Spotting scope for highpower under 700 bucks


January 12, 2011, 08:08 PM
I'm going to resume shooting service rifle this year. I remember how much I hated my cheap spotting scope with a straight eyepiece back when I was shooting my Garand. I want a better scope with the angled eyepiece.

I can't buy the best but I don't want go try lowball since with optics, cheap can be expensive.

So what can I find under 700 bucks? I wear eyeglasses, will be shooting .223 and the longest distance my practice range will go is 200 yards as far as spotting my bullet holes.



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January 13, 2011, 03:02 PM
You should be able to find a used Kowa 821 for that. A TSN-1 for less.

January 13, 2011, 10:43 PM
As the previous poster said you can probably get into a Kowa for that much. I did just buy one of the Konuspot 80 scopes online and although I have only used it to look out my windows, it seems pretty clear with decent eye relief and they run about 220. Some others might be able to comment on it that have had one longer, but it may very well suit you for 200 yards and save you a bit.

Pat M
January 13, 2011, 11:01 PM
Konus is great for 200 yds. I'm using the 80mm, which cost me $215, but your budget would include the 100mm

January 14, 2011, 12:08 AM
Burris, kowa, & bushnell. I have a 15 to 60 power redfield that was made in the early 1960's---big & heavy, but clarity resolution is phenominal !!! Can easily see .30 caliber bullet holes @ 200 yards.

January 14, 2011, 12:52 AM
Go to this place and do your research. For $700 you will find a good decent scope to 300 yards.

January 14, 2011, 10:58 AM
I am a huge fan of Vortex products! They are an up and and comer in the optics world. Based out of WI they have great customer service and make products that consistently win awards for most bang for the buck.

I have some of there binocs and a buddy has one of there spotting scopes, we are both extremely satisfied.

For $700 you can get anything in there lineup with the exception of a Razor HD (which is comparable to a Swarovski).

January 17, 2011, 10:56 PM
Havent used them, but is Jim Owen's website and he had some cheaper scopes with an angled eyepiece. He had a program of donating scopes to junior shooting programs.

I have used the top Kowa stuff and quite frankly, starting out, you can get away with a lot less money and not suffer until you get up to Master or High Master class.

35 Whelen
January 23, 2011, 05:07 PM
My High Power shooting so far is the reduced (100 yd.) course. I bought an el cheapo at WalMart for $60 and it's more than adequate. I have a 600 yd. range here at the house. The target is a 36" x 1/4" steel plate. During most light conditions I can see the shiny spots from where my .30 caliber bullets hit. .22 caliber are a bit more difficult to see.
As another poster said, the Konus 20-60 x 80mm is evidently a more than adequate scope. Read about a comparison between it and a Kowa here: Konus vs. Kowa (


January 24, 2011, 06:53 AM
On a related note, what are you guys using for stands?

January 24, 2011, 12:35 PM
A Giraud stand

January 27, 2011, 06:00 PM
A Konus 80 or 100mm will serve you as well as a Kowa that costs four times as much.

At the last high power match I attended I looked through the high dollar scopes while we were on the 600 yard line.

None of them were really any better than my $250 Konus.

January 27, 2011, 08:27 PM
A Konus 80 or 100mm will serve you as well as a Kowa that costs four times as much.

At the last high power match I attended I looked through the high dollar scopes while we were on the 600 yard line.

None of them were really any better than my $250 Konus.
Don't believe this. The Konus is adequate. I purchased 7 for my junior team. They are not Kowas, nor any other "high dollar scope". You do get what you pay for when you purchase optics.

Jim Watson
January 27, 2011, 08:47 PM
It depends on what kind of range you are shooting on.
If a full featured range with pits where targets are pulled and marked for every shot of slowfire and every string of rapid fire, all you need is a scope that will pick out a good sized contrasting marker, 1.5, 3, or 6" diameter depending on range. That is not too hard.

If you are shooting on a bare range and trying to find bullet holes, the optical challenge is much greater. I haven't seen a scope yet that you could really count on to pick bullet holes out of the black at any great distance, including a friend's 82mm Kowa.

January 27, 2011, 11:38 PM
Picking out the score marker is the least value of a spotting scope. At many ranges you can do that with the naked eye. The greatest value a quality scope provides is the ability to pick up mirage and see subtle changes in how it flows.

January 27, 2011, 11:47 PM
i don't think most people can see the value disk or marker from 600 yrds even in good conditions.

January 28, 2011, 03:59 PM
i don't think most people can see the value disk or marker from 600 yrds even in good conditions.
Whether you can or not is not really relevant. You missed my point. Any scope will allow anyone to see a scoring disk, even at 600 yards. The main reason to have a spotting scope is to read the mirage. That is where quality glass comes into play.

January 28, 2011, 04:40 PM
and you are missing my point... if you can't afford a decent scope that will let you read mirage, you can still watch the wind flags and do OK. but if you can't see the spotting disks while you are scoring someone else, then you have a major problem. thus, the main reason to have a spotting scope is scoring.

