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Discussion Starter #1
I see people talking about these optics alot for obvious reasons, but am I the only one that thinks that there is a point of diminishing returns that is quickly reached as you start paying above $300-$500 let alone $1K+ on an optic for even the highest end rifles? I mean, there is only so bright a scope can be, so many features it can offer, or ways to offer a reticle, and even only so many ways to make or coat a lens. What am I missing about these uber expensive optics? Makes me wonder if it's just a bragging rights thing.

I'm all for getting what you pay for, but I'm also about value and being able to take advantage of a noteable difference for my money.


- Dtech
 

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I'm in the same boat. I spent $300 for my Saiga's optics. I spent $100 on the aimpoint clone for my GSG. I need an optic for my 556 DMR but I've yet to find anything that demonstrates why I need to spend more than $500-700ish tops for it. I played around with a Nightforce today at the shop.....$1800. It was nice but for range plinking an occasional long distance stuff outdoors, it would make me a mall ninja.
 

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Optics, like cars, boats, motorcycles, watches are all in the eyes of the beholder.
If you like it and it floats your boat you will find someway to get it. You have to match the optic to what you are going to do with the rifle. I am in the position to buy whatever optic that I want for my Sig. The Elcan Spector is the best in the world. Goes from a fantastic red dot to a 7x optic with the flip of a lever. Is it worth the $2000 probably, will I get it probably not.
If I was taking my own weapons to the some of the shithole countries I work in yeah nothing but the best but for the shooting/training I do a lesser expensive optic will handle the job.
I just purchased a $75 Centerpoint optic to put on the Sig for accuracy testing. If it works great will keep it around and use it, if it doesnt back it goes to walmart and will get something else better.
I am sure quality high made optics do a better job than lesser priced models but can the average shooter telll the difference I dont think so.
Just my opinion.
 

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I bought the Centerpoint from Wal MArt and mounted it on my 308. I am still unsure if the shooter is the problem or the optic is not holding zero, I have to test it more. I am leaning more toward the optic being the problem though. With the 556 it may not be a problem. Just giving you a heads up.
 

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I, too, have the means to get what I want. I liken it to my car...I can afford something nice but I can't justify it. For me, I need to justify something (rationally or irrationally) before I'll part with hard-earned cash.

I wasn't real crazy about the quality of the aimpoint clone I got for my GSG but when I slapped it on my 556 yesterday, it put together some nice groups even though I didn't zero it in. That only reinforces my notion that there isn't much to be gained by spending 10x for optics.
 

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LOL know the feeling brother. A car is a car it gets me from point A to B nothing more.
I am so confused on optics right now will just let it set until I can get home and look at some of this stuff. Will probably go with a Burris XTR with a mini red dot mounted or a similar Trijicon, or Nightforce with the same mini dot.
Geez whatever happened to the days of iron sights.
Anyways let me know what you find out and try or see and use it will help me a lot.
 

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A lot of it has to do with your vision. When I was younger, and my eyes were too, a less expensive scope worked fine. As you get older, ...err, I mean, as your vision matures, the quality of an optic can make a difference. Quality glass to me is worth it. An example - I bought a 10x50 set of binoculars from Nikon - they are very nice, cost ~$100, and work pretty well, and I was pretty satisfied. Then one day, I picked up a set of Leupold 10x50 binoculars, which cost $400, and made the mistake of looking through them. Vastly superior in quality, light transmission, and they have adjustable eyepieces that shroud your eyes for better viewing in sunlight -- huge difference, and for me, worth the extra money. I think you owe it to yourself to have one really good set of binoculars.

As far as scopes & optics - I have Nikon scopes, which are very nice, but a Leupold scope on my Remy 700P just blows it away on terms of quality of magnified viewing. In some instances, you do get what you pay for....

As far as optics go, I look at it like this - if I ever have to use a rifle in self defense, I want the best equipment I can afford on it, because my life, and the lives of my loved ones, are worth it, and may very well depend on it. You cannot hit what you cannot see, and if it starts moving and shooting back, you need something to help you end all that RIGHT NOW....

I saw a very effective ad -- shows a guy walking up on another guy holding a baseball bat -- the ad says something to the effect of "now is not the time to wish you had bought a better tactical knife" - sums it up for me....
 

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I'm awful close to an Elcan SpecterDR. I started reading up on it....the ability to switch 1X/4X makes a LOT of sense for me.
 

