Nikon vs. Vortex

killerv

Senior Member
Normally I would say nikon, but they changed up all their models and number schemes, etc and the newer ones eye pieces are too large and can cause bolt clearance issue. Glass and quality I think they are still top notch, and warranty service in my experience has been great, it's just finally getting confusing, the prostaff used to the be cheap line, now they aren't...etc. I'll still pick up used older models of monarchs or the original buckmasters when I run across them.

I wouldn't consider a vortex

I'd say no to both. There is an american company that has been making quality scopes for years, support them. You know who it is.
 
Have used leupolds , nikons ,redfields , tascos , bushnells , and simmons . My favorite is an old , clunky simmons 2.8x10x44 atec master series. I can see more quicker than any I have used. I get a lot of flack for saying that. I don't care.
 

killerv

Senior Member
Have used leupolds , nikons ,redfields , tascos , bushnells , and simmons . My favorite is an old , clunky simmons 2.8x10x44 atec master series. I can see more quicker than any I have used. I get a lot of flack for saying that. I don't care.
Scope snobs, the old aetecs and older 44mags were great little scopes. If you ever run across a whitetail expedition (not the whitetail classic) for a good price, pick it up. It rival some of the best medium priced scopes.
 
Both make good scopes. I have more vortex than Nikon scopes. Go to cabellas, or bass pro, or academy and try them out. Point them at something in a dark spot and compare.
 

Buckman18

Senior Member
I'd go with Leupold. I know you didn't mention one but I'm not a fan of China made stuff. With that said I've never looked through a vortex and to be honest I have no interest in them.
I agree. Leupold all the way.
 
What sold me on leupold along time ago is they are rock solid. I have never had on be loose zero. I put them on my hunting rifles because they are tools and while I try to take care of them they get used. I've fell hard a few times, dropped one out of the truck onto pavement, bumped and banged around and they hold zero. Clarity is as good or better as any scope in there price range. I can't say the same for the nikon, they stay on the 22s that are squirrel and plinker guns around the house.
 

MCBUCK

Senior Member
Leupold. Warranty is as good as any or better, but more importantly is their customer service. Lets say you get brand "X" scope and their warranty is an "over the counter" well that is good, but what if the same problem happens again? Do you want the same scope again? I don't. I have a VXII 3-9x50...an old scope my friend...it was old when I bought it 15 years ago. I had that glass 2 years and noticed the ocular zoom was getting very stiff so I called Leup and they said box it up and send it back ( that was in early September) I let 10 days roll by and called them back...they said I should receive my repaired scope within two days. They paid the outbound shipping, NO questions asked. It is as clear as new to this day and the scope is about 20+ years old. I still have that scope mounted on my T3. and I can still cut a quarter at 100yds
 

Jester896

Senior Member
yep...the only one I have left adjust 6 clicks for the 2 I want, rectile is brown and fading...glass isn't sharp any more. Probably should send it in but I still remember the last time I sent them one.
 
I have a Vortex Viper and a Nikon Prostaff on hunting rifles. Both nice scopes, but I would give the nod to the Viper for optical and build quality. Nikon is good, but Vortex is better in my opinion. I am a Nikon person for professional DSLR cameras.
 

Jester896

Senior Member
I have an older Meopta Artemis. Real good scope. Front bell is bent where it fell to the ground...didn't loose nitrogen...didn't loose zero...still works fine to this day....has a built in rangefinder etched into the glass.

it wasn't one of his choices
 

MCBUCK

Senior Member
yep...the only one I have left adjust 6 clicks for the 2 I want, rectile is brown and fading...glass isn't sharp any more. Probably should send it in but I still remember the last time I sent them one.
A Leupold? If it’s doing that, then I would send it back and follow up with a call. Theincustomer service was top notch. My experiences with a return were amazing. Not so much with Nikon; took them weeks and then I had to pay shipping and a service fee to boot.
 

175rltw

Senior Member
I can’t buy a leupold based solely on the fact that they are an American company when they produce a substandard product. Leupold scopes are pretty well known for having innacurate adjustments that are not repeatable. You experience this initially as being “hard to zero” while ending up going back and forth a while “bracketing” instead of simply dialing the number of clicks specified to move the bullet the desired amount. A scope that doesn’t track right is not going on my rifle if avoidable.
Leupold and Vortex both have history of excellent customer service with which they back up the junk they sell- though I have only dealt with the vortex side- and owing to the fact they all need to be replaced along the way- don’t mess with them anymore either. Meopta, bushnell elite, WEeaver grandslam have all proven to be durable scopes with accurate adjustments and reasonable optics. There are others as well but I can’t give firsthand recommendation.
 
Keeping the $300 budget limit in mind, it's honestly hard to pick a scope that is rock solid, tracks true, and has top quality glass and coatings, and not give in somewhere, or ramp up the budget a bit. Do I think you should compromise? NO! The only scope, I could recommend, at $300 or under, that I'd put in this category, would be a Bushnell Elite 4500, and it would have to be at a sale price, which I have come across a few lately.

