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Posted: 12/1/2007 10:20:35 AM EDT
Why is there such a gap between the scopes that are in the $200-$400 and those with seemingly the same specs that are more than $1000?

And I don't mean the difference between the Trijicon stuff and the clones. I mean like the Nikon or Bushnell vs. the Leupold's and stuff. What is the real difference?

This is probably asked a billion times so I apologize in advance if this is getting old.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 4:31:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 7:49:57 PM EDT
Well that's a good answer, to be sure, but that doesn't address the cost differences as they relate to functional use. I've seen scopes where you look at a white piece of paper with both eyes open and you can tell a difference, and some where it looks right on.

But for a scope, it seems seeing the target, with a reticle that holds true zero, and a sight picture that is a little forgiving on where you cheek weld is ideal. Am I wrong or too naive?
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 5:27:15 AM EDT
If you really want to see the difference, trying using them about 1/2 hour after sunset, or 1/2 hour before sunrise.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 6:17:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/2/2007 6:18:47 AM EDT by sic_ness]
All true info from the posters above.

Good glass will make it seem brighter when you look through it; brighter than it will appear through the naked eye.

Good, precise turrets mean each click REALLY moves your POI .25" each time, and not .20" one time, .33" the next, and .125" after that.

Certain reticles will add cost also. A regular crosshair is easier to etch than a graduated mil-dot scope.

I've used good scopes before, but sadly myself cannot afford anything that great right now. The Cheap Optic Game is hard ot play: you'll end up spending alot more money in the long run once you realize you're only robbing yourself getting extremely cheap optics.

That having been said, there are some $300-level scopes that are 90% as capable as other $1,000 scopes. Just gotta be careful and research what you're buying.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 12:05:14 PM EDT
I'm hoping that this doesn't turn out to be a convoluted answer, but so far everybody is correct.

What also adds to a price of any commodity is how often and for how long a human being is touching either the various parts for assembly or the commodity itself for testing. Current established accounting practices give a lot of weight to human intervention into the assembly process.

As for glass itself, glass is a commodity item. A manufacturer can pick up a license for a formula and make the glass and sell it. This means that the manufacturer is what is important about the glass. All glass is going to have rock, crystal and air bubbles in it. That's a fact of life. But the better factories have less of these things in their glass.

Everyone is being bit by the costs of metals these days between China and India buying everything and speculating brokers hording as much as they can. With a scope being a mechanical device you can see through, there are a lot of aluminum or alloys of copper pieces in a scope.

There are ways of reducing costs. More and more companies are producing and using molded lenses for example. That process is just like it sounds, but it is cheaper. That doesn't mean that the lenses are bad, though, but there are people sensitive enough to tell the difference between molded and ground lenses (because you end up with more rock, crystal and air bubbles to do the process.)

But the biggest reason for cost is how much a human contacts the parts for assembly and how much testing goes on.

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