Author Topic: Good glass vs. gun upgrades for performance  (Read 862 times)

Steelhead

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Good glass vs. gun upgrades for performance
« on: June 12, 2020, 06:57:01 AM »
I've had somewhat of a change of heart when it comes to expensive scopes. Granted, the term 'expensive' is relative, but for the sake of this thread let's just say the $400 to $800 range. I was bullheaded and steadfast for a long time about the 'need' for expensive scopes. Being an old-school meat hunter living in an area with a nice climate (not hunting in snow, rain, etc.) I was raised with the philosophy that a good ol' 4x scope was fine for everything. Couple that with the flat shooting nature of centerfire and it's tough to contradict that.

However, since getting into ag's I have changed my mind. A lot. Given the fact that any distance past 50 yards generally requires some adjustment (basing that on a cookie cutter .25 pcp airgun) the reliance on the optic is obviously much more. I can honestly say that for my two main guns the upgrade of scopes has increased my range, accuracy, and performance by huge amounts. I learned to get past the 'busy' factor of the tactical reticles and use the tools to my advantage. Couple that with the amazingly clear image and the wide angle, I feel that both of my high-end scopes have upgraded my guns' performance by at least 50% (both the Texan and the Streamline)  I'm making shots that I thought were not possible before or at the very least dumb luck (which I'll take, thank you), but with some practice and a dope chart I'm seeing that they can become routine.

I'm not here to debate brands, reticle style, FFP vs, SFP, or knob turning vs. mildots. Us airgunners spend big money in just about every category. For this shooter it comes down to the amount of money spent in relation to the performance gained. I'm willingly eating my words that scopes don't make a huge difference and I have come to realize (in my opinion) that they do...a lot.  I am curious as to your opinions and examples on the differences that quality glass makes, or doesn't make as the case may be.


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Alan

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Re: Good glass vs. gun upgrades for performance
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2020, 07:24:01 AM »
I agree.

There are, however, a few different schools of thought when it comes to reticles, SFP-FFP notwithstanding. For example, I abhor some of the available reticles due to their overt-busyness—just to many etchings so suit my taste! It seems like the designers think everyone uses those myriad of lines to their advantage, which I think is wishful thinking. This fact is also evident, in the face of the Element line of scopes popularized by Matt Dubber, et.al. All of the three price ranges offered under the brand name Element, have both busy and plain reticles available.

I don't knob twist, but I don't fault those who do. Thus, I would like to see MOA lines more plentiful. In other words, 1/4 lines, not one half MOA lines, if even that in some cases. This applies to horizontal lines too, as most have just one MOA spacings for windage.

Lastly....

ATN's electronic scopes are a harbinger of things to come. Programmed properly, the reticle adjusts much finer than your eye can. The drawback with their version, however, is the messiness of their programming, even when using the BlueTooth laser range finder. Bushnell's answer makes a bit more sense, as the rangefinder is built into the scope. But, the adjustable (programmable) ballistic data isn't fine enough or slow enough, for airguns. The cost is a bit much too.

What do I use? A Hawke Sidewinder, 4X16X50, MOA reticle.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 08:03:26 AM by Alan »
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dcw

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Re: Good glass vs. gun upgrades for performance
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2020, 03:41:46 PM »
if i suspect/know i will be taking shots over thirty yards, Leupold 3-9 rimfire/airgun on AA ProSport or BSA 2-7 air rifle scope on RWS 54...ranges UNDER that...Williams peep sighted HW90.

i, personally, prefer open sights...however...aging eyes dictate different for longer ranges... :-\

archerhmr

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Re: Good glass vs. gun upgrades for performance
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2020, 07:51:37 AM »
Optics sure have changed over the years. 40 years ago, a person needed a good leupold, Burris or redfield. Inexpensive scopes did not hold together that well with zoom and as heavier recoiling rifles were coming into play. Today a $300 scope will hold up and has fairly good optics. Most of us do not need a couple of extra minutes in the morning or evening that high end scopes may offer. A $500-700 scope today has generally better optics and coatings than a high end scope from 10 years ago, maybe even 5 years ago. There are the people that will say it is great because we believe the advertising. Yet every eye is different and what works for one very well may not for another. IMO, the best is a scope from Japan. Better pricing and clarity that matches the best Europium products. Yes a Swarovski may technically be better, but not something that most of us will see. For most of us, a good scope around $500 is all we need. By the way I used to sell optics and attended various trade classes. Training always included how to sell someone the highest end optic. Also European optics are priced at least 25% higher than they should. Round about 1990 or so. The $ was doing very poorly compared to the Euro. In a two year period, high end products went up 25-30%.  When the dollar was super strong and Euro being weak, prices never came down. That is why I am a proponent of the Japanese products. Gone over way too much stuff here. I do own a couple pairs of Swarovski binoculars and one of their spotting scopes. All my new scope products though are from the pacific rim. All fantastic! Best advice, look at the warranties and where you will work with company if needing warranty work.
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Steelhead

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Re: Good glass vs. gun upgrades for performance
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2020, 05:44:15 AM »
Excellent information. I will absolutely expand my horizons on scope brands.
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Nicesurprice

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Re: Good glass vs. gun upgrades for performance
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2020, 08:03:56 AM »
It all depends.

Looking back on hour contests ( 100m semi benchrest).
Scopes got better and better.
Mthey started with a bushnell or Hawk.

Now days we got the top end scopes on the track.
Simply you can not hit you cant see.

So IOR Night Force and March for example are being used by the top shooters.
Off corse cheap scopes as Discovery are used as well.
Looking 30 min in full concentration you're eyes get no fatigue.

The entrance better scopes  will have a reason i think.
It will give an advantage , and with serious money to win.
They all want that advantage.

Do you need it for hunting or non contest use ?

Think not, as long you're wyes are happy whit you're piece off glass everlything will be ok.

Grtd
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steveoh

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Re: Good glass vs. gun upgrades for performance
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2020, 09:15:33 AM »
I thought a couple of my Leapers were ok. Then I noticed as I moved around, really horrible distortion to the point of distraction.

The SWFA SS 10x I have doesn't have that distortion if I recall correctly. But that super thin reticle is tough my tired eyes to see. No doubt the popularity of the those used scopes with normal mildots that SWFA flooded eBay with a couple weeks ago.

The BSA's? Well, one of the two I own will make a great boat anchor or hammer.
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Alan

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Re: Good glass vs. gun upgrades for performance
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2020, 01:23:46 PM »
All of the aforementioned is relative. The most important attributes, which have to be established, include, but not limited to... What are you aiming at? How far away is it? How much accuracy do you need? How accurate is the gun you're using? And the most important one is, how good are your eyes?! Sometimes, a cheap-Chinese, $39.95, Amazon special, is more than adequate. And, sometimes a Zeiss $4,000+ optic is barely adequate! I suspect a lot of us would do better spending a few bucks more on a better scope. Nonetheless, there is a limit, and when it comes to limits, purse-size overpowers all other considerations!
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