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Thread: Categories of Scope Buyers

  1. #21
    Boolit Master

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    I guess I’m a solid 2. I’ve never spent more than $200 on a scope and don’t believe I ever would. I don’t hunt though, or shoot long range or bench rest.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master



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    The high end Jap scopes like Nightforce dominate a lot of the long range games.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by therealhitman View Post
    I currently identify as a Cat 2.5 (Yes I have some Vortex glass) but am planning on transitioning to a full 3 asap.
    That's funny because until recently I had nothing but Leupold, but a few years back I sold off two Lp AO's to buy /four/ Vortex AO's for some of my more accurate rimfire rifles.

  4. #24
    Moderator

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    Thanks for the laugh for sure. At one point before I knew better I was a Cat 1, the. graduated to car 2 and 3. My last 3 scopes I bought was a Burris XTR, Bushnell 6500 and a trijicon rifle scope. The last 3 are superb scopes. I believe you get what you pay for and there is also the law of diminishing returns. You can get a really nice general purpose scope these days from $200-400 depending on specific features the buyer wants.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master
    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    Stick me in cat 3. I have a few cheaper ones that I've gotten (Nikon free with purchase etc) but typically I just buy a leupold and call it done. I like to eyeball the nicer stuff every now and then but I can't justify the price to myself let alone my better half.
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  6. #26
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
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    I guess I'd be a 3.5
    I can almost promise you if a 1 or 2 scope guy gets his hands on, and uses, a high end scope it would be hard to go back down to wally world stuff.
    I does not have to be a $1500+ scope either.
    The difference in quality from a $200 to $400 scope is a lot.
    The difference between a $400 and $800 is even more.
    Most all out of the box rifles today are VERY accurate. I will spend my money on higher end optics all day.
    You never see too many people with a Sako and a Tasco on it.
    I do see LOTS of Ruger Americans with optics that are well north of the cost of the rifle.
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    Proverbs 1:7

  7. #27
    Boolit Master


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    Some cannot justify the added investment. Some just cannot afford it.

    I found it much easier to have good scopes as I pared down the number of rifles I owned.

    If all you have ever eaten is Salisbury steak, spending $15/lb for fillet seems silly. I suspect the vast majority of Cat 1 and 2 folks have never shot with a higher end scope or shot long range or shot competitively.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  8. #28
    Boolit Man
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    the trouble with moving upmarket is you cant take an old hanky out of your pocket and clean the lenses of a $1500 scope,or you will soon have a $200 scope.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    I guess I'm in the 3-4 zone. Before I got back into smokeless guns I shot air rifles alot, 30-60+ shots per day. Looking through foggy/blurred glass sucks. I probably would have tried some cheaper scopes but went weremthe warrenties are at. Springers are known scope destroyers. The other problem is alot of the scope don't have parallex adjustmentmdown to 10-12m.

    That said, I not a real fan boy of the Vortex glass, alittle foggy to me. I think leupold has better glass than night force. The place to check clarity on a rifle scope is not in tye box store but at dawn/dusk foggy fieldmconditions.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master



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    Even on cheap scopes clarity is rarely an issue anymore. Tracking and repeatability is a major issue even on the high end stuff. Not an issue for the average hunter/shooter but competitors that are using the knobs all the time will have scope failures. Not a matter of if but when.

    Cat. 5 really needs to be for shooter that truly need and understand how to use their high end scopes. Most of these shooters could care less who and where the scope is made as long as it tracks, repeats and holds zero 100% of the time.
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 11-15-2017 at 03:43 AM.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master
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    I would be a category 3 except that I've occasionally strayed to Nikon when my wallet couldn't take the abuse. I had a Nikon 2 x 7 for a long time because I couldn't afford the Leupold 1.75 x 6.

    The category 1 scopes sell a lot of rifles because people put cheap scopes on rifles and then proclaim the rifle "won't shoot" when in reality the scope will not hold a zero.

    Optics ARE one of those places where you get what you pay for. I agree there are diminishing returns and you probably don't need a $2500 European scope but I've never seen a low end scope that was "good enough".

    Frankly if Swarovski, Zeiss or others could compete in price with Leupold (and sometimes they do !), I'd put them in Cat 3. Of course that would defeat the reason that some users mount those scopes on their rifles.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    A scope needs clarity, repeatable, consistent adjustments and true as advertised magnification. I have found that in in your first three categories- and not. I've shot rifles with $1000 plus scopes and they are nice. I'm not a competitive shooter or a globe trotting hunter so I'll leave those alone. To trash someone's set up as inferior before you've seen it perform is just foolish. Guiding Antelope hunters is very revealing. The guys winning the equipment race are often not up to their gear. Just put me down as a 2 with good eyesight.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I sit on the fence between 1 and 2. Which way I lean depends on the application.

    I will never spend more for optics than I did for the gun.
    1/3 to 1/4 of gun price is my target.

    That means that I have Simmon's 4x12x40 scopes on my Handi rifles. And have some nice targets showing why.

    New guns are almost all getting Truglo 2x Red Dot sights at around 60$.

    Fast lineup and target acquisition, good for a variety of light levels. And the 2x helps bring those far targets closer in for old eyes.

