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How do you use/abuse your scope(s)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/06/2010 at 02:23
powderburn View Drop Down
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A couple of the recent threads which brush the subject of how much (quality) scope should one put on their rifle and the different views got me to thinking about how most people really use their rifles and scopes. I for one hunt east of the Mississippi mostly south of the Mason Dixon line. My hunting usually consists of hunting deer or varmints from a stand or hide of some sort. A typical deer hunt would be to enter the stand before daybreak and sit 3-5 hours before returning to the cabin or truck to check in with buddies and have a bite of lunch. This is usually repeated about 3 o'clock and stay until dark. Temps. will range from just below freezing to shirt sleeve weather and I have seen both on the same hunt. Varmint hunting usually is glassing hay bottoms watching for groundhogs. Temps are usually mild as the critters tend to hibernate in the winter. So in reality aside from some rain my scopes don't live that hard unless of course they were to get dropped or fall from a tree stand and these are not common occurrences and not conditions I would necessarily expect any scope to suffer w/o damage unless a big dose of luck is involved. By this I mean if you drop your Kales or your Tasco off a 12 foot treestand on to a rock and let it bounce off the stand ladder a couple of times on the way down then I wouldn't be surprised if either ended up bent and damaged.
   So given those parameters I don't see the need for scopes costing much out of the $200 -$400 price line and in a lot of cases might shop and get by for $50 less on the low end. For this type of hunting I see the new redfields , Fullfield II's bushnell elite , vortex diamond backs, vx-i &ii, prostaff , and conquest etc. lines as very suitable. Now I'm not talking about long range competition shooting etc but do many of you utilize your equipment in much more stressful conditions? In other words how do you rationalize " QUALITY" scopes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/06/2010 at 09:28
eurolynn View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
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Joined: January/24/2010
Location: Oklahoma
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I am of the same mind set.  But in Germany after looking through a Swaroski and then Zeiss my scopes were not all that great.  The clarity was truly awesome.  But having a wife and two kids, living on the German economy, it was not an option to get a Zeiss or Swaro. 

KEEP IN MIND GERMAN COST MORE IN GERMANY THAN HERE!!!!

Not being able to afford a Euro produced scope , I used a Burris Fullfield and even a Millett with great results.  But sometimes we do not NEED the über optics.  If the view is good and clear from edge to edge, and you can see the reticle in crappy weather, you can bag a buck.

I got a Roe Deer in Germany on a dismal day, with a Millett Buck Gold on a used Savage .243, in the forest at 46 meters away (a long way in the German pines).  Would a Zeiss or Leupold have been better?  YES!  But I made due with what I had.

My list is of scopes very short and lower priced:

Here in Oklahoma;                                                     Still in Germany; 
Leupold VX-II                                                             Elite 3200
Vortex Diamondback                                                  Seeadler
Weaver CV9 (used)
Millet Buck Gold

What I gave to nephews in last 5 years:  Redfield Illuminatior
                                                                  Burris Fullfield
                                                                  Nikon Monarch
                                                                  Elite 3000 (wish I still had this one!).

Do you see any pricey scopes?  No you don't, but I like each one, and use them.  Now when I get finished with my government classes, and get my perminant post ing in a bit more than 14 months, I will save up, and get a Zeiss Conquest for my Mauser I just had put together, just to keep it 'German'
                    


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/06/2010 at 09:40
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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Quality scopes do the same thing as a less dollar scopes only better longer. General purpose scopes are less because they don't have the refinements of specific purpose scopes. Continual (several times a week) use shows the difference soon.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/06/2010 at 12:27
stickbow46 View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
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+1 Dale....Name of the game,put meat on the table!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/06/2010 at 12:54
tahqua View Drop Down
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Have You Driven A Ford Lately?

