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What makes a scope ok, good or great?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Roadwild17, Jun 4, 2009.

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  1. Roadwild17

    Roadwild17 Member

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    Im doing some research for the scope Im going to get and was wondering what seperates these scopes into the lower end, mid range, and high end?

    Specifications for Millet Tactical Riflescopes:
    Model BK81001:
    Magnification: 4x-16x
    Objective: 50mm
    Tube Diameter: 30mm
    Weight: 1.75 lbs.
    Side Focus Range: 10 Yard to Infinity
    Windage: 1/8 MOA elevation Adjustment
    Crosshair: Mil-Dot illuminated with green color
    Lens Shade: Standard
    Finish: Black


    Specifications for Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16x50mm Rifle-Scopes 652165 M / 652165 MD:
    Magnification: 2.5 - 16x
    Objective (mm): 50
    Field Of View (ft@100ft): 42 @ 2.5x
    7 @ 16x
    Length (in): 13.5
    Eye Relief (in): 3.9
    Exit Pupil (mm): 20
    Click Value (MOA): .25
    Finish: Matte
    Adj Range (in): 80
    Mounting Length (in): 5


    Specifications for NightForce 3.5-15x NXS Riflescopes:

    Model: 3.5 - 15 x 50 NXS 3.5 - 15 x 50 NXS Zero Stop
    Magnification: 3.5 - 15x 3.5 - 15x
    Objective Diameter: 50mm 50mm
    Exit Pupil Diameter: 14.3mm @ 3.5x, 3.6mm @ 15x 14.5mm @ 3.5x, 4.0mm @ 15x
    Field Of View: 27.6ft @3.5x, 7.3ft @15x 27.6ft @3.5x, 7.3ft @15x
    Eye Relief (mm): 99 99
    Internal Adjustment Range: 110moa elev., 80moa wind. 110moa elev., 80moa wind.
    Click Value (moa): .250 .250
    Tube Diameter (mm): 30 30
    Ocular Diameter (mm): 36 36
    Mounting Length (in): 6.1 6.1
    Weight (oz): 30 30
    Overall Length (in): 14.7 14.7
    Available Reticles: NP-1RR, NP-1, NP-R1, NP-R2, NP-2DD, MLR, & MIL-DOT NP-1RR, NP-1, NP-R1, NP-R2, NP-2DD, MLR, & MIL-DOT
    Zero-Stop Feature: No Yes


    What seperated these rifles into different classes?
     
  2. edelbrock

    edelbrock Member

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    I think the main difference is the quality of the glass. Don't think there is a spec for that.
     
  3. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    The "quality" of the glass is just one part and I'm convinced that once you get beyond a certain price point there really isn't much difference in the glass between a $500 scope and a $1500 scope. I can't comment on the difference between $1500 and $3000 optics since I've never been fortunate enough to handle, look through or use an S&B, US Optics, PR or Nightforce or other top brand. For many scopes, it's all the other more important stuff that counts and that actually makes a big difference. For example, take the Bushnell Elite 6500. It doesn't have anything even close to 80" of vertical adjustment. In reality it's about 45" or approximately 43 MOA!! :what: If you decide on a Bushnell, good luck getting any actual real-world specs with that company. My Mark 4s have MORE vertical adjustment than advertised with 84 MOA!! Scopes are very complicated instruments with lots of internals to worry about. The number, type and quality of the internal parts will dictate how the scope works under a variety of conditions. How good are the seals, how does the scope handle abuse? Does it have accurate adjustments e.g. does a 13.75 MOA elevation adjustment equal 13.75 MOA on the target at 600 yards? Just take a look at what the professionals are using and trust their lives with. None of those optics are cheap. For the most part you'll find US Optics, S&B, Nightforce and Leupold.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  4. ants

    ants Member

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    OK, Good and Great.

    OK = Nikon or Leupold, but I can never afford that much money.

    Good = Nikon or Leupold, if it's on sale maybe someone will get me one at Christmas or birthday.

    Great = Nikon or Leupold, and I got the money!!!
     
