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Best Scope Up to $500 #9001699 02/08/24 01:38 AM
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For TX whitetail deer hunting mostly in pasture settings, in terms of clarity and performance??

Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: DQ Kid] #9001834 02/08/24 12:23 PM
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I liked this one. It is very clear and the reticle is illuminated and uncluttered.

https://cameralandny.com/shop/athlo...%202.5-15x50%20-%20AHMR%20SFP%20IR%20MOA


Bobby Barnett

Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: DQ Kid] #9001856 02/08/24 01:16 PM
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I have a Leupold VX3 2.5-10 on my .270. Duplex reticle. Very simple, and good clarity. Priced right at $499, but if you watch them, maybe you can find one on sale.

Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: bobcat1] #9001917 02/08/24 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bobcat1
I liked this one. It is very clear and the reticle is illuminated and uncluttered.

https://cameralandny.com/shop/athlo...%202.5-15x50%20-%20AHMR%20SFP%20IR%20MOA

Great choice for your needs.
Unclebubbas Leupold if you want to buy "American" made.


SPACE FOR RENT


Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: DQ Kid] #9001954 02/08/24 03:33 PM
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I went through this process over the past week or so, for $500 I would either take this or unclebubba’s vx3.

https://www.leupold.com/mark-3hd-3-9x40-30mm-p5-mildot


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Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: DQ Kid] #9002054 02/08/24 05:39 PM
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Mostly in a pasture setting? What’s the typical shot distance?

Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: Gone to Texas] #9002082 02/08/24 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Gone to Texas
Mostly in a pasture setting? What’s the typical shot distance?

Under 200 yards

Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: DQ Kid] #9002129 02/08/24 07:48 PM
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I think good glass and something that will hold zero is all you need. Lots of scopes like that under $500. It's more complicated as you try to extend distance.



Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: DQ Kid] #9002138 02/08/24 08:07 PM
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I almost cringe to say it but for me with the stated purpose it's really Leupold, even the freedom line. Meets your criteria and hard to go wrong. So much so I got one for exactly your usage. I actually wasn't too concerned with made in America, always a plus wasn't a must here. I wanted as light weight as practically possible.


I'm a dude who likes long barrels!
Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: DQ Kid] #9002203 02/08/24 10:02 PM
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For some reason many on the THF have gotten away from Leupold over the years. I think it’s for five reasons.

One, the trend for the past few years is more towards long range shooting, which requires a scope that holds up and tracks perfectly long term with frequent adjustments. Can’t be made cheaply in the USA, or even remain at a marginally competitive price point.

Two, Vortex is probably their strongest competitor in this market. As far as I know they only build in or buy from the cheapest places that can meet a set of standards. Many if not most of them are Chinese, you can’t compete against the cost of slave labor. There are others, i.e. Optisan, “all our products are proudly made in China, highest quality at a price point, etc.”I read that as “proudly made by slaves to destroy our American competitors.” You can call me a xenophobe, it won’t hurt my feelings.

Three, even Leupold has been forced to use imported products and materials in their rifle scopes. At least Leupold rifle scopes are still built here. Some of their binoculars are Chinese. Everyone has to offer something Chinese to remain competitive and most offer nothing made in USA. So a lot of people have given up on searching for any optics made in USA.

Four, when it comes to imports, a lot of people view all imports as the same. But there are plenty of free world imports from our allies, and many of them are Asian imports. Like Japan, a lot of people think they build the best optics. I am not an expert on optical quality, I can’t argue with that. But Japan is still a free world market. Even Taiwan, we had some quality imports from Taiwan that suddenly dried up. That is because China is basically at war with them. As far as I know, not an actual war with weapons but Taiwan imports on Amazon dried up for awhile because of trade agreements and etc with China. They can still be had but the supply does not meet the demand. Still proced competitively.

Five, woke politics and labels. I think modern anti-american labels. To some people it’s not patriotic to buy American. They call it xenophobic, lol.

If you ask me, Leupold is the clear leader at providing quality at a price point, in every category except long range marksmanship. The imports all dominate the market here.

As long as I have a choice, I will not buy anything from a company that does not offer at least SOMETHING made in USA, unless they do not source from China. It is a hell of a big compromise but we put ourselves in this position. You vote with your money.

Leupold, Burris, Trijicon, and a few others still build some stuff in USA. Other higher end imports like Swarovski, as far as I know, don’t offer chinese stuff so I will still take them into consideration if I have the $$$. Japanese stuff like SWFA still on the menu, probably the best buy for the money in long range marksmanship. I don’t have a problem with imports, I would prefer made in USA, China is out of the question. Just IMO.

Grand standing, long winded, ranting, whatever you want to call it, I don’t care. Somebody has to say it.

Last edited by Bryan C. Heimann; 02/08/24 10:02 PM.

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Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: Korean Redneck] #9002204 02/08/24 10:02 PM
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Yall really think the cheap leupolds are made in USA?

Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: Brother in-law] #9002208 02/08/24 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Brother in-law
Yall really think the cheap leupolds are made in USA?


They are designed, machined, assembled in USA but probably imported materials.

The cheap spotting scopes and binos are Chinese.

Did you know that all lead used in the United States since 2013 has been recycled or imported? It’s true. Our regulations are so strict, lead manufacturers can’t turn a profit. Prior to the EPA crackdown in 2013, over 70% of the world’s lead came from Galena, Missouri.

It is no wonder it is so hard to get good glass and lenses made in USA. Before long, ALL of our materials will be imported. Not because we don’t have resources, but because of EPA regulations forcing companies to import or go out of business.

Last edited by Bryan C. Heimann; 02/08/24 10:08 PM.

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Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: Brother in-law] #9002213 02/08/24 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Brother in-law
Yall really think the cheap leupolds are made in USA?

The vx3 is. [Linked Image]

Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: DQ Kid] #9002217 02/08/24 10:30 PM
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I was impressed with Leupold vx freedom low light capability. Just put a 3-9x40 on my wife’s rifle and did a low light test against my other scopes. Beat the b&l 4200, Nikon & weaver. My athlon ares was pretty much tied. I was not expecting it from that scope. Excellent eye relief too.

Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: unclebubba] #9002238 02/08/24 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by unclebubba
Originally Posted by Brother in-law
Yall really think the cheap leupolds are made in USA?

The vx3 is. [Linked Image]


up I’ll take one for my .358 winchester build. Thanks


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Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: DQ Kid] #9002247 02/08/24 11:24 PM
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I just got tired of sending Leupolds back in for repairs, specifically the first gen CDS dials were crap. I always loved Leupold but that first gen CDS was designed like they didn't care so I moved on from them.

I don't think they are a good value anymore. Like Vortex, they tried to produce too many different optic lines and models at once to fill every niche and quality suffered across the brand.

I gave Leupold enough money over the years. Now I typically look for optics made in Japan.



Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: DQ Kid] #9002268 02/08/24 11:51 PM
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They struggle to remain competitive. It is near impossible to do it in a market dominated by imports. I can cut them some slack on that, as long as the warranty remains strong. But i will probably avoid the $400 CDS, thanks for the tip!

I will know how the MK3 HD line holds up before long.

Last edited by Bryan C. Heimann; 02/09/24 12:54 AM.

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Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: DQ Kid] #9002288 02/09/24 12:14 AM
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They built their reputation on hunting scopes that were lightweight, had good glass, held zero and had a great warranty. Sometimes they could be difficult to sight in because of the adjustments but once sighted in, they held zero.

For the OPs purposes, I I think a traditional Leupold makes a lot of sense.



Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: scottfromdallas] #9002398 02/09/24 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by scottfromdallas
I just got tired of sending Leupolds back in for repairs, specifically the first gen CDS dials were crap. I always loved Leupold but that first gen CDS was designed like they didn't care so I moved on from them.

I don't think they are a good value anymore. Like Vortex, they tried to produce too many different optic lines and models at once to fill every niche and quality suffered across the brand.

I gave Leupold enough money over the years. Now I typically look for optics made in Japan.



I agree

Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: DQ Kid] #9002541 02/09/24 01:28 PM
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I’d suggest starting with an SWFA 6x for $300 and save the $200 for more practice ammunition. The SWFA will track correctly if you decide to dial and will hold zero. The leupold will do neither of these but yes leupold has a great warranty. Like posters above I got tired of sending mine in for warranty work every year and sometimes they would fail a few weeks before a hunt. I’ve shot my 6x scopes on targets out to 700 yards in mountains in Arizona with no difficulty. The only scopes I like better are the SWFA 3-9 or maybe the now discontinued Bushnell 3-12 LRHS.

If you want better glass and more of a set and forget scope with amazing glass I’d suggest a 8x56 Schmidt and bender. Sometimes you can pick them up used for $5-$600 if you look around.

Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: 10 Gauge] #9002567 02/09/24 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. Heimann
For some reason many on the THF have gotten away from Leupold over the years. I think it’s for five reasons.

One, the trend for the past few years is more towards long range shooting, which requires a scope that holds up and tracks perfectly long term with frequent adjustments. Can’t be made cheaply in the USA, or even remain at a marginally competitive price point.

Two, Vortex is probably their strongest competitor in this market. As far as I know they only build in or buy from the cheapest places that can meet a set of standards. Many if not most of them are Chinese, you can’t compete against the cost of slave labor. There are others, i.e. Optisan, “all our products are proudly made in China, highest quality at a price point, etc.”I read that as “proudly made by slaves to destroy our American competitors.” You can call me a xenophobe, it won’t hurt my feelings.

Three, even Leupold has been forced to use imported products and materials in their rifle scopes. At least Leupold rifle scopes are still built here. Some of their binoculars are Chinese. Everyone has to offer something Chinese to remain competitive and most offer nothing made in USA. So a lot of people have given up on searching for any optics made in USA.

