The best scopes in the world?


PDA






superpunchy
July 7, 2009, 04:42 PM
I'm looking for the very finest rifle scope that money can buy. Who makes some of the very best in the world? Price is no object and money is no object...

If you enjoyed reading about "The best scopes in the world?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
rr2241tx
July 7, 2009, 04:46 PM
Care to adopt a son?

FlyinBryan
July 7, 2009, 05:03 PM
this is a really nice one and its actually 700 dollars cheaper than ive seen it elsewhere.

plus its free shipping!!!!!

http://www.opticsplanet.net/zeiss-victory-diavari-6-24x72-riflescopes-30mm.html

taliv
July 7, 2009, 05:07 PM
what are you going to do with it? tactical? target? hunting?

salvo
July 7, 2009, 05:12 PM
Schmidt & Bender

FlyinBryan
July 7, 2009, 05:14 PM
there was a centurian 23hr scope with image intensifier technology.

i cant remember where i saw it but it was less than 6k$$$

which is great compared to the 9900.00 ive seen it at before.

are you interested in night capability, or just super clear daylight optics?

power?

rcmodel
July 7, 2009, 05:16 PM
Seems like Nightforce would be way up there in the running.

http://www.nightforceoptics.com/

rc

ArmedBear
July 7, 2009, 05:18 PM
Drop 2 grand on a Nightforce, S&B, Swaro, etc. and you'll probably like looking through it.:)

Savage Shooter
July 7, 2009, 05:23 PM
I'm looking for the very finest rifle scope that money can buy. Who makes some of the very best in the world? Price is no object and money is no object... I dream of hearing myself say that after winning the lottery.:what: I think I might drop dead right now:eek:

Care to adopt a son? I second that:D

gvnwst
July 7, 2009, 05:26 PM
S&B, Nightforce, Premier, and USO are probably the best known of the "ultimate" scope makers.

dubbleA
July 7, 2009, 05:29 PM
The Hubble telescope, actual cost vary though...between $4.5 to $6 billion dollars. :neener:

gvnwst
July 7, 2009, 05:31 PM
The Hubble telescope, actual cost vary though...between $4.5 to $6 billion dollars. :neener:
Sorry, doesn't fit the criteria:
I'm looking for the very finest rifle scope that money can buy

:neener:

Rembrandt
July 7, 2009, 05:35 PM
I like Swarovski.....but every time it gets mentioned ten guys come along saying their $75 Simmons is just as good and I wasted my money....

CoRoMo
July 7, 2009, 05:46 PM
This thread needs more poll, but I vote Schmidt & Bender with USO right there with them.

Uncle Mike
July 7, 2009, 06:12 PM
:D I can offer the ones we sell as a guide, give what our ...'well off' customers have to say.:D

Hensoldt-
Schmidt and Bender Zenith-
Kahles Helia CL, KK-
Ziess Victory-
Swarovski-
US Optic-
Meopta-
Ziess Conquest-
Luepold VX-7 Series-(only)
Trijicon Accupoint-
Nightforce-

just a quick synopsis of what has sold the most and or best in its class and price point, this is not to say that this list is law and gospel, only what has transpired for us this past year. ( not the Hensoldt)

There are some really N I C E equipment on that list.... I would give the left one for one of those Hensoldts. .:banghead:

:D

DRYHUMOR
July 7, 2009, 06:30 PM
http://www.snipershide.com/node/13

Write up on the Hensoldt. Almost makes me want to save my pennies.

lipadj46
July 7, 2009, 07:38 PM
http://swfa.com/New-Zeiss-6-24x72-SAM-Tactical-Hensoldt-Telescopic-34mm-Sigh-P41085.aspx

A steel at only $12,000

pdd614
July 7, 2009, 07:53 PM
i am going to have to put another vote in for the premier heritage. will have a full review of this scope in a couple weeks. can't wait.

hillbillydelux
July 7, 2009, 08:04 PM
I like Swarovski.....but every time it gets mentioned ten guys come along saying their $75 Simmons is just as good and I wasted my money....

HAAAAAHAAAHHAAA!!! Wow now that is a good one.


But seriously Tasco is the best ;)

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 7, 2009, 08:47 PM
March scopes are supposed to be danged good:

http://accurateshooter.wordpress.com/2008/02/16/march-unveils-50x-and-60x-target-scopes/


But this list, with my bolded emphasis, ain't too shabby:

Hensoldt-
Schmidt and Bender Zenith-
Kahles Helia CL, KK-
Ziess Victory-
Swarovski-
US Optics-
Meopta-
Ziess Conquest-
Leupold VX-7 Series-(only)
Trijicon Accupoint-
Nightforce-


http://swfa.com/New-Zeiss-6-24x72-SA...gh-P41085.aspx

A steel at only $12,000

And then this is written below:

Be the first to submit a review on this product!

