Looking for scope recommendation

Hogpatrol

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The best way to compare scopes of different eras is to look through them at dusk. They may be clear in daylight but if one shoots in early morning or late evening, the newer glass will be better.
Same goes for comparing scopes in a store. Look at them side by side in a dark corner of the store.
 

Fastrig

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Sorry if I have given a wrong impression through my replies to Hogpatrol. Although I prefer the top of range euro scopes for glass clarity -this does vary from person to person - and reliability there is a lot of money spent for not much improvement over some middle of the range scopes. Leopold are normally good value as are Nikon, Vortex and most likely others that I have not tried. Lets face it I could not afford the Euro scopes till my kids were gone and I would have lost a lot of animals if it wasn't for my old Weaver true trac scope and some Loopy's. All I can advise is get the best you can comfortably afford and that works for you.

For a 375 I would look for something in the 1-6 variable range.

I backed my truck up over my rifle a couple of years ago....rifle was trashed, Leopold scope was fine and put it on my next rifle....truck went straight over the scope, even popped the rear base mount off the rifle, scope shrugged it off like nothing happened....15 year old scope is sitting on another rifle and still plugging along....I'll buy Leopold any day of the week and their new HD glass is as good as any of the Euro glass I looked at. Bought two of their VX-6HD 2-12x42 scopes and they are amazing....reasonably priced and warrantied for life....not a bad deal.
 

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If you are looking for a new scope, I guess you will get more for your money in buying some US brand. This side of the pond a Leupold VX-6 is the same price as a Kahles with 5-power magnification, or Schmidt&Bender 4-power. I bet that you pay a bit more for European scopes in the US, but maybe not so much as we do for your products.

Undoubtedly the VX-6 is good stuff, and has far better glass than my old Leupold VX-2. But with this little price difference, I'd go for a German or Austrian scope. Also any dealings with the manufacturer is simplified, which is always true if you buy 'locally'.

As for a recommendation go for something in the 1-4× or 1-5×range. To hit a reasonably large target at 150 yards, a 4 or 5 × maximum magnification is not going to to be the difference between hit and miss.
 

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At night or in dark light, the crosshairs of the Leupolds are very difficult to see.
That's why I don't have any more.
The thing must also work without light spot.
Get a Zeiss, or Swaro at night for comparison in your hands and you know what I mean.

In daylight and good light everyone does.
Good performance in adverse lighting conditions, that's the point,stable are these all.
Member HWL did not have a elegant, but good solution for scope montages for the heavy class.

Think about the other thread from last week :the .458 Win Mag. is just enough for suckling pigs at 50 m :)
 
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Fastrig

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At night or in dark light, the crosshairs of the Leupolds are very difficult to see.
That's why I don't have any more.
The thing must also work without light spot.
Get a Zeiss, or Swaro at night for comparison in your hands and you know what I mean.

In daylight and good light everyone does.
Good performance in adverse lighting conditions, that's the point,stable are these all.
Member HWL did not have a elegant, but good solution for scope montages for the heavy class.

Think about the other thread from last week :the .458 Win Mag. is just enough for suckling pigs at 50 m :)

Haven't had that problem with my Leopold VX-6HD scopes.....have been picking up bucks out our back porch both at dawn and dusk (very low light) for the last couple of weeks when rutting season started....could have dropped any buck I saw and all were at 80-150 yards out. These scopes are on par with the $2000 + Euro scopes in the 5x-6x magnification level. Not going to try and compare my old Leopold that cost $500 as that wouldn't be apples to apples, though for that coin the thing is tough as nails and still works even after having my truck back up over the top of it.
 

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I backed my truck up over my rifle a couple of years ago....rifle was trashed, Leopold scope was fine and put it on my next rifle....truck went straight over the scope, even popped the rear base mount off the rifle, scope shrugged it off like nothing happened....15 year old scope is sitting on another rifle and still plugging along....I'll buy Leopold any day of the week and their new HD glass is as good as any of the Euro glass I looked at. Bought two of their VX-6HD 2-12x42 scopes and they are amazing....reasonably priced and warrantied for life....not a bad deal.

That is one lucky scope. Must of been on sand or something soft. I have seen these sort of torture test and the scope is on soft ground so sinks in, rifle bends, stock breaks or similar. Hard ground and the scope tube bends or kinks. So far the stand out scopes for strength and reliability, shown time and again by military tests to destruction are S&B and Nightforce and the military test several of each make and model they are looking at so it is not just one scope.

