Fixed 4X Scope?


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Sulaco
September 4, 2004, 03:27 PM
I am probably going to be getting a Remington 700 Mountain Rifle in 7mm-08 pretty soon and want to put a fixed 4X scope on it. I looked at the Leupold but it seems pretty cheap and is only a 33mm lens. It is also expensive. I have looked at a few others but the Nikon Buckmasters 4X40mm at about $160.00 is looking pretty nice. Any opinions on this scope? Any others I should look at?

Here's the Nikon (http://www.nikonusa.com/template.php?cat=4&grp=16&productNr=6405)

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Ohen Cepel
September 4, 2004, 03:45 PM
I have also been looking at putting a fixed 4 (or maybe 6) on my .35 Whelen.

SWFA has the Leupold 4 for $220, includes free rings and bases if I remember right.

I haven't made my mind up yet either. I just default towards Leupold since I don't know much about scopes and they always seem a fair price for the quality.

Let us know which way you go and your impressions.

I could use some info to push me one way or the other also.

El Tejon
September 4, 2004, 04:03 PM
Without hesitation--S&B! I switched from Leupold to S&B and have not looked back. I like the big target towers, that's just me. YMMV.

Sulaco
September 4, 2004, 06:16 PM
I went to the local gun shop today and compared the Leupold with the Nikon. No comparison, Nikon wins hands down. Not only is it cheaper, but it uses brass to metal, not plastic to metal windage/elevation adjustments, the resolution, FOV and overall clarity is better and it uses actual clicks for adjustments. Unless I find something to beat this, I am going Nikon.

WhiteKnight
September 4, 2004, 08:35 PM
looked at the Leupold but it seems pretty cheap and is only a 33mm lens. It is also expensive.

:confused:

It seems cheap, as in cheaply manufactured ("crappy")?

Vern Humphrey
September 4, 2004, 09:40 PM
Quote:
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I have also been looking at putting a fixed 4 (or maybe 6) on my .35 Whelen.
----------------------------------------

Bigfoot Wallace, my custom '03 Springfield in .35 Brown-Whelen mounts a old Leupold M8 4X fixed power, and has served me very well. I also have a couple of rifles mounting old Weaver, all-steel fixed power scopes.

My thinking is, don't buy a cheaply-made scope, regardless of who made it, or what they want for it. The number-one quality in a scope is rugged reliability. Don't sacrifice anything for that.

Wildalaska
September 4, 2004, 10:09 PM
A real hunting rifle should wear nothing less than a leupold.

Period

Flame away

WildtheyaretheoverallbestAlaska

Sulaco
September 4, 2004, 10:19 PM
It seems cheap, as in cheaply manufactured ("crappy")?

Yes, in my opinion, the Leupold 4X scope is cheaply made compared to the Nikon 4X.

The one in the store I looked at was not as bright as the Nikon (I compared them side by side) nor as clear. It also had less FOV and the coating used is not as good for maximum transmission. The only thing I couldn't tell is how long they will last. I guess only time will tell that.

Don't get me wrong, though as I am a big fan of Leupold, just not neccessarily in this instance.

Gewehr98
September 4, 2004, 11:30 PM
Flame away, but there's something intrinsically classic and downright perfect about the old steel-tubed Weaver K4-60 series of scopes. Bright, clear optics, and they don't dwarf the rifle they're mounted on. Pretty stout construction, too! If you look hard enough, I'll wager WildAlaska probably has one for auction over on E-Bay! ;)

WhiteKnight
September 4, 2004, 11:38 PM
Based on the fact the Nikon has a 40mm lens versus the Leupold's 33mm lens, I would hope the Nikon is brighter. :rolleyes:

Vern Humphrey
September 5, 2004, 12:09 AM
Quote:
---------------------------------
Based on the fact the Nikon has a 40mm lens versus the Leupold's 33mm lens, I would hope the Nikon is brighter.
----------------------------------

Brightness is based on exit pupil size (all other things being equal). Exit pupil is calculated by dividing objective lens size by magnification. For a 4X scope with a 33mm lens, the exit pupil would be a bit over 8mm, and for a 40mm lens, the exit pupil would be 10mm.

