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#5635185 - 03/05/15 01:10 AM Random Thoughts About Scopes
booradley Offline
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Registered: 01/20/11
Posts: 1993
Loc: Justin, TX
I've mounted scopes for a number of years and have always had my pet brands. Since I've been working at Cabela's selling firearms, scopes and mounting scopes I have learned a few things.

When there is not enough windage adjustment the vast majority of the time the rifle was tapped off center. It has nothing to do with the scope or mounting system.

You cannot tell the quality of a scope by looking through at a store. You must look through it in low light and bright light.

I don't understand why fathers spend $500.00 on a scope for their rifle but will only spend $150.00 on a scope for their kid's first deer rifle.

Certain people truly see better through certain scope brands than they do other's.

Don't ask me my opinion of Cabela's brand scopes. I need my job.

Caliber specific scopes are marketing hype.

Most people are over scoped magnification wise.

Quality of glass trumps larger objectives for light gathering.

30MM tubes don't give much of an advantage over 1" tubes that I have seen.

Most brick and mortar stores have little to no selection of scopes with good low light reticles. I assume SWFA would be the exception. Give me a German #4.

In most European countries it is legal to hunt at night and as such - scopes of European origin are generally better in low light than pacific rim scopes. Leupold is the wildcard. There are of course exceptions.

Vortex is an exceptional marketing company. I have two Vipers and a Crossfire Rimfire. They are good scopes. But they aren't better than all scopes in their particular price ranges and often aren't as good when it comes to eye relief and glass quality.

If I needed a new scope for a deer rifle and my budget was $200.00 I would purchase a Burris Fullfield II 3-9x40 and not feel underscoped at all. Bushnell makes some pretty cheap bubble pack scopes but they also make some very good scopes. I have an Elite 4200 on a Remington 700 .270 that is pretty awesome. I also have an Elite on my daughter's .243 that is an excellent scope.

I wish Cabela's carried Sightron.

Skylar is a good guy.


Edited by booradley (03/05/15 01:35 AM)
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#5635403 - 03/05/15 08:37 AM Re: Random Thoughts About Scopes [Re: booradley]
Treinta-Treinta Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 05/15/14
Posts: 232
I find scopes with the better low light coatings often aren't as bright in daylight or inside the stores as the lower grade models, I agree twilight would be the better test.

I agree most folks are "overscoped" for general hunting. They become dependent. When it comes to any advice over 7X, I don't seek it nor give it.

"Light Gathering" is another theory that will always be debated. Fact is, My pupils dilate larger in low light than average folk and I fair better with larger exit pupil.

A 30mm Swarovski looks like IMAX compared to most 1" tubes...To me. Having said that, I feel for GP hunting in lowlight, a Leupold FX 4X or FX3 6x is hard to beat. I hate to admit it, but a current Weaver K4 will get the job done too, and is very light.

People indeed see through certain brands better than others. I can't use Burris because of the red coating on one end and a green coating on the other, causes a white-out condition for me at twilight. The reasons have been explored with me and others in great detail by military eye doctors. Its just the way it is. Its an uncommon occurance with certain folk who have very good vision, low light vision, and are extremely adapted to color differences.

The fathers who spend less on their kids probably realize that 99% of the time, a lesser scope is entirely adequate even in twilight. If shooting is something the youngin wants to pursue, they can get a job and buy their own choice one day. It usually makes them more educated and appreciative.

Even big box stores don't seem to have a range of scopes that I prefer, so I end up buying from Midway or Optics Planet. No tax, coupon codes, free shipping, good return policy, lowest base price. Most importantly, They have it in stock.

Thanks for your thoughts Booradley.


Edited by Treinta-Treinta (03/05/15 09:04 AM)
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#5635469 - 03/05/15 09:11 AM Re: Random Thoughts About Scopes [Re: booradley]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
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Registered: 11/22/10
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Loc: Corsicana
I agree wholeheartedly with 95% of that. Maybe 100% but I don't have your experience with optics.

Low light performance is paramount to me. 5-10 more minutes of shooting time is more valuable than just about anything else a scope can offer for my purposes. I have Swarovski binoculars. I use Leupold VX3s. If the glass on their scopes is the same as my binoculars, Swaro scopes would give me about 1-2 more minutes of shooting time on each end of the day. Honestly, that may be worth the extra cost. I am thinking about putting a Swaro scope on my primary deer rifle.

Many 30mm tubes are purely cosmetic-same guts and glass as the company's 1" offerings.

At the ranges I shoot, the ultra high magnifications are not worth the tradeoffs. I don't see why one would hunt with a fixed high-powered scope and sacrifice the field of view and low light performance a variable provides.

The Big 3 European makers' stuff is expensive. Very expensive. The fact that hundreds of thousands of folks have and continue to pay the price for it-in the face of increasing competition from every corner-says something. About 15 years ago I bought a pair of Swaro EL 10x42s. Took them along on a group elk hunt with 6-8 buddies. After looking through them, the next year several of them had them also. These guys are from varying economic backgrounds. That speaks volumes.


Edited by Nogalus Prairie (03/05/15 09:44 AM)
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#5635513 - 03/05/15 09:32 AM Re: Random Thoughts About Scopes [Re: booradley]
BigPig Offline
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Registered: 08/27/09
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Loc: Forney, Tx
Optics Planet is the devil popcorn
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#5635525 - 03/05/15 09:40 AM Re: Random Thoughts About Scopes [Re: booradley]
Treinta-Treinta Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 05/15/14
Posts: 232
I have a pretty good appreciation for those VX(3's).
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#5635635 - 03/05/15 10:13 AM Re: Random Thoughts About Scopes [Re: booradley]
6.5x47Lapua Offline
Tracker

Registered: 12/13/14
Posts: 518
Loc: dfw
Originally Posted By: booradley

Most people are over scoped magnification wise.



