Used older scopes

curtism1234

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What is your option on buying used scopes from say the 70's or 80's - Bausch Lomb, Bushnell, Redfield, Leopold, etc?

My standard opinion is to generally stay away from used scopes but with new Gloss scopes becoming very very rare to find, there are all sorts of used ones out there.

Is there a specific used make / model you would recommend in that $100-200 range that has a reputation for fairly clear glass but probably more importantly the ability to hold zero?

Thanks
 

Royal27

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I can't add any advice, and am just curious as to why you want a 30-40 year old used scope.

Are you trying to put together a vintage set up or something ?
 
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MS Hitman

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I mounted a period correct 4X Leopold on a 1976 Ruger M-77. Makes a fine looking setup.
 

greyfox

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Redfields made in Denver and Leupolds - you can't go wrong. Period correct scopes,
I've got an old .30/30 that the scope mount won't take a newer scope - the turret mounts are too wide - thus I have a very old Tasco on it - the only scope that would fit!
It's not a gun I'd take on an expensive hunt but for the swamps of Georgia it's fine - until it lets me down, then it's on gunbroker!!! LOL
 

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I like the old Leupolds. If there is ever a question just send it back to them and have them go through it.
 

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I liked the old Redfield wide view scopes.
 

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My 2¢, The newer glass is better than what is in those older scopes. That said, mechanically they may be ok. If I purchased one, I would run a tall target and a box text to check.
 

Eric Anderson

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Even Walmart scopes have better glass than a lot of 70’s era scopes.
It is absolutely amazing how much better scope glass and coatings has come in just the last 15 years.
 

bilmcc

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What is your option on buying used scopes from say the 70's or 80's - Bausch Lomb, Bushnell, Redfield, Leopold, etc?

My standard opinion is to generally stay away from used scopes but with new Gloss scopes becoming very very rare to find, there are all sorts of used ones out there.

Is there a specific used make / model you would recommend in that $100-200 range that has a reputation for fairly clear glass but probably more importantly the ability to hold zero?

Thanks
I have a Bushnell Scope Chief VII from the mid-70's, I think. It came on my 1972 Marlin 336 in .35 Rem. It still is clear and works fine. Not my normal scope experience with the oldies.
 

rookhawk

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What is your option on buying used scopes from say the 70's or 80's - Bausch Lomb, Bushnell, Redfield, Leopold, etc?

My standard opinion is to generally stay away from used scopes but with new Gloss scopes becoming very very rare to find, there are all sorts of used ones out there.

Is there a specific used make / model you would recommend in that $100-200 range that has a reputation for fairly clear glass but probably more importantly the ability to hold zero?

Thanks

@curtism1234 while not in your target budget, there is a guy on eBay that is clearly a scope refurbisher located in Germany. He always has about 50 scopes for sale shown on a magenta cloth backdrop. I've bought several and they were all perfect. They are usually weird but good brands like Nickel or Hensoldt, or they are labeled Zeiss, Schmidt & Bender, etc. They are all early 1980s to mid-1990s models. They run in the $300-$600 price range. They are a bargain of epic proportions. A fixed 6x Swaro or S&B from the 1990s is still a $1000 quality scope and he gets around $300-$350 for them.

*I have no affiliation with the aforementioned seller other than he knows his stuff based upon what he sells and I've been a multiple time customer. (he also sells all the claw mounts and weird rings and rail mounts)
 

curtism1234

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I can't add any advice, and am just curious as to why you want a 30-40 year old used scope.

Are you trying to put together a vintage set up or something ?

Yes, I have a bright blued rifle from the 80's so it is going to need a glossy scope. As I said, they just don't make them anymore...

I probably should have included 1990's scopes in the original question as the glossy scopes were still widely available then
 

Whiskey1

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Leupold Vari-X III 1" tube scopes in 1.5-5 and 2-7 show up occasionally at my local shop. I've bought 3 or 4 so far and in the price range you mentioned, sent them back to Leupold for any needed tinkering, and mounted them up- usually on a #1 or classic Marlin lever action. They have been perfectly reliable for me thus far.
 

Rob404

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I have a Bunch of old Redfields all in nice shape I also have a top oof the Line Bausch and Lomb Blavar and a sweet old Gold Ring Leupold. I had to upgrade to new stuff because I need more Magnification
 

greyfox

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Yes, I have a bright blued rifle from the 80's so it is going to need a glossy scope. As I said, they just don't make them anymore...

I probably should have included 1990's scopes in the original question as the glossy scopes were still widely available then

I have a few Leupolds gloss, what are you looking for?
 

Rob404

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Yea I also have a few I'd part with
 

Ray B

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I find the older scopes that I have to be perfectly useful. Zeiss Zielveir, Unertl target/varmint models, Kollmorgen Bear Cub, Leupold Pioneer & Mountaineer, Lyman AA & Alaskans, B&L Balvars and a few others. I use Zeiss Dialyt or Bausch & Lomb Zephyr binoculars for spotting/evaluating animals; so the only function of the scope is to obtain sight picture and hold zero. I don't shoot in the dark so haven't seen the need for the miracle coatings. If I were to hunt in the dark I'd obtain a starlight or thermal scope.
 

BobT

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If you stick with the older Leupolds you should be fine. The Redfields are nice scopes too but they original company is long gone so repair is going to be difficult if they break. I love the old steel tube Weaver scopes too, the ones made in ElPaso Texas. I ran into the same problem, I just don't like a matte finished scope on a polished blue rifle, my solution was to order from the Leupold custom shop and specify the polished finish.
 

Rob404

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I think there are still a few guys out there who repair the older scopes. I believe one is located in California and the other down south
 

Shootist43

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I have purchased a lot of old Weaver K 4s made in El Paso. I put them on sporterized 6.5 x 55 Swedish Mausers for use by myself and grandkids. The majority of them were in excellent condition. Prices ranged from $65 up to $120 or so. There were a couple that I sent to Iron Sight to have them rebuilt using Duplex Reticles.
 
 

 

 

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