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Handgun Scope Recommendations

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by VanRaily, Mar 19, 2010.

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  1. VanRaily

    VanRaily Member

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    Hello-

    I'm not sure whether this post would fit better in this section or the Gear section, but this forum seems more active so I thought I'd try here.

    I just put in my order for a .308 single-shot handgun (the new Freedom Arms Model 2008) and am looking for opinions on optics. The local range at which I shoot runs out to 200 yards, and I'll also occasionally have the chance to shoot at up to 400 yards. I know that the latter is a stretch with a handgun, but I'm confident that I can reach that far with enough practice. At that distance I also likely wouldn't be shooting for groups but at silhouettes/general targets.

    I'm trying to keep the cost of this whole setup at around $2,000, which is made difficult by the fact that the gun and mount (three-ring SSK) are already running me just short of $1,700. That said, I'm currently considering the following two handgun scopes:

    Bushnell Elite 3200 2-6x

    Leupold VX-3 2.5-8x

    The Bushnell is sold at Freedom Arms' website so I know that it's trustworthy, but I also know that Leupold makes a good scope. In fact, its specs exceed those of the Bushnell in pretty much every area, with the catch that its ~$550 price tag would put me over budget.

    What's your guys' opinion? Is the Bushnell a good enough scope or I should I just dish out the extra money for the Leupold? Or is there something else entirely that I should consider?

    This will be my first scoped gun, so any input is appreciated. I should also note that this gun is currently strictly for target shooting, as I don't hunt.
     
  2. wyocarp

    wyocarp Member

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    What does having a scope listed on someone's website have anything at all to do with if a scope is "trustworthy"?

    Leupold makes a good handgun scope and I would put one of those on any of my guns over a Bushnell every day of the week.
     
  3. VanRaily

    VanRaily Member

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    Because Freedom Arms makes fine guns and they wouldn't sell you garbage to put on it.

    The fact that FA sells it isn't the only reason I'm considering it, either. In researching handgun scopes I found Bushnell's and Leupold's names popping up the most as scopes of choice. Sorry if I made it sound like that was my sole reason.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
  4. Buck Snort

    Buck Snort Member

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    If the folks at Freedom Arms are allowing that item to show on their website then I'd bet my next few paychecks that its a quality item. It a "birds of a feather fly together" sort of thing.
     
  5. Buck Snort

    Buck Snort Member

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    Having said that, I'm pretty doggoned impressed with Leupold's guarantee. You can give the scope to your son, he to his son and he to his son and they'll still fix it if it breaks. That's a heck of a lot more than an mere "lifetime guarantee".
     
  6. VanRaily

    VanRaily Member

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    But if my guns are my kids, then aren't I already giving the scope to my son by mounting it?
     
  7. hoghunting

    hoghunting Member

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    I use the Burris 2-7, 3-9, and 3-12 and have never had a problem, only excellent results. The Bushnell reminds me of looking through a cardboard tube as you see the tube when looking through the scope. Unless Leupold has changed, they may not be using a one piece tube for the 2.5-8, as I saw one come apart at the turrets while shooting a match.
     
  8. atlanticfire

    atlanticfire Member

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    Bushnell Elite 3200
    [​IMG]
     
  9. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Go to a shop somewhere that has both and look thru them. Both are good scopes and will serve you well. The Elite has a longer eye relief than the Leopold, and may be a consideration depending on how the scope is mounted and how long your arms are. My experience has been with variable handgun scopes, that the eye relief is reduced as the power goes up. The Bushnell also has the "RainGuard" coating on the lens. Around here, the Leupold sells for around $400-$425 and the Bushnell in the neighborhood of $275 to $300.
     
  10. wgp

    wgp Member

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    I have been using a Leupold Vari-X 3 2.5 -8 on my .30-06 for years and am totally satisfied. I have moved other scopes around on my other rifles but that one stays put.
    I have been reading reviews of the Busnell Elites that say they are excellent scopes. I just don't have personal experience with that line. All my stuff is Leupold, no complaints at all.
     
  11. jem375

    jem375 Member

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    JD Jones used to use the Bushnell 2-6x on his handcannons and recommended them.
     
  12. atlanticfire

    atlanticfire Member

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    And they will stand up to just about anything.
    Here is a silver one on my 500 mag, with one of my 700 gr loads.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. VanRaily

    VanRaily Member

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    atlanticfire, I don't know whether you're hurting or helping. You're just making me jealous. I suppose it doesn't matter as I already have mine, but what rings are those on your .44? I haven't seen those before.

    Good to know, since I'm using his mount and rings.

    That's one of the reasons I was looking at the Bushnell, as it claims to have a constant eye relief for all magnification levels. I'm not sure about the Leupold.

