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Decent inexpensive scopes

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by epijunkie67, Feb 26, 2011.

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  1. epijunkie67

    epijunkie67 Member

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    My eyes aren't as good as they used to be. I have to get closer and closer to the street signs before the blur becomes words. So I've been thinking about putting scopes on some of my toys. I've got a variety ranging from bolts to lever to semiautos in calibers from 22 mag, 223, 30-30, .357, .308, 7.62x39, and just a smattering of other stuff.

    I don't want to put a $600 scope on a rifle that just goes to the range a few times a year. I also don't want to put something on it that loses zero after 20 rounds either.

    Any suggestions for reasonably decent fixed or variable power scopes in the $30-$100 range? What about red dot or reflex sights? These aren't going on something I'm staking my life on. They don't have to survive trench warfare. They just have to be stable, accurate, decent, and affordable.

    Suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  2. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    I have been very happy with the Nikon Pro-Staff series of scopes. I have a 2x7, 3x9 and two 4x scopes from them. No complaints at all.

    I would also give a look at the newly released Redfield scopes. They should do what you want for your price range. Maybe a little more than what you want to spend but just save a little longer.
     
  3. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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  4. HankC

    HankC Member

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    Center Point rifle scopes from WalMart. 4-16X AO would be around $70. They are basically Leapers 5th Gen scopes. Very popular with air gunners, built to take double recoil of springers, no problem on calibers up to 308. If you don't like it, bring it back to WalMart and get your money back.
     
  5. wnycollector

    wnycollector Member

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    +1 on the centerpoint scopes. I have three on them (two 3-9x32's and one 2-7x32). One of the 3-9 scopes is on a .308 for ~250 rounds. It has not lost zero and it's clicks are repeatable. The glass is not the best (slight distortion on the edges) but still very serviceable.

    For a bit more money, check out the Nitrex by Weaver line of scopes on closeout at natchez. They are spectacular scopes for the $$$.
     
  6. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    I like my Tasco World Class Varmiter AO 16x 40mm..... It is around $90
     
  7. Haxby

    Haxby Member

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    Nitrex TR-1 closeout at Natchezss. According to reports, it's the same scope as a Weaver Grand Slam.
     
  8. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    sportsmansguide has a bsa 6-24x40 mil-dot for 50 dollars. I just bought one for a scope to slap on guns I work on to see how they shoot. The only problem I have had was I put it on a 10/22 that had an aluminum weaver rail on it and it wouldnt adjust far enough down but it has been fine on everything else.
     
  9. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    Use center point scopes on your rimfires, Walmart sells those. Use bushnell banner, or Nikon prostaff or the Sightrons S1 on your bigger calibers. Most of these scopes should sell for under $200.
     
  10. Blackrock

    Blackrock Member

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    I have four Simmons scopes. Didn't pay over $130.00 for any of them and shoot some long range Varmints.
     
  11. husker

    husker Member

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    I just bought a Simmons 2.8X10-44 Aetech its an older one. But its awesome & clear from edge to edge.
     
  12. dogrunner

    dogrunner Member

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    Those Wally World Center Points are kinda hard to beat. I have a couple I bought on a 'let's see' kinda basis, one a red dot and the other the adventure line 4-16.......... the latter has locking rings on e/h adjustments & is easily as clear as instruments going for three times the price. Got a buddy that bought two of them, one's on a CETME .308 & his call is the same as mine........easily as good as the Elite series Bushnell markets.

    I have mine mounted on a homebrewed stainless 16" bbld AR, and it has not budged from its initial zero, and that's after nearly 500 rounds and a lot of bouncing around in a PU truck. Gave the red dot to another friend who admired it, I had mounted the thing on a M/44 Mosin as a sort of poor man's 'Scout' and the performance level was identical to the 4-16 in terms of zero stability and clarity...........Beats the hell out of the junk Tasco sells as well as several other brands I could name. I know, I know, they're Chinese junk...........well, fellas I'm here to tell you they are anything BUT!
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  13. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    You can't go wrong with a 3x9x40 Leupold for a little over $200. Eye reliefe is great, 100% water proof, and they are as clear as you'll ever need. A no questions asked service policy has always been my experience with them too. I've never had one fail except when it was my fault dropped one off the Mogion Rim back in the 1980s and they replaced it no questions asked. Ran over my binnoculars too, and they took care of me again. Didn't charge me one penny, not even shipping. I e-mail them every time I lose a turret cover or lose a eye cup on the binocs and they send one out at zero cost. they even send me hats when I ask for one. I haven't bought any other brand since the mid 1980s, since my wife and I both got injured from cheap optics that didn't have enough eye reliefe.
     
