Scope Requirements

2L8

AH veteran
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
128
Reaction score
103
What Do We Require in a Scope.

1. PRICE (We all have a budget. It might be $400 or $4,000 but we have one).
2. Durability (If it can't be depended on to hold zero and stay together nothing else matters).
3. Eye Relief (If we can't shoot it without getting cut does the rest really matter?)
4. Clarity (If you can't see to precisely place your shots might as well use irons).
5. Light Gathering (I personally see this as a bit over rated. If I can see what I need to see when I need to see it
it's good enough).

My problem is 4 and 5 seem to get way to much attention when the bigger priorities like 2 and 3 seem to get little attention.

Other application specific requirements may certainly be needed but those are my first 5 in order.
 

Dr Ray

AH legend
Joined
Apr 1, 2017
Messages
2,539
Reaction score
2,397
Location
Cairns, Australia
Media
52
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Australia/NZ
5
My comments are as follows:
Buy the best you can afford
Clarity is paramount
Good quality scopes - they all are these days but obviously built to a price
Being able to hold the sighting/zero is embedded in the quality of the scope
Eye relief - I used a budget scope on a 270 whilst testing at a rifle range
Luckily the scope gave the rim of my sunglasses a little “touch up” and not me
I use two brands of scopes
Swarovski and Leupold and the latter on the hard recoiling rifles such as my 416 RM
There are many choices of scopes that will suit you and it’s your preference
If you can’t see the target properly everything else is irrelevant - such as the cost of the rifle, the ammo, the travel
My overall suggestion-
Buy a very good quality scope that will outlive you and your grandchildren!
There is absolutely no substitute for the quality and just think, you cannot see the target after spending years of preparing for what ?????
 

2L8

AH veteran
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
128
Reaction score
103
My comments are as follows:
Buy the best you can afford
Clarity is paramount
Good quality scopes - they all are these days but obviously built to a price
Being able to hold the sighting/zero is embedded in the quality of the scope
Eye relief - I used a budget scope on a 270 whilst testing at a rifle range
Luckily the scope gave the rim of my sunglasses a little “touch up” and not me
I use two brands of scopes
Swarovski and Leupold and the latter on the hard recoiling rifles such as my 416 RM
There are many choices of scopes that will suit you and it’s your preference
If you can’t see the target properly everything else is irrelevant - such as the cost of the rifle, the ammo, the travel
My overall suggestion-
Buy a very good quality scope that will outlive you and your grandchildren!
There is absolutely no substitute for the quality and just think, you cannot see the target after spending years of preparing for what ?????
I've had scopes with great glass that didn't hold zero and I've had scopes with average glass that did. The results on the game animal were always better with the second in my experience.

I'm not sure scopes should be considered a heirloom item. I have some high end scopes from the '50's that came on older rifles I bought. I don't think I would choose any of them over a new scope (other than the lowest possible quality) for a trip to Africa.
 

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,084
Reaction score
6,772
Location
Colorado
Media
229
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
JMO, but I would rather have a highest quality glass that costs more than my rifle. Reasoning is I can make most rifles shoot well. I can do nothing but throw away a scope that will not do what the rifle is capable of. I have a very old Baush & Lomb (from before Bushnell took them over) that was a top quality scope in the day. It will still match anything up to the newest HD glass and it is my go to scope if it seems like a new scope is acting up. It has never (knock on wood!) failed me!
 

Dr Ray

AH legend
Joined
Apr 1, 2017
Messages
2,539
Reaction score
2,397
Location
Cairns, Australia
Media
52
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Australia/NZ
5
I've had scopes with great glass that didn't hold zero and I've had scopes with average glass that did. The results on the game animal were always better with the second in my experience.

I'm not sure scopes should be considered a heirloom item. I have some high end scopes from the '50's that came on older rifles I bought. I don't think I would choose any of them over a new scope (other than the lowest possible quality) for a trip to Africa.
I had a Leupold scope that didn’t hold zero. Sent to the factory and in a very short time it was returned in perfect condition.
These days scopes are very good but as far as I’m concerned, the quality is in the “glass”.
I agree that the scope that doesn’t hold zero is not worth fitting.
 

2L8

AH veteran
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
128
Reaction score
103
I've never had a Leupold fail. The three modern scopes I've had fail were a Zeiss (Meopta), Kahles and a Bushnell 4200. Ive only had one what I consider high end scope. A Nightforce NXS and while it's very rugged the Glass doesn't strike me that much better than the higher priced Leupolds but at $1100 it's bottom of the barrel for NF. I will say the glass in a $4,000 S&B I got to shoot a few rounds through was impressive but I wouldn't expect anything else and I'm not normally looking for individual bullet holes at 600 yd.

