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I've been looking at reviews on IOR scopes,especially the Terminator(unfortunate name)and came across a piece written by Ilya Koshkin,the self proclaimed Dark Lord of Optics and well respected optics expert. He stated that he would no longer be writing reviews on IOR scopes,due to the high rate of failures,or some such thing.

The article was written earlier this year,so the problems he is alluding to,I assume will be current. Has anyone any idea what problems he encountered or any other issues,for that matter. I'd heard the early models had a few niggles,but I thought they'd been sorted. 

Thanks

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On 6/23/2018 at 11:47 AM, Re-Pete said:

They probably asked him to return the review samples..................

Re-Pete

Unfortunately this is probably a very accurate assessment of most reports or supporters of a brand on the web/ in magazines :(  .

T

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On 23 June 2018 at 11:47 AM, Re-Pete said:

They probably asked him to return the review samples..................

Re-Pete

😀

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I've only owned one personally.

It broke.

You hear of others quite regularly.

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The only two shooters I know who've tried IOR scopes (Cruisader and a Terminator) had to send them back.  Both broke.  One was related to elevation turret but the other I can't remember about.  Put me off buying one.  Stay safe....S&B PMII or Vortex Razor Gen 2...both battleship build;  both generally very reliable and well made.

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I have a Crusader and it's only fault is the weight but having a 40mm Tube it's going to be a bit heavier, and clarity is as good as any of the German/ Austrian stuff and i have had no faults with it

and when i bought it, i looked through and tried all the top end stuff and in the end i bought this and i don't regret it for one minute.

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I have a Terminator on one of my rifles and It's worked perfectly to date .... now over 12 months

OSOK

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I had one that had a sight picture problem when adjusted for relatively little windage correction for zero. Dam shame ,,,would have been the best scope I had ever had. Resolved by refund.

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Seems like if you get a good one, they're worth it as optically they're great scopes.  Too many reports surfacing though of people who've had issues, and this isn't from the usual handful reported from world-wide net forums (as you can find problems with just about anything if you go looking).  Reports have surfaced from a fair few UK shooters in recent years and it's rare that you'd come across such things yourself.  I know I'm not alone in being someone who's shot with those who've had to return their IOR scopes for refund or mending though.  I'm wondering if this coincidence is down to a bad batch or whether it's spread across manufacturing dates?

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You could be right VarmLR, i know when i ordered mine it took 4 months to get it, so they are either in high demand or they are taking their time to do them properly. The only thing i'm not keen on is the zero stop arrangement in comparison to my Nightforce zero stop which seems a better setup.

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Do problems with these scopes arise fairly soon after purchase?

I wonder whether a used one would be a better prospect? Not that I could afford a new one....

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You might be forgiven for assuming so Woodlander but I took the attitude of "why take the risk?".   I have looked through a few IOR scopes and am the first to admit that optically they are very impressive (the coatings are quite different to my own scopes in the way they lend a different contrast best described as sharp but not that neutral,  but they are very good and should be as they use German Schott glass).  They also seem to be built like brick out-houses.  It's the hit or miss reliability of the mechanics that I struggled with from reports of failures when I was on the market for a top tier scope.  There have been some mixed messages about manufacture location and improvements in recent years none of which seem born out by the facts. Valdada Optics Enterprises import IOR into the USA and IOR-Valdada make optics in Germany, Hong Kong and Romania but AFAIK all rifle scopes are of Romanian manufacture (Bucharest) and have not been made anywhere else nor have the models been "upgraded" or changed in any way since release. 

You pays your money and makes your choice.  There are those on this thread  who have bought Crusaders and the like and are very happy with them (and when you look through one you can instantly see why). There are those who have had failures and wouldn't buy another.  It's probably fair comment to suggest that it's unfair to single out IOR.  Plenty of other "quality" scope manufacturers suffer issues too.  Sightron and Vortex (speak to the importers) have had their fair share of issues and returns in recent years but in the case of vortex, their lifetime warranty is there partly to offset their manufacture and sales strategy which involves lesser QC at assembly to keep costs down compared with, say S&B.  It's not uncommon for companies to use this strategy and most that do offer longer warranties as pert of the marketing.  It's one way of increasing turnover and profits by keeping costs down and taking a hit on returns providing that don't exceed a certain percentage of manufacture. However at the price point that IOR are targetting, the number of reported failures doesn't engender confidence in the brand to me.

I found this quite interesting:

http://precisionrifleblog.com/2017/03/03/long-range-scopes-pros-use/

Only 1% of the Pros in this survey used IOR, despite their optical excellence.

9% used S&B PM2 with a greater proportion of shooters using Vortex (Gen 2 Razors), Khales and Nightforce.

There's been a big shift from S&B PM11 in recent years over to the big Vortex scope.  The Vortex was just too heavy (I use mine in the field as well as on the range so that ruled out the Vortex for me...I carry enough weight!) but had I wanted a range only scope, I think I would have picked the Vortex.  It's excellent.  The Gen 2's seem to have really upped the game (both the Razor and the PST).