March 26, 2011, 06:49 PM
I just about did an impulse buy today but I noticed a fraud alert in my email in box. The master charge card is dead for a few days while they send me a new one so I'm safe for now.

Does anyone have an informed opinion on the following item?

Thanks for all the input,


March 26, 2011, 07:55 PM
I believe the OP was asking for a good scope at 200 yds? I have a Konus 20-60 x 80 that does that job fine. Yes the Kowa at a grand give or take is the standard if you can spend the $$$$. Reading mirage at 600 not as great but you can find the Konus if you shop for $200 or less..

Jim Watson
March 27, 2011, 04:58 PM
I have seen the Konus.
It is a good clear scope.
Its main limitation is limited eye relief and field of view if you wear glasses. (Which you should for all shooting, but a lot of rifle shooters don't bother.)

The dinky little tripod it comes with is not much use, though. A good spotting scope stand will cost nearly as much as the glass.

Jon Coppenbarger
March 28, 2011, 10:17 AM
ok here is my opinion but its just a opinion from my point of view with what I do.
First decide what you are going to use it for. If you are only going to shoot at 200 yards then you really do not need a big expensive scope.
on days when I can not see the holes at 200 yards with my 82mm kowa nobody is seeing the holes and vice verus. The only time I see a difference is when the mirage is not bad and the guys with the varible power scopes can see the holes really good.

Now if you plan on shooting across the course other things come into play like mirage!
I was where you are a few years ago and with the money you plan on spending you can get a nice scope. with the old saying buy once cry once decide before you purchase what you intend to do. the better scopes work great at 200 but the low price ones will not give you everything you wish at 300 and 600 yards.

Eye relief is going to be very good with a fixed power scope and most of us using the kowa go with a 25x or 27x depending on which model you have. I do know alot of folks who use the kowa 660 series angle scopes as you get good quality mixed with a more compact scope.

Now quality does make a difference and the extra light gathering with the larger mm scopes help also. With the larger mm scopes it gives me more field of view at the target which gives me more mirage to look at and a better ideal of what is happening. on the days with the mirage hard to see a good scope will save your bacon.

As far as flags go they do help but remember those who live by the flag will get burnt by it time and time again. I look at flags as a indication of what to expect and a starting point of my first shot at a given range with what I see in the mirage. that should keep you in the middle and then adjust if needed.
After that most of my calls are off of the mirage on my target. I have this dicussion many times a year and I see many folks blow up and get behind the wind when only using flags or mostly depending on them.
I see the folks who finish at the top and what they are doing and using a good quality scope for the mirage is a winner. At the nationals last year while coaching the juniors I kept hearing hold up from around me and my captain even told me once I see a change happening after all the talk around us. I flat said I give the calls and nothing has changed and my shooting slammed another X.
the only time I wished was on the last shot that I saw a slight change and I let my shooter shoot and it came up a 9 at 3. If I would of cheated 1/4 or even better 1/2 minute it would of been centered. It was starting to build and get real nasty as far as the wind goes. but for the 40 shots pair fireing I can live with it.

buy once cry once!!!

March 28, 2011, 07:47 PM

I hear that buy once cry once theme. This will be my second spotting scope. The first one was a learning experience that that didn't rub off too much skin.

I'm thinking of spending a bit more and hopefully be done with this other than maybe buying a fixed eyepiece down the road.

What are your thoughts on this one? Kowa TSN-82SV.

I plan to shoot across the course. The club I belong to has 200, 300, 500, and 600 firing points.



Jon Coppenbarger
March 28, 2011, 08:27 PM
that is a very nice scope and the most common one found on the range for a reason.
I would forget the varible power and stay with either a 25x or 27x straight power eye piece as with the fixed power you get long eye relief whish is nice.

now make sure you get the canvas cover that is offered with the scope. another good place is SWFA for scopes.
I also use the giraud stand but use a different head with a quick detach camera mount.

March 31, 2011, 08:01 PM
I keep finding the same advice, 25 to 27x eyepiece. I'd have had this puppy ordered a few days ago but there was a fraud alert on my credit card just when I was about to order so Capitol One killed it.

When the new card shows up, I'll order it, then I'll work enough ot to pay the card off again before the interest charges accrue.

I'm still covered in snow so I can bear waiting a bit longer.

I like that Giraud stand. I have a lathe and mill out in the garage, I think I'm going to use the pictures I saw at to roll my own copy.



April 2, 2011, 08:11 AM
+ 1 for Jim at jarheadtopcom. The value in the optic is your ability to read the mirage. The Konus is a good scope on a budget, the Kowa is a better scope.

April 3, 2011, 03:49 AM
I would agree the Konus appears to be a good scope for the money. I will also agree the Kowa allows you to read the mirage better.

The thing is hang on to your shorts when you see the price of "good" scope stands.

April 7, 2011, 05:54 PM
Spoke to Jim Owens last night, sent him a check for the Kowa today. Looks like I busted my budget a bit but I've bought cheap once and regretted it.


Jon Coppenbarger
April 8, 2011, 09:05 AM
I am glad you bought from MR Owens as he has supported the junior programs for many years and not only that he is a pretty nice guy also.

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