Joined: March/27/2006
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I use my scopes for hunting anything from small game up to bears.
I don't abuse my scopes and I certainly don't expect them surviving a fall from an elevated deer blind. I do carry them in canoes, skifs and the back of trucks. This is usually with soft cases when in motorized vehicles. I have also been on quads with my big game guns and there were no optics issues.
I have used many optics in the last thirty five plus years of hunting. Here is what I have found. I don't need the best glass on much of my small game optics. I am generally in good light and the distances are short.
For varmints in low light I can get by with low to mid range priced scopes as long as I can use the reticle near dark. If I can't take the shot it is no loss for me.
When I'm hunting predators I need to be able to see the animal in low light and at longer ranges. I use the $300-500 class scopes on these guns.
Many years ago I acquired a pair of Zeiss 7x42 binoculars. Over fifteen years ago I became frustrated because I could not see with my rifle scopes what I could see with my binoculars. I missed an opportunity at the largest whitetail I have ever seen because my Burris FF was not up to the task at well over three hundred yards. The weather was poor and the deer was on a banana shaped hardwood stand. This was on the undeveloped shores of Lake Michigan in the western U.P. of MI. I was shooting across a marsh and the snow was blowing. I could see him in the Zeiss 7x42 easily but I could not take the shot.
For this reason I now have an alpha class scope on my 7mm. I have also put alpha class on two of my bear guns. I like being able to see better in low light. I also like being able to see if any brush is in the way for that long shot.
I have to say that my biggest mulie was shot at over three hundred yards with a plain jane Burris fixed 4X. It was out in the open and good light, though. For this type of hunting some of my scopes aren't needed.
This is my experience and it has slowly changed the way I view optics through the years.

Doug

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/06/2010 at 23:58
cowski View Drop Down
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i had a leupold that lasted nearly 30 yrs.the only complaint i had was other scopes had better low light performance. i tried bushnell, nikon monarch, burris and a simmons aetec.if i remember correctly most of them had better low light performance,but not daytime.none of these scopes lasted a single hunting season.then i would put the leupold back on.any way the leupold finally failed after it got run over by the f250.the finish was wore off on one side from riding in the truck.there were nicks and dings from falling off the horse 4 wheeler and tractor .by the way the scope and rifle go with me 365 i really use it ever day on my farm .i sent it back to leupold and they gave me a new one.old vari x 111 s are the toughest i have had.i just got a conquest i wonder if it will be as tough. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/07/2010 at 01:38
8shots View Drop Down
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The most common problem we have in South Africa is how the scope holds zero and how well it dials to zero it.
The not holding zero can cost you an animal. The poor response in dialing can cost you a lot of ammo to zero it.
We have good sunshine so low light is not an issue.
The higher priced scopes hold zero, dial accurately.
Mostly a mid priced scope does well enough for the once a year hunter putting meat on the table.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/07/2010 at 02:02
hunterwingler View Drop Down
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i myself do a lot of ground pounding deer hunting & want scope that will take a fall when i slip in the mud & bust my a$$. I've used for last few years a buckmaster on everything from my 300win down 22-250. I've had mounts & rings give but the scope has been true. Now that i gotten into more long hunting & shoot I'll grade a little.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/07/2010 at 10:26
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The level of quality needed in a scope can be summed up with the Real Estate analogy of Location Location Location. Another term is hopes of. I was born and raised in Tennessee. In 20 tears of hunting I only had one 100 yd shot. Most of my deer were taken with a revolver. I had a scope part of that time and it cost me more deer than it helped me to get., Most of the shots are under 40 yds. After moving to Oklahoma on the more open plains I found the need to accurately get out to 250 yds. I also started PD hunting and needed to reach farther out to 600 yds. With a $150 scope you will not be able to make out a PD much less hit one. On the under $200 scopes the magnification only magnifies the lack of resolution that the scope has. To see clearly takes much better glass. To be able to dial in accurately requires better mechanics in the scope. probably 90% of whitetail hunters never dial in for a shot. Most of that 90% will not know how to dial in a shot if they had to. For these millions of hunters a higher end scope is not needed. For that part no scope is needed, a good pair of binoculars will do. Most hunter go for the hopes of getting a trophy deer. Even if they know trophy deer may not be in the area they hunt in. The hopes of getting that one shot. The hopes of getting to travel to that trophy location. The hopes of having the right tools at the right time. Hopes of, is what drives all of us in the end.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/07/2010 at 22:44
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I'd say I'm fairly hard on optics. I strap my guns to the 4 wheeler in a soft case and off we go across the rocky pasture, through the creeks, and through the trees. They get a lot of jostling in all directions, rather than just back to front like they were built to protect against with recoil. My top ends are VX3 and Monarch, low end Simmons and BPS Redhead. Universally across the board, I've never had any of them lose zero. I did vibrate the scope mounts loose on one though.
I'm like you though, if I dropped it or ran over it, I would be surprised if any of them survived.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/09/2010 at 09:56
powderburn View Drop Down
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Thanks for the replies, It is sort of interesting to me on this forum that there seems to be so much emphasis on clarity and low light performance. Why I find this so interesting is most of my scopes avg 25 years old from a weaver to a couple of leupolds and a couple of japanese scopechiefs vi's. All are old technology yet while I have had a couple of instances where a deer was moving around in the dark and I couldn't see it clearly, a check of the watch showed it was well before legal shooting light. By legal shooting time I can clearly see to shoot even with my old K4 and God knows it is no technology masterpiece. First let me say I'm not advocating for the $30 big box scope though I did use some when I was young and broke. But I guess it is just it just sort of intrigues me that with the exception of our European brothers here who hunt differently than we do where all this high definition low light emphasis arises . Maybe with todays mfg. technology it's just because it's there
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/09/2010 at 10:36
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Powderburn-I have the other post going about fixed power $400 scopes where I am looking for low light performance. I have missed two opportunities for a shot due to poor low light performance during legal hunting hours in the last six years. This was the reason for my other post. I can't afford and don't really want an uber-European scope for over $1000. Legal hunting hours in NY are sunrise to sunset. Many other states give you 30 minutes longer on one side or both. In NY I hunt in alot of cedar/hemlock swamps and it can be really dark in there-I'm not looking for after dark performance. Anyway, the interesting thing is we can have different expectations from our optics. If I was still living where I grew up, I likely would not have the low light issue because I mainly hunted mule deer in the open. I take for granted that if I spend $400 I will get a scope with a forever warranty and repeatable adjustments that won't shoot loose inside, fog, or anything like that unless it's run over or falls a great distance. Maybe I shouldn't make this assumption, but I guess that I have been lucky in that I haven't had a scope "fail" up to this point. I want a simple scope with a simple reticle, but this does not seem to be what the majority is interested in.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/09/2010 at 10:47
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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Hogs (in Texas) aren't typically hunted during daylight hours, nor are many other species.  Some states have differing legal hunting hours, so low light can be an issue.

