A Sad Scope Story

An AR newbie posted the following to Reddit, under the alarming title, “Frustrating Weekend of Zero”. See if you can figure out why his weekend was frustrating.

Setup:

So I just added a new Sig Sauer M400 Enhanced to my family this last month, and got a shiny new Barska to go atop it. I finally found a range that was outdoors and had a 50 yard target to me to get a 50/200 zero on.

This is the Barska scope on an AR from the Barska website. Note that it is not made to be used with a flip-up BUIS -- without messing up eye relief. But that's the least of its problems.

This is the Barska scope on an AR from the Barska website. (And yes, it’s on a full-auto post sample lower). Note that it is not made to be used with a flip-up BUIS — without messing up eye relief. But that’s the least of its problems. 

Some of you will have sussed the answer already. For the rest of you, we’ll drag a red herring in the form of his first couple frustrations…

First frustrating bit is that they tell me AFTER pay range fees for the day that no FMJ is allowed on the outdoor rifle range. Ok…so I buy their up priced ammo just to save me a trip to the closest store (~10 miles away) for range/target 5.56 ammo.

First: what odds that ammo restriction is on the range’s website?

Second frustrating thing was the staffer. I started with the iron sights at the 50 and the RSO there is literally pestering me every firing iteration about how I should be zeroing it at 25 yards. Anyhow, I get it nice and zeroed at the 18 round mark. 3 rounds each group. Still feeling pretty OK at this point. On goes the scope.

A lot of outdoor ranges are requiring frangible ammo now under EPA, etc., pressure. Until the bureaucrats are displayed along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway like Spartacus’s army, our only choice is to live with it. But he put the scope on, and as we are fond of saying, Then His Troubles Began™.

By the way, if anyone here has a similar setup be aware that the rail on the M400 is BARELY long enough to fit both the scope of this length and the rear sight on it. I had to put the sight on the forward-most slots and the sight on the rear-most. It actually extends a couple of mms over the bolt handle.

One of those “sight on the forward-most and sight on the rear-most”  was obviously meant to be the “scope.” The normal thing to do would be for the scope to be forward, but we have limited confidence in this guy’s gun savvy.

For most people, back-up iron sights are somewhere between an affectation and a gimmick. With a solid scope, you will not need them.

Anyways, the next frustrating part is that this scope is not intuitive to zero in. Even with the manual in hand. I field boresight to get on paper with the RSO looking at me like I have lost my mind. Looking down the open bore and then getting the scope close to where I can see it. This gets me on the paper. I quickly realize that this scope has these “locking rings” to keep the adjustment wheels from moving. The frustrating bit is that if they are locked in, you cant adjust (duh) but if they are TOO lose, the knobs will turn without clicking and without moving the sights at all. So its a freaking pain to sight in this scope.

This: “I quickly realize that this scope has these “locking rings” to keep the adjustment wheels from moving,” makes us wonder if he did anything with that manual except wave it around as a magic talisman. On the other hand, is the manual on any Chinese scope any good?

One gimmick that is a red flag for low-quality Chinese glass is the multi-color reticle.

One gimmick that is a red flag for low-quality Chinese glass is the multi-color reticle.

Because here we’re getting to the root of the problem: in terms of optics, nothing from China that’s exported here is any good. (Chinese optics on their own military firearms are fine, but that’s not the lowest-bidder crap they send us). Even if the manual weren’t in an uncharming patois with English, Chinese, and Christ-knows-what elements to it, the scope itself is likely to have any of a number of problems: DOA, reticle out of place, won’t hold zero, won’t adjust, fogs up, etc. etc. etc. It’s not just Barska, which name is a watchword for bottom-drawer, Airsoft-quality junk, but TASCO (These Are Simply Crappy Optics), Leapers, NCStar, Simmons, and any other trademark that’s now emblazoned on the products of Peoples Re-Enlightenment Prison & Factory #4628. (ETA: UTG, BSA, same junk with a different name).

This character had the no-system-to-the-adjustments problem, which is not universal but pretty common on the Walmart & Dick’s, etc., scopes.

