Where to buy a scope?

Theseus

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Mar 16, 2020
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I'm afraid this question may result in a number of strongly held opinions, sometimes based more on emotions and politics than on practical issues. I mean it as a practical question and am looking for practical answers and insights. So I think that I'll just ask it, and then sit back and benefit from what's said -- rather than engaging in any "discussion" or argumentation myself. I suppose I should answer any direct questions if posed, but other than that, I'm not in this to convince anyone of anything. That being said, ...

Suppose that I want to buy a kind of scope that is "mid-range" in price. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that it's something like an Athlon Argos or Midas, a Burris Fullfield or Signature, or a Vortex Venom or Viper. But those are just examples. This isn't about a specific brand or model. Let's assume that I've settled on the set of features I want and in fact have settled on the specific model with those features. Let's further assume that we're ruling out buying the scope second-hand or in a private sale -- I think I know the benefits and risks involved in those cases.

What I'm wondering is: "Is there a clear benefit to buying the scope from one place rather than another?" If so, what are the best places and specifically what is that benefit? For example, if I can get the scope from such providers as Academy Sports (large national chain), Camera Land (online), Amazon, a "local" gun store (probably by special order), or Ebay (not from an "individual" as a private sale, but from someone with a history of selling such models), then which one of these should I choose to do business with? Or does it really just come down to price at that point?

My thinking is that since the scope will have a manufacturer's warranty, then what is to gain from purchasing from one place rather than another -- except for the purchase price? I'm particularly interested in any genuine experiences (and not speculations or "common sense" observations) that people may have had (either good or bad). When you look at these things, it certainly appears that they have pretty much the status of "commodities" across the number of sales sources, the prices are very similar (if not identical), and only vague claims are made about "Why you should buy from us." But I'm curious about whether there are any differences -- real, practical differences -- and what those may be.
 
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theLBC

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    forum sponsors give great deals, offer honest opinions and great customer service, and they help support this site.
    unfortunately, i don't buy tons of optics, but cstactical or camerlandny have been awesome.
    if you want the best advice or price, you probably want to call them rather than just ordering online.
     

    acudaowner

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    the px , there are always adds in the forums for a store that sells such things you could go online . Personally I liked looking at different brands then trying to figure out where I could maybe hold one in my hands like cabela's then look again online for a price I liked I would think it's hardly a good idea to just buy something from the first place you look shop around . camera is the name of the store land I am not sure of the guys name doug maybe but they have adds in here all the time best of luck finding what your looking for at a price you are happy with .
    https://cameralandny.com/shop?query=talos btr
    sometimes they have discounts for hide members or maybe I was hopping they did it's hard to remember sorry .
     

    gr8fuldoug

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    www.cameralandny.com
    forum sponsors give great deals, offer honest opinions and great customer service, and they help support this site.
    unfortunately, i don't buy tons of optics, but cstactical or camerlandny have been awesome.
    if you want the best advice or price, you probably want to call them rather than just ordering online.
    As a site supporting vendor for over a decade it is always our pleasure to work with the members here. We will assist in choosing the correct optic and do what we can for you on price. Please give us a call, 516-217-1000, and let's discuss what would be best. Thanks for the opportunity to work together
     

    Simonsza1

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    I’ve bought from cameraland ny and mk machining. Both have a big presence here on the hide and both have been fantastic to deal with for optics in my experience. Can’t go wrong supporting the guys who support us! Arken directly is also a good price point scope and do support the community imo.
     

    Desert Raven

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    Forum sponsors, such as the ones mentioned, including @gr8fuldoug (will be purchasing an Athlon Cronus this fall), @CSTactical (When I purchase a ZCO it will be from them) , @LibertyOptics (Awesome for Vortex) , @Tyler Kemp , and Eurooptic (I have purchased several scopes from them).

    I apologize for leaving others out- not intentional. These companies support and consult with you to find the best optic and offer the best prices- you can’t go wrong with any I mentioned. They have stellar reputations and I would never buy from Amazon or EBay- there are too many great vendors here who are just great people. My $.02.

