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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I had bought a brand new Simmons 6-18x 50mm scope for my Browning Xbolt .223. I know they're not a great scope but for my use (100yds) I thought it would be fine. I used the Browning integrated mounts on it.

At the range for the first time with it, I could not get my eye centered for clear view from a sitting position no matter what I did. This 75 yd indoor range only allows shooting while seated. No off-hand, no standing crouched at the bench. Unfortunately, the bench was designed at typical pistol range height but with an armrest running down the side. I was able to work with my other 2 rifles that had Bushnell and Nikon scopes. They were just fine with good clear sight picture when I finally turned by rest/bag on it's side to make it shorter and folded up my rifle cases and sat on top of them.

I tried the same with the Simmons but got the same result, one half of a clear image and a blurred, offset image overlaying the other and double crosshairs. I wanted to pull my hair out. When I shouldered the rifle with no rest standing up, the sight image was perfect so I am guessing I just couldn't get the gun low enough or my body high enough. I'll add that it was the only rifle with high mounts (due to 50mm objective) I shot that day. Back at home, I shoulder the gun standing and the sight picture is perfect. I'm 5-11" but my son is 6'-2" and he still had problems with same gun/scope combo.

Anyway, here's the best group I could manage guessing through the scope. 4 on the paper and a flier where I probably aimed at the "ghost image", though the shot at 5 o'clock looks slightly elongated so possibly 2 shots in that hole? That was disappointing but I may try some low mounts and one of my other 40mm scopes for shooting at this range. Nice rifle (still not crazy about the retread tire look of the recoil pad lol) but I'm guessing you have seen better shooting lol!

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I am still resting on my laurels of my younger days. I don't know if you guys are old enough to remember the carnival trick-shot game where they handed you a beat up, open sight .22 secured by a short lanyard with the barrel passing through a ring large enough to allow you to aim but not swing the rifle into the midway. Loaded with 3 shorts, you had to shoot out a small circle with three shots from about 15' away The objective was to place 2 perfect shots side by side to take out the top and center and a perfect third shot directly under to take out the bottom. Of course it was impossible. The prize was a new Winchester .22 and of course nobody ever won. With open sights, I took a three-shot practice group to determine the compensation I needed to hold for the sights that were way off and then took my 3 shot attempt. I nailed it (or so I thought)! It was thing of beauty.

Guys were cheering, women were screaming and bringing their babies over for me to kiss! Then the Carney burst everyone's bubble and argued that he could still see a millimeter of the circle at the bottom. When you held the card straight up in front of your face, the circle was gone and nothing but clean white paper remained. He played the "hanging chad" game like a Florida pollster and claimed you could still see the circle on the inside edge of the hole where the round folded the paper back and was not cleanly punched. lol
 

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Well... dump the modeling amps and get a nice Fender tube amp for starters. A Deluxe reverb reissue, or even a Blues Jr. for a bedroom/home setup. You have two modeling amops (at least), one is enough to figure out what kind of sound you like but you'll want a real tube amp and some quality analog pedals to get there. :D

Then... dump the Simmons and buy a Leupold. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just saw your avatar. Rockin' that Nashville style Telecaster I see!

Yeah, I'm just a home strummer, got no chops. I like that Vox Modeler, nice and chimey. The cover amp is a Deluxe Reverb VM. It's that hybrid tube amp/digital FX Fender did for a short while. I hardly ever plug it in nowadays and don't play much anymore and have been contemplating the big selloff.

You're right on that Simmons scope. I thought "I'm only shooting paper at 100 yards or so, how bad could it be?" I might as well have closed my eyes and relied on muscle memory. I mocked this up to show what the view through the scope looked like ... I could not center my eye.

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Just saw your avatar. Rockin' that Nashville style Telecaster I see!
Actually a G&L ASAT S3 I think they call it. 1996 three bolt, my favorite guitar. :) I'm just a hobby-hack as well.

