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How do you see your hits at 100 yds or further?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 777funk, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. 777funk

    777funk Well-Known Member

    I can see my hits if I use a 4-16 or higher power AND use a shoot n see type targer (by the way are there any cheap versions of these???). But I'd like to be able to see the hits with regular paper targets. Would a 6-24 scope do the trick here?

    Seems like spotting scopes are pretty pricy. Is there a good spotter that won't break the bank?

    Curious if there's any other good method I'm overlooking.
  2. Bobson

    Bobson Well-Known Member

    I've often wondered the same. At my local range, the range is hot in 15-minute intervals. If I'm shotting normal paper targets (as opposed to shoot-n-see), my only option is to fire a couple shots and sit around and wait to see where they landed during the next interval. The range has rental spotting scopes and I tried one once, but still couldn't tell where my bullet holes were.
  3. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Well-Known Member

    20-30x50 spotting scope
  4. Inebriated

    Inebriated Well-Known Member

    A $60 Simmons spotting scope from Wally World. Does the trick out to about 150, get's pretty fuzzy after that. 20-60x60, comes with a tripod, but I use the one I use for photography. Much more solid.

    Though for the most part, even a cheap scope on 9x is usually enough for me to see .243"+ holes.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  5. 556by45guy

    556by45guy Well-Known Member

    I use 6.5-20x44 scopes on my rifles (good deal on a closeout sale at Natchez). No problem seeing 22cal holes at 100yds on regular beige target paper.
  6. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    I went with a cheaper spotting scope and it was a pure waste of money. OK, it worked decently for 100 yards but that was about it. But even then it was a strain on the eyes to see the holes.

    I then went shopping and it was a tossup between a new $400 Bushnell and a used Nikon for the same $400. I went with the Nikon.

    Now I can clearly see my .375 size holes even out at 300 yards. At 100 yards I can clearly see .22 size holes even at less than full magnification. It's like the targets are simply moved to about 10 yards away.

    There simply are some things in life where it is not worth going cheap. It cost me $120 to find out that this is clearly true when it comes to spotting scopes.
  7. TBH

    TBH Well-Known Member

    My Zeiss Conquest 3-9 I can see my holes at 100 yds. I have a Horus Vision 26 power and could see holes at 300 where my buddy couldn't with his spotter. The only issue is my targets are red on white. Sometimes it's hard to see the holes if they are 1/2 on red and 1/2 on white.
    Glass quality, not magnification is the answer IMHO.
  8. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    Out to 100 yards, most reasonable spotting scopes will work fine but there is no panacea. An expensive scope may not see bullets holes any better than a bargain priced one at 100 yards. Beyond a 100 yards, scope quality probably will come into play.

    I would get as high a power as possible. At least 40x but 60x is better.

    Search some of the forums and see what folks are using. Check the competition shooting threads.

    Regardless of the scope you use, there are some cercumstances that make seeing bullet holes difficult.

    Small caliber holes on black targets can be difficult to see.

    Sometimes if you cut the target backer out behind the black makes the holes easy to see. Just have the thickness of the target paper to look through.

    A light back stop behind the target helps as well particularly if the target backer is cut out.

    There are Shoot-n-See target pasters that can be used to extend the life of a target at a price less than the original target. I do not think you will find Shoot-n-See style targets in the same price range as paper.

    Hope this helps.
  9. Geno

    Geno Well-Known Member

    In my experience, I have found the most critical variable is to have the scope properly tuned for your eyes, especially the ocular lens. Being able to see one's hits at distance is one reason I prefer to shoot steel targets (AR500), painted white. Seeing the hits is easy. On paper targets, I seldom set my Nightforce 12-42X56 past 12X. Even at 12X, I have no difficulty seeing my hits at 300 yards. I can say the same for my Leupold 3.5-10X, set at 10X.