It used to be, I'd say, that you had to spend at least $300 to begin to get into an entry level of quality scopes that can meet the criteria of being a well made scope, that holds zero, durable, with good fully multicoated glass, backed up by a quality company. Now, as (Quality)scopes are getting more expensive, I'd say, that price is somewhere in the $400-500 range. Many companies are having to trim the price to compete, and therefore are dropping the quality of the scopes, and cutting a few corners, in order to sell a cheaper scope.

Leupold and Vortex are no exception. Their lowest quality scopes are not up to par in my book, and I'd have to draw the Line at the Leupold VX3i, if they are still making it, and the Vortex Viper, in order to get into a decent scope. That being said, $300 won't quite get you there. As far the Nikon, I've owned 3 of them, and I just can't group them in a category of quality scopes, nor backed by a good company.

I really think buying a scope on sale, or even a used scope, (provided it has a transferable lifetime warranty) is the way to go. I really think the new Meopta Meopro 3-9x50 on sale at EuroOptic for $399 is a real sleeper of a deal at that price. IMO it's superior in optical quality and glass to the Leupold, and Vortex. I also have to say that I've seen tracking problems with Leupold myself. If you get it sighted in sucessfully, and leave it alone, your ok, but if your a turret clicker, I'd stay away from it. It also bothers me, that many of their scopes do not have a fast focus knob on them. I've owned a few Leupolds but have sold them for better optics. I'm not saying they don't make some quality scopes, but you can get a lot more for your money, from a few other companies.
 
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I just have to say that I have had first hand experience dealing with warranties from Leupold and Nikon. Although Nikon advertises a Full-Lifetime "No Fault" warranty, it is very conditional, and I'd read the fine print and full details of their warranty, before purchasing one.

I'm not trying to bash them, rather just giving a heads up, to someone, who is in the market, and thinking a warranty from Nikon, is one in the same with Leupold or Vortex.

From what I've read, and seen first hand, in order to use a Nikon Riflescope warranty, you first of all have to present a proof of purchase, a purchase date, with a bill of sale. Also, it's only available to the original owner. That being said, if you buy a used Nikon, it's not covered. If you can't prove you bought it, nor registered your warranty, it's not covered either. So, provided you've met all those criteria, it's a repair or replace warranty.

In my case, I sent them a prostaff scope, that would not hold zero, on my 35 whelen. They, evaluated it, and sent it back saying it was good. I put it back on the rifle, and it did the same thing. I couldn't get a group better than 3"-4" @ 100 yards. Replaced it with a weaver scope, and it grouped ~ 1-1/4". Shortly after, I traded the scope for a leupold rifleman.

In another situation, my brother acquired a old Leupold Vari-x III scope on a rifle he bought. He was not the original owner, nor did he have any sort of proof of purchase, warranty card, or anything even proving it was his. He asked if I could try to send it back for him. I called Leupold, and they instructed me how to ship it back, and didn't ask any questions about warranty cards, etc. A few weeks later, they replied by mail, saying they could not repair the scope, but would be shipping out a new one in the same power range.

Even though Leupold is not my most favorite riflescope brand, there warranty is second to none. I have no experience with Vortex, but have been told their warranty is very good as well.

One final warranty example.. I bought a used Sako .22 rifle, with a Swarovski Habicht 3-10x42 riflescope. The guy was a diehard hunter, and this was his squirrel hunting rifle. The scope was over 20 years old, and had been on several rifles, and was badly abused. It was still clear, but the magnification knob, was grinding when you turned it, and the fast focus, was frozen and inoperative. I had no warranty card, proof of purchase, wasn't original owner, etc.

I called Swarovski to see if I had any chance of a warranty or getting it fixed. They told me to ship it to them, and put ~$1000 of insurance on it. Maybe a month went by, and I received a letter saying it was going to be repaired. About another month later, I received it back and it was functioning like new, although it had several rings marks from years of service. That was several years ago, and it sits on my .270 today.

This is not meant to be a Nikon bash, more of heads up to know all warranty limitations, before buying. Many other brands do not carry transferable warranties either. Many need a warranty card as well. I know when I bought a couple weaver scopes, it was the same thing. I think Bushnell might be the same too, on some of their scopes.

Bottom line, all warranties are not equal. I'd read the fine print and return policies, on all scopes, before purchasing.

https://www.nikonsportoptics.com/en...tting-Scope_No_Electronic-warranty-sample.pdf
 
I was a Leopold man. I have a VX 1 that is 25 years old. Cant make it stop fogging up. My Nikon that is 4 years old only fogs if I exhale right into the glass. At the time I bought the Nikon I wanted Leopold but couldn't afford it. Nikon has the same lifetime no fault warranty that Leopold has, so I went with them. I dont plan to replace either, but if I do it will be the Leopold first.
 
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