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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2015 at 13:53
smoregon View Drop Down
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I am approaching 10 hours over 2 days searching for a good scope in my price range, then searching for reviews newer than 6 years old and weeding out the "good scope, very clear, nice features, can't wait to try it..." reviews.  My eyes feel square when I can get them to uncross, and I almost just want someone to tell me what to buy so I can get this process over with.

I have a nice new 308, ar platform.  I am looking for an economical (not cheap) scope for target and varmint.  Mostly I will be shooting 100 - 500 yards, and would like to occasionally lob one out to 1000. 

I think I want mil dot and first focal plane would be great, and want something with a 14 - 20ish zoom.

My short list includes: the Vortex Crossfire II 6-24; a Millett Tactical or Buck Gold 4-16; Redfield Revenge or Battlezone 6-18; Weaver Classic V 6-24.   

I have also found a Vector Optics Counterpunch 6-25 and an Ade Advanced optics 6-25.  I haven't been able to find anything on the Ade, and there is plenty of  contradictory stuff on the Vector. 

I realize you get what you pay for, but neither my life nor dinner will depend on this scope.  Also, if I wanted to be a guinea pig, I would by a Barska until I figured out what I really needed.

Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2015 at 14:54
R H Clark View Drop Down
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I would personally stay away from the budget super zoom scopes. You will get a lot more for your money in a lower powered scope. My best advice is to buy the SWFA 3X9 SS in mill dot and start shooting. You can save and buy a high power NF if the scope starts to limit your ability but that will probably be a while.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2015 at 15:06
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
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I run an AR in 308, awesome platform, very versatile.

As I have said here many, MANY times: better glass beats more magnification every time. A few of the scopes on your list will be very frustrating and more than a little disappointing if you plan to shoot regularly and at the stated ranges.

A better way to approach this would be to give a budget.  Keep in mind a good mount can be $200, so take that into account as well.

There is good inexpensive glass, and there is a lot of not good inexpensive glass.

DO NOT BUY A BARSKA!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2015 at 15:09
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+1.  The difference in high-quality glass that translates into less chromatic aberration and better contrast will more than make up for the difference in magnification from the 9x to the 16x.  I have the above-mentioned 3-9x42 SS, and it's a fine piece of glass for the money.  I would also put my conquest 4.5-14x50 miles ahead of any of the lower-budget scopes - and I got it from the Sample List at SWFA for much less than you could find it new.  With some type of BDC reticle, you can still play around with targets out to 1000yds/meters, and you'll be much happier at the 300-500yd end of the "mostly" range you mention.

Edit:  My "+1" was actually to the post above Rancid's, but I think it echoes the same sentiment.  Better glass with medium magnification always trumps crap glass with high magnification.  And, I'll also echo "don't buy a barska."


Edited by DCAMM94 - January/19/2015 at 15:19
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2015 at 18:10
Sparky View Drop Down
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Not sure what your budget is, but the most expensive scope you list is about $400. If you could go to $700 I would recommend the SS 3-15. The SS 3-9 would also be a good choice. The both have good enough glass and elevation adjustment to do what you want to do. And speaking of elevation adjustment, I don't think any of the scopes you list will do what you want them to do. Since I am pretty sure none of them have the adjustment range you need to get to 500yds. The Weaver you list I believe has about 30 MOA of elevation adjustment. So that means you will have about 15 MOA after you zero it at 100yds with the 0 MOA base on your AR. And like it has been said before good glass trumps magnification every time.

Have you considered a fixed power scope? When I am at the range it seems most shooters will set their scope on max power and leave it there. I would look at one of the SS 10X, 12X or at most the 16X scopes. And yes 10X is enough to get to 1000yds.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2015 at 10:27
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I'd take the budget $$$$ and have a close look at the Samplelist.  I bet you can find some decent glass for your $$$ there.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2015 at 10:53
BeltFed View Drop Down
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Rancid, DCAMM94, and Sparky are spot on. If you can swing the SS 3-15x42 it should do what you want plus some; if not then the SS 3-9x42 will work. I also have the Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14x50 and it is great glass and will easily get you out to 500 yds., I'm not sure if it will get you to 1,000 without a 20 MOA base though.
Just stay away from the Barfka.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2015 at 11:50
smoregon View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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My budget is about $300, I can go to $350 and anything more will be a stretch. 

