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Old December 08, 2012, 20:06   #51
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I've no this technical background in this field but i'll give my anecdotal experience.

About a decade ago i went hunting with an acquaintance who brought along top of the line Swarovski binoculars (around $1500 at the time)
I had a POS Tasco or Pentax that was around $100.

At dusk one day he let me look through his binoculars at a mountainside 1000 yards away. To the naked eye it was a grey featureless mass. Through the Swarovskis the contrast, brightness and detail was astonishing. I saw right away that my cheap binoculars were garbage.

As soon as I got home I ordered a similar pair of Leica binoculars,
Leica because I was familiar with brand from photography, and because of metal construction instead of polycarbonate.

So, yes I agree, buy expensive German (or Austrian in the case of Swarovski) optics if you can afford to.
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Old December 08, 2012, 20:25   #52
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I'm with Ink on this and went through much of the same experiences he did. Just wish there really was a quantifiable method for buying a scope that did not rely on rhetoric or ISO 9000 ratings.
There is a target that you can download as a PDF, I cannot remember the name of the file or where I got it and it is on an external hard drive that I do not have in front of me at the moment, but it is kind of like the eye exam chart but it is used to test optics. I don't remember if it was designed to test them in low light or just different distances but it has a series of vertical and horizontal lines (and maybe text I cannot remember) at different sizes. Years ago I printed one off and tested my different scopes at night under the moon and it was interesting. I did not record any of my findings, I thought I would come back to it and just never did. I found that while my midnight shooting experiments might be less scientific, they are much more fun than looking at a piece of paper and then writing down the results
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Old December 09, 2012, 23:15   #53
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How does a layman like myself determine what "lens coatings" are actually a significant improvement and not just snake oil? I'm not seeing how dipping the glas in a coating a mil thick is going to improve anything.
Short answer: coatings reduce the amount of light reflected and absorbed so more passes through the scope.

It is impossible to transmit all of it. But check out how much gets reflected by your car windshield! You can easily see yourself. Now try and see your reflection in the objective lens of your scope. Or even the refection of a bright light off the objective lens. Pretty dim, huh? Now compare that to a wine glass from your kitchen. Them optics guys are S-M-R-T.

I suppose some idiots could be applying bad coatings, or good coatings badly. Anyone know?
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Old December 16, 2012, 20:08   #54
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The best you can do is an A/B comparison in the same conditions. Not exactly possible for most of us.

Build your paper tigers with online reviews--there are some knowledgeable guys that routinely share their opinions and experience. Then hit up some long range events so you can get a good idea what will work for you. Like the shooters here, they're happy to show off their glass and talk shop.
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Old December 17, 2012, 22:48   #55
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Cabela's store brand scope FAIL

88 rounds total of SA 1980 147gr FMJ on my soft shooting Argy. Total FAIL.

Would not hold zero. Was planning on doing a box test but couldn't get a 6 inch group at 50 yards. After checking all fasteners, realized the reticle had canted 10 degrees counterclockwise. Something internal came loose.

Shot open sights, same weapon, after scope removal and did 10 rounds inside 1.8 inches from bags at 50 yards with my old, tired eyes.

By my account I would have to test several of these to find one that worked. But with no meaningful warranty, move on.
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Old December 18, 2012, 15:46   #56
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Want an ace scope for under 1000? Try the Shepherd

http://www.shepherdscopes.com/ Do yourself a favor.
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Old December 21, 2012, 10:31   #57
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Thumbs up

Anyone in the market for optics should look at opticsthoughts.com. They really ring out scopes and are qualified to do so. Doesn't seem to be any slant to one brand or another. Objective and quantifiable testing and reviews. Read these guys and then decide how to spend your money. Time very well spent.

Some examples:


http://opticsthoughts.com/index.php/...bled-in-the-us

http://opticsthoughts.com/index.php/...ariable-3-9x42

http://opticsthoughts.com/index.php/...peq-comparison
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Old December 21, 2012, 10:49   #58
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Here are some thoughts by someone who KNOWS the score on where scopes come from. As to why some are outrageously more expensive.....?

http://yarchive.net/gun/scope/makers.html
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Old December 22, 2012, 20:14   #59
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We just have to accept that Glass Reviews are truly subjective without any conclusive scientific evidence.

Everyone's vision is different. Everyone picks up colors different, and some eyes have more light gathering capabilities than others.

Good glass is easy to test, all you do is use the scope in low light conditions. If everything appears brighter, and you can pick up every detail of the things you are looking at down range, then it's a good scope!