  5. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    the millet has side focus, adj objective down to 10 feet, and green illum reticle. 1/8th inch adjustments, all good. we don't know about the glass.
    the bushy has dual magnifier glasses inside, which gives it massive power up range.
    1/4 inch adjustment; not as fine, but bushy should give you great glass,
    I believe it is made by the folks who make contact lenses; can't remember
    the name of the company.
    don't know about nighforce glass; scope has a 30mm tube, which means hardier ingredients all over. also appears to have a massive amount of internal adj-
    ustment.
    zero adjustments sound very repeatable, with a lock in feature, very nice;
    plus it appears to have a lot of diff reticles to choose from.
    tough choice, i do not know enough about them, or have used them, to make an educated guess; I do no that Millet got a govt contract on their scopes, I think with the Seals. If it uses good glass, it is simple , robust, and has good and very useful things mentioned above there, that are both user
    friendly, and give you some good shooting enhancement.
    I would just be guessing, but i would say that the bushy proly has the
    best glass.
     
  6. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    Check out the IOR line. Great value scopes, which perform like the $3k glass, but at a much more reasonable price.
     
  7. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Member

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    I've just been dealing with this issue myself. A lot of it depends on how you're going to use your scope. Don't get me wrong, doing your research is great, but going to a store where you can look through several scopes and compare them side by side is worth 1000 forum opinions. Sometimes the differences are easily seen, sometimes not.
     
  8. Iansstud

    Iansstud Member

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    I love my Millet TRS-1 the glass is tits, I belive I got a deal!! However If I had More $$$ I would have gone leupold...
     
  9. Badlander

    Badlander Member

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    The glass Is TITS
    Have not heard that term In many years
     
  10. Col. Plink

    Col. Plink Member

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    What's the general consensus on Centrepoint? I know they are made in China, but what's their quality like for the money? WalMart has the 3-9x for around $55, the 3-11x for about $65. Illuminated (red or green) mildot reticle.
     
  11. Lone Star

    Lone Star Member

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    Just buy something in the right power and size range with Zeiss or Swarovski on it, and quit worrying over what makes a scope great. You'll KNOW! :D

    Lone Star
     
  12. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Member

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    With modern optics you hit a ceiling at around $250-$350 with the cheapest Monarch, Bushnell 4200, Sightron etc (fully multicoated optics). Those are your best bang for the buck from there you may pay a few extra for things like more magnification, side focus, target turrets, bigger tube etc. but the glass is all the same, really really good.

    Now to get to the next level in optical performance you will have to shell out maybe another $700, around $1000 total, this will get you a small incremental increase in optical performance and better turrets and more adjustment and more reticle choices (and etched reticles).

    Now to get to the next level in optical performance we've now gone to (mainly) european glass that is on the cutting edge, lenses are indexed matched by a technician (a human, I would guess). You will pay anywhere from $1200 - $3000 for these scopes. Everything will be top notch but still the performance difference when compared to say your Nikon Monarch will not nearly be as great as the price difference, not even close.

    I guess is kind of like automobiles where you can get a corvette for $60,000 that will give you 90% of the performance of a $250,000 European super car.
     
  13. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    I have a Nightforce 3.5-15X50. Other than the excellent glass, and wide range of reticle choices, and very good illuminated reticle what you are really paying extra for are the mechanical abilities of the scope. Rock solid repeatable adjustments, lots of elevation adjustment, really tough construction. All of that costs more money.
     
  14. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    GLASS is what really defines optical quality. Durability, features, and magnification makes it suitable for the job required. I think the best scopes for the money are IOR, Ziess, Nikon, and Bushnell. I wouldn't recommend anything cheaper than Bushnell, but they make a decent scope for the money. Keep in mind that the 6500 has gotten worse reviews than the 4200 though, but it has the additional magnification, and if that is what you need, then it should still be considered. :)
     
  15. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    For what cartridge/rifle? 16X is too much for most cartridges. Maybe varmint cartridges. The FOV is very small.
    Like Maverick223 says, it's about the quailty of the optics. However, the size and weight of a scope matters too. 30 oz is nearly 2 pounds. You get to lug that weight around on top of the rifle's weight.
     
