Another Vortex down

orkan

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Why are the facts so difficult to face when they stand on their own in broad daylight? The number of "my scope broke" threads on this website alone can give someone a pretty good look at the percentages.

I've personally owned scopes from virtually all of the top manufacturers, and have had them fail. All of them (save one). I've seen them fail many more times in classes. There isn't a reason to get emotional about the facts. I don't get upset when a low end product demonstrates that it's a low end product. I get upset when a high end product demonstrates it's a low end or mid range product. When a few of my S&B's had issues, it upset me. When I had issues with my nightforces, it upset me. When I had issues with my USO's, it upset me. When I had issues with my bushnell and vortex products... I wasn't really surprised.

Yet these days, I'm not surprised when ANY of them fail. Tangent Theta is literally the only manufacturer that I haven't had any issue with. Having owned and used as many scopes as I have from so many different manufacturers... that's really saying something.

It's incredible to me just how many people will put a stamp of approval or disapproval on a company or their products when they haven't experienced enough of the competing products to draw any conclusions.

It is also incredible to me that people continuously want someone else to be responsible for them. Why should a scope manufacturer be expected to replace a scope that you threw off a cliff, on purpose or by accident? The simultaneous belief that no one is paying for that, is completely void of all rational thought. Though I suspect it doesn't happen very often. Most folks tend to treat expensive equipment quite well, and manufacturers have now moved to considering this "accident replacement" a cost of doing business. They would rather absorb the cost of a couple a scopes in a year, than to be seen saying they won't replace it. The bluff never being called in any meaningful way, they can easily do it. Vortex gives many scopes away on PRS prize tables, so what's a couple given to guys that can't keep control of their rifles?

The real issue seems to be the accepted risk. Some folks simply can't afford the kind of money they spend on this hobby. So any and all protection they can get for their investment sways their purchasing decision heavily. The focus is constantly shifted to warranty in all products. People buy cars for $50,000 and feel lucky if it lasts through the 5yr warranty, and lose 60-70% of it's value at best upon that timeline. People spend $1000 on a rifle scope and expect it to last several lifetimes with no issues experienced along the way.

You can't have both cheap cost and top quality. That is not a reality of this world. If you want to avoid warranty claims, you have to purchase the right products... and those products are never cheap.
 

FALex

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Feb 5, 2011
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That is not the norm.
I know bro, but still, you gotta' admit, for an almost 1000.00 scope, that is pretty damn nutty. Mechanical tracking issues? Sure. Parallax off? You bet. If I spent 1000.00 never in a million years would I think the eyepiece was going to pop out, especially on a .308.

ETA - I also wanted to mention that I know the PST's aren't up to the 2-3k tier optics, obviously. I buy Kahles optics, which are quite a bit more than PST's. I will speak for myself here when I say that I think it is easy to start getting into this mindset of thinking that just because the scopes are not 2-3k, they must not be that good, and that some problems should be expected. I have to remind myself that 1000.00 is still a lot of damn money, and several years ago, I was stoked to buy my SSHD's and Bushnell DMR's. Even then, I could never foresee lenses popping out on either of those scopes.
 
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orkan

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I mean, a $50K car does a lot more and has more utility than a $1K riflescope or even a $4K riflescope. That comparison is...not apt.
Is this not a matter of perspective?

If not, then don't you owe it to yourself to explain WHY you disagree rather than just stating you disagree? The only one who's argument you hurt by not explaining your position is yours.

If I could only afford one; a $50,000 vehicle or a $4500 scope... I'd pick the scope. The comparison may not be suitable for YOU, but it damn sure is for many a serious shooter on this site. Yet your argument is simply that my comparison didn't work for you. What bearing does that have on the discussion? What if I were to choose a comparison which was palatable to you based on a different item of great expense? The underlying logic is irrespective of the comparison used. The logic being that people are accustomed to paying FAR more for things with FAR lesser warranty or financial security than expensive rifle optics. It is purely a perception that one is more valuable than the other. So many shooters on this site, yet so few that feel truly exceptional hardware is justified. Yet those same people can often be found justifying $200,000 campers, $80,000 bass boats, $40,000 motorcycles, and $500,000 houses. After all, if they can afford the payment... they must be able to afford it.

The topic at hand here is not which comparison is suitable. The topic at hand is the expectation people have for low, mid, and high end hardware. Misplaced expectations assigned by uninformed consumers being one of the many societal norms plaguing every industry. Everyone wants to pay less, and get more. Well, that's total bullshit and has no basis in reality. You either money down on high end gear, or you play around with low end toys and suffer the consequences. Whether someone perceives a $1000 scope to be expensive or not is irrelevant to the facts. The fact is that a $1000 scope is still very much in the low end of the market segment. You see, their perception does not change the reality of a thing. Thus far there has been no scope manufacturer right now, nor in history, that has been able to make a bomb-proof reliable rifle scope at the $1000 price point. (adjusting for inflation obviously) That means that those cheap scopes, and they are cheap, are providing a value commensurate with their price. Were this not the case, vortex, bushnell, and others in that space would have tanked into the ground. Yet the opposite has happened. They have sold every damn one of those scopes they can produce, at a price that allows them to just replace them willy nilly without even touching their profit.

