View Full Version : Scope suggestions?

May 1, 2005, 07:48 AM
I've looked through many, and am just trying to figure out what to spend around $600 on for a rifle scope for a Tikka Tactical .308 rifle.

Want something that I can use up to 1000 yards. Possibly for use for long-range hunting as well as paper punching. Doesn't necessarily have to have mildots, but I suppose it would be nice if I don't have my laser rangerfinder with me.

Most important criteria is CLARITY - the glass MUST be as clear and free of optical defects/waviness/etc. as possible.

I can accept under 20x if need-be. Would like to keep it in or around the 16x range and 50mm or less objective lens. I like a low-mounted scope.

Ruggedness would be nice, but as long as the scope has a good warranty we are cool.

I've looked through Zeiss Conquests, Leupolds, Nikon Tacticals, Burris, etc. as well as some much cheaper ones.

Thoughts, opinions, etc?

May 1, 2005, 11:01 AM
Try looking here. These guys make a unique rig with some nifty features. Also rugged construction- I've freefell with this at my side, bumped it hard on landing and with the self zero action it shoots fine.


Mike Hull
May 1, 2005, 11:41 AM



Midway sells them at a good price.

As clear, or clearer than most.

May 1, 2005, 12:37 PM
:) NIKON 'Buckmasters' 4.5-14x40 with side focus...

It's new and would give you most everything you want, including the 'tactical' look of a side focus knob.
I was going to get one recently, but had to dump the money on truck repairs. :(

Check out the NIKON site and take a look.

May 1, 2005, 04:14 PM
Leupolds are great and so is Burris if you want to stay American. No matter how good a scope is, you get to a point of diminshing returns vs. dollars spent. My personal rule of thumb is: Don't spend more for glass than the rifle cost. Zeiss and Swarovski may be in a seperate class, but how will that effect group sizes. I have spent some time in photography and the Germans are hard to beat on optical quality, i.e. Leica and Hasalblad. The Japanese are no slouches either and I would look real hard at a NIKON or PENTAX, but before I bought any of them I would also take a look at the Weaver Grand Slam or a top of the line SIMMONS. Their premium products compare very well to some of the others lower cost options. Simmons may be considered cheap by some, but I don't know anyone that has bought a SIMMONS .44 MAG or AETEC series that have complaints either. For a Tactical rifle, my thinking would be like yours, Mil-Dot reticle. Except that I would be happy with a 40-44mm objective lense with a 30mm tube. You do get what you pay for, but a $ definitely has different value in various countries that make riflescopes! ;)

May 1, 2005, 05:07 PM
I must respectfully disagree with Sturm. IMHO, most of the time the scope should cost more than the rifle. 2X the cost of the rifle isn't unreasonable. Just my personal opinion, but I would rather have a WW2 surplus 98 Mauser with a Hensoldt scope on it, than to have a Mark V Weatherby with a Tasco, Bushnell, Weaver or Simmons on it.

Nikon makes some good scopes if you get their top of the line, as does Leupold. Ditto Burris.

I hate to sound negative toward the "economy" scopes, but I've owned a dozen of them over the years, and I've regretted buying every one of them.
I've never regretted buying a quality scope.

The old Hensoldt 6X on my .30-06 really spoiled me! After that one, nothing in the economy line just quite measured up.

You'll pay for a Zeiss, Kahles, Schmidt und Bender, Hensoldt, Swarovski, or even a "top of the line" Leupold or Nikon. But it will be money well spent!

May 1, 2005, 05:34 PM
And I must respectfully express my respect for your disagreement, since you gave very good reasoning for your decisions. Cheygriz, I left Bushnell and Tasco out for the obvious reasons. Have heard good things about the Weaver Grand Slam, but have no personal experience. So, I was wondering if any of your regrets involved top of the line Simmons? Man, some of them have surprised me. My SP put their "premium" variable model on his 10-22T that is parallax free at 50 and I have been impressed. This gun will shoot groups 1/2", sometimes smaller. The rifles I have fired with 44 mag and Aetec scopes seemed to be very well glassed, although I would lean toward the 44 mag. Aetecs have gone back to the factory and more than likely attributed to the Aspherical lense, but I don't know any brand that can claim otherwise.