However from what I can make out the Luepy HD5 and 6's are damned fine glass, hard to beat. On this side of the Pacific they are priced right up there with top line Euro scopes, wish they were priced the same as the US. Luepys, to my mind have about the best warranty going. Trouble with their VX3 and VXIII was/is my eyes. For some reason I could not get these to focus clearly so went, regrettably, to mid range Euro scopes. Those Luepy's are (2-7 and a 2-8) very good stalking scopes. Could mount them low and they were light and trim.
 

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I just purchased a .458 Winchester Magnum bolt action rifle and am looking for recommendations on a low power variable scope. My only other experience with heavy recoil was a Ruger # 1 chambered in .416 Rigby using a Leupold Vari-X III 1.5-6×32 which worked just fine. Are there other scopes which are known to tolerate heavy recoil that you might recommend?

Personally on my 338 winchester 375 H&H and 416 Remington I use Leupold scopes of various power. I like Khales scopes too especially with the rubber ring which I can vouch for. Is very good if the scope whacks you.
I like long eye relief that Leupold scopes have.
Swarovski has a shorter eye relief but are absolutely great scopes.
I think it’s really a personal choice.
 

Hogpatrol

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Somewhat OT but there are posts on other forums stating that Nikon is exiting the rifle scope business. For those so inclined, some good deals may be in the offing.
 

Fastrig

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That is one lucky scope. Must of been on sand or something soft. I have seen these sort of torture test and the scope is on soft ground so sinks in, rifle bends, stock breaks or similar. Hard ground and the scope tube bends or kinks. So far the stand out scopes for strength and reliability, shown time and again by military tests to destruction are S&B and Nightforce and the military test several of each make and model they are looking at so it is not just one scope.

However from what I can make out the Luepy HD5 and 6's are damned fine glass, hard to beat. On this side of the Pacific they are priced right up there with top line Euro scopes, wish they were priced the same as the US. Luepys, to my mind have about the best warranty going. Trouble with their VX3 and VXIII was/is my eyes. For some reason I could not get these to focus clearly so went, regrettably, to mid range Euro scopes. Those Luepy's are (2-7 and a 2-8) very good stalking scopes. Could mount them low and they were light and trim.

I ran over the rifle/scope right in my driveway, on cement. That scope got more scratched and dinged up than it already was but it‘s still is going strong. I was amazed it survived, but glad it did since it’s the first scope I ever bought, it’s been banged around the field for 20 years, and I’m curious to see who lasts the longest, me or the scope ;):)
 

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My 458 wears a VX3 1.5-5 with Heavy Duplex reticle. I reckon it's ideal. (y)
 

rookhawk

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There is some good info being tossed around and the post that said the most durable scopes are S&B and NF is onto something.

I own S&Bs and they are indestructible. They are also one of the few that gets military contracts because they are so overbuilt.

But you can’t have it all, right: light, compact, amazing glass, indestructible...something must be traded always.

And that’s where I land with Swarovski. They give up on the military contracts and will not make an indestructible scope. They are extremely well made, but they cater to the “gentlemen’s rifle” , 99% of their clientele are walnut stocked gun owners.

There is something out there for everyone. I know a lot of Leupold lovers. I think their glass is mediocre, but their warranty and build quality is exceptional and they are doing it in USA. Everything is a trade to a minor or major degree.

With no disrespect to the Japanese glass lovers mentioned herein, I don’t think Japanese glass on a $2000 scope is anything near as good as the Austrian-Germans, but I’ll tell you what the Japanese high end does that the EU stuff doesn’t: zero stop turrets, turret stops intermediate, etc. I know long range shooters that demand Japanese optics really for their mechanicals...not their glass.

It is worthwhile to order a list of features and prioritize them, based on those items, it may determine which bias you have and what scope is going to make you happy. The reason I own so many brands myself is my #1 requirement is incredible glass, my #2 requirement is that I get a super deal on it because I’m thrifty. Not everyone is going to have the same priorities or place importance on strength, light gathering, warranty, features.
 

