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Why do people chintz out on scopes?

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by Old Dog, Dec 11, 2020.

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  1. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    I feel at the 3-600 dollar range you could put a bunch of scopes in a bag and just pick one you'll be fine. $800-1000 starts buying better glass ( big Sightrons/Leupold comp etc. ) now we start looking through the HD scope at $1100- 1600 like Nightforce BR /Golden Eagle/ Leupold/ Razor then go up again to ED Sightron Nightforce Comp / Kahles /Valdada/ March $ 2300 -$4000. Long range shooting can be a financial commitment, myself Im not as competitive as some fellas so I do keep it on a budget. I tried the cheap route at first but as the fellas say - ya can't hit what ya can't see...
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2020
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  2. Izzy77

    Izzy77 Member

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    I posted the Optics Trade S&B Hungaria range...I ordered it and it arrived safely in South Africa. Very nice scope, it is 1" tube but on a 6 power for the field / Brush that just fine. S&B purchased the former state owned optics factory in Hungary, AFAIK they assemble their German made Scopes in Germany using that same glass...I only have Karl Kaps on hand here in South Africa to compare to ( picked up in Germany at the factory/ assembly plant in Asslar) and I think S&B is a hair better despite the more narrow tube ( better, but not by much) both makes are great in low light.

    The seller ( optics trade) was very good in terms of communication. Due to the COVID-19 situation and factories not producing some things ( 10 months ago) I was waiting for the sope while my order was compiled. Some of my order had to be refunded ( my choice) , becuase Optics -Trade in Slovokia could not get an item ( Meopta) from the neighboring Checz Republic!

    As for US customs/ duties:

    According to CBP if its under 800 USD in value and has a proper customs label / invoice you should not have to pay duties.

    "Packages whose declared value is under $800 ($100 if being sent as a gift to someone other than the purchaser) will generally be cleared without any additional paperwork prepared by CBP."

    https://www.cbp.gov/trade/basic-import-export/internet-purchases
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2020
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  3. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    I'm pretty much a 400 yard and in hunter, and none at night.
    How much $ do I need to spend on a set and forget optic?

    I'm just shooting deer and varmints.

    Am not dropping 10K on a hunt.
     
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  4. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Absolutely especially if you want to be competitive.
    It's not a bad idea to dip a toe with a RPR or Savage Stealth and a Vortex Viper be for you dive in with a 7.5K custom build/Nightforce combo.
    I've learned a lot of stuff with my RPR including the fact that while it's fun my lack of time and budget won't allow me to ever "be competitive" beyond what my gun is realistically capable of.
     
  5. hq

    hq Member

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    It depends a lot on the scope and what exactly you use it for. Higher prices can (but not necessarily do) buy a lot of clarity and fewer internal reflections. Most of my former scopes I've been actively trying to get rid of have been in $250-500 bracket and replaced by mainly $600-1300 scopes. Massive visible and practical difference. Some of them are already getting recycled to other rifles while upgrading to high end glass. Law of diminishing returns but when you want (and in order to shoot in some situations at all, need) pretty much the best glass available, you just have to butcher your piggy bank.
     
  6. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    My most recent rifle i was considering a 15-55 x Nightforce comp ED glass but at $2300.00 and the documented shift of poi on some of them I opted for a Golden Eagle HD with a reputation for rock solid mechanical so I guess I cheaped out
     
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  7. Mike J

    Mike J Member

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    Interesting thread. I have much less experience with scopes than many here. When I got into deer hunting in the 90's I bought a 3x9 Tasco World Class & used it for many years. Hunting is something I enjoy but don't always get to do. It really depends on how much free time I have. Back in between 2008 & 2010 when work was slow I did more of it. Somewhere around 2010 & 2011 I decided to replace the old Tasco World Class & bought a Vortex Diamondback 3.5 x 10. It is much clearer than the Tasco was. The ironic thing is from 2012 until now I haven't really had the time to hunt. Having kids & keeping them in sports & working 6 days a week most weeks kind of took that away. Now y'all have me wondering if I should go buy a better scope but I am not sure when I would even get the chance to use it.

    There have been a lot of people that commented on someone only spending $200 on a scope when they drive a $40,,000 truck. $40,000 is not a whole lot to spend on a truck these days. I spent a little over $30,000 when I bought my current truck (a 2016 F-150 XL with a Supercab, not the 4 full sized doors but the smaller doors in back). The thing is I work commercial construction & usually drive 30 - 35,000 miles a year. Dependable transportation is essential to me making a living. For the hunting I do when I hunt in Georgia woods a $200-$300 dollar scope works. Would a more expensive one be nicer & better? I am sure it would but would it make sense for my to spend $500-600 dollars or more on a scope that I don't get to use that often? One of these days I do need to see if I can get the old .30-06 back out into the woods again though.
     
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  8. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    Great news. How long did it take to receive from order to in hand?
     
