I had not intended to do any shopping yesterday, but a friend visiting from California wanted to go into Cabela's for some chamois shirts. I decided to go over and look at the Redfield Revolution 4-12x40mm AccuRange scope. The guns and optics counter was busy! I had to wait almost fifteen minutes to get someone to show me the scope.
I have looked at a number of 4-12 variable scopes over the last few months, and they have fallen into three categories:
1. Not very crisp at the high end of the power range.
2. Very expensive.
3. Probably not tough enough to handle prolonged centerfire rifle recoil. In fact, a Tasco that I looked a few months back, the Cabela's clerk told me that at least one customer had returned because it couldn't handle .308 Winchester.
The Redfield I looked through was very sharp, all the way up to 12x. Very nice. The Accu Range reticle also provides a nice alternative to Bullet Drop Compensators for adjusting elevation for distance. The BDC approach, where you turn a dial on the top of the scope to adjust elevation, is probably more precise than using the Accu Range reticle, but there are some merits to a design where you simply change your aim point--instead of fiddling with the controls.
The Redfield scopes are made by Leupold in Beaverton, and are supposedly just a cheaper Leupold, with Leupold quality and warranty. I have an older Bushnell 4-12x40mm for one of my .308 Winchester rifles, and while it used to be quite sharp, it now seems a bit soft above 10x. The cost of having it repaired, as near as I can tell, is only slightly less than buying the Redfield (which Cabela's lists for $219.95, and May Sporting Goods offers a bit cheaper).
As one commenter observed about the Leupold products, "You only have to pay for quality once."