It seems old people with bad eyes not only have a hard time with focusing, but they also have a hard time with colors and it seems their eyes can't gather light. For these people, I think a $3500 S&B will make a world of difference. For me, because I have Eagle Eyes, I really don't see much difference between a $1500 Leupold and a $3500 S&B.

In addition, the individual scopes themselves can vary in quality even if they are the same model numbers. Take my ACOG TA01NSN, it is clearer than my ACOG31F, and going side by side, the difference is very noticeable.

I also have 2 Millet DMS-1. One is almost ACOG like clarity in 4x, but the other does not have the same HD picture.

I do believe for good glass though you do have to pay a certain minimum amount, I am thinking at least $300. Some of the best glass I have ever seen were in the $600 Range (Zeiss).

At 4x it's easy to gather light, but at 20x a scope gets dark real quick. I have 3 NightForce Scopes, all are consistent with each other in clarity, but at 20x, my buddies Bushnell at half the cost is just as clear. Clarity is not the only thing I look for in my scopes. Other reasons why I like NF is because of their consistency in tracking and returning to zero, I like the reticle pattern, and I like that my NF has an MOA reticle that matches it's MOA knobs.

Moving forward, the only scopes I would consider buying in the future are Weavers, Bushnells, NightForce, and ACOGs.
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Old December 23, 2012, 17:42   #60
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We are talking GUN SCOPES.

Good glass is only a part of the issue.

The waterproofing, the return to zero, the incredible G forces that a scope withstands.

As I have said before, you guys buy your cheap scopes if you want. I have been there and done that and I am only buying Leupold VX-III or Mark IV or Nightforce from now on.

When I buy scopes I am not just looking for the clearest picture. Will the scope hold zero, will the scope last for years and years, will the scope 'shoot the box' time after time after time.

Gun scopes is one area where the term "sometimes, you get what you pay for" holds true. Good optics are rarely cheap and cheap optics are rarely good.
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Old December 23, 2012, 17:54   #61
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I don't think that anyone disagrees on the point that good scopes cost good money.

The issue I'm dealing with is not whether a $100 scope is appropriate for my sniper rifle, but whether I will see any benefit between a $1000 scope and a $1500 scope (don't even want to look at the higher priced ones).

How much extra is a Swarovski really worth to a decent, but not master-class shooter?

My "cheap" scopes are my Leupold 2x7 compact rimfires on my 10/22s. Those run about $300 retail, sometimes as low as $260.

I want to replace my Mk IV M3 because on my AI stock, the scope has to be mounted higher, so I'm thinking - why not go with a larger objective? And my recent experience suggests I should be looking at a 4x14 (Leupold) or 5x15 (Nightforce) instead of the fixed 10x Mk III. I assume that I'll be starting at $1000-$1200. What I don't understand is whether there is any benefit to me paying more. Even if it is technically a superior product, can I realize that superiority at my shooting level? I am lucky to hold MOA at 500 and beyond that, I'm really struggling to calculate wind and drop in the 2.5 seconds I have for the shot.

At some point, a decent scope and a lot of practice cost the same as a better scope and less practice. I am leaning toward the former as being of more practical value. $1000 is a lot of practice ammo.
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Old December 23, 2012, 18:43   #62
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Originally Posted by gunplumber View Post
I don't think that anyone disagrees on the point that good scopes cost good money.

The issue I'm dealing with is not whether a $100 scope is appropriate for my sniper rifle, but whether I will see any benefit between a $1000 scope and a $1500 scope (don't even want to look at the higher priced ones).

How much extra is a Swarovski really worth to a decent, but not master-class shooter?

My "cheap" scopes are my Leupold 2x7 compact rimfires on my 10/22s. Those run about $300 retail, sometimes as low as $260.

I want to replace my Mk IV M3 because on my AI stock, the scope has to be mounted higher, so I'm thinking - why not go with a larger objective? And my recent experience suggests I should be looking at a 4x14 (Leupold) or 5x15 (Nightforce) instead of the fixed 10x Mk III. I assume that I'll be starting at $1000-$1200. What I don't understand is whether there is any benefit to me paying more. Even if it is technically a superior product, can I realize that superiority at my shooting level? I am lucky to hold MOA at 500 and beyond that, I'm really struggling to calculate wind and drop in the 2.5 seconds I have for the shot.

At some point, a decent scope and a lot of practice cost the same as a better scope and less practice. I am leaning toward the former as being of more practical value. $1000 is a lot of practice ammo.
Ahhhh yes,

You are looking at a 4X14!

For quite a bit less than 1K you can get the Leupold VX-III 4.5 X 14.

