Sightron SIII 6-24X50 LRMD review and Box Test

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User avatarRFmissile
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Sightron SIII 6-24X50 LRMD review and Box Test

Postby RFmissile » Mon 16 Nov, 2009 2:39 am

Okay, so I wanted some better optics for my M99 and I saved up for a Nightforce but I opted for something else. I have also been craving a compact lightweight .45 ACP for carry. So instead of buying the NF, I got a Sightron scope and a Kimber .45!!!

After a lot of research and reading of reviews of scopes, I opted for the Sightron SIII 6-24X50 Mil Dot scope. I have read positive reviews regarding this scope as well as other positive reviews of other Sightron scopes.

Sightron SIII 6-24X50 LRMD

The scope cost me $796.88 shipped (from 4scopes.com), plus the local Sportmans Warehouse was having a "no tax" sale and I picked up my Kimber Pro Carry II for $799.99, saving me $70 on tax.

Here is my review and report of my Box Test that I conducted on my new scope:

After removing my Super Sniper 10X42 scope off my M99, I reused the Barrett X-High rings to mount the Sightron. Using a machined cylinder and feeler gauge leafs for shims underneath the scope and against the rail (I hope the bottom of the scope is exactly perpendicular to the reticle), and using a bubble level referencing the top of rifle and top of scope turret, I mounted and torqued all bolts and nuts per the Barrett ring mounting instructions. The reticle appears level as mounted.

Using a laser that is in my handy bubble level, I shot the laser through the bore at point on the wall approx 25 feet away, and looking through the scope, the laser dot and reticle were spot on so I did not adjust it.
Sightron information that came with the scope states that the Reticle is set at Optimum Zero when it leaves the factory. (Note: The Barrett M99 has 27 MOA slope built into the rail)

After mounting completed, I annotated in my M99 Data log the current setting with respect to the lines showing on the elevation as well as the azimuth turrets. There are 3 lines visible below the elevation adjustment turret and 4 lines visible on the azimuth turret which are number ZERO, 1, 2 and 3 respectively.

I then proceeded to adjust the elevation turret all the way down and then all the way up, the results are as follows:

Down = 140 1/4 minute clicks or 35 MOA (Note: When the turrets hit the stops, it is solid, not mushy like the Super Sniper)
Up = 258 1/4 min clicks or 64.5 MOA
Total elevation adjustment stop-to-stop - 99.5 MOA (Sightron claims 100 MOA elevation adjustment)

Left = 197 1/4 min clicks or 49.25 MOA to a solid stop
Right = 199 1/4 min clicks or 49.75 MOA to a solid stop
Total azimuth adjustment stop-to-stop - 99 MOA (again Sightron claims 100 MOA of adjustment)

I am not going to squawk about the not being able to get full adjustment as claimed. Has anyone else evaluated this on their scopes?

I then returned the turrets back to the factory Zero.

Next I conducted a side-by-side comparison of the Sightron (set at 10X) and the Super Sniper 10X42.
Or should I say there is no comparison! I know others rave about how good the Super Sniper scopes are, and I would agree with them with respect to what you pay for them.
Looking out my front door at a cellular antenna tower 555 yds away (distanced using Mil-Dots) i observed the following:
In my opinion the Sightron glass is amazing. The clarity, sharpness, contrast, and brightness are excellent, whereas the Super Sniper appeared somewhat hazy (similar to what you see when you are flying low level on and overcast day with a slight haze hanging over the Valley of the Sun.
I also did a side-by-side against my Nikon Prostaff 20-60X82 spotting scope. With both set at 20X, again the Sightron glass is amazing. The Nikon glass is nice, but now I am a little disappointed in my spotting scope. I guess I will keep it though as I mostly use it for High Power Service Rifle Comps. I can see the spotters just fine at 500 yds.

Overall initial evaluation of the optics is excellent in my opinion.

Next I headed for the Range.
WX conditions, 6000 overcast, Temp 59 degrees F, with zero wind (unknown humidity)
Using the Barrett bipod and monopod at the butt-stock.. This provides for a very stable platform shooting off a concrete bench.
Ammo used - Barrett M33 factory 661 ball. Barrett claims 2750 fps @ muzzle, I assume this is from a 32" bbl, mine is a 29" barrel. (Note: This ammo for me, is at best, 2 MOA from 5 shot groups in the past) I know 3 or 5 shot groups don't tell you much (I like to use 10 on other rifles) but shooting the big Fifty, I don't have the luxury of evaluating 10 shot groups.

