Best scope for 2K

Lonewolf74

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May 12, 2016
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So what is your opinion and experience on the best scope with exposed turrets for dialing at the 2K price range?

Thanks for your help guy’s
 

Hecouldgoalltheway

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I wish when someone tried to type the word "best" in that it changed it like profanity to "****".

There are so many great options in that price range. Let's at least narrow it down to function. Will you be carrying it up a mountain on a sheep rifle, or sitting on a tripod banging steel? Most of the better manufacturers generally divide along the lines of lightweight hunting optics and tactical scopes that will double as a camp axe, in case you need to split firewood, and they will typically be much heavier.
 

Erich Lep

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It depends on what your doing with it. Is weight a problem? Are you just going to be shooting paper most of the time? FFP or SFP?
FFP options
Nightforce NX8
Leupold mark 5
Kahles K624i, Used you can find them at or under 2k
Vortex razor HD AMG
Vortex razor HD gen II
Nightforce ATACR 4-16x50 or 4-16x42, you can find these used, at or under 2k

SFP options
Nightforce NX8
Nightforce NXS
Sawrovski X5i, you can find these used, at or under 2k.
 

WeekendWarrior

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So what is your opinion and experience on the best scope with exposed turrets for dialing at the 2K price range?

Thanks for your help guy’s
Give us a little more about your use and distances you intend to shoot. I have lots of opinions and they depend on what you are doing. Range shooting, PRS, ELR, hunting out to 500 yards, hunting out to 1000 yards - there is a scope that will stand out for each of these activities.
 

Lonewolf74

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520
Yea I suppose I could narrow it down a tad with a few must for me. I think if I wear to explain what I’m after I would call it a good solid tactical scope that works equally well for hunting. Something I can plink steel at a mile then shoot deer at a few hundred yards.

1) reliable and accurate tracking/solid build
2) Mil reticle with 1/10 mil turrets/turret reticle match
3) around 25 mil of elevation adjustment or more

Weight I’m not too worried about but don’t necessarily want it to be a tank, I think around 30 ounces or less is a pretty good target.

First or second focal plain I’m not picky there and actually second focal plain is probably better for hunting but I know a lot of people are caught up in the FFP band wagon last few years.

Glass clarity can be pretty subjective but it would be nice to have the same clarity at max power as there is at minimum-mid power.

Also just for grins what would be your top pick if money wasn’t concerned?
 

archangel485

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Sep 17, 2016
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Wyoming
If I didn't have to consider money, I'd buy a tangent theta or a ZCO. I'd probably buy both then sell or give away the one I didn't like as well. But, you're not getting one of those for $2k, haha.

30 ounces or less is actually a pretty light spec for a tactical scope in my limited experience. That weight range puts you in the 30mm tube scopes I'm pretty sure because I think most of the 34mm tube scopes (or 35mm or 36mm) are going to weigh more than that. You should also specify what zoom you are thinking, because if you go with a 30mm tube, you'll have to compromise either on the 25 mils of adjustment or you'll have to keep your magnification low.
 

mboswell17

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Jan 26, 2018
Messages
483
You can get a 34mm scope with what you are looking for for around 30oz.

I have the following and really like them

  • Nightforce ATACR either 4-16x50 (33oz) or 4-16x42 (30oz) bother are really great for hybrid of hunting and tactical (couple listed on here and SH for around the $2k mark)
  • Leupold MK5 3-18x44 (35mm tube) (can get around $1,500-$1,600 without illumination)
  • just picked up a Steiner P4xi 4-16x56 (30oz i believe) really nice in low light (around $900-$1000) or T5xi (30oz) for around $2k new

-
 

archangel485

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Sep 17, 2016
Messages
190
Location
Wyoming
You can get a 34mm scope with what you are looking for for around 30oz.

I have the following and really like them

  • Nightforce ATACR either 4-16x50 (33oz) or 4-16x42 (30oz) bother are really great for hybrid of hunting and tactical (couple listed on here and SH for around the $2k mark)
  • Leupold MK5 3-18x44 (35mm tube) (can get around $1,500-$1,600 without illumination)
  • just picked up a Steiner P4xi 4-16x56 (30oz i believe) really nice in low light (around $900-$1000) or T5xi (30oz) for around $2k new

-
Good point, another spec the OP needs to think about is objective size, as per your post another way to keep the weight down is to keep the objective lens size down. Although that Steiner is interesting, 56mm and still 30oz, pretty cool.
 

mboswell17

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Jan 26, 2018
Messages
483
Good point, another spec the OP needs to think about is objective size, as per your post another way to keep the weight down is to keep the objective lens size down. Although that Steiner is interesting, 56mm and still 30oz, pretty cool.
Yea I have been really impressed with it so far with little usage but the glass and light gathering is amazing for hunting.. Love my 4-16x50 atacrs as well and the mechanics and turrets are nicer on them. Now just need another gun to put the Steiner on lol
 
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WeekendWarrior

Active Member
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Mar 1, 2021
Messages
31
Location
United States
Yea I suppose I could narrow it down a tad with a few must for me. I think if I wear to explain what I’m after I would call it a good solid tactical scope that works equally well for hunting. Something I can plink steel at a mile then shoot deer at a few hundred yards.