I have 3 of these scopes. Scopes of higher power are always longer. The Leupold I mention is the same size as your usual 2X7 or 3 X 9. The glass is very good and these scopes are mechanically sound. These are heirloom scopes. These are the kind of scopes that you might sell the rifle it is on but you want to keep the scope because you want to put it on the next rifle.

I got a Nightforce on my 50BMG but the rest of my rifles have the Leupold VX-III 4.5 X 14. Yes even my FAL. I do realize that many would consider this "overscoping' on the FAL but one can always leave the scope at 4.5 power. A "tactical" optic the Leupold is not.
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Old January 01, 2013, 04:31   #63
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Leupold VX3 4.5-14x40mm Long Range Rifle Scope, side parallax, 30mm tube, $679 from optics planet. Seems like a good choice. Is it worth the extra $300 for my "FAL test scope".

Good stuff. If I wasn't harassing libs on yahoo I'd been reading this more often.

Happy new year. Can't wait to check out those links Sijones.
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Old January 01, 2013, 09:34   #64
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How does a layman like myself determine what "lens coatings" are actually a significant improvement and not just snake oil? I'm not seeing how dipping the glas in a coating a mil thick is going to improve anything.
Truthfully it isn't easy to determine 'significant' improvement, the best you can probably do is an A/B comparison of different scopes at your local Bass Pro Shop. Compare a $100 Bushnell against a Nightforce or US Optics, look for overall brightness. Quality coatings make for a brighter scope. Check for chromatic aberration, crappy tolerances make for halos and rainbows.

As to how coatings work, others have addressed that and they are correct.

But methinks this discussion dances around the more important topic of physical robustness and repeatability. The ability of a scope to take shock and abuse without leaking, fogging or dislocating the reticle matters more to me. Likewise the scope needs to track correctly, easily clicking in solid repeatable increments for both windage and elevation and back to zero with the ability to bring both target and reticle in focus simultaneously and without parallax. These things are far more important than whether or not the scope transmits 98 or 99.5% of the incident light falling on it.

I'm guessing that marketing folks advertise light transmission and optical clarity rather than these other things because frankly it's relatively easy to make a great lens these days. The rest not so much. ...

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Old January 01, 2013, 10:08   #65
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Leupold VX3 4.5-14x40mm Long Range Rifle Scope, side parallax, 30mm tube, $679 from optics planet. Seems like a good choice. Is it worth the extra $300 for my "FAL test scope".

Good stuff. If I wasn't harassing libs on yahoo I'd been reading this more often.

Happy new year. Can't wait to check out those links Sijones.

BINGO! That is the scope.

I don't know about it being worth extra money for your test scope or not. All I can say is that this is one damn good scope, optically and mechanically. There are better scopes for more money. I will spend MORE money on a scope but I won't spend less. This type/brand of scope is an example of the 'cheapest' I will go on a scope. This is a damn fine scope. That price you found is also very, very good.

Leupold and Burris are also the only scopes advertised as made in the U.S.A. Yes, I bet they do outsource some stuff but at least they meet the requirements to be able to advertise that they are made in the U.S.A.
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Old January 01, 2013, 15:33   #66
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BINGO! That is the scope.

I don't know about it being worth extra money for your test scope or not. All I can say is that this is one damn good scope, optically and mechanically. There are better scopes for more money. I will spend MORE money on a scope but I won't spend less. This type/brand of scope is an example of the 'cheapest' I will go on a scope. This is a damn fine scope. That price you found is also very, very good.

Leupold and Burris are also the only scopes advertised as made in the U.S.A. Yes, I bet they do outsource some stuff but at least they meet the requirements to be able to advertise that they are made in the U.S.A.
Leupold gets their lenses from overseas, Japan I believe, along with every other manufacturer I've looked into including Nightforce. Leupold scopes are in general pretty good and the company is first rate, but there's a difference between being made in the USA and assembled here. Just sayin ...

