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How much do you really need to pay for a scope? #2254982 04/19/11 03:08 PM
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Hey guys, I'm hoping to start a good/informative conservation with this thread. I have always grown up with the attitude that you get what you pay for, especially with optics. But I am wondering how true that saying is today with everything being outsourced. I own a Nikon prostaff and I love it, I am very satisfied. Recently I began looking for an Illuminated Reticle scope and the major brands are way out of my price range. I ran across some Barska scopes that are very affordable and have great reviews. But, I'm still hearing that voice in my head that is saying, "it's too good to be true, you are paying little for crap."

That made me think, how do we know that the scopes that we pay more for are that much better than cheap scopes, becuase if you are like me, you have never owned a cheap scope so you don't really have any exprience with them. Where are nikons, Luepolds and such made and how? Is it possible that they are produce right next to cheap BSA's and Barska scopes using the same standards? I think Nikon's are made in Thailand for example. Does anyone have any behind the scenes information about the optic industry? I'm curious to hear from guys who have owned or used the cheaper scopes and if they are satisfied. Let the conversation begin.


Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: andyj9881] #2255035 04/19/11 03:16 PM
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I've got quite a few cheap scopes (Pentax, Simmons, Tasco, Bushnell, Barska)...some did great, some not so much. Way more hit or miss when buying them than the more reputable brands.


Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: rifleman] #2255217 04/19/11 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted By: rifleman
I've got quite a few cheap scopes (Pentax, Simmons, Tasco, Bushnell, Barska)...some did great, some not so much. Way more hit or miss when buying them than the more reputable brands.


In what ways did the scopes fail on you? Did they not hold zero or did they break?


Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: rifleman] #2255221 04/19/11 03:32 PM
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Ive always went by you get what you pay for. My grandpa had a Leupold on one of his 22-250's. He always just kept it in the pickup. hes had the same scope on it for 30 years and its been sighted in once, and it hasnt been knocked off a hair after riding and all the moving around it got in his pickup. When it comes to scopes I really do think it pays off tobuy you a good one even if it is a few hundred dollars. Just my opinion though.



Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: rifleman] #2255239 04/19/11 03:37 PM
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I have some VX2 and 3's along with some of those cheap scopes that come with the inexpensive rifles. All seem to allow me to put the hole were i want it... in ideal conditions. The cheap ones are kinda like old school analog TV, sometimes they are clear and serviceable, sometimes I get fuzzy crap. The nicer scopes are more along the lines of HDTV. Prices seems to follow the quality of the all-in experience/satisfaction.


Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: rifleman] #2255245 04/19/11 03:39 PM
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I bought a Burris (on sale) with a lighted reticle. 3.5 x 10 x 50, 30 mm tube from SWFA. Price was $295 3 months ago, now price is now over $500. I like it but never would have paid, or really couldn't afford a scope for $500 plus since my guns range from $150 to $400, AR is the only one in the range of $800. I did want at least one scope that I felt would last ne a lifetime. Since it has a lifetime warranty I hope it does. All of my other scopes, Redfield, Bushnell, Aimsport and Firefield and Tasco have, over the past 35 years, cost me $60 to $150. They seem to all be going strong though.



Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: andyj9881] #2255263 04/19/11 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted By: andyj9881
Originally Posted By: rifleman
I've got quite a few cheap scopes (Pentax, Simmons, Tasco, Bushnell, Barska)...some did great, some not so much. Way more hit or miss when buying them than the more reputable brands.


In what ways did the scopes fail on you? Did they not hold zero or did they break?


rattling parts inside them, dark/blurry, wouldn't hold a zero, crosshairs wouldn't move. Pentax is still doing alright, but it is a bit hazy & never gets used. One of the Bushnells in good as well..it's on a 243 adl, but the one bought with it at the same time has crapped out on a 223 adl.


Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: rifleman] #2255272 04/19/11 03:53 PM
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probably one of the best ones I've used as far as cheap scopes go would be the Norman-Ford 4x Texan.


Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: GLC] #2255277 04/19/11 03:55 PM
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I always use the 50% rule of thumb on scope purchases. A $500 gun doesn't need more than $250 glass. A $2000 gun deserves $1000 optics. Spending any more than that won't make the gun shoot any better than it does... especially for hunting purposes. And if you over spend on glass, you'll never get your money back out of it. Guns hold there value or even appreciate over time. Scopes don't because there is always a newer/better/cheaper model coming out next year.

Just my $.02



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Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: Txtrapper10] #2255552 04/19/11 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted By: Txtrapper10
Ive always went by you get what you pay for. My grandpa had a Leupold on one of his 22-250's. He always just kept it in the pickup. hes had the same scope on it for 30 years and its been sighted in once, and it hasnt been knocked off a hair after riding and all the moving around it got in his pickup. When it comes to scopes I really do think it pays off tobuy you a good one even if it is a few hundred dollars. Just my opinion though.


