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Life expectancy of a scope?

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  • Life expectancy of a scope?

    I recently got into using a scope on my .308 bolt gun. It's a Weaver and I've had it for almost two years. I'd venture to say I've put maybe 300-400 rounds through that rifle since. During my last range session, My POI starting rising about .75 with each shot and drifting right. After five shots, I adjusted the scope to no avail. I checked the scope mounts and rail along with the action screws on the rifle. All were nice and snug. I don't baby my gear, but I also don't abuse it. The scope has never been bumped against anything, dropped, or experienced any other event that would account for it not being able to hold zero. Do optics reach a point where the repeated jarring of a gun's recoil render it useless, or should I be looking at a different cause?

  • #2
    IMO it's just going to depend on the scope and the abuse it sees.

    I am about to send in the Simmons 44 Mag series 4x12 side parallax adjust after close to a decade on my .308W BAR. When I was checking the sighting prior to deer season next Wednesday, first round went spot-on.
    Next 3 were low and well left (several inches) but somewhat clustered.

    Corrected, fired 3 more, very high and still well left, corrected again, high, and loose, ammo is a known, so the scope is suspect. Corrections not tracking with the adjustments, which is ALWAYS IMO a serious scope issue.
    The scope hasn't been shot all that much,, but it's been hauled around a LOT.

    I'll be deer hunting with Hog's Bane this year apparently (my LR308 I recently built especially for Okie Swine).
    Bane wears a leupold (my first) so I will see how it does over the long haul compared to the less expensive options I've always had to afford before.

    When I built Bane, before scoping it (just breaking in the barrel), I strapped on an old Weaver K4 that goes back decades, it was all over the place, and, as old as it was, I just disposed of it instead of trying repair.

    The 10-22 wears an old 3x9 Bushnell Banner that keeps hanging on there, year after year.


    • #3
      There are two functions to a rifle scope: optical and mechanical.

      Cheap scopes have poor mechanicals, and are subject to recoil and wear. i've had Tasco scopes fail within one box. Some cheap scopes have decent optics for less demanding conditiond.

      Quality scopes usually have quality mechanicals and should last a life time. I have Baush& Lomb, Unertle, and Leupold scopes that are over 40+ years old and still hold zero. I have some Bushell scopes that are 20+ years still fine, on 338 and 7 mag.

      Optics (lens) wearly don't wear out (except some crosshairs) if not abused. But technology does improve, and some old Quality scopes do not have the optical quality of todays modern lenses on low end scopes. Coatings and light gathering have improved. But a 30+ year old quality scope is still much better than a new low end scope.

      I have a 30+ old Leupold 2-7x VX-2 that travels on my 700 in 308; that scope shas taken a beating. Included, was a nasty fall while crossing a boulder stream where the scope hit first to break my fall. It got a small dent and dunked. That was 15 years ago...still works pefectly.

      In buying scopes, I rate mechanical strength No.1 most opticals today are very good to excellent.

      just my thoughts


      • #4
        I shot an 03A3 in 30-06 for 15 years with a 40 year old 4x Redfield on it. scope was still dead on till I fell into a deep rut hidden by tall grass. Scope hit the ground first. Wouldn't Zero after that. I have never had one get "shot out".

        The only time I have had a scope go "bad". Was after some outside trauma or damage.

        I am a big fan of Leupold's lifetime warranty. have 3 of their scopes. if they need service, I end them to Oregon. That means a lot to me.
        Last edited by lscraig1968; 11-24-2017, 06:28.
        Load every bullet like your life depended on it because one day it might.



        • #5
          I wouldn't think a 308 would pound a scope into submission. I have a 30 year old Leupold that spent the first 25 years on a 308. It has taken some scratches and a 20' fall out of a tree stand. It's now on my AR. It does sound like the Weaver has gone haywire on you.
          If it weren't for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all.

          "Ammo and really good friends are hard to find in a gunfight so I bring them with me" E. J. Owens


          • #6
            Thanks guys. I doubted the problem is the scope.I'm thinking the mounting hardware even though I checked. Anyone know what the recommended torque is for the rings (inch lbs.)? As I mentioned, I checked the action and the recoil lug sits nice and snug in the glass bedding and remounted it on the stock. I'll remount the scope base and rings using LokTite and take her out later today to see if the problem persists. I just never heard of that happening to a scope that hadn't been dropped, bumped hard, or just plain abused.


            • #7
              Bases 40 in lb and rings between 18 and 20 in lb.
              If it weren't for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all.

              "Ammo and really good friends are hard to find in a gunfight so I bring them with me" E. J. Owens


              • #8
                What is the rifle? This sounds more like a bedding problem or other mechanical problem.
                Make sure all the screws for scope hardware is tight (don't be a gorilla), and all the rifle screws are tight as well (preferably per manuf's specs if any).
                If it still climbs up and right after a few shots (how many?) it sounds like barrel walk. Slip a cradit card between the bottom of the action/barrle as close to the front action screw as possible and see if that helps; if so the the barrel channel is probably touching somewhere.

                Please report back; inquiring minds want to know.
                It's not that Democrats are so damned ignorant. Their problem is that everything they know is wrong.

                Wimachtendienk, Wingolauchsik, Witahemui

                He who knows not and knows not that he knows not, is a fool.
                He who knows not and knows he knows not, is wise.


                • #9
                  I have a pre-1950 Weaver K 4 on a 270 Winchester. It is a pretty poor excuse for a scope by today's standards but it has never lost zero. I have only had it since 1970.
                  William Waco
                  First reload:
                  .22 Hornet - 1956


                  • #10
                    I don't know about the old Weavers but the new ones are P.O.S.s, with optics you get what you pay for same with mounting hardware.


                    • #11
                      I have a Weaver K4 like WIlliam Waco, same time frame. Still working good.
                      "The United States Marine Corps is a drug and I am a recovering addict."

                      "American by birthright… U.S. MARINE by the Grace of GOD!"

                      "And on the 8th day God created Marines and like fish, we came from the sea!"


                      • #12
                        I have my fathers 30-06 that has an old K-4 Weaver scope on from back in the 60s and has never lost zero, and I have a Rem. 788 30-30 that I bought from a friend that has a early 60s K-4 Weaver scope on that shoots dead on at 100 yds. the latter model scopes are not near as good as the old ones.
                        I came to the oilfield to get rich now I got to stay to eat.


                        • #13
                          I have seen a good number of scopes fall right apart brand new, including high end Leupolds. Yes, they have a life time warranty, but just about every scope made these days has that. My first scope was a Weaver K4 on my Dads old FN '06. I still have the rifle, but that scope is long gone. It fogged up on me on a deer hunt in 1970, and it was taken off. It's hard to define a "lifetime" for an individual scope. Many will last a good long time, some won't, and it really doesn't matter who makes them.
                          The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

                          H.L. Menken

                          NRA Endowment
                          US Navy Retired


                          • #14
                            LOL does lifetime mean that of the scope or mine ?