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Old January 01, 2013, 18:33   #67
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Scopes are manufactured all over the world. The actual glass part largely comes from Japan, even in a lot of German and American scopes. Light Optical Works makes a ton of "Name Brand Scopes" as well as the lenses for many "Name Brand Scopes" that are assembled in Germany and US. At the end of the day a lot of the discussions on this scope or that scope are meaningless.
That being said, there's good glass and bad glass. I have an Elcan, a Meopta, a Euro Diamond (blanks come from LOW but are ground by Burris in US), and a Zeiss. They are better than the Korean, Phillippine, Chinese, non LOW Japanese and the like.
You get what you pay for but sometimes you are paying more for what is in fact the same glass and may largely be the same scope. Different name, same guts. Pays to be as informed a consumer as you can be. Even then, it's easy to fooled.
The best Japanese vs the best of Europe? All things being equal, in "best class" I am saying, the European Scopes will have larger FOV. The rest of it is pretty much a dead heat if you are talking "best".
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Old January 02, 2013, 06:17   #68
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Scopes are manufactured all over the world. The actual glass part largely comes from Japan, even in a lot of German and American scopes. Light Optical Works makes a ton of "Name Brand Scopes" as well as the lenses for many "Name Brand Scopes" that are assembled in Germany and US. At the end of the day a lot of the discussions on this scope or that scope are meaningless.
That being said, there's good glass and bad glass. I have an Elcan, a Meopta, a Euro Diamond (blanks come from LOW but are ground by Burris in US), and a Zeiss. They are better than the Korean, Phillippine, Chinese, non LOW Japanese and the like.
You get what you pay for but sometimes you are paying more for what is in fact the same glass and may largely be the same scope. Different name, same guts. Pays to be as informed a consumer as you can be. Even then, it's easy to fooled.
The best Japanese vs the best of Europe? All things being equal, in "best class" I am saying, the European Scopes will have larger FOV. The rest of it is pretty much a dead heat if you are talking "best".

You said some things I may not have understood or disagree with. The BRAND NAME on a scope means EVERYTHING. Yes it might have been manufactured by someone else and/or it might have parts from around the world in it but the the brand name matters. The brand name says who designed/engineered the scope, who put out the manufacturing specifications and to what level those specifications are followed. I have found that even the CHICOMS are capeable of makeing good stuff. Apple products are made in China are they not? Apple holds the Chinese feet to the fire when it comes to quality control wheras when the Chinese make stuff for sale under brands they own, I find the stuff to mostly be junk.

Anyway, name brand is about all we have going for us consumers these days. We have to get to know what brands that really do work and then TRUST that that brand will maintain the quality. This does not always happen but it does apply quite a bit. A lot of the high end Japanese electronics we buy are not even made in Japan anymore. The Japanese have set up factories in other Asian countries. We still tend to think of Japanese products as haveing Japanese quality even though a lot of their cars are made here in the U.S.A. now too.

Anyway, IMO, brand name is very important and is the best tool we consumers have.
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Old January 02, 2013, 08:55   #69
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...
I want to replace my Mk IV M3 because on my AI stock, the scope has to be mounted higher, so I'm thinking - why not go with a larger objective? And my recent experience suggests I should be looking at a 4x14 (Leupold) or 5x15 (Nightforce) instead of the fixed 10x Mk III. I assume that I'll be starting at $1000-$1200. What I don't understand is whether there is any benefit to me paying more. Even if it is technically a superior product, can I realize that superiority at my shooting level? I am lucky to hold MOA at 500 and beyond that, I'm really struggling to calculate wind and drop in the 2.5 seconds I have for the shot.

At some point, a decent scope and a lot of practice cost the same as a better scope and less practice. I am leaning toward the former as being of more practical value. $1000 is a lot of practice ammo.
As in most things, this is the case. There are good scopes to be had for less than you might spend on a Nightforce or Zeiss. In that price range I'd be inclined to look at Leupold myself, they've been building scopes since dirt was new and their warranty service is first-rate no questions asked. I know this from personal experience. Nobody who sells crappy stuff can stay in business long with that kind of customer service, so I would and do have full confidence in their stuff.

Now the question becomes what reticle to buy . .. ... believe in a Leupold I'd favor their mildot.
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Old January 02, 2013, 13:28   #70
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Scopes are manufactured all over the world. The actual glass part largely comes from Japan, even in a lot of German and American scopes. Light Optical Works makes a ton of "Name Brand Scopes" as well as the lenses for many "Name Brand Scopes" that are assembled in Germany and US. At the end of the day a lot of the discussions on this scope or that scope are meaningless.
That being said, there's good glass and bad glass. I have an Elcan, a Meopta, a Euro Diamond (blanks come from LOW but are ground by Burris in US), and a Zeiss. They are better than the Korean, Phillippine, Chinese, non LOW Japanese and the like.
You get what you pay for but sometimes you are paying more for what is in fact the same glass and may largely be the same scope. Different name, same guts. Pays to be as informed a consumer as you can be. Even then, it's easy to fooled.
The best Japanese vs the best of Europe? All things being equal, in "best class" I am saying, the European Scopes will have larger FOV. The rest of it is pretty much a dead heat if you are talking "best".

You said some things I may not have understood or disagree with. The BRAND NAME on a scope means EVERYTHING. Yes it might have been manufactured by someone else and/or it might have parts from around the world in it but the the brand name matters. The brand name says who designed/engineered the scope, who put out the manufacturing specifications and to what level those specifications are followed. I have found that even the CHICOMS are capeable of makeing good stuff. Apple products are made in China are they not? Apple holds the Chinese feet to the fire when it comes to quality control wheras when the Chinese make stuff for sale under brands they own, I find the stuff to mostly be junk.

