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

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Savageman69, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Savageman69

    Savageman69 Well-Known Member

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    Hi I'm looking to break the cycle of people buying high dollar scopes just because of there name,
    Binoculars and spotting scopes as well, wasting hard earned cash on stuff they don't need. Also just because something isn't expensive doesn't mean it isn't high quality, perfect example a Honda in 1985 cost anywhere from 1500-3000 new, I've owned 3 CRX's and one prelude and paid on average 1000 for them high value low cost. Honda to sell cars and to be competitive sold better cars than others for half the cost, and they had already established themselves as a great brand with 30 years in the car business.

    My point is if you are a benchrest shooter or even a hunter a $1500 leupold isn't needed, under most circumstances if you are in extreme conditions a nicer scope might be warranted, I just bought a Tasco 2.5-10x42mm mil-dot scope for my AR-15 I went to a few local gun stores and was looking at 2-300 dollar nikons bushnells and othwrs, I wanted a mil dot so my choices were limited hunting scopes arent mil-dots usually I was even considering a $500 swarfvsky, then a guy shopping reccomended the Tasco I didn't even look at because it was $99 and I assumed it was a joke, however it had crisper glass with clarity at all ranges and no fuzzy ring on the outside edge at max power and the turrets had set screws to zero the windage and elevation even the $500 scope didn't have that, also the paralax ring and the power ring moved smoother, and didn't have the little bit of play so when you turn the focus ring every milimeter of movement in both directions moves the lense, the other 200-300 scopes had a little slop in the focus ring so if you don't have the lense snug the focus ring and fire it can can't and shift out of focus.
    Basically the Tasco was the best product for my needs and it was the cheapest, and scince the $500 sollar scope was the only a little better than what I got, I just saved $400 and now I can buy a 20" bushmaster upper with a bull barrel and a 1-8 twist .

    So if you've found a fantastic product for a great price reply to this post I put it in optics because the product I found that hit waaay above its wieght class so to speak was the Tasco 2.5x10-42mm scope they also have a 6-24x50 that is my scopes big brother and it is I think around $120.

    So don't buy for a name buy whatever has quality, I'm looking for a great light set of varible power bino's 10-30x 30 or a nice variable monocular like 7-21x-whatever. I don't want to spend more than 60
    Thanks guys
     
  2. tulku

    tulku Well-Known Member

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    OK , I will play . I Test my own Scopes or those from friends just for kicks and because I see so much variability in comments . I also use a wide variety of Resolution Charts . I ran into one Rifle Scope which really surprised me . Caviat : I only shoot in bright sunlight and FOV and Eye Relief are not critical because I'm shooting light kicking Varmint Rifles . Anyway , the Scope with very high Resolution and low cost was a Nikon Buckmaster 6-18X . I should also add that I test all my Scopes at 15X / 16X because that is where all my Scopes overlap in Power . For Light Weight Binoculars , I like my old Bushnell 7X26 Custom Compacts . Don't know if they are even made anymore . They were once the first choice of Lightweights for Birders , and were chosen to go on the early Space Flights . They are not a good choice for dim light Deer Hunting ( don't ask me how I know ) .
     

  3. Nimrod

    Nimrod Well-Known Member

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    My best optics buy was an old surplus M17A1 6x30 binocular I found in the local junk shop for the princely sum of $6.00, the glass is fantastic! It is not marked as to the maker but from my research I think it is probably a Baush & Lomb.

    I normally try to stay with US made stuff as much as I can so if the price is a little higher I wait a little longer.

    Bob
     
  4. opticspecialist

    opticspecialist Well-Known Member

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    let the buyer beware, you always get what you pay for,

    sometimes you pay for the name, there are other reasons for the price difference. optical clarity, consistency, reliability, and even reticles can make a difference.

    nightforce for example, they are expensive, but mechanically, they are probably the most consistent scopes on the market. they are also some of the most rugged and heaviest.

    any scope with a horus reticle is going to cost more because you have to pay horus for the royalties on the reticle.

    most decent scopes that are worth buying also have a life time warranty and good customer service. schmidt and bender and swarovski even go as far as to send you a scope to use while your scope is fixed if you ever have a problem.

    shooting long range, mirage can be an issue you can better cope with if you have better glass. in low light situations, better optics, illumination can make all the difference in the world.

    in reflex optics, like aimpoint and eotech, you pay for an optic that will work in adverse situations or work for a long time, the aimpoint micro's can run 5 or 6 years on one battery, and can take some abuse, check this out [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89HEefl1KI4]M4 Torture Test Promo - YouTube[/ame]


    the times you really see the difference is when el cheapo optics break at the most inopportune time, when your walking back to camp because you can't see through your scope or you can't see your reticle when the buck is standing right in front of you, when you can't see through the mirage, or when you make a turret adjustment and it either doesn't return to zero, or won't adjust consistently. or your red dot blinks on and off when you fire, or the battery goes dead in two hours,
     
  5. joe0121

    joe0121 Well-Known Member

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    SWFA SS Good glass, nice mechanics

    Nightforce Very good glass, but about bomb proof

    US Optics, outstanding glass, fully customizable great mechanics.
     