My grouping every 3 rounds was fine, so I don’t think firing moved the sights at all, but the adjustments were crazy. 12 clicks down to put me twice as far as I wanted, from about 4 inches above the target to 4 below. So I went 6 up…then 4 more up, then 4 more up, then 2 more up to get on target. Made no sense to me. Regardless I finally get it zeroed and Ive been in the heat for hours now. I am done and relieved to be done with it. I start tightening the lockdown rings on the scope…and I hear them making clicking noises. **** me…I knew I just ruined my zero, and I know that although I reversed the exact same number of clicks that this scope is funky. My zero is probably gone after all that work. I went from frustrated to plain pissed off, and at that point just decided to call it a day and head home. I will at least be on paper next weekend and go from there.

Elsewhere in the thread, he explains that the Barska scope was a gift. He amended his post to include:

Since I am getting a lot of comments about the scope. I understand that its not top quality. But it IS gift quality. And thus I use it. It is in itself not a bad scope to use for shooting. My groups are good, sights are stable during and after firing…its just a pain to adjust. I am just hoping that after I get it locked in I will never have to touch the adjustments again.

Unfortunately, a scope that seems to hold zero but that has no logic to its adjustments is unlikely to continue to hold zero. Our heart goes out to this guy. A well-meaning relative has given him something that looks like a scope, and that is, in true Chinese-maker style, laden with advanced-sounding features, but deficient in quality control and basic functionality.

His basic choices at this point are:

  1. Return the scope (and risk disappointing his relative) in the fond hope that another one with be without problems;
  2. Live with it, and “hope” it doesn’t get worse, which is clearly what he’s decided to do;
  3. Start saving for a real scope.

“Just as good for half the money” is not a term that has any grip in the low end of the optics market. (The high end? Maybe). And any expenditure is wasted, even $59, if it’s on a scope that you can’t trust. 

A Chinese scope is not automatically bad. Maybe one in four will take zero, hold zero, adjust correctly, and last for years. Two in four will start off like that and fail on at least one of those in twelve months or less — usually, much less. And the fourth is DOA, like this fellow’s. That is not a product you can trust, and right now China, Inc. can sell as many of these things as they can make at a profit, so they have little incentive to improve the product. There’s nothing different about Chinese people that makes it hard for them to make scopes, but their industrial and social organization is at odds with modern quality control practices. In plain English, even when they have a QC process in place, they’re incentivized to cheat on it, and they do.

How will you know when the Chinese make a good scope? When they proudly put a Chinese name on it. Ain’t happened yet.

The good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune or buy a trusted name (Leupold, Nightforce, Trijicon) to have a decent scope. You can seek out a used scope from when Simmons, Bushnell, Tasco, etc. were not badge-engineered Chinese junk. (The fact that these names are now applied to Chinese scrap-value scopes depresses the prices of the older, higher-quality glass!)

Look for scopes made in the USA, Japan, or the Philippines. (Many of the Filipino scopes are made with lenses ground and coated in Japan, so they tend to punch above their weight in clarity & light transmission).

As a rule of thumb, your optic should cost you about what your gun did. (Hark! We hear squawks of alarm). It’s not an “accessory,” it’s a vital component of your fire control system. But assuming Chel$ea Clinton hasn’t taken up shooting, the rest of you may need to compromise on your optic.  The good news is that you can without going all the way to the bottom of the barrel.

For $100 more than the scope from the Peoples’ Re-Enlightenment Prison & Factory #4628, you can get a Filipino-assembled scope that will have had some quality control at the factory. You won’t be playing in Nightforce territory and the Schmidt undt Bender snobs will still sneer at you, but you’ll be spared the miserable weekend this guy just had, trying to zero a shoddy scope.

 

52 thoughts on “A Sad Scope Story

  1. John Distai

    You mentioned the big box stores as suppliers of these items. Awhile back, I read the book “Cheap: The high cost of discount culture”. It was quite the eye opener.

    All of these stores have manufacturers in China that make items to a price point. Not a quality point. Then they add what used to be professional brand names to the mix to help promote the product.

    So if you go to Home Depot, you can buy tools from Bosch, Porter Cable, etc. These are not the Bosch’s and Porter Cables of your father’s day. They are intended to be somewhat disposable.

