Ok... just kidding. But at the same time could someone clue me in on what the differences in quality are between a 4-16x50 at say $75 by Leapers vs say a Leopold or $2k Nightforce?
And that said, is there such a scope in existence that's not the price of a decent rifle?
I grew up with my dad and I using Simmons scopes and Lever guns shooting whitetail in brush country. But that's a step or two better than the generation previous who prefered a 16 gauge and killed 90% of his deer using rifled slugs. So we're making progress!
It's not unusual to have a scope that costs twice as much as the rifle it is mounted on.
Optics should be the last place you cut corners and try to go the budget route. If you have a very nice, tack driving rifle, why would you want to put a POS optic on top; an optic that is unreliable or unreliable and has poor glass quality?
Quality optics make a big difference on paper and when hunting.
I think I can understand what would separate the cheap from the expensive in scopes:
Clear image (I've seen some newer $80 Centerpoint scopes with a good picture but low sun angle isn't the best)
Holds a ZERO and doesn't budge one fraction of an MOA.
Solid construction internally and externally
Can adjust windage and elevation and return the turrets to the same exact point accurately
Is it possible to have just 1-2 of those qualities (i.e. holds a zero without budging) in a reasonably priced scope? For me that would be $200 - $300 range. Is used a good idea? My budget says that I don't want to spend a dollar for something that isn't going to show up on paper.
My dad used under $100 (problably less maybe $35 back then) 3-9 scopes on his old 336 .35 Rem Marlin all the time he used it (now hunts with a Browning A-Bolt in 308) and did decent for what the gun could do (2"-3" groups at 100 with factory loads).
There are some pretty decent offerings in the $200 - $300 range. Vortex Vipers, Leupold VX 2's...also look at Minox. You can get reliability and a nice image with $300.00. I have a Vortex Viper 2-7x32 that I paid $179.00 for that is utterly reliable, holds zero and has a super image. It's on my daughter's turkey gun, then it gets moved over to her slug gun for deer season.