I need a good scope


December 23, 2006, 10:36 PM
for a Rem 700 LSS. Don't know much about scopes, have never had a scoped rifle. Dealer recommended getting a good scope such as Leupold, and with an adjustable objective.

Ok to the questions (some may be dumb):

1. I know AOs are when you can turn the front objective, but what exactly is it for?
2. From what little I know of scopes, I think I would like something around 3x-9x with an objective around 40mm.
3. Reticles - I don't see a big diff between, say, "mil-dot" and "multi-x", at least on midways website with the smallish pics
4. will probably shoot targets from 100yds out to 300yds
5. Leupolds with AOs are super-expensive. What other companies have very nice scopes, for less money? some Bushnells are highly rated. What companies to avoid at all costs?
6. what's a good place on the web for low prices? I usually use midway.

edit: oh yeah, caliber is 30-06

edit #2: I just checked out Leupold's reticle styles webpage, so now I know all about the reticle styles, such as mil-dot, etc.

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December 24, 2006, 12:16 AM
The adjustable objective allows you to focus the scope at the range you are shooting, otherwise parallax will allow the crosshairs to move with respect to the target. It is a small amount of movement, so unless you are a target shooter, it isn't a necessity. Most scopes are factory focused at 100 yds. Midway is a great place to shop, they carry most scope makes. With optics, you get what you pay for, that being said, computer controlled manufacturing has made almost any modern scope superior to yesterday's offerings. 3x9 sounds like a good range, and just stay away from the really cheap scopes, especially Tasco, just read the reviews. Good shooting!

December 24, 2006, 12:38 AM
3-9x is great for 100-300 yards. 40mm is also good IMO and would be as large as I would spend money assuming this is a target rifle and there will not be any dawn or dust hunting. But you could get away with a 30mm and spend the money on a higher quality scope. I would spend as much on the scope as you did on the rifle...+/- 20%.

This is what I want to get for my 30-06.

December 24, 2006, 12:56 AM
I recently bought a Leapers 3-9x40AO scope with illuminated reticle, thought it was going to be a great scope, mounted it on my 7.62 Saiga and didn't even last the one range session, horizontal adjustment is inop, can't zero the scope. You get what you pay for!

December 24, 2006, 01:18 AM
As Stated AO helps the shooter account for Paralax. What is paralax? This is when the actual spot the bullet hits is different from the Aim Point of the Scope. Most noticable at short distances (less than 50-75yards) than at ranges out past where the scope is sited for.

Example: you site your scope for 0 at 150 yards, When you aim for the bullseye at 75 yards the bullet will actually hit as much as an inch below or above the bullseye. The plus or minus is dependant on the ballistics of the round. I don't know the actual math or physics behind this and can't explain it more than Laymans terms. My .243 with Federal 100 grain soft points shoots .6 inches high at 50 yards when I'm zeroed in at 100 yards. An AO Scope would account for that .6 inch if set for 50 yards. If I keep the scope set to 100 yards it will shoot .6 of an inch high at 50 yards.
Bushnells website addresses this much beter than I can here.

I have a 6-18x50 Bushnell Banner Dusk til Dawn Scope on an H&R .243 single shot with a heavy barrel. I think the scope out preforms the rifle. It only cost $125.00. This is true of most moderately priced scopes when paired with an entry level rifle IMHO.
If you have a 110 dollar milsurp Ishapore it will not need $1000.00 of Scope to function properly with a scope.
If you have a Tricked out Sniper rifle it will need more than a $125.00 Bushnell Banner Dusk til Dawn. Pairing the rifle to the scope is important.

My top three picks for scopes in the under $200.00 range are in no particular order
Nikon Prostaff Series
Bushnell Banner Series
Leupold VX-I Series
Any of these will work well on an out of the box entry level rifle. Not sure of the particulars on a 700 LSS in 30.06 You may want to go up one level with each brand suggested.
I don't trust the glass on Tasco, Redfield or Simmons brands but I have a background in Photography so I'm particular about glass.
As a Photography Snob I know that Nikon and Zeiss have impecable glass where camera's are concerned. This also translates to their riflescopes but I have better taste than I can afford.

December 24, 2006, 05:10 AM
bushnell elites, 32 or 4200's, nikons, nightforce, mueller, shepperd, any Japanese made will be good, burris, redfield,and simmons, are all now made by meade optics,and are quite nice. But if you stick with the first 5 here, you wont go wrong. Also the czech stuff is very good, IOR, MEOPTA, bucharesti, etc.