Now consider another portion of the equation, in that the vast majority of their customers do not put in the round count or time to ever truly test the operation of their scopes. The number of students that show up at training with optics that are non-functional blows my mind. Prior to arriving they have NEVER once tested their scope for tracking. They often have never been able to shoot well enough to determine if their zero is holding. It is painfully obvious that the overwhelming majority of customers simply do not shoot as much as they would have those on the internet believe. When the demand to shoot is present, the problems rise like oil from water. Quickly, and unmistakably. So in short, people get exactly what they pay for... and what they pay for is exactly what they deserve to get. This is not open to their perceptions, however misplaced they may be.

Everyone would do well to remember this and think hard when some dealer is trying to pry that money from your wallet. You better have your expectations straight in line, and you'd do well to check those expectations against someone with massive experience with the various brands and products available now as well as in the past. ... and I mean real first hand experience, not just someone that's well read and thinks they know.
 
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What if I were to choose a comparison which was palatable to you based on a different item of great expense?
Then I wouldn't have posted? Maybe I would have agreed? The use cases are different enough to me that I thought it was an odd comparison. It works for you, it must work for your customers. In the end I don't disagree with you, I just thought it was an odd way to convey it. Luxury car in the garage (and not a 'my first luxury car' type thing) and AI in the safe; I get it.
 
Apr 25, 2014
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What exactly constitutes low, middle, and high end optics is also the perception of the user. I guarantee you the large majority of scope buyers consider a $1000 scope to be expensive. We are a small niche here on the Hide.

I expect a $1000 to $1500 scope to be durable and reliable. I know it won't have super nice glass, but I expect it to work. Based on my experiences with all the scopes I own, and have owned over the years, that's not an unrealistic expectation. So no, I don't expect my $1200 scope to break just because it's "only" $1200, not $3000.

I don't believe it's the least bit unrealistic to expect a quality product from any manufacturer at that price point.
 
Nov 5, 2013
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IMO it all depends on what youre doing with it and the features packed into a scope at its price...take a pretty well known reliable, good track record scope like the swfa 10x

for $300...you get reliability and decent glass...you dont get variable power, any kind of zero stop (the aftermarket options arent an swfa option as far as i know), 10 mil (or larger turrets), illuminated reticle, side parallax, any kind of tree or other reticle options, anything larger than a 42mm objective...and maybe some other stuff im forgetting

within that same line that only adds a side parallax, it jumps from $300 to $400

going up another step, to the variable power which is only a 3-15x (which keep in mind doesnt have near as solid of track record as the fixed 10x)...it almost doubles the cost to $700

so for $700, compared to the 3-15x pst gen 2 at $1k, they bump up to a 44mm obj (no biggie), they offer a zero stop, 10 mil turrets, illumination, and a tree style reticle

in the swfa variable power line that does have a great track record, you have to move into the $1500 range to get 10mil turrets and illumination (even tho the illumination in the 5-20hd's is terrible), and youre still stuck with a generic reticle and no zero stop

idk, looking at the whole picture, across various manufacturers...i wouldnt expect a $1-1500 scope to hold up as long to what i put my higher end comps scope thru...ive also seen a bunch of user induced errors from improper mounting or understanding of how things were supposed to work with different scopes...not saying everyone that ever has issues is an idiot, but ive seen A LOT of idiot moves...in my experience, most guys who think a $1k scope is expensive are guys who are just starting out (i was there years ago too, but luckily i had experienced buddies to guide me along), and dont have a full understanding of what all is going on in a rifle system when you start to move out past point blank ranges...they induce more of their own errors than they realize
 

Rob01

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I know bro, but still, you gotta' admit, for an almost 1000.00 scope, that is pretty damn nutty. Mechanical tracking issues? Sure. Parallax off? You bet. If I spent 1000.00 never in a million years would I think the eyepiece was going to pop out, especially on a .308.

ETA - I also wanted to mention that I know the PST's aren't up to the 2-3k tier optics, obviously. I buy Kahles optics, which are quite a bit more than PST's. I will speak for myself here when I say that I think it is easy to start getting into this mindset of thinking that just because the scopes are not 2-3k, they must not be that good, and that some problems should be expected. I have to remind myself that 1000.00 is still a lot of damn money, and several years ago, I was stoked to buy my SSHD's and Bushnell DMR's. Even then, I could never foresee lenses popping out on either of those scopes.

You are also assuming the story you got second hand is correct as well. Maybe the owner did something other than just shoot the .308 but didn't want to say as he was worried about if it would be covered? Or the shop owner misunderstood? Now we are getting the story third hand and the game of telephone starts.

