Varmint optic

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  • shocker998md

    Active Member
    May 29, 2009
    1,285
    Snow Hill MD/ Grantsboro NC
    Let's say you were in the market for an optic for a 20P built on an AR platform, what would you buy? 600 bucks or so is my budget, 0-300 yard shooting with a few opportunities to try 400 on groundhogs.
    I've been a fan of vx3 scopes for my nicer hunting rifles, but haven't messed with many optics with higher magnification and it puts you in a different price point for sure.
     

    ToolAA

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jun 17, 2016
    8,876
    God's Country
    I that price range I would go with the Vortex PST Gen 2 3-15x44. I think it would be a perfect balance between magnification, weight and eye relief. https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1020648367?pid=347211

    I've got the Viper PST 2-10x30 which would also be a good choice for your setup, but it's not on sale. I've also used the Viper PST 5-25x50. I can compare these Viper PST's to much more expensive Nightforce, Steiner and Leupold VX6HD scopes that I have. So I don't recomend them as a fan-boy, they are excelent scopes for the money with a top notch warranty.
     

    KRC

    Member
    Sep 30, 2018
    456
    Cecil County MD
    First decision on scope selection should be SFP or FFP, if you want a variable power scope which I prefer so you can scan at lower power and zoom in for longer shots. While FFP will permit easier(?) distance elevation/windage adjustment, it is not required for shooting targets at known distances or varminting at sub-400 yard distances if you know your rifles' ballistics. You may be able to get higher quality glass for your dollars with a SFP vs an FFP scope. As you are likely aware, glass quality is very important, and you will likely never regret buying high quality glass. Most of the scopes recommended above are FFP. If you plan at all to compete in PRS style competition, FFP is pretty much mandatory, but not for hunting, <400yard varminting and target shooting at known distances.

    As to power, preference varies with individuals, I personally prefer a variable power with fairly high magnification - from 4-8X up to about 32X-ish, but then I have often shot varmints at >400 yards.
     

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    Jul 22, 2008
    12,335
    Glen Burnie
    I've heard good things about Arken too, but I think 5-25 is too much scope for his setup. 10x is good enough for 300yds, and 15x is plenty. My favorite varmint scope is the Leopold VX6 with their Varmint Hunter Reticle, but they dont make the 3-18 anymore, or it would have been my first recommendation.
    That scope can be dialed to anywhere between 5x and 25x - that's what I put on the 223 rifle I built specifically to be a varmint rifle - specifically prairie dogs.

    Arken also makes an SH4 model that's 4-16x50 that would be a good scope for this build if they specifically want to keep the magnification lower.

    With that in mind, when I was doing some reading and planning for my rifle I came across this article where the gal had a 4-12x scope, and ended up going with something with higher power due to what she felt were deficiencies in the lower powered optic.


    A guy I know (who actually posts on here) says that he's a glass snob, but for one specific reason that makes a lot of sense when you think about it: you can't shoot what you can't see.

    I'll stand by what I said regarding the Arken EP5 5-25x56. It's affordable and in the price bracket shocker998md was going for, and mine is pretty danged clear, although I'll give the disclaimer that I haven't A/B'd it with a truly high-end scope, and I don't have a lot of experience with really high end optics.

    I'm very happy with my Arken EP5 though - it's noticeably clearer than the Arken SH4 6-24x50 I have, and that's a pretty solid optic - I can see 22 caliber holes in the paper at 100 yards with both of those scopes without needing a spotting scope.
     
    Last edited:

    Bountied

    Active Member
    Apr 6, 2012
    2,806
    Pasadena
    Limiting yourself on magnification because you don't think you'll need it is not the right approach. 5X is low and then you can go up to 25X. The only issue I see is weight/size if that's a consideration.
     

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    Jul 22, 2008
    12,335
    Glen Burnie
    Limiting yourself on magnification because you don't think you'll need it is not the right approach. 5X is low and then you can go up to 25X. The only issue I see is weight/size if that's a consideration.
    Those are two of the biggest consideration of the Arken optics - they are heavy and they are big. I think they are designed more for PRS than hunting. Both the SH4 and EP5 are 34mm tubes. The have 50mm and 56mm objective lenses respectively.

    I did a ton of research before going with those two scopes. I saw video after video where Arken SH4 was being compared to the Vortex Venom, and the Arken beat the pants off of it time after time, pretty much across the board - tracking, edge to edge clarity, overall glass clarity, etc.

    I almost bought a Venom, and I was looking pretty hard at the Strike Eagle - both 5-25x56. Through Expert Voice I could have gotten the Strike Eagle for about $540, but Arken was running some really great discounts at the time, and after having watched so many videos about the Arkens, they just seemed to be a great value.
     

    shocker998md

    Active Member
    May 29, 2009
    1,285
    Snow Hill MD/ Grantsboro NC
    In regards to size/weight for this rifle I'm not worried about it. It will be shot off a tripod, bench, or bed of a truck.

    I will start looking at the ep5 vs a leupold of comparable price. I do qualify for Leopold vip pricing so that helps stretch my dollar further.
     

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