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View Full Version : Budget Mil/Mil Optics: BSA Tactical, Millett Tactical, or Primary Arms?



Will_Power
01-30-13, 02:51
Hey all,

Unexpected expenses have hit over the past couple of months and dug into my fun money, but I still need to pick up a starter mil/mil scope.

Right now, I'm looking between these three:

BSA Tactical 4-14x44mm Side Focus (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/456482/bsa-tactical-mil-mil-rifle-scope-30mm-tube-4-14x-44mm-side-focus-1-10-mil-adjustments-first-focal-mrad-reticle-matte)

Millett Tactical TRS-1 4-16x50mm Side Focus (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/458997/millett-tactical-trs-1-rifle-scope-30mm-tube-4-16x-50mm-side-focus-1-10-mil-adjustments-green-illuminated-mil-dotbar-reticle-matte)

Primary Arms 4-14X44 Mil Mil FFP (https://www.primaryarms.com/Primary_Arms_4_14X44_FFP_Scope_p/pa4-14xffp.htm)

Granted, all these are low-end, budget affairs, but do any of these three come out as the obvious choice to you experienced guys? The Primary Arms is a bit of an unknown, historically, but they seem to be building a good reputation for price. That, and the FFP is appealing.

To rehash, this will be going on a 5.56 with mix of precision paper punching and coyote/varmint hunting.

Thanks!

Koshinn
01-30-13, 03:28
Primary arms has decent stuff, not bad glass. I'd say you get more than what you pay for with PA, but I would not use it on anything but a range-only weapon. I have Trijicon and Aimpoint on my defense weapons. PA stuff is pretty good for a budget though, American company but contracts production in China to cut costs.

I can't comment on the other two.

The_Hammer_Man
01-30-13, 04:41
Check out some of the new Weaver/Kaspa scopes that have come onto the market recently. They're not bad for range only scopes for pretty decent prices.

Friend of mind picked up one of the 1.5-6's and one of the 2.5-10's. They're actually pretty decent considering the price point.

(both 200 or less)

orkan
01-30-13, 10:57
I have been looking for an uber-low budget mil/mil/ffp for rimfire. I ordered a primary arms. The first one that showed up was a turd. Virtually no clicks in the elevation turret.

I called and they were prompt to tell me "send it back, we'll send a new one" A couple weeks went by, nothing showed up. I called. "We have nothing in the system for you." It was as if the first call never took place. About a week later from the second call, another scope showed up. This one had mediocre clicks in both windage and elevation... with the elevation turret being egg shaped somewhere. When turning it, it gets easy, then hard, then easy. So something is ob-longed in there.

I haven't had time to test tracking, subtension, or anything yet. I can see through it... and it has a mil reticle. It's small and light weight. I'd rather have enclosed turrets and a better reticle with half mil stadia.

If I compare it to a regular $250 SFP vortex crossfire, this primary arms is a piece of shit. I have no other $250 mil/mil/ffp optics to compare it to. I really wish vortex would put out a mil/mil/ffp in their crossfire line with a Gen II reticle.

Kenneth
01-30-13, 11:01
For a red dot go with PA if you want magnification go with the millet.

orkan
01-30-13, 11:29
For a red dot go with PA if you want magnification go with the millet. ... my experience with millet has been horrible.

What are you basing this recommendation from?

Kenneth
01-30-13, 11:35
I have seen them used in 3 gun without much trouble. The ones I saw used were 1-4x though. That may be a factor.

orkan
01-30-13, 11:39
I have seen them used in 3 gun without much trouble. The ones I saw used were 1-4x though. That may be a factor. I would say it is... when we are talking about magnified optics for precision rifle use, in the precision bolt rifle forum.

How many guys you see running a 3-gun, stop to run their turrets? I've never done it, and I've certainly never seen anyone else do it.

Kenneth
01-30-13, 11:45
Well since the OP is putting them on a 5.56 for coyote hunting and paper punching I don't think he will have an issue. The turrets will most likely be used to sight in and that's it.

BUT if he wanted to try and rotate turrets for ranges then I wouldn't have confidence in any if those optics.

OP what is your budget? Possible could have a better optic from a different brand. Unless your stuck on those.

Shooter07
01-30-13, 12:45
What do you think your maximum is in terms of spending on this optic?