I want to thank everyone for their feedback and try to clarify where I am coming from. 

I used to be a fly fishing guide and instructor.  Clients would often ask me what they should buy or how much they should expect to spend.  I would usually tell them that they could spend anywhere from $80 to to over $1000 for the rod and that much again for the reel.  I would then tell them to not to buy the cheap stuff because as soon as they figured out what they were doing they would be unhappy with it (if the gear lasted that long).  I would tell them to buy the best they could afford and try point them to reliable equipment with good warranties, and that would be versatile enough to cover their needs while they learned and figured out what they really liked/needed before they spent the big bucks.  I am approaching my scope search from this perspective.

I think that the list I posted has some junk on it, but I don't know what that is.  I hope my list has a good value or two on it, or that someone can point me towards something that is and close to my price range.  I am intrigued by Sparky's idea of a fixed power, haven't really considered that before.  I know that with any of the 3 or 4-9 power scopes I have ever used I sometimes have trouble making out a 2" bulls eye clearly and can't make out point of impact at 100 yards on paper, not even with the Nikon my father-in-law loves and uses for 1" groups at 100 yards.  That's why I am looking at higher magnification.  If I take a shot at anything at 1000 yards, it might be once or twice a year and have no problem aiming above the target instead of on it.  However, I can set up a 500 yard target within walking distance from my house and have a 100 yard range in my backyard.

Am I approaching this from a flawed premise?



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2015 at 12:34
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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Kinda.

Your advice to buyers was that they could spend $1000 on rod and "that much again" e on a reel; now you have a $1000+ rifle and wish to top it with a $300 scope - that seems to me much like buying a $1000 kick-ass rod and topping it with a budget, chinese reel.

Also consider that mounts can be much of that $350 budget.

Does the rifle has iron sights now?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2015 at 12:48
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Your budget is gonna make it tough but if I were setting up like you describe I would try to get this one. You can offer something for trade to get closer to your budget.

Sample list:

Nikon 3.5-14x50 ProStaff 5 Rifle Scope DEMO-A                                          $389.95

Stock # - SPL20687

http://www.samplelist.com/Nikon-35-14x50-ProStaff-5-Rifle-Scope-DEMO-A-P73119.aspx

As for rings try these for starters to keep closer to budget. They are six screw and very sturdy.

Weaver Tactical Picatinny-Style Rings Matte                                   Avg. retail  $34.99


Good Luck! And Welcome to the OT.




Edited by Sgt. D - January/20/2015 at 12:55
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2015 at 14:25
Maverick2 View Drop Down
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I'd recommend taking a hard look at this Sightron off the sample list.

http://www.samplelist.com/Sightron-3-12x42-SII-Rifle-Scope-DEMO-C-P62491.aspx

Good glass, mildot reticle to allow you to shoot longer ranges w/o having to dial elevation, and a manufacturer with a reputation for very good tracking scopes when you do have to dial.  Sightron's mil dot reticle also looks fine enough for fairly precise aim points.  For the price point you're in, it's going to be hard to find a scope that doesn't suffer in at least 1 of the following 3: glass quality, appropriate reticle for your application, and tracking.  If you want to shoot varmints and play at the stated ranges w/o a lot of frustration, I think you'll want all three, so a good used scope of higher quality is probably going to make you happier than anything new that's available.  Assuming this Sightron is in decent shape, I think it would be a great fit.  Good luck!


