cost of scope vs cost of rifle

Discussion in 'Hunting Equipment, Gear & Optics' started by matt85, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    612
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    WA, USA
    ive always had trouble deciding on what price limit I should set for a particular rifle. for example if you paid $1100 on a rifle wouldn't it seem a bit out of place to spend $1200 for an optic to put on it? or perhaps im looking at this all wrong and the two prices should be kept separate with nothing to do with each other.

    how do you decide how much to spend on a scope for any particular rifle?

    -matt
     
  2. Areaonereal

    Areaonereal AH Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2013
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    11
    A scope can always be removed and transferred to a different rifle. I have found good scopes in the $500 range, zeiss conquest, vortex, leupold, all dependent on your budget. Transferring a scope from rifle to rifle is not
    a big deal. QR rings can be a convenient timesaver. Talley, leupold are great. Of course, as the tried and true backup there is extra insurance on a rifle with iron sights if the scope "shoots craps".
     
  3. desertloper

    desertloper AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    38
    Member of:
    SCI, NRA
    Hunted:
    RSA
    Never get cheap on glass..but also I don't believe a $2k scope is twice as good as a $1k. When comparing rifles-then you certainly get more for a "doubling down",IMO.

    Leupold VX-3 is my personal "go to" line, although I recently acquired a Trijicon..very nice, but not Made in USA. For my shooting needs,I couldn't begin to justify going higher. I do not need to spend the cash to get the Swarovski logo either.
     
  4. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    6,156
    Likes Received:
    185
    My Photos:
    32
    Member of:
    Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
    I buy Leupold or Nikon for the most part and they have never let me down. The most I ever paid was $560 for a scope. I always look for sales ahead of time.
     
  5. toxic111

    toxic111 AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hunted:
    Canada (BC, AB, & SK), Eastern Cape SA
    my personal rule is 50% of rifle cost for scope, though I have a few scopes that are the same or more than the riffle cost, but that is usually on rimfires.

    My most expensive scope is my leuopold on my tikka T3, and that was about 60-70% of value.
     
  6. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    6,156
    Likes Received:
    185
    My Photos:
    32
    Member of:
    Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
    I have a half dozen Simmons scopes on my rimfire and deer hunting guns and have never had a problem with them, but I would not take them "sheep hunting" or to Africa.
     
  7. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,168
    Likes Received:
    220
    My Photos:
    396
    Member of:
    KZN Hunters Assoc
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Canada, USA, Mexico
    I have never related the two costs during the selection process. Besides the ultimate function of overall budget.
    Why would you?

    Most rifles can shoot better than the guy handling them. Get the best you can afford.

    With both rifles and scopes personal preference is going to enter into the mix.
    This reticle, that finish, this objective, that weight, this magnification, that size tube, etc.


    What is the job you want it to do?
    See in the dark or very low light
    Magnification
    Long range
    Short range
    Handle big recoil
    Carry it all day long up Mountains

    Some of these things relate to the rifle you are mounting it on, but not a direct correlation to the cost of the rifle.

    I now have scopes that cost me significantly more than the original cost of the rifle they are on. That was not the preset plan.

    Light gathering capacity in low light conditions without requiring a second mortgage, combined with mid range variable magnification are what I require for most of the hunting I do.

    Perhaps when I am ancient and blind I will be forced to buy that Starlight scope to see game at sunset. :)
     
  8. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    2,326
    Likes Received:
    13
    My Photos:
    67
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    Canada (AB, SK, NWT, BC) USA (NM, TX) South Africa (Limpopo, KZN, Free State, Eastern Cape, Northen Cape), Kyrgyzstan
    I always recommend buying a good scope and then buy whatever rifle you can afford with the rest of your budget. If your scope wont hold a zero or does not transfer sufficient light you might as well have it mounted on a club or spear.

    I recommend Leupold, they are a great compromise - world class durability and excellent glass. The next step up gains you no durability and the clarity gained is generally only useful after hunting light has faded sufficiently that in most places it is too late to hunt anyway. (or you are ancient and blind) ;)
     
  9. Rob44

    Rob44 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Messages:
    571
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    Chaska Minnesota
    Member of:
    NRA, Member Minnesota Horse and Hunt,,Caribou Hunt Club
    Hunted:
    Illinois,Wisconsin,Michigan Limpopo Province South Africa
    I check for the Big Box stores and see if they are running any sales,,,I check E-bay, I'm fond of old Phoenix Redfields and a few ring marks don,t bother me I'm on the hunt right now for a 2x7,,I'd rather have a great second hand scope than an average New one ,I think Leupold Nikon and Vortex make a great scope for the money and haven't run into any problems with any of them,,and like a spotting scope,,stay away from the Cheap stuff or you'll be looking to replace it ,,,Christ i'ts snowing like Crazy here in Minnesota Again,,,Rob;:(
     
  10. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    2,326
    Likes Received:
    13
    My Photos:
    67
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    Canada (AB, SK, NWT, BC) USA (NM, TX) South Africa (Limpopo, KZN, Free State, Eastern Cape, Northen Cape), Kyrgyzstan
    I actually hadn't thought about that, funny cause that's the advise I always give about saddles, buy quality whether new or used. Leupold and some others have great lifetime warrantees, no receipt or registration necessary and will go through a scope for the price of postage 1 way. Hard to go wrong there.
     
