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Scope durability scale.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 09:48
cyborg View Drop Down
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I say we help Chris and company out a bit here.
Generally speaking the better built scopes that are offered today are the NightForce, U.S. Optics, IOR, Zeiss, Swarovski, Leupold, Kahles, Bushnell 6500, 4200, and 3200 lines, Burris, Nikon, Meopta, These are in no particular order because there are several line that are made tougher for different applications for example the Tactical models are built for a much tougher environment, Leupold makes one of the toughest Tactical scopes available, Burris makes the XTR which is also a very robust scope. The SWFA Super Sniper is a very tough model.
Lets see if we can put this together and help Chris and company out a wee bit guys.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 09:57
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Well for starters, my Meopta did not hold up on a 45-70.  But so far it is going fine on a 7mm BAR.  It got black specs all over the glass and the zero was all over the place.
I also had my IOR get some lubricant spots on the inside of the glass after about 2500 rounds out of a .308 mechanically it was fine but the spots were very annoying. 
I had a Bushnell Legend and a Bushnell 4200 go out of whack on my 45-70 as well.  Parallax went out of adjustment on both of them. 

So I have had problems with a number of scopes.  But others may never have had a problem.  So I think it will be tough to rate these durability wise.  Was I just unlucky or do these scopes really have problems?  I have had 5 other IORs and never had a problem with them.  But none of them with exception of my 4x had been shot that much.  I have had 4 Bushnells and had problems with 2 or them, but I still like them and recommend them. 

In each of my problems though CS was great for all of them.  IOR and Meopta sent me new scopes.  Bushnell had them repaired and back to me in about 3 weeks. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 10:04
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I think the idea is a great one but I am wondering how we are going to test these on a level basis. Lots of different rifles, calibers, useage and what not. I will say that even though I am not a huge fan of Leupold scopes, their reputation for durability is well founded. Also. if we are aimming toward hunting scopes we should proably stay away from the tactical type scopes such as the Mrk 4 Leupy, S&B, Nighforce, US optics, SS etc. Just my 2c.

Roy

Edited by Roy Finn - August/19/2008 at 10:07
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 10:11
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My 45/70 has yet to mess up my IOR4X.
I own a Nightforce that has been beatne to hell and never lost zero or varied in any way.
I had a Conquest go back for a turret issue (be careful with those plastic turrets.)
A USO went back for dust on the reticule, but no other problems of any kind.
My Swaro has been spot-on, no problems of any kind.
I broke 2 Leupold Mk4 Ultras, no more leupold for me.
I missed a championship buck earlier this year because a Tasco Silver Antler was pure crap and never should'a ben made, much less purchased. (It weren't mine and is why I own an IOR 4X now.)
Bushnell Tactical didn't have the elevation claimed, went back.
 
 
 
Does that help?
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 10:35
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I can say that of the scopes that I have owned the IOR and Leupold were dead on tied durability wise, although the IOR has a big advantage glass wise. They also cost me about the same amount of money. Nikon and Bushnell are in a dead heat as well with the Bushnell getting a slight nod in the glass department. The Millett TRS-1 is there glass wise with the VX III that I have and they are both proving to be durable.

So let's try this: 10 being the highest score
 
10) Swarovski,
 
9) Kahles, NightForce,
 
8) U.S. Optics,
 
7) IOR, Leupold, Zeiss, Burris Tactical, Super Sniper, Meopta
 
6) Bushnell, Nikon
 
5) Millett TRS,
 
4)
 
3)
 
2) Barska, ATN
 
1) Simmons, Tasco, BSA, NC Star
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 10:52
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Just got through shooting 40 rounds of 45-70. Zeiss Coquest 4X32 still working great -  my shoulder - not so great! Not sure where this puts the Zeiss, but it had no problems.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 11:35
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This is a good initiative as long as we remember that this is purely anecdotal evidence.  We do not have the numbers or the standardization to make this a good statistical exercise.

