the hunt....for a scope


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littlelefty
December 12, 2013, 06:22 PM
Hello,
On this year's deer hunt I nearly got in trouble when my hand-me-down Simmons Whitetail Classic 3x9x40 fogged badly one cool (cold) morning. It cleared up within an hour and I finished the hunt by shooting an 8 point that evening. Nonetheless, that is the last of that scope.

I plan to handle as many possible replacements before purchasing, but since this here interweb is so fun, and I can get lots of subjective input from bunches of like minded and nice folks like you, I thought I'd ask for some input...

My rifle is a Rem. 788 (LH of course) chambered in .308. Rifle use is a little range time and a little deer hunting east of the Mississippi River. Budget - I'd like to stay at 300ish or less.

I like simple, and have looked hard at 4x options; namely Weaver K4 and Leupold FX-II 4x33. I also appreciate the variability (pun intended) that comes with a variable power scope. Here I am looking at 2-7ish types; Bushnell Elite, Leupold VX-1 or 2, Burris FF, etc. Continuing on the simple theme though, I am not real crazy about the reticle in the Burris FF E1 line. Maybe if I look thru one I will change my mind, but it looks busy to me.

So, fire away, please. Thoughts, advice, ideas, more questions are all welcome.

And thanks!

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jmr40
December 12, 2013, 06:34 PM
No reason not to buy a variable. Newer, quality scopes are as tough as a fixed power. A 2-7X32 or 3-9X40 is all you need. Priced at around $200 the Burris FF-II is my pick in this category. I don't like the Burris E-1 reticle either. The older FF-II is about perfect.

http://swfa.com/Burris-Fullfield-II-Rifle-Scopes-C56.aspx

Don't let someone talk you into a 50mm scope. Waste of money

Other good $200 scopes are the Redfield Revolution and Leupold VX-1.

Moving up to $300 will get you all the scope you will ever need. You can spend more, but a $300 VX-2 is about as good as it gets in a hunting scope.

http://swfa.com/Leupold-VX-2-Riflescopes-C4132.aspx

I haven't even looked through one yet, but the new Zeiss Terra looks promising at $350-$400. They might be enough better to pay a bit more. I know the older Zeiss Conquest 3-9X40 that have recently been discontinued sold in the same price range and were excellent scopes. These are supposed to be their replacement.

http://swfa.com/Zeiss-Terra-Rifle-Scopes-C4918.aspx

My personal pick is the VX-2. But there are several $200 scopes I could be perfectly happy with including the Burris.

greyling22
December 12, 2013, 06:37 PM
I"m not an expert, but I'll take a stab at getting the ball rolling: in the 2-7x category, if you are looking at vx1's, you might as well be looking at the redfield revolution. basically the same scope for less $$. and if you are looking at the redfield, you might also take a look at the weaver classic 2-7 and the vortex diamonback 2-7. Leupold, redfield, and weaver make some of the sleekest scopes with small rear ocular bells. I like sleek. :) I have not been impressed with burris lately. I recently bought their FFII 2-7x35 scope and do not think it compares optically to my sightron s1, my older buris timberline, my weaver classic V, or my mueller. Not as good as the vortex diamondback either. And I don't like that they stopped including lens covers......cheapskates.
You can certainly get nicer scopes (bushnell 3200 springs to mind) but I don't know a whole lot about them. I had higher power vortex viper and weaver grand slam scopes that are better than the sub $200 stuff, but not enough for me personally to pony up the money. The cost benefit was not there for me. Other folks will certainly disagree. Few things are as divisive as scope recommendations on these boards.

Jackal
December 12, 2013, 06:37 PM
Snatch up a used 4x Leupold M8 for around $100 on Ebay.

witchhunter
December 12, 2013, 08:10 PM
You can't go wrong with a Leupold, 2-7 or 3-9.

Abel
December 12, 2013, 08:55 PM
The new Leupold VX-2 3-9X40mm is the nicest $299 scope that I've ever seen! It's as good or better than the older Vari-X III's or VX-III.

BluegrassDan
December 12, 2013, 08:57 PM
Love the Leupold VX3 in 2.5-8X36. It's going to be a classic.

fallout mike
December 12, 2013, 08:59 PM
Don't overlook Vortex!

ColtPythonElite
December 12, 2013, 09:03 PM
Snatch up a used 4x Leupold M8 for around $100 on Ebay.
I agree if you are ok with a 4x. The M8 is a great scope.

Mike J
December 12, 2013, 09:05 PM
This past spring I bought a Vortex Diamondback 3.4-10x50. I should have probably just went with the 3-9x40 but I like the scope. It is clear & bright & IIRC it has a lifetime warranty.

littlelefty
December 12, 2013, 10:07 PM
thanks for the input so far!
yeh, no 50 mm objective for me.
M8 - good idea; I hadn't thought of that one.
I too like the looks of the Burris FF reticle (the non E1) and since I don't use flip up caps I also don't think I'd mind the eyepiece turning.

