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Your recommended best value optics

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2015 at 10:19
sirgilligan View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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I had posted this on a firearms forum and someone said to join here and ask. I never knew this forum existed. So, firstly, hello.

I was just wondering what you recommend as the optics that are the best value. Please don't limit your recommendations to low cost, I am interested in the best value at all ranges, from low end to high end.

Let me explain.

Company X makes lower cost optics.
Company Y makes mid-tier cost optics.
Company Z make high cost optics.

The highest cost optic made by Company X costs as much or more as the lowest cost optics from Company Y. Equally the highest cost optic made by Company Y costs as much or more as the lowest cost optics from Company Z.

There are always sweet spots where instead of buying one thing, you could spend maybe 5% more and got something a lot better. There are always these tiers and overlap where there may exist an exceptional value for the price.

Can you recommend any optics that you think are an exceptional value? Feel free to say what the other optics were that you compared it to. Something like, I was about to buy Company Z's scope when I found that Company Y's scope that cost 20% less was good enough, or the counterpart, I was about to by Company Y's best scope when I found that Company Z's mid range scope was much better for 5% more.

I realize some answers may be objective and some may be subjective.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2015 at 10:46
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Best value....The entire SWFA SS line of optics. 

Welcome to Optics Talk. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2015 at 11:27
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Hard to beat Meopta Meostar for value and, as CT said, the SS line is above average in every category (except price to performance ratio… there performance is greater than price = value).  

It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to provide an overall "objective" answer to your questions.  Unless you have ILya's optics lab available and perform measurements that the human eye and brain cannot discern, you are going to get answers based upon what an individual sees... added to their perceptions… perception is truth to the perceiver.  Oftentimes, tell a person what "brand" of scope they are evaluating and the "quality" numbers will go up or down based upon the name… in many cases unconsciously, but the influence is there all the same.  

Most here will try to give answers based upon their best assessments of "quality"… and they spend a lot of time with a lot of different scopes.  Certainly, there are some obvious differentiations between some brands.  But when you start talking about "clear" superiority for just "a few dollars" more or 5% better quality for any number of dollars... good luck.  Most humans, in my experience, cannot discern 5% quality change in a riflescope… because they cannot discern much larger changes with any degree of accuracy. 

Welcome to the OT...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2015 at 12:06
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Welcome.  I would add that "value" also needs to take your intended use into consideration.  Example:  I love my Burris handgun scopes, but I don't have any of the on my long guns.  Not that they aren't decent, but for anything over 200yds, I want something that is made for its intended purpose.  I'm not a rich man, and I don't shoot competitions, so I don't have the need to invest in the really high-end scopes.  What I have found is that using mid-tier brand's better offerings, or high-tier brands lower offerings often meet my needs.  I've never paid $1000 for any optic, but I do my research on what I'm buying, and trust the reviews, critiques, and suggestions of folks on this forum that know their stuff.  There are many, and advice here is free.  Most of the Moderators, Ilya, and sometimes even BeltFed and Budperm have something useful to say.

I totally agree with the statements about the SS line.  I have them and they are awesome - but not for every application.  I wouldn't put one on my .338 Federal, for example, because that's a super light gun, and I want something that's light as well, with lower magnification, and so I was able to find an older Nikon Monarch 2.5-8x (on the sample list) that is great for that rifle.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2015 at 12:07
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I like to stay with these manufacturers

Zeiss

Meopta

Swarovski

Leupold

Kahles

All these offer models that fit my needs. I might rate the value of a particular model higher from either manufacturer. I have favorite models from each one.


A much better way to ask the question is to describe what type rifle you have and what you expect to do with it. I would recommend and personally purchase a much different scope for a walking around short range rifle than a bean field hunting rifle or target gun. That recommendation and even the manufacturer I pick is mostly influenced by the intended use.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2015 at 13:42
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There is no simple answer to your question.

Different applications require very different scopes, so what would be a very good value for one would not be very useful for the other.

My typical advice is to figure out very clearly what your application is: type of shooting, lighting conditions, engagement distance, etc.

For example, for a general purpose hunting scope, the sweetspot is probably in the $400 - $600 range with several brands offering exceptional value, most notably Meopta with their MeoPro scopes and Leupold VX-R.

