Which Scope Under $1000(aud)

rbs7500

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Feb 15, 2021
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Australia
Hey all,

I'm struggling to work out which Scope to get unde $1000(AUD). I'm considering the following:

Arken SH4 Gen 2 6-24x50 - Seems like a good scope but I have heard that it's extremely blurry at higher magnification. Can anyone clarify?

Vortex Diamondback Tac 6-24x50 - Also seems decent if you get one that's in working order, I have heard a lot of stories of Vortex scopes needing to be sent back multiple times, this is what puts me off a little. I want something reliable.

Bushnell Engage 6-24x50 - I can't actually find any reviews on this scope, but Bushbell seem to be a reasonable reputable brand and this scope fits right in the price range.

Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x50 - Not as much magnification here, but Leupold is US made and I'm tipping to be the most reliable brand on this list. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm also very open to other suggestions that I may not have come across.
This scope will be going on my first rifle which will be a Howa 1500 chambered in 6.5CM. I'll be using this rifle primarily for target shooting. Being relatively new to the sport, I'll start by getting good at groups at 100m and build up from there. My local range goes to 500m, I've been able to hit 500m multiple times on friends rifles but I actually want to develop skills at grouping and gradually progress in range.

Long term I'd like to try some target shooting at 1000m. There's a 2000m range a few hours away which I'll be able to get to a few times a year.

So yeah, I'd like a Scope that's clear, preferably with a zero stop, smooth adjustment dials and reliable. I'm not overly fussed on FFP or SFP but will probably prefer SFP, providing that I keep a record of the required turret adjustments to have the reticle line up with targets at all ranges.

I've seen multiple sources claim that the Arken is the best scope for the price range, it's also available and in stock from Online stores. Does anyone own it and have insight? Or any of the scopes I listed?

Thanks!
 

houndog

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I've had very good luck with both of these scopes and I think they are very good values:



The XRS is the better scope and just over your budget.
 

rbs7500

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Feb 15, 2021
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Australia
I've had very good luck with both of these scopes and I think they are very good values:



The XRS is the better scope and just over your budget.
Ah thanks, but both are way out - budget is $1000 Australian, so about $750 US.
 

Gee Kay

Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
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    gonna find it difficult finding something decent under 1k here. we're in the wrong country. whatever US prices are they're close to double here. closest scope to the 1k mark is the strike eagle but you will need another couple of hundred. while waiting save up another couple of hundred for the strike eagle. anything else is way more expensive. there are a few places with decent prices on the strike eagle if they have it in stock. projectile warehouse, australian tactical precision, cleavers. just be prepared for freight on top of the price. unfortunately you won't be able to get a scope from US stores due to the BS govt rules. maybe second hand the rules don't apply but not sure.
     

    rbs7500

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    Feb 15, 2021
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    gonna find it difficult finding something decent under 1k here. we're in the wrong country. whatever US prices are they're close to double here. closest scope to the 1k mark is the strike eagle but you will need another couple of hundred. while waiting save up another couple of hundred for the strike eagle. anything else is way more expensive. there are a few places with decent prices on the strike eagle if they have it in stock. projectile warehouse, australian tactical precision, cleavers. just be prepared for freight on top of the price. unfortunately you won't be able to get a scope from US stores due to the BS govt rules. maybe second hand the rules don't apply but not sure.
    I've seen the strike eagle advertised for $1150, I could probably stretch out to that. Do you think it's worth while?
     

    Slides

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    Nov 17, 2020
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    I'm in NSW

    I have several zerotech scopes (I believe some or all are manufactured in parallel with some bushnell models), from the cheaper vengeance 40mm objective on my 22lr, a thrive HD on a howa 308 sporter for hunting to a couple of trace advance 4.5-27×50mm, one on a Lithgow LA105 6.5CM which I use for target (shooting in parallel with F class guys in sports hunter or F open where a club doesn'tdo sports hunter), the gun came with 20MOA rail but I have purchased a 40MOA rail which should still let me zero at 100 yards (I checked elevation range before buying) for stretching to 1 mile (this will still require a big FFP hold over with Atip hand loads on 40MOA rail), the trace have a zero stop. If you are going to shoot to 2000m down the track with SFP you will need to buy an eratac scope mount or Charlie Tarac to get the elevation. Probably a stretch with 6.5cm anyway as you are transonic around 1400 yards even with the best bullets available (book loads), at least from 24/26 inch barrels. Will be falling very fast, you probably want a 260, 6.5PRC, SAUM ETC in 6.5 to do that or go to 7SAUM, rem mag or a 30 cal magnum or 338lap + to be doing that stuff.

    My trace has tracked perfectly from 100 to 900 yards up and down, have been within one or two clicks elevation wise on electronic targets based on chrono figures I got with Hornady American gunner (140gr HPBT) when I zeroed it using the Hornady web calculator and atmospheric pressure adjusted for elevation where I have done most of my shooting. Was able to see splash on the earth mound clearly from "fouling" shots at 8 or 900 yards and see clearly on stuff at 900 no problems, haven't had the opportunityto stretch past that yet but will probably do the 365 long range training courses where they shoot to a mile and visit some work mates in another district with steel targets out to around 1300m on private property.

