Let’s talk about glass…
Some refer to optics, yet others just call it glass. No matter what you call it, the riflescope is just as important as the whole rifle perched underneath it. I have owned almost every brand of rifle scope imaginable. Buying a rifle scope is no different than anything else…..you buy the best glass that you can afford. I currently own Swarovski, Leupold, Zeiss, Leica, Burris, Weaver, Bushnell Elite, Nikon and Alpen rifle scopes, binoculars and spotting scopes in 20 different models. I have used and sold Schmidt and Bender and Night Force scopes as well. For the average rifle hunter, Nikon, Bushnell and Leupold would get my nod. Nikon’s Monarch series and Leupold’s VXIII (now VX2) have very good coatings for the money. They are very clear at the range, decent in low light conditions and hold up to years of abuse. Turnaround time is incredible should you have that “oops” issue and most accidents are covered by the manufacture at no cost. Burris is another “working man’s scope” that falls into this category. Moderately priced, you’re getting a good deal for your dollar. I have used one on a Benelli slug gun for years…….still puts it right on the money. If you’re a trophy buck/bull hunter and can afford the extra green backs….the Bushnell Elite 6500 series or for a few more bucks, the Leupold VX6 series are worth the extra expense. Both of these scopes give exceptional brightness for their cost in low light conditions. These scopes generally costs around $800-1200 retail. I really like the sleekness and design of Leupold’s VX6 scope, but prefer the Bushnell Elite 6500 on my custom Johnston long range muzzleloader. Both scopes have clarity and resistance to abuse that are second to none. I have a Leupold VX6 perched on a custom barreled 338 RCM and a Green Mountain barreled Encore in 358 Hoosier. Both are awesome stand guns for deer and bear. My VX6 scope has the optional red or “hot” dot that really helps in positioning on the vitals in dark timber. While I try to remain bias…..I’m really partial to Swarovski optics. Yes, these scopes and spotting scopes are VERY expensive and hard to justify to the wife (yes, she will get a new hand bag and two pairs of shoes on the deal). But, if you have ever had the opportunity to drag your carcass, your gear and that prize rifle up the side of a steep canyon in Montana or New Mexico (while using explicit language the last couple hundred yards) chasing a 6X6 bull that loves to annoy you with his vertical rock climbing skills, then you know. When he stops in the low light of the mountain some 500 yards away….on the only flat spot for centuries AND in a place you can get to him after he is down…this is where it all comes together. You have practiced……your rifle is true……that snapshot of a memory is about to unfold. Then you can’t see him. There is too much haze in the scope! I have been there. That’s why I will wait and count my pennies to purchase that scope of a lifetime for that rifle of a lifetime. That equation results in the end sum of:

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