The catch is, the maximum dilation of the pupil of the human eye is 7mm -- anything larger than that is wasted. So the larger objective lens of the Nikon doesn't give you any advantage, and may have the disadvantage of requiring higher mounts.

PinnedAndRecessed
September 5, 2004, 12:32 AM
Vern:

If that formula is true then the human eye can make use of no scope lens larger than 28mm.

WhiteKnight
September 5, 2004, 12:45 AM
If that formula is true then the human eye can make use of no scope lens larger than 28mm.

...scopes that have a 4x magnification

Wildalaska
September 5, 2004, 01:09 AM
If you look hard enough, I'll wager WildAlaska probably has one for auction over on E-Bay

Got to do something with them after folks trade em in on Leupolds :)

WildilikeitwhenyapayattentionAlaska

Badger Arms
September 5, 2004, 01:46 AM
A real hunting rifle should wear nothing less than a leupold.And I agree.... So, what's MORE than a Leupold if you should have nothing LESS than a Leupold. Burris?

Wildalaska
September 5, 2004, 01:53 AM
So, what's MORE than a Leupold if you should have nothing LESS than a Leupold. Burris?

In the right case Id run a swarovski or one of the ZMZ Zeiss

WilddependsontheapplicationAlaska

schromf
September 5, 2004, 01:56 AM
2 rifles, with 4x Leupolds. One is about 18 years old, every deer hunt I have been on I carry that rifle, it doesn't sit in the gun rack. No complaints, one year when everybody elses scope in elk camp was fogged up cause it been raining constant for a week, I had the the only clear scope in the hunting party. I got my moneys worth. The price has changed over the years and I think I paid slightly less than $100 for the first one, my most recent cost about double that. Still worth the money.

One item I will ask, whats Nikon warranty? I bet its not replaced or fixed for your lifetime like the Leupolds.

just my ,02

Art Eatman
September 5, 2004, 09:36 AM
Unless you're hunting at the first or the last hints of legal light, the old Weaver K4 works just really well.

Sure, there are brighter scopes. There are scopes whose adjustments are "repeatable". I have much respect for them. But if your main deal is Bambi inside 300 yards, you're not gonna find any more utility in Mr. Big Glass' product than with the ancient 4X Weaver.

That doesn't keep me from having a fair number of Mr. Leupold's products, of course. :)

Art

SHOOT1SAM
September 5, 2004, 10:28 AM
Interesting. I've never heard of anyone perceiving a Leupold as "cheap" in terms of quality. I'll wager that there are infinitely more Leupolds seen by hunting guides, whether here in the US or on the Dark Continent, because of their legendary reliability. That said, there's not a whole lot wrong with Nikons eiither. However, drop a Leupold and IF it breaks, you have nothing to worry about as far as a repair or, more likely, a replacement, with no questions asked. Also, I personally take into consideration that Leupold is an American company. Ultimately, the choics should be made on what works best for you. Good luck in making that decision.

Sulaco
September 5, 2004, 11:26 AM
I don't know how else to day what I have already said so I will repeat it again for those that missed it the first time.

I went to the local gun shop today and compared the Leupold with the Nikon. No comparison, Nikon wins hands down. Not only is it cheaper, but it uses brass to metal, not plastic to metal windage/elevation adjustments, the resolution, FOV and overall clarity is better and it uses actual clicks for adjustments. Unless I find something to beat this, I am going Nikon.

Wildalaska
September 5, 2004, 02:31 PM
Unless I find something to beat this, I am going Nikon.

No offense, but you asked everybodys opinion and no matter what anybody said, you have made it clear you are getting a Nikon. Repeating your justification over and over again isnt gonna change any of our minds, and amply demonstrates all you are looking for is people to agree with you...

Aint gonna happen with most of us. Nikon makes nice glass, but regardless of what a salesman tells ya, it aint as good as a Leupold.

I live and hunt in Alaska.....the vast bulk of scopes used up here are Leupolds...

WildbutheywhateverfloatsyerboatAlaska

Art Eatman
September 5, 2004, 03:34 PM
Wild, my Leupolds all date back to around 1981 or earlier. Do you see any change in quality, these last ten or fifteen years?

