Nikon, Bushnell, Simmons, Vortex


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Sky
October 7, 2010, 08:48 PM
Myself and 2 other people did a scope review today at the range.

Nikon 223 1-4x the new 223 series scope
Simmons Aztec 2.8-10x44
Bushnell Banner 4-12x44?
Vortex Viper 6.5-20x50

The test were done by all three of us at various ranges and power settings. Ages of testers: 60,62,43. Time of test was 1330 hrs (1:30 p.m.)

Ranges were 25, 100, 300 yards. Scopes were checked at 4x 6.5x 10x 12x and 20x and were compared side by side at same the magnification when available. There was never any disagreements about which scopes preformed better during a test.

Simmons, Bushnell Banner, and Nikon were all checked at 4x mag because the Nikon only had a 4x mag lens. Vortex minimum was 6.5 so was not used.

Nikon and Banner were not much different if at all; Simmons was not as good.

6.5 mag in this order; Vortex, Banner, Simmons

10 mag in this order ; Vortex, Banner, Simmons

The Vortex Viper was clearly the superior scope at all ranges. With the exception of 25 yards. Targets were not crisp and clear like 50 thru 325 yards.

What was surprising the Banner was on par with the Nikon; the Simmons, while good, was in 3d place on all the test!?

I did see the man I got the Banner from and he told me he had traded for 4 Banner scopes and the one I got from him was the best of the lot. Two of the Banners had been almost junk even when new. He had been saving the Banner for himself to mount on a rifle he never purchased.

I did not say anything to sway the opinions of the other guys with regards to the scopes. I just sat the scopes up (which were all mounted on ARs) at the same magnification and passed them around. All scopes were either on Ars with bi-pods or on a bench rest.

Even with my eyes the crispness and clarity of the Vortex was noticeable over the 3 other scopes tested at all ranges except 25 yards.

The black 10" targets when shot that turn into green bullet holes could be seen with the Vortex at 300 yards with out much effort (20x). The ergonomics and ease of use is well laid out and functional. The side parallax Knob works as a range finder for me!! All you do is turn until target is crisp and look at the numbers and the knob. For me the numbers on the Parallax knob were within 25 yards of our known distance. Thought this was neat! We were focusing at known yardages yet every time out to 300 it worked within 25 yds.

By pulling the windage and elevation knobs up they bypass the moa clicks and just turn the knobs to the zero mark and from then on you always know where your original sight in zero was set and can reference plus or minus from that zero. I was initially concerned about the fine line cross-hair reticle but I must admit the reticle cross hairs and center dot does not cover up the target as some reticules do.

I have Simmons White tail classic 6.5-20x50 coming next week ($109 normally $239+) but after seeing the clarity of the Vortex I wish I had just purchased another one of the Vortexes for they are hard to beat! :eek:


http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=547531

Update! Midway shipped the Simmons scope out quickly and as I was typing this it arrived! WTG Midway! Scope shows no damage and no paint flecks or dots inside the barrel. Will have to play with it for a bit to see what I have...I am already spoiled with the Vortex though!!!:banghead:

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LoonWulf
October 8, 2010, 03:29 AM
Id be interested to see what you think of the 6.5x20 Simmons. I just picked one up and so far ive very impressed, its clarity at 20 is better then some of my other scopes at much lower powers. Its the first scope ive had in this power range...probobly the last also do to the extra weight and size lol.

Sky
October 8, 2010, 11:12 AM
That is good to hear I just got mine yesterday 6.5-20x50 but have not messed with it or mounted the Simmons yet. Let me know how u like yours!

Sky
October 9, 2010, 11:21 AM
The 6.5-20x50 Simmons for $109 is pretty hard to beat price wise for a scope with that type variable magnification.

The Vortex is easier to operate and is clearer with better optics.

Both have their place for hunting and target practice.

Walkalong
October 10, 2010, 10:46 AM
I recently bought two scopes on sale. One, the Vortex Viper 6.5X20 (http://swfa.com/Vortex-65-20x44-Viper-30mm-Rifle-Scope-P11232.aspx) was on my wish list, so when it went on clearance it was a no brainer to buy it. The other was the Simmons Whitetail classic 6.5X2 (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=746570)0 on sale for $110.

