Another Vortex down

FALex

Gunny Sergeant
Feb 5, 2011
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I have had problems with almost all of the Vortex scopes I have owned. A brief history:

First Vortex was a 6.5-20 Viper with BDC reticle. It was returned because turning the windage turret made 0 changes to the POI.

Second scope was a Vortex Diamondback 4-12. Scope performed just fine, no issues.

Third was a 6-24 Crossfire. This scope's elevation turret had something wrong with it. Long story short, the last 7-10 (can't remember) minutes of "up" elevation would not move the POI whatever those last several minutes remaining were.

Fourth was a 4-16 PST. Unfortunately, I sold that rifle and optic not long after I mounted the optic, so can't give a true recounting of it's performance other than stating that for the short time I owned it, there were no issues, it was good to go.

Then, I bought two of the the Gen 1 Razors at the same time:
I got the first one mounted up and noticed there was some internal reticle cant. It was explained to me that this cant was insignificant and well within the specs of these scopes. I had no idea, I just knew it was not plumb. The second had been used for about 4-6 months. I was at a match, showing off my Razor to one of the shooters when the MD walked up (a person I am not too terrible fond of anyhow) and said, "Vortex huh? You know why they have an unlimited lifetime warranty? Because you're going to need it." It was not longer than four hours later that I was in the later stages of that match when the elevation turret started slipping; something came loose in the elevation turret and I could no longer dial my elevation (Vortex was able to help me fix this over the phone but the match was long over by then). With the MD's comments having come to fruition just hours after he made the comment, I was absolutely infuriated (you guys can imagine what he was saying when he learned of the issue).

After those issues, I went on an "anti Vortex" bender for a while. Then the Gen 2 Razors came out. I swallowed some humble pie and bought another pair of those. On one of them, the set screws in the elevation turret backed themselves out (assuming to have been due to recoil). The interesting issue regarding this, is that I have a good friend who had the exact same issue occur with his. He called Vortex and said that Vortex's response was one that indicated they were well-aware of the issue, and in fact, had a "fix" for it. After learning of this, I did just a tiny bit of research and found this from BigJimFish's review of the Gen 2 Razor, found here: opticsthoughts.com/?p=1456
In that review (about half way down the page), he stated, "Also of note is that the elevation set screws loosened up once during testing..." I then heard about this same issue from two other shooters with these same scopes.

The warning with regards to this elevation set screw deal was to make sure you put enough torque on them so they didn't slip. After I recognized this as a relatively common concern, I became somewhat obsessed with making sure these damn set screws weren't backing out. For 2k+, I did not feel like I should have to check these screws before, during and after matches.

These are just my personal experiences with the brand. There are quite a few friends I have that have had experiences with Vortex's optics as well, including the Razor line.

I recognize that some of these issues may not be significant, but they could definitely fuck up a hunt or comp, and we all know how much money can go into those. Furthermore, having owned multiple optics in the similar price range (SWFA SSHD line, Bushnell Tac line), and having had zero issues, it is extremely difficult to have confidence in the Vortex brand.

I don't want this to come across as a "let's bash the shit out of Vortex" post, but experiences need to be shared. If Nightforce, Kahles, S&B, et al...are having issues, I would hope that we would share those as well. I also want to recognize the contribution that Vortex makes to the shooting sports. Vortex has been excellent for all of the shooting sports and has been one of the most supportive companies with regards to LE and mil folks, which simultaneously makes it difficult to criticize them.
 

trob_205

Sergeant of the Hide
Jul 11, 2013
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Coldwater, MI
What about the PST Gen II ? My only personal experience with Vortex is with the Razor HD, and I am happy with it, but for the price, probably prefer other scopes more.

I recently started a tactical and long-range shooting shop, and carry some great scope lines. Mostly the big-name European scopes, plus NightForce. The Vortex reps called and I am weighing whether I want to carry their line. I don't want bad customer experiences. They have offer a sweetheart deal on the PST Gen1, and I have heard mixed reviews, but good things about the Gen2.
The guy expects a $900 scope to be on par with $2500 scopes. It doesn’t work like that. There are TONS of PSTs out there. And the new Gen 2 PST is a great bang for the buck with the features... but like any $1400 msrp scope, you’re going to have issues here or there. Failure is based off of percentages. When you sell a shit load of something, 2-4% of a shitloat still is probably enough public failure to scare people. But when company x only sells a handful of scopes in that price range 2-4% of failures is a lot less. It’s not apples to apples.

