Discussion in 'Scopes, Optics, LRFs, Spotters, BoreScopes' started by onelastshot, Aug 16, 2017.
I"m glad you found what you were looking for, regardless of the horse's hind end giving you advice.
Solid choice. You will not regret it.
You answered your question! I too am finding older eyes appreciate better glass and with the huge price drops on S&B (we are talking over a thousand now that their military orders are caught up) I don't believe there is a "better scope for the money..." and I own most of the top shelf ones...
I shoot the number one with vx 3 3.5-10 x50. In 300WM, my winchester feather wt 300WSM has a vx 3 4.5-14x50. Very happy with both.
You made a great choice onelastshot. I've owned several different scopes, opinions run wild on the subject and people get pretty inflexible when they offer what they think the "very best scope for the money" is. I've used fixed powers with good success, they are simpler and tougher than variables. My current favorite hunting scope is a March 3-24x42, but that will change with time. Maybe one of the best values in good glass is the Leica ER series, Europtic is running them at less than 600 bucks until the end of the month, lots of people rave about them. I'm going to mount one on a 25x47.
You took advantage of the classifieds, that was smart. A Schmidt and Bender 3-12 is a very useful scope. I hope you follow up and tell us how you like it.
Boyd, I have to agree and join you in the shallow end of the pool where others may criticize us. My first "upgrade" was from a Lyman AA 8x (which I used on groundhogs AND deer) to a steel Weaver T10. No fancy dots, lights, or glass...just a tough tube and repeatable clicks. I got it in 1979. It has been with me ever since and is the only scope I have ever had for an extended time that did not need some upkeep. I use Leupolds (used, thank you) cause that is what the budget allows. But recently bought another old T10 and had it rebuilt at Ackerman's. I don't think I will outlive it. Sure, it has coke bottle glass (or so some say) but I have killed groundhogs to 700 yards with that dumb little 10X. And it cost me $109 new in '79. Could I buy a Zeiss or SB? Sure. But that would mean I could not buy a gun to put under it. I cannot afford to be glass rich, or I would just have a spotting scope. So some of us have to just swim in the shallow end...but we swim, none the less!
The thing that gets me is that it seems like many do not know that while optical performance is certainly nice, that as long as you can see well enough to sight accurately on your target that it is the scopes ability to hold its setting that is far and away the most important factor, assuming that parallax has been successfully dealt with. Recently we have been blessed with several sources for scope checkers. One can only hope that those that write formal scope reviews will buy and learn how to use them.
I always like reading these sort of threads. I'm glad the op found a scope and hope he likes it.. when I first got into shooting I bit onto thinking I had to have the top notch scope and couldn't shoot well with out it ... spent ALOT of money ( I was 21 in college) it was $500... I was broke for 4 months because of it couldn't even afford to shoot ( all summer long)....the gun I put it on was a $400 223... I was just dumb founded for a while my scope coast more than my gun ... at this point I have many optics that were way more than that scope ... and yet when I go out wood chuck hunting that's my go to gun and optic and I refuse to screw with it because it still performs perfect...
I just bought a scope for a new deer hunting gun... I decided what I wanted for powers than objective than what other options I wanted but my top rule was I would not buy a scope with out being able to look through it in low light... everyone's eyes are different and I just wanted to make sure what I liked...
Grandpa always said "opinions are like ass holes everyone has one.... and they all stink so do what's best for you or what makes you happy"
I'm with you. "Buy once, cry once" is almost NEVER good advice. For rank beginners (in any sport), without ANY first hand experience, it is normal to "not know enough to not know what you don't know". In other words, it's hard to pick the right equipment for your wants/needs if you're a complete new guy.
Asking an old timer "What (fill-in-the-blanks) is the best?" and then buying it, fits the "buy once, cry once" philosophy, but will often lead to disappointment.
Naturally, a huge factor is price. Most of the people I know in the shooting sports can "afford" an $8000 scope and still be able to feed their family. But none of them can justify that kind of expenditure for the kind of matches we shoot. There ain't no world championships on our firing line. That doesn't mean we aren't serious, but most of us spend $1500 to $2500 on our F-class scopes. None of us have spent that much on our first scope.
