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Thread: Categories of Scope Buyers

  1. #1
    Boolit Master hornady308's Avatar
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    Categories of Scope Buyers

    Categories of Scope Buyers

    Something that most of us on firearms forums have noted is that, anytime someone asks about the quality or dependability of a certain brand of scope, there will be those who chime in loudly with their views on the subject. Rather than having to continuously explain their views on scopes, I thought it might be much easier to create four categories in which most scope buyers fit. This way, a person can simply say, "I'm in Category X", so they won't need to say anything else in there response. Below are the four categories I have created. I welcome any and all comments and insults.

    Category 1
    This group of scope buyers is made up of unapologetic cheapskates that use the least expensive scopes available. Their scopes are made in China and sold by Tasco, BSA, Bushnell, NcStar, Barska, TruGlo...you get the idea. These scopes are usually sold in clamshell packaging and hang on hooks in Walmart. There's no need to keep these scopes behind a counter because no one is going to steal them. These scope buyers always say things like, "I've had that scope on my rifle for X number of years and it's always held zero." These buyers have an advantage because, if their scope breaks, a quick trip to Walmart remedies the problem. Typical scope models in this category include the Simmons Blazer, Tasco Pronghorn, anything made by NcStar or BSA, and any scope that retails for less than $100 and includes a laser, flashlight and lighted reticle. Scope buyers from the other categories love to mock the people in category 1, and claim that category 1 shooters like to put 6-24x50 scopes on top of Marlin 30-30's and Handi rifles.

    Category 2
    These scope buyers are "frugal" and are continuously looking for the best deal for the money. They'll buy a Simmons Aetec, Bushnell Trophy, entry-level Leupold/Burris, or even an old Weaver K-4. They'll also snatch up any used Burris, Nikon or Leupold that comes their way at a great price. They shun the cheap scopes loved by category 1 users, but don't own anything made in Western Europe due to the high cost. Category 3 and 4 users look down their noses at those in Category 2 for being too cheap to buy a really good scope and pay full price.

    Category 3
    Leupold users. Ask them any question about scopes and the answer is always, "Leupold." Their first child would be named Leupold if they could get their wives to go along with it. Any scope less than a Leupold is garbage and any scope considered better, as if that were possible, is over-priced. There's really no need for other scope companies to even exist.

    Category 4
    The pinnacle of scope buyers. These people won't use anything that wasn't made in Western Europe, with the possible exception of a Unertl. They are embarrassed that the Zeiss Conquest is assembled in the United States when it should rightly be made in Germany. All other scopes are beneath them. If tortured to within one inch of their lives, they will admit that the very best Leupold scopes are okay, but they'd rather not be seen using one. They are frequently found hanging out at gun ranges with their custom, blue printed guns proudly on display. And they really hope that you or some other unfortunate will glance over at their rig so that they can tell you all about it.

    I am definitely a member of Category 2 since I love to search ebay looking for Simmons scopes made in the Philippines. I also love Nikon factory refurbs, but only when they are on sale.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    Categories of Scope Buyers

    I'm not on there. I've been taking scopes off my rifles because I don't need them

    I know the categories are kind of a joke. In reality there are a lot more than four categories. When I do buy scopes I buy enough scope for the intended purpose of the gun. I always end up w/ Nikons due to their price point. All my camera gear, and my father's, is Nikon. Doesn't mean I won't buy another brand. But I haven't come across a better value.

    I've bought cheap scopes from Walmart and thrown them on 10/22s that the kids use. No point in putting a high dollar scope on one. There's a good chance the rifle will topple over or be dropped.

    At the end of the day buy what works for you. I honestly don't care what other people use or think about the scopes I use.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I'm a 3

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    Where do the OpticsPlanet devotees fit?
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master tigweldit's Avatar
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    I plan on spending as much on a scope as I did on the firearm. Not including the extra for good rings and mount.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    Categories of Scope Buyers

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Smith View Post
    Where do the OpticsPlanet devotees fit?
    Are they the people that like to wait months for products that were shown as "in stock"? Or have they gotten their act together?
    Last edited by dragon813gt; 11-13-2017 at 08:15 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master hornady308's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Smith View Post
    Where do the OpticsPlanet devotees fit?
    The four categories are really more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule. Optics Planet fans are sort of new age, and would be in a subcategory with those who like Vortex.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Hmm. Depends on the application. Sometimes Iím a 2, sometimes a 3, and sometimes a 4.