Anyway, name brand is about all we have going for us consumers these days. We have to get to know what brands that really do work and then TRUST that that brand will maintain the quality. This does not always happen but it does apply quite a bit. A lot of the high end Japanese electronics we buy are not even made in Japan anymore. The Japanese have set up factories in other Asian countries. We still tend to think of Japanese products as haveing Japanese quality even though a lot of their cars are made here in the U.S.A. now too.

Anyway, IMO, brand name is very important and is the best tool we consumers have.


Perhaps I was not clear. There are brands of scopes that are head and shoulders better than others, for a price. There are scopes that make claims to this proprietary technology or that proprietary technology when in fact the company had a scope built to either a specification or a price point by Light Optical Works. There are fabulous optics on the market that were no more manufactured by the name that is on the scope than the man in the moon. Many of the discussions between owners of this scope or that scope, brand VS brand are talking about the same scope in terms of internals. At the end of the day, I agree that Brand name may be a solid tool for consumers, although a lot can be said for doing the research and looking for independent tests that aren't biased by brand name. You make your choice and you pay your money and hope you get your moneys worth.
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Old January 06, 2013, 14:40   #71
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somebody, please tell me about USING sheperds .
The concept seems good and I've heard good things second and third hand, how bout first??
I have a long gun I want to rescope-- 300 win mag
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Old January 06, 2013, 16:21   #72
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I am a mechanical engineer too. Honestly, I think many of the weak points on scopes are mechanical. The fit of the components in the turrets, amount of backlash, engagement of the detents for the clicks. Pitch accuracy of the screws which move the elements in the turrets ? How exactly the lens assemblies are mounted or bonded in place. Whether or not the lens elements are properly blacked out (looked into an illuminated Barska scope yet ?). Quality of O ring seals and whether the right degree of preload is used (seen how tight the zoom ring is on a Weaver ?).

Most scopes sold in the US are second focal plane. I just bought a First Focal Plane scope and I have to say it is great having a reticle where one always can count on the subtention of the tic marks at any zoom value. It really is a great help when one does not have enough time to dial the elevation or wind correction. Mine is a Vortex Viper PST 4-16x50 FFP and it cost me a bit more than $700. About a third of the cost of a Nightforce scope. I am shortsighted, have astigmatism and "floaters" and I'm not sure I will ever see the benefit of owning a NF scope.

I do intend to get a thermal imaging sight for night hunting of predators and that will be another expensive component, but there is no comparison between any form of night vision equipment vs a thermal imaging system. There is always the risk of not seeing livestock behind the target at night, particularly if there is a bit of brush in the way, but that risk is reduced a lot with thermal imaging.
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Old January 06, 2013, 17:51   #73
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Originally Posted by westcliffe01 View Post
I am a mechanical engineer too. Honestly, I think many of the weak points on scopes are mechanical. The fit of the components in the turrets, amount of backlash, engagement of the detents for the clicks. Pitch accuracy of the screws which move the elements in the turrets ? How exactly the lens assemblies are mounted or bonded in place. Whether or not the lens elements are properly blacked out (looked into an illuminated Barska scope yet ?). Quality of O ring seals and whether the right degree of preload is used (seen how tight the zoom ring is on a Weaver ?).

Most scopes sold in the US are second focal plane. I just bought a First Focal Plane scope and I have to say it is great having a reticle where one always can count on the subtention of the tic marks at any zoom value. It really is a great help when one does not have enough time to dial the elevation or wind correction. Mine is a Vortex Viper PST 4-16x50 FFP and it cost me a bit more than $700. About a third of the cost of a Nightforce scope. I am shortsighted, have astigmatism and "floaters" and I'm not sure I will ever see the benefit of owning a NF scope.

I do intend to get a thermal imaging sight for night hunting of predators and that will be another expensive component, but there is no comparison between any form of night vision equipment vs a thermal imaging system. There is always the risk of not seeing livestock behind the target at night, particularly if there is a bit of brush in the way, but that risk is reduced a lot with thermal imaging.

I totally agree with your points about weak points and that is why really good scopes cost so much more than 'cheap' scopes. About the benefits that you prolly won't see with a Nightforce scope, I am pretty sure that all that extra money for the Nightforce is not due to the glass components of the scope. The extra money is for all the mechanical stuff. Nightforce scopes are rated for rifles that are chambered in 50BMG. Does Vortex guarantee their scopes for extreme use such as this? I don't know that is why I ask. NF scopes have gone WAY up in price in the last few years. I believe this is because they built a strong reputation and could therfore charge more for their products. NF has always been expensive but in the last few years the prices have gone up quite a bit.

