New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Why are expensive scopes better then cheap scopes?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Check GunBroker.com for SWFA's No Reserve and No Minimum bid firearm auctions.

Why are expensive scopes better then cheap scopes?

 Post Reply Post Reply   Topic Search Topic Search  Topic Options Topic Options
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/07/2016 at 12:37
Sublight View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper
Avatar

Joined: February/07/2016
Status: Offline
Points: 7

HELLO!  this is my first post, I just discovered this site so Hello everyone!!!
I know this may sound like sacrilege but.
Why buy expensive scopes?  By expensive I mean 400 dollars plus.
For instance, I have a BSA Sweet 17 (I know most people call this garbage).  But, When I put my crosshairs on the target, then the bullet hits where I want. 
How would a more expensive scope change that.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/07/2016 at 13:05
koshkin View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar
Dark Lord of Optics

Joined: June/15/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 11985
If the Sweet 17 performs to your requirements, then perhaps a more expensive scope will not do much for you.

Overall, aside from some exceptions (some scopes are better for the money than others, so there are some non-linearities there) more expensive scopes will be better optically, better mechanically, hold zero better, be less likely to break, etc.

How useful that is and at which price diminishing returns set in, is really individual.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2016 at 21:23
338LAPUASLAP View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master

Scope Swapper

Joined: October/17/2009
Status: Offline
Points: 2521
A sweet spot for me was Sightron cheap to be had and they have excellent mechanics that are well within ones shooting ability.

Did I mention they are probably about 1/2 as much as they should be.

Big Sky II or SIII or the S-TAC, I do not think the others have the same glass/coatings in them but I believe these 3 have the same glass/coatings.

Give them a try.

I replaced lots of ubber glass and haven't missed much.  And I got to keep my Wife!!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/17/2016 at 13:17
urbaneruralite View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman


Joined: January/03/2008
Status: Offline
Points: 396
Usually one has to have a negative experience with a cheap scope before they open their eyes to what more expensive ones can do for them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/17/2016 at 16:08
supertool73 View Drop Down
Optics God
Optics God
Avatar
Superstool

Joined: January/03/2008
Location: Utah
Status: Offline
Points: 10630
I think a lot of it will depend upon your usage.  If you are just doing basic big game hunting or close range target shooting never beyond point blank range then 99% of the time a $400 and under scope would fulfill your need.  A basic 3-9x40 woudl fill that role perfectly.  And many use just that scope.  I have several of them. 

But if you need something for extreme low light, or precision target shooting then you start needing upgrades in glass, mechanics, consistent adjustable turrets etc.  It is going to cost more money to get that.
Your needs may require a 5 or 6x magnification system, so you can have both a very low bottom end and a good high end magnification.  You may need a very good illumination system light Trijicon has.  You may want turrets with a zero stop, or turrets that have 10+ mils of adjustment per turn.  All of these things are bells and whistles that cost more money.  

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/18/2016 at 11:29
jonoMT View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Avatar

Joined: November/13/2008
Location: Montana
Status: Offline
Points: 4828
There's definitely a point of diminishing returns. I never had a $2000+ scope that was four times better than a $500 scope. And it's in that $500-700 range that you'll find the most value in terms of good glass, reliability and repeatability.

Go with as much as you need, depending on what the scope's used for. Personally, I found the most value and enjoyment comes from the SS 3-15, followed by the SS 3-9. I hunt hard with the 3-15 and that has meant a few scratches on the bell housing and a little wear here and there. But I would be preoccupied all the time if I hunted with a $2000 scope. What if it got dropped hard or the glass got scratched?

Things like illumination: I hunted/target shot with a NF 2.5-10 for four years. It was a really good scope. But I never once used the illumination hunting. I also found that less expensive scopes had as good or better glass and came in FFP. It was a no-brainer to switch.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2016 at 19:49
outdoordreamdeals View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper
Avatar

Joined: July/05/2015
Location: Iowa
Status: Offline
Points: 17
It seems to me that if what you have works you should stay with it. My advise is to do your research and also test out the scopes before you buy one.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2016 at 20:00
Son of Ed View Drop Down
Optics Retard
Optics Retard
Avatar

Joined: June/18/2011
Location: TEXAS
Status: Offline
Points: 59346
....Because.....!!! 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2016 at 20:02
Peddler View Drop Down
Optics God
Optics God
Avatar

Joined: July/04/2012
Location: Oswego,NY
Status: Offline
Points: 10476
😎👍
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2016 at 10:30
davisj3537 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: December/20/2015
Status: Offline
Points: 19
I'm still new at this as well, but I think several guys made great points. It depends on what you need it for.

