Since the Zeiss Conquest V6 scope review I have been bombarded with messages asking me to give advice on what is the best scope for the money.
I guess there is a problem with answering that question.
Scopes like anything else come down to a number of factors:
Individual needs and choice, an individuals budget and most of all what calibre you are putting it on.
To elaborate more on that;
Individual needs –
Are you going to be using it for hunting, target shooting, driven shooting, big game, small game, dangerous game or plinking cans at 25 yards. It all matters as there are various styles of scopes that are suited for each of these pursuits.
Not all of us have an infinite budget and respect should be given to that, sales people and manufacturers tend to forget sometimes that us hunters are not a vat of gold able to produce thousands at the click of a finger or , more accurately, flicking a four digit pin over a keyboard.
The truth be told big business for retailers at the moment is hunters buying the most expensive scopes they have on credit or higher purchase and often this is due to being given bad advice by friends and other , somewhat wealthier, hunters.
Brand awareness comes into budget, often you will find very good scopes that compete very well with bigger brands or the brand names that are big have budget scopes in their ranges that will suit most hunters needs, so do your own research.
This definitely determines what scope you buy, for instance there is no point putting a Schmidt and Bender PM2 long range scope on a .22lr for popping bunnies at 50yrds when a budget Hawke scope can do the same job likewise and you would not want to put a 4×50 Hawke air rifle scope on a .308 to shoot out to 650yrds or to hunt elk in the States.
Some scopes just cannot put up with the recoil from larger cals and that is a fact so putting thought into that is important too.
My advice is always the same, a scope is an investment and a good scope is worth investing in but you have to be reasonable.
If you’re a hunter you need to buy within your budget and some of the best stalking scopes such as the Schmidt & Bender 8×56 are excellent scopes at a very good price. The honest fact is that some of the best stalkers and gamekeeper’s in the business shoot nothing more than a fixed power or mid priced scope and you have to think why? the simple fact is that they do not need anything more than just that to do the job they are employed to do.
Where the money comes into scopes and the need for that more precise shooting is on the range or in competition where you need that extra clarity and magnification to hit that red dot every time, but again if you’re not competing why spend beyond your budget unless you are wanting to compete professionally.
Everyone who shoots wants to be the best they can be and unfortunately the community is full of a lot of keyboard snipers that claim the wildest claims on social media and what not.
trust your own judgement and in many cases the pedigree of some of the brands that have been out there a while, companies such as Zeiss have spent a lot of time and money into research and development of their products and that you have to trust but never become a brand snob.
Brand snobbery is not just bad for the consumer and the advice they get from peers but it is also bad for the companies that these people are loyal to and very bad for the industry, brands unchallenged can become complacent and that is not good for their business either as before they know it a better brand comes a long and sweeps their market and we see this already with the hunting torch market.
Innovation is a two way street.
One thing you cannot forget, and I have learned this, in the scope market technology is shared. Scopes with Japanese glass are only made in two different factories so you will find many scopes that have different brands will have the same physical glass made by the same person, for instance Nightforce and Delta are made in the same place.
German scopes are very much the top of the market and demand a cost for it, but, some of the other brands that are out there are very very good also. Take Bushnell for example, in the UK if you mention a Bushnell product it is usually snubbed at by stalkers but if you look at the Bushnell ELRS range you are getting a lot for the money and under the £1000 mark and I know elk have been taken at 650yrds using that very scope on a capable rifle.
When I do a review I give an honest opinion of the product I am testing and I stand by my reviews, I tend to only publish the products I have tested that I feel are worth posting, there is many products I just do not feel are worth reviewing for you as the reader and the companies involved truly do not like what I have to say about their products no matter how constructive I have been about it. Once a year I reveal those products that have disappointed me the most. I do on occasion let things out that I feel I need to if a company is truly taking the proverbial.
I have tested some amazing products and some of the best are the scopes I have used and the nigh vision products I have played with and I am always available to give my advice when it is asked for.
I will stand by what I said at the beginning of this article, a scope is an investment and like any other investment it is your decision on how much you want to invest.
One last piece of advice, do not go on what one reviewer or one hunter says and do not rely on the internet, get your ass off your seat and get to your local gun shop and touch, feel and get to know the scope one on one in person, you need to build a relationship with what ever scope you purchase as it is going to take you closer to what ever you are shooting. A good RFD will have a number of brands for you to look at so don’t be afraid to ask to touch and look through them all. You will soon know what is for you and at what budget, and DO NOT EVER listen to the phrase
“FOR A COUPLE OF HUNDRED POUND MORE YOU CAN GET THIS”