I didn't miss what he was saying at all. I simply disagree.
Instructing new shooters on the finer points of precision rifle is part of what I do for a living. I know for a fact that I can make a shooter faster, more accurate, and more consistent by putting a better optic on their rifle, if they are currently using a lesser optic.
I have proven it with many people, on their rifles, on many occasions.
If you take my rifle and remove the 5-25, and put a fixed 4x on there... you've just handicapped me by diminishing my effective performance envelope. Every feature counts for something. So even if I went from my Premier 5-25 to a different 5-25 that didn't have exposed turrets, I'd still be handicapped.
Would you have me believe that the same shooter using a $200 NC Star 5-25 with equal features of a $3500 Premier 5-25 is going to perform to the same level with both optics? It's not just the features, but the quality in which they are implemented.
So to claim that the optic has no bearing on a marksman's proficiency is what I disagree with.
I am more capable with certain optics than I am others. This is a function of how well they work, what their magnification range is, and what they allow me to do. Were this not the case, the market for high end optics would not exist in the civilian or military worlds.
You put an amateur driver in a fast car, he's going to beat a professional driver in a golf cart. Equipment does have a bearing. I don't spend money on high end optics because I like spending money. I spend money on high end optics because that is what I must do in order to continue advancing my skills as a shooter. Of course this is a very difficult thing to explain to anyone who believes a leupold vari-x III is the worlds best scope.