Another Thread on Which Scope Under $1000?

Hey all,

I recently did a thread asking what would be the best scope I could get under $1000. Someone responded suggesting the Vortex Diamondback Tac and after watching a few reviews I thought it was the way to go.

However, after doing some research on Vortex I have found that their production has been outsourced to China in the last few years and that issues are very common, with Scopes being sent back for replacement more often than not.

I want something that’s going to be good quality, built by a company who doesn’t compromise quality for cheap labour.

This Scope is going on a rifle that will be used primarily for target shooting, my local range stretches out to 500m, though I will make the trip to the 2000m range a few times a year and steadily progress. However the main appeal to me is shooting tight groups between 100m and 300m. I have no clue where to start, budget will be about $1000. What are the most reliable brands that offer a decent scope in this price range?

Also, off topicish, but do I go First Focal Plane or Second Focal Plane?

Thanks everyone, this forum has been incredibly helpful.

Vortex scopes have always been made in Asia if I remember correctly, except for a couple of high end ones.

Same as many others.

Leupold. Made in the U.S, unfortunately distributed here by that large mob in Qld that have monopolised most firearm related imports. Still, lifetime warranty , fairly good glass, ( I prefer high-end Euro ) and in my experience, very reliable adjustments. I shoot silhouette and we adjust for every target distance, up and down, all day, every day. I’ve only ever had to send one back for repairs, I dropped the rifle on concrete at the range. It landed on the elevation turret completely fucking the scope. I sent it back to Leupold in the U.S, ( that’s what you used to do - now you send them to Brisvegas ), asking if it could be repaired. They basically put my objective lens on a new scope and sent it back with a “thanks for using our product” note.

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I dunno, I would have put Vortex down as a very reliable brand. Their warranty coverage is pretty insane. I’ve heard of people driving over their binos, and getting them warranty replaced still.

I bought a Diamondback tactical less than a year ago, and it was made in the Philippines. Still a very good scope imo. I certainly have no complaints with it.

As for other good brands for under $1k and not made in Asia, maybe check out Meopta; they’re made in Europe? I’ve never owned one, but I’ve heard good things about them.

I use Leupold and Vortex (made in Philippines) almost exclusively. I have some second hand scopes which are fine, but when I buy new, it’s Leupold and Vortex. I am very happy with both brands. I don’t own Meopta, but I have looked through a couple and to me it was mazing quality glass.

Made in China for things that require reliability and durability, I am not a fan, but I am pretty sure Vortex is made in Philippines. You can always ask the vendor. You will never go wrong with Leupold. I am a fan of both.

Something I noticed, lately the price difference between the two has narrowed, so Leupold could be the way to go.

Also, off topicish, but do I go First Focal Plane or Second Focal Plane?

FFP keeps your reticle in perspective. Meaning you can use holdovers on any magnification, I don’t think this is the case with SFP reticles. And to range things, again cannot be done with SFP. Honestly, if it’s a target/range gun, you will know the distance, you will dial the scope and you will probably shoot on max magnification anyway, not to mention you will probably own a range finder at some stage - so I don’t think it will make any difference for you (other than few hundred dollars worth of price difference).

To narrow things down for you, for up to 500m target scope and beyond, you probably want to start at 5-15x(highest number you can find). For example, 5-15x50. If you divide max magnification into lens diamter (50/15 = 3.333), the closer you get to 4 or above the better. It indicates factor of how much light passes through the scope at max magnification. Since you are shooting during the day, I don’t think it’s important, like zero importance, but getting closer to dusk or dawn at distance… You probably want to creep up to that magical 4 factor or above (or so I read).

By the way, is often cheaper to buy and ship from than Cleavers (who I find the cheapest here in Australia). Optics Planet also has other stuff, reasonably cheap and getting a few items (if you need a few items) really makes the shipping worth while and makes it a lot cheaper than getting it locally, especially on optics that have manufacturer warranty.

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I’ve got a few vortex’s a hawke and my mates had a good go with his burris all under $1000 i do think they’re all pretty similar at that price though

Thanks man, awesome response.

I had a look and you’re right, on this scope is a fair bit cheaper on there than it is from Cleavers or The Barn.