Ya think? No one's been able to afford it yet. :) Seriously, that's pretty much the ultimate scope for hunting by moonlight, which is legal in most of Europe (night hunting).

krs
July 7, 2009, 09:16 PM
It's got to have image stabilization at least.

FSJeeper
July 7, 2009, 09:24 PM
From my own personal research, S&B is the best all around, but not by a big enough margin to make it worth the extra cost. If you can afford one this would be the choice. Zeiss, Swarvoski, Kahles, etc. are right up there and will serve well.

In the late 90's, Steiner made a higher end scope to compete with these. I was able to compare the above mentioned to the Steiner at one time except for the S&B. I chose the Steiner as the best optic for me at that time and I was not on a budget. It was just simply the best for the money at the time. It was around $1,200 if my memory serves me. It is still my best scope but I have other Zeiss's and Swarvoski's I like almost as much.

Steiner made the ultra fine lenses and then contracted with Leopold to maufacture the scope to their specs much higher than Leopold's.

I have never found a used one but I have read a number of accounts of people picking these up in gun shops and gun shows used and bargain basement prices. They were amazed at the clarirty and light gathering capabilities of them and took a cheap gamble not knowing anything about them but the Steiner name. Only to get home and get on the web to find out they had purchased a very fine optic for almost nothing.

gondorian
July 7, 2009, 09:36 PM
I would say that a scope is no good at all if it is too expensive for you to be willing to use it.

leathermanwave
July 7, 2009, 09:41 PM
Even if I was bill gates I would use a Leupold.

P.B.Walsh
July 7, 2009, 09:47 PM
Whats better Nightforce or USO??

SlamFire1
July 7, 2009, 09:56 PM
I notice that a number of Target shooters use Leupold target scopes. Excellent optics and repeatable click adjustments.

A few years ago I talked to an optical company. There are only a few glass manufacturers, and a few lense makers. Everybody buys from the same people, the difference is in the tolerances/specifications and price.

The Club President (CP) bought a Zeiss. He took it to the range and tried to compare with other scopes he had. The distance was 200 yards he had shapes and grids on the target boards. Then he let some young whipper snappers look through the scopes for a second opinion. They could see things he could not.

So he gave up.

At some point, you will need an optical interferometer to tell the difference between lenses.

Or a teenager.

P.B.Walsh
July 7, 2009, 09:59 PM
I would LOVE to look through a high-end scopes, all I've ever seen are Tasco's, and my BSA......:( Never even picked one up in a gun shop.....:(

Uncle Mike
July 7, 2009, 10:20 PM
:D:D USO...more better.... :D:D

:D

superpunchy
July 7, 2009, 10:39 PM
Wow, thanks for all the excellent ideas, maybe someone would be kind enough to set up a poll for this thread.

lipadj46
July 7, 2009, 10:49 PM
Here are the details on the $12,000 Zeiss tactical scope:

http://hudisco.com/6_24_sam.htm

Check out the video, any one want to go in on a timeshare?

gvnwst
July 7, 2009, 10:58 PM
Wow, thanks for all the excellent ideas, maybe someone would be kind enough to set up a poll for this thread.

You can add a poll still, IIRC. It should be in "thread tools".

257WM_CDL-SF
July 7, 2009, 10:59 PM
Scmidt&Bender

Pack
July 7, 2009, 11:01 PM
It's not a well-known name, but for certain applications I've heard great things said about the German name Nickel.

http://www.nickel-ag.com/en/default.aspx

I have no personal experience, though, having never gone higher up the ladder than the better Leupolds.

jakk280rem
July 7, 2009, 11:48 PM
Unertl maybe.

jpwilly
July 7, 2009, 11:51 PM
Premier Heritage I heard is a no compromise scope...couldn't tell you too rich for my wallet.

P.B.Walsh
July 7, 2009, 11:53 PM
Unertl was bought by USO.

FlyinBryan
July 7, 2009, 11:54 PM
posted by slamfire
At some point, you will need an optical interferometer to tell the difference between lenses.

Or a teenager.

lol, good stuff.

Boba Fett
July 8, 2009, 12:35 AM
Many excellent reviews of scopes on SniperCentral.com

http://www.snipercentral.com/scopereviews.htm

mljdeckard
July 8, 2009, 12:47 AM
I got to play with some S&B's, and if I had the means to just go buy whatever I wanted, that's what I would grab.