Maybe Hensoldt, but the world was a little different then and if one of their scopes had failed on the 98 mauser sniper versions that the Wermacht put them on, I don't think they would have had any further need for summer clothing, If you know what I mean! :)

I would certainly have no doubt about a S&BDR, Swav. or Zeiss, but isn't Kahles a lower cost option of the Swarovski? On that one, I would have no problem choosing a lower priced Leupold, Burris, Nikon or even Pentax. But, if the rifle won't shoot better groups at twice the price for a scope, I'm not sure I could see it. Then again, if I owned an Ed Brown Custom, there would be a Zeiss scope on it. Obviously you have greater experience here, so I would appreciate some feedback on the Simmons question. ;)

Swamp Yankee
May 1, 2005, 06:01 PM
Scope discussions tend to draw a lot of differing points of view, so here's mine and remember how much you're paying for it.

First question, does the approximate $600 budget include the mounts and rings or scope only?
Assuming the later, my recommendation would be a Pentax Lightseeker 30 6-24X50 with the Ballistic Plex reticle. They sell in the $600 +/- $30 range. In essence you're buying a Burris Black Diamond with Pentax's own lenses in it. They are supposed to be a tad sharper than the Burris lenses but I have no first hand experience to tell you if its true. On the other hand I do have a Burris Black Diamond 6-24X50 with the Ballistic Mil-Dot and can tell you it is one excellent scope. The ballistic plex portion of the reticle gets you out to 500 yards without adjusting the turrets. I have tried it out to 300 yards with both .223 and .308 and it does work very well. This leaves the adjustment in the turrets available for longer ranges. Check it out over at www.burrisoptics.com
Last thought, look at the Burris Signature Rings. Using the Gunsmith Pack you can gain some elevation. Out to 1000 yards I can't say.
Take Care

May 1, 2005, 06:14 PM
Thanks, guys, for the info.

I was comparing my Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 this afternoon with my Burris Signature 3-9x40.

Quite interesting - the Zeiss seemed just a tad sharper, thought the eye relief/margin for error (meaning how "perfect" you had to hold your eye to get a full view) was not as forgiving as the Burris. But the Zeiss on 9x seemed to bring the target closer than the Burris on 9x. Pretty interesting.

IF I can find a Burris Black Diamond or Pentax 8-32x scope for a good price, I think I may go that route. Ditto for a Zeiss, though there don't seem to be any in the Conquest series with high mag that have mildot reticles.

May 1, 2005, 06:44 PM
Swamp Yankee, not sure how much we owe you, but I didn't know about the 30mm Pentax. I do know that as far as their optics go, they are second to none in Japan and that includes NIKON of course. $600, works for me! ;)

May 1, 2005, 08:27 PM
I believe the 'All American' Leupold has or does use European or Japanese GLASS.
Of course, I could be wrong...

May 2, 2005, 02:12 PM

I must admit that I've never ownd a Simmons. I looked at them several times, but never bought.

The test I like to make for resolving power is an Optometrists eye chart. Put the eye chart up at 25, 50 or 100 yards, depending on the power of the scope, and the location you're in, and look through several different scopes and try to determine the smallest line you can read clearly. Look at the edges of the field of vision as well as the center.

I looked through a Simmons, and I don't remember the model number, and compared it to a Burris. The Burris was far clearer. as I said earlier, I haven't owned one, so I can't attest to it's durability or ruggedness, either pro or con.

I do know from experience that a Burris, Leupold or any of the Germanic scopes will really take a beating.

Interestingly, I did the same test with a Leupold, Nikon and Burris. I was just a bit surprised that the Nikon won that one by a comfortable margin. :rolleyes:

If you want to have an interesting afternoon at the range sometime, beg or borrow one of these eyecharts and look at them through different scopes, at different ranges.

I must admit that, years ago, I didn't think there was much difference in clarity between scopes, I had always thought that the price difference was for better durability. An old retired SWAT type convinced me to do the eyechart test, and I was amazed! Since then, I have had an entirely different outlook on optics.

I'm certainly not an expert on optics by any means. But now I at least know of one very good test to determine clarity and resolving power.