The PST Gen 2 is a great option for people in that price range. People just have to realize their personal expectations and if they have Razor Gen 2 expectations then they better end up buying a Razor Gen 2 or they will be another post in the “another vortex down” thread.
 
Apr 24, 2017
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I look at Vortex's customer service a little differently than most of yall. In the past year I have had 2 scopes go down (NF and Steiner) and one go in for service (Leupold). In the past 2 years I have owned 3 XTRIIs and two went back for service. The Steiner went back 3 separate times and finally met its demise due to a parallax failure. Steiner shipped me a new scope. The NF went back for a turret issue and was repaired. Burris replaced two scopes and repaired one. I considered all of these experiences to be above satisfactory and left me with a positive impression of each companies Customer Service. Having said all that, what I was not happy about is the time it took them to do so, in the ballpark of 4-6 weeks.

My first purchase with Vortex was based on more than the iron clad warranty, but that was what finally sealed the deal for me, as I was tired of waiting a month to get a scope back. I have not heard of any Vortex taking longer than 2 weeks to get back. Most in the 6-8 day range. I personally would prefer to have a working scope back sooner than later. Just my 2 cents.
 
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HodgePodge

For Sale Access
Feb 17, 2018
10
3
3
Mesa AZ
I'd have to second @blbennett1288 opinion. I look at warrantly a lot for scope purchases. I had a Vortex PST gen 2 1-6 that had an issue (that im pretty sure I caused by torquing my mount waaay too tight) I shipped it to Vortex and had it back within a week; as a bonus they sent me a report telling me what they did/replaced/repaired etc. it was very nice.
 
Feb 10, 2012
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I am just going to say it. VORTEX SUCKS. their quality is on par with the worst optics ever. Ever wonder why their Warranty is so good?....because their quality control is the WORST. Example.....for every 100 razors that come off the assembly line they QC maybe 10 of them....so 90 potential lemons get through the line. Other brands might might do better or worse. Vortex is all Marketing and Media. there is a video by tiborasaurus rex on youtube where he explains scope QC the way it is. Vortex is nothing but a con job. Famous for poor reticle tracking.
Well crap. Guess I better unload my Vortex scopes and head over to walmart to grab some Barskas. :(
 
Sep 17, 2011
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put 3 or 4 of those Razors in your hand, check em out....you will find they are all different in operation. seriously people...openyour eyes........vortex is all media eye candy. burris xtr, bushnell dmr, nightforce nxs,....3 of the best Asian made scopes you can ever ask for. ...out of the 3 The bushnell DMR is legit as they come.
Is your name Rusty Duncan? Are you related to Rusty Duncan? That would explain a lot if so.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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put 3 or 4 of those Razors in your hand, check em out....you will find they are all different in operation. seriously people...openyour eyes........vortex is all media eye candy. burris xtr, bushnell dmr, nightforce nxs,....3 of the best Asian made scopes you can ever ask for. ...out of the 3 The bushnell DMR is legit as they come.
What convinced me is your maturity and grammar.
 

craigos

craigos from Scout 2015
Feb 11, 2017
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never had a schmidt or NF or Kahles have to go back, sent my vortex AMG back on day 1 as the turrents didnt work, sent quite a few leupolds back as they tracked like crap - both companies sent em back "fixed" and were pleasant to deal with - but spending a few k on something only to return it within days - well i loose confidence and still to those i havent ever returned.
 
Sep 17, 2011
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This dude is trolling every single vortex thread on the hide. Only here to stir up shit. On another thread he claims all scopes “us boys” can afford are made under one roof and that the AMG is not American made.
Yea that’s why I was wondering what this guys issue is, I checked out his other post, like the one about giving rides to the green berets in the Blackhawks. Sounds reminiscent of someone who was a swat sniper or whatever he said that he was.
 
Sep 17, 2011
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never had a schmidt or NF or Kahles have to go back, sent my vortex AMG back on day 1 as the turrents didnt work, sent quite a few leupolds back as they tracked like crap - both companies sent em back "fixed" and were pleasant to deal with - but spending a few k on something only to return it within days - well i loose confidence and still to those i havent ever returned.
Trust me I understand the confidence issue. I honestly cannot say firsthand weather NF, Kahles, SB, TT, Vortex, or any of the other high end scopes are better reliability wise than the other because all I have owned are vortex and I had a Razor Gen 1 fail in a match (mentioned above). I definitely don’t have as much confidence in it as I did before but my issue is I cannot justify the cost of buying one of the other high end scopes when I can get a vortex gen 2 razor at a lot cheaper, almost half the price. I’m not saying they are not worth it and honestly I would love to own a SB or NF ATACR or Kahles but personally I cannot justify the cost especially when you hear about them failing just like the vortex. Since I don’t own anything besides vortex I just have to take the words of people on here and pretty as far as I can tell everyone has a high end scope failure story of a different brand.
 