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PGT said:
I'm awful close to an Elcan SpecterDR. I started reading up on it....the ability to switch 1X/4X makes a LOT of sense for me.
...PGT

...IMO the SPECTAR DR is a poor choice...and it is not a "variable power scope"...it sits higher on the weapon due to it's construction..and you are limited to ~1X or 4X only...is somewhat awkwards to operate and has less eye relief than most variables in the 1-4 power range...the major flaw with this optic is the mannor in which windage and elevation adjustsments are made...externally by repositioning the entire optic...not good for retaining zero under hard use...and you "may have" coaxial alignment issues...and the ARMS throw levers have been known to break under hard use...not good... i would really do your homework before dropping that kind of money...in that price range there are better options...
 

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everything I've read says they hold zero and are an excellent choice.

this just goes to show...everybody has an opinion out there and its damned tough to make an educated decision regarding optics.
 

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556 Optics

My feeling and experience has taught me that quality optics are the way to go. Cheap very oftrn ends up being expensive. Case in point a few years ago I bought a $100 spotting scope at BIG 5. I looked through it at the store and it semed ok. When I took it to the range Iit would not resolve 22 caliber holes. I know own it and a Leupold Gold Ring spotter.
 

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If it weren't for the fact that I really like the reticle on the Millet DMS-1, I would have gotten a Leupold. I also like the Burris that Skypup has. I am happy with the Millet but I am not confident that 3-5yrs down the road if it has an issue they will replace it like Leupold would. That's what your paying extra for.
 

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Dtech said:
What am I missing about these uber expensive optics? Makes me wonder if it's just a bragging rights thing.
...aside from better light transmission and clear glass...all the way out to the edges on the lense...some high end optics...but not all... from a select few manufactures are true field grade scopes...that hold up under heavy recoil...adverse enviromental conditions and just plain unintended abuse...

...the superior field grade optics will be more repeatable from round to round...that is...the erector tube retains a static position from round to round...field grade optics have far superior adjustment repeatability with less backlash...superior adjustment tracking...and less reticle displacement as you go through the power range on a variable...just to mention a few...

...the "glass" is only a small part of the equation...it's what's inside that counts...to shoot accurately at range...you need a good "field grade" scope...rock solid mounts...good ammunition coupled with a capable weapon and a shooter able to take advantage of the package...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, after much searching and deciding, I went ahead and ordered an Aimpoint CompM4S. The best part is that I got it for a great price (not cheap mind you, but a relatively great price none the less)! Using the Microsoft Bing Rebate function and finding a great deal from a reputable dealer on ebay, I ended up getting it for just under $600 including shipping! Looking forward to trying this out on my 556 Classic once that issue gets resolved. Hopefully it will prove itself well worth the investment.

- Dtech
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, I received my Aimpoint CompM4s on Thursday and although I was very impressed with the overall construction and finish of the Aimpoint, the performance of the red dot illumination itself did not impress me for the cost of the optic. The dot exibhited what I consider a little too much "flare" and had to be set at a pretty dim setting to try to minimize it making the dot very dim (taking viewing conditions into consideration of course). Mind you I have 20/20 vision so I do not wear glasses or contacts and the dot was viewed the same from both eyes. You could definitely tell the difference in the precision/size of the dot compared to the 4 MOA SIG red dot that came with my 556 and an inexpensive BSA red dot that I have as well, but the dot projection/level of flare I felt was about equivalent to the SIG. Ironically enough, my BSA has a 4 MOA dot but I have to say that the dot on my BSA is sharp with virtually no flare when set at an appropriate setting for conditions.

I'm sure the Aimpoint is extremely rugged, with repeatable adjustments and such, but I have to say that I really could not justify the cost for my uses and from my impressions. I have sent it back for a refund and will continue to look around for other options and possibilities.
 

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Did you check the optic outside or inside? I have seen where indoors the dot looks blury but outside is clear as day.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I checked it both in the evening inside and with sunlight in the morning. Yes, pretty much every red dot "flares" to one degree or another with indoor or dim lighting conditions that reflect against the objective so the comparison I did was with all three optics on even ground lighting wise. I'm not saying that the Aimpoint did not have a well defined 2 MOA dot, but it did have more flare than expected under all lighting conditions.

- Dtech
 

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I wonder sometimes about optics and the break point for diminishing marginal return. I have a Burris on my Thompson Encore and I have to say that I am very happy with the quality, but I will also say that I looked through some Swarovski optics before I bought it and I don't recommend doing that. The image is clearly better; is it 6-8 times better based upon the cost, certainly not, but if you have the money and want the best then it does make a difference. Having said that I think that the rest of the glass I considered was about 90-95% of the performance of the Swarovski at far less money.

So while more absolutely gets you more I think you reach a certain point where a LOT more money only gets you a little more in performance. After reading the torture test that one of the guys at AR15.com put the Vortex Sparc through, I have to say it is something that I am going to look at in the very near future.
 
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