Old riflescopes - replace or refurbish? Recommendations?


5 year old buck +
Have a Redfield 2x7 that I bought, new, when I was 18 (45 yrs ago)and put on my .308 Remington 742, and a Leupold 3x9 (probably 35+ yrs old) on my dad's Winchester Model 88 in .308, which he gave to my son before he passed. Both scopes have gone wonky... Attempted adjustments from shot to shot when trying to zero them, move bullet placement around wildly and unpredictably. Not sure what happened... both mostly stay in the closet, with no jostling around or abuse. They've been like this for 2 or 3 years, I don't hunt much anymore, but I've been relegated to using the iron sights, and my eyesight ain't what it used to be. Once deer season is over, they've gone back in the closet and I've not thought about 'em again.
So... I either need to replace them, or refurbish... have seen good reviews for IronSight in Tulsa OK, as a good refurb place for Redfield scopes; not sure if they work on Leupold. Pretty reasonable prices, from what I can see.

Looking for opinions... Would you replace or refurbish?
If replacing, what would you recommend? These guns will mostly be used hunting over foodplots/hayfields here on the home farm... not going anywhere... most shots well under 100 yds - yeah, the potential is there to take much longer shots, but I don't trust my marksmanship, even with a perfectly-functioning scope . I'd rather pass on a shot than have a wounded deer run off and not be recovered.



5 year old buck +
I would weigh the cost of refurb vs replace, with that said having old family glass especially your Dads would be worth extra to me for the nostalgia family history part of it.
Lots of really good scopes being made right now by the big companies, for 100 yard shots I myself wouldn't be putting German glass on it or anything. Last two scopes I have bought have been Vortex and I have been happy with them, one a mid range scope and the other a crazy long range varmint scope.

I've got an ancient Leopold 3X9 scope on my old 222 that has crazy thin crosshairs, almost hard for my eyes to look through very long anymore.....hope it lasts forever!


5 year old buck +
I think Leupold have a lifetime guarantee. I would look into it.



5 year old buck +
I think the first thing I would look at is the mount. You need to make sure there is no movement in the base or rings. The internal mechanism in a scope can break causing these symptoms as well. As Honker noted, for the Leupold, I'd contact them first. Most of my scopes are Leupold and they have been very great the few times I needed service. I would probably replace the lower end Redfield with a new Leupold. There are other quality scope makers out there, I'm just most familiar with Leupold. Which scope you buy will depend on your price point. In general, I find it reasonable to pay as much for glass as I do for the gun under it, but that is your decision.

I have a lot of respect for your shot selection limitations. Passing on a deer, rather than risking a wounding, is laudable! Most of my hunting over the years has been limited to 100 yards as shotgun and muzzleloader were the weapons we were restricted to in my hunting area. A few years back my county open up rifle hunting. I'm now starting to practice at longer ranges. One combination I've fallen in love with is the firedot reticle with the Custom Dial System (CDS) that Leupold offers. It is a very clean site picture. I sight in at 100 yards, so there is only need to make adjustment at longer yardages. For those, if I don't have plenty of time to make adjustment, it is an iffy shot and I'll pass. I can then use a range finder and dial in the distance and make any windage adjustments.

I've never takes a shot over 200 yards, and I don't have any place with a shot opportunity over 300 yards. I've also fallen in love with the large objectives (50mm) that they offer. The light transmission for these is really great in early morning and late evening.

I personally like have equipment that exceeds my skills capability. That way I know that any failures are my own fault.




A good 3 year old buck
Send the Leupold back. Chances are they will give you an updated scope, doubt they fix the old one. Then, get a another leupold for the other gun. Leupold used to own redfield (not when your scope was made) but sold it to academy sports recently.


5 year old buck +
Replace them. You can get a scope to fit your needs for $200 easily. Hang on to the old scopes in case you want to do something with them some day.


5 year old buck +
Thanks, y'all. Helpful advice. Keep it coming if anyone else wants to weigh in.
It's been several years since I shot either gun in an attempt to zero the scopes, so I don't recall exactly what they were doing, but both got worse with every attempt to adjust. Last couple I've killed I just shot with the iron sights, looking through the see-through ports underneath the scope. I see discussions where folks say you couldn't run fast enough to give them a set of see-through(below) ring mounts... but that's what I grew up shooting with... a friend loaned me his 7mm last year... no iron sights, and the scope right down on top of the gun... it just didn't feel right. lol. Don't think the mounts are loose, but I'll recheck.

