 yards even on Buffalo, because I cannot hold much less than 5 to 6 MOA myself shooting standing OFF HAND, and my brain instinctively visualize the shot being in the center of the whatever size red dot if I happen to be on sticks where I generally do hold less than 3 to 4 MOA....

The same rationale explains why I have a 1 MOA EoTech on my M4 carbine, with which rested shots at 300 to 500 yards are conceivable and a 1 MOA dot makes sense (1 MOA = 5" at 500 yards), AND on which there is this big 65 MOA circle around the dot for fast sights acquisition at bayonet range...

Like many choices made by many folks, the MOA size of the red dot is largely driven, I suspect, by a misguided conception. In this case, the misconception that a 1 MOA dot will result in 1 MOA shooting. Yeah, right, don't we all wish we were shooting 1 MOA standing off hand :E Rofl:

Just my $0.02, but certainly to each our own :)

PS: If you doubt what is written above, there is a simple test: shoot OFF HAND a 6" paper dessert plate at 100 yards. This will likely be eye opening... ;)

I talked to Wayne about building me a mounting plate for the Leica Tempus, I am going to put a 2.0 on my AHR Lott and give it a try, If you want to go that route will have him build two of them, same footprint as the Noblex Doctor site.

FYI, the Leica Tempus indeed has the same footprint as the Docter. This means that you do not need expensive custom work to put a Leica Tempus on a CZ 550. There are a number of readily available mounts, such as the one already posted by Scott :)

1609624050706.png
 
Last edited:

Scott CWO

AH elite
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
1,088
Reaction score
2,156
Media
79
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
1
Asia/M.East
1
Member of
SCI, WSF, RMEF, GSCO, and NRA
Hunted
Zimbabwe, Mozambique x3, Tanzania and CAR. Tajikistan, Canada, Mexico, AK, WY, NM, SD, CO, UT, AZ, NV
I talked to Wayne about building me a mounting plate for the Leica Tempus, I am going to put a 2.0 on my AHR Lott and give it a try, If you want to go that route will have him build two of them, same footprint as the Noblex Doctor site.
Wow, thanks for the offer and thinking of me like that. I already ordered the QD plate that I found and mentioned earlier. I'm waiting to hear back from the outfitter rep at Leica and have decided to get either the Docter sight or the Leica sight. Tell Wayne I said hello if you go forward with that plan.
 

Scott CWO

AH elite
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
1,088
Reaction score
2,156
Media
79
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
1
Asia/M.East
1
Member of
SCI, WSF, RMEF, GSCO, and NRA
Hunted
Zimbabwe, Mozambique x3, Tanzania and CAR. Tajikistan, Canada, Mexico, AK, WY, NM, SD, CO, UT, AZ, NV
What does a 1, 2, or 3 MOA red dot mean?

A minute of angle (MOA) represents approximately 1" at 100 yards, 2" at 200 yards, 3" at 300 yards, etc.

What this means is that a 2 MOA red dot covers 2" at 100 yards, and half that area at half that distance, i.e. 1" at 50 yards.

Two thoughts therefore come to mind about the size of red dots for short range DG hunting:

1) A 2 MOA red dot that covers 1" of Buffalo or Elephant hide at 50 yards is considerably more precise than the hunter shooting the DG rifle off hand at that distance. Unless the hunter is an Olympic champion in a discipline involving shooting standing off hand a high power rifle, the hovering of the rifle muzzle OFF HAND will cover a lot more than a 1" spot at 50 yards. The same logic applies in spade for a 1 MOA red dot that covers 0.5" at 50 yards, and a 3 MOA red dot that covers 1.5" at 50 yards. It follows that for DG hunting, it is completely irrelevant, in terms of shot placement, whether the red dot is 1, 2 or 3 MOA. Hence my personal choice to use a 3 MOA red dot that is much easier/faster to pick in the optic than a smaller red dot.​
2) The same logic applies, of course, to smaller DG such as Lion or Leopard. The 1" dot at 50 yards of a 2 MOA red dot covers essentially 1 rosette on a Leopard, and I am not aware of many PH out there encouraging shooting a Leopard, or Lion, at much more than 50 yard, and certainly not more than 100 yards where even a 3 MOA red dot would cover 3" or only about 2 rosettes...​

Therefore, Scott, I think that the 2 MOA Leica Tempus is fine if this is what you prefer. It is important to like and trust the hardware you are shooting.

