Rifle-2 004

Chinese Glass

They’ve been around for a while now, those cheap telescopic sights made in China. Most seem to pass them off as something that will not last. Certainly some may be less than acceptable for average shooting conditions but I suggest that the quality wheel is slowly turning.

I must confess that this was my initial reaction, however the sale in a major US internet site was simply too tempting. The quoted price was $59.95 US for a 5 X 25 mil dot sight, simply irresistible. I had made up my mind that even if it was junk at least I would know in future. So for just over $100.00 Australian the package was delivered to my door via U.S. Post (Airmail) in little over a week. I have telescopic sights that I paid close to $1000.00 for many years ago. This Chinese number was a surprise.

Sure the optics are not a good as the best European or Japanese glass, for the price you would be unrealistic to expect them to be so. However they are of sufficient quality for what I would term average shooting conditions. Mine was installed on top of a brand new 22/250 R rifle and two years later it is still there. It’s good enough to knock off rabbits at 400 metres plus and that is good enough for me.

Interestingly enough the oldest glass sight in my gun cabinet is a wide angle 6 X Japanese purchased 30 years ago and considered junk at the time. It is still in use today and has never let me down.

4 thoughts on “Chinese Glass”

  1. I fitted a cheap Chinese made Bushnell Sportsman 3-9×40 scope to my old 22LR for under $100, including rings and weaver rail!

    I bought it from ebay so it may be a knock-off copy or the real thing. My thoughts are it’s a genuine entry level Bushnell.

    While it’s not in the ‘Leupold’ range of quality it’s far better than many appreciate. For me, it was excellent value (<$50) as I couldn't justify fitting a high end/cost scope to an old rifle.

    Todays modern computer aided manufacturing makes it possible to produce quality product at low cost. So don't think all budget scopes are rubbish. Some are, but many aren't.

    My only caution which internet shopping cheap scopes is to watch for low end scopes intended for 'toy' style firearms (dare I say 'Airsoft' as an example). These are easily recognisable by spec sheets listing irrelevant or unbelievable details, multi-coloured illuminated reticles of cryptic 'sniper' design, and Hubble style magnifications.

  2. I have a pair of Leupold binoculars and upon close inspection they sport a moulded label “Made in China” . They are not too bad to look through, given their budget price, and I treat them as a knockabout pair. I also have a pair of Nikon Action Extreme 7×35 binoculars, also made in China, and they are brilliant optically. I would put them up against any European brand any day, but I wear glasses as well. I have American made Leupold scopes on all my rifles, they are just so affordable these days. The early Jap scopes (Tasco, Nikko Sterling etc) were looked upon as cheap and nasty 30 years ago but they provided mostly good service and many of those early scopes are still going strong today.

  3. Interesting that 30/30 Man raises the issue of wearing glasses/spectacles. Think about how the quality of your glasses. Are they any better than what goes into producing rifle scope lenses?

    Having worn glasses for decades, I suggest the quality of most rifle scope lenses are far superior (ignoring the obvious fact glasses are designed to correct vision).

    Now if you’re looking through glasses, and then the scope, is there a point in having scope lenses far superior than what your glasses can transmit to the eyeball? Not sure…

  4. I have had 4 chinee scopes in the last year. Two were returned under warranty for fogging internally one works well but is a little fuzzy so i am changing it for a quality one in the new year. The cheapest one a 4×32 works well on my 22 but the more complex 6-24 ones were garbage but what did i expect for a budget price. Yes there is a big difference in glass quality, sealing and impact resistance but if you get a good one they work ok. For the occasional shooter they would be ok but i shoot weekly and the faults show up. Half of mine work and half are rubbish so you have half a chance of getting a good one you get what you pay for.

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