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What's a good scope in the $500-800 range?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by aschwabe10, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. aschwabe10

    aschwabe10 New Member

    Nov 4, 2008
    Just wondering what a good scope would cost.....preferably under $800. And what makes your choice of scope so good?
  2. mtlucas0311

    mtlucas0311 New Member

    Nov 17, 2007
    I'm certainly not going to say I'm an expert, but I believe most of the money goes to the coatings and the repeatability of a scope. I'm sure your going to get a huge responce toward Leupold, and rightly so, they make a fine product. I personally believe most people don't need to spend that much for what they really do. If your the weekend, 100 yard, sand bag, shootin' cause it's fun, and put a few shots in at a deer in the fall kind of guy; I think you should look through a half dozen $100 to $200 scopes and pick out the one that looks the clearest across the store. If your looking for something of high quality start with Leupold. Is there something specific your looking to do?
  3. Texpatriate

    Texpatriate Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    West TN
    Anything in that price range with the words "Leupold VX-III", "Nikon Monarch", or "Zeiss Conquest" on it will do you just fine. There are others that are just as good or better, but for more money, i.e. European scopes such as Kahles, Swarovski, or the really high end Leupold VX-7 line, etc.

    Not to sound self serving, but I'm listing a "lightly used" Leupold VX-III 3.5-10x40 later today on E-bay, if you're interested, send me a private message. They retail for $479.99 + tax right now. I'd like to get $450ish for it, and it has a fully transferable lifetime warranty.
  4. MCMXI

    MCMXI Mentor

    Jul 1, 2008
    NW Montana
    You'll need to be more specific than that. What are you planning to use the scope for? What firearm are you installing it on? What power do you need? Do you want variable power or fixed power? What eye relief do you need? Are you shooting in low-light conditions? Do you need a 1" tube or a 30mm tube? What size objective lens do you need (or will fit your application)? What range will you be shooting at? Do you need to make quick windage/elevation adjustments? Do you need 1/4 MOA, 1/2 MOA or 1 MOA adjustments. What reticle do you want/need? Do you need an illuminated reticle?

    As in most things in life, you get what you pay for. I'm sure you've heard of the law of diminishing returns. That's true for most things in life too. For some people, knowing that they have the best available is important to them. For others it's not. I once read that a good rule of thumb is to spend equal to or greater than 50% of the cost of the firearm on the optics. The point was, don't mount a $100 scope on a $1000 rifle. So what are you getting when you pay $800 for a scope (say 3 - 9X with 40mm obj.) compared to a scope that costs $200. Hopefully you're paying for quality, clarity, consistency and reliability. Quality refers to the materials that the scope is made from and the tolerances maintained. This includes the aluminum tube (thickness, alloy, manufacturing process, internal/external dimensions, runout), the internal parts other than the glass which may be aluminum, steel, brass etc., the o-rings, inert gas, and so on. Clarity refers to the quality of the glass, the coatings on the glass, the size of the main tube, size of the objective lens (affects function in low light conditions). Consistency refers to how well the scope performs in different conditions both external and internal. Does the POI change when changing from 3x to 9x? Does temperature (differences in the CoTE of the internal/external parts), humidity, vibration effect the POI? Reliability refers to the scopes ability to continue to do what it's supposed to do. Will it still perform well after four or five years of range and hunting use? What kind of warranty comes with the scope?

    Well, a long-winded response but it should give you some things to think about so that you can rephrase the question.

    Personally, I have five Leupold scopes including four Mark 4 scopes and a Vari-X II. I won't say that Leupold is the best scope for the money since I've only owned Tasco (years ago) and Burris (years ago) which isn't a fair comparison. One of the things about Leupold that bothers me these days is that their glass is now being manufactured in Asia (not Japan!) and many of their products are "assembled" in the US. My Vari-X II is 100% made in the USA which is why I'll never get rid of it. The quality of that scope is amazing. I had to send a Mark 4 3.5 - 10X M3 back to Leupold TWICE due to crap in the field of view (on the reticle). Hopefully it doesn't have to go back again. Leupold does have fast turnaround on warranty work, they cover the cost of shipping BACK, and the warranty is lifetime. That said, I already had to spend $40 to ship a scope back twice. I used to have a Vari-X III that had to go back for the same reason so Leupold scopes aren't perfect. I'm going to be looking at Nightforce scopes in the future (as well as Leupold).

    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  5. marsche

    marsche New Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    I agree with 1858, 'What are you planning to use the scope for?' I have two Burris Black Diamond scopes that would fall into your price range and are crystal clear and repeatable, but, they both are 8X32 variables. I am a long range competitive shooter and I don't hunt. I would think a hunter would want less zoom - unless he hunted varmints at long range. ??? It all come down to what do you want to use it for?
  6. Big Daddy Grim

    Big Daddy Grim Active Member

    Jun 16, 2008
    wow 1858 said it all

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