“I want a scope to shoot 1,000 yards but don’t want to spend over $500, what should I get?” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked that question or seen it plastered on forums… well I’d have a lot of dollars. The real answer to that question is you should get a higher paying job or save more money because what you’re asking for is a unicorn. Not unlike the laws of physics, magnified optics have an undisputable relationship between overall capability and cost
I’m going to get this out of the way right away, the Vanguard Endeavor 4-12x scope which the rest of this article is about, is not what I’d use to successfully engage a target at the mythical “1,000 yard” range. Then again, that’s not what it was built for. You don’t buy a pickup truck with the expectation that it’ll go toe to toe with a corvette at a stop light.
This $350ish Endeavor 4-12x40mm scope is a workhorse. I’ve had it mounted up on an AR10 for a little over 4 months now and it’s been dropped out of my gun case (not willingly) a few too many times and still looks as good as it did when I first pulled it out of the box. Not too mention these brain fart “oh crap” moments have proven to absolutely nothing to the guts of the scope even at distance.
A lot of the mentioned durability goes back to the overall construction and build quality of this specific scope. I can’t speak to the other products that Vanguard makes but this Endeavor model had none of the same attributes that similarly priced optics have. The power ring is smooth and takes the perfect amount of force to change your mag. What I’m sure many of you can attest is that all too often on cheaper scopes the magnification adjustment aka power ring is so light that a stiff breeze will have you unwantedly at a less than ideal magnification.
There’s a laundry list of other features on the scope that are more or less standard options on todays’ riflescopes like a fast focus eyepiece which might I add has an extremely comfortable rubber outside. The capped turrets keep you from losing zero when you’re putting this glass to hard use out in the real world. While an illuminated reticle would’ve been the cherry on top, a parallax adjustment knob takes the place of your typical brightness settings.
Blah blah blah, you’ve heard it all before. What sets this scope apart from others in this price range, you ask? The Hoya ED glass. I am by no means a glass snob but I’ve been lucky enough to own some pretty nice (expensive) scopes that are stupidly clear. I’m going to go out on limb here and say this Endeavor 4-12 has the best optical clarity out of riflescopes not only +/- $100 it’s cost but easily gives $600-$700 glass a run for its money. Whites are actually white and you get no bending or distortion on the outside edges of your view.
As they say, the proof is in the pudding and my first time zeroing the scope I was shooting sub 1MOA groups at 100 yards. “Woopty Doo….” It gets better, at 200 yards with an 18″ barrel AR10, Freedom Munitions remanufactured 308, and this scope, I was able to punch a 5 shot 1.25 MOA group at max magnification. For my non Alvin York marksmanship abilities, this is as good as good gets. Part of me thinks it was divine intervention or the guy next to me at the range shooting my target by accident. Kidding aside, this rifle/ammo/ scope combination just works. I haven’t been able to push this setup past 250 yet but based on the boringly consistent groups I’ve been getting and the BDC reticle, any target/game under 700 yards is toast.
Normally at this point in the article you hear phrases like “this scope is the best ever, buy it here now!!!” If you’ve read my other articles before then you know I’m against forcing any product down your throat. My final word on the Vanguard Endeavor 4-12×40 ED scope is as follows. It will not have you taking podiums in precision rifle matches but if you need a pretty nice scope for your rifle and you’re not expecting to shoot out to infinity and beyond, then congratulations what you have here is the best value for the money in its magnification range.