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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love Life View Post
    Hmm. Depends on the application. Sometimes Iím a 2, sometimes a 3, and sometimes a 4.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    So you're a 9.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master kens's Avatar
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    Well described.
    I have a good friend a solid Cat. 1, another friend is a solid Cat 3. Both of them are dead.
    I'm a Cat 2, moving past Cat 3, and closing in on 4.

    Have you seen the new line of scopes from Zeiss Terra?
    The Terra line would come in Cat 3.5.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    I guess I'm a 3.5. I own a Zeiss and a Vortex. I give a slight edge to the Vortex Viper PST over the Zeiss. The Zeiss is not a FFP, and the Vortex is. Both were in the same price category of under $1200. But above $800.

    I hope to grow up an be able to afford a S&B...
    Watch Your Top Knot!

  12. #12
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    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    So...what category are we to place Vortex optics? I bought my first one a several months ago, and am pretty darn impressed with the it...I know they offer different grades, but I bought one of their higher end models and would put it up against Leupold all day long. And for the record, all my other scopes are Leupold.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master kens's Avatar
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    I have a scope of each class Cat 1, Cat2 (K-4), and Cat4. I have no leupolds.
    I find it easy to better a Cat1, and my Cat2 K4 is hard to beat.
    I'm talking of low light resolution.
    The K4 is better than Cat1 by a wide margin
    But the Cat4 is better than the K4 by a narrow margin.

    It is easy to make a scope that works good in broad daylight, but it takes higher quality glass to work in low light resolution.
    In low light resolution, the quality of the glass trumps magnification power.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShooterAZ View Post
    So...what category are we to place Vortex optics? I bought my first one a several months ago, and am pretty darn impressed with the it...I know they offer different grades, but I bought one of their higher end models and would put it up against Leupold all day long. And for the record, all my other scopes are Leupold.
    I think the Vortex and Leupold folks should get their very own category @ 2.5.

    I use Lp on all my hunting centerfires, with Vortex on many of my 22LR's; with some crossover in between.

    I own mostly Lp's, but understand that they are not at the top of the heap, optically.
    You're paying for the excellent warranty & domestic manufacture instead of top-tier optical quality; I am fine with those trade-off's.

    Interestingly enough, a similar thing could perhaps be said about Vortex - good optics and /excellent/ warranty for a very competitive price.
    I do think that these two scope lines are attractive to the same sorts of folks.

  15. #15
    Boolit Man
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    There are the young guys with a $6000 scope on each rifle,and another 'old scope' also a $6000 in the gunbag.And they dont mention the scope,just tell you why youre wasting your time without whatever custom B/R gun they have 3 of on the bench. Cat 5.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master lefty o's Avatar
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    there is cat 1, and everyone else. im in 2-4.

  17. #17
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    There are "sleepers" that most Cat 2-4 people think are in Cat 1, but should be in Cat 2
    IMHO, Simmons Aetec, Bushnell TrophyIf they are stamped "made in China", then these aren't those sleepers and don't really belong in Cat 2.

    What I'm speaking of, is basically it's the older Japanese made optics (1980s and 1990s)...they may have a familiar name or they may not...(and Yeah, I will include the Philippines made Simmons Aetec)

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
    runfiverun's Avatar
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    vortex owners are right in there at the Leupold level...#3
    many of them will happily buy one or the other.
    it just depends on which one fits the rifle and happens to co-incide with the amount of cash they have on hand at the moment.
    if they got 400 its a 400$ scope if they got 800 it's an 800$ scope.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  19. #19
    Boolit Master 35 shooter's Avatar
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    I've been a category3 most of life....love the leupy's. Last year however, i tried a bushnell banner 3x9 for $80.00 on my .308 mauser, and while it's as bright as the leupy, it's not quite as good in showing "fine detail". However, for general target shooting and hunting, i wouldn't spit twice for the difference in them. The click adjusts on the little bushnell track perfect, just like the leupy.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master therealhitman's Avatar
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    I currently identify as a Cat 2.5 (Yes I have some Vortex glass) but am planning on transitioning to a full 3 asap.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check