Anybody with Bushnell Elite experience? I read good things about their Rainguard coating.
Other brands? Nikon, Weaver

Any brands that you think I should stay away from due to lesser performance in lower light (like dawn and dusk)?

FitGunner
December 13, 2013, 11:05 AM
I just went through this for a new rifle. After looking through dozens of scopes I finally chose one that I was not even originally considering. I went with the Zeiss Terra 3-9x because of a great deal. I had it narrowed down to the VX2, VX3, and Viper HS.

The Zeiss (to my eyes) has better glass: brighter and more crisp. My only complaint are the turrets as they are not numbered. They do have a zero reset but that seems a little pointless. Mechanically, the Leupold and Vortex models are better.

Look through as many scopes as you can in different light conditions. Some stores let you try them outside.

FitGunner
December 13, 2013, 11:11 AM
Fixed power scopes are great if you hunt in a known distance regularly. You can usually get better glass/features for the money with fixed power.

tdoyka
December 13, 2013, 12:10 PM
4.5-14x swift scope with mil dots

Haxby
December 13, 2013, 12:11 PM
Weaver K4.
Recent Japanese Weavers look really good to me.

CarJunkieLS1
December 13, 2013, 12:26 PM
I have a Redfield, Vortex, and Nikon scope all of them are in the same price range of each other and are 3-9x40. Hands down the Redfield is the better of the 3 in lowlight conditions. At 5:56 am a few weeks ago I shot a doe @ 60 yards and could see her crystal clear. The other 2 scopes were not as clear when I have been presented with the same situation. All of them have been adequate in all other areas. Just my .02

Woodworker74
December 13, 2013, 03:31 PM
+1 for the Redfield. Shot a deer at first light this year. Scope was very clear in that low light situation and has held zero perfectly through a lot of hunting and range time. I have a Nikon on another rifle and would say the Redfield is as good or better for a little less money ($200ish).

gbw
December 13, 2013, 03:38 PM
Try looking through one with an illuminated reticle - the last one I bought is a Leupold VX-R, but I'm sure there are others.

For aging eyes, and/or in anything less than optimal light conditions, that red dot at the crosshairs really helps.

Nickb45
December 13, 2013, 03:40 PM
I just got 2 weaver grand slams, 4.5-14x40 with adjustable objective. They were on sale on midway. Replaced a vortex viper 3-9x40 on my AR and a leupold rifleman 4-12x40 on my model 700. The weaver is just as clear and crisp as both scopes. The eye relief is a little close than the leupold but for the price I paid in very happy with them. I did a lot of looking and the weavers always got brought into the conversations.

readyeddy
December 13, 2013, 04:00 PM
I recently went through a similar exercise. I wanted a slim, lightweight (10 oz) scope for less than $300.

I first tried the Weaver Classic 2.5-7x. Really nice scope for the money. About $180. The problem was it didn't have enough eye relief.

I ended up with a Leupold VX-1 2-7x for about $210. More eye relief and just as clear. I probably should have gone with the Redfield which would have saved me $30.

shootr
December 13, 2013, 04:12 PM
A long, long time ago I had a scope fog up on me, and another fellow we were hunting with dropped his rifle causing the reticle / cross hair to break. We were on an Alaska Caribou hunt and a very long way from civilization.

The other fellow borrowed a rifle from one of the others and I was able to dry my scope out. However, an old fellow on that trip said,

"If you need a scope, get a Leupold," and he proceeded to tell me why. I took that to heart and haven't looked back. I've tried other scopes and the only ones I like as much or better are an old U.S. made Burris and a Zeiss.

All my "serious" hunting rifles wear Leupold scopes, save two. I've bought them new and used. In 30 years, I've sent two Leupold scopes back for service. Once it was a defective scope and Leupold fixed it for free and got it back to me fast. The other time the scope was fine and it turned out there was a problem with the rifle. However, as it was a 20+ year old scope, Leupold checked it all out, replaced seals and recharged it - all at no cost.

On top of that, they hold their zero, are well-built, don't fog, and are made here by a 5th generation, family-owned company.

I've got a couple old Vari-X IIs, a couple rimfires, a 4X handgun scope, and the rest are VX IIIs - two target scopes and a couple others. As far as hunting scopes go, you want something rugged that holds its zero. Reliable and uniform adjustment, good glass, and all the rest falls into line. Customer service is icing on the cake. The question of what scope to get for a hunting rifle is an easy one.

gamestalker
December 13, 2013, 04:31 PM
Take a look at Vortex. I have been a die hard Leupold customer for decades, but after checking out Vortex, I think they have a great piece of glass. My Son's bought three scopes, a couple pairs of their binoculars, and a spotting scope this year, and the quality is definitely there. Vortex is significantly less expensive than Leupold to, their warranty policy is pretty much a no questions asked approach as well.

