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Budget LPVO recommendations please

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ATEXAN View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ATEXAN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Budget LPVO recommendations please
    Posted: January/30/2020 at 22:45
I am new to the LPVO scene and and would like to get the most rugged/reliable 1-6 or 1-8 as possible. Just got a 10.5" 7.62x39 upper and want to go with a smaller scope for night hunting and target shooting. So far I'm leaning towards  the Burris rt-6 but like the idea of a 1-8 since I do a lot of target shooting. Budget is under $400 but would also like to get recommendations for the under $300 and under $200 range.  
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Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rancid Coolaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2020 at 09:03
SWFA makes a 1-4 that squeaks in under $400. For the money, it is a reliable scope, turrets aren't bad, reticle isn't bad, it does eat batteries - or mine does. Dropping below $400, I have found nothing in a 1-4 or comparable that I like.
On the "less than $200", I wouldn't do it. Get a decent (or good used) red dot and call it good.
If you are an occasional shooter or this is a safe queen, optic quality doesn't matter as much. If you plan to shoot in any volume, consider holding out a bit longer for a better optic. I would say $400 is about the floor for decent stuff in the market.

And don't forget the mount. Is your upper an AR/AK hybrid or other?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2020 at 10:11
Welcome to OT, Texan! I'm pretty familiar with your neck of the woods, and believe every Texan who enjoys fine BBQ owes it to themselves to make a trip over to Snow's BBQ!

I agree with RC. You're going to have a tough time finding anything worth buying in your stated budget. Unfortunately, when you go beyond a 4:1 zoom range (1-4X, 2-8X, etc.), that extra zoom comes at a high price. When you go to 8:1 zoom...significantly higher price tag. When combining a high zoom ratio with low retail price, serious concessions have to be made, and the resulting optic is typically not very good. At $400 and below, you're better off staying with a 1-4X. Bushnell (AR), Vortex (Strike Eagle), Falcon, and maybe a couple others offer 1-8X24s for a shade under $400. I've not seen the Falcon or that particular Bushnell scope, but I don't care for the Vortex Strike Eagle series at all. The biggest problem you will face with a LPVO with 1X on the bottom is finding one that's truly 1X for "both eyes open" shooting and doesn't tunnel significantly. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2020 at 10:25
Did someone say BBQ?  I am in.

As far as scopes go, under $400 your best bet is indeed Burris RT-6, although I have been looking at SwampFox Arrowhead 1-10x24 and it is a surprisingly decent scope.  I think it is a little beyond your price range, but if you are really looking for more magnification in a LPVO, the Arrowhead is the only budget option that seems decent to me.

With the 1-6x24, aside from RT-6, new Delta Optics Hornet 1-6x24 is looking pretty good.

In lower price ranges, stick with tried and proven 1-4x24 scopes like SWFA's:

and Hi-Lux CMR 1-4x24

Since you are shooting 7.62x39, all the 5.56 BDCs out there are not terribly useful, but CMR1 is available with an AK reticle that is perfectly usable.  I have one and like it.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rancid Coolaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2020 at 10:43
Koshkin, tell me about the swampfox - scope and company.

If you will.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2020 at 11:04
Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

Koshkin, tell me about the swampfox - scope and company.

If you will.

SwampFox is a house brand of a good size Chinese OEM.  The owner of the company is American, I think.  All their stuff is made in China, but by them, so they have good control of the process.  I know what they have made for several of their clients and historically, while unglamorous, their products were fairly durable.  They seem to be making a good step forward now and they claim to be really focusing on making sure their stuff does not fall apart as the first priority.  The guy in charge of their marketing in the US is Mike Branson (used to work for PA) and he is a pretty straightforward guy with a good grasp of what is important.  In other words, I am cautiously optimistic.

I talk to Mike occasionally and talked to the owner of the company at SHOT.  They are moving upmarket a little with the upcoming Warhawk scopes and seem to be doing so in an intelligent manner.

Arrowhead is not for you, probably, but it looks very good for the money.  Warhawk, when it gets here, might be worth a look.  They had 5-40x56 and 2-10x44 prototypes at SHOT and I really liked what I saw.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rancid Coolaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2020 at 11:59
It appears there are several good options coming to market shortly, my hope is that at least one company gets it right.

Their website appears - to me, at least - to play to the "veteran-owned" crowd while not saying it explicitly.

I appreciate the details, I'll keep searching for the unicorn.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2020 at 12:18
Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

It appears there are several good options coming to market shortly, my hope is that at least one company gets it right.