December 24, 2006, 08:24 AM
e-bay has some great deals on scopes. You have to be careful with Leupolds. There have been some fakes pawned off. Make sure the seller is in the US and has a high rating

I have Leupold VX-III's, B&L 4200's, and Burris. Even within a given manufacturer, you can tell the quality difference according to price if you use them side by side. Every manufacturer has different price points. An example is the AO. Take a non-AO to the range and look at a target at 300 yards, then move your face side to side. The crosshairs will move back and forth across the target. You end up having to guess where they should be. There's no way you can get true accuracy. With the AO, you can set it to 300 and your crosshair holds still.

Weaver bought out B&L. They appear the same. If so they are excellent IMO. Nikons appear good for the price. I looked at a Nikon next to my Leupold, and the Leo was slightly better, but it was a higher priced scope. You get what you pay for.

You have to figure out what your threshold of pain is and buy accordingly. If you think a $150 scope is as good as a $500 scope, think again. Depends on what's most important to you, the few dollars or the better scope.

As a note....I go to my local gun shop and check the scopes that come in on used guns. If they're a better scope (Leo's, Burris) they have lifetime warranty no matter who owns it. I bought a take off Leupold VX-III 6.5x20x44 for $485 that was in brand new condition.

Get Butler Creek caps to protect the glass. They're worth it.

Mr White
December 24, 2006, 10:25 AM
I bought a Nikon Buckmaster last year and its a great scope.
I got a 4-14 40mm but they make 3-9 as well. They have an AO, have a few different reticles, cost about the same as a Leupold VX-1. Perform about the same as a VX-2 or 3. Fully waterproof (I can attest to this), fully fogproof, lifetime no-questions-asked warranty.

The adjustment knobs are large and easy to adjust in the field. It gives a very clear and bright image and it holds a zero very well.

I did my homework before I shelled out $300 for a scope and I was hard pressed to find any bad press on these scopes. Apparently Nikon knows what they're doing

December 24, 2006, 11:02 AM
I bought a Nikon Buckmaster last year and its a great scope.
I got a 4-14 40mm but they make 3-9 as well. They have an AO, have a few different reticles, cost about the same as a Leupold VX-1. Perform about the same as a VX-2 or 3. Fully waterproof (I can attest to this), fully fogproof, lifetime no-questions-asked warranty.

The adjustment knobs are large and easy to adjust in the field. It gives a very clear and bright image and it holds a zero very well.

I did my homework before I shelled out $300 for a scope and I was hard pressed to find any bad press on these scopes. Apparently Nikon knows what they're doing

The Nikon Buckmaster is what a good friend put on his M1 Garand and K98k and Iron Elite mount.

This guy is serious about his shooting. He loves this scope.

My wife asked what I wanted for Christmas, this year. Answer. . . Nikon Buckmaster 4.5-14x40mm matte SF MD! $289.95 (Natchez Shooters Supply)

I think it'll look nice sittin' on top of my M1A. :)

December 24, 2006, 11:41 AM
thanks for all the info. I don't have to have a 3x9, that was just a ballpark range. Based on what's been said already, if I get an AO scope, focus and parallax would be ok, even with higher mag.

I mainly got this rifle to learn how to shoot accurately at long distances... well, up to 300 yds anyway. I don't think any of the ranges I go to in San Antonio go past 300 yds. There's some ranges around town that I have not been to that may go past 300 yds though.

Outlaws: thanks for the opticsplanet link. They look like they have tons of stuff,I will check that site out better when my ISP stops having problems. This weekend, my ISP's email is down, and basically most web pages take forever to load for me... even 5 minutes sometimes.

Bushnell Banner scopes get very high reviews by midway customers. I'll check out the reviews for nikon prostaffs also.

Here's another possible dumb question: I guess I need to buy a base also, to mount the scope to. Do scopes come with their own rings, or are rings purchased separately?

December 24, 2006, 11:52 AM
Here's another possible dumb question: I guess I need to buy a base also, to mount the scope to. Do scopes come with their own rings, or are rings purchased separately?

Not a dumb question.

Unless the scope manufacturer states that rings come with the scope, you'll have to buy them. The mount, too.
Ring height is a consideration, also. The height of the scope being mounted is a consideration due to the size of the objective (front) lens of the scope.
I try to mount the scope as low as possible, without having the objective lens 'bell' touching the rifle.
(And yes, I've had to buy different height rings because of this, too.) :)

I am partial to Leupold mounts and rings. The good 'ole steel mounts.
Rock solid.

I have never been a fan of Weaver mounts and rings. Personal preference.

Steel Talon
December 24, 2006, 12:11 PM
Hello Bender,

Check out Meuller scopes..

Steel Talon:cool:

December 24, 2006, 12:27 PM
thanks for the opticsplanet link.

Actually I should mention that I have never used that website. I just googled up the scope I wanted to show you and that was one of the first to come up with a decent picture. :D

I would like to point out something on an Adjustable Objective (AO)...they are good to have, but increase the cost a good deal and you are generally limited to higher power scopes. IMO a 30-06 doesn't lend itself to heavy magnification, plus parallaxing is less of a problem in lower magnification anyways, so thats why it isn't included.

