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Old 03-19-2006, 05:02 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 114
Scope focus

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This is my first experience in scoping a rifle and I'm trying to find out as much as I can about the scopes themselves. I'm pawing on and looking through various brands. The range of stuff I'm looking at include 3X9s by Bushnell, a 3200, Nikon Buckmaster, I also peeked through a Monarch, and a Leupold VX-I and II.

Based on what I'm seeing and hearing the following factoids are suggested:

1. The optics in that price range, say around $200 to $300, or that quality range, from one brand to another are pretty well competitive. I don't see or hear indications that one company has the market cornered in the lens quality or that another is making junk.
2. Lens coatings, and the % of light transmittance, are the primary difference in the various company's lenses. I think the VX-II and the Monarch for example, would be similar in coatings and therefore in light transmittance. The others perhaps a notch below. Leupold claims to have 4 coatings in the II. Presumably the I and the Buckmaster and 3200 have fewer. And this might not matter except in low light conditions.
3. It seems that everyone has the parallax thing solved such that when power is ramped up or down the cross hairs don't wander off.
4. A substantial difference my be found the eye relief, that is the distance one's eye has to be from the viewing end in order to find the target, or something like that. Someone has suggested that the VX-I and II may have an advantage there. Looking at specifications, I'm not sure I can tell.

A lot of if not all of the above may be incorrect, but it's what I've assembled so far. Here is a question. When the scope power is changed up or down, do all scopes remain in focus, none, or some? My brother told me recently that his 3200 requires refocusing. He said for example that if you were focued on 3X power at say, 50 yards, and cranked the scope up to 9 power, and were aiming at a target at say 200 yards, the bullet would hit at 50 yards unless the scope were adjusted first.

He replaced it with a VX-I claiming it did have to be refocused. Is that true? And if so, is the VX-I unique in that quality in that price range?

I'm pretty well settled on that price and quality range, and I understand that could include the Simmons AETEC, and others. Is there any clear advantage between say the VX-II and Monarch, compared to all the others? And is the Luepold reputation among some as being sort of a cut above the others really earned. Or does this finally come down to, "some people like Chevys, some like Toyotas and some like Fords?" A matter of person preference?
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Old 03-19-2006, 07:27 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,078
I believe that the Leupolds are above the rest. Thats my opinion. The Leupolds eye relief averages about 4"-5" and the others average about 3-3.5". That being said, the Leupolds are much better where eye relief comes in.

I am not quite sure what you are meaning about refocusing after changing the power from 3 up to 9 power. There is no adjusting point of impact of any quality scope I have owned. I can sight in at 100 yards on 8 power, change it to 12 power and it hits the same place at 100 yards. I am confused as to where this info came from. If you would sight in on 3 power at 50 yards and wanted to shoot something out to 200 yards, saying that you rifle was capable of shooting flat out to that distance, tyou would only have to set the power where you want it and hold dead on. Are you talking about FOCUS or having to sight in again?? It should not change either one. If your eye piece is fucused correctly, the scope will stay in focus no matter what the power. Also assuming that you are not too close to your target when changing the power to a higher value.
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Old 03-19-2006, 08:17 PM
IDShooter's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 2,077
A standard scope that does not have an adjustable objective lens should not need to be refocused for various ranges. If your brother needed to refocus, he had some sort of problem with an individual scope - it is not representative of the way a scope normally works.

As Gismo alluded to, the bullet path is a parabola (or an arc, to be less precise but easier to understand). The bullet leaves the muzzle below the line of sight and is launched at an upward angle so that it crosses the line of sight at fairly close range - maybe 20 to 50 yards. Then it rises above the line of sight for a distance and finally recrosses at our zero range. From there on out the bullet continues to drop below the line of sight until it hits something. I don't know how experienced your brother is, or how well the problem was described, but it kind of sounds like he was having issues with trajectory. This would be totally unrelated to any scope problem.

To answer your intitial question, I think Leupolds are generally a cut above the others. I like the long eye relief and outstanding product support. But in truth, most riflescopes today are entirely servicable. The days of really crappy scopes are mostly gone.

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." - Mark Twain
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