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Zomby Woof
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14,310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first scope was a Tasco "Pronghorn", 3-9X40 sitting proudly atop my newly purchased Marlin, lever action 30-30. I thought, after I got married and purchased my first home, that I would indulge myself in, and begin what I am so happy to say has become as much a part of life as wearing clothes...hunting.

Before then I'd always used iron sights, just like I did hunting squirrels illegally with my Daisy and my Crossman 30+ years ago at the city park. I was 12 and had friends that lived up on the hills of my home town. These were more well-to-do people than I was accustomed to; they had huge houses and nice cars, but when it came down to it, they bled red in a bike wreck the same as I did.

They lived in little subdivisions cut into the hills on the south side of a huge valley that was halved by a good sized river. It ran into the Ohio on its journey to the Mississippi, to the gulf and on -- on forward into the world, and around it and back again then evaporated by hot days and rained back to earth in torrents! The grand cycle never completes, but lives on eternal!

Anyway...
We used to hunt squirrel in the city park. We'd build a big fire after school in the woods and go in search of furry dinner. Cigarettes, cigars chew and on rare occasions samples of one friends, father's 90 year old Scotch from a 7 gallon oak cask. We would steal a little, then top the barrel with Jim Beam and the like that could be had by paying high-school kids 20 bucks for a 3 dollar pint of booze. I remember just chugging and chasing it with Mountain Dew...what a WASTE!! I remember that there was a nutty taste and it was smooth...I have since paid dearly for such scotch...ah, I digress...

After school we would take to the woods with our iron sighted .177 cal tools of survival! Fire building was another "big deal" that was almost a ceremony or right of passage. Everyone made the fire, everyone cleaned the squirrels, everyone took part in the rite of passage required of youth. But only David B.... ate squirrel nuts! I laugh even today. Some 30 years later the memory is as if it happened last weekend. We were roasting our kill and parceling out the culinary rewards when it was made clear to the cooks that testicular adventures were afoot. A stick with the sqwak nads dangling was presented first to the fire, then to the unsuspecting youth, who ate with glee!

An event that provides laughter for 30 years should be celebrated and shared with anyone in proximity. (that means you guys...)

What I really meant to point out is that the 50-60 dollar Tasco 3-9x40 scope that has adorned several rifles with which I have harvested a good many deer, cannot be inferior to 300 and 500 dollar scopes. I cannot see how anything more could be needed than a good AFFORDABLE scope that doesn't cost as much as the rifle. Let it be known that I speak of shots of 200 yards and less but I have never had any problems with the "cheap" scopes.

How 'bout you?
 

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Never Give up
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7,579 Posts
Well I dont agre

I would rather take a cheap rifle and put on a good scope. The clarity,brightness,durability depending on calibur. All comes into play you just might not notice if you have not ever used a good optic. Find someone with a good scope and just look thru yours for a while then the good one. Your eyes will feel better. I have seen the inexpensive ones come apart after a couple of rounds. Also another thing alot of people dont take advantage of. 30mm scopes have alot more light gathering abilitys then the 1.00. But if they do the job that you want thats good for you. But for me I want to see every little detail before I pull the trigger.
 

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Registered
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9,117 Posts
Well, your $50-60 dollar scope of your high school years have in the past twenty years gone up in price to $300-400 and Tasco, because of the crap they produced, is no longer with us...Yes, they produced some good, cheap optics but not enough of them and too infrequently...The new consortium that has taken then over is another thing and are producing some fairly good cheap optics...

For Joe Average hunter, going out once a year for deer and maybe a couple times to the range to "sight in" there is nothing wrong with a $300 optic mounted on his trusty rifle...Going on a life's dream safari or a mountain hunt in Alaska I want something with a little more durability, light gathering and proven click adjustments...

Take a 3-9x40mm scope by Tasco, Burris and Weaver and compare them together...find the best of the lot and compare that one to a Leupold, Nikon or Zeiss scope and you'll notice the difference between a $400 model and a $700 model instantly...I'm not even going to consider Swarovski, Kahles, Schmidt & Bender, Nightforce or US Optics in this comparison...

This is one damn good case of "you get what you pay for"...
 

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Tree-hugger amongst you
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313 Posts
So, if I have sub-one inch groups at one hundred yards and have a scope that costs less than one hundred dollars, then I could really be doing much better by spending more money...right?
I know what you mean but I think I might be the only one. This board is a showcase for mercedes-preppers. :thumb:
 

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Ringin Your Gong From 600
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7,683 Posts
Ahhh, I thank you for sharing your stories, and your opinion.

