Originally Posted by Sako7STW
I would highly recommend the Trijicon 5-20x50mm. Almost exactly in your price range. IMO optics as good if not better than the NF and defiantly superior optics to the PST, anything Leu, and pretty much every "affordable" scope I have look through. I don't know why it gets so overlooked here, I think it is because it does have somewhat limited amount of adjustment. If you shoot anything though that has decent balistics you will be fine and if your worried you can go to a 20deg cant riings and not worry. The Bushnell tactical line and the Weaver Tactical I hear have some pretty amazing optics according to a few reviews I have recently read.
Also agree. I've ordered several Trijicon 5-20x50 MD scopes for several of my customers, and they are definitely well priced. I'm not sure that I'd say the glass is superior
to Leupold's (especially Mark 4's), but yes, definitely better than Vortex's... The glass is very clear and super bright, but to my eyes, resolution and overall color crispness isn't quite as good as NF or a MK4, however very close. Durability and tracking is where it's at, as it's built solid as a tank, as can be expected from any Trijicon optic. The only thing that I wish could be changed is the size of the reticule. The mildots are quite large, and some shooters may feel that they obscure too much of the target. Although on the large side, it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me. Also wish they'd offer a Gen 2 mildot (hash marks at .5 mil, in between dots) or a MOA version with hash marks instead of dots. Not a biggie though...
I've recently fallen in love with Steiner's tactical line of scopes. I just recently bought a 4-16x50 34mm for an outstanding price (the 3-15x has taken it's place, so 4-16's can be had at crazy prices - usually are $2300, got mine for $1400!)... and let me tell you, it's top shelf glass - comparable to (but not better than) S&B, Swarovski, and high end Zeiss. I've got a S&B PMII 4-16x50 close by that I can directly compare with, and while the S&B seems to be "sharper" by a hair, the Steiner has colors so vivid, it's crazy... and the thing is huge, and obviously built to withstand hard use. Has a Gen 2 mil dot (illuminated of course) in the FFP, and has a .1 mil per click turrets, very large - 20 mils of elevation available in 2 revolutions (with a second revolution indicator similar to S&B's or Hensoldt's). Windage is 4.5 mils each way IIRC. All tracking tests I've done (100y, 300y, and 750y) have been spot on, which is the most important aspect of a scope that I own.
All that being said, I feel it's overkill on the rifle it's on (my most recent build, custom 700 stainless short action with Shilen Select SS 26" bbl in a AI AICS chamered in .308), as it has the capability to zero wayyyy past the limits of the .308 (and I'm even using a 0 MOA TPS base!), and would be much more at home on a 1500+ yard rifle like a good .338 Lapua or something.
Also, be careful choosing a magnification, as most people choose something that's way too high than thay really need. I love scopes with a maximum magnification of 16x to 20x at absolute most. Scopes that max out at 24x - 32x seem great on paper, but when you actually go to shoot, and take into account the cons- like smaller exit pupil the higher the mag, more perceptible crosshair movement, narrower F.O.V., and a bottom mag setting less useful at closer ranges, you'll find that you'll shoot faster, get on target quicker, and group better actually with a lower magnification. I have absolutely no issues whatsoever hitting 12" x 12" steel at 1000 yards with my 16x scope, and I can probably locate the target MUCH
faster than I could with a 24/32x optic. Just my 2 cents. Good luck!