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  9. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    This is the same for me; prairie dogs, coyotes, and deer. I'm experimenting with some long range shooting and bought the appropriate scope with rapidly adjusting turrets and zero-stop technology. But, most of my scopes are simple. Better scopes will significantly improve your prairie dog experience when you spend hours looking through it. So what does "better" mean? For my purpose, clarity of view is the most important measurement of usefulness. Recently, I've acquired two Tract scopes; a 22Fire 4-12X ($194) and a Response 4-16X ($424). Soon to follow will be a Toric 3-15X 42mm ($754). As you can see, these are modestly priced scopes and the clarity of view is stunning. Better, in fact, than many more costly scopes.
    I have several Leupolds and Bushnells, all in the $300-$500 range and perfectly suited to most hunting applications, but I'll keep looking for the best optics as my 74 year old eyes demand.
     
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  10. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    For years my .22 rifle and deer slug shotgun wore Leupolds.
    They got shot maybe a total of 5 days a year.

    Yup, a fair chunk to gather dust in the cabinet.
    But I had no probs afield and later sold the scopes at no $ loss.
     
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  11. hq

    hq Member

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    That's also a consideration. The market for second hand quality optics is solid - for a reason - and you may well be able to sell them for purchase price, even several years later. Unloading a blister pack special at all is nigh on impossible and midrange scopes seem to go for half the price or so once they're unboxed and used a little.
     
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  12. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Kinda depends on the optics. The Japan made 4s, 2-7, and 3-9s in good shape usually sell for more than they did originally. But they have a reputation as being excellent budget scopes and guys that like them will usually buy them just to have it seems.
    Ive bought, cleaned and doubled down on quite a few old tascos and bushnells. Got even more on guns that ended up selling for 1/2 the cost of an upgrade (minimal tho it may have been.)

    I sold a simmons whitetail classic 6.5-20x50, which was an midway special deal optic for almost double.

    Dosent always work out like that, but it does sometimes.

    I think mid priced optics have more model competition and roll over as well, so more opportunities to buy last gen scopes for sub 50%
     
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  13. hq

    hq Member

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    Exactly. The value factor has been brought up during this thread numerous times and some scopes really punch above their weight. They retain their value well. Some even become collectible or otherwise gain something of a cult status, which shows in their market value.

    I can't believe what people are willing to pay for Redfield (Golden) Five Stars - I've kept mine because it's still usable, holds zero nicely and it was my first decent scope in the 80's. It would easily sell for almost twice what I originally paid for it. :confused:
     
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  14. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    My buddies dad had a few of those 5stars, and they are decent enough field optics, we used them quite a bit because they were 50s and we did alot of spotlighting.
     
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  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting, mine is in the box after I replaced it with a Vortex Viper I bought on sale. Not sure the Viper is any better overall.
     

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  16. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer Member

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    Interesting (and lengthy) thread. I agree that cheap scopes can be “disposable”, i.e. Simmons 8 point, a Bushnell Trophy that was assembled in Korea, many of the sub $100 made in China scopes. But, it is possible, or at least was, to buy a decent scope for a hundred bucks, or less.
    About 10 years ago, Natchez was closing out a couple lines of scopes that had been imported for Federal. I bought a couple of 6.5-20x44 Intensity models, for IIRC about $89. They actually have worked well on a Weatherby Vanguard Varmint Special in .223 and a Savage .17HMR and are still going. They were manufactured in the Philippines and were similar to the Simmons .44 Mag scopes Midway sold. Even nicer were the Nitrex line, made in Japan and surprisingly bright and clear. I grabbed a gloss 3-9x40 and mounted it on a Marlin XL-7 in .270 Win. It compares very favorably to a Leupold VX-2 that my son stole for his Ruger Hawkeye .338 Federal and my Zeiss Conquest that rides on my Winchester Ultimate Shadow in .270 WSM. I got my Nitrex for $99.95 plus shipping. A couple years back, I stumbled across a matte finish Nitrex 3-9x40 on Amazon for $69.95 with free shipping. I haven’t mounted it yet, but I am confident it will serve me well.
    More recently, I have purchased a couple of Cabela’s special Leupold American Marksman 3-9x40 scopes on sale for $159.99. They are mounted on a couple .308’s: a Ruger Model 77 Hawkeye and a PSA PA-10. They are working well and I expect them to continue. I also have picked up a couple of Burris 4.5-14x42 scope for $150 apiece. An M-TAC 30mm tube with mil-dot reticle working well on a PSA AR-15, and a 1” tube MSR on a CZ 455 .22 LR.
    Anybody can get a decent scope for a grand, or more, but with some research and luck, you can get surprisingly decent glass. I enjoy what I consider my “mid range” scopes, Leupold Var-X III’s and a Vortex Viper. I also like my one higher level long range scope, a Leupold MK 4 4.5-14x40 that I got on sale for $699. ( it sits on a Savage 10T heavy barrel .308 that I got on sale for $429 after rebate). So, I guess I have paid more for a scope than the rifle it’s mounted on.
    Oh, by the way, in October 2019, I successfully harvested my first antelope buck at a lasered 318 yards (my longest shot on a game animal). The rifle? A Stevens (Savage) in .243 Win. The scope? A Redfield Revolution 4-12x40 that a friend who had a contact with Leupold snagged for me for $175.
     