GS

littlelefty
December 13, 2013, 05:28 PM
wow! more and more really great input. Thanks!

I had not considered Redfield or Vortex but did some reading on them after a couple of posts here - definitely worth putting on the list. I do like that sleek, simple look on Redfield and Leupold.

Now I'm gonna have to go put my hands on (and eyes into) all of these options...

gbw - what is this "aging eyes" thing of which you speak??? Mine are 50 years young.

Haxby
December 13, 2013, 05:45 PM
The Bushnell Elite is probably a pretty nice scope, and I don't think anybody mentioned the Nikon Monarch 2-8X32.

fallout mike
December 13, 2013, 06:16 PM
With vortex it seems to pretty much be the majority thinks you are getting Leopold quality at Nikon price.

j1
December 13, 2013, 06:20 PM
I have owned and hunted with many Leupolds over the years and none ever fogged.

redneck2
December 13, 2013, 07:00 PM
Pretty much a fact on any glass is that, if you pay more you get more. Now, maybe the difference is worth it to you, maybe not. But don't EVER try to tell me that a $200 scope is just as good as a $700 scope. Doesn't work that way.

Guy that I hunt with had a newer Redfield. We were looking down a hayfield directly into the sunset. He commented that he couldn't see the other end due to glare. I have a new Leupold VX-3 and could see perfectly. Difference was unbelievable. He now has a Leupold.

I lost the chance at a HUGE deer because "this is good enough" scope fogged up. If you want something you can depend on and has exceptional glass, get a VX-3. And yes, they are worth it IMO. I have one on my .22 target rifle.

My muzzle loader has a $150 Traditions scope. The difference between that and my Leupolds is incredible. Maybe a lot of guys think it's adequate. Well, not to me. Next year it will get swapped out.

Haxby
December 13, 2013, 07:57 PM
But don't EVER try to tell me that a $200 scope is just as good as a $700 scope.
OP was asking about a no-frills 4X or 2-7. I don't think there is such a thing as a $700 no-frills 4X or 2-7 rifle scope.

fallout mike
December 13, 2013, 08:24 PM
Who's trying to tell you a $200 scope is equal to a $700 scope?

Dr T
December 13, 2013, 08:39 PM
Historically, I have used a lot of Burris scopes. However, I am afraid that the last one I bought is going to have to take a trip to Greeley for repair. It is an E-1.

Redfields are a very good value--I have several.

However, you may want to check to see if Natchez has any Bone Collector edition Bushnell Elite 3200 3-10x left. I have an Elite 3200 with Duplex on my Tikka 243 and it is a nice piece of glass, particularly in bad lighting. I picked up a Bone Collector since it was dicounted (probably because of the graphics on the scope barrel) an went for ~$180. Nice glass if you can find one

But thinking back to your platform: Remington 788 in 308. I can make a very good case for having a fixed power scope on a hunting rifle if you have good enough eyes to not need the magnification. My 788 6 mm wears a fixed 6x scope.

redneck2
December 13, 2013, 08:41 PM
Who's trying to tell you a $200 scope is equal to a $700 scope?

Other good $200 scopes are the Redfield Revolution and Leupold VX-1.

Moving up to $300 will get you all the scope you will ever need. You can spend more, but a $300 VX-2 is about as good as it gets in a hunting scope.Uhhhh....no. Now, is a VX-2 adequate for you? Maybe.
Is it "good as it gets". No.

Personally, I wouldn't take a Redfield free if I had to use it after seeing it against the VX-3. If you're satisfied, have at it. For most guys, the comparison ends at looking across a warm dry, well lit show room at forty yards. Until you've used them in real world conditions, you have absolutely no idea.

I've been using scopes of various qualities for about fifty years. I've seen it. Until you can compare good glass against marginal, it's all speculation

The other mistake guys very commonly make is comparing brand vs brand. "Leupold is better/worse than Nikon/Vortex/Burris, etc". You gotta compare similar priced models to make a fair comparison. Nikon's cheapest scope is worse than Leupold's best scope, and Leupold's cheapest scope is worse than Nikon's best. If there were not a difference in quality, there wouldn't be a difference in price. Plain and simple.

Dr T
December 13, 2013, 08:44 PM
As of this evening, this is the Bushnell scope and price info (~$170). And I agree with Redneck 2 on getting what you pay for. Right now I am waiting on the right deal on a Leopold VX-3 2.5-8x for my hunting 308. For some reason, my eyes are getting older.

http://www.natchezss.com/brand.cfm?contentID=productDetail&brand=BH&prodID=BH323940BC&prodTitle=Bushnell%20Elite%203200%20Bone%20Collector%203-9x40%20Riflescope%20DOA%20600%20Reticle%20Matte

fallout mike
December 13, 2013, 08:50 PM
I agree with you there redneck. I was just going by your $700 comment. You are right though. $300 may not buy all the scope you will ever need.