Thunderhorse

Sergeant of the Hide
Jan 31, 2018
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Central MO
I am just going to say it. VORTEX SUCKS. their quality is on par with the worst optics ever. Ever wonder why their Warranty is so good?....because their quality control is the WORST. Example.....for every 100 razors that come off the assembly line they QC maybe 10 of them....so 90 potential lemons get through the line. Other brands might might do better or worse. Vortex is all Marketing and Media. there is a video by tiborasaurus rex on youtube where he explains scope QC the way it is. Vortex is nothing but a con job. Famous for poor reticle tracking.
If that were true they wouldn't be in business.

The Tiborasaurus Rex video where he says the Primary Arms is better than the Nightforce ATACR because the Nightforce broke when he jumped on it? Yeah....great source for info
 

Bender

Something witty here
Feb 12, 2014
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Cheyenne WY.
If that were true they wouldn't be in business.

The Tiborasaurus Rex video where he says the Primary Arms is better than the Nightforce ATACR because the Nightforce broke when he jumped on it? Yeah....great source for info
That guy talks more than a woman. 78 min videos about nothing. He has more self importance than Obama and barely understands how to shoot, let alone proper form or basics. His opinion has about the same weight as Gecko 45......
 

davere

Double Oh Negative
Jan 24, 2011
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Kommiefornia
drperformanceshooting.com
On another thread he claims all scopes “us boys” can afford are made under one roof and that the AMG is not American made.
I toured Vortex's facility last year in Middleton, WI. I personally saw the AMG manufacturing and assembly floor. I did not see parts being anodized (done by another company for Vortex), I did not see the glass being manufactured (same), nor the reticle (which is German made now - only non US part in the scope). I saw every other step in the manufacturing process. This guy's full of shit.
 

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
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Hmmm...I was under the impression that it wasn't that they made the glass per se, but how it was fitted into the erector assembly. IIRC, it had to do with rotating the len(ses) to correct for the slight (but always present) imperfection in the glass, so that all the lenses ended up correcting each other's imperfections.

I thought I saw some mention of it in one of Frank's videos, back when the AMG first came out. Maybe @koshkin could enlighten us...
 

davere

Double Oh Negative
Jan 24, 2011
335
40
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Kommiefornia
drperformanceshooting.com
I thought part of the AMG's big hoopla was that Vortex was producing their own glass for it. Am I wrong on this?
I've seen it couched various ways on different sites, but even Vortex says "Nearly every component in the AMG, from the index-matched lenses to smallest screw, is engineered, machined, and assembled in the USA. The only component from outside the USA is the German manufactured reticle."

I don't for sure remember the particulars, but my recollection from the tour is that Vortex spec'ed the optical formula of the lenses, and has them ground and coated by a US based company. They do not own an optical glass manufacturing plant. Except for possibly Zeiss, I don't think any other scope manufacturer does, either - they source their lenses from manufacturers in Germany, Japan, or China, for the most part. "Index-matched lenses" is what MarinePMI is getting at. It's not rocket science to do, but it's a step that likely gets skipped on lower quality scopes.
 
Aug 29, 2014
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Hi everyone, this is Dave at Vortex,

davere is on the right track.

The complete system of the AMG (optical and mechanical) was 100% engineered in-house at Vortex Optics in Middleton, WI. All of the lenses are ground, polished, and coated in the USA to our engineered specifications and design. We test the lenses to ensure they meet our design and specification criteria. The reticle is the only part not made in the USA but rather made in Germany. The reticle is a wafer of glass 4mm thick (actually two wafers, each 2mm thick, cemented together) with the pattern etched onto the glass using a photo-lithography process.

Just about every part that can be machined is machined, in-house, at Vortex Optics in Middleton, WI. There is one simple screw type which is purchased off the shelf. Every other part and screw is a complex/custom part so we machine it ourselves to ensure quality and design adherence. Of course, we also assemble the entire scope in Wisconsin as well.

