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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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Picking out rifle scopes isn't as difficult as you think.

Great rifle scopes on good rifles are a superb combination. Poor scopes on great rifles, not so much...

How Much Scope Do You Really Need?

If you're setting up a deer rifle, decide if you'll someday hunt the West for mule deer, elk or antelope. Consider a "tactical scope" - that is, one with a larger 30mm or 35mm tube, external-adjustable windage and elevation knobs, and a range-finding reticle, such as a Mil-Dot.

Leupold scopes, Nikon scopes, Hawke scopes, Vortex scopes, Leatherwood Hi-Lux scopes and Bushnell scopes are all excellent examples of law enforcement and military-style rifle optics. And then there are the classic reproductions of WWII-era military scopes, like the Leatherwood USMC Sniper.

You get what you pay for when it comes to riflescopes. Think in terms of value scopes ($50-$299), mid-range scopes ($300-$699) and high-end scopes ($700-$3000+). Don't set up a big game rifle with a value-level scope. These are better suited for small game rimfire rifles.

Rifle Scopes for Mid-Price Point Rifles

Mid-level price point scopes are a good option for big game hunting. For shooting beyond 400 yards, you'll need a scope in the higher end of the cost spectrum.

Precision rifle shooting is a discipline in which you shoot at moving targets, angles and targets so far the naked eye can barely see. This requires specific types of reticles. The gold standard used to be one-quarter MOA elevation and windage adjustment knobs, but today there is a shift among long-range marksmen to a Mil-based method that uses multiples of ten. Many scopes now come in MOA/MOA knobs or Mil/Mil.

As a general rule, the more you pay, the better quality glass and tighter fit and precision you'll get. You'll have to pay to get repeatability. This is especially important in tactical scopes, where tiny variations can equal big misses at long range.

Decide between a first focal plane or second focal plane scope. In a second focal plane design, the reticle remains the same size no matter the magnification. They are the most common and tend to be less expensive. In a first focal plane, the reticle changes size proportional to the magnification as you zoom, so that at any power setting you can use the reticle's range-finding features. First focal plane scopes run on the pricier side.

Fixed or Variable Power Scopes?

Choose between fixed or variable power scopes. The best deer riflescope power range is arguably the 3x-10x power scope. For long-range shooting, you may consider a -16x or even -24x power, although my most-used long-distance optic is a fixed 10x.

Next get a manufacturer's catalog. Each scope maker employs a different nomenclature for describing the features on their scopes. Study it thoroughly. Buy the right scope rings and learn how to properly install the scope.

The bottom line: don't buy a scope until you're sure you're choosing one that meets all your shooting requirements now and in the future. After you torque down those scope rings, you may not be able to return it, so take your time and know all the options before you plunk down your cash.
 

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There is always balance between quality and affordability I am a big advocate of going with some of higher end scopes like Trijicon and leupold. I if one day your life will depend upon it on it, why skimp. Plus if you look at financially, you can buy a whole bunch of cheap scopes over the years or you can buy one high quality scope that will last you for a lifetime, and that will actually end up being cheaper.

I got my ACOG at Quality Optics - Trijicon ACOG, sniper scopes, firearm accessories and other optics and they seem to have some crazy good deals on stuff I previusly went to opticsplanet a lot but I feel like their prices are gettign alittle higher but they certianly do have large selection.


Please let me know if you guys know nay good places to get deals that are cheaper then QualityOptics.net becuase they seem to be the cheapest I can find. Thanks!

 

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Rifleman1776
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My selection process is a bit different than yours. :blush2: I check out several flea markets and pawn shops until I find something that fits my need and can be bought cheap. My 30 year old 30-06 has a $3.00 3X9 scope from a yard sale. It has won scores of competitions and taken plenty of deer. Has never fogged or given me trouble. I have a theory about scopes: A $3000.00 scope will smash on the rocks just as quickly as $3.00 yard sale find. :thumbsup:
 

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I saw you mentioned the ACOG, I'm a rifle scope reviewer (test out tons of scopes and joined the forum to see if I could help people pick the right kind of scopes based on what I've found). Though the ACOG is extremely nice (as most scopes by Trijicon are) it's just a little pricey for most, running over $1,000. Yes you get what you pay for, but I'm all about finding the best scope for the money, and trust me, they're out there.

But I also wouldn't go as cheap as $3 from a yard sale either (depends on exactly what 3x9 you got at the yard sale of course) Like Popeye said, you get what you pay for. I wouldn't trust the $3 yard sale scope at all unless I knew the brand and amount of use it's had.

Popeye, you can find some great scopes under $1,000 and even some rare finds under $500 that can shoot long range. For example, I put the Vortex Viper 6.5x20x50 PA on my 300 Remington Ultra Mag and shot 750 yards in a couple shots after sighting it in. I got a a nice little grouping at that distance and the scope was under $500. If you want to read more of that review you can check it out, Best Rifle Scope Under $500 - Top 5 Scopes in 2016 [REVEALED].

The point is, yes you get what you pay for and yes the high-end rifle scopes are high quality scopes that are more than enough, but the thing is you are paying for some features that you don't really need in a scope when all you need to do is just hit a target at long distance. I'll be ok without the military grade alloy materials it was made with and some other unnecessary features. Though cool and awesome knowing I will never have to worry about it breaking, when will I ever throw my scope in a pile of rocks, then dump a huge boulder on it, and then drag it behind my jeep for 2 miles? All jokes aside, if you take care of your stuff, you don't need to buy a high end rifle for your long range shooting needs. Do your research and find the best scope for the money.
 
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