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Well, I will add few more tidbits to all this discussion. I recommended the 1-4 Trijicon and 1.25-4 Leupold firedot circle more for the reticles and magnification range based on going on a big bore than their light carrying capability. When it comes to glass, I have no experience with Leupold HD optics but the VXR for example was not quite enough to see a whitetail at dusk, yet my Meopta binoculars made it out quite clearly in the brush. This may not have been an issue for anyone with good, young and sharp eyes. As my sight is failing me more every year, I'm finding myself replacing scopes that worked flawlessly for years with higher end, brighter and sharper optics. They end up being Euro optics. I have settled on S&B scopes for both durability and clarity but mainly clarity. I have a Nightforce that is built like a tank, seems durable and is consistent/repeatable and so far reliable. But the glass is not as good as the Euro glass. The S&B seems to be just as tough though. They are not the same class of scope (Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x56, S&B 1.5-6x42) so no direct comparison should be made perhaps, yet I think comparing the optics and general mechanics is fair.

As to glass, I have compared in binoculars, not in scopes (but assume a bit of similarity here), Leupold, Zeiss, Swarovski, Leica and Meopta. In this instance I was looking at 10x42 binos in the same class. For my eyes, I found Leupold lacking at low light, Zeiss, Swarowski and Meopta being equal and Leica being the best at distinguishing detail at near dark. During good light it was really hard or impossible to tell any difference. I ended up with Meopta Meostar B1 binos as only Leica was very slightly better and lighter but almost 3 times the price. Zeiss and Swarowski were the same quality and weight, one of them actually heavier than Meopta, but at double the price. I also compared to Steiner 7x50 which seems like a brilliant binos but is just bulky and heavy. I only did this Meopta comparison because I know Czech optics and already happened to own a Meopta scope that is just brilliant. Since then I have acquired another, cheaper and lighter 10x42 binos from Meopta (Optika HD) and just out of curiosity compared those to Leupold of same class but double the price. Leupold mechanics seemed like cheap toy plastic pieces. Glad I got the Meopta. Leica would have been better but was again way more expensive and mainly also heavier.

In general, if I want light, reliable, reasonably priced scope, I reach for 1" tube Leupold. I like how you can change reticles to what you like and I now prefer simpler heavier reticles for hunting. I go with German #1, or Sabot Ballistics, or Ballistic Firedot or LR duplex or similar. I shoot rainbow ballistic calibers so I like the drop points of some sort. I also like Tricijon scopes for durability (so far) and for their reticles due to being lit and not needing batteries. I found the green triangles the best for me and on the 1-4 the triangle is bigger than on the other models. The glass on Trijicon seems comparable to Nightforce, i.e. very good but I would not say "the best".

If I want brighter, reliable scope I go with 30 mm Euro and those I narrowed down to S&B or Meopta (I have never tried Leica scope yet but am sure I would not be disappointed). Higher end Zeiss and Swarovski are fine too I'm sure, but if I gotta shell out a lot, might as well get S&B. If I want to save, I will get Meopta or used S&B. In all of these I would not bother with the 1" tube cheaper models assembled in USA or elsewhere. Get the 30 mm version built entirely in the country of origin.

As to old Euro glass, I too find many older S&B and Zeiss scopes on par with today optics. But they have to be 80's and newer to be nearly as good. I feel the new coatings have gotten better and make for sharper, clearer images at low light but the glass quality and overall detail resolution is no worse on the old scopes. On top of that, I find that while the coatings are meant to correct color aberrations, they tend to still be susceptible to purple fringing (especially on bright sun over snow surface, my Nightforce being worst but this is present on the Leupold scopes as well and the cheaper Meopta bino, though my friend could see it I could not ). I suspect this is due to new optics being "tuned" for "image sharpness" more than any other aspect. This is where I think older scopes may seem just as good if not better. Only the older (1970's or better yet 1950's and older) scopes that were not nitrogen filled, not waterproof, multi piece tubes are maybe clearly worse overall. But during good light, they still give some modern scopes run for their money. I would mainly buy older Euro glass over newer mid-price-range optics. Then I'd feel I got better glass and/or instrument for same money.

This is all based on my own limited experience and testing, no scientific instruments involved just my and my few friends eyes comparing. It is also not meant to disparage a different brand than listed or insult the model you have or claim the ones I like are or are not for you. I simply relayed my experience for my changing eyes. If I had the eyes of my youth, I'd have fewer scopes (open sights are still sexy to me) and I'd probably still have the cheap Buschnell scopes.
 
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