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Help with scope choice

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Help with scope choice

Old 09-29-2010, 09:26 AM
Typical Buck
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Location: SE Wisc
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Default Help with scope choice

I am currently looking to re-scope a Savage 11 308 win. I have narrowed my choices to

Burris Fulfield II
Nikon Buckmaster
Bushnell Elite 3200

Can anyone chime in on opinions? these were the clearest scopes i found at the store. Assume all are the same $$$. all of them are 3x9
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:15 AM
Giant Nontypical
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I'm a Burris Scope fan.

A Nikon Bino and rangefinder guy.

I do have some "Mini" binos from Bushnell, that are "pretty" good.

Lifetime warranty and good customer service after the purchase is what matters.

Last edited by Sheridan; 09-29-2010 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
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The answer is - none of the above.

The reason for this answer is that I have or have had all of those scopes at one time or another and I came to the conclusion a long time ago that if I was going to buy a new scope it was going to be a Bushnell Elite 3200 5 x 15 x 40 or 50

I have one of each.

The 3 x 9 x 40 has some issues that the 5 x 15 scope solves.

The last one I bought was about $200 for a 3 x 9 x 40 Bushnell and the Elite 3200 5 x 15 is about $100 more - maybe $125.00

For that $125 - you get twice as much scope.

I will use my brothers as a example. I have two brothers who bought Leupold Vari X III scopes on the same day, off the same dealer, mounted on two identical guns. (Both guns are 30-06 Gamemasters) and both brothers will tell you that the Leupold was just a name and that they have a hard time seeing a one inch bulls eye at 100 yards with their scope.

They will both tell you that if someone gave them what they paid for their scopes right now, they would both sell their scopes tomorrow to anyone and buy the Bushnell Elite 3200 5 x 15 x 40.

All they had to do was shoot either of my guns one time to see that their scope was just a name and it did not do anything more then the Bushnell and they paid substantially more - for the name.
The price of their scopes has gone up substantially since they bought them, which was about 4 or 5 years ago - so anyone that was willing to spend $400 something - could have them both..

There is no advantage to the Nikon. My opinion is that the Buckmaster series of scope is a cheap scope that does a good job as long as you don't ask it to do something more then what it was designed to do. You aren't going to shoot 500 yards with it.

My dad has a Burris Fullfield and it's ok - but there isn't anything about it that would make me sell everything I own and go out tomorrow and buy one.

This is all from a person that has sent many scopes back to the manufacturer because they were not to my specifications - not theirs.

The only used scope I ever bought was a REDFIELD WIDEFIELD and I have two rifles right now that uses them and both of those rifles has shot plenty of deer.

The Nikon is probably the best scope out of the three - but you would have a hard time getting me to admit it.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:28 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Central Florida
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Default Scope choice?

That's exactly what it is. I have chosen Nikon for all of my rifles primarily because I used Nikon cameras in my work for many years.
I have chosen Monarchs, Buckmasters and ProStaffs depending on the use of the rifle. There is no argument that there are better(maybe) scopes out there, but for the dollar spent IMHO you won't do better than NIKON.
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:59 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Michigan
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On a hunting rifle I'd pass on the Nikon scopes. Not enough tolerance on the parallax.

While I agree with the poster regarding the higher magnification, that is a personal preference. Bushnell makes a very good scope for the money. If you want to step into the good line they start at the 4200 series. If you can afford it I'd go that route.

Otherwise I'm not sure you'll go wrong with any thing on your list. They will all work.

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Old 09-29-2010, 02:39 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Originally Posted by the jigger View Post
That's exactly what it is. I have chosen Nikon for all of my rifles primarily because I used Nikon cameras in my work for many years.
I have chosen Monarchs, Buckmasters and ProStaffs depending on the use of the rifle. There is no argument that there are better(maybe) scopes out there, but for the dollar spent IMHO you won't do better than NIKON.
Im sorry but you are not comparing apples to apples here.

A Nikon camera has absolutely nothing to do with a Nikon scope.
They are two separate entities.

