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rgbwmb's picture
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Quality scopes

I have been hunting and shooting rifles and shotguns for over 40 years and have come up with a standard when selecting a scope. A must have is one piece tube, fully multicoated glass and a wide field of view. I have had several brands on guns in 243 to 338 and used them in all weather conditions. I have had good success with Bushnell banners and scopechiefs and elites, same with sightron, a very good Leupold vx-3, but the best with a Pentax lightseeker 4-16x44. I have read blogs saying the Pentax scopes were problematic but the Burris scopes were good. This is an oxymoron since the only difference in the two are the lenses and the coatings. My brother has both and he just told me he is taking off the Burris and putting on the Pentax. Maybe the Pentax coating process is a little brighter but he says its clearer than the Burris. I also have a Weaver Super Slam on the way for my Vanguard SS 300 wby. My final thought on the issue of optics is go with the high end line of a good quality manufacturer and chances are you will be very satisfied.

Don Fischer's picture
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Welcome to BGH! I firmly

Welcome to BGH!

I firmly believe that the matter of quality scopes is way over played. Thinking of the ones you've mentioned, most are not top of the line but have worked well for you. Then you  read what a lot of different people say and usually the guys buying lower end scopes are not heard from. Instead we read about how you should spend most your money on a scope. I don't buy that either.

There are special situations where some certain scope of high value may be worth the money but, for most situations, scopes are simply sold to hunters. I've got a Bushnell Banner on my 25-06 thats older than a lot of guys on this site. Have two Redfields about 40yrs old still doing their job and I just gave away a Tacso World Class about 20yrs old to a kid that needed a new scope for his 17RF. That Tasco has been used on a 25-06 and my 6.5-06 and hasen't fallen apart or failed in any way.

I have seen some scopes with pretty hazy optics but not many and not in a long time. The origional Weavers were fine scopes but were hazy to look thru. Used to be thought that the air was clearer in Texas!

Just amazes me about how many good scopes are out there for under $200 for the hunter. I recently got a new Redfield; I think it was $139! Been a wonderful scope so far. Made by Luepold and with the same guarentee as any Leupold I believe it may be fine in the long run.

rgbwmb's picture
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Joined: 02/19/2011
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scopes

I agree with you that there are a lot of adequate scopes out there for the average shooter for reasonable money. I have seen too many Tasco, Bushnell sportviews, and other low end scopes that did not perform adeqately. Broken reticles, internal fogging, defective adjustment systems, and so on. My experience is better scopes cost more but perform better. I consider Pentax, Burris, Leupold, Nikon, Weaver as top of the line Affordable scopes. I dont consider the European scopes affordable with the exception of Zeiss Conquest series. The top of the line above mentioned scopes will cost well under $1000.00. Some of the Euros cost up to $3000.00. Would not and could not even consider that nor can most people. And with me it is not about status, it is about being confident that my scope will not be an issue when I need it the most. Again, Bushnell Elite, Burris Signature, Pentax Lightseeker, Leupold VX3, Nikon Monarch, Weaver Super Slam, Zeiss Conquest. And with the exception of the Zeiss you can get a $200.00 scope from each of these manufacturers and get a very good scope. Im sorry but I just cant recommend Tasco products...seen the most failures from them. There are always the Barska's out there but are you willing to lay down $75.00 for a 3-10x44 scope to put on your 300wby and take it on a Colorado elk hunt? Thanks for your imput and that is why I posted this topic. By the way, Im selling the Weaver Super Slam and have a Pentax Lightseeker on the way...my last Pentax spoiled me...

Topgun 30-06's picture
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rgbwmb---I'm pretty much with

rgbwmb---I'm pretty much with you on your posts here!  An awful lot of people have not looked through good glass and that's why a lot of comments are made that there isn't much difference in scopes.  Most probably don't even know scope terminolgy or realize that a lot of companies are advertising their scope as coated or multicoated, when the top of the line products are fully multicoated as you stated.  You get what you pay for and if a person hasn't looked through good glass they don't know what they are missing.  I'm partial to the Leupold brand, but if I was going to advise someone who didn't have the money to buy one of them, it would now be the Redfield line they have purchased and that has their same warranty. 

