Re: Need for \"tactical\" scopes
40, let's answer your question directly. Is a $800 scope give you twice the value of a $400 scope? Not if you don't value the features of the $800 scope.
Break down the problem. you want to shoot LR. 1000yds is on the long side for you. You shoot something flatter then the 308. The 308 will go from 100yds to 1000yds with under 40min of elevation (usually 35min). so just about everything else needs less elevation.
The last time I went out with my 6.5-06 to 800yds, I used a grand total of 15.5 min of elevation.
When a scope is set up properly (Burris inserts and/or MOA base), most 1" scopes will get you to 1000yds. I have used an elite 4200 with 25min of elevation to work when shooting magnums. I don't have a problem with my 100yd zero at full down elevation. None of the scopes I use show any distortion or optical quality loss.
do you need a 30mm tube, fancy reticles, supreme glass? No but they are nice. What you must have is optics clear enough to engage target at the max range and lighting you will hunt/shoot at, mechanical sound enough so that you can trust the adjustments.
So if on a budget, the best entry level is the Elite 3200 10X for under $200. Optics are above average and mechanically wonderful. Lots of elevation and a very nice mil dot reticle which can come in handy for hold offs. Barret Industries considers it tactical enough.
Next up, Tasco Super Sniper. Lots of elevation, very useable optics, a true entry level 'tactical' scope.
For variables and top notch optics, 1" scopes include the Bushnell Elite 4200 4X16, 6X24, and Nikon Monarch 4.5X14, and 6X20. All have excellent mechnicals, some mildots, may not survive being run over by a humvee but certainly anything a normal hunter experiences.
From there, its bring money, fancy features, and some different benefits. Without knowing what you need or want, this may be not the best way to spend money at this time.
I have become quite an optics snob. I will not tolerate poor optical quality, unreliable mechanicals, and poor workmanship. Size and weight also matter during my hunts.
Used to be that you had to spend a lot of money to get the these qualities. Nowadays, there are several brands and models for dirt cheap that would give the exotics of yesterday a run for the money. In fact, one of the main name brands have inferior quality products for up to 3 times the cost.
Nikon and Bushnell are driving ahead with fantastic scopes for dirt cheap (great glass and mechanicals for well around $400). If you decide to start here, you will not be disappointed.
If you have the budget to step in with a more expensive scope with benefits YOU feel are important, it will also not disappoint. After you use something you enjoy, cost rarely becomes important.
PS been playing with a new Nikon porro prism binos. The specs reads like a who who or whats what. Optically quality is really good. Clear and very wide field of view (12X50), light weight and compact for this mag and style of bino. Very precise focus and easy to use with glasses. Sharp enough to resolve grass at 800yds and brush/branches at 2km. Colour is quite true and low light performance has been quite good.
Perfect, nope. Better then the best Europe has to offer, nope. But for viewing game on the short side of 1km, enough for my needs.
I just picked them up for $145 delivered. Nikon Extreme EX. Scary, they really are that good.