 

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But let's not forget that in the PRS survey of scopes the Pro's use, the Vortex gained much traction because they SPONSORED shooters. Many who made the switch did so because they were either given a scope or were paid to do so.

Now these are top tier shooters and clearly they're not going to adopt a scope that isn't good, even if they're paid or sponsored to do so. BUT the switch by many to the Vortex doesn't mean it's any optically or mechanically better than other scopes out there. It's simply a brand who did their audience research & engagement well!!! S&B dropped the ball  by failing to engage with the PRS crowd, and the price of their scopes have been increasing over the years. Shooters saw a Vortex which seemed as good but lower price tag, with a no quibble return - so why not give it a go.

In fact, if you look at PRB's most thorough side by side scope test I've seen anyone do, past or present, the S&B PMII 5-25x56 comes out on top!! Yes the test was conducted prior to the arrival of the Vortex GenII, but overall it still beat several scopes 3 times the price, the IORs (which interestingly demonstrated mechanical perfection) and the top Nighforces. Yes the S&B wasn't the perfect scope in any one area, but overall it was top dog and in many respects I believe it still is overall.

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Yes, very good point.  Hadn't realised Vortex were sponsoring them and I tend to agree with your conclusions. (I would, I have the PMII !)

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3 hours ago, VarmLR said:

Yes, very good point.  Hadn't realised Vortex were sponsoring them and I tend to agree with your conclusions. (I would, I have the PMII !)

I too went for a PMII. I spent a lot of time researching the possible choices out there and read, amongst others, the PRB test. I also spent time either with other shooters scopes or at the big retailers, comparing the features of the top scopes. For me, the S&B won out. I'd never had one and I don't give a damn about brand aliegence, just best performance I can get for my cash. When spending north of £2,300, it's a big investment and it's important to me I get it right. Personally, I never regretted my choice!

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On 7/6/2018 at 7:08 AM, Catch-22 said:

Many who made the switch did so because they were either given a scope or were paid to do so.

BUT the switch by many to the Vortex doesn't mean it's any optically or mechanically better than other scopes out there. 

1. It was ever thus. Why is/was Schmidt so popular? Military and Police contract so 'it must be the best' ??

2. Absolutely. I managed to get a look though several of the big brand scopes side by side at a shooting show and spent a fun wee while switching back and forward. My unscientific conclusion? I could not tell the difference between the top of the line scopes optically. In reality that means nowt, but its my eyes looking through it. 

While the PRS thing may have been sponsored  (he is just a regular Joe so how is he going to fund it?) it seems to be the only comprehensive study that has applied methodical testing so gives us some data to make a judgement on.

The biggest flaw, IMO, isn't that the testing is sponsored by Vortex but he only tested one of each scope so how can we rely on their conclusions as to mechanical (or indeed optical) performance? If it was my scope being tested I would make sure I sent them a damn good one. So perhaps it is at best a measure of how well it can perform. Who knows?

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2 hours ago, Chanonry said:

While the PRS thing may have been sponsored  (he is just a regular Joe so how is he going to fund it?) 

Vortex sponsor the US Precision Rifle Series (PRS), the article/testing referred to above was done by the Precision Rifle Blog (PRB).

:)

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Yes, but the chart referred to by them does refer to the Precision Rifle Series 😉😁

A cut and paste from that article:

"The chart below shows the most popular brands of scopes used by the top shooters in the Precision Rifle Series Open & Tactical Divisions"

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I know, they have other 'what the pros use'-articles which also use data collected from the PRS series - I was just highlighting the fact that the article wasn't sponsored by Vortex as it sounded as though that was the impression the chap above was under: "The biggest flaw, IMO, isn't that the testing is sponsored by Vortex..." 😜

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On 7/7/2018 at 8:33 AM, Chanonry said:

1. It was ever thus. Why is/was Schmidt so popular? Military and Police contract so 'it must be the best' ??

2. Absolutely. I managed to get a look though several of the big brand scopes side by side at a shooting show and spent a fun wee while switching back and forward. My unscientific conclusion? I could not tell the difference between the top of the line scopes optically. In reality that means nowt, but its my eyes looking through it. 

While the PRS thing may have been sponsored  (he is just a regular Joe so how is he going to fund it?) it seems to be the only comprehensive study that has applied methodical testing so gives us some data to make a judgement on.

The biggest flaw, IMO, isn't that the testing is sponsored by Vortex but he only tested one of each scope so how can we rely on their conclusions as to mechanical (or indeed optical) performance? If it was my scope being tested I would make sure I sent them a damn good one. So perhaps it is at best a measure of how well it can perform. Who knows?

I don't know / or are aware that S&B sponsored or provided militaries/police with scopes. I'm sure they will have provided scopes to various forces & agencies for test & evaluation purposes, like every other manufacturer out there, but to take on wholesale or sponsor a department/team for free...that's new on me. I'd be interested to see more details about this if you have any. 

In terms of the PMII heritage, I think most people would agree that it's very much earned it's reputation through years and years of conflict and hardship. Not saying it's the best, BUT its reputation does proceed it for good reason. 