In all seriousness I have never had any luck with Simmons scopes or anything like that. They're probably fine in good weather for getting a couple shots in the vitals from 150 for a deer or whatever, but as far as holding zero and getting tight on paper, no way. Get a lower end Leupold if you need something cheap, or even a Vortex because they are both stellar in the warranty department. They don't let junk go to the sales floor.

Not sure what you're looking to do with that rifle, but if you just want 100 yards and decent groups even a Nikon Buckmaster off of Gunbroker will serve you fine, they are serviceable for sure and since Nikon no longer makes rifle scopes they can be had for cheap.
 
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A nice rifle deserves a nice scope. You don't have to break the bank, but cheap scopes are just that - Cheap!
What you are describing is a narrow field tunnel, along with parallax problems. From the picture, you need to install a cheek riser on the rifle in order to have your eye inline with the scope.

I'd run like crazy from any Nikon scope. They have zero warranty, and a not so good track record of being a very good scope to begin with.
I'm not a fan of Leupold or Vortex either. You pay for Leupold's warranty up front, and you'll probably spend a lot of time with a Vortex in the shop for warranty issues.

Any decent scope will start in the $300 - $500 range.
Mid tier Sightron, Bushnell or Burris scopes would be a place to start. Arken gets some decent reviews, and you get a lot of scope for the money. Athlon's Midas line is pretty decent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A nice rifle deserves a nice scope. You don't have to break the bank, but cheap scopes are just that - Cheap!
What you are describing is a narrow field tunnel, along with parallax problems. From the picture, you need to install a cheek riser on the rifle in order to have your eye inline with the scope.

I'd run like crazy from any Nikon scope. They have zero warranty, and a not so good track record of being a very good scope to begin with.
I'm not a fan of Leupold or Vortex either. You pay for Leupold's warranty up front, and you'll probably spend a lot of time with a Vortex in the shop for warranty issues.

Any decent scope will start in the $300 - $500 range.
Mid tier Sightron, Bushnell or Burris scopes would be a place to start. Arken gets some decent reviews, and you get a lot of scope for the money. Athlon's Midas line is pretty decent.
Yeah, I'm going to swap a Bushnell on it from another rifle and give it a try again.
 

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Txhillbilly: Sir; adding


Athlon is one of the newest players in the sport optics industry and it turned some heads a few years ago as it seemed to be born, fully formed, with a complete line of scopes at a wide variety of price points. This is because, in some respects, the apple doesn鈥檛 fall far from the tree, or runner, depending on your metaphor (I know, stretching it). Athlon was founded by (and is still run by) some Bushnell alums. As such, Athlon had the experience and contacts of a major market player at its start. Its business model also essentially differs little from that of its parent. They are both importers and brands 鈥 not manufacturers. As with most importers, they offer a broad selection of product lines and price points sourced from a variety of OEMs
 

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Txhillbilly: Sir; adding


Athlon is one of the newest players in the sport optics industry and it turned some heads a few years ago as it seemed to be born, fully formed, with a complete line of scopes at a wide variety of price points. This is because, in some respects, the apple doesn鈥檛 fall far from the tree, or runner, depending on your metaphor (I know, stretching it). Athlon was founded by (and is still run by) some Bushnell alums. As such, Athlon had the experience and contacts of a major market player at its start. Its business model also essentially differs little from that of its parent. They are both importers and brands 鈥 not manufacturers. As with most importers, they offer a broad selection of product lines and price points sourced from a variety of OEMs
I've got 3 Athlon scopes a Midas BTR, Ares BTR, and a Cronus. I bought the Midas BTR SFP reticle to compare to my Sightron SIII scopes. While it isn't as good as the SIII's, the Midas BTR is a great deal. It tracks well, has a great usable reticle, and the glass quality is real good.
The Ares BTR FFP reticle is a really good scope, and for what I paid for mine on a close out price when Athlon was coming out with the Gen 2 version, it was a steal.
The Cronus series is Athlon's flagship model, and made by Light Optic Works in Japan. While it doesn't compare with $3k scopes, it doesn't give up too much to them at 1/2 the price.
 