  6. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    Well said. Quality in optics is much more than the image you see thru the lens. Take a scope apart sometime, and you will see how complex it is. Many cheap scopes have glued in prisms; erector tube springs that do not return, poor lens coatings,etc. And they seem to fail just when you need it to be perfect. Yes, you can find a cheap scope that might give a lifetime of service; but the odds are better with the high end scopes. Buy the good stuff and cry once.
     
  7. CogburnR

    CogburnR Well-Known Member

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    I think a guy should have a good scope.

    I just bought a set of cheapo 15x70 binoculars for spotting and range use and I can see one heck of a lot with them. The moons of Jupiter are easy to make out. I can see individual small branches on trees 3.5 miles out so far. I haven't tried them in the field yet but counting points at 2 miles should be easy.

    I intend to use them more close to the truck than carrying in the field but for 129$ they are pretty good. They aren't tough enough for hard hunting use but they make bino's for that they are just 3 times more money. These would break if you dropped them.

    https://www.garrettoptical.com/Garrett-11x70-and-15x70-Astronomy-Binoculars-p/g1570lw.htm
     
  8. Savageman69

    Savageman69 Well-Known Member

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    You are absolutely right scopes are very coplicated and precise instruments.
    One should always buy the piece of gear that does the job right ,
    but We all need to diferentiate the meaning of the words cheap and inexpensive. From what ive observed there are alot of people comparing cost like some guys compare caliber, see my rimfire discrimination post for more on that.

    Ive been Guilty of what i am trying to change, I was going to drop $500 on a scope When a "Cheap" Tasco was recommended, it is just as good and better than most of the scopes i looked at costing 4-5 times as much, the tasco i got on sale for around $70 had all the features and a few more nice touches the nikons and bushnells ziess and even the lower end leupolds didnt have.

    I had a mishap with my scope I dropped the upper while cleaning and it landed scope down of course, but fortunatly a nice soft .50 cal ammo can was there to soften the landing, Still held a perfect zero just a few nicks on the finish, 3 guys at my range have shown up with either the same 2.5-10x42 or is big brither a 6-24x50 both mil dots both have the option for a rheostat red/green and the 50mm comes with flip up covers and rings ( maybe iffy) and both are less than $100 shipped, when people sell there nikon prostaff and buy a new scope that they feel is bettter and still have enugh change from the sale for a few boxes of ammo its a good deal.


    Low Cost isnt always a sign of low quality there is a magical 20% or so of stuff out there that is cheap to buy but quality to own, take some time dont buy somthing because its a name and its expensive, explore all the options and you will get more for your money.
    Out of all the scopes i was looking at the tasco 2.5-10x42 was the best fit i wanted a mil dot scope that has a low power minimum and the scince most mil dot formulas work off of a 10x scope its handy, /i can focus on something 5 feet in front of me or 600yds away, very versitile. thanks for reading and putting up with my rambling :D
     
  9. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    Sure, Savageman69 has a point, with a few caveats. If your life doesn't depend on the optic working, if you're using light calibers or don't shoot a lot, if you don't invest much time, effort or money in a single shot, and if you don't need to make shots under poor illumination, then using an inexpensive optic makes sense. This is the case for many recreational shooters, plinkers, target shooters and small game hunters. But if any of these caveats don't apply, you should plan to spend a lot more than $100 on a rifle scope.

    Most of the inexpensive (<$100) scopes on the market today are made in China. In my experience, the three areas that these inexpensive scopes generally fail at are: quality control, optical surface figure, and glare performance. Language and culture differences and distance make it difficult for US companies to insure that Chinese workers follow instructions and perform quality control procedures. Return rates for these products are higher.

    When people talk about "good glass", it's not the glass itself but the surface polish that distinguishes good glass. The quality of polish is usually referred to as surface figure. If the polishing process is done with haste to cut cost, the surfaces will have very small dips and rises that reduce the image contrast. Modern scopes usually have more than 5 lenses and all if them can contribute to lower image contrast. Interestingly, poor surface figure does not reduce resolution very much. That's why cheap scopes tend have good image resolution when viewing fine details under good illumination. Under marginal lighting, however, cheap scopes don't show the same level of detail.

