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American Rifleman on Tactical Scopes

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2007 at 20:56
BobH View Drop Down
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Did anybody get a look at the latest issue of American Rifleman?  There was an article on Tactical scopes that I found interesting, but having followed this site for a short time, I questioned a couple of the points made.

 

First,  the article states that tactical scopes are built tougher than hunting scopes.  They even go as far as to quote a Leupold rep who states their tactical scopes are tougher than their hunting scopes.  Would the guys at Swarovski, Zeiss or S&B agree?  How about Burris, Bushnell or Nikon? 

 

Second, they state that the larger pieces of glass in a 30mm tube are easier to polish and coated to higher standards.  My impression was that most 30mm tubes held the same size glass as the 1" tubes?  Even if the 30mm scopes have larger lens and prisms, is it true that it is easier to polish? 

 

Finally, congratulations to SWFA for getting the recognition on the SS line of scopes.  I have never used one of these scopes but there seems to be a large contigent of people here who regard it highly.   This was the first time I have seen it mentioned in one of the gun magazines. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2007 at 21:25
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If you look at the Super Sniiper link on riflescopes.com there is a huge list of articles on the SS

 

What different manufacturers do is they all do different things some figure they will suffer more abuse and do build them tougher others build a tough scope to begin with and add tactical knobs. They are glass therefore any of them can be broken.  Drop a $300 super sniper off a hundred foot cliff and a $3000 Schmidt Bender off the same cliff they both will break but you will shed a lot less tears over the super sniper.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2007 at 21:55
BobH View Drop Down
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I should clarify, that I traditionally read hunting magazines and the more mundane shooting mags.  First time I had seen them in one of these types of magazines.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2007 at 22:33
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most scopes are hobby or sport scopes, real tactical stuff like sb,uso, hensoldt, nxs doesn't weight a lb more because their is lead in them. frankly in a tactical scope glass means squat if it don't track 10,000 times without error and it the reticles are not dead on in their ranging. metal click stops with plastic turrets doesn't cut it. 

edit to add ior.



Edited by Dale Clifford
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2007 at 02:44
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Gotta have that "tactical" scope to go with them "tactical" underwear.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2007 at 05:31
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The answer to your first question is yes and no.  It depends on the manufacturer. 

 

Back in the late 1990's leupold was building "tactical", "target", and "Mark 4" scopes.  Most of the tactical scopes were basically a Vari-x III  in a 30mm tube with the addition of target turrets and it was all black. They didn't have the gold ring or any markings.  Of the "target" scopes most were bascially Vari-x IIIs (some were Vari-x II's) with the addition of target turrets, some had 30mm tubes for extra adjustment range. 

 

There were 3 scopes built mainly for the military but they were in their catalog.  They were said to have been built much tougher than their standard scopes and that the tube body was about twice as thick as on their standard scopes.  They were referred to as Mark 4s.  They only made three Mark 4 scopes and they were all fixed power.  A fixed 10x with M1 turrets, a fixed 16x with M1 style turrets, and a fixed 10x with M3 turrets.  These scopes cost about $400-500 more than their regular "tactical scopes".  I think they were around $1100.00 at the time.

 

Leupold really began to offer more and more "tactical scopes".  They started offerering side paralax focus, M1/M3 turrets, and I bought a tactical 4.5-14x50 30mm tube that I really liked.  I paid about $750 for mine at the time.

 

However several years ago, Leupold reorganized their lines, I guess for marketing purposes, and merged the Mark 4 and "tactical" lines together.  They started referring to all of their "tactical scopes" as Mark 4 series.  So this does lead to some confusion.  I am not positive about what the status is today but I will tell you what I believe is probably true based on the price.

 

Most all of the current Mark 4's are basically VX-IIIs with target turrets, side focus and 30mm tubes which all add to the increased cost.  They are not built any tougher than their standard VX-IIIs.  They sell for about $800-$900 for high powered variables. 

 

The original or real "Mark 4", the fixed 10x M1, fixed 16x M1, and the fixed 10x M3 sell today for $1400.  This is very expensive for a fixed power scope.  I would be willing to bet that these are the only three current Mark 4s that are actually built tougher with a thicker tube wall.  Feel free to get a response from Leupold on this, I would be curious to hear what they had to say.

 

So to answer your question.  It depends.  I would guess that most of the time "tactical" scopes in general are not built any tougher they just have "tactical" features, but this is not always the case.

 

As far as the other companies go, I really don't know.  I hope this helps.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2007 at 10:08
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This is the "real" tactical Leupold scope, the above poster is referring to:

 

http://www.leupold.com/tactical/products/scopes/mark-4-lrt-r iflescopes/mark-4-10x40mm-lrt-m1/



Edited by sakosf
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