From the Knuckledragger, commenting on this article:
“I don’t buy into that horseshit about how we should spend the equivalent of our rifle’s value on an optic. I’m sorry, but save your money and invest it in a decent trigger instead. A quality trigger will improve your shooting much more than a fancy big name optic.”
I sorta-agree, with a couple of qualifications.
Don’t buy a $1,900 rifle and put a $49.99 scope on it.
In the same vein, don’t buy an old $200 mil-surp rifle and add $$$$$ Night Force glass.
What you’re getting with a very good scope is not just better optics, but reliability. Those $49.99 red-dot sights from CheaperThanDirt are not going to work as well, or last as long as a Trijicon. However (as with all things), once you get past a certain quality standard, incremental quality comes at enormous cost.
And if you’re buying an expensive rifle, you’d better get a superior trigger for your money. If you start off with a cheap rifle and add a Timney trigger, pretty soon you’ll discover that your barrel is sub-optimal — and by the time you’ve added that, plus a free-floating stock arrangement, you’ll end up with Washington’s axe. (Don’t ask me how I know this.)
This, by the way, is why I love CZ rifles so much: excellent reliability, a decent barrel and (most often) a single-set trigger, all for less than a grand. Ditto the even-cheaper Savage rifles, ever since they started putting the fine Accu-Trigger into their rifles.
All that said, my policy is always to match three things when putting together a shooting platform: rifle, scope, and intended use/frequency. If all you’re going to do is plink away at a range every other month, you’re not going to need a $5,000 rifle/scope combination. If you’re going to engage in long-distance competition shooting, spend as much or more than you can afford on both the rifle and scope. My Mauser M12 / Minox scope combination was bought with a Scottish deer stalk in mind (bad visibility, horrible terrain, 200+ yard shots), hence the scope’s illuminated reticle and ruggedness of the Mauser action. I could have spent a lot more on a hunting setup, but given my skill level (adequate), budget (don’t ask), and likely frequency of Scottish deerstalking (annual, at best), I “settled” for the M12 / Minox.
(More on the Mauser in a later post, by the way.)
Now, if you want to shoot rimfire ammo very accurately all the time (and you should), the CZ 452 topped with Leupold glass will do you very well — I would humbly suggest that getting an Anschutz with Swarovski glass may be overkill, unless you want to move on to competition shooting later. My own rimfire setup, for example, is a Marlin 880SQ (~$280) topped with a Nikon scope (~$300).
Hell, I’ve spent more time working out what ammo works best in the 880 (CCI Mini-Max 40gr FMJ), and those who have seen me shoot with this setup will attest that while I’m no world-beater, I certainly don’t disgrace myself. Given how often I go plinking (not as often as I’d like aaarrrrgh), it’s all I need. YMMV.
Sorry, this post has turned into something much longer than a Quote Of The Day, but it’s on a topic about which I have a little experience. Your comments, as always, are welcome.