TiroFijo
01-30-13, 13:53
I would run away from these offerings, and instead get a fixed power SWFA SS scope with 0.1 mil clicks:

http://swfa.com/SWFA-SS-MRAD-Scopes-C4225.aspx

In my experience, the low cost scopes with lots of features (illumination, variable power, adjustable parallax, target turrets, etc.) are a POS.

orkan
01-30-13, 13:56
A fixed 10x for coyote hunting... good luck with that.

jbsmwd
01-30-13, 13:57
I have the BSA scope.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/456482/bsa-tactical-mil-mil-rifle-scope-30mm-tube-4-14x-44mm-side-focus-1-10-mil-adjustments-first-focal-mrad-reticle-matte

I took a chance with the BSA FFP scope because I did not want to spend the money on Vortex Razor or SWFA SS HD 5-20x50 and then find out that I did not like FFP scopes. I like FFP scopes. Currently I have about 250-300 rounds of .308 on the scope. One drop on the concrete, it was resting on the Harris bipod and buttstock and I accedently knocked it over. It landed directly on the windage knob which is now damaged(the knob not the function). I still holds zero. I was putting the rifle and scope in a case when I went to the range, now I just lay rifle in the back of the Tribeca or the H3 when I go to the range. Not handling it with gloves but not abusing it either.

BSA say the it is 4-14 power scope and it seems to work like that but when you go from 12x to 14x you had better be behind the scope perfectly. There is no room for error. The clicks on the dails should be better with exposed turrets but I have not had them turn on me yet. From what I have seen and reaschered this is not a typical P.O.S. BSA scope. I am not claiming that it is Trijicon/SWFA/Nightforce/S&B/Leopold or any other medium to high-end scope. It will get replaced, when the funds become avaible.

For what you are planning on doing with it, it should work just fine.

orkan
01-30-13, 15:18
That's pretty surprising considering how horrible normal BSA scopes are.

jbsmwd
01-30-13, 15:52
One of the things that I looked at was the reviews on midway.com about this scope. 29 reviews with an average 4.4 and 5 being the best and only two reviewers gave it a 1. It was the overall trend that that allowed me to say "sure why not take the chance".

fury413rb
01-30-13, 16:09
That BSA looks almost identical to the Primary Arms. Same factory in China?

Will_Power
01-31-13, 02:40
OP what is your budget? Possible could have a better optic from a different brand. Unless your stuck on those.

At the moment, my fun budget is significantly restricted, and I'd like to get into a mil/mil setup to start learning how to shoot precisely ASAP.

Ergo, I'm looking at the rock bottom.

As others have mentioned here and in other places I've posed this question, that fixed 10X SS might be an option, but as a coyote hunting neophyte, would that high of a fixed power be a problem?

If not, I very well may go that route.

jbsmwd
01-31-13, 02:56
That BSA looks almost identical to the Primary Arms. Same factory in China?

I have been wondering about that. It also looks like a British scope, I think it the company is called Falcon. Bodies looked exactly the same but the turrets where different but both where exposed.

Grumpy MSG
01-31-13, 03:57
An option you haven't mentioned that would be worth looking into would be a Leupold Mark AR:
http://www.opticsplanet.com/leupold-mark-ar-mod-1-3-9x40mm-p5-dial-riflescope-matte-black.html
At $349.99 from the first site I looked at, it only slightly more expensive than the Millett. I am sure if you did a little work with your google fu you could find it for less. I know that Leupold will back it up like every other scope they offer. I wouldn't walk away from the BSA, I'd run screaming. I have absolutely no faith in their quality.

Good luck in whatever you choose, but right now you are venturing into the "Penny Wise, Pound Foolish" territory. You might be better off waiting a month or two and getting a better piece of glass.

Sgt_Gold
01-31-13, 09:11
Take a look at Konus. I know numerous shooters using their spotting scopes and I have one of their M30 rifle scopes. The glass is very good and the warranty is excellent.

orkan
01-31-13, 10:51
Take a look at Konus. I know numerous shooters using their spotting scopes and I have one of their M30 rifle scopes. The glass is very good and the warranty is excellent. That's like saying a chevy cavalier is good, so their 2500 truck should be too.

My experiences with konus scopes has been terrible. To the point where they are right in line with NC Star. It's pretty damn easy to build something you just look through. It's another matter entirely to build something that tracks properly and maintains zero.

mattm0812
01-31-13, 15:00
One of my shooting buddies has had a Barska Varmint series 6x24 40 on many of his rifles with no problems with it. The biggest caliber he had it on was 25-06.

He got it in a package deal with a spotting scope for 79 bucks a few years back.

Though, I don't believe it comes in mil/mil.

orkan
01-31-13, 15:14
One of my shooting buddies has had a Barska Varmint http://www.gregd.net/pics/funny/bleh.gif

Will_Power
02-01-13, 01:03
OP what is your budget? Possible could have a better optic from a different brand. Unless your stuck on those.


What do you think your maximum is in terms of spending on this optic?

Right now, it's a hard stop at $400. Wheel and deal me on shipping costs, but things are frugal around here at the moment, and I'd like to get started with a starter mil/mil scope that won't fall apart while I'm calling in some critters (or hiking in/out thereof).