I have two PSTs, a 6-24x and 2.5-10x, that I have moved around a lot on different rifles over the past few years and the glass hasn't popped out of them. So what do you say to that? Is one issue that you heard about second hand or no issues you are hearing first hand about 2 PST scopes to be looked at as the norm? See what I am trying to say about getting all worked up about a scope issue and assuming it's an everyday occurrence? Lens popping out is not the norm with those scopes and honestly that's the first I have ever heard of. So coming here and making it a big deal doesn't help anyone but is good for internet drama.
 
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orkan

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What exactly constitutes low, middle, and high end optics is also the perception of the user. I guarantee you the large majority of scope buyers consider a $1000 scope to be expensive. We are a small niche here on the Hide.
No, its not open to perception of the user. It's simple numbers. On one end a guy can get a airsoft rifle scope for about $30 and on the other end they can get a hensoldt at $7,000. That means a $1000 scope is still very much at the bottom end of the spectrum.

Now if you want to argue this from a "numbers of scopes sold" standpoint, then yes, the vast majority of scopes are beneath $1000. Yet we aren't on a site where those shitty scopes are discussed... are we? So as it bears the crowd here and this discussion... a $1000 scope is low end shit and it has nothing to do with anyone's perception. If you don't believe me, then start a poll thread and ask people how much money they've spent on their best rifle scope. $1000 scope will not be the majority I would bet.

When a scope recommendation thread shows up, how many scopes beneath $800 are even mentioned? Almost zero. So the fact that $1000 scopes are low end is and has been established as fact.
 

orkan

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Based on all available numbers, sure. If we include the $12,000 72mm hensoldt, then you could say TT's don't even make the mid range.

No amount of perception changes that reality when considering only the cost of things. The most expensive things aren't necessarily the best things, as I don't think I've ever recommended the 12K henny.

Here on this site most folks are spending between $1000 and $4500. In that equation, it isn't even debatable that a $1000 scope is on the low end of the cost spectrum. I'd bet that the number one price bracket is the $2500-$3000 price point. Awful lot of nightforce and vortex razors out there.
 

koshkin

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No, its not open to perception of the user. It's simple numbers. On one end a guy can get a airsoft rifle scope for about $30 and on the other end they can get a hensoldt at $7,000. That means a $1000 scope is still very much at the bottom end of the spectrum.

Now if you want to argue this from a "numbers of scopes sold" standpoint, then yes, the vast majority of scopes are beneath $1000. Yet we aren't on a site where those shitty scopes are discussed... are we? So as it bears the crowd here and this discussion... a $1000 scope is low end shit and it has nothing to do with anyone's perception. If you don't believe me, then start a poll thread and ask people how much money they've spent on their best rifle scope. $1000 scope will not be the majority I would bet.

When a scope recommendation thread shows up, how many scopes beneath $800 are even mentioned? Almost zero. So the fact that $1000 scopes are low end is and has been established as fact.
This assumes that quality is linear with price. That is not supported by any evidence. On the contrary, I think that is blatantly incorrect.

I similarly disagree with calling all sub-$1000 scopes shitty. I am called an elitist SOB on a regular basis and that is pushing it even for me.

The simplest example is with the already mentioned SWFA SS scopes. Both the Classic and HD lines are exceedingly robust, track well and have very serviceable optics. All but on of the SS scopes are under $1k. Are they the best? absolutely not. However, calling them shitty is preposterous.

Same goes for XTRII. Higher mag models need a glass update, but they track and hold together very nicely.

PST had early issues that were largely resolved. Vortex sold so many of them that there are bound to be QC outliers and people whose scope broke are usually a lot more vocal than the ones out on the range with their gear intact. Keeping a scope with a lens that fell out to show to customers means only one thing: the store was pushing a competing brand that gave them a bigger margin.

Are $3000 scopes better than $1000? Yes. Are they more reliable? On average, probably. However, I suspect that once you get past infant mortality, there is very little practical difference in reliability for typical use.

Since manufacturers do not publish their failure rates, we will not know for sure.

ILya
 

orkan

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Ok ILya, name a single scope beneath $1000 that isn't routinely mentioned here in a "my shit broke" thread. Is it more common to see a $1000 scope mentioned in those threads, or a $3500 scope?
 

whatsupdoc

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I agree that you cannot expect a 1K scope to be on par with a 2k scope but your logic is flawed in the price position, just because a single scope costs $12000 does not put $3000 scopes in the middle range.
 
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some have asked about the PST 2, I bought a 3-15 SFP model. it showed 3/4 MOA of reticle shift at 20 minutes. the reticle would just vear right as you cranked the knob in my static scope testing fixture. I returned the scope to the store and the next one did the exact same thing. took it back and traded for a nightforce. The PST 2 has all the features and the price is excellent. I just can't deal with tracking issues. the good news is if you do keep the pst 2, the reticle shift could account for spin drift.
 
