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high value low cost optics, scopes binoculars, spotters ect.

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Unread 01-17-2012, 07:32 AM
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Re: high value low cost optics, scopes binoculars, spotters ect.

The Nitrex II's were an unbelievable value and I just picked one up used but like new condition on this forum.

Inexpensive can have a couple meanings.

it can mean around $100 to those who are resource limited....and we likely have all been there at some point, or it can mean $250-300 for optics that would provide the value of optics approaching the 1k mark. The Nitrex II's fell into that category.

My Minox Z5 6-30X56 scope is in the latter category as well. Very nice glass, and target knobs of a sort. overall well worth what I bought the scope for from Cameraland as open box special. By the way, I have had great luck with that vendor.

Another scope brand that I have felt I received way more than what I paid for was the Vortex optics. I have two of the diamondback line up and they are really good scopes for the money.

Reaching into the middle again, the Zeiss conquest 3-9 at 380ish is a steal in my opinion.
“When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such governments. …” Jefferson

We are very close to this point now.
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Unread 01-17-2012, 08:11 AM
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Location: SW Idaho
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Re: high value low cost optics, scopes binoculars, spotters ect.

Good thread. Sifting through all the crap in the low to mid price range may be the best thing this thread has going for it. There is more crap to sift through than ever so a guy does have to be aware of going cheap to start and end up spending a lot down the road because of necessary upgrades. I don't agree with everything said here mostly because this is a LR site and LR hunting requires precision and precision in many cases, especially over the long run, cannot be maintained with inferior and less expensive materials. But there is a place IMO for a proven mid range scope for a lot of guys that shoot maybe out to 1/2 mile or a touch further.

I think one of the biggest mistakes guys on a budget make is prioritizing glass quality too high on their list. Glass quality is one of the big factors that cause scope prices to soar. With today's scopes IMO it is pretty easy to find glass that is good enough to get the job done even in the low to mid range. It may not be the best viewing experience and you may have to deal with edge clarity issues and loss of clarity as magnification increases and maybe even a more critical eye-box but at the end of the day they will work to get the job done.

It is my suggestion that guys look at durability, and turret repeatability (especially if you are going to be dialing your turrets for varying distances) first to find a scope that is in your budget but won't let you down in the field with the trophy of a lifetime is staring at you.

One of my other passions is precision airguns. I have been shooting those since I was a kid and they are really one of the reasons I ended up getting into LR centerfire shooting. Sounds kinda strange but dialing 3 or 4 revs on a scope just to get out to 100-150 yards is really good groundwork for what LR hunting will require. And being able to shoot hundreds of shots per day with no recoil fatigue while only spending a couple bucks on pellets makes for about the best practice a guy can get!

Anyway, because most diehard airgunners own many airguns (sometimes many, many airguns ) guys just can't afford the prime scopes for all their guns. So the low to mid range scopes get a lot of use and therefore the jewels really begin to stand out. For those that aren't aware, spring and piston powered airguns are much harder on scopes than a standard or magnum centerfire round. It is the double recoil and speed of the recoil that is so hard on scopes. Needless to say you find out very quickly what will hold up and what won't.

The Bushnell line has always been the mainstay of airguns scopes. Especially their 3200 and 4200 series. Tough as nails, very repeatable and excellent glass, especially in the 4200 line.

Weaver is also a very good performer for toughness, turret quality and good glass for the price. Their V16 is one of my favorites. I have 3 and they all are on magnum airguns and are going strong after 1000's and 1000's of shots. The have semi target turrets as well which makes for great practice for LRH. The Grand slam is also a good option.

Nikon has always been a big player as well. Not surprised many guys are finding good luck with their Nikons. Some lines are better than others though so I would be careful in just choosing any Nikon.

Hawke is probably the newest optic line to hit the airgun industry but it has pretty much taken it by storm the last few years. Very good prices and warranty and they have a really versatile lineup and their scopes are built to take a beating. Their repeatability is also very good. Glass quality has pretty much been their weakness but 2011 and beyond is more than acceptable. They also have a really functional 1/2 mil hash reticle for those that wish to try out a BDC reticle.

The SWFA SS line should also be at the top of anyone's list who is on a budget. Their scopes are some of the most durable and repeatable scopes out there IMO and this goes for even their older, lower priced fixed scopes. Their newer additions, 10xHD, 3-9x42, and 5-20 are excellent in all regards and are at the top of my list for price to quality/feature ratio. The newer models aren't low priced and some aren't even mid priced but they compete with the elite manufacturers for a fraction of the price so in that regard they are high value low cost for many folks that are looking for a happy medium. This is especially true if one is looking for a good priced FFP scope with matching reticle and turrets. The SWFA line is MIL/MIL and either FFP or fixed power.

I guess depending on a guys budget the scopes I mentioned may or may not be considered low priced. But these would be the ones I would feel confident relying on with a good record of durability and repeatability while still allowing me to save some cash. This is a LR site and the precision workings of a scope's internals should not be underestimated to pull off the kind of shots that LR hunters require. In this game, especially for those shooters that constantly dial their turrets, I do think over time the lower priced scopes will cause a loss of accuracy and repeatability for you. Not saying that as an absolute as I am sure there are a few wonders out there. I guess I am just reminding folks that there ARE some things that are critically important to repeatable performance that can't be scrimped on. Turret repeatability and overall durability are a couple of those IMO. Guys that shoot only to MPBR or those that use BDC style reticles can in some ways get away with less quality in a scope because once they get their scope set they seldom have to change anything so quality of internals, etc isn't quite as important is it would be to other shooters. For what I consider LR shooting, 600 yards and beyond, turret quality and repeatability does become a critical factor guys shouldn't overlook just to save a few bucks.