  14. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    I have had good luck with the junk that Tasco sells.
     
  15. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    [​IMG]

    This is my SIMMONS Aetac:

    - 2.8X - 10X

    - outstanding clarity and brightness

    - sturdy

    - priced UNDER $200.

    I'm also a fan of SIMMONS 44 MAG series and their Pro Hunter models as well.

    TR
     
  16. Dr T

    Dr T Member

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    It all depends on your standards. The Bushnell 3200 appears to be a decent scope (I have one but I haven't used it--but it looked good enough to buy). Bushnell has improved greatly over the last several years. 5 years ago, I wouldn't have bought one to try.

    I have had bad luck with Simmons.

    Most of my glass is in the $200 range and is Burris, Redfield, Leopold, or Nikon.

    I have bad eyesight and wear glasses, so I am a bit particular. I have been impressed by the wide latitude of eye relief that the new Redfield's provide. I have one on an R-15 and it works well.
     
  17. Skyshot

    Skyshot Member

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    The bushnell elite 3200 is a great choice if you can get one in the price range you mentioned. Someone can correct me on this but I think those scopes were originally made by Bausch&Lomb and Bushnell bought the line frome them. The Redfield is another good one.
     
  18. HM2PAC

    HM2PAC Member

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    Check out Swift scopes.

    http://www.swift-sportoptics.com/

    I have them on a .444Marlin, Savage 110 in .30-06, and PTR-91 in .308WIN.
    Not one has ever lost focus. The Marlin has been scoped for 13 years and I run rather stout handloads. The scope has never failed.
     
  19. SGW42

    SGW42 Member

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  20. slowr1der

    slowr1der Member

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    I've had several cheap optics, as well as several mid range optics. By mid range, I mean Burris FFII, Leupold VX-I, Leupold VX-II, Bushnell Elite 3200, Nikon Prostaff etc. I've not had any high end glass. I honestly, like to change my optics fairly often so that's why I've had so many. I will use one for a while, then sell it and get something else. I usually try to buy them used so I don't take a loss on them. This also lets me test out scopes to write reviews for both my own personal use and to help others.

    That being said, I see the Center Point 4-16x40 from Walmart has been mentioned. I bought one of these after reading so many good things about them. I really just had to try them out. I've got mixed feelings on this. I like the scope, and to my surprise I found the adjustments to be repeatable. This shocked me as it's a $70 scope and it's not common for the adjustments to be repeatable on cheap scopes like this. It also so far has held up well, but it's not taken any real abuse. The only issue I've had with it, is the glass is only sub par. From 4-10 power it's actually pretty decent. Not great, but decent. From 10-14 power it's still decent, but a little worse. From 14-16 power, imo the glass is total crap. It looks washed out looking to me. Almost like someone threw a smoke grenade in front of you. After talking to quite a few others, I've had them say the same thing. The glass at any power is no where near the Burris FFII, or the Bushnell 10x Tactical Elite 3200 I had. However, it's not bad and certainly usable. I'd not hesitate to recommend this scope, I'd just caution not to expect glass similar to the Bushnell Elites like some people suggest as you wont get it.

    I've also had 2 Simmons. One Deerfield and one Blazer. The Deerfield was the first Simmons I ever owned, and I was amazed. The glass was very good for a $40 scope. Compared to the Burris Fullfield II, it wasn't as good in daylight, or in low light, but, it was not all that far from the Bushnell Elite 3200, and it was at least as good and might have had a slight edge over the Nikon Prostaff. I felt it definitely had an edge over the VX-I glass wise, and I really couldn't tell a difference between the VX-II and this scope. It also tracked great and held up great. It got tossed around, dropped, banged, etc, and it still always held zero. This scope is just a great scope and I'd not hesitate to recommend it to anyone. I've got two friends that use 3-9x50 Blazers that are older ones that love them too and have had them for probably 8 or so years.

