View Full Version : Help picking a scope for Ruger .223

May 10, 2010, 10:06 PM
Hi, I just purchased my first bolt action high powered rifle. Always wanted one since I was a kid:) anyway I need a scope asap. It's an ultra light with a 20" barrel, it's new, black matte barrel with a walnut stock. I would like a quality scope but would really like to spend less than $200. I don't know too much about scopes, my uncle used to tell me to get a leopold back in the 80's. I will use this gun for target up to 200 yards and maybe some varmint hunting. I like a lot of light and a good size field of vision. Not sure about the power, I'm thinking 3x9 or 4x12. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thx

May 10, 2010, 10:22 PM
with your budget i would get a burris fullfield 2. should be able to find one around that price.

May 10, 2010, 10:59 PM
I have the Burris Fullfield II and it is an awesome scope for the money.

May 10, 2010, 11:21 PM
Ditto on the Burris Fullfield II. Another option I've read a lot of great things about is the Vortex Diamondback. However, the Burris has been around a long time and is a great scope. The Nikon Team Primo's is also out there too as well as the Bushnell 4200 for not much more. There are a lot of good scopes in that price range. I really like the Fullfield II though.

May 10, 2010, 11:23 PM
For $159- I've had great luck so far with these: http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=341315&utm_source=froogle&utm_medium=free&utm_campaign=657 I'm up to three of 'em so far and haven't had any problems at all.

May 11, 2010, 12:06 AM
I have to agree with everything that has been said. I used to prefer burris over everything else, but lately my preference has shifted to the Bushnell 3200 in that price range. I think burris is made overseas now, but the fullfield II is still a good scope for the money. If you prefer clicks to bricks, then try midwayusa.com or grafs.com.

May 11, 2010, 04:18 AM
Sounds like you have a neat rifle, congrats. The 20" tube makes me think you have some type of compact or light weight rifle, if so, I'd suggest you watch carefully what size 'scope you hang on it, a BIG scope may look a bit odd and goober up the balance as well.

I think the Burris 'scopes are worth the money and run several. Leupold's rep is still well deserved and the benchmark for cost and durability. Leupold markets a line of compact scopes that may offer what you're looking for.

I put a fixed 6x Leu on my 20" .223 bolt (mini-mauser) and am under scoped, if I had it to do again I'd look at a compact 3-9.

One suggestion, I run all Leu's and a few Burris's, and have bought the last 4-5 Leus, used, off the internet (ebay) for a good savings on every one. Ebay's not real pro-gun, but you CAN save a buck there if you watch the offerings.

May 11, 2010, 05:41 AM
bushnell 3200 is a great scope for the money.

May 11, 2010, 06:25 AM
I have a couple of Burris FFII scopes and they are good scopes for the money. The only thing I really don't like about the scope is the whole eye piece turns when you change the power settings. With butler creek flip up covers this can cause a problem when working the bolt if you don't pay attention to the scope cap.

My next scope purchase I think I'll try one of the new Redfield Revolution scopes. (http://www.midwayusa.com/Search/#redfield%20revolution____-_1-2-4_8-16-32)

May 11, 2010, 01:10 PM
What model of ruger did you purchase? Mark II or Hawkeye?

May 11, 2010, 08:19 PM
thx for all the advice, I found a new leupold vx-1 3x9x40 for less than $200. Im thinking of going that route. The gun is a ruger ultra light. I believe hawkeye.

May 11, 2010, 10:59 PM
I have a vx-1 on my ruger 204 and am quite happy with it. If you are patient though, as was mentioned ebay often has good deals on optics. I just picked up a leupold vx-II 3-9x40 for $190.
My father-in-law and I both have mkII ultralight 223's like yours. I handload the ammo for them both (55 gr nosler ballistic tips with 26 grains 748) and they will shoot quarter size groups at 100. 200 yard accuracy with the 55's out of these seems to falter significantly so I'm going to try some in the 40 grain and some in the 60 grain ranges to see about tightening up the groups. Thought you might find that helpful since you mentioned shooting at 200 yd targets with a very similar gun.

May 12, 2010, 01:18 AM
I thought it was something light. Your rifle, you can do what you want, but I suggest you don't go any bigger than the 3-9 and a 40mm bell, and really consider something marked "compact" or lightweight.

The Vx-1 3-9 is a full length tube and intended for full size rifles, which the Ruger ultralight is not. Before you commit, think about a compact 3-9, which will give you the same magnification, w/o the size and weight, and not saddle your rifle w/ a glass that is to big (size/weight wise)

May 12, 2010, 01:53 AM
iv had very good luck with this bsa on my AR

but have this on the way to replace it


wich has great reviews... id look into the vortex and a good set of rings and stay UNDER budget! wow! thats a novel concept for us guys with our guns!

May 12, 2010, 06:20 AM
wich has great reviews... id look into the vortex and a good set of rings and stay UNDER budget! wow! thats a novel concept for us guys with our guns!

He bought a Ruger which should have came with a good set of rings already unless he needs taller ones than they supplied.

The gun is a ruger ultra light. I believe hawkeye.

I agree with Bama don't need a terribly large scope on a ultra light rifle, it defeats the "ultra light". Check out SWFA's Sample List (http://www.samplelist.com/Riflescopes-C4.aspx) and look for the Nikon rifle scopes. There are plenty of Pro Staff and Buckmaster scopes in your price range. They aren't as nice as a Leupold Compact in 3-9 or 2-7, but they will not take you over your $200 budget either and they are good scopes.

May 12, 2010, 07:33 AM
He won't need taller rings than supplied unless he runs a scope with a 50 mm objective. Regardless, ruger takes care of their customers and would ship him the new rings absolutely free.

May 13, 2010, 09:55 PM
+1 on the Nikon scopes <200
3X9 50MM lens Prostaff is good for 200 yards and is very clear for the money, I have 2.

May 13, 2010, 10:43 PM
thx for all the advice, I found a new leupold vx-1 3x9x40 for less than $200. Im thinking of going that route. The gun is a ruger ultra light. I believe hawkeye.

IMHO, VX-1 is at the equivalent level as FFII, Redfield, Sigtron SI.. you can get a Redfield 3-9x for $150 to your door.. same Leupold lifetime warranty. Save you $50 on ammo.

FFII is Philippines, Sightron is Japan, although good scope, but "made in the USA" in this day and age wins my hard earn $$$$.

happy shopping.

May 13, 2010, 10:56 PM
I don't have any personal experience but I have heard that the vx-1 aren't worth the extra you will pay for the name. I don't know how much truth there is to this but that's what I've read.

May 13, 2010, 11:20 PM
I've been very pleased with my vx-1. It's on my 24" barrel'd 204 and I chose it over comparable priced nikon and burris scopes. I would buy more of them but apparently they are not available in anything but gloss and matte black so I am shuffling up to the vx-II line.

Dr. Strangelove
May 14, 2010, 01:48 AM
I've got two Leupold VX-1's, one was a gift and one I bought new on Ebay for $160.00, retail is/was $228.00.

I've been underwhelmed, they are good scopes, but no better than the 20 year old Bushnell Sportview one of them replaced in my use.

The VX-1 line has friction adjustments, not click, something I find to be a poor value for a scope at that price range. Mine have been fine, and don't change POI on a .270 Win and a 7mm Rem Mag, but I wouldn't buy them again. I just don't see the value/performance for the extra cost.

There are enough good scopes in the $150.00 retail range that I wouldn't go Leupold again unless I was looking in much higher price ranges.

May 14, 2010, 02:01 AM
Vortex Diamondback

best glass ~$200