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SWFA Scope Scale Discussion Thread (2009)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 14:42
Chris Farris View Drop Down
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The scale below was formed by SWFA sales staff, customer service, pro-staff and owners using personal experience, customer input and facts supplied by the manufacturers.  The ranking system is based on the following criteria.

 

51%  Optical Quality - How bright and clear the scope is.

15%  Specifications - Field of view, eye relief, weight, adjustment travel, etc.

15%  Durability - How do they with stand the test of time.

12%  Special Features & Options - Proprietary items (reticles, design, turrets), Zoom ratio.

7%   Warranty & Customer Service - How good are they.

0%   Value - Bang for your buck. This criteria has been removed due to O.T. member input.

 

In order to maintain the scale's simplicity we are not listing every single manufacture and only major manufactures will have several of their brands listed.  This scale also does not have discontinued brands or products like the old U.S.A. made Redfields, Japan Tasco or Japan Simmons Aetec.  This scale is heavily weighted toward HUNTING as being the application the scope will be used for.

 

This scale will be kept current with changes that the manufacturers are making that affect their rank.  Many of the lower end companies have been bought and sold a lot recently and while the names have stayed the same......the product has not.

 

 

2009 Riflescope Rating Scale

 

Leica ER, Swarovski Z6, Zeiss Victory 

 

Kahles C - CL & CSX, Premier Reticle, Schmidt & Bender

 

Kahles KX, U.S. Optics, Swarovski PH & American Lightweight

 

Bushnell Elite 6500, Leupold VX-7, Nightforce NXS, IOR Valdada, Vortex Razor

 

Bushnell Elite 4200, Leupold VX-3, Nikon Monarch & Monarch X, Zeiss Conquest

 

Leupold Mark 4 VX III & VX-L, Meopta, Nikon Monarch Gold & Titanium, Sightron SIII & S2 Big Sky, Vortex Viper

 

Burris Black Diamond Signature Select XTR & Euro Diamond, Pentax Lightseeker, Trijicon Accupoint, Weaver Grand Slam

 

Bushnell Elite 3200, Leupold VX-II, Millet Tactical/Buck Gold, Nikko Stirling, Nikon Buckmaster, Sightron SI & SII, Vortex Crossfire & Diamondback, Super Sniper Fixed

 

Burris Fullfield II & Timberline, Leupold Rifleman & VX-I, Leatherwood, Mueller, Nikon ProStaff, Simmons

 
Barska, Sightmark, Swift, Truglo 
 

BSA, Tasco, Yukon

 

ATN, Leapers, NcStar



Edited by Chris Farris - April/05/2009 at 14:51
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 15:15
mike650 View Drop Down
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OK, I'm ready!!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 16:55
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Whatever Sooooooooo without the value comparison the Sightron big sky and SIII are still behind the monarch and the 4200?  hmmm...... still don't get it..... someone needs to explain this to me.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 17:10
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Glad to see the new ratings scale come out.  Looks good.  Just from what I've been reading about the Sightron Big Sky scopes, I would have guessed that they would have come out at least even with both the Bushnell 4200's and the Nikon Monarch, especially now that "best bang for the buck" is not being considered.  The 4200 is a nice scope and will probably end up on my secondary rifle, and I may end up also letting my Conquest go for something comparable but smaller, just because it is a bit too big for my liking for the .260 deer rifle I'm going to have built.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 17:17
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yes my  thoughts also why i picked the big sky over 4200
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 17:20
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FWIW I think there should be more emphasis on durability than 15%. All the features and wonderful optical attributes are useless if the scope does not hold up to recoil and knocks in the field. Not sure how that could be evaluated on new models and companies for the scope scale.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 17:27
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i had read several posts the optics of the big sky were better than 4200  but ranks below  it
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 17:49
Chris Farris View Drop Down
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We took out the numbering system too so that we can put some scopes in between categories.
 
We also weighted the optics as the most important factor after listening to everyones input in the 2008 thread.
 
Sightron is lacking in the Durability category and features category and many people think they are not optically equivalent to the scopes in the class above them.
 
This is a continuous work in progress and not set in stone, so let's continue to debate, critique it, and update it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 17:53
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Since value (best bang for buck) is gone and customer service remains wouldn't the Swaro PH and possibly the AH move up one notch; optically they appear to be equal to the Kahles C series too.










Edited by mike650 - April/05/2009 at 17:58
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 17:53
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So, what makes the Bushnell 6500 better than the 4200, I thought it had the same glass? I thought the only difference was 30mm tube vs. 1 inch and also the 6x magnification
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 18:05
Chris Farris View Drop Down
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Originally posted by mike650 mike650 wrote:

Since value (best bang for buck) is gone and customer service remains wouldn't the Swaro PH and possibly the AH move up one notch; optically they appear to be equal to the Kahles C series too.
 
Kahles might be coming down due to their lack of presence in the U.S., their service is just about none existent.  Kahles does hold a slight edge optically over the PH and A line and they did out feature them with MultiZero and their CSX technology.
 