I am seriously impressed with the Simmons. It's very clear, the parallax adjustments are very close to the yardages on the objective, and the adjustments are very smooth.

The Viper looks real good, but all I have done so far is look through it outside. I have not mounted it yet.

Sky
October 10, 2010, 04:31 PM
WALKALONG I agree. See what you think when you get the Vortex mounted and try them side by side.

jpwilly
October 10, 2010, 05:13 PM
I'm surprised that the Simmons wasn't a bit better than the Banner considering the Banner is a budget scope. No surprise that the Viper was the top dog of the higher magnification optics though...it's a different class of scope. It would be nice to see it side by side with a Buckmaster or Monarch from Nikon of similar power.

Sky
October 10, 2010, 05:36 PM
The banner that was used was the best of 4 banners received in a shipment; as stated 2 were junk one was ok and the one I got was the pick of the litter. It really is a good little scope. The Simmons was not bad!! It just wasn't as clear and crisp with definition as the others.

The Simmonds 6.5-20x50 that I purchased last week was going to be mounted on my 20" match rifle for varmint scaring but as most of my shooting is 200 yards or less the banner is staying for a while. It has not given me any problems (so far) and I can actually hit stuff with it!!??.

Walkalong
October 10, 2010, 07:31 PM
It would be nice to see it side by side with a Buckmaster or Monarch from Nikon of similar power.
I have a Buckmaster 6X18 on a .22 Hornet (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=104902&d=1252282682) and the Viper is superior. Better than a Monarch? Not sure about that. Monarchs are very good IMHO.

The Simmons is on a Tactical Solutions .22 LR Upper. I need to see if Black Dog makes shorter mags.

Sky
October 17, 2010, 04:08 PM
Good intentions but alas poor execution. The Simmons 6.5-20x50 is still in the box!!!

The plan was to mount it on the 20" Bushy....but.....I have been doing ammo test with that rifle; nothing major just different weights and accuracy from 100 to 200 yards. The cheap little banner holds zero and is clear enough for these purposes. I have still been taking the 24" Bushy with the Vortex and using it as a spotting scope and sometimes taking an occasional shot.

I could take the Simmons 2.8-10x44 off my 16" CMMG in that it is the less desirable of all my scopes "HOWEVER" that scope is used at 2.8 to 6 power and is used for daylight hunting. It may not be the best but golly gee whiz I usually hit what I aim at and will not faint if it get damaged!!

Back to the Vortex..I really do like it's features and have decided it has my favorite reticle.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=547531

teetertotter
October 18, 2010, 11:11 PM
I have an older Simmons Mag 6.5-20x44 and recently purchased same in the Votex. The Vortex Viper is Target Dot. The Vortex at 20X whether 30m to infinity, it is truly crystal clear. NICE! I had to send my Simmons for factory warranty repair 2 weeks ago and is back repaired by Bushnell. Because the Simmons Parallax goes down to 25 ft, I will use this scope for indoors at 50ft over the winter. The Vortex Viper, w turrets, was purchased at Midway at almost 1/2 price of MSRP as Vortex is replacing the line next Spring. IMO, the Vortex Viper has VERY sharp optics and BRIGHT! For my sport, club member told me to look at Vortex followed by Weaver to replace the Simmons. Nice advise.
I have a one year old Nikon Buckmaster for sale, in orig box with manual, etc.
N0 scratches or nics

Sky
October 24, 2010, 12:31 PM
There are certainly better scopes for sale but at the price of the Vortex Viper it is very competitive with other offerings. I really do like the way it was designed and the way it functions.

teetertotter
October 24, 2010, 04:54 PM
When I returned my Simmons Mag 44 for repair, I should have included on my note to ask how much it would be to change to target dot. Darn! I took off the Vortex Viper yesterday and remounted the repaired Simmons for indoor winter 50ft practice. It is now sighted in for 50 feet. Nice feature about the old Simmons 44Mag is the parallax goes down to 25 feet for any type indoor off hand target practice. I am so pleased I bought the 6.5-20X44 Vortex Viper on sale a couple weeks back for outdoor use. Again, optics are superb at 20X. Still have my Nikon Buckmaster 4.5-14, BDC, for sale, $150.
Orig Box, manual