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koshkin

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Ok ILya, name a single scope beneath $1000 that isn't routinely mentioned here in a "my shit broke" thread. Is it more common to see a $1000 scope mentioned in those threads, or a $3500 scope?
I gave you an example of SWFA SS scopes.

I also see very few broken XTR IIs (there were some in the beginning, but that they have been exceedingly robust since).

Regardless, there are so many more $1000 scopes out there that statistically, you will see a lot more of the mentioned.

ILya
 

koshkin

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some have asked about the PST 2, I bought a 3-15 SFP model. it showed 3/4 MOA of reticle shift at 20 minutes. the reticle would just vear right as you cranked the knob in my static scope testing fixture. I returned the scope to the store and the next one did the exact same thing. took it back and traded for a nightforce. The PST 2 has all the features and the price is excellent. I just can't deal with tracking issues. the good news is if you do keep the pst 2, the reticle shift could account for spin drift.
I didn't even notice that they make a SFP version of that.

I have a FFP one and I do not see that. I will doublecheck.

What kind of shift are you seeing? How close are you to the edge of the adjustment range? Is the amount of the shift effected by the side-focus?

ILya
 

orkan

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For sake of this discussion, suppose I agree with you and defer to the claim that $1000 scopes are expensive. Then what? We're immediately pointed back to the reality that some products fail at a greater rate than others. I would agree that the burris xtr II's seem quite good in comparison to other offerings, which is why that is what I've recommended in that price range.

So when it comes back around, here we are with the same facts at hand that some are unwilling to accept. Pay your money, take your chances... or pay more money and take less of a chance.
 

koshkin

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For sake of this discussion, suppose I agree with you and defer to the claim that $1000 scopes are expensive. Then what? We're immediately pointed back to the reality that some products fail at a greater rate than others. I would agree that the burris xtr II's seem quite good in comparison to other offerings, which is why that is what I've recommended in that price range.

So when it comes back around, here we are with the same facts at hand that some are unwilling to accept. Pay your money, take your chances... or pay more money and take less of a chance.

I never made a claim that they are expensive. That was somebody else. I took an issue with your claim that everything under $1k is a shitty scope.

And no, we have not come back around. If you choose wisely and pay attention, failure rates with some sub-$1k scopes are statistically the same as those of $3k scopes.

When you spend more money, you are paying for features and performance, not necessarily for reliability.

Do keep in mind that I know the failure rates for some of the products out there, so this is not all conjecture or anecdotal evidence.

ILya
 

fdkay

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For sake of this discussion, suppose I agree with you and defer to the claim that $1000 scopes are expensive. Then what? We're immediately pointed back to the reality that some products fail at a greater rate than others. I would agree that the burris xtr II's seem quite good in comparison to other offerings, which is why that is what I've recommended in that price range.

So when it comes back around, here we are with the same facts at hand that some are unwilling to accept. Pay your money, take your chances... or pay more money and take less of a chance.
Both you and Ilya have good points and you both are actually correct.
1000 bucks is a lot of money to me, as I'm not poor, but I have bills and limited funds.
I did a side by side with the PST II and XTR II, I included a Bushnell LRTSi and a Sightron S tac (the only SFP).
The glass on the PST II was better than all, except the Bushnell (which is a few hundred more).
The feel of the turrets was actually better on the PST II as well, but there were issues with the illumination knob and ocular focus, both of which were very difficult to turn.
The Bushnell was a better overall package, because, let's face it, the extra 300 or so bucks buys you Japanese manufacture and glass.
The XTR II continues to work as advertised. I sent the PST II back, as it was a demo model and not a purchase. It seems to me that Burris put the money in mechanicals and not glass.
What it really comes down to is this, the Japanese know how to make stuff, and they do it correctly (according to the specs).
I like my Sightron S Tac (Philippine made). They built a good, SFP scope to meet a specific dollar amount (right around 1000 bucks). It doesn't have a bunch of bells and whistles as the more features you try to put in, the more quality is compromised in order to meet that dollar limit.
Vortex is a good company with good products.
I don't think I would trust a PST for serious social work, but I would trust an XTRII.
 
Apr 25, 2014
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No, its not open to perception of the user. It's simple numbers. On one end a guy can get a airsoft rifle scope for about $30 and on the other end they can get a hensoldt at $7,000. That means a $1000 scope is still very much at the bottom end of the spectrum.

Now if you want to argue this from a "numbers of scopes sold" standpoint, then yes, the vast majority of scopes are beneath $1000. Yet we aren't on a site where those shitty scopes are discussed... are we? So as it bears the crowd here and this discussion... a $1000 scope is low end shit and it has nothing to do with anyone's perception. If you don't believe me, then start a poll thread and ask people how much money they've spent on their best rifle scope. $1000 scope will not be the majority I would bet.