First focal plane scopes are the latest rage and are probably better. They don't mean that much to me as I like fine duplex reticles and prefer to use Kentucky windage and estimate holdover. I don't care to 'twittle the knobs' in the rare instances that I can't put the crosshairs on the target and squeeze. As you mention, with the first focal plane scopes one can rely on the subtentions and tic marks. I am not a professional and don't care to hunt so I am happy with duplex reticles. That is just me, to each his own.

I too would really like to have a thermal scope to play with. They are just so dang much money.
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Old January 08, 2013, 22:20   #74
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First focal plane scopes are the latest rage and are probably better.
FFP scopes have been around forever and for many years were the only serious variable powered optics.
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Old January 09, 2013, 09:37   #75
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FFP scopes have been around forever and for many years were the only serious variable powered optics.
Yeah - I was using a Khales ZF-84 (?) 20+ years ago. While I had originally disliked the the FFP, I really didn't understand its value back then and now wish I never got rid of that scope.
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Old January 25, 2013, 18:59   #76
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Thanks for all the info Guys. I'm an Iron sights guy but at 51 next month,I just put a scope on my FAL with see thru mounts for the irons. I pd $10.00 to a fellow RSO for the 3x scope that seriously was rolling around in the floor of his truck. Then $5.00 to the Gunsmith shop for the see thru mounts in a scrap pile.
Zeroed it and have 80 rounds thu it and it's still holding zero. I have a Leapers mount and locktited everything.
I see a lot of scopes at the Range and there are some really nice ones...but nothing should cost more than $400.00 IMO.
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Old January 26, 2013, 18:00   #77
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Thanks for all the info Guys. I'm an Iron sights guy but at 51 next month,I just put a scope on my FAL with see thru mounts for the irons. I pd $10.00 to a fellow RSO for the 3x scope that seriously was rolling around in the floor of his truck. Then $5.00 to the Gunsmith shop for the see thru mounts in a scrap pile.
Zeroed it and have 80 rounds thu it and it's still holding zero. I have a Leapers mount and locktited everything.
I see a lot of scopes at the Range and there are some really nice ones...but nothing should cost more than $400.00 IMO.
If you're just banging around a 200y range or deer stand you are right. There are a lot of choices from Burris and Nikon that will do you well.

Going beyond 200, using indoors + 500yds, using for duty or home defense, etc. is a whole different world.
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Old February 02, 2013, 12:29   #78
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Old February 05, 2013, 08:22   #79
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I've been frustrated with options and prices and "how good is it" wind-thumbing on optics. Prices go from obviously cheap, to mild to wild.

I try to match the scope with the application, obviously for power and size, but to make sure that the units with more recoil get the ones that cost a little more and are reputable brands.

So far, my Nikon Buckmasters 6-18x40 has done great on a 30-06 bolt gun. Several years being carried, on an ATV rack, etc but only maybe 35-40 rounds through it. Then I dropped it this year while dragging a buck out of the woods. Wasn't that hard of a fall I thought anything about it - it took much more shock and vibe being on an ATV hard-mount rack. Well, it is now off.... it is going to get moved to an bull 24" AR (recoil?.... posh) and if it doesn't hold there after being properly set up and zeroed, it's going back to Nikon.

Have been plenty happy with a Bushnell Banner dusk to dawn 3-9x40 on an old Knight 54cal muzzleloader. Not terribly bad on recoil but it has held zero for several years. Also, that application gets used so little, I just couldn't bear spending even north of $200 on it.

I'm leaning towards a Bushnell Ultra Legend HD to replace the Buckmasters on the deer gun. I need less mag power and more objective anyways, so I'm leaning towards 3-9x50.

FAL, I'm still up in the air about what to put on it.... hmmm.... and what rings to use...