Shimitup
October 24, 2010, 09:18 PM
I've certainly enjoyed and benefited from this and related threads. I finally broke down and ordered a Vortex Viper 2x7 for my BLR81 .358 this weekend from SWFA, the clearance price was just too good. I was torn between the Burris Fullfield and the Viper but the reports of the extreme clarity of the Viper and the 1/4 moa clicks (Fullfield was 1/2 moa) turned me to the Viper. It'll be while till I get it mounted up but I'll pitch in my 2 cents when it happens. Thanks, Sky for the great revues.

Sky
October 24, 2010, 10:23 PM
Finally mounted the 4-20x50 Simmons today. I had ordered a Magpul fold down BUIS that I wanted to install so I pulled the Banner. Gonna have to end up getting a different mount for the scope for it sits about 3/8 to high.

The Simmons Parallax will beat the Vortex at 25 yards for the Vortex does not focus that close. I finally got the scope mounted so the eye relief worked with a natural cheek weld for shooting.

The elevation knob on the Simmons worked well with good positive clicks the windage kinda didn't. The clicks were approx 30% as hard or as positive as the elevation. I may need to send it back but it does function.

I played around at 25 yards and then went to the 300 yard range. Even though I was hitting the little 2" targets at 25 yards I was six clicks high at 300. Once the scope was adjusted the scope kept the rounds on target. I just like stuff that works and there is certainly a place in the world of shooting for the Simmons.

My personal preference is to have the Parallax adjustment on the side like the Vortex for I used lens caps with flip covers. I tried to see the holes in a target at 300 but was unable. Could have been my eyes today or a tad bit different lighting. The target I ended up shooting was a 10" metal plate with federal 55gr and Priv m855 62gr greenie meanies.

I like the sound of metal to metal contact!

Considering the Simmons only cost $109 I can not complain nor will I cut the scope. The windage knob did bother me but seems to hold; as was said the elevation was positive and precise and the clarity for $109 has got to be hard to beat.

Walkalong
October 25, 2010, 12:30 PM
The Simmons Parallax will beat the Vortex at 25 yards for the Vortex does not focus that close.
My findings as well.

Also, when I dialed out the parallax at 300, both scopes were closer to the 200 mark on the scale than the 300.

Sky
October 25, 2010, 09:25 PM
Walkalong it has been a few weeks since I used the Vortex so I could be wrong but it seemed that my parallax was either on or within 25 yards for the three of us shooting? Could have been our eyes/lighting that day or yours? Thanks for the follow on post regardless and I personally believe "we did good".

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=547531

Walkalong
October 26, 2010, 08:32 PM
Could have been our eyes/lighting that day or yours?
Dunno. I have to use reading glasses, but see well far away.

I adjust the parallax until the parallax is gone, not until the image is clearest, but if you have the rear adjusted properly to focus your eye on the recticle, it should be clear at the same point the parallax is gone. Should be. I do not know if eyesight plays a role in parallax adjustment.

Walkalong
October 26, 2010, 08:34 PM
I personally believe "we did good".Yep, on both scopes. The Simmons is $99.99 now. Another $10 off.

Sky
October 26, 2010, 10:56 PM
Figures I always pay a little to much!!

ole farmerbuck
October 26, 2010, 11:07 PM
I have the Simmons 6x20x50 on my Bushmaster 20'' also. All other scopes are Monarch. I really like the simmons. Didnt cost much but am very pleased with it.

Sky
October 28, 2010, 01:08 AM
Couple of additions to this thread.

I received a new one piece off-set Burris mount for the Simmons which worked perfectly and now the scope clears the BUIS by about two sheets of paper. Was also able to mount the scope about 1" further forward and the eye relief for me is now perfect. Looking forward to re-zeroing and checking the scope again against the Vortex in a side by side comparison.

