Scope Requirements

Discussion in 'Hunting Equipment, Gear & Optics' started by 2L8, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. 2L8

    2L8 AH Senior Member

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    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.
     
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  2. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    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 ?????
     
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  3. 2L8

    2L8 AH Senior Member

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    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.
     
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  4. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    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!
     
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  5. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    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.
     
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  6. 2L8

    2L8 AH Senior Member

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    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.
     

  7. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    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!
     
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  8. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    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.
     
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  9. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Enthusiast

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    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.
     

  10. flatwater bill

    flatwater bill AH Fanatic

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    2l8............how true. Most people rarely mention your #2 priority. Even professional evaluators often ignore "durability". .............FWB
     

  11. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    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.
     
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  12. 2L8

    2L8 AH Senior Member

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    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: Dec 1, 2018

  13. Von S.

    Von S. AH Enthusiast

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    What makes scopes take a dump is the lack of quality machining and materials.
     

  14. bassasdaindia

    bassasdaindia AH Elite

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    Leupold ticks these boxes for me .
     

  15. Riksa

    Riksa AH Veteran

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    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.
     
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  16. Clodo Ferreira

    Clodo Ferreira AH Veteran

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    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!
     

  17. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    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.
     

  18. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    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.
     
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  19. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    @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.
     

  20. Eric Anderson

    Eric Anderson AH Veteran

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    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.
     
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