    But would I ever put a 500$ scope on a 350$ Hipoint Carbine? Hell no.
    Same for 500$ Red Dot.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master
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    Well, I have a bunch of rifles and a bunch of scopes. Simmons, Weaver, Burris, Nikon Monarch, Leupold's Vari-X VX II,III,2,3,3i; YA KNOW, Leupold, Burris, Weaver, Tasco, Bushnell have all failed various ways. Recoil or vibration from living in a truck on washboard roads. The lower cost scopes work well on low recoil and heavy rifles that don't see tough conditions. Leupold, Burris, Weaver(El Paso), Bushnell fixed their stuff when I sent it back. Really cheap ones aren't worth the return. Now I Usually buy LeupoldVX-3i, Burris Fullfield II, or Nikon Monarch. Leupold is usually lighter, a consideration for rifles you actually walk around carrying. With a couple rifles I use a heavy Burris Fullfield 4.5-14 X 42 (Amazon $230) for load development and 'off-season fun' and swap to a light 2.5 or 4x Fixed (only leupold has light fixed power) to hunt. I stll shoot Simmons and Bushnell quite a bit. A Weaver 4-16 gets moved from rifle to rifle during load development. That $20 Bushnell 4x32 may be one of toughest bargains around. I do put $450 scopes on $200 rifles if the use warrants (8 hour drive with a 4-horse then 6 hours horseback pack-in, no place for scope failure)

  15. #35
    Boolit Master


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    GhostHawk,

    I read somewhere that our friends across the great pond spend a minimum of the cost of the rifle on the scope. They have a different perspective on the issue. I suspect that unlike Americans, they do not have as many guns in their possession and it is easier to justify a better scope.

    For punching paper and light hunting, scope failure is not a show stopper. MostlyLeverGuns gives an example of why a better scope is justified for serious hunting. But it is not for everyone.

    I have one really high end scope (Vortex Razor HD) on my sniper rifle. It is for SHTF, and if the gun rides in a Polaris over logging roads, or gets dropped, or I fall down a hill etc etc, it has a high likelihood of keeping its zero and tracking. If I ever need to use it, I may not be able to check the zero after an accident. One of the AR's wears an EoTech for the same reasons. If it good enough for the military, it should be good enough for when the SHTF.

    All of my other optics are much less critical and are less than $400. Good enough is good enough. But I will probably never buy a $150 sight again. YMMV
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  16. #36
    Boolit Master

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    I own categories 1 thru 4.

    Not trying to start anything.. but 2 rifles I have that I've hunted with for ? 27 years.. have a tasco and a bushnell scope on them.. and they take meat and eat out the center of the target when plinking... the rifles are nothing special either.. a rem 700 30-06 with the bushy.. and a quite old mossberg with the tasco.

    The name on the old tasco scope has pretty much worn off over the years.. and I'm glad.. because it always gets ribbed... even when I was the person walking out with full tags. It's like racism.. some people are just bigoted haters.. Could also be a 'small member' issue.. some people have to make up for poor skills by buying a very expensive optic to let them hit things.

    I remember taking a handgun safety class back in 1990.. I have a cheap blocky 1911'ish clone.. striker gun, no hammer.. plastic grips.. painted finish.. I think it was a Haskel 45.. unmarked fixed sights.. probably a 150$ gun, retail.. heavy.. blocky.. ugly. Guy in the next lane had a custom 1911.. custom grips.. scroll work all over.. skeletonized hammer. adjustable sights.. all the goodies and bells and whistles. It cost a bundle and he was proud of it.

    This was back when you had to pass the class, to 'pass' the class.. and you stayed untill you passed.

    I left early, he was still shooting when i left. He had a great gun.. he just couldn't shoot... People forget that as long as your gear is functional.. most of the success/fault is on the user... people have a hard time taking personal responsibility these days.

    If they missed.. it's because of a cheap scope..... that's how they justify it... just saying...

  17. #37
    Boolit Master
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    I'm a 2, or more closely a 2.75. I scrounge old quality used scopes at yard sales and used rifle take-offs if they were from a quality period, but I also have a full complement of Burris and Vortex and Nikon scopes on my rifles.
    Pain heals, chicks dig scars, glory ... lasts forever.
    Retired USN
    NRA Life, NAHC Life

  18. #38
    Boolit Master

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    I suppose I'm low rent but I have good neighbors , I'm at most a low 2 probably a strong 1 . My last purchase was a Nikon but it was on sale for around 200. my scopes are in the 125. - 300. Range . I shoot with some buddies that keep trying to get me to up my glass but like I tell my wife , you shouldn't spend more on your pocketbooks than you have in it . As long as you can see and hit what your shooting at I say enjoy it .

  19. #39
    Boolit Master

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    Exactly.. Why fix what ain't broken!

  20. #40
    Boolit Master
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    I'm in the zero category, that would be folks that every time they think about getting a scope because open iron sights are getting harder to use with time (I think the metal gets fuzzy or something) They seek out the wisdom of experienced people and run into all the different groups who advocate more is better and ignore it's a sporterized Enfield going to punch some paper not going out on safari or float plane hunting trip to Alaska wilderness. So then I read the Amazon reviews, which are all over the place (same scope can be second coming and devil incarnate depending on who did the review) so with some vague "knowledge" I go to gun shows looking for deals that wouldn't be recognized amongst all of the underpriced and overpriced piles of scopes.

    Eventually the zero group just goes ahead and buy a mold, set of dies, some gas checks and figure they will just aim for the middle of the fuzzy round thing at the far end of the range and see how it goes because it turns out actually being able to see the bulls eye clearly requires mucho money or is doomed to failure and if they spend even $5 too little they are just throwing the money away on equipment that will fail. If sex was this difficult we wouldn't make it to the second generation.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
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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