View Full Version : Recoil resistant scope

08-02-2013, 06:56 AM
Hi Folks,

The Leupold VX-3 2.5-8x36mm scope on my primary hunting rifle failed. Fortunately, it was during practice and not while hunting. It has been on the rifle for fewer than 500 rounds, but it is a very hard-recoiling rifle (350 gr bullet at 2400 fps). Leupold is going to fix it.

My concern is about next time. Iíll put this scope on another rifle, and I want to replace it with a scope that will not break. What is the most recoil resistant hunting scope out there?

Thanks, Tom

08-02-2013, 07:23 AM
Everything I have ever read says that a fixed power does better than a variable. If you have to go variable then Leupold is the way to go.
My 375 and 45-70 both wear a VX-III 1.75-6X and no problems so far. Granted they aren't developing the recoil your rifle is but I think that scope has a reputation for being a tough variable.

08-02-2013, 08:00 AM
For recoil tolerance maximize the following factors: lighter, simpler, smaller objective, and more expensive.

Also make very sure there is no flex between the rings. If you have two piece you may want to consider one piece mounts.


08-02-2013, 08:00 AM
It happens even with the best. A revolver is worse on a scope and I can't count all I have destroyed. My old Loopy, a Tasco and the Ultra Dot's are still going strong but I wiped out a Swift in 3 shots. Cheap red dots are ate for breakfast.
You are better off with a fixed power.

08-02-2013, 08:18 AM
If it was me, I would go with a Leupold fixed power scope, M-8 or whatever their newest designation is. Magnification would be 6X if you shoot a lot at 250+ yards, 4X if under 250. If you only hunt brush, there isn't any thing wrong with the 2ĹX either.

The only thing I am not very enamored with about the older M-8's that I have is that they have friction adjustments, not repeatable clicks. This doesn't matter for a hunting gun that is zeroed for one load and then never changed.


08-02-2013, 11:48 AM
I would recommend getting an older (pre VX-3) generation Leupold 1.5 x 5

I am a little leary of the newer generation Leupold scopes. I had two defective 2x handgun scopes recently!!
Leupold customer service quit answering my emails when I was not happy with the repairs!!

The folks in charge are not as concerned with quality control as they once were!!

I have seen a lot of them on hard kicking guns here in Alaska, on a lot of our hunters guns, and on a lot
of guide guns. Never heard of one failing. A friend has one on a .450 Ackley, his guide gun for 30+ years!! That thing kicks worse than a .378 Weatherby!!!

We had one on a loaner rifle that was kept in main camp for our clients. 300 Win. in a Ruger 77.
That rifle was not very well taken care of!! The scope was dented from falls on the scree slopes. Never failed!!

08-02-2013, 12:01 PM
It is more of the recoil pulse than the recoil itself. An air rifle will destroy a scope meant.for a 30-06. I have used a number of scopes and have not had one fail so I have been lucky. Any good quality scope by a major like leopold, nikon, nightforce etc should not fail if matched to the proper rifle.
IE: don't put a 22 rimfire scope on a 460 Weatherby and expect anything good to happen.
What rifle are you looking to scope? My friend has several rifles fr 223 to 7mm mag and swears by Leopold. I have nothing but good things to say about Nikons.

08-02-2013, 12:11 PM
I've got a 4.5X14X50 Chinese clone of a Leupold Mark 4 on several rifles and have had no problems. I even put one on a Marlin 450 for a few hundred rounds to see if it would fail. No problems. I won't spend more on a scope than on the rifle it serves.

08-02-2013, 01:32 PM
A fluke. I am not sure a better scope for the $$ exists than the VXIII line. I run them on all my rifles from a 260 to 404jeffery. The 404 pushes a 400gr bullet along @ 2200fps+. That rig has at least 500rds thru it & no ill affects.
The VXIII line is very rugged. I took a bad fall in MOntana one year down the side of the mountain in the dark. Nothing broken, but my 2.5x8 had a nice dent in it. I rechecked zero, still on. Sent it back to Leup after the hunt to check, it came back 100% & has been since. Leup will fix it but I would call it a fluke & move on.

08-02-2013, 02:16 PM
There is a difference between the VXIII and the VX-3 line

I would agree on the ruggedness of the VXIII

08-02-2013, 02:18 PM
I have had a cheapie Chinese made 6x42 Tasco scope on my 7.62 Enfield for over 10 years and it is still going strong. Luck of the draw I suppose.

08-02-2013, 05:31 PM
As was mentioned in one of the above posts, air guns are the hardest on scopes. The more powerful the air gun the quicker the scope shakes apart. The Crossman Co was not happy with the selection of scopes out there for their higher powered air rifles. They set out to design a shock proof scope that would hold up to just about anything. A few years ago Crossman rolled out their CenterPoint line of scopes guaranteed to hold up to a 416 Gigby, and their air rifles. The first one I bought I put on a mod 99 Sav in a 6mm-284, and I was quite pleased. I needed scopes for my Remington Ultra Mags so I bought one for my 300 RUM and also for my 7mm RUM. I have only put a couple hundred rounds through each, but once they were zeroed they have stayed that way.

CenterPoint optics seem to be well made and very good clarity. I have one on my AR and it rides around on the 4 wheeler with me all the time. That scope on my AR takes a real beating and it is still flawlessly zeroed as the day I mounted it. I use to love Redfields and the old jap made tacos. Now I will just keep buying CenterPoints. They are a bit more costly than a tassco, but it is worth the bit extra.

