In a few weeks, I’m starting a large field test for popular tactical scopes in the $1,500+ price range (plan to test $500-1,500 scopes later this year). Like my rangefinder field test, I plan to have a very objective, data-driven approach using a series of empirical tests that focus on:
- Optical Quality (resolution/clarity, contrast, brightness, etc)
- Mechanical Precision & Repeatability (tracking, return to zero, internal adjustments, etc)
But before I start testing, I thought it’d be fun to see what the general opinion of the shooting community was on these scopes. The 17 scopes I’m planning to test are listed below, and there are 2 questions:
- Overall Performance: Which scope will perform the best overall in the field tests, regardless of price?
- Value: Which scope will provide great performance in the field test (i.e. end up in the top 50%) for the lowest price?
Update: Voting is closed, but the results of the votes from the community are shown in the charts below.
This race wasn’t even close, with the Schmidt and Bender PMII 5-25×56 easily taking 1st place … pretty much uncontested. Although that scope is based on a design that is over a decade old at this point, it is still considered the king among scopes and few believe there is a challenger out there that could dethrone it. Not even the scopes that cost twice as much, like the new Hensoldt ZF 3.5-26×56 or the new Schmidt and Bender PMII 3-27×56 High Power!
This race was a little closer, with the Bushnell Elite Tactical 3.5-21×50 seen as the highest value by the shooting community, and the Vortex Razor HD 5-20×50 right on its heels.