LOL. I remember the original Redfield scope Dad had on that old Model 88. It got to where whenever you fired it, the crosshairs would 'spin around' a partial revolution - but it was still dead on target. It had just started doing that in 1981... Opening day of modern gun season, I was a freshman in vet school, had class all day and Anatomy lab that afternoon, told Dad I wasn't going to be able to hunt opening day, so he should take my rifle that afternoon. Got out of lab early, and decided... well, you can't get 'em if you don't go, so I took Dad's rifle with me when I got home. Hadn't been in my stand long, when a little buck came into the foodplot. I went for a head shot, figuring I'd either lay him down or miss. Still dead-on target, anchored him just like that. Dad did go ahead and buy a new scope(the Leupold that's on it now) ... he just couldn't bring himself to trust those spinning crosshairs.

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
I couldn't imagine trying to re-furb a precision device like a scope if it were 45 years old.

Buy a new one, you'll be amazed at the difference.


5 year old buck +
I'd recommend almost anything by Vortex. Probably overkill for what you're describing for your needs, but I bought the Razor HD LHT 3-15 x50 last year and absolutely love it. Their Diamondback line is an incredible value and still carries their lifetime guarantee.


5 year old buck +
vectrix, I have 2 diamondbacks I believe. Good scopes.


5 year old buck +
I've heard good things about Vortex and have been tempted to try them, but it is hard to tear myself away from Leupold.


5 year old buck +
first off, Redfield WON"T re dot hem scopes under warranty, as they changed owners a bunch of time's , so any repairs IF even (as they may not even want to repair a scope they really didn;t make and I base this on having talked to them many times over the yrs when I was in a gun shop)
so if they do offer to TRY and correct, odds are teh cost won't be worth it, as abourt any new scope today by a brand name will be a better optic than that older one< ( I also personally own a few r old redfield scopes that have failed since I got them in the late 80's, including there top of the line scope's from back them so have hands on experience with what goes wrong with them)

As for leupold, they MIGHT stand behind there scopes warranty and repair for you, pending what they find wrong when they open up, BUT you MIGHT need to prove your the original owner, as most all life time warranty's are only applied to the original owner and just a general blanket of LIFE TIME coverage!

and oddds are most owners never filled out there warranty registration and mailed it in back then, or kept a receipt when buying it!

BUT again, some times Leupold will STILL fix for FREE pending the issue on hand, YOU WILL< have to pay shipping costs, possibly BOTH ways

SO< honestly, due top age and quality of glass and adjustments on them older scopes
just replacing them might be the better deal, and then you will have improved optic's with a LOT of long life in them

as for suggestions on scopes, Leupold makes a LOT of great scopes from entry level to higher end models
but there is alsoa LOT of great scope makers out there, and almost ALL large chain sporting goods stores run sales on thing off and on all yr long, so finding a good scope these days has never been easier
add in, the online stores and the options have never been better!

if you want actual models to look at, maybe give a number on what your budget will be, and I am sure I could recommend some, as will many others here

I sold all types of optic's for a LONG time out of a gun shop, was an authorized dealer for leupold and many other brands and sold thousands of scopes over my yrs!

in optic's you do sort of get what you pay for, but for what you describe above you do witha rifle, , you don't need to spend a lot of $$ to get a decent scope these days that will work for you!


5 year old buck +
I’ve had a couple scopes refurbished one Burris and one Redfield. I would not do it again for the money spent just buy a new scope better glass and manufacturing techniques than 30 years ago. I think there’s an analogy about pearls and swine in there somewhere.


5 year old buck +
I've always been a fan of Vortex, and I own three of their scopes. But the more I read online the more I lean toward them. Leupold is excellent, but it seems their prices are increasing, and their product lineup is changing. There's something about the feel of Nikon scopes that turns me off.


5 year old buck +
Leupold has refurbed mebbe 5 scopes for me over the years. Go online, get a return number, and send it in. When it comes back everything is smooth and clean and works great. They include a report on their parameter testing before and after. That's the simplest cheapest route for the Leupy side of your situation. 'course, if you want the improvements of a later model that's understandable. I've gotten 3/4 of my Leupys used from eBay and Gunbroker. Usually current models less than a year old, but sometimes I go back one series to get a certain combination of reticle and cds and stuff.