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How do you select a scope? Some major catalogs have 10 or more manufacturers listed with as many models. In store, probably ev

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  • How do you select a scope? Some major catalogs have 10 or more manufacturers listed with as many models. In store, probably ev

    How do you select a scope? Some major catalogs have 10 or more manufacturers listed with as many models. In store, probably even more. Some catalogs don't even list all the varieties, they direct you to their web site for the full list. So, do you use price point, familiarity, friend's recommendation/or lack of (that could be good or bad), guarantee/warranty?? Is the old saying 'you get what you pay for' applicable to scopes(binoculars and spotters to). I have heard the coatings are very expensive as they are derived from rare earth elements (China has 98% of known rare earth deposits) as much as the quality of glass and both determine the image performance and cost. Sometimes I think the scopes offer better images than my eyes can register, so why pay for something that does not contribute to your success. A large variety of scopes is not the only wide selection of goods in the sporting world, but that is another topic - sometimes I get so overwhelmed with choices, I don't make one and wind up keeping what I have. Is this Country great, or what? What are your thoughts and how do you rank all the various scopes that are available. This could turn into a Chevy vs Ford debate, however, I have never seen either car dealer that did not a waiting list to get into their service garage.

  • #2
    As a rule of thumb, buy the best you can afford, but do not pay more for the scope than the price of the gun.

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    • #3
      the saying you get what you pay for, is just about more true with a scope than anything. there is no replacement for good glass! that being said there are some good scopes to be had at a decent price, the Nikon pro staff fits this bill for $130 you get decent glass, great light gathering, a great warranty, and a very tuff scope. the more money you spend the better quality you can expect from $130 Nikons to $1000 Leupold, Zeiss, S&B and even Night Force, depending on what your doing with your rifle and the ranges you will be shooting depends on what grade of scope you need to get, for the average hunter in the south east most shots are under 250 yards ( most the time if you see a 250 shot in the south you are hunting over fields ) i recommend nikon to just about everyone i hunt with you cant beat the price and quality. for midwest hunters ranging from anything from deer to elk where long range shots will be made Higher end Nikons, Zeiss and Leuopld VX 3 - vx 7 will work great. but you need to have the gun to go with the scope there is no point buying a 710 remington for $300 and putting a $700 nikon on it the quality is not in the gun, you need quality at both ends. and finely if you win the lottery or are a competition bench shooter look at S&B or Night Force, the basic night force will run you $1000+ way our of range for the average hunter but if you can break it Night force will send you a new one. i said all that to say this dont put the $40 Tasco or Bushnell on the new A Bolt or remington CDL match your scope with your gun for what your hunting and the ranges you will be hunting at.

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      • #4
        i also have to disagree with 99 there are many times and cases that you should put more into your scope. if you cant see it clearly you cant shoot it.

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        • #5
          My O.F.S. dictates I use only Leupolds or El Paso built Weaver K4's!
          Currently, all my guns are topped with Leupolds, Weavers and one lonely fixed 4x Redfield.
          First (and only!) new Weaver K4 I bought cost me $55!
          I don't think I've ever paid ovet $20 for a gun show table Weaver.

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          • #6
            Photography is one of my hobbies. My lenses cost more than my cameras. Having said that I don't think you need to break the bank on a scope. When I'm looking to scope a new rifle purchase I usually set a price and try to find the best scope in that range. I have a Swarowski
            that I bought used for good price, Leupolds, Zeiss and Nikons. I think Nikons are one of the best buys for the bck. I also use Nikon cameras and lenses. Zeiss Conquest 3 x 9 x 40 at $399 was a great deal for a couple of years. I bought two! Leupolds have one of the best warranties. If you do your research there are some great mid priced scopes.

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            • #7
              I go to the Nikons and buy a Monarch or a Buckmaster. The new Prostaff 5 replaced the Buckmaster so the jury is still out on that one. I have used Nikons for over 30 years, scopes , binos, and cameras with outstanding success. I know there are a lot of other great scopes but until my Nikons let me down I will buy them ,like Safado said I think you get the most bang for your buck with a Nikon.

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              • #8
                I just picked what scope I was going to get to replace my old one and I decided to get the Nikon Prostaff 5 3.5-14x40 BDC Side Focus, sure is a long name. I picked it by making the following criteria: has to have better clarity and brightness than the Prostaff, has adjustable parallax, has a power range of 3-9 to 4-16, has a objective size of 40-44mm, has to be $200-$350, and has to be from a well-known company e.g. Leupold, Nikon, Bushnell, or Vortex. The scopes that meet this criteria are the Nikon Prostaff 5, Nikon Buckmaster, Bushnell Legend Ultra HD and Vortex Diamonback. I went with the Prostaff 5 because it probaly has the best optical quality, has the best power range, and the best features.

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                • #9
                  My rule of thumb: If your Rifle cost you $500.00
                  I will spend Half $250.00 for a Scope, Pick out Three Top Scopes,Then pick what falls in to your Price Point.

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                  • #10
                    In accordance with the law of diminishing returns,a $1,000 scope does not have twice the value of a $500 scope.
                    IMO, a good Leupold VX-II or VX-III delivers about 98% of the quality that can be built into a scope, and I would not pay twice the price to get that extra one or two percent.

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                    • #11
                      By that logic, what are my rifles worth topped with a $20, antique Weaver K4?
                      Twenty bucks?
                      LOL!

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                      • #12
                        The only true criteria for judging a scope is performance. This can be affected by mounting, rings, bases, and even the accuracy of the rifle it is mounted on. I tend to favor Leupolds, since they always hold zero, never fog, and the one time I had to use their customer service, it was fantastic. The same could be said for Burris, when they were located in Greely, CO.
                        However, I also have an old Simmons, so old it was made in Japan, that has been used, abused, carried, dropped, and has never fogged nor had the crosshairs shift. This scope has accounted for over forty deer and two elk, from Texas heat to New Mexico sub-zero cold, and has never shifted point of aim.
                        I reckon that the bottom line is, buy the best you can afford, and take a close look at the warranty before you shell out the hard earned cash.

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                        • #13
                          Bubba - Good example. Your set-up seems to be in keeping with my rule of thumb. The cost of your Weaver K4 scope does not exceed the value of your rifle(s). At least I hope not.
                          My point is that the scope should not be too good for the rifle, but it's okay if the rifle is better and more costly than the scope.

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                          • #14
                            Put another way, I would prefer to have a $1,000 rifle with a $500 scope than a $500 rifle with a $1,000 scope.

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                            • #15
                              99
                              I jest! I don't have high dollar arms. Only one cost in excess of $500.
                              It's not that I'm just cheap, It's just that I'm somewhat of a tightwad!
                              I just try to buy value, I like the old K4's and they still serve me well. It gives me the warm fuzzies when I succeed in the field with my "old" equipment.

                              Comment

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