Has anyone had any experience with this scope? Does it stay zeroed on a large
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That said, I have owned a lot of cheap scopes that came on rifles.
Most were either clearly broken or showed their defects when they
arrived, which is probably why I was able to get a good deal on the
rifles in the first place. The most obvious failings of cheaper
scopes are parallax error, poor control of off-axis light with serious
loss of contrast shooting into the sun, a shifting zero with different
magnification settings on a variable, inconsistent action on zero
changes, and lack of durability. Not to mention, don't hunt in the
rain! When they break, IMO they are pretty obviously broken (to the
point of rattling) and a "zero" different on every shot rather than
being so subtle as to display a slowly shifting zero. I have seen a
scope slowly shift in defective mounts on a hard recoiling rifle (338
Win Mag with 250 grain bullets and max loads), this associated with a
shifting zero. But I have not broken a lot of cheap scopes on my own
because I have never bought them new. I have had a brand new
expensive German scope break on the third shot with the Win Mag. I
have seen John Barsness (who is pretty serious in his scope testing)
in print claim that most scopes which break because of too much recoil
do so within 20 or so rounds. I have also seen him say most less
expensive scopes stand up to rifles with 30-06 or lower recoil
Now the question becomes what exactly do you mean by "large bore?"
If you mean "dangerous game" calibers ( I claim no direct experience
with calibers that kick harder than a 338 Win Mag), I defer to an
expert: D'arcy Echols, recommends only a Leupold and will not stand
behind any other scope on one of his custom rifles. Even here, he
recommends fixed power and certain of the lighter, lower-power,
variable Leupold scopes. One of the points he makes is that Leupold
actually tests their scope designs on the big kickers and, when he had
problems with a Leupold on a 458 Lott, asked him to send them the
rifle so they could make direct measurements. For its era, your
Bushnell is a pretty large, relatively powerful scope. So if you
really mean "large bore", I doubt the scope will last long.
But, you own the scope and probably didn't pay much. Shoot it and
find out. If Barsness is right, you will probably know within 20
Except I want to own Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, etc. :-)
But if you wan't to get rid of it, let me know.
I'm glad you are satisfied with the scopes you have owned. But if you
think of a scope of Leupold quality as a Bentley and your Redfield was
a "Pre-first-business-failure" scope, I would point out that you have
in fact have probably owned at least one Bentley.
Redfield and Bausch and Lomb scopes were competitive peers of Leupold
in every way and, as a general statement, as a group head and
shoulders above the rest.
Only after Redfield's first failure and B&L got out of the scope
business, leaving Leupold as the only high quality US scope maker
PROVEN to honor its warranty, was Leupold's exalted position no longer
subject to informed argument that Redfield or B&L might be better.
When a scope comes with a "Lifetime Warranty," it pays to know if the
lifetime is the scope's, yours, or the business's.
And, except for some Chinese counterfeits that slipped in at the end,
even Redfield import models of Redfield BRANDED products marketed by
successor companies were optically sound products. Even though the
latter as delivered by successor organizations were far more Chevy-
like, the favorable impression of Redfield products is lasting enough
that Leupold recently bought the Trademark as a means of competing at
a lower price point that is possible with their "Gold Ring"
Though Weaver in the early days (before Weaver's first business
failure) also made some top-of-the line specialty target scopes, the
mass-market Weaver's were Chevy's. They were/are well designed and
built like the proverbial brick shit house. But to compete at a lower
price than Leupold, Redfield, and B&L, they used mediocre optics,
cheaper seals, and less sophisticated coatings. Old Weaver scopes are
tough enough to stand up to recoil, come with generous eye relief, and
I have never seen one show obvious parallax error. But they were not
as crisp and bright when new in comparison to a Leupold or Redfield.
And 40 or 50 years later, as the seals have given out and the less
sophisticated/cheaper coatings have deteriorated, a look down a Weaver
is like the look of an oil painting that has lived a century in a
house full of smokers. The Bentley's? I have a 50+ year old Leupold
Mountaineer that was a Christmas present from an indulgent grandfather
for my first deer rifle at age 11 and a nearly 50 year old Redfield.
