I need scopes for two rifles, a Ruger 10/22 for squirrels and a BAR .30-06 for deer. I haven't looked at scopes for 10+ years. What are people liking these days as far as brands?
And if you have those guns (or similar) a specific make / model input is appreciated too.
You don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.
I am an admitted Vortex fanboy. They make something at every quality level/price point. If it fails or if you break it during normal use, they will fix or replace it.
No warranty card nonsense. No finding the receipt. They will take care of you.
What is your price range and desired magnification range?
|Green grass and |
I would not buy Vortex.
Even though Nikon is getting out of the scope business evidently. They make some great scopes for little scratch. I have a few that are decades old that I would put up against anything being made today at a $300 price point. The Prostaff is a great value.
"Practice like you want to play in the game"
|The guy behind the guy|
I also am a huge vortex fan. My deer gun wears a Vortex PST Gen 2 FFP 2-10. Fantastic deer scope. It’s extremely clear and has illumination for lower light shots.
I have two .22’s that have Vortex Diamondback Tactical FFP scopes on them. While the scope is certainly capable of more, I think they are great for a .22. When I go up in caliber I prefer to go higher quality line than the Diamondback, but that’s just me.
My other scopes if not vortex are almost all Trijicon.
I'm confused...wait, maybe I'm not.
My little .22 trainer wears a Razor 1-6. My 16" SR-25 is going to get a Razor Gen III 1-10.
When I build my bolt guns, they (6.5 Creedmoor and 16" .308) will probably get 3-20 PM IIs.
For hunting rifles I've always liked Leupold. My PRS/long range rifles all wear Nighforce 7-35 ATACR. Admittedly my Vudoo 22LR also has a NF 7-35 on it because it will parallax down to 10 yards.
|Gracie Allen is my |
Just picked up a (discontinued) Nikon 2-7 with an MOA reticle for a whopping $99. They're supposed to be for rimfires, but are tested for durability the same way other scopes intended for centerfires are tested. No suggestions for the .30-'06 since I'm cheap and just grabbed a Leupold for mine, but Nikon's got options, Trijicon has a couple of new options that are relatively lower-priced, and the Meopta Optika6 line up seems worth checking out.
|Ride the lightning|
I would also like to know - I can't think of a good reason not to buy a Vortex. I wouldn't describe myself as a die-hard fan, but they do make quality optics for a reasonable price with an absolute no-BS warranty.
I can however, think of a good reason not to buy a Nikon riflescope, which is that they are discontinuing production of all rifle optics. Should you have issues down the road, you will likely be up the proverbial creek.
Leupold is always a solid option as well. Their VX-2 and VX-3 lines are great, no-frills choices that happen to be made in the US.
When it comes to scopes those are the first two brands I look at (but not the only ones).
"I've got a SOCOM Scout and 20 extra mags, and a couple severed heads in my bugout bag" - Sturgill Simpson
|Who Woulda |
I like the Leupold 3-9X40. I have several.
|Go ahead punk, make my day|
Vortex is a great brand but you need to realize they have huge differences between scope tiers and unfortunately they have a banging C/S department because they need it. I'm 2 for 2 in sending PST and Razors back.
kkb03d -- In order to narrow your options, consider what you like and don't like about past scopes. At a minimum consider your magnification needs, reticle preferences, and preference for dialing or holding elevation when distance to target doesn't equal your zero distance.
Burris -- I own an older Timberline on a springer pellet rifle. For the money it has quite good glass.
I've looked through and briefly shot a few XTR models of moderate magnification -- IIRC 2-10x and 3-15x. Thought they were decent scopes. I trust the opinion of other shooters who state some Burris models have noticeable color issues, evidently especially with higher magnification models.
I've looked through their LPV models of 1-6x and 1-8x. I thought they were good scopes, but I didn't care much for the reticles.
Burris is an option. I recommend direct contact with the possible models prior to purchase. I don't recommend buying a Burris sight unseen.
Leupold -- I've owned VX-2 and currently have a VX-3, both in the 2-8x ballpark. VX-2 glass isn't the best. It's fairly bright and true to colors, but it's cloudy and not very sharp. Turret clicks are mushy, and there's some lash in elevation changes. Meaning that it's best to dial past an desired elevation by one click, then go back to the desired elevation. VX-3 glass is noticeable better than VX-2. Still, I feel VX-3 glass is a little cloudy.
