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View Poll Results: From these scope brands, which is best for money?

Voters
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  • Barra

    0 0%
  • Bushnell

    12 8.63%
  • Nikon

    14 10.07%
  • Vortex

    24 17.27%
  • Leupold

    62 44.60%
  • Weaver

    9 6.47%
  • Burris

    18 12.95%
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Thread: Rifle scopes, the good, bad and ugly

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

    Dieselhorses's Avatar
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    Rifle scopes, the good, bad and ugly

    Honestly, all the years I have shot rifles, I've always not paid much attention to scope quality. To me, it either worked or it didn't. Until yesterday, when I went to a new range to test out my brand new Bushnell 12.5x50 Dusk to dawn on my Savage Axis .308. I have used Bushnell in the past with good results. I thought maybe if I "upped" the magnification along with lighted reticles it may give some advantage-WRONG. It's almost like reticles not adhering to adjustments I made.

    I started out at 50 yards (after bore sighting) and couldn't make a group for nothing! Got 2 on paper nowhere close to each other! Was using Winchester 170 gr sp's. Was sitting and using nylon ammo bag to prop.

    My MAIN question is, (since I can't afford a 700.00-1000.00 scope) what is the most used, stay accurate, dependable scope in low to medium price category? (I intentionally left out "Simmons, Tasco and Barska but you welcome to comment on these!)
    Last edited by Dieselhorses; 01-11-2020 at 07:00 PM.
    The unexamined life is not worth living----Socrates
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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    I'm sorry to hear about your experience!
    Short of a loose reticle, your post sounds like a loose mount or rings. I can't say I am a huge Bushnell fan, but I think your optic attachments are likely the culprit.
    Fwiw, Primary Arms makes a nice, affordable scope.
    Good luck!

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  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I have had issues similar to what you mention with the occasional Bushnell scope as well.
    When I replaced the scope, the groups tightened up and stayed tight.
    Leupold, Vortex, Nikko/Sterling and the target level Weaver scopes are the ones I have experience with that track well and hold zero.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy MrHarmless's Avatar
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    Leupolds VX-3 line is fairly affordable compared to the VX-5 and 6, and is a big step up from their Rifleman line.

    Vortex has recently broken into the market with extremely high price to performance ratios. They're great scopes for the money. The Crossfire II in 3-9 x 40 is super popular. They also have an absolute no BS warranty. You send them a box of parts. They send you a new scope, no questions asked.

    Primary Arms makes some good scopes for the money as well.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    lefty o's Avatar
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    none of them make best for money scopes across the board, though imo several have some bright point in their lines. though from what i have seen recently, nikon is out of the scope making business, so id say they are in last place.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    For the money I've always liked Nikon scopes, and own several--but I think they're going to discontinue making scopes.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Leupold is the best when considering your dollar into proportion to what glass you get. I used to be a vortex guy. They make good scopes and are inexpensive and come with their lifetime warranty. Problem is, that I hAve had to use that warranty 3 times so far.

    So far when I have switched to the 3 Leupold that I have, the glass is better and no warranty redemptions.

    How much better is the glass? My opinion is the vx-freedom line is much better than the vortex. This is comparing the vx-freedom to the crossfire, diamondback, and a diamond back HD that I had.

    Now keep in mind, I'm not paying list price for leupolds. I find them right at the minimum mfg pricing.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    I like the burris scopes. I have the fullfield 2 with ballistic plex on several rifles and have leupold on several. Burris is bright, clear, and has lifetime warranty and cost a lot less.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I voted Bushnell but really all mt scopes for the last 5 years have been Simmons. Several 3x9s, pair of 4x12's, a couple of 4x pro diamonds. And a 1.5x5.

    I have yet to have to replace one. Granted they don't get a lot of use these days.

    Most were in the 60$ range although I picked up 2 at local pawn shop, NIB for 20$.

    I guess I just don't see the point in spending twice as much on glass than I did for the rifle.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    The last 3 scopes I've bought are Vortex Diamondbacks. Two 3-9x 40s and a 3.5-10 x 50. On sale, they were $150-$180. Nice clear, sharp glass. I'm sure higher end scopes would be better, but these work well for me. I easily get 10-15 minutes more shooting light with the diamondbacks than the old Redfield I used before.

  11. #11
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    I like the Nikons I have 2, one on a CZ 527 17 HH (3.75x14) the other on a SRH 454 (2x6) both Prostaff variables with BDC recticals. For their prices under $300 they are just fine for my needs. Very clear glass. The 454 has had about 200 hot rounds under it and still holds zero. I have Leupolds on other guns too but they are not this inexpensive but still great glass.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    I learned my lesson. Dropped my rifle during a hunt and scope lost its zero.