For a dedicated low light hunting scope, you have to go up in price since well optimized large objective scopes are a bit more expensive and you should be looking at $700 - $1000 range for best value.

This can go on for a variety of other applications.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2015 at 14:36
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Quote

I like to stay with these manufacturers

Zeiss

Meopta

Swarovski

Leupold

Kahles

All these offer models that fit my needs. I might rate the value of a particular model higher from either manufacturer. I have favorite models from each one.


A much better way to ask the question is to describe what type rifle you have and what you expect to do with it. I would recommend and personally purchase a much different scope for a walking around short range rifle than a bean field hunting rifle or target gun. That recommendation and even the manufacturer I pick is mostly influenced by the intended use.


Which models are your favorite ones from your list of manufacturers?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2015 at 14:42
sirgilligan View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Quote There is no simple answer to your question.

Different applications require very different scopes, so what would be a very good value for one would not be very useful for the other.


Here are some applications.

Varmint Rifle in .223 for 100 to 200 yards, all hours
Flat shooting center-fire (.25-06, .270, etc) for 100 to 400 yards from dawn to dusk
Hard hitting center-fire (.30-06 to .300 Win Mag) for 100 to 600 yards from dawn to dusk
Self Defense center-fire, from 50 to 100 yards, all hours


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2015 at 14:48
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Optics GrassHopper
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Another way to go about my question is:

Which scope did you pick for your applications?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2015 at 15:58
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See below in red.

Originally posted by sirgilligan sirgilligan wrote:

Quote There is no simple answer to your question.

Different applications require very different scopes, so what would be a very good value for one would not be very useful for the other.


Here are some applications.

Varmint Rifle in .223 for 100 to 200 yards, all hours Vortex Viper 6.5-20x50.  This is a slightly older rmodel, so it does not look as sexy as some others, but it is very well optimized and excellent for the oney
Flat shooting center-fire (.25-06, .270, etc) for 100 to 400 yards from dawn to dusk Meopta MeoPro 3-9x40 with #4 reticle
Hard hitting center-fire (.30-06 to .300 Win Mag) for 100 to 600 yards from dawn to dusk Meopta MeoPro 4.5-14x44 with target turret or SWFA SS 3-15x42
Self Defense center-fire, from 50 to 100 yards, all hours Aimpoint Micro red dot sight.  Do not look for a bargain for a self-defense gun.  Get the best.




Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2015 at 18:52
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I personally like the Sightron SII & SIIB for hunting applications, they seem to offer quality that I'm happy with at a price I can deal with.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2015 at 11:16
R H Clark View Drop Down
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" Which models are your favorite ones from your list of manufacturers?"

It all depends on what my priorities are for said scope. If light weight is the most important then I'm likely going to choose a Leupold. There are several models from the VX2, VX3, and FX, lines that I might choose. The choice would depend on my secondary priority. The same thing can be said for my other choices in the other scope manufacturers.

There is not a definite answer. Any scope will be chosen by balancing price, weight, size, optical excellence, reticles, low light performance, tracking excellence, adjustment range, turrets, and warranty. No scope offers the best of all these criteria and different people have different values and opinions on each of these criteria.

For instance, I consider the #4 reticle in the Meopta Mepro 3X9X42 an absolutely perfect hunting reticle for my style hunting which is mostly short range. Someone that hunts green fields at long range might not pick that scope because it doesn't have target turrets. They would want to be able to quickly dial yardage on longer shots or they would want a ranging reticle. I don't need that, and for me target turrets would only make the scope heavier and the exposed adjustments would be a labiality carrying through heavy brush. My top criteria and thus my top choices will be different from any one else's choices because my opinions and my hunting conditions are different.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2015 at 12:44
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High end hunting scope......Meoopta R2 1.7-10x42 w/ill 4C.  Optics are as good as glass gets, ill system is superb, mechanicals are smooth as silk, very positive turret clicks.  USA lifetime transferrable warranty.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2015 at 16:31
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Certainly not a optics expert but I'd liken this a bit to osmosis (sort of). If the high end scope manufacturer makes a lower cost scope, I can't help but believe some of their high end processes and expertise carries thru the entire scope line. On the same note, it would be difficult for me to think that a lower tier manufacture (Barska comes to mind) would be able to make a really impressive optic based on their track record - imo. 
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