    RRP on the SFP trace is $999 AUD. Just looked at the SFP recticle on their site, it is indexed at half mag which you would need at a mile with holds so probably not practical at 2km but will get you subsonic in 6.5cm with 40MOA rail.

    I will probably swap the trace advance onto a 300wm i have bought and put a March 5-42×56 onto this gun down the track but that is 4 times the price.
     
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    Gee Kay

    Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
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    @rbs7500 i've got a strike eagle, good glass, big eye box, locking turrets (still getting use to them), zero stop collar, for me yes. i've seen people here buy then sell. got no idea why.

    my other scopes are S&B and athlon
     
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    Harman117

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    The $1000 AUD part is going to be hard, lots of good deals here in the USA. Not sure of deals in Australia.

    (FYI: You posted this in the "Bolt action" forum where you should have posted this in the "Observation and Sighting Devices" forum)
     

    Peninsula Pounder

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    It would be close with your budget but look for a used Nightforce SHV. They come in 4-14 or 5-20 mag . If you plan on dialing at all I would trust a Nightforce over a vortex and any lower end Leupold.
     
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    Shootin Stuff

    Sergeant of the Hide
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    You want FFP and zero stop.

    When it comes to glass, buy once cry once. Spend a few weeks eating noodles, mowing lawns, blowing dudes in the alleyway, whatever you need to do to get the cash for a nice scope, don't short yourself on a low end scope because it's all you can afford right now.
    Sure, your wallet (or jaw) might hurt for a bit, but you'll forget all about that every time you get behind a nice scope.

    PST Gen2 is about the lower end of what you want and isn't too far out of your budget. Have you looked at Athlon scopes? They have a few cheaper models and can be found in Oz, supposed to be pretty for bang for buck.
     
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    houndog

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    Sorry RBS, missed the AUS part. Agree with several other posters, not sure you're going to be happy with a scope that costs less than $1000 US. If you're planning on shooting at distances of 1000-2000 meters you're really going to need something that tracks precisely, is capable of a lot of adjustment and has good glass.

    Not really familiar with importation laws of AUS, so don't know what's available to you, whether there's custom fees/taxes, etc. One potential way to save some money is to try to find a solid used scope. If it's an upper tier brand they tend to be pretty rugged and as long as they haven't been abused by their prior owner other than a few cosmetic scratches they should be as good as a new one. Sometimes some good values to be found here on SH (although I'm not sure what's involved in shipping overseas). Or maybe an Australian forum?

    So yeah I'd try to save up for a couple of weeks/months. Don't know about "blowing dudes in the alleyway". Given that you're in Australia maybe just cut back on the beer for a few weeks. :)
     

    Gee Kay

    Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
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  • Oct 8, 2019
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    I've seen the strike eagle advertised for $1150, I could probably stretch out to that. Do you think it's worth while?

    It would be close with your budget but look for a used Nightforce SHV. They come in 4-14 or 5-20 mag . If you plan on dialing at all I would trust a Nightforce over a vortex and any lower end Leupold.
    that's way over his budget here
     

    Gee Kay

    Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
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    Y’all got Athlon there? What’s a midas tac cost?
    yeah but close to double US prices, I got 1 athlon and waiting for my other one to get replaced after getting dicked around by the distributor here. back over 3 years ago the ares was retailing for around $1700, now it's close to 2k. Talos btr is the other one I have. good but only recommend it "if" they fixed the ultra tight parallax knob. had to buy one of Tyler's wheels to make it easy to adjust.
     

    Gee Kay

    Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
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    Sorry RBS, missed the AUS part. Agree with several other posters, not sure you're going to be happy with a scope that costs less than $1000 US. If you're planning on shooting at distances of 1000-2000 meters you're really going to need something that tracks precisely, is capable of a lot of adjustment and has good glass.

    Not really familiar with importation laws of AUS, so don't know what's available to you, whether there's custom fees/taxes, etc. One potential way to save some money is to try to find a solid used scope. If it's an upper tier brand they tend to be pretty rugged and as long as they haven't been abused by their prior owner other than a few cosmetic scratches they should be as good as a new one. Sometimes some good values to be found here on SH (although I'm not sure what's involved in shipping overseas). Or maybe an Australian forum?

    So yeah I'd try to save up for a couple of weeks/months. Don't know about "blowing dudes in the alleyway". Given that you're in Australia maybe just cut back on the beer for a few weeks. :)
    not Aussie import laws, it's ITAR that's the problem. spotting scopes not a problem, rifle scopes, problem. they both do the same thing except one you can mount to a tripod and the other to a rifle. go figure the mentality of govts
     

    Im2bent

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    Here ya go . Its sold as blemished by Natchez. I called NAtchez to ask what the blemish was and was told there are no blems its a marketing ploy. The one I got was brand new in the box and I could not find a blemish.
     

