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Good, but inexpensive scopes?

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I'm planning on scoping a M1A. Now I'm not the type to spend more on a scope than I did on the rifle. In fact, I'm cheap. :rolleyes: I thinking about something in roughly the $300 range. Also considering going with a 3-9 variable. I want good glass and it needs to be tough. I don't baby my rifles. Normal range will be 100 yards, but may occasionally be longer. BTW: I'm sitting on a Bass Pro gift card (birthday present) and I'd like to just pick something up there and use it to pay. 

What brands/models should I be looking at? 

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I own Leupold, Nikon and Vortex, and some other lower brands.

I would suggest you look at the Leupold Freedom line; it replaced the VX1 &VX2. You might want to check to see if the quality is still there. I have not owned any but seen reviews that they are the quality of the VX-2.

In buying scopes from $200 to $1000 by opinion is you can’t buy a better scope than a Leupold in that category. Nikon and Vortex are good scopes, but you will definitely see a difference in the Leupold. The Vortex Viper (6.5-20X44) is a good scope once you acquire a sight picture, but its hands down no where close to the Leupold VX-III (6.5-20x44) in making that acquisition. I wouldn’t have bought it if I had looked through it first. Save yourself some money and buy a Nikon. (In fairness, I’m comparing it to a much higher cost Leupold) Both those scopes are beyond your budget; they are just my comparison.

Let’s see… you want something high quality, that can stand up to rough use, but you want it cheap, and you want it from Bass Pro

Leupold 174180 VX-Freedom 3-9x40 You can pick it up at Bass Pro for $200. Or $175 from Amazon Prime delivered tomorrow.


Leupold 174665 VX-Freedom 4-12x40 I would add some money to your budget and pick it up at Bass Pro for $350. Or $292 from Amazon Prime delivered Tuesday.


That’s my opinion and its worth exactly what you paid for it. :)

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I've got a couple of the Leupold "Rifleman" series, one on a 223, and it has good glass for this level ($$) of scope.  They come in 3x9 and 4x12 IIRC.

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I would highly recommend Vortex if you can swing it for what you are looking for. I've got Nikon, Leupold, Bushnell, Sightron, and Vortex scopes on various guns. You really can't beat the value for the money on Vortex products. I have used Swarvoski and NightForce scopes on friends guns. Are they better than a Vortex? Yea, but marginally, and no where near worth it in my opinion. I have a Strike Eagle on my AR and love it, the 1-6 Strike Eagle is around $300, my dad runs the 1-8 Strike Eagle and he really likes that version, but it is pricier. Depending on what you do with your gun that you need the optic to be tough (traversing the woods, hunting, run-n-gun) I prefer the lack of a large objective lens, like on the Strike Eagle, if you are doing a lot of early morning or late evening hunts you may need a larger objective lens.

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