Hopefully that clears things up a bit. Thanks!

Dave
 
Apr 24, 2017
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Hi everyone, this is Dave at Vortex,

davere is on the right track.

The complete system of the AMG (optical and mechanical) was 100% engineered in-house at Vortex Optics in Middleton, WI. All of the lenses are ground, polished, and coated in the USA to our engineered specifications and design. We test the lenses to ensure they meet our design and specification criteria. The reticle is the only part not made in the USA but rather made in Germany. The reticle is a wafer of glass 4mm thick (actually two wafers, each 2mm thick, cemented together) with the pattern etched onto the glass using a photo-lithography process.

Just about every part that can be machined is machined, in-house, at Vortex Optics in Middleton, WI. There is one simple screw type which is purchased off the shelf. Every other part and screw is a complex/custom part so we machine it ourselves to ensure quality and design adherence. Of course, we also assemble the entire scope in Wisconsin as well.

Hopefully that clears things up a bit. Thanks!

Dave
Even more of a reason to buy the AMG, support American jobs.
 
Feb 1, 2018
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Ive sent two S&Bs, 1Kahles, and a Minox in for services because of something failing. I have had two Gen2 Razors and an AMG that haven’t given me a bit of problems.

I’ll continue to buy Vortex and I’ll also continue to buy S&B. Complaining about these things is like bashing ford for a battery going dead or an alternator failure. Stuff is going to break, just be thankful Vortex covers everything up to and including stupidity with their warranty.

My $.02

Correct me if I'm wrong but within the last 2 years or so S&B started to offer a 30 year transferable warranty to compete with the competition such as Vortex, Bushnell, Steiner, Burris etc?
 
Feb 1, 2018
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The time is longer but not similar coverage as in the accidental damage. Good to have when accidents happen and they do.
I agree with you 100%. About 7-8 years ago I was pulling my deer gun up to my tree stand for a morning hunt. For some unknown reason the line snapped and she fell about 15' scope down first. Damaged the objective hood of my Viper scope and I sent it in.
I dropped it off at USPS on a Monday around 4:30pm. Got a call from Vortex Thursday night saying it's cosmetics only and it tracks fine so they gave me an option to send my scope back to me or a new unit. I chose new. Got the new scope Tuesday PM. 6 business days which at least 2 of them was with USPS. From that point on I became a Vortex fan. Not going to lie, I still want to try to own a NF, Kahles, S&B, USO etc but my hear is with Vortex Optics.
 
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Rob01

Super Mod/Team Blaster
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Having owned all those you mentioned except the Kahles, I am happier with my Razor II scopes. But yup the accidental damage part of the VIP warranty is like gold when life happens to you.
 
Feb 10, 2012
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Having owned all those you mentioned except the Kahles, I am happier with my Razor II scopes. But yup the accidental damage part of the VIP warranty is like gold when life happens to you.
The accidental damage combined with mil discount is why I have more vortex than anything else. To date I've had one failure out of several scopes, a diamondback HP, the side focus stopped working. It was mounted in a very crude accumounts mount/rings for a PU Mosin Nagant. I should have lapped those rings. When I took the scope off there was a groove cut into the scope tube. Vortex had a replacement within a week, with a friendly note covering ring torque values.

I am not yet at the point where I can eat $2000-$3000 on a scope that is damaged by accident. If I ran competitions or were going on an expensive hunting trips, maybe I would feel different.
 

Codiekfx400

Sergeant of the Hide
Jan 29, 2018
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From everything I have learned I have come to a conclusion if vortex could put the gen ii razor on a diet and lose 20 ounces and maintain the same quality they would sell a hell of a lot of scopes. Is this more or less what the amg accomplishes or is there more to it than that.
 
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Basher

Sergeant
Dec 13, 2004
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Mesa AZ, USA
From everything I have learned I have come to a conclusion if vortex could put the gen ii razor on a diet and lose 20 ounces and maintain the same quality they would sell a hell of a lot of scopes. Is this more or less what the amg accomplishes or is there more to it than that.
That's basically what the AMG accomplishes. It would be even better if the same mag range as the GenII was in the AMG, but the same quality is there. The weight reduction and reticle (EBR-7B) were the two primary reasons I went with an AMG over the GenII.
 

