Let's Talk about Glass
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Let's Talk about Glass

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Old 05-01-2011, 06:05 PM   #1
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Default Let's Talk about Glass

Hi folks -

I just bought my first gun, a savage 111 FCXP3 in 30-06. I'm planning on using it for my first hunting season of deer and elk this October 2011. For those who are unfamiliar with this rifle package, Savage ships it with a Bushnell Sharpshooter scope. The glass runs around $35 bucks and is somewhere near the bottom of quality rifle scopes. It is a 3-9 x 40.

I'm curious though, how much of a difference a high end piece of glass makes. I can shoot 1" groups at 100 yards with my current hand loaded rounds (still getting more accurate). I think that will be more than accurate for taking game humanely, but I am a perfectionist and I want to continue to improve my skills. How much of an advantage do you get when you spend some more money on a scope?

On that note - who produces scopes with the most bang for the buck (wow lots of pun potential in that one)? I bought a savage rifle because they are known for high accuracy and no frills all at a cheap price. Are there any scope manufacturers with that reputation as well. I am a student and so very much on a budget.

Thanks for the replies
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:29 PM   #2
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Most of the scopes today will allow you to shoot good groups if they are a good name brand optic. However anyone that tells you there is little difference between the various scopes is usually satisfied with what they have and that is fine. However there is some differences between the quality of the materials, craftsmanship and certainly the glass that is used. One may never notice it unless they submit them to the real hunting experience. For example, I thought that one of my scopes I liked was an excellent scope until I physically started comparing them in the area of light gathering at certain times of the day and conditions. One great example is trying to determine the number of points on a large buck at dim light legal hunting times. Preferably at dawn and at dusk when a lot of the big ones show up like a ghost! The scope that I thought was an excellent scope turned out I had one heck of a time determining that. I have since changed scopes as well as my preference to the 30MM Scope Tube these days. But the bottom line is before you spend the money for a good quality scope do some fine research. Look through them at various light levels. And get input from hunters who actualy use the optics for hunting frequently. If you are spending good money to go hunting and have a chance for a trophy in the future. Which sometimes you only get one chance in a lifetime at these old boys! You surely want the best optics you can afford on your new rifle. And you are correct the Savages are know for their accuracy. I have a philosophy. If you can not see it you can not shoot it! And we sometimes have everything backwards! I believe that you buy the best glass you can afford and then get a rifle to go with it! Instead of a $1000.00 rifle and a $69.00 Scope!!!
Good luck and buy the best glass you can afford even if you have to save up for it. You have a scope to shoot in the mean time! By the way do not skimp on the mounts either they are also very important.

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Old 05-01-2011, 06:56 PM   #3
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I personally think Nikon gives the best bang for the buck in riflescopes.
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Old 05-01-2011, 11:06 PM   #4
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I do have different quality scopes on rifles that are used for different purposes. I find the Sightron SII series a huge bargain for what they cost. As light is fading
or on really overcast foggy days it looks like a regular day through a cheaper scope. Edge to edge clarity is awesome. I have a Weaver V10 on a Savage 110 7mm Rem Mag. It is used for long shots with a clear FOV. Another good scope is the Pentax. It is lower end price wise. Made in the Philippines w/ Japanese glass. Nikon is another company that makes lenses, but are made in China. There are some very nice Nikon scopes though. Stay away from the entry level scopes no matter what brand.
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Old 05-02-2011, 01:13 AM   #5
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I own Nikon, Bushnell & Leopold scopes. I like them all. But, if I was to pick the one scope that I like the best. It would be my Leopold Var X III 4.5X14 AO 50mm optic scopes. I own 3 of them. And other than costing as much as the rifles they are sitting on. I have no complaints. Excellent clarity, light gathering capability, and hold up to the abuse from the recoil of a magnum rifle. Not to mention the no questions ask lifetime warranty. My choice would be Leopold.
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Old 05-02-2011, 01:23 AM   #6
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You can definitely tell the difference from a lower end scope to a mid priced and even more with the upper tier optics.
I have a little of everything on my rifles from a couple BSA's on rimfires,to a Swarovski Pro Hunter on a 300WM.

Depending on what you plan on using a rifle for should also come into the factor on buying optics.But I always try to get the best scope that I can afford.
Buying used scopes,can get you a higher quality scope for a much cheaper price.Most people that buy higher end optics,take care of their equipment,and I have bought several over the years for great prices.

Not all scopes are the same,depending on the mfg,they vary in every form.
You need to know or have in mind of what things you are needing in a scope.
What type of Reticle?
FFP or SFP Reticle?
What moa click value on the turrets do you need? 1/8-1/4-1/2,there are all types out there.
The range you intend on shooting? You will need to make sure the scope you want has enough adjustment in order to shoot at your farthest shooting plans
Main tube size? 1" or 30mm
Objective lense size? There are a lot of different sizes.
Adjustable Objective or Side Focus?
Lense coatings? Some of the coatings used by mfg's are lighter/darker.The darker ones will affect hunting at dusk/dawn,the lighter ones will affect you if your target shooting in the bright sunlight.

There are so many things that can be added to this,it would make you get a headache.
Like Sniper03 said,Buy the best that you can afford.When you go to stores and look at scopes,ask if you can look through it outside.You will never be able to compare scopes inside a lit up store,besides most stores aren't very big,so you can't tell how the glass in the scopes look at a distance.

IMO,The Sightron SIII scopes are the best bang for the buck,for scopes under $1000.00,they have glass that rivals scopes that cost 2x as much.
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:46 AM   #7
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In my experience, it depends on the shooter. There is a grizzled old retired Ranger Master Sergeant (He has my undying respect, too, so I'm using grizzled and old as compliments) who can hit any target within sight as easily with a scope as without a scope. A scope doesn't improve the rifle's accuracy, only how easy it is for the shooter to see. Some people think that because they have a scope they can care less about trigger pull and breathing. If you're getting 1 inch shot groups at 100 yards with your current scope, I don't see much need to spend more money, unless you're going to want something that you can use to precisely measure windage and elevation, but that's only useful at longer distances for the most part. Your current one should be fine if you have it zeroed and will be staying at that distance.
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Old 05-02-2011, 04:03 AM   #8
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"Let's talk about glass" is a big conversation. Decide on a price point that you are comfortable with, and it will be easier to advise about glass.

Good glass needs to be coupled with good internals.


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Old 05-02-2011, 04:15 AM   #9
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Damn, I thought this was a thread about my wife.

Love you baby.

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Old 05-02-2011, 04:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dzscubie View Post
Damn, I thought this was a thread about my wife.

Love you baby.

I did, too.
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