PDA

View Full Version : Best scope for under $500?



ballsout
07-13-08, 02:34
Wondering what the best scope I could find for under $500. I would love to find an ACOG but I don't think I could find one in my price range. Any ideas for red dot or magnification?

Jerm
07-13-08, 02:59
that would get you several choices in Aimpoints with an excellent mount.

if you want variable magnification,the Accupoint/mount combo could be had for a couple hundred more.

ballsout
07-13-08, 03:27
is there anything comparable to Aimpoint, ACOG type scopes?

rob_s
07-13-08, 08:11
Contact Grant from G&R Tactical. They do an Aimpoint C3 package with LT or ADM mount for $450+/-. Best deal going anywhere.

heh2k
07-14-08, 22:32
What distances are you planning on shooting at (without switching sights)? That makes a big difference. I just got a VX-I leupold 3-9x40. No fancy reticle or illumination, but very clear and wide field. it was about $250. What you should get really depends on what you want to use it for.

POF.Ops
07-18-08, 02:42
I like my Millet DMS-1 1-4x "donut" reticle scope and Lasermax green laser for CQC out to 200m.

jess_su
07-18-08, 02:58
The Bushnell Trophy 1x32 ($140) is similar to an ACOG and well priced. However, I don't have any experience with them.
http://www.bushnell.com/images/products/73-0132P.jpg


I have a Bushnell Elite 3200 10x40 ($170) on my varmint rifle and I really enjoy it.
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31NQQN5RPSL._SL500_AA280_.jpg

They also have a Bushnell 3200 5-15x40 just like the 10x40 but variable. It goes for about $350 but I have seen it for $300
http://www.adorama.com/images/Product/BS325154T.jpg

Damascus
07-18-08, 03:31
I'm saving for a Burris XTR 1-4x24 for my M&P15T, but there's a cheaper model for $499 that is the same exact scope, only without ILL. It's called the EuroDiamond Tactical 1-4x24. Both are 30mm tubes, so F.O.V. is excellent, they're also true 1x scopes, so both-eyes-open shooting is fine. The BEST part about these scopes, IMO, is the awesome reticle, the XTR Ballistic 5.56 reticle. This is by far the best reticle I've ever seen for a battle rifle. Check one out here:
XTR w/ FastFire holosight (http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=585091) $749
XTR w/o FastFire (http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=488875) $599
EuroDiamond Tactical (http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=573087) $499
Check out those reticles... amazing... I wish Trijicon offered this in an ACOG! I was saving for an ACOG TA31, but decided to go with the XTR instead.
If you're looking for a more powerful scope, my vote for the best scope available under $500 would go to the Nikon Monarch 4-16x42 SF Mil-Dot (http://www.opticsbestbuy.com/Nikon-Monarch-Rifle-Scope-4-16x42-SF.html). Usually costs $600, but this site has them for like $440. I've had one of these for several years, and right now it's on my M4 for load development, but it's stood up to hundreds of rounds through my .300 Win Mag, and hundreds of rounds of .338 Lapua Mag! Never lost it's zero once. Glass is also excellent, looks as good as $800 Leupolds IMO. If you could hold one and look through it, you'd buy it.

Lightning Struck
07-22-08, 19:01
I went out scope shoping today as well, and was perusing the Leupolds, since that's what my friends all use... I was looking down those, Nikons, Bushnells, etc.. The moment I picked up a Monarch and looked down it, I made my decision and walked out with a 2.5-10x42.. Should be a nice scope for my all around AR. Price was around 400.

Jeffy
07-23-08, 02:52
The Bushnell Trophy 1x32 ($140) is similar to an ACOG and well priced. However, I don't have any experience with them.
http://www.bushnell.com/images/products/73-0132P.jpg


That Bushnell isn't similar to an Trijicon ACOG. They clearly wanted to copy the shape but other then that, that's all it has in common. With it's rudimentary iron-sights it looks to be copying a TA01-NSN. The TA01-NSN had a cross-hair reticle with Tritium illumination and has 4x magnification. Might as well buy an Aimpoint or Eotech if you want a 1x.

I 'd probably go with an Aimpoint M2, ML2 or ML3 with a LaRue or AD mfg. mount for around $500.

