Buying a used optic is often a good way to find the scope you want or need while saving a few bucks in the process. Now, since optics are finicky things, it’s best to be cautious. Let’s face it an optic is like anything made with primarily glass components, fragile. And we all know that buying a used broken optic is not exactly saving money.
When it comes to buying used optics it’s best to get hands on the optic before you commit to any kind of purchase. Since so many purchases take place online this is very difficult to do. If you are looking at doing a strictly online option you need to consider the seller’s reputation, and understand their return policy.
If you are looking to buy a used scope in person, there is a number of different things you should do before buying said optic.
11 Look Through It
This is probably something you are going to do anyway right? Well, there are a number of things to look for. Is the sight picture clear and bright? If so you’re good to go. If the picture appears dim, dull, or fuzzy stay away from it. Is the reticle even and flush? Any kind of offset in the reticle is important to note, as it will affect shot placement.
If the scope has an illumination function ensure it works properly. If you are looking through the optic inside, in air conditioning, take it outside. See if any kind of internal fog builds up on the lenses, this is a clear sign the fog proof feature is gone.
22 Check the Turrets
Turrets requiring tools to make adjustments are specifically susceptible to damage. Someone a little overzealous with a screwdriver can cause a lot of damage to the adjustment turrets. Look for damage on sections where the tool is intended to be used, scratches and gouges are clear giveaways of neglect. Make a few adjustments, ensure every click is tactile, up and down.
Also keep an eye on the o-rings that typically seal around the turrets, make sure they are not worn or missing. Fingertip adjustments are a bit easier, ensure they move with ease, and the adjustments are tactile.
33 Look At The Whole Frame!
Scope torque can be a nasty business, a poorly mounted scope and base can slightly bend an optic. This can completely ruin an optic, so you need to be very careful when buying a scope. Hold the scope outwards and make sure the scope is perfectly straight. The bend can be very subtle and hard to see, so pay close attention to it.
Also not any damage to the finish, or any scratches, or gouges in the metal. Any small dents or dings can give away that this scope had a very hard life. A dent or gouge doesn’t mean that the scope doesn’t work, but it is a clear indication that the scope may have an issue or two.
44 Who makes the Scope?
This could be possibly the most important factor to consider. You can never be 100 percent sure that an optic will work as advertised without being put on a rifle and having its trigger pulled. What you can do, however, is research the company that produced the optic. First off is knowing the quality of the manufacturer. For example Trijicon makes optics that are nearly bulletproof, you can almost guarantee that an ACOG will still be working.
The other reason you should know this is due to warranty information. How long does the company warranty their work? Is the warranty transferrable between owners? For example Leupold offers a lifetime warranty, registration is not required, and the warranty transfers between owners. Important information to know.
55 Cha Ching