Deciding on an optic $1200 budget

Dec 2, 2017
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Wyoming
#1
Ok guys I have a .300 Norma Mag that needs an optic. Yes I know...awesome round and I should be up in the $2000 to grasp the full potential precision of this custom rifle. But I cannot afford high class glass due to a child on the way.

What have you tried for $1200 or less that you really thought was a good scope?
 
Feb 10, 2017
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TX
#2
Bushnell lrtsi? Put down a deposit for a lrhs at ga precision?

There’s some swfa, Athlon, sightron, leupold, nightforce, vortex offerings in there too. Lots of options these days.

Your other thread said you liked the nxs
 

HockeyGuy92

For Sale Access
May 4, 2018
16
1
3
California
#3
Just bought two scopes near/slightly lower then that range, took a lot of time evaluating what I needed and what was best. Eventually decided on a Sightron S3 6x24 50mm Mil/Mil Hash FFP and a Leupold Mark 4 6x20 50mm Mil/Mil TMR FFP. I like the ease of Mil and the ease of adjusting with FFP. Sightron is going to go on my 338 Lapua and the Leupold is going on my 308. Havent shot with either yet but I'm happy with my choice so far! Good Luck to you, spend time looking into what magnification youre really going to need and IMO make sure you go MIL Reticle / MIL Clicks or MOA Reticle / MOA Clicks.
 
Mar 24, 2018
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AZ
#5
I'll echo the Sightron; good glass, great turrets, no frills. I got one in the PX.

The PST Gen II is also a good choice; pocket the difference.

SWFA has great glass but stiff parallax / mushy turrets.

If you go used: Razor G I, Bushnell (H)DMR II.
 
May 25, 2014
181
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Guymon, OK
#7
I like the LRHS and LRTS. But you probably want something with more travel for that round. XTR 2 has a couple more mils but the 5-20 SWFA has 30 mils. These are advertised specs. A used Bushnell ERS would have Zero stop and 29 mils of travel. A good base and an ERS might be the ticket.. ive seen them in your price range.
 
Oct 17, 2017
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Dallas
#8
Right now, it sort of feels to me like you have the $1k range and the $2k range, and the stuff in between isn't really appreciably better than the $1k options. Just my opinion...

In the $1k range (some new, some used), SWFA HD 5-20 is a nice scope if you don't mind the reticle being a bit too thick. PST2 is a nice scope. XTR II is good. Cronus seems to be well-received, but I've never looked through one. I'm not a big fan of any of the sub-$2k Bushnell options. I'm not personally a big fan of the Razor Gen 1 even for the used price, compared to the SWFA HD for its used price. Seems to have the same reticle thickness issue, about the same glass quality, and goes for more money than the SWFA. But it does have zero stop, which is nice.
 

buffalowinter

Rick Jones MAJ, SF (Ret)
Mar 17, 2014
526
273
63
Llano, TX
#9
I like the Trijicon Accupoint...you don't hear much about them...but I like mine. It has an illuminated dot in the center of the cross hair like a red dot sight. The dot is always on and visible in bright sunlight and all lighting conditions. It doesn't use batteries. I keep losing black cross-hairs on dark targets and this really solved the problem. Can be found for a little under or over $1000 depending on discounts/coupons/specials. A used Nightforce, if you can find one in your budget, would also be excellent.
 
#11

Servo93

Struggle Buttons
Feb 19, 2017
119
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Minnesota
#12
The old Bushnell 3.5-21x50 ERS should be around at that price now. I have 2 and both track perfectly and hold zero very well. I take one of mine on a prairie dog hunt every year and dispite 5 days (5 days every year) of rough riding on a 4 wheeler it’s never given me an issue.
 
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samnev

First Sargeant
Mar 16, 2010
3,771
6
38
Prescott, AZ
#13
The old Bushnell 3.5-21x50 ERS should be around at that price now. I have 2 and both track perfectly and hold zero very well. I take one of mine on a prairie dog hunt every year and dispite 5 days (5 days every year) of rough riding on a 4 wheeler it’s never given me an issue.
That would be my recommendation as well.
 
Apr 7, 2014
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PNW
#15
I'd look around for a used Nightforce NXS first. If no luck I'd lean towards the Bushnell Elite DMR.
^^THIS^^ - A lot of times folks forget about buying used gear because they assume that its been beat up - which is not usually the case. In fact, almost every scope maker that is producing a 1K or greater product is building a bomp-proof scope. And if not, they will always take it back for repairs. Night Force and Vortex both come to mind. At your price point, a used NXS would be perfect. You just need to watch this site and LRH like a hawk for the right deal to pop up (usually every couple weeks).
 
