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Anybody Use an Inexpensive Scope?

2672 Views 29 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  TactiDork
I'm looking to put a 4-12 or something comparable on my mini-14. Has anyone used any of the Bushnell,Nikon,Simmons,etc in the $99-$129 range?

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I put an inexpensive Tru-Glo 3-12X44 on my Mini 14. While it works great on a mild recoiling gun like the Mini, I'd be concerned about using it on my Ultra-light custom .30-06. However, Midway USA says not to worry. The Chinese Tru-Glo can indeed handle it. But, that's their opinion, not mine.

I think the Tru-Glo was a bit more than your price range, but only because mine has an illuminated reticle.
We have used Bushnell and Tapco scopes with success. But you should check with primary arms since their products are pretty good. We have their 4.5x 16 scope and it is very nice.
Primary Arms makes great stuff for little dough.
Leapers Accushot has worked well for me for years on my AR
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I have a Bushnell "sweet" .223 on my rem 700. for the $150 i spent on it its fantastic. its a real tac driver
Bushnell Trophy - good scope and falls right into your price range
Other than that Primary Arms or Vortex
Cheapola Bushnell Banner sits on my Mini.
Good for what it cost.
I put a cheap Barska 4x20x50 varmint on a mauser, Works good. Rifle tends to beat the crap out of scopes.
Bushnell "Bone Collector" 3-9x40 on my AR. got it on sale at Dicks for $100, very nice clarity.
Thanks for the replies. Who carries Primary Arms? I've never heard of them.

Broadbill said:
Thanks for the replies. Who carries Primary Arms? I've never heard of them.

I've spent hundreds of dollars on inexpensive scopes only to be let down when the time came to really use them i.e. heavy range use, training classes. At the end of it all, I've learned that spending the extra money (if you can afford it) pays off in the long run. The reputable scopes don't sell for high prices because of their looks, they have shown their worth when they were needed. I might sound like a broken record but it is better to save money, research, and then spend it wisely.
I completely agree. My big Game guns which accompany me on my out-of-state trips all wear Leopold or Zeiss Glass. But for an inexpensive range plinker, like my 10-.22, an inexpensive scope usually works well.

But, you also need to research why the scope is cheaper. I firmly believe that the most expensive ingredient in a scope is the full page ad that talked you into buying that particular scope in the first place. Second, is the research and development that went into the scope. So ... a quality scope with 3 year old technology is a good scope, but also a lot cheaper. A Chinese or Korean scope with "copied" technology should produce an even better deal.
I happen to like the Simmons Prohunter in the low buck scope category. Pretty clear and good light gathering- nearly all of the criticisms of the Simmons scopes revolve around them not holding zero, which is not really a problem with tamer recoil rifles UNLESS the rings loosen (as they often do) and this can be solved with a small dab of loc-tite. I think a 4X Prohunter runs arond $69 retail, probably $30 if you spend long enough shopping it. And I think if you sell the gun, having a Simmons mounted is not the best, but beats advertising it with a BSA or "Wang Fu" scope, but that's just my opinion. Sure it's no Leupold, but for sixty bucks it's a good value AND your scope won't end up full of water the first time you get caught in a drizzle- a no name chinese scope has no such assurances.and you are only saving $20 vs. the Simmons.

Bushnell, Tasco, Barska I would also consider.
check out the new Redfield line, they're made by Leuplold. Midway has a nice selection of reasonable scope.remember one of the most important things is a GOOD mount!
I agree with JDam. If my life depended on it I want a Aimpoint, EOTech, or Trijicon. And for the type of hunting T.Webb mentioned, I would insist on high end glass.

But for plinking or a range toy I don't want to spend too much on optics. And many affordable optics today would have been higher end stuff 10 years ago.

Then factor in that he won't be hitting anything with a Mini 14 anyway ;D Just kidding.
No seriously the mini is no tackdriver. That's why I would like the added magnification without spending the big bucks. I don't think 223 recoil should be a problem. On better guns or more powerful ones I definitely can justify the expense. I bought a Browning 78 in 22-250 years ago that I had to wait a year to shoot because I couldn't afford the 6.5x20 Leupold. The scope cost more than the rifle!
I was hoping that an inexpensive scope would serve my purpose for range shooting, and I think it will.


I have a vortex on my Rem 700, and one of there red dots on my sig 522 no complaints.  Hear they have very good customer service and full lifetime warranty, but I have no firsthand experience with it.
Try SWFA.com they always run specials on scopes. I picked up my Vortex there. Good price and fast shipping.
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