    Gee Kay

    Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
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    His budget is about $800 US right? Should be able to find a SHV close to that.
    yeah/nah as we say here

     

    JHoff162

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    +1 for the strike eagle. I put one on a Begara HMR and it works really well for the price point. Yes, you can get better optical clarity, better turret click feel and better zero stops, etc on more expensive scopes. That said, it has a lifetime warranty, parallax adjustment down to 15 yards, a ton of elevation range, illuminated reticle, great field of view because of the 34mm tube and decent glass. It is hard to beat in that price range. Just my 2¢
     

    rbs7500

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    +1 for the strike eagle. I put one on a Begara HMR and it works really well for the price point. Yes, you can get better optical clarity, better turret click feel and better zero stops, etc on more expensive scopes. That said, it has a lifetime warranty, parallax adjustment down to 15 yards, a ton of elevation range, illuminated reticle, great field of view because of the 34mm tube and decent glass. It is hard to beat in that price range. Just my 2¢
    Alrighty sweet, if it fits within the budget I'll keep it high on the list. I take it that it's quite a lot better than the diamondback?
     

    houndog

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    Again, a word of caution about cheaper scopes. They are ok if you are shooting out to 4-600 yards/meters. As you start increasing distances, and particularly once you start shooting out to 1000 yards/meters and beyond a cheaper scope will start holding you back. It may not have enough adjustment to get you out beyond 1000. Budget glass is going to make it harder to see your target and your impacts. If the scope doesn't track precisely and isn't repeatable moving between targets at different distances is going to be frustrating.

    A good scope will last you many years and can easily be moved to another rifle if you decide to upgrade. This is one area where buy once/cry once really does apply.

    IMHO $1000 (U.S.) is kind of the dividing line between good quality scopes and budget scopes where you start giving up something in performance.

    Although I will say that the Burris XTRII does have a good reputation and the "blemished" one posted by another member does look like a damn good deal. The cheaper of the 2 Bushnell's I posted is pretty close to your price range if you can get it shipped to you from the U.S. (which I suspect you can't due to ITAR). BTW - is it possible to do an end run around this - i.e. have U.S. "friend" buy here and then send you a nice present for X-mas?
     
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    Gee Kay

    Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
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    that's one thing i haven't done yet, check out the glass quality on my strike eagle at 1000m or beyond. will do that tomorrow when i head down to the property for the weekend. will "try" and take a pic through the scope if i can. i can say that the glass is great for nighttime hunting, very clear. my s&b pm2 speaks for itself. i found that my ares on high power at 100m was shit and milky, but when i took it out to over a mile it did not look milky, and that was looking through a double pane window to an ikea building. no it wasn't mounted to a rifle at the time :ROFLMAO:
     
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    JHoff162

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    This article has pictures showing the difference in clarity between the diamondback and strike eagle
     
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    FisherT&C

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    A Weaver Tactical 4-15x50 is a good value. They are very basic but they dial accurately and the glass is very decent. Sometimes you can find them on sale at Natchez Shooting Supply here in the US. I'm no sure about Australia.
     

    Shootin Stuff

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    Don't skimp on optical clarity, good tracking, adequate elevation adjustment or a useable reticle design.
     

    BuildingConceptsllc

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    I'd go for a used PST gen 2 myself. They can be gotten for a great price and if anything goes wrong with it, vortex will fix it and do so quickly. Not sure how that would effect you in Australia, but I'd certainly look hard at it. They can be had anywhere from $600-$900 used depending on some things. Leupold is also a solid choice and has a good Warranty and good glass.
     

    Heffo

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    We certainly don’t get deals like the US. Athlon Midas tacs are decent for the money. Little over your budget though. I used to have a couple of the old Bushnell elite 6-24x50s nothing wrong with those.....usually pop up around the $850 mark on used guns. Gotta be very quick though the good deals go fast. I’ve just put a Falcon on my CZ455 and am very impressed. I run Marches and S&B but am pretty happy with the Falcon. They have a 5-30 I think for $899. Check “Scoped out”. Good luck
     

    Thesepaperwings

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    The Arken EP4 has great clarity and you won't have any issues with it. My choices would be the Arken EP4, Vortex Strike eagle, Bushnell Matchpro. Those scopes in that order are all great values.
     

    fdkay

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    Have you checked sightron?
    The s3 6-24 generally gets very good reviews.
    It has some limiters like 5 mils per turn but the do have FFP models with a zero stop.
    Do be careful as they also have FFP without a ZS.
    I really think the Arken is going to be hard to beat.
    The only knock I've seen on them is touchy parallax
     

    Paul 300wm

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    Bushnell Nitro & the higher spec Forge might be another option.
    I have a 3-12x44 Nitro on my Howa 300wm & it seems to be pretty good, but I don't shoot on ranges etc, just hunting so far.
    For your budget, they may be worth a look.
    Others here might have more experience with them hopefully.
     

    rbs7500

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    I'm thinking I'll go with the Vortex Strike Eagle or Arken SH4, but most likely the Vortex as they're available where I'm buying the rifle.