Is this a good scope?


January 1, 2007, 05:21 PM
I'm looking for a scope for a Savage I'm going to buy soon in .308.
I was wondering if this scope would do the job for me.

I just want to get an inexpensive scope until I can afford a better one but I know nothing about them. What does 3-9x32 mean? And is 3.3 inches of eye relief enough?

Can anyone suggest a better scope for around $60 or less? I just need a quick and dirty one because the savage I'm buying doesn't have iron sights.

Thanks for the help.

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January 1, 2007, 05:25 PM
I've been happy shopping at Midway and you can read customers evaluations of most of the products including scopes before you buy. Even the scope you are looking at probably is sold and has a customer rating.

January 1, 2007, 05:28 PM
Oh thanks for the link. I'm looking right now. But still, what does 3-9x32 mean?

January 1, 2007, 05:34 PM
Variable magnification 3x to 9x, 32mm front lens.

January 1, 2007, 05:40 PM
Hi ArchD...

3-9x32 means the power setting is variable - you can change it from 3-power to 9-power. The 32 is the diameter (in mm) of the objective lens and that number has to do with how bright the picture will look. A 32mm is about the least bright you can buy. A poor scope sight is the same as no sights.
Frankly, I would not put that scope on a centerfire rifle. Look at the scopes at Cabela' For $80 you can get a Bushnell Banner on sale that will be a LOT better than the one you listed above.


January 1, 2007, 05:40 PM
Thanks for the info. This is my first venture out of the world of blowing up computers with my mosin from 20 yards away, into the world of actually trying to hit something a few hundred yards away with a good quality rifle.

.38 Special
January 1, 2007, 10:11 PM
The deal with cheap scopes is that a relatively high percentage of them break within the first few dozen rounds. The ones that don't, however, can go on to have long and useful lives. No, the click adjustments will not be as precise and repeatable as on a high dollar scope, but that doesn't matter if you're not planning on twiddling the knobs much after the initial zeroing. And no, the glass will not be high quality and will not present a bright and beautiful image, but the value of bright and beautiful is somewhat lost on me when the target is paper in broad daylight.

Also, cartridges larger than about .300 Winchester Magnum tend to dismantle lower end scopes with fair regularity. And, while I'm thinking about it, large (4-14x and up) scopes need to be well built to stand up to the greater forces generated. IOW, a $100 6-24x on a .338 is going to break. *G*

Anyway, this is all a long winded way of saying that cheap scopes can work, if the environment is not too demanding and the user understands that he might have to return one or two before getting one that will stand up.


January 1, 2007, 11:39 PM
Sometimes we spend more by buying affordable stuff first... and then replacing it. If you can wait until you have some cash for a slightly more expensive scope you might end up saving money in the long run.

As others have said, the "3-9x" tells you it is a variable magnification scope that zooms from a low of 3 power to a high of 9 power, and stopping anywhere in between you want to stop. On some variable magnification scopes, you will have more eye relief at the low power setting and less eye relief at the high power setting. That can be a bit of a pain, as you will have a different cheek weld depending on what setting you use. Some scopes have the same eye relief no matter what power setting you use.

The diameter of the objective lens is a measure of how bright and clear the image is going to be.... larger lens are generally better, but most of us don't need anything much larger than 40mm. Magnification levels also affect image brightness -- low magnification levels result in brighter images than high magnification levels.

If you will be using your .308 for hunting, the 3-9x magnification range is about perfect. If you are doing precision target shooting at long range you may want a higher power than 9x.

And then there is the decision about which reticle best suits your needs.

If you can wait on that first scope until you have a bit more cash on hand, you might want to take a look at the Burris Fullfield II line of scopes. A bit more than $60, but a lot of value for the money.

They can be had for about $170 + shipping from Natchez:

or for about $200 (shipping included) you can get the scope and a pair of binoculars:

January 2, 2007, 07:50 AM
No, it's not a good scope. It's a cheap scope. In the world of rifle scopes and optics in general, the two are mutually exclusive terms. $200 + will get you in the decent scope range. Good scopes are on up from there.