Both remain crisp and bright, parallax free, and not of any obvious
optical disadvantage in comparison to new scopes. I still hunt with
the rifle having the Mountaineer. The difference between the Leupold
and the Redfield? If the Leupold were to break or need service,
Leupold would provide it for free, quickly, and with a smile, under
the Lifetime Warranty. I don't know where one could get the Redfield
fixed. These scopes stand in comparison to several comparable vintage
rifles in the safe which wear comparable vintage Weaver El Paso's.
All are optically as I described. But all also remain good enough to
allow accurate fire quickly under field conditions.
I have never bought a used rifle that came with a Weaver, Redfield,
Leupold, or B&L Scope with a broken or poorly performing scope. Over
the years, I have purchased at least 30 such rifles. I have bought or
at least seriously dickered over at least 100 rifles which had a
Leupold mounted that the owner wanted to keep!
In contrast, Simmons and Tasco scopes are Yugos. By this I mean they
come out of the box shiny, looking like scopes and might have worked,
sort of, for a while. If kept in the garage and driven only to church
on Sundays, they might last a while. But I have NEVER bought a used
rifle that came with a Simmons or Tasco scope that either was NOT
broken or DID NOT SHOW SO MUCH PARALLAX that I could shoot more
accurately taking the scope off and using the iron sights! Though I
have since thrown my box of junk scopes in the trash and am no longer
have a firm count, I would guess that this category is at least a
dozen rifles. Most were sold to me at a super price by someone I
suspect thought thought he was dumping a doggy rifle when the problems
was really the scope. Of greater importance, I have never bought or
dickered over a rifle with one of these scopes where the owner wanted
to sell the rifle but keep the scope.
When it comes to Bentley's, Chevy's and Yugos, and what you really
get, this experience is pretty convincing to me.
Which brings me to: "if one quit, I could buy 2 or 3 and still have
change left over compared to buying top of the line." Go look on e-
bay for what the scopes you have might sell for. Anticipating what
you will likely find, you might get $25 for a vintage (but not highly
collectible) used Weaver or Redfield and might find someone silly
enough to pay $10 for a used Simmons or Tasco. Nobody will pay much
for even a used Redfield, because if its broken, your screwed. Then
look at what used Leupold scopes sell for. Any of my several Leupolds
that are 20 or more years old go, used, go for more than I paid new!
Now there is no adjustment for inflation. But when you buy "top of
the line" and that is Leupold, there is a lasting and recoverable
value to your purchase that simply does not exist with the others. If
I needed a hunting scope, on the economy, I'd buy a used Leupold
3-9X40 VXII with a duplex reticle (on e-bay) for probably around $150
every day of the week knowing I could get almost every penny back
rather than spend 1/2 to 2/3 that amount for a scope which is worth
$10 the second you have paid for it. Even if everything looks
perfect, spend $6 on postage and send the scope to Leupold with some
vague complaint. In the off-season, you will get the scope back
completely checked out with no charge within 2 weeks. And, for a
hunter, this 20 plus year old $150 Leupold gives you at least 98% of
the value delivered by a new Bentley without any of the liabilities
expected on a "Yugo" scope.
Lots of people somehow think a new Leupold costs $1800. Leupold sells
specialty models that cost this much. But the basic 3-9X40 Leopold
which meets the needs of most can be found for around $250 new.
If you need to economize so much that you can only afford a "Yugo"
scope, my advice is to stay with iron sights and save your money,
Why? Because you can hit about as well with the iron sights and they
are one hell of a lot more reliable.
Obviously, you pay something up front for the Leupold warranty in
tandem with the market confidence that it means something. On the
back end, though, it looks to me like the warranty adds about $100 in
value while at the same time establishing an eager resale market.
My experience with used rifles comes from not being able to resist
tinkering with them and loving the horse trading as much as the
tinkering. I delude myself into believing I make modest profit by
buying low and selling high. Having a poor memory of what you paid in
the first place helps.
