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Old July 21, 2014, 09:50 AM   #1
Join Date: December 24, 2009
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 132
Rifle scope

Getting a new .243. It'll be used mostly for poking holes in paper and ringing steel out to 300 yards. (maybe 500 if the opportunity presents itself) I need recommendations for decent scopes, preferrably under $500. I've got tired old eyes so some extra magnification would probably be welcome. Any opinions on the Leupold VX-2 line? Thanks in advance.
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Old July 21, 2014, 12:06 PM   #2
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Leupold is almost always a good choice.
If you want to save some money and get some glass and good mechanicals, here's one (Vortex Viper 6.5-20x44) that I've found to be pretty impressive, as have a number of other people who have Leupolds and other similar quality scopes.

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Last edited by I6turbo; July 21, 2014 at 12:16 PM.
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Old July 21, 2014, 05:34 PM   #3
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I have 2 Leupolds. They are very durable and have a lifetime warrantee. My VX-lll fell out of a tree stand, held it's zero and later that day shot a deer DRT at 300 yards. That said, I like the new Nikon scopes and Weavers too. A cheap Simmons scope that came on a used rifle I bought cost me what may have been a record book deer. Zeiss has some affordable scopes that should be good.
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Old July 21, 2014, 05:44 PM   #4
Outlaw Man
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I sell Leuopolds, so keep that in mind, but I got a VX-3 for my .243 once it finally arrives. My budget was a little higher than yours and I'm going to be looking for prairie dogs with it, so I went with the next step up. However, I wouldn't hesitate to go with the VX-2 if that was my budget. About the only thing you're giving up is a little tougher coating and the wavelength-matched lenses. You're still getting good quality glass and mechanisms...and that awesome Leupold warranty.

Those Vortex scopes are pretty nice and a good value. I wouldn't try to talk you out of one.
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Old July 21, 2014, 06:07 PM   #5
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I have several Leupolds a Weaver and a Nikon Monarch. They all work very well for me, but I have a preference for the Leupold scopes, to me they seem a bit sharper and brighter. I bought two of the Leupolds in pawn shops for a big savings. One scope had to go to Leupold for some work, no charge for the work.
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Old July 21, 2014, 06:36 PM   #6
Join Date: September 10, 2008
Location: SW Arizona
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I've been using Leupold optics, rifle scopes, binoculars, spotting scopes, and range finders for decades. In my opinion, for $500 I don't think you'll find a better piece of glass. And their high end optics will definitely compare with anything else out there also. I have and use Leupold optics that are more than 35 yrs. old, and although they lack the advancements in coating technology and other advancements in today's optics, one still knows that they are looking through a quality piece of glass.

And when it concerns customer service, Leupold has set the standard, and lead the industry in this respect. Even when something was entirely my fault, such as dropping them, even running them over with my truck, Leupold has never blinked an eye and always fixed or replaced them at no cost to me.

And over the last couple years I have given Vortex a test drive. They too offer some great glass, and although it's difficult for me to say this, they are giving Leupold a run for their money in the optic industry. I have experienced their customer service as well, and like Leupold, they have yet to blink an eye in taking care of me, also without charging me a dime. At present I am using no less than 10 different Vortex optics, spotting scopes, binoculars, and rifle scopes.

I am extremely hard on my optics, so it's safe to say that if a weakness or flaw exists with either of the above manufacturer's product line, I will discover it fairly quickly. You'll get your money worth with either, IMHO.

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Old July 21, 2014, 06:44 PM   #7
Join Date: May 26, 2007
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Current production Leupold VX-2's are probably the most scope out there for the money. They sell for around $300-$400 depending on the magnification, reticle and other features.

The one I'd buy. I'd spend my money on a clear scope rather than more magnification.


They have always been a good value for the dollar, but 2-3 years ago Leupold upgraded their VX lineup. A current VX-2 is essentially an older VX-3 that was selling for $400-$500 just a few years ago.

If you want to spend a little more the new Zeiss Terra is in your $500 budget. They are a better scope, I'm just not sure they are $150 better than the Leupold.

