Cheap Rifle Scopes That Actually Work

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Abel, Jun 16, 2012.

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  1. Numeric

    Numeric Member

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    I just bought a Weaver USA K4-F from a pawn shop for $19. Aside from some scratches on the finish, it is in perfect working order and the lenses are clear. I think most people overlook the value of single-power scopes because the prevalence of variable powers has spoiled many shooters. Next time I pass through town I'll take a closer look at the scopes in his case.
     
  2. Sky

    Sky Member

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  3. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    I've got one 6X20X50 Simmons on my 22-250, and a 8X24X50 on my .223, got both of them from Midway for a little over $100 apiece. They both are good enough for me to shoot and hit almost hole in a hole @ 200 yds. and blow Pd's apart out to 400 to 500 yds., what more does one want? Why spend $500 for one, the name?
     
  4. Tempest 455

    Tempest 455 Member

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    Ditto on the Tasco World Class for a "cheap" scope.
     
  5. jcwit

    jcwit member

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    The forever warranty does not come cheap when it comes to optics.
     
  6. DesertFox

    DesertFox Member

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    Most recent acquisition is a 1-4x Optisan Mamba from SWFA which was about $160. Very nice.

    I have a Bushnell Banner Trophy special Ruger Edition with BDC that I must have picked up around 1986 that I swear has the widest and most crisp edge to edge image of any scope I've used. It has been on a circa 1970's 10/22 taking out gophers for 26 years or more. Often I've purchased new scopes, compared them side by side and was shocked each and every time.

    Another el cheapo glass is residing on a Savage .30-06 - a silver Tasco Golden Antler wide-view 3-9x42 that I have never been fond of but has always done it's job extremely well. Haven't heard a single complaint from the deer and elk it has taken over the years. I think it came as a package with the Savage rifle, but was picked up 2nd hand so I'm not certain.

    Sent more BSA scopes back than any other cheap brand. One was an OK scope with like a 50mm objective but the view through the scope was like looking down a .22 rimfire with an inch of black ring around it.

    I've really come to like Burris over the years, although they aren't what I'd call cheap. Also have a couple of FM Optics that were reasonably priced, good value.
     
  7. Robtattoo

    Robtattoo Member

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    I've got Barksa scopes on both of my 'modern' rifles. One on a .303 Enfield, the other has been swapped from one .22 to another & passed over a couple of .22 mags on the way. Both are crystal clear & have held zero just fine & I don't think I paid $150 for both!
     
  8. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    I've had very good luck with scopes by Simmons. For a time, this company was owned by Meade Instruments.

    My 30-30 deer rifle wears an older model from 1990's named Whitetail Expedition that holds its zero year after year. The optics remain bright and clear. Simmons is a keeper!

    TR

    Glenfield30GT.jpg
     
  9. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    Optics are one of those areas where if you're lucky you get about what you paid for, and you almost never get more. There are the rare exceptions (older Japanese Tasco for one) but generally cheap scopes are cheap for a reason.

    I've had a Simmons rimfire scope lose the crosshairs, a Bushnell break the adjustment system, and multiple Tascos fail to hold zero....and this was just at the shooting range, not in the field!

    My hunting rifles wear Leupold, Burris or maybe a Nikon, although I have found the optical quality of the Nikon scopes to be a real disappointment. I can't stand the thought of missing lifetime trophy because my $50 scope decides to crap out on me at just the wrong moment.

    If I were on a budget I would forego fast food or a weekend movie for a while until I could save up $200 for at least a Leupold VX 1. If that's too much then IMO the best low cost scope on the market these days is the Japanese made Sightron. If I had to I think I could be convinced to try one on an actual hunt, at least a hunt close to home on my own land where a lot of travel or guide fees were at stake.

    I still think if I were going on a once in a lifetime hunting experience I would find a way to put a Leupold on top.
     
  10. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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    I don't hunt. But I spend a lot of time behind a scope shooting from the bench. I've tried cheap, It didn't work for me.
     
  11. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Member

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    I've had nothing but bad luck with TASCO & BSA.

    OTOH, the current production Weaver K's are the best bang for buck on the market.
     
  12. Pat M

    Pat M Member

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    Put a Bushnell Elite 3200 fixed 10X40 scope on my flattop AR. I got it for $150 but saw it for as low as $130 later. I think they were discontinued.
     
  13. shootniron

    shootniron Member

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    Used Nikon Prostaff for about $100.00.
     
  14. lloveless

    lloveless Member

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    What do ya'll do to your scopes to trash them? I have never paid more than $50.00 for a scope and they all work just fine 10-20 years later. As a bird watcher I see optic snobs there all the time too.
    ll
     
  15. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    I take them out of my gun safe, put them in a hard case, drive 30 miles to the shooting range, then attempt to accurately shoot the rifles they are attached to.

    That's my point---I don't abuse them. Cheap is cheap for a reason. It doesn't take much repeated recoil to shake the guts out of something constructed to minimum standards.

    BTW the Simmons scope with detached crosshairs was a rimfire model on a heavy barrel 10/22, so think how little recoil it experienced before failure.
     
