Authority to the Airgunning World

Where instigating argumentative debates and stepping on egos are the rule.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Airgun Scope Buying Guide

This guide is about finding the best price on a scope for your airgun needs. It does not go into details about clarity, warranties, and the like. Your best sources for these kinds of questions are to study scope specifications, visit manufacturer’s websites, and ask in airgun forums. Compare and contrast the specs to suit your needs.

When the same product is available from several sources, that product becomes a commodity.
Fundamentally, the only way to differentiate between suppliers of a commodity is price. You compete the same way you would compete in any commodity-based market. As Sam Walton said, “Why should you pay for someone else’s inefficiency”?

However, vendors realize this. When the commodities are the same, but one is cheaper, the competitor must differentiate himself by adding value. The usual way of adding value is to offer a service element on top of the commodity product. Therefore, you have to weigh other factors when you purchase from an airgun dealer. I have deliberately left out online vendors who do not post their prices. Good chances their prices aren’t any better than the ones posted. Further, you’ll cut down on the chitchat element to focus on what matters.

A great place to start is the straightshooters (SS) airgun scope-buying guide. This is where you’ll pick the correct scope for your needs, and acquire the cat # for the model you’re targeting for purchase. The cat # is the key, as you’ll be able to reference it with all other vendors.

I must warn you that straightshooters isn’t competitive when it comes to scopes. Their prices on airguns are very competitive, but their scopes are a rip-off. Don’t try haggling with them either. They won’t budge so don’t waste your time. For as long as they ignore it, the competition continues to grow in their ability to outperform them.

I must also mention that the SS scope buying guide doesn’t offer all the airgun rated scopes available. Burris, for example, makes top quality optics that not offered by SS. I have the R/A and mini series. They are airgun rated, and focus down to seven yards.

If you want a scope that is not mentioned above and not sure if it will withstand the recoil of your gun, post a question on the fun supply’s (or “yellow”) airgun forum:

You’re objective is to pick the lowest price among three vendors you’ve identified.

In my experience, D & R offers the absolute lowest price most of the time when it comes to high-end optics. Cut to the chase and visit their site at:

When you are certain you are going to buy the intended scope, you’ll need to get the complete purchase price of the scope including shipping and tax (if applicable). Perform an ad-hoc order (add scope to cart and proceed until you discover the shipping – then cancel the order).

E-mail D & R for quote + shipping. If you click on the link the price will be shown (as of this writing).

You will then proceed to SWFA for price matching:

SWFA price matching guidelines:

I recommend you call SWFA for two reasons:

1. Price matching via e-mail takes two or more days for a response

2. They take you seriously on the phone

I e-mailed price matching for three Bushnell 5-15x40mm mil-dot legends, and this was the response from Stephanie at She didn’t even realize the fact that D & R sells three or more of these scopes @ $148.73, so this quote was a waste of time for the both of us:


This is the price that we have on the item 755154m at D&R sports
$159.85 and if we do match there price we can not send you the promotion
deal that Bushnell has right now for the back pack unless they show it
on there web sight and we did not see it. So the price we would be able
to match if approved is $159.85.


Quantity in Basket: 1
Code: BSN755154M
Price: $159.85

Shipping Weight: 3.00 pounds


3 or more at 148.73

Product name: LEGEND 5-15 X 40 MIL DOT MATTE
Model #: 755154M
Stock #: 755154M
Price: $169.95
Competitor: D & R Sports (will be ordering 3)
Competitor stock #: BSN755154M
Competitor price: $148.73
Competitor shipping: $12.06

Verify SWFA’s price match to the next lowest competitor. Once you confirmed SWFA’s price is lower (even if the price is less than two dollars), the last step is to purchase the scope from them. SWFA stands behind their word, and will honor the price match, even if it is verbal. They offer quick and reliable shipping.

Other related scope vendor links you might find useful. Some venders below sell various lines of scopes that span multiple headings.

Swift scopes:


Garretson's Sports at 970-353-8068: These guys are in Greeley, CO right down the road from Burris. No website that I know of, but they take phone orders and will ship stuff to you. They seem to have a real close relationship with Burris, and often have sweet deals on Burris blems and other specials. If they have to order something special for you from Buris, it'll take no time at all for them to get it.


Nikko Sterling:

Night Vision:

Nightforce USNV Model 143:

cheaper alternative:


Manufacture websites:

Used airgun list:


Blogger Lamar said...

Thanks for the tip on D&R sports.

3:55 PM  

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