Scope choices

Discussion in 'Rifle Talk' started by luvtohunt.com, Nov 27, 2004.

  1. luvtohunt.com

    luvtohunt.com Well-Known Member

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    A gun is a mechanical device made of levers, extractors, springs, pins, and shears. Like all mechanical devices, the individual parts work in conjunction with each other to achieve a desired task. The problem with mechanical devices is they are only as good as their weakest part. A firearm is no different. If you have a bad trigger, you loose shot control. An improper stock can cause bad sight alignment. A weak spring or worn pin can result in a failure to fire. A weak shear can result in a miss fire and a poor scope can cause headaches all around.



    Last November, my best friend Neil and I, attended Front Sight Firearms resort in Pahrump , Nevada . We went for a 4 day defensive handgun course expecting to increase our skills in shooting from a concealed holster. What we got was a four day baptism into all sorts of firearms, defensive tactics, shooting control, and advice of what not to do. Please note, I highly recommend that everyone should attend a course with these experts. The results are a personal level of shooting and accuracy unsurpassed by any other form of instruction I have encountered.



    One of the key events for me was a discussion with Long Range Precision Rifle instructor Majik. Majik is originally from Yugoslavia and a highly trained military officer. He stands nearly 6'5” tall and tips the scales at probably 245lbs none of which is fat. From discussions, I was able to learn of his tours with NATO peace keeping missions in Asia and Europe . He has the bullet wounds to prove it. I know very little about this guy except to say that he seen more than most and earned my respect and admiration from the start. Among his qualities, he holds the title of being an internationally certified sniper instructor. This guy is good.



    One of his comments really took me by surprise; however, his perspective is not only unique but extremely accurate. He said, “Americans are backwards. They spend $1000 on new hunting rifle and then drop a $100 scope on the top of it. In Europe , we buy a $100 WWII German Mauser put a new trigger and barrel on it and then spend $1000 for the scope.”



    I smirked at the comment, but only because it was true. When I purchased my first Weatherby Rifle from a family friend, I was ecstatic. The Weatherby 30-378 magnum represented the top of American firearms precision engineering. Just having the Weatherby name in my gun safe made my gun collection feel of a higher quality. The problem was that mounted on top of this tack driving beauty was a Tasco 8-20x40 squint-o-scope, the top of Chinese optical engineering.



    Speaking that I had just spent a pretty darn good price on the gun, my wife was more than reluctant to let me drop another $600 on the Leupold Vari-X III that I had my eyes on. Feeling a little flat-in-wallet, I decided to forgo the purchase of a new scope and use the Tasco. ERROR! ERROR! ERROR! Instead of shooting with the Tasco, I should have pulled it off of my gun, round filed it, and stored the rifle until I bought the appropriate optics.



    I spent the next 2 months sighting in the Weatherby. I tried different loads including the $85 per box factory ammo. I tried different stands and different ranges. No matter what I did, I could not get the rifle to pattern like I wanted it to. I finally gave into frustration and bought the scope that I had desired all along, a Leupold Vari-X III 6.5-20x40 and all accuracy problems were cured. I later reconfirmed my belief in my rifle and scope selection, when I dropped a nice 5-point bull elk at 400 yards in the back country of Montana .



    A gun is only as good as its weakest part. In numerous cases, a quality scope can make all the difference. I highly recommend the names of Leupold, Nikon, Nightforce, Swarovski, Zeiss, Pentax, and Burris. All of these manufactures guarantee their scopes for life and build on the concepts of quality. All are tested to extremes and have clear fog resistant optics. I tend to lean towards Leupold and Nikon as an excellent combination of cost and quality.



    Tasco, Bushnell, Redfield, Simmons, BSA, and other lesser brands are not designed to handle the sharp recoil of hunting rifles or the abuse they may receive in the field. This usually leads to decreased shooting consistency and increased chances of missing your prize. Now I am sure all of these scopes have stories of success by the people who use them and they all have their place in hunting………….just not on my guns. Do yourself a favor and spend the extra money for a quality scope. It can make all the difference in the world.









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    Copyright (c) 2004 High Mountain Hunting Supplies, LLC All Rights Reserved
     
  2. 8pointduck

    8pointduck Super Member

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    You say this, but, many here believe the Elite line from Bushnell should be added to that list. The Grand Slam from Weaver is another. Oh yea that little scope company Sightron(I have a scope that Redfield contracted them to make). Fact is I have Leopolds , Nikons and they are great scopes. The only thing is there are alot of really good scopes that deserve attention
     

  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    hell yes the elite line (bushnell) should be on that list. also i give a thumbs up to the sightron as well. i agree with everything mentioned in the above post with the exception of the limited list of "safe scopes" however i felt he was more trying to express a point than to give a specific limited list.
     