  16. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Judging from my experience, I would have to agree. I've been pretty broke at times and had to deal with what I could afford to buy. When I got my Handi Rifle in .280 11 years ago, all I could afford was about $40 or so for a scope.
    Now I know all the internet people will just tell me that I may as well just stay at home because you probably can't even see through the lenses on a $40 scope and even if you can, the reticle will fail after one shot. :)
    Well I bought a BSA Deerhunter 3x9x40, and while I do have issues with it, it's never lost zero. It's that nonexistent eye relief that I hate. But it'll do if that's all you've got.
    I also have a Leupold on my .30-06 and a Nikon on my .22 and they are definately better, no doubt about it. However cheap scopes will get the job done. Now I've only hunted in Arkansas where conditions don't get that rough, so I can't speak for everywhere. I'm sure in Alaska it would be different.
     
  17. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Every Simmons I have tried fell apart. Probably just my bad luck.
    Currently "evaluating" this Barska Electro Scope. Incredibly dumb name, was the only short scope I could find locally, 4x28mm, illuminated recticle.

    vz58newscope2.jpg

    During sight in and testing it worked well.

    Larrywithvz58newscope.gif
     
  18. Dthunter

    Dthunter Member

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    I got a Bushnell Tactical 3200,5-15x40 for $200.00
    I have shot out to 1100 yards with it. Very dependable turrets!
    The clicks are not exactly .25MOA, but they track consistantly!
    Very good value for my dollar, I feel!
     
  19. snakeman

    snakeman Member

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    We've had great luck with the barska ridgeline. I don't know if the other barskas will be even close to the same, but we've put ours through the ringer hauling them around on the ranch. They've all functioned flawlessly and maintained zero really well. The optics aren't on par with those costing more, but I can sure see just fine through them.
     
  20. jcwit

    jcwit member

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    I have 30 some scopes mounted on rifles and pistols. Some rimfire, some center fire. Have never spent more than $150 bucks for a scope, most were purchased new, some were purchased used, little over half were purchased within the last 10 years. Have only had 1 bad scope in all my years of shooting. A NcStar which was replaced N/C.

    All have performed admirably, power ranges go all the way to 40x.

    Just my experience of owning scopes during the last 55 years.

    I'll let the snobbery to others, who deem it necessary to impress their friends.
     
  21. fpgt72

    fpgt72 member

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    I have had good luck with BSA sweet 22 scopes. Use them on my small bore rifles.....never a problem.
     
  22. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    Same problem with a simmons aeteck, only it was on a rem 700 / 7mm. Held up fine for years then it just gave up one day. 1" shooter turned into an 8" shooter.

    I have a Tasco 4x32 TV View (remember those) that I bought off the back page of a Gander Mountain for around $30 worth of hard earned grass cutting / hay throwing money. It looks like total crap now, but it keeps on keeping on.
     
  23. SpeedAKL

    SpeedAKL Member

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    The cheapest I've spent on a scope that worked was around $125 for a Bushnell red dot. Not the highest-quality thing on the world, but it was rugged and had decent glass. Otherwise I've had zero luck with cheap scopes. The low-quality glass is partly to blame, but poor mechanical reliability has been far more annoying. I can't stand having to adjust my zero each time I pull a rifle out of the case. I don't baby my guns but don't abuse them either - there's no reason a scope should lose zero consistently unless it has been abused or neglected. I also had a Simmons literally break on me when bumped against something.

    A buddy of mine was always buying super-cheap optics off the internet. BSA, Simmons, Barska, NCStar, UTG, Tasco - none of them ever held up. I've sworn off cheap glass for good.
     
  24. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I've had a couple of the old steel tubes, a KV 3x5 was on my grandpa's .257 Roberts for years, took my first deer with it at age 11 and many more after that, but it finally bit the dust and I never had it fixed. That gun wears a Bushnell 4x12 with the BDC I kinda don't really like, thinking of swapping some scopes around or buying a Nikon for it. :D Tough enough scope, just the optics ain't great.

    I'd describe the new Weaver as a "mid priced" scope, not the cheapest, but CERTAINLY not in the Schmidt and Bender price range. My 2x10x40KV was bought new for my Remington M7 in .308 back about 15 years ago. It's a solid quality scope that set me back about 200 bucks. It's not the old steel scope, but it's as good quality as any Leupold VX2 I've known. Optics are in the VX2 ballpark and it doesn't lose zero after a long boat ride. :D I paid a bit more for it than the bargain stuff and I ain't a rich guy, but I just trust the scope.

    That Weatherby Suprieme is AWEsome. I have never been able to figure out where Weatherby sourced their scopes from back then. I bought it early 90s, I guess. It's European quality, AMAZING optics, and a very tough scope. I still see 'em on the auction sites all the time used for about what I gave for mine new, $150. Only thing, it's a big, heavy steel tube scope, but it's mounted on a big, heavy Savage in 7mm Rem Mag, so it's a good match, I suppose. :D
     
  25. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    Agree 100%!
     
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