    ETA: call them and let them answer any questions you have. I did this just yesterday and Tyler from Eurooptic confirmed the scope I wanted (not commonly mentioned on the Hide so not many reviews) was a solid choice and had almost zero returns for issues. These sponsors have a wealth of knowledge because they do this every day. Use that knowledge to your advantage
     
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    BuildingConceptsllc

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    I try to support those who support us. I've also been very impressed with both CStactical and Cameraland and how they operate and help if you need it. I've dealt with both more than once and you won't find better. Definitely call and talk to them though.
     

    W54/XM-388

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    So much overthinking it's painful...

    Pick the scope you want to buy, then search around for who has the best landed price to you.
    Different dealers can do better on some models / brands than others.
    Call them up on the phone and talk to them and see what they can do over the phone.
    See if there is any better deals for sending them a check or bank transfer (usually only worth it on the $$$$$ scopes).

    You are making way too much out of the idea of where to buy from.

    In addition to Cameraland who replied to you above, if you want Vortex, call up Scott at Liberty Optics.
     

    Nik H

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    I have bought all my high dollar scopes from both EuroOptics and CSTactical. I have no experience buying the brands you list but brand shouldn't matter much...If you're looking for a discount, the margins tend to be thin for the brands you mentioned. The tier 1 scopes give dealers a little more room. Although you may not get a discount on the scope itself, they can typically do something on accessories like the rings or mount.

    The benefits - Customer Service should you ever need it.

    Bear in mind that the lowest price is not necessarily the best in the long run.
     

    wcberry

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    ExpertVoice.. You can get 30-50% off MSRP. But you have to quailify. Most LE/Mil will Qualify. If you're an industry professional, sales associate, or influencer you may also qualify. Create an account and enter your qualifications. Most brands are available. Nightforce, Athlon, and Burris. Not just scopes, but all sports, electronics, glasses, etc. The Company's will give you the discount to buy from them so you will let others know about their products. It cost you nothing. Check out ExpertVoice eiither on the web or via their phone app.
     
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    HaydenLane

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    I’ve purchased from forum sponsors (this forum and others) and will continue to do so when it makes sense. However, when something can be price-matched to the lowest price I can get online, I buy from my local Scheels. They make returns and warranty issues a breeze, there’s no waiting, and I collect their gift cards.
     

    DocRDS

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    Liberty Optics
    CameralandNY

    I'm a non vet/non LEO/schlub who works for a living and they have both given me great deals.
     

    sjmpcc022

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    I'm afraid this question may result in a number of strongly held opinions, sometimes based more on emotions and politics than on practical issues. I mean it as a practical question and am looking for practical answers and insights. So I think that I'll just ask it, and then sit back and benefit from what's said -- rather than engaging in any "discussion" or argumentation myself. I suppose I should answer any direct questions if posed, but other than that, I'm not in this to convince anyone of anything. That being said, ...

    Suppose that I want to buy a kind of scope that is "mid-range" in price. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that it's something like an Athlon Argos or Midas, a Burris Fullfield or Signature, or a Vortex Venom or Viper. But those are just examples. This isn't about a specific brand or model. Let's assume that I've settled on the set of features I want and in fact have settled on the specific model with those features. Let's further assume that we're ruling out buying the scope second-hand or in a private sale -- I think I know the benefits and risks involved in those cases.

    What I'm wondering is: "Is there a clear benefit to buying the scope from one place rather than another?" If so, what are the best places and specifically what is that benefit? For example, if I can get the scope from such providers as Academy Sports (large national chain), Camera Land (online), Amazon, a "local" gun store (probably by special order), or Ebay (not from an "individual" as a private sale, but from someone with a history of selling such models), then which one of these should I choose to do business with? Or does it really just come down to price at that point?