Best wishes


08-02-2013, 05:44 PM
Airgun scopes are made for FORWARD thrust, not that it is harsh, just the wrong direction.
A lot of glass is just glued in with no metal curl over the edge.
I have had to take a lot of Millet and Bushnell red dots apart and glue glass back in. I use steel bed and they will never again come loose. The cheap Chinese glue is brittle. Tasco makes them use good glue.

08-02-2013, 11:33 PM
Ruger 10/22 broke lots of scopes when they first came out. Bolt going forward and slaming shut was supposed to be the problem.

08-02-2013, 11:48 PM
dunno if he's still in biz, but JD Jones, the handgun hunter, marketed what he called the "tough SOB" pistol scopes. He'd know what rifle scopes are most shock resistant, I betcha. He used to make silencers, and developed the .300 Whisper rd for the SEALS.

08-02-2013, 11:50 PM
dunno if he's still in biz, but JD Jones, the handgun hunter, marketed what he called the "tough SOB" pistol scopes. He'd know what rifle scopes are most shock resistant, I betcha. He used to make silencers, and developed the .300 Whisper rd for the SEALS. his company is still in biz. Google for SSK Industries.

08-03-2013, 02:01 PM
I have used Leupolds for a long time but they are not the company they were 15 years ago, there is nothing inovative about there scopes anylonger!!
Not to mention I defiitely have a few!

I bought a fairly new (in years) companies scope a couple years ago and have been recommending them ever sense. They developed a new way to control the inards of there scopes so they can NOT lose there "0", now brother that is saying something!

Companys name: " Sightron". Check them out and make up your own mind.

08-04-2013, 09:52 PM
+1 on the one piece mounts.

Use a mount that bridges the action.

I have had really good results with this one.


08-05-2013, 07:59 AM
I've had good luck with Trijicon Accupoint on my 338 W Mag. Lately, Boddington, has been singing their praises on his African rifles.


08-06-2013, 02:18 AM
I use a Millett scope on my 460wby(pre buy out Millett) and have shot maybe 700 rounds threw it ranging from 300gr~500gr bullets. So far I've not shot the scope apart yet and the zero holds so its a winner. Not sure about the new generation of Millett scopes (since buy out) if they are as good.

Lead Fred
08-06-2013, 02:36 AM
I own, sell, and tell folks only about one scope



Have them on Win Mags, and Ultra Mags, even my odd six.

Nay A problem

Lloyd Smale
08-06-2013, 06:04 AM
you just had one of those incidenes where anything can fail. Even a porche breaks occasionaly. Leupolds variables have been used on dangerous game guns for years and are very rugged scopes. Id just put another one or the repaired one right back on it.

08-06-2013, 07:09 AM
Airgun scopes are made for FORWARD thrust, not that it is harsh, just the wrong direction.

Well, first I'd differentiate the two basic classes of air rifles. The spring piston are the worst. Pull the trigger and the rifle goes backwards in standard recoill direction as the piston goes forward. this takes any slack out and then when the piston gets to the end of its travel it causes a significant pulse in the opposite direction. I accelerometered one of mine, and found the magnitude of this forward pulse peaking at 4000 m/second squared.

The pre-charge style only recoil from spitting out the pellet, with a smaller hit from the hammer action. They are quite gentle in comparison. The UTG/Leapers SWAT are remarkably durable, and the guarantee is honored impeccably. The models with etched glass reticles are quite nice, and they are available in fixed power as well.

08-06-2013, 10:26 PM
My favorite "recoil proof" scope is the Leupold 3x9 with the S.A.B.E.R reticle. Mine has stood up to over 400 rounds from my .50 cal Accura using 120 grs of Blackhorn 209 and a 300 grain bullet. Same load has killed 2 Barskas (junk scope), and a Weaver V9 Classic.


08-07-2013, 06:45 AM
Even a porche breaks occasionaly.

You've clearly never driven a Porsche. They break all the time!

That said, I've never had a problem with a leupold scope either, but I only drive them on sundays and change the oil every 2500 miles... ;)

08-07-2013, 08:46 AM
I am old school, using old scopes that never broke. When a scope costs 3 times what the rifle cost and some of those fancy things and red dots reach 4 times, they can keep them.
I never broke a Weaver K model on anything and have $50 Bushnell's still going. I never broke a Leopold but ruined the soft tubes on Burris. Scopes too heavy and soft.
Today on my large revolvers I use the Ultra Dot fixed dots, never an adjustable one. Some heads up displays have one mounting screw and they break.

08-07-2013, 12:36 PM
I've seen too many failures to keep track of with many name brands. My personal experience with Leupold has been flawless, using rifles and "hand-cannons".
I have seen 2 returned by friends. The first was a vari-x model that wouldn't track properly with the windage turrent (It was new and apparently slipped through QC). The second was a v-x that fogged up internally after about 6 months of fairly mild service. Leupold handled both cases well.
An interesting visit to Houston's biggest gun show about 20 years back found me and a friend talking with a Marine sniper instructor at a large exhibit they had set up with several of their weapons, all wearing Leupolds. He said they were basically fail-safe, having held up through tortuous testing in adverse conditions... The same conclusion I had reached through experience in the mid-late '70s.
So far, they have served me well.

08-07-2013, 01:16 PM
My 300RUM trashed a Weaver and a Redfield. I had a BSA laying around I stuck on it. That was 4 years ago and it is still working fine. Go figure.