Fiber vs Etched Reticle at the Same Power, Which One to Pick?

June 11, 2024 4 min read

There are three kinds of reticles: wire, fiber, and etched reticle.  Wire reticle is the oldest reticle, which offers a clear sight view with a simple reticle design. It is the cheapest among these three kinds of reticles. The simple reticle design works well for rapid target acquisition, while not suitable for complex environments. Besides, it is susceptible to being damaged by the drop force, strong recoil, and incorrect mounting. We are not going to elaborate a lot here. If you are interested in learning it, go and check out our previous blog post.

Etched Reticle

The etched reticle sort of solved the problems of wire reticles. The reticle was etched on the glass by laser or some chemical material. The etched reticle can realize intricate patterns, considering bullet drop compensation and wind drift compensation, such as well-known Christmas tree reticles. We will talk about the specific reticle patterns later in this article. Some manufacturers possess advanced techniques, producing thinner lines than others. Some etched reticles feature illumination, which can be used in low-light conditions, while some do not.

Another advantage of the etched reticle is its strong shockproof. It is quite durable compared to the other two reticles. The potential sacrifice of it is dust and fog accumulation, which affects the light transmission rate. That further negatively influences the imaging and viewing experience. Most VE scopes are filled with nitrogen to prevent the fog. High manufacturing costs of etched reticles are another concern for those who have budget limitations.

Additionally, if a scope lacks a high waterproof rating and is stored improperly or used in heavy rain, water may seep into the scope, potentially causing the glass get damped or molded. Moreover, an illuminated etched reticle requires significantly more power than a fiber optic oneup to three to four times more, to achieve comparable brightness. Some brands prioritize brightness over battery longevity. CR2032 will last only three to four hours under the brightest illumination. Shooters may need to carry spare batteries for extended shooting sessions. 

Fiber Reticle

The fiber reticle positions a very thin fiber optic light pipe behind the wire for illumination purposes. It may look similar to the wire reticle, but the biggest difference appears when you turn on the illumination. Only the center dot will be illuminated, allowing for rapid target acquisition. The center dot is super crisp and bright, highly visible even under bright sunlight or low light conditions. This feature allows for precise aiming under bright daylight. Indeed, when a fiber reticle is applied to Low Power Variable Optics (LPVOs), shooters can utilize it similarly to a red dot sight. At 1x magnification, they have the advantage of keeping both eyes open, allowing for a wide field of vision while having an illuminated center dot for rapid target acquisition. That may even work better than the red dot.

However, the fiber one inherits some cons of wire reticle. Due to the material constraints, it's hard to make a complicated reticle. Its shockproof capability is comparatively weaker than etched reticles. Also, in low-temperature conditions, below -20(-4°F) or even -40(-40°F), fiber reticles are relatively more fragile compared to the etched reticles. Additionally, its production incurs the highest cost among these three types of reticles.

Generally speaking, since fiber reticles can only realize simple reticles with a highly visible illuminated center dot, it is more suitable for close-range shooting and hunting. However, etched reticles may be more versatile. It is applicable across various scenarios such as hunting, sport shooting, tactical shooting, etc., as they can accommodate both simple and comprehensive reticle designs, considering distance estimation and bullet drop compensation.

Continental 8x & 10x LPVOs

In this section, we are going to introduce and compare VE Continental LPVOs to guide you pick the one you need. The chart below lists three x8 LPVO options in the Continental line. They all apply SFP (Second Focal Plane), of which the reticle wouldn't change along with the magnification.

Continental x8 1-8x24 SFP Hunting Scope ED

Continental x8 1-8x24 SFP Tactical Scope ED

Continental x8 1-8x24i ED Fiber LPVO Riflescope

SCOC-37

SCOC-T37

SCOC-45

Hunting

Tactical

Tactical (Sport Shooting)

Etched Reticle

Etched Reticle

Fiber Reticle

German #4

VET-BTR

VET-FDR

For hunting scenarios

For tactical scenarios

For various light condition scenarios

 

Comparing SCOC-37 and SCOC-T37, they both use etched reticles, which could make complicated patterns and withstand heavy recoil. SCOC-37 is designed for hunting, so we use the German #4 reticle, which could quickly draw hunters' attention to the center and provide a clear sight picture without any detail loss because of the harsh mark. We would recommend you use the hunting ones within the 200-yard distance.

SCOC-T37 implements the VET-BTR reticle, which increases the implementation versatility of different scenarios and the preciseness of shooting. The reticle considers both wind drift and bullet drop compensation. The pattern has three bold lines on the right, left, and bottom side, an illuminated center dot with a horseshoe-shaped ring around it, as well as hash marks on both horizontal and vertical lines. It is ideal for all purposes, tactics, hunting, and competition, as we mentioned in the previous article.

SCOC-45 is developed for sport shooting purposes, especially for IPSC, which needs rapid target acquisition. The reticle design is relatively simple due to the material limitation while maintaining bullet drop compensation for preciseness. For close-ranging shooting, windage influence is negligible. Additionally, under bright daylight, a highly visible illuminated center dot (fiber reticle) improves your shooting speed. 

For Your Convenience

You might still be confused about which one to choose. There is no correct answer, but depending on your primary concerns. 

If you are picking the 8x hunting scope, then the Continental SCOC-37 1-8x24 ED capped turret is designed for you. If you would love to use the scope for different scenarios, the SCOC-T37 1-8x24 ED exposed turret is a great option for you, providing both preciseness and durability. If you are picking the scope for sporting shooting without considering wind drift or light conditions, Continental SCOC-45 1-8x24i ED or SCOC-47 x10 1-10x24i ED is your scope. 

We have also listed Vector Optics Continental x6 LPVOs below. Same rules, but we provide an FDE color option.

Continental x6 1-6x24 Tactical LPVO Riflescope FDE

Continental x6 1-6x24 G4 Riflescope

Continental x6 1-6x24 Tactical LPVO Riflescope

Continental 1-6x24i Fiber Tactical Riflescope

FDE

Black

Black

Black

SCOC-34

SCOC-23

SCOC-23T

SCOC-44

Etched Reticle

Etched Reticle

Etched Reticle

Fiber Reticle

BDC VET-BTR

German #4

BDC VET-BTR

VET-FDR

For tactical scenarios

For hunting scenarios

For tactical scenarios

For various light condition scenarios

 


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Blogs

Angled vs Straight Spotting Scope, How to Choose? - Vector Optics US Online Store
Angled vs Straight Spotting Scope, How to Choose?

July 04, 2024 3 min read

Angled spotting scope is relatively difficult for beginners and is better for spotting at an angle.

Straight spotting scope is more beginner-friendly and is better for spotting animals on the ground and viewing in narrow spaces.

6MOA vs 3MOA, How to Choose the Appropriate Red Dot Sight? - Vector Optics US Online Store
6MOA vs 3MOA, How to Choose the Appropriate Red Dot Sight?

July 02, 2024 2 min read

3MOA provides versatility for mid to long-range shooting.

6MOA is user-friendly for moving target at close-range shooting.

1x Prism Scope VS Red Dot Sight. How to Choose? What You Need to Consider? - Vector Optics US Online Store
1x Prism Scope VS Red Dot Sight. How to Choose? What You Need to Consider?

July 02, 2024 4 min read

1x prism scope is developed for shooters with astigmatism. 

It possess true 1x for two eyes open shooting.

The center dot is visible even when the illumination fails.