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Thread: What a difference a better scope makes!

  1. #1
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    What a difference a better scope makes!

    I recently purchased a Savage 110 in 30-06 that came with a heavy/varmint contour barrel from the factory. It is a bit unusual in that regard.
    It came with a Simmons 3X9 midrange price scope mounted with good rings. It was sighted in close enough that I didn't need to move things much to get right on target.
    I was getting acceptable groups for hunting with this setup but had been hoping for better.
    I had a different rifle that needed to go down the road that had a very nice 6X24 scope on it. I installed that scope on the Savage and took it to the range.
    Man, what a difference. I can actually see well enough to aim more precisely which of course helps. The scope undoubtedly tracks and holds point of aim better.
    I am now getting sub MOA groups out to 200 yards with match ammunition.
    This makes me wonder if putting an even better scope on the rifle would improve things further or if I have simply reached the limits of my abilities.
    I hate to spend the money for a high dollar scope just to see if I can gain a fraction of an inch at long range since I don't compete. This rifle will be a great hunting rifle as it is now.
    I already have a different rifle set up with a very good and higher dollar scope that can shoot better groups than I am capable of doing.
    What are your thoughts? Should I spring for a great scope and a set of great rings or leave it like it is?

  2. #2
    Boolit Man




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    I gave up on Simmons scopes when one of their.22 scope's reticles rotated after each shot until I ended up with an x instead of a +.

    Not being a rich man, I've never owned a Swarovski, Nightforce, or any other $1,000+ scope but have been very pleased with Leupold VX3i, and older versions. Resolution is noticeably better than with the cheapies.

    Also have recently bought a Sig Whisky3 on sale that looks promising but haven't bought a rifle to put it on yet.

    Had a first year 2.5 - 8X Vari-X 3 that I felt was not as bright as it should have been. Sent it back to Leupold 20+ years later, and got a brand new VX3 with an invoice that read "Updated scope" cost $0. That's how you keep customers loyal to your brand.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master




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    Good rifles deserve good sights. For some reason, I see shooters spend almost a month's salary on the latest whizz bang rifle and then choke when it comes time to put glass on it. I've helped a few try to sight in or ascertain why they can't shoot good groups and invariably you have to suspect a Walmart or package scope.

    The last couple of scopes that I've bought were Leupold; and while not top end anymore, they provide a good bang for the buck.

    And don't forget that the bases and rings are all part of the system too.
    Keep your powder dry,

    Scharf

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    Back in the day I helped out in a large firearms wholesale/retail business and was always amazed that a guy would spend thousands an a high grade rifle and mount the cheapest scope on nasty cheap mounts then come back and complain about the performance of the rifle!
    After learning a hard lesson early on when a cheap scope 'dropped' it's reticle, and I must have shot at least 3 feet over an 80 yard doe, I have always had good quality scopes and mounts. Leupold scopes and mounts are solid and reliable. The old US made steel Weavers were excellent and I had a few before I 'moved up' to Swarovski/S&B. Always liked Redfield (Leupold?) mounts and the defunct Ausie Tasco (no relation to the scopes) mounts.
    There are very few modern rifles won't shoot well enough but there's a lot of scopes and mounts out there that don't cut it, some of them extremely expensive.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master gnostic's Avatar
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    I'm experimenting with cheap, Bushnell 3x9's purchased on ebay for less than $25 each to my door. And, after visual inspection, the build qualities outstanding. I don't want to imagine how the Chinese do it for $25, but, the fit and finish is perfect.

    I'm going to compare these scopes side by side with one of my high end scopes. But just looking through them, they look really good. I'm hoping they hold up, but I'm ok with it if they don't.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Jack Stanley's Avatar
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    If you think you are at your limit but are happy with the setup . There's little sense to press for more unless you want to compete . The cheap scopes have their place in the market else the guys wouldn't buy 'em .

    Jack
    Buy it cheap and stack it deep , you may need it !

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  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    With Gnostic. I recently purchased one of the 'cheap' Bushnell 3-9's for my son's air gun and was surprisingly impressed with the lens quality. And it's holding up well to the spring gun.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I own one expensive scope I got on a rifle I traded for, otherwise most of my scopes are sub $150 which is the average for most "ok" scopes. I have had one scope fail on me, and that was a Redfield 3x9x40 ($40 was average then) which had an internal lens doing backflips. I took it back to the store and got an identical scope which lasted over 20 years on my .270 hunting rifle. I guess I am one of those that don't want my scope more expensive than my rifle. Since I don't compete I think all I need is something to give me a reference point and a scope that won't move on me after I tighten it down.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    Vortex is making good scopes at reasonable price points. They have a lifetime warranty.

    I learned long ago the false economy of a cheap scope. If you must save money, get a good fixed power scope. SWFA has some good ones.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  10. #10
    Boolit Master 308Jeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    Vortex is making good scopes at reasonable price points. They have a lifetime warranty.

    I learned long ago the false economy of a cheap scope. If you must save money, get a good fixed power scope. SWFA has some good ones.
    I became a big fan of Vortex when I picked up one of their 6.5-20's on clearance from Midway for $250.00. I can honestly say, I prefer that scope over the $1,000 Sightron SIII 8-32 I have on my F-T/R rifle.

