Scope durability stories

MrMosinNagant

Private
Minuteman
Nov 18, 2020
9
1
Central Minnesota
Durability is an important part of rifle optics. Some guys tell me they're rifle fell off a chair and it lost zero dramatically, some tell me theyre rifle flew off an ATV taking a corner, and the scope was dead on. I suppose make and model has a lot to do with it. Just curious to hear some stories about times your scopes durability has been put to the test, and how well it faired!
 

Alpine 338

Lumberjack
PX Member
Minuteman
Jun 26, 2010
2,012
997
NW Colorado
I would provide data on a couple scopes I've had that took severe impacts from falls, but I won't because each case is a unique occurence, and with the internet, you report one failure, then suddenly there's a huge failure with that particular item. It's not fair to the manufacturer or model unless that fall was done in a controlled test, and applied equally across all brands and models.

I will tell you this.

One rifle (AR platform) fell about two to three feet, upside down (parallel to the ground) on a hard dirt surface, directly on the elevation turret. No issues, no loss off tracking.

Another rifle (18-lb bolt gun in chassis) propped up against a vertical surface, barrel down, falls to a hard tile floor, impacting the elevation turret. That scope, the zero was knocked off less than 1/2 Mil in both elevation and windage, but still tracked after re-zero.
 

Trigger Monkey

Ronin
PX Member
Minuteman
  • Apr 29, 2005
    2,833
    1,986
    Winchester Virginia
    So in the way back when I worked for Premier Reticles and part of the gig was helping to repair and inspect M8541's before they went back out. One day, a scope comes in with the ocular sheared off and held on with duct tape. It was a fairly easy fix involving a new ocular shell and not wanting to put a black ocular on a painted scope I figured I'd just do up the new shell in a similar pattern as the rest of the scope. Welll in an effort to accelerate the drying process I tried to use a heat gun and wouldn't you know it that fuckin' paint caught on fire. I put it out quick, the shell was fine, and I just started over and let it air dry like a normal person. All's well that ends well.

    I've also abused other S&B's by holding a torch to them, hitting them with rawhide mallets, shit like that.

    I've put my NF scopes through some stuff, constant rain, falls, stuff like that and they've kept on ticking, I've had four or five of them now.
     

    Strykervet

    Lanolin Lube 4U
    PX Member
    Minuteman
  • Jun 5, 2011
    5,953
    4,677
    45
    Pierce County, WA
    I seen an M68 Aimpoint (issue, made 2001-2002?) in a thick aluminum mount take a hit directly on the ocular when the driver hit a bump in a 5 ton with the rifle behind the seat. It went up and slammed into that metal step behind the seat. It hit HARD. Sheared the mount right off, clean in two down the middle, one part connected to the rifle, one part connected to the optic.

    Well, he needed a new mount and it marked the upper but the M68? Not a damn scratch. Absolutely unbelievable and I wouldn't have believed it had I not seen it.

    It also made me a believer of zeroed flip up irons on an issue/duty weapon too.
     

    Rlb40x

    Private
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    May 2, 2012
    180
    109
    54
    Several years ago at a BR match a guy had his 15 lb bench gun with a Nightforce 12-42 on the bench setting in a Bald Eagle from rest, rear bag.
    Somehow he snagged it with his jacket and it rolled out and landed on one of the rest leg bolts upside down on the scope.
    It made a pretty good gash in the bell but didn’t loose zero.
    He said he shot the whole match and never moved it.
    I was one bench away and believe him.
     
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    Aescobar17

    Sergeant of the Hide
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 10, 2018
    279
    174
    I’ve got 2 NF optics that have both taken major impacts, and both have retained zero and tracking. I also have a Vortex PST II that took a similar impact, and it had to go back to Vortex.
     

    MrMosinNagant

    Private
    Minuteman
    Nov 18, 2020
    9
    1
    Central Minnesota
    When I was in the service, I seen a drill sergeant throw an M4 with a M68 on it across the room and hit the block wall before smashing the floor. Optic was fine. Those Aimpoints are tough
     

    Statusquo

    Private
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 13, 2017
    75
    61
    Washington
    Morning of match, leaned my rifle against a wall. Of course it slid off, landed on the SFWA and bent the back half of the tube. Mag ring was stuck at 10x. Tracked perfectly all day until I was able to find a loaner for day 2.
     

    Jigstick

    3lbs of Swinging Sirloin
    PX Member
    Minuteman
  • Jul 21, 2017
    1,303
    1,140
    PA
    I dropped my wsm about 20 ft out of a ladder stand. Leupold VX5HD ocular side smacked the 2nd bottom rung. Scratched the paint a little. Was still on zero and still tracks perfect.
     

    Jong

    Sergeant
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 7, 2009
    563
    20
    Petoskey MI
    While deployed to Iraq in 2005, we had a SAW that was in a vehicle that was blown up. The SAW got bent from the explosion. We took off the EOtech, that was from the company before L3 bought them out, and put it on another SAW. It was still zeroed.
     
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    BJames

    Sergeant of the Hide
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 20, 2014
    189
    106
    Alaska
    Subjected a T5xi to about 30 hours of high frequency vibration (Tunneled hull jet boat). The kind that puts your feet to sleep. Won’t hold zero to save its life, misses the backer by feet. I guess the rumors about them were true... 🤷🏼‍♂️
     
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    Aescobar17

    Sergeant of the Hide
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 10, 2018
    279
    174
    Subjected a T5xi to about 30 hours of high frequency vibration (Tunneled hull jet boat). The kind that puts your feet to sleep. Won’t hold zero to save its life, misses the backer by feet. I guess the rumors about them were true... 🤷🏼‍♂️

    i had a T5Xi on a rifle 4-5 years ago that weighed 12 lbs all in. Walking back from the target I watched a gust blow in and blow the rifle off the bench. Landed perfectly on the elevation turret. Held zero and tracked just fine afterwards. Did eventually have to send the scope back fro parallax issues though.
     
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    Kalthoff

    Private
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Apr 27, 2017
    19
    17
    Denmark
    While out hunting in winter, I carried a rifle on a sling across my back.

    The sling disconnected and the rifle fell to the frozen ground, landing on the scope.

    Toot it to the rifle range a few days later.

    Nothing had changed, it hit the targets exactly where it was supposed to.

    Meopta Meostar R1 1,5-6x42 mounted in plain old bottom of the line weaver rings.
     

    BJames

    Sergeant of the Hide
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 20, 2014
    189
    106
    Alaska
    i had a T5Xi on a rifle 4-5 years ago that weighed 12 lbs all in. Walking back from the target I watched a gust blow in and blow the rifle off the bench. Landed perfectly on the elevation turret. Held zero and tracked just fine afterwards. Did eventually have to send the scope back fro parallax issues though.
    I should really be more forgiving, that boat backed out action screws, rail screws, base to rail, ring, and turret screws. It‘ll get fixed and I’ll use it for something else, honestly, I like the thing

    Edited to add; I’d rather have one impact event vs many hours of vibration like that.
     
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    Team RCBS & Bushnell

    Commercial Supporter
    Commercial Supporter
    PX Member
    Minuteman
  • I had the range to myself and was plugging away on a steel at 1360 from a bench just messing around. Needed to step away for a second, opened the bolt and started walking. About 10 seconds passes and I hear a crash. The wind knocked the thing off the bench which was on another ~1' tall platform, so around 4' total. Landed on the XRS II. Bunch of scuffs all over it.

    Dialed back to zero, hit the 100 quick to verify, was still right on. Dialed back to dope and started hitting the 1360 again.