    I don’t know if Simmons and Bushnell ever produced a “quality” scope. Perhaps they did. As a kid, our family had Bushnell products, and they seemed to work fine. My dad took a lot of game with them. But I doubt that the Bushnell scopes of today will be like the Bushnell scopes my dad had. Perhaps they are, and perhaps they were always cheap junk and we were just thankful to have them as it was.

  2. SPEMack

    The MagPul flip BUIS is my equivalent to a rabbit’s foot.

    I can kinda relate to the guy. I recently ordered a Bushnell AR/.223 1-4x scope. I was a bit miffed when I read, after the nice guy in the Brown truck drove off, that it was made in Korea.

    In my youth all of my Bushnell scopes, which topped everything from .22s to my 7mm Rem Mag were American made.

  3. robroysimmons

    Well I put a Loopy AR type model with a ballistic matched turret on my AR with mount less than $400 fiat. I assume most of its production is in the USA. Now I have not done all the super marksman/sniper tests of its quality on it but the zero function and ranging worked well from the 100 meter zero to the 300 dial up.

    1. DSM

      Second on their “AR” model scopes. They are good quality for the price. If you get their illuminated mil-dot the reticle is pretty heavy, in my humble opinion, and will obscure smaller or more distant targets but you can still be more than accurate enough. My experience is with their 3×9 models.

      When it comes to ARs my advice is always just go with an ACOG. Buy once, cry once. Buy your rifle, shoot the snot out of it with the irons and save up for the good glass.

    2. looserounds.com

      Leupold optics are USA. And the MK AR line are good solid optics. The cheaper price is a reflection of less features and the 1 inch tube. not from lack of quality

      1. robroysimmons

        Since you are an influential man with Colt tell them to get on the ball with the 901 series production, thanks.

      2. DAN III

        Looserounds,

        “Leupold optics are USA.”

        No….that blanket statement of yours is WRONG !

        Leupold glass is sourced primarily from the Japs. They MANUFACTURE nothing here in the fUSA. They only assemble components….some of which are made by American citizens. Also, I understand the electronic components of their optics are Red Chinese.

        I’ll just start with….and go no further….their binocular line is, if not all, manufactured in Communist China !

        Point made.

        It is time Americans understand the difference between “assembled” and “manufactured”. So, looserounds, I suggest you cease promoting such inaccuracies. Little if anything is “USA”. You can thank Bill Clinton and his Republican-controlled Congress AND the American consumer for that.

        1. Aaron Spink

          99% of it is the American consumer(well really all consumers, EU/Asia has the same issues). It has almost nothing to do with government. It isn’t like China has a special trade deal. What they have is extremely low cost labor and a decent transport infrastructure and very very cheap money if you are politically connected.

          About the only thing the USG could do to curb things is to properly tax exportation of designs/IP. The classic system is to transfer out the complete design for pennies on the dollars and then import the finished part at near wholesale price.

          But at the end of the day, consumers will pay the least amount they can and don’t consider quality in what they are purchasing and hence companies match the buying patterns.

        2. Ron

          Allow me to translate from…something…to English, with error correction.

          ===

          “Leupold optics are USA. No….that blanket statement of yours is WRONG !”

          —This statement is *incomplete*. Without the verb, it’s impossible to state anything of the sort about this sentence.

          “Leupold glass is sourced primarily from the Japs.”

          —Leupold gets a great deal of it’s optics from the Japanese, who make excellent high end optics at a lower price than almost any other nation.

          “They MANUFACTURE nothing here in the USA. They only assemble components….some of which are made by American citizens. ”

          —I shall contradict myself in back to back sentences! So…which is it? Do they manufacture nothing, or some things? You don’t get to have it both ways.

          “Also, I understand the electronic components of their optics are Red Chinese.”

          —I would very much like to know where you found that; I searched Leupold’s website and couldn’t find anything about electronics sourcing. I am very serious; if you can state where you found this out please share. My girlfriend is a senior electronics tech and I get to hear a lot about poor quality parts from all over the world.

          “I’ll just start with….and go no further….their binocular line is, if not all, manufactured in Communist China!”