ML2
http://www.gandrtactical.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=APML2AD68
http://www.gandrtactical.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=APML2AD68C
http://www.gandrtactical.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=APML2M2QD
http://www.gandrtactical.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=APML2CM

ML3
http://www.gandrtactical.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=APML3AD68

M2
http://www.gandrtactical.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=APM2AD68

If you really want an ACOG, save up and check the for sale forums for deals and all of the big AR forums. I've seen TA01-NSN's for around $700 new. Still more then your budget though.

Damascus
07-24-08, 16:05
I agree, the Bushnell Trophy MP is a knockoff wanna-be ACOG. It uses an illiuminated "T" reticule, which simply looks like a center dot, with a line at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock - not touching the center dot. The one I looked at (which was mounted on a Bushmaster M4-style rifle, was brand new (a friend of mine bought it), and the reticle was canted! It can switch between green and red reticules, both of them were slightly canted, about 1.5 - 2 degrees low on left side. We then read some reviews on Midway, and seen that several other people complained about this... granted, this shouldn't be a factor when shooting at distances the optic is designed for (below 100 yds), but over that, a canted scope can really throw off a shot. IMO, it's worth $140 - and may be fine for a Hesse/Vulcan, Oly, or other plinker rifle - but it's no combat sight.
I guess I'm the only one in the house that votes for the Burris XTR 1-4... light, 30mm tube, exceptional glass, and a killer reticle.. what more could you want?
I had a lot of time to get used to the ACOG in the Army, and for a SDM or general battle rifle, I think the Burris outperforms the ACOG/s in almost every area except for raw durability... ACOG's are TOUGH! A buddy of mine actually dropped his M4 down a flight of steel stairs, and his issued ACOG had a couple scratches - that's it, didn't lose zero or malfunction in any way... I don't know if the Burris could stand up to that - but for almost $500 less, it's plenty tough enough I gather... Have you checked out the Millet DMS-1? It's a 1-4x like the Burris, and a LOT cheaper, it just doesn't have as nice of a reticle as the Burris' does... it has a "dot in a donut" deal.. and if the batteries run out, the reticle is still visible (black) - so that's a plus! Just food for thought...

Bushytale
07-24-08, 19:49
Does anyone know the straight scoop about the Burris XTR illumination? Is it bright enough for full sun and dim enough for low light/night use?

Damascus
07-25-08, 16:42
The brightness level is adjustable... so low light conditions can be as bright or as dim as you like... and as far as using it in sunlight... I don't really know why anyone would need it, but I'm sure on it's highest setting, it should be noticeable... I don't have an XTR 1-4 yet, but on my XTR 3-12x50 (which has a different reticle than XTR 14) it is noticeable in sunlight.
I should have the Burris XTR 14 purchased by mid-August at the latest, and can post a review if people would enjoy it - it will be mounted on a S&W M&P15T and tested with handloads (69gr. SMK and 70gr. VLD) out to 550 yds... and can also compare it against my friend's ACOG TA01NSN, which he has mounted on a Colt 6920 w/ FF quadrail HG.

Bushytale
07-27-08, 06:25
just because an illuminated reticle is adjustable does not mean it will go low enough for very low light conditions or bright enough to be a good CQB optic. Many IR optics do not do well in one or both of those areas. My question was posed for someone with XTR 1-4 experience.

anyone?

ccoker
07-27-08, 09:41
I know what you mean...
I bought a Meopta Kdot 1-4 and it was way to bright to be used in very, very low light or night time hunting applications

I have not tried the xtr, but have a Euro Diamond 1.5-6 and it's dot can't really be seen in the day time, or is barely visible, at night it's perfect for hunting..

a bushnell 4200 1.25-4 wasn't really bright enough for day time use and at night the center dot had a bit of bloom, it was better with a 1.5v vs a 3v battery

I went with an ACOG TA33 because it does all light conditions well

joe139
07-31-08, 21:15
I am very happy with my Sightron 1.5 to 6 very clear even at 20 feet

ar-15 fanatic
08-01-08, 13:44
Wondering what the best scope I could find for under $500. I would love to find an ACOG but I don't think I could find one in my price range. Any ideas for red dot or magnification?

if i were you i would get a Nikon Monarch 4-16X42mm w/BDC reticle, it is one of the nicest scopes i have ever used. the scope is extremely clear and the BDC reticle works really good.

