Spotting Scopes


Mad Man
September 29, 2004, 01:46 PM
I am currently using a Wind River Optics ( Sequoia (15-45 x 60mm) spotting scope.

While I can see .30" holes in the paper at 200 yards, trying to see .22" holes is very frustrating, becuase time is a factor during competition.

I'm thinking about getting an Orion ShortTube 80mm Refractor ( telescope (

or an Arcadia 20-60 x 78mm spotting scope ( (also by Orion ( (

The main reason I'm looking at these two models is because I like the idea of an 80mm objective lens scope for under $300.

Is this a good idea or not?

Also, any recommendations on scope stands or tripods? I'm currently using an old camera tripod. It works, but I'd like something steadier.


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September 29, 2004, 02:22 PM
I've been looking into this, as well, and I like the under $300 price point. A Kowa would be super, but a little pricey for my blood. Any other suggestions for a good scope?

Car Knocker
September 29, 2004, 02:32 PM
Might want to look at the Celestron 102mm for under $200:

For further info, I suggest searching the BPCR board:

These guys have a wealth of info on spotting out to 1000 yards.

Dave P
September 29, 2004, 02:54 PM

September 29, 2004, 03:01 PM
I've owned a lot of spotting scopes and found that the cheap ones just don't work for me. I've had a Tasco, something from Champions Choice, a Nikon, Bushnell, Kowa and now a Leica. I'm keeping the Leica. With optics I'm a firm believer in you get what you pay for. Of the ones I've owned, the Kowa was optically good but would fog up on cold/wet days. I sold it to a friend in Az who has the climate it likes.

September 29, 2004, 03:04 PM
I use this... :what:

Hey, if it can look light years into space it can see those little .22 holes in the black.:D

September 29, 2004, 03:15 PM
I use the Yukon 100m/100x spotting scope, here's a cut & paste from my review of it at

At first glance the Yukon 100x spotting scope seems to be too good to be true (especially where quality optics are concerned): Up to 100x magnification, 100mm objective lens, light weight, detachable sunshade, rotating ocular to suit different viewing positions, waterproof, 2 different tripod mount threads, etc, for only $275. However, being on a budget and having had good experience w/Russian optics in the past I ordered the Yukon 100x for use at my local shooting range.
First Impressions: Very lightweight (light enough to remind one of a somewhat delicate child's toy) and it has a plastic window on top where current magnification can be viewed/set. Ocular rotates 360 degrees to any position but does have detents at 45 degree intervals. Ocular focusing is easy & adequate (exception: I couldn't get a clear focus on my 100yd target at any magnification higher than 70x but to be honest anything more than 70x at 100yds is overkill anyway).
At the range: View was surprisingly bright & clear at 500m for such an inexpensive spotting scope. While I couldn't see 7.62mm holes in paper targets at that range I could easily see 7.62mm holes in Shoot-N-C targets at 500m. There's a downside for being such a lightweight scope and that's being very sensitive to vibration at higher magnification levels. At 100x & the Yukon set up on my shooting bench w/a Bushnell Shooter's Rest Tripod (the micro-elevation adjustment feature of the tripod is *very* nice & useful) I discovered that just sitting at the bench and not physically touching the Yukon caused unacceptable image shake. I solved this by looking through the scope while standing up and not touching the bench or Yukon at all. I believe the Yukon would do well with it's own full-size tripod as long as it has provisions for making precise elevation adjustments.
Conclusion: A lot of scope for the money if you just need a high-magnification spotting scope for casual observation or range use and aren't expecting miracles for $275. The dual 6-25x/25-100x zoom ranges make finding/zeroing in fast & easy and the rotating ocular makes it easy to use the Yukon 100x comfortably from different positions. Construction seems adequate but I wouldn't want to drop it on concrete just to see how "rugged" it really is. I'd give it 5 stars instead of 4 if it felt more solid & rugged. Biggest downside for me is the sensitivity to vibration at higher magnifications but it's easy to solve or work around. For my needs I'd buy it again...


One of Many
September 29, 2004, 08:32 PM
Take a look at the Burris line of spotting scopes. They make a 20x-60x scope with 80mm lens that sells for under $250, with hardcase included. It is in Cabelas catalog, or you can shop the Internet and find lower prices.

I have a Burris scope on my deer rifle, and it is excellent optical quality (the best scope I own).

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