Just a comment in passing: As far as Nikons, all I know about the company is their cameras. Dunno why their scopes wouldn't be high quality...

Art

Wildalaska
September 5, 2004, 04:12 PM
Art I think Leupold quality is better now....improved manufacturing methods, some design changes coupled with their stellar service make them the leader in the market..

Nikon makes nice glass...I have hear rumours that they actually make the glass for Leopold (who then coats it)...but all in all, unless you are springin for a $1700 Zeiss or S&B...buy a leupold


WildbottomlineAlaska

rbernie
September 5, 2004, 04:22 PM
but all in all, unless you are springin for a $1700 Zeiss or S&B...buy a leupold Not to be a jerk, but why?

What I'm fishing for here is the experiences of folks who see a lot of scopes come thru and who can really explain why one brand may be better than another EVEN WHEN ANOTHER SCOPE LOOKS BETTER THRU THE LENS.

Lemme give you an example. I have a Leupold VariXIII 3-9, circa 1992 or so. I also have a 2002-vintage Simmons AETEC 2.8-10x44. To me, the Simmons is brighter and demonstrates far better edge-to-edge sharpness than the Leupold. The Simmons has all of the range of adjustment that I need, it holds its zero thru all sorts of poundings, and it has a lifetime warranty (altho I've never tried to use it). In short - I can't see why a Leupold would be better, yet many claim that it is.

So what I'm saying is that I'm not discounting what y'all are saying - I'm asking you to please educate me as to what I'm missing.

Vern Humphrey
September 5, 2004, 04:53 PM
Quote:
--------------------------------------
What I'm fishing for here is the experiences of folks who see a lot of scopes come thru and who can really explain why one brand may be better than another EVEN WHEN ANOTHER SCOPE LOOKS BETTER THRU THE LENS.
---------------------------------------

I'm going to be an iconoclast here and say, it doesn't matter how the scope looks through the lens.

By that I mean almost any scope these days has more brightness, sharpness, and color-correction, etc., than you can use. By the same token, I have an old Lyman Alaskan that works perfectly well -- I don't feel a bit handicapped with it.

After all, scopes are not binoculars. You might spend hours looking through binoculars, and wind up with splitting headache from a small flaw in the optics. But how long do you spend looking through a scope? If you can hit with it, you can put up with less than optical perfection.

That's why I say what is important is reliability and ruggedness. I don't want a scope that will fog up, lose its zero, and so on.

And I've been around long enough to know that brands that once had a reputation for quality have been known to let quality slide (Winchester in '64 for example), while others that weren't so good, worked hard and improved quality (Taurus, for example.)

The same is true with scopes -- while I'll generally be drawn to a name brand, I look it over carefully. If it looks "cheap," I just might pass on it.

schromf
September 5, 2004, 05:18 PM
OK, here is a why:

My gunsmith about two years ago had a Leupold brought in by a customer ( actually the whole rifle it was not just the scope that had a problem ).
The customer was elk hunting on horseback, there was an accident, and the horse fell, with rider on the rifle. The rifle was toast, the scope had about a 30-40 degree bend in the tube. My FFL said lets try sending it to Leupold for repair, and had the customer write a letter explaining what had happened and mailed it off with the scope. The were not expecting warranty repair.

Leupold wrote back and stated they no longer had the parts to repair the older scope. They did offer that if they could use that scope in their display case of abused scopes and they could use his letter, that he could pick any scope within a comparable model line they would replace it for free. He picked and got a new model that was about $100 trade up on the deal.
I don't know how many people I know that on the rare occasion there is a problem with a Leupold have sent it back, and it was repaired for free. No hassle, no BS, they stand behind their product.

Another test is fill your Kitchen sink up with slightly cold water, drop both the Nikon and the Leupold in and let them sit for about 1/2 hr. Take them out and see which has water in it. Neither should, but if the Leupold does it will be warrantied, and come back repaired and watertight, even if you leave it sitting around and it rusted and corroded in the inside when you sent it to them. Leupold has such a good warranty cause their scopes don't come back very often, and they have a lot of pride in what they build.

