View Full Version : US Optics
07-27-2011, 09:59 PM
In my quest for a scope I came across US optics. They look like a high quality, very expensive scope. Anybody have any experience with them? Are they worth the money?
07-27-2011, 10:27 PM
I have quite a bit of experience with USO, and they are one of the few acceptable standards in long range precision shooting. They are basically scopes made by engineers who care about performance, not aesthetics. The glass is top-notch and very clear. The tubes and turrets are extremely strong, and they offer the only scope line where the customer basically starts with a certain base model, and specifies what reticle, knobs, illumination, focus, placement of knobs, and finish they desire.
I have used, competed with, or owned 1.8-10x37 SN-3's, 3.2-17x37 and 3.2-17x44 SN-3's, & 3.8-22x58 SN-3's, while also doing a lot of side-by-side comparisons with IOR, NightForce, S&B, and even Hensoldt. USO is more in the neighborhood above NF, on par with S&B, and slightly less clear than Hensoldt/Zeiss when it comes to glass quality. NF beats them all in reliability, while USO is comparable to S&B in that arena. None of them offer the customer-specified features that USO does, so that is one of their biggest selling points when ordered from them.
They are quite popular in the 800m-2000m capable rifles, so the larger SN-3's are a bit overkill for most Grendels, while the 1.8-10x37 is an excellent scope for the Grendel and .308's or calibers in that performance envelope. If you are looking at USO, you might as well order a custom build exactly to your preferred specs. I ordered my 3.2-17x37 with the .1 Mil Ergo EREK elevation knob, the Mil MPR reticle, and Cerakoted in FDE.
If this is your first higher-end scope, I would suggest investing in something under $600-$700 with a good reputation, so you get a feel for what you like. What is the scope for? Hunting? State and National-level competition? Target-shooting for fun?
I would look at the Vortex Viper PST or hunter line first. USO's are worth the money, but they are usually purchased after years of dissatisfaction with Leupold's.
07-27-2011, 10:54 PM
I started another thread where I asked about scopes and the Viper was suggested. It looks like a very nice scope, but I would hate to order it and wish I had spent the money on something I really wanted. I really like the idea of getting a custom scope, and Im willing to spend the money to get something I really like. I dont really hunt, but I like the idea of long range target shooting, just for fun.
I have waffled back and forth. At one point I had my mind set up with the Viper, then Nightforce. I really do like the USO though.
07-27-2011, 11:27 PM
If we are talking about putting glass on your 16" Grendel, my advice is to get the more economical optic, since the advantages of the USO or NightForce are only realized at extended ranges with bigger, more abusive calibers. If we were talking about a .260 Remington, 7mm WSM, .300 WM, or .338 LM, it would be an entirely different conversation over three or four main brands: USO, NF, S&B, and Hensoldt.
Imagine yourself on the firing line or range with your buddies. You have a $1200-$1500 NF with a $150-$200 mount, while your buddy has a $500-$600 Vortex with the same mount. You've both been shooting from 200yds out to 600yds for an hour or so, and you decide to switch rigs and see how each others' compares. You don't see any discernible difference in glass quality without really squinting, and you both have been hitting targets just the same.
The Vortex has a zero-stop as a standard feature, whereas with NF, you pay $200 more (on top of $1200-$1300). The Vortex has matching turrets, i.e.: Mil/Mil or MOA/MOA, and a no questions asked, fully-transferable lifetime warranty in the unlikely event that something goes wrong with it. The Vortex weighs about the same at 18.4 oz., while the NF NXS weighs 19oz. The Vortex Viper PST has fiber-optic tubes to indicate turret and magnification position, something exclusive to them, to help keep track of how many turns you have dialed on your turret. The Vortex also has tactile "bumps" in the magnification ring so you can feel what magnification you're on without looking.
This really is a no-brainer. If you had a longer-range caliber, you still could use the 2.5-10x44 as I do on my .260 Rem AR10, but I wouldn't mount the 32mm objective NF on that .260 Rem, as the Field of View is more limited. Another plus for the Vortex. A 16" Grendel is not something to splurge on optics for, unless you just want to show others that you really enjoy burning money. You definitely don't want to drop the coinage for a USO on it, unless you find someone with a great deal on a used 1.8-10x37 SN-3 that you can use on other rifles too.
If you are set on burning money and want the absolute best glass you can get for a 16" Grendel AR, I would recommend the Swarovski Z6i 1-6x...but that scope is really best-suited for 3-gun or dangerous game hunting, and doesn't offer uncapped target knobs. I must admit that it is a religious experience in optical clarity when viewing through that tube. Or you could just buy two Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10x44's with Mil/Mil and indefinitely loan one to me. I'll even be your friend and continue to give you great advice like this, until we both need Hensoldt's...:o
07-28-2011, 01:02 AM
I know your right. I think I just have to get past the "you get what you pay for" mindset, and realize that the PST has to be a good scope. Maybe if I was somewhere I could look at one, it would be different. Saving 1400 bones is another plus.
I really do appreciate the advice.
07-28-2011, 06:41 PM
You still get what you pay for with the Viper PST's, and then features that are only available on $1500-and-up optics normally, for under $1000. The 2.5-10x44 is very affordable at under $600, and is a great scope. Additionally, you could use the 2.5-10x44 on a .260 Rem or other caliber than packs more powder and can reach 1000yds consistently within 1-1.5 MOA in wind conditions. Once you start passing 1000yds, you might want to consider other optics, but very, very few long-range shooters and hunters actually break the 1k distance on a regular basis with any degree of skill. Most shooting is done from 400yds to maybe 700yds, which is Grendel and .308 territory.
Talk to Scott at Liberty Optics in Montana, or if you are out east, there is some optics shop out of New York that offer the best prices right now on Vortex.
07-29-2011, 12:24 AM
Also you can give http://www.bamdsales.com/ a call.
Doug is a really good guy and offers some awesome deals, he has very little markup on anything he carries or can get for you.
07-29-2011, 03:47 PM
Hi I have had one for 11 years, super scope,good company,very helpful.A friend of mine has one, the elevation turret 100-1000 yards = 1 half turn of the turret,1/2 moa clicks, the will also engrave turrets to your own marks.
I have had a Nightforce 3.5x15 for the last two years on my Grendel. It has enough magnification to see clearly how large a deer's rack is out to about 350 yards with my eyes. That being said, I have never taken a shot with it over about 7 power. That has seemed to be the sweet spot for me. I looked at S&B, USO and Leupy before I bought the NF. All of them are great scopes, I made my selection after talking with each of the companies, in person at SHOT. The level of customer service from NF has been second to none. You can get them on the phone, you can talk to them in person, at least at SHOT and they are happy to give you the time of day. Leupy was second place in all of the above, they just didn't have the scope I wanted at that time. I highly recommend the NF. I have looked through the Vipers, during the day, but never at low light. They seem like a quality piece of kit.
Don't be afraid to go with a lower power range. I went from a 6.5x20 down to were I am now, no regrets. No doubt USO makes some good gear, they just don't have a great personality. Just my .02.
07-30-2011, 01:07 PM
I ended up buying a Viper. It was hard not to when everyone speaks so highly of them, and they were so much cheaper than the rest. I really appreciate all the help fellas.
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