I find the glass quality and coatings in $300-600 Scopes pretty good to my eyes. If they have good eye relief and can be trusted not to fail. I really don't know who that is. I have had zero issues with Leupold but apparently a lot have.
 

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,084
Reaction score
6,772
Location
Colorado
Media
229
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
2L8, anything from a production line can have an oops day or at least one unit. I have always read never buy a car built on Monday’s, Friday’s or the day before or after a holiday.
There’s really no right or wrong answer. The best glass from a batch of lower cost scope glass may be as good or close to the worst glass from a batch from a top company.
Me, I like blonds (3 generations of them in my family), while you may like brunettes.
Best of luck in your pursuit!
 

sgt_zim

AH elite
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
1,288
Reaction score
1,642
Location
Sugar Land, Texas
Media
14
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA, Houston Safari Club Foundation, NWTF
Hunted
Texas, Louisiana
you also have to consider the intent, which includes caliber of rifle.

I have zero use for something like a 6.5-20x50 on even a medium bore. And frankly, even a 4-12 (irrespective of objective size) has limited functionality for the kind of hunting I do.

For most of my hunting, a very wide FOV is the #1 priority on my list of priorities. Mostly if I can't get at least 40-60' at 100 yards, I'm not interested in it. I don't need to be able to count the fleas circling my quarry's butt to be able to put a bullet in the boiler room.
 

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
2,106
Reaction score
2,823
Location
Eastern US
Media
78
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
Another thing to consider is illumination, to have or have not.
And at what cost...more money, a battery or maybe tritium?

Personally I would like it, but not at the cost of reliability.
 

flatwater bill

AH elite
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
1,563
Reaction score
2,071
Media
21
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Asia/M.East
1
Member of
NRA endowment member/Life member
Hunted
NAMIBIA, RSA, KYRYG, KAZAKSTAN, MOZAMBIQUE,MEXICO, BOLIVIA, PERU, BRAZIL, ARGENTINA, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA, SPAIN,
2l8............how true. Most people rarely mention your #2 priority. Even professional evaluators often ignore "durability". .............FWB
 

Red Leg

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
5,314
Reaction score
12,965
Location
Texas Hill Country
Media
261
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
3
Mex/S.Amer
1
Europe
3
Member of
SCI DSC life memberships / NRA Patron Life
Hunted
Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, US (15 states)
I truly believe optics are a place where one gets what one pays for. These threads are always full of my $500 dollar whatever is really better or just as good as the the $1500 - $2500 top of the line fill in the blank. While it is true that the cheaper line may very well get the job done, there is still a world of difference between best and good enough. And I hasten to add, there is nothing wrong with good enough. I have a good enough truck and a best quality SUV. They are both transportation and they both get from point A to B reliably. But they aren't the same thing. All of my quality optics have been supremely durable. I have yet to have a Schmidt & Bender, Swarovski, or Zeiss Victory fail in any way whatsoever. Over the years, I have sent three Leupolds back to take advantage of their famous guarantee.
 

2L8

AH veteran
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
128
Reaction score
103
While I have never owned an S&B, Zeiss Victory or Swarovski it is getting annoying that as my scope price has went up my failure rate has gone up (with the exception of my one Nightforce). That wasn't really what I was expecting.

I guess my point is I would much rather pay $1000 for a scope as tough as a $1500 Scope with $500 Glass than $1000 for a scope with $1500 Glass and $500 Toughness.
 
Last edited:

Von S.

AH fanatic
Joined
Aug 26, 2018
Messages
803
Reaction score
1,076
What makes scopes take a dump is the lack of quality machining and materials.
 

bassasdaindia

AH elite
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
1,312
Reaction score
826
Media
20
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
3
What Do We Require in a Scope.

1. PRICE (We all have a budget. It might be $400 or $4,000 but we have one).
2. Durability (If it can't be depended on to hold zero and stay together nothing else matters).
3. Eye Relief (If we can't shoot it without getting cut does the rest really matter?)
4. Clarity (If you can't see to precisely place your shots might as well use irons).
5. Light Gathering (I personally see this as a bit over rated. If I can see what I need to see when I need to see it
it's good enough).

My problem is 4 and 5 seem to get way to much attention when the bigger priorities like 2 and 3 seem to get little attention.

Other application specific requirements may certainly be needed but those are my first 5 in order.
Leupold ticks these boxes for me .
 

Riksa

AH veteran
Joined
Dec 29, 2012
Messages
138
Reaction score
194
Location
Finland
Media
135
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Hunted
Finland, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Poland, Sweden
A couple of things I would add to the original list:
Reticle selection. Good reticle helps with good and fast shooting.
Warranty service. Even the best of the scopes fail. Getting them fixed fast and hassle free is a big plus.