Gaiudo
July 8, 2009, 01:33 AM
Wow, that new zeiss heisol looks impressive.

lipadj46
July 8, 2009, 08:11 AM
Wow, that new zeiss heisol looks impressive.

I'm surprised for 12 grand it doesn't range for you (and after the kill give you a happy ending).

Uncle Mike
July 8, 2009, 09:53 AM
I'm surprised for 12 grand it doesn't range for you (and after the kill give you a happy ending).

Maybe they do... but at that price I'll have to take someone else word for it!:D

:D

rangerruck
July 8, 2009, 11:20 AM
I know Doctor makes some good small optics, but do they make scopes?

atblis
July 8, 2009, 11:28 AM
They used to. CDNN had them on closeout. Might still have some

Reid73
July 8, 2009, 03:47 PM
Is there any real point to this thread? The original question was entirely devoid of any context (not unlike these similar threads: Please Rank These Rifle Cartridges (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=5730692#post5730692); Defeating Personal Body Armor (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=460290); Top 10 most valuable guns of all time (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=436810); Double action vs. Single action (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=435942); What is the metal content of a brass case? (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=436164); How long will rimfire ammo store for? (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=435933)).

If people want to debate hypothetical / pointless questions, here are a few suggestions for new threads that the OP may want to consider:


what is the maximum lethal range of a .300 Weatherby Magnum?
which ammunition manufacturer has the longest history of producing 10 gauge shells?
what is the best big game cartridge?
which country has the highest number of international medals in trap shooting?
what velocity will yield the best accuracy in an air pistol?
when was the 'golden age' of double rifles?
I have an old gun. What is it worth?

Gaiudo
July 8, 2009, 04:03 PM
Is there any real point to the above post? If you don't have something to contribute, perhaps you could start one of those suggested topics?

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 8, 2009, 04:10 PM
If people want to debate hypothetical / pointless questions, here are a few suggestions for new threads that the OP may want to consider:

If people DON'T want to debate hypothetical questions, which is 3/4ths of what is discussed on a gun board, then they should do something besides hang out on gun boards.

Reid73
July 8, 2009, 05:11 PM
I beg to differ. Many of the threads on this board are bona fide requests for advice on practical problems.

Gaiudo, since you insist: the 'best' scope is Zeiss' Victory Diavari 3-12x56 T*, with #66 reticle. There you go. :rolleyes:

dagger dog
July 8, 2009, 05:22 PM
I think LEICA is getting into the rifle scope buisness, their glass and lenses have been tops in the world on cameras, microscopes, etc.!

EvanWilliams
July 8, 2009, 07:49 PM
I own only one scoped rifle. I don't like scopes. I love iron sights.

That said. I work in the OR. Every operative microscope I have seen in my 20 years in healthcare has had the same name on it.....Carl Zeiss.

If Leupold ever starts making operative microscopes it would be interesting.
I doubt anything made by Zeiss is junk. However, the extra money would be wasted on a mediocre rifle shooter like me. My simmons Aetec does the job just fine. By that I mean I can keep my 30-06 SIG SHR around 2 inches!!!!:D

lipadj46
July 8, 2009, 08:55 PM
I think LEICA is getting into the rifle scope buisness, their glass and lenses have been tops in the world on cameras, microscopes, etc.!

They've been in the rifle scope business before and just like their cameras they tend to be superb optically but esoteric in design and overpriced for the features you get.

Also they won't actually make the scopes they will pay someone to make them for them with their optics, it was rumored that someone was going to be kahles but that looks like it turned out to be a rumor.

Uncle Mike
July 8, 2009, 09:11 PM
I think LEICA is getting into the rifle scope buisness,


I had heard that Leica was purchasing the Kahles line of optics. I'm not sure on this... just as long as Kahles remains and their quality as well.

I own a couple Kahles scopes, and hands down, except for maybe a Hensoldt, I would own no other... well, except for maybe a Schmidt and Bender or Ziess Victory or.....

Oh, and that Hensoldt I said we sold...not! It was a Zeiss Victory Daivari... the customer 'wanted' a Hensoldt, but they are not available yet, someone put it in the puter' as an Hensoldt... my bad... sorry!

:D

hillbillydelux
July 12, 2009, 09:27 PM
Even if I was bill gates I would use a Leupold.

A man after my own heart.

Uncle Mike
July 12, 2009, 09:51 PM
Bill Gates would probably use a Leupold....lol hehehe :neener:

:D

cameron.personal
July 12, 2009, 10:30 PM
BSA makes good stuff I have one on my .338 Lapua Mag.