When I was a poor man and just starting my first real job I bought a Bushnell Banner 3x9 38MM. This was about the biggest lens you could get at a reasonable price 30 years ago. I took that scope off my Rem. 30-06 last fall. I never had a single problem and once I mounted it and sighted it in I never touched it again. I would have mounted it on my 22 Mag but I am not sure the bolt will clear the eyepiece. I bought a BPS Redhead 3x9 for the mag and it is a piece of carp.



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Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: dkershen] #2255641 04/19/11 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted By: dkershen
I always use the 50% rule of thumb on scope purchases. A $500 gun doesn't need more than $250 glass. A $2000 gun deserves $1000 optics. Spending any more than that won't make the gun shoot any better than it does... especially for hunting purposes. And if you over spend on glass, you'll never get your money back out of it. Guns hold there value or even appreciate over time. Scopes don't because there is always a newer/better/cheaper model coming out next year.

Just my $.02


This is true to a point. But I put as much money or more in optics glass than I did in the rifle due to the fact that I can sell the rifle for it value like you posted and keep the scope and put it on my next rifle. Good glass will last as long as the rifle will and good glass has a great warranty that the company will stand by. If you ever get yourself into the situation where you have the trophy of a lifetime and your glass fails you due to the fact that you can not make the shot you will regret not spending the extra. The more you use the scope the more I spend on them.



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Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: stxranchman] #2255676 04/19/11 06:39 PM
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i have had great luck with bushnell scopes, i have bushnell on 3 out of 4 deer rifles that i own. i did have a problem with one, but it was a factory reject and should have never been sent out for the consumer. acadamy replaced it free of charge with an upgraded scope. all guns have been sighted in and only adjusted for differant ammo.



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Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: shark 25-06] #2255688 04/19/11 06:46 PM
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I use 6-18x50 Swift scopes. Great glass, decent price ($240) and very sturdy with GOOD bases. I haven't found a flaw with them yet. Has objective adjustment also.



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Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: Bulldog4949] #2255747 04/19/11 07:11 PM
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I would save if you have the money, buy a nice scope. If you don't have the money, save up and buy a nice scope. You don't have to get the most expensive scope out there, just a nice one. As for the op looking a luminated reticle scopes, check out burris and the firefly.


Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: Bulldog4949] #2255766 04/19/11 07:20 PM
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of course the cheap cheap scopes can cause problems, the major difference in good scopes and great scopes is clarity at high power say 12 power and above along with eye relief, great scopes will be crystal clear with good eye relief at 16 power while lower ends wont be.
The next thing would be moa adjustments for long range shooting, bump up 10 moa and bump back down the scope you should be right back on.
They test them by going around the clock and seeing if it comes back to zero.. 6 up 6 right, 12down, 12 left, 12 up, 6 right, 6 down and you you should be right back at zero.
great scopes will do this.

If you want something with a iluminated reticle check out mueller scopes, and check out the reviews, not a bad scope for the money, not too bad at all.
Ive tested them hard with no problems, and they back up there stuff.
I night hunt hogs using the mueller with illuminated reticle, you just cant set it on 16 power at night 10 lets in plenty of light even more so on lower power.
I was at the range one day and had my cheap spotting scope set up at 200 yds, the guy next to me had a swarovski spotting scope set up and to be honest there was no difference between his and mine looking through them, only about 1200.00. of course the difference would be seen at dark.




Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: vanguard] #2255827 04/19/11 07:41 PM
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I have had Bushnells and Tascos go to hell on me. Ive had the same Simmons 3-9 on my .30-06 for about 8 years, only had to zero it once. It has done its job ever since. I went out on a limb and bought a BSA Mildot 9-32, put it on my .308 and it has been excellent as well. I have hit a prarie dog at 600 yards before (only once, but I did it. lol). I ended up putting a BSA on my AR-15, and so far its worked great as well. I put a 50 dollar TC muzzleloader scope on my inline, and it works great (never lost its zero). I would love to own a Swirovsky one day, but havent bought one yet.



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Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: atvsmasher] #2255842 04/19/11 07:49 PM
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It's one of those things where I look at the reputation of the company and do some searching for referrals on the company. Especially when it's one I haven't heard of too often. I like knowing the company's reputation and how good their customer service is. The Leupold's and Nikon scopes have been very good to me and I'm satisfied with those. I have not had one fail me yet or make me think that I need something better for the kind of hunting I normally do. You do get what you pay for, but you have to live within your means.



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Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: Curtis] #2255965 04/19/11 08:40 PM
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ive shot many different scopes on rifles, some high end some low end. but you defintely get what you pay for. wouldnt put anything on a new rifle but but high end nikon, or leupold. thats just my two cents


Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: rifleman] #2256030 04/19/11 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted By: rifleman
Originally Posted By: andyj9881
Originally Posted By: rifleman
I've got quite a few cheap scopes (Pentax, Simmons, Tasco, Bushnell, Barska)...some did great, some not so much. Way more hit or miss when buying them than the more reputable brands.