1) reliable and accurate tracking/solid build
2) Mil reticle with 1/10 mil turrets/turret reticle match
3) around 25 mil of elevation adjustment or more

Weight I’m not too worried about but don’t necessarily want it to be a tank, I think around 30 ounces or less is a pretty good target.

First or second focal plain I’m not picky there and actually second focal plain is probably better for hunting but I know a lot of people are caught up in the FFP band wagon last few years.

Glass clarity can be pretty subjective but it would be nice to have the same clarity at max power as there is at minimum-mid power.

Also just for grins what would be your top pick if money wasn’t concerned?
edited for typos.

This is a long reply that equates to buy a Nightforce NX8 4-32x50 F1 scope, which should run you right around $2100. And I wouldn't buy something nicer if I had more money, I would buy more scopes and rifles. At a certain point, you have to accept you miss because of you and you can't "buy" your way to more accuracy unless you pour $10k into precision reloading equipment... and then you can convince yourself for eternity that if you just that "other" die or "other" press (etc, etc), you could shoot even better.

Scopes are highly subjective. The difference between your eyesight and mine will have a huge impact on your preference for a 56mm objective with a 34mm tube and 30x power vs something with a 40mm objective with a 30mm tube and maybe only 18x power.

I personally like a large objective lens to optimize clarity and field of view, which is why all of my scopes are 50mm objectives or larger. However, I don't shoot far enough to need the extra vertical adjustment of a 34mm tube, adding a 20-25moa scope base is enough for me to shoot confidently to about 900 yards with a 30mm tube, and still have fun trying to impact at 1300 yards. I personally like a lot of zoom, I am a believer in 24x or more power on anything you plan to shoot 500 yards or further. When I'm shooting at 500 yards, I'm right around 16-18x power. And when I'm shooting to 1000, I'm maxed out up to 24x. I have shot at 1 mile a few times, and found it easy to see 24"x24" steel plate at 24x power, but the detail I was able to appreciate was lacking, and I'd probably buy a 30x scope if shooting 1 mile was something I wanted to do regularly.

I think you have put yourself in a tough situation because shooting deer at 300 yards is a very different scope than shooting steel at 1700 yards. In one scenario, a 10 or 18x power scope with a 40mm objective is more than enough, and you can literally save pounds of weight by going this route, while the other is going to be a 2lb+ scope that will cost you in the high 2k range just to get in the door. I was in a similar situation with my shooting interests too, and I settled on shooting out to 1000 yards, and rarely out to 1300 or beyond for fun. This allowed me to buy a proper rifle for deer and elk as well as a scope that didn't weigh 48oz (look at you Razor gen II HD).

I am a believer that FFP is necessary for making accurate and precise followup shots past 300 yards. With a FFP scope, I can literally see an accurate MOA or MRAD hold-over as my round impacts, and I just chamber another round, hold-over and pull the trigger again. FFP is awesome and has completely changed the efficiency with which I shoot. I'll go out with friends, and it's nice to look down my scope while they read me the elevation and windage, and I can hold using my scope instead of having to dial, and it also opens up PRS shooting which is fun too. This mainly has implications for hunting by saving a couple seconds that you might have to use to dial your scope when taking your first or second shot past 300 yards, but is nice at the range too. Within 300 yards, I can't see the reticle on a FFP, so it has no use for me in these scenarios.

Checkout this video from West Desert Shooter, he walks you through what a piece of steel looks like at 500 and 1000 yards between 10-24x mag:
. In this video he compares a 24x scope to a 32x scope out to a mile:
.

When I was last shopping for scopes, I bought a vortex viper pst gen II, the 24x 50mm ffp version. Great scope does it all. Weight is 31oz though, and has a max power of 24, which does leave me wanting at 1 mile. But it works fine for everything from 100-1000 yards, and its adequate from 1000-1700 yards for an enthusiast. I didn't have a 2k budget at the time, and the one scope that I would have bought instead was the Nightforce NX8 4-32x50 F1. You can find these in the low $2k range. These scopes have the mag to see at short distances as well as out to a mile+, the 32x max power is freaking awesome. I would argue this is a fine entry level 2k yard scope. They pack all this into a 30mm tube, which puts the final weight at 28oz. Sure you could argue this is on the heavy side for hunting, but it sure is light for shooting to a mile or beyond. It is simply the best. Get a 20 or 25 MOA scope base with it and you should have the enough elevation to dial past a mile if you are shooting big magnum rounds. Keep in mind, you will inevitably want to shoot 338 lapua magnum if you get hooked on shooting a mile+, and the weight of these guns often surpasses legal hunting limits (for example 16lbs in Idaho). Keep this in mind. While you might buy a scope that can shoot a mile, your rounds may not be as capable.

Anyway, I hope that helps.
 
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