Essex County
January 2, 2007, 01:47 PM
I think a Weaver, Nikon Pro Staff, A Bushnell 3200 would do wonders. I see too many folks with good rifles hampered by poor or marginal optics...Essex

January 2, 2007, 05:08 PM
Not mine, but I have bought several Leupold M8s from eBay like it. Leupold has a lifetime warranty too.

January 2, 2007, 05:28 PM
+1 on what Froggy said. As someone who has wasted a lot of money on cheap scopes, believe me when I tell you that you will save money in the long run if you buy a good quality scope like the Burris Fullfield II right off the bat. If you cannot possibly squeeze enough dollars to afford the Burris Fullfield II, and absolutely, positively cannot even consider waiting until you can afford the Burris, then I'd go with the Bushnell Trophy. They cost about $25 more than your $60 limit, but the Bushnell Trophy is about the lowest priced scope that is worth even considering, IMHO. Anything in the <$60 range is going to be a crapshoot at best

January 2, 2007, 05:30 PM
if your looking to keep prices down you might take a look at the new simmons line with the "true zero erector system". there supposed to be just about recoil proof. the glass is desent, and you can get a good mag range for a 100$ or so. right now there the best of the cheap scopes IMHO. it'll give you a funtional rifle till you can get the one you want

January 2, 2007, 05:50 PM
Try a Bushnell Banner Series 3-9x40mm. or 3-9x50 more light and a little better than the one you are looking at without a huge jump in price.
January 2, 2007, 07:22 PM
"If you will be using your .308 for hunting, the 3-9x magnification range is about perfect. If you are doing precision target shooting at long range you may want a higher power than 9x."

Mirage gets magnified too! 10X is plenty of magnification for 600+ yard shots.

I tend to think the comments of .38 Special hit it right on the head.

Scope prices do not equal an index of quality. The Tasco Super Sniper is an example of this. The Bushnell and Nikon suggestions are well advised.

A hugely unconventional suggestion that occurs to me is that you could purchase a red dot sight for use whilst hunting. A $35.00 BSA should get the ball rolling for hunting purposes. When you're more sure of what you want, hopefully funds too will be availible. At that point you can mount the red dot on a .22LR of some kind and put your new scope on the .308! Remember that most game is shot at under 100 yards. At that distance, no magnification is really needed. Plus with an easy to see dot, you'll have an easier time hunting at dawn and dusk.

Dave Markowitz
January 2, 2007, 07:31 PM
Cheap optics are a waste of money. If you are on a budget then a fixed power scope will be more rugged than a similarly-priced variable. There's less to go wrong. A fixed power 4x scope will serve just fine for 99% of the hunting you'll do with a .308.

A $35.00 BSA should get the ball rolling for hunting purposes.

My Marlin Camp .45 with little recoil ate a cheap BSA red dot (I got it for free) in less than 100 rounds. I wouldn't put one of them on anything more powerful than a .22.

Molon Labe
January 2, 2007, 07:47 PM
I just want to get an inexpensive scopeThe problem with an inexpensive scope is that there is a balloon payment attached to it. When you first buy it, the payment is very low. But in the end you're hit with a nasty bill. In other words, there are actually two payments... a small upfront payment, and a much bigger payment down the road.

When you buy quality, you only cry once.

January 2, 2007, 08:11 PM
Typically, 3-9x32 scopes are used on rimfires, although they may also work on centerfires. As far as your price range, I think you can even do better than that by ordering a Simmons 3-9X40 8-Point. Last time I checked, they were about $50. I have that came with my .30-06 and it has worked great. It is very clear, holds zero, and easily adjusts through magnifications. For your budget, that is my suggestion.

January 2, 2007, 09:56 PM
Another nice scope that won't break your wallet, go to Gander Mountain sells them, I've got 2 of them. The 2 x 7 x32 shotgun scope and the 4 x 16 x 50 Tach. like them both.

Best ............... Mike

January 2, 2007, 10:05 PM
For less than $60, look for a used Weaver K4.

A used Weaver K4 is much better than a new Bushnell Sportview.

