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Thread: Toughest scopes out there

  1. #1

    Toughest scopes out there

    Being a self professed weekend warrior, I have no NEED of super tough scopes.. but it got me thinking, what scopes stand up to the yearly abuse levied on them by professionals or those who are out all the time. You know, in really fowl weather repeatedly, stood on by the dog and still have the edge. I've always thought Schmidts were the Daddy in terms of robustness. Maybe I just see other brands that look pretty in the gun shops that appear to be suited to only occasional use. So team.. What are your thoughts? Are z6i's built like a tank, are meopta an underestimated brand, do Zeiss have awesome glass but after 3 days of rain leak?


  2. #2
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    IOR scopes are the toughest I've seen. Built from, not like, the proverbial tank!
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  3. #3
    Schmidt and Bender for me, owned several over the years and they have never let me down.

  4. #4
    I've seen some very old Swarovski 6x42's and 8x50's on estate rifles that certainly have that 'lived in' look and are still going strong.

    The old green S&B 6x42 that was the original scope for the L96 took some punishment too, anything that is 'soldierproof' is doing well.

    Not everyone will agree but I have used various Leupolds pretty hard and never been let down.

  5. #5
    I would say the fixed power Schmidt and benders fit the bill.
    The older Leupold MK4 fixed powers were good too but I have no idea about current models.

  6. #6
    I'd say Schmidt as well bearing in mind Schmidt are still a current military issue scope so they will have been tested

    I use a Swarovski z6i admittedly I don't abuse it day to day but I'm sure it would take a few knocks

    I've always wondered how abuse proof scopes are as people say things like "I knocked it getting it out the safe and now I can't hit a barn door "

    thats no good to someone in the military

  7. #7
    I have a Swarovski 6x42 on my .243 that's been on it for twenty years. It has had heavy use, out in all weather conditions and I have never had a problem with it. Still has a crystal clear sight picture.

  8. #8
    Some of these 'aggressively' designed Weekend Tactical Operator scopes give the impression of being built like a brick outhouse in Herefordshire but in truth are a failure waiting to happen. Just give one of those twiddly turret things a good whack and you'll better understand my point.


  9. #9
    If it is a question of outright toughness then look to what the military use... their scopes have to stand up to abuse way beyond the norm and simply can't fail in the field.. remember, it's as much about the strength and durability of the internals and their ability to return to zero and have absolute click values 1st time and millionth time... S&B, Nightforce, IOR are the usual suspects but that level of robustness comes at a cost... of weight, with such scopes being around twice the weight of a lightweight hunting scope and, that is where the compromise is... Your swaro Z series, zeiss V8, S&B Stratos et al, whilst great, are built to be light, not tough as old boots.. there has to be a compromise... Are they great in the field where they will see little abuse other than a few scrapes through the brambles and the odd downpour.... yes..... would I trust one on the battlefield unless it was all I had available..... no!

    And it's not brand specific... it's product line specific... PMIIs etc are built to do a job and not fail at the wrong moment when in a deadly situation in Afghanistan, a Stratos failing in the field will mean a failed hunt not a failed mission or loss of human life.. Also, don't assume that fixed mag scopes are any more rugged than GOOD variables.. My first scope was a S&B 8x56 atop a tikka t3 lite in 6.5x55.. 1st shot with no mod and the insides all fell apart and I had a tube full of bits!!!!!
    Last edited by Vipa; 10-10-2015 at 11:10.

  10. #10
    Schmidt and Bender !!!

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