Also checked the Vortex scope after the sun went down and was able to see the fine cross hairs after my eyes adjusted. Need to do that in low light and in the woods. Severe lack of dark woods around here but I will figure something out.

greyling22
March 5, 2011, 01:14 PM
Sky and Walkalong, in your opinions, is the viper twice as good or better than the simmons WTC? I ask because I've decided to replace my old redfield with something with a little more power and am looking at the WTC and the vortex diamondback (I know, not a viper, but pretty close from what I could tell looking through them in bright light) I really like my viper, and at 250 it was a steal, I'm not going to cough up 400 for a full price scope.

Sky
March 5, 2011, 01:30 PM
Twice as good no! Hard to say anything is twice as good if you can put rounds on target at your desired range and see said target clearly.

The Diamondback has Chinese glass and the viper has Japanese. Have seen the Viper for sale on closeout for $250. The Simmons I paid $108. I like the Viper better. But would not hesitate buying the same Simmons again; good scope, great price, for what you get. Elevation on my Simmons was consistent and positive but the windage knob was mushy. Walkalong was very pleased with the Simmons and mine is still mounted on a 20" AR and has held zero.

teetertotter
March 6, 2011, 09:06 AM
I find that the Vortex Viper has better optics which I really need at 100 meters vs the my old Simmons mag 44. We will see this Spring if the the new Viper line will have parallax down to 25 feet. Simmons mag 44 optics are just okay. I also have perscription shooting glasses that are designed for distance that gives me further crispness for my poor nearsightedness. Yes, the price on the Vortex Viper few months back was to hard to pass up and the timing was just right when looking to replace the Simmons which got me by for couple years. My Nikon Buckmaster w BDC is on my S&W 22A , 7 inch barrel, pistol.

Sky
March 6, 2011, 11:05 AM
The Viper and the company are awesome for the price and customer support.

Walkalong
March 6, 2011, 04:08 PM
the price on the Vortex Viper few months back was to hard to pass upYep. I ended up buying a Viper 2X7X32 BDC reticle (http://swfa.com/Vortex-2-7x32-Viper-Rifle-Scope-P11226.aspx) scope as well. I mounted it on my new to me 336 in .35 Remington. It is quite nice as well. I hope to break it in next deer season.

Twice as good as the Simmons? Sight picture? No, not twice as good. Mechanically? Dunno, but I suspect it is a good bit better. Bottom line is I am happy with both.

Sales are the way to get good glass cheaper. IMHO, There are no free lunches when buying glass. You pay for it. Sure, some companies seem to give you a little better glass for the money, but in general, you pay for good glass.

Some people won't spend less than $500 for a scope, & some folks won't go under a grand, but most of us are on a tighter budget. I am usually around a $300 to $500 kind of a guy these days, but always looking for a deal. :)

WardenWolf
March 6, 2011, 04:42 PM
I stuck a 6-18x50 Simmons scope on a PSL. Nice scope. Still sighting the thing in, but it's just want I want on a rifle that size. It's the absolute biggest scope I could put on that rifle and mount combination (I got the low-profile rail mount) and it's using the tallest rings available. Just a sweet setup. If I ever got an AR-10, I'd probably get that same scope.

ole farmerbuck
March 6, 2011, 09:43 PM
I have the Simmons 6x20x50 on my Bushmaster 20'' also. All other scopes are Monarch. I really like the simmons. Didnt cost much but am very pleased with it.
I now have another Simmons on another AR. The only reason is I want both AR's the same and i figure that was a lot cheaper thay buying another Monarch 6x24x50! The Simmons work great on the AR's.

takem
March 8, 2011, 09:17 PM
I've had 2 simmons. 22 mag model 3-9x32 and it wouldn't hold zero. Out to 50 yards it was acceptable but clarity was so lost at 100. Then I had a pro hunter 3-9x40. I know I smashed it on the ground but can't remember the exact reason. I do clearly remember it being junk. I bought these after a few people told me their quality had improved.never had a bushnell but I did pick up a nikon pro staff 3-9x40 for my 17 hmr a year and a half ago. I am very impressed by it. I actually use it as a night hunting scope and regularly shoot foxes over 100 yards in the dark. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another. Holds zero and the click value is accurate. I've found that to be an issue on cheaper scopes.

