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Inexpensive optics

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by kount_zer0, Oct 12, 2008.

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  1. kount_zer0

    kount_zer0 Member

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    Last week I asked about a .243 as a platform to tinker with long range and or precision accuracy (entry level no competition envisioned). I got some good supporting replies and have done more research to supprot the caliber in this role especially with handloads.

    So, what would you guys reccomend as a first set of inexpensiv glass for such a rifle. I'll be doing load development at 100-300yds from a stable bench in good light. The main things I want to do is to be able to learn to hold fine and dope wind (always windy where I live/shoot).

    I'll have a lot of fun homework to do right there, but I might try to learn long range work as well: 600+yds.

    The benchrest books talk about 24-36x magnification, but what's decent starter glass?

    So for a target scope can you get good magnification for $200 that you won't want to throw away?
    I might use this glass on more than one rifle for load development, then switch to better glass at lower magnification to hunt with on a particular rifle.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2008
  2. MAX100

    MAX100 Member

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    State a price range. I would start in the $300 to $400 price range.


    GC
     
  3. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    First, you gotta define "inexpensive". If you're hoping for somthing under a hundred bucks, you're better off to find another project. With optics, more than a lot of things, you need to do it right, or don't do it at all. That's not to say you have to spend $2500 on a Schmidt & Bender, but a $79 Barska will waste your time and piss you off.
    If you want to shoot 600 yards, you're now looking at something at least 10x,and definately something with parallax adjustability. Both of those jack the price right off the bat.
    Before doing anything, spend some hours at your computer researching this. There's some good info right here on THR in the past day or so.
    But to get more specific, I'll toss this one in....
    http://www.straightshooters.com/bushnell/elite320041240.html
    This is a great scope for the money, by almost any estimation.
    Read on, I'm sure you'll get an earfull shortly........:)
     
  4. chriso

    chriso Member

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    One of the bushinell elite series of scopes would do you well for a reasonable price. Also the SWFA Super Sniper is pretty good from what I hear if your ok with a fixed power.
     
  5. Dookie

    Dookie Member

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    It is better to have high quality optics that have excellent light transmission, better reputation, quality build, clarity, thin reticle, ect, than it is to have huge magnification and bad clarity and clunky crosshairs.

    Leupold VXI, Bushnell Elite, Nikko Stirling are good brands. 4-14x40 is a good power as you can get decent quality with out breaking your wallet.
     
  6. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    I own 2 Nikkon Prostaff riflescopes and have had zero complaints. I have the 2x7 model on my Marlin 45-70 guide gun and the other, a 3x9 on a Savage 10fp. No problems with recoil and for the money- usually under $200, they make great scopes. An added bonus is that you can find them in camoflauge. In my opinion, they are just as good as my Leupold VXII.
     
  7. Jeff F

    Jeff F Member

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    Buy the best quality optics that you can afford even if you have to save a little longer. Its like Mil-Dot said, do it right the first time and have no regrets.
     
  8. kount_zer0

    kount_zer0 Member

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    I think the reason I'm interested in higher magnification is that I want to tweak on this rifle and load combination in an experimental fashion to see if I can get real sub-moa performance.

    I have a 30-06 that wears a Burris FullfieldII 3-9x40. I like the optics on this glass and it has been a solid and reliable performer. I can shoot 180gr handloads into 1 inch from the bench when I do my part.

    My issue is that at 9X, the reticle is .31 inches wide at that range (Burris website), whereas at 14X the same reticle would only be .14 inches wide.

    So how would I even approach .5 inch groups with a fat reticle, and lower resolution?

    For work outside of the target stuff at a bench I wholeheartedly agree that the finest glass I can afford should be my goal.

    I'm just wondering if there is a solid performing 18X or 24X option at $200-$300 that I can use for very fine work, keeping in mind that I'll probably shift that glass from rifle to rifle as the need arises. High light transmission would be secondary, since I'd be doing this work in full light, but I'm not an optics guru, so I don't know if you can still get clarity at higher mags with less expensive lense coatings?

    Am I asking too much (probably), is there a trustworthy source for reviews?

    Thank you for your help so far, please keep 'em comin'
     
  9. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    I would have a look at the Mueller scopes for something inexpensive, or the Pentax Gameseeker. I have a bunch of Burris FFII's, Weaver Grand Slams, Bushnell 3200, Leupold VX2, etc., but the two mentioned above seem pretty good glass for the money. For serious paper punching out to 300 yards a 4.5-14 would be good enough, beyond that I really like my 20x, and wouldn't mind more.

    I know a couple of guys with the Mueller Eraticator on dedicated varmint rigs and they are very happy with them. You should be able to find some reviews online.

    http://www.swfa.com/c-1339-mueller-riflescopes.aspx
     
  10. atlanticfire

    atlanticfire Member

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    I second this strongly. Have 5 guns with Bushnells on them. Including my 300 to 600 yard rifle.
     