I have scopes with and without, and I will tell you, my Leupold 3-9x Rifleman without AO doesn't need it at 3x. 9x it would be nice, but for a 30-06 it is not the end of the world. But my Leupold VX-III with a 6.5-20x, that AO is mandatory if you want halfway decent groupings.

.38 Special
December 24, 2006, 12:33 PM
IMO, you are considering spending additional money for two features you don't really need: adjustable objective and variable magnification.

As noted, AO really comes into play with competition shooters who need to be concerned with that last tenth of an inch at 300 yards. Not too important for a hunting rifle. And here's a semi-secret: if you keep your eye centered in the scope, parallax will never become an issue. You'll only notice it if you move your eye around in the scope. For a hunting-type rifle used at reasonable ranges, AO is just more money, more weight, and more complication, IMO.

As for variable magnification, yeah, it can be fun to play around with, and a lot of folks feel like a fixed power is obsolete or old-fashioned or something. Truth is, though, that a good fixed 6x is absolutely perfect for any reasonable range. For a gun that will only be used at the target range a fixed 10x is just fine too. I don't like them for hunting beause they make the fast shot at 40 yards kind of tricky, but that may not be an issue to you. The advantage of fixed powers is that they are more reliable, lighter weight, and less expensive. In the last five years or so I've all but quit variable scopes. I still have a nice Leupold VarixIII 1.5-5x on a dangerous game rifle, and that's it. The fixed scopes do everything I ask of a scope.

Mounts? I can understand why byf43 doesn't like Weavers. They're ugly as sin. They're also bulletproof and cheap. I use them when I don't care how it'll end up looking. Otherwise I use Talley, which are expensive but several degrees better than anything else on the market, IMO.


December 24, 2006, 01:30 PM
Congrats on the new rifle. Mildots are a good option, but not nessisary.
For under 300 bucks, I recommend the Nikon Buckmasters (AO and variable). For a great fixed power (in 10x,16x,or 20x) with AO check the SWFA super snipers. For a good inexpensive fixed 10x, look at the bushnell elite 10x mil dot.
I like the AO more because it allows you to fine focus. This is important because you will be able to range and read wind a little more accuratly at various ranges.
If you are thiking less tactical...look up the bushnell elite 4200 series, or the Leupold VXII's.
I also recommend that you dont scimp on rings and bases, as an accurate rifle with unsteady bases or rings just became useless.Good luck

December 24, 2006, 01:32 PM

I really like Bushnell scopes; I've a Elite 3200 on my 7mm Mag, had a Elite 4200 on a Savage .30-06, and have a Legend on my Marlin Model 60.

That being said, I must caution you to AVOID THE BANNER LIKE THE PLAGUE!

The Banner I had would never hold zero and had inprecise adjustment. Also, after a few months, looking through it was like standing in the middle of a fog bank. All I can say about it is that I'm glad I only paid $80 or so for it.

December 24, 2006, 02:28 PM
Here's a few I'm looking at at opticsplanet.net. Their prices seem about the same as midway's, but they have free shipping:





December 24, 2006, 02:53 PM
If this is a target rifle or you are not allowed to hunt before the sun comes up or after it sets, I can honestly say you do not need a 50mm. My Leupold Rifleman is a 50mm, and it was $100 more than the 40mm which was only $200. Why did I buy the 50mm then? Because I didn't know better.

If you are willing to drop $300 on a Leupold scope, then I would suggest getting one that is $300 but with a 40mm objective. You will get more scope for the money. If we were talking about a cheaper brand, I would say 50mm is a good thing, but when you get into a decent scope, the overall quality will make more difference since its what is inside that counts. When you get into the II and III range of the Leupold lineup, you enter the realm of good scopes.

But any of those you listed would be good, with preference to the last 3, and more specifically, the last one. As long as you are happy with it is what matters. I am just tossing suggestions out here.

This one you posted is the VX-II and is going to be the best variable power you listed.

December 24, 2006, 03:56 PM
What kind of target shooting are you doing? Do you plan on using handloads, or commercial match grade ammo? Or are you going to be content with the off the shelf hunting or plinking ammo?

If you are going for every bullet right on top of the "X" at 300 yards, you're going to want a different scope (and different approach) than if you are just aiming for somewhere in the black.

If you want to also use this scope for hunting, a variable scope in the 3-9x range is about perfect. You want to be able to see the whole animal, and a bit of the surrounding, and not just a tuft of hair behind the knee. But if you are going for long range paper target shooting, you might want a fixed mag scope, or a variable at higher top end (say 20x or 24x) so you'll know you are aiming right on that "X". The difference also affects your choice of reticle -- for example, if hunting the mil-dot or ballistic-plex type reticle gives you something to use as an aimpoint (you might use the center crosshair for targets at 100 yards, the dot below that for 200 yards, one below that for 300 yards, etc). On the other hand, many long range target shooters adjust the scope's elevation for targets at different ranges and keep the same aimpoint (center crosshair). If you take that approach, you might want a scope with "target style" turrets that make them easier to adjust as you move from one range to another.

