Deciding on which scopes to buy for these two rifles became a very daunting task. The more I read, the more confused I became. EVERYBODY has their own opinion, likes and dislikes. After spending countless hours pouring over every article I could find about how to choose the "correct" scope I finally said enough. I took a break to clear my head and then sat down and outlined exactly what I wanted (or thought I wanted) to be able to accomplish my goals with each of the two rifles. I started with the 700P first. The criteria for it were as follows;
1. At least 24 power to get out to 1,000 yds. (old eyes)
2. Shooting exclusively from the bench or from a prone position. (scope weight not a consideration)
3. Price of scope not to exceed the cost of the gun excluding rings and base. (budget based on reality)
4. Side paralax adjustment. (why not?)
5. Subtended in MOA with matching MOA target turrets. (just easier in my opinion)
6. Zero turret stops. (just takes one more possible screw up out of the equation)
7. Good customer support.
Once I made up the list it became much easier to narrow down the choices. A 30mm tube with sufficient elevation adjustment combined with a 20 MOA mounting base to be useful at 1,000 yards was also required. So armed with this info off I went to see who offered what. After much comparison shopping it appeared that the Vortex Viper 6-24X50 was the only scope that had everything I wanted and also got great reviews to include their customer service. The street price of the scope was around $950 so it was just $50 under the price of the rifle. Yes, I did find a couple of scopes that were considerably less expensive that got pretty good reviews but in my mind when you have two items that claim to be close and one of them is half the cost of the other something is rotten in Denmark. Hey, they might be fine but I just won't take the chance. It's like a guy once told me back in my motorcycle riding days, "if ya got a $5 head, ya wear a $5 helmut". So I setteled on the Vortex and began the search to find one. All of the usual places were out of stock and not expecting to get anything until mid to late spring so I was starting to get bummed. I don't know how I ended up on B&H Photo's website but I did and to my surprise they had exactly two of the scopes in stock. I called my buddy Ron and told him they had them in stock so we bought both of them that minute. I really think they were the last two left in the country at that time because I had looked everywhere. Pure luck.
I mounted the scope using a Leupold steel short action 20 MOA rail and Leupold Mark 4 steel rings. Ron chose a Blackhawk aluminum 20 MOA rail and Vortex rings to mount his so we will see if the pricey Leupold stuff is worth the extra bucks. As of this writing I couldn't be happier with my descision. I had a budget and I stuck to it. I did my homework and in my opinion made a good choice. Yes, I could have spent a lot more and got a NF or a Schmidt & Bender but at my level I believe it would have been a waste of my hard earned money. Long story short, figure out what you NEED to do the job, not what you WANT and do your own research. Don't let somebody else tell you what you simply have to have.
The DPMS Bull 20 AR was next on my list to get fitted with some optics. After going through everything I went through with the 700P finding a scope for the AR was a lot easier. I could quickly eliminate all the red dot stuff as I nor my shooting buddy Ron have any desire to do any runnin' and gunnin' at our age. I just want to sit at the bench and punch holes in paper or pick off a few clay birds out to 500 yards or so. My list of criteria for the Bull was quite a bit shorter than the 700P. It was as follows:
1. Minimum 3-9X40. (many options available in this range)
2. Mill Dot reticule. (no need for BDC)
3. MOA target turrets.
4. Side paralax adjustment.
5. SFP reticule subtended in MOA.
6. Simple one piece mounting system.
7. $350 budget.
While looking for a scope for the 700P I had made some mental notes as I came across scopes that would work on the Bull and I think subconsciously had Nikon, Leupold, Ziess and Bushnell tucked away in my RAM. So, I started looking at them all and comparing features one to the other and was surprised to come across a Nikon Buckmaster 6-18X40 that had everything I listed above plus a sun shade and 1/8 MOA turrets and it came in under budget by $30. Sweet! The reviews were great so I figured if I could get an 18 power scope for what I was willing to pay for a 9 power I would go for it. Well friends I'm glad I did. This is a really nice scope for the money. It tracks perfectly, is clear and bright and the turrets have a good feel. A great scope for the money. I purchased a Burris PEPR one piece mount and installed the scope on the Bull 20. It was a perfect marriage and it fits me perfectly. I took it to our local indoor range and it took exactly three rounds to dial it in! As I have said earlier on I am going to put a Geissele trigger in this gun and I think it is going to be a great shooter as long as I do my part.
Well that's about all I have for now. Going forward we will be working on getting some loads worked up for the 30 calibur guns and going to the range to see what the guns like or dislike. Hopefully all this knee-jerk politics will settle down before any more self serving politicians do any more damage to our freedoms and good law abiding folks can get back to enjoying our sports and hobbies.
Take care and be safe,
Mike's Reloading Bench
The Armory Clubhouse
Scopes and mounts
Mike's Reloading Bench is not afilliated with Lee Precision.
More coming so stop back often.
Vortex Viper PST 6x24x50