Best budget long range scopes

Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
58
SWFA 3x9 are hard to beat for the price; just used one on a Ruger American 6.5 creedmoor for 1K hits. The only other scope I have is the SWFA 10x HD version.

I've had Bushnell (LRHS and Tactical), Zeiss, Meopta, Leopold and Burris. All of them are gone for the SWFA with no regrets and no desire for anymore.

If forced to pick I would go with the 3x9 over the 10x for all-around use.
 

ATX762

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Jun 30, 2017
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Austin, TX
Yeah the reliability is what is going to kill you at that price point. Features are great...until the scope stops tracking. If you dial a lot this really begins to matter.
 

outdoorsman12b

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Sep 24, 2018
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Alberta
The scopes that always get recommended are the shv, swfa, and lrhs. If those are not in your budget take a look st Nikon black fx1000. Has all the features you need for the game and has had good reviews by Ryan on this forum. No tracking issues I have heard of. Has milrad or MOA ret. zero stops, illumaniated ret if you want and is ffp.
 

coop22250

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Dec 19, 2016
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Palmer AK
I looked through some Athlon this week and was super impressed. I see user HellsCanyon is using them on his rifles, I believe he is a custom rifle builder.

Camera Land has the Midas 2.5-15 BTR on sale right now for $249.

I might try one out.


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Mackay Sagebrush

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Jan 16, 2017
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Location
Idaho
While I own US Optics and Nightforce scopes (multiple). I highly recommend the SWFAs. In fact I have both fixed and variable versions and they have proven to be outstanding. They track properly and are repeatable.

My primary elk rifle has worn one (a fixed 10X mil/mil) for a few years now and I have no intention of "upgrading" to an NF.



 

smokinbobf4

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Apr 14, 2018
Messages
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I'd ask Formidilosus, he sees about 80,000 rounds a year getting shot.

I have talked to him about this and he says swfa, lrhs, and nf pretty much exclusively when I had the same question. I do not “know” him but talked to him and seems like he really knows his stuff. It’s out of trial and error, not speculation.


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Bbell12

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Mar 3, 2018
Messages
79
I see the SWFA fixed 10x being recommended quite a bit on these types of threads. I don’t have much experience with long range shooting but is 10x really enough power to shoot out to 1,000 yards?


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30338

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Jun 2, 2013
Messages
605
Yes sir, you'll be fine. Used a 6x SWFA to shoot a bear at 600 yards with no issues. I guess if you want to shoot prairie dogs at 1,000 you may need more power.
 

tyeager2964

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Feb 11, 2016
Messages
311
I just ordered an Athlon Midas BTR 2.5x15 on cameraland. Got the package with the Talos binos and the chest pack for $359. They are growing in reputation and have many reliable tracking reports.

I dont expect it to be a NF or SWFA as far as reliability but for the glass quality, features and price I didnt want to pass.

It will be a first foray into dialing and I have no expectations. At that price if I dont like it they will make decent Christmas presents for my FIL and BIL next year
 

Mackay Sagebrush

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Jan 16, 2017
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Idaho
I see the SWFA fixed 10x being recommended quite a bit on these types of threads. I don’t have much experience with long range shooting but is 10x really enough power to shoot out to 1,000 yards?


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We ran fixed 10X scopes on M24s chambered in the lowly .308/7.62 for years out to a grand with no issue.


 

PowellSixO

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Mar 22, 2018
Messages
104
Location
AZ
I see the SWFA fixed 10x being recommended quite a bit on these types of threads. I don’t have much experience with long range shooting but is 10x really enough power to shoot out to 1,000 yards?


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I personally watched Formidilosus girlfriend put a better 3 shot group @ 1000 yards with a 6x swfa scope than I could with my 5-25x scope. 10x is plenty to get you to 1000. I now own both the 6x and 10x swfa scopes. Can't say enough good about them for the money.
 

Jesse Jaymes

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Feb 3, 2014
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293
Location
Loon Lake, WA
SWFA usually has a Tax Return sale in a few months. The 3-15 (FFP) comes down to $559-$579ish. Sometimes with free rings or bubble. Lotta good to be had there. I have a pile of 3-15. Much more clear than a Vortex HS/PST gen 1. Much more repeatable. Zero Stop shims available on eBay
 

mcseal2

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Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
1,336
I'm not going to argue with Formidulous or others with more experience than me. I recently got a SWFA 3-15x used and have been darn happy with it so far. It seems to be a lot of scope for the money, especially used money.

The other name I'll put out is Huskemaw. I've been using a 3-12x for over a year now with no complaints. Ryan Avery had good results with them dialing also but had nothing good to say about the glass. The glass seems to be fine to me. He has got to use better scopes like the Swaro X5 and I haven't so that might be part of the difference in our opinions. I like the capped turrets personally so I never worry about where the turret is set unless I need to unscrew one and dial. I have a 5-30x Huskemaw too that has been reliable but is in a different price range.
 

badshot

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Joined
Nov 30, 2017
Messages
16
Location
Oregon
I looked through some Athlon this week and was super impressed. I see user HellsCanyon is using them on his rifles, I believe he is a custom rifle builder.

Camera Land has the Midas 2.5-15 BTR on sale right now for $249.

I might try one out.


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I have this scope, nice for $250. It's on a cheaper 6.5cm I built. Holds zero and tracks well. But really when we talk about long range and clarity through the scope spending more is definitely worth it.
 

micus

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Joined
Feb 27, 2016
Messages
220
I have experience (own) a couple of the scopes being discussed.

NF NXS (3.5-15x50 MOAR and 2.5-10x44 ) Bushnell Engage.

I have used them both on several rifles in the ranges you describe. Honestly, I have had no issues with either optic, both make the 12"x12" Gong ring with boring repeatability from 100yds out to where my wind calls start lagging. Both return close enough to zero to where its not possible to equate human error on a 3/4 MOA gun.

Having been very pleasantly surprised by the bargain bin Bushnell ill be picking up another here shortly. Anyone who says Bushnell is garbage either hasn't used one for quite some time or is HIGH.

Mike.
 
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