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Your recommended best value optics

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by sirgilligan, Jan 29, 2015.

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  1. sirgilligan

    sirgilligan Member

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    I was just wondering what you recommend as the optics that are the best value.

    Let me explain.

    Company X makes lower cost optics.
    Company Y makes mid-tier cost optics.
    Company Z make high cost optics.

    The highest cost optic made by Company X costs as much or more as the lowest cost optics from Company Y. Equally the highest cost optic made by Company Y costs as much or more as the lowest cost optics from Company Z.

    There are always sweet spots where instead of buying one thing, you could spend maybe 5% more and got something a lot better. There are always these tiers and overlap where there may exist an exceptional value for the price.

    Can you recommend any optics that you think are an exceptional value? Feel free to say what the other optics were that you compared it to. Something like, I was about to buy Company Z's scope when I found that Company Y's scope that cost 20% less was good enough, or the counterpart, I was about to by Company Y's best scope when I found that Company Z's mid range scope was much better for 5% more.

    I realize some answers may be objective and some may be subjective.
     
  2. OpticsPlanet

    OpticsPlanet Member

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    I can say I have heard many customers going with this Vortex scope instead of a $2000 or $3000 one:

    http://www.opticsplanet.com/vortex-viper-pst-6-24x50-rifle-scopes.html

    When compared to a scope that costs twice or three times as much, sure there is a noticeable difference in quality but for someone who wants to shoot at 1000 yards without breaking the bank this scope does it.

    Some of our customers have decided to buy two of these Vortex scopes instead of one very expensive one.

    When looking at a scope of exceptional value its this Vortex scope for sure.

    Tim G.
     
  3. 12many

    12many Member

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    Do you know if that scope or a similar Vortex is offered in a non-illuminated option? Thanks.
     
  4. lamazza

    lamazza Member

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    if you are interested in a red dot. The Lucid is an exceptional value for a very good quality optic.
     
  5. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    Nikon makes excellent optics on par with many more expensive brands such as Leupold. You can always count on a camera manufacturer to make good glass. Of course, anything beyond that is out of my price range.
     
  6. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    On a hunting scope a current production Leupold VX-2 is the sweet spot for me. Most sell for around $300-$350 depending on features. Three years ago Leupold upgraded their entire line of VX scopes and the VX-1's made since then are essentially older VX-2's. The current VX-2 is essentially the same as a VX-3 that sold for $500 a few years ago. The current VX-3's are even better too, but not enough to justify the added $150-$200 over the VX-2. Especially the new versions.

    With ANY brand of scope you will get the most scope for the dollar in that brand with a 3-9X40. That is the most commonly sold type and competition is heated between the manufacturers. They put out the most value in that size.

    The now discontinued Zeiss Conquest 3-9X40 was at one time near, if not at the top in value. They initially sold for about the same as a VX-3, but were later discounted. I saw some selling for as little as $250 right before they were discontinued. They had better glass than the Leupold, but the Leupold has other features that are a bit more desirable. That scope has been replaced with the Zeiss Terra. Reports are mixed. It is not as good as the Conquest, but still a good scope. I've looked through one, and like the VX-2 better for $100 less money.

    There are a lot of $200 scopes that are very good too. I'd not feel handicapped with a $200 VX-1, Redfield Revolution or Burris FF-II. I'd not recommend anything less. There is a huge difference between the those listed above and most of the $150 or less scopes.

    Nikon, Vortex, Bushnell and many others make good scopes in the same price range. The glass is good, but there are other features that are important too. When you consider field of view, eye relief, scope size and weight, tunnel vision issues, funky reticles on some, and proven reliability and toughness; Leupold, Burris, Redfield, and Zeiss are the brands I prefer.

    The $600 and up scopes are better, but unless you need some of the special features or higher magnification than a $300-$500 scope they are not a good value. As price goes up above $200-$300 you see tiny improvements in performance for huge gains in price. If someone really needs or wants every bit of performance you can spend $2000 or much more. For my hunting needs I can't imagine needing more than my $300 Leupold
     
  7. IdahoSkies

    IdahoSkies Member

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    Spend some time over at www.opticstalk.com and you'll get your answers and more. There is a lot of glass that fits into those catagories, and you will also find that some manufactures make glass that fits in all three of those categories. Your better of looking at lines rather than manufacturers.
     
  8. urbaneruralite

    urbaneruralite Member

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    Weaver's upper lines are very good buys.
     
  9. sirgilligan

    sirgilligan Member

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    Thanks for the replies. If anyone has something to add, go ahead.
     
  10. jlr1962

    jlr1962 Member

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    I recently purchased a new scope. I had the luxury or going to a dealer that had all of the scopes that I was considering purchasing on display and available to handle and look through outside, (swfa). There were many road signs, pickup truck beds, speed limit signs, handicap zone signs, to pick up known distance references. I recommend doing the same. I had a look at Google maps distance feature prior to my visit. The staff at the facility were very patient. I must have spent at least 2 hours looking through scopes. It was not an easy decision. The high dollar glass is amazing. The lower tier glass looked good, but does the image quality warrant the additional coin on the top tier glass?

