View Full Version : "Mid-Price" Scope Experiences?
10-11-2011, 02:47 PM
I have two boys starting their rifle deer hunting this year. I have rifles enough but I always seem to find myself short of scopes. For "Boy's Rifles" I plan to purchase mid-grade scopes. I've had excellent results to date with Burris Fullfield IIs and Weaver Classic Vs but after looking at a few web sites I'm considering trying some other brands in roughly that same "under $200" price range.
Does anyone here have experience with the new Leupold manufactured Redfields? Can you offer opinions or advice?
Does anyone have experience with the Weaver Nitrex scopes? Natchez is closing them out at some deep discounts. Opinions? Any real-world results?
Thanks in advance!
10-11-2011, 06:02 PM
Look at Sightron. Not sure what prices are now, but they were the best bang for the buck a while ago.
10-11-2011, 06:05 PM
i have several burris FFII scopes in 3-9x40 with the reticles with the bullet drop hash marks. i love them, but they don't seem to draw in the last speck of daylight like the redfield revolution 2-7x33 i have on my 45/70. i love that scope. i recently got a nikon prostaff 2-7 and it seems quite good as well. stay away from any bushnell model under the 3200, and any tasco or simmons in my experience.
10-11-2011, 07:14 PM
IMO Burris is the best product on the market at that price point. I have several.
10-11-2011, 08:07 PM
Nikon prostaff is good for the money
10-11-2011, 08:14 PM
The new Redfields are a decent scope in my limited experience. I've been playing with one on a 9.3x62 and have carried it in some inclement weather while hunting and have put about 260 rounds of 286 gr goodness through it. I like it.
I had tried the Leupold VXI but wasn't that impressed with the clarity or brightness. These redfields seem clearer and brighter to my eyes. Having a lifetime warranty with Leupold makes the Redfield a better choice than the Bushnell 3200 IMO.
10-11-2011, 08:14 PM
Burris isn't bad, not great either. I won't buy another Burris or Tasco as long as Vortex Optics is in business. Their Crossfire line is second-to-none, clarity of a $400 Leupold at well under $200. Check out the Crossfire here: http://www.vortexoptics.com/category/riflescopes
10-11-2011, 09:14 PM
I would give Vortex a serious look. I've got a pair of their binos and I love them. Check with Camera Land. They have some great deals.
10-12-2011, 02:49 AM
I had two of the redfields and got rid of both. Neither had ajustments that would track reliably. Sometimes a click would get you a 1/4 inch and sometimes an inch. Both went back to redfield and still did it. the turnent ajustments seem real mushy too. They did have good optics for the money though. hate to burst your bubble but optics in that price range are all compromises. Redfields- good glass pour mechanicals, burris- fair optics and ive had more problems with burris scopes failing then all others combined, nikon prostaff- poor optics but good mechanicals, luepold rifleman- poor optics and i detest friction adjustments. Anymore i steer clear of all of them. For the most part i buy luepold vx2s or vx3s or nikon monarchs. I know there a big step up in cost but both can be found for a bit under 300 bucks if you look and youll never regret the fact you had to go without a bit longer to save for them. If i was pinned down and had to buy at that price range. Id check out cammeraland. there closing out some of the cheaper vortex scopes right now and have excellent prices and the one vortex diamondback I have seems like a decent scope. Ive got a set of vortex razor binocs and there a hell of a bang for the buck although that bang isnt really cheap either. Time will tell though. Nice thing is that vortex has great customer service but then so does nikon and leupold.
10-12-2011, 03:14 AM
heres a link to that vortex closeout sale http://www.go2gbo.com/forums/index.php/topic,242714.0.html
10-12-2011, 08:19 AM
Unlike other posters here,
I am really happy with the Leupold VX1.
besides this newer VX1 that I have,
I also have a few older Leupolds...A Vari-XII and Vari-XIII and a couple of
quite old M8-4X 's.
Honestly I can't really tell any difference in brightness from them to the newer VX1.
Maybe I need to compare it to a Vortex Optics sometime.
I see Cabelas has a Vortex 3x9x40 for $139.
I should clarify I don't really hunt with rifles, I do shoot in leagues,
our range faces west, our meets are in the late afternoon/evening.
Big time sun problems...
So my problem arises from TOO much light as opposed to dusk/dawn hunting in low light conditions.
Most cheap scopes used in this "too much light" will only see grey and nothing else
even with a sunshade.
I also have a fondness for older japanese made optics (from the 60s and 70s)
Universal, Optex, Valor, and other. These are great scopes for gunshow prices
in the $20 to $40 range....and are 100 times better than the
new chinese junk at twice the price.