ForneyRider
July 12, 2009, 10:57 PM
Nicest I've shot is a Zeiss Conquest, the 900$ one on a 8x57 Mauser. Does really well at 100 yards. It was as if there was no glass to look through and I had magical zoom power eyes. Oh yeah, and the turrets are really nice.

Based on reviews and specs, Schmidt & Bender. Nothing screams "most technologically dominate military in the world" like S&B.

Kahles appeals to the classy in me. Older than Swarovski, so classier. Uses less onobtanium for materials than Swarovski, Zeiss Diavari or S&B.

Swarovski appeals to the mogul in me. If I had a Blazer 416 Rem Mag like the dude on tv, I would want a Swarovski 2-7x sitting on top of it.

IOR, Leupold and others are also rans. Even the Burris that I always reccomend. There, you happy, now I feel like a whore. :D

Oldtrader3
July 12, 2009, 11:58 PM
S&B, Zeiss-Victory Diavari/Hensoldt, Swarovski/Kahles. The German or Austrian made models of 30mm scopes from the big four (counting Kahles) make the best practical scopes for hunting. The big four's, American, 1" versions follow, then all the rest.

Followed by Meopta (also makes some Zeiss Conquest lenses), Zeiss Conquest, Leupold VX3 and up models, Bushnell, Trijicon et al.

nyresq
July 14, 2009, 04:14 PM
for tactical scopes- USO or S&B, I doubt anyone could actually see a difference in the image, the only difference will be in the options. There is no other comparable.
Even with a nightforce, you can see a difference if they are side by side. Just a note- I own two NF scopes and one USO. I dont NEED a USO, a NF will do anything I could ever ask of it, but it is better then my NF scopes

for hunting- Zeiss or Swarovski. both proven around the world for a looooong time.

esheato
July 15, 2009, 12:50 AM
If money wasn't a consideration, USO would be at the top of my list. Unfortunately, money is a consideration, and Nightforce is a good balance of quality and features versus price.

Ed

Gaiudo
July 15, 2009, 01:24 AM
What about Premier Reticles? I've heard good things about their optics quality, but haven't read a great review yet.

Maverick223
July 15, 2009, 01:43 AM
Kahles appeals to the classy in me. Older than Swarovski, so classier.I disagree, I think the Swaro is classier and if/when I get a dangerous game rifle I think one will sit atop it. Overall I think Zeiss is just as good (or a tiny bit better) and a little cheaper, but as stupid as it sounds I think the Swaro looks a great deal nicer (just not enough nicer for 99% of rifles).
What about Premier Reticles? I've heard good things about their optics quality, but haven't read a great review yet.One shall be coming later this month/early next if all goes well. My 5-25x56mm was delayed and "will arrive late July". All my long range components are coming in late. Finally received the bipod today...just have no dang rifle to put it on...and when I do it won't have glass...makes me feel like shooting something (still taking donations from frustrated consumer electronics buyers :D)...if only I had a rifle. :p :banghead:

pdd614
July 15, 2009, 08:47 AM
got my premier mounted up and ready to shoot this weekend. i'll let you guys know how it turns out, but it looks like the most user friendly scope i have ever seen. 15 mils on the first turn is a beautiful thing.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=5734506#post5734506

Maverick223
July 15, 2009, 06:05 PM
got my premier mounted up and ready to shoot this weekend.The 3-15x I presume? I was told that the 5-25x were not shipping till the end of the month...either way I am eager to hear how it performs. :)

pdd614
July 15, 2009, 06:26 PM
yes it is a 3-15 with the xr reticle.

DougW
July 15, 2009, 10:00 PM
Schmidt & Bender.

ForneyRider
July 15, 2009, 10:18 PM
http://swfa.com/Leica-Rifle-Scopes-C1689.aspx

lipadj46
July 15, 2009, 10:45 PM
http://swfa.com/Leica-Rifle-Scopes-C1689.aspx

Available October 2009, don't quite see the point of putting them on their sight.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 15, 2009, 11:23 PM
No, Bill Gates would use a scope that takes 5 minutes to warm up before you can use it, after taking the covers off, gets lower and lower quality with each "improved" line, freezes up and goes dark in the middle of the hunt, and provides no customer service whatsoever for the broken scope - I guess that'd be a BSA.

Jim Watson
July 15, 2009, 11:39 PM
I really liked the Kelbly-March scopes at SHOT except they tend towards funky reticles. If you want a lot of options, they make a 2.5-25X. That would put the Bushnell 6500 in the shade... if it didn't cost $2800.