So it goes for guys on a budget trying to find that happy medium between price, quality and features.

Scot E.
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Unread 01-17-2012, 09:04 AM
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Re: high value low cost optics, scopes binoculars, spotters ect.

Originally Posted by Savageman69 View Post
I shoot at dusk all the time with my AR-15, Ive mentioned before A shooting buddy has the same rifle I have, but with a Leupold on it, His is a 30mm tube and a 50mm obj lens, Ive got a 42mm obj and a 1" tube. We both shoot up untill its too dark to see, And the difference between the two is a matter of minutes, And that is because of the bigger obj and tube dia. Yes the Leupold is higher quality but for the price of a new gun it better be.
I place Leupold's on the mediocre scope category. Some of them are nice but you pay more for the name than the performance. Again, the whole "worth" depends on your hunting situation. If I hunt deer through the night at moonlight, a Zeiss Victory Diavari is well worth the price. The difference in performance is not minor by any means. During daylight any scope looks good so if it is only legal to shoot at certain hours then a cheaper scope is more than adequate.
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Unread 01-17-2012, 09:11 AM
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Re: high value low cost optics, scopes binoculars, spotters ect.

Buy the best you can afford, without denying baby a new pair of shoes, for the game you play and do the best you can with it.
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Unread 01-17-2012, 06:52 PM
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Re: high value low cost optics, scopes binoculars, spotters ect.

Ill Say it Agian Please Stop Pushing the "best" scopes in this thread, We all know that stuff thats $800+ is great, Maybe Im just broke but I dont See $800 as a Low Cost High Quality Option, If you Find that $800 scope for $500 please tell us,
But I, and I think Most other people dont think Even $500 is a great low cost option. Especially since there Are cheaper options that are just as good. I can shoot 2.5 MOA with A factory 55gr AE FMJ BT out of a 16" bushmaster with a 1-9 twist, (using a Scope that normally costs $100 and I paid $75 for) If I can Hit A 18x18 plate repeatedly At 634yds with snow on the ground and 10-15mph wind After My rifle was bouncing Around In the back of a truck on the crappy dirt road for 45min, And the Only Corrections needed to re zero were because of Altitude and for the air density due to the temperature.
I think In those Conditions, that Range, With that Rifle, and that Load Putting 5 successive shots On that plate Is pretty Damn good

PLEASE tell me what benefit I will get Out Of Replacing my Scope with One That Costs Twice As much As the Rifle It sits On? Will I shoot Better? Will I shoot Further? I think Id be better off Buying A National Match Trigger kit

There Really arent many places in the US where its legal to Night hunt and thats mainly just hogs. Anyway, unless You Spotlight which makes your target light up like at noon, Or you use Nightvision, dark is dark and a $2,700 Ziess Victory Diavari Full moon or not wont make you see in the dark, So specialized equipment Is Needed to hunt succesfully at night, and I added that Caveat "successfully" Because Without Equipment for night, Only under the most ideal conditions will you be able to operate, And with no artificial light that is 3ish days in a month (that's an optimistic number) provided there is no cloud cover and you are out in the open, And facing the moon. Im not saying its not possible, But you can catch a fish with a bare hook, though you'd be better off with a worm.

Scopes can only pick up on light that is there, so you are SOL without the stars aligning at the moment of your shot. Regardless Of the Price.
But You Are right the Ziess victory should have great light transmission but thats due to the big 56mm obj lens, but that doesnt make it see in the dark.
Scope light transmission is limited by the tube Dia and the OBJ lens its a choke point, So i dont care how "good" the glass is unless there is light going into the obj lens night is night.

So If you do spotlight, A scope that works during the day will be just as effective, And if You have a NV setup well your set.
I'm Sorry But Unless you have specialized night hunting Gear "NV" or a Spotlight
You are blind at night $3,000 dollar scope or not

I work a late shift so After I get Off or on my nights Off I go into the woods And Watch the animals, And unless the Conditions Are perfect and here in Washington I'm lucky to get one "perfect" night a month, Even then I have to use My NV monocular or the one on my Camera 95% of the time. And I have 20-15 vision, thats better than 20-20, So I know exactly what its like night "Hunting" I do it with a Camera And If A 67mm lens on an SLR has trouble seeing without IR, A rifle Scope sure as hell cant.

Sorry this got waaaaaaaaaay off topic.

But I got a good product for you guys My Father in Law Got A barska colorado spotting scope I think it is a 20-60x60 and it was $70ish And over new years we were using it for some target spotting, And scanning the mountains around his house for deer and sheep and it works pretty well. At max power you really need to adjust the focus alot when you scan, I could have been the extreme range but, It worked quite well. and it came with a hard case and a tripod, check it out.
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Unread 01-17-2012, 07:46 PM
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Location: Palm Harbor, FL
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Re: high value low cost optics, scopes binoculars, spotters ect.

Where I hunt at night using artificial lights or night vision is not legal. It is true that good conditions are needed even for the best scopes but a little moon light on snow is all that is needed. For most parts of US, especially to those that hunt at feeders a low cost option is more than enough.

Shooting a geese at other side of the lake at the end of the day is impossible with a $300 scope while still quite easy with TOTL scope.
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Unread 01-17-2012, 08:07 PM
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Re: high value low cost optics, scopes binoculars, spotters ect.

Originally Posted by Savageman69 View Post
I think Id be better off Buying A National Match Trigger kit
You know, all you really need is a $99 Mosin Nagant with iron sights. Why spend more? Your rant about scopes and how they aren't needed is silly when you seem to spend a lot of unnecessary money on your rifles.
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