In what ways did the scopes fail on you? Did they not hold zero or did they break?


rattling parts inside them, dark/blurry, wouldn't hold a zero, crosshairs wouldn't move. Pentax is still doing alright, but it is a bit hazy & never gets used. One of the Bushnells in good as well..it's on a 243 adl, but the one bought with it at the same time has crapped out on a 223 adl.


IMO, Pentax is a great cheap scope. They make quality lenses and cameras, so I think they transition well to scopes.


Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: MR5Hunter] #2256039 04/19/11 09:08 PM
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I wish I knew why FFP (First Focal Plane) is "better" or at least more expensive and what exactly can be accomplished with AO (Adjustable Objective) compared to non-AO.

I've been looking at Vortex scopes on the low and medium end of the price spectrum ($200-$800).



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Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: Gravytrain] #2256087 04/19/11 09:27 PM
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http://www.leupold.com/corporate/resources/faqs/#WhatIsTheDifferenceBetweenAFrontFocal

9. What is the difference between a front focal plane (1st focal plane) reticle and a rear focal plane (2nd focal plane) reticle?

Most riflescopes utilize a rear focal plane reticle design, creating a situation where the apparent size of the reticle does not change as the magnification is adjusted. In these scopes, the amount of target area covered by the reticle is inversely proportional to magnification; as the magnification is increased, the amount of target area covered by the reticle is decreased. This can be seen by looking through a variable magnification scope and increasing the magnification setting. As the power is increased, the apparent size of the target is increased, but the reticle appears to remain the same size; the result is that the reticle covers less of the target when the magnification is increased.

Rear Focal Plane Reticles In general, hunting scopes are designed with rear focal plane reticles; this allows the reticle to appear bolder and heavier when set to low magnification, but appear thinner and more precise when set to high magnification. Most hunters set variable magnification scopes to a mid-level magnification for general carry situations, reducing magnification in low-light or heavy cover situations, and increasing magnification for longer, more precise shooting solutions. Rear focal plane designs allow the reticle to appear bolder in low light, making them easy to see and faster to acquire when the light is fading. This same property is advantageous in situations where heavy cover may be encountered, allowing easy differentiation between the reticle and vegetation. If a longer distance shot is to be taken, the magnification can be increased, creating a situation where the reticle covers less of the target, allowing the user to be more precise. If a front focal design were used, hunters would notice that in low-light or heavy-cover situations, the reticle would become much smaller and more difficult to see on low magnification; right when they need the reticle to be bold and easy to acquire.

Front Focal Plane Reticles Many tactical groups prefer front focal plane designs because common tactical reticles serve a dual purpose: a point of aim and a means of measurement. Reticles such as a mil dot are based on a specific subtension and require exact feature spacing to be accurate; if this type of reticle is used in a rear focal plane design, the scope must be used on a single, specific magnification (typically high power). Placing this type of reticle in a front focal plane design allows the operator to use the scope on any magnification while retaining the exact spacing of the reticle features.

Adjustable Objective and Side Focus adjust for parallax. Most usually found on hi power scopes.

http://www.bushnell.com/products/scopes/riflescopes/tech-talk/#parallax
Parallax

A condition that occurs when the image of the target is not focused precisely on the reticle plane. Parallax is visible as an apparent movement between the reticle and the target when the shooter moves their head or, in extreme cases, as an out-of-focus image. Bushnell center fire riflescopes under 11x are factory-set parallax-free at 100 yards; rim fire and shotgun scopes at 50 yards. Scopes of 11x or more have an adjustable objective to adjust for parallax.



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Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: gogburn] #2259935 04/21/11 02:29 PM
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Just depends on what type hunting your going to be doing. As well as what you want out of the optics... I say Swarovski or Scmidt % Bender are the best you can see really early and really late offers you more shooting time. The glass is so much clearer


Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: Kimber1911] #2262704 04/22/11 06:32 PM
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Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: Kimber1911] #2262715 04/22/11 06:36 PM
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Buy what you can afford & take in consideration what it's going to be used for. ie, no need for a $1000 scope on a non-competition "paper puncher", low light wont be a consideration, paralax is a concern at higher power & trackability is key, that can be accomplished w/ $250-$400. On my stand gun, the dusk & dawn factors(low light) is paramount, don't want to miss "once in a lifetime" moment becuase I couldn't see image or recticle, that cost $$$... But it is also my experience that when its time to sale & upgrade, it's easier & with less loss of cost to sell higher end optics.


Re: How much do you really need to pay for a scope? [Re: LBLAC36315] #2263531 04/23/11 01:57 AM
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I also use the Nikon prostaff,hasnt failed me yet.I too,like the 50% rule




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