January 2, 2007, 10:56 PM
I'm gonna sound off here. I'm personally a little annoyed when its stated that, unless you spend a minimum of $200 on a rifle scope, it'll be junk. I wish to disagree, firmly. I have hunted and target shot for the past 12 years with a Savage bolt action and the cheap scope that the package came with. It is a Simmons 3-9x32mm scope. I have shot many deer with this set up and when shooting at targets can reliable get sub 1" groups.

So please Duke, when you're reading everyone's opinions, take them with a grain of salt. They are all opinions. If you aren't trying to get the utmost of accuracy and the tightest groups possible, then you will do just fine with a scope for under $100. If you are after tight tight groups, and shooting out to 1000 yards, then you'll need to invest a bit more.

So here's yet another opinion. And, again, take my opinion with a grain of salt.

Good luck,


.38 Special
January 2, 2007, 11:08 PM
Amen, brother. No one likes a good scope more than I do, but the claims that you have to spend $XXX to get a "non crap" scope are bunk and have a snobbish ring to them.

I have a 4x Tasco that I bought at Big 5 close to 20 years ago. It was blister packed and, to the best of my recollection, cost me $19.95. That silly little scope has been on at least half a dozen rifles -- including a .300 Magnum -- and has withstood hundreds of rounds from the likes of .30-06 and .270. It isn't the greatest scope for the last few minutes of legal light and the click adjustments have always been a little odd -- some clicks equal 1/4 minute and some are more like 2/5 or something -- but once sighted in it holds zero and I have never missed something because of the scope.

Some folks -- myself included, once upon a time -- have more pressing uses for their money than fancy rifles and thousand dollar scopes. And I know for a fact that with an old Savage bolt gun, a $30 scope, and a lot of practice that you can outshoot 90% of the scope snobs with their Zeisses and Swarovskis.

January 3, 2007, 10:31 AM
For someone who's new to this kind of shooting and optics, it's a hard swallow to cough up $200+ for a scope when there are so many cheaper alternatives. I can sympathize, 'cause that was me, not so long ago. Go ahead and buy a cheap scope. You'll probably get $50-$80 worth of use. With my eyes, ANY scope is superior to ANY iron sight. Since he has no sights at all, ANY scope is an improvement.

Duke, do you have any shooting friends that have rifles with high-quality scopes? It's hard to tell much difference between a cheap scope and an expensive one at the counter at Wal-Mart. At the range, it's much easier, and you'll feel much better about your investment, once you've appreciated the difference.

Hutch, whose middle initials are now "Vari-X III".

January 3, 2007, 10:49 AM
that is very much a hunting scope, but not a target/rangefinding scope. so if this is a hunting rig, it should be okay for a start, but a 40mm lens or bigger , would be better.

January 3, 2007, 11:16 AM
I'm personally a little annoyed when its stated that, unless you spend a minimum of $200 on a rifle scope, it'll be junk.

I don't think anyone has said you have to spend $200 or it's junk. What is being said is that if you try to save a few bucks by buying a cheap scope, you will not be getting the best value for your money, and there is a much greater chance that the scope will fail in some way. The non-monetary costs of a cheap scope can be high. Cheap scopes generally do not perform well in low light, and their poor resolution can result in missed opportunities for a hunter or headaches and eyestrain for a target shooter. Cheap scopes are more likely to break or fog, less likely to hold zero, and less likely to have consistent adjustments. Can you get a serviceable cheap scope? Sure, but as I said, it's a crapshoot. You might get one made on a good day. But, you are just as likely to get one that seems as though it was made at 5pm on the Friday afternoon before a 3 day weekend.

January 3, 2007, 12:11 PM
RULE OF THUMB!! YOU SHOULD SPEND AT LEAST AS MUCH ON THE SCOPE AS YOU DID ON THE GUN YOUR PUTTING IT ON!!!. That is if you dont want to have to screw around with finding another scope when the cheap one you bought breaks. I have been a gunsmith for 20+ years and the biggest complaint i get is "my rifle wont hold a zero setting" then i look at the scope they have mounted and its a cheap walmart bushnell or simons or one of those chinese knokoffs and they wonder why? Do yourself a favor and save up some $$$ and put a decent scope on the rifle and you wont have to worry about it again, (unless u drop it down the side of a mountain like one of my customers did on his last elk hunting trip. lololol)

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