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BorrisMart
LSU Fan
La
Member since Jul 2020
7943 posts

Spinoff: Best Budget Scope for Deer Hunting under $1k

Figured I would make this spin off as I have been putting together my things I need to buy this year for next season and I have found some great ideas for cheap rifles on the other thread here (tikka/weatherby/ruger/bergara/etc), many names I had never come across as I have been using mostly old handed down deer rifles for about 15 years now. So thank you for those threads.
I was gonna put together a budget build over the year and get one of the cheaper rifles outlined in the rifle thread and try to put the best glass possible on it for under $1k, I just don't know if I can put a $2k scope on one anytime soon as my "Need to buy List" has a ton of stuff on it.

I'd imagine anything Leupold (even if cheaper) is going to be a good route, but I wanted to see what some of y'all had done for cheaper deer rifles.


Big_country346
USA Fan
Member since Jul 2013
3265 posts

VX3i 3.5-10x40
Pretty sure this is going to be my go to on all my rifles besides my 300 win mag.
This is my third season with it and I absolutely love it. Think they’re running around 400 but I got mine closer to 3 on sale.


BorrisMart
LSU Fan
La
Member since Jul 2020
7943 posts

Thank you, the VX3 series is what I had mainly been looking at. I always have just used the scope that came on the gun, and have never paid much attention to the measurements and dimensions (I should read more into that) but that looks like a great scope. Looks like you are right, they are around $400 right now, may come down in the spring on a sale or something, but $400 isn't bad as you could put it on a Weatherby vanguard for a little over $1k(ish) I'd think.


Tiguh Thumb
LSU Fan
Liberty, Ms
Member since Feb 2019
86 posts

I’ve used Vortex Vipers on some less expensive rifles. Get them on special for around $300 Good scopes for the money.
I just ordered a Leupold VX5 Hd today
3-15-44 for $950 for my 300 Win Mag


BorrisMart
LSU Fan
La
Member since Jul 2020
7943 posts

quote:

I’ve used Vortex Vipers on some less expensive rifles. Get them on special for around $300 Good scopes for the money.
I just ordered a Leupold VX5 Hd today
3-15-44 for $950 for my 300 Win Mag


Vortex is a brand I was unfamiliar with, as I have been out of the buying scopes and rifles games for a long time, but I see them come up a lot in youtube videos and at retailers. I'll eventually get something really nice but I want to retire the old ones to the safe for a while and get a new one that isn't super pricey that I can hunt with for a while and not worry about banging up pawpaw's old rifle.


Big_country346
USA Fan
Member since Jul 2013
3265 posts

quote:

I always have just used the scope that came on the gun


Same. Unless it’s some no name bull shite scope like the one that came on my 35 whelen, it’ll do the trick. Hell, I swapped this one out on my 270 for a 17 year old bushnell 3-9x40 that came on the Walmart special.


DownshiftAndFloorIt
LSU Fan
Here
Member since Jan 2011
61360 posts

Same one I always suggest

Leupold vx3 2.5-8x36

Can be had for $400, great glass, extraordinarily light weight, holds zero on heavy recoil rifles.

It is the PERFECT general purpose hunting scope.
This post was edited on 1/4 at 4:35 pm


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BorrisMart
LSU Fan
La
Member since Jul 2020
7943 posts

quote:

Hell, I swapped this one out on my 270 for a 17 year old bushnell 3-9x40 that


I have one of those bushnells on one . Killed some deer with it, so can't knock it, I just want to find something newer. I'll take y'alls word on the vx3, seems like a good price and I have never heard anything bad about Leupold glass. I should probably learn more about the specific dimensions and numbers, but I don't know if that matters too much hunting in Louisiana.


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upgrade
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2011
10103 posts
 Online 

Leupold changed their VX3 lineup. VX3’s are only offered with the quick dial turret now. Many of y’all probably like this, and I agree it should be an option, I prefer simplicity. I set my scope and check the zero each year. I’m not dialing shite while I’m hunting.


Big_country346
USA Fan
Member since Jul 2013
3265 posts

You ain’t kiddin…that’s depressing.


DownshiftAndFloorIt
LSU Fan
Here
Member since Jan 2011
61360 posts

At least the new dial system has a locking elevation turret, so you can leave it zeroed without worrying about knocking it around, and it doesn't seem to have affected the MSRP.

I see the 2.5-8 has it on there. That seems absolutely perfect for me. Wish mine had it.


kengel2
US Marine Corps Fan
Team Gun
Member since Mar 2004
23030 posts

Bushnell LRHS 4.5-18x

A little overkill for south louisiana hunting, they used to make a 3-12x and I dont know why they discontinued it.

Its a phenomenal scope for the money.


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Afish85
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Apr 2021
540 posts

The vx3 hds have the cds elevation turret, but it’s still 1/4 moa clicks on the “sight in “ turret that comes with the scope


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upgrade
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2011
10103 posts
 Online 

I want to put my 2.5-8 on my 30-30 and get a 40mm for my 270.
I’ll never be satisfied 100% with a setup.


BorrisMart
LSU Fan
La
Member since Jul 2020
7943 posts

quote:

You ain’t kiddin…that’s depressing.


Yeah, I like to sight them in every year and just be able to shoot. Where I hunt its rarely more than 250 yards and usually closer. I will look into that on the vx3, but if they lock then it shouldn't be a problem and might be a cool feature to learn how to use.


bbvdd
Alabama Fan
Memphis, TN
Member since Jun 2009
22269 posts

Under 1000, imho, the best is the Leupold VX5 HD 3-15x44


BorrisMart
LSU Fan
La
Member since Jul 2020
7943 posts

Yeh the vx5hd looks badass. It looks like they discontinued the vx3i and now have the vx3hd. Maybe I'll pay more on the glass and get a cheaper rifle.


bbvdd
Alabama Fan
Memphis, TN
Member since Jun 2009
22269 posts

I have 2 of them and have talked others on the board into getting them. I don’t know of anyone that was sorry they bought it.


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HighlyFavoredTiger
LSU Fan
TexLaArk
Member since Jun 2018
524 posts

Really it depends on how far under a $1000 you need to be. Personally, I’d pay somewhere around $500 and get a Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10x40, I’ve had a couple of VX3 models that I bought in the late 1980’s and they are still in service on my .270 and .30-06 right now, never had a problem with either and never had to resight one after bumping or dropping, just small adjustments for bullet weight changes.
If you want to spend closer to $1000, get the Leupold VX5HD 2-10x42 or 3-15x44.


DownshiftAndFloorIt
LSU Fan
Here
Member since Jan 2011
61360 posts

Its the best lightweight general purpose scope ever built. I still like my 2-7 on my .30-30, but ever since it spent 40 rounds on top of the .375 it hasn't been quite right. The 2.5-8 is going on my .30-30 after the SWFA shows up.


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