Best bang for the buck scope.

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by RossK, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. RossK

    RossK Member

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    Hello all, I just bought a 6.5 Gibbs on a tuned mauser 98 and now I need a scope for it. This gun won't be a pampered gun that rides to the range once a week in a hard case, it will bounce around the country in a pickup and possible (but hopefully not) get knocked over or dropped a few times. The rifle should be capable out to 1000 or 1200 yards so I want good quality optics but hunting running coyotes you sometimes need low magnification so it needs to be adjustable, preferably form around 4-20. I would like good usable turrets with a zero stop and some kind of mildot or moa reticle. I will use it occasionally in low light and I have a friend that told me that the biggest limiting factor in low light use is the tube size, basically you can have the biggest objective lens they make but if it can't get through the tube, it's pointless. Is that correct? If so that would limit me to a 30mm or bigger tube. My price limit is $1000 so that throws another kink in things. I have looked at minox, vortex, nightforce, ior and more but just need some help to come to a conclusion. The minox only has a 1" tube so, according to my friend, it's not good for low light plus there is little good info on them, the vortex seems good but i'm skeptical of a new company that I have heard very little about, the nightforce is too pricey and so is the ior.
    any and all opinions and suggestions would be much appreciated. thanks in advance.
     
  2. pyroducksx3

    pyroducksx3 Well-Known Member

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    I would say the vortes pst or viper, nikon monarck X, and ziess are all good options to look at. I have no expierence with the pst but at this point if you dont want FFP Im not sure the pst is really worth it over the viper, maybe someone else may know better? The nikon are nice 30mm tube 4-16 etched reticle MOA adjustments. And well zeiss is pretty well though of. Pick out the features you want and see what fits the price range. For me my price range was a vortex viper ,no zerostop feature like the pst, I would love a FFP scope but cant afford one. I guess leupold is worth a mention either a VX-III or thier mark 4 stuff but to be honest for the money Im just not much impressed with their stuff, not much expierence with the top end stuff but the vx-II and III I just feel like I could do better for what they charge. Another thing to consider is do you want MOA adjustments or IPHY, I prefer MOA but you can make up your mind the zeiss are IPHY
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011

  3. Sako7STW

    Sako7STW Well-Known Member

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    No, that is only partially correct. Only so much light can pass through the smallest section of the scope period. Think of it kinda like the old saying, "A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link." Only so much light can pass through a given tube. Most people think that the 30mm, 34mm, 35mm, and so on tubes are what the light has available to pass through. If you look at a scopes structure though, you will see there is a tube within the outer tube. The inner tubes job is to refract light for magnification purposes and to reverse the picture. In most cases the inner tubes lenses and tube itself are the same size on a 30mm as a 1" and so on. The larger outer tube provides more inner space for the inner tube tube to move in, allowing for a larger adjustment range. That is the purpose of the larger tubes

    A larger objective lens allows for more light transmission at higher powers in dimmer conditions, thus maximizing the available light at the exit pupil giving you a "brighter" picture. It can get pretty dang complicated and I will spare you but all in all, your friend is wrong, especially about the Minox and any scope with 1" tubes. If your going to be hunting in low light situations, a larger objective is the only thing that can really help you besides paying big bucks for better coatings. But they come with their drawbacks as well.

    Hope this clears things up for you some. As for your needs, I would recommend strongly looking at the Zeiss Conquest 6.5-20x50mm or the 4.5-14x50mm.
     
  4. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Objective lens diameter and glass/coatings quality is what determines light transmission, not tube diameter.

    The biggest advantage with the 30-34mm tubes is the fact they give you much more compensation for drop in that you can actually see the bullett strike at 1000yds without mounting your scope with the rear elevated and/or a zero set beyond 500yds at the intersection of the cross hairs. You also typically get more room to adjust your elevation and windage if you are doping and clicking for those shots.

    For most shooters though the wider field of view with the 50mm or larger objectives is what makes the biggest difference.

    Best bang for the buck for what you are looking for would probably be the Leupold 4-12 or 14.5-14 with either the varmint or mil dot reticle.

    Remember you can set your 100yds zero above center line by using one of the mil dots above as your 100yds zero point which will allow you much more room at the bottom for long range shots.

    If you intend to be set up where you can dope all your information and make elevation and windage changes on the scope the reticle is somewhat less important than if you intend on just using simple math in your head and adjusting your point of aim.

    The Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14 and 6-20 x 50's will also fit the bill for you with the rapid z reticles, but they get right up around your maximum price range as well.

    BTW on running coyotes if you just set your range on the parallax adjustment at 400yds as your standard carry it'll work well enough for those quick shots especially if you keep your scope down to around 8-10x for normal carry as well.

    I shoot about a hundred or so from the truck every year with a .204 Ruger with the conquest 3.5-10x44 at ranges out to about six hundred and use the 4.5-14x44 on my current long range gun. I'm in the process of putting together an LR-260 and will be putting the conquest 6-20x50 on it to start but I may end up switching it to the 7mm STW and put the 4.5-14x44 on the 260 since I plan to shoot it quite a bit more but we'll see.

    If you check the classifides on here, and also watch Ebay and you don't get in too big of a hurry you can find yourself a very reasonable deal on any of the above.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  5. RossK

    RossK Member

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    What is iphy?

    Thanks for all the replys I've always been a fan of leupolds but it just doesn't seem like, from what i've seen, they have quite as much to offer for the price but I might have to look into them some more.
     
  6. RossK

    RossK Member

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    I also figured that I wanted a ffp scope. Do zeiss and leupold have that option on a reasonably priced scope?
     
