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Budget scopes

Discussion in 'Gear & Accessories' started by Atroxus, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. Atroxus

    Atroxus Marysville, WA Member

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    Hi, I am picking up a stevens model 200 30-06 tuesday or wednesday, and am looking for a scope for it. I plan to use it for hunting deer/elk. I am on a very tight budget though. I want something that will be reasonable quality without going broke. I found a couple that seem like good bargains on natchez, but I am new to hunting. This year will be my first. Below is a list of the scopes I am considering with links. At the moment I am leaning heavily towards the BSA scope. I wanted to get some input from some experienced hunters before making a purchase though. If you know of a better bargain on any of them, or a better scope for similar price I am open to suggestions.

    Bushnell Banner 4-12x40 Riflescope Multi-X Reticle Matte $85.75
    http://www.natchezss.com/Optics.cfm...l&brand=BH&prodID=BH714124&prodTitle=Bushnell Banner 4-12x40 Riflescope Multi-X Reticle Matte

    Bushnell Legend 4-12x40 Riflescope Multi-X Reticle Matte $124.95
    http://www.natchezss.com/Optics.cfm...&brand=BH&prodID=BH754124M&prodTitle=Bushnell Legend 4-12x40 Riflescope Multi-X Reticle Matte

    Simmons 4-12x44 ProHunter Riflescope Truplex Reticle Matte $89.95
    http://www.natchezss.com/Optics.cfm...il&brand=SN&prodID=SN511045&prodTitle=Simmons 4-12x44 ProHunter Riflescope Truplex Reticle Matte

    Simmons 4-12x40 ProHunter Riflescope Side Focus Truplex Reticle Matte $79.95
    http://www.natchezss.com/Optics.cfm...il&brand=SN&prodID=SN517716&prodTitle=Simmons 4-12x40 ProHunter Riflescope Side Focus Truplex Reticle Matte

    BSA Contender 4-16X40 Riflescope Side Parallax Mildot Reticle $109.86
    http://www.natchezss.com/Optics.cfm?contentID=productDetail&brand=OS&prodID=OSMD416X40&prodTitle=BSA Mil-Dot 4-16x40 Riflescope
     
  2. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    Don't waste your time with junk. If you are going to hunt, you owe it to yourself and the game you hopefully will kill to use quality glass. Leupold is a NW company that makes some of the best scopes in the world and they have great customer service.
     
  3. NWPilgrim

    NWPilgrim Portland area Member

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    I would consider getting a 2-7x or 3-9x instead of the 4-16x. Not because of cost but it is less useful unless you plan to shoot from supported positions at no less than 100 yds. If you are in dense woods or game shows up at 50 yds. you will be wasting time trying to locate the game through the 4x. On the high end I don't know anyone that can hold steady enough free hand that anything over 10x won't make them sea sick.

    I always hunted with the scope turned down to 2x or 3x so if game appeared close in I could get on target quickly. If the game is far enough away to need 6x then I had time to adjust the scope. If you are shooting big game then I don't know that anything more than 2x-3x per hundred yards is useful, and rarely would you want to be shooting beyond 300 yds. I've rarely found the need for anything beyond 6x except to spot bullet holes on targets at 100 yds.

    As far as inexpensive scopes go, we've had Bushnell Banner scopes on two primary hunting rifles (.30-06, .308) since the early 1960s. They keep zero through the years and hard brush/mountain hunting. I've always put Nikon or Leupold on my rifles, but I can't argue with field performance of the Banners. Can't say if today's Banners are made the same as in the 1960s.

    I just recently put a Weaver V-series scope on a rifle ($150) and it is very good value (made in Japan, not China).

    It's nice having good glass, but any decent scope is way better than open sights and lots of game was taken with open sights. Remember that most game is taken at less than 100 yds, so how much scope do you need? I suspect that more game is shot poorly or missed due to human factors (lack of skill, bad decisions, unfamiliarity of weapon and ammo at various distances and field conditions) than have been by poor quality scopes.

    Try holding a pair of 10x binoculars steady enough to see anything well, and then decide whether you really can make use of a 14x scope.
     
  4. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

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    i have a simmons prohunter i dropped the rifle with the scope on it and it hit a steel edge hard enough to bend the scope i took it and pried it back back straight though for sure it would not hold a zero and it was time to toss it but sure enough it still holds a zero .

    just about any scope that took that fall would have dented the same way so im glad it was not a scope that cost over $300
     
  5. 86-0134

    86-0134 north willamette valley Member

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  6. soberups

    soberups Newberg Well-Known Member

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    You might look around at pawnshops for a used Leupold Vari-X 1. They can be had for around $150 or so and are a quantum leap forward in terms of quality. I see new, entry-level Leupold 3x9x40's on sale at Bi-Mart all the time for $199.

    Dont buy a cheap scope. BSA's and Bushnell's are made in China. Leupolds are made here in Oregon and carry a lifetime warranty. In 5 or 10 years you wont remember the extra $75 you spent, but you will appreciate the extra quality that you have.