    Finally, glare also reduces image contrast, but comes from poor design not surface figure. Design features such as black paint and baffles are often used to reduce glare. These design features are omitted from cheap scopes.
     
  10. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    (Duplicate)
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
  11. Savageman69

    Savageman69 Well-Known Member

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    Bruce_Ventura, Totally Agree, Swat teams and the Military Deserve Need and generally have Acog and Luepold optics because they are both tough as nails and super high quality. They NEED those high quality
    $1000 dollar scopes,
    I want quality too but my budget is small, Thats why I buy SOG knives, Bushmaster, Savage, CZ, and Henry Firearms, I also have a little pheonix arms HP22A 22lr pistol that you can get for $130, and its much better than a SIG Mosquito and the Walther P22, A Guy who own both those guns have told me the HP22A is much better, and sold his Walther after it came back from warranty the second time to buy 2 pheonix's one for him and one for his wife.I buy great stuff because its great, not because its brand is "great" And that is all Im trying to get others to do buy whats good not whats supposed to be good. My budget is small but my "armory" is big, because i buy smart

    My range closes At 5:00 pm in the winter and 6:00 pm in the summer. with my simmons scope on my savage 93 its clear and crisp untill about 30min till sunset then i cant see the reticle its a 3-9x40, my tasco is only a 42mm but i can shoot past sunset with only the 3 100watt bulbs pointed downrange and the moon. I shoot a Bushmaster XM-E2S, so does my range buddy. Our guns are twins except for his leupold, and my tasco, his is a 6-24x50 that cost $600 and mine is a 2.5-10x42 at $75, under the same light conditions his scope is brighter and has a crisper image, but mine is still absolutely useable, alot of the other guys scopes ive looked through cant suck in light like a leupold, but perform no better or much worse than the tasco, Maybe I got lucky with my scope or maybe the "machined in The USA and assembled in china is the difference".
     
  12. codyjoe1128

    codyjoe1128 Well-Known Member

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    I just threw my $80 tasco 6-24x42 on my 300wsm and it zeroed fine, I've shot 20 rounds so far with it and its still dead on, I will be mounting a 6-24x56 millett on it when/if the tasco dies...I was shooting in overcast, drizzley conditions and even on 24x it was still crystal clear. I did notice alittle "tunnel vision" from 18x to 24x but it wasn't bad....using a 4 foot fence post as reference on the calibrated 8x it was 2 mill dots tall and on 16x it was 4 dots tall....

    I got 60 rounds of winchester 150 grain ballistic silvertips for Christmas so that's what's been goin down range till I get my reloadin bench set up..I had the scope in the closet so that's what got mounted....guess we will see how long it lasts and stays accurate...I didn't feel,like walking very far today so I zeroed 2.5 high at 100 yards and true to my factory savage experience it put three in a nice quarter size group with 10-12 mph cross winds with factory ammo....
     
  13. Savageman69

    Savageman69 Well-Known Member

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    Those tasco scopes are amazingly good for the price, Ive noticed the cheaper nikons and bushnells $150-$300 have good clarity at low powers but the edge starts to fuzz out past 8x and the margins for eye relief are pretty small so they start to tunnel if your even a bit off, the tasco I have is very forgiving so shooting from akward positions is alot easier becasue of the freedom of movement. Also from what Ive seen those (cheap) nikons and others, have either an issue with the lense coating like its thicker in some places than others or the glass itself is a bit off, so looking at those sight in targets the grid lines are a little wavy in a few spots its not a big deal but I notice it. my tasco 2.5x10 is flawless as far as i can see. They are also pretty tough, I didnt have the thing on my AR for more than a week when I knocked it off my bench and it landed scope first, Granted It was on carpet (my guest bedroom has been turned into the Armory ) it held zero and apart from the scratch it is no worse for wear so I am pretty impressed with those scopes. Great value for money
     
  14. Savageman69

    Savageman69 Well-Known Member

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    Oh I forgot to say I got a pair of bushnell powerview 10-30x25 binoculars and they are nice and small and light, and for $35 or so I wont cry if i lose them of they break. The only thing that I didnt like is the zoom adjustment is a little sticky, the main and eyepiece focuus adjustments are smooth and precise as it should be. I have a nice set of binoculars but they are too big heavy and expensive to use at the range or out in the woods. The powerviews are good enough to read signs and license plates and stuff like that at any power, thats my test of binoculars If you can read through them at distance they are fine, I have perfect vision so if you need glasses or contacts they might be a little fuzzy, but I really like them they are small enough to fit in a cargo or a BDU pocket or light enough to wear around your neck and not turn into a hunchback wich is a plus:D