I seem to be among the miniority here, but I have not had issues with 'cheap' scopes myself. Many here claim that after a few shots, it should be thrown in the trash. "it won't hold zero" many say. Maybe I've just been lucky, or maybe it's because I don't shoot as many round as some here, but 'cheap' scopes seem to do the job for me. :thumb:
 

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195 Posts
I wouldn't put my us optics on a 30-30 & I wouldn't put cheap scope on my AW or 700's

I think some of you guys are failing to see what he is trying to say. He said he shoots within 200 yards, and didn't claim that his scope was as durable as a more expensive scope or that the glass was better. I have more than few scopes that cost between 1800.00 & 2400.00 dollars. I wouldn't doubt that his scope can perform as well as any of mine at that range. Now If we ran a box test and tried a new group, I wouldn't expect his to track well enough to properly return to zero.

I also would have no problem Throwing any of my rigs on the ground a few times, (Durability is one of their finest features) The Durability of the Tasco is not one of its finest features. Once we get past the 200 yard mark its a whole different ball game I think he is probably tired of getting torn apart for having low budget optics on rifle that doesn't really need more than what hes got.

Now That being said If anyone tells me that their 300 dollar scope is just as good as my mine then I have one thing to say. I will put my rifle on the 800yd mark and you get 3 shots. Then We put yours out and I get 3 rounds.
 

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American fearmaker
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14,248 Posts
Once again, how you use your gear is as important as the gear itself. When the STHF, even a cheap scope is better than no scope. Your tactics or ways that you do things are important too. So using a cheap scope to hunt squirrels at 50 yards or less shows me that somebody has good tactics designed to bring home the roof rat meat for when troubled times hit home. Good one!!
 

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Premium Member
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68,758 Posts
It's not so much the cheap scope, but WHICH cheap scope. A Lot of the folks burned on cheap scopes simply bought the wrong one. There are some very good scopes out there in the budget catagory. But there are a LOT of crappy ones too. So unless you know which is which, it's easy to get burned. I blame a lot of that on the crappy low dollar optics that Kmart, Sears and Walmart have pushed off on us in the past.

Dano, I wouldn't be so sure of your bet. I shoot regularly at long distances with a sub $300 scope on one of my guns. It's held a flawless zero for 3 years and several thousand rounds, and the combo holds sub MOA easily. That's still not saying the scope is as "good" as a high dollar scope. Only that it works fine for it's intended purpose.
 

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Wilddieb
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2,249 Posts
For target shooting or hunting in good light conditions the gap of cheap and expensive has narrowed. There is less real junk in the cheapo section than there was years ago.

But: go out in bad light conditions and try different scopes: you'll end up with Schmidt & Bender, Zeiss (plus Hensoldt) and Svarowski. The quality of those optics are unmatched, you can consider them as a benchmark.

mercedes-preppers
Where? Who? Don't mix up Mercedes with Trabant.



 

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Banned
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13,890 Posts
I've been using a cheap Barska (someone at the range once called it a 'barfka':D:), and it's actually quite bright under most conditions, hold's it's zero and the glass doesn't vibrate free.
I often wonder if the people that say "spend just as much on your glass as you do on your rifle" aren't gun snobs...:upsidedown:
 

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Wilddieb
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2,249 Posts
I also have a cheap (~ US$350, 3.5 - 9 x 44) scope on one of my bolt action rifles. It is basically a range rifle only, so I thought it was worth a try. No complaints until now (2years of use). The optic is good in daylight, it withstands the .308 Win., so it is ok.

Comparing it to a Zeiss scope, especially in low light condition then really shows the difference.

And: the mechanics on the cheapo aren't comparable with Zeiss.

But hey, as I said you'll get always what you paid for.

By the way: Zeiss is offering some kind of cheaper scopes for the US market. I think the series is called Conquest. Adjustments for the US market.

In the US there are a lot people buying guns and accessories, but the majority buys only cheap stuff. At least that has been my experience when I visited gun shops in the US. Nearly every shop carried tacticool stuff for ARs or AKs, but no quality just UTG Airsoft crap (for AR e.g.).

Being asked if the have something of more quality, the standard answer was no demand by our customers.
 

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Use the right tool for the job. If a $50 tasco does what you need it to do, without fail, it is the right tool for the job. You would be crazy to spend more.

While I have killed more big game with iron sights than I ever have with a scope, I understand what good optics can do and I can afford good optics. That is why my scoped hunting rifle wears Swarovski glass. It is also why I use Swarovski EL binoculars. As far as 1 inch groups at 100 yards or whatever, I can assure you that when I shot my 50BMG at 1000 yards I was wishing I had better optics than the Leupold it came with, just to see the target.