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A nice rifle deserves a nice scope. You don't have to break the bank, but cheap scopes are just that - Cheap!
What you are describing is a narrow field tunnel, along with parallax problems. From the picture, you need to install a cheek riser on the rifle in order to have your eye inline with the scope.

I'd run like crazy from any Nikon scope. They have zero warranty, and a not so good track record of being a very good scope to begin with.
I'm not a fan of Leupold or Vortex either. You pay for Leupold's warranty up front, and you'll probably spend a lot of time with a Vortex in the shop for warranty issues.

Any decent scope will start in the $300 - $500 range.
Mid tier Sightron, Bushnell or Burris scopes would be a place to start. Arken gets some decent reviews, and you get a lot of scope for the money. Athlon's Midas line is pretty decent.
I agree with this. Not really a scope problem but your neck is just wrong for this set- up. Maybe they could take out a couple neck vertebrae so it would line up. I do not own Browning bolt Guns but have shot many and solved scope problems and sight-in for others on several. They are spooky accurate and you should expect ragged holes at 100yards. And they are classically beautiful. You seem to have a thing for that look, me too.

I have all price ranges of scopes and have argued many times that most hunters do not profit much from a high end scope. The reason is they shoot under 300yards in daylight. It does not take much glass to shoot big stuff like deer at 300. They issue for hunters us whether that scope always show the cross hairs where they should be whether hot or cold on low power or high and they never fog. Good glass earns it's cost when a hunters shoots in dim light or very long distance. For prairie dogs and very long ranges the better glass helps even us deer hunters when you get targets beyond three football fields.

Without counting I am going to guess that I have forty scoped rifles in my safe and other family members safes. All of them will do exactly what I want within the limitation of the caliber. The scoped Rem 870 or the 12 gauge bolt gun does not need much power, just to hold together from the recoil. On my bolt action 12 I have the long known Tasco World Class 3 x 9 x 40. As cheap a scope as you can find, about $70-$80 at Natchess. It will shoot one hole groups with the Hornady sabot ammo, now about $5 each. I like those cheap scopes so much I have a half dozen, they are perfect for 22 and 22 mag. I also put one on a 30-06 when my better scope started having issues, and made very long kills on deer. They have become my default scope. I sometimes carry a spare scope when I hunt far from home. Everybody needs a spare, sometimes I just want to throw a scope on a gun to measure accuracy of the gun, that us what I use.

On my 223 bolt gun and other Guns used for long range hunting, I use target scopes. The most recent is a Burris Fullfield 4, a 4x16x 50 with a red dot illumination. It has the big target turrets and side parallax. The MSRP is about $450, about $380 at Cabela's last year. As clear as any scope. Only shot one deer with it since it is less than a year old, a whitetail estimated at 8 years old. The shot was 282 yards. I highly recommend that scope but your neck does not fit the 50mm objective. They make many smaller ones that should work.

I would try any smaller objective scope before I decided on one, the Tasco is so cheap you have nothing to lose. Then if a 40mm objective and shorter rings work, then pick a permanent scope for it. Nothing wrong with Vortex I just think they are over priced for what you get, you are buying a warranty, but others have that too. Lets know what the problem was and how you fixed it. It might also be that you need an outdoor range also....lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I agree with this. Not really a scope problem but your neck is just wrong for this set- up. Maybe they could take out a couple neck vertebrae so it would line up. I do not own Browning bolt Guns but have shot many and solved scope problems and sight-in for others on several. They are spooky accurate and you should expect ragged holes at 100yards. And they are classically beautiful. You seem to have a thing for that look, me too.

I have all price ranges of scopes and have argued many times that most hunters do not profit much from a high end scope. The reason is they shoot under 300yards in daylight. It does not take much glass to shoot big stuff like deer at 300. They issue for hunters us whether that scope always show the cross hairs where they should be whether hot or cold on low power or high and they never fog. Good glass earns it's cost when a hunters shoots in dim light or very long distance. For prairie dogs and very long ranges the better glass helps even us deer hunters when you get targets beyond three football fields.