Another thing to think about with a 50mm lens is that you will probably need the "tall" rings to mount it. That might make the scope a bit too high for comfortable use. As noted above, you do need to get a base and rings to mount your scope... and that means more decisions. Best bet is to buy the rings and bases as a set, so you know they are going to work together. The Weaver style offers some advantages, but I also like the Talley one piece style (where the ring screws directly to the receiver without the use of a separate base).

I've used both Leupold and Burris scopes on my rifles. I really like the Burris. The model I'm using does not have the AO, but you may want to take a look at the Fullfield II:


I have two Burris Fullfield II scopes, both at 3-9x40mm. Since mine are used for hunting, I have the ballistic-plex reticle:


If I was after a variable power scope for mostly target shooting at 100-300 yards, I would take a look at the Busnell Elite 4200 and Bushnell Elite 3200 series. Both series have models with AO and come in mags from 3-9x, 4-12x, 5-15x, and 6-24x. At a slightly higher price, if I wanted a fixed mag scope at high power for precision shooting, l'd take a look at the Weaver T24. If you have some money to spend, you might want to take a look at Zak Smith's comments here:


...(scroll down to the bottom to read the "conclusions" paragraph, then scroll back up for the nitty gritty), and his comments here:


I've found that Natchez Shooters' Supply has good prices on scopes, usually a bit cheaper than Midway and they often have some "combo packages" you might find interesting. Check them out here:


December 24, 2006, 04:02 PM
I recommend that you check opticstalk.com. As the name states, the forum's focus is optics and I think that you will find lots of particularly relevant and helpful information.

Personally, in addition to a Leupold Vari-X III 2.5-8, I have a Burris Signature Select 3-10x40 and a Bushnell Elite 4200 3-9. They are all nice scopes, but I think that you get more than what you pay for, relatively speaking, with the Elite 4200. It's my newest scope, and I couldn't be happier. It is very bright and clear, and I don't think that I've ever seen any negative posts regarding this scope.

From what I've seen price-wise, this model is typically about $250 - $300. I don't find that ebay prices are any better, and are often worse than one can find from regular on-line merchants. Midsouthshooterssupply.com is currently running a special on this scope. It is less than $260 (with free shipping) and comes with a cool Blackhawk Gear Camelbak pack.

Whatever your decision, good luck and Merry Christmas.

December 24, 2006, 04:08 PM
Of the scopes you've listed, I'd get the VX-II.

December 27, 2006, 02:12 PM
been looking around some more. how are nikon's?

natchez has a closeout on nikon monarch 3-9 40mm Refurbished scopes for $199.95. Looks to me like the Monarch line is above the prostaff line. A new Nikon buckmaster 3-9 40mm is also $199.95.

A leupold Rifleman 3-9 40mm new is $199.95 also.

I decided not to pay for AO.

December 27, 2006, 06:37 PM
If you don't want the AO, that's fine. For most ranges and particularly hunting it's nothing. You're not gonna see a deer at 200 yards, stop and set the AO, then reset and shoot

If you want to see what AO does for targets, set a target at 300 yards, crank the scope to 9x (if you have a 3x9), and move your head back and forth.

December 27, 2006, 07:44 PM
A good choice on foregoing the AO. Unless you're into super-precise shooting you won't miss it. I've found it mainly useful for close targets as opposed to distant targets... head shots on rats, or metallic silhouette shooting at 40 meters, for example, where the fixed 100 yard focus of non-AO scopes just won't do.

A leupold Rifleman 3-9 40mm new is $199.95 also.

That is a pretty good price for that scope. But... I took a Leupold Rifleman 4-12x40mm off one of my rifles to put a Burris Fullfield II 3-9x40mm in its place. I like the Burris much better.

Natchez has the Burris at about $200, with your choice of a "free" spotting scope or binoculars thrown in, and maybe free shipping too. You can get the scope alone for about $170 + shipping. Might not be the best choice for long range precision target work (at 300 yards you might want more magnification for that, along with reliable "repeatability" of your elevation adjustment knob), but a great general purpose & hunting scope.




December 27, 2006, 08:03 PM
ok thanks. I get the monthly Natchez flyers in my email. I will check all those out.

Also, I just got the Midway January sale flyer. They have some new Nikon Monarchs on sale for way cheap. 3x9 40mm is 229.95, 4x12 40mm AO is 279.95.

picking up the 700 rifle saturday, can't shoot it till I get some kind of scope.

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