There are better scopes than the Leupolds, but in almost every instance more dollars are required, and that is usually a lot more dollars.

Sulaco
September 5, 2004, 06:42 PM
No offense, but you asked everybodys opinion and no matter what anybody said, you have made it clear you are getting a Nikon. Repeating your justification over and over again isnt gonna change any of our minds, and amply demonstrates all you are looking for is people to agree with you...


I don't know where you got the idea that I am "looking for people" to agree with me, quite the contrary, I am looking for honest, unbiased opinions. I think you have given yours enough so if you have nothing further...

And just incase anyone else is confused, my original post asked what people thought of the Nikon, not what they thought of my opinion on the Leupold scope I looked at. I would hope that this level of explanation is not neccessary for everyone.

Wildalaska
September 5, 2004, 07:26 PM
To me, the Simmons is brighter and demonstrates far better edge-to-edge sharpness than the Leupold. The Simmons has all of the range of adjustment that I need, it holds its zero thru all sorts of poundings,

In contrast, I have seen simmons scopes fail with one shot, collect fog like a London night and be generally useless in sever conditions.

To each his own. But someone comes to me and asks for the best scope they can get for under $300, gonna sell them a VX2 3-9 Leupold....for less than $250, gonna sell em a VX1 Leupold. And so on.

PS everybody percieves relative brightness differently. I cant tell the diff netween a 4.5x14 leupold and a 4-12 Swarovski although lab wise, the swar is brighter...

WildpennywisepoundfoolishAlaska

Gewehr98
September 5, 2004, 08:48 PM
In contrast, I have seen simmons scopes fail with one shot, collect fog like a London night and be generally useless in sever conditions.

Having had a Leupold fail miserably after just one magazine's worth through the M14NM it was mounted on, I've formed my own opinion. Leupold did repair the scope for free, bless their hearts, and I mounted it on a non-counter-recoiling AR-15. The warranty is indeed nice, especially if you're big on testing it so:

Another test is fill your Kitchen sink up with slightly cold water, drop both the Nikon and the Leupold in and let them sit for about 1/2 hr. Take them out and see which has water in it. Neither should, but if the Leupold does it will be warrantied, and come back repaired and watertight, even if you leave it sitting around and it rusted and corroded in the inside when you sent it to them.

Which is wonderful, especially if you plan on going out and hunting, oh, say, U-boats or make it a habit of storing your rifle in the confines of a filled kitchen sink. :eek:

For a straight, no-nonsense 4-power scope, I'll stick with the Weaver K4. Likewise, I've got a couple Lyman Alaskans and military equivalents that are surprisingly sharp and reliable as all get-out, and they were made well before Nikon and Leupold got into the scope business.

Aww, heck, hang a NightForce 12-42x56 on that gun, then everybody will know you're serious about your optics! :D

Vern Humphrey
September 5, 2004, 09:16 PM
Quote:
------------------------------
Which is wonderful, especially if you plan on going out and hunting, oh, say, U-boats or make it a habit of storing your rifle in the confines of a filled kitchen sink.
------------------------------

Actually, that's quite a valid test -- it reproduces the condition you often encounter in the field, a temperature gradient and humidity. If a scope fogs in that test, get rid of it or get it fixed.

And I agree that old scopes give little to more modern scopes -- I have an old Lyman Alaskan and two steel Weavers. They're hard to beat.

The problem with modern scopes is that the makers seem to want to compete on optical quality -- ignoring the fact the the way a scope is used, increases in optical quality are really not useful.

They seem to like to make scopes with huge objective lenses, oversized tubes, and so on -- all at the expense of reliability and ease of use.

schromf
September 9, 2004, 03:52 PM
Which is wonderful, especially if you plan on going out and hunting, oh, say, U-boats or make it a habit of storing your rifle in the confines of a filled kitchen sink.

I started hunting in Alaska, where the above test was real valid. I moved to the dry southwest and hunted there for years and forgot lessons learned. About 20 years ago I moved to Northern Idaho, and spent the first couple of years relearning lessons learned in Alaska. The cold and constant rain of these environs are some of the harshest tests for optics. I would rather figure it out in my kitchen sink than in the middle of a hunt, where I have both substantial time and money involved, and no chance of correcting it in any useful timeline.