          —You aren’t starting from here, you’ve already made several accusations. This one is flatly contradicted on their website; it states in the FAQ that all gold ring (premium) products are made in the USA. Yes, the FAQ says ‘made’, not ‘assembled’.

          “Point made.”

          —Wild accusations of dubious merit stated.

          “It is time Americans understand the difference between “assembled” and “manufactured”.”

          —I am in total agreement. Sadly, many of them can’t assemble a lawn mower that comes in a kit, complete with tools. Good luck getting this one across.

          “So, looserounds, I suggest you cease promoting such inaccuracies.”

          —He didn’t. Stop that. You’re not helping.

          Little if anything is “USA”. You can thank Bill Clinton and his Republican-controlled Congress AND the American consumer for that.

          —It goes back further than that. We started deliberate outsourcing during the Korean War, when we needed supplies in the early months and didn’t have the shipping to get them to the front without paying a premium. It was noticed that the ships that were carrying supplies there were coming back empty, so…why not put cheap Japanese goods on them? And they were cheap, back then.

          ===

          And by all means, let’s not mention the outstanding support Leupold offers; ask them a question on their website and be amazed at the quality of the people working in their support group. Or the unlimited lifetime warranty on EVERYTHING they make, regardless of where it was made, or if you’re the first owner or the seventh. Break it and send it in and they’ll fix it, no questions asked, no cost, no complaints.

          You can’t offer that kind of service by only selling $1500 riflescopes, and that’s what it costs to manufacture a scope in this country from end to end (according to what I’ve read; that’s the cheapest that Vortex could do it). They sell a full line of optics and their support is the worldwide industry standard. Unless you’re going to start a company and prove you can offer the same service while selling USA made scopes for $250, quit bitching.

  4. Jim Scrummy

    I have a number of Nikon scopes, which I believe are made in the PI. They all hold zero nicely. Of course when I read the first sentence and saw the word Barska, I automatically thought, cheap-not well made. Even my least expensive Nikon scope is better than any Barska. I paid $149 for it on Amazon (sometimes it goes on sale for $125).

  5. John M.

    Hognose, the pics on this post are all out-of-aspect-ratio on both my iPhone and my MacBook. FYI.

    -John M.

      1. John D

        John and Bill:

        Do not adjust your set.
        We will control the volume
        We will control the brightness
        We will control the content

        You have entered the Hognose Zone………

        Heh!

    1. Hognose Post author

      Try reloading the page; even pictures from Barska’s freaing web page won’t hold zero, but I saved them locally and reloaded the things; that should force aspect ratio.

      1. John M.

        They look good now. Well. That picture of the Barska is an odd close-up of an odd angle of the gun, so it still looks a little strange, but I think the aspect ratio is OK.

        -John M.

  6. Docduracoat

    There is nothing wrong with your Bushnell
    It is a good solid midrange product
    Vortex crossfire, Nikon m 223, Bushnell ar optics, and Primary arms all make a $200 range variable power 1 to 4 AR scope that is better than an old time $500 scope
    I am happy with my Millet DMS 1 to 4 x on my AR and Millet now makes a 1 to 6x for only around $225
    On 1x it is a both eyes open red dot, on 4x I can take shots out to 200 yards
    It’s not an Aimpoint with a flip to side magnifier, but that would cost over $1,000
    I agree that Tasco, Barska, BSA, and Leapers are all complete junk
    The poster can get a perfectly good variable power AR scope and mount brand new for $250
    Yes, you can spend the same price as your rifle and get a Zeiss, Leupold, Trijicon, or Nightforce
    You can spend double that and get a Schmidt and Bender or Elcan
    For an average shooter, going target shooting or hunting the $200 range scope will last a lifetime of hard use
    If you are going into combat, then it is a different story

    1. DAN III

      Docduracoat,

      “If you are going into combat, then it is a different story” WHY ? Why are folks like you so ready to compromise your wallet and your values for crap made by slave labor, most of it in Red China ?

      Take for instance your $200 ahem, “Lifetime” piece of ChiCom junk. While jostling around at your local rifle range you manage to knock your weapon with attached “Lifetime” optic on the concrete pad. Weapon falls optic first on the pad….crunch. There goes your different story of not being in “combat” and the ChiCom optic you compromised your wallet and your “American” values for, is now crushed and junk (well, it was junk when you bought it, now you have no doubt).