1st shot at 50 yds was Zero elev and 3" left. I adjusted azimuth turret 2 MOA right.
2nd shot was 1" high and 1" left. Adj 1 MOA right
3rd shot 0 elev and 1" left. Adj 1 more MOA right

Moved target to 100 yds. Wind now blowing form 5 Oclock at approx 5 kts (wind possibly not a factor here as there is a 10 foot high barrier immediately to my right that runs the length of the 100 yds.)
1st shot 4" high and .25" left (No adjustment)
2nd shot 2.3" high and .75" right (no adjustment)
3rd shot 1.75" high and .4" right (adjusted elevation turret 2 MOA down)
4th shot .4" high and .4" left (no adjustment)
5th shot 1.25" high and .4" right (adj .5 MOA down)
Note: Just a reminder, this is factory ball ammo and not very accurate.

Next I loosened the turret caps and set them to Zero and shot a 3 shot group. (I know, I know, 3 shot groups don't tell you much, but work with me here, Okay!)

3 shot group prior to box test:
This is the group on the Box Test pic (upper left orange center)
1st - .75" high and .1" left
2nd - 1.25" high and 1.25" right
3rd - 0.8" low and .25" right
2.3" max spread

BOX TEST: Scope set at 12X (Note: Between each shot, I was adjusting from the 12X to 24X to view shots)
1st adjustment to turrets
4 MOA down and 4 MOA left
Using the lower left Orange as bullseye for all shots (see pic) I fired the first shot:
1st shot (lower left black) .9" high and .25" left (from theoretical zero of where shots should have impacted)

Next adjusted elev turret 21 MOA up (21.99") and fired the next shot.
2nd shot - .6" high and .6" and .6" left (from where it should be)

Next adj 20 MOA right (20.94")
3rd shot - Zero on elev and .4" left

Next adj 21 MOA down
4th shot - 1.25" down and 1.6" right

Note: The next 4 shots were using 24X and the wind had changed to 9 oclock at approx 5 kts
next adj 20 MOA left
5th shot - 1" high and .6" left (right next to the 1st shot)

Next adj back up 21 MOA
6th shot - .75" high and .75" right

Next adj 20 MOA right
7th shot - .25" low and 1.25" right

Next adj 21 MOA down
8th shot - .5" high and .75" right

Finally the scope turrets were adjusted back to ZERO and I fired 4 shots at the lower left orange bullseye that I used as aiming point for all shots.
See pic: Max spread on 4 shot final group 2.7" or 2.6 MOA (not exactly the best ammo for accuracy, but of course it could be me, or maybe it is the hell-a-shish heavy long creepy trigger pull of the Barrett M99?)
That was all the Fifty ammo that I took to the range or I would have put more in the group.

Image

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And the other half of my NightForce scope:
Image

Image

There was another Gentleman at the range using the bench next to me that had a Bushmaster BA50 with a Nightforce 5.5-22X50 scope with BORS on it. I let him shoot my 99 and he let me shoot his BA50.
So I got to do a side-by-side comparison of my new Sightron and the Nightforce. The NF had the mil-dot reticle. I have to say, I love the NF mil-dot reticle with the circles and the little dot in the center of each mil dot. Anyway, on a scale of 1 to 10 and the NF being a 10 for clarity, sharpness, brightness, and contrast of objects, I would have to give my new Sightron only about a 9. To me and my 46 year old eyes, the NF has a slight edge overall in the optics compared to the Sightron. I know some of you may question this, but this is just my personal observation of having the opportunity to evaluate both scopes under the same conditions.

My Sightron did come with a sunshade and I installed it at one point while shooting but given the overcast conditions, it appeared to me that this decreased the clarity and brightness slightly, so much so that I took it back off. I normally see people at the range and they always have their sunshades on the scopes. While this looks cool, in my opinion, it may not always be the best.

Finally Pros and Cons (or likes and dislikes)
Pros:
Excellent optics for the money
There is a raised portion at the 12X power adj ring so I don't have to come up off the scope to adjust from 24X to 12X This could be used with a little mental math (divide by 2) when using mil dots for ranging at 12X (mil dots are supposed to be accurate at 24X but according to the Sightron tables, at 12X one MIL is 7.2" or double the 3.6 at 24X at 100 yds)
Excellent optics for the money

Cons:
Although the turrets have a positive click feel and are also slightly audible, they have a very small but noticeable hysteresis in them when turning them back and forth.
There are no UP or R markings on the scope body, You have to look at the tops of the turrets (I love the marking on the NF) I made my own markings with a fine point paint pen, crude but it works for me!
Turret caps. While some may view them as useful in protecting the turrets, you have to admit, you lose that "cool" factor. Not to mention that you have to take them off when you are going to shoot varying ranges. (Thats just me!)
It isn't a true "Tactical" scope.
I am not going to get into the whole FFP vs SFP argument, it is what it is.