When a scope recommendation thread shows up, how many scopes beneath $800 are even mentioned? Almost zero. So the fact that $1000 scopes are low end is and has been established as fact.
If I started a poll asking the average amount spent on a scope I bet you $1000 would be very much in the hunt. If not less than that. Even on this site.

$1000 to $1500 scopes are high end to most people. They don't care there that are $3000 scopes in the world, because they think spending 3k on a scope is stupid. And the people who spend that kind of money on a scope are idiots and rich snobs. Never in their entire lives will these people even consider a 3K scope. They aren't even on the radar. So yes, a $1000 scope is top of the line for these people, and regardless of what anyone else here on this forum or any other may think, that is their perception. And there are far more of these people out there in the world than there are of us.

All of that is of course beside the point. My point is that anything in that price point should still be a durable scope. That's plenty of money to shell out to achieve something that has a decent manufacturing quality.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, but there really are some decent scopes in that price range these days. As durable as a 3k scope? Hard to say. But I certainly don't expect them to break easily, or over stupid things like a screw fell out or the turret fell off. If you know what I mean ;)
 
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Feb 15, 2017
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The fact is simple. If it is mechanical it will eventually break or wear out, no matter what the cost. The difference is how are the mechanical parts made and what they use to make them. I'm sure the more expensive scopes use better material to make up the internals. So in theory, they should be more reliable or less prone to failure.

I don't think you can base quality on price alone, because I don't believe anyone in this discussion forum truly knows what the actual build cost of a particular scope is. Yeah, a Tangent Theta costs $4500 and a US Optics cost $2800, but what is the true cost? How much are they paying the canadian worker vs the American worker.

Either way, the bottom line is profit. The companies have to make money to stay in business. I would be willing to bet the majority of the money spent on the higher end scopes goes to quality control. If I was selling a $3000 scope or more, I would want to make sure it is as perfect as I could before I send it out. Now a $1000 scope, I'm guessing there would be less QC.
 
Jan 6, 2012
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I didn't even notice that they make a SFP version of that.

I have a FFP one and I do not see that. I will doublecheck.

What kind of shift are you seeing? How close are you to the edge of the adjustment range? Is the amount of the shift effected by the side-focus?

ILya
the reticle shifts in a linear fashion to the right, which would move POI left as the reticle travels downward, remember the reticle adjusts the opposite of POI. 20 MOA is about all the adjustment I ever will need in my scope. so that is the distance I am most concerned with. its about 3/4 MOA of right shift at 20 minutes. This is something that you probably can't see in actual shooting. its very easy for wind or other factors to cause a shift like that at 800-1000 yards. you will see the error but unless you know why its there your probably not going to figure out why its happening. When your shooting at distance every little thing can cause you to not be hitting exactly where you want. it will be about 8 inches of error at 1000 yards though, but if you don't enable spin drift you will probably be right on.

from now on, I test every scope I mount. as for me unless the scope is made in Japan, the US or europe it has not place on my guns. the phillipino optics, like the burris XTR's are coming out of the phillipines too. probably same factory. I think their scopes are close but they aren't in the same league as the stuff from LOW in japan
 

koshkin

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This spawned an interesting exercise for me, so I focused a little bit on which scopes do I have that I actually own and which are going back to manufacturers after I am done testing them.

Now, I go through a lot of scopes, so this changes, but I noticed that currently I have the following optics on my various rifles:

Tangent Theta TT315M that will be pried from my cold dead hands (let's shorten this to CDH) some day.
SWFA SS 5-20x50 that I've had since these showed up (CDH)
Two SWFA SS 3-9x42 (CDH).
SWFA SSHD 10x42 (CDH).
Burris XTR II 1-8x24 (might be CDH; it is a really solid scope and it is growing on me the more I use).
Leica Magnus 1.8-12x50,
Elcan Specter OS 4x (CDH)
Burris FFII 1.75-5x20 (CDH)
Vortex Razor HD LH 1.5-8x32 (CDH)
Vortex Razor HD LH 2-10x40
Bushnell Elite 4200 1.5-8x32
Burris Compact 4x20 (CDH)
MTC Viper Connect 3-12x24
Two PU scopes (not used in the average)
Sightron S2 3-9x42 (this was the first scope I bought about twenty years ago that was not junk)
Burris RT-6 1-6x24
Shield SIS


I made a spreadsheet of their typical prices at the time when I acquired them and it averaged out to just over $900. Now given that I've had some of these for a long time and there is inflation, we can round it up to $1k.

I suspect that there is a bunch more stuff in there that I forgot about, but I suspect that if I forgot about it, it is not that expensive.

Mr Birddog might be onto something with his estimate.

