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Affordable scope for hunting at 25-200 yards?

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donrleonard View Drop Down
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    Posted: January/16/2022 at 23:15
I have a 450 Bushmaster (Ruger Ranch bolt action) rifle that I plan on using to hunt deer and boar at ranges from 25-200 yards in low light, primarily at 3-6x. Budget is around $300. I have been researching rifle scope optics for over a month, and I’m an efficient researcher. Yet I struggle between 4 options.

  1. 3-9x50mm in a cheaper scope like Vortex Crossfire II. Bigger. Heavier. Higher magnification probably a waste at these ranges? Lower quality glass in terms of light transmission. (Though remarkably sharp edge to edge). Comes with illuminated reticle option. Worth it for the 50mm bell even if I’m mostly down at 3-6x. Larger eyebox? Depth of field issues?
  2. 3-9x40mm in a more expensive scope like Leupold VX Freedom. Smaller objective bell, but supposedly better light transmission performance. Would this better glass outperform the 50mm bell in the Vortex Crossfire II in low light? More forgiving depth of field?
  3. 2-7x32 or 33 in something like a Leupold. Smaller and lighter. Closer to the sweet spot in terms of usable magnification. But smaller objective/exit pupil. Perhaps a 2-7x35 in a rimfire scope with 50 yard parallax for added aperture?
  4. LPVO like Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24. Conventional wisdom says that 24mm is too small an objective bell for hunting. But going only off of exit pupil, 4x still gives 6mm exit pupil on this style scope. Or am I thinking about this wrong? Assuming similar quality glass, is there more to low light performance than just exit pupil?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Scrumbag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2022 at 02:52
1 or 2 as options are hard to beat.

Scrummy
Was sure I had a point when I started this post...
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donrleonard View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote donrleonard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2022 at 19:04
do you think it’s pretty much a wash between them? Not enough difference between a $200 Vortex and a $300 Leupold to fuss over in terms of real world hunting?

I will say this, I’m very impressed with the edge to edge clarity of the Crossfire II. I just wish I could do a side by side at dusk to see whether the extra 10mm of the Vortex is worth the size/weight difference. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Sparky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2022 at 19:06
Not on your list but worth a  look.


And don't skimp on rings Talley's are a good choice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote donrleonard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2022 at 20:06
Originally posted by Sparky Sparky wrote:

Not on your list but worth a  look.


And don't skimp on rings Talley's are a good choice.

I’ve snooped around on these Diamondbacks online. Most folks say it’s a step up in optical quality. But even Vortex caution that they are lacking in eye relief and, as such, may not be best suited for a high recoil rifle like the 450 Bushmaster…

So many moving pieces, just to get to the place where I start being bad at hunting :P
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CJarvis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2022 at 10:18
Have you thought about checking out the Sample List for used scopes? You might find something there with better performance that’s still in your price range. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2022 at 23:58
450 Bushmaster is not a particularly hard kicking cartridge, so I would go with the 3-9x40 Diamondback.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hawkeyes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2022 at 21:37
Leupolds are made in the USA and the cheaper lines from Vortex come from China if that matters.

I personally prefer the nicer glass in the Leupolds. 

The affordable VX Freedoms are similar to the VX2 series.

Leupolds are less likely to break.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hawkeyes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2022 at 21:53
I personally own 2 different models of the Voretex Crossfire 2 scopes and 2 different models of the Leupold VX Freedom scopes and the glass on the Leupolds are hands down clearer and brighter than the Vortex scopes. 

The Leupolds are featherweights compared to the Vortex as well.

One of my brand new Vortex Crossfire 2 scopes which is the most expensive one of the 2 has developed artifacts in the glass from just sitting a few mon the still unused in its box.

It did not have such imperfections when I first inspected the scope which suddenly developed a few months later while still not used in its box.

Looks like a small piece of the inner lens coating bubbling.

Also have a lower priced Vortex Copperhead that has developed the same type of glass imperfections after 2 to 3 years of use. It is Also made in China. 

I do realize both Leupold and Vortex have excellent lifetime warranties but wouldn't expect to have to send the Vortex in before even mounting the scope. This Vortex Crossfire 2 is also made in China.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Knotnuts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2022 at 22:20
For any shooter I highly recommend a Swift scope.  They have an unbeatable optic that continues to fly under the radar despite being a leader in Medical applications.  I guess that their sports side sales were always underfunded.

Example  # 1

1. I am hunting in the Blackbelt of Alabama with a friend who happens to be a large guy.  One day, Dan dropped his weapon and broke the stock.  After wiring and taping, he checked the zero and it was still right on.  Crosshairs are very delicate and these survived. So I bought my first set of Swift marine Binoculars.  Loved them and started buying rifle scopes. If there was ever any issue, a new one arrived with no questions. Eventually the lifetime guarantee only apples to the premium models, which are still priced well.  I have other speciality scopes for different purposes and love my Zeiss for precision long range and low light optics but you can’t go wrong with Swift.

Reason # 1

My mom the birdwatcher swore by her Swift binoculars,



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/26/2022 at 07:47
I still have a few Swift Premium scopes... they have always performed as required, consistently.  Generally "no frills", but none have ever failed me.  Very difficult to beat for the price...
Opinion,untempered by fact,is ignorance.

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