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Thread: Chinese Brand Scopes

  1. #1
    A Better Lover Than A Shooter Ultimitsu's Avatar
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    Chinese Brand Scopes

    I know, I know.... Conventional wisdom would say they are usually shit. I agree, but things are not always set in stones, and the Chinese has been trying to better their game. Over the last several years, it has became apparent that Chinese can make decent lens elements with decent coating. By decent I do not mean they match premium grade German or even premium Japanese, but I mean mid grade stuff, which is what most of us use anyway. The weakness of Chinese made optical gear has been the durability and precision in the mechanical parts. There are currently at least one really good brand Chinese binocular, they specialise in parro design and they are so good that they pretty much dethroned Fiji, I digress.

    The weakness in Chinese brand rifle scopes are, in order of importance:
    1, unreliable internals that do not withstand hard use,
    2, completely inaccurate therefore unreliable dials, and
    3, outdated or poorly implemented reticles.

    One of the reasons contributing to the Chinese brand scopes' tendency have these shortfalls, I think, is that China has the most strict weapon restriction in the world. not even 177 lead pellet guns are permitted. So unless the manufacture receives design specs from a foreign company, it is difficult for them to properly test their product to know how far to engineer them. Again, I digress as that is not the point of this thread.

    I was browsing Aliexpress for scope rings with built in MOA (which is another can of worm but let's deal with that in a different thread), and naturally I saw a huge range of scopes. while most of them were unbranded, a few appear to be branded. what caught my attention is T-Eagle SR 10X44 SFSS. it is about 140 USD. T-eagal is the brand and even has its own website. The English version is super bad, appears to have been translated by something that is worse than Google Translate ( by that I mean, Google would have done a better job translating!!). But bad website aside, it would appear:
    • there are some real design and production effort put into these scopes
    • this scope appears to mimic SFWA 10x42 in terms of product positioning.
    • quite a lot of good features: modern recticle, side focus, 1/10 mill dial, pull and push knob, nitrigeon filled, waterproof, flip caps
    • the way the specs are listed looks like they try to do a good job, and seems to be doing a better than average job
    • I actually like the tacky red parts :0

    They even go through the effort of putting up several videos explaining their products (unfortunately all in Chinese), which is quite unusual for a brand with exactly zero name power. it shows that they are trying to do better than average aliexpress scope makers.

    I am actually intrigued. But when I looked for reviews I cannot find any outside aliexpress. I have always fancied a SFWA 20x HD, but that scope is quite expensive and not sold outside USA. Its lower-end non-HD brother also looks pretty good but again USA only. This scope is not 20x but for its price, if it delivers on the features then it may well be a good scope for mid and low end rifles. This brand has a 2-16 model, apparently uses ED glass, also quite interesting.

    If anyone has tried t-eagal scope, please let me know what you think, does it suck? is it all just a illusion?

  2. #2
    Sending it Gibo's Avatar
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    nzfubz likes this.

  3. #3
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    Aren't the leupold and millet copies better than the originals?
    SlimySquirrel, BRADS and kiwi303 like this.

  4. #4
    A Better Lover Than A Shooter Ultimitsu's Avatar
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    A lot of the mid-low end staff from the big names and not-as-big names are made in China, probably by these same factories. Nikon Pro staff and some monarchs, some vortex, most of Mueller, Hawke, BSA, Nikko Strling. I think it is only a matter of time you get truly mid-grade stuff from a Chinese local brand. I just want to know - "are we there yet".

  5. #5
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    The Chinese are very capable of manufacturing products much better than we will ever give them credit for. One example would be the EM332 rifle.They are also very capable of making some absolute junk really cheaply. The reputation they have for junk is probably bought about because they are actually good at making what companies want to order. Companies order it because they can sell it and that is what we are offered in the shops. These same companies wont order the well made quality products as they dont think they will sell as they will be priced to high. It does not matter whether the product is "worth it" (good value) the customer base wont buy quality chinese because it does not know they make it. Or at least this is what the company thinks. Also the cheaper products fill a niche in the market that is not filled with well known competition. The better quality products would sit in the market that has a lot of competition already, albeit a bit worse in value.