    A similar comparison would be an entry level 1080p TV - not bad these days, to one of the 4k TV's - fantastic.
     
  11. GAMEOVER44

    GAMEOVER44 Member

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  12. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    Yep, beat me to it.
     
  13. BigBore45

    BigBore45 Member

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    go to SWFA
     
  14. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I just got a Zeiss Conquest this week from Euro Optics for$329. Haven't had a chance to compare to my VX-3's yet It should be equivalent for 40% less
     
  15. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    Mueller makes some great scopes for the money. I have a Mueller APV and a Mueller Multi Shot, neither of which I paid over $140 for. They are more than adequate for anything I might need them for.
     
  16. Moparnut

    Moparnut Member

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    Leupold, Nikon and Redfield. Those are usually my 3 go to scope brands. For you specifically I believe the Nikon Prostaff 5 models would be money well spent. I have personal experience with all 3 brands (various models). I cannot comment on Burris or Mueller scopes, from personal experience, but have heard good things about them.
     
  17. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    How much time do you have to test them?

    I have $30 Tasco 3-9x40mm scopes that hold zero with 50 BMG and heavy recoil 45-70 loads. They all won't but if they will hold zero on a "springer" air rifle and either of the above, they are a great value. If not you have to take them back to Walmart.

    You should buy more than one at a time and do the "box test" first.
     
  18. tuj

    tuj Member

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    Weaver (thinking the t36) and Mueller (apv and target scope).
     
  19. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    Those would also be my top 3 for best bang for buck.

    Of course, I don't even know what "premium" means so all I know is more budget oriented gear.
     
  20. hq

    hq Member

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    There are risks in generalizing anything, but my personal preference would be something like...

    High-$: Zeiss Victory/Classic, Swarovski Z6i, Schmidt & Bender, Hensoldt
    Mid-$: Zeiss Conquest, Meopta Meopro, IOR Valdada, Nikon Monarch, Leupold VX2/3
    Low-$: Bushnell Trophy, Leupold VX1

    It all depends on what I need in the particular case, the overall performance of the exact model and, more often than not, what's on sale at the time, for the best value. The majority of my scopes have been on clearance when I've bought them. That's why I like to keep 2-4 spare scopes at hand, to use them while waiting for a great deal on a perfect scope for the gun.
     
  21. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    Few years back I was going on a hunt to Canada. Wanted the best scope I could swing and had my mind set on Swarovski. My friend that was going with me talked to the Leupold rep at our local Cabelas. Rep said Swarovski had exceptional glass but their scopes wouldn't take vibration and shock nearly as well as VX-3's.

    So, I went to the LGS and along with the shop owner compared a Swarovski Z-3 directly side by side against the Leupold. Same power range, same size objective, same power setting. Focus set to personal preference on both.

    There was a gas meter on another building 142 yards away. With the Swarovski you could see the little bolts that held the cover on. With the Leupold, you could see those bolts and also make out the flats.

    Had the scopes not been side by side in exactly the same conditions it would be impossible to tell any difference. But the Leupold was very slightly clearer. For about $350 less. And, if the rep is correct, should be more rugged.

    While typing this, I decided to check my new Zeiss against a VX-3 4-14x40. Zeiss is a Conquest 3-9x40. Non AO ( which can make a significant difference). Both set at 9x. Leupold may be just a very little clearer. Basically equivalent. Huge difference? No. $200 clearer? Up to each individual buyer.

    IMO, you will never get absolute clarity without AO. If you disagree, simply take an AO and set it to 250 yards, then focus on something at 100 yards. Now turn the AO to the correct setting.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  22. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    cry when you buy, but laugh when it lasts. leupold,leupold! service is out standing. i bought a 4x leupold at a flea market that had a large flake out of the front lense for 15.00, i sent it back to leupold to see how much it would cost to fix it, in 13 days from the time i sent it in a new 4x scope was returned postage paid at no charge at all. if you can name one scope maker you know of who does that please tell me. eastbank.
     
  23. sirgilligan

    sirgilligan Member

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  24. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I've always found the entry level scopes of the upper echelon name brands to be perfectly fine for my uses without breaking the bank.

    I can't spend $1k on a scope, just can't do it.

    The Leupold VX-1 and VX-2 as well as the entry level Nikons are great scopes and can be had for $200-$350 instead of over a grand.
    Sure the more expensive lines are better and if my budget allowed I may splurge and do it. But the entry levels of the quality manufacturers have never once let me down.

    I don't hunt in extreme conditions so I don't expect they ever will. And if they do, Leupold and Nikon will take good care of you.
     
  25. krupparms

    krupparms Member

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    I just picked up a Nikon Prostaff 4×12×40mm BDC Riflescope today. Paid $220 for it. I looked at a Redfield REVOLUTION & a LEUPOLD VX-1. They were not all the same power. But the Nikon seemed to be the best one there, so I got it. I will have it mounted & boresighted this week on my .308Win. Ruger GSR . I would have liked to found one with the A.O.feature, but they didnot have any . And money is always tight. For the price I feel I got a good scope! This Nikon will work for what I need. A good scope for hunting! Can't wait to shoot some targets later this week!
     
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