The most expensive and the most exciting car (by far) I ever bought was a mid-engine, two-seat Ferrari. But the first car I bought was a well used Triumph TR-4 for $1500 even though I had a strong yearning for a Ferrari even at that young age. Was the Triumph a mistake? Not at all. In fact it turned out to be a perfect purchase for me at that time in my life, especially considering my experience back then. Should I have gone deeply into debt to buy a Ferrari back then? Absolutely not.
When it comes to acquiring anything, whether it be a college education, a car, a scope, a wife, or even cancer treatment, I would say "choose wisely". Do enough research to be able to evaluate quality. Expect to become more wise as you gain experience. Take advantage of the experience of others, but filter that data carefully. Carefully evaluate what you can afford/justify, realizing that most things are available over a wide price range. Use your accumulated knowledge/experience/research to select an item with the features and quality to suit your purposes, realizing that those things that effect your wants and needs will most likely change over time.
Asking an old-timer or an expert for "the best of something," is not the way to learn about anything, though it's extremely common.
A much better question from a newbie would be, "what features/qualities/specifications do want in something to accomplish the task at hand?" But when you do that on a site such as this one, you will immediately be bombarded with various specific recommendations accompanied by the childish mantra "buy once, cry once."
There are LOTS of great scopes out there and differences between them are becoming blurred (which is silly when dealing with high end optics.) This is the same in photography and most other things. That is why there are so many valid opinions. Manufacturing has advanced so much that we do have a huge selection of things from which to choose. If you're going to spend lots of money on something, you should do that informed by your experience, not "buy once, cry once."
BTW, I would never buy a Ferrari; to me that is a useless car; again, to me. Where would I put my 34 inch barreled F-TR rifle, with the multi-kilobuck March-X scope, Kowa spotting scope, Manfrotto tripod, cart, 500 rounds of ammo and all the gear I need driving to the World Championship? I just think a Ferrari with a trailer or a cartop carrier would look silly.
In my opinion, when it comes to optics there is a plethora of choices from the inexpensive to the outrageous. We all want good glass, a stable POA, and repeat ability. But I think it really comes down to what is the rifle going to be used for.
If you are shooting small game out to 300 yards, is it really necessary to purchase a $2500 NF, probably not. If you are shooting F-Class Targets at 1000 yards, maybe the high end NF is needed.
I have read so many threads with the opening "What scope should I buy", posted a few myself too. But what is generally lacking from the question is the answer to these three questions:
1) What is the gun to be used for? If hunting, then weight is of concern. This will also help you decide if you need the best glass or just good enough to see they prey.
2a) How far do you expect to be shooting? This is important for zoom but not the full question.
2b) How accurate do you have to be? Funny question but, if I am shooting at a deer or an elk, I don't have to worry about making a shot in a 1 inch circle, if I am hoping to compete in 1000 yard competition, well that requires a whole different magnification.
3) What is your budget? This is a limiter only, but once you have answered the first three questions, then you have to put those answers inline with the budget to narrow down the field to choose from.
At the moment a Ferrari is useless to me too, if for no other reason then the roads where I live are completely devoid of curves, the cops are relentless, and people would "key" the door just to piss off someone they perceive as successful.
But for many years I was a permanent resident of Northern Italy where fantastic roads started right at the end of my driveway. NOBODY would dream of damaging my Ferrari. The parking spaces are small and I never took up more than one, but often times people parking next to me would take one and a half spaces just to protect my car from door dings. A Ferrari is a national icon of sorts. When I would creep through tiny towns near where I lived, always in a lower gear than necessary to hear the growl of that unique flat-plane crankshaft, old ladies humped over in their black shawls and walking home from the local grocery store would shout out "Ferrari!!" as I went past. When I came up behind a slower car, they would frequently move over to let me pass by making room for three wide traffic when there were oncoming cars. And the drivers of oncoming cars never panicked, they just moved over to the right a little bit to let everyone have just enough room to have a little fun. The experience was surreal. It Italy it was completely normal. Here a stunt like that would result in twelve people dead.