Maverick223
July 16, 2009, 12:04 AM
No, Bill Gates would use a scope...that had blue coatings and white reticle that said..."A problem has been detected and scope has been shut down to protect your rifle". :neener:

AKElroy
July 16, 2009, 12:11 AM
My eyes are older than eye am, and on a recent cull (doe) hunt I killed not one, but TWO young breeder stock bucks looking through a 45 year-old weaver K-4. (They were nub-less, 70-80 lbs, it was well after sundown & nearing dark, so get off me:)). I was feeling nostalgic, so I was hunting with my dads 40+ year old model 70 w/ the afformentioned K-4 as original equipment that was passed down to me many years back.

After that VERY expensive loss, the ranch owner handed me a box with a leupold VX-III 4X14, heavy duplex reticle, adjustable objective with orders to come back the following weekend with the new harware mounted on the 40+ year old .270 I was using. I told him I could not possibly accept it; he insisted it was far cheaper than having me kill any more breeders. I have other rifles w/ Leupold's, but he generously insisted I take it. The back to back difference is night & day, and I didn't make anymore harvesting errors.

There is something to be said for prestige & having appreciation for "THE BEST", but there is also GOOD ENOUGH. I have several Leupold scopes & they are rugged, bright, and not one has lost zero even with several years of hard use. They are also made in America, an not much is anymore.

Zak Smith
August 11, 2009, 04:57 PM
For practical long-range shooting:

S&B
Premier
Hensoldt
USO
NF
Leupold

In that order, IMO.


http://demigodllc.com/photo/AI-AWSM/icon/A100_1910_img.jpg
article | Practical Long-Range Rifle Shooting, Part II - Optics http://demigodllc.com/icon/extwh3.png (http://demigodllc.com/articles/practical-long-range-rifle-shooting-optics/)

(Updates with Premier and Hensoldt are pending publication but support the order listed above.)

ForneyRider
August 11, 2009, 05:15 PM
There are Leica scopes at the gun shop in Dallas.

Ray's Sporting Goods.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 11, 2009, 05:53 PM
My eyes are older than [I] am

How's that one work? I'm picturing the Geico eyeballs being born first.


S&B
Premier
Hensoldt
USO
NF
Leupold

Well there you go... Zak, there aren't any practical shooters you know who are keen on March scopes?

Zak Smith
August 11, 2009, 06:05 PM
I've never seen one. From looking at the March Tactical 2.5-25 (http://www.deon.co.jp/march/25X-25X42_tactical.html) web page, I have the following criticisms:

* second focal plane not ideal for PLRS
* no 0.1 mrad click options
* no mil-based reticle options
* elevation knob turns "wrong way" (ie, vs. S&B), marginal preference issue
* unclear if it has a zero stop or not

Although they do have a nice big elevation knob with a lot of travel per turn, the rest of the features or feature combinations for are qualitatively similar to, or a slight step up from, the non-FFP Nightforces or the Leupolds, in the context of practical/field long-range shooting.

Maverick223
August 11, 2009, 08:00 PM
Zak you return...haven't seen you about in a long while (perhaps I was just in the wrong forum)...thank you for recommending the Premier, though the rifle has yet to arrive (should be here this Friday) the optic looks to be great right out of the box. I am a bit surprised that the PR tops the Hensoldt on your list...I know it is a great deal less expensive ($2250 vs. $3500 for a comparable unit). So far I am very pleased with it and I will update the review when the scope is mounted and shock tested. :D

Zak Smith
August 11, 2009, 08:18 PM
The Hensoldt lacks a true zero stop. On my AI-AWM (7RM) with a 28 MOA base, it only has about 17 mils up from zero compared to the S&B in the same configuration that has over 22. Otherwise I like it quite a bit. The 4-16x56 Hensoldt is very compact. I will be doing some optical resolution tests in the next week or so using a few different shooters' eyes.

I've had very little time for forums lately - been busy with other stuff including the suppressor business, day job, writing, enduro racing, etc.

ThrottleJockey72
August 11, 2009, 08:22 PM
Don't know much about scopes, but have always understood Russian optics to be superior.

Maverick223
August 11, 2009, 08:34 PM
I've had very little time for forums latelyGood to see you back..stick around for a while. :)

aka108
August 11, 2009, 08:56 PM
You might take a look at Benchrestcentral and see what those guys are using in the way of scopes.

jimmyraythomason
August 11, 2009, 09:00 PM
If any brand of scope does what you bought it for and does it well enough to suit you then you have the "best" scope for you. If that scope costs $89,good for you,if it costs more than an ATV and you can afford it then IT is the "best" scope for you. There is a point when you aren't getting better you are just spending more.

helz_mcfugly
August 11, 2009, 09:39 PM
yea that Zeiss Victory will shoot the gun for you. it will even clean the gun and do the dishes.