Of the scope that have passed through my hands, I have had pretty much every brand exhibit a problem of some sort at least once.  Here is a quick summary off the top of my head:

Leupold - mechanical problems with VX-2s (did not hold zero and stuck mag ring), on a VX-3 the reticle moved on me
IOR - illumination circuitry on a couple of older 4x24s had to be fixed. No optical or                      mechanical problems
Millett - dust/specks on reticle plane, gunfus on DMS-1
Kahles - Multizero turret went tits up
Burris - AO broke one of the Signature Selects
Bushnell - Trophy broke and got all fuzzy (Elite 4200s have been rock solid).
Zeiss - wandering zero on  a  Conquest
Sightron - AO problems on an early S2
Tasco/Simmons/BSA/etc - not enough space to list everything
Weaver - glass self-destructed on a Grand Slam
Nikon - early Monarch refused to hold zero.

I do not own any rifles that really kick since I have a thing against recoil.  Most of my "high impact testing" is when I accidentally drop the rifle with the scope onto concrete.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 12:08
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300 WSM  105 shots under a VXIII 2.5-8 bought brand new 6 weeks ago.

went back yesterday with a broken erector.

Rob
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 12:12
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

This is a good initiative as long as we remember that this is purely anecdotal evidence.  We do not have the numbers or the standardization to make this a good statistical exercise.

 
I agree with that, AND you need to define what your terms mean. Durability covers a broad range.  Not only the ability to withstand "pounding" from heavier calibers (since this is including all the tactical as well as the hunting scopes), environmental pounding...dropped, etc, and environment...hot, cold, temperature change conditions, dry, humid, wet.  I already see a problem with the list... I do not believe that Swarovski, as fine a scope as it is (I certainly believe it is in a "top 5" category), belongs at the top of a "durability" list.  Swaro is pretty commonly known for not being considered a truly "rugged" scope, especially when compared to the "branded" tacticals.  Swaro is a FINE hunting scope.  To be truly meaningful, some thought should go into setting up the problem, defining the terms, providing rationale for conclusions. 
Just wanted to input before there is too much directed energy that may end up misleading. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 12:19
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That's why we are working on this scale. We can move them up or down as the information becomes more solid. I admittedly don't have as much knowledge of some of these scopes as others do. This is going to have to be a work in progress, but it's a starting point.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 12:35
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think a seperation between hobby optics and professional optics needs to be made- also a comparison in price catagory
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 12:54
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It will be hard to rate because there will be a lot more problems with mid price levels. because of market saturation. The scale will have to be separated by each market level by brand. The Bushnell will have more problems with the scope chief and banner lines. The Zeiss, IOR, Kahles, Night force have nothing in these ranges. This will be a very hard scale to create. Before coming to this forum I had never heard of Sightron There is not any shops that carry them in this area. I have yet to ever look thru one so market distribution will also effect the results. Maybe for a start we pick 2 or 3 specific scopes then work from there. Then discussing and adding a scope at a time. This may reduce some of the confusion.   Maybe make a punch list of problems used to evaluate the problems. Loss of tracking, Grease Internal separation Etc. This would also help to spot issues by scope line.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 13:34
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Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

think a seperation between hobby optics and professional optics needs to be made- also a comparison in price catagory


Dale, that is what I was referring to when I stated that the "tactical" duty should be separate from hunting duty scopes. Now I am not trying to influence the scale based on an example of only two Leupold scopes, however, when I switched to the B&L/Bushnell Elite (4000/4200) scopes on my travel rifles my problem with scopes losing zero stopped. The two Leupolds in question were the 4.5-14x40 Var-XIII and a 2.5-8x36 Vari-XIII. These scopes would get knocked off zero by anywhere from 1 to several inches after the airline apes got done with them. I never had any problem with these scopes due to recoil or field mishaps and neither one of them ever fogged. I can tell you that it always left me with a very uncomfortable feeling that something was about to quit altogether after losing zero that many times. I still use a Leupold 1.75-6 on my muzzleloader, but I only use that rifle for local type hunts.