ILya
 

koshkin

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the reticle shifts in a linear fashion to the right, which would move POI left as the reticle travels downward, remember the reticle adjusts the opposite of POI. 20 MOA is about all the adjustment I ever will need in my scope. so that is the distance I am most concerned with. its about 3/4 MOA of right shift at 20 minutes. This is something that you probably can't see in actual shooting. its very easy for wind or other factors to cause a shift like that at 800-1000 yards. you will see the error but unless you know why its there your probably not going to figure out why its happening. When your shooting at distance every little thing can cause you to not be hitting exactly where you want. it will be about 8 inches of error at 1000 yards though, but if you don't enable spin drift you will probably be right on.

from now on, I test every scope I mount. as for me unless the scope is made in Japan, the US or europe it has not place on my guns. the phillipino optics, like the burris XTR's are coming out of the phillipines too. probably same factory. I think their scopes are close but they aren't in the same league as the stuff from LOW in japan
A couple of questions: how do you make sure the scope is level with this setup? also, are those Weaver brand rings? if those are indeed those rings, it may be worth your while to try this with different rings going forward.

XTR II is not he same factory as PST II to the best of my knowledge.

ILya
 

steve123

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If I started a poll asking the average amount spent on a scope I bet you $1000 would be very much in the hunt. If not less than that. Even on this site.

$1000 to $1500 scopes are high end to most people. They don't care there that are $3000 scopes in the world, because they think spending 3k on a scope is stupid. And the people who spend that kind of money on a scope are idiots and rich snobs. Never in their entire lives will these people even consider a 3K scope. They aren't even on the radar. So yes, a $1000 scope is top of the line for these people, and regardless of what anyone else here on this forum or any other may think, that is their perception. And there are far more of these people out there in the world than there are of us.

All of that is of course beside the point. My point is that anything in that price point should still be a durable scope. That's plenty of money to shell out to achieve something that has a decent manufacturing quality.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, but there really are some decent scopes in that price range these days. As durable as a 3k scope? Hard to say. But I certainly don't expect them to break easily, or over stupid things like a screw fell out or the turret fell off. If you know what I mean ;)
Out of 20 or so friends, only 3 have spent more than $700 on a riflescope. Most of them have looked through my S&B's, etc, that are above $700, most will ""never"" spend the extra money.....
 
Likes: Birddog6424
Feb 11, 2017
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For sake of this discussion, suppose I agree with you and defer to the claim that $1000 scopes are expensive. Then what? We're immediately pointed back to the reality that some products fail at a greater rate than others. I would agree that the burris xtr II's seem quite good in comparison to other offerings, which is why that is what I've recommended in that price range.

So when it comes back around, here we are with the same facts at hand that some are unwilling to accept. Pay your money, take your chances... or pay more money and take less of a chance.
I paid a decent amount of money for a Premier....turned out that was still most certainly a roll of the dice, as you well know. Binary thinking leads one to believe that spending more money = taking less risk. Risk mitigation is actually rather complex, it might be comfortable to continue believing that the number of threads discussing malfunctions is a reliable way to assess reliability - except it isn't
 

plong

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 13, 2010
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Ohio 44685
As far as warranty goes, genrally that tells you how confident the manufacturer is in their product.
I've been reading without commenting until now but feel that misconception warrants a response. The concept that product warranties are, in any way, a measure of the respective product's actual quality is one of the greatest fallacies in business. Lee Iacocca (the world’s biggest mouth...!?!), while at Chrysler, significantly increased the standard warranty all while knowing the company's quality was actually declining, and expected to get worse before it got better (it did...). Said warranties are often a smoke-screen, meant to camouflage an inherent lack of real quality. The above re. Chrysler is well-documented fact, not opinion, and easily researched by anyone so inclined (JD Power et al.) I don't mean to imply that is, or is not, the case with Vortex, or any other optics manufacturer for that matter. I just hope to put to rest the idea that a warranty is any reflection of actual product quality. The warranty may affect the consumer's perception of quality, which is what the manufacturer clearly hopes, but it is often no indicator whatsoever of said manufacturer's belief in its product's actual quality (Lee Iacocca certainly knew the truth about Chrysler despite the annoyingly persistent TV commercials during which he claimed otherwise...)
 
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Jul 26, 2013
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I made a spreadsheet of their typical prices at the time when I acquired them and it averaged out to just over $900. Now given that I've had some of these for a long time and there is inflation, we can round it up to $1k.

I suspect that there is a bunch more stuff in there that I forgot about, but I suspect that if I forgot about it, it is not that expensive.

Mr Birddog might be onto something with his estimate.
I suspect you're right.

At various competitions, training events, etc. there are a handful but pretty small # running S&B, Mk8 Leupold, etc., and a fair number of Razors and PSTs. Some friends I've had to slowly convince over time to 'step up,' which meant from going from random low-price optics to at least approaching the $1K range/'mid-tier' optics. If I include those I head to the range with and whittle out the 'occasional shooters,' a large majority are running 'upper lower price point' to solid mid-tier as a broad range - PST, a few SWFAs, DMR/Bushnell, up to around Razors(various - 3 gun to LR), then maybe 5% or so with higher cost glass as a general rule.