  11. #11
    Boolit Man pertnear's Avatar
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    The progression of a shooter

    Quote Originally Posted by tazman View Post
    ....Man, what a difference. I can actually see well enough to aim more precisely which of course helps. The scope undoubtedly tracks and holds point of aim better....
    Isn't that great when that happens! It happened to me also years ago, switching out an old Weaver for a then new Leupold. I just shook my head & said "self, what have you been wasting your time not doing this for all these years? What an accuracy improvement!"

    Then I upgraded my shooting bags (old shot bags filled with sand) with a new adjustable shooting rest with forend stop & a set of matching leather bags with ears. Again, I just shook my head & said "self, what have you been wasting your time not doing this for all these years? What an accuracy improvement!"

    Then I decided to upgrade the trigger on my Remington 700 for safety reasons. Again, I just shook my head & said "self, what have you been wasting your time not doing this for all these years? What an accuracy improvement!"

    I can go on...

    I call it a bench shooter's epiphany. It usually starts with a scope upgrade.

    JIMHO...
    Last edited by pertnear; 07-28-2017 at 05:09 PM.
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  12. #12
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    What one has to remember the cost of the scope is directly related to the quality of the glass in the scope. I have over the years had many scopes and ended up with Leupold scopes, yes I have had many others and found out it isn't the price you pay as much as the quality the manufacturer puts into the scopes. Yes you can spend way north of $1000 for a scope or as little as a few hundred, what needs to be kept in mind is just how well does it work for you. If that few hundred dollar scope is the best you can afford don't think you got short changed because it just might be the best scope for you. I remember looking at a new scope and while looking I wandered over to the used scope section and found two that were as good or better than the new one I was looking at and their combined price was less than the new so I walked out with two for less than the price of the new one and never looked back or thought I got less.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    scope quality depends on what its needed for. a 1,0000$ leupold is **** if you need a simple fixed power 4x50 scope that works in low light at dusk in a pine tree plantation.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
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    Vortex, for MY money, is the best out there. I'm sorry but I'd rather spend $35 on a brick of primers than any scope for anything.
    You get what you pay for. Period. Glass clarity and tracking are very important to me. Most any out of the box rifle for $500 or less will shoot MOA or better.
    You can't hit what you can't see. Good optics are what separate ho hum groups from good ones.
    Okay. If all you shoot is at 100 yards, maybe YOU can get away with a $40 3x9x40
    I promise you will have problems getting your DOPE @ 500 yards with said scope.
    With my Vortex Viper PST 6x24x50 I can shoot groups from 300 yards out to one mile and back to 300 with consistent repeatability.
    This is with my Savage .338 Lapua.
    I have become a firm believer in buy the best glass you can afford. You will not be disappointed.
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by waco View Post
    I'm sorry but I'd rather spend $35 on a brick of primers than any scope for anything.
    You get what you pay for. Period. Glass clarity and tracking are very important to me. Most any out of the box rifle for $500 or less will shoot MOA or better.
    You can't hit what you can't see. Good optics are what separate ho hum groups from good ones.
    Okay. If all you shoot is at 100 yards, maybe YOU can get away with a $40 3x9x40
    I
    I have become a firm believer in buy the best glass you can afford. You will not be disappointed.
    Oh how many times I have made that speech to customers .. many will plunk down 500-1000 on a rifles and spend 200 on a scope and want to hit ants at 500 yds .. Boys I say you are backwards .. cant hit what you cant see . Then I have to start pulling scopes out of the case and prove it too them by going outside and looking at woods 200, 300 and 500 yds away
    yes this is great difference in what you can see at 300 to 500 yds with a GOOD QUALITY Scope
    once you can actually see it plainly then you stand a change of hitting it
    Like above if 100 yds is all you will shoot go for the cheaper scope
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  16. #16
    Boolit Man



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    You have customers that will spend $200.00 on a scope ??? I love the people that shell out 800 to 1000 dollars on a rifle, then as you work your way down the line of scopes until you get to the $39.95 Simmons, and then they say, "don't ya have anything cheaper".....

  17. #17
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    The fun part of this was the Simmons was clear and I could see well with it at 100 yards and ok at 200. Should have been good enough to group better than it did. Even at 100 yards I wasn't getting the good groups. Apparently the internals of the scope weren't as solid as they needed to be.
    The new scope hold zero well so I don't think I will be able to improve on it much.
    The first three shots at 100 with the new scope went into one slightly enlarged hole. I was getting consistent 1.25 inch groups at 200 with it. I can't complain.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    Vortex is making good scopes at reasonable price points. They have a lifetime warranty.

    I learned long ago the false economy of a cheap scope. If you must save money, get a good fixed power scope. SWFA has some good ones.

    I can't say much more but if you get a chance to use a higher end optic you will see it is worth buying the most you can afford.
    je suis charlie

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  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Huh? I thought $40 scopes were as good as $1500-$3000 scopes all day long?

    I kid, i kid.


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  20. #20
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
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    Hey Dick. Do you still have that .243 that Goodsteel built you?
    How is that thing shooting these days? I know you had him cut the barrel down and rechamber it after so many rounds.
    Still shooting okay?
    Walter
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    Proverbs 1:7

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