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"Budget" Optics Help







#1
I'm looking to put together a budget setup for some mid to long range target shooting (maybe out to about 500-800 yards). It will be some variation of the Ruger American (Predator, Ranch, or Hunter) in 6.5 CM. I've been researching Optics for weeks now and can't seem to settle on one so i was curious if you guys had any experience with the few that I'm interested in, or any others I may not be aware of. Being a "budget" build I'm trying to keep the optic below $300 (I know that some will say that's crazy and to save more, but that's all I'm budgeting based on the rifle cost).

Primary Arms SLx 4-14x44mm FFP:
https://www.primaryarms.com/primary...tm_campaign=155690&utm_content=product-review

Athlon Argos BTR, 6-24 x 50 (FFP):
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0157N464...olid=3TBGIAO4MUFTD&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40 Second Focal Plane:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6Y9QK...olid=3TBGIAO4MUFTD&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

If I give up on getting an FFP optic, I know it opens my options up a bit more, I just don't know how important that is since this will be my first time with anything like this.

I think I've ruled out the Monstrum products in that price range. The reviews just seem really inconsistent and the warranty isn't great on them, but if anyone has first hand experience I'd love to hear it.

Thanks!
 

STV_Keith

Obsessed Member
#2
I've got a Super Sniper 20x42 on a longer range rifle. It's budget, but it works. I think I paid $200 for it used, but even the new ones are around 300 or so. Works as required to put the rifle in service for now.
 

lasvegasharley

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#4
I really like the Vortex Diamond Back tactical 6-24×50. I have 2 of them, both in MOA, and the only feature that is missing from this scope is a zero stop. But with a 20 moa scope base, I just remember that my zero is 1.5 rotations off the bottom.

I bought the second one after using the first one for over 1 year, so that is saying something there. I know that $400 is over your budget, but I feel that the lifetime, no questions asked, warranty and the great features including; good clear glass, accurate reticle and dials, first focal plane, 30 mm tube with 65 MOA of of elevation, resetable zero, make it a best buy for someone like me with a budget to consider.
 

Fogie

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#5
Nikon, if you can still find them. There was one for sale here, not long ago.
 

Kinoons

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#6
You might be able to come across a close out Nikon somewhere. A used viper PST or HST would work. Otherwise I’ve heard good stuff about the Athlon offerings.
 

MAC702

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#7
...Being a "budget" build I'm trying to keep the optic below $300 (I know that some will say that's crazy and to save more, but that's all I'm budgeting based on the rifle cost...
That's a cheap rifle, then! Not that there's anything wrong with that. But... You should figure your scope at about 2x the cost of the gun.

I wasn't happy with the controls on the cheaper Athlon stuff. Too stiff. But I really like my Athlon Helos.
 

Fogie

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#8
That's a cheap rifle, then! Not that there's anything wrong with that. But... You should figure your scope at about 2x the cost of the gun.

I wasn't happy with the controls on the cheaper Athlon stuff. Too stiff. But I really like my Athlon Helos.
2X?.....I can't go for that, optics are too fragile no matter how expensive. My most expensive scope is on a gun that cost 7X what it did.🥺
 
#9
I'm sure this will lead me down a rabbit hole as I get out and shoot more long range...and more rifles will come haha.

Maybe it's because I've never used and high end optics so in my mind I can't fathom spending more on a piece of glass than on the rifle. Like Fogie said spending that much on something fragile kind of freaks me out.

I am going to keep an eye out for sales on the Diamondback Tactical and see if I can catch one cheaper. I know there are some deals on the Bushnell Nitro line right now but reviews seemed mixed there, as well.
 

Fogie

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#10
I'm sure this will lead me down a rabbit hole as I get out and shoot more long range...and more rifles will come haha.

Maybe it's because I've never used and high end optics so in my mind I can't fathom spending more on a piece of glass than on the rifle. Like Fogie said spending that much on something fragile kind of freaks me out.

I am going to keep an eye out for sales on the Diamondback Tactical and see if I can catch one cheaper. I know there are some deals on the Bushnell Nitro line right now but reviews seemed mixed there, as well.
an awful lot of deer, elk etc. had no idea that my scopes weren't fine German glass, or whatever.
 
#11
I owned two of that exact Primary Arms scope a few years ago.

Decent quality, but the glass really isn't that great. Didn't realize it until I had it out with a similar magnification Vortex Viper. The difference in clarity, especially at distances over 400 yards, was night and day.

Granted the Vortex Viper is about twice the cost, BUT with some patience and checking here, eBay, and arms list, you might be able to pick one up for close to your budget. The other thing about Vortex is they have an excellent warranty, that extends to any owner (ie you don't have to be the original buyer, or have a receipt), so if you buy one used and it has problems, Vortex will fix it under warranty.
 

tdyoung58

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#12
I have a Vortex Viper on mine. It's a 6.5-20x44.
Don't think I paid over $300 for it new.

In looking it's looks like they're about $400 now
 
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#13
I have a Vortex Viper on mine. It's a 6-20x44.
Don't think I paid over $300 for it new.

In looking it's looks like they're about $400 now
Are you sure it's a VIPER?

What year did you buy it?

- Vortex VIPER scopes in the mid to high magnification range have been $500-800+ when new for at least the last few years.
 

tdyoung58

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#14

MAC702

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#15
an awful lot of deer, elk etc. had no idea that my scopes weren't fine German glass, or whatever.
Agreed. And I've dropped more with iron sights than scopes. But the OP asked about shooting targets at 800 yards. Even the leap from 600 to 800 yards is huge when it comes to clarity.

My high school biology prof's words echo in my head: "Magnification is cheap. Resolution is expensive."
 

JTW_Jr

WheelGunner
#16
I have a pair of Super Sniper 10X scopes , nice glass for $300 , you can also get them in 12 , 16x and 20x. But with optics, there is no free lunch. You really do get what you pay for . After shooting a friends 308 at 1000 yards with his Vortex Razor ( forget the model) , I was blown away by being able to not only see the target clearly , but see my impacts on steel as well as spot my misses.

I have a Super Sniper 10x mounted on a Savage FV-SR 22LR for shooting 200-300 yards.
 

MAC702

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#17
Don't discount fixed power scopes! They have huge advantages in light transmission as well as ruggedness. Your budget will go into the glass instead of the zoom.
 
#18
I've never considered the fixed power scopes but I suppose that's a good point for target shooting. I will just be taking it out to the Sloan area so I'd say likely well under the 600-800 yard estimate most of the time. Being able to stretch that far would be nice eventually but probably rare unless i can find a decent spot that has some range.