    Interesting. I'll have to look into that.

    Thanks for all the help everyone, even those that I didn't quote.
     
  14. atlanticfire

    atlanticfire Member

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    Sorry, I just love my revolvers. Would take them over any semi any day of the week. The rings on the 44 are made by weaver. I got them at a local shop for cheap and they have worked very well. I also have Bushnell sportsman, 3200, 4200 and 6500. For the money they can't be beat. Yes I could spend more but the quality of scope is not significant enough to merit hundreds of dollars more when I can have these while are good enough for me.
     
  15. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    I managed to put a Redfield 4X pistol scope on my XP-100 in 7mm BR. The TSOB three ring mounts hold it securely
     
  16. BigBore

    BigBore Member

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    Leupold is superior , I am not a fan of any bushnell product really.
     
  17. jbkebert

    jbkebert Member

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    parker020.jpg

    T/C Encore Pro-hunter .308 win topped with a Bushnell Elite 3200 2-6x32. I have put a few hundred rounds down range with this combo without fail. I have a couple fixed power Leupolds 4x on a .44 mag SPR and a .357 blackhawk. They are no where near the clarity of the Bushnell. I agree that Bushnell makes some junk scopes on the low end. There Elite series however is a night and day diffrence.
     
  18. atlanticfire

    atlanticfire Member

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    Sounds like a gun snob, its ok we get a lot of that on here.
     
  19. umc180gr

    umc180gr Member

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    I've got a T/C Encore on order so I am interested in this thread as well. Thanks for the info.
     
  20. VanRaily

    VanRaily Member

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    All right, I know this an old thread but after months of waiting I'll finally have the gun in my hands. The problem is, I still don't have a scope yet because aside from Cabela's all the places around here only have the cheap handgun scopes. With Cabela's (at least according to the person to whom I spoke) the Bushnell handgun scopes are catalog-only and they don't get them in the retail stores. All that to say, I haven't been able to look down the Busnhell yet.

    However, Cabela's did have a Burris 2-7 that they recommended to me. It's actually about $50 more expensive than the Bushnell (which doesn't necessarily indicate anything), but hoghunting also recommended it in his post. I looked through it and it seemed to be a pretty good scope. Does anybody else have any opinions on it?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  21. jbkebert

    jbkebert Member

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    I had a burris fixed 4X on a .44mag SRH. The bad thing I found about Burris is also a good thing. The scope requires precise eye releif each and every time. Which is a pain the butt while trying to shoot off hand. A variation of 1/2" or less the scope goes from crystal clear to you can't see a thing. Now the good part of this scenerio is that it forces you to be very very consistant. Which is fine off of a bench or shooting rest. In a hunt situation sometimes you just can't get the perfect rest and form. So as a whole if I was using the gun for shooting pasture poodles or target. The Burris is a great scope no question about it. If the gun is to be used to tromp around the woods in pursuit of deer, elk, hogs ect where a quick shot maybe required. I may look for another setup IMHO.
     
  22. xphunter

    xphunter Member

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    Van,
    Bob lists those scopes on his site because they have been very durable for him.
    Can a Bushy give up on you? Yes, but so can a Leupy.
    Leupold has a great warranty
    I have more Leupold's than anything else.
    Shooting 400 yards shouldn't be a problem with the FA.
    Bob was shooting it at 500 yards, 750 yards, and 1,000 yards this past Thursday-Saturday.
    For longer distances I would choose the 260 Rem any day over the 308.
    In fact, that is what Bob shot at the MOA long-range pistol match near Sundance WY, this past week.
    http://www.moaguns.com/

    I use muzzle brakes on most of my single-shot specialty handguns, since all of them wear riflescopes.

    My 6.5 Swede FA barrel is currently at Holland's Shooting Supply getting one of the Radial Quick Discharge brakes.
     
  23. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Member

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    I have had great luck with Burris pistol scopes. They are not outrageously priced, yet they are as rugged and precise as they come.
     
  24. kludge

    kludge Member

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    I have the Burris 2-7x32mm on my SRH .454 Casull, and I like it just fine. I have long arms, so I wish it had more eye relief, but since it's used for huting, I'm usually in a sitting position, or resting my forearms on the tree stand so it isn't an issue.

    The "18 inches" of constant eye relief quoted for the Bushnell is not quite enough for me either. I would need like 22", so I might not notice the difference, if there is one. At low power on the Burris, I can get a full arm extension. At high power it's probably like 12" or14".

    If you really can get 18" of eye relief from the Bushnell at all magnifications, that might swing it for me. I don't like the thought of a .308 12" from my face.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  25. xphunter

    xphunter Member

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    Van,
    Are you going to put a brake on your FA?
     
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