      Buy once. Cry one.

      1. Daniel

        Docduracoat,

        I invite you purchase for me any optic you deem worthy. Meanwhile, I have to compromise on price because with two young sons in sports, mortgage, health expenses, etc, I really can’t justify $1000+ optics for my range used AR.

    2. Brad

      Millet supposedly checks all their scopes imported from China and keeps an eye on QC. I hope that’s true, since I have one of their DMS-1 scopes.

  7. BillC

    I bought a Barska 4-14x optic with 1/8″ MOA turrets (ha, yes 1/8″), as an experiment. Occasional use over the past 4 years (about 4-5k round count), not abused. Repeatedly taken on and off a piston AR with a heavy barrel. The optic is on a mount that costs twice as much as the optic, an American Defense Mount ($100 for the optic and $200 for the mount).

    It has always held zero. Yes the optic is still crap (no parallax adjustment, the glass is barely acceptable, the manual explains nothing so God forbid if you’re a newbie, it doesn’t state where the MOA reticle is becomes an MOA reticle. Is it where the dot is @ 9x or is it like other scopes where it’s at full zoom?) I could go on and on with its deficiencies, because it is NOT at least PI made Vortex or $2k Nightforce. However, as I stated for me, it has always held zero despite traveling with it (getting thrown around but not abused) and taking it on and off the rifle (probably has more to do with the mount and being mounted properly). I’d never use to shoot longer ranges, I have better optics.

    This guy probably just had no clue about how to zero an optic ( probably got up and down confused as BARSKA doesn’t label which way shifts POI to POA. Most of us just know it already ie, counter-clockwise is generally “up”, and he probably didn’t know that the labeled 1/4″ per click @ 100 yards is actually 1/8″ per click @ 50 yards; so in long run he was chasing his zero.)

    1. BillC

      I meant a 4-16x optic.

      Also, evidence to support my claim that he didn’t understand adjustments to varying distances. “12 clicks down to put me twice as far as I wanted”

    2. BillC

      Just saw the link for the optic in the post was to a 1-4x MilDot. I personally love MilDot/MRADS to MOA, but it probably confused this guy more than a MOA optic would have. There’s a lot of confusion with Mildots/MRADS.

      Also the mounts that come with BARSKAs are complete garbage. That’s why I used an extra ADM mount I had.

  8. TR

    Hey, are my eyes failing me, or does the rifle the Barska is mounted on in the photo have an extra pin above the “SEMI” marking (but no additional selector marking)?

    TR

  9. Aj from nj

    It’s Russian (Chinese? ) Roulette when it comes to these cheapies.

    I feel this guy’s pain. In the Peoples Republic of New Germany aka nj, firing any rifle on your own property, even in our little slice of heaven in west-central nj with dozens of acres between the nearest dwelling and actual Republicans that hold office is still fraught with harassment. You’ll still sometimes get some transplant from the Newark area (Google it, typical place you think of when you hear nj) that builds a mcmansion going Pelosi-shit anytime a shot is heard. …stay with me! Here’s the point.

    So, to satisfy our gun lust, my brother and some friends will use our air rifles. Btw, they are considered a firearm and therefore are punishable by felony the same way a REAL incident wirth a firearm would be.I found a Tasco 1-9× by 40? mm and mounted it. It took about 20 rounds and we were able to shoot beer bottles at roughly 25 to 30 yards free hand. I wasn’t going to get scientific for a pellet gun. My buddy bought the same one from the same place and his is a double helix of scope wobble.

    To get the adjustments to work, you need to press very hard on the turret and be sure to mount the scope as diligently as your knowledge allows.

    Side note. Have a nikon pro staff for a 10/22 bull barrel setup that is extremely accurate and holds zero after being transported across the country in a duelie. Able to group 3″-4″ at the 100 yard public rim fire range.

    Long post but I needed to justify my tinkering with air rifles amongst pipe hitters and gun slingers. ;)

    1. Hognose Post author

      Re: punishable as a felony? The actor using an airsoft “gun” filming an indie movie that we wrote about some months ago, finally wound up pleading out. His lawyer convinced him that with an NJ judge and urban jury, the facts didn’t matter, “gun” = “guilty.”

