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Rugged Budget Scopes?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 16:27
wshive View Drop Down
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I'm looking for a budget general use scope for boar and deer hunting on a .30-06. I've narrowed it down to three scopes (but welcome suggestions for more!) in no particular order:

1. Sightron SII 3-9x42
2. Burris Fullfield II 3-9x40
3. Leupold VX-I 3-9x40

My MAIN concerns are ruggedness, ability to keep zero, and repeatability. I'd much rather buy a scope that's bomb-proof than one with slightly better optics but can leave me in the lurch at a critical moment. Because of this, I'm mainly looking for comments from people who have used these scopes (or other suggestions) extensively in the field with good results.

Also, I'm open to slightly lower power scopes like a 2-7 or something because I imagine if I ever go for a 300+ yard shot, it'll be with a different gun. I'm newbie, but have spent a lot of time reading and researching. Go easy on me please!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 16:31
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Welcome wshive.....
Of the scopes you've mentioned my nod would be for the Sightron SII. I like the power range 3-9 for a 30-06, it is my opinion the perfect range for that caliber.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 16:34
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Thanks cyborg. Can you tell me more about your experience with the sightron as far as durability?

I should also mention that the Burris currently has a $50 rebate and comes in camo (the camo part I know isn't THAT big a deal but I am considering a camo rifle).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 16:37
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I can tell you that, I respect very much the opinions of those that have made reviews of this scope. They are reported to be very dependable, and of very decent optics.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 16:52
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Your first three choices of 3x9s should do just fine..........I don`t know how flexible your budget is, but another two scopes that imo, that can be added to your list for consideration are the 2-8x32 Nikon Monarch at $289 and the 3-9x40 Elite 4200 at $299. You certainly shouldn`t have any problems with ruggedness, holding zero, or repeatability with either one while getting very good glass for the money as well. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 17:02
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Good points Squeezer.
We should probably add the Nikon Team Primos to that list as well. 219 dollars is a great buy for good glass.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 17:04
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+1 on the Bushnell 4200.  It's a really nice scope, for the money.  I'd say it is as durable as any other brand, even some that cost far more.  Of the brands you listed I like the Sightron the best.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 18:28
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Thanks all for the input! Sightron seems to be the consensus. Will look into the Nikon Primos.

How much better are the Monarchs or 4200's? Are we just talking better optics at this point? If that's the case, I'm not looking to pay 40% more for 10% better.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 18:42
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 I'll throw one more in for consideration:
 
  I've got one of these and a 4.75x40 GS. VERY NICE scopes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 18:52
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Originally posted by wshive wshive wrote:

Thanks all for the input! Sightron seems to be the consensus. Will look into the Nikon Primos.

How much better are the Monarchs or 4200's? Are we just talking better optics at this point? If that's the case, I'm not looking to pay 40% more for 10% better.
...........The 3-9x40 S11 (not the Big Sky) which is one of your choices, is listed here @ $249. The 2.5-8x32 Nikon Monarch is $289, while the 3-9x40 is $299.  
 
Based on those prices anyway, you won`t be paying 40% more for either the Monarch or the 4200 vs the S11. 14% more for the Monarch and 17% more for the 4200 vs the S11 is worth it imo.   
 
If you can`t stretch the budget and don`t mind the BDC reticle, the Nikon Team Primos is your best choice.    
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 19:42
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Big Squeeze,

I've seen the SII for < $200 but also found the Monarch you mentioned for not that much more, so given that:

Does the 2-8x32 Monarch have better light transmission to the point that it's brighter than the Sightron even though it has a 42mm objective? I do realize magnification is slightly lower in the Monarch which helps. If the Monarch 32mm is dimmer, however, then what advantages of the Monarch would I be paying for?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 19:57
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  BETTER lenses and coating.  My VXIII 1.75-6x32  is as bright as my SII 1.5-6x42 due to this factor.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 20:04
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I don't know how durable the Nikon and Sightron scopes are that are being mentioned here, but, I can tell you that if durability is what you are looking for you will have a very hard time finding a more durable variable than a 4200. And yes, I am speaking from experience having owned 6 4200's. Ditto on the glass.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 20:18
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I totally agree about the Bushnell 4200. The have been one of the toughest scopes for a long time now. I have had better luck with 4200's (and the 4000's that preceded them) than Nikons and Sightrons.