Zak Smith
August 11, 2009, 10:06 PM
That point is somewhere over $2000, however.

Maverick223
August 11, 2009, 10:16 PM
That point is somewhere over $2000, however.To an extent I must disagree with you. It really depends upon the use and the features that you want in a scope. For hunting purposes I feel that $1k will get you all the scope that you need (for typical magnification and lighting needs) and anything of greater expense is unwarranted...of course that is just what my eyes tell me. As far as a "tactical" optic where FFP, greater range of adjustment and magnification, target turrets, et cetera is desired I have to agree 100%...and I feel certain that is what you were eluding to. :)

Zak Smith
August 11, 2009, 10:27 PM
Sure, there's no reason to spend five gazillion dollars on a scope to shoot deer within 250 yards. I run cheaper scopes on my .22's and stuff. However, there are qualitative features that you get more of as you step towards $2000. I mainly just wanted to ward off the meme that "No $3000 scope does anything more than my $35 Barska."

jimmyraythomason
August 11, 2009, 10:30 PM
I have never paid more than $300 for a hunting scope. I do not shoot at 1000 yard targets or shoot for one hole groups at 400 yards. My shooting is done at 300 yards and under. Legal hunting hours are sunrise to sunset. All of my scopes Leupold,Nikon,Bushnell and even a Barska gather sufficient light to allow hunting up to the last minute of legal hunting time. They are all shock resistant and RARELY have to be re-zeroed if bumped. If I were shooting competition I might spend a little more but for my purposes these scopes are all I need.

Maverick223
August 11, 2009, 11:53 PM
I mainly just wanted to ward off the meme that "No $3000 scope does anything more than my $35 Barska."Well I can't dispute that point. :)

BushyGuy
August 12, 2009, 12:08 AM
Ziess and Leupold make one of the finest scopes in the world and also Nikon.

SpeedAKL
August 12, 2009, 10:21 AM
That $12,000 Zeiss seems to be a scope with an integrated ballistics calculator, similar to Barrett's BORS/Leupold Mk.4 combo...

H2O MAN
August 12, 2009, 11:15 AM
Best?

The best for my money is the Mark 4 series from Leupold.
My plans call for a NightForce scope as soon as I can scrape
up the funds, but I doubt I would be able to enjoy the advantages
a super expensive, high-end scope has to offer - I'm not that good.

Rob Yanichko
August 12, 2009, 01:36 PM
At the range most people shoot there isn't much difference between best scopes and good scopes. It isn't until you go to long range and varying conditions that the real qualities of best scopes comes out. At 100 yards you really don't get a whole boatload of difference between cheap, good, and best scopes. I have some cheap ebay scopes that are just fine at 100 and 200 yards. The reticle lines are a little thicker than my best scopes, but unless you are trying for long 600+ shooting that isn't really an issue. As a matter of fact they can be a help for hunting since they don't get lost in background clutter as easily. Then the whole issue of reticles. What you get may depend on what reticle you want. I like my IOR because of the MP-8 reticle.

Then reliabilty comes into play. I have had cheap, good and best scopes all fail. I've had cheap, good, and best scopes do fine. My IOR that I like so much started having problems going out of focus. My gunsmith sent it back for inspection/repair. While I was waiting (IOR has reputation for long turn-around times) I got a cheap scope from ebay. XDioptics (Chinese - seems they have several names for what seems to be the same scopes) that is on my AR10T. It now has a couple hundred rounds and is working just fine. Turns out that particular model IOR has problems not with recoil, but with shock of bolt return. The heavier AR10 bolt return knocked the focus lens loose. IOR replaced the scope and recommended it not go back on a heavy semi. They are aware of the issue and are working on it. So it is now on one of my bolts. I am looking to replace the Chinese scope when I get the money. I will probably go Nightforce like what I've got on my M1A. But until then that cheap $150 scope soldiers on.

There are so many things to weigh besides magnification and reticle. What adjustment increments do you want ? Do you want a reticle that illuminates ?
What tube diameter do you want ? How much weight ? What size objective (it will mean a difference in how high you have to mount and then may change how you have your cheekweld, etc) ?

I have found that as I age and my eyes get worse I have gone to higher magnification. I now have a problem with a multiple astigmatism that I can mostly eliminate with higher mag. So I shoot higher mag than most. An advantage is that at 200 I can easily see the holes and don't need a spotting scope. Friends like the high mag for the immediate feedback on each shot without having the spotting scope. If I take it to low magnification my eye problem is more pronounced.

