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New scope for a .30-06 bolt rifle?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by ceetee, Jan 24, 2011.

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  1. ceetee

    ceetee Member

    Sep 7, 2003
    I'm going to be buying a .30-06 bolt rifle. The main purpose is just to fill a void in my closet. And because this is still America, and I can, dammit.

    I'm interested in a 3-9 variable with some kind of bullet-drop compensating reticule. As I'm poking around on here, Arfcom, Optics Talk... I noticed that there's a particular niche that is filled by scopes like the Bushnell Elite 3200, the Burris Fullfield, the Nikon Pro Staff, the Leupold VX-I or VX-II. Aside from the VX-I, people pretty much say the same thing about all of these scopes. "Not the best out there, but good value for the money".

    My main question is: Is there any particular reason why I should choose one of these over the rest? Or should I just pick whichever one goes on sale first? The only thing I know about optics is that it stinks having champagne tastes on a beer budget.

  2. MarkDozier

    MarkDozier Member.

    May 15, 2006
    Optics are often a matter of taste. Look on OpticPlsbet.com for thier tutorial on optics.
    You get now get caliber speific scopes with all kinds of features including BDC.Just remember caliber spefic scopes are usually made with one bullet weight in mind so if you use a certain other then the one the mfg ussed your mileage may vary.
    Look at what you paid for the rifle and spend anywhere from 50 to 150 precent or more for the scope,
    Mostly it comes down to what works for you. I put a 100.00 scope on a 274.oo gun. love it. I put a 50 doallar, on sale, scope on a 400,00 and it is very nice.
    The only rule that matters is that it does what you want or you are just wasting money.
  3. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

    Jul 20, 2009
    I agree that optics are a matter of tastes. Years back I remember driving myself crazy on this very topic. I ended up going with Leupold. Are they the best? I don't know. They are very good (either 4 out of 5 or 5 out of 5 stars). You wouldn't be disappointed with them and they have many different ones to choose from. I like their no BS warrenty. If the scope breaks 20 years from now, send it on it and they will take care of you. I've known people who've done this and literally only paid $50 to get a brand new scope.

    If I were being budget concious, I'd go with Redfield (owned by Leupold and made in USA).

    At this point in my life, I am done on evaluating scope options. I am stickig with Leupold. I've been happy with the ones I've used. Of course, if someone said they same about their choice on brand X, I wouldn't argue it.
  4. skoro

    skoro Member

    May 2, 2008
    If you can still find one, the Nikon Team Primos 3-9x40 is a heck of a good scope at a cost just slightly higher than the Prostaff. It's what I mounted on my 30-06 and I'm real pleased with it.
  5. langenc

    langenc Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    Montmorency Co, MI
    Go to ebay and get an old Weaver K4 or K6 depending on type of hunting yo will be doing. How old your eyes are will make a difference in any scope purchase.

    My 03-A3(30-06) has a K4 w/ post and it is great for N MI deer woods wher most shots are 100 yd or LESS. My eyes are getting old-esp that last hour of shooting light-when you need it most. Crosshairs/dot are hard to find esp in the swampy areas.
  6. stan rose

    stan rose Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    New York
    If you have champagne taste on a budweiser budget, you should take a look at the Redfields being made by Luepold. There is no misleading advertising, they say they are a well made economical scope designed to compete with the midrange Chinese scopes on the market, and they are. Two of my friends have purchased them and love them. They both have much more expensive scopes on other rifles but are more than pleased with the Redfields. Plus they are made in America, and come with Luepold's lifetime warranty
  7. slowr1der

    slowr1der Member

    Mar 25, 2010
    I'd go with one of the Vortex Vipers on clearance. They are hard to beat. You get a great scope and a great warranty in case you ever need it. Another good option is the Nikon Monarch UCC's on sale if you can find them for $200. I'm not sure if places still have them on sale for that or not.

    When those scopes normally aren't on clearance, I feel the two best choices in that price range are the Burris FFII and the Votex Diamondback.

    After having owned a couple Leupold VX-I's, a couple Vari-X II's, and a VX-II, I found the Burris FFII superior optically to all of them. The Vipers and Nikon Monarchs are superior to the FFII. The VX-II was close, but the Burris still got the edge. Not to mention both of the VX-I's I've had have failed to hold zero and had to be repaired. One twice. Another friend bought a VX-I and his wouldn't hold zero right out of the box. If you go with Leupold, I'd go with the VX-II at a minimum, but in general you can get a lot better glass for less money from other companies.

    One of scope to consider is the Bushnell Elite 4200's on clearance also. They are great scopes too, the only thing I don't like about Bushnell is the customer service that comes along with them.
  8. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

    Jan 21, 2004
    Norra Texas
    The Bushnell 3200s have been on sale at MidwayUSA and elsewhere (Natchez?) recently, and I consider them to be a fine scope in the sub-$200 range.

    As far as picking a scope? Here's an overview of some of the issues that manufacturers manipulate when designing an optic:

    • Light transmission through the optics (usually a function of the lens coatings and glass material)
    • Optical fidelity (chromatic or optical abberations, driven by the quality of glass used and the lens design)
    • Body thickness (sturdiness vs. weight)
    • Body finish (sturdiness vs. cost to apply)
    • Adjustments (holds zero, tracks true, easy to make)
    • Zoom ratio (broader ratios are highly desired by consumers but make optical designs more complex)
    • Optical assembly weight (lower internal lens count lowers weight but requires higher quality lens material)
    Every scope is a balance of these qualities. The Sightron SII's, for example, have excellent optical and mechanical attributes relative to their price peers but displayed a weak body finish. Leupolds tend to be strong in the mechanics and finish areas but only OK optically compared to similar price range scopes. Most Nikons tend towards good optics and so-so finish/mechnical robustness (although I recently bought a Nikon that showed TERRIBLE barrel distortion). Some scopes, like the Bushnell 3200/4200 line and most of the Pentax units, use heavy designs with lots of easy-to-make internal lenses, and give good image quality at the expense of weight.

    Pick a price point, prioritize the qualities that you want, and evaluate from there.
  9. mikerault

    mikerault Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    I have had great experiences with the Nikon Prostaff 3x9 40 with BDC. I have it on both my hunting rifles.

  10. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    Kalif Kollective
    Right about now, it seems that Nikon is on a roll. I have some of the others including steel tube Weavers (hell for strong) Bushnell Elite 3200, Nikon and the like. Nikons BDC is not caliber specific, but they have a nice software package on their web site that you can load your commonly used rounds into and it will spit out what each of their marks means for a range for that cartridge. You can print the cheat sheets and even tape one to the butt stock if you choose. We've had very few complaints about Nikon, they're light weight, tough and bright. About all you can ask for in a "value" scope :)
  11. txgolfer45

    txgolfer45 Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Definitely check Bushnell Elite 4200 and 3200 scopes that are on closeout right now as Bushnell is reorganizing their product line to all be under an "Elite" product line.
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