Originally Posted by timmay
in the real world no difference. In the scope snob world, all the difference
Yep...that's probably true for one reason.
500-1000 is still in the lower end of scope quality, so you're looking at comparing a mid range inexpensive scope to an upper end inexpensive scope.
100-1000 is the low end quality
1000-2000 is the mid range quality
2000-3000 and up is excellent quality
3000+ is where you see a diminished return on your investment
What you get for your extra 500-1000 when you're at the low end of the spectrum is HUGE. Glass quality, tracking, illumination, FFP, objective size, tube size, durability, glass coatings, eye relieve yada yada yada.
It's not until you get over 2000 that you start to gain very little in features as you increase $$.
Once you get above 2000, features don't change much. About the only thing you're getting is better glass...and to some, it's not needed.
Last summer my three buddies and I laid down and set all of our optics to 14x and looked through them at the same target at 1460 yds. The difference was UNQUESTIONABLE.
A Bushnell G2DMR (around 900), a Nightforce NXS (1700 range) and Premier. (around 3000)
I'll use these three as examples throughout, since I got to look at each all at the same time. I've looked through the Vortex Razor HDs, Zeiss Conquests, USO, Leupold VXII, III, MK IV and a ton of others...but not all at the same time for direct comparisons.
It was clear the Nightforce was better than the Bushnell...but we concluded that it was not worth an extra $800, due to the features Bushnell offered.
It was also clear that the Premier was vastly superior to the NXS, although, it was hard to justify an extra $1000+.
"Real world" for you and "Real world" for someone else is VERY VERY VERY different.
If you don't shoot LR (beyond 1000), you don't rely on accurate tracking (from top to bottom on your turret, not just a few MOA here and there), you don't use your scope for glassing (targets or critters at or beyond a mile), you don't use a reticule for ranging (for targets or animals ) or calling misses for a partner...then your choices are vastly different than mine and your needs are much different as well.
I'm of the firm belief that your optic should be at least on par with the value of your rifle. If you're rifle ran you $1500, then you scope better at least give you $1500 worth of quality and features.
There are many optics that give you more for your dollar than others. In the comparison we looked at...I would be more than happy taking a NEW $1000 Bushnell Elite Tactical over a NEW Nightforce for $1800.
Now if you can get a used NXS for 1200, or a used Premier for 2300 then thats something I would jump on because there are just some things that retain their value.