Apr 25, 2014
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Boise, Idaho
#19
I have an XTR II 5-25 on my 300 Norma mag. It's been flawless to 2000 yards, tracking out and back to zero has been perfect. The picture below is next to a plate I hit 4 times in 9 shots at 1 mile. No issues with glass clarity, I saw every miss my two guys on spotters saw. I also took a pretty decent 5x6 bull elk last fall with this same set up. The Burris is a solid performer at your price point. I wouldn't overlook it because it gets less love here on the Hide. The Burris gets a lot of love from the rank and file guys..

 
Mar 8, 2017
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Taylorsville Utah
#20
I have an XTR II 5-25 on my 300 Norma mag. It's been flawless to 2000 yards, tracking out and back to zero has been perfect. The picture below is next to a plate I hit 4 times in 9 shots at 1 mile. No issues with glass clarity, I saw every miss my two guys on spotters saw. I also took a pretty decent 5x6 bull elk last fall with this same set up. The Burris is a solid performer at your price point. I wouldn't overlook it because it gets less love here on the Hide. The Burris gets a lot of love from the rank and file guys..

Do you ever lose your rifle in the grass? First glance all i saw was a scope, barrel, rail, bipod, and recoil pad floating in mid air.
 
Likes: Birddog6424
Jul 11, 2013
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Coldwater, MI
#23
What do you guys think of the Leupold v3i LRP?
I just picked one up. 6.5-20 FFP with CCH reticle. Has zero stop. Only 5 mil rev turrets but the dial indicator is nice and kinda makes up for it. Glass is nice. Havnt got a chance to run it through it’s paces but overall it’s a fine scope for the money. Biggest downside to me is eye relive at low power.
 
Jan 24, 2010
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Zanesville, Ohio
#27
I’ve got the original Cronus, how are the clicks on the BTR? I haven’t had a chance to handle the BTR
So that rep from Athlon said it shipped with a grease to make it better protected from water, and that's what mutes the clicks. So after wiping it out with a q-tip It's pretty audible and defined to me. Of course this is subjective but I think it's totally fine. I've never played with the original Cronus to compare tho.
 

cattleman99

Sergeant of the Hide
Mar 28, 2018
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Lincoln, Nebraska
#28
So that rep from Athlon said it shipped with a grease to make it better protected from water, and that's what mutes the clicks. So after wiping it out with a q-tip It's pretty audible and defined to me. Of course this is subjective but I think it's totally fine. I've never played with the original Cronus to compare tho.
I may have to look into doing that, my elevation turret sounds great, my windage not so much. How are you liking the reticle?
 
Nov 18, 2017
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PA
#31
I’d take a hard look at a Tract Toric 4-20x50. I picked one up new and I’m extremely impressed with it for the money. Otherwise, I’d get a used but in like new condition PST 2 for around the $800 mark. I recently sold mine (3-15x44) for $810 and it was NIB.
 

5RWill

Optics Fiend
Oct 15, 2009
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Mississippi
#33
I'd grab a PST Gen II 5-25x50, use the extra cash for rings/bullets and get shooting. You can get them new under $1000 or find a used price of $950 or so below. Of those mentioned i've owned a ERS, HDMR II, LRHS, and we now have PST Gen II. Had i looked through a PST Gen II before hand i'd have never owned the HDMR II or LRHS. Admittedly the LRHS and PST Gen II are very similar, but the eyebox, turrets, and reticle are better with the vortex. Both are better than the HDMR/ DMR II i've owned and looked through (cousin has the DMR II)

The Cronus was on sale for $1000 a while back at Cabelas of all places, which for the money would be impossible to pass up. Of the budget and aforementioned scopes though the PST Gen II offers more value than any listed IMHO. I can't comment on the durability but those using them seem to imply the QC has been very good this time around compared to the old PST lineup and that in reality the Gen II shouldn't even share the name. I certainly agree with the latter as far as quality goes.
 
Likes: just browsing
Mar 2, 2013
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#34
I'd try and find a used Athlon Cronus BTR or wait for the new Ares ETR which looks to have all of the features of the Cronus at a lower price point.

You might be able to find a used Steiner T5Xi 5-25 for that money as well.
 
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