Rem700CDLSF3006
December 13, 2013, 09:46 PM
the Trijicon Accupoint

redneck2
December 13, 2013, 09:53 PM
I understand that not everybody can buy a $2,000 Schmidt & Bender. Are they incredible? Yeah. Are they affordable?? Not for me.

Everybody's got their tipping point. I just get a little torqued when somebody tries to convince a newbie that a $79 Swift or Barska is just as good at a VX-3 or the top of the line Vortex or Nikon.

Like I said, I've had cheapies fail at the worst times. Everything goes bad at some point. That's the reason there are warranties. If it never failed, a warranty would be pointless.

I've been around long enough to understand that a scope may well be a lifetime investment. And I also understand (through very painful experience) that the trophy of a lifetime may be lost due to inferior equipment. You get very few chances. Gotta make the best of them.

fallout mike
December 13, 2013, 10:10 PM
Redneck, so you are saying the guy here a couple years ago talking about the Osprey scope that he put on his Barrett .50 didn't make the best choice? Lol

Haxby
December 13, 2013, 10:13 PM
A $700 VX3 is a 4.5-14x50mm or a 6.5-20x40mm.
For most of the hunting I do, a VX-2 2-7x33mm is better.
Lifetime investment? A new VX2 is at least as good as the VX-III was a few years ago.

greyling22
December 13, 2013, 11:52 PM
As of this evening, this is the Bushnell scope and price info (~$170). And I agree with Redneck 2 on getting what you pay for. Right now I am waiting on the right deal on a Leopold VX-3 2.5-8x for my hunting 308. For some reason, my eyes are getting older.

http://www.natchezss.com/brand.cfm?contentID=productDetail&brand=BH&prodID=BH323940BC&prodTitle=Bushnell%20Elite%203200%20Bone%20Collector%203-9x40%20Riflescope%20DOA%20600%20Reticle%20Matte
I followed your link and a suggested scope on the sidebar caught my eye. I didn't know they were still clearing these things out. this nitrex tr-1 is made by ATK and is supposedly comparable to the grand slam. http://www.natchezss.com/product.cfm?contentId=productDetail&prodId=WE94563&green=19497A6E-6AEF-538D-BAA8-259C0D823668&src=mbProd

I have the 6-20x50 version of the scope, and other than being huge, is a really nice piece of glass. Easily as good as a vortex viper to my eyes, and significantly better than anything I have seen under $200.

RIATAC45
December 14, 2013, 12:29 AM
Kinda off topic, but I have heard that Vortex uses Nightforce glass and is assembled by them as well. I don't know if there is any truth to that or not, but after seeing them side by side at this year's NRA show I believe it. Vortex will be my next scope maker.

redneck2
December 14, 2013, 11:24 AM
Lifetime investment? A new VX2 is at least as good as the VX-III was a few years ago.I believe this is true. I have some VX-III's and a couple of VX-3's. Significant difference. The eye relief on the new ones is significantly better

I'd also most likely look at Vortex. They seem to continually get positive reviews.

littlelefty
December 19, 2013, 04:58 PM
I went to our newest sort of local Bass Pro today and touched, held, and looked thru the Leupold VX-1 and VX-2, Redfield Revolution, Vortex Diamondback, and Burris FF. Could not tell a difference in any in that well lit show room at the 40ish or so yards I was able to see. I did notice the weight difference in the Leupolds, which I like. Not sure how big a deal that is since it will be on my not-so-light wood stocked 22" barrel rifle, but it was noticeable in the hands.

The Vortex struck me as not as sleek/streamlined as the Leupy or Redfield.

One funny at Bass Pro - a good ole boy leaning on the counter ensured me that the $79 no-name scope in the counter was as good as any I was looking at. I smiled and said thanks. Sometimes it's just not worth the discussion...

So the search continues...

I almost won an ebay bid last night on a M8 4x, but not quite.

tygranch
December 19, 2013, 05:18 PM
I have a Bushnell Elite 3-9X on my muzzle loader and my wife has one on her youth Model 70 .308. Both do the job very well. The granddaughters rifle has a Leupold M8 4X. Most of my other hunting rifles have 3-9 X VX II's on them. All are adequate for the money, all cost less than $300.

john843
December 19, 2013, 05:36 PM
VX3 2.5-8X36 and don't look back. I believe BluegrassDan is right.On the way to being a classic.

littlelefty
December 21, 2013, 10:10 PM
I am also going to replace my current no-name rings. What do ya'll suggest?

And is there a good way or place to determine whether I can use/need low, medium, or high rings?