I would personally still prefer the 3 MOA Leica Tempus (well, 3.5 MOA to be specific, but it makes zero difference whatsoever) for DG shots probably within 50 yards on Elephant and cats, and likely within 100 yards even on Buffalo, because I cannot hold much less than 5 to 6 MOA myself shooting standing OFF HAND, and my brain instinctively visualize the shot being in the center of the whatever size red dot if I happen to be on sticks where I generally do hold less than 3 to 4 MOA....

The same rationale explains why I have a 1 MOA EoTech on my M4 carbine, with which rested shots at 300 to 500 yards are conceivable and a 1 MOA dot makes sense (1 MOA = 5" at 500 yards), AND on which there is this big 65 MOA circle around the dot for fast sights acquisition at bayonet range...

Like many choices made by many folks, the MOA size of the red dot is largely driven, I suspect, by a misguided conception. In this case, the misconception that a 1 MOA dot will result in 1 MOA shooting. Yeah, right, don't we all wish we were shooting 1 MOA standing off hand :E Rofl:

Just my $0.02, but certainly to each our own :)

PS: If you doubt what is written above, there is a simple test: shoot OFF HAND a 6" paper dessert plate at 100 yards. This will likely be eye opening... ;)



FYI, the Leica Tempus indeed has the same footprint as the Docter. This means that you do not need expensive custom work to put a Leica Tempus on a CZ 550. There are a number of readily available mounts, such as the one already posted by Scott :)

View attachment 382192

I'm not so concerned about the precision of shooting with a 1" dot versus a 2" dot versus a 3" dot as I am being able to see the dot in the heat of the moment. I spoke with my military friend last night. He thought the 2" dot or the 3" dot would work fine. He did say that on a bright day, he didn't like a 1" dot even at longer distances because the eye sometimes has to search for it a bit too long for what he was doing - trying to shoot first before someone else. For hunting at longer ranges, that pressure usually doesn't apply, thankfully!
 

ZG47

AH fanatic
Joined
Jan 20, 2015
Messages
526
Reaction score
424
Location
Wellington, New Zealand
Member of
NZDA, NZMSC
Hunted
New Zealand
I agree with @Bert the Turtle about QD scope mounts. You take the scope off for rifle maintenance and ... just before you enter tight bush/scrub situations where the mounted scope could snag, either on vegetation or something that you are wearing/carrying.
You also need to (again) practise mounting the rifle for iron-sight shooting before you move into that tight stuff, so that you will mount the rifle correctly when it matters, instead of bringing it high for the scope. In other words, do the right drill before each task, in the same way that you should always dry-fire your rifle before engaging in target practice.
 

Scott CWO

AH elite
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
1,088
Reaction score
2,156
Media
79
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
1
Asia/M.East
1
Member of
SCI, WSF, RMEF, GSCO, and NRA
Hunted
Zimbabwe, Mozambique x3, Tanzania and CAR. Tajikistan, Canada, Mexico, AK, WY, NM, SD, CO, UT, AZ, NV
I agree with @Bert the Turtle about QD scope mounts. You take the scope off for rifle maintenance and ... just before you enter tight bush/scrub situations where the mounted scope could snag, either on vegetation or something that you are wearing/carrying.
You also need to (again) practise mounting the rifle for iron-sight shooting before you move into that tight stuff, so that you will mount the rifle correctly when it matters, instead of bringing it high for the scope. In other words, do the right drill before each task, in the same way that you should always dry-fire your rifle before engaging in target practice.
Yes agreed. Always good the mount the rifle a few times for muscle memory. In Alaska I take off the scope when we track a bear into thick alders on the AK Peninsula or heavy thick timber is SE Alaska. The vegetation can really grab you and your gear.

For the ele hunt, I think I will get either the Leica or Docter red dot sight with the QD mount plus I will have my iron sights and a QD scope along. I will consult with the PH as to which to use in each situation. I will have all the bases covered. Right now, I am thinking the red dot sight will be my default option most of the time.
 

mark-hunter

AH elite
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
1,922
Reaction score
2,446
Media
23
Articles
2
Hunted
Namibia - Kalahari, Namibia - Khomas highland
@One Day...
As usual, your comments are most educational! I always find myeself learning something from your writings!