    The next Simmons I had was a Blazer that I got used on a rifle. This scope was decent, and would do what most hunters would want it to, but I didn't feel it was as good as the Deerfield. The glass was similar, maybe slightly behind, but not a ton. The only thing I noticed with this scope is it didn't track accurately. I never did a box test, so I can't say if it's repeatable or not, but each click didn't move it 1/4" like claimed either. However, once sighted in, it stayed sighted in until I removed it. It never lost zero and never gave me any issues. The glass I found to be identical to the Nikon Prostaff I replaced it with. I couldn't tell a difference in the daylight or in low light. It was slightly better optically than the VX-I also in low light. In daylight I couldn't really tell a difference, but in low light it was a little bit better surprisingly. It still fell a ways behind the Burris FFII in both day light clarity and in low light situations. Overall, if you are going to zero this scope and leave it alone I think it would be a decent scope. Would I trust it to take on a Safari hunt that was costing me several grand? No, but I'd have no issues taking it to the deer stand on a normal hunt. I don't think the glass will cause you any problems either as you will be able to hunt from legal shooting limit in the morning to the legal shooting time in the afternoon.

    That being said the CenterPoint fell optically behind both of those Simmons as well as behind the VX-I. The optics were the only thing to me keeping the CenterPoint from being an amazing scope.

    The other cheap scope I've used is a $30 Tasco Bucksight 3-9x40 from Walmart. This scope has also been pretty decent. When I originally purchased it I had gotten a cheap muzzle loader, and wanted a cheap scope to put on it. I didn't have a ton of extra money to spend on something that I had never tried and didn't know if I'd like or not. So I bought this scope. It had surprisingly decent glass. When I went to sight it in, a couple of buddies were there and we compared my Leupold VX-I to this. I couldn't tell a difference optically. They all said the Tasco looked clearer to them, but I just couldn't see a difference. I did later test it in low light and the Tasco had the edge slightly. Optically this scope was really surprising for a $30 scope. I'd say around the optical quality of the Blazer which also surprised me. I just didn't find any fault in this scope optically. I got it sighted in. I never did a box test, but it seemed to track fairly close when sighting it in. I have since killed my two biggest deer with this scope. I like it quite a bit. The only complaint I've got is the turrets like the ones on the Prostaff require either a coin or screw driver to adjust. This is just a pain to adjust to me and I prefer ones that are turn able by hand. This also optically was about on par with the Prostaff, and slightly under the Burris FFII. I also bought a second one of these to use while my Leupold had to be sent in for repair. I only used the second one for 2 months, but it worked fine during that time even on a fairly hard kicking rifle. I sold it after that to a buddy and he finally mounted it on a .22 and is using it still. Several other buddies have used these also. Several of them are still using them with great success, but two of them had problems. Both of them had the 3-9x50 ones. The first one bought it at the same time as buying a T/C Omega from Walmart. He mounted it and couldn't get it sighted in as it shot all over the place. He took it off and said he thought it was bad and didn't have time to mess with crappy scopes. I wasn't there when he shot it so can't say what was going on. I however was there when he replaced it with a Bushnell. He couldn't get the gun to shoot the same place. He finally got it shooting a group good enough to kill a deer around the bullseye and left it. Seeing as how poorly it shot with the Bushnell, it makes me wonder if his gun wasn't just shooting poorly and he blamed it on the scope.

    His brother also had one and his gun shot great with it at a target. He is one of the better shots I know when it comes to hunting. He took it hunting the first year and got a couple of deer. The second year he shot a deer, then the next one he shot at he missed. He then shot another one, and hit it. The next one he shot at he also missed. He took it off and put on a Thompson Center branded scope and said he hasn't missed since. He said he can't say for sure it was the scope, as it could have been him, but he strongly suspected it was the scope. The rest of us have had good luck with these scopes.

    The only reason I've ever thought about changing this is just because I've read so much online bad about Tasco, it makes me doubt them and I don't want it to fail on a hunt. That being said, it's never given me any reason to doubt it and I doubt I will replace it unless it goes bad.

    I will comment that a buddy has another Tasco that looks almost identical, but has a few different marks on it, and doesn't say what series it is, and optically it's not as good as either of the ones I had. It is decent, and fine for most hunters, but I'd say it's more along the lines of the Center Point. Not sure what the difference between the two is.

