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Do a Maker's Scopes Improve over Time?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2017 at 15:41
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Optics GrassHopper
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I've often wondered whether the scopes produced today by the major scope makers are better, or worse, than those produced by the same makers in the past.

So, for instance, are the Leupold VX-3is better than the VX-3s and are these, in turn, better than the VX-IIIs and Vari-X IIIs, etc.  Are the current Swarovski Z-series scopes better than older Swarovskis, such as those made entirely in Austria?  (My current Z5, 3.5-18X44 says "assembled in USA" on the eyepiece.)

We might expect that lens quality will improve over time, or that coatings are better now than in the past.  On the other hand, many of today's firearm-related items are seen as less-desirable than those made by the same maker in the past.  (As a Sako fan, I would say this applies, as the L- and A-series Sakos are--at least in my opinion--more desirable than the current 85 models.)

So what do you guys think about scopes?  It's entirely possible, of course, that with some makers, quality has declined, whereas with others, it has improved.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2017 at 10:11
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Leupold glass or coatings is better. You have to get a new scope every so often to maintain top performance. My theory is coatings age and do not perform as well after several years.

With brands being just names put on scopes built on contract by various manufacturers there is sure to be variance in quality. Tasco, for instance, used to be a good scope. Leatherwood was good, then not, now good again. Some makers have established a long track record of reliable quality. I think Leupold and others are an example of that.

If you picked a name that has maintained an ability to produce quality and refreshed with new top level examples every five years or so you'd be in a good position. Actually, optics and manufacturing technology are so good nowadays, mid-level examples are good enough for most of us.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2017 at 10:49
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Overall, optics are getting better across the board. That being said, your question is very brand-dependent and even model-dependent within a brand that supplies models across many price categories. It also depends on a company's business philosophy. Does the company in question target high end, midrange, or low-priced optics?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2017 at 18:49
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Isn't it nice to see better glass and better coating at about the same price point.  Got to say Yes they are getting better.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/13/2018 at 08:53
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Is it bad form to reply to old threads? If not, I venture that though the lenses, coatings and waterproofness may have got better, scopes for serious purposes took a big step back when they went to constantly centred reticles between 30 and 60 years ago.

The reason for this is mainly that a small reticle ring was previously the only internal part able to move under recoil. With constantly centred reticle scopes, the entire erector set goes for a ride when you touch off a big rifle. This brings with it the likelihood of damage from the turret screws as the tube returns to battery and, in the long run, parallax as the gimbal wears and the erector tube moves back and forward.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/13/2018 at 15:14
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In my view it can vary a bit. I have a pair of Zeiss "Night Owl" binoculars. At dusk and under the moon better than a lot of modern made binos. Apparently a few years ago, the EU banned some processes in coatings manufacture that exposed the makers to "high" levels of toxic rare earth elements. Maybe manufacturers are starting to catch up
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/13/2018 at 16:48
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Maybe that's why makers say their lenses are lead-free. It would hardly matter to the buyer, since we don't drink out of them.

BTW, I off hunting for four days, so don't think I'm rude if I seem missing in the action.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/14/2018 at 03:48
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Originally posted by sambarman338 sambarman338 wrote:

Maybe that's why makers say their lenses are lead-free. It would hardly matter to the buyer, since we don't drink out of them.

BTW, I off hunting for four days, so don't think I'm rude if I seem missing in the action.

Best of luck! Sambar? I do hope to hunt in Oz one day. Water Buff, Bantang, Scrub Bull, Pigs and Sambar all need to meet my 9.3x62 or .404Jeff ;)

What will you be hunting?
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