Just as there is a reason for the low end of the market, there is a reason for the high end stuff. You may not have a use for the high end stuff, if not, don't waste your money on it. Wasting money on expensive gear is foolish. That doesn't mean it is foolish to spend money on expensive gear. There is no inherent virtue in owning cheap gear, there is no inherent vice in owning expensive gear.
 

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Maximus
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12,320 Posts
I say, if it works for you, use it. That goes for people with cheap scopes or thousand dollar scopes. Preaching to the choir does no good in this argument.

-People with expensive scopes feel like you are calling them dopes if they spent so much and didn't get additional benifit.
-People with cheap scopes feel like glass snobs are saying they wasted their money on junk that never works.
-Glass snobs should stay out of these threads and pinch a pennies should stay out of quality glass threads unless someone is looking for general information from both sides.


Use what you guys like and STHU. No one hunts the same way you do so why expect them all to use the same glass?

Ok now I will STHU LOL.
 

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Premium Member
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68,758 Posts
Being asked if the have something of more quality, the standard answer was no demand by our customers.
When I first started selling optics and accessories, I had top of the line, and some mid range products. There just wasn't the demand, alright. The top of the line stuff just sat there, and the mid range stuff would trickle out. When I added NcStar and UTG, the products flew out the door!

What I did, however, is order test samples of their products that I intended to sell. I tested them myself, with the thought that if it's something I wouldn't have been happy buying, then I won't sell it. I was pleasantly surprised with most of their products. I dropped a few and refuse to sell them, but for the most part, they're a good product for the price.

I'm glad there are some decent affordable products though. A lot of folks simply don't have the money for top of the line. That's actually how I got into selling optics to start with. As my eyes got worse, I had no choice but to start putting scopes on more of my guns. I have Leupold, Nikon and El Paso made Weavers on many of my guns. But I simply couldn't afford to put high dollar scopes on them all, so I started dabbling in the budget brands to see if I could find good enough scopes for my needs that I could afford.
 

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Combat Veteran
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2,275 Posts
Paying half the price of your gun for optics is the manufactures and the magazine article writers (who get their optics free so they write positive articles) ploy to get the common man to shell out huge cash to buy something most don't need. My workhorse scope that I use to sight in all my weapons is a Simmons 4-12x40 Whitetail I bought at Walmart for 60 bucks. It has sighted in 20+ guns over the years at 100yds and is true as they come. Now I wouldn't use it on my long range benchguns but not because of the optic quality but because of the fine adjustments required and the need for more magnification. I've seen several guys at ranges all over the midwest be very competitive with Tasco and Simmons 6-24x44 scopes in F-class shoots. Like everything else, they try to hook us with bigger, better and more expensive. Sure Leupold, Zeiss and other highend scopes are nice but the average hunter will never have the need for 100MOA adjustments and 36x magnification sitting in the woods with a 75 yard field of fire.
 

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Wilddieb
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2,249 Posts
When I first started selling optics and accessories, I had top of the line, and some mid range products. There just wasn't the demand, alright. The top of the line stuff just sat there, and the mid range stuff would trickle out. When I added NcStar and UTG, the products flew out the door!

What I did, however, is order test samples of their products that I intended to sell. I tested them myself, with the thought that if it's something I wouldn't have been happy buying, then I won't sell it. I was pleasantly surprised with most of their products. I dropped a few and refuse to sell them, but for the most part, they're a good product for the price.

I'm glad there are some decent affordable products though. A lot of folks simply don't have the money for top of the line. That's actually how I got into selling optics to start with. As my eyes got worse, I had no choice but to start putting scopes on more of my guns. I have Leupold, Nikon and El Paso made Weavers on many of my guns. But I simply couldn't afford to put high dollar scopes on them all, so I started dabbling in the budget brands to see if I could find good enough scopes for my needs that I could afford.
You are right, budget does not automatically mean bad quality. As I already stated the gap became narrow. You can get good quality for a decent price.
It's not like let's say 5 years ago when you bought a very cheap scope that you could throw away after 10 rounds of .308 Win. or something like that. Even the budget brands have realized that they have to offer the customer something and improved. Very good surplus scopes can be had for very little money, and I am speaking of high end stuff like Hensoldt, Kahles...

But I do not like the mentality that sometimes comes along with this, let's say fact. There are still differences between cheap and expensive, in optics it's not only paying for a brand name. The big ones did invest a lot of money to achieve the optical quality state-of-the-art scopes can offer today. And for this research you have to pay for. And seeing is believing (just make that test for yourself, boar hunt in the night).
 
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