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Testing
In General Discussion
jeffreyjob
Jul 19, 2021
I don’t know what that is. Can you explain? I will be using resolution testing sheets the camera lens people use to get something more than subjective observations. As I said above if the Tract and Leupold don’t way outperform relative to the Arken and Bushnell then the market will hand them their asses. I really like one other feature of the Tract. It’s owned by two guys who are basically online about 18 hours a day that you can chat with or call for personal advice. They’re very aware that asking someone to drop serious coin on their scopes sight unseen is a big deal. So they offer a no hassle return if you don’t like what you ordered. When I received mine I had never seen a FFP reticle so didn’t like it. I called them and asked how to return it. They just asked me if there was some defect they should know and I thought here we go with the runaround. I told them the scope was solid but I didn’t like the reticle. To which he said ok send the scope back and we’ll issue a refund on your card. So I learned firsthand these guys are honest and legit. So I kicked it around for another day and just couldn’t send it back. It was the most amazing scope I had seen to date and I decided I’d just get used to FFP which I did. I have a long history of being resistant to changes but eventually embracing them and I figured this is just another thing to learn. So I called them back and said I’m keeping it. Jon said of course he was glad I decided to keep it. Try calling the owners of L or B. I really like the direct to consumer sales model but that means you can’t walk into a big box store and physically look at one. Absolute integrity is vital to Tract and Arken both and I know firsthand Tract means what they say and I have no doubts about Arken based on their explosive demand and watching a YouTube interview Cyclops did with one of their guys. Now an interesting fact about Bushnell and their Match Pro. They only sell it directly from their website to contain costs and ship in in a very plain cardboard box. So apparently the startups like Arken are at least spooking them enough to give direct sales a try. From their wait times on the Match Pro it working very well for them also. I think this new trend of small direct to consumer model of sales is shaking things up in a good way. It makes the company very attentive to what their customers want and need. If we all support them they will thrive.
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Testing
In General Discussion
jeffreyjob
Jul 18, 2021
Ok so I did an initial comparison on these four scopes: Tract Toric 4-20x50 $1295 Leupold 8.5-25x50 LRP $1000 Bushnell Match Pro 6-24x50 $500 Arken SH-4 6-24x50 $450 A little background first. I had been out of the shooting sports for quite a few years and just in the last couple got back to them. What I found was vastly superior equipment at much better values than back in the day. Technology has advanced by leaps and bounds so while I used to be very knowledgeable I’ve had kind of a Rip Van Winkle experience. Sort of like a model A and a self driving Tesla are both cars but they have more differences than similarities. So here goes. As I stated earlier I had some surprising observations and some previous assumptions that are no longer valid. One was a quality scope with repeatable adjustments would start at around $800. Another, a small company selling their products directly couldn’t possibly compete with a large well established and trusted company like Leupold. And who could trust them enough to buy sight unseen anyway? If you spend twice the money you’re getting twice the quality. Who needs FFP or christmas tree reticles? This one was because I was thinking hunting scope and not longer range precision shooting. Now of course there are exceptions to every rule but I either got a fluke bunch of examples or there’s a new breed of scopes coming out! This is the first time I’ve ever compared products side by side and what I learned was this. When I compare them side by side I see difference both good and bad I wouldn’t notice if looking at each at separate times. So this will be my new normal from now on. My initial surprise, I was literally shocked at the build quality of all four scopes. I expected a downward trajectory (pun intended) from higher to lower price points. That assumption was proven false. Both the Arken and the Bushnell were right with the Tract at 2.5 times the money! The Arken looks the beefiest and for that reason they should name it after a tank! It looks like a $3000 scope. As to the specs. The Arken has a 34 mm tube while the others are all 30 mm which gives it much more vertical travel than the 30’s. Which is why it’s the heaviest at 36.6 ozs. The T is 34, the B is 30 and the L at 23. Leopold is still the king in lightweight in each category. All are similar in magnification and all are 50 mm objective lense and parallax adjustable. All are similar length. All are mil based and all but the L are illuminated and FFP which I have discovered I really prefer. There are different approaches in them however. The Tract illuminates the entire reticle, the B just a few mils around the center and the Arken mostly the center. I’m initially thinking the Tract may be too much illumination because you only need the be really clear at your aiming point. That being said, it also has 11 settings so it doesn’t blow out the sight picture with internal glare. This is something I learned about FFP reticles. At lower power they are unusable. UNTIL they are illuminated which then makes them usable in hunting situations. So with illumination I now prefer them to SFP reticles. All have very smooth adjustments, smooth not because of loose tolerances but because of precision manufacturing. There’s no discernible difference between the $1300 Tract and the $450 Arken! All have similar eyeboxes with the lone exception of the Leupold which is small in comparison. The Leupold was also the only one without a fast focus ring. Now to the turrets. Here’s where things get interesting. I’m guessing there’s a large bit of subjective preference here. Not so much better or worse but just different. The Leupold was the quieter and the Bushnell was the the loudest. All had very precise clicks but differences in ease of turning. The L felt almost too easy to turn and clicks close together like you could overshoot and jump them. I didn’t like these turrets at all. The A and the T both are similar in audible and tactile while the B is noticeably louder and stiffer to turn. Which upon initial reaction I like the most but could change with actual usage. They felt most precise and you aren’t going to accidentally jump clicks with this one. The T has locking turrets so they obviously won’t move inadvertently. So here’s the subjective part. Will you be annoyed having to pop up the turrets every time you want to move them? Will you be annoyed with stiffer turrets and decide you prefer smoother quieter turrets with the possibility of them moving? Will you like the more audible click so you don’t have to look at the turret‘s settings or will you want them quieter for something like varmint hunting where you would just perceive it as noise? The A and the T have the similar large knobs that you could probably operate with mittens on. The L and the B are noticeably smaller but still easy to see and operate. As expected the T has more features and German glass so it had better be vastly superior to the B and the A or they are going to get their asses handed to them. I never would have expected to hear myself say this but the only scope I regret buying is the L. I bought both the Arken AND the Bushnell together for less than the L. Even if the L was $450 I wouldn’t buy it as it has less features than all the others. So here’s the two caveats that may change my opinion of these scopes. Glass resolution and reliability. Obviously glass is the #1 feature followed by turret accuracy. So the Leupold would have to be superior even to the Tract for me to keep it but I’m guessing the German glass will win out. HOWEVER, if the T is not vastly superior to the B and the A then Arken is going to be both Leupold’s and Tract’s new nightmare. So these are my observations and I’ll do a follow up after range testing.
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jeffreyjob

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