Overall I am extremely pleased with my new scope. For the money, I couldn't ask for better glass.
The small box test shows that it has a repeatable ZERO (as close as I can tell using ball ammo)
Time will tell if it holds up to the recoil of the Fifty Cal
I don't know how it would be at the extremes of its adjustment, maybe I will conduct another in the future to see how well it does at the limits of the adjustments.

I will have my Hornady Fifty press set up shortly and I am going to work up a load for the 750 AMAX's and I will do this test again with the more accurate ammo. Wish the Barrett had a better trigger!

My next purchase will be a Sako TRG-42 in .338 Lapua, maybe I will have to get an NF or other afterall!

Pavlos
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Re: Sightron SIII 6-24X50 LRMD review and Box Test

Postby DEDMNKY » Mon 16 Nov, 2009 3:06 pm

I've wanted a kimber 45 for a while now as soon as i start to save up for one something comes up and i can't get it maybe someday i will and the scope looks like it will do the trick on your 99. :rl:
BARRETT 82A1 SEMI AUTOMATIC WITH LEUPOLD MARK 4 8.2-25X50MM WITH BORS
BUSHMASTER M-4
RUGER MINI-14 WITH LEUPOLD 3-9
Image
WASR AK-47
CHINESE SKS
2 XD-45
BERETTA PX4 STORM 45
SPRINGFIELD ARMORY 1911 A1
SIG SAUER 1911
PARA ORDINANCE WARTHOG 45
SMITH & WESSON 500 MAG
IMI DERSERT EAGLE 50ae

User avatarRFmissile
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Re: Sightron SIII 6-24X50 LRMD review and Box Test

Postby RFmissile » Thu 19 Nov, 2009 1:49 pm

DEDMNKY wrote:I've wanted a kimber 45 for a while now as soon as i start to save up for one something comes up and i can't get it maybe someday i will and the scope looks like it will do the trick on your 99. :rl:


I love my new Kimber. It is very light compared to my other full size all steel 1911's. I wanted something light for a carry piece, that is why I went with the aluminum frame. I was looking at a getting a Springfield Armory XD Compact 4" .45 because it weighs only 28 oz which is what my Kimber also weighs. After handling the XD Compact and dry firing it, I just wasn't really happy about the trigger pull. So I started considering other options, primarily a 4" 1911 model.

The Kimber is about $250 more than the XD that I was considering and deep down I am a 1911 fan. It is what I am both familiar as well as proficient with.
The trigger pull is a little on the heavy side for me @ 4lbs but I will fix that as I have on my others,
The Pro Carry is the basic model and does not come with the 3 dot sights, but I plan on adding those later. Kimber has them for $50 or the glow-in-the-dark ones for $120.

I may also get some of the Crimson Trace Laser grips. They are pretty cool. They are listed on the Crimson sight for $359, but I have found them for $100 less.
Crimson Trace Laser Grips

In short, either Kimber or Springfield Armory, 1911 is the way to go.

Check out these inside the pants holsters, supposed to be the most comfy.
Crossbreed
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Re: Sightron SIII 6-24X50 LRMD review and Box Test

Postby DEDMNKY » Thu 19 Nov, 2009 4:25 pm

I have the novak night sites on my sig full size 1911 and love them they are nice and bright in low light coditions. They are a bit on the pricey side but worth the money.

Someday i'll get me a kimber 1911. :cheer:
BARRETT 82A1 SEMI AUTOMATIC WITH LEUPOLD MARK 4 8.2-25X50MM WITH BORS
BUSHMASTER M-4
RUGER MINI-14 WITH LEUPOLD 3-9
Image
WASR AK-47
CHINESE SKS
2 XD-45
BERETTA PX4 STORM 45
SPRINGFIELD ARMORY 1911 A1
SIG SAUER 1911
PARA ORDINANCE WARTHOG 45
SMITH & WESSON 500 MAG
IMI DERSERT EAGLE 50ae

User avatarRFmissile
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Re: Sightron SIII 6-24X50 LRMD review and Box Test

Postby RFmissile » Fri 20 Nov, 2009 12:22 am

DEDMNKY wrote:I have the novak night sites on my sig full size 1911 and love them they are nice and bright in low light coditions. They are a bit on the pricey side but worth the money.

Someday i'll get me a kimber 1911. :cheer:



I'll check out the Novak sights, Thanks

P
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Re: Sightron SIII 6-24X50 LRMD review and Box Test

Postby DEDMNKY » Fri 20 Nov, 2009 3:12 pm

RFmissile wrote:
DEDMNKY wrote:I have the novak night sites on my sig full size 1911 and love them they are nice and bright in low light coditions. They are a bit on the pricey side but worth the money.