-Michael

Damascus
08-02-08, 15:35
if i were you i would get a Nikon Monarch 4-16X42mm w/BDC reticle, it is one of the nicest scopes i have ever used. the scope is extremely clear and the BDC reticle works really good.

-Michael

I was going to recommend that scope as well - I have on with a Mil-Dot reticle for a Remington M700 26" .308 (my M40 lookalike), and it's by far, the BEST 1" scope I've ever had. It's crystal clear, even at 16X, has side focus parallax, which is the best thing since sliced bread, and has never lost it's zero, even when mounted on my brother's Armalite AR30 in .338 Lapua Mag. Right now, it's on my S&W M&P15T for handload development. You can get one here, for a KILLER deal, cheapest I've EVER seen them: http://www.opticsbestbuy.com/Nikon-Monarch-Rifle-Scope-4-16x42-SF.html .... I had to pay almost $600 for mine, although I bought mine with target turret option on Midway, about 5 years ago or so. I personally like the mil-dot reticle, but a lot of people, especially hunters, are talking a lot about the Nikon BDC reticle... I just think wind doping is easier with a tradition mil-dot.

Parabellum9x19mm
08-02-08, 15:53
how would you guys compare the optical clarity of the Nikon Monarch to that of the Trijicon Accupoint?

i see the scope body features "enhanced mount ring spacing". is it compatible with LaRue SPR 1" mounts?

Damascus
08-02-08, 16:10
If you've owned or used one, you'd know.
Number one, of course the Accupoint will be a tiny bit better, because they only come with a maximum magnification of 10x if I'm not mistaken, and the OP is asking about scopes under $500, which pretty much takes all Accupoints out of the game, MSRP is $700 - $950.
Dollar for dollar, bang for the buck, the Monarch is at the top of the heap IMHO.
@ballsout - What power range of scope are you wanting?? You mentioned a red dot - which is not really a "scope" at all... a red dot has either 1x or 2x magnification, 90% of them are 1x, meaning no magnification. If that's what you want, then I think you should look into Aimpoint's products. You can get a great optic for under $500. Under that, Burris makes a nice one, the XTS 135, for around $200, here (http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=664830). I'd stay away from companies like Tasco, Barska, BSA, Simmons, Tru Glo, and Bushnell.

Parabellum9x19mm
08-02-08, 16:19
If you've owned or used one, you'd know.


obviously I dont know, or i wouldn't be asking. trust me, i usually don't have a clue, so please throw me a bone :D

I own an Accupoint TR21. i have a TR20-2 mil-dot on back-order. i have never used the Nikon, but on paper it is looking pretty good right now. I'm starting to have second thoughts about the TR20-2. thanks a lot for pointing out this scope, because it seems like a winner

on the rifle i want to equip with this scope illumination isn't really required. the extra magnification on the Nikon would be nice. Saving about $150 with the Monarch wouldn't hurt either.


so yeah, i'm sorry if it seemed like i was thread jacking, that wasn't my intent. just trying to find out more about the optic that you suggested, because i think i really want to buy one.


do you know if that model of Monarch is GTG with a LaRue SPR-1.5 mount with 1" rings? if it is compatible i will cancel my backorder on the TR20-2 and go with the Monarch. if it wont work with the mount then that would be a deal breaker.

i know it will probably work with the LT mount....just the blurb about 'improved ring spacing' made me want to double check with someone who "has owned or used one" because they'd know :p

ccoker
08-02-08, 18:58
I have had a few monarchs and they get my recommendation all the time for a great scope without spending a lot of money.
the scopes costing 2-3 times as much (and I have a few) are in all honesty NOT 2-3 times "better"
a bit better resolution in very low light situations, in broad daylight or even near dusk there's not THAT much difference....