Their website appears - to me, at least - to play to the "veteran-owned" crowd while not saying it explicitly.

I appreciate the details, I'll keep searching for the unicorn.

What is it that you are searching for exactly?

I am kinda up to speed on most things coming up in the optics world.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rancid Coolaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2020 at 12:38
To the original poster, sorry to derail, or partially derail; but:

I want a 1-8 or 1-10 with true 1X, no tunneling, very well defined "red dot-type" aiming point at 1X, and mil-based reticle, and no fisheye effect at magnification. Capped turrets are best, size and weight in line with other comparable offerings is good enough. A large ocular - similar to Razor 1-6 - is ideal, throw lever is a plus, unless someone figures out the ergonomics of a good power ring that moves when needed and doesn't when not. The spare battery compartments on the SWFAs is a great idea, that too would be a nice addition, but not a demand. It needs to function flawlessly on an AR platform, most preferably an AR10.

At present, the best fit is a 2-10 or 3-9 with offset red dot. Ideally, all that would be one optical platform. It need not have awesome low light capabilities, so the 24mm objective is fine. The primary demands are at the very top and very bottom of the mag range, so it needs to do exceedingly well at the ends, the middle is just marginally useful.

The closest thing I have found to perfect out now is the Vortex Razor 1-6. That said, I haven't torture-tested anything else. I've run several 1-4s and always wanted a good 1-8 or 1-10, but the pick'ins are slim. The true 1X seems to be the real problem.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2020 at 16:57
It sounds like you want the new Razor Gen 3 1-10x24.

I'll let you know how I like it when it gets here.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rancid Coolaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2020 at 17:12
Yea, my assessment as well.

Was hoping someone would compete with them on it, but I guess not. Maybe the Nightforce.

Maybe.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2020 at 18:07
Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

Yea, my assessment as well.

Was hoping someone would compete with them on it, but I guess not. Maybe the Nightforce.

Maybe.

I will also be testing S&B 1-8x24 Short Dot at the same time.  I do not think you will like the price very much, but it is an exceedingly nice scopes.  I like the MDR-T6 reticle though.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ATEXAN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2020 at 18:54
I tend to agree on staying away from the less than $200 as I had to send a 3-9x50 Crossfire II that I had on my 6.8 back twice. Once for debris showing up in the reticle and the other time for it shifting on me. It will be shot a lot as I have a range out my back porch and two stands on my little spread. So it definitely won't be a safe queen. Magnification is a must though. Snow's bbq is awesome as well. Once the kids are out of school I definitely plan on stepping to the $1k range but that will be a while. Right now really just need durability that I can depend on.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ATEXAN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2020 at 18:56
Thanks for the welcome. I've been lurking/using ot in my research for years but figured being a member would end up costing me too much. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ATEXAN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2020 at 18:59
Y'all went to S&B in a budget optics post. Lol. Only can afford S&B ammo here
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2020 at 21:40
Originally posted by ATEXAN ATEXAN wrote:

Y'all went to S&B in a budget optics post. Lol. Only can afford S&B ammo here

That didn't take long, did it?

If you can stuck to your $400 budget, RT-6 and Delta Hornet will work well for you.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scrumbag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2020 at 04:33
For night work I might advocate a bigger objective
Was sure I had a point when I started this post...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ATEXAN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2020 at 09:59
Thanks guys going to look into the delta hornet as well. I would love a bigger objective but don't want a scope longer than my 10.5" upper. I like 50mm objectives normally but this one needs a short scope.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2020 at 12:22
Originally posted by ATEXAN ATEXAN wrote:

Thanks guys going to look into the delta hornet as well. I would love a bigger objective but don't want a scope longer than my 10.5" upper. I like 50mm objectives normally but this one needs a short scope.

If you do not need 1x, there are other options that might work better for you, like some sort of 4x prismatic scope.  Those usually have larger objectives and they are short.

Finding a good one for $400 is a little tricky, but if you can find a deal on Crimson Trace 3.5x Battlesight, it is worth a look. 

This one is on sale and worth a look:

There are others of 3x, 4x and 5x variety.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ATEXAN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2020 at 21:45
Would the ar 536 be more durable than the rt-6 since it is a prismatic scope with less parts? I really like fixed power scopes as well because I can get more glass for my money and I usually set my scopes on the power I like and leave them anyway.

Also, I couldn't find the delta hornet 1-6. Just the titanium and it's about double my budget.
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