Rugged scopes?


October 2, 2006, 12:18 PM
Are their any brands of scopes known for being able to withstand being knocked around more than others?
Or does anyone know of specific models of scopes that are made to take abuse?

As a sort of related but different question -- of the higher power higher quality scopes, which ones can handle getting banged around the best?

Thanks in advance -

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Art Eatman
October 2, 2006, 12:31 PM
Well, one of my Leupolds Vari-X IIs has accompanied me down some involuntary descents in rough country. It's survived bouncing around in the truck over some really rough jeep trails, these last 30 years or so.

I moved it from my pet '06 to a little Rugilator 77 .223, much to the detriment of some prairie dogs, out to some 300 yards...

:), Art

October 2, 2006, 12:41 PM
What Art said. I have a Leupold Compact that has a deep gouge in the ring around the eyepiece that it got from being dropped early in its life. If you couldn't see the ding you'd never know anything happened to it, and that scope has not led a sheltered life. Similar results on another VXII that has been around a good long while. I've now got Sightron SII and a Bushnell Elite 3200 on a couple of other centerfires and they are doing fine so far, but it has not been years and years to say for sure they are as tough and durable as the Leupold. I can say with certainty that both Simmons and Tasco have broken on rifles at this house and will not be given another chance here.

Zak Smith
October 2, 2006, 12:59 PM
The following scopes have proven to be durable:

Leupold esp. Mark 4
US Optics
Trijicon ACOG

This is not an inclusive list; there are some durable scopes not listed, but these are the ones I am pretty certain in recommending.

October 2, 2006, 01:32 PM
I have had good experience with Leupolds and with Burris.

I have broken Tascos, Bushnells, and Simmons.


October 2, 2006, 01:36 PM
I saw a picture of an ACOG on a Marine's M4 in Iraq that took a bullet saving the Marine's life and still if that ain't amazing, I don't know what is.

I think that photo was in "the book of the AR"

October 2, 2006, 02:00 PM
The list so far mirrors my experiences. I will say that Burris, Nikon, and Weaver scope bodies tend to 'ding' up a lot mo' easily than Leupolds and that I've broken BSA and Simmons scopes with very minor drops.

October 2, 2006, 02:05 PM
Just in the last ten days I have seen a Bushnell AND a Carl Zeiss that wouldn't zero. Cosmetically they both were perfect. Both went back to the store. The NEXT Carl Zeiss zeroed. Unknown on the Bushnell.

Charles S
October 2, 2006, 03:23 PM
I have had excellent luck with Leupold. I was hunting in South Texas when the rope broke that I was using to haul my gun up into the stand. The gun fell about 18 feet landed muzzle down, then onto the 3.5-10 Leupold Vari-X 3. Once I cleaned up the muzzle I shot at a rock at about 200 yards and hit it. No shift in the point of impact. I was sold.

I have had a Simons Atec rectile break while shooting on a light 300 Win Mag.

Live and learn.

I don't think you would go wrong with Leupold, Nightforce, US Optics, S&B, Trijicon ACOG, Aimpoint and to that list I would add Zeiss.

Good luck.

October 2, 2006, 03:32 PM
to the story that i was talking about.

October 2, 2006, 03:34 PM
Have heard very good reports on Burris products.

October 2, 2006, 03:57 PM
Without taking into account the ability to withstand abuse, on quality for the $$$ I had narrowed it down to Burris or Leupold. I thought I'd ask it as an open question though, often I learn more that way.

Every once in awhile I'll see a scope that has a "rubberized" casing, and its usually the cheapest scopes trying to look tactical and rugged. Have any of the better makes come out with rubber encased scopes? It sounds as though they are sturdy enough that they would not benefit from additional shock absorption.

October 2, 2006, 04:43 PM
Had read an interesting report written by a soldier who had a compact 4x Burris mounted to his carry handle of his M16A2. Made it through the whole deployment, and performed very well.

October 2, 2006, 05:21 PM
I found a link to the story that i was talking about.
Cool story ... but what's with the color of that scope and rifle? Sand blasted? I'd say it was a trick of the camera, but the rest of the pic looks pretty natural ...

October 2, 2006, 06:46 PM
My Leupold 6.5-20 VXIII survived 9000 .308 rounds on my silhouette rifle before going under in the aftermath of Katrina. It was sumerged for over a week. It cleaned up well and works perfectly.


October 2, 2006, 09:46 PM
I would rate the "high-end" scopes by toughness as:

US Optics
Schmidt-Bender (tactical)
IOR (latest tactical models)


And ???


October 8, 2006, 12:54 AM
Tough scopes, per John Barsness, et. al.:
Bausch & Lomb, especially the B&L/Bushnell Elites
Burris Fullfield II
Weaver Grand Slam
Nikon Monarch

“The 2.5x Leupold is probably the toughest in the world.” - Barsness

Tough pistol scopes, per J.D. Jones:
Fixed and variable Leupolds
M-3200 Bushnell variable
T/C Recoil Proof

Zeke Menuar
October 8, 2006, 01:07 AM
I can comment on my scopes that see the most recoil and general abuse.

Nikon Buckmaster 4x40
Get ready....
1997 vintage Trascho 3x9x40 World Class. Dragged this scope around for 10 years on the Tupperware Special. Bashed it on every stump in the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests. Clear, bright and still holds zero.

This scope too

My most recent scope buys, A Mueller Extreme 3.5x10x44 and Nikon Buckmaster 4.5x14.40 don't have enough hard to use comment. I plan to fix that.


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