To me, resolution is the most important aspect of a good hunting scope.  I don't spin turrets on my hunters, so mechanical repeatability is less important.  What matters most is the capacity to quickly pull up the gun and tell, because the glass is of a sufficient grade to be able to do so, if the animal is a spike or a button or a doe, or how many points, etc.

I've seen many Mississippi red-necks shoot a button because their Tasco told them it was a doe. (In truth, I too shot a spike once, but the professional guide with whom I was hunting was clearing shots, I was placing shots - and I nutted that spike!)

There is no Holy Grail or magical scope. This ain't a "one size fits all" game.

My concern in these discussion is that less knowledgeable shooters/hunters buy the lie that is "more money doesn't get more scope", because, in most cases, it absolutely does (not in the case of Leupold.)  I hear those say Diavari and Swaro Z6 aren't worth the money since a $30 BSA does the same thing.  True, when mechanical repeatability is not the priority, the playing field is a little more level, and yes, if one's eyes suck badly enough, no quality of glass will overcome; but I have yet to see anyone look through a Hensoldt and a Tasco side-by-side and say, "I just don't see a difference in optical quality."  But, I have heard lots of, "Wow, I never knew..."

As for use/abuse, I own no safe queens, but I don't believe abusing one's gear is a badge of honor - nor do I buy products that die due to normal handling.  Defining "normal handling", that - I guess - is the real question.


Edited by Rancid Coolaid - June/09/2010 at 14:35
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/09/2010 at 10:53
SVT_Tactical View Drop Down
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Well said RC
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