Because I have worked in the field of machining, I know a little about scope manufacture. One of the first things to look for in a rifle scope is a one tube manufacture. The second is a positive click type system. The third is the coating on the lens and the seal on the glass and the adjustments. Then you look at appearance and fit and eye relief. Once you get beyond that stage then you look at Parallax, if you can get past that, then you need to look at the amount of magnification and the size of the field of view at that amount of magnification. When you get beyond that stage - then you have to look at brightness and clarity.

All 3 of the scopes he has chose is by price only and not by performance. Choosing a scope - because of name of manufacture or reputation does not get you any closer on the paper to the bulls-eye then does picking a scope by magnification alone.

The end result is - you may never need a 15 power scope, but if you can buy a scope that you only need to shoot 3 shots to confirm from one year to the next that it has retained it's zero - the Bushnell Elite with rain guard 3200 5 x 15 is the clear choice winner.

Target knobs is just fine for a bench rest rifle, but has no real place in the woods where something can get knocked around or changed and forgot and then not set back to zero - which would mess up a normally good hunt.

In my younger days, when a person asked me a question like this, I would tell them to go down to Burger King and work a second job for a week or two to make the difference so they could purchase the better scope. But I have mellowed out in my old age and my opinion is that a person has to do what they have to do.
Some people would rather settle for something less then spectacular then wait and buy a better quality product when they could afford it. I would rather buy something once, use it for the rest of my life and then not have to worry about it then to buy the same piece of crap two or three times before I got what I wanted in the first place.

That was the problem that my brothers made the first time when they ran out and bought Leupold scopes on reputation only and not by actually looking through the scope and comparing it to other scopes...

There is only 3 or 4 machines in the whole world that grinds all the glass for all the rifle scopes made in the world. So trying to say that one is better then another would be like me trying to tell you that one brand of Good Year tire is better then another when they both have the same rubber compound and the same tread design.
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:11 PM
Nontypical Buck
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I personally have used Nikon quite a bit in the past, but have more recently become a VERY big fan of Bushnell for budget conscious scope buying. I can second the problems with paralax issues with Nikon's.

Here's my REAL WORLD example, from just this month... We have had a 3-9x40mm Bushnell Elite 3200 on my fiancee's 100yrd benchrest rifle for quite some time. She wanted to step up to something with a little more zoom, so I purchased a Nikon Buckmaster 4.5-14x40mm. After just ONE DAY at the range, she had me re-mount the Bushnell, because at maximum zoom (anything between 10-14x), the Nikon had terrible paralax issues. I have had SOME issues with Nikon's in the past, but this scope is far and away the worst. I will be contacting Nikon about it, and if they don't resolve the issue, we'll be asking for a refund.

I still have 2 monarchs and a lowly prostaff sitting on the shelf that I'm working on selling, but my preference has definitely been swayed to the bushnells.

The bushnell elite, even the low end 3200's, have great glare and fog proofing, amazing range of focus with ZERO paralax issues. I couldn't be happier with ours, and I guarantee you'll be happy with yours!
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:36 PM
Fork Horn
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I have 3x9x40 Nikon buckmaster on my .06. For the money and the price range it is in the scope is fine. No you probably won't be able to shoot 500 yds with it, but most people, me included shouldn't be shooting that far anyway. I bought my Nikon scope because of past experiences with their products and customer service. I looked at and researched other scopes but the Nikons just seemed to have better reviews. This is just my experience with Nikon and my .02.
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:37 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Of the three you listed I'd go with the Bushnell 3200. But I agree with statjunk on this one. Save a little more and go with the 4200 from Bushnell.
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:24 PM
Boone & Crockett
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I personally like the Burris over the other two. The Bushnell 3200 being a close second. I also second the suggestion of the 4200 if you can spring it.

As far as magnification goes there is no reason in the world that a big game rifle needs more than 10X magnification. 10X magnification is enough to get you to 500+ yards on a deer sized target. A general purpose big game rifle with a variable scope should have a magnification range that starts out lower than 5X or 6X. You will need the low end many more times than you will need the 15X or 16X.
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