    Consider this: Say you are loooking for a 3-9x40- Which scope would you buy
    Nikko Stirling Gold Crown $200
    Leupold
    Chinese Elite
    Burris
    Sightron SII
    Kahles

    It would not matter that the chinese scope would fit in the middle as far as quality goes it would sell slowly and hence importers wont touch them.

    Companies import what they can sell. (or what they think they can sell)
    In the 70s most western companies saw Japanese products as inferior "jap crap". We wanted cheap products so they made us cheap products. There was no reason to make top quality because it would not sell. The same is now happening in China. They really want to sell us as much as possible. But we are not prepared to buy top quality products from them, so they make what we will buy.


    In short, the scope you are looking at could be very good,in the same way as Maxtoch, But there is no way of knowing without using one.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimitsu View Post
    I know, I know.... Conventional wisdom would say they are usually shit. I agree, but things are not always set in stones, and the Chinese has been trying to better their game. Over the last several years, it has became apparent that Chinese can make decent lens elements with decent coating. By decent I do not mean they match premium grade German or even premium Japanese, but I mean mid grade stuff, which is what most of us use anyway. The weakness of Chinese made optical gear has been the durability and precision in the mechanical parts. There are currently at least one really good brand Chinese binocular, they specialise in parro design and they are so good that they pretty much dethroned Fiji, I digress.

    The weakness in Chinese brand rifle scopes are, in order of importance:
    1, unreliable internals that do not withstand hard use,
    2, completely inaccurate therefore unreliable dials, and
    3, outdated or poorly implemented reticles.

    One of the reasons contributing to the Chinese brand scopes' tendency have these shortfalls, I think, is that China has the most strict weapon restriction in the world. not even 177 lead pellet guns are permitted. So unless the manufacture receives design specs from a foreign company, it is difficult for them to properly test their product to know how far to engineer them. Again, I digress as that is not the point of this thread.

    I was browsing Aliexpress for scope rings with built in MOA (which is another can of worm but let's deal with that in a different thread), and naturally I saw a huge range of scopes. while most of them were unbranded, a few appear to be branded. what caught my attention is T-Eagle SR 10X44 SFSS. it is about 140 USD. T-eagal is the brand and even has its own website. The English version is super bad, appears to have been translated by something that is worse than Google Translate ( by that I mean, Google would have done a better job translating!!). But bad website aside, it would appear:
    • there are some real design and production effort put into these scopes
    • this scope appears to mimic SFWA 10x42 in terms of product positioning.
    • quite a lot of good features: modern recticle, side focus, 1/10 mill dial, pull and push knob, nitrigeon filled, waterproof, flip caps
    • the way the specs are listed looks like they try to do a good job, and seems to be doing a better than average job
    • I actually like the tacky red parts :0

    They even go through the effort of putting up several videos explaining their products (unfortunately all in Chinese), which is quite unusual for a brand with exactly zero name power. it shows that they are trying to do better than average aliexpress scope makers.

    I am actually intrigued. But when I looked for reviews I cannot find any outside aliexpress. I have always fancied a SFWA 20x HD, but that scope is quite expensive and not sold outside USA. Its lower-end non-HD brother also looks pretty good but again USA only. This scope is not 20x but for its price, if it delivers on the features then it may well be a good scope for mid and low end rifles. This brand has a 2-16 model, apparently uses ED glass, also quite interesting.

    If anyone has tried t-eagal scope, please let me know what you think, does it suck? is it all just a illusion?
    Buy it and find out. It's only $250ish landed so who cares if it is shit, and it DEFINITLEY will be, just throw it in the bin.

    Ultimately you wrote that massive post to try and talk yourself into buying it. On word count alone you have earned the right to buy it

    Ps- it will be junk as a motherfucker. Perfect match for a tikka.............

  7. #7
    Sending it Gibo's Avatar
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    Blisters likes this.

  8. #8
    A Better Lover Than A Shooter Ultimitsu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proudkiwi View Post
    Buy it and find out. ...