Edited by Roy Finn - August/19/2008 at 13:35
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 13:51
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I would think riding an ATV with a rifle on the rack would be another good durability test for a hunting scope.  Wink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 15:07
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just agreeing with you Roy-- also I think your on something that could be used as a standard scope test--- do a search and find out which flights have the worst stats for luggage handling-- then send each scope through for evalutation

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 16:40
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Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

just agreeing with you Roy-- also I think your on something that could be used as a standard scope test--- do a search and find out which flights have the worst stats for luggage handling-- then send each scope through for evalutation



This one has definitely caught my attention DC. Good call and I wonder if the airlines actually specify luggage damage by type, in terms of TGW.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 16:44
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i have owned a few loopies varixII's no trouble both are still in service today, one is currently on my 300win browning ss aboltII the other spent its life on a 30-06 until i sold it to a friend of mine it now sits on a m70 300win .
 
nikons, i have had three buckmasters no issues. one monarch ucc no issues. just got a team primos havent even squeezed one off with it yet no report. my bro in law uses a prostaff no issue.
 
i had a burris ffII, no issues and it spent its life on my 300wsm until i traded it off and that gun beat the hell out of that scope.
 
bushnell, 4200 elite no issues bushnell trophy currently on my 22-250 so as long as i dont drop it out of a tree stand i think it will work for a while.
 
i must be lucky, i shoot a fair amount through the year a lot more in the winter than any other time. and i havent had a scope go screwy on me yet "knock on wood"Whacker
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 16:55
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Dale, that would be interesting. My woes have been at the whim of Air Canada so far. I know of alot of folks that go on those African Sofa Safaris and I have not heard many on them complain about damage to luggage or their contents.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 17:08
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I was going to Ottawa once, Air Canada sent my bags to Singapore. They got a free ride and all I got was COLD.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 18:26
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I have made 8 trips to Canada, all on Northwest Air, with a single change in Minnapolis/St Paul. That means my equipment was handled at least 4 times in each direction for a total of 4X8X2=64 times. I use only SKB cases. I have seen my cases fall off the loading ramps and bounce on the concrete, and on one occasion, I watched my case come "flying" into a pickup area about 5 feet in the air. I was furious.

I have taken a 3.5-10,44 Conquest on 5 of the trips, and a 1.5-6,42 Helia C on the remainder. None have ever been damaged in transit, and all held zero.

I had a Conquest on a 30-06 in a Tikka T3 Lite that I put something in excess of 1,000 rounds through. No problems of any kind.

The Helia C is on a 338 Federal (Sako 85) that I have put about 1,100 rounds through. No problems.

I had a Leupold VX-2 on a 35 Whelan. At somewhere around 400 rounds, the zero began to drift.

I had a Burris FFII made about 6 years ago. I had it on a Browning A Bolt in 30-06. I don't know how many rounds I put through it, but a lot. I never had any problems with the scope.

I have owned Weaver, Bushnell and B&L scopes, but none of these brands in the past 6 years. All were on .308 or hotter rounds. I never had problems with any of them, but I did not keep them for very long either.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 19:20
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You can send my any scope you want and I will take it guiding with me.  If it survives, it is durable enough to pass the test.  Had a horse roll on my 270, broke the stock, but the Burris FFII came out fine.  Never had a problem with my Burris scopes on the durability side.  They are rugged and can take a pounding.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 22:05
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I suggest writing down personal experiences in a logical format:
1) scope
2) period of use (years, months, etc. average time used in a year, daily use for months is better than once per       year).
3) general conditions during periods of use, noting extreme conditions in detail
4) performance
5) noted deviations from expected norm (be sure to state expectations)
6) fix required, if any or period of degradation, if any
7) final assessment of overall durability of scope

then send to Cyborg for compilation, since he started this...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2008 at 07:13
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I didn't start this mess. 93X did.
 
I decided that an open debate would help to show WHY the scope scale is as it is. Just as you fellas have pointed out, there are way too many criteria to accurately do this. It would take entirely too many different categories and too many different models to do this in a way that it would suit folks.
Then again, you are all very smart folks, and if there is a way to do this then you would be the ones to figure it out.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2008 at 10:39
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Well Mike, It appears that he really isn't sure how to respond to your post. I guess he'll take a break and consult some of the folks at the shooting range write a few things down and come back in the wee hours of the morning to reply.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2008 at 12:18
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I love them ol Weavers, I try to pick them up when I run accross them in pawn shops and flea markets.Ive got a K-6 on my 45/70 lever thumper.
 
Leupolds have always been my favorites. Ive got several and beat/bounced them around quite a bit over the years. Never had to send one back for repair.
 
Im glad to hear about Burris being tough.............I just picked up an XTR used for my project gun (338 RUM target ) and it looks like a sweet piece of glass. The old 8X on my 243 varmint rig has never let me down.
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