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Published on Jul 29, 2016
My top 5 1-6x scopes: The Vortex Strike Eagle, The Leupold VX6 FireDot BDC, The Vortex Razor HD Gen II, The Kahles K16i SM1, and The Swarovski Z6i BRT-I.
Some qualifiers: Must be Second Focal Plane as First Focal Plane isn't useful except at higher magnifications, IMO. Must have covered turrets since they protect your zero better and you shouldn't need to dial for elevation when you can just use the faster BDC/MIL drops.
More scope-specific details:
1. Vortex Strike Eagle - The Primary Arms 1-6X ACSS is essentially the same scope so choose whichever reticle you like best. Personally, I preferred the ACSS reticle but I leaned Vortex due to their warranty and CS.
2. Leupold VX-6 - Due to the clunky illum knob, I'd suggest setting your max brightness indoors (i.e. blinks 5 times at max) and then letting the sleep and wake sensor do its magic. That way, you won't have to adjust in bright sunlight as it's hard to see in those conditions. Another consideration at the same price level is the Trijicon TR25. I prefer the VX-6's BDC drops as I found the TR25's MIL and MOA Dot drops were too widely spaced apart. Also, the VX-6 is 5 ounces lighter, however, the TR25 has slightly better daylight illumination. VX6 UPDATE: I've since switched my illumination from green to red through Leupold CS. The brightness remains the same but the red now makes it easier to see in daylight. I'd recommend anyone purchasing the FireDot BDC to do the same.
3. Vortex Razor - If you have an early model with the stiff zoom lever, contact Vortex to loosen the zoom lever or ask them for DIY instructions.
4. Kahles K16i - Having shot the Burris XTRII 1-5x with the CQ MIL reticle, I know how something like the SM1 reticle with half mils can feel cluttered when shooting at distance. The G4B crosshair reticle may be a better choice.
5. Swarovski Z6i - This was a Gen 1 model. The current model is Gen 2, which has a reinforced zoom lever and a new sleep/wake sensor. Other than that, they are essentially the same scopes.
For 1X testing, paper targets ranged from 5-20 yards. For 6X testing, 10" MGM flash targets ranged at 200, 300 and 400 yards.
All BDC drops were generated from Strelok Pro using 55gr with BC of .243 going 3000fps.