Scope choices


Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2004
North Carolina
I am fairly new on here and I am looking into building a custom rifle. I have three hunting rifles all of which have leupold scopes on them. Over the past few years, I have been doing research and was told the other day that leupold is one of the better middle grade scopes. I was told to look at swarovski, kahles, schmidt and bender, night force, and zeiss. Is there any recommendations for a scope based on quality and reputation? The scope would be used for punching paper out to maybe 700 yrds shooting varmits out to 600yrds and medium size game (ie deer or possible african plains game).
If Leupolds are doing the job for you, why switch? Leupold has long range and tactical scopes that are excellent.
Hard to beat the Leupold turrets and good turrets are essential for long range shooting.
Sir I agree with the last person if what you have is working stick with it. I personaly don't own one but, all the ones I have looked at have been good. The last scope I baught was a sightron which was around a hundred dollars less than the leupold and have no regrets yet. Again dont change what is working good luck
I've never owned a Leuy, but I do own several IOR's and find them to be, IMO, a superior scope. Prices are similar to the more spendy Leuy. I shot a few prairie dogs last weekend at ranges from 536 to around 300 yds. I turned the elevation turret up or down for each shot and yesterday I went to the range and shot several groups that were all to the original POI. I keep using them because they work for me.
Thanks guys, the main reason I am considering other scopes is due to a warranty issue someone I know had. Leupold didn't treat them as well as I would have thought. Another reason I am looking at top end foreign scopes is because I heard they are clearer. I have only looked at them in the store and I was wondering if this was true in the field. I heard that the more they cost the better they are. Give me some insight on this saying and the clarity of those top end scopes.
Well friend, I will give you my opinion, and exerience. I was a guide or outfitter for nearly 20 years, and had opportunities to look through virtually every decent scope out there. The Leuy's seem to be the standard everything else is compared to, and with good reason I think. Every one I looked through was bright and clear, and no one ever complained about them. The Burris too seem to be in the same class. I did have a set of Burris Signature series 10x50 bino's that seemed to have a serious abberation problem in the right barrel, and Burris sent them back to me saying there was nothing wrong. I sold them. While looking for a replacement I stumbled on to IOR. They claim to use the same glass as Swaro - made in Schott, Germany, and Zeiss T3 coatings. I compared them side by side to Swaro, and went ahead and bought the IOR. I have since had opportunity to compare IOR scopes side by side to Nightforce in the field. If there is a difference in optical quality I can't see it. They are all three, Swaro included here, razor sharp with excellent color rendition and clear field of veiw to the edges of the lenses. I also have a pair of Zeiss bino's that are just as good. Are they significantly better than Luey? To me they are all so good that it is so much splitting of hairs. I really like IOR's MP8 reticle. Thats probably the biggest reason I continue to chose IOR. As for warranty, I broke two of the older, 1" tube, IOR scopes. They were replaced quickly with no hassles. All the scopes you mentioned represent the best available. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. My .02$
That statement is just not true, it should be but it does not work out that way. Optical qualities are very difficult to evaluate, looking through a few scopes in a shop is really not going to tell you much compared to what we need in real life, real light situations.
The story you heard about Leupold customer service is not the norm, they are usually superb and in fact set the standard for the industry in many ways.
We cannot tell you what scope you should buy, but we might be able to tell you what to look at and what to avoid.
Good luck, the guys here came up with the rule that a good scope and mounts should cost almost as much as the rifle they are going on, that works unless you have some really expensive tastes in rifles.
I agree, if you cannot see it, you cannot shoot it. What scope is the IOR? The only other scope I have looked through is the swarovski ph, which was a nice looking scope. I guess I should compare these scopes in the field. Thanks for the help.
Chris, The best thing you can do is go to a gun shop and compare some of the top-end scopes from Leupold, Burris, Nikon, Weaver, Zeiss, Bushnell, Swarovski, I've done enough comparing in the last month or so to last a lifetime for some, I've noted a few things, Zeiss and Swarovski are no brighter or sharper than a Burris Signature or Leupold Vari-XIII, some of the latter scopes I've seen lately are some of the best scopes I've seen, as long as you've got something wrong with your scope, either of these two companies will fix it, some people think there's something wrong with their scope and send it in and get it right back with note saying there's nothing wrong, then they get all ****ed off cause they swear something was wrong with it. Then they tell everybody and their mother, "that company sucks" etc etc. You don't need to spend the "big" bucks when buying a scope, the one Leupold and 7 Burris scopes I've got never let me down and are equal to or better as any europeon scope, including the Swarovski PH, PV or whatever, so, the best thing you can do is, compare, compare, compare, and you'll see for yourself. Been there, done that. Jay
I think you have to spend a LOT of money to get a LITTLE more scope than a Leupold. Even then, the little you get in one area, optical clarity say, you will pay for in another area, like consistent tracking of the adjusments. I have had Leupolds on various rifles for over 30 years now, and I have never been disappointed in them.

If you are going to big game hunt, not doing any "clicking" in field, AND try to hunt another 15 minutes past legal, then one of the more expensive Euro scopes might be better.

Right guys, listen to me, i know what i'm talking about when it comes to scopes. Ive broken every Leupold that i ever owned,they are limited to my .22lr's these days.I'd buy a Nikkon over a leupold.
IOR are reliable but the optical quality/clarity is not the best. Nightforce are a decent make but if you want the best you must look at the scopes from the European manufacturers.
Schmidt & Bender.
If you want to buy American than take a good look at the Zeiss Conquest line, they compare in price well to the cheaper leupolds etc, are made to European quality in the USA and are a nice scope.
Me , i'll stick with S&B.
Thanks for the information guys. I have looked at the schmidt and bender scopes and they look great. They are highly thought of when it comes to the price. I have heard a lot of good things about the European scopes, but I have grown up shooting leupolds and now I am looking for the best. Thanks again.
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