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Your Thoughts - Best Overall Sub-$500.00 Scope?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2012 at 11:44
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My friend and I are just about to receive our new AR15's, which will be used for shooting paper, and coyotes here in Michigan. We had originally settled on the Nikon M223 as the best value and option for us. However, a lot of commentary received recently in a Michigan Varmint Forum indicates that due to the prevalence of wind in Michigan during the late fall and winter months (the prime coyote season here) a 70 grain bullet is needed. Given that it generates almost double the energy of the standard 55 grain at 350 yards,and is still significantly more powerful even at 150, this makes perfect sense to me.
 
Based on the above, and since the aforementioned M223 scope is calibrated for 55 grain 223 bullets, we're now looking into other scope options. I've received many recommendations for the Vortex Viper, as well as others. I would appreciate your expertise on what the actual best options and values are within our $500.00 (max) budget. And honestly, if we could keep it to $400, even better. Thanks for any assistance.
 
For the purposes of this exercise, lets assume the scope magnification of choice is in the 2.5x10/3/12 range. And obviously, shooting coyotes in the hours before, or near dusk, low light performance is sritical too. Thanks.
 
 
JC
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2012 at 11:50
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Just wanted to correct one element of my post. I initially received some inaccurate info on the difference in energy between a 55 grain bullet vs a 70-75 grain. It was just clarified to me that the heavier bullets actually produce 60% more energy at 350 yards, not double. Still very significant in my mind though, obviously. My numbers for 150 yards are accurate.
 
 
JC
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2012 at 12:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2012 at 06:43
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2012 at 08:57
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Leupold VX3, Zeiss Conquest......proven commodities.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2012 at 10:25
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Minox. Glass every bit as good as Zeiss Conquest and in my eyes better than Leupold glass that costs twice as much.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2012 at 14:26
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I've heard great things about the Minox glass, but let us know how those  Chinese turrets/adjustments and erectors hold up after a couple of years.  A Conquest or VX3 will get you well past legal shooting light.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2012 at 15:18
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My Minox scopes do very well at low-light. At least the equal of my Conquests and better than my ex-Leupolds. Haven't had a single issue with any of them, and neither have others I've talked to. 

Weird how some folks will say they love Chinese-made Vortex scopes but that they don't like German glass, US-built Minox scopes because they have a Chinese part or two in them. 

It is common knowledge that pretty much all scopes have a Chinese-made part or two. It just seems that shooters are very reluctant to accept anything that comes along that isn't what they have on their rifle. It's kind of like the "big" argument that the Conquest won't hold up because it has plastic turret covers..... Whacko

I gave up on Leupold when I realized they weren't charging all that money for glass (it is easily equaled or bettered by lower-priced scopes) or parts (they get parts from the same places others do), but were charging the premium because they have to pay for the replacement of thousands of 30-year old scopes every year and thousands of 20-year-old scopes and thousands of 10-year-old scopes and thousand of 5-year-old scopes ... etc., etc., etc.

I'd rather my $$$ go into R&D and better glass that I can use than for the costs to replace my dad's old scopes.

It's simple math, really. Leupold has been in business for 105 years give-or-take, selling scopes for 50 or more. They have sold millions (not thousands ..... millions) more scopes than their closest competitor and literally have millions of scopes in circulation. They have had (for the most part) a free-replacement warranty (although that seems to be happening less and less). How many of those millions of scopes fail every year? Who pays for their free replacement when they go belly-up? You and I do every time we purchase a new Leupold scope.

It's kind of like Sage fly rods. Does anyone really think a piece of rolled plastic is worth $800? It isn't. You can get the same performance for $200 (or less) from companies that don't have millions of fly rods in circulation and don't have tens of thousands of fly rods to replace (free) each year.

I've had three problems with Leupold scopes, which Leupold took care of. Two with repairs and one with a free scope. I've had one problem with a Zeiss scope which they also immediately took care of. I've had no problems with my Burris, Nikon or Minox scopes but I expect if I did, with the possible exception of Nikon, I'm pretty sure they'd make it right. This experience has me just saying "no" to buying $300 scopes for $1,000.


