Best Spotting Scope


April 9, 2003, 08:25 PM
Alright, lets hear opinions of best scope for 200 yard competition... budget of low to mid hundreds?

Also interested in stands.

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Steve Smith
April 9, 2003, 08:37 PM
SURELY you are going to stretch the legs of the Hook rifle and not make it shoot 200 yards for the rest of its life! ;)

My vote is for a Kowa 661 or 821 with 25x or 27x LER eyepieces (respectively) and the Ray-Vin stand from

Jim Watson
April 9, 2003, 08:39 PM
Mine is a little 60mm 25X, four hundred odd dollars. A real stand is on the shopping list but right now I am buying actual shooting stuff so it sits on a camera tripod. Better than I was entitled to expect, but I was seeing .40 caliber (.40-65 BPCR) holes in a blaze orange target at 500m... in good light and when the breeze wasn't shaking the scope and the mirage wasn't rising. It was easily picking .38-55s out of red, blue, or black (We were experimenting with target colors.) at 200 and 300. A dark target at 385 was not spottable. My coach has an 82mm 27X Kowa that is terriffic, but they are around $800 now.

A Burris Landmark was very disappointing, I sent it back. A Leupold Wind River was better, but a Bushnell Spacemaster was the sharpest scope I saw under $300.

April 11, 2003, 08:08 AM
I have to agree with getting a Kowa. I picked up a 661 a month or so back and have loved it. It is a little more expensive then some, but I can see .223 holes at two hundred yards without much difficulty. It ran me around $600.

I thought about getting a cheaper one, but got good advise from people on this board. Basically the advise was, save up and get the best and be happy with it.

April 13, 2003, 09:41 PM
I got the Wind River.

200 bucks, it seems to work well.

April 14, 2003, 10:18 AM
Bought a Burris 20x60x80, thru Midway for less than 200.00 Really impressed with it, for the price, and can see .223 holes at 200 yards with it. Great investment.:)

Steve Smith
April 14, 2003, 10:45 AM
Sven, two things you have to have. Long eye releif and a 45 degree eyepiece. You also need a big clear scope to pick up mirage well at 300 and 600 yards.

April 14, 2003, 03:09 PM
Most of the best high power rifle shooters around here use Kowa, but they ain't cheap...

April 15, 2003, 10:04 AM
I'm in the process of looking at new spotting scopes too.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of the 45 degree eyepiece? It seems that most spotting scopes come with the straight eyepiece.

Is a 15-45X60 scope going to do the job at 200-300 yards for varmint hunting? Should I be looking at the 20-60 power models instead?

Thanks for the feedback.


April 15, 2003, 11:19 AM
For service rifle shooters shooting from the prone position, the angled-eye piece seems best. It requires less movement from your position to look through the scope.

I can't comment on varmint hunting, as I never done any.

Steve Smith
April 15, 2003, 11:56 AM
m1911 got it. Most humans can't move their head and neck enough to use a straight eyepiece when in prone position.

For power, expect to see so much mirage at high power that you can't even see a prarie dog at 300 if you at 45x. For that reason I'd suggest you get one with a lower powered zoom like the one that goes down to 15x.


May 28, 2003, 12:06 AM
Anyone have any dealer recommendations for the Kowa's? Used is fine.

Steve Smith
May 28, 2003, 09:31 AM or try Jarheadtop is Jim Owen's site. He'll often have some old TSN-1's for sale...they're EXCELLENT scopes.

May 28, 2003, 01:30 PM
I have to agree with Steve on I purchased a Kowa from them in January and it was a very easy transaction. I would recommend doing business with them.

June 11, 2003, 05:38 PM
I have a Meopta 70mm scope that came with a 20-45x eyepiece, and I also have a fixed power 50x eyepiece that I use most of the time. The lenses are by the same people that make IOR scopes, and are excellent. It has a 45 degree angled eyepiece that swivels 360 degrees, as well as the usual multi-coated lenses, nitrogen-filled body, and so forth. Absolutely excellent product and $538 (with the variable eyepiece) from the PX.

By the way, for shorter ranges, the new Leupold compact 10-20X spotter is one sweet little scope for $299.

September 3, 2010, 11:28 AM
this thread is old, sorry for bumping, but I'm in the market for a FEW spotting scopes. can anyone recommend scopes that would be good but inexpensive? this is for beginners that will be birdwatching thanks

September 3, 2010, 11:43 AM
I would suggest ALPEN, they make a fairly decent scope for the cost.

September 7, 2010, 10:11 AM
thanks cbrxxrider. I also contacted Don of who is a member here too (and very knowledgeable) and he said the same thing - Alpen.

good thing I asked because I hadn't looked at Alpen at all :) thanks again!

September 12, 2010, 11:49 AM
Unertl if you can find a used one. Undoubtedly the finest scope ever made whether was a straight, 45 degree or a 90 degree. You will never regret owning one!

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