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  #1  
Old 10-21-2021, 10:46 AM
LTTG

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How do you decide? And not waste money with a mistake?



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I want a new scope. I am in analysis paralysis, because I hate making the wrong decision.

I am wondering if getting a scope you really like is simply a matter of trying one, and if it's not right, selling it as used and moving on? That seems like an expensive trial and error system, even for scopes less than $250, especially when you extend the "problem" to rings, as height is important.

Anyone have any recommendations on how to test drive some scopes?

Edit: I've purposefully left out info on what shooting I do, with what rifles, as I don't need scope recommendations. I'm wondering how to avoid or minimize mistakes.

Last edited by LTTG; 10-21-2021 at 11:13 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2021, 10:56 AM
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Well if you tell the enablers here what rifle you are going to put it on. I am sure they will have a million suggestions.
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Old 10-21-2021, 11:02 AM
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Yeah definitely need a little more info. There's tons of good scopes out there but certain scopes are better than others for certain types of shooting. Also, for most, price is a factor when buying a new scope. So if you give an idea of what type of shooting you'll be doing at what distances and a rough budget it would be much easier to recommend a scope.
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Old 10-21-2021, 11:10 AM
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Yeah, I had all that in the OP, which I rewrote 4 times, as it was too long. I can start a separate "here's what I do, what do you recommend" thread, but there are lots of those, and I've read most of them.

I'm interested in any ways to TRY new scopes before committing, like test driving a car. Any thoughts?
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Old 10-21-2021, 11:18 AM
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Shoot your friends guns/ scopes. Go to the range, be nice and ask if you can shoot their gun/ scopes. Bring your own ammo! That would be polite.
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Old 10-21-2021, 11:34 AM
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Sounds simple but in many years of shooting, I've had literally one opportunity to shoot someone else's gun, and that's likely because the young man who owned it was enamored by my beautiful daughter that was there with me. At matches, there is no opportunity at all. None of my "friends" shoot - I've introduced many, however.

Edited to add - he was shooting mini-mags thru a 457 Lux, which we had never seen in-person. I carried over the SK Rifle Match we had with us. It made quite a difference.

My best friend was a pistol competitor, no rifle so no optics, and he passed many years ago. Never got to shoot with him.

The only real optics I've purchased, I read up on before "pulling the trigger". I have some junk from Amazon before I knew better, but the two I "invested in" are Nikon with a BDC reticle, which should serve us well in high-power silhouette in the future (we compete in iron-sight matches at the moment with our .22)..

Last edited by eflyguy; 10-21-2021 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 10-21-2021, 11:37 AM
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Don't need to shoot but you do need to look thru the scope. Check the optics at various ranges and lighting conditions. Need to check at different ranges while changing the magnification. Also there are so many reticle styles out there with a myriad of ranging and windage options. Do you really need all of that or just a simple crosshair style. Finally do you want a fixed or variable power. It depends on the application you will use it for.
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Old 10-21-2021, 11:45 AM
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Is it possible to go to one of the large sportsman's stores (Cabela's, Bass Pro. Academy, Sportsman's Warehouse) if one is within reasonable driving distance and look thru' various scopes for glass quality, finish, adjustments, etc.? If no such big store is within a reasonable distance, try local gun stores.

I concur with farm boy, you don't need to shoot them, you need to look thru' them.

I didn't mention Dicks because I don't know what they may or may not have since I don't patronize Dick's.

Last edited by OldCZFan; 10-21-2021 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 10-21-2021, 12:09 PM
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I have a lot of scopes and shoot a lot and would offer this. Spend the money and buy a quality scope. Beyond good adjustments, you need good glass, especially if you shoot long hours or have less than perfect eyesight. Compact scopes are easier to handle in the field but they are also optically harder on your eye if you spend several hours looking through one. Full size scopes create less eye strain and are a bit brighter. Reticle choice can be a bit confusing too, my suggestion is simpler is better. Power choices are daunting with everything from 2.5x all the way to Hubble telescope x. High powers are really limited in practical use, mainly from holding steady issues, light transmission and mirage challenges.
If you could share a little about how you intend to use it, it might simplify how to advise you.
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Old 10-21-2021, 12:36 PM
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As someone commented above, I too am short on friends that shoot rifles. I had thought of the match angle, and asking politely to "borrow" a gun for a shot or two, but that seems somehow too intrusive. That may not be true though, as I am always offering up my Glenfield to the RO's at the range for them to try.

I was in a LARGE gun store the other day, but the optics are at the same counter as the AR's, and there were 12 or 14 people in line to hold/look at/buy guns, with only one guy behind the counter. I didn't have the time or inclination to wait. I will try to look at some different scopes and reticles before pulling the trigger.

Do pawn shops ever have riflescopes?

Are there vendors that have 30-day money back guarantees on scopes?
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Old 10-21-2021, 12:38 PM
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If the decision is really difficult after reading all you can on forums like this and scratching your head, I would suggest calling Doug at CameralandNY- who is a vendor on this site and a really good guy. He knows his products, gets tons of feedback from his customers, has fair prices from lowest priced equipment to the best of the best and will be honest with his opinions and recommendations on what will work for you and your situation.

Doug also has a lot of lines that are relatively new to the optics scene but are excellent glass and some of this glass is priced way below their performance point IMO.... Athlon would be one of those, along with several others he carries. You won't see a lot of this glass at your neighborhood Cabelas or other sporting goods stores- at least not yet....

Bob
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Old 10-21-2021, 12:41 PM
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Hit a few gun stores and look through what they have on display. Then go home and research your favorites. See what other scopes often come up in comparisons.

I tend to put 1 Leupold rimfire scopes on all my rimfires, and 30mm Steiner on all my centerfires. But there was a time I had many different scopes. Its a process.
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  #13  
Old 10-21-2021, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTTG View Post
I'm wondering how to avoid or minimize mistakes.
1. Be honest with yourself about the kind of shooting you will do. That's not easy if you are suggestible, like me. What kind a reticle would work for you? How much magnification is too much or too little? A very fine reticle with 10X or more is neat if I am prone or on a bench. It's useless if I am standing.

Garand Thumb looks like he is having fun running around and emptying magazines into targets ten feet away. Buying what he likes for a rimfire benchrest doesn't make sense.

2. Set a budget. Falling in love with something that is too much makes no sense. When I spend a lot of time looking at things, I can become de-sensitized to price. $200 spotting scopes will do. Oh, here's one the review says is great for $700, but he compares it to this one for $2,000.

3. Be realistic about what a scope will do for you. I've been doing this for decades, and I still wonder if each new gadget will solve a problem for me that I didn't know was a problem.
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  #14  
Old 10-21-2021, 01:06 PM
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You can return almost anything to Amazon, or on Ebay.
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  #15  
Old 10-21-2021, 01:50 PM
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These last few comments have been helpful. I will start another thread with specifics on what shooting I do, and the scopes that are in the running based on my research.

Please Keep the Ideas Coming!
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