Why good scopes are so expensive?

After nine years, John was amazed when his friend Knut Øyjorda found his gun in the mountains: The wooden stock was bleached out and brittle, the muzzle was rusted and unusable. Only the scope was still like new. The coating withstood the weather, the cold and heat could not harm the optics. T

via Lost and found: ZEISS riflescope in Norway | ZEISS International.

When I started to look for a rifle, I was told by several sources that I should not make the mistake of installing a cheap scope on a good rifle. And that I was expected to spend as much on the glass as I did on the gun and sometimes could be more.  I thought “Well crap, that is insane. Why would you do that?”

Well, one of the answer is pretty obvious now.

And no, I haven’t bought the rifle yet.

Hat tip to Mark S.

3 Replies to “Why good scopes are so expensive?”

  1. As someone who has spent an outsized oortion of my life trying to ‘get by’ with nominally substandard equipment, I concur with that sentiment. With careful handloading, proper maintenance, and a little custom work (like re-crowning the barrel and glass-bedding the action) an abused old second or third hand bolt action can give good service, provided you have good, reliable glass on it. A $2000 custom hand built accurized tackdriver is totally intrustworthy if the scope doesn’t hold a zero. I figure the rifle is half the budget, the scope is the other half. I have a Zeiss almost identical to the one in the story, but I WON it- that’s a wonderful piece of equipment, and I wish I could afford to buy another.


  2. I have been using Nikon scopes on my rifles, only because I cannot afford Leupold for the same features. I spend less than $300 for each of the scopes I have (have had, sold with the rifle) and the Leupold is usually double that or more for the equivalent scope. I now have a P-223 BDC600 on my AR, was $250. The Leupold Mark AR MOD 1 4-12X40mm is the equivalent (without the BDC reticle) and costs $565 or$625 MSRP depending on whether it has the Fine Duplex or Mil Dot reticle.
    I could not find a Zeiss scope for the AR to compare.
    The closest I could find is the Zeiss Terra 3X 4-12X42mm. at $499 MSRP.



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