Without counting I am going to guess that I have forty scoped rifles in my safe and other family members safes. All of them will do exactly what I want within the limitation of the caliber. The scoped Rem 870 or the 12 gauge bolt gun does not need much power, just to hold together from the recoil. On my bolt action 12 I have the long known Tasco World Class 3 x 9 x 40. As cheap a scope as you can find, about $70-$80 at Natchess. It will shoot one hole groups with the Hornady sabot ammo, now about $5 each. I like those cheap scopes so much I have a half dozen, they are perfect for 22 and 22 mag. I also put one on a 30-06 when my better scope started having issues, and made very long kills on deer. They have become my default scope. I sometimes carry a spare scope when I hunt far from home. Everybody needs a spare, sometimes I just want to throw a scope on a gun to measure accuracy of the gun, that us what I use.

On my 223 bolt gun and other Guns used for long range hunting, I use target scopes. The most recent is a Burris Fullfield 4, a 4x16x 50 with a red dot illumination. It has the big target turrets and side parallax. The MSRP is about $450, about $380 at Cabela's last year. As clear as any scope. Only shot one deer with it since it is less than a year old, a whitetail estimated at 8 years old. The shot was 282 yards. I highly recommend that scope but your neck does not fit the 50mm objective. They make many smaller ones that should work.

I would try any smaller objective scope before I decided on one, the Tasco is so cheap you have nothing to lose. Then if a 40mm objective and shorter rings work, then pick a permanent scope for it. Nothing wrong with Vortex I just think they are over priced for what you get, you are buying a warranty, but others have that too. Lets know what the problem was and how you fixed it. It might also be that you need an outdoor range also....lol
Hearing this, I think it is my neck lol. The only thing that keeps me from feeling like some jerk that can't center his eye to a scope, is that my son couldn't tolerate that one either. I've only had one other scope do that, and that was a "Remington scope" that came on a 597 .22 scoped combo. I guess that tells me something.

The 40mm objectives on low rings give me no problems on the other guns, so I may just try that on the Browning. I really do like that rifle.
 

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Hearing this, I think it is my neck lol. The only thing that keeps me from feeling like some jerk that can't center his eye to a scope, is that my son couldn't tolerate that one either. I've only had one other scope do that, and that was a "Remington scope" that came on a 597 .22 scoped combo. I guess that tells me something.

The 40mm objectives on low rings give me no problems on the other guns, so I may just try that on the Browning. I really do like that rifle.
Lots of us have to adapt to the higher mounted scopes. I have a Weatherby Mark V Deluxe, a top end gun and a Vanguard, the cheapest they make. The Vanguard will take any mounts, scope whatever, the Mark V has more drop to the butt of the stock, so bases, rings, and everything have to be just right for the gun to mount properly. It is 300 Weatherby, you do not want a loose mount, if you do it will slap your face. I just read this on the Wby Nation forum explaining the point.

"The required bases would be part number 51701. Often with the Mark V users will mount the bases for the Remington 700. While the base system for the Remington 700 fits on the receiver in regards to hole spacing and radius; they are not correct for height. This causes the scope to use it's internal adjustment to compensate and often ends in your current situation. The listed part number is specific for the Mark V receiver and the base heights are made accordingly to correct this issue."

I thought if you problem when I saw that. You are not looking for along range scope, so that saves some money to buy gas and food, and ammo. My bolt 223 is a Howa made about 40 years ago. It shoots everything pretty well, but on balance I think your Browning should do better, but who knows. I had the cheap Tasco on it for a couple decades and it worked great, killed a few prairie dogs. And really, nothing more was needed for shooting out to 300-350 yards. But like all gun nuts I wanted to upgrade, not sure why, still not shooting more than about 300 yards. The experts say you need that for varmint hunting. Problem is they have never been where I hunt, the sage brush is about 3 feet tall. A thousand coyotes running along at 300 yards would be pretty hard to see and then just glimpses as they go by an opening. That said, I put a Leatherman Hilux target scope on it, it is 6 x24x44 if I recall. It would look good on your Browning. Let us know what turns out to be the issue.