FALex

Gunny Sergeant
Feb 5, 2011
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So I had to dig this post up. I was looking at some reloading products at one of our Local gun stores. I pick up a PST sitting on the counter and look through it, there was no sight picture, it was terrible. The employee told me to give a good look at the lense in the eyepiece, it had “popped” out.

The owner of the scope then walked in. I was suspecting a .375 CT or .338 LM to have done this, but nope, it was a .308.

900.00 scope with lenses that fall out with the recoil impulse of a .308. Remember though, it’s got an unlimited lifetime warranty!
 
Jan 15, 2005
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The time is longer but not similar coverage as in the accidental damage. Good to have when accidents happen and they do.
I'd rather not pay more money for a product to have the stupidity of others warrantied and in the same regard I've got no problem paying for my own stupidity instead of others paying a higher product cost to basically have a zero deductible insurance policy.
 
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Rob01

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I'd rather not pay more money for a product to have the stupidity of others warrantied and in the same regard I've got no problem paying for my own stupidity instead of others paying a higher product cost to basically have a zero deductible insurance policy.
You are not paying some significantly higher price for the warranty. You wouldn't be paying hundreds less.

Other companies have started to copy this policy as well after Vortex pioneered it. No significant price increases in their products. Don't make some huge drama out of it.
 
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Rob01

Super Mod/Team Blaster
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So I had to dig this post up. I was looking at some reloading products at one of our Local gun stores. I pick up a PST sitting on the counter and look through it, there was no sight picture, it was terrible. The employee told me to give a good look at the lense in the eyepiece, it had “popped” out.

The owner of the scope then walked in. I was suspecting a .375 CT or .338 LM to have done this, but nope, it was a .308.

900.00 scope with lenses that fall out with the recoil impulse of a .308. Remember though, it’s got an unlimited lifetime warranty!
That is not the norm.
 
Jan 15, 2005
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You are not paying some significantly higher price for the warranty. You wouldn't be paying hundreds less.

Other companies have started to copy this policy as well after Vortex pioneered it. No significant price increases in their products. Don't make some huge drama out of it.
It's still added cost no matter how small and it all adds up. I'd much rather see that added cost go to higher quality components than covering someone knocking their rifle off of something and trashing the scope. That's not my problem.
 

Rob01

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It's still added cost no matter how small and it all adds up. I'd much rather see that added cost go to higher quality components than covering someone knocking their rifle off of something and trashing the scope. That's not my problem.
It's no more than any basic warranty. You are thinking that it's added on for this particular advantage. If they stopped doing it the scopes would be the same price and same quality. You are really making more of it than there is. Guess you won't use any of the other scope makers that have this warranty either?
 

Dthomas3523

Blind Squirrel
Jan 31, 2018
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South Texas
It's still added cost no matter how small and it all adds up. I'd much rather see that added cost go to higher quality components than covering someone knocking their rifle off of something and trashing the scope. That's not my problem.
This would actually add quite a bit of cost to their lower tier optics. The reason they get away selling at some of their prices if because they save money on the front end with less QC and such.

So the options for mid to lower tier scopes are: pay much more upfront for less options and have a slightly less chance of having to return and item

or

pay less up front and have close to the same chance of needing to use a warranty.


Bottom line is, if you are doing something be it a real world scenario, or on a once in a lifetime hunt, you don't spend ~1k on your optics and expect them no never fail at an inopportune time.
 

fdkay

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 27, 2009
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Can you use a Leupold as a hammer or a target and have it covered under warranty?
That's pretty fucking stupid. Intentional destruction isn't covered by vortex either, as it shouldn't be.
from their webiste:
The VIP Warranty does not cover loss, theft, deliberate damage or cosmetic damage that does not hinder the performance of the product.
 

Dthomas3523

Blind Squirrel
Jan 31, 2018
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South Texas
That's pretty fucking stupid. Intentional destruction isn't covered by vortex either, as it shouldn't be.
from their webiste:
The VIP Warranty does not cover loss, theft, deliberate damage or cosmetic damage that does not hinder the performance of the product.
LOL.....you may want to work on picking up when someone is over exaggerating to make a point. Vortex, like them or hate them, set a far higher standard than Leupold(who has excellent customer service).
 
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fdkay

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 27, 2009
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Ingleside, Tx
LOL.....you may want to work on picking up when someone is over exaggerating to make a point. Vortex, like them or hate them, set a far higher standard than Leupold(who has excellent customer service).
making a point with a lie is not really making a point.
"LOL" you just got called out on your bullshit and are trying to cover it up.