And, since driving with a certain passion is customary in Italy and since the cops usually don't get too upset over someone having fun as long as they aren't doing something stupid, the opportunity to play boy racer was ever-present.
So back then a Ferrari was a perfect choice............... now that I'm back in the U.S.A, it would be a horrible choice. Things change.
The gun is to be used for plains game hunting; in other words animals from the small deer class up to and including animals such as the Eland. Distances will vary with the understanding that my self imposed limit will be 400 yards. Because of the proposed distances accuracy is paramount, a once inch variance at 100 yards equates to a four inch difference at 400. Budget is flexible. One factor not included is age; at 63 the eyes need every advantage a good piece of glass can give you. An excellent piece of glass can mean the difference between a clear target and a compromised shot.
Remember, you got what you pay.
You will get exellent scope when you pay more.
"Don't listen to an old timer or expert????? The folks giving this advice are obviously neither.....Asking the right questions of the correct example of an "old timer" or "expert" and you can learn a heck of a lot.....at least I always can. You can also save a heck of a lot sometimes. I would not bother asking a guy that has been married five times for marital advice, but the fella that has owned, tested and hunted with every high end scope made is sure worth a listen....if that is what I wanted to learn about.
There's no vice like advice. So, when it's time to learn something you have the responsibility to make sure the person giving the advice is qualified. A lot of folks are really clueless, but just want to be helpful. This forum has a few, but not near as many as some other ones on the web.
Then there are those that cannot be helped....the OP is not one of them.
Based on your responses, if it were me, I would recommend Nightforce, Schmidt and Bender, or Vortex. A minimum of 50mm but 56mm Objective might be better. The larger number provides a bit larger field of view and lets in more light, which makes your image clearer. Especially in low light conditions. However, this comes at a cost of weight. The larger the Objective the heavier it will weigh.
For power, I would suggest nothing greater than 25 power. This should provide a good image of your prey at distances up to 600 or 700 yards, without having to compensate for excessive magnification.
As for the Reticle, I prefer MOA marks over heavy cross hairs. This provides great field of vision without obstructing the target and assists in windage and elevation adjustments. Also, with a little practice you can gauge distance very easily using the Reticle.
If it were me, I would choose something like the Nightforce ATACR 34mm tube, 5-25x56mm scope. But that is just me.
A good Weaver is all you need, but which one that is, is a good question. If a benchrest shooter can compete with a Weaver T-series, then the adjustments are quite good, if not the best. I can attest that the glass is quite good. The same goes for Sightron. The problem is that not all Weaver scope have micro-trac and not all Sightron scopes have Xact-trac. If you can find a hunting scope that suits your needs and has a Xact-trac or Micro-trac then spending more money on a higher end scope definitely becomes a issue where you get dramatically diminishing returns per dollar spent. Are Schmidt, Swarovski and Ziess better? Yeah I think they are. Are they worth 2x-5x the money. Not to me.
Sightron S-III or similar tactical model. Not the low end tactical line.
Yes, there are better scopes, but the difference is not going to be huge. If I have to wait until I can spend $4k+ on a build with a custom action, manners stock, and S&B scope, then I'll have to wait till I finish paying off our student loans, buy the new house, and buy the wife a new car. On the other hand, if I can use a Rem700 action(about $250 after rebate and sold barrel and stock), Krieger barrel($350) B&C take-off stock($200) and SII 4-16x($180 on sale) then I can do that now(just did). I was going to spend $400-500 on a different Sightron scope, but the sale on the SII was too good to pass up. I would have preferred one of the higher end Sightrons, but the price difference allowed me to spend extra money on powder, bullets and dies. The scope is perfectly fine so far. It does have Xact-trac, and the lack of that feature on my K-6's has bothered me in recent years.
You'll be happy with then Schmidt.
The previous scope that was mounted on the rifle was a Ziess, why would I take two steps backward and purchase a Weaver? I'm looking for a scope that has more power than the previous which was a 1.5-6 power. I chose a 3-12 Schmidt & Bender because I wanted the very best glass I could get. When you get older your eyes simply don't work as well. The title of the post is, The very best scope for your money, I don't see how a Weaver could fit any aspect of that request.
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