Caribou Gear

Budget priced scopes-any suggestions?

Jack O'Conner

New member
Jan 11, 2003
Black Hawk, SD
Things sure have changed since the late 1960's. Back then Weaver and Bushnell made 2X-7X scopes for a fair price. Brand new Redfield, Leupold & Stevens, and others cost a lot more but were generally ignored by my friends and relatives.

But now there are many scopes on the market. I'm looking to buy a 2X-7X model by Simmons in the Pro Hunter series. My brother has a 44 MAG Simmons that has been a good one. Not first rate but still quite good. It's been through snow squalls in the Bighorns without any damage.

No, I don't want a 3X-9X for this rifle. Nor do I want something with large bell lens. What I like about the 2X-7X is that they are about the same size as the old 4X models of yesteryear. I like the range of magnification, too. My budget is less than $100. including shipping.

Any suggestions?
Thank you.

You want to take a peek at Bushnell's Banner Dusk to Dawn. I had a 3-9x40 on my 300 Win for a few years of elk hunting and it maintained zero and never leaked. It has a lifetime warranty.

As far as I know it does not come in 2-7, it comes in 4x, or 1-4.5x with the smaller objective. Hope this helps.
In my opinion you can't get a reliable scope for $100. If that's all I had to spend, I'd look for a used Leupold. I do know you can get a Bushnell Elite 3200 for about $140 and it's a decent, reliable scope for the money. The eye relief isn't as good as Leupold, but otherwise it's a good scope.

Take a look at this link:

The scope you would want is $175. I'm not sure where I saw them for $140. But even at $175 it's a good deal.
I just replace a broken Redfield (The cross hairs wouldn't move) with a Redfield Widefield 2-7X. They charged me $84 to do the trade. The scope retails for about $300 I think. Simmons bought up the Redfield rights and they are manufacuting the new line. I would think that the Simmons would be of similar quality or just a little lower since they are probably using the same factory tooling and processes but don't know that to be the case.
E-Bay is always a good place to look when budget is an issue. I just had a look and there is a brand new Leupold VariXII 2X-7X up for bids right now...last I saw it was at $147. A bit outside your budget, but if your patient and check regularly I'm sure you could do better there on your $100 budget than you could buying retail. Just my opinion!
Thanks for the info about Leupold but no thanks. I'm not spending $200. plus for a rifle scope. I'm not convinced that Leupold is the answer for each and every scope question.

My son has a 4X Bushnell Sportsman on his 35 Marlin that we bought for $29.99 last summer. He shot a 600-ish lb elk at about 125 yards. The entire rifle (used) and scope outfit cost me under $250. bucks. The scope is serviceable.

Biggest mule deer I ever shot is a 6 X 7 and the scope was a 2.5X Weaver which cost about $35. at the time. Optics were quite bad compared to 2003 Simmons. But it worked!

I think I'll buy the Simmons Pro Hunter in 2X - 7X from cheaperthandirt. Only $70. including shipping. Next fall I'll post some photos of all the antelope we nailed with this rifle/scope as a lesson to the Leupold-lovers who have been deceived into believing the world of hunting is "Leupold or nothing".
i dont think leupold is the answer for everything, i think leupold is the minimum i would put on a rifle that might be under extreme situations. when i bought my .300 mag i put a 4x swift scope on it that cost 99 dollars. its a good scope for the money but it hasnt been in anything but sunny days as of yet.currently im saving for a leupold for that rifle but i think the swift will go on my .243. i had a leupold and a weaver go into the water a few weeks ago on a hog hunt the leupold is still clear and the weaver is ruined. i never believed in high end scopes but someone convinced me to try it and im hooked.i have 2-.270s in my safe that have never been shot and wont be until they have a quality scope. one of them has a simmons on it that ill let you have for 20 bucks if you want it.there are scopes of lesser quality that will do the job just as well but i now think you get what you pay for.
I have a Simmons 4-12x scope that's been sitting around collecting dust for about 10 years, and it was only mounted on a rifle for one hunting season before it got replaced with a 3.5-10x Leupold. I'll be happy to sell it to you for $40 if you want it. I'll even pay for shipping, just to get rid of that piece of junk!
Will a scope cheaper than a Leupold work? Of course. A moped will get me up the mountain too, but when it's muddy or snowing I'd rather have my 4WD truck.
I have always liked the rule of thumb, that the cost of the scope should be equal to the cost of the gun. It makes no sense to spend money on a gun, and then skimp on the Optics.

I have sat on ridges in the dark, with buddies, and as we wait for first light, passing the rifles back, and my Leupold Vari-X III always gets me a sight picture 15 minutes earlier. That is worth a fortune to me.