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Old November 28, 2010, 07:27 PM   #1
Join Date: January 19, 2006
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Low-power variable scope recommendations

I’m looking for a mid-priced low-power variable scope to mount on my AR-15 carbine (16 inch barrel/collapsible stock). The main use will be fun shooting, with a distant possibility of close range varmint/pig hunting or 3-gun competition. Because it will be mounted on the carry handle, I’d like to keep weight under 10 ounces and a power of 1x-3x or similar. (If you think I should have purchased a flat-top, join the choir; I’m lead singer.) I can also see it finding its way to a .30 WCF or .45-70 levergun one day. I’m willing to spend $150-$200.

Right now I’m looking at either a Weaver V3 1-3x20mm or a Leopold VX-I 1-4x20mm. The Weaver has had nothing but good reviews, is slightly cheaper ($160 before shipping) and is something different. I’ve also seen posts of this scope being used in 3-gun, so I’m guessing it rugged. However, I have yet to see one in person and returns or repair may be difficult if the dealership network isn’t there.

The Leupold is available locally so there is no waiting or doorstep theft risk involved. It’s also backed by a good warranty and dealer network. And since it’s billed as a shotgun scope, I’d like to think the internal works are strong. On the downside, it is $40 more expensive, and I don’t know if the price difference is quality or marketing costs.

So, what’s the forum’s opinion of either of these scopes? Any other good contenders I need to consider?
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Old November 28, 2010, 07:52 PM   #2
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both of those seem to be good scopes so get the one you like, or can afford.
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Old November 28, 2010, 09:42 PM   #3
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I have some experience with a few low-power scopes. Leupold and Burris, 20mm to 36mm.
My suggestion is to look at the Burris FFII 2-7 and the Nitrex 1.5-5.
Natchezss has deals on both right now.
I like the heavy duplex on the Leupold.
I would go with an objective lens over 24mm, and fully multicoated lenses.
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Old November 28, 2010, 10:30 PM   #4
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You could also look at the Falcon Menace 1.5-5x30 w/ illuminated reticle. I have one on an AR-10 and another on an AR-15 and they are very good for the price range. They are available for about $215. (RW Snyder is one source).

Here are a few pictures. The reticle is sharper than it looks, I'm not too good with those kinds of photos.

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Last edited by shanzlik; November 28, 2010 at 10:40 PM.
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Old November 29, 2010, 02:17 PM   #5
Dallas Jack
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I have a Weaver V3 and like it very well. It is clear and tracks correctly. If you can, look through the models you are interested in. What works well for one person may not for another.
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Old November 30, 2010, 04:11 PM   #6
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I'm not up on Leupold's specs, but a "shotgun" scope likely has a heavier reticle, and may be focused closer than 100 yards. I like Leupold's fine (I have a couple of VariX-II 1-4Xs) but I'd make sure the focus was at least 100 yards for an AR-type rifle, and I'd prefer a finer reticle as well.
Cogito, ergo armatus sum.
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Old November 30, 2010, 04:15 PM   #7
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Addendum. Just checked Leupold's site. If it's the shotgun/muzzleloader version, I'd pass. Parallex adjusted for 75 yards. You want something longer for a .223 rifle.
Cogito, ergo armatus sum.
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