Both my eyes were made bionic about 10 years ago and to my delight, I
could again shoot adequately with open sights. Hopefully the same
experience holds for you and the above is not a lament thinking that
your shooting days are over. My ophthalmologist did advise 3 months
without shooting to allow the lens replacement to heal firmly in place
before jolting the head with heavy recoil. So it would not hurt to
ask your doctor first.
As a possible warning and thing to look out for, my vision worsened
about a year after cataract surgery. The problem proved to be crud
scabbing onto the plastic lens inside the eyeball, which evidently
happens at 3 to 12 months post surgery in some people. The
ophthalmologist zapped the crud with a laser, my vision instantly
improved, and all has been well since. So if your vision is not
terrific, you might talk to your doctor about this possibility.
I've always wanted to own and drive a Bentley, Mercedes, even a
Beemer. But I've lived very well with Chevy, Ford, etc. For
midwestern hunting, I've had Weaver, Redfield, Simmons and Tasco for
years and with perfect satisfaction. They've served in rain, snow, mud
and all. And if one quit, I could buy 2 or 3 and still have change
left over compared to buying the top of the line. I know they do have
quality. But some folks need to economize.
The problem with economizing is that the scopes you claim to be satisfactory
are generally junk; I believe you are quite easy to please. I have owned
numerous Tasco scopes back in the 70's that were absolutely
horrible...Simmons in my opinion was a step below.
I wouldn't compare a Leupold to a Bentley or Mercedes...a better comparison
would be to a Chevy. They are dependable and will last a long time.
Historically Leupold wasn't an expensive rifle scope but when the American
public started paying a grand for German glass, I believe Leupold decided to
start charging similar for their products. In the early 90's you could still
buy a Vari X III for $250 bucks, about double the going price of a similar
era Tasco. Luckily all of my hunting glass is from that time period and I
have no need to upgrade. I personally wouldn't pay $800 for todays Leupold.
I must admit to purchasing a Sightron II a few years back before they got
"popular and expensive". It lives on a .338 Win Mag and has proven to be
Simmons, Tasco etc...hmmm I'd compare them to a Yugo. They might get you
from point A to B...but most likely not.
# Simmons, Tasco etc...hmmm I'd compare them to a Yugo. They might get you
# from point A to B...but most likely not.
Generally I'd agree, with a couple of points:
The notion that you get what you pay for is, generally, a reasonable one
- the trick of course being to make sure that "what you pay for" is good-
quality craftsmanship rather than a salesman's taking advantage of brand
It is very easy to recommend the likes of the "German glass" because it
is generally very good. So the advisor isn't likely to end up looking
daft when the advice is followed, and the scope turns out to be a turkey.
But this "risk aversion" on the part of those writing advice doesn't help
the shooter for whom the likes of Zeiss and so on are out of their
I include myself in this - yes I could afford a £2000 top-of-the-line
Swarovski scope. But it would put unwanted strain on my marriage if I did
so for both the deer rifles (and the dear lady wife would probably put
some unwanted dents in my head with some of the larger kitchenware).
There is a general dearth of good advice on mid-range scopes that maybe
lack 15 minutes of that last bit of daylight, or maybe are that little
bit less tolerant of being dropped out of a truck, or maybe require more
care in their use because of parallax, or maybe won't last too long on
top of a .300 Win Mag.
Which is why I put Nikko Stirling scopes on them, albeit paying extra for
I put a lower-in-the-range Nikko Stirling on the new Anschutz .22 I
bought last November. It is a very good low-light scope I'd not trust on
a centrefire rifle, but it works fine on the .22.
I do actually have a Simmons on the old Anschutz .22 - I bought the rifle
second-hand and the scope came with it. The rifle works fine, the scope
is starting to feel its age and isn't too happy in low light - it will be
replaced in due course, the question I'm considering now is whether to go
for low-light optics, or a CCD night sight. But the old Simmons did work
very well (judged by aim-at-rabbits-head, hit-rabbits-head, consistently
up to the 100 yard effective range of the rifle). It still does in good
light - maybe it is an example of this mileage that, by tradition, varies.