I have a question:
How would you compare red dot (1-2, or 3 MOA) with optical sight, for example 1-6x24, which has illuminated reticule, actually illumintaed red dot, then to use it on 1 - 1.5x power, at short ranges?
 

mikecatt13

AH fanatic
Joined
Feb 15, 2011
Messages
561
Reaction score
698
Media
27
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
2
I'm not so concerned about the precision of shooting with a 1" dot versus a 2" dot versus a 3" dot as I am being able to see the dot in the heat of the moment. I spoke with my military friend last night. He thought the 2" dot or the 3" dot would work fine. He did say that on a bright day, he didn't like a 1" dot even at longer distances because the eye sometimes has to search for it a bit too long for what he was doing - trying to shoot first before someone else. For hunting at longer ranges, that pressure usually doesn't apply, thankfully!
In every red dot I've ever seen, perceived reticle size is much larger than what is stated. I promise you that a quality 1 MOA red dot will appear easily in broad daylight and be fast to acquire. If you feel more comfortable with a 2MOA that will serve you just fine, but be careful of going to large.

I own somewhere around 7+ brands of dots and on every one they must be turned down almost to the point that they're hard to see in order to get an accurate zero and perceive the dot even close to the stated size. Then you use whatever the proper brightness is for shooting after a good zero is had.

My best guess based on shooting at 1" bullseye at 100 is that most dots hardly go to their stated size, while at a useable brightness they are a minimum of 2-3x that size.

Ex: my 1 MOA dot is about the size of the 1" bull at 100yds when zeroing, and it has to be turned down so low it's very very hard to see. When at a useable level, it's around 2" probably but if you turn it up higher than my preference it could easily cover 3" at 100 yds.

Can always turn up brightness on a small dot to make it bigger but a dot that's too large will drive you nuts not having the precision and theres nothing you can do to make it precise and still see it fast

I'd be happy to take some photos for you through a couple of them at different brightness levels if it helps.
 
Last edited:

neckdeep

Gold supporter
AH enthusiast
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
426
Reaction score
420
Media
149
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SCI DSC DU Pheasants Forever
Hunted
Zimbabwe, Mozambique, USA, Argentina
I saw those mounts from Optic trade, I really like the looks of them but they seem slightly thicker compared to what Wayne makes, (.32 for QD, .19 for permanent mount) Skinner Creek sights make's one that looks thinner yet, they also said they could easily fabricate one with the Leica footprint. I am hoping to get mine mounted on the 458 Lott without QD as solid and low to the front bridge as possible.
 

stef256

New member
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
6
Reaction score
20
Media
4
Member of
SCI, FSK (Finland), Shams Club (Egypt)
Hunted
Finl, Germany,Austria, Egypt,Sudan, Zambia, SA, Zim,Austr,Namib,Sweden
If able to travel, I will be headed to Botswana in 2021 for my first ele hunt. I was looking for a proper double rifle but @Ray B beat me out on the 1910 Rigby .470NE that was offered on AH last month so I've decided to use my brown bear guiding rifle, a CZ 550 Safari .458 Lott with AHR upgrade #2. It's a great rifle with flip-up express sights. I currently have two scopes sighted in for the rifle, a Leupold VXR 2-7x33 (with illuminated FireDot reticle) and a Leupold VXIII 1.5-5x20, both with Talley QD mounts so I can switch scopes if needed.

I am partial to the 2-7 power scope with the illuminated dot reticle. I am pretty fast at target acquisition and this scope is only .5x more magnification at the lowest setting than the 1.5-5 scope. However, the FOV at 100 yards is 43.7 feet vs 68 feet on the 1.5-5 scope. I am still thinking that the advantage of the FireDot might outweigh the FOV issue? I have never ele hunted but I know it is close quarters shooting. Do you think I am fine with the 2-7, especially since I can always remove it and use the iron sights? Or is the 1.5-5 a better choice? Thanks for any help.
Hi Scott,
I happen to have a nice .470 William Evans (boxlock; Webley action from 1910/11. After it was serviced at WE in London I only shot 10-15 shots with it (one safari); it's extremely accurate and shoots both barrels 1-2 inches apart at 100m. I am actualy looking for a buyer for it. (I am 74 and if I still hunt in Africa, it will be with something lighter). A similar Evans double was recently for sale in the US for 35K
and I think reduced price i now 30K. This one has a leupold scope which to me looks bloody ugly on a double. Mine has no scope and is for sale for 19K including 2 cases (one leather ; not the original and one steel/alu for airtravel. Further around 240 ammo ( 25% solid) packed in tropical packing.
The weapon is in Finland. If you want more info, just ask........ I am for the time being in North Africa and wll be in Europe beg of May.
Cheers, Stef 256
 

WAB

AH legend
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Messages
2,974
Reaction score
6,566
Location
Alabama
Media
94
Hunting reports
Africa
5
USA/Canada
1
Member of
DSC, NRA, SCI
Hunted
Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Scotland, England, Canada, Alaska, Ireland
Stunning rifle. Best of luck with the sale!
 