Or are these unfair questions on this thread; one I should post on another thread?

greyling22
December 22, 2013, 12:34 AM
in brief: not really. not to get them perfect anyway. At least not as far as I can tell. I would get the scope, try it in your rings, see whether you need more or less height, then buy a ring that puts you were you want to be.

But if you stick with a 40mm objective and a medium ring you will probably be safe. probably

Omaha-BeenGlockin
December 22, 2013, 02:50 AM
If I were looking for a new scope--I'd be taking a hard look at these:

http://swfa.com/Zeiss-2-7x32-Terra-Rifle-Scope-P61665.aspx

Ks5shooter
December 22, 2013, 07:23 AM
Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope Product Info



Specifications of Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm Waterproof Riflescope:
Length: 12.4"
Tube Length: 5.6"
Magnification: 3x to 9x
Objective Aperture Diameter: 40mm
Tube Diameter: 1"
Field of View (at 100 yards): 3x - 32.3'; 9x - 14'
Eye Relief: 3x - 4.7"; 9x - 3.7"
Weight: 12 oz
Adjustment Range: 56 MOA
Adjustment Click Value: 1/4 MOA
Waterproof: Yes
Features of Leupold VX-2 3-9x40 Variable Zoom Rifle Scope:

1/4 MOA click windage and elevation adjustments
MultiCoat 4 lens coatings for superior light transmission
Repeatable accuracy
Absolute waterproof integrity - Leupold pioneered the waterproof technology that's now standard in the industry
Leupold's legendary ruggedness
The famous Leupold Full Lifetime Guarantee
Plenty of non-critical eye relief
Seven reticle styles available
:cool::)

redneck2
December 22, 2013, 08:24 AM
I am also going to replace my current no-name rings. What do ya'll suggest?

And is there a good way or place to determine whether I can use/need low, medium, or high rings? Problem is that one mfg's medium rings are the same as another one's high rings. Also, the barrel thickness and contour come into play, as well as how far back/forward it needs to be mounted. This depends on the eye relief of the particular scope.

Really should get the scope, then get rings that allow the objective clear the barrel and give what is good cheek weld for you.

As for brands, I prefer Leupold or particularly Burris. Lots of guys use Weavers. I have some, but the others are made better (and cost more)

Hangingrock
December 22, 2013, 08:49 AM
Personally I like the Leupold 1.75-6x32 VX-3. That said the Remington 788 rifle has always been one of my favorites, inexpensive, acceptable quality, and simply outstanding accuracy.

littlelefty
December 22, 2013, 02:05 PM
Thanks, again for the input and feedback. I'm currently leaning toward the VX-2 3x9x40. Going out of town tomorrow for a week, so I'll pick up the quest when I return.

27hand
December 22, 2013, 05:44 PM
I have a few old scopes that I'm going to replace.
One is a Bushnell 3X9 Scopechief with a BDC. It's prob 30 years old and almost every year needs to be tweaked.
Another is a cheap Simmons 3X9 which is on a slug gun and is not very clear.
The 3rd is a fixed 4X Bushnell on a 30-30.

I have a dominant eye problem after having stuck a sawzall blade in there a few years back.

Parts of our state require you to verify a buck has 3 points up disregarding the brow tine. I have passed on a few deer due to this.

I was considering getting a couple Leopold 4X12 Rifleman scopes to have the additional magnification to see if a deer has the legal points. They run about $250.

I haven't looked through any yet but is there enough difference to justify the additional power over a 9X.

At 64, I doubt I will change again. :).

redneck2
December 22, 2013, 06:04 PM
IMO, clarity is as/more important than power. I'd take a clear 8x over a mid priced 12x.

I'm 63 YO and my eyesight isn't nearly what it used to be. With a Leupold VX-3 set at 10x, I can see individual blades of grass in the yards across the end of our lake. I can also read the 2" high numbers on the boat registrations. It's over 400 yards.

45crittergitter
December 23, 2013, 02:24 PM
Leupold VXIII 2.5-8x. You can get them slightly used online very reasonable.

cdb1
December 24, 2013, 01:58 AM
Of the scopes the OP mentioned I have a couple.
My best scope is a Zeiss Conquest 3x9x40.
I have two Bushnell Elite 4200s in 3x9x40, a Bushnell Elite 2x7x32, Vortex Vipers in 3x9x40 and 2x7 by 32 and a Leupold VX2 3x9x 40. Other than the Zeiss I cannot tell any difference between the other scopes.

I have a Clearidge rimfire scope that I'm so pleased with I might try one of their centerfire scopes.

I also have a Fullfield II and a Fullfield E1 that are good but for me they are a step below the others.