Four, when it comes to imports, a lot of people view all imports as the same. But there are plenty of free world imports from our allies, and many of them are Asian imports. Like Japan, a lot of people think they build the best optics. I am not an expert on optical quality, I can’t argue with that. But Japan is still a free world market. Even Taiwan, we had some quality imports from Taiwan that suddenly dried up. That is because China is basically at war with them. As far as I know, not an actual war with weapons but Taiwan imports on Amazon dried up for awhile because of trade agreements and etc with China. They can still be had but the supply does not meet the demand. Still proced competitively.

Five, woke politics and labels. I think modern anti-american labels. To some people it’s not patriotic to buy American. They call it xenophobic, lol.

If you ask me, Leupold is the clear leader at providing quality at a price point, in every category except long range marksmanship. The imports all dominate the market here.

As long as I have a choice, I will not buy anything from a company that does not offer at least SOMETHING made in USA, unless they do not source from China. It is a hell of a big compromise but we put ourselves in this position. You vote with your money.

Leupold, Burris, Trijicon, and a few others still build some stuff in USA. Other higher end imports like Swarovski, as far as I know, don’t offer chinese stuff so I will still take them into consideration if I have the $$$. Japanese stuff like SWFA still on the menu, probably the best buy for the money in long range marksmanship. I don’t have a problem with imports, I would prefer made in USA, China is out of the question. Just IMO.

Grand standing, long winded, ranting, whatever you want to call it, I don’t care. Somebody has to say it.


You left off #6..........more and more people are under the false impression that you need high BC bullets and MILS/MOA reticles and dials to kill something. I've lost track of the number of animals I've killed with a 7Mag/VX6 combo that's been dragged to Africa 6 times, MX a couple, and a bunch more places. It's performed perfectly. Lots of people rely on reading the internet instead of actually testing/proving to themselves what actually works.

Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: Jgraider] #9002586 02/09/24 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Jgraider

Grand standing, long winded, ranting, whatever you want to call it, I don’t care. Somebody has to say it.


You left off #6..........more and more people are under the false impression that you need high BC bullets and MILS/MOA reticles and dials to kill something. I've lost track of the number of animals I've killed with a 7Mag/VX6 combo that's been dragged to Africa 6 times, MX a couple, and a bunch more places. It's performed perfectly. Lots of people rely on reading the internet instead of actually testing/proving to themselves what actually works. [/quote]


Dude, that is totally me. I came back full circle and end up with a 3-9x33 with a straight duplex. Specifically I borrowed my brother's old vx-ii ultralight and didn't give it back to him. He wanted a little more power for his young boys so I got him a freedom 4-12. I love this setup now as a no frilld kinda minimalist.


I'm a dude who likes long barrels!
Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: DQ Kid] #9002596 02/09/24 03:39 PM
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Jgraider, that is a fair assessment in my opinion. Myself included.

The original leupold scopes were never made to be dialed on repeatedly, I don’t think very many were made that way from any of the manufacturers before the current trend in long range shooting. But the leupy’s hold zero. The old school leupy’s with low profile caps didn’t even have clicks. Just a image of a dial around the adjustment screw for reference. Meant to be zeroed and left alone, turned with a coin. Just adding clicks to it does not make it good for repeated adjustments.

Some of you might know by now, I am an airgun enthusiast. Nothing breaks scopes faster that repeated adjustments except the reverse recoil of a spring piston gun. I have a leupold FXI 4x28 on a breakbarrel that has outlasted everything else I’ve tried on a springer. It does not have click adjustments but I had no problem sighting it in. I set it at 25 yards and I don’t fool with it.

I don’t think the CDS scopes were made with regular adjustments and long range competition in mind. I bet they would hold up fine if zeroed, verified at distance, and left alone until the time to make a longer shot on game.

I have read complaints about SWFA SS scopes, too. Mushy clicks and wandering POI. And that’s a scope made to be dialed. When you turn out a product at a price point, there will be some issues in some scopes.

I would wager that most critics of Leupold for not tracking and returning to zero also do not have experience with Leupold’s current crop of mil-mil scopes. I am seriously thinking about sending mine out for a Cyclops review to see if it passes the dj turntable test.

Last edited by Bryan C. Heimann; 02/09/24 03:40 PM.

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Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: DQ Kid] #9002611 02/09/24 04:04 PM
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I should add to that, i have seen burris, leupold, trijicon, aimpoint, eotech, and elcan all fail in the military under normal operating conditions. These were all touted as the toughest sights they could build. And everything with a fixed parallax setting has parallax error at 25 yards.

Last edited by Bryan C. Heimann; 02/09/24 04:08 PM.

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Re: Best Scope Up to $500 [Re: DQ Kid] #9002646 02/09/24 05:12 PM
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I think you can crank all the dials you want and hope for the best but the most reliable method is a first focal plane scope with a MIL or MOA reticle. Forget the dial and use the reticle for hold overs, especially out to most hunting distances.



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