I also find it interesting that quite offen people are willing to spend several thousands to buy a quality rifle, but budget on scope is limited to a couple of hundred. I have typically spent more money on good quality optics then on the rifle as the scope quality normally affects the accuracy more then the rifle. Also very important is good quality scope mount. Also there money matters and you can easily save in the wrong place.
 

Clodo Ferreira

AH enthusiast
Joined
Mar 3, 2015
Messages
274
Reaction score
338
Media
46
Hi,

Agree with 2L8 on "What Do We Require in a Scope."
By the way, a friend has just bought a Nightforce NXS 2,5-10x42. After I saw it (I have read only good things about their mechanics AND optics), I can only say WOW!! Of course, what you can "see" is their optics. The mechanics would show in the use. I would like NF would offer some strictly hunting reticles, illuminated or no, like a GOOD European Nr 4 with center hairs not to thin. As I say, illuminated or no.
This is a scope with unquestionable dependability, short and small enough, with superb optics that will outlast everyone of us. Its weight is just a little high, but a price I would pay in a trade for its virtues!
 

Mark Biggerstaff

Silver supporter
Bronze supporter
AH fanatic
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
771
Reaction score
1,140
Location
Texas
Media
189
Hunting reports
Africa
2
I agree with every one on this topic. I have seen people buy expensive rifles and then skimp on optics. Optics are just as important as the rifle you choose. One should choose the the best optics for that rifles application. I personally use Swavorski or Leupold have had great luck with both. Customer service with both is exceptional. No matter how expensive item is it is man made and can fail.
 

Red Leg

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
5,314
Reaction score
12,965
Location
Texas Hill Country
Media
261
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
3
Mex/S.Amer
1
Europe
3
Member of
SCI DSC life memberships / NRA Patron Life
Hunted
Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, US (15 states)
A couple of things I would add to the original list:
Reticle selection. Good reticle helps with good and fast shooting.
Warranty service. Even the best of the scopes fail. Getting them fixed fast and hassle free is a big plus.

I also find it interesting that quite offen people are willing to spend several thousands to buy a quality rifle, but budget on scope is limited to a couple of hundred. I have typically spent more money on good quality optics then on the rifle as the scope quality normally affects the accuracy more then the rifle. Also very important is good quality scope mount. Also there money matters and you can easily save in the wrong place.
Not original with me, but to paraphrase some outdoor wag's comment on the subject - if one puts a five-hundred dollar scope on a two-thousand dollar rifle, one has a five-hundred dollar rifle.
 

Hogpatrol

Silver supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
5,365
Reaction score
10,935
Location
Delaware, USA
Media
74
Articles
4
Member of
Atglen Sportsmen's Club, NRA ,SCCFSA, Bridgeville Rifle & Pistol Club
Hunted
RSA, DE, NJ, PA, KS, TX, ME
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
@Red Leg You hit that nail on the head with a ten pound mall. (y)

I'm going to use that line on one of my buddies who can spend fifteen hundred on a rifle and can't spend five hundred on its scope.
 

Eric Anderson

AH enthusiast
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
378
Reaction score
358
Media
3
Hunted
RSA
I truly believe optics are a place where one gets what one pays for. These threads are always full of my $500 dollar whatever is really better or just as good as the the $1500 - $2500 top of the line fill in the blank. While it is true that the cheaper line may very well get the job done, there is still a world of difference between best and good enough. And I hasten to add, there is nothing wrong with good enough. I have a good enough truck and a best quality SUV. They are both transportation and they both get from point A to B reliably. But they aren't the same thing. All of my quality optics have been supremely durable. I have yet to have a Schmidt & Bender, Swarovski, or Zeiss Victory fail in any way whatsoever. Over the years, I have sent three Leupolds back to take advantage of their famous guarantee.
I’ll go be poor somewhere else.
In my circles, I am the one with the “High dollar” Leopolds while everyone else is use in my words ”Chicom Walmart trash”.

I do agree though, spend the money on good glass. I would rather put a $800 Leopold on a $400 rifle than the other way around.
 
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

pamtnman wrote on Timothy Doyle's profile.
Interested in the 450/400 dies. I have PayPal. Thank you
ve7poi wrote on ZANA BOTES SAFARI's profile.
See you in May 2022
twenty days with you time seems to have slowed now after booking lol
tarbe wrote on Royal27's profile.
Current ETA to Buc-ees is 11 am or we can meet you there about 2 hrs later in the way back.
On the ocean or in the bush .
 
Top