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Best variable scope for under $300

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by DammitBoy, Jun 10, 2009.

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  1. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    I'm building a custom 10/22 as a summer project and I want to put decent optics on it but don't want to spend a huge sum of money for it.

    I'd like to have a 30mm tube and an illuminated crosshair. I'm thinking a 6-14x50 or something along those lines.

    Has anybody had any success with the Leapers line of optics? Any helpful advice is appreciated.
     
  2. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    I only know/use Leupold and Nikon scopes so far. Both make quality stuff in your price range. However the specs you're including probably push their stuff out of your range.
     
  3. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

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    Check out Millett Scopes-
    Better than leapers-
     
  4. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Mutually exclusive.

    These are on sale: http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/t...-box.jsp.form23&Go.x=0&_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1

    My FF II is a truly great scope, for the money I paid.

    These Nikons:

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/t...cabelas/en/common/search/search-box.jsp.form1

    Nikon makes really nice budget optics.

    I wouldn't go any cheaper. You'll regret it.

    Or, just get a regular 3-9x40mm. Nothing you can do with a 10/22 built on a budget requires more.

    I have a Nikon 4x32mm on a Marlin 60, and it'll shoot sub-MOA all day long if I hold it steady enough. I don't need any more magnification at rimfire ranges. At 100 yards, I can see the tears around the bullet holes in a white target, with a 9x scope.

    Leupold, Nikon, and Burris all make scopes for under $300 that are worth looking through.
     
  5. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    What is your intended use for this scope? Target shooting, plinking and informal shooting, varmit hunting, or small game hunting?

    I have won money shooting metallic silhouette with a Kimber M82 and a Burris 4X mini-scope. And killed a boxcar load of squirrels with the same rig.
     
  6. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    Vern - target shooting at 100 yards and plinking.
     
  7. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I have another Burris Mini in 3X9 on my Ruger M77/22M and that rifle is zeroed at 100 yards. I've never wished for more scope on that rifle.
     
  8. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    100 yards? 3-9x40 is PLENTY.

    Put your money towards quality, then, not bells and whistles.:)
     
  9. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

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    Dammit Boy... Millett 4-16X56, side focus, 30mm tube,Target turrets and a 4" sunshade. Reticles... duplex, mil dot, fine x-hair.
    Should be less than $300-

    Millett 3-9X44, 3-10X50, 4-16X44-
    Tactial Model... 4-16X56 or the 4-16X50mm mil dot illuminated-

    All units are less than $300 and some less than $200-

    For paper punchin' the big objective is a plus, as is the higher magnification.

    Never mind the, 'you don't need that big of an objective or that much magnification'... once you use this set up you will see what I mean.

    Weaver Classic V-Series 2-10X38- < $300

    Simmons Aetec Master Series... 2.8-10X44 or the 4-14X44 Side Focus-
    < $300

    Nikon Buckmaster 3-9X40, 4.5-14X50 Side Focus- < $300

    Sightron SII 3-9X42- < $300

    Intensity Optics... GLS 3-10X42, 4-12X44 AO, 6.5-20X44 AO and the
    ALS series 2.8-10X44, 3.8-12X44 AO- <$300

    Burris Fullfield II 3-9X40, European 3-9X40.- < $300
    Burris Fulfield II Tactical with tac-2 knobs, olive drab, 3-9X40- < $300
    Burris Timberline 3-9X32, 4.5-14X32 AO- < $300
    I think we have, or had some Burris FF II 3-9X50 for less than < $300-

    Leupold VX I 3-9X40- < $300
    Leupold Rifleman 3-9X40, 4-12X40- < $300

    Good Shooting-:D
     
  10. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    No. Not true AT ALL. Not for a rimfire, and not for a target rifle. And certainly not for a target rimfire! I would want a minimum high end of at *least* 14x, even for just 50 yards, and preferably 18-20x, for a target rimfire. Way, way different from a hunting centerfire where 3-9x40 is plenty.

    Same subject in a recent thread - look at my recommendations in that recent similar thread.

    Nikon Buckmaster 4.5-14x40mm is probably your best bet. $299.99.
     
  11. atblis

    atblis Member

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    Well

    That magnification range and set of features is not optimum for a quality scope in that price range.

    If you go with the 3-9x40 series, you can get a really nice scope for $300 (for ~$400 you can get a Zeiss). You get your best bang for the buck with that size.

    Ditch the illuminated reticle because you will not get a quality scope for that price with that feature.

    Bushnell Elite 4200/3200
    Nikon
    Sightron S2
    Weaver Classic/Grandslam
    Burris
    Leupold
    etc. etc.

    I have a Weaver Classic 4-16x42mm with a fine cross hair that is a great scope. The tracking on it is top notch.

    EDIT: SWFA.com has a Nikon Monarch on their sample list that might work

    9502 Nikon 3-12x42 Monarch 8419, Matte finish, Niko plex reticle, 1" tube, side focus, 1/4moa finger adjustable windage and elevation, factory reconditioned $319.95
     
  12. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Sure. But not one for under 300 bucks.:)

    A clear, bright 9x beats anything that isn't.