If you're going to be shooting at long distances then you'll be constantly making adjustments for bullet drop on the scope. When you turn a cheap scope back to your previous zero, it might not be zeroed anymore. Repeatability.

If you do shooting close to the end of the day or early in the morning then you'll need a scope that sees better in the dark. Illuminated reticles come in handy here as well. When everything is dark, it can be hard to see where the crosshairs are.

Longer distances also require better quality glass so you can see your target much better.

If you just do shooting less than 300yds and never touch your scope once it is zeroed then you might be alright with a cheap scope. It's about what you use it for.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2016 at 17:03
RifleDude View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar

Joined: October/13/2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 15281
Why drive a more expensive car if a Chevy Spark will get you to and from work?

Why buy an expensive rifle if an H&R Handi-Rifle will kill a deer?

Why buy an expensive bass boat if an aluminum Jon Boat with a 25 horse Evinrude will float and get you to your fishing hole?

Why buy an expensive anything if the cheap counterpart will do the function it was built for?

In each case, nicer goods usually either provide better build quality, more convenience features, better design, last longer, or in some way get the job done in a superior way. I say usually because there are always exceptions. Sometimes an item is just more costly to produce.

More expensive scopes will absolutely provide superior optical performance, and usually better mechanical repeatability. Your Sweet 17 may very well be a good choice for the rifle you have it mounted on and may serve you well. If you mount that same scope to a heavier recoiling rifle, it might fail to maintain zero, however. It's difficult to make something as mechanically complex as a rifle scope and sell it at a cheap price without sacrificing something to keep cost low.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2016 at 13:40
everydaywine View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar
Spammer...Mark

Joined: April/23/2016
Location: Florida
Status: Offline
Points: 53
there a lot of scope even ones that sell for $4000. but having an expensive scope doesn't mean the user will achieve high precision. it depends on the user and what the user what the scope to do.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2016 at 13:22
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
Optics Jedi Master
Avatar

Joined: January/19/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 8481
Originally posted by everydaywine everydaywine wrote:

there a lot of scope even ones that sell for $4000. but having an expensive scope doesn't mean the user will achieve high precision. it depends on the user and what the user what the scope to do.

Some.

I am a fairly good shot and missed a wall-hanging deer because (as i found later) the point of impact changed - dramatically - as power changed.  I zeroed at 9X and shot at 3X and missed by more than a foot or so.  That is far more prevalent among cheap scopes.

Many buy scopes that aren't needed for the use, but those who do push their gear hard appreciate the difference between "good" and "okay."

Someone once told me Wal Mart sells bikes intended to be ridden 100 or fewer miles; racers can put thousands of miles on a bike in a year.  I kinda see Wal Mart optics in a similar light.  If you shoot 5 rounds a year, I doubt the $3k scope will seem worthwhile.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/03/2016 at 15:06
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar
Resident Redneck

Joined: June/20/2005
Location: Iowa
Status: Offline
Points: 14302
"why buy an expensive scope?"

Sometimes the choice is features that one considers desirable.  Sometimes the choice is made based on what someones buddies recommend. Like anything else part of the decision depends on how you view the value of the money you spend - I've seen guys who wouldn't buy anything but the most expensive just because they can afford it.  Does that make it work better than an under $400. scope - not always.  There are some scopes under $400 that I think of as great scopes particularly the Super Sniper Line of fixed power scopes from SWFA.
SWFA SS 16x42 Tactical Riflescope SWFA SS 16x42 Tactical Riflescope
Stock # - SS16X42MQ
  • Matte Finish
  • Patented Mil-Quad Reticle
  • 30mm Tube
  • Rear Focus
  • OK for .50 cal
  • .10 Mrad Turrets
$299.95
for hunting sometimes a feature like a specific reticle makes a tad more worth the expense:
Leupold 6x42 FX-3 Riflescope Wide Duplex Leupold 6x42 FX-3 Riflescope
Stock # - LEU66815
  • Matte
  • Wide Duplex
  • 1"
  • Xtended Twilight Lens System
$399.95
Add Leupold 6x42 FX-3 Riflescope to Cart
More Details »