There's little wrong with spending over $1K and expecting to have a reliable optic with 'good enough' glass/overall w/out 'needing' to jump to a $$$$ TT that is finally coming out with an updated reticle..eventually. There's also nothing wrong with those who choose to only use TT, S&B et al., but they shouldn't pretend that it's the only viable option for anyone.

Lest Mr TT Dealer come jump in to claim 'poor-ness' as the reasoning, there's a fair amount of $ where I live (and I'm making a good enough chunk of it), and while I certainly could buy a TT, the benefit per $ isn't there in my own calculations. I may yet move to some Minoxes, however. :)
 
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orkan

Primal Rights, Inc.
Oct 27, 2008
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I paid a decent amount of money for a Premier....turned out that was still most certainly a roll of the dice, as you well know. Binary thinking leads one to believe that spending more money = taking less risk. Risk mitigation is actually rather complex, it might be comfortable to continue believing that the number of threads discussing malfunctions is a reliable way to assess reliability - except it isn't
As I said, pay your money, take your chances. :)

If you don't believe expensive things break less, that's fine. Pay your money.
If you don't believe thread after thread after thread of the same broken scope means anything, that's fine. Pay your money.
 
Mar 12, 2013
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Had a razor 2 die this weekend in a match. Pretty sure something in it was starting to loosen up mid way through the match, as I had some off call shots, most of which still made impacts, but a couple that didn't. I was 2 points off the lead going into the last stage, and all of a sudden I couldn't hit anything. Missed the final target at 450 yards by over a foot. I took it back out yesterday and it shot a 4" group at 100 and couldn't hold a 10" plate consistently at 300 yards. Swapped scopes and my groups went back to 1/2 moa or better. The odd thing is the turrets are still moving the reticle, but POI is shifting shot to shot. I guess I'm glad it died then versus the Bushnell match this weekend, but I still wouldn't have expected something that costs $2000+ to fail under 6.5 creedmoor recoil after less than 1000 rounds.
 
Likes: Bender
Had a razor 2 die this weekend in a match. Pretty sure something in it was starting to loosen up mid way through the match, as I had some off call shots, most of which still made impacts, but a couple that didn't. I was 2 points off the lead going into the last stage, and all of a sudden I couldn't hit anything. Missed the final target at 450 yards by over a foot. I took it back out yesterday and it shot a 4" group at 100 and couldn't hold a 10" plate consistently at 300 yards. Swapped scopes and my groups went back to 1/2 moa or better. The odd thing is the turrets are still moving the reticle, but POI is shifting shot to shot. I guess I'm glad it died then versus the Bushnell match this weekend, but I still wouldn't have expected something that costs $2000+ to fail under 6.5 creedmoor recoil after less than 1000 rounds.
lte82, I am sorry to hear about this. At the same time I am very surprised. Typically if a scope is moving 4" under impact/recoil it will also have finicky tracking. Anyhow, please give me a call and lets see if we can diagnose over the phone as we have never seen anything like this in a Gen 2 razor. In order to have shifts of that magnitude there would have to be something audibly loose in the scope. My direct line is 608-836-0922. I look forward to your call and getting this resolved.

Sincerely
Scott
 
Feb 14, 2017
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Lest Mr TT Dealer come jump in to claim 'poor-ness' as the reasoning, there's a fair amount of $ where I live (and I'm making a good enough chunk of it), and while I certainly could buy a TT, the benefit per $ isn't there in my own calculations. I may yet move to some Minoxes, however. :)
Wooo, poor people club/filthy unwashed masses, what's up playa! :LOL:

When TT comes out with a new reticle, I will go back to considering them. Until such a time, I'll stick with my pauper optics.
 
Likes: rtpguy
Apr 25, 2014
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Boise, Idaho
This spawned an interesting exercise for me, so I focused a little bit on which scopes do I have that I actually own and which are going back to manufacturers after I am done testing them.

Now, I go through a lot of scopes, so this changes, but I noticed that currently I have the following optics on my various rifles:

Tangent Theta TT315M that will be pried from my cold dead hands (let's shorten this to CDH) some day.
SWFA SS 5-20x50 that I've had since these showed up (CDH)
Two SWFA SS 3-9x42 (CDH).
SWFA SSHD 10x42 (CDH).
Burris XTR II 1-8x24 (might be CDH; it is a really solid scope and it is growing on me the more I use).
Leica Magnus 1.8-12x50,
Elcan Specter OS 4x (CDH)
Burris FFII 1.75-5x20 (CDH)
Vortex Razor HD LH 1.5-8x32 (CDH)
Vortex Razor HD LH 2-10x40
Bushnell Elite 4200 1.5-8x32
Burris Compact 4x20 (CDH)
MTC Viper Connect 3-12x24
Two PU scopes (not used in the average)
Sightron S2 3-9x42 (this was the first scope I bought about twenty years ago that was not junk)
Burris RT-6 1-6x24
Shield SIS


I made a spreadsheet of their typical prices at the time when I acquired them and it averaged out to just over $900. Now given that I've had some of these for a long time and there is inflation, we can round it up to $1k.