  4. elderberry99

    elderberry99 Well-Known Member

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    I too am one that had many different scopes ranging from Bushnell to Leupold Gold Ring X.
    I have enjoyed and hated my scopes at one time or another.
    I recently purchased a new Remington slide action in .308 for this year's deer hunting in NC and again needed a new scope.
    Like so many others, I was not eager to layout bundles of money for a scope and not be sure if I am even keeping the rifle.
    I went to the local gun shop near me in Virginia (I am that close to NC,VA borderline) and found a 2X7X32 scope that I had not heard of before. It is called a "SWIFT".
    My dealer tells me that if anything goes wrong with the scope anytime at all to bring it back to him and he will replace it at no charge, not repair it which means no down time for me. He tells me that the Swift manufacturer will handle the replacement with my dealer and I do not have to wait for any repairs at all.
    This is good for as long as I own the scope.
    For the $$$ (under $130.00) I paid for this scope, I felt I could not go wrong.
    Much to my surprise after getting it home and sighting it in at 100 yards, the scope held perfectly. I have the .308 sighted in at exactly +1.5 inches at 100 yards. The rifle repeats every time and my groups are less then 1.0".
    I think the rifle and scope are a perfect match for me.
    The light collection in the scope is so good that I can use the 1/2 hour before dawn and 1/2 hour after sunset to continue hunting.
    The first day out I already took a 7 point buck that was a bit on the heavy side for the size of the rack using only one shot that was placed exactly where I intended it to be using this low priced scope.
    I have paid more then $350.00 for a scope and paid less then $125.00. I can honestly say that the optics in the Leupold were great, but so are the optics in my Swift.
    Granted I am not going to make a shot out to 400 yards, but there are times that I wil shoot out to 200 and I feel very confident with this 2X7X32 Swift mounted on my Remington 7600 in .308 caliber using my inexpensive Remington Express 150 gr. PSP CoreLokt ammo.
    This is not intended to offend or challange anyone on here. I only said what I like to use.
    Have a great Holiday.
     
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    lots of folks over on the rimfirecentral forum love the swift scopes as well. another one is sightron.
     
  6. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    I used to own a tasco in the world class from Japan and during the day it was ok,but right before light it stunk and at dusk it stunk.I let it go when I traded my 25/06 and now I hear they are made in china and nowhere near the scope they used to be.I have had such good sucess with the american made leupolds that I stick to them mostly,I have a redfield an older(japan )tasco,swift I just traded for it seems nice.I found a browning a bolt 270 with a elite 4200 3-9X40 and this scope is clear as a bell.I'm trying to trade an older rifle but I may just get it but it on lay a way.I don't have a 270 any more and that scope combination works for me.There are alot of good scopes out there,you can spend 179.00-1500.00 Try not to go too cheap on optics,but weaver is clear and the grand slam is tested like the leupolds and hold up just fine.If you smoke quite and you can save enough to buy the best in 1 year,limit the beer ruins and save any way you can do it,then do it for the wife save and get her something.Thats what I did and she was happy. one night some body tried to steal my boat,she woke me up and was glad I had that model 29 to stop the bad guys,one starting cgying,I couldn't shoot a crying 16 year old kid,I gave the tag number to the police.Whats the best pistol scope?Drop-Shot
     
  7. luv2safari

    luv2safari Moderator

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    Optics are only 1/2 of the story!!

    If the scope can't take a licking it is absolutely WORTHLESS!! Research your choices a bit and find out how the lenses are fastened in, how the tubes are constructed, how the reticles and adjustments are designed...Those Bushnell Elites and Weavers might not look so good all of a sudden. They are fine for many applications, but I tend to hunt hard in unforgiving terrain that eats lesser scopes up and spits them out.

    You don't have to mortgage the farm to buy a quality scope; the Leupold VXII series and Burris Fulfield II series are good scopes that hold up well. Buy the absolute best scope you can afford...not a weak link.
     
  8. uglydog

    uglydog Super Member

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    Drop-Shot,
    I have a 2x Burris on my Super Redhawk that seems to be OK. It came with the gun so I don't know how many rounds it had through it before I got it but the scope has survived about 150 rounds of factory Winchester 260 gr loads (mid level recoil), 50 rounds of Winchester 300 gr loads (kind of stout), 50 rounds of Magtech 260 gr loads (rather stout), 48 rounds of Buffalo Bore 325 gr rounds (quite stout), and a couple hundred various 45 Colt rounds from Cowboy loads up to 260 gr loads up to 1300 fps. That is one long sentence!! I have a Leupold 4x on my 7mm/08 Savage Striker but have only a little over 100 rounds of factory Winchester 140 gr rounds through that gun. I have an old Redfield 2x6 power scope that has made the rounds of various configurations of Contenders; 35 Rem., 30/30, 7mm TCU, .223, 357 Herret, and very briefly on a .375 Win. It has survived just fine but unfortunately is no longer made. I just put a 2x BSA on my S&W 22A which I think will work fine for this light use. It used to sit on my Marlin 30/30 in a Scout configuration but I don't like that set up for hunting as much as I thought. As cheap as it was (free) I think the 22LR is a good place for it.
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Re: re: Scope choices

    the elite's are the old Baush & Lomb scope line and will hold up to anything you can dish out. the lens are from L.O.W. in japan and have 95% light transmision (which surpassed leupold). my 3200 is on top of my 7mm mag and was on top of my 30.06 before that. their durability coupled with their optic quality and warrenty plus their price puts the leupolds in thier place. period.
     