Optional Accessories:


Leupold 6x42 FX-3 Riflescope Long Range Duplex Leupold 6x42 FX-3 Riflescope
Stock # - LEU66820
  • Matte
  • Long Range Duplex
  • 1"
  • Xtended Twilight Lens System
$449.95
but dont kid yourself into thinking that more money doesnt get you something you already had with the under $400 scopes the question becomes do you need what it buys:
U.S. Optics 3.2-17x44 LR-17 30mm Riflescope U.S. Optics 3.2-17x44 LR-17 30mm Riflescope
Stock # - USOLR17H102
  • Matte Black Type III Hard Anodizing
  • Illuminated Horus H-102 (Red)
  • 30mm
  • Side Focus
  • EREK 1/10 MIL 110 Click Elevation Knob
  • US#1 1/10 MIL (Right) Windage Knob
  • Lo Profile - Rapid Focus Eyepiece Housing
  • USO Flip Open Covers
$2,798.70

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/03/2016 at 15:14
cheaptrick View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar

Joined: September/27/2004
Location: South Carolina
Status: Offline
Points: 20848
Everydaywine....Has left the building. Big Grin
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/05/2018 at 21:21
gdpolk View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: May/05/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 67
It all depends on what you want or need the scope to do.  If you want it to hit an 8" pie plate out to 50 yards in broad daylight out of a .22lr almost anything will be adequate.  If you want to hunt heavy timber from dark thirty to dark thirty on cloudy days, be able to sight in at the range with 3-5 shots, have zero hold for hundreds of rounds on magnum class actions, and the scope to have a lifetime warranty that is actually honored (if needed, though likely won't be) then you might need to spend a little more money.  If you want something that has a good field of view at 10 yards and can also be used out to 600-1000 yards for something like a .308/.30-06/7mm-08 class gun that you take to Africa and may literally be presented with ANY of those ranges then you might be well served to step up to something like a Swaro Z6 1.7-10x42, despite it being more expensive (although it wouldn't be that much more expensive than the cost of a second rifle and optic so you have one up close and one far out gun plus freight to/from international hunts).

To my eyes for hunting scopes, I find the typical sub $200 scope to be more of a detriment than benefit as most go dark way too soon to be more useful than simple fiber optic open sights.  The $200-400 price range starts to offer some basic utility to the budget minded hunter.  At $400-600, there are a lot of really solid options that will give you a nice bright, clear image out to dark thirty, track reasonably well when sighting in, and hold zero.  While I own more expensive glass, almost all of my hunting scopes fall in the $400-600 price range.  Beyond that you really start pushing that law of diminishing returns and those returns often aren't needed for basic hunting needs.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2018 at 07:33
magshooter1 View Drop Down
Optics Professional
Optics Professional
Avatar

Joined: August/27/2008
Location: El Dorado, AR
Status: Offline
Points: 777

I used to think as you do.  All my rifles had Bushnell, Simmons or Tasco scopes on them.  This was back prior to the Elite series was introduced by Bushnell.  Then I bought a real nice Browning A-Bolt and thought I'd get a real nice scope to go on it.  So I bought a Nikon Monarch shortly after they were introduced.  WOW!  I was blown away by how much better the Nikon was.  Suddenly I understood why a lot of people thought the scopes I had were crap.  I do too, now.  I started replacing all my scopes with Monarchs and Leupold Vari-X III's.  Then I discovered the Zeiss Conquest and Meopta MeoPro's.  Then It wash Kahles AH's and Zeiss Diavari's. 

My best advice to you if you're happy with what you have:

DO NOT EVER buy a $300-500 scope.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2018 at 10:10
jonoMT View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Avatar

Joined: November/13/2008
Location: Montana
Status: Offline
Points: 4828
Originally posted by magshooter1 magshooter1 wrote:

DO NOT EVER buy a $300-500 scope.


Unless it's Black Friday and the SS 3-9 is on sale (was $479 last year) Big Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2018 at 11:29
RifleDude View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar

Joined: October/13/2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 15281
Given that this thread is 2 years old, I'm sure that the OP has had time to come to a conclusion on whether expensive scopes are worth the money and has most likely stopped reading the replies long ago.
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Similar Threads: "Why are expensive scopes better then cheap scopes?"
Subject Author Forum Replies Last Post
There are no similar posts.
Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.10
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.191 seconds.