NCdrummer
December 24, 2013, 04:39 PM
All you guys! Save up a little more money. As a rule you should consider spending at least as much on the glass as the rifle. You can get a great rifle for $600 or so (Tilkka T3) and stick a $600 Meopta on it and NEVER have to change a thing. You'll extend your hunting time, enjoy gazing upon a very clear field of view, and end up passing the rig on to your grandchildren. The extra few hundred bucks will be long forgotten in a year or two. But beware: once you cross the "high end glass" threshold you'll never be able to turn back.

Haxby
December 24, 2013, 05:04 PM
spending at least as much on the glass as the rifle
What a crock.
A $600 Meopta? For $650 you can get a 6-18X50 Meopta. Who wants a 6-18X50 on a hunting rifle?
Can you name a single 4X or 2-7X35 or 3-9X40, $600 hunting scope? No battery, no tactical bells and whistles, plain reticle.
The grandchildren are going to use it? Who wants to use their grandfather's scope? Fifty year old scopes can't compare to new ones.

NCdrummer
December 24, 2013, 05:42 PM
Well, Merry Christmas to you, too! Live and learn.

B!ngo
December 24, 2013, 06:24 PM
Happy holidays all.
My perspective is closer to NCd than not. Last year a purchased a Tikka Sporter in .308 and added a Leica optic to it. A gift to me as it was, for me, quite pricey. Very light on features but the glass. Every time I shoulder it I am astonished as to the clarity and brightness of the optic. I now have another Tikka coming and keep considering another Leica. In this latter case the optic would be more than the rifle. Not sure if I'll do it but it's very hard to go back to the glass in more financially approachable optics.
B

All you guys! Save up a little more money. As a rule you should consider spending at least as much on the glass as the rifle. You can get a great rifle for $600 or so (Tilkka T3) and stick a $600 Meopta on it and NEVER have to change a thing. You'll extend your hunting time, enjoy gazing upon a very clear field of view, and end up passing the rig on to your grandchildren. The extra few hundred bucks will be long forgotten in a year or two. But beware: once you cross the "high end glass" threshold you'll never be able to turn back.

redneck2
December 24, 2013, 06:59 PM
Can you name a single 4X or 2-7X35 or 3-9X40, $600 hunting scope? Uhhhhh....yeah. I've got some. Do I win a prize for a correct answer?

As for the 6x18x50, yeah I have some on hunting rifles. Depends on what you're hunting. Ground hogs, prairie dogs.......In this latter case the optic would be more than the rifle. Not sure if I'll do it but it's very hard to go back to the glass in more financially approachable optics.Kinda ticks you off when you try to go back to a more fiscally friendly option. Use really good glass for a while and it ruins you for anything else.

NCdrummer
December 24, 2013, 06:59 PM
I have directed multiple shooters in this area to buy more glass and less gun. Even a relatively low cost rifle with good glass can be an effective hunting rig. No reason to go long on the rifle if you can't see what you're shooting at! The Tikka/Meopta combination is one of the most economical and effective setups on the market, if you're a MOA kinda guy. And in response to some of y'all, my long range .308 M24 has a 4-16x44 on top. I love being able to take a close look before I launch a bullet. Just ask the game biologists at Eglin AFB. JMHO. Drummer.

351 WINCHESTER
December 24, 2013, 07:00 PM
I bought a Redfield revolution and I'm less than happy with it. Optically it's better than the BSA that it replaced, but I've had problems adjusting/sighting in which I've never had on any scope. It's a 3x9 and it's clear as a bell on the lower settings, but when I crank it to 9 it gets out of focus which I really don't understand. My $100. swift scope is better optically. After hunting season I think I'll send it back to see if they can make it right. I've heard good things about them.

Merry Christmas

NCdrummer
December 24, 2013, 07:00 PM
Gotta LOVE the Leica!

Haxby
December 24, 2013, 07:05 PM
Uhhhhh....yeah. I've got some.
And they are...?

NCdrummer
December 24, 2013, 07:15 PM
Try the Meopta MeoPro 3-9x42 with German #4 reticle. Or Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 if you can find one. Another option is 6x Fixed in Zeiss, Meopta, or even Leupold (USA) or Sightron (Japan). If you're really lucky you'll find a Swarovski Z3 in 3-9x36 for about $600. Also, Meopta MeoStar in 3-10x50 on a 30mm tube with German #4 reticle is the BOMB if you can find a deal. I am partial to the German-made Zeiss in 6x42. But they are rare.

Haxby
December 24, 2013, 07:25 PM
MeoPro 3-9x42 with German #4
$400.
Leupold 6x36. $300.
Exactly my point.

NCdrummer
December 24, 2013, 07:39 PM
I prefer 6x42. More light available generally, but you do have to mount them a little more above line of sight. By the way, comparing the Leupold of your choice with the Meopta is just not fair. To the Leopold...

Haxby
December 24, 2013, 07:44 PM
OK, 6X42. $400. It was you that brought up Leupold.