  11. 338ax

    338ax New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    When I went to Africa we had 1 Nightforce 1 nikon 3 leupolds vxiii 2 of the 3 vxiii would not hold zero one on a 30-06 and one on a 22 mag glass is very important. I carried a cheap browning A-bolt 7mm mag with the NF that shoots very good . Not saying the leupolds are not good but if your going to spend around 10,000 on a hunt I would put more money in optics than the gun IMO.
     
  12. bassasdaindia

    bassasdaindia AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    22
    good post,I also like the Leupold VX3's i find them the best quality for the money spent.
     
  13. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    163
    Location:
    Anchorage
    My Photos:
    12
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member.
    Hunted:
    Namibia (1), South Africa (3) & USA (most Western States, including AK & HI). Too bad spear fishing is not called "fish hunting" or, I could add a few extra countries (couldn't resist weaving that in somehow, sorry).
    Regarding what I end up paying for a rifle and what I end up paying for a scope to fit same.........those two items are not especially interconnected (in price) for my needs.
     
  14. gutterdoc

    gutterdoc AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2013
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    1
    Member of:
    NRA
    Hunted:
    US(AZ, AK, CT, IA, MT, NC, OH, TX, WY)
    I always spend as much as I can afford at the given time to get the best product available for my needs. If I am car shopping and all I can afford is a Yugo, then I save up to get closer to a more desirable model. Same thing can be said if you can afford a Ferrari, do you really need one? Sounds confusing but makes sense to me.
     
  15. Grady

    Grady AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    7
    My Photos:
    6
    Member of:
    SCI, NRA, IHEA
    Hunted:
    US, Germany, RSA
    This is an interesting post. Personally, I do not tie the cost of my scope to the cost of the rifle. Quality and function are the keys to either purchase in my opinion. For the Rifle it depends on what I am planning to hunt, then I buy the best rifle I can find (new or uses). When selecting the scope, quality, customer service and function are my key. I normally default to either Leupold or Nikon, but I also own a Schmidt & Bender and Kahles scope (both used). I bought the latter two because it was a deal that I could not pass.
    My bottom line, I would rather pay for a high quality scope that I can trust, even if I pay more for it than I do for the rifle.
     
  16. Code4

    Code4 AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    13
    My Photos:
    44
    Member of:
    SSAA
    Hunted:
    Australia, Zimbabwe, RSA, NZ, UK.
    You get what you pay for in optics even if it is a case of rapidly diminishing returns.

    I have a $500 Stevens .223 which is a tack driver. I use it for spotlighting and put a 3.5-10x50 Kahles scope on it and had no problems with the price differential which is x2.
    I have Zeiss Diavari 2.5-10x42 on a Savage 250-3000. Price differential is 2x.
    Swarovski PH FFP 2.5-10x42 on a custom 7x57. Both of equal value.

    You need to match the optics to the use of the rifle, not the rifle cost, and then buy the best you can afford.

    I have only used euro glass on overseas hunts and never regreted the cost once.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
  17. Rob44

    Rob44 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Messages:
    571
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    Chaska Minnesota
    Member of:
    NRA, Member Minnesota Horse and Hunt,,Caribou Hunt Club
    Hunted:
    Illinois,Wisconsin,Michigan Limpopo Province South Africa
    Having just returned from Hunting SA and not trying to be an expert after one trip I can only say that my inexpensive Nikon Prostaff 3.5X10 Gave me an excellent look at low Power in the late afternoon I don't know if a more expensive would have done much better
     
  18. rphguy

    rphguy AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    44
    VX3L_3_5-10x50_CDS_web.jpg

    VX-3L 3.5-10x50mm CDS

    I love this scope. It's $699 at Sport Optics and you get free Alumina lens covers (worth $99).
    I like the bigger lens and with the L series it has the moon cut out so it sits lower on the barrel and I get better sight picture with it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2014
  19. Hank2211

    Hank2211 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    16
    My Photos:
    8
    Member of:
    SCI, DU, Pheasants Forever
    Hunted:
    Canada, United States, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Eastern Cape; Northern Cape; North West Province), Cameroon, Argentina
    I subject we will never get agreement on, which makes it a good one. I used to swear by Leupold VX-3, then got a Swarovski Z-6i. Is it better - without a doubt. Is it more than 3 or 4 times better than a Leupold? No. Is it worth the price - up to you. It is more expensive than many rifles I use it on, but I have no problem with that. Less expensive rifles can still shoot well, but cheap optics (and I am not calling Leupold cheap optics) are a waste of money.
     
  20. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    73
    Location:
    Blue Ridge
    My Photos:
    76
    Member of:
    SCI NRA DSC life memberships
    Hunted:
    Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique
    I have always felt a an eleven hundred dollar rifle with a $250 glass was a $250 rifle. Yet, the converse is not necessarily true - that same eleven hundred dollar rifle with a $2800 Schmidt and Bender probably isn't a $3800 weapon - but it would be a heck of a lot better than the $250 option. I really like Swarovski Z's and Zeiss Victories, but I don't have them on every rifle. If you are going to spend a small fortune getting to Africa, then a totally trustworthy scope would seem a small and very wisely spent additional investment. I personally believe that class begins with Leupold VX3's and their kin.
     

Share This Page