    My thinking is that since the scope will have a manufacturer's warranty, then what is to gain from purchasing from one place rather than another -- except for the purchase price? I'm particularly interested in any genuine experiences (and not speculations or "common sense" observations) that people may have had (either good or bad). When you look at these things, it certainly appears that they have pretty much the status of "commodities" across the number of sales sources, the prices are very similar (if not identical), and only vague claims are made about "Why you should buy from us." But I'm curious about whether there are any differences -- real, practical differences -- and what those may be.
    Damn, you're buying a scope, not picking the surgeon to do open heart on your 3 day old kid!

    Go with Hide vendors, I've bought at least 4 items from Cameraland. Doug is great and I'm sure the others are also.

    If shit goes sideways with it, they will help you but it's you and the manufacturer at that point. That's what warranties are for!

    Even if you want to invite the scope seller over to your house for a picnic, I'm guessing none of them would show up!:p
     

    houndog

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    I'd take a look at demos from Eurooptic. I've bought a couple from them and have had very good experiences. You can get a pretty good discount and in most cases the scopes are indistinguishable from new.
     
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    adubeau

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    I'd take a look at demos from Eurooptic. I've bought a couple from them and have had very good experiences. You can get a pretty good discount and in most cases the scopes are indistinguishable from new.
    I can second this - I saved a shit load of cash on a Steiner from EuroOptic that was a demo - It was brand new - only thing missing was the shrink wrap on the box, purchased spotting scope from Cameraland, good folks to do business with and I recently bought a Burris scope in the PX from a member..
     
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    LibertyOptics

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    I sincerely appreciate all the mentions, Hiders. It blows my mind to think I have been doing this 19 years next month. As the Grateful Dead used to sing..."what a long, strange trip it's been..." One constant is that you have always been awesome for us. We do our best to reciprocate.

    Scott
     

    Theseus

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    I'd take a look at demos from Eurooptic. I've bought a couple from them and have had very good experiences. You can get a pretty good discount and in most cases the scopes are indistinguishable from new.
    Yes, this is a good pointer, and in fact they have one now of just that sort that's one of my top choices -- at an excellent price.
     

    Theseus

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    Damn, you're buying a scope, not picking the surgeon to do open heart on your 3 day old kid!

    ...

    Even if you want to invite the scope seller over to your house for a picnic, I'm guessing none of them would show up!:p
    Thanks. I think that among all the helpful responses, this may have been the best. It's going to change my life. (y)
    By the way, I did, in 1975, have a 3 day old kid with exactly that kind of problem. How ironic you would have guessed this and made the comparison. So I know where you're coming from. :)
     
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    gr8fuldoug

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    Damn, you're buying a scope, not picking the surgeon to do open heart on your 3 day old kid!

    Go with Hide vendors, I've bought at least 4 items from Cameraland. Doug is great and I'm sure the others are also.

    If shit goes sideways with it, they will help you but it's you and the manufacturer at that point. That's what warranties are for!

    Even if you want to invite the scope seller over to your house for a picnic, I'm guessing none of them would show up!:p
    Woooooo, What are you serving at this picnic. Don't volunteer that we won't come. :D
    I sincerely appreciate all the mentions, Hiders. It blows my mind to think I have been doing this 19 years next month. As the Grateful Dead used to sing..."what a long, strange trip it's been..." One constant is that you have always been awesome for us. We do our best to reciprocate.

    Scott
    If it's not us, then Scott at Liberty for sure. As many of you have found out we always suggest Scott if it's something we do not handle. Great guy to work with.
     

    sjmpcc022

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    Thanks. I think that among all the helpful responses, this may have been the best. It's going to change my life. (y)
    By the way, I did, in 1975, have a 3 day old kid with exactly that kind of problem. How ironic you would have guessed this and made the comparison. So I know where you're coming from. :)
    I would say not irony, more like the kind of chance that won the 1.2 bilion over the weekend!!

    I like to use hyperbole to make points, I hope all went/is well with your now 47ish year old child!

    I also stand corrected on my picnic comment.....................buy from Cameraland and invite Doug over, sounds like he's gonna show!!!!!
     

