Why illuminated reticles? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Why illuminated reticles?

I am going to upgrade my optics on the crossbow this year, currently has red dot included with package. Why do the majority of crossbow scopes have illumined reticles? I use Leupold scopes on my rifles and have never had any issue seeing at last light when hunting. Just seems like illumination adds something that could go wrong, battery going dead or brightness not adjusted to match time of day. So why do manufactures and many crossbow hunters find this a must?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 11:31 AM
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Re: Why illuminated reticles?

So you can shoot in the dark...
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 11:35 AM
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Re: Why illuminated reticles?

I plan to start adding lit reticles to my rifle optics, too.

One thing in PA to remember....rifle season happens when there's no foliage, where archery season happens with thick foliage. It makes a BIG difference in the woods at quitting time. Get under thick leaves at last light and you won't see half of what you do in the same spot in rifle season.

I want a lit reticle in my rifle optics, at least a select few rifles, for situations like that....just areas where it's real dark before it's quitting time. I've hunted a few such spots. Places where I can see the animal, but the reticle is difficult to see.

The issue with most crossbow scopes is that, while they illuminate the reticle, they don't use the level of optical components many rifle scopes do. I've seen very few crossbow scopes that can hang with a really good rifle scope in dim light. So I think the lit reticle is a cheaper way to give low light shooting ability than beefing up the optics, which would really be a better solution, but much more costly.

Don't fret about batteries. The reticle stays there if the illumination is turned off, so worst case scenario is you have an unlit reticle like any other scope. Nothing is "gone" like in a red dot or such. If you turn off the illumination, the reticle is there, it's just black. I don't see a down side to having one, personally. I hunt with a compound, but if I hunted with a crossbow, I'd be pretty interested in a lit reticle. My father does, and he has one. So does a hunting buddy of ours. Both swear by them.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 11:46 AM
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Re: Why illuminated reticles?

The red and green dot on my scope is only viewable in low light conditions. It has 4 or 5 variable brightness settings to adjust to natural light conditions.

During most of the day the lighted dots are not even viewable on my scope and are not needed.

I always carry an extra battery along, as I have forgotten to turn the battery off a few times.

My eye sight is showing aging and the red dots are a big help to me in low light conditions at the break of day and late evening.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 12:53 PM
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Re: Why illuminated reticles?

The glass in the typical crossbow scope is sub par compared to the typical scope designed for rifles. Therefore, they can suffer in low light conditions. Illumination helps in that case.

Scope manufacturers are beginning to produce much improved crossbow scopes with better glass, so illumination is not as important in those cases.

I prefer to go with a better scope and no Illumination.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 01:22 PM
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Re: Why illuminated reticles?

Dpms, what scope would you recommend? My wife needs a new one on her crossbow and she needs it to have really good illumination. She struggles with hers now and it has cost her a nice buck this year because she could not see through her scope to get a decent shot.

Any day in the woods or on a stream is better than being at work!!
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 01:55 PM
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Re: Why illuminated reticles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbl lung
Dpms, what scope would you recommend?
For illuminated scopes, Hawke makes 3 nice ones depending on your budget. They have circle reticles though, which some don't like. 3x32 IR, 1.5x5 IR, XB30 IR. Those range from low 100s to high 200s.

Parker has a nice IR scope in then Red Hot 3x32 IR. It is made by Hawke but has a standard multiple reticle instead of circles. Low 100s on that as well.

For non illuminated, I have not found a better crossbow scope than Zeiss's new Terra crossbow scope.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 02:14 PM
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Re: Why illuminated reticles?

Thanks Dpms! I think the Red Hot would be good enough for her. It will be much better than what she has on her crossbow now. Thanks for the info!!

Any day in the woods or on a stream is better than being at work!!
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 02:28 PM
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Re: Why illuminated reticles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbl lung
Thanks Dpms! I think the Red Hot would be good enough for her. It will be much better than what she has on her crossbow now. Thanks for the info!!
Parker also has a software calculator that will predict more accurate reticle point yardage with your speed. Something more accurate than 20/30/40/50.

http://www.parkerbows.com/rhadc.html

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 02:43 PM
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Re: Why illuminated reticles?

I would still shoot at all those distances to confirm, though....
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