A lot of folks are recommending the Super Sniper fixed 10x, but seeing as how I want to take this setup out and get into coyote and varmint hunting, too, I don't know how well a 10x would work in that scenario...

Grumpy MSG
02-01-13, 01:49
A lot of folks are recommending the Super Sniper fixed 10x, but seeing as how I want to take this setup out and get into coyote and varmint hunting, too, I don't know how well a 10x would work in that scenario...
Going with that price, the Leupold Mark AR in 3-9 X40 is well within reach and the Super Sniper 10X is going to make Coyote hunting tough because of the the small field of view at closer ranges, it would however do fine at longer distances for other varmints like groundhogs.

MistWolf
02-01-13, 11:03
A fixed 10x will work if you limit your coyote hunting to longer distances.

Stay away from the cheaper scope brands. I have seen many differnt scopes through the years- Tasco, Millet, Burris, Bushnell etc. and always come back to Leupold. (That's not to say I would not go with the better scopes- If I could afford a NF, US Optic, Zeiss or the like, I'd try them.)

I would buy a good used Leupold before going with any of the cheaper brands. In fact, that's what I've done in the past- paid as much for a used Leupold 4x as I would have for a brand new cheap variable. Problems with the cheaper brands include increased eye strain, blurring, fragile reticles, poor tracking, reduced FOV, variable eye relief when changing magnification, change in POI with change of magnification, eye relief too short, poor resolution, poor light transmission, wandering zero, severe pin cushioning or fish eye distortioning and other problems. I have several Leupolds that have been around for years, decades even and I have no plans to get rid of them- well, maybe one, a fixed 10x that I wish I'd gone with a variable instead.

For hunting, the most versatile variables are 2x-7, 3x-9, 3.5x-10 and maybe 4x-16. Unless shooting very small targets like prairiedogs, it's better to err on the side of less magnification than more

Let me add- When on a budget, save cost by cutting out the frills- don't buy a scope with mediocre quality optics just to get more bells & whistles

orkan
02-01-13, 11:10
A fixed 10x will work if you limit your coyote hunting to longer distances. I wish my coyotes cooperated so that they would only do what I want them to like that.

MistWolf
02-01-13, 11:15
I wish my coyotes cooperated so that they would only do what I want them to like that.

You got that right! But that's why they call it coyote hunting, not coyote shooting!

Frank207
02-01-13, 12:07
A fixed 10x for coyote hunting... good luck with that.

That's is what I was thinking....

I would buy a 4x-14x nikon buckmaster (mildot if you want) or a Nikon Predator model. Unless your hunting high plains country.

For dawn or dusk hunting you want a var power scope to power down.. in lower light

Will_Power
02-01-13, 12:54
That's is what I was thinking....

I would buy a 4x-14x nikon buckmaster (mildot if you want) or a Nikon Predator model. Unless your hunting high plains country.

For dawn or dusk hunting you want a var power scope to power down.. in lower light

I looked at the Nikon, but they only offer MOA adjustments.

I'm fairly set on mil/mil... which is what makes this process so damn tricky.

B Cart
02-01-13, 13:15
I would take a serious look at the Falcon Menace 4-14x44 Mil/Mil FFP. I did a ton of research for a good Mil/Mil FFP scope for under $400 for a budget scope, and from most of the reviews on Snipers Hide and some other places, this one came the highest recommended for the price.

I have had it on a .308 now for a couple hundred rounds and it has been awesome. Good clicks, held zero great, goes back to zero every time, and seems pretty tough. We shoot out out past 1,000 yards regularly and it has been great. For only $359 at SWFA with a lifetime warranty, I think it's worth looking at.

http://swfa.com/Falcon-Menace-4-14x44-Tactical-30mm-Riflescope-P47408.aspx

Frank207
02-01-13, 14:37
I looked at the Nikon, but they only offer MOA adjustments.

I'm fairly set on mil/mil... which is what makes this process so damn tricky.

Having own a falcon menace I liked the scope soldvit with a rifle i owed. however it just smelled funny

a0cake
02-01-13, 16:08
I have been looking for an uber-low budget mil/mil/ffp for rimfire.

Same. I can't find shit. I basically want the same thing -- MIL/MIL FFP -- but I also want an AO that focuses at 10 yards. Sub $400 would be great too, if possible. As far as I can tell, this does not exist. Let me know if you find something.

If Vortex would just make a Crossfire or Diamondback in this configuration, they could corner the non-fudd rimfire market, I think. They already have AO options on those lines so it shouldn't be too hard to do. Dropping the Dead Hold BDC crap would be a good move too.

