What is the best of the bottom tier scope brands?


March 31, 2010, 03:54 AM
Let's find out what scope is the best of the worst,don't take offense if your scope is on the list. I just want opinions to see what others think of the bargain scopes, I for one love my bargain scope.

If you enjoyed reading about "What is the best of the bottom tier scope brands?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
March 31, 2010, 03:01 PM
Barska, I think. I have a 4x32mm Barska that I paid no more than $20 for and it's surprisingly good.

BTW, Leapers and UTG are the same company.

March 31, 2010, 04:16 PM
I wonder what the other two folks who selected "other" had since they didn't post. :(

March 31, 2010, 05:23 PM
I have a Nikkon that seems to be working pretty well.

April 1, 2010, 12:20 AM
Other. My buddy has a Millet DMS on his AR and it's a sweet little scope. I also have a Konus scope that I am really happy with right now.

April 1, 2010, 12:45 AM
Pentax, its on my 700 sps tactical, love it, holds its zero even under some pretty heavy loads for that gun. Im going to upgrade to a nikkon (i think its an upgrade) they cost only a couple hundred more and I get target turrets with it

April 1, 2010, 12:59 AM
I have an 80's Simmons that just won't die or lose zero. When I bought it I planned to replace it when my youngest got out of school, she's got two of her own now. The damn thing just won't violate if it ain't broke don't fix it.

April 1, 2010, 10:54 AM
Personally I wouldn't consider Nikon or Pentax as bottom tier. Jury's out on Millett and Konus too.

When I think bottom tier, I think of companies that:
-sell scopes for under $20
-have little or nothing over $100
-are found in "blister pack" packaging on racks at Walmart and chain sporting goods stores

April 1, 2010, 11:29 AM

Have 2. Less than $100 each.


April 3, 2010, 02:30 AM
as long as you can buy the EXCELLENT sightron S1 3x9x40 for a little over $100 why in the world would you bother with any of the brands on this list

dagger dog
April 3, 2010, 08:44 AM
I have had good luck with BSA, on rifles up to and including the .308 WIN. but I am also 62 years old and have cataracs:cool:.

My favorite though is the Bushnell Sportsman under 75 bucks, and I do know that the Elite Series are some of the higher end scopes with great quality.

April 5, 2010, 01:04 PM
I'm a bench rest kind of guy, not professional, and a hunter as well. But when optics are the question I use only one brand and for many good reasons. Leupold will give you years of trouble free use, eye relief, water proof no matter the conditions, fog proof, clarity, and if anything happens, even if its your fault, they will repair or replace the optic without even charging shipping. Don't bargan buy optics unless you desire injuries to your face or eye, and like waiting for your glass to clear from the fog your nose causes on a cold morning. I dropped my rifle off the Mogion Rim bear hunting ( it was the gun or me, I chose the gun )and the scope was destroyed. I sent it to Leupold and 10 days later I got a brand new scope in the mail. I set my Leupold binoculars on the tire of my truck and inadvertantly forgot then drove over the top of them crushing them. Again, Leupold took care of me in the exact manner as above! Buy only Leupold. Not even the upper $ brands will treat you like that.

[/QUOTE]" When seconds count, the police are only minutes away! "

April 5, 2010, 10:36 PM
Sorry pal, Leupold has no place in this thread. All these scopes are the bottom barrel types. Hence the title "What is the best of the bottom tier scope brands?". Leupold is a top of the line "high dollar" scope company not to be associated with the ones on my thread title.

April 6, 2010, 12:48 AM
Sorry pal, Leupold has no place in this thread. All these scopes are the bottom barrel types. Hence the title "What is the best of the bottom tier scope brands?". Leupold is a top of the line "high dollar" scope company not to be associated with the ones on my thread title.
I disagree

A vx1 or rifleman isn't much more expensive than some products from the lowest common denominator brands you list. Unless this thread is about only the crappiest models from the crappy manufacturers listed.

April 6, 2010, 11:42 AM
the crappiest models from the crappy manufacturers listed. This thread is ajust that. basically the best of the worst type deal.

April 6, 2010, 01:49 PM
I voted other, and say Simmons.

April 9, 2010, 08:19 PM
I had a Bushnell Banner on a bolt action 30-30 that was pretty good. I have Nikons, Weavers, and Leopolds on every thing else. The low end scopes were just too much trouble. I stay in the $125-$200 range now.

April 9, 2010, 08:58 PM
I have a Center Point on an AR. It's an OK scope. It gets the job done and does it well enough that I'm not worried about rushing out to get something better.

Arkansas Paul
April 9, 2010, 09:50 PM
I've heard a lot of negative comments about BSA but when I was 20 and broke, I put one on a NEF Handi Rifle in .280, and it's still on it. It's held it's zero pretty good. Don't get me wrong, I have a Leupold and a Nikon that's in an entirely different ballpark. The BSA hasn't been bad for $30 though. I keep saying I'm gonna put a better one on it, but every time I shoot it, it's spot on.

winchester '97
April 11, 2010, 12:11 PM
Other. Tasco. Got my 6-24x42mm mil dot varmint scope for 80 bucks and tax from wal marts site to store feature. Just because it isnt a Leupold doesnt mean it comes from a crappy manufacturer.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 12, 2010, 12:19 PM
I don't know, but the "best of the worst" is NOT BSA, low-end Simmons, or Tasco, IMO.

Most likely the answer is Centerpoint, NC Star, low-end Bushnells, for "under-$100" scopes. Also, Millett, Barska, Mueller, and Swift seem decent, too.

But it's not a particularly good *question* to ask - by all means, step up to at least $125-$150 (bare minimum) and get a Nikon Prostaff, Elite 3200, or Burris FF-2, and you've got a worlds better scope, for not much more, IMO.