    Ps- it will be junk as a motherfucker. Perfect match for a tikka.............
    You mean if it turns out shit I should buy a Tikka to match it? Reckon it is good idea.

  9. #9
    A Better Lover Than A Shooter Ultimitsu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proudkiwi View Post
    Buy it and find out. ...

    Ps- it will be junk as a motherfucker. Perfect match for a tikka.............
    You mean if it turns out shit I should buy a Tikka to match it? Reckon it is good idea.

  10. #10
    Member Tahr's Avatar
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    Actually, my Vanguard binos are made in China...and I rank them as being excellent (10x42). As good or better than most Euros I've tried. NZD800
    @Proudkiwi you are probably correct about stuff that is designed in China or copied in China and made in China and is cheap, but there's some very good products that are designed elsewhere and manufactured in China.

    But hell, if Ultimitsu wants to try one I say go to it. And I hope it works out exactly as good as the OP hopes for.
    Beaker likes this.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tahr View Post
    Actually, my Vanguard binos are made in China...and I rank them as being excellent (10x42). As good or better than most Euros I've tried. NZD800
    @Proudkiwi you are probably correct about stuff that is designed in China or copied in China and made in China and is cheap, but there's some very good products that are designed elsewhere and manufactured in China.

    But hell, if Ultimitsu wants to try one I say go to it. And I hope it works out exactly as good as the OP hopes for.
    You don’t have to convince me mate, I think that China has world leading capability and capacity in complex manufacture.

    The scope in question however is going to be utter junk. But that was obviously intentional. Ultra low manufacture cost base, low sell cost, therefore increased market size = GP$ banked.

  12. #12
    A Better Lover Than A Shooter Ultimitsu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proudkiwi View Post
    The scope in question however is going to be utter junk. But that was obviously intentional. Ultra low manufacture cost base, low sell cost, therefore increased market size = GP$ banked.
    This is the kind of discussion I was hoping to have when I posted this thread. I wonder what makes you so sure that this scope will be junk, where as I am thinking the chance is 50/50.

    We just do not know what is the cost of making a scope. We know what we pay for them, but we also know a lot of the purchase goes towards marketing (which we dont need), channel profit (which we dont need), sponsorship (which we dont need), testing part of the R&D (which Chinese scope makers have no access to hence it is a guessing game for them) and high labour costs (which the Chinese can keep low).

    Between a mid-high grade sceop (say, under 1000 NZD) and a mid-low grade scope (say, under 400 NZD) I dont think there is a big difference in the metal tubing between scopes. Neither would use Japanese or German Glass. The main difference between them are usually:
    1. features,
    2. quality of the internal machinery, and
    3. the quality of glass and coating but they all will still be Taiwanese, Chinese, or Philipino.

    so if we compare a big name 400 NZD scope (say, Vortex crossfire, Nikon Pro staff, Bushnell trophy) to a 200 NZD Chinese brand scope, the price alone cannot dictate that the chinese scope must be junk.
    timattalon likes this.

  13. #13
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    Call it speculation. I don’t know for sure but I would be AMAZED if it ends up being anything but complete junk.

    Further, your definition of quality with regards to scopes obviously differs significantly from mine. If a scopes turrets dont track consistently and the glass is not crystal clear to look through it has zero value to me.

    Like I said earlier, buy it and see.
    Last edited by Proudkiwi; 31-01-2018 at 06:24 PM.

  14. #14
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    An engineer and business owner in Australia I worked for was sourcing major componentry from China.
    His comment was they can and do make good product. The issue is you have to be extremely diligent on them for the first few production cycles to make sure they get it right.
    They are usually good for a while maybe a couple of years then they may start using another 3rd party suppliers for their materials and it all falls off the wagon and you start again.

  15. #15
    Semper excretia Ryan's Avatar
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    Someone with a lot of experience in China once told me (forgive me if I'm paraphrasing), "China will make the product with the quality that the customer is willing to pay for".*

    *"Customer" obviously referring to the party seeking to have something manufactured.
    "I would rather suffer under imperfect freedom, than languish under perfect control".

 

 

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