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2015 at 16:47
smoregon View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Hey Rancid, 
  I see where you are going, but my point to my clients was more to get something that will be a good all around that you can learn on, and when you know what you really like to do and want, put your money there.  Also, don't run out and get the Cortland $87 rod, reel and line combo pack shrink wrapped to the cardboard and hanging on a peg cause it doesn't do anything well and will not be any fun to use.  That way you don't wind up paying for features you don't need or won't use and still wind up with a good secondary when you do upgrade, that might be great for another application.  With fly gear, having a good rod is more important than having a good reel and technique can and does make up for a lot.  I have seen $100 reels on $700 rods because the owner knows what he wants and doesn't need or is willing to do without some of the bells and whistles, and the less expensive one does everything he needs it to.
  What I am looking for is a good all around scope that I can try some long distance shooting with, and try some precision shooting with that might not be the best choice for either but will let me do both while I work on smoothing out my trigger pull and staying steady.  In 2 years when I decide that I need a new scope because this one doesn't let me do what I want to do as well as I would like it to, I can go spend $1000 and get a really nice scope that does what I want and put this one on a different gun.  Does that make sense?

  Right now it doesn't have any sights, which makes it really challenging to stay on the paper at 20 yards, but at least I can see where I hit.

Sgt. D and Maverick2,
  Thanks for the recommendations, I'll check those out.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2015 at 17:30
R H Clark View Drop Down
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What we are saying is that you aren't going to get a scope of 5-25X worth a dime for a $350 budget. You will be a lot better off with a lower power decent scope and a cheap spotting scope. To use your analogy you want to buy one blister pack rod and reel to fish for everything from perch to steelhead.

If you are just shooting targets, I would take a close look at the SWFA 10X SS. You don't need to see your bullet holes through the scope to hit the target. We shot 600 yards at Camp Perry with iron sights.


Now a different take. You are frustrated because you want something nice but can't really afford it right now. That's OK but we don't want you to just blow your money on a piece of 5-25 junk that you won't like and won't be able to sale later. You want to shoot your new rifle now also. At least buy something that you can sell later at very little loss. Take a good look at the SWFA 6X42 SS. I know you want more magnification but this one will allow you to shoot close or far and it will sell a bit better than a 10X later. Other than that, you might as well just buy any $100 scope that strikes your fancy and just call it the expense of playing until you buy something else.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2015 at 20:11
smoregon View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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R H Clark,
  In your opinion, what is the most versatile scope I could buy for $300-$400 that I would not be unhappy with a year from now?   Is it still the SWFA 10X SS or the 6X24?  I realize that something really good out to 20 - 25x at this price range us unrealistic and I don't really think I need that.  I am much less frustrated having you guys willing to discuss things with me and not just dismiss me while I am trying to educate myself and figure things out.  I feel like I should be able to find something decent in this price range, as opposed to something outstanding for a lot more money.  Like I have said before, I may be wrong, but thank you for taking the time to think about it with me. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2015 at 06:02
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For under $400 you might want to take a look at a Vortex, this one is a closeout special.

Vortex 6-24x50 Viper HS 30mm Rifle Scope Vortex 6-24x50 Viper HS 30mm Rifle Scope
Stock # - VORVHS4317
  • Matte
  • V-Plex
  • 30mm
  • Side Focus
  • Long Range
  • Discontinued Closeout
$399.95
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2015 at 12:29
R H Clark View Drop Down
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R H Clark,
  In your opinion, what is the most versatile scope I could buy for $300-$400 that I would not be unhappy with a year from now?   Is it still the SWFA 10X SS or the 6X24?  I realize that something really good out to 20 - 25x at this price range us unrealistic and I don't really think I need that.  I am much less frustrated having you guys willing to discuss things with me and not just dismiss me while I am trying to educate myself and figure things out.  I feel like I should be able to find something decent in this price range, as opposed to something outstanding for a lot more money.  Like I have said before, I may be wrong, but thank you for taking the time to think about it with me. 


Well that depends a little on exactly what you want to do. If you just want to do some informal shooting, then any decent 3X-9X would be fine, even at closer to $200. Something like a Nikon Prostaff or Leupold VX2 or Bushnell Elite.


If you think you will want to play any of those running and gunning games you might go with something like this

http://swfa.com/SWFA-SS-1-4x24-Tactical-30mm-Riflescope-P78365.aspxthough it looks like they are out of stock right now. One thing to think about is that you might want a close to mid range optic to go along with an expensive long range that you will purchase later. You can have a lot of fun with a low magnification optic like the one above and still shoot a lot farther than you realize.


