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Do a Maker's Scopes Improve over Time?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2017 at 15:41
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


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I've often wondered whether the scopes produced today by the major scope makers are better, or worse, than those produced by the same makers in the past.

So, for instance, are the Leupold VX-3is better than the VX-3s and are these, in turn, better than the VX-IIIs and Vari-X IIIs, etc.  Are the current Swarovski Z-series scopes better than older Swarovskis, such as those made entirely in Austria?  (My current Z5, 3.5-18X44 says "assembled in USA" on the eyepiece.)

We might expect that lens quality will improve over time, or that coatings are better now than in the past.  On the other hand, many of today's firearm-related items are seen as less-desirable than those made by the same maker in the past.  (As a Sako fan, I would say this applies, as the L- and A-series Sakos are--at least in my opinion--more desirable than the current 85 models.)

So what do you guys think about scopes?  It's entirely possible, of course, that with some makers, quality has declined, whereas with others, it has improved.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2017 at 10:11
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Optics Journeyman
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Leupold glass or coatings is better. You have to get a new scope every so often to maintain top performance. My theory is coatings age and do not perform as well after several years.

With brands being just names put on scopes built on contract by various manufacturers there is sure to be variance in quality. Tasco, for instance, used to be a good scope. Leatherwood was good, then not, now good again. Some makers have established a long track record of reliable quality. I think Leupold and others are an example of that.

If you picked a name that has maintained an ability to produce quality and refreshed with new top level examples every five years or so you'd be in a good position. Actually, optics and manufacturing technology are so good nowadays, mid-level examples are good enough for most of us.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2017 at 10:49
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Overall, optics are getting better across the board. That being said, your question is very brand-dependent and even model-dependent within a brand that supplies models across many price categories. It also depends on a company's business philosophy. Does the company in question target high end, midrange, or low-priced optics?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2017 at 18:49
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Isn't it nice to see better glass and better coating at about the same price point.  Got to say Yes they are getting better.
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