    That said, I shoot 1/2" groups with a 4X Nikon on a stock Marlin 60 at 50 yards. You can choose your targets, too, if you're not involved in competition that chooses them for you. The right target colors/contrast can make high scope magnification far less important, even at 100 yards.

    As I wrote above, high magnification, low price, bells and whistles, and great optics aren't found in the same scope.

    If I had to choose, I'd take the 3-9x40mm that's generally the best price/performance tradeoff in mid-range brands, and get the best scope I can for the money, instead of getting a bit more magnification and inferior optics.

    And in a 30mm tube with an illuminated reticle? Puh-lease!

    "Leapers" doesn't exactly scream "target rifle"...:)

    For a real rimfire target gun, a 24X scope, or even more, is great. But not a CHEAP one. That's what I figure.
     
  13. cbrgator

    cbrgator Member

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    Nikon Buckmasters is a good choice.
     
  14. Reid73

    Reid73 Member

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    I want a new hand-tailored suit, and don't want to spend a huge amount of money for it. I'd like to have 24k buttons and the purest silk lining. I'm thinking vicuña wool or something along those lines. :rolleyes:

    Seriously: if you don't have a lot of money to spend (no shame in that), avoid all the bells and whistles and put your cash towards basic quality. $300 can buy a decent scope, but the more your dollars are stretched to pay for fancy features, the more manufacturing corners have to be cut ... it's only common sense.
     
  15. usmc1371

    usmc1371 Member

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    check out the bushnell 3200 i think they have ilum reticle and the price is not bad at all. pretty good glass to.
     
  16. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

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    Ok let me ask why you want a 30 mm tube and why you want an illuminated reticle?

    A while ago I bought an illuminated reticle scope and at first it was the coolest thing. Then after a week or two it became just another feature I didn't use, extra weight I didn't want, and extra expense I should have put towards better glass.

    The 30mm tube seems a bit odd as well. 30mm tubes normally give you additional turret adjustment. If you are shooting at a fixed 100 yards it has no benefit. If you are plinking under 200 yards most scopes should be able to adjust from up close out to 200 yards with a .22lr.

    These both seem like options that sound cool but when you analyze your shooting may not mean much in the slightest. Most 30mm rings are a little more expensive than standard 1" rings. As such I would rather run burris singature rings and use their inserts to get a little more elevation than run a cheap 30mm tube scope at the edges of its adjustment range.

    Atblis has a good range of scopes listed that are fairly common at your local stores. The Bushnell lines seem to have the least adjustment in their turrets and the Nikon Buckmaster line only focuses to a stated 50 yards though mine in reality will go past the first mark down to 33 yards (measured).
     
  17. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    I own 4 Center Point 4-16X 40 Scopes with illuminated Mil Dot reticle and turret locking rings.

    They are installed on 2 30-06, a 30-30 lever and a 338 Win Mag.

    I got them for $69.99 each at Wal Mart, They come complete with rings (Weaver style).

    Before the fire starts (they are junk, rubbish and bla bla bla) I'm telling you that all of them hold zero perfectly, they repeat zero between different settings and have clear glass....so hold your horses please...

    Tried up to 300 yards (my range)

    I'm going to buy the fifth one for my AK


    No 30 mm tube, just regular one inch, steel construction, fogproof, shockproof

    Lifetime warranty


    Regards
     
  18. freonr22

    freonr22 Member

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  19. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

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    Sure he can, and a pretty descent quality one at that.:D
     
  20. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    Thanks to Uncle Mike and the other guys that actually were trying to be helpful instead of being condescending pricks like some folks just seem to have to be... :rolleyes:

    It's not a question of not having the money to spend on a high performance top dollar scope to me, it's a question of need.

    I've spent over 5 grand so far this year on guns and ammo - I can afford whatever I want to get.

    My question was about getting a decent middle of the road scope for a playing around project. I'm not expecting to be able to buy the best Austrian optics out there for around $300 bucks, but I'd like to avoid the junk too. My eyesight ain't what it used to be and I figured the illuminated reticle might be helpful if not cost prohibitive. I've heard that 30mm scopes are stronger and made better than 1" scopes. Never would consider myself a scope expert, so I thought I'd ask here.

    Thankfully the helpful advice seems to have far outweighed the bs smartymans factor!
     
  21. cbrgator

    cbrgator Member

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    I've heard that about Centerpoints before. I'll take your word for it, but I just don't get how they do it?
     
  22. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    I never agree with people who insist you can't find quality without spending a fortune.

    For instance, my Yamaha VStar 1100 is twice the motorcycle for half the money you'd spend on a comparable Harley. I think it's silly to blow extra money for a logo status symbol.

    I'm sure there are some logo status symbols you are paying for in the optics field just like anywhere else.
     
  23. Arbor

    Arbor Member

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    The Bushnell 3200 is a very clear, well made scope for the money. You just have to look through a couple to understand. Can be had for under $300 easy on the 'net.
     
  24. robsc

    robsc Member

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    Weaver V24 $299.00 Natchez shooter supply
     
  25. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    6-14x50mm, 30mm tube, illuminated reticle?
     
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