    The only other cheap scope I've had is a Bushnell Sharpshooter 3-9x40 and this is the only one I've not liked. The glass is decent too, but nothing special. I'd rate it about inline with the Center Point. The adjustments suck on this one. They are fairly close, but if you just adjust them it takes 3 shots or so to settle in. I'd seen guys tap on scopes at the range, but never done it myself until this one. You either have to take a couple shots for it settle, or you have to tap on the top of the scope fairly hard for it to settle then it will be right on. I don't really like this scope and I'd not recommend it, but even it does hold zero once set and has useable glass.
    So that's my review on the cheap scopes I've used. I've had relatively good luck with them as have the majority of my friends. Out of a group of about 15 of us, I only know of 3 of us myself included that have scopes over $100. Very rarely do any of them have problems. Most of them have several cheap scopes too, and they seem to work well for them. The glass has also been decent in the majority of the ones I've used. The tracking has been a hit or miss, but once zeroed they have all held zero. My real world experience has not been even close to the horror stories I've read online about cheap optics.

    The only one my friends have used that they hate is a BSA. I've never owned one, and only used one. One friend that loves Tasco's and has Tasco World Class scopes on most of his many guns bought two BSA's. Both wouldn't hold zero on the 30-06 he put them on. He sent them back for repair and got them back and put them on a .22. He says they work there, but they are pretty crappy. I always felt like if he loves Tasco's which obviously aren't the best optics in the world, and he thinks BSA's are horrible, I probably want to stay away. Another friend tried them out to with the same experience. He is a big Simmons fan and told me that he felt BSA was as crappy of a scope as you could get and he'd not put one on anything other than a .22, and even then he felt there were better options for a .22.

    A third friend received a fixed 4x one as a gift. I mounted it on his .22 for him and sighted it in. It zeroed and he said it hasn't lost zero, but the glass was only halfway decent. It wasn't nearly as good as the $30 Tasco or the $40 Simmons. I just can't see why anyone would buy this.

    That being said, the Burris FFII optically is a decent bit better than all of them, and I feel on a main hunting rifle it's worth the money to go for one of these. You can get them for under $200 new or for around $100 sometimes on eBay used. It's one of the best values for a mid priced scope imo. The Prostaff is similar on all accounts to most of these scopes. The Bushnell Elite 3200 I had was on par with some and slightly better than a couple. The Leupold VX-I I have is worse optically than most of these scopes, but is a hair better than the Center Point and Bushnell.

    I will also say the only scopes I've had to get repaired are Leupolds. I had a VX-I that I bought new. It had to be sent in twice. The first time the insides would shake, the second it wouldn't hold zero. Another one a buddy had which was a VX-I. It quit holding zero on him and got fed up and sold it to me cheap. I got it fixed and sold it. The third Leupold I sent in was a Vari X IIc that had dust floating around inside of it. The VX-II and other Vari X IIc I had I didn't have a problem with, but I never mounted them either. I just used them for optic comparisons then sold them. The buyer of the Vari X IIc told me it worked great. I've never heard anything from the buyer of the VX-II. A third friend had a VX-I that wouldn't hold zero right out of the box. He got it fixed and traded it for a .22. So I've just not found Leupolds to be worth the money to me and optically, they aren't that great imo. A lot of guys like them though, and their warranty does stand behind them very well. Optically imo you have to step up to the VX-3 to get any better than the Burris FFII and it certainly costs a lot more. You just seem to pay a lot for the name on Leupolds.


    Sorry this writeup was so long, but hopefully it's helpful. If you'd like my impressions of the other mid priced scopes I've used, instead of just mentioning them occasional in this writeup. I can write that up too, but I figured this was already long enough if and they cost more than what you are wanting to spend.
     
  21. epijunkie67

    epijunkie67 Member

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    Thanks for the extensive comment Slowr1der. I think the subject of optics isn't covered enough in our discussions here.
     
  22. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    GOOD inexpensive scopes???? :confused:

    There aren't any! :(

    You get what you pay for! :banghead::banghead:
     
  23. hiawatha

    hiawatha Member

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    HM2PAC, I'm glad to hear your comments about Swift scopes. I'm just beginning to get into glass. Can't do with iron sights what I used to. So I'm about to put a scout mount on a T38 Arisaka as an experiment. I picked up a used Swift 4x32 pistol scope for that purpose. I'm hoping a 100 yard target will actually look like 25 yards. I'll let y'all know how it turns out.
     
  24. AR-yoter

    AR-yoter Member

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    Walmart sells Centerpoint 6-24x50 Red/Green IIlumination Scope for 70-80 bucks its a pretty good scope and its still zero through a hunting season, gettin all banged up, i did the whole " lets sling your rifle and walk down this wet hill" thing and fell on it, still held zero, it even has your mil-dots. Good or Bad buy? idk i have had some good luck with it
     
  25. ifit

    ifit Member

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