Are Springfield scopes high quality?
I do not have one but have seen threads on them on the other firearms boards I frequent. Generally they are thought of as junk for the money even with the loaded coupon. I believe that Hakko makes these scopes for SAI.
I have owned 4 of the 4-14x40 models for 556/223. They are excellent and probably the easiest rangefinder to use. I have sold lots of these at the store I work at and have had all positive feedback. When it comes to quality it is not who or where but how.
I've owned 3 of the Springfield Government model 4-14x scopes.
They all worked very well for me for over 10 years of use.
I used them in various competitions, carted them all over the place, banged them around, and they continued to work very well.
Finally sold them with the M1A guns that they were on.
I chose them over the Leupold scopes for the following reasons.
They gathered more light, and worked much better in low light conditions.
They have a larger exit pupil.
If you use 168gr. Federal 308M ammo, the bullet drop compensation is right on, and doesn't require any fiddling with knobs.
The rangefinder automatically puts your crosshair on the correct BDC point as you are ranging.
It is a one-step Range and BDC compensation which is much faster than any Mildot system.
It has variable power, and the first-plane reticle gives accurate rangefinding and BDC at any power of magnification.
It has an anti-cant bubble level in the scope, which is important for long range shooting.
Optics were clear and clean, edge to edge.
Compared them directly against Leupold optics(which I owned several of) and I didn't see anything better from the Leupold optics.
I shot them in the rain, in cold conditions, and hot conditions, and they never leaked, fogged or had any other problems. I used on of them on an M1A to take 2nd place in a Florida State Championship 600yd prone match in my class, where there was a 30 minute cloudburst of heavy rain that soaked me, the gun and the scope for the whole time I shot on that segment of the match. Right after that, the sun came out and it was over 100 degrees on the shooting line. Scope performed great.
I don't know how any other scope could have done any better. They did everything I asked of them for 10 years of regular use. Some like Leupold better, but I don't really know why.
Presently, I now use Unertl optics and find them to be the best I've ever used.
I had a SA Gen3 scope. The thing sucked a55. The glass was great, until I looked through a quality scope, a Leupold. I then immediately realized how crappy that SA scope was.
The SA scope also completely failed the box testing. My Leupolds and now NF always passed.
My buddy liked my SA scope after I bought mine so he bought one for his 700P ( this is several years ago). Well, the thing went tits up just after about a box of ammo ( .308 ). SA does have pretty good customer service, I will give them that. They had his scope fixed and back to him within 2 weeks. But by the time he got it back we had had the opportunity to check out some real scopes. So the fixed scope went up on ebay.
Like TROY said, thy try to sweetne these socpes up by adding a bunch of bells and whistles, but they aren't worth the costs...not by a long shot. If you just save up a little bit longer you can have a quality scope. Just stay away from the SA scopes, you will be much happier in the long run.
Here's some links to check out:
Leupold Tactical vs Springfield Armory, which scope?
Springfield Tactical scopes?
Well, I've had plenty of Leupolds, and used them.
They are pretty good scopes, but I had problems.
On my 6.5-20x 40mm obj Leupold Vari-X III, I used that on my Winslow Plainsmaster .225 Win. varmint rifle, which doesn't have much of a kick. The reticle came loose and fell down inside the scope. So much for ruggedness. Oh sure, I sent it back to Leupold and they fixed it for free, which was very good service. But I never had such a problem with any of my Springfields. I've also had some of the Vari-X II, the M series, and had some Nikons, Burris, Kahles, Zeiss, Swarovski, Springfield, and my current Unertl 20x Target.
Also, on the part about seeing the difference at 300 yds, my use for these scopes was primarily in 600 yd prone competition, so I saw plenty of what it does past 300. I even beat out numerous competitors who were using Leupold scopes and others, so I don't think it hindered me any to use the Springfield.
For my M1A rifles, which is what these Springfields were used on, the BDC was perfect out to 600, and never even needed one click of adjustment to put me in the X-ring at 600, with a 200 yd. zero, and using Fed 308M Gold Medal Match ammo. I also used one on my Rem 700 VS 308, and it worked great on that too. I tuned my 168 SMK handloads to 2600fps at the muzzle, and it kept the BDC on target.
I'm not claiming that the Springfield has perfect glass, but it is okay. I'm just saying that in my experience, the Leupold is overpriced and overrated. It is okay, but so are alot of other scopes. I had an old Burris that was way better optically than any of the Leupolds I've used. And that broken reticle cured me of thinking that Leupold is "bulletproof".
My current Unertl is head and shoulders over all of them. I love the external adjusting system. The optics are superior. The 20x I have works beautifully for my 1000yd benchrest work that I do now. On a good day, I achieved a 9" group of 20 consecutive shots(in 30 minutes) at 1000 yds with my custom-built 300H&H Magnum, 28.5 Douglas Air-gauged Heavy barrel, with 77gr H-1000 powder behind a 190gr Berger Match bullet, for 2930fps avg. muzzle velocity. Of course my Unertl 20x Target scope was on it, and required 108 clicks up from 100yd zero. At 100yds, that gun can put 5 shots into 1/3 of an inch. At 1000 yds, even on a "still" day, wind will always play some factor.
I have seen some Springfields where the bubble level was off, but my 3 were good. Also I bought all of mine back in 1994, so I don't know if quality has dropped since then. I didn't have an adjustable objective, or illuminated reticle, so I don't know about those models. I always center my eye behind the scope by habit, so I don't worry about parallax issues. The illuminated model wasn't available when I bought my scopes.