Will_Power
02-01-13, 16:15
Same. I can't find shit. I basically want the same thing -- MIL/MIL FFP -- but I also want an AO that focuses at 10 yards. Sub $400 would be great too, if possible. As far as I can tell, this does not exist. Let me know if you find something.

At this point, it's looking like FFP isn't an option (unless I go with the Primary Arms, but their QC seems iffy).

But mil/mil under $400? There's got to be something reliable that won't fall apart in the field.... hopefully.

jbsmwd
02-01-13, 18:27
At this point, it's looking like FFP isn't an option (unless I go with the Primary Arms, but their QC seems iffy).

But mil/mil under $400? There's got to be something reliable that won't fall apart in the field.... hopefully.

Falocon Menace in MIL/Mil FFP configuration and optional illumated rectical.

http://swfa.com/Falcon-Menace-4-14x44-Tactical-30mm-Riflescope-P57241.aspx

here is a review of said scope.

http://swfa.com/Falcon-Menace-4-14x44-Tactical-30mm-Riflescope-P57241.aspx

orkan
02-01-13, 18:52
I've got a falcon menace. Bit better turrets than the primary arms. Not sure if it's $200 better though.

Will_Power
02-06-13, 02:45
Thanks for the feedback so far, guys. Right now, I think I've got my options whittled down to between these two:

Falcon Menace 4-14 (http://swfa.com/Falcon-Menace-4-14x44-Tactical-30mm-Riflescope-P47408.aspx)

Weaver Tactical 3-10 (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/598484/weaver-tactical-grand-slam-rifle-scope-3-10x-40mm-1-10-mil-adjustments-mil-dot-reticle-matte)

To reinterate, this will be going on a 5.56 with mix of precision paper punching and coyote/varmint hunting (ie this won't be a range toy, and I don't want something that will fall apart in the field).

My hard limit is $400. I'm not interested in a fixed power (i.e. the SWFA SS 10x). It must be mil/mil.

C-grunt
02-06-13, 14:44
Ive known some people with the Falcon Menace. Many are happy with it but I know a few that broke theirs and had a hard time getting it warrantied.

I also know several people who hunt with Weaver scopes and have never had a problem with them.

Having never used either Id go with that Weaver.

AR15barrels
02-07-13, 00:28
A fixed 10x for coyote hunting... good luck with that.

Obviously a recommendation from someone with decades of field experience...

kmrtnsn
02-07-13, 00:32
The Falcon Menace and the Primary Arms FFP 4X-14 are the same scope, however, the Falcon Menace version has a much better reticule in my opinion for a mere $50 more.

AR15barrels
02-07-13, 00:34
Thanks for the feedback so far, guys. Right now, I think I've got my options whittled down to between these two:

Falcon Menace 4-14 (http://swfa.com/Falcon-Menace-4-14x44-Tactical-30mm-Riflescope-P47408.aspx)

Weaver Tactical 3-10 (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/598484/weaver-tactical-grand-slam-rifle-scope-3-10x-40mm-1-10-mil-adjustments-mil-dot-reticle-matte)

To reinterate, this will be going on a 5.56 with mix of precision paper punching and coyote/varmint hunting (ie this won't be a range toy, and I don't want something that will fall apart in the field).

My hard limit is $400. I'm not interested in a fixed power (i.e. the SWFA SS 10x). It must be mil/mil.

The weaver tactical is not parallax adjustable.
That kills it for me.
I'd rather shoot a 2nd focal plane moa/mil scope with good mechanics and parallax adjustment than a fixed parallax scope.

I have had a few falcon menaces fall apart in our precision rifle clinics so that kicks those out for me too.

I think that choosing a scope by features over reliability on a low fixed budget that you have is a poor way to choose.
In your budget, I would be looking at a Nikon buckmaster 4.5-14x40 with side focus and mildot reticle or a bushnell tactical 5-15x40 with mildot reticle as these are the only two low budget scopes that we have run into that work good and survive precision rifle classes and competitions. Either would make ok coyote hunting scopes as well since they go down to 5x magnification.

BIGUGLY
02-07-13, 13:34
You could check out Konus, I have had good luck with it on my 308. Has a FFP reticle and has stood up to my rifle with no problems. Glass seems to be good. Not 1000 good but plenty good for my amateur needs.

Will_Power
02-07-13, 19:54
You could check out Konus, I have had good luck with it on my 308. Has a FFP reticle and has stood up to my rifle with no problems. Glass seems to be good. Not 1000 good but plenty good for my amateur needs.

Haven't even heard of Konus before. Seems like I find out about a new brand/make of glass every day while researching this.

Seems like this 4.5-16x one (http://www.opticsplanet.com/konus-konuspro-m30-4-5-16x-riflescope-d30mm-7280.html) would be the one to research?