10 Sep

>Benchrest Scopes

Steven K. Ledin,


Here’s a forum post I answered for a customer from France. His question was:

“Steven L, MRgman and other experts Ive been readnig your informed responses for quite some time now, and as such i realise that my question doesnt have an easy answer. Hey, i may as well ask it anyway

I live in France and target shoot often. I have several great scopes inc NXS 12-42X, Zeiss Conquest 6.5-20X, Weaver T36 (truely a great scope for the money) and a Bushnell Elite 4200 6-24X. I have other scopes too, but these are far and away the best. I have ordered a custom 6BR rifle that will deserve the best of the best scope. I shoot at 200m and 500m in a ‘type’ of benchrest position. Its not the same as the US benchrest where both the front and back of the rifle are on sandbags, but here, we just rest the front and the back is held via our shoulder. As such breathing control plays a large part in our accuracy. Due to this i like a very high power scope so that i can use it to control my breathing, at the very least 25X. I never hunt, so the scope doesnt have to be variable. I also like the high power so that i can see where i have hit, and looking at a small dark hole in a black target at 200m is not easy. With my T36 and NXS i am JUST about able to see most of the holes. I know i cuold buy a great spotting scope, but these cost around the same as a good scope, so i dont see the point. Recticles….Many great companies like Zeiss make awsome optics, but they dont design their scopes for precision target shooters. The recticles are so thick that at 500M they cover the target so you cant get good consistency. 1/8 MOA turets would be nice, but not essential. As i live in France i have to buy my scopes mail order, so i dont get the luxury of trying before i buy. Given my requirements, could you suggest what you think would be the ‘ideal’ scope? Money is not relevent as i know how much the most expensive are, and if thats what i need, thats what ill have,

Thanks in advance, and i look forward to reading your replies.


I answered:

Monsieur Frazzle, you use excellent equipment, as you know.

If your Nightforce has the CH-1 reticle, you have the finest optical system I am aware of for long range shooting with one of the smallest subtensions. The Nightforce Benchrest 12-42×56 is not made for the kind of abuse an NXS is made for, and the forward adjustable objective is a bit more prone to dust infiltration, but the optical quality is the same, except for one more lens in the NXS with the side focus. Not an issue. The BR also has 1/8″ clicks. The CH-1 has among the least subtension (.016) of scopes that I am aware of, and maximum magnification. As you probably know, they are used on the 1000 yard record holder packages, and win most of the long range competitions of any kind.

Another superb choice is the Leupold Competition Series 45×45 for less money and a similar subtension of .10, and also 1/8″ clicks. Either of these are world class. And I agree the Weaver is excellent for the money.

Good luck and aim hard. Au revoir.

Aim Hard!
Steve at OpticsPlanet

Leave a Reply

Back to Entries