  16. Lone Star

    Lone Star Member

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    Beware of companies like Bushnell and Nikon, which offer more than one quality of scope. Quality differences occur, although the scopes may be good values for the money. But even their best are not really (in my opinion) equal to Zeiss and Swarovski, which have essentially one level of quality...the best.

    That said, if you simply cannot afford them, Leupold and the other firms mentioned make perfectly good scopes that will probably meet 95% of your expectations in a glass.

    I recently looked through a fixed power 4X Nikon that I think represents exceptional value for money, omitting the unneeded variable powers saving on cost.

    Lone Star
     
  17. peyton

    peyton Member

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    Leupold is on every rifle I own. I stayed away from the imported line they recently got involved in. Again, what are you shooting at and what caliber are you shooting. These two answers help us help you.
     
  18. Todd1700

    Todd1700 Member

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    I think you have to first decide what you are going to do with a scope. If you are going to put it on a very heavy recoiling rifle then spend a little more for quality assurance. Going to use it for hunting at first light and dusk. Spend more to get a higher quality of glass. But if you just want a scope for daytime plinking on a .223 or some other mild recoiling rifle there are plenty of scopes out there in even the 100 to 200 dollar range that would give good service and never let you down. "For That Specific Purpose".


    I too believe that for the average hunter/shooter you hit a wall of diminishing return out around 500 dollars. I cannot fathom what a 1500 dollar scope can do for me that my 400 to 500 dollar Leupolds, Nikons, and Zeiss Conquests aren't doing now. They are clear, hold zero, have accurate click adjustments, don't fog up, and focus light well enough for me to shoot well beyond the end of legal shooting light if I so desired. What else is a scope supposed to do?
     
  19. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    I agree King G., but I have to say that every "cheap" scope that I have bought has been a dud in one way or another, with the sole exception of my old Bushnell fixed 4x. Been a great scope and probably paid about $20.00 for it back in the day. That is why I can't recommend any cheaper scope than a Bushnell, others have had better experiences though. :)
     
  20. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    Compared to what? Compared to another scope from China...pretty good. Compared to a even a budget Nikon Prostaff optically they fail. But you don't get all those "tactical" features on the Prostaff. I like my Center point for what it is. It's on my cheap Mossberg ATR 30-06 it shoots 3/4" groups at 100yards, has target knobs with a locking feature, Mil-Dot reticle with both red and green illumination and seems pretty recoil proof. The adjustments aren't perfectly repeatable but it is very serviceable. I wanted to see what an inexpensive Wal Mart special would be capable of and I was pleasantly surprised but compared to my Bushnell 3200 or Nikon Buckmaster...not even the tactical features make up for the optical shortcomings.
     
  21. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Mine is much better, must have been built better back in the day. :)
     
  22. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm member

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    Difference being the high end guys make the lenses in house and the other guys like Bushnell, Nikon, Leupold, etc outsource them. There are a handful of Japanese lens makers. The rifle scopes are like the AR15 world. There is a lot of subcontracting going on. One lens company might make lenses for 15 different brands of scopes.

    There was an article in a gun magazine about optics a few years back. Really opened my eyes. Basically the company calls a lens maker overseas, tells them what they want, what price point, and signs a check. Then the lenses arrive, then assemble the scope, maybe seal the tube and fill it with nitrogen, and put their name on it.
     
  23. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

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    The difference between a good scope and a great scope is.... about $1000!

    I just had to do that. hehehe:neener:
     
  24. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm member

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    Sweet. I've got a Famous Maker brand scope for sale. It's a 4x32mm and the price is $2250. Does that make it a quality scope?;)
     
  25. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

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    well.. yea...it does. :neener: If you could get $2250 for a Fm, and I bet you could find someone that would pay that for it and brag about it all the way home.. that would be a darn good scope.
    I'd sell em' all day for that... ROTFLMAO:D
     
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