Is A Cheap Optic Viable For Most Hunting Applications?

I am intrigued by cheap optics. I see pretty much everything for what it is, nothing more. But, some cheap stuff does still provide value. I see this as being particularly true with hunting. Thoughts?

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You get what you pay for. I usually believe “buy good, buy once”. But for certain purposes, I intentionally bought cheap. During the summer & early fall months, I like to drive around & “scout” deer in several locations from afar. (1 side of a mountain to another type deals. 1000-2500 yards) since I don’t want to leave my expensive Lieca binoculars in the truck, I buy the cheapy 15x70 Barska binos & just leave them in there. If they get broken or stolen, whoopie… I’m out $70. They tend to only last about a year. The last pair after enduring extreme heat then a brutal winter, fell apart in my hands this spring lol. The glue all dried up & became brittle. I’ve had similar issues with cheap scopes on “truck guns”

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have you ever thought you “bought good” only to find out that, oops, someone in the factory screwed up? i have had many name brand things fail on me many times in my life. while i get the point and do believe and agree you will have less trouble overall with more expensive, quality stuff… cheap stuff with no expectations seldom disappoint in the same way.

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Knock on wood, I’ve not had a failure of a quality product 26 years running…probably just jinxed myself

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I don’t have a problem with cheaper optics, no way i’m paying 800 or more bucks for a scope. I have one expensive scope and it was on the gun when I bought it. I have Konus scopes on my hunting rifles and they are more clear than the leupold.

I’ve killed a lot of deer with tasco and bushnell scopes. They have never lost zero. I have an old bushnell on a Winchester bolt gun that has been abused. it knocked a nice dent in it and it didn’t knock it off.

I have four of these Konus scopes. I love em.

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This is my leupold on the Browning.

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Yep, yer jinxed now. i’m also sendin voodoo vibes yer way.

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I did have a center point scope mess up one time. it was a pretty crappy scope anyway.

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yup, Tasco has prove itself over and over and over again. i have some REALLY old Tasco scopes that work for bringing home the bacon just as good today as they did decades ago. as far as Busnell, they are very under rated. Bushnell may be the most used brand, or at least was a few years back, in long range competition… which is crazy. i have yet to experience the Konus stuff first as far as mounted on a rifle, but have laid eyes and hands on them and yeah, they do appear pretty solid.

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that thing barely fit didn’t it? LOL

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DUDE! a gotta good story about Centerpoint. now, the eye relief SUCKS to no end on those for sure BUT, when i traded for my 50 bmg,it has a Centerpoint on it, yeah, one of those $75 Wally World specials. the guys said he put that one there until he could afford something else. he said it had about 20 rounds of so, which was AMAZING. i shot another 10-20 before swapping it out for a SWFA Super Sniper… BUT, i have that Centerpoint on a Remington 270 now and it will bring home meat all day long.

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Yeah, it’s close. It came mounted like that. I bought it off a fellow coworker for cheap. I gave 800 for everything plus a browning case and two boxes of Winchester ballistic tips. that’s a browning safari in 7 mag. he hadn’t shot a box of shells through it

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Yes they do, I hated that thing. it was hard to find the focus. I was kinda glad it broke.

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Agreed. Generally speaking, good value is achieved when you make good choices based on the intended use. If the optic will not see harsh conditions or heavy use, then a lower tier product will likely work fine.

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i am glad you worded this the way you did, great way to put it

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Just to weigh in I have zero interest in cheap scopes, prefer iron sites over cheap optics

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for long distance, cheap is not really gonna cut it, so i do agree with you a bit, for say 100 yards or less, i am quite fine with iron sights. particularly on a lever rifle. something about an optic on a lever rifle that is just plain wrong to me.

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seeing people tap the side of a Winchester 94 is sad

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To be honest I gave up on cheap optics over all. However nice high dollar ones at discounted prices in places like pawn shops is still a viable option.

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I generally stay away from the cheap stuff, but I won’t give up entirely. I have a Walmart special Bushnell on a .22 bolt gun, which is 20+ years old and still works fine. I don’t recall the price, but I’m sure I paid less than $50. Probably more like $30. However, it was never beat up or exposed to extreme weather.

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