Rifle Scopes - Buying Clown Shoes Apparently

rookhawk

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So I was looking for a nice straight tube optic recently but "did not want to pay a lot for this muffler" so to speak. I looked through all the archives on here and had three thoughts.

1.) I really, really like my swarovski Z6 1-6x straight tube Extended Eye Relief scope. The scope is the best I've ever owned but at $1900-$2500 was beyond appropriately priced for the current application.

2.) I saw a lot of feedback on the Leupold 1.5-5x24mm illuminated that was moderate to favorable. An option at $599.

3.) Lots of talk about the Leica (I love Leica) 1-5x straight tube scope they launched/announced about 18 months ago. At $749 it seemed like it would be perfection.

What I discovered sadly was that Leica has yet again blown it. They announced a scope that STILL some 18 months later is not on store shelves. When I contacted Leica they wouldn't give me a straight answer but "they're not ready yet" and "still in QC". I found this to be frustrating because a scope has a 24-36 month life cycle typically and then a new and improved version is launched. This scope is going to be 2/3rd obsolete or worse by the time they actually ship product. When I pointed out to Leica that several retailers were saying that they would ship September 12th Leica sent them chastising notes demanding they take down those ship date statements. (so Leica is covering tracks)

So with my hands somewhat tied, I bought the Leupold 1.5-5x24 illuminated 30mm optic with the german #4 reticle. My observations, like the post title, were that this thing is a bit of a pair of clown shoes. The 30mm illuminated version has the same 24mm lens as the 1" model which seems quite a waste. The exit pupil is less than 5mm and it just doesn't provide light transmission any better than a $100 scope. The twilight visibility was pretty awful and I can't say that I'd endorse this scope if there was any better alternative I was familiar with for under $2000.

I reconcile this all with my memories a few weeks ago using the Swaro 1-6x 30 minutes after dark and the thing was like using generation 1 night vision. Absolute clarity at 50 yards and you definitely could take an ethical shot with so little light. I compare this to the Leopold 1.5-5x24 that I would not feel anywhere comfortable using under similar circumstances.

Have any of you had similar thoughts?

Did I overlook an option somehow?

Anyone actually see/touch the Leica 1-5 that is not yet for sale and if so, is it considerably better than the Leupold?

Thanks for any straight tube scope feedback!
 

JamesJ

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rookhawk,

The swarovski is hard to beat they are still some of the best glass made and they have a great warranty if something goes awry.
However for the $$ Leupold gives you some great value for your dollar. they are hell for stout, clear and very good for most applications other than very low light.
I would pass on the Leica, they make great bino's but their scopes have always been lacking. The first gen scopes were leica glass and branded, but assembled by someone else and did not hold up well. Supposedly the second gen are made by Zeiss tube again with Leica glass and badging. I have not used one but did see them at SHOT show.

I do have a couple non illuminated Nikon scopes in their African line, they have held up well and are very clear.

I would probably buy the Leupold and be done with it or look at some reputable retailers for a good deal on a trade in scope. Eurooptic.com has a Zeiss victory 1-4 for $1,600 and its a heck of a scope.
http://www.eurooptic.com/zeiss-victory-varipoint-11-4x24-t-reticle-60-db384.aspx
 

gillettehunter

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Not sure if this fits your straight tube needs, but the Zeiss 1.2-5X36 might work well. I've loved the low light capabilities of the Conquest line. Could be worth a look. Bruce
 

JamesJ

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That little conquest is a great scope as well, I didn't mention it because of the bell. Its another scope that's great for the $$.
 

shuter

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Did you consider the Leupold VX6 1-6? It's a 30mm tube with a 24mm objective with great exit pupil, excellent glass, and solid low light performance. Seems to fit your requirements, no? You said the 1.5-5x is a 24mm objective, however it and the 1" version are both 20mm.

Good luck whichever way you end up going!
 

Hank2211

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Leica does the same thing with cameras. Announces them and then takes months if not years (the M) to actually get around to shipping them. Outside of cameras, they aren't so good that I'd wait.
 

boldo 42

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For the money you can't go past the leupold , but funnily enough i've had a $200 Nykron 4x32 air rifle scope living on top of my 500 a-square for about 170 shots , damn things still hanging in there.:D
 

Bert the Turtle

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The problem is you've tried the good stuff and gotten used to it. Swarovski optics is what you now consider normal. Leupold scopes aren't bad. They are half the price of Swarovski and probably more than half the scope, so the value proposition is there. They are strong and dependable. But the Swarovski is just a better scope. And you will never know what that means until you try one a half hour after dark and see what excellence really is.

A quick look at noon in the gun shop will leave you thinking that the people who spend the money for a Swarovski are fools with their money. But once you use one under conditions where the differences actually count, you will come to expect that level of performance and there is really no way you can be satisfied with something of lesser quality irrespective of the value proposition.

I have in the past and continue to argue that in the specific case of destination hunting, the value proposition is strongly in favor of the Swarovski. Hunting deer at home, I can hang it up when the light gets dim and come back another day at little cost. Compare that with the cost of an African trip: lost wages during travel, airplane tickets, lodging, and daily rates. A scope that lets you take one extra animal during the trip pays for itself in one shot. Since the animals move at dusk and dawn, it is highly likely that you will get an opportunity for an ethical shot with the better scope than you would have with an alternative scope. So the scope pays for itself in one shot and then lasts the rest of your life, all the while being more enjoyable to use.
 

wesheltonj

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The first USA rifle scope was a leupold with a Leica Red dot, and was a Marketing failure. The Second USA scope, was a Leica made in Germany and I own four of them and am very happy. The next version of the ER is made in their Portugal plant, and their ER5 is made in the USA. Not sure where it's made, but my best guess is Mepota plant.
 

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