    Theseus

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    I would say not irony, more like the kind of chance that won the 1.2 bilion over the weekend!!
    An odd way to think of such a comment. I suspect that there are others reading this thread who have lost children. Perhaps you haven't. I don't recommend it.
    I like to use hyperbole to make points, I hope all went/is well with your now 47ish year old child!
    Well, after four open-heart surgeries and more pacemaker surgeries than I can remember (though his mother can), he died at the age of 41, in a cardiac ICU, awaiting transplant, the night before Thanksgiving in 2016. So I'm afraid your wishes, hyperbolic or not, aren't of any benefit. Normally I don't expose aspects of my personal life on social media, but on this occasion I've made an exception. And that's all I'll say at this point.
     

    gr8fuldoug

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    I also stand corrected on my picnic comment.....................buy from Cameraland and invite Doug over, sounds like he's gonna show!!!!!

    FWIW, many years ago a couple of members on a different forum reached out for me to come to Kodiak Alaska to go fishing. That started an annual trip, 12 summers, of amazing fishing. Wound up becoming some of the best fishing trips of my life.

    When and where's the picnic?
     

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    CSTactical

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    <snip>

    Even if you want to invite the scope seller over to your house for a picnic, I'm guessing none of them would show up!:p

    It all depends on the time and distance really, the few here at this shop have been part of the long range community for about 20 years. Many of us have met, shot with and hung out with dozens of members on this board if not into the hundreds :)
     
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    Theseus

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    So maybe to wrap this up ...

    I never got quite the detail of specific feedback to my original questions that I started out looking for, but I did get some valuable perspectives and pointers to some potential sources I hadn't known about. As a result of that, and some careful and lengthy comparisons, I just ordered a "demo model" of the Athlon Gen2 Argos BTR 10-40x56mm MOA scope at a fantastic price from EuroOptic. It gives me almost all of the features that I was looking for: SFP, MOA, a reticle I like, appropriate power range, apparently (from all reports) good optical image and light-gathering capability, and good eye relief and exit pupil. And the Gen 2 has some significant improvements over the Gen 1.

    The only "requirement" it doesn't satisfy is an illuminated reticle -- but that was never a "hard" requirement, and I'm not convinced how much I'd benefit from it in target shooting scenarios.

    Now, once it gets here, I'll have to figure out exactly how I want to mount it and what rings to get. But that's just some minor measurement and eyeballing.

    I'd like to thank all of you who contributed to this result. (y)
     

    sjmpcc022

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    It all depends on the time and distance really, the few here at this shop have been part of the long range community for about 20 years. Many of us have met, shot with and hung out with dozens of members on this board if not into the hundreds :)
    Well there you go, CS Tactical is in also!!!!

    There is gonna be a lot of pressure on you and your picnic, better plan a good one!!!!!;)
     
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    sjmpcc022

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    An odd way to think of such a comment. I suspect that there are others reading this thread who have lost children. Perhaps you haven't. I don't recommend it.

    Well, after four open-heart surgeries and more pacemaker surgeries than I can remember (though his mother can), he died at the age of 41, in a cardiac ICU, awaiting transplant, the night before Thanksgiving in 2016. So I'm afraid your wishes, hyperbolic or not, aren't of any benefit. Normally I don't expose aspects of my personal life on social media, but on this occasion I've made an exception. And that's all I'll say at this point.
    I'm very sorry to hear that, prayers to your family, although belated.
     

    Simonsza1

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    Where is the general location of this picnic? Curious how close I am 😜
     

    MickeyRat

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    Eurooptic. Some other on-line sites offer order takers but when you ask them a specific question, they read off of a script. The folks at Eurooptic are shooters that actually use the products that they sell. That said, buy from a company that you feel comfortable working with and with a liberal return policy.

