Guide to buying a rifle scope

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bubblewhip
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Re: Guide to buying a rifle scope

Post by bubblewhip » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:41 am

I think the honest problem with scope suggestions is that a lot of people especially in the long range community are in different fields that don't actually understand each others needs very well. Benchrest guys are recommending scopes to the tactical competition guys who have very different needs and opinions on things like first focal plane, MOA adjustment, illumination, and reticule choices. You could also say the same thing about long range rifles too as while F-Class, Benchrest, and tactical shooters all shoot at long ranges out to 1000 yards, they have very different needs for their rifles and different requirements.

I think people have to get rid of the title "Long range rifle system" because it encompasses too many different fields to really recommend someone a rifle and scope setup.

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D5CAV
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Re: Guide to buying a rifle scope

Post by D5CAV » Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:54 am

One thing that is difficult to test until you buy the scope is twilight performance.

With today's optical quality, even a cheap scope outperforms a top-of-the-line scope from 100 years ago. In the store and even at the range on a bright, sunny day, they look bright and crisp. Low light is where most of these scopes fail.

I have stopped using Leupold scopes after losing 3 shots on deer. I had a Leupold 2.5-10x40 Vari-X III on my rifle. I had a pair of Zeiss 8x42 binos. I was scanning an open field in the last few minutes of shootable light (which also happens to be when deer come out to feed). I saw some deer, including a nice buck. I drop the binos and pick up the rifle - no deer. WTF? I pick up the binos again - there are the deer! I look through the scope again - no deer, and by now I can barely make out the trees. I thought this was a fluke, but it happened a couple more times, then I upgraded the scope.

Brightest glass?
Zeiss
Hensoldt (now part of Zeiss)
Swarovski
Schmidt & Bender
Kahles

To my eyes, Zeiss is the best. That is what replaced the Leupold.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Denis
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Re: Guide to buying a rifle scope

Post by Denis » Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:19 am

D5CAV wrote:One thing that is difficult to test until you buy the scope is twilight performance.

...Low light is where most of these scopes fail.
Amen. Talking about hunting here. Target shooting at long distances is a different business, as is sniping, which combines elements of both.

Any modern scope of reasonable quality construction is fine in daylight. What separates an OK hunting scope from a good hunting scope is the performance in the hour before dawn and the hour after sundown. Those are the times when lots of game animals are active, so you have to be able to see them well enough to place a safe shot. Unfortunately for us, you pay a lot for the extra half an hour's performance.

For low-light scopes, use what German hunters use - they do a lot of twilight and moonlight shooting. What brands do we see here? Zeiss, Swarowski and Schmidt & Bender. Sometimes Kahles, Minox or Meopta.

A fixed 8x56 scope with a 30mm tube is a tried and true favourite for shooting boar at night (and a 6x42 for daytime). A 56mm glass is heavy already, so dispense with the extra weight of a zoom mechanism. Folks whose eyes are not what they used to be like scopes with a tiny illuminated red dot at the intersection of the (German No 4 reticle) crosshairs.

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Combat Controller
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Re: Guide to buying a rifle scope

Post by Combat Controller » Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:31 am

Nicely done. I shared it with a friend who need that info.
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Combat Controller
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Re: Guide to buying a rifle scope

Post by Combat Controller » Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:32 am

Oh, and Leupold owns Redfield so every redfield you buy is the last gen Leupold IIRC. Good value there.
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Netpackrat
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Re: Guide to buying a rifle scope

Post by Netpackrat » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:38 am

CombatController wrote:Oh, and Leupold owns Redfield so every redfield you buy is the last gen Leupold IIRC. Good value there.
Yup. I have one of the Loopy Redfields in 3x9 on the Saiga .308; it is a very good scope although I am thinking about replacing it with something with a ballistic reticle. I just wish Leupold would bring back the Widefield.
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D5CAV
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Re: Guide to buying a rifle scope

Post by D5CAV » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:07 pm

Ilya has some good reviews of rifle scopes where he actually goes out and shoots them, vs. most reviewers that look at the scopes while eating canapes at SHOT show.

I pretty much agree with his overall manufacturer assessments, although I would give Leupold a lower score.

http://opticsthoughts.com/?page_id=152

My experience with Leupolds has been with their low to mid-range product offerings, like Vari X-II and Vari X-III, so I will reserve judgement on their high-end scopes.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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First Shirt
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Re: Guide to buying a rifle scope

Post by First Shirt » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:52 pm

Hunting Buddy and I both use Leupold 4X scopes, hers on a 7mm-08, and mine on a .30/06. Both have been flawless, so far.
But there ain't many troubles that a man caint fix, with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."
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