April 12, 2010, 01:01 PM
Take a look at the Yukon/Sightmark products. The Sightmark 4x32 scope I put on my Saiga .223 ($50) looks as clear and sharp to my aging eyes as others I've spent ten times as much for. Others who have peered through it make similar comments. I have owned both Simmons and BSA in the same price range, and the Sightmark is clearly (pun intended) superior.

April 14, 2010, 02:07 AM
I have a 3x9x40 Tasco World class scope, I bought on sale for $40 a couple of years back, and it had a $10 rebate on it....
Since Bushnell bought the brand...I think they have improved a lot, better glass, brighter, sharper than the old days of cheap tasco's...
Now, I wouldn't pay a dime for their buckhorn's or their other low end scopes....
Spend twenty extra dollars and get a lot better scope......
BSA, Simmons, Barska, and any bottom dollar scope will be bottom quality, too....
Yes, you get what you pay for...but you can find deals out there, I just bought 10x40 Nikon binoculars for $50.....about 100 times the quality of $20 low end Bushnell's....
The biggest thing in glass, is you can go to the store, and compare them, side by side.....

April 14, 2010, 09:23 AM
I'll put in a vote for the Bushnell Banner. I have a 1-4x that's been on two ARs and now on a Marlin 60 .22, it's a great scope, not a true 1x but very clear and sharp and it's held up under some good abuse. I paid around 70 bucks for it from Midway. It has the Circle-X reticle which I really like.

Arkansas Paul
April 14, 2010, 09:38 AM
I do have an old Bushnell sportview 4x32 that's been on a rifle for I know is at least twenty-two years old. I got the rifle (used) for Christmas when I was 8 years old in 1988, and it was on it then. It's never failed or lost zero. I've dropped it a time or two and had to readjust it, but that's not the scope's fault.
Of course it is on a .22 mag so it's not subject to any recoil. That's probably got a lot to do with it.

April 14, 2010, 03:16 PM
step up to at least $125-$150 (bare minimum) and get a Nikon Prostaff, Elite 3200, or Burris FF-2, and you've got a worlds better scope, for not much more

I disagree!

I have both! I have 2 Center Point 4-16X40 scopes, and 1 Nikon Prostaff 3-9X40. I love all three of them. I am not using them on wimpy calibers either. They are .243, 30-06, and 300 Win Mag. All three scopes have made the rounds to each gun so far and recoil has not been an issue, holding zero is great and the glass clarity has not been a problem. The .243 wins this battle and gets a Center Point due to it being meant to be used as more of a varmint gun right now. The 300 gets the Nikon for hunting due to its magnification factor and the other scope sits on a shelf because I have decided to use my 30-06 as a brush gun with open sights. There is no clear winner between these scopes, it is only due to features as to why they are where they are. I hope this helps some of you. I paid $69.00 for CP and $169 for Nikon.

I do not recommend the 3-9X32 Center Point though. I had many on my 243 and they would not hold zero. That was very frustrating. Wally World gave me my money back though and that's when I tried the big brother! I am glad I did!


May 1, 2010, 07:16 PM
Several years back I purchased a 3x9 Bushnell Sportview pretty cheaply from a guy who got it in a Savage rifle package deal. Mounted it on my Mossberg 44LS .22 target rifle. After about 3 shots the vertical reticle went from it's 12 O'clock position to about 2 O'clock.
Bushnell replaced it right away with a new one even though I wasn't the original owner! I mounted it on my Czech VZ24 Mauser in .458 Win Mag just to see if it would hold up.
Fired 60 rounds of reloads...300 grain lead...2,200 fps...scope never flinched!! Held zero throughout and remains on that rifle today!!!

May 7, 2010, 01:22 AM
i have a center point 4x16-40 that i got from walmart on my tacticool'd 10/22. works like a champ. never had to re-zero and it looks freakin cool. but then again, my 10/22 weighs like 15 pounds and produces no recoil. i used it in heavy rain with no problems either. plus they come with flip-up scope covers.

May 10, 2010, 01:19 AM
i just bought a pentax gameseeker and it seems to be the best cheapie scope ive ever owned hands down. The optics are pretty good and it has held zero so far (about 200 rounds of 223) they have a good warrentee though and that goes a long way. They can be had for under 70 dollars if you look around a bit.

May 11, 2010, 12:24 PM
I like the cheaper Center Point scopes that don't have an electronic reticle feature to complicate them. They work well on air guns and rim fires, are very clear and have nice reticles. Their A.O. models are noticeably less expensive than comparable Bushnells, Simmons and Tascos which I tend to rate in that order. And while it's hard to make direct comparisons between low end scopes from those 3 brands either, they all generally perform well for their price with only a few exceptions. One brand or the other will usually offer a budget model that will fit one's needs and offer adequate performance.

May 11, 2010, 12:59 PM
I voted 'Other'; in my case, that's Barska.

A shooting pal and I both ordered the barska 6-24 for use on our rimfire rifles. These scopes provide a crisp image and easily adjustable windage & elevation.

We've had them for about four years, with no problems whatsoever. I can't say how well they would endure the stress of more powerful center-fire rifles.

May 16, 2010, 01:26 PM
I voted other because i just put a Mueller scope on my .270. The optics are quite clear, and i am quite happy with it. Not sure where they belong on the the foodchain but they seem like a lower priced kind of scope company.

May 20, 2010, 05:44 AM
Another Barska vote.

I got their "Ridgeline" model a few years back for less than 100USD, and it's been great on my .243 for hunting and shooting out to ~400 yds.

If you enjoyed reading about "What is the best of the bottom tier scope brands?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!