Truth

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#5635824 - 03/05/15 11:08 AM Re: Random Thoughts About Scopes [Re: booradley]
passthru Online   content
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Registered: 12/05/06
Posts: 11109
Loc: Saginaw, Tx
I've looked through Swaro's on an elk hunt. I would only spend that kind of money if I were earning a living guiding because for my hunting needs Leupold gets the job done for a lot less money.

Europe pays three times as much for gas as we do. The cost of living there is the pits and everything is more expensive so why wouldn't their glass be? Only the rich and influential hunt over there for the most part so I guess the money they spend on their equipment would reflect that.

I would say that too many low light shots taken result in animals wounded or the incorrect animal shot. I've seen too many button bucks killed by a hunter thinking it was a doe this way.

I think what one gets for glass should be the best one can reasonably afford but I think most people buy the highest end stuff for the same reason they buy the biggest truck, most expensive bow etc. Then again I don't have to shoot a Texas whitetail with a .338 because of my ego. My .243 kills them just as dead with a lot less recoil and a lot less expense.
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#5636053 - 03/05/15 12:43 PM Re: Random Thoughts About Scopes [Re: booradley]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
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Registered: 11/22/10
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Loc: Corsicana
Ego doesn't drive any of my purchases, hunting or otherwise.

As you said, I buy the best I can reasonably afford.
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Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.



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#5636077 - 03/05/15 12:56 PM Re: Random Thoughts About Scopes [Re: booradley]
passthru Online   content
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Registered: 12/05/06
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Loc: Saginaw, Tx
LOL. I didn't say everyone was that way. But I can't reasonably pay a thousand dollars for a scope. I could afford it, I just know I don't need it for what I do.
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#5636091 - 03/05/15 01:01 PM Re: Random Thoughts About Scopes [Re: booradley]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
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Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 22167
Loc: Corsicana
It does seem crazy. I haven't gotten one yet. But I am tempted, I admit.
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Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.



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#5636114 - 03/05/15 01:07 PM Re: Random Thoughts About Scopes [Re: booradley]
jeffbird Online   content


Registered: 03/09/09
Posts: 2210
Originally Posted By: booradley

I don't understand why fathers spend $500.00 on a scope for their rifle but will only spend $150.00 on a scope for their kid's first deer rifle.


Absolutely. Don't buy women or kids something unless one would be equally happy to use it.

The few rifles I've personally laid eyes on that were claimed to be so off center that the scope could not correct for it, all had windage adjustable bases, which were not centered properly.

Once the base was correctly centered, miraculously everything fell into place.

The real lesson is that there is no reason to use windage adjustable bases. They are obsolete and a poor choice among today's offerings.

Nice post Boo.

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#5636118 - 03/05/15 01:09 PM Re: Random Thoughts About Scopes [Re: booradley]
patriot07 Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 1571
Loc: Royse City, TX
I agree with most of what you've said.
Originally Posted By: booradley
I don't understand why fathers spend $500.00 on a scope for their rifle but will only spend $150.00 on a scope for their kid's first deer rifle.
Same reason you buy them a beater first car but I drive something nicer. Because I've earned it, I know how I'm going to treat what I paid for, I know how they're going to treat what they didn't pay for, and either one will perform the required function reasonably well.

Originally Posted By: booradley
Most people are over scoped magnification wise.

30MM tubes don't give much of an advantage over 1" tubes that I have seen.
Are these true for target shooting as well, or just hunting?

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#5636142 - 03/05/15 01:16 PM Re: Random Thoughts About Scopes [Re: patriot07]
FiremanJG Online   content
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 21142
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
30mm tubes hold more interal adjustment if one is dialing elevation.
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#5636344 - 03/05/15 03:07 PM Re: Random Thoughts About Scopes [Re: booradley]
Treinta-Treinta Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 05/15/14
Posts: 232
After many years, I pretty much subscribe to "as good as it needs to be". This would seem open to indefinite interpretations, but it really ain't once you narrow down the applications.
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#5636382 - 03/05/15 03:34 PM Re: Random Thoughts About Scopes [Re: jeffbird]
booradley Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 01/20/11
Posts: 1993
Loc: Justin, TX
Originally Posted By: jeffbird
Originally Posted By: booradley

I don't understand why fathers spend $500.00 on a scope for their rifle but will only spend $150.00 on a scope for their kid's first deer rifle.


Absolutely. Don't buy women or kids something unless one would be equally happy to use it.

The few rifles I've personally laid eyes on that were claimed to be so off center that the scope could not correct for it, all had windage adjustable bases, which were not centered properly.

Once the base was correctly centered, miraculously everything fell into place.

The real lesson is that there is no reason to use windage adjustable bases. They are obsolete and a poor choice among today's offerings.

Nice post Boo.


The vast majority of bases I've used are Leupold and Warne. If the customer has me choose I pick Warne. Sometimes Warne won't work because of the windage issue and it is indeed caused by improper tapping. In that scenario I have to switch over to Leupold STD bases and use the coarse adjustment on the rear base.

I cannot stand Millet angle-loc but would like to try Talley, Burris and DNZ.

As to the issue of cheap scopes for kids I do not advocate putting expensive glass on their rifles. On the other hand I don't believe in putting cheap scopes on their rifles such that their ability to shoot in low light and bright light suffers. My son's 30-06 has a VX-2 3-9x40.
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