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Well, yes and no -06.  Just

Well, yes and no -06.  Just because we haven't looked through good glass, does not mean that we feel the difference justifies getting the high end ones.

I could look through a $1,000 scope all day, and then look through a $150 scope at the same animal, and have no problem shooting it with either. 

I have seen complaints about scopes in both price ranges.  I think it's simply whatever you get used to using, and like, you will support.  Kinda like Ford vs. Chevy guys.  Both are good vehicles, but some of those guys wouldn't be caught dead in the other one.

I use a Bushnell trophy scope on my 30-06 here in CA, one I owned before I won 2 of them on this site Wink, and I can tell you with utmost confidence, that I have not had it fail me when I needed it, and I have not found myself wishing I had a "better" one.  Same with my Leupold 4x that I have on my 30-30 in Vermont.  I don't find myself saying "I wish all my scopes were Leupolds!".

I think it's simply a matter of preference.

But, a good discussion piece, none the less. Yes

Critter's picture
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I think that the quality of

I think that the quality of scopes is going to be in the way that they are put together and what they use to do it.  As far as the optics inside them I personally believe that they are pretty much the same but then you don't usually look through a scope for a couple of hours.  I have seen problems with quite a few different scope manufactures and for my money I'll stick with just a few to spend my money on.  They are Leupold, Burris, and Nikon in that order and I may even throw Redfield back into it since they are now being made by Leupold.  Also from my experience with them you couldn't give me a Tasco, I have seen way too many problems with them all the way up to their banner line.  A friend of mine has a Nikon that has been sent back to the factory 3 times.  They keep fixing it but I think that it should of never came back to the owner the second time.  The problem with it is that it fogs up.

Now if you want to talk about binoculars then you get what you pay for.     

hunter25's picture
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I have spent up to 800 for a

I have spent up to 800 for a Zeiss and as low as 30 for a Simmons. I don't think I got what I expected from the Zeiss although it is a very good scope. The Simmons is still serving well on a .243 7 years after it was installed. Most of my purchases now run from 200 to 400 and I have been very happy with all of them. NIkon, Burris, and Leupold is all I buy now and will continue to do so.

Leupold will probably be the bulk of any future purchases due to the level of customer service they have given me.

rgbwmb's picture
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Joined: 02/19/2011
Posts: 25
quality optics

Well, I just purchased a new Pentax Ligtseeker XL 4-16X44 with ballistic plex reticle. I did a side by side comparison against the Weaver Super Slam 3-15X42. Here is the verdict...Pentax has superior optics, Weaver better build quality. The lightseeker is brighter with a wider field of view and is like looking through a window. The Weaver is like looking through a tunnel. Not so much a bad thing but the Pentax has the edge in glass. The Pentax is the old Burris body. If you look at the new Burris signature line they are a new design. I will be putting the Pentax on my 300 mag.

rgbwmb's picture
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Quality Optics

Well I just received a Vixen 4-16x44 and here is the scoop on this brand...it is getting shipped back and a refund is coming. When I looked through the scope, at about 1 o ckock to 3 o clock I could see the edge of the glass where it looks glued in or something. I compared this and 3 other scopes side by side. The Vixen is inferior to even an older Bushnell Scopechief. Smallish field of view but with bright optics. Will not be purchasing another Vixen. The specs sounded good though. So far it is the Pentax Lightseeker as the standout scope in the $500 range with the Weaver Super Slam in 2nd place. I still seek quality scopes for less and going by the specs I tried the Vixen. If I can find a closeout price on Nitrex I may try one of them as they are part of the Weaver family. Make no mistake though, my rifle sports a Pentax Lightseeker 4-16x44 ballistic plex.

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