So to the question of which is best. How much do you want to spend and what are you going to do with it ? If price is no object and you are just buying an ego scope for bragging rights S&B seems to be the right one. Not saying anything bad about S&B, they are a benchmark for among the best.

1858
August 12, 2009, 04:39 PM
I have the following criticisms:

* second focal plane not ideal for PLRS
* no 0.1 mrad click options
* no mil-based reticle options
* elevation knob turns "wrong way" (ie, vs. S&B), marginal preference issue
* unclear if it has a zero stop or not

When I bought a Zeiss a few months ago, one of the first things that I noticed was that the windage/elevation knobs are opposite (affect on POI) to all of my Leupold Mark 4 scopes. Personally, I find the Leupold system intuitive in that you turn the turrets counter clockwise (unscrew) to move the POI up or right. The reticle on the Leupold is actually moving down (elevation) or left (windage) but who cares about the reticle ... right?

Zak's excellent optics article mentions the difference between Leupold's M1 and M3 elevation knobs (I have both) and I wonder if it'd be possible to add a zero stop feature to the M1 knob.

As for Zak's list, I've used and played with an S&B PMII (4-16x50, P-3 reticle) and a couple of Nightforce scopes (5.5-22x50, mil-dot reticle) and spent some time looking through and playing with an IOR. I used them all in bright conditions (the S&B at 600 yards, the NF at 100 yards, the IOR away from the range) and they all have great features and excellent glass. The S&B was the only scope that I remembered to check for edge distortion which it definitely had on 16x at 200 yards. My experience with those scopes convinced me that the Mark 4 line is an EXCELLENT entry level option for serious work. For 99% of shooters, a Mark 4 at less than half the cost of a S&B is no slouch, and for 25% more a Nightforce is an excellent choice. If anyone has ever shot at 600 yards plus on a hot day, with a hot barrel, you'll realize that mirage is a royal PITA regardless of what scope you have. So for me, when I build another long-range rifle, I'll almost definitely choose a FFP Nightforce with mil/mil adjustments and reticle (http://nightforceoptics.com/NEW_PRODUCTS/new_products.html).

:)

Zak Smith
August 12, 2009, 04:49 PM
Clockwise knob rotation is more logical because numbers increase left to right, the same direction we read.

I think it would be possible to add a zero-stop to the M1 knob, the same way people are doing with the Nightforce knob: add a plastic/nylon split washer of the right thickness under the bottom edge of the knob cap.

I find eye position to be a lot more critical with the NF scopes (and USO) vs. the S&B scopes. The "small" elevation knob of the NF (IE, 40 1/4 MOA clicks or 50 0.1 mil clicks) is also more cumbersome to use compared to the many-click knobs (S&B ST/DT, USO EREK, Hensoldt, Premier), especially when dialing past 500-600 yards.

upstatenyhunter
August 12, 2009, 05:05 PM
ps-22 nightvision adapter conected to one of the following
shepherd
nightforce
us optics
leapold m4
zeis
trijicon acog
meopta
kahls
swaravski
leatherwood

Maverick223
August 12, 2009, 05:34 PM
I am sorry and do not know of your background (perhaps you speak of the old/good Leatherwood) but how can Leatherwood possibly make the list? The others I can [somewhat] understand. :)

deacon8
August 12, 2009, 06:04 PM
The two that I think are the best are Swarovski and Schmidt and Bender, with the later having a slight edge. As with other scopes, they have their "bargain" models and their pricier ones. Go with a real pricey Schmidt and Bender. I don't think you'll have any complaints.

beerengineer
August 12, 2009, 07:17 PM
Just cause it costs 12,000 clams doesn't automatically make it the best scope in the world. my buddy shoots 1000 yard .50 cal. competitions on a world championship level. he says that almost everyone at these events shoots NIGHTFORCE. nuff said. I've ordered a NF 12-42 x 56 Benchrest for about $1300.00 That'll probably be the best scope in the (my) world in my opionion.:)

1858
August 12, 2009, 11:09 PM
Clockwise knob rotation is more logical because numbers increase left to right, the same direction we read.

Hmmm ... I see your point there but I still find the Mark 4 system works (and is intuitive) for me.

I think it would be possible to add a zero-stop to the M1 knob, the same way people are doing with the Nightforce knob: add a plastic/nylon split washer of the right thickness under the bottom edge of the knob cap.

I think you're right. With the elevation set for a 100 or 200 yard zero, a plastic washer with the correct thickness would act as a zero stop when placed over the threaded shaft at the location show by the arrow. Brass or steel shims with the correct hole size and OD would be ideal to fine tune the stop. It's more work than scopes that come with a zero stop but it could be worth it, particularly if you don't change the load or zero often.