Edit: All that being said, I think the warranty aspect of a product is a real big seller in my mind. Not to say that cheap crappy stuff can have unlimited warranties (let's say... like they do for crappy Duralast car parts at Autozone, etc), but I have never heard a single complaint ever from someone with a Nikon or Leupold. Even buying used scopes, if they go wrong you send them back and they fix/replace it. Now that makes me want to go find a used higher-end Nikon or Leupold than I can really afford..... yeah, maybe that's the ticket It really just depends on when it fails, do you have time to send it back and make it right, or have the zombies taken over already and are inside the wire.
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Old March 12, 2013, 18:16   #80
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I've found I'm better at mounting optics than most people. I have had so many people try and push expensive mounts on me but loctite and proper torque usually gets the job done, even on less expensive optics.
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Old March 13, 2013, 21:44   #81
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Everyone has to decide what good optics are worth to them. I used to think that it would be silly to spend anything more than $500 for a scope. But as I started investing in good quality optics I experienced better and better results the better the quality (and typically the more expensive) the scope. Now it is very common for me to be carrying a rifle with a scope mounted to it that cost more than the rifle. It has been a trade off; the decision between buying that next rifle that I want, or upgrade the optics on an existing rifle instead. The past 4 years I have been upgrading optics and I'm very happy with that decision. But that's just me.
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Old March 15, 2013, 16:22   #82
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somebody, please tell me about USING sheperds .
The concept seems good and I've heard good things second and third hand, how bout first??
I have a long gun I want to rescope-- 300 win mag
I have one on my rem. 700 .308. It's great. Clear, robust, easy to use. It works best on things of a known size. Or a close estimate. The circles represent 18" at a given distance. So if you can approximate something's size as around 18", you have a better than average chance of ranging it correctly and hitting. 18" is a fairly common size. Hubcap, dog, pizza, deer, bike frame, etc. It only goes to 10x, which some may not like, but I'm good with it. The one shot sighting is great, but not perfect. I still tweek it the old school way.
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Old March 23, 2013, 09:37   #83
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Ok, time to quit equivocating a buy a freaking scope. I like my Mk4 M3 10x , but it isn't enough, and on the current rifle, I have to mount it higher so may as well use a larger objective.

Since this is a once in a lifetime purchase, I'm looking at the Nightforce NXS

First I need to choose between the 3.5-15x and the 5.5-22x

I'm just not seeing this as close range, so maybe the 5.5 will be fine for field of view. On an across-the-board rifle, I'd look more toward the 3.5, for faster shooting at closer range, but this is for a bolt action, Remy in an AI stock. Heavier and more cumbersome, and so not worried too much about the closer distances.

Then the objective. there is a 50 and a 56. The AI stock requires high mounting so I can probably get away with the 56, but Im thinking if it ever goes on a different rifle (unlikely I'll be buying more than one at the $2000 price point), the 50 will allow lower mounting on a different rifle, althogh not as low as the 40mm I have now.

Then the Reticule, and this is where I'm really struggling. I like the MOAR and I can see some value in the Velocity 100, but I'm not seeing on the latter how it can be calibrated unless there is a different one for reach bullet type. And if it isn't, having the range numbers is lame. But the pseudo-Horus looks good for wind, without being as busy as a Horus.

Thoughts?
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Old March 23, 2013, 12:34   #84
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...Then the Reticule, and this is where I'm really struggling. I like the MOAR and I can see some value in the Velocity 100, but I'm not seeing on the latter how it can be calibrated unless there is a different one for reach bullet type. And if it isn't, having the range numbers is lame. But the pseudo-Horus looks good for wind, without being as busy as a Horus.

Thoughts?
I'm guessing you mean Velocity 1000, not 100 unless they've come out with something new.

The V1k is simply an approximation of LR performance calibers. It's meant to be used with the online calculator to "fit" your ammo specs to the reticle. It will spit out oddball center crosshair zeros like 245yds to better fit the reticle. It works great for hunters using LRF and the flatter shooting LR calibers. Plug in numbers for .223, .308 and it doesn't work so well at the long end.

Two of my buddies have NXS 50s on their OBRs, NP-R1 reticles. At lower magnification I like the solid reticle outer posts on the MOAR. Faster acquisition in low light or busy backgrounds w/o illum.

What's the MOAR availability in FFP or SFP? Some of their reticle choices have only one option.

I have no experience with 56mm. As long as you can establish a solid cheek rest on any attached rifle, I dont' see how a larger optical sweet spot and light gathering could hurt.

ETA: Go for the 5.5-22, it's a nice boost on the top end. Not as forgiving in eye relief, but you'll be in a stable position for 300yds+ anyway. If it turns out you like 15x, just set the zoom there.
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:14   #85
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Here is a link to an interesting equipment summary for long range "tactical" competition shooters. Of interest to this thread may be the reticle options and surprising appearance of some of the lower priced optics (compared to an S&B). For instance, Bushnell outnumbered Nightforce.

The bar graphs in the lower section make an easy comparison.

http://forum.snipershide.com/snipers...-pros-use.html
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Old March 26, 2013, 12:14   #86
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Here is a link to an interesting equipment summary for long range "tactical" competition shooters. Of interest to this thread may be the reticle options and surprising appearance of some of the lower priced optics (compared to an S&B). For instance, Bushnell outnumbered Nightforce.