    Best of luck
     
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    tbates

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    I'm afraid this question may result in a number of strongly held opinions, sometimes based more on emotions and politics than on practical issues. I mean it as a practical question and am looking for practical answers and insights. So I think that I'll just ask it, and then sit back and benefit from what's said -- rather than engaging in any "discussion" or argumentation myself. I suppose I should answer any direct questions if posed, but other than that, I'm not in this to convince anyone of anything. That being said, ...

    Suppose that I want to buy a kind of scope that is "mid-range" in price. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that it's something like an Athlon Argos or Midas, a Burris Fullfield or Signature, or a Vortex Venom or Viper. But those are just examples. This isn't about a specific brand or model. Let's assume that I've settled on the set of features I want and in fact have settled on the specific model with those features. Let's further assume that we're ruling out buying the scope second-hand or in a private sale -- I think I know the benefits and risks involved in those cases.

    What I'm wondering is: "Is there a clear benefit to buying the scope from one place rather than another?" If so, what are the best places and specifically what is that benefit? For example, if I can get the scope from such providers as Academy Sports (large national chain), Camera Land (online), Amazon, a "local" gun store (probably by special order), or Ebay (not from an "individual" as a private sale, but from someone with a history of selling such models), then which one of these should I choose to do business with? Or does it really just come down to price at that point?

    My thinking is that since the scope will have a manufacturer's warranty, then what is to gain from purchasing from one place rather than another -- except for the purchase price? I'm particularly interested in any genuine experiences (and not speculations or "common sense" observations) that people may have had (either good or bad). When you look at these things, it certainly appears that they have pretty much the status of "commodities" across the number of sales sources, the prices are very similar (if not identical), and only vague claims are made about "Why you should buy from us." But I'm curious about whether there are any differences -- real, practical differences -- and what those may be.
    You have obviously done a bunch of research about these issues, but are now beating them to death. What are you waiting for? An invitation? Use your head man...you are clearly educated, but seem very fearful about this issue. Ya gotta put on your bigboy pants and jump in. All the questions you asked will be best answered with experience. Come on in, the water's fine.
     
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    john smallberries

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    I'm afraid this question may result in a number of strongly held opinions, sometimes based more on emotions and politics than on practical issues. I mean it as a practical question and am looking for practical answers and insights. So I think that I'll just ask it, and then sit back and benefit from what's said -- rather than engaging in any "discussion" or argumentation myself. I suppose I should answer any direct questions if posed, but other than that, I'm not in this to convince anyone of anything. That being said, ...

    Suppose that I want to buy a kind of scope that is "mid-range" in price. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that it's something like an Athlon Argos or Midas, a Burris Fullfield or Signature, or a Vortex Venom or Viper. But those are just examples. This isn't about a specific brand or model. Let's assume that I've settled on the set of features I want and in fact have settled on the specific model with those features. Let's further assume that we're ruling out buying the scope second-hand or in a private sale -- I think I know the benefits and risks involved in those cases.

    What I'm wondering is: "Is there a clear benefit to buying the scope from one place rather than another?" If so, what are the best places and specifically what is that benefit? For example, if I can get the scope from such providers as Academy Sports (large national chain), Camera Land (online), Amazon, a "local" gun store (probably by special order), or Ebay (not from an "individual" as a private sale, but from someone with a history of selling such models), then which one of these should I choose to do business with? Or does it really just come down to price at that point?

    My thinking is that since the scope will have a manufacturer's warranty, then what is to gain from purchasing from one place rather than another -- except for the purchase price? I'm particularly interested in any genuine experiences (and not speculations or "common sense" observations) that people may have had (either good or bad). When you look at these things, it certainly appears that they have pretty much the status of "commodities" across the number of sales sources, the prices are very similar (if not identical), and only vague claims are made about "Why you should buy from us." But I'm curious about whether there are any differences -- real, practical differences -- and what those may be.
    cameralandny.
    I also shop the demo and closeout section at eurooptic. bought a demo nightforce scope, that was an open box store demo, and looked like new.
     

    65prc

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    Vortex viper from europtic. Great customer service. Quick shipping. Both companies are great. Europtic has best prices.