Inexpensive Scopes

Mar 30, 2015
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
As I have gotten older I've started getting tired of paying into 4 digits for scopes. I've never had a problem with any of the various Leupolds I currently own. And many of them have seen thousands of rounds over the last 50+ years. Leupold has always made, and continues to make good glass.

But aside from a few older cheap Tasco's that I mounted on a few .22's, up until recently I never purchased anything too inexpensive, based on the idea, "you have to pay to get any type of real quality".

Then I bought a Bushnell Elite 4200 6-24 X 40 MM. I was blown away by the brightness and clarity. I now own a total of 4 of them. 3 of which are mounted on 2 .300 Win. Mags. and my .50 BMG. All are holding up well, with no sign of problems.

So I was looking through Amazon for something inexpensive to mount on my DPMS AP-4 .308 AR Carbine. I've been shooting it with the carry handle irons, and my eyes aren't getting any better.

So I thought I would take a chance and try something inexpensive from the Pacific Rim, and see if they're any good. After talking with a couple of guys at our club who are heavy into AR's, one showed me a, (don't laugh too hard), "Sniper" model he had mounted on a Daniel Defense 5.56 MM he had. These are manufactured by Presma Inc. Who is one of the largest optics manufacturers in Asia.

I looked at it and I have to admit, I was really impressed. Mil-Dot illuminated, glass etched, 3 color reticle. 30 MM tube. And it comes with a 3" sunshade, one of those honeycomb anti reflection devices, and pop open lens caps mounted as well. Along with halfway decent rings, that come already spaced and mounted. It has a side parallax adjustment. And turrets that can be zeroed and locked.

And I couldn't believe the price...... $160.00 with free shipping. So for that I went and ordered one, figuring how bad can it be? It came yesterday, and I mounted it. It took me longer to take off the carry handle, than it did to mount the scope. The rings were perfectly spaced, and fit right on the rail.

Aside from being a bit on the heavy side, (right around 25 ounces), This thing is really nice. It comes with a good, well written manual with photographs explaining the use of Mil-Dots for ranging, how to zero, etc.

I'm hoping to light it up at the range early next week. I'll report back on how it goes. This is the scope:

I was concerned about the A-Frame front sight causing an issue with the field of view being so close to the front lens. But you can't see a thing. (The 3" Sunshade just fits).

If this thing holds up, I'm going to pick up a couple more just to have "in stock" for any projects down the road. For the price I don't see how you can beat it.


That looks like a very well specced scope for the money. I have a 6-24X50 from china. I don't care much about the milky image above 20-ish times zoom, so 4x-16 would likely be much better. Yours has a nicer reticle too, I have a rangefinder reticle like below:

Never heard of those, my usual go to for a cheap scope is Simmons but I've not bought any scopes in quite a while. Also a Burris fan if spending more.
I don't like cheap optics and I don't like over priced optics. There is a sweet spot in there with a lot of amazing options. Look at the Sig Bravo 3 and 5 series of prism scopes. Not lightweight but amazing glass and huge view. Also, Vortex has a pretty impressive line of entry level scopes. I stay away from the amazon specials and such but have been impressed (for the price) with the Simmons rimfire scopes at Walmart- they aren't very high end but for $30 including rings they work well on a squirrel gun or plinker.
Sorry but I only clicked on it because I thought this was about the scope which is more suitable in automotive context! When you started with "various scopes", I had to take about turn! After buying my fair share of OBD scanners, I have always lusted after scopes but still without one.

Carry on talking about your type of scopes!
Looks like a good deal in light of other recommendations from people you know. I’m a big fan of Vortex who make exceptional glass on par with Leupold. Their lifetime warranty, which I thankfully haven't had to use, is exceptional.
Never heard of those, my usual go to for a cheap scope is Simmons but I've not bought any scopes in quite a while. Also a Burris fan if spending more.

I had a hundred dollar Simmons on a Ruger .454 Casull Super Redhawk for a long time. I couldn't get the scope to stop moving forward in the rings with hot loads. I tried everything. Lapping, rosin, name it. After around 300 rounds I just gave up and took it off. But the scope itself never quit.
I also have a pair of their Razor HD binoculars, which for their price point, stopped me from spending more on the more expensive German glass. These eyes had trouble distinguishing enough difference to justify the price difference.
I agree that moderately priced optics can be great performers.

My DPMS AP4 is currently wearing a Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8. I found a great deal, scope and mount, for $360, from, a site dedicated to military discounts.

Nice choice in rifle, Bill. Shown pre-Vortex.


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Just to clear up some misinformation that is posted in the link I provided. The link shows the weight of the scope at "2.4 pounds", and suggests "An American Company", complete with an American flag in one of the photos.

The actual weight of the scope in the booklet provided with it, shows the weight at a more realistic 24.7 ounces, or 300 grams. The scope is not made in America. But rather is made overseas, and is distributed by an American outfit called Texas Precision Optics. They are located 9880 Monroe Drive, Dallas Texas 75220...... In case anyone is interested.
how does the picture look at 600 yard. Some of the fancy $$$$ look much better that the lower priced scopes I have looked through.
how does the picture look at 600 yard. Some of the fancy $$$$ look much better that the lower priced scopes I have looked through.

I've just been playing with it. I focused it on a high tension power line tower about 500 yards away from me. (Just a guesstimate on my part). And it focused bright and clear. I put a battery in, (they give you 2), and played with the illuminated reticle. It has 3 colors, blue, green, and red. It lights up nice and bright.

I'm planning to get it to the range this Sunday, and get it zeroed. It's supposed to be pretty calm. I laser bore sighted it from across my property on a card table, yesterday at dusk. (About 80 feet). So it should print pretty close.

The rings are Aluminum, and I don't have an inch pound torque wrench. So I just tightened them by feel. Hopefully I've got them tight enough. I'll keep an eye on the scope to make sure it doesn't move in the rings. Everything seems good and tight.
After looking at your picture, I think I'm going to have to move my setup farther forward. I was hoping to have enough room to employ the 3" sunshade. I don't think that's going to work out. Such is life.