I have used Nightforce S&B and USoptics extensively. They are all really great scopes. There are things I love about each scope but no one scope is quite perfect. Perfect for me is not perfect for everyone. The thing I like the most about USoptics is they will try to get their scope as perfect for me as I ask, and that is a rare thing.
I can find several NF NXS scopes for sale on the various boards - sturmgewehr, sniper country, sniper's hide, etc. etc. on any given day. If you are having problems finding a used one let me know and I'll point you towards some links. There are four NF scopes advertised at snipercountry right now...and only one USO, which is the first one I have seen for sale over there in a long time. :-( Personally, I would love for more second hand USO's to come into the market, they are just scarce as hen's teeth. If anyone out there has a spare SN-9, SN-2, or SN-3 they are unhappy with please shoot me a personal e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org - I'll give you a fair price. :-)
As I said in my previous post, if mass market scopes fit your need (and I gather from your post that the 110 MOA in your NSX does) then by all means, go with that - the money you save will buy a lot of ammo.
However, once you start pushing the outer limits of true super-long range shooting (which is getting harder and harder to do due to range limitations and urban sprawl - another topic for another day :-) you will find that 110 MOA, hell, even 150 MOA out of a Loopy MK4 16X isn't enough, particularly if the glass isn't of best grade quality and resolution capability.
In the end, it all comes down to your needs -honestly, I don't think most shooters need USO scopes - they may want them for the quality, durablity, etc, and I don't fault them for that - if I could afford it, I would have USO glass on all of my guns. However, there are several cheaper mass market scopes out there that fill the bill for your .223, .220 swift, .308, etc.
If you want to be successful at ranges way out there...then USO is it. I'll go back to my custom gun metaphor from my first post - most average shooters won't tell much of a difference between a Heinie built 1911 and a full house custom from the Colt or Kimber factory custom shop - they have the same modifications, features, etc. However, the difference in quality and attention to detail in the Heinie is immediately obvious to a true afficionado or advanced pistolero. Additionally, Heinie will build you a superlative gun any way you want it - a commander size 9x23 or 10MM - no problem. Officer's frame with commander slide - no problem, etc. etc. USO is the same; 40mm tube with ultra-hi res glass - no problem. Special reticle designs - no problem, etc. No one else in the optics market will do that - period.
As a wise Chief Petty Officer once told me, "Quality is never cheap, but always affordable." If you are doing super-long range work, then nothing else in the marketplace comes close to USO, and the scopes become affordable because there is nothing else out there that will do the job as well as USO (IMHO). If you are shooting your .308 out to 600 - 1200 meters then a NXS is a great choice. Try reaching out and touching something accurately, at 2,500 meters plus and its a different environment altogether - NF NXS scopes are a great choice if your budget cannot take purchasing a USO, however once you use a USO long range scope at those ranges on a quality long range rig, you will wonder how you ever got by without it. Just my .02, YMMV.
About justification. I understand exactly what you mean about the extra dollars. But here is my position on just about everything, whether related to shooting or not.
I still have the very first .22 I owned as a kid. I've still got the second one too. When I left the Marine Corps, I bought a sporterized 1903 from GySgt. Joe Peckhart, a guy who did gunsmithing at home. I paid $250 for it which was a lot to spend on a rifle in 1968. I still have it - and it's a thing of beauty. So the way I figure it, it really doesn't matter what you spend on this stuff, as long as you buy something of quality, because it will outlast you. In the long run, the overall cost is meaningless.
So, what I ask myself is not what it costs, but does it work? I bought a ZF-95 Kahles mildot which is a good scope made by a reputable manufacturer. The only problem was, my eyes hurt to look through it, parallax was terrible and within a short while of use, everything went blurry and my eyes started to tear up. I gave the scope away - to me it was absolutely worthless, no matter what the cost, or, for that matter, the savings.
When I got the USO scope, I swear I though I had died and gone to heaven. What a difference - no headaches, no eye problems, no parallax, no fucus problems. I could sit there all day and look at the clear, bright target. I could shoot under any conditions without difficulty. My assessment is this: the scope just plain works - it does everything a scope is supposted to do and does it well. And if I drop it (which I've already done), it will still work. It's enjoyable to use. So, what is that worth? To me, it's worth a lot.