  11. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    For a target scope under $200, this one (well under):

    http://theopticzone.com/detail.aspx?ID=3301

    You DO want the higher magnif. for your intended purpose, and the Elite 3200 with such magnif. will NOT be found in this price range. Honorable mentions to Swift Premier and Mueller.
     
  12. Cypress

    Cypress Member

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    I'm gonna get hammered again here but I'll do it anyway. All your gonna hear about optics is its best to pay out the wazoo for the best you can get. No doubt that you get what you pay for but.......for some folks(myself included) its hard to pay $500 for a scope. I don't shoot competition but I test loads at ranges out to 500 yds. I have multiple rifles that shoot sub .5 MOA and they all wear Bushnell Banner 6-18X50's. Clarity is plenty good in target shooting hours plus I moonlight hogs at night with them. I have never had a problem with any of these scopes even with .300WM recoil. I realize that these scopes are nowhere near top of the line but I have dedicated scopes for every rifle I own and these have never failed me. Hope this helps!!!!
     
  13. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    +1 to chriso in that price range.

    But I know from experience...you get what you pay for in optics.
     
  14. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    you don't need a .14" cross hair to shoot .14" groups. Your eye is very good at centering things, and recognizing asymmetry. Things like quartering a circle are easy for the human machine to do very accurately.

    Two things you want to do:

    Offset your group location from your aiming point, so you don't damage the symmetry of your aiming point.

    Use a round target, with visible concentric rings.
     
  15. litman252

    litman252 Member

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    Owen is correct, 7 power at 100 yards can easily get you 1" groups with a good target. I know you are going further but you don't need power as much as you need clarity. Eye strain at 18X through a under valued scope will wreck your day,

    YMMV,
    Tony
     
  16. woolfam

    woolfam Member

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    Could you explain what this means?
     
  17. litman252

    litman252 Member

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    Well it was Owen that said it but I'll take a guess;

    Have a nice circle, square or what ever is your aming point. Sight the rifle in 4-6" away from Point of Aim so that the nice square or circle stays nice and crisp and you don't wreck the lines making it harder on your eyes.

    OWEN- feel free to correct me!!!!!!!!!!!
    Tony
     
  18. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    litman, that's exactly what I mean.
     
  19. woolfam

    woolfam Member

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    Thank you litman252 and Owen. sorry about the mis-quote.

    Now, again, pardon my ignorance, I understand you do not want to shoot out what you are aiming at. But what good is a rifle that shoots 4 - 6" away from point of aim?
     
  20. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    plus one on super sniper, also I have 3 of the Tasco varmint series, and the weaver's are outstanding at high range clarity. I don't know if Burris, Pentax, and Nikon make long range scopes , but they would be good. Also , don't turn your nose up at a nikko sterling with side focus adjust.
     
  21. litman252

    litman252 Member

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    You simply keep it 4-6" away for load development, turn it back to POA/POI for hitting where you want to once you have the "Best" combo of lenth, bullet, powder, primer and case. Or when you find a foactory load that works!

    Note, 4" high at 100 yards would put you on at around 350-375 yards I'm guessing.

    Tony
     
  22. bullockcm

    bullockcm Member

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  23. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    bullockcm - Amen, *IF* the budget was $300 - but here the question is $200 or less. Several people, including me, have recommended and have had good luck with the Bushnell Banner series for this price range.

    Bah Humbug! Disagree. Yes, you CAN shoot good groups on 7 or 9 power, but it's much EASIER and FASTER to do so on 18 power. As for eye strain, I don't know what you mean - I don't have any problems with "eye strain" shooting extended sessions on 18 or 20 power, even with the relative cheapies like the Bushnell Banner. I'm crappin ya negatory, the Banner 6-18x50mm AO is good stuff for the money, Maynard.
     
  24. CYANIDEGENOCIDE

    CYANIDEGENOCIDE Member

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    Less is more

    You don't really need a whole lot of magnification on your scope. Check out what snipers use magnification wise, and by all arguement they are very effective.
    m40 Redfield 3-9X (M40); Unertl 10x with Mil-Dots and BDC (M40A1)
    wa2000 Schmidt & Bender 2.5-10X variable power telescope
    m24 10x42 Leupold Ultra M3A telescope sight
    accuracy international (arctic warfare) Smidt&Bender 3-12X variable or the Leupold Mark 4 fixed 10X scope
    hk psg 1 Hendsoldt 6x42

    cheap optics serve only to test your patience not your skills. grab a leupold or another quality scope in 3-9. it will do everything you want and then some.
     
  25. ronwill

    ronwill Member

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    Barska has a decent scope and is inexpensive (less then $200). Take a look at the 6-24x44mm, IR and see what you think.

    http://www.barska.com/
     
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