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  17. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    To a large degree technology on scopes (and rifles) has gotten better. While dirt cheap scopes are still of questionable quality, a lot of the things involved in making a "good enough" scope have dropped a lot in price. Wisdom from decades ago doesn't necessarily still apply.

    To me, my only rule is that I'm not buying bottom of the barrel Chinese stuff, but past that once I get into the $150+ range to me a scope is a scope.
     
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  18. Izzy77

    Izzy77 Member

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    My order took some time due having a bundled order and ordering at the begining of the Pandemic Panic. I also ordered some Meopta binoculars almost a year ago...I was informed my scope ( 6x42) was ready to ship about a month after the initial order, Optics trade does not keep alot of items in stock, and they order from the factories...I waited three months before I decided to cancel the Meopta order due to the factory not being in full production ( COVID). They refunded my Meopta order promptly. After that they shipped my scope right away.

    You can always send Optics Trade an e-mail and ask if the S&B Hungaria line is currently available with no issues due to Covid.

    HQ,

    I looked at the site Optics-world.nl and could not find a link to the Hungarian Schmidt und Bender? Maybe you have a link bookmarked? Thank you.
     
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  19. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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  20. Izzy77

    Izzy77 Member

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    Thanks Rabid Wombat...if the shipping is about the same ( no Idea) that is a 26.5 euro savings right there. :)
     
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  21. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Somewhat because of this thread, let's face it I'm a gun nut and don't need an excuse, I looked thru my collection with the if I had 200-400 more to spend which ones I'd upgrade.
    For the most part I struggled to find anything that was OMG better. A few I could upgrade glass but lose other features that I like.
    A couple notables
    My 1-8X Strike Eagle isn't clear edge to edge at 8X and I would love a little better glass. However without spending more than triple I looked pretty hard at the Viper 1-6X, but the Strike Eagle is pretty clear at 6X and makes me wonder if the juice is worth the squeeze.
    At the other end I have two 6-24 HSTs on 6 Creeds and I struggle to find anything less than a grand in that power that has a second focal reticle I like as much.
    Guess I'm just more of a best bang for the buck type.
     
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  22. hq

    hq Member

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    Nothing wrong with that. I'm with you here 100%. I'm benchmarking scopes by my unscientific but highly revealing "deer stand challenge", ie. if you can see enough to place a shot after dawn at my ladder stand, the scope is fine. If you can see details like antlers, it's good. So far the lowest spec scope that has passed is Meopta Meopro 4-12x50, the highest spec that hasn't is Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x56.

    That's a case of $699 MSRP / $500-ish street price scope outperforming a $1,299 one, just as an one example out of many.
     
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  23. LOLBELL

    LOLBELL Member

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    A firearm, any firearm can be no better that the sighting system it wears. If you can’t hit what you are aiming at you basically have a club, and in my limited experience with scopes, more expensive doesn’t always mean better.
     
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  24. LOLBELL

    LOLBELL Member

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    About the same time, early 80’s I think, i bought a Browning Stainless Stalker in 270. I don’t recall what scope it wore that first hunting season, but I knew it wasn’t what I needed. Over the off season I bought a Var X lll 3.5-10 x 50. That scope still sits on the Stalker. From the day it was zeroed it hasn’t been touched other than a trip to Colorado. For my hunting needs I like to zero dead on at 100. On brothers advice I raised it 4 clicks, when I got home I lowered it back down. Other than that it’s never been touched. It still fulfills my needs and will be on that rifle when I pass it down to a grandson.

    I know scopes have gotten better over the years and I could buy a better one for less, but I won’t, not for that rifle. I’m kinda sentimental I guess
     
  25. Mike J

    Mike J Member

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    This post made me go look. I haven't done much hunting in a while (life has gotten in the way) but I stumbled on this thread & read through it the other day. I experienced something similar to what happened to your friend hunting in the National Forest. I had my climber where I could see a logging road back behind me & down into a hollow in front of me. I saw a deer in the logging road but when I picked my rifle up all I could see was bright light. He was due East from me. At the time I had an old Tasco World Class scope on my rifle. So this morning I took my rifle & scope out in the back yard & looked at the trees directly under the rising sun. They did appear really bright (almost washed out) but I could still make them out. This was with the scope lined directly up with the sun but aimed just low enough that the sun was not in the objective lens. It is just an inexpensive Vortex Diamondback but I am thinking it should be okay for what I do.
     
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