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Old July 21, 2014, 06:50 PM   #8
R H Clark
Join Date: September 11, 2011
Location: Alabama
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All these above are good choices and if you want to twist knobs.

Leupolds are great but all the above represent better value, even the discounted Leupold.
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Old July 21, 2014, 07:40 PM   #9
Join Date: January 27, 2012
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I have a Leupold VX2, two Vortex Vipers, a Zeiss Conquest and two Bushnell Elite 4200's, all 3x9x40. They are all good scopes and I would buy them again except the Bushnell since it has been discontinued. I am not that knowledgeable about scopes but this is my personal ranking:
1. Zeiss Conquest
2. Tie between the VX2 and Elites
4. Viper

Don't own a Terra but after looking through a couple I prefer the VX2.
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Old July 21, 2014, 07:43 PM   #10
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There are higher priced but a Leupold has never let me down.
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Old July 21, 2014, 07:50 PM   #11
Vern Humphrey
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I second all the recommendations for Leupolds.

Consider buying a USED Leupold -- you can find them advertised on www.Gunsamerica.com.

Personally, I think a 4X fixed power scope is ideal for everything but the most rigorous long range target work. But I'm a crusty, opinionated old bastard.
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Old July 21, 2014, 07:58 PM   #12
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Honestly, my $1,850.00 Nightforce 3.5-15X56 is a great scope. So is my Nightforce 12-42X56, and Nightforce 5.5-22X56. But, in all seriousness, none of them possesses 4X the quality of scope that one will get with a Leupold VX-3. My M70 Super Grade wears a Leupold VX-3, 3.5-10. It's a great scope for less than 1/3 the cost of Nightforce.

If you want a tiny bit more precision, go the the Leupold VX-3, 4.5-14 with OA. Leupold will serve you well.

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Old July 21, 2014, 08:02 PM   #13
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I'm a big fan of Nikon scopes and the higher end Bushnell scopes too. For use in 300 to 500 yard shooting you won't need to spend more money than they cost.

The Bushnell Elite rifle scopes are good scopes. They have a 4-16X40 w/DOA 600 reticle that will probably fit your needs and SWFA has it for $499.00.

Nikon has a fairly new line, their Prostaff5 line. (not the original Prostaff) IMO Those scopes are as good or better than their Monarch line. Their Prostaff5 3.5-14X40 scopes are between $299.95 and $359.95 depending upon the reticle.

If you eyes are as bad as mine you might want to go with the Prostaff5 4.5-18X40 scope which will run you $459.95, well within your budget.

Their 4-16x42 Monarch 3 rifle scope will run you the same $459.95 is you like that line better which comes with their BDC reticle. The same scope with a mi-dot reticle is only $10 more.
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Old July 21, 2014, 08:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Geno
If you want a tiny bit more precision, go the the Leupold VX-3, 4.5-14 with OA.
Funny. That's the exact one I picked.
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Old July 22, 2014, 01:17 AM   #15
Join Date: November 25, 2006
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Originally Posted by Geno View Post
If you want a tiny bit more precision, go the the Leupold VX-3, 4.5-14 with OA. Leupold will serve you well.
Yes, that is a very good scope but the OP said he wanted to spend $500 or less. I have not seen that scope for less than $700 and different versions of that scope can be as much as $900 depending on the reticle and if they are in a 30mm tube.

I was trying to give the OP the best alternatives within his budget.
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Old July 22, 2014, 01:56 AM   #16
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I just got an e-mail from Natchez listing Weaver Extreme Illuminated scopes between $299 & $359. They list a 4-16x50, 6-24x50 & 8-32x50 all with parallax adjustment. I think that 4-16x50 would be a mighty nice all around scope, but if you want more top end it's available.
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Old July 22, 2014, 02:52 AM   #17
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A couple of alternatives to look into aside from Leupold (which all sound great) are SWFA and Bushnell Elite Tactical. $300-$400 range.

Check these out for good info:


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