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Discussion Starter #1
I would love to see a magazine/web-site/whatever do a head-to-head comparison of a variety of scope brands, expensive and un-expensive. Essentially test and compare any qualities that are testable. Brightness, ruggedness of controls, field of view, drop tests etc. Personally, I've had good luck with Bushnell and Weaver scopes, they seem every bit as good a scope as my Leupolds which cost quite a bit more...

I also have a 6X Simmons scope that has endured years of punishment and keeps it's zero.

I noticed a thread about Leatherwood scopes,,,I know nothing about them, but they have a lifetime guraantee and that could make look at one..
 

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pioneer461, Your link is a pretty good source for company names and history, a little bit on optics, but it doesn't really address the real issues with scopes.

Critch, I really doubt if any scope can positively be judged by brand name or even by model. There is way too much "incest" in the optics business to get a good handle on what is good and what isn't. If you look at pioneer461's link, you will see how some of this mixes. Brand names of the past have been bought and sold. What used to be a high quality scope may be just a cheap Chinese import now.

The quality of the lenses and clarity of view isn't much different in a cheap scope than in an expensive one. Not too many years ago, optical quality was about the only way to "rate" a scope. Now with man-made glass, computer aided lens making, and a multitude of coatings, today's cheapest scope's optical qualities are way better than "yesterdays" best scopes. It reminds me of Stereo equipment. Before you can take advantage of the fidelity, your ears must have a pretty good frequency response. Likewise with lenses. If your eyesight isn't near-perfect, you are going to have a hard time telling the difference between a cheap scope and an expensive one.

What has always been the biggest single quality factor with scopes is how they deal with recoil and g-forces yet maintain zero. Even some of the top name scopes don't fare well. The scope mounting system has a lot to do with how well a scope stays on target. Even if you buy a good brand and model scope, then choose the wrong mounts, performance may suck.

In general, two US manufacturers lead the pack world-wide .... Burris and Leupold. It's pretty hard to go wrong with either brand but with that said, both companies have models I wouldn't touch.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to everyone, those are some good articles....I think I'm going to put a Weaver K2.5 on my Ruger RSI based on what I've read,,,might be the best out there for the woods, and Mr Hawks pointed out that the human eye can only abosrb so much light anyway,.
 

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Hi Johngoboom...great to see a kindred spirit (Liberal- yet a gun nut) on a shooting forum...I think there are an awful lot of us out there, but most don't want the nasty confrontations from the other side so they stay quiet and are closet liberals...noticed your USW logo, too...:D

Happy New Year and good shooting...

Oh yeah, back to the subject at hand...I hunt groundhogs in Southern PA. Mostly open rolling hill country with big fields of crops, hedgerows, woods. You need really good resolution optics for this type of shooting. I have three rifles with three different brands of scopes- My main battery is a custom Remington 700 Thumb hole Varminter in .22-250 caliber. I have a Nikon Monarch 6.5-20X44 with fine cross hair reticle on it. Great scope (4 years old now) with super sharp glass, excellant repeatability holds absolute zero...I kill groudhogs routinely at 400 (+) yards (anything under 300 yards is a "gimme"...would recommend this scope to anyone. My other "truck gun" is a .223 Bull barrel Ultra Varmint with a 4.5-14X50 Bushnell ScopeChief IV (now called the Elite 4200 series) that is 5 years old. Same as the Nikon- nothing but praise for this scope. The surprise scope is a Simmons 44 Mag MilDot series 6.5-20X44 that is on my Savage 93R17 bull barrel stainless rimfire. I bought it on close out from Natchez for $99.00. That was two years ago. We have one big dairy farm where the owner does not want anyone to use any centerfire rifles that is loaded with groundhogs...yep, you guessed it- this rifle gets a lot of use up to 200 yards and is deadly on groundhogs. Sharp, clear and repeatable...of course it is on a rimfire so recoil doesn't enter into the review. But I have nothing bad to say about the Simmons even though it is one third the costs of my other scopes.
 
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