For a straight, no-nonsense 4-power scope, I'll stick with the Weaver K4. Likewise, I've got a couple Lyman Alaskans and military equivalents that are surprisingly sharp and reliable as all get-out, and they were made well before Nikon and Leupold got into the scope business.

I agree there are other scopes, the ol Lymans were very good scopes. Today though you got to find one used, not impossible but your not going to find one in your average sporting goods store. Old Weavers were also good scopes, but I have reservations on the newer ones, based on seeing fogged up ones. I think Burris scopes are good scopes for the money now days, and their warranty is almost as good as Leupold's.

I subscribe to a old equation of spend the most you can afford on optics, of all the things that tend to fail in the field optics is on top or close to the top. Either fogging, or rifles been dropped and won't hold zero. It seems every year occurance, some type of optics failure. Mine is not a brand name bias, I like Leupold, but they are definately not the only name in quality optics, in fact I doubt my next scope will be a Leupold. I am looking at IOR and Nightforce on one rifle, and a Ziess or SB on another.

I have my preferences in scopes, I don't like over 42mm tubes on anything and on a fixed 4X that is too big. I am also shifting from fixed 4X scopes to variables in the 1.5-5x (6) range. For close in shooting I like the 2.5 setting, and the longer shoots where there is time to adjust the scope the extra magnification is a plus. I also like some of the newer reticles.

Tasco and Simmons, some of the hard lessons learned, maybe its changed, neither is getting another chance with my money.

MarineTech
September 9, 2004, 07:10 PM
A scope that you might want to look into that won't break the bank is the Weaver Classic K4. I had one on my 45-70 Marlin Guide gun for the 2 years that I owned it. I was truly impressed with the scope. It stood up to over 350 rounds of 45-70 ammo with about 75 - 100 of those being heavy reloads or Garrett and Buffalo Bore commercial ammo. No problems at all with the scope.

As I recall, I picked it up at the time for about $150.

WhiteKnight
September 9, 2004, 07:40 PM
K4's are $125 at Midway IIRC.

Gewehr98
September 9, 2004, 07:57 PM
K4's are $125 at Midway IIRC.

But are those the rugged steel-tubed K4's of legend?

Jaywalker
September 9, 2004, 08:20 PM
There's no surprise that the Leupold 4X isn't as bright as some others - it's an older design and is not fully multi-coated as some others are. Leupold hasn't put much design money into fixed powers, since most people want to buy variables. Their 6X, OTOH, is fully multi-coated.

That being said, brightness isn't the only desireable quality. I rate "toughness" even higher, and you'd be hard-pressed to find something tougher than a Leupold fixed power. The Euro brands, according to a John Barsness article, aren't quite so tough, at least with the American ring mounting system. Some top-ranked American custom riflemakers won't use S&B, Svar, etc., on hard-kickers. They choose the Leupold 1.5 - 6 variable, as a good compromise between new lens coatings and small power toughness. If it works on their 458 Lotts, it's work on anything I'll own.

BTW, the newer Weaver k-4 isn't the steel-tubed thing of legend, but it's a pretty good, tough scope with fully multi-coated lenses. I have one and like it.

Jaywalker

Bwana John
September 10, 2004, 08:13 PM
I have a Rem 700 Mountain Rifle in 7mm X 57mm Mauser (basicly the same rifle but with a long action) that wears a Luepold 4X M8 scope. The 33mm objective lense is more than enough to see in low light condition, and is mounted with low rings. When I mounted the scope in 1992 it required no zeroing, and it shot 1.5 MOA three shot groups, 2" high at 100yds, and right on at 200 yds from the very first day. After 18 deer, and more than 100 days horse and backpacking in the mountains with rain, snow, sand, being used like a ice axe to arrest a fall on a icefeild, haveing me fall on it with all my weight, and a boned out deer in my backpack, the rifle/scope still shoots 2" high at 100 yards, into 1.5 MOA 3 shot groups with out ever touching the cross hairs once in 13 years. The only negitive aspect of this combo is that the "buggy whip" barrel heats up and anything more than 3 shot groups open up really fast.

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