I suspect that there is a bunch more stuff in there that I forgot about, but I suspect that if I forgot about it, it is not that expensive.

Mr Birddog might be onto something with his estimate.

ILya
Haha, well to be quite honest Ilya, you weren't the guy I was thinking of when I estimated that average value of all scopes combined would be around $1000. But that number being as close as it is even with your plethora of scopes makes me think lumping in the average guy like me might bring that number down some. But it may be fair to say that here on the Hide, and on this particular sub Forum of the Hide, $1000 average is pretty fair.

I suspect most guys have 1 to 3 really nice scopes (based on their opinion of what really nice is), then a bunch of meat and potatoes stuff. Good optics, but not super expensive.
 
Feb 13, 2017
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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.
So I understand this clearly, your Gen 1 Razor was fixed over the phone. Unless they were instructing you in how to glue it back together it sounds more like user error than a defective scope. Could you tell us what it was you were told to do over the phone in case another user has the same issue?

Regarding your GenII turret screws coming loose, I also wouldn’t claim this as adefect or malfuction and would clasify this under user error. To avoid over or undertightening the outer turret set screws, I contacted Vortex for torque specs. Where Vortex dropped the ball was not listing this in the owners manual but a quick call to a helpful CS rep got me the info I need to avoid a User Error situation. I was told they should be torqued to 8-12in/lb. I immediately called the helpful people at Fixit Sticks and ordered a 10in/lb torque limiter for my set. I noticed I was not tightening those little screws nearly as hard as I should once I used the limiter. Haven’t had any issues since. Highly recommend getting good tools to help in the User Error QC Dept, saves a lot of unnecessary headaches.

That same range trip with my new torque limiter I watched a guy getting his new Blaser in 300 RUM with big NF optic set up in a lead sled for a “muley hunt”. Was trying to get it “point blank zero’d” at 200yrds but wasn’t hitting at 300 on 18”x18” paper. Offered my torque wrench set but he had it all figured out. Asked him what app he was using for his dope and he said he didn’t need it for his “point blank zero”, the info he needed was on the box. Too often the American independent mentality is foolishly humorous because we think we know better. I am sure he will complain that the Blaser can’t hit the broad side of a barn and the NF doesn’t hold zero or some shit. Yet if you checked his setup you would find ranom torque values, incorrect scope adjustments and every other user adjusted value out of spec.

In the end, Vortex may make an occasion bad scope but crying foul on their quality because of your torque value is sad and avoidable as were his issues.
 
Nov 5, 2013
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Regarding your GenII turret screws coming loose, I also wouldn’t claim this as adefect or malfuction and would clasify this under user error. To avoid over or undertightening the outer turret set screws, I contacted Vortex for torque specs. Where Vortex dropped the ball was not listing this in the owners manual but a quick call to a helpful CS rep got me the info I need to avoid a User Error situation. I was told they should be torqued to 8-12in/lb. I immediately called the helpful people at Fixit Sticks and ordered a 10in/lb torque limiter for my set. I noticed I was not tightening those little screws nearly as hard as I should once I used the limiter. Haven’t had any issues since. Highly recommend getting good tools to help in the User Error QC Dept, saves a lot of unnecessary headaches.

In the end, Vortex may make an occasion bad scope but crying foul on their quality because of your torque value is sad and avoidable as were his issues.
i probably helped no less than 5 people last year with "gen 2 issues"...almost every single one of them ended with...

"dang, THAT tight??"

"yup"

and those scopes have been used without issue since lol
 

davere

Double Oh Negative
Jan 24, 2011
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Kommiefornia
drperformanceshooting.com
I noticed I was not tightening those little screws nearly as hard as I should once I used the limiter.
What's funny is, I need a limiter for the opposite reason. I over-gorillaed one of the turret lock screws on my AMG and marred the surface of the piece that has the markings on it under the turret cover. That's what you're actually tightening the screws onto - and then it in turn moves the brass erector piece when you turn the turret. So, what would happen then is that when I went to change zero slightly, it would slip back into the old position.

Vortex diagnosed the user error over the phone and sent me two of the parts in the mail - it was easily swapped and 100% corrected the problem. They also gave me a way to make an educated guess at the right torque using the tool included with the scope. Basically, when the tool flexes while you're tightening it, it should be good to go.

The FAT wrench has a tough time getting to one screw, so I'll have to get a different solution (FixIt Sticks, or Borka) to do it accurately in the future.
 
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