Herb in Pa
10-12-2011, 12:53 PM
I would not hesitate to purchase another Nitrex scope. I purchased the 6x20 model for my 204 Ruger
build. Clear optics and repeatable clicks.
10-12-2011, 04:12 PM
... hate to burst your bubble but optics in that price range are all compromises.
No bursting of bubbles. This is just the kind of advice I was hoping for. I realize that you can't get world-class optics at bargain prices. ALL designs are compromises - at any price point - but if you get enough of the features that you need you can sometimes "make do" with less than the best. That's what I hope to accomplish here.
For the scope on a boy's first deer rifle I'd hope to get reliability first. That means good sealing so that it doesn't fog, and adequate mechanical strength to stand up to modest recoil and perhaps (Heaven forbid!) bumps and knocks from careless handling. Those boys are pretty young yet.
Next down on the list would be optical quality. Fairly good image quality and fairly good light transmission will serve.
Less of a concern would be accuracy and repeatability of adjustments since they will be zeroed and hopefully left untouched for a few years.
Thanks to each of you for your input. It appears that buying "mid range" optics really IS a roll of the dice, with some getting great results and others left unhappy.
I'm still looking hard at those discounted Nitrex scopes at Natchez. Any Nitrex experiences to report?
10-12-2011, 04:24 PM
I have a 4-12x40 Redfield with their duplex. I'm really happy with it. The glass is good, very clear, and no distortion at max magnification. For a mid-range, you can't beat a Leupold-made Redfield. Just avoid the DOA reticle. IMO scopes with bullet drop compensators are just gimmicks designed to make you spend more. The DOA kinda clutters the optic, too. Also, Optics Planet is a great place to shop. I'm a FFL/accessories dealer and their prices are not too far from wholesale if you include the free shipping they offer a lot.
10-12-2011, 06:35 PM
CaneraLand just sent out an email with Vortex scopes. Send me your email in a pm and I'll forward it to you.
10-12-2011, 08:12 PM
No experience with Nitrex, but I'll guarantee you will have PREMIUM durability and very decent optical quality (good lenses, very good color quality, clarity, and light transmission, no parallax problems or crosshair shift) with a Crossfire scope. I have both the 4-12x40 and 3-9x40 and wouldn't hesitate to take them anywhere, in any conditions. I liked the 3-9 so much I took the VXII off one of my rifles and put it on my 10/22, to be replacedw the 4-12 Vortex Crossfire. BIG improvement. Check out the youtube vids of some independent torture-testing done by a bait/gunshop owner way up north.
One more thing, if you haven't already heard of or used them, the Burris Signature Pos-Align rings with the plastic self-aligning inserts that can also be changed out with different offsets to get your zero closer to the natural zero of the scope and minimize adjustment.
10-12-2011, 08:24 PM
There are a lot of good mid grade scopes out there today probably a better selection now than any other time ever. I really like Burris their customer service is great. My daughter had a Burris scope that was submurged for 6 weeks after Katrina and it did not leak. It did not look to great but Burris checked it out took it apart cleaned it and when I received it back on Burris's dime it looked like new. Look at the insides of a Burris as to their durability and where they are made. Hard to find a US made product anymore. Nikon Buckmaster is another good midrange scope to look at also. Everyone here has given their opinion and expoieriences so it still will be a difficult decesion. GM
10-13-2011, 04:59 AM
I got a Sightron scope last year that I think is a very good scope for the money. The latest scope I purchased is a Leupold Rifleman series. A really nice scope for about $200.
10-14-2011, 10:14 AM
I have a redfield on my Marlin 375 and I've not had any issues.
As to the original question I'll have to give a +3 to the Sightron. Very good scopes for the money. Have had many brands over the years. The old ElP Weavers had cruddy glass but they seemed to do well. Also in that earlier cheap type the Bushnell Banner wasn't at all bad. I still have 3 of the OLD Redfields, pre-TV screen era. They are all very, very good. Have tried a couple of Burris over the years and more money than performance. They seem to suffer from fuzzy edges and limited eye relief syndrome. Of course the Leupolds are all very, very good.
The only scopes that I can remember that seemed to cr@p out on a regular basis were the Redfield mid-price scopes from about 15 years ago- very poor!
10-14-2011, 08:16 PM
I was in sportsmanship warehouse the other day and heard someone ask the salesman in the gun department a very similar question.
He said "any of these will do fine for your kids rifle as long as you stay away from the ones in the blister packs".
Kind of the same Thing you heard here. Must be good advice.
10-14-2011, 10:04 PM
A friend of mine bought one of the new Redfields a couple of months ago. He twisted one of the turrents off trying to sight it in. I was not impressed. It was a $125 scope.
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