Sky
March 8, 2011, 09:38 PM
Cannot speak for other Simmonds products except those we tested. As in the Banner scope tested it was the only good one out of 4. The Simmons 6.5-20x50 and the 2.8-10x44 were what we tested......See other thread..... Walkalong's 6.5-20x50 has better function knobs than mine. Lower price scopes just do not have the same quality or quality control the higher priced scopes do. When you can purchase a 6.5-20x50 for less than $110 it ain't all bad if it holds zero and you can see what you want to hit at range.

rdtour
March 15, 2011, 09:47 PM
After TONS of research. Going to "opticsthoughts.com" and AR forums and this forum. I broke down and bought a 6.5x20x44mm Vortex Viper with Mil dot reticle for my newly purchased bushmaster varminter. Have not sighted it in yet. This is mainly to shoot out to ~500yds. Shooting prarie dogs and small targets. So I think I'll be pleased. I'm glad sky posted this as it affirms that I made a good choice in going with lesser known Vortex.

*edited the magnification. from 30 to 20, typo.

Sky
March 15, 2011, 11:20 PM
rdtour let us know how the scope works out for you. Congratulations! Think you will be please with that set up...As a foot note do not use silverbear, brownbear, or metal casing 223/5.56 in your Varminter. You have a chamber that will not like it

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=548179

....Above thread is how I know...otherwise very accurate Ar. 500 yard Pdogs wow!!

teetertotter
March 16, 2011, 09:29 AM
rdtour, the youtube test done by Todds Tundra Test, here in Wisconsin where Vortex Optics headquarters is located, will impress you. IMO, you made a very wise decision. The Vortex Diamond and Viper are featured in Todds Testing. I don't know of any other independent testing done on scopes to confirm quality of other manufactures scopes. I also have Vortex Diamondback 10x42 binoculars and perform extremely well in low light with wide view. I might suggest you look at BKL-300 rings for dovetail mount.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhx8P4cXb8w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6bXS-JIrto

rdtour
March 16, 2011, 11:01 AM
rdtour, the youtube test done by Todds Tundra Test, here in Wisconsin where Vortex Optics headquarters is located, will impress you. IMO, you made a very wise decision. The Vortex Diamond and Viper are featured in Todds Testing. I don't know of any other independent testing done on scopes to confirm quality of other manufactures scopes. I also have Vortex Diamondback 10x42 binoculars and perform extremely well in low light with wide view. I might suggest you look at BKL-300 rings for dovetail mount.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhx8P4cXb8w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6bXS-JIrto
teetertrotter, here are a couple links to very good reviews on Vortex scopes compared to other brands. This guy seems to be very unbiased and pulls no punches with his reviews.

Here is one for the Viper
http://opticsthoughts.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22:vortex-viper-4-12x40-wbdc-reticle&catid=4:rifle-scope-reviews&Itemid=4

Here is one for the Diamondback
http://opticsthoughts.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=29:qinexpensive-scopeq-comparison&catid=4:rifle-scope-reviews&Itemid=4

There is also a section in his website, the DLDO, I think its called which helps someone pick out a great scope in their price range. They had the vortex viper for my comfort zone in price.

The only bad thing I found on the viper series that I can find is that the eye relief is slightly less than other scopes in the same optic range. So if you have a High kick rifle, you may get a black eye?

Hope this helps.

rdtour
March 16, 2011, 11:02 AM
rdtour let us know how the scope works out for you. Congratulations! Think you will be please with that set up...As a foot note do not use silverbear, brownbear, or metal casing 223/5.56 in your Varminter. You have a chamber that will not like it

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=548179

....Above thread is how I know...otherwise very accurate Ar. 500 yard Pdogs wow!!
Thanks Sky, sent you pm.

JoeMal
March 16, 2011, 11:08 AM
After TONS of research. Going to "opticsthoughts.com" and AR forums and this forum. I broke down and bought a 6.5x20x44mm Vortex Viper with Mil dot reticle for my newly purchased bushmaster varminter. You will love it...I have seen nothing but positive comments about the Viper and I have never had a bad experience with one myself. For the price I think it's hard to beat

Sky
March 16, 2011, 11:21 AM
Mounting and eye relieve is important with any scope for sure. AR-15 one piece mounts has reviews and pics.

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