The most versatile with great build quality and repeatability would be the SWFA 3X9 SS which I see isn't in stock right now. The difference between it and the above mentioned 3X9 Leupold or Nikon is that the SWFA SS has target turrets so that you can dial yardages. That internal part is beefed up to withstand a lot of back and forth adjustment and it has an adjustment range that will get you to longer yardages. The $200 3X9's are more of a set it and leave it alone and likely won't have the adjustment range for real long range.


Now the 10X SWFA SS is a great scope for distance but it's not going to serve at all in fast short range type shooting. If you just want to shoot a target it's fine but not for playing the fast paced games and it's not a self defense type because of it's higher magnification.


The 6X SWFA SS is sort of a do it all type. It can be used at short range though a 1-4 will be much better in that role, and it can be used at distance, though more magnification can be useful there too. It's very versatile and being fixed, very robust. The advantage of fixed being simpler and less that can go wrong. 




Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2015 at 18:16
smoregon View Drop Down
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R H Clark,
  Thank you.  It seems like I finally asked my question correctly.  Where I started was with some scopes that I thought I might like and tried to figure out if they were any good.

So, does anybody else care to chime in?  What are some other really versatile scopes in the $300 - $400 range?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/22/2015 at 11:10
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Nothing on your original list is worth buying, so I digest you scrap those scope from consideration.

If you are good with fixed power the SWFA SS is easily your best bet in either 6x42 or 10x42 configuration.

With variable scopes, your best bet for $300 is Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40 (the version with AO) or Burris Full field II 4.5-14x42.

Make sure you use a decent mount.

ILya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/22/2015 at 20:23
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SWFA SS HD 3-9x42 Tactical 30mm Riflescope SWFA SS HD 3-9x42 Tactical 30mm Riflescope
Stock # - SS39X42MQ      Thunbs Up
  • Matte
  • Patented First Focal Plane Mil-Quad Reticle
  • 30mm
  • OK for .50 cal
  • 0.1 MRAD
$599.95
SWFA SS 3-15x42 Tactical Rifle Scope SWFA SS 3-15x42 Tactical Rifle Scope
Stock # - SS315X42MQ
  • Matte Finish
  • First Focal Plane
  • Patented Mil-Quad Reticle
  • 30mm Tube
  • Side Focus (6m-infinity)
  • OK for .50cal
  • .10 Mrad Turrets
$699.95
SWFA SS 16x42 Tactical Riflescope SWFA SS 16x42 Tactical Riflescope
Stock # - SS16X42MQ
  • Matte Finish
  • Patented Mil-Quad Reticle
  • 30mm Tube
  • Rear Focus
  • OK for .50 cal
  • .10 Mrad
$299.95
Vortex 4-16x44 Viper HS 30mm Rifle Scope
Vortex 4-16x44 Viper HS 30mm Rifle Scope
Stock # - VORVHS4305
  • Matte
  • Dead-Hold BDC
  • 30mm
  • Side Focus
$499.95
Vortex 4-16x50 Viper HS 30mm Rifle Scope Vortex 4-16x50 Viper HS 30mm Rifle Scope
Stock # - VORVHS4307LR
  • Matte
  • Dead-Hold BDC
  • 30mm
  • Side Focus
  • Long Range
$599.95


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - January/22/2015 at 20:28
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/22/2015 at 20:27
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SWFA S.S.A.L.T. 30mm Scope Mount
SWFA S.S.A.L.T. 30mm Scope Mount
Stock # - SS30HSSALT
  • Picatinny MIL-STD-1913
  • Matte
  • Comes with 1" Inserts
$59.95
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/23/2015 at 08:44
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Thanks Koshkin, The first line of your reply was what I was looking for when I threw up that list.  And thank you to Urimaginaryfrnd and everyone for your input and suggestions. 

The only store near me that carries rifle scopes of any quality has a very small selection and their advice (on anything related to shooting) is worthless.  Talking to you guys has really helped me figure out what I was looking for.
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