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've got 3 Athlon scopes a Midas BTR, Ares BTR, and a Cronus. I bought the Midas BTR SFP reticle to compare to my Sightron SIII scopes. While it isn't as good as the SIII's, the Midas BTR is a great deal. It tracks well, has a great usable reticle, and the glass quality is real good.
The Ares BTR FFP reticle is a really good scope, and for what I paid for mine on a close out price when Athlon was coming out with the Gen 2 version, it was a steal.
The Cronus series is Athlon's flagship model, and made by Light Optic Works in Japan. While it doesn't compare with $3k scopes, it doesn't give up too much to them at 1/2 the price.
That Athlon Midas scope really looked well made and performed very well for the author. I am assuming the Athlos Neos line is not up to that standard but still a decent scope? I also was looking at a Burris Fullfield IV close in price and zoom range to the Athlon but it seems the contemporary Burris scopes are not as well-regarded as the older ones. Any opinions?
 

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That Athlon Midas scope really looked well made and performed very well for the author. I am assuming the Athlos Neos line is not up to that standard but still a decent scope? I also was looking at a Burris Fullfield IV close in price and zoom range to the Athlon but it seems the contemporary Burris scopes are not as well-regarded as the older ones. Any opinions?
I have posted this before, but last year Imput a Burris Fullfield IV 4 x16x 50 on my 257 Weatherby and found in the field that it was clear as any I own in any price range. I went to 5 different stores and compared the Leupold, Vortex Viper 6 x 24x 50 I think and the Burris. The Vortex cost was double the Burris but I looked through them at 5 stores before I chose the Burrus. The day I bought I was in Cabelas on a slow afternoon, the y let me lay all these scopes out side by side on top of a gun safe, so they were steady and I looked at pictures and objects 103 yards away. The way they had it set up you look at light and dark and wildlife pictures and woods like you would in the field. The Burris was the clear winner.

Mine has the target turrets, side parallax adjustment, and a red dot in the center if the cross hair. In Nov I was having a hard tone finding a big deer and finally killed one estimated at 8 years, but even though he had a broken rack he was pretty big, about 180dressed I think.

He was chasing a doe hard and headed for the next property. I normally do not take long shots on running game but I did. He was about 250 yards and running broadside, I missed twice. Then they slowed just for a sec and I nailed him with a good double lung shot at 282 yards. The sun was out but I turned that dot on anyway and it lit up the spot very well. I think the red dot really helped as he was running hard in sage about 4 foot tall and I was just getting glimpses at him. But once he slowed I just put the dot there and it sealed the deal.

I think the price was $379 less the veteran's discount. They are $379 now.The same model without the red dot is much less, maybe $300 or so. I have had much more expensive scopes but think this Burris is probably the brightest and clearest in the field I gave ever owned at any price. So for any hunting application I will be looking at that exact scope in the future.

Anyway, just my experience

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$379.99
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SKU: 2858904

Magnification
4-16X
Objective Size (mm)
50mm
Model Number
200494
Size
12.4" ; 23.2 oz.
Eye Relief
3.5"-3.9"
Reticle
Long Range MOA Illum.
FOV
26-6.8 FT @ 100 YDS
Tube Size
1"
 

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That Athlon Midas scope really looked well made and performed very well for the author. I am assuming the Athlos Neos line is not up to that standard but still a decent scope? I also was looking at a Burris Fullfield IV close in price and zoom range to the Athlon but it seems the contemporary Burris scopes are not as well-regarded as the older ones. Any opinions?
I know nothing about any of Athlon's cheaper lines of scopes, nor the Burris Fullfield's. I don't own very many scopes that retail for under $750 anymore because they have mainly let me down / failed in the past.
I want optics that work for the job that I need them for, not a warranty claim that I will have to use over and over.

There are many good scopes made today in the $350 - $700 price range, but I just prefer to buy higher quality scopes for my usage.
 
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