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Old January 23, 2013, 06:41 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: July 5, 2007
Posts: 463
I have had two Hawke scopes. One was the Eclipse 30 SF in 4-16x50. It's a big scope, and the outside fit and finish left much to be desired. The adjustments were a little sloppy, and I just didn't feel right about it. Optically, it was fine, though the reticle lines were heavier than I wanted. I ended up exchanging it for a Varmint SF. It felt better, quality wise, but the reticle is just as heavy (in terms of the boldness of the lines). I decided not to use it for my AR (which I use from 100 to 600 yards), and instead mounted it on my air rifle, where it does a fantastic job.

Kilotanker22 suggested the Nikon Buckmaster, but for target work, make sure it has target or tactical turrets. I have grown to expect this from any scope -- I don't even want to hunt with a scope that doesn't have them. I have a Nikon M-223 (MSRP is $480, but I found it for $380 on sale about a year ago). The M-223 is a really good scope for the money, though it doesn't compare to the $1,000 and up range (Sightron, Vortex, Nightforce, etc.). I used it for the last year of precision rifle competitions, and it has worked well. I don't use the BDC reticle at all -- I click instead -- and the turrets, fit and finish, and optical quality are great.

I can't speak to the Millet or Konus out of experience, but I have heard better things about the Millet than the Konus.

Another one you should seriously consider is the SWFA offerings. They can be had in MOA or MIL reticles, and with the fixed power models you get some very nicely priced, high quality options. E.g., the SWFA SS 10x42 is about $299 ($399 with side-focus, which you may prefer). I have heard very little bad commentary about their quality, and they are quite popular for target/tactical use in the sub-$1,000 category. You can get a 12x and a 16x as well, but they don't seem to come in a side-focus model. Check out for details.

For my most recent build, I went with a Sightron SIII (the 10-50x60mm model). I am absolutely pleased with it so far. Comparing it to the Nightforce and Vortex scopes I've looked through on other guys' rifles at the range, it compares favorably. There might be some SII options (the next product line down) that would work well for you.
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