Reply To: Where do you guys scope " window shop"
Hummmm………..I simply “take the gamble” and order the brands in my price range and have good internet reviews.
Some scopes work out and some are sold. An example is an older 4-12×40 Hawke AirMax that would shift the poi simply by focusing so it was returned to Hawke along with a couple extra dollars and upgraded to a 4-12×40 Hawke Panorama with etched glass reticle. This scope was just about perfect for me till I realized that it would focus sharply no closer than 12 yards at 12 power even though there was a 10 yard etching on the AO and that scope was also sold.
One scope I bought for $350 based on internet reviews was the 3-12×44 Optisan Viper that I’ve used for a couple years, however the size and weight of the 30mm tube scope was rather klunky sitting on my R9 and I’m not really a fan of side focus scopes. Just for grinns I recently took delivery of a 4-12×50 Hawk AirMax with AMX reticle. Been using that scope for several weeks and I’m pleased in general with my only gripe the thinness of the etched glass reticle that will get lost on a dark target in a shaded lane. Still, being an AO scope, a couple ounces lighter and a couple inches shorter than my Optisan Viper I’m currently using the AirMax.
I do know that there is no way to put a scope through it’s paces at a “sports store” because there are things such as “scope flare” under certain light conditions that never show up in a store. A perfect example of this is the 4-12×40 Vortex Diamondback AO I used for a couple seasons. Crisp optics, relatively small and light weight, would scope rangefind well at 12x (lets say as good as 12x will allow), had a nice BDC reticle, and was very tough scope for use with a springer. The issue came when I was sitting on a field target lane sitting in the shooting box in direct sunlight while aiming into the shadows. The light coming through the REAR lens caused so much flare that the target aimed at would be completely “washed out”. The only reason I stopped using the Diamondback was the extreme flare or I would still be using it.
Anywhoo…hardly ever “window shop” at local retailers for scopes preferring to “takes my chances” with online retailers having a good customer service rating!
As a side note………as john_in_Ma mentioned, I have looked through the scopes of other shooters at field target matches and that really does help evaluating a scope. Problem is that the “best” scopes I’ve had the pleasure of looking through cost more than my HW95 and scope combined, or are no longer available.