 
Originally posted by bricat bricat wrote:

So, what makes the Bushnell 6500 better than the 4200, I thought it had the same glass? I thought the only difference was 30mm tube vs. 1 inch and also the 6x magnification
 
We can combine Special Features with Specifications to help simplify things and re-weight the scale.
 

51%  Optical Quality - How bright and clear the scope is.

20%  Specifications & Special Features - Field of view, eye relief, weight, adjustment travel, proprietary reticles and turret designs, Erector ration (zoom)

20%  Durability - How do they with stand the test of time.

9%   Warranty & Customer Service - How good are they.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 18:09
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Thunbs Up
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 18:13
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Are Vortex Razor's new scopes? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 18:18
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Originally posted by 257WM_CDL-SF 257WM_CDL-SF wrote:

i had read several posts the optics of the big sky were better than 4200  but ranks below  it
 
I've heard both ways regarding Sightron's optical quality, some slightly above and some slightly below the 4200 Bushnell. Obviously pretty close, and obviosly pretty good glass in each.
 However, I've heard of several mechanical failures in Sightron's line, out of proportion to what I imagine is a far greater number of 4200 units afield. (Maybe I'm incorrect in assuming that Bushnell outsells them, Chris may offer his insight to that.)
 I've personally seen astonishing examples of the 4200s ability to handle GROSS abuse.
 I must tentatively agree with that ranking, based on admittedly limited knowledge...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 18:22
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According to John Barness the Trijicon Accupoint glass is made by Light Optical Japan same place Nightforce glass is made.  I really think that the glass combined with the illuminated reticle places it at the level of the Bushnell 6500.  This is one I think is way under rated but the new TR23 will tell the tale.  Eaven if it was at the level of the 4200 that might be realistic but hunting being the weighted area I think the illuminated reticle of the Trijicon or the  B&C & varmit reticles of the Leu VX3  make those scopes way more deadly  that a duplex 4200.   From the Accupoints I have seen in the last several years I think the glass has improved and the 2.5-10 scope I find vastly preferable to the 3-9 version even though I typiclly dont like a larger objective.

Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - April/05/2009 at 18:26
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 18:48
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     Let me get this right: of those people listed that made up this rating chart.......durablity is only a 15% consideration to them? Shocked
 
    If that's true, I'm completely out of step.......Roll Eyes
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 18:51
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I am pretty much going to stay out of this, except to point out that even though a lot of different optics are made in the same factories that doesn't mean they are all the same.
 
The same factory can make different lenses for different companies, and glass isn't the only factor in optical quality. The entire system (including interior baffling or matting) will make a difference, so "same factory" doesn't mean anything absolute.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 18:52
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Giving more weight to durability would be great, in my opinion.
The part that surprised me was:
Bushnell Elite 3200, Leupold VX-II, Millet Tactical/Buck Gold, Nikko Stirling, Nikon Buckmaster, Sightron SI & SII, Vortex Crossfire & Diamondback, Super Sniper Fixed
on the same line.
Are you really rating the SI and Crossfire equal to the SII and Diamondback?
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 19:08
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Still the best bench mark I've seen put together for us hunters in the optics crowd.
I have a Leapers and they are right where they belong. Cost effective for a day light scope, that's it.
Considering how the Kahles have always been listed, we can't get new 1.5-6x42's on this side of the pond.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 19:41
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Tough list to put together. From what I read and what I know the Nikko Sterling needs to be moved down. They are not in the same class as the SS, Nikon Buckmaster, 3200, etc.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 20:41
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Al,
 
Evidently we have a friend in common, Steve Timm.
 
I am right with you on the durability issue. I have seen the judgment of scopes swing completely from reliability to "what can I see?" in the past 15-20 years.
 
JB
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 20:47
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I'd agree with the above.  I was a little shocked to see "optical quality 51%" and "durability 15%".  I can't imagine what scenario of scope use those proportions are in the best interest of the shooter.

Edited by Horsemany - April/05/2009 at 20:48
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 21:01
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 Well, it may be that durability was a more important factor in the past than it is to many modern hunters. What I mean is that a huge proportion of young hunters seem to think that hunting is sitting in a blind on a deer farm.
 Whole different thing than a bear hunt running behind a hard-driving pack of hounds or a ten-day pack-in elk hunt in the Rockies...
 Not trying to make "value judgements" here, to each his own. 
 Just saying.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 21:08
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The new Sightron S3 has been noted as being the best optics being made in Japan.The Sightrons are still a good scope with one of the best warranties in the business.SWFA admin has pointed out a flaw in there performance.I hope someone from Sightron could respond because this forum has showed numerous positive responses of the new S2 Big Sky which I own and find very reliable. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 21:13
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Sitting in a stand shooting at whitetails in all kinds of light is probably 90% of "big game hunting" these days. For that a big variable of any make is probably going to stand up on a .243 or 7mm magnum, or whatever, for the relatively few shots taken each year. And that is 90% of big game hunting in North America today. I would even hazard a guess that some shots are taken a few minutes on either side of legal light.
 
Not that is is really evil. We have a pile of deer these days, almost everywhere. And more pigs than we can count. But that doesn't mean the typical whitetail-stand scope or midnight pig scope are also great for every other kind of big game hunting.
 
Gee, and I was going to stay out of this....
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