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"Inexpensive Scope" Comparison

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koshkin View Drop Down
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    Posted: January/03/2010 at 01:11
"Inexpensive Scope" Comparison

When I originally conceived this comparison I set out to determine the following: what can you get for under $200 if you are looking for a basic hunting scope.  To me a basic hunting scope is a variable scope of 3-9x40 or similar configuration.  The catch is that there are quite a few such scopes out there and I was not sure which ones to go for.  Hence, I set up a poll on the forum and counted votes.  I ended up with the following scopes:
  • Burris Fullfield II 3-9x40 (supplied by SWFA)
  • Redfield Revolution 3-9x40 (supplied by Leupold/Redfield)
  • Vortex Diamondback 3-9x40 (supplied by Vortex)
  • Nikon ProStaff 3-9x40 (supplied by SWFA)
  • Bushnell Elite 3-9x40 (supplied by SWFA)

After some consideration, I also asked SWFA to loan me Barska SWAT 3.5-10x40 scope.  While it is aimed at a different audience, I have been told that it is a better scope than the typical cheap chinese scopes that flood Wally world.  I am primarily interested in the five scopes above since they compete with each other directly, but I will also add some commentary on how Barska SWAT stacks up.  For the duration of this review, if you see me saying "all the scopes" I mean the five main contenders.  If I mean to include Barska with the bunch, I will specifically mention it.

Rather than write up everything after I am done with the scopes, this time around I will do this comparison in a segmented fashion as I go along.

Part 1.  First impressions

Here are some specs first:


Burris 
Fullfield II 
3-9x40
Redfield Revolution
3-9x40
Bushnell 
Elite 3200 
3-9x40
Nikon 
ProStaff 
3-9x40
Vortex Diamondback
3-9x40
Barska
SWAT
3.5-10x40
Length, in12.212.312.612.311.614.5
Weight, oz1312.61313.714.424.16
Main Tube Diameter1"1"1"1"1"30mm
Eyepiece Diameter, mm39TBDTBD39.340.6TBD
Eye Relief, in3.8 - 3.14.2 - 3.73.33.63.5 - 3.33.3
FOV, ft@1000yards33 - 1332.9 - 13.133.8 - 11.5
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Smokey53119 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2010 at 09:51
Wow that was quick!  Looking good Ilya. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lucytuma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2010 at 11:09
Good deal, I believe alot of members are looking forward to this thread.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2010 at 13:01
I look forward to the rest of the comparison.

Thanks for taking the time to do this for us.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JF4545 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2010 at 13:12

The 2nd. scope I ever bought approx. 27 years ago was a Burris FFII. Im curious how it comes out on the test. The scope is not very clear any more, its been through alot but its held in there...

Thanks ILya!Smile
Julio........
 
Jan 17th, Ok Finally got the time to read the whole comparison. Guess Burris did not make the #1 spot but was close. These Vortex Scopes seem to pretty darn good scopes all around for the money and I will keep them in mind....Great review!!!


Edited by JF4545 - January/17/2010 at 19:17
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koshkin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2010 at 15:03
You are welcome, gentlemen.

Since everyone participated in defining this comparison, I figured I should release information as I get it.  Next step will be to take the scopes to the range (likely to happen a week from today), where I will form an opinion on the performance of the scopes in daylight, how they hold zero and whether there is any POI shift with magnification changes.  Some things will be clear right off hand, and some will need further investigation which is what I will focus on during the successive trips to the range.

All of the scopes are now mounted in weaver-style rings, which do not return exactly to zero, but come back close enough to not need re-sighting in again for my purposes.  In between range trips, I will take them off the guns and conduct further optical tests: low light, flare, etc.

I will try to complete everything by SHOT, but I make no guarantees.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Monster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2010 at 18:44
Cool report koshkin. Very professional. Thunbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Palehorse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/04/2010 at 14:12
Thanks for the update.  I look forward to seeing how these guys fair in low light, and how the new (old) kid Redfield stacks up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Urimaginaryfrnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/04/2010 at 15:00
Thanks  for the hard work.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote magshooter1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/05/2010 at 07:45
Get Your Popcorn Ready
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SVT_Tactical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/05/2010 at 08:07
Originally posted by Monster Monster wrote:

Cool report koshkin. Very professional. Thunbs Up
 
+1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spf2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2010 at 12:19
nice write-up and easy to follow. thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jmac603 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2010 at 13:12
Wow, this is awesome!  Most definitely tagged.  Thanks for the hard work and sharing your findings.

Jay
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jason miller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2010 at 14:53
Thanks again for doing this, and I'm anxiously awaiting your results.  And if you really do get around to doing that part two you mentioned, might I suggest the frontier/s1, buckmaster, and a weaver?  I think that out of those three and the scopes you already have, this could be one of the most helpful comparisons out there for the average hunter.  Oh, and can anyone confirm that a Pentax Pioneer is the same thing as a Fullfield II?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DAVE44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2010 at 18:46
Yes it is basically the same scope, I had one and its specs and its adjustment turrets are exactly the same as the Fullfield II. I was impressed with the quality of the glass, it compared optically to my Browning 3-9x40 which was equal to my Bushnell 4200 3-9x40.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2010 at 22:16
Part 2 of the comparison is now added to the original post.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jonoMT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/10/2010 at 02:00
Good info. So far, I'm thinking the Vortex will come out on top, based on its size, FOV and better glass quality. We'll see how they do with shooting.
Reaction time is a factor...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote martin3175 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2010 at 07:52
Super..well done !!! I looked at the 2-7 Vortex about a year ago and found it surprisingly bright ( albeit heavy ) optic for the money
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8shots Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2010 at 09:20
Great work Koshkin.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SD Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2010 at 10:01
Very nice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2010 at 02:28
Original post is updated with some more information and pictures.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jason miller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2010 at 14:04
Thanks for the work, and I'm still looking forward to the conclusion. 

If you did a part two, which additional scopes would you be interested in comparing?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Risasi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2010 at 14:11
This review is much appreciated. It is confirming my suspicions that Vortex is the real deal.
I'm guessing they will supplant the economy range to mid-range Nikon and Leupold lines.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2010 at 14:14
Originally posted by jason miller jason miller wrote:

Thanks for the work, and I'm still looking forward to the conclusion. 

If you did a part two, which additional scopes would you be interested in comparing?

I will address this when I am done.  Also, before I answer this question, I want to see what comes out at SHOT next week.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2010 at 20:00
All right, gentlemen.  It is done and the original post is properly updated.

ILya
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