    Tracking and glass are important but so is robustness. The least expensive scope I have purchased in the last 10 years is the Vortex Diamondback that I got on sale at the end of last year. Have not mounted it yet so cannot comment on how it tracks. Next one up is the Vortex Viper on my hunting rifle and it tracks very well.

    I agree that the warranty is small comfort if a scope fails on a hunt. I have cheaper scopes on guns used for punching paper but will replace them with better ones if they fail.
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    NRA Endowment Member

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master






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    toss up between Nikon, leupold, vortex and burris. Its more the price point you pick out of that bunch then one being better then the other. Bushnell are decent too if you get into there 3200 4200 range and away from the cheap ones.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dieselhorses View Post
    Honestly, all the years I have shot rifles, I've always not paid much attention to scope quality. To me, it either worked or it didn't. Until yesterday, when I went to a new range to test out my brand new Bushnell 12.5x50 Dusk to dawn on my Savage Axis .308. I have used Bushnell in the past with good results. I thought maybe if I "upped" the magnification along with lighted reticles it may give some advantage-WRONG. It's almost like reticles not adhering to adjustments I made.

    I started out at 50 yards (after bore sighting) and couldn't make a group for nothing! Got 2 on paper nowhere close to each other! Was using Winchester 170 gr sp's. Was sitting and using nylon ammo bag to prop.

    My MAIN question is, (since I can't afford a 700.00-1000.00 scope) what is the most used, stay accurate, dependable scope in low to medium price category? (I intentionally left out "Simmons, Tasco and Barska but you welcome to comment on these!)
    Was the load "proven" as accurate in the .308W rifle?

    Many times "upp(ing)" the magnification along with lighted reticles it may give some advantage-" does not until we get used to it, especially higher magnification.

    As to not 'tracking" you don't mention how many shots for group were made between adjustments....were you making adjustments from center of group or chasing the bullet holes?

    "Was sitting and using nylon ammo bag to prop." ….might try a more stable position next time, especially with higher power when not used to it.

    Might consider many times a problem is not equipment related but self induced operator error......not criticizing, just saying based on my own experiences in the past.
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 01-12-2020 at 09:42 AM.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I have had great luck with Nikon, Vortex, and Burris and Leupold as well. I have about 9 Nikons from cheapest to very expensive, with no issues on guns that have been hunted hard for years. The same can be said for Burris. I had Burris one that quit tracking, wont hold zero that is being sent back for repairs. Zero issues with Vortex, and Leupold, but Vortex is fastly becoming my favorite.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    IMO the Burris Fullfield 2 provides the most scope for the money, I have them in 2-7, 3-9 and 4.5-14. I have quite a few Leupold's - VX3i, older VXIII, VX2 whatever, I have multple Nikon's - exceptionally sharp image, reliable, track prcisely but discontinued. No experience with Vortex. I do have a few Simmons that have held up very well over the years. Over the years I've had Leupold, Burris, Weaver, Bushnell, Tasco fail. The newer scopes are much more durable, track much better, and are much brighter and more clear than even 10 years ago. If I was on a limited budget, the Burris Fullfields is my choice. I 'two scope' a couple rifles, a 1-5 or 2.5-8 Leupold for hunting, a Burris Fullfield ii 4.5-14x42 for load development, range practice, and back-up when hunting.

  17. #17
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    Most of my scopes are Leupold. In the few instances where I had problems with them (not their fault) they either repaired it, or sent me a new scope. They are like the RCBS of the scope world. I've had nothing but excellent service from them, and that's why I keep buying Leupold.
    Last edited by ShooterAZ; 01-12-2020 at 12:33 PM. Reason: typo

  18. #18
    Boolit Man
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    Although I am a Burris fan, the Leupolds I have win me over. Had I started with a Leupold over the Burris the first "good" scope that I bought, it would be a Leupold. Amazing quality and tracks like a champ. On our hunting rifles, the wife and I have made the switch to a fixed 6x Leupold and couldn't be happier.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I voted Leupold, but I've had the best luck with Redfield revolution scopes lately. I have been replacing older scopes with them, and I have 4 as of now, and plan to buy a few more when I get the funds. I haven't had one single problem with them, but if I did they are covered under the leupold warranty. Vortex is another I'd like to purchase, cause I've heard very good things about them!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I just feel like leupold is the safe option if you don't want to try 10 brands

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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