I just ordered a Handi rifle in .308 for target shooting and am looking into scopes for it.
From my research, it sounds like the biggest issue with the lower-end (but not dirt-cheap) scopes in the range of $100-$150 is that the clicks aren't always consistent and they tend to shift POI after changing magnification. I am not picky about clarity or light-gathering or whatever, as I've never had a problem seeing everything I need to through even the $30 scopes I've had on .22s. Since I usually leave my scopes on the lowest magnification settings, even for further shots (I regularly shoot 200yd gongs with my .22 rifle on 3x), light-gathering is really not an issue as even in the dimmest light I can see anyting in the scope that I can see with my naked eye.
The rifle won't really be used for anything except largely steel targets, to MAYBE 300 yards, though inside 200 yards will be the absolute norm. I will shoot the occasional group at 100 or possibly 200 yards just for the fun of it, but I have always been way more interested in reactive targets. Regardless of the distance, I will just be estimating hold-over (though we're still only talking like 6-8" of drop at 300 yards), rather than messing with the turrets.
So, I don't plan on using the turrets to accurately adjust POI (will just play with the knobs until I get it where I want, then probably won't touch them again), and I probably won't be messing with the magnification any. Hell, I might even be getting a fixed-power scope (probably a 4x) just for the simplicity and increased reliability.
From what I've read about the bad experiences of people who will detail what they actually didn't like about the scopes, the lower-middle-priced scopes seem to have trouble in the consistency of their adjustments, and their clarity at high magnifications. Since I don't intend to count off clicks to shoot distant targets, or zoom up to high magnifications, these don't concern me.
Basically, I don't mind spending $200-$300 on a scope if that is the cheapest I can go that will still hold up well. However, I don't want to spend that extra $200 bucks just to get features I don't need (precise turrets, clarifications at high magnifications, etc), when a $100 or even $50 scope will have done everything I needed for what is effectively a "plinking" rifle.
Am I wrong in this assessment?
And if anyone knows of a truly durable scope (like, practically idiot-proof regarding bumps and bangs) for as much as even $300, and has a relatively low power, point it out to me!