    I would much rather have a cheap rifle with a good scope than the other way around.
     
  7. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    For an economy scope, I have had good luck with the Simmons Aetecs. It's their top line scope. Reasonably priced and still decent quality. Is it as good as a Leupold, Burris, or Nikon;? No. Is it better than the cheap Tasco's, Bushnell Sportviews, Barska's etc.? Yes.

    It's all well and good to say you need to buy a Leupold, Nikon, Swarovski, etc..., but some folks don't have $500-$1,500 to spend on a scope. In the end, the old saw is true. You get what you pay for.
     
  8. vern357

    vern357 Near Olympia Member

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    Primary Arms 4.5X14X50mm.

    Best 135 you will ever spend!!!!!!!!!!

    I have one on my 308 and it rocks hard.
     
  9. Atroxus

    Atroxus Marysville, WA Member

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    Any idea what the warranty is on the Simmons aetec? Only thing I was able to find was that they guaranteed 48 hour turnaround to fix or replace from time it arrives at repair facility, but it didn't say how long after purchase that warranty was good.
     
  10. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Bushnell banner 3-9 is a decent scope for the money and it has a great warranty. Then save your money to buy a better scope later. When you do you'll really appreciate what you got for the money.
    Don't be afraid to look at quality used scopes, especially ones with a lifetime warranty. I bought a used Leupold VXII 3-9x40 matte last weekend for $200 at the gunshow and it works nice. Saved over $100 compared to new.
     
  11. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    I love a cheap scope to start with.

    Always room for upgrading.
     
  12. Atroxus

    Atroxus Marysville, WA Member

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    Thanks for all of the input everyone. I found someone on another forum that is going to give me a really sweet deal on a Vortex Diamondback. Now I gotta decide which vortex. Looks like my choices(at the discounted pricing) are 3-9x40 with vplex reticle, or 4-12x40 with the BDC reticle. I am not sure how useful the BDC reticle would be for me though. Should I stick with the standard reticle on the 3-9x, or spend a little more to get the BDC reticle on the 4-12x? Is only $15 dollar price difference.
     
  13. cbzdel

    cbzdel Tacoma, WA Member

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    Personally been happy with my Nikon Prostaff, got it off Amazon for $120 a couple months ago.. It has a lifetime warranty to :)

    So have not had it long term but so far its been great!

    I am still learning the BDC function, its not 100% perfect, but how could it be with so many different loads available.
     
  14. vern357

    vern357 Near Olympia Member

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    Spend the exra $15 for the BDC, as even if you dont use it now you may later, and I love the BDC on my 30-06!
     
  15. NWPilgrim

    NWPilgrim Portland area Member

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    More important than BDC is for what you will use the scope and at what ranges. If you are planning to use this in the field then I would go for the 3-9x as you want lowest magnification for close-in game. Try looking through a 4x scope in heavy brush and see how long it takes to locate game. 1x or 2x would be best but 3x is more tolerable than 4x.

    If you will mostly be in wide open spaces or at the range at more than 100 yds, then the 4x is irrelevant in terms of the above comment, and the 12x might be handy.

    Some guys just assume more magnification is better but under field conditions I've rarely found the need for much more than 6x. The 3-9x is the most popular for good reason: the 3x is the most power usable under 100 yards while the 9x is more than enough for anything out to 400 yds. I would rather have a 2-7x than a 4-12x for field use. But at the range I need 9x or 10x to see .30 bullet holes on paper.
     
  16. chase

    chase Wilsonville, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I would buy the BDC, well I did. Its nice for when you zero your gun in for the middle cross hairs. Then when you want to shoot out further you just go down to the other levels.
     
  17. Atroxus

    Atroxus Marysville, WA Member

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    Since I seem to be getting mixed advice here and other forums, I decided to try an experiment. I paced off about 10 yards in my house from one side to the other. Then practiced target acquisition on various items with the 3-9x scope on my .22 first set at 3x, then with it set at 4x and did not seem to notice a difference. So I decided to go with the 4-12x. I may never use the extra magnification, but since the scope has an unconditional lifetime warranty I figuer better $15 extra now, than a whole new scope if/when I gain the skill to shoot at or beyond 300 yards. Thanks again everyone for all of the advice. Soon as I get scope mounted to rifle I will post pics of the rifle and targets from my first range trip with it. :thumbup:
     
  18. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Simmons scopes have a Limited Lifetime Warranty.
     
  19. no time

    no time Roseburg area Active Member

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    I have no experience with Vortex scopes, and I'm sure a lot of us are in the same boat. Make sure you report back with your impressions after you recieve and shoot with it. Thanks!
     
  20. Atroxus

    Atroxus Marysville, WA Member

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    I am optimistic about vortex. There was an excellent review of the same scope in this months American Rifleman magazine, and I figure they can't be that bad if they are willing to give a fully transferable, unconditional lifetime warranty. I can't wait to try it out though and will definitely report my impressions. :)