Illuminated or not?

Forums Optics, Scopes, Rings, & Mounts Illuminated or not?

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    igolfat8
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    Those of you who have or have used illuminated reticle, do you find that you actually use them more often than not or is it a seldom used novelty? I’ve never used one and most of my shooting is in a dimly lit dairy barn and I wonder if it’s really worth the upcharge  or not?

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    edosan
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    It depends on the background and light conditions…

    If you hunt with very light conditions the background will be probably very dark or black usually an then you will love to have a illuminated reticle, if not you will not see squat (lines and numbers).

     

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    mtnGhost
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    Illuminated is a must where I live (PNW), with short days, dark forests, and long twilight periods of the mornings and evenings.

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    tommyb
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    I only had one experience with a cheap UTG illuminated air gun scope with 32 colors.  When it worked I liked the red and blue colors only, especially for low light conditions on the mil dot reticle for squirrels.  The battery placement in that scope was finicky and the illumination would go on /off intermittently.   Called PA and they indicated they had other customers complain about that particular illumination issue with the battery on this same scope.  It had to do with how the battery was seated in the compartment, but I lost patience and switched to another scope.  Never did work properly so it was useless. I did find that I liked the illumination for hunting in low light, and felt I could acquire the target zone a bit better than with a non-illuminated scope.  

    That said, I am waiting for delivery on a new Athlon BTR Helos illuminated reticle with 6-24X50MM objective.  MOA / MOA reticle and turrets and in one of the Youtube reviews, it appears that this illumination feature may be more accurate.  I am certainly not buying this scope for illumination, but it was a feature that came with the Helos.

    You will get some other replies from some who have had more experience, so I look forward to seeing those too.

     

     

     

     

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    deke
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    These old eyes prefer having the option of a good illuminated reticle. The operative word here is. "Good" !  The cheaper illuminated  wire reticles  often flare on the lens making your target indistinct and the crosshair fuzzy.  Personally, I prefer an etched glass reticle with only the small center illuminated . Also,take into consideration your preference of first or second focal plane and its effect on reticle magnification. My final suggestion is to try before you buy.it will prevent buyers remorse.

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    Jammin22
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    Don't use them very often but nice to have if needed.

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    edosan
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    Jammin22

    Don't use them very often but nice to have if needed.

    Yup, agree! … usually is not needed, but when you needed…sucks if you do not have it … for "ratting" in dim light conditions is a must  … or if you hunt in the "twilight" zone or at night without external flashlights … no need it at all in daylight unless your background is pitch black

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    Nadacop
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    Absolutely! I have a 70$ Center Point scope with red or green and several intensities for each. I have felt that the feature has been invaluable for the times that I have needed it. When I go back to my 10 pumper, for the fun of it, I have to hang it up when it gets to low light situations. Then I'll continue with the Stoeger and the illuminated reticle till it just gets too dark to safely shoot (without a flashlight). Only thing I have to keep and eye on (pun intended) is remembering to shut off the illumination when I'm done. I have picked up the rifle the next day and opened the scope covers only to find that the illum was still turned on… DOH!!!!

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    edosan
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    Nadacop

    Only thing I have to keep and eye on (pun intended) is remembering to shut off the illumination when I'm done. I have picked up the rifle the next day and opened the scope covers only to find that the illum was still turned on… DOH!!!!

    jajaj true! (you are not alone on that one!)…is always good to have at least a couple of spare batteries! 

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    Nutcracker
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    For me target shooting , never.  In the woods hunting a few years ago , never.  Now in the woods a lot.  I use to think it a novelty , but as my eyes get worse no matter the quality of the scope sometimes I cannot see the reticule on the game.  I actually like the Hawke Frontier LR Dot on their 2.5 -15, in dark woods hunting.  While the dot is a tad large for target work, it is good for tree squirrels. I think I have illuminated reticules on at least 6 of my scopes. 

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    bubblerboy64
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    I just got a Helos 6-24 scope I’m impressed. I do wonder if it’s worth the extra money over the Argos .  Anyone have experience with both.  I got mine at a gun show for $450 cash.  I thought that a good deal .  As far as the eliminated reticles with the night scopes improving and dropping in price we may be soon going that way? Maybe???

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    Scotchmo
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    bubblerboy64

    I just got a Helos 6-24 scope I’m impressed. I do wonder if it’s worth the extra money over the Argos .  Anyone have experience with both.  I got mine at a gun show for $450 cash.  I thought that a good deal .  As far as the eliminated reticles with the night scopes improving and dropping in price we may be soon going that way? Maybe???

    The main reason I got the Helos over the Argos, was the MOA reticle in the Helos is a lot better in my opinion. With the Helos you also get locking turrets and the illuminated reticle location is different (are the Helos controls better? – not really sure). If I had been looking for a MIL reticle instead of MOA, the Argos would have been fine.

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    cmatera
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    I have 4 or 5 scopes with illuminated reticles or dots, but have honestly never used that feature.  You have to remember to check the batteries and turn it on.  Has been an unnecessary feature for me.  I'd rather just have a better quality scope without it.

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    intenseaty22
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    I like having the option, but my biggest issue is forgetting to turn off the darn thing after. Also, as stated above, quality is paramount, otherwise it will look all blurred from the light. I usually turn it on minimum when shooting at dusk. 

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    L.Leon
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    My Aztec Emerald has an IR when pesting I turn it on, leave it on, and go to it. In the well lit areas I don’t see illumination, as soon as I sweep a dark area or critter there it is all lit up, I like it. In the past I passed up many shots because I could not see the reticle. If worried about battery life, pack a spare. I would not go back to no illumination for pesting I do.

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    frank320
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    bubblerboy64

    I just got a Helos 6-24 scope I’m impressed. I do wonder if it’s worth the extra money over the Argos .  Anyone have experience with both.  I got mine at a gun show for $450 cash.  I thought that a good deal .  As far as the eliminated reticles with the night scopes improving and dropping in price we may be soon going that way? Maybe???

    In my opinion, Athlon is currently the best value for money. I have the Athlon Helos, Ares and also their top of the line – Cronus. Well, the glass quality significantly improves as you go up the Athlon price chart. It would have been great if one could get a 2k glass quality for the price of a Argos or Helos, but there is a significant glass quality jump from my Athlon Ares to my Cronus, and a smaller jump from Helos to Ares, commensurate with the price differences. 

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    ptthere
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    As others have stated I have used the illumination on mine, only as needed though, and I usually just use the green illumination and usually on the lowest brightness setting. I find that at times where there is a high-contrast background close to dusk, the illuminated reticle seems to help the best for me.

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    Nutcracker
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    Sorta like 4 wheel drive on your pickup.  You don't need it  or use it all the time, but sure comes in handy when you do need it. 

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    Zebra13
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    Gents,

    I just got my first FFP scope, a Vortex Diamondback Tactical, and while it is a nice scope, it's getting returned on Monday.  Why, you ask?  Because I can't see the freaking reticle at low power!  I point it at the oak tree 20 yards from my back door and the reticle disappears.  A squirrel in the shadows would be safe unless I crank up the power and sometimes that is not desirable.

    So now I'm on the prowl for a FFP with a MOA lit reticle.  My line of thinking is with the lit reticle, I will be able to use the scope at lower powers for up close, off hand, and for critters in the shadows shots.

    Back in my youthful SWAT team days, I had a Leupold with a lit reticle on my 308 and thought it was the best thing since bottled bourban.

    Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it…

    Justin

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