      It’s funny (not really) that the people who have made Newark, Camden, etc. what they are then move to places that are not like that (“I loved the vubrancy of the city but when Biff and Muffy were ready to start school…”), and then do their level best to turn the new place into the cesspool they just escaped.

      Here in NH we don’t get many from Jersey but they split 50-50 between political refugees and invading rapefugees. We get lots of MA and NY types. The MA ones also split. The NY are nearly 100% bad. < Central Park West whiny woman voice> “You put poor people in prison for property crimes? How barbaric. Obviously the State Democratic Committee needs my leadership….”< / NYC>

      1. John Distai

        There was a landfill in the town where I grew up. On the outskirts of town, nestled in the foothills. It had a shooting range. Yuppies from California bought nice foothill lots not far from the landfill. They built nice houses. Then they complained about the “noise” and the “smell” from the landfill.

        I believe they made an effort to close it down. The dump had been there for decades. Who the fuck did they think they were that they could buy a lot nearby and then dictate that the legacy operation on the next lot over close to suit their tastes? They knew that stuff was going on next door when they bought the property.

        The dump is still there. The shooting range was closed down and cleaned up due to “groundwater contamination concerns”. Fuckers.

        1. Simon

          We had something similar in the next village across. Family from the big city built a house and started to complain about the noise from the farmyard next to them. They felt it was not necessary for the rooster to crow so loudly and so early, amongst other points. The farm has been there for around 500 years now, but the mayor needs the money and votes, so they had to get rid of the rooster and a few other little things. It is always nice to see how the people make an effort to fit in when they move to a village!

        2. Daniel

          I am a member of a private outdoor conservation club that includes a firing range that has been on the property since the late 30s. A developer has bought a large section of farmland adjacent to our property and plans to build a suburban neighborhood. Our club hired a lawyer to request that each property deed include a notice of the firing range that must be signed by all purchasers homes built on that property.

          I wonder how that will impact sales…. but at least we know, that the buyers know about our club before buying.

          I, still, bet that a few will complain even after knowing.

          1. John Distai

            …With a sniveling entitled accent…”We didn’t know that guns were loud! We aren’t gun people and when we see them in the movies they use silencers which just make a muted bird chirp sound. Don’t all of you use silencers so that you don’t harm your hearing or disturb the peace?”

  10. looserounds.com

    He started out with pure junk and things went down hill from there.

    I will re state something i have been telling people for years.

    Everyone has heard the old chestnut ” you get what you pay for ”
    That old saying holds true for firearms optics possibly more than it does for anything else in this world.

    Most people are not going to war tomorrow.

    save up and buy quality for your rifle/carbine.

    Pay at least 3/4 quarters of the price of the gun for the optic with very few exceptions.
    Don’t buy cheap rings/mounts ferchrissake

  11. McThag

    As with everything we get from China, the company who’s contracted the Chinese is what is the real barometer of quality.

    Primary Arms generally reviews well despite being made in China because they appear to have someone over there making sure the things are made to spec. Not ACOG spec, to be sure, but neither does it carry an ACOG price.

    There’s a world of difference between going for affordable and going for the lowest price point. Going for the lowest price point means reducing costs at the expense of all other things. For some reason Americans always try the cheapest price route and complain about it not being as good as the more expensive items.

    My problem with looking for glass is that it seems to be two camps. The ultra-quality, price-is-no-object models and the price is everything bottom rung; with nary a scope between.

    Every time someone attempts to fill that niche, they get lumped into the pile with the low-price-leaders and shortly go out of business solely based on where their manufacturing takes place. Buy jingo, by Jingo!

  12. Nadnerbus

    Way back in 2001, when I knew as much about guns as I do about knitting, I bought a Barska red dot to put on an M1A. Yes, a 40 dollar scope on a 1400 dollar rifle…

    It actually worked well enough. Sighted in, hit what I aimed at. It was the 1400 dollar rifle that malfunctioned.

    Later on, I gave it to a friend who put it on a 12 Guage. It took about 4 rounds of three inch slug for the glass to shatter.