  10. DJW

    DJW Well-Known Member

    I have a 20X from Champion's Choice and can see my .223 holes out to 300 easily. The trick mentioned above about cutting out the backer and using a light colored plastic bag behind the target really helps.
  11. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Well-Known Member

    I had a VERY nice Swarovski spotting scope and you could see 22 holes like they were held at arms length. That scope cost more then the car I bought for my son....something screwed up there, but that is the one he wanted.....anyway, we started using some more inexpensive scopes and have found them to be very nice....started playing with a bushnell scope we picked up for under $100....works darn good....point is you don't have to mortgage the house to see where you are putting holes in paper at 100.
  12. Mohave-Tec

    Mohave-Tec Well-Known Member

  13. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Well-Known Member

    Clarity > Magnification. Lots of people don't understand this, as evidenced by the amount of 24x Barskas mounted on so many people's bolt guns.

    At 100 yards I use a $40 set of 10x Alpen binoculars. The optics are clear enough that I can see .22 cal holes at 100 yards easily. The trick is to set them on something stable when viewing.
  14. 777funk

    777funk Well-Known Member

    I have found that cheap glass doesn't always mean bad clarity and sometimes it's nice to have high magnification.

    I have a Bushnell Elite 4200 in 2-10x40 and it's VERY hard to see .22 or .270 hits at 100 yards on a white paper backed with cardboard. With my Centerpoint 4-16x40 I can adjust the objective for 100 yards and see them (not easily but if they're in the right place on the paper I can see them). I didn't like the CP scope initially because at 16x at 10 yards (do a lot of pellet shooting) it was fairly fuzzy. I realized at 100 yards 16x is clear as can be. It's probably close to the Bushnell Elite on max power at long range under good light conditions. The elite is also fuzzy at 10x on 10 yard targets by the way and actually worse than the CP since it doesn't have an AO.

    I'll have to look into a good spotting scope. I always saw those at the range when I was a kid but when I looked recently the good ones seem to be WAY out of my price range. I've seen enough really bad cheap scopes that I know not to waste my money on cheap without knowing what I'm buying first. As I found with the glass on the CP scope, cheap doesn't always equal terrible or worthless. But it sure can at times as I've learned going cheap on other glass in the past.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  15. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Well-Known Member

    I usually shoot by myself at a private range so I walk out and mark the hits every 5 or 6 shots. Keeps me in good shape too! Seriously, I am glad you asked this question because I have been kicking around the idea of buying a spotting scope also. Good information from the pack as usual.
  16. eastbank

    eastbank Well-Known Member

    bausch&lomb discover 15x60-60 spotting scope, bought used at a gun show for 75.00,.22 holes at 300yds on a cool clear day. get a good solid tripod for what ever you get. eastbank.
  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Of course the NRA and the Army use the MattSchlock system with pits for target pullers. Except it is usually a relay of shooters taking turns marking the targets.

    I have looked through some very high end spotting scopes and picking a bullet hole out of the black at any great distance is a matter of lighting, atmospherics, and luck.

    There is a video spotting system available... if you want to see your hits at any distance $550 worth.
  18. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    agree with Jim. it's about contrast, and making larger impacts. you can improve it by backlighting the target so light shines through the hole. you can't control that on most ranges though.

    mostly, i shoot freshly painted steel
  19. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Swarovski 20x60x65 Spotting scope. I can clearly see .308 holes in paper at 600 yards UNLESS there is a heavy heat mirage then you are SOL.

    I've found that in most cases anything over about 40X is useless, unless the atmospherics conditions are perfect clarity and high magnification really picks up mirage. I've had my Swarovski for about 12 years and it was expensive back then. But now they are unobtainium expensive to buy new. If I was looking for superior quality euro glass I'd look at a Ziess, Leica or Swaro and I'd get a quality used scope.

    Leupold Gold ring stuff is pretty darn good too!
  20. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Well-Known Member

    Shoot N C targets if its longer range than 100 yds. At 100 I can usually see the group with the scope on 9x.

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