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/optics/leupold/mark4/mark4_turret.jpg

:)

Zak Smith
August 12, 2009, 11:12 PM
I actually meant on the outside of the large turret body itself-- it works for NF anyway

1858
August 12, 2009, 11:23 PM
I actually meant on the outside of the large turret body itself-- it works for NF anyway

OK ... I see what you mean ... but I like my idea better. In fact, a thin nut or lock ring with the correct thread size and a small set screw could be installed on the threaded shaft shown above. Once the zero is set, turn the lock ring down until it stops and tighten the set screw. That lock ring would act as a zero stop and it'd be easy to adjust if the zero was changed for any reason. Anyway, lot's of ways to achieve the same thing. The plastic or nylon spacer could have set screws to adjust the thickness as well.

Back to "the best scopes in the world".

:)

Maverick223
August 13, 2009, 12:09 AM
Back to "the best scopes in the world".Yeah, you just ruined the most practical, purposeful, greatest [in the world] thread ever (no offense super-p)...next stop the greatest sling swivel in the galaxy. :D

LRaccuracy
August 13, 2009, 08:43 AM
Care to adopt a son?

I don't think I would want to be your son or anything like that but will you make me a Czar or I'll even takes Eric's job.

Try a Nightforce.

JimmAr
August 13, 2009, 08:53 AM
For practical long-range shooting:

S&B
Premier
Hensoldt
USO
NF
Leupold

In that order, IMO.

Curious IOR isnt up to specs?

TX Hog Hunter
August 13, 2009, 10:36 AM
I just bought a Keiss Victory 2.5-10x50 Illuminated #40 and I can tell you this is a VERY nice scope for low-light hunting. This is my first "high end" $1000. + scope and overall I'm happy with it. Whether it's worth the difference between a Bushnell 4200 Elite 2.5-10x50 illum I don't know since you can buy 4 Bushnells for the same money ??????

nhm16
August 13, 2009, 11:04 AM
Curious IOR isnt up to specs?
In IOR's product range, there are two scopes that seem to suit the bill for "practical long-range shooting."

I've got an IOR 2.5-10x42 FFP illuminated reticle and it is a great scope, the glass is very clear and the knobs track well. It's mounted on a 18" AR-15. I've never heard anything bad about my 2.5-10, an older design, other than that the new Super Sniper 3-9x40 FFP may give it a run for its money for about $200-300 less.

They also have a 3-18x42 FFP with a 35mm tube (the Sniper's Hide edition) that is apparently now pretty good, but the first batch had issues, though they seem to be resolved and I'm going to get one for my new Savage in 260 Rem that I am building. Featurewise, it is not illuminated, has somewhat short eye relief, and the location of the turrets limits mounting options, which detracts from its appeal. OTOH, it has a great reticle, and you can't find a similarly featured scope for anywhere near the price.

Furthermore, I think people just don't trust IOR/Valdada's service, and there are a few vocal people who seem to hate them because of a bad experience. I bought mine from Scott @ Liberty Optics, so I am confident that he'd take care if me if I had problems.

taliv
August 13, 2009, 11:22 AM
I just bought a Keiss Victory 2.5-10x50 Illuminated #40 and I can tell you this is a VERY nice scope for low-light hunting. This is my first "high end" $1000. + scope and overall I'm happy with it.

that is shocking to me for some reason. it's just hard to believe that someone up to their armpits in $3800 pistols (love my supergrade compact, btw!), with decades of competitive shooting and african hunting experience.... is just now buying their first $1000 scope

Afy
August 13, 2009, 04:42 PM
Ya think? No one's been able to afford it yet. Seriously, that's pretty much the ultimate scope for hunting by moonlight, which is legal in most of Europe (night hunting).


Actually no... very few countries allow it..

Anyhow... the best scope I have is the NF. Had a couple of Leupolds... didnt like them so got rid of them.
I also like the Weaver scopes.

taliv
August 13, 2009, 06:09 PM
afy, you like weaver but not leupold? you mean, for the money? or straight up?

btw, feel free to update your old thread on your adventures with the custom rifle and the wacky gunsmith who said it wouldn't shoot a couple years back

007BondJamesBond007
August 13, 2009, 06:20 PM
The Hubble telescope, actual cost vary though...between $4.5 to $6 billion dollars. :neener:
The Hubble telescope, actual cost vary though...between $4.5 to $6 billion dollars.

Can you get scope rings to mount it on S&W 500 mag?

If you enjoyed reading about "The best scopes in the world?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!