That being said I’m likely purchasing my rifle from the Barn and was almost hoping to have them send it down scoped up if I can find something decent in that price range. I had a look under Leupold and there’s quite a few scopes under $1000 and I wouldn’t have a clue which is the best option, but it’s good to know the options are there. Though the one I linked is pretty close to what you said being 4.5-14.

Also, the local gun shop (which is where I’ll have to have the rifle shipped to and pick up from) primarily sells Leupold, so maybe I might be better off having just the rifle shipped down and then purchasing the scope locally.

Thanks for all the info!

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Another thing to do is head to the range and check out what others are using and ask if you could check out their scopes.
Have a look through them and you will see what the differences are in the quality of glass between different brands and powers.

Most shooters will be happy to let you look if you ask nicely lol.

To @1Fatman point and what I think someone else said earlier, most shops will let you walk out with a scope and have a look down the street… Do that.

That’s actually a pretty good idea, I’m just not sure if I can enter the range without the supervision of a licensed person.

LRD are currently processing my paperwork/permit to acquire which I handed in last Thursday so I should get my approval any day now, but then have to wait the remainder of the 28 days. My plan is to have my desired set up etc. planned and ready to order as soon as I get all the licensing/permits.

True but sometimes it is better to be able to check the target that you would be shooting at the range that you would shoot at.

Might pay to give the range a call first and check.

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Nah, not in Vic, unless you are accompanied by a licenced person, no way…

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Be honest with your budget. You won’t find anything under 1000k that doesn’t have some form of warranty issue, it’s all based on numbers. Just get something that has a lifetime direct replacement warranty and eventually you will get one trouble free if not the first one. I have learnt this the long way starting with an Arctic Fox and then Vortex and so on.

For SFP vs FFP, Shooting at max magnification most of the time doesn’t really take advantage of FFP as most SFP scopes with a gridded reticle will have it scaled for max magnification anyway. For target shooting having the constant reticle size is another reason for SFP.

I use FFP on my long range guns as I want to correct misses quickly and I will vary the magnification depending on mirage.

Man I thought that we had dumb rules.

Also while we’re talking scopes, I have one more noob question.

With reticle and distance, am I right that after zeroing at 100m, you can either adjust the turrets to make the centre of the reticle line up with where the bullet will hit at distances past 100m, with the other option being to leave the scope zero’d at 100 and aim a lineish below the centre for every extra 100m past that zero?

From memory, when shooting with friends, I used the lines below the centre to hit targets at 300m and 500m but it has been just over 2 years since I’ve been to the range and shot.
I’d be much keener on adjusting the MOA adjustments to make the centre line up with the point of impact at any given distance, but just wanting to reaffirm what I think I have right here.

Hmmmm maybe I shouldn’t entirely rule out the Vortex Diamondback then. I was really hoping I’d be able to get something decently reliable and not have to sacrifice range time waiting around for replacement scopes etc.

So FFP has the reticle zoom with magnification, but in SFP the reticle stays constant regardless of magnification but adjustments align best with maximum zoom? Are there any disadvantages to always being at the maximum zoom level? I’d have thought that the more of that target in the scope, the better.

Though I guess when pushing to super long ranges you want to be able to see your misses to adjust from - ah, that makes sense as to why you use FFP.

So I’m guessing SFP is more than fine up to 1000m?


You do have dumb rules. And suggesting an unlicensed, unsupervised person can rock up and play with strangers’ rifles from liability point of view is about as dumb.

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Yep, SFP scopes have a set magnification that the reticle sub tensions align, usually max but can be others. This will be advised in the instructions.
The only issue with max zoom is field of view and mirage. Not a big issue with target shooting.
SFP is fine 1000m and beyond, just depends on what you want as a shooter.

If I was shooting F class I would get a SFP with 1/8 MOA adjustments. Shooting steel at random ranges beyond 1000m, FFP with 1/10 mil adjustments. My brain works better with the metric system for fast adjustments.

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They can’t be unsupervised. Hah, not dumb now hey :crazy_face:

Isn’t it what I just said? So, yeh, still dumb. the only thing WA rules have going for them in minimum shooting age, that’s it.