NCdrummer
December 24, 2013, 07:46 PM
What optics do you have mounted on your hunting rifles?

Haxby
December 24, 2013, 07:51 PM
What $600 2-7, or 3-9X40 hunting scope do you recommend?
Say, maybe, a Burris, Bushnell, Leupold, Nikon, Vortex, or Weaver.

NCdrummer
December 24, 2013, 07:57 PM
If you have a $600 budget go to eurooptic.com and check out their Meopta demos. Just like new, great glass. You'll never buy another cheap(er) scope! Zeiss is also a winner. For the money, the Conquest is a bargain. But Meopta is the best value for the money in my opinion. Actually you'll spend less than that if you get lucky. If you can go with 30mm rings/tube you'll have a wider field of view. But more $ most of the time.

Haxby
December 24, 2013, 08:04 PM
You can get a new Meopta for $400.
And a 30mm tube does not get you a wider field of view.

TBH
December 24, 2013, 08:16 PM
I.M.O. Zeiss Conquest is the biggest bang for the buck. I have two 3-9x40s. Best glass I've used including VX3 long range, Horus Vision, and IOR. You have almost a year to find one on sale. I've seen them for $399 and under, and an occasional used one for less.

NCdrummer
December 24, 2013, 08:46 PM
Haxby, I am not going to argue with you as you are obviously not educated in modern optics. The 30mm tube's sole purpose is a wider field of view. It does not "gather light", nor does it cure cancer. You should probably stick with Barska scopes. Outahere.

Haxby
December 24, 2013, 09:20 PM
All the scope companies list fov specs. It's an easy thing to check.

dubbleA
December 25, 2013, 02:01 AM
Haxby, I am not going to argue with you as you are obviously not educated in modern optics. The 30mm tube's sole purpose is a wider field of view. It does not "gather light", nor does it cure cancer. You should probably stick with Barska scopes. Outahere.

I have always been under the impression that the 30mm main attributes were......a physically stronger tube, larger internals and more windage/elevation adjustment.

Never heard of them having a wider field of view but I have been wrong before.

Cee Zee
December 25, 2013, 02:19 AM
The benchrest shooters I know swear by Weaver scopes like the T-36. Of course that's not a hunting scope unless you're sitting on your back porch shooting varmints a quarter of a mile away. But Weaver makes solid hunting scopes too.

A fixed scope still means you're paying for glass instead of variable magnification. You get better glass with a fixed scope compared to a variable for the same money. I don't know about you guys but I almost never change the magnification on any of my scopes when I use them. But there are variables that will get the job done. Still that wasn't the OP's question. He's looking for the best scope for the money to hunt deer and he has a price range in mind that's pretty good.

I also like spending as much on a scope as I do the rifle but I don't do it very often. I buy either Weaver or Nikon scopes depending on how much money I want to spend. I have a Simmons scope that is 6-18X50 that actually works pretty well. I will say that any scope can fog up on the outside of the lens if you take a cool scope from an air conditioned house out into the humid, hot air of a late fall day. My Simmons has never fogged up inside. My other scopes have fogged up but only on the outside too just like the Simmons.

My suggestion would be to get a good fixed Weaver for the price range suggested.

aka108
December 25, 2013, 09:56 AM
Put "Clearidge Optics" in your search engine and take a look at their products. 100% Japanese from start to finish. I use one of their rimfire specific scopes and it is about as good as I have found so would imagine the one for the "big guns" are excellent also.

littlelefty
December 25, 2013, 05:36 PM
Thanks to all of you for the continued feedback.

Cee Zee - I especially appreciate your input regarding fixed power. So is it likely that the Leupold FX-II 4x33 has better glass than the VX-2 (either 2-7x33 or 3-9x40), since they are all the same(ish) price?

And does anyone out there have a comparison between a fx-ii 4x33 and a late model Weaver k4? Wondering if it's really twice the scope since it is twice the price?

Art Eatman
December 25, 2013, 06:29 PM
I've used scopes for over sixty years. A great amount of brightness might be a Good Thing in the earliest or latest shooting light, but as I think back I don't recall that a "less than wonderful" scope ever kept me from hitting where I wanted.

My concern, nowadays, would be for the sturdiness of the adjustment system. I want to "set it and forget it" after I leave off from sighting in at the bench.

From that standpoint, I don't see a lot of difference among the major brands.

Mohave-Tec
December 25, 2013, 06:40 PM
Hey OP, the best value in a decent hunting scope today is probably the Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40. About $150.

Haxby
December 25, 2013, 07:05 PM
is it likely that the Leupold FX-II 4x33 has better glass than the VX-2
Leupold has upgraded their variables in recent years, but not their fixed power scopes. Unless they have changed very recently, the FXII 4X33 is no better than the VX-1, as far as glass and coatings.