You might also consider the Burris Fullfield II's. In my experience they are also very tough.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 20:22
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Originally posted by Roy Finn Roy Finn wrote:

I don't know how durable the Nikon and Sightron scopes are that are being mentioned here, but, I can tell you that if durability is what you are looking for you will have a very hard time finding a more durable variable than a 4200. And yes, I am speaking from experience having owned 6 4200's. Ditto on the glass.

Great, just when I thought I had it narrowed to between the Monarch and the Sightron SII! Whacko
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 20:30
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 Alright,I worked up loads on two rifles this summer that had 3-9x40 FFII's on them.  Clear image edge to edge,adjustments did exactly what I wanted them to,and they held their zeros. Limited experiences I know but I wouldn't be afraid to buy one. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 20:42
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I'm getting the feeling I should just draw 4 straws.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 20:56
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Originally posted by John Barsness John Barsness wrote:

I totally agree about the Bushnell 4200. The have been one of the toughest scopes for a long time now. I have had better luck with 4200's (and the 4000's that preceded them) than Nikons and Sightrons.

You might also consider the Burris Fullfield II's. In my experience they are also very tough.



+1  I have a FFII and a 4200.  So far both have held up fine.  The FFII has been beat to death (rolled on by a horse, and other horrors), and has had nothing wrong with it.  Still as good as day one.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 21:02
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i have a 4200 on a .375 H&H and so far its held up, but i also have a nikon monarch and a nikon team primos, havent had a lick of trouble with either.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 21:15
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So maybe it's narrowed to the 4200 and the FFII after all. Short of a side-by-side stress test review, anectdotal info will probably be my deciding factor, so keep it coming. Big Smile

Helo18, great story about the FFII being rolled on by a horse. That's the sort of scope I'm looking for! (Not that I plan on being around horses much less having one roll onto my gun.)

Anyone have anything to say on the Monarch or Sightron's durability?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 21:33
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In a side-by-side test of an SII Big Sky and a VX-II (not III) a couple of months ago the Sightron was a definite second best. I know a lot of people would argue with that, but this was with a chart after dark, with both scopes set on 6x.

I have shot FFII's on rifle up to .300 Weatherby (and using bullets up to 200 grains at 3000 fps) with no problem. Have also shot a LOT of prairie dogs with them at long range, and done the chart-test. They are surprisingly good optically.

Personally, I would go with whichever scope mentioned I could get cheapest, since the point of this post was budget.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2009 at 22:28
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Bushnell 4200s are just awesome, the 3-9x40 is a best buy, but I like the 2.5-10x40 better myself.
 
I just started using a Burris 2.5-10x50 Fullfield II and so far am very impressed with it. With only 100 rds of .308 down range I can't comment on durability, but the features and glass is great.
 
Based on my past experience I'd choose between the Bushnell 4200, Burris FF II or the Nikon Primos. I've had good luck with all three. I have never even seen a Sightron so just can't comment.
 
I like the std duplex and firefly on the Bushnell, but like the BDC reticles on the Burris and Nikon the better than Bushnell. But I'm a thick bold reticle guy too......................
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/12/2009 at 00:31
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Bushnell 3-9x40 Elite 4200 Rifle Scope Bushnell 3-9x40 Elite 4200 Rifle Scope
Stock # - 423944M
  • Matte
  • Multi-X
  • 1"
  • Rainguard
$299.95 
Add Bushnell 3-9x40 Elite 4200 Rifle Scope to Cart 


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - June/12/2009 at 00:31
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/12/2009 at 08:47
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The Weaver Classic Extreme is a great scope still on sale for under $300,original MSRP over $900.For what you can buy this scope for is the best deal going.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/12/2009 at 09:56
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Originally posted by Roy Finn Roy Finn wrote:

I don't know how durable the Nikon and Sightron scopes are that are being mentioned here, but, I can tell you that if durability is what you are looking for you will have a very hard time finding a more durable variable than a 4200. And yes, I am speaking from experience having owned 6 4200's. Ditto on the glass.
 
 
I agree 100%.  The elite 4200 on my Finnbear 30-06 is fantastic optically and very tough.  I'd take it over a SII, Leupy, or Monarch any day.  At $299 it's an absolute steal.
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