The bar graphs in the lower section make an easy comparison.

http://forum.snipershide.com/snipers...-pros-use.html
Couple thoughts on this:

1) The high-end Bushnell scopes are NOT "lower-priced" ... Bushnell sells lots of low priced optics, but the competitors aren't using them. The same applies for many other main stream companies.

2) These are sponsored shooters. When you get a sponsorship, you use what they give you. (The fact that they give you top of the line stuff probably doesn't upset anybody!)
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Old March 26, 2013, 13:22   #87
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Couple thoughts on this:

1) The high-end Bushnell scopes are NOT "lower-priced" ... Bushnell sells lots of low priced optics, but the competitors aren't using them. The same applies for many other main stream companies.

2) These are sponsored shooters. When you get a sponsorship, you use what they give you. (The fact that they give you top of the line stuff probably doesn't upset anybody!)
*comparatively*, Kimosabe. Did you catch that? 50% and sometimes greater price difference. That chart is only a sample of one event. Check photos of other events in the last few years.

10yrs ago you didn't have the high resolution, high mag variables at today's price point. The Japanese contract manufacturers + wave of new shooters have forced some very good development on the market. Leupold got left behind on a few fronts. They're fighting their way back.

These are not replacements for military service optics. But they've proved worthy of serious competitors who still have to WIN with it.

This is all very good for the prosumer like me.
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Old March 26, 2013, 17:55   #88
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*comparatively*, Kimosabe. Did you catch that? 50% and sometimes greater price difference. That chart is only a sample of one event. Check photos of other events in the last few years.

10yrs ago you didn't have the high resolution, high mag variables at today's price point. The Japanese contract manufacturers + wave of new shooters have forced some very good development on the market. Leupold got left behind on a few fronts. They're fighting their way back.

These are not replacements for military service optics. But they've proved worthy of serious competitors who still have to WIN with it.

This is all very good for the prosumer like me.
Preachin' to the choir! I was simply pointing out that Bushnell has lot's of $1000+ glass and that isn't what many people associate with the brand. (At least not me.)

Hell, my most expensive optic is a Redfield, and it suits me fine.
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Old March 26, 2013, 22:59   #89
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Preachin' to the choir! I was simply pointing out that Bushnell has lot's of $1000+ glass and that isn't what many people associate with the brand. (At least not me.)

Hell, my most expensive optic is a Redfield, and it suits me fine.
I have to agree with you. A year ago I wouldn't have given a second thought to buying another Bushnell Elite. Fugger broke in the middle of testing 5.56 loads.

We'll see what happens with this next one.
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Old March 30, 2013, 09:41   #90
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Here is a link to an interesting equipment summary for long range "tactical" competition shooters. Of interest to this thread may be the reticle options and surprising appearance of some of the lower priced optics (compared to an S&B). For instance, Bushnell outnumbered Nightforce.

The bar graphs in the lower section make an easy comparison.

http://forum.snipershide.com/snipers...-pros-use.html
I'm not so surprised that about Nightforce. While I think they make a good product I've never felt like their products are worth their asking price. Its like they have become the new Leupold. What does surprise me is that there was not a single Hensoldt or Zeiss. When I bought my S&B PMII a few years ago I was agonizing over my choice between S&B and Hensoldt. I read so many reviews, asked so many questions, and researched what many professionals used. I chose the S&B because of a few slight advantages I thought it had with its features but I had the feeling that I was choosing the second choice of many professionals based on my research and conversations.

I've never regretted my choice. I'm just shocked that not a single person on that list is using a Hensoldt.
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Old March 30, 2013, 19:07   #91
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Maybe it's reticle choice--or they don't sponsor shooters! ;-)
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Old August 16, 2013, 13:16   #92
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The thing is you can train your mind to see better. I am one of those color matchers you mentioned. I can see color variations computers have difficulty picking up. i was not always like that, experience working with colors honed my skill. The same is with anything sight related, it is 50% biological and 50% experience. if you are unfortunate to be poor in the 50% biological, it is harder but you can still ace the other 50%. I started out with crappy $30 scoped on my rifles and was happy, but every time i went to a better scope i had trouble going back. On some of my guns the scope cost more than the gun with all other mods, and it makes a difference. At 50-100 yards you do not see much of a difference, but try shooting 1000 yards with a cheap scope.
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Old August 16, 2013, 14:28   #93
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Old August 16, 2013, 23:04   #94
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big plus one! A great place for no bullshit reviews. The new site has a lot of advertising links so he can make money. The old site didn't have much like that. Read the reviews. Skip the links. Tells it like it is.
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