Someday i'll get me a kimber 1911. :cheer:



I'll check out the Novak sights, Thanks

P


Any time my friend. :cheer:
BARRETT 82A1 SEMI AUTOMATIC WITH LEUPOLD MARK 4 8.2-25X50MM WITH BORS
BUSHMASTER M-4
RUGER MINI-14 WITH LEUPOLD 3-9
Image
WASR AK-47
CHINESE SKS
2 XD-45
BERETTA PX4 STORM 45
SPRINGFIELD ARMORY 1911 A1
SIG SAUER 1911
PARA ORDINANCE WARTHOG 45
SMITH & WESSON 500 MAG
IMI DERSERT EAGLE 50ae

tbuck
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Re: Sightron SIII 6-24X50 LRMD review and Box Test

Postby tbuck » Mon 07 Dec, 2009 4:53 am

Rf: I also think the scope will work well for you, but man you must be bored to death. I beleave in checking things out but I think your going to have to mary that one. I also like the Kimber but I have had to cleanup the rails for several of our officers Kimbers they were stove piping. Now they shoot without a hitch.

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Re: Sightron SIII 6-24X50 LRMD review and Box Test

Postby RFmissile » Sun 31 Jan, 2010 3:45 pm

tbuck wrote:Rf: I also think the scope will work well for you, but man you must be bored to death. I beleave in checking things out but I think your going to have to mary that one. I also like the Kimber but I have had to cleanup the rails for several of our officers Kimbers they were stove piping. Now they shoot without a hitch.


TBuck,

I was interested in whether or not the scope will hold Zero and how repeatable the scope is after making major adjustments like the ones I did, especially having to stand up to the recoil of the Big Fifty.

I went out this weekend with a bunch of friends from my work, and they were surprised that I was able to just dial in 30 MOA up on the scope elevation turret and I was on target. The target was at 1000 yds with about 15 degree incline and where we had my shooting mat, it was on a slope about 5 degrees up. I did come up 2 more MOA on the elev turret and we were on in elevation. We were only using it on 16X, plenty of power to shoot at that range.

Overall I am extremely pleased with the optics. We'll just have to wait and see if it will hold up to the recoil of the Fifty. I now have about 50 rounds on this scope. Time will tell.

I am going to get myself a .308 Bolt rifle and now I have made up my mind about a scope to put on it. Given the optics of the Sightron, and they have come out with fixed 10, 16, and 20X Mil Dot scopes, I am going to go with a 16 X 42.
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Re: Sightron SIII 6-24X50 LRMD review and Box Test

Postby flyjets » Sun 31 Jan, 2010 10:24 pm

Here is a new one from Sightron mostly for Benchrest Guys

http://www.sightron.com/index.php?actio ... d=6&id=149

RFmissile there is no doubt about it Sightron is a very nice scope. I tested one out about 6 months ago for a friend and walked away impressed.

Your Kimber is a nice 1911 enjoy it.

Ian
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User avatarRFmissile
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Re: Sightron SIII 6-24X50 LRMD review and Box Test

Postby RFmissile » Mon 01 Feb, 2010 9:25 am

I can't imagine trying to hold steady on a 50X scope.

When I turn mine all the way up to 24X my pulse is even more noticeable. It is kind of hard, if not impossible to shoot between heartbeats using the military style triggers of my M99 and M107.

The bipod/monopod setup on the both the Barrett's are very solid but I still see the twitch in the scope from my pulse/heartbeat.

If I had a crisp 1.5 lb trigger pull, maybe I could do it.

The targets we were shooting at 1000 and 1300 yds only required 16X which was plenty of power.

I am just trying to maximize my $$ over many different toys!
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Re: Sightron SIII 6-24X50 LRMD review and Box Test

Postby flyjets » Mon 01 Feb, 2010 10:18 pm

RF

To be very honest I have a scope on my competition Rifle that goes 42 times. Typically I only use it to 26 times but it is nice to see the impact holes if conditions permit at 1000 yards.

Ian
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Re: Sightron SIII 6-24X50 LRMD review and Box Test

Postby tcrush » Fri 25 Feb, 2011 6:40 pm

I've been looking into getting a Kimber... such a sick scope.
Thank you for your extensive review... much appreciated and helps with my choice.

-Taylor
I manage Flamingo Hotel Las Vegas Reviews and Mandarin Oriental Vegas Reviews... perhaps you could find some good ideas for Vegas hotels if you decide to go shooting out there!


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