  10. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Guest you have not kept up on leupolds,the new VXlll has 96% light transmition,I've owned an older Boush & Lomb and had to send it back twice,I hear the new bushnell 4200 elite is clear as a bell,but I don't own any more bushnell or bosh & lombs.You can still find them on ebay,if any body has seen how much abuse my leupolds get I would get sued,but after falling down a 45 foot sloped mountain(I used my rifle scope to break my fall all the way down)side with a partner,my scope was still dead on target,my buddy wasn't as lucky,one of the recticules was broken,he had a nikon .Mine look like they have been abused but they stay on.My brother has a burris black diamond and has had simular sucess as my leupolds.Drop-Shot
     
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Re: re: Scope choices

    Yes i had, that is why Leupold ended it's Vari-x series so the new ones could regain the #1 spot on light transmision. the 4200 elite held that spot until the new design. my 7mm really packs a punch, i'm not knocking the leupolds i just think people short change the elites because it is a bushnell.they are a durable top notch scope.
     
  12. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Guest im lad you are having good results with your scope.As mechanic I have been asked many,many times,which is best truck on the market?As a 33 year tech my reply hasn't changed,what ever you are driving and having great results is the best.Some folks want buy certain trucks and thats fine,like in your case,what ever works well for you,stay with it and don't let it go.Some of the best firearms I have ever owned are sold or traded,I've quit that,almost.Keep whats working for ya and sign in,we may not always agree but I have met alot of great folks and have learned alot from these guys.Drop-Shot
     
  13. 8pointduck

    8pointduck Super Member

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    Leatherwood, now thats an old name in scopes. They still make them and they say they are real good..
     
  14. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    8point that scope has been around for along time,any body ever used leatherwood scopes?Some one told me they contracted with the government for years before they offered to police and then public.Some one out there must have some exposure to leather wood scopes,talk to us.Drop-Shot
     
  15. 8pointduck

    8pointduck Super Member

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    O.K., Found out the Leatherwoods are not like they used to be...................Hey! I found out Burris has a special going on right now. Buy a 4.5x14 or a 3x9 Fullfield 2 scope and get a free compact spotting scope for free. Time to trade up on another one of my not so stellar scopes :D ... or maybe two :wink:
     
  16. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    8point get in touch with Burris and they will tell you the fullfield is made out of the united states,pabinva bought one and they are made in the phillipenes,broke my heart.My brother has a black diamond and burris swears that is assembled in the USA.They say they are trying to stay in the market.If you get one let me know,they say they are made to the same exact tolarences of the USA made scopes.Drop-Shot
     
  17. 8pointduck

    8pointduck Super Member

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    So was my Nikon Monarch. I don't think because they were made in the Phillipeans that they are cheap.
     
  18. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Thats ok with me but I try to keep americans working if I can afford to,don't get me wrong,I like good deals to and I have bought non-american stuff before.My backpack is made in tiwan,my flashlight is made in china(my good ones are alumium,surefire,USA)some of my non-custom knives are made in japan,most of the componants on this computer are non-american,I just now know not to expect american made on all burris scopes.We are just going to have to remmember that scopes are a business and businesses have to turn a profit and that means out sorcing for some items.The sako is non-american and it's a great rifle.I'm just disappointed that it has to be this way.I just bought 2 way radio's that are not motorolla,I can't afford the american radio,I got 2 2 way radio's for less than 1 motorolla.Let me know how it works out.Drop-Shot
     
  19. luv2safari

    luv2safari Moderator

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    Guest,

    I'm sorry if I stepped on your toes, but the Bushy 3200 is an altogether inferior scope to the 4200 and to the Leupolds. The 3200 is being dumped by jobbers and retailers all over the globe.

    I am in constant communication with professional hunters and guides in my work, and they all are well down on the Bushy 3200. Simply put...the 3200 can't take it in rigorous conditions. This was my original point and is still my point. Optics are just 1/2 of the equation...durability is the other half.

    A Bushy 3200 could be a perfectly good scope for many people and their hunting conditions. I would destroy one in a couple of days, some of the places and under some of the conditions in which I hunt.

    I have nothing against Bushnell or B&L; I have several older models that are still doing their jobs well. One of my favorites is an older Scopechief 3x9 with Command Post. It is mounted on a Rem 721 in 30-06 and makes a good open country/brush country dual purpose rifle. I like having that 3x with a post reticle when I follow Bambi into a thicket.
     
  20. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Oh yea,tear our hearts out,make us sweat,hurt our feelings, make us loose dignity,oh wait that was the credit card company I was thinking of,never mind.Hey luv2 it was a scope chief that gave me a coontail eye many years ago,but I'm so ugly people thanked me for trying to look better.People don't gag and puke like they used to when seeing me,or mabe not to my face. Personaly I count your word as very valuable,and feel it was a comment that holds weight,I am not a professional hunter but you are and I take your word as the proven truth.Drop-Shot