I really don't need a justification to spend the additional money. I got something that works great, met my specifications, and will outlast me. Could I have gotten something a little cheaper? Sure. Could I have shopped around for a better deal? Sure. Could I have found something a little less expensive, but the same general quality? Probably. But so what? After twenty-five years of use, will I actually care if I could have saved $400 way back when? Nope. Hell, it has only been a couple of years since I've been using it and I don't care even now. And that's saying something because over at Sniper's Hide USO is putting together some scope configurations and selling them at reduced prices and if I had waited, I could have saved about $500. But in the scheme of things, that doesn't amount to a hill of beans. I'm really glad that I've had that scope to use for the last couple of years.
I just had another thought. Last year I ordered a rifle from GA Gardner - it cost a little inexcess of $2000. Jeez, what a great rifle. Now, I'm not a young man and I've been around guns for a long time, but I just never thought I needed to spend that kind of money for a rifle. Now, I'm kicking myself for having waited so long.
How many Savages could I have purchased instead? A lot. But my rifle wears a stock that I wanted, and it's a good, solid thing. I has a barrel that I specified - a Mike Rock 5R - and after only 50 rounds, the rifle started to clean up with just a couple of patches. It was amazing, something I had never experienced with a store-bought rifle. And accurate? A month ago or so I competed with some bench-resters and turned in the second lowest 5-round group of the day. And this is just using the front bipod and a little bean-bag to stabalize the rear. Nothing fancy.
I truly regret not having acquired a custom gun earlier in life. I think it was Col. Townsend that said, "Only accurate rifles are interesting." That is the for sure truth.
Stop looking for deals and justifications. Get the good stuff and enjoy life.
Blaine, your explaination is very honest and the best I heard so far. I agree with you, if it makes you happy and works for you than thats it. I totally agree in 5 years , 10 years who cares what it cost.
I spent a ton on my custom rifles, I know they will last me for years. I see guys with gun cabinets full of factory crap. I have two quality rifles.
I happy with nightforce, I think it is a well made scope. I'm not going to buy the argument, however, that my NF is a mass produced piece of crap and USO is the light years better.
I'm sure your USO makes you very happy, I'm sure its quality made. But whether someone buys a NF or a USO is a matter of taste. BUT....the way SCL keeps refering to NF as "Mass Produced" is very arrogant. He is lumping NF with Tasco and other $35 scopes. It simply not true. A lot of people on this sight shoot ultra long range with leupolds.
There are other people who simply want a USO even if it made them blind just because its the most expensive. I learned long ago that the most $$$$ isn't always the best.
SCL says that my rifle will not shoot as far with the NF than a USO. I dont think it will shoot 1 inch less than its capabilites with a NF than a USO.
If this is not true then tell us WHY!!!
Also tell us whats wrong with the NF glass?
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR> I happy with nightforce, I think it is a well made scope. I'm not going to buy the argument, however, that my NF is a mass produced piece of crap and USO is the light years better.
NF is certainly not a piece of crap, by a long shot. I think what SCL was saying was that NF (as well as Leupold, S&B, Zeiss, Swarovski, etc.) have specific models that they market. If you want something a little diffeerent, they can't accommodate you. There is no question that NF puts out a first class scope, however.
When I bought my USO variable, because of its size and the size of the adjustable objective, it didn't look right to me to get the scope with a 30mm tube. Even though there was no advantage to my getting a larger tube, nevertheless, simply for the balance and asthetics of it all, I ordered it with a 35mm tube and think it was the right decision. That's what SCL was referring to - the ability to pretty much build out your scope the way you want.
I think USO recognizes the problem this creates. First, some people don't know enough to spec out a scope and wind up making mistakes and being unhappy with the final result. Second, this semi-custom orientation comes with a price. So I think (from seeing what is going on at Sniper's Hide) that they are trying to standardize certain configurations in order to make production more economical and thus come into line with other good scope manufacturers who build standard products.
But I don't know anyone who says or thinks that NF produces inferior quality scopes because clearly they don't.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR> There are other people who simply want a USO even if it made them blind just because its the most expensive. I learned long ago that the most $$$$ isn't always the best. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I'm sure you are right. There are always those who buy based on the price tag simple to have bragging rights - none of whom are on this forum, of course. I agree that the price tag doesn't always equate with the highest quality. I think Consumer Reports pretty much demonstrates that in every issue. But, on the flip side of that coin is the idea that when something looks to good to be true, it probably is. So, I just kind of chuckle when I see a new shooter log on and ask, "What is the best scope I can get for $250." The truth is, for that money you are not going to get much. It costs the manufacturer money to get good glass, good coatings, good metal and gears. That is just the fact of it. Good stuff costs money. Once you get up into the better Leupolds, NF, S&B, you are getting the good stuff. But, like SCL says, if you want or need something out of production specs, you will probably wind up at USO to get it made.