WVRJ
December 25, 2013, 10:57 PM
I have 11 rifle scopes that I use frequently...by frequently I mean the rifles they are on get shot on a monthly basis,and they do it all year round.Rain,snow,cold,heat,anything Mother Nature can throw at them.One of them was on the same rifle for almost 30 years and once zero'd,I never took the turret caps off in that many years.Now that's holding a zero.It was on my main whitetail rifle,and it made a couple of elk hunts to boot.It is a Leupold 2X7 Vari-X 2.Needless to say,the other 10 rifle scopes I own are Leupolds as well.I don't know of any more value you can get for your scope dollars.I almost always buy them used-there's no risk,if anything goes wrong,just send em back and they're fixed.Over the past 30 years,I've sent 3 scopes back,they were repaired fast and free.One had a speck that showed up in the reticle,one broke a crosshair when I overtightened a mount that I wasn't used to,and one had something go wrong in the erector system that caused a grouping problem on a precision rifle.Really minor stuff for that many scopes over that many years.

littlelefty
December 31, 2013, 06:23 PM
I came across a little extra $ for Christmas and went for the VX-3, 2.5-8x36.

OpticsPlanet had 10% off too, so that brought it down to "only" $60 more than the VX-2 (never mind that I also could have gotten 10% off of the VX-2, :D).

Anyway, thanks for all of the fantastic inputs.

Happy New Year!

littlelefty
December 31, 2013, 06:26 PM
Oh, and Haxby - you are spot on...

Here is the input I got directly from Leupold regarding FX-II versus VX-2: "The FX-II has MultiCoat 4 Lens Coatings for 92% light transmission, whereas the VX-2 has Index-Matched Lens Coatings for 94% light transmission. The VX-2 is actually higher in quality, but because we sell many more of them than the fixed powers, are able to provide them at an attractive price. Volume sales mitigate costs of manufacture in this case."

Haxby
December 31, 2013, 07:31 PM
IMO, that's an outstanding choice.

redneck2
December 31, 2013, 08:23 PM
Superb choice. The problem you will have is that, once you start to use it in low light conditions, you get spoiled.

Bobson
December 31, 2013, 10:28 PM
I came across a little extra $ for Christmas and went for the VX-3, 2.5-8x36
What's with the x36? I thought a bigger objective lens results in a bigger FoV (a good thing?). Not trying to start an argument or suggest this was a poor choice, just looking for a lesson in optics. I thought a 40mm objective lens was the standard on hunting scopes.

What advantage is there to the 36mm objective lens? And yes, I've read every post in this thread, and the question wasn't addressed. Whole lot of opinions, not much information.

Haxby
December 31, 2013, 10:46 PM
a bigger objective lens results in a bigger FoV

That wouldn't explain all those 20mm scopes with the really wide FOVs.

Bobson
December 31, 2013, 11:31 PM
I didn't know there were any 20mm optics with really wide FoVs. So will you share the explanation?

More importantly, why is a 40mm lens so common? And again, what's the advantage of a smaller (36mm) objective lens?

FitGunner
January 1, 2014, 12:58 AM
Great choice! Congrats and enjoy your new scope. Also...happy new year.

redneck2
January 1, 2014, 08:17 AM
Smaller objective will take in less light, everything else being equal. Benefit is that it's smaller and more compact, sits lower. Also costs less. IMO, you're better off to have a smaller objective with better glass.

I have a Savage 99 in .250-3000 that will need a new scope. The scope that he got looks about perfect for what I want. The 2.5 low end covers the FOV thing.

I've got a couple of scopes with 50mm lenses (Burris Black Diamond, Leupold VX-L, and a B&L 4000). Light gathering, clarity, and FOV are great, but they're the size of a beer can on top of your rifle. These are on varmint rifles, not carry rifles. Typically on carry rifles I use 40mm or smaller.

In this forum I just started a thread about a super deal at SWFA if anybody needs optics

littlelefty
January 1, 2014, 10:34 AM
Bobson,
Not sure I can completely answer your questions; looks like redneck has provided some good insight.

For me, exit pupil and quality of lens (and its coatings) are at least, if not more important than objective size. Also, as quality goes up, naturally price does as well. That leads into the subjective realm of each person's own financial line in the sand. For me, I wanted to stay at $300 or less and was looking hard at the VX-2 3-9x40 or even the 2-7x33 (and some wandering around the fixed power world). When I got that little extra $ I up-sold myself to what I believe to be higher quality.

Other subjective things were mentioned by redneck. I don't want 50mm objective sitting on my rifle just because I personally think its ugly.

Here is what I think to be a decent thread on scopes: http://www.opticsplanet.com/howto/how-to-choose-a-riflescope.html?section=1

there are others online as well. Chuck Hawks comes to mind.

Hope this helps.

Art Eatman
January 1, 2014, 11:49 AM
And littlelefty now has his Happy New Year! :)

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