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Buying a Scope - What is important and what not.

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  • Buying a Scope - What is important and what not.

    I see a lot of threads about scopes but very few provide good information about what one should be looking for when
    deciding on a new scope.


    Who should read this post: This is for the average shooting enthusiast who doesn't know a lot about how scopes work and what is available so
    when it is time to decide we can actually understand the different features and how they apply to our needs.

    This thread is not for: Long range experts who want to push specific ideas, methods and top shelve equipment where just the scope might cost 3 or 4 thousand dollars.
    So this is not for S&B or Schneider enthusiasts.


    I want to break this down in a few sections:

    1-How scopes are made and types of scopes depending on use.

    A rifle scope is mainly made of two main modules and several lenses. One is the external tube that is what you mount.
    The other is an internal tube also called erector tube. The inside tube or erector tube is the one that provides the
    adjustment by being "screwed" up or down for drop or side to side for windage.




    2-How to identify what I really need before I am being bombarded with brand names and models.

    3-What scopes, brands and models are out there according to the different budgets.

    4-How to properly install, use and care fo the scope.


    This post will be updated as we evolve and I will add material and other peoples suggestions from the thread as we move forward.
    We will also create separate threads for individual reviews and probably one dedicated to how to properly mount a scope. I estimate that 3/4 of the scopes
    out there are not properly mounted.


    Before we get deep into this let me ask you a few questions:

    1- What do you initially look for in new optics?
    2- How do you use it?
    3- If the scope didn't work out for you, what was the problem?
    4- How much influence did a website or forum had in your decision?

    I want this to be meaningful so please explain your purpose, what firearm and so on. Can use multiple examples. Examples are a good way to give
    meaning to the whole conversation.
    This way with the info and your feedback we can have a thread we can refer new members to who are ready to dance the optics selection tango.

    There is so much confusion about optics everywhere. This is why I decided to open this thread.

    Last edited by Meketrefe; 09-20-2016, 04:06 PM.
    Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

  • #2
    Help me add to the list.

    Quick list of scopes we have experience with in order of budget and application:

    Rifle Budget
    Burris Timberland
    Burris Fulfield Plex and E1 models
    Bushnell banner
    Weaver tactical (Midway exclusive)
    Swift Tactical
    Pride and Fowler 22 (First focal plane)
    Nikon Prostaff
    Redfield Revolution (revolution model made in the USA)
    Leupold VX
    Vortex Viper


    Rifle Mid budget
    Nikon Monarch
    Weaver Tactical FFP
    Zeiss Z8
    Leupold Mark4
    Bushnell Elite


    Rilfe Professional
    Vortex Razor
    Bushnell Elite Tactical
    Night Force NXS
    Weaver Tactical 34mm




    Pistol
    aimpoint dot.




    Last edited by Meketrefe; 09-15-2016, 05:16 PM.
    Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

    Comment


    • #3
      -reserved for follow up pictures-
      Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

      Comment


      • #4
        could we get this post stickied for future reference ?,It is a very good topic,

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TMC View Post
          could we get this post stickied for future reference ?,It is a very good topic,
          I think that is the idea. Thanks for the feedback and see if you can answer some of these so I can take a pulse from our small community....

          Before we get deep into this let me ask you a few questions:

          1- What do you initially look for in new optics?
          2- How do you use it?
          3- If the scope didn't work out for you, what was the problem?
          4- How much influence did a website or forum had in your decision?
          Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

          Comment


          • #6
            I look for name brand Nikon ,Bushnell , Leopold, Night Force .Good clear glass and good reputation and support is very important.
            Light gathering is very important to a clear picture as is magnification I prefer adjustable to fixed ,1 inch tube, a 50mm exit if i am going to spend good money
            First focal plane for reticle , Target turrets and prefer mil dot because I use my night force software for ranging when I shot I only shot 200 yard because that is the longest our club had
            The only problem I ever had was bought a cheap Chinese knock off for my .22 Marlin 882 magnum and the reticle canted in the tube. I ended up trashing it and bought a cheap Remington 3-9x40 scope from Ebay for $35.00 my best scope is a Nikon Tactical Tc 4-16x50 sf m Nikoplex but that was $1000.00 on my Remington 700 .308.I put Nikon Buckmasters 4.5-14x40 $ 400.00 on my 20" AR's
            The only influence I ever had was looking thru the glass before I bought them except for the Ebay scope but that was because my neighbor had the same scope .advertisement is just that. Before buying a scope talk to an actual owner ask about any issues ask to look thru one sometimes on person can see thru a scope better then you can .
            There alot of factors focus, parallax, eye relief even mount single piece vs double .
            Setting up a scope is extremely important good rings ,alignment to the bore "not always the barrel" proper eye relief canting leveling .
            If you shoot long range you may want a 10 or 20 MOA scope base to allow for more reticle adjustment.
            Hope this helps for a start but these are just a few things I look for or do

            Comment


            • #7
              nice. Thanks! this is helpful to build some intelligence around initial expectations.

              What about the other people? Come here and post motherfvckers! LOL


              ...or I'll chop your ears and feed them to the cat! lol
              Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

              Comment


              • #8
                USMC made this a sticky Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  How scopes are made
                  http://bestriflescopereview.net/how-does-a-rifle-scope

                  Types of rifle scopes a video
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7v2hVLvDF_M

                  Choosing a rifle scope a video
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8cnYpjHFkQ

                  Mounting a rifle scope a video
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rFOtmWqBUI

                  Cleaning your rifle scope a video
                  http://ssaa.org.au/stories/optics-co...l#.V9tJQK2ucqI

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oh !! poor old larry... there is a lot lot more to it than that, and you don't mount scopes like that. That is wrong.

                    and that's the way it is!! LOL

                    Thanks for posting thought.

                    Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I always liked his videos they aren't always 100% accurate but he does make things look easy but looking to the right gives you some good selections in the particular category
                      'I have Zack's in round Lake mount my scopes and buy most all of my long rifles there.Good people and decent prices .The only other shop any good in the area is MacGregor's I just hate the mountain they are on and the hours

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have some noob questions that I'm sure would help many...

                        What features should I get and what isn't needed for average user? Some have parallax adjustment and others don't, is that important?

                        Scopes are expensive should I go for better quality to use on multiple firearms or go less expensive and have one on each firearm?

                        ​​​​​​Side note: another topic I would love to hear more about and learn is the shooter and spotter relationship and using a scope effectively. Sure a great scope is awesome but knowing how to use even a good scope properly is priceless .


                        Thank you Mek for sharing your expertise!
                        www.AvidArms.com I'm STIHL out of conditioner!!
                        Finally joined the ranks of broke homeowner
                        Am I short stroking or going to fast?

                        I know he has a bush

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          For me it is simple, Good glass not fuzzy at any power or distance. Mil-Dot reticle is a must, I have no need for BDCing scopes as I know how to use the Mil-Dot. resettable turrets a must. Last Parallax isn't necessary but handy.
                          Last edited by BigJohnH; 09-16-2016, 08:11 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You might want to add Millet to the budget scopes. I use one on my 308 and I have no problem ringing 3/4 size IPSC at 600 yds. Definitely not a great scope but will do the job until funds become available.
                            Semper Fi

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Parallax explained very well a video
                              http://www.luckygunner.com/lounge/wh...cope-parallax/

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