Parabellum9x19mm
08-02-08, 21:36
tks for your take on the Monarch guys.

you guys have made me revise my plans!!! i was going to get another Accupoint, but I'll try out a Monarch instead.

i think for my application it will be the better choice.

thanks :D

Damascus
08-04-08, 17:48
Great. I don't think there would be any problem at all with that LaRue mount at all. The Monarch 4-16x42mm isn't "huge" so you shouldn't need any special or "ultra high" rings or mounts. When I put mine on my M4, I use a JP QD mount (http://www.brownells.com/aspx/ns/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=26371&title=AR-15/M16%20FLATTOP%20OPTICAL%20MOUNT). It fits perfect, and has about .25" clearance from the objective end (big end) and top rail on my handguard.
I think the 4-16x power is perfect for an all around precision rifle scope, anything higher than 18x is usually unusable in extreme range situations, because if you don't spend more than, say, $1200 on a scope, images over 18x are usually not sharp, and full of mirage, flare, and glare.. IMHO, scopes over 18x should be used for the target range or varmint hunting, I just don't think that they have a place in the combat world. The most common used "sniper scope" power is 3-12x, followed closely by 4-14/16x - I forgot where I read that, I'll try and dig the article up, it's a good read.
Also, if you'd like them, this scope has Nikon's "interchangeable turret" system deal, and you can buy all kinds of turrets for the scope, even some calibrated for different calibers, etc. Mine came with target turrets, but I can't seem to find one right now that doesn't come with the standard ones (which would probably be plenty sufficient on an M16/M4).
Hope you enjoy it!

Parabellum9x19mm
08-06-08, 15:56
Damascus-

It looks good so far! Going to zero it tomorrow, but first impressions: its a very nice piece of glass for the price. More than I expected, honestly. Works with the LT mount fine.

As long as it holds zero, has accurate adjustments and doesn't break, I'll be a happy camper. But it comes with a very good warranty, so I'm not worried.

Damascus
08-07-08, 16:50
Great! I'm sure that you'll be very pleased with that unit. I remember the day I first took mine to the 800 yd. range here - I was happier than a puppy with two peters! lol.
Yea, the warranties are great, and Nikon's customer service is top notch. I had to send in a scope a few years ago, a 3-9x50 Buckmaster or something, because it had been left outside of the tent on a hunting trip and was exposed to temps below -15, and somehow condensation appeared on the inside of the glass. Now, this was a cheaper scope, as I remember at the time I bought it from wal-mart for like $140 back in 99', but Nikon returned my scope, good as new (might even have been a new one) within 18 days of the day I mailed it. That's not bad at all!
Are you sticking with the regular turrets, or are you going to "accessorize and customize"? ;)

Battl3fr0nt
08-08-08, 08:05
The Bushnell Trophy 1x32 ($140) is similar to an ACOG and well priced. However, I don't have any experience with them.
http://www.bushnell.com/images/products/73-0132P.jpg


I have a Bushnell Elite 3200 10x40 ($170) on my varmint rifle and I really enjoy it.
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31NQQN5RPSL._SL500_AA280_.jpg

They also have a Bushnell 3200 5-15x40 just like the 10x40 but variable. It goes for about $350 but I have seen it for $300
http://www.adorama.com/images/Product/BS325154T.jpg

That is nothing close to an ACOG.. its a red dot ACOG clone...

Parabellum9x19mm
08-09-08, 00:16
Are you sticking with the regular turrets, or are you going to "accessorize and customize"? ;)


took it to the range for the first time today. very nice optic. the adjustments were right on the money. i didn't have any POI shifting either.

i like the factory turrets, i see no reason to change.

little gun pr0n...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v205/parabellum9x19mm/0806081410a.jpg

Damascus
08-09-08, 16:46
If I were a smart a$$, I'd say "I told you so!" lol, but I'm not a s-a, so I'm just happy you took the advice, and got yourself a great optic for a lot less money than you would've spent on an optic that good from another company (and NO, I don't work for Nikon LOL). When I buy a rifle, I always try to stick with 3 companies: Burris, Nikon, and Leupold.
I'm glad you are happy with it, and I'm sure it will serve you for many years to come!
(BTW, I'd invest in a sunshade and some target turrets if you're wanting this for a tactical precision rifle). Take care!