Edited by seattlesetters - October/16/2012 at 15:26
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2012 at 16:10
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This makes sense.  In Canada Leuopold scopes are about 1/3 more expensive on average in Canada then in the US while all of the other brands of scopes are very comparable in price and are usually a just a few dollars more (transportation has to cost something right?).  I know all warranty work in Canada is done by the importer (Korth) so all that extra money has to be going to fix all the thirty year old scopes that Leupold has not given Korth any money to fix.

Maybe.  Thats my theory.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2012 at 19:37
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I'm just going to give you MY opinion, I have Minox,Leupold VX-III,Vortex Viper,Nikon Monarch,Bushnell Elite,Tasco Worldclass (Japan),Bushnell Trophy XLT,Weaver Grand Slam,and Leupold VX-II. My favorite gun, a Stainless/Walnut Ruger Number One in 6.5x55 Swede wears a Minox. The scope I use the most is a Weaver Grand Slam on a Win. Model 70 .223. I would consider the Grand Slam as good or better than any of my other scopes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2012 at 19:47
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I like the Weaver GS, as well. Had one on a rifle I ended up not caring for and sending down the road, but the scope was nice. Very good glass. the only thing I remember noticing was it was a bit short on eye relief compared to some of my others, but that was probably exacerbated by the fact the rifle was a .338 Win Mag. I would buy a Weaver Grand Slam again in a heartbeat.

I just bought my first Vortex product ... a SARC red dot. I don't have it yet, but am looking forward to putting it through the rigors of life on an AR.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/22/2012 at 22:21
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Catch 22
 
Can you tell me what you like about the Weaver Grand Slam compared to your Vortex Viper. Im in the market for upgrading scopes on a few rifles: M1A, Mossberg MVP, and a Savage Mark II 22LR. I have learned a valuable lesson on purchasing budget scopes and understand you get what you pay for. I have 2 Vortex Vipers and I am really pleased with their glass quality, ruggedness, and their excellent warranty. However, I am always looking for better quality for around the same price as the Viper line. Im considering a Vortex crossfire for my savage 22lr:
a Vortex Viper for my Mossberg MVP:
And a Vortex Viper for my M1A:
 I have been looking at some other scopes that are a little more affordable(some about the price of a viper) but I am scepticle about their glass and quality. For example, Hawk, Weaver, Nikon, SS, etc.
Can you suggest anything? your feedback is greatly appreciated
My shooting consists of Target Shooting from 100 yards to 600 yards during the day. I like 50mm objectives with some type of target turrets on my scopes.
Thanks in Advance.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/23/2012 at 09:49
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Originally posted by seattlesetters seattlesetters wrote:




My Minox scopes do very well at low-light. At least the equal of my Conquests and better than my ex-Leupolds. Haven't had a single issue with any of them, and neither have others I've talked to. 

Weird how some folks will say they love Chinese-made Vortex scopes but that they don't like German glass, US-built Minox scopes because they have a Chinese part or two in them. 

It is common knowledge that pretty much all scopes have a Chinese-made part or two. It just seems that shooters are very reluctant to accept anything that comes along that isn't what they have on their rifle. It's kind of like the "big" argument that the Conquest won't hold up because it has plastic turret covers..... Whacko

I gave up on Leupold when I realized they weren't charging all that money for glass (it is easily equaled or bettered by lower-priced scopes) or parts (they get parts from the same places others do), but were charging the premium because they have to pay for the replacement of thousands of 30-year old scopes every year and thousands of 20-year-old scopes and thousands of 10-year-old scopes and thousand of 5-year-old scopes ... etc., etc., etc.

I'd rather my $$$ go into R&D and better glass that I can use than for the costs to replace my dad's old scopes.