I owned a Mark 4 4-14x. Glass clarity was pretty good, turret feel was good. The biggest issue with the scope was coordinating parallax and ocular focus, for multiple distances. When the target was in focus, the reticle was fuzzy. Tweak things to get the reticle sharp, and the target would be a little fuzzy. Even had instructors from Rifles Only try to get things set right -- no go, they had the same issues.
I own a Mark 4 1.5-5x. Good glass, have many thousands of rounds on it. Scope is currently sitting in a box, but I don't want to get rid of it. Its only issue is elevation dial that's a little mushy in the clicks. Like my other Leupolds, the elevation changes have some lash.
Recent high-end Leupold models have really nice glass. Reticle options are improving, but still could improve more.
I consider Leupold a decent scope for someone wanting a simple duplex reticle, with set and forget zero. In other words, an old-school hunting scope. My father's scope. Or maybe Grampa's scope.
Nikon made some good scopes for the money. Nice glass, good turret feel. I didn't care much for some of their reticles, however. It's too bad they pulled out of the business. If you don't mind a scope that may not be supported down the road, you can still find some nice models at great prices.
Vortex -- I own a Viper PST II 2-10x and a Strike Eagle 1-6x. The Viper 2-10x compares well to a Nightforce Compact 2-10x, but at a much lower price. Good glass, pretty solid turret feel, reasonable reticle. I have enough rounds on this scope that I'm considering it for AR15 competition. A buddy has used a similar Viper very successfully in competition for a few years now.
The Strike Eagle is a good scope for the price. Glass clarity is nice, colors are bright -- but there is a little distortion around the very outer edges of the scope.
Vortex's Razor 1-6x models have been a standard for 3-gun competition for many years. Very good scopes -- if the reticle was a little more to my liking, I would have bought one years ago.
I've looked through many higher end Vortex scopes on competition bolt action rifles. The scopes seem really quite nice.
Vortex has an internet-based reputation for making scopes that require warranty rework or replacement. It may be true, or it may be false. Regardless, their customer service is great. I lost a turret set screw, which was totally my fault. They sent me 3 replacement set screws, free of charge, via express mail.
Nightforce -- maybe more than what you're willing to spend on an optic. The SHV line still costs some coin, but the scopes are really quite good. Nightforce's reputation is hurt a bit by their older NXS line -- glass with a blue-ish cast, not the best glass clarity. The newest ATACR models are stunning. Nightforce scopes are burly and take a lot of abuse.
Sig -- looked through a few of their 1-6x and mid-power scopes. Glass is good, turret feel is good. IMO their reticles really, really suck. It's unfortunate that their designers are so clueless about reticles, because the rest of the scopes seem good.
Can I ask what issues arose that necessitated sending them back?
For a set and forget scope on your 30-06, I’d take a long look at the meopta meopro 3-9x40, if you want to spend a bit more, those Zeiss v4 scopes are pretty slick. The leupold vx3i line is nice as well.
I’d avoid vortex, they have the best warranty....that you will probably have to use. I’ve had a few vortex products take a dump.
My buddy had his rifle scope break on the 2nd day of a 10 day moose hunt we were on last September, yes vortex fixed it but he spent 700 dollars to get the pilot who dropped us off to fly out another rifle for him since we still had 8 days. I know that’s an extreme example but it reinforced my opinion of vortex stuff. These days for the same $$$ as vortex you can find something as good or better than vortex.
I, too, am a Burris fan. I've tried Leupold, Bushnell and Nikon and Burris is my favorite. I especially like the one piece tudes at any of their price points. All theri scopes have steel-on-steel adjustments. Their finishes are rock-hard and their glass is exceptionally clear.
For a .22 I'd recommend (specific for a .22):
For the .30-06 on of their 3-9x models. I personally like the Fullfield E1 models. I have two of them and they are excellent, tough scopes:
|Master of one hand |
You can buy more expensive. But why?
NRA Benefactor CMP Pistol Distinguished
Nikon Rimfire works great on my 10-22s.
On hunting rifles I use a Zeiss and a Vortex PST.
We all have our favorites, but I'm a Leupold fan. I've also had good luck with the Bushenll Elite scopes. Lot of folks rave on Vortex. I recently picked up one of their cheaper models for a crossbow, but haven't had time to give it a good workout.
|hello darkness |
my old friend
I bought this on Amazon for my Thompson 22. Its been pretty good for the money.
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