May 3, 2005, 12:32 AM
Thanks cheygriz, could be intrestin'. On the subject of SIMMONS, I want to be clear to all of you guys that I am only talking about their top of the line and in reality only 2. Their "premium" .22 Rimfire Target Scope and the 44 MAG. A lot of good info is in this thread, but I'm still gonna cheapskate a little and look at that Pentax! ;)

May 3, 2005, 06:00 AM
Might check out Fujinon. I have never handled their scopes, but their glass/coating combinations have a very high reputation indeed - as does the robust construction of their binoculars.

May 4, 2005, 03:17 PM
Have heard good things about the Weaver Grand Slam

I have 2 of these on different rifles and have been very pleased with them, meaning that they have done all I have wanted and more, never coming up lacking in any respect.

I think they outperform my Leupold scopes, by a small margin. Having never owned and used some of the uber-high end brands mentioned by others on this thread, I cannot give usefull comparison there.

J. Scott
May 4, 2005, 04:39 PM
Might I also suggest you check out Super Sniper scopes at www.swfa.com
I have one of these in 16x on my Savage 10FP tactical .308. I'm not suggesting that these are the best optics out there, but I do think they are the best for the money. They come in fixed powers, 30mm tube, mil dot and they have 120MOA adjustment so that you won't need a 20MOA base. I just used mine for the first time at 600yds (up 14moa) from a 100yd zero. I'm going to shoot at 100 tomorrow to see how it performs, I expect it to be at 0.
I'll let you know what happens.

May 4, 2005, 05:06 PM
Nailed down a GREAT deal on a Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14x44 scope today with BC Flip-ups for $450 - wow!

May 4, 2005, 05:56 PM
My understanding (could be all wet) is that these are some of the better *values* out there:

-Weaver Grand Slam
-Bushnell Elite 4200 & Elite 3200
-Swift Premier
-Simmons Aetec (is the .44 Mag higher or lower than the Aetec line? I thought lower)
-Sightron SII
-Super Sniper (by Tasco) -the fixed 16 or fixed 20 might meet your needs.
-Zeiss Conquest

I think you will get slightly better light transmission from a 30mm tube over a 1" tube scope, however, if one of them is in your price range, like the Pentax. I dunno, so many choices your head can spin. Can never go wrong with a Leupold either - there's sure to be one in your price range, but not a side focus Loopy. I've got a real woody for the Bushnell Elite 3200, 2-7x32mm - just got one the other day for my Saiga .308 - sure seems like a lot of scope for the $179.95 + tax that I paid, considering the rainguard coating. Here's what Bushnell claims about their 4200 Elite line:

The brightest scope in the world. Period. Boasting 95% light transmission at 550nm, this is our top-of-the-line riflescope. Our exclusive, hydrophobic RainguardĀ® lens coating disperses condensation into microscopic specks, allowing you to literally see around moisture. All optical lens surfaces are fully multi-coated for maximum light transmission and the sharpest image. The ultra-strong one-piece tube is hammer-forged from an aluminum and titanium alloy for 30% more strength than standard aluminum scopes. Finally, our EliteĀ® 4200 scopes offer some of the largest magnification ranges in the industry for optimum versatility in the most challenging hunting situations. The scope's rugged design is recoil tested to 10,000 rounds of a .375 H&H magnum. If you're a serious hunter the Elite 4200 will do justice to your commitment. Sounds good, but grain of salt and all that, ya know.

J. Scott
May 5, 2005, 05:39 PM
I see you found a scope, sounds like a good deal, be sure and let us know how it works out and tracks for you. As I said yesterday that I would report back on the tracking of the SS16x, all :) 0 is 0 :D

May 5, 2005, 06:06 PM
FF, the Aetec was the more expensive of the 2 at one time, and I'm thinkin' due to the Aesherical lense. I don't know what the actual numbers are, but the Aetec had a higher return for service rate and the 44 MAG seems to hold up pretty well. I think, but would have to check, that SIMMONS upgraded the 44 MAG to a new top of the line, after the WEAVER GRAND SLAM hit the market and they are owned by the same folks!

Greywolf, what a deal, 4.0! ;)