For me, I did personally notice a big difference between the scopes I've looked through or tried. The Vortex has very  cold 'blue' glass colouring and the IORs have a tinted brown to my eyes. The S&B & Nightforces seem brighter & more natural. But I personally choose a scope based on the reticle first. It so happens I preferred the H2CMR - it seemed far more logical , helpful yet uncluttered compared to the rest. I love the simplicity yet helpfulness of the PMII double turn turret - the night force & IORs just confuse me. There are many other elements at play but those are the big ones.

Regarding the Precision Rifle Blog, the author DID in fact test a number of scope units per manufacturer & model if a scope had a particularly poor performance. He gave the manufacturer every opportunity to provide replacement units to test to rule out any 'lemons'. For example, the March tactical unit tested was found to be a bucket of sh*t. He asked March for a replacement and this replacement unit was also utter sh*t too. There were also notable problems with Leupold & Nightforce. To quote below...

"You might notice that the Leupold Mark 6, and Nightforce ATACR both have “2nd scope” by their label, and the March Tactical 3-24×42 FFP scope has “Average of 2 scopes.” The first time I ran through the mechanical tests, those 3 test scopes showed more error than others in the test. I thought the results might be a result of a defective unit, so I contacted each manufacturer. First, I completely understand that it is impossible (and impractical) for every scope to be perfect, so I always want to give a manufacturer a chance to fix something like that before I publish results that may not be representative of the typical unit. At the same time, I’m committed to being completely transparent and honest with my readers. So if I run into something like this, I give the manufacturer a shot at fixing it, and then in the article I mention the issues I ran into and how it worked out in the end. That seems like the most respectful and fair approach for both the manufacturers and readers.

So Leupold, March, and Nightforce were all kind enough to send me another test scope (I didn’t have time to wait on the units I had to be repaired, since this project was already running behind schedule). When I retested the new Leupold Mark 6 and the Nightforce ATACR scopes, they both performed considerably better than the original scopes. The first Leupold Mark 6 had an average of 3.7% of error in the elevation adjustment through 20 mils, while the replacement performed stunningly with an average of just 0.1% of error. The Nightforce ATACR followed suit with the original coming in with an average of 1.8% of error in the elevation adjustment through 20 mils, and the replacement coming in with 0.4% of error. In both of those cases, I feel like it was an issue with the particular scope and the original results were not indicative of what you can reasonably expect from Leupold or Nightforce. Either of those companies would quickly repair any scopes that performed like the original set of scopes I tested. So in both cases, I’ve only included how the second scope performed in the charts and scoring.

However, the replacement March scope that Kelbly.comsent unfortunately didn’t follow that same pattern. While the 2nd March scope performed similar to the original, it was actually slightly worse overall. The original scope had an average of 2.2% of error in the elevation adjustment through 20 mils, and the replacement had an average of 2.7% of error. I really didn’t know exactly what to do with those results, because with similar results this didn’t seem to simply be due to a defective unit like the Leupold and Nightforce scopes. I decided the best approach was to simply average the results from both scopes and publish that as my results for the March scope."

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Scopes are obviously a minefield for newbies, or some not so new to it.

From a personal viewpoint, i've used scopes for over 40 years, and only experience will give you a good idea what works and lasts.

I remember the halcyon days when Tasco made scopes in Japan. OK, not exactly top end stuff [though their expensive stuff was ] but the scopes were very clear, and didn't break.

Up popped companies like simmonds, with their taiwanese scopes at lower prices....It finished the Japanese tasco, and the cheaper scopes sold well....until they started breaking.

You simply cannot make a world class scope at half the price of a genuine world class scope....no such thing as a free lunch. It makes me wince when you read all these rave reviews online. I looked through two such of these super scopes a couple of weeks since. All the usual suspects had been bigging them up, and they seemed too good to be true.

They were utter crap, and I wouldn't have had either of them given.....but folk just see the price......

I really wish reviewers would refuse the 30 pieces of silver, and tell the truth.

there is a reason the world's sniper units used Leupold, then Nightforce, and Schmidt and bender.

They work. They are reliable, and they will withstand the use, most dont see.

Over the years I've owned scopes from most manufacturers. The only one that broke, was an IOR. I've had several March's but dont particularly like them, and witnessed at least 3 that wouldn't track. Saw 2 out of 3 of the very early sightrons never leave the shop, because they either didn't work, or had impurities inside. Never looked at one again.

looked through the top end Vortex and it quickly became apparent as you wound it up and down, the the erector tube was oval at both ends of travel. Again, that put me right off. Did buy a little cqb vortex, and that has had a dodgy illuminator from day one.

owned over a dozen Nightforces, and never had a minutes trouble from any, same with S+B.

These are just personal experiences, and in no way meant to slate any one particular manufacturer, just an honest opinion of scopes I've actually owned....hope it help someone.

My advice to people in the shop [ and i dont sell scopes ] is to buy s/h from a shop, and pick a top end used scope, rather than a new gimmick.

All brands have lemons. Its a fact of life, but a scope that starts out, built right, is going to give longer, more reliable service, than one that may have good glass, and junk turrets.

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