    Been an aimpoint guy ever since.

    1. DSM

      I had to get the M14 bug out of my system. Luckily the M1A I had worked just fine but the AR10 that replaced it works even better.

  13. DAN III

    Barska….anyone with a pea brain would know not to buy that and other ChiCom crap.

    1. John Distai

      But that’s what the nice Chinese man sells at his scope table at the gun shows. Barfska and NC Scar. He wouldn’t do us wrong now, would he?

      I once heard a guy accuse him of selling fake Aimpoints. It was quite entertaining to listen to. I think the Chinese guy started to pretend he didn’t understand English.

  14. E. Garrett Perry

    I’ve always had very good luck with Konus scopes. Nikon glass in Chinese tubes- inexpensive, but not cheap. We’ve found them to be well-built, with superb light transmission. Their 10×50 Mil-Dot fixed scopes are on every scoped boltgun in the family, and they’ve never let us down. All of our deer-hunting buddies hate us, because with the smaller number of lenses in a fixed-power scope, less light is lost inside the tube compared to a variable. Couple this with the huge objective lens, and “sundown” comes a little later for us than for most of them! Plus, being fixed power, the Mil-Dots are always trued. My only objection has always been that this particular scope would benefit from a 30mm tube rather than 1″, but the results are sufficiently impressive that I’m not gonna gripe too hard. Their more upmarket variable-power longer-range optics are very nice as well very nice as well.

    Barska? NCStar? Ugh.

  15. LSWCHP

    As soon as I started reading this I assumed that the problem was the quality of the scope.

    I’ve got Zeiss, Leupold and Sightron glass on my varmint rifles, and have no complaints about these optics as one would expect. I’ve also got a couple of inexpensive Nikon scopes that work just fine. And I’ve just recently put a Vortex scope on a .22 WMR and bought a pair of Vortex binoculars, and they work well and are excellent value for money.

  16. Arturo

    Does any one have a recommendation for a chevron reticule optic for beginners? I know I could got for an acog but I would like to try something similar before going big.

  17. Brad

    I presume then that those package deals some gun companies offer, like the Remington 783 with scope, just include cheap Chinese junk scopes? Sounds like a great way to ruin brand loyalty, by offering an entry level hunting arm which is preordained to fail.

    1. Daniel

      If high quality glass was included with entry level rifle, very quickly the manufacturer would have to price the package out of the price point drawing entry hunting gun buyers. No manufacturer can afford to include $800 scopes on $500 rifles.

    2. Jew with a Gun

      Not all companies include Chinese-made scopes. I have a Nikon Prostaff 3-9x made in .ph that came off a Savage. Decent enough scope for what it is. Heck, on their upper end MVP LC guns, Mossberg includes a Vortex Viper HS-T, which is a fairly pricey scope. (Then again, it’s a $1600 combo.)

  18. Jew with a Gun

    Vortex and Leupold get away with murder on this whole bit. Vortex has a bunch of good Japanese-made high-end scopes, and then trades on their name to sell a bunch of low-end Chinese-made scopes and reflex sights. Leupold does the same thing to a slightly-lesser extent with their Redfield brand.

    1. RSR

      Vortex has a great warranty. And their Vortex Spitfires are actually very good to excellent optics for the price.
      Redfield has some US made and/or assembled and others that are foreign made and/or assembled.

  19. docduracoat

    I am going to stand by my first statement
    You will get a lifetime of good hard use from your Millet DMS, Nikon M 223, Vortex strike eagle or Leupold mark ar scope. All for $250 to $350
    They will survive being dropped, banged, rained on and recoil and will hold zero.
    My Millet is built like a tank! Its’ been used as a carry handle, dropped on rocks and banged around in the back of a pickup not in a bag
    The outside got so scratched I had to cerakote it
    Still works perfectly
    No, they will not survive an I E D blast
    But take ’em out hunting and don’t be afraid
    They will bring home the bacon
    I have Zeiss and Aimpoint and Eotech and they are incredible!
    But I also have Bushnell and Millet and they have been rugged and reliable with good glass.
    The higher end scopes are indeed better.
    There are many excellent mid range scopes that will give good service for the price

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