In my younger days, I made the mistake of thinking a scope was a scope, and there wasn’t any reason to spend more than a couple hundred bucks on one. I’d get a new rifle that cost many hundreds of dollars, then I’d bolt a cheap scope on it. The results were predictable – even though I had a very nice rifle to shoot, the optics reduced the overall performance.
Sometimes you can get away with a cheap scope, but if you hunt in any kind of inclement weather, if you are particular about where you want to hit the animals you’re hunting, or if you don’t want to worry about your scope losing its alignment easily, you might want to spend more than a few hundred dollars on the optics. You probably really don’t absolutely need a scope that connects to your iPhone and calculates windage and loft depending on your distance from your target and the current weather conditions, but those are available – and made by at least one Wyoming company – and they’d be really cool to have.
But you do want to get a scope that’s fully multi-coated to prevent fogging up in bad weather, and one that’s built to take the rigors of a hike or a ride on a four-wheeler or a horse into the backcountry, and you’ll probably need to spend a bit more for one of those.
I finally learned my lesson, after swapping out cheap scopes for far too long. But all that sighting in would have been much easier if I’d owned my own bore sight. I finally remedied that problem, now that I have scopes I don’t have to change out every year or two. I always thought a good bore sight was prohibitively expensive, but you can get a nice one for less than $100. And with the ammo situation right now, a bore sight is a bargain at twice the price.