"Tactical" scope question

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Oct 25, 2010
I have always been a hunter. so tactical really never entered my thought train until i got a sale flyer from Midway USA. what is so spectacular about these scopes, that they command such a high price for them? a scope is after all, an aiming device. please do not flame me on this:fire:. i do not know, and i would like to.
Which scopes and at which prices?

Barska has $90 "tactical" scopes, Nightforce has $2000 "tactical" scopes.

Generally, "tactical" scopes are going to have exposed turrets for quick adjustment, a mil-dot reticle and mil adjustments, though many just use MOA adjustments and a standard reticle, many have an illuminated reticle, beefier controls to allow quick adjustments with gloves, and the more expensive ones are built to take a beating. There are also optics like the Elcan Specter and Trijicon ACOG, both of which are built like tanks, and are designed for AR's. They have less of a traditional layout.
Tactical scopes, in addition to features mentioned above, are typically smaller and more streamlined. The Leupold VXIII I have on my Marlin is considered a "tactical" scope as the objective lens is barely one inch.
The main feature of a 'tactical' scope that matters to me is the reticle. Nice calibrated holdover marks that can quickly adjust for elevation and wind without turning a knob make for a better aiming device.
You're also more likely to find an illuminated reticle of some sort, though it's not always a feature on a tactical scope and is sometimes a feature on hunting scopes.

And that's essentially the same for most of the features. Hunters want some of the bonuses of tactical scopes and some tactical scope guys want either the simplicity or the lower cost advantages of a hunting scope. That's why there are so many "hybrid" models.

Every single one of the features mentioned above, as well as the whole "tactical" craze in some instances, contributes to the added cost.
If your old enough to remember Jack O'Connor, he once said in one of his books:
If you can't kill it with a 4 power scope you either need to get closer or improve your marksmanship. He said this before variable power scopes were readily available
Gadgets may make the shot easier, but they don't improve skill
I've bought many low end to mid range scopes for AR-15's, anything under a hundred bucks I have purchased hasn't lasted long, some of it is just junk. ( I still have a UTG 4x Colt clone made in China soldiering on on a .22) I'd avoid anything marked NcStar.

Buy a quality 4x fixed scope and paint it flat black, now it's tactical.

Primary arms has some good models you might consider that are reasonably priced. It has the look and the CQB reticle.

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