It's simple math, really. Leupold has been in business for 105 years give-or-take, selling scopes for 50 or more. They have sold millions (not thousands ..... millions) more scopes than their closest competitor and literally have millions of scopes in circulation. They have had (for the most part) a free-replacement warranty (although that seems to be happening less and less). How many of those millions of scopes fail every year? Who pays for their free replacement when they go belly-up? You and I do every time we purchase a new Leupold scope.

It's kind of like Sage fly rods. Does anyone really think a piece of rolled plastic is worth $800? It isn't. You can get the same performance for $200 (or less) from companies that don't have millions of fly rods in circulation and don't have tens of thousands of fly rods to replace (free) each year.

I've had three problems with Leupold scopes, which Leupold took care of. Two with repairs and one with a free scope. I've had one problem with a Zeiss scope which they also immediately took care of. I've had no problems with my Burris, Nikon or Minox scopes but I expect if I did, with the possible exception of Nikon, I'm pretty sure they'd make it right. This experience has me just saying "no" to buying $300 scopes for $1,000.





So, what is your point??
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/23/2012 at 10:15
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I would not get to hung up on wind differences between 55 and 70 grain bullets at a max distance of 350 yards.  The difference will be minimal, about an inch is all.  At that short of distance the speed advantage of the smaller bullet almost makes up for the ballistic coefficient disadvantage.

And the diff in energy is more like 15% not 60% at 350.  At 150 it is more like 5%.  A coyote will not even know the difference.

The speed difference of a 55 grain to a 69 grain is 300 to 400 fps.  When hunting varmints that speed can be very beneficial because they are often moving.  Faster speed means your bullet will get to them quicker, so you have to lead them less.

I have killed many yotes with 55 grain fmjs from 50 to 400 yards.  They really make a hole in them.  I would have no reservation about using 55 grain bullets and get the scopes you originally wanted. 

If you are talking considerably longer distances it would probably make sense, but not for the typical yote hunting distances.   


Edited by supertool73 - October/23/2012 at 10:33
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/23/2012 at 11:00
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Agreed, I've shot yotes with 55 gr - 60 gr Hornady V-max's and 60 gr Nosler Partitions and they really get the job done.  If I was after fur for selling, I'd probably opt for something else as these options really made a mess, but result in alot of dead yotes.
 
Have you considered looking at a front focal plane scope, such as a sample list SS 3-9?  If you are willing to do a little work on your end and figure out bullet drops for each load that your gun likes, you can accomplish the same thing.  Just another option.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/23/2012 at 11:47
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I used a 3-9 SS for coyote hunting in Michigan a few years back. That scope is very good for the stated purpose. But, it will be over the $500 limit if new. Or, like our friend says, jump on this http://www.samplelist.com/SWFA-SS-3-9x42-Rifle-Scope-DEMO-B-P60366.aspx
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2012 at 18:16
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Bushnell elite 3200 5-15x40 tactical, great scope for less than $400!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2012 at 08:46
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

Leupold VX3, Zeiss Conquest......proven commodities.  
 
A zeiss conquest 3-9x40, Leupold VX3 2.5-8x36 and a Leupold VX3 3.5-10x40 have a real good track record... I would like to try a minox 3-9x40.  These are vanilla mag ranges though, might not work for someone wanting higher power and/or objective size. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2012 at 10:00
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it seems to me that given the closeout pricing on the sightrons, the S2 big sky is probably going to be the best bang for your buck scope right now... you're essentially getting an 800$ scope for 350$ish... hard to beat that.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2012 at 19:29
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I would go for lower magnification an higher quality glass. You want a tough scope if your truely gonna hunt hard. I would take a hard look at vx II 4-12x40  cds. This can be tweaked to your specific load by Leopold! You would not be disappointed in this scope an its right on track with your budget. 

If you are a reloader try 60 grn vmax with 25-26 grn of varget. This is a sweat load for most rigs an works in both 1/9 an 1/8 twist
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/31/2012 at 00:13
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Weaver classic extreme 2.5-10x50 German dot illuminated reticle. Reg over $800 now on blow out at competitor for 289! Youll be surprised when you receive it. Im gonna get another for my other varmint rifle.
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