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30-40x without breaking the bank

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2008 at 01:17
benzy2 View Drop Down
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Well I know the concept of a scope with a max zoom in the 30-40x range for a budget price while being good quality doesn't exist I was wondering what everyone found to be the best deals out there for high zoom, won't fall apart, and won't be overly expensive.  This is going to be used exclusively off a bench.  The 20x Simmons 44Mag I have now is just too thick in the crosshairs and not quite enough power to really be certain about my POA.  I could probably get away with the 20x 44Mag if it had very thin crosshairs.  I have a BSA Platinum 8-32x on a Marlin 917V and it does just fine for me.  It is a bit cloudy, the color is washed out at 32x, and the turrets are mushy but it seems to hold its zero well and I shoot in conditions that I see the target just fine.  The problem I have with the BSA is that the new rifle is a .243Win which has a bit more recoil than a 17hmr.  .243 isn't a killer on recoil but it is enough I fear it would break the BSA.

So what will hold up to an average recoil centerfire while still being inexpensive?  I fear the only real option I have is to wait on a used Weaver fixed 36x popping up and buying that.  I just don't think I can get a scope that will not break from one of the real bottom end companies.  I looked through an NCStar 10-40x last weekend and I was very impressed with the clarity and resolution at 40x.  I expected it to be very cloudy and the one I held was surprising to say the least.  Still though it seems like every review I read on them is either a person who shoots rimfire and hasn't had a problem, is a person who only has shot a few rounds and hasn't had a problem, or someone who has shot a lot and hates it.  Thats how all the budget scope reviews seem to be which really makes me want to pass on all of them.  I don't want to waste money on a scope that will break in short order.  I can deal with foggy and less than stellar glass but I can't deal with a scope that won't physically not break.

I am willing to go a bit lower than 30x to maybe a 24x scope but I would really like THIN crosshairs.  The Mueller Eraticator seems like it would fit the budget.  I don't care for the IR.  It is a feature I won't use and is just money I'm waisting.  Their tactical 8.5-25x is priced great but the 50mm front lens seems like it would be a bit nicer to have than the 44mm.  The reviews I have read have also pointed at the tactical being a lower grade scope overall than the Eraticator though I have no first had experience.  I had heard they were coming out with a 36x scope though I haven't heard much about it of late and don't know if that is coming or just an idea that passed.

I guess my budget is around $300 though for a real performer I could spend a little more.  Right now I have a Bushnell Banner sitting on it.  While it isn't a good target scope it lets me shoot and develop loads a bit so if the answer is to save a bit more I can live with that.  I don't mind used but I do fear ebay.  I guess user feedback is a good indicator as to how well I can trust the seller to be truthful.  Any input as to what would be a good budget target scope, or at least one that won't break, would be greatly appreciated.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2008 at 16:52
Kickboxer View Drop Down
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This is part of a post I just made on a different thread:

I have a Remington 700 Etonx in 220Swift. For me, it is the perfect varmint/small game/midsize game rifle/caliber. I shoot with a guy who has used 22-250 all his life and beat him to death. Right now it has a 10-40x50 NcStar on it. The NcStar is an OK cheaper scope, but it is a bit "grainy" and I WOULD NOT recommend it to anyone else. (I experiment with optics for a living, so I also experiment on my rifles).   Works for me out to 500yd, have not tried farther. With my Etronx, I am consistently holding under 1/2MOA. I am about to put my Nikon Laser IRT on the Etronx. Much better optics, overall, and I love the way the rangefinder works. Don't get me wrong, I don't really DISLIKE the NcStar, just don't love it. It performs very well for a low cost optic. It is moving from the Etronx to a custom 30-06 I am building (-06 has the Nikon right now). The NcStar makes a pretty good test scope, for me. Truthfully, I expect the group size to enlarge with the Nikon. If you are thinking of S&B, you cannot go wrong, probably as close to "the industry standard" as one could be. I do not love the Leupolds and have avoided them since getting burned on a VariX II several years ago. Was not as good as the NcStar. Many disagree, I just don't care for Leupy's. For varmint hunting, a variable is better for me...a personal decision whether you are more comfortable with fixed or variable magnification and each has its own application. I have a 4x on my .458 Lott and cannot see a need for anything else in my lifetime (however, I am considering an Aimpoint). You can never go wrong with Swarovski, either...neck and neck with the S&B. Spend as much money on quality optics as you can afford. You will never regret it.

That said, I have fired 111rnds with the NcStar on the Etronx and 133 with it on a 30-06. It is still performing great for me. Your 243 has less-to-equal the recoil of the 220 Swift and far less than the 30-06. For your budget, get three of them... I got mine new for $114.00. As I said above, though, you are better off spending the money on a better scope, if you intend to do a lot of benchrest shooting. Until I shoot with the NcStar a LOT more, I won't say it is dependable...just has not failed so far. It has adequate optics for a low-end scope, and I admit, I am impressed with how good it is (cost/performance ratio), but if you are serious about bench shooting, save for a while and get some stellar optics. You might even find you need a lot less magnification with better glass.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2008 at 21:59
RONK View Drop Down
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 For your budget, I think a 20x Super Sniper is the closest you can possibly get in a new unit.  If you want to take a chance on Ebay, look for a used Weaver or something like that. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/04/2008 at 09:21
mercenary1947 View Drop Down
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 Whoa .... with a 40x I could see whether my targets shaved that morning ! And I'm talking about groundhogs and such .... they never do .... Eek
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/25/2008 at 13:10
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I am looking for a good scope for my ar-15. I have a 10-40X50 30mm scope on there now.. I have a really nice group.. however..It gets real fuzzy at 500+ yards.. anyone know a better scope for this.. I know the 223 is not a long range weapon, however I like the challenge.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/26/2008 at 11:18
Kickboxer View Drop Down
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Well, there are matches set up specifically for .223 out to 1000yds, so it is at least useful to that far.
From another forum:

"I recently tested a 223 for 1000 yard F class. 24" 8 twist barrel. I had 400 75 grain a max bullets so thats what I used. I could easily reach 2950 fps with good accuracy. I believe re15 and varget would be among the best powders. I had very good results with these powders along with imr4064. I ended up using 4064 because of the very tight velocity while testing. As I discovered the day of the match the temp messed up the velocity in a big way and caused vertical stringing. If I had to do it again I would use varget. Most of my testing was done around 75 degrees and I had no problem holding around 1 moa at 1000 yards. Later in the day as the temp climbed durring the match things tightened up and the vertical spread tightened. The 223 is a easy gun to shoot, no recoil and barrel heat is not an issue."

You can shoot "far" with much less magnification than the 10-40x. IOR Valdada 6-24x50 has been highly recommended. Leupold (though I am not a fan) has a well thought of tactical line. Depends on your price range. There are some good options in Nikon, Bushnell, Kahles, Zeiss, all of which have good glass for a relatively moderate price.   Something in the 3/4-12, X-14, 6-20/24 should meet your needs. I really got my 10-40 on a lark, just because I had never used a scope in that mag range before. It has some fun aspects and many negatives. You better glass, not that much magnification.
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