  7. pyroducksx3

    pyroducksx3 Well-Known Member

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    IPHY is your scope adjustments and the value for adjustments will be in inches per hundred yards vs MOA which is Minute of angle is 1.047. As I understand it if your adjustments are in IPHY and they are 1/4 per click at a hundred yards then 2 clicks at 100 yards would be 1/2 at 200 yards 2 click will be 1" adjustment. So if you have a drop chart and it says at 600 yards you need to adjust 60 inches, so at 600 yards 4 clicks is actually 6" so it will take 40 clicks to get 60in at 600 yards , I think this is how it works. Vs MOA where you look at your range card and it says 8.4 MOA you go to the scope and dia 8.4 MOA and shoot , becasue MOA is a variable value, 1 MOA at a 100 yards is 1" (actually 1.047) 2" at 200, 3" at 300. MOA just weems way easier for me. Im not 100% sure this is how IPHY works but from how I understand things this is how it operates. Hopefully someone will confirm or deny this! Also if you get an FFP (Leupold has one zeiss no) have the hashes on the reticle match your turret adjustments. that way all your data can bee the same. Vortex has a EBR MOA reticle with moa adjustment, illuminated reticle, zero stop That was my first choice but I just dont have the $$$ for it. I agree with you on the leupolds. I think they make fine scopes I have two of them, but I got them when I worked for outdoor stores and got them way under retail and at that price they were a good value. I also have a bushnell 4200 and Im less impresed with it, the vx-II is clearer and brighter than he bushnell 4200.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  8. jeffersonv

    jeffersonv Active Member

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    The suggestion of Leupold sure surprised me! At lease in the bang-for-buck category.

    Best BFB I've seen for hunting is the Nitrex. I don't think you can get them on sale anymore but you might check Natchez to make sure. I see them pop up in forums for sale here and there. Flat out awesome scope for the price. Trust me.

    I'd probably go Vortex after that.
     
  9. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    No. FFP is overrated in my opinion for hunting applications, particularly for anyone who is used to SFP scopes. Generally you are looking at, at least 200-400.00 more for FFP vs SFP even in otherwise identical scopes and having shot both A LOT, for most applications it's just not worth the difference in cost.

    No scope in and of itself is going to make you a great shooter, and at the ranges you're talking about 600yds or less, unless you are trying to shoot prairie dog sized critters you can over spend and get far more glass than you need in a hurry.

    I routinely shoot prairie dogs out to 500yds, with just a 3.5-10x44 conquest, and tons of coyotes out to 800 with the 4.5-14x44 conquest as well. The 3.5-10x50 Leupold was the only high end scope I owned for about twenty years and we took numerous hogs and deer out to 800yds with it on a 7mm Mag.

    To me the quality of the glass and repeatability along with holding of zero are by far the most important aspects of a scope for general hunting applications and varmint shooting.
     
  10. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Buying a scope made by a manufacturer no longer in business has always struck me as being a great way to throw money into a fire.

    You may get lucky and have a great one that never fails, but odds are sooner or later it will and you are stuck with a pile of garbage and no way to get it fixed.

    With scopes like Zeiss and Leupold yes, you do pay more on the front end, but you are also buying a lot of peace of mind because you know that 2-5-10 or 20 years from now they will still be there supporting their product.

    When you buy a "cheap scope" you generally get what you paid for.

    For the OP's requirements one more I'd suggest is the SWFA Super Sniper Scopes.

    They seem to be the exception to the cheap rule, and as long as you buy through an authorized dealer like SWFA you can get the warranty work done if/when needed. They do not however offer the No BS lifetime transferrable warranty that you can get with the Leupold and Zeiss products.
     
  11. RossK

    RossK Member

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    I think I am willing to pay for the ffp because I want the capability of finding ranges using the mildot with any magnification and i also want to use it for quick bullet drop compensations on long range coyotes when i'm driving down the road and throw the gun out the window quick to shoot a coyote.

    Does anyone know anything about the minox or ior? I know ior are a bit more pricey but i have also heard that they are an extremely good scope for the money. I have heard that the minox has the same glass as a $2500 zeiss for a mere $600, does anyone know anything about it?
    Thanks everyone for all the advice.
     
  12. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    IOR is excellent quality. For that kind of money though you should just be patient and watch Ebay for a nice Mark $ leupold.

    I'm pretty sure there's a camo'd 4-16x40 Mark 4 still on there that I keep seeing.

    EDTA:

    http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?rt=nc&LH_ItemCondition=12&_nkw=leupold%20Mark%204&_fln=1&_ssov=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m282

    If you are going to spend 900-1,100 bucks might as well get one of the most durable, clear, battle proven scopes ever produced.

    I have some Minox lenses for my cameras, they are superb quality but I've never handled one of their scopes.

    Someone has a Minox on the classifieds here right now I think.
     
  13. acloco

    acloco Well-Known Member

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    Leupold Mark 4 16x50 with M1 turrets. Post a WTB in the optics section. You should be able to pick up a used one in the 800-850 range. Going with a fixed power scope also removes a variable from your shooting regimen (which is NOT a bad thing!).

    Scope provides 140 to 150 MOA adjustment. Plenty to use for any caliber from a 100 yard zero to 1200 yards +.

    One problme not mentioned about FFP (first focal plane) scopes, the reticle covers up quite a bit of the target at extended ranges. Prairie dog past 5/600...forget it.
     
  14. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Ditto, and it won't do anyone any good on a running coyote because you can't use it to range a running animal as the range is constantly changing.

    For quick shots you have to be a good range estimator and I find a plain mil dot or varmint reticle to be of far more value.