Scott CWO

AH elite
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
1,088
Reaction score
2,156
Media
79
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
1
Asia/M.East
1
Member of
SCI, WSF, RMEF, GSCO, and NRA
Hunted
Zimbabwe, Mozambique x3, Tanzania and CAR. Tajikistan, Canada, Mexico, AK, WY, NM, SD, CO, UT, AZ, NV
Hi Scott,
I happen to have a nice .470 William Evans (boxlock; Webley action from 1910/11. After it was serviced at WE in London I only shot 10-15 shots with it (one safari); it's extremely accurate and shoots both barrels 1-2 inches apart at 100m. I am actualy looking for a buyer for it. (I am 74 and if I still hunt in Africa, it will be with something lighter). A similar Evans double was recently for sale in the US for 35K
and I think reduced price i now 30K. This one has a leupold scope which to me looks bloody ugly on a double. Mine has no scope and is for sale for 19K including 2 cases (one leather ; not the original and one steel/alu for airtravel. Further around 240 ammo ( 25% solid) packed in tropical packing.
The weapon is in Finland. If you want more info, just ask........ I am for the time being in North Africa and wll be in Europe beg of May.
Cheers, Stef 256
@stef256 oh dang you are killing me!! I will do some research and send you a PM but I’m not sure there would even be enough time to get your rifle and still make the safari. I do thank you for the kind offer and will be in touch. Wow, what a buffalo as well!
 

stef256

New member
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
6
Reaction score
20
Media
4
Member of
SCI, FSK (Finland), Shams Club (Egypt)
Hunted
Finl, Germany,Austria, Egypt,Sudan, Zambia, SA, Zim,Austr,Namib,Sweden
Thsnx Scott,
Further fyi the rifle belonged originaly to s British officer serving in Nigeria before WW1.
( his grandson, a MP in UK confirmed this to me).
When leaving Nigeria he gave or sold it to a Swedish Captain of a ship in Lagos and the gun ended up in Sweden where it mainly was used to hunt moose.....I obtained it at an auction in Sweden 1985. - Before using it I took it to WE in London for service and it was confirmed that considering its age, the gun was/is in super condition ( they gave me copy of ledger). The bore is clear and the rifling sharp.....no pitting or wear to be seen.
Eventualy the Beretta agent in UK sent some ammo ( from the last batch in late 60’s manufactured Kynoch, cordite ); With this ammo at a Sako shooting range from bench rest the rifle shoots like a dream.......Later I tried modern ammo from Federal and Norma and accuracy was still good
but not as spectacular as with the cordite one.
For hunting I used Federal. The weight of the gun is just over 11lbs; 28” barrels; ebony?moon sight; ejectors; automatic safety.
If you are interested more detailed info wld be available also from William Evans in London.
Cheers, stef
 

neckdeep

Gold supporter
AH enthusiast
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
426
Reaction score
420
Media
149
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SCI DSC DU Pheasants Forever
Hunted
Zimbabwe, Mozambique, USA, Argentina

Scott CWO

AH elite
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
1,088
Reaction score
2,156
Media
79
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
1
Asia/M.East
1
Member of
SCI, WSF, RMEF, GSCO, and NRA
Hunted
Zimbabwe, Mozambique x3, Tanzania and CAR. Tajikistan, Canada, Mexico, AK, WY, NM, SD, CO, UT, AZ, NV

Forum statistics

Threads
37,359
Messages
712,524
Members
66,595
Latest member
ToryBrumba
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

degoins wrote on Treemantwo's profile.
I have a like new VC .450 I might part with. I had it built in 2013 and it has served me well. Also have a VC fitted leather trunk case for it along with the plastic case it came with. I'll take 14000 for all of it.
Matt W wrote on Jody's profile.
Hi Jody,
I have been looking for ideas on the best way to display my European mounts from Africa. I came across some of your shield work and was wondering if you would be willing to make one for me? If so, please let me know the cost. I like the shield with the two spears that you built for a member years ago. Thanks.
cal pappas wrote on Mnelson2's profile.
Nelson. Is this message a PM format. I want to send you my email, but don't know if this is the cirrect way to do it. I'm at <pappas@mtaonline.net> Send me an email with your phone and I will call you about a skull I have. I went to school in Boston and am from Bernardston in the west part of the state. Moved to Alaska in 1984 adn never looked back.
BeeMaa wrote on Justbryan's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. He was a pleasure to do business with.
BeeMaa wrote on 375Fox's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. Was a pleasure to do business with.
 
Top