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Thread: Illuminated reticules

  1. #1

    Illuminated reticules


    I'm going to be getting a scope in the next few weeks and more than likely will get an an S & B. It will be used for target shooting, nothing too serious just a few round down range and stalking on a .308 However what I can't decide on is weather or not to get an illuminated reticule.

    Im interested in views from people that have them please. I've never used one and I'm guessing there use is for low light conditions mainly? Are they any good or just a gimmick. Im thinking I can do without one, but I am going to spend some money on the scope and it will do for many years I hope.

    Thanks John

  2. #2

    i have 2 S&B scopes both are IR ,the way i look at them is if you are shooting at night lamping/foxing etc they are a god send

    when shooting low light they are like a life jacket when you need it they are a life saver .

    the good thing with S&B IR is only the center part of the retical is illuminate not the whole ret, and is full adjustable on brightness

    are they worth the money ?????? if you are keeping the scope for some time yes .

    hope this helps ,if you need to know more just ask....neil

  3. #3

    I have a Leupold 4.5-14x50 with an illuminated reticle, i would say the particular one i have it needs to be illuminated as it has a fine reticle and i seriously doubt anyone would be able to pick up the fine cross hairs in low light against a deer or fox for that matter.

    I'll admit i haven't used it yet (the rifle or scope - both new to me) and so my experiance is limited but i think it really depends upon the reticle and the quality of the glass in the scope. Better glass i would imagine reduces the requirement for illumination (to some extent) as would a thicker cross hair. But a thick cross hair may not be suitable for range work/target shooting...depends upon how accuate you want to be.

    This is just my opinion...i'm sure the more experiances stalkers/pest controllers on here will be able to offer some sound advice.

    Good luck with whatever you go with, i'm sure any S&B scope will be suitable illuminted or not.



  4. #4
    Distinguished Member tartinjock's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Nairn, Inverness-shire
    I have 2 S&B Scopes, both with Illuminated Reticules.

    Wouldn't be with out them now, once you have had them, I don't think you would want to lose the advantage.

    Although not used often, when you need to, it's great.


  5. #5

    I have 2 S&B Scopes, both with Illuminated Reticules.

    Wouldn't be with out them now, once you have had them, I don't think you would want to lose the advantage.

    Although not used often, when you need to, it's great.

    Totally agree i have two schmidts that are illuminated always chose one of these for evening stalks also have a ziess(non illuminated) on another rifle which i only use in the mornings as a rule.

  6. #6


    I have a swaro 8x56 on my 308 which im just selling .. only had it a few months.
    Changing to zeiss 3x12x56 illuminated so much better in low light !! Wished I had just bought one in the first place!!

    ATB Steve

  7. #7
    Get one! As said above, it means you can get away with a finer reticle in poor light which is much better than a huge thick one which obscures the target for normal use. I reckon it also gives you 10-15 minutes extra shooting time over a non illuminated one which can often make all the difference to success!

  8. #8
    Deffo agree with the above posts, if you have the extra few quid to spend on the illuminated it can give you an extra half hour in the field and is a big bonus on a cloudy/dull day

  9. #9
    i have 8x56 swarovski's on my .243 and .308 - the one on the .308 is illuminated.

    the .243 is used mostly for lamping and there is no need for it to be illuminated, however if it were it might help a little. i have owned and used a nightforce whilst lamping and i cant really remember if i used the illumination or not, i just remember that i had more missed oppurtunities with that scope because of its fussyness and parralax issues, than any other scope i have used or owned.

    on my stalking rifle, i have and use the illuminated ret, and it will allow you to take shots in less light than with a non illuminated scope - but that is when mistakes are made and you dont want to make any of them. i shoot quite a few roe and munty on a managed estate (cull animals) and there have been quite a few times that i could have shot the deer with the aid of the illuminated ret, but because of not being able to identify it (either sex or trophy status) i did not take the shot.

    if i go to sit for a fox at last light without the lamp i have started to take the .308 and use the illuminated ret.

    i would say that if you are shooting deer from a managed population then you dont need illuminated reticles, and you shouldnt be shooting them in that low light anyway, unless you are not bothered about what animals you are shooting, but if you have larger deer that come out at very last light, you will be able to get more on the ground with an illuminated ret.

    the swarovski 4A-N reticle which i have is very good, it has a 1 moa illuminated dot in the centre and the cross hairs break either side of it for 1 moa, it makes a good scope for zeroing and hunting alike. i think S&B have a similar ret.

  10. #10
    Can an IR be retro-fitted to a Swaro PF 8x50? I seem to remember that I heard this was possible.

    I have said scope which I have found to be completely reliable at holding zero and great in low light. I would add the IR if I could.

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