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Range equipment advice

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by Mars5l, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. Mars5l

    Mars5l Member

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    I want to get some ideas or thoughts on some basic things to bring to the range. I just got a Henry and have a French Mas 36. I dont plan on using them a lot at the range, I do want to get a rifle rest and a spotting scope. I more or less just want a simple bag setup that's not big or requires me loading up a wagon. I do prefer something USA made for the rest. I did come across Protektor brand, I did like the price of the #7 and its usa made. But is it tall enough to use?

    I also just want an inexpensive spotting scope. For someone like me at this point is it better to just get a cheap $30-$50 one. Prefer one with a tripod attachment. Spend a little more and get one from a trusted name?
     
  2. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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  3. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Skip the "$30-50" spotting scope. Skip Tasco, Bushnell, etc. I've been there and done that, and I can assure you that you're just throwing good money out the window. Those cheap optics are worthless, even at a 100 yrd range.

    Look for a higher quality scope on the used market, or save some money for a better model. Redfield is out of business now, but if you can find their spotting scope on ebay, you'd likely do okay for a range piece. I have their field glasses and scope on my rifle and thy were a good value. I tossed my Bushnell spotter and bought a Vortex Diamondback. It's not awesome, but it's a huge improvement. (It was a lot more expensive, too.)
     
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  4. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    No idea if you are a DIY kind of guy but I threw this one together, rest/spotting scope mount in one. Gives lots of height adjustment.



    The spotting scope on there is a cheap bushnell, it’s not as good as my high dollar ones but gets used more because it’s always around while the good ones remain put up. Kind of like having harbor freight free multi meters all over the place while my Fluke and Simpson ones stay safe, until I need them.
     
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  5. bummer7

    bummer7 Member

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    Very ingenious, inventive, and creative. One question I have is, How heavy is the entire package?
     
  6. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    I'm not much help on the rest, I personally use a Caldwell Matrix which isn't in the same vein you're looking at. Not the most precise instrument, but works well for zeroing rifles which is what I primarily use it for.

    As for a spotting scope, the Athlon Talos is hard to beat for the price. I bought one of the cheap $50 ones from Harbor Freight and wasn't happy with it, but also didn't want to spend a bunch because I'm not very demanding of a spotter. This is actually a little less than what I paid for it.

    https://cameralandny.com/shop/athlo...6342-0136-ef37-00163e90e196?variation=1809119

    I also bought a Celestron NexYZ universal phone adapter for the spotter, pretty handy for taking pictures and just generally being able to check things at a glance and not have to mess with eye relief every time you look. They make nicer ones but again, I don't use it enough to pay a bunch and also didn't want to buy a phone model specific one. I had a thread about a budget spotting scope awhile back when I was looking, you might find it useful.

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/budget-minded-spotting-scope.866464/page-3
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  7. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Not exactly sure, never weighed it. It is heavier now than it was in that video because I changed it to double rails in the back and have the ability to use a rear bag or have the rest absorb the recoil.

    03EAD0C0-2DA3-443C-A57A-2ABBF3D3C841.jpeg

    It is heavy enough to not move around between shots though.

     
  8. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Even if you add a zero to your numbers above, you may not be satisfied with the product you receive. Certainly, there is no $30-50 spotting scope which I believe is worth owning. Money better spent on ammo, by far. I received a Simmons Blazer spotting scope as a gift several years ago, want to say they’re $60 ballpark. I should have returned it immediately, but we’ve made limited use of it. The first one failed after maybe 10 trips to the range (multiple people spotting, so I used this one while others used the Simmons) - the zoom eyepiece stripped out and would no longer adjust zoom. Simmons/Bushnell replaced it, no cost even for shipping, and I have not used the next one at all - great customer service even for a low cost, low quality product. I can see impacts on steel or on a shoot-n-c type target at 100-200, on the best of days at 300, but beyond that, or not using an indicating target, the resolution simply isn’t good enough. I do find I’ll get a lot of eye strain and a headache if I use it too long.

    Headaches and poor resolution such the task really can’t be accomplished - that’s par for the course with sub-$100 spotters. Even at $300, I’m not sure there’s a spotter I would recommend.
     
  9. Mars5l

    Mars5l Member

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  10. George P

    George P Member

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    I'll disagree about Bushnell, at least my old one that was made about 40 years ago; still works great....But I do agree about NOT buying cheap optics. My spotting scope was almost $200 back then.
    As to minimum range gear, obviously ammo, gun, eyes and ears and targets are the minimum Then bench bags, tape or clips for targets, notebook for reloads, collapsible cleaning rod and related stuff. A decent pair of binoculars can sub for a spotting scope for the time being.
     
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  11. Anchorite

    Anchorite Member

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    Hart rest. Kiowa spotting scope. My bags are Eagle something or other....I can’t recall exactly. I took an old pair of khakis and cut off the pant legs.....filled them with sand to make sand bags (sewn shut each end).
     
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  12. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    I bought a Hoppe’s front rest eons ago (ok 33 years ago) for $25 and still tots it to the range for informal shooting. I pulled my Protektor front bag for my windage rest and replaced it with a cheap Caldwell and use a flour sack filled with sand or Protektor rear bag when I need fancy. https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1015139582

    A useable spotter probably begins at $400 but why waste money when doubling that budget will get you one you’ll actually want to use. If that’s outside your budget consider a decent used rifle scope in 24x rigged to a stand until you can afford an actual spotter. I’ve wasted a fair amount on cheap spotting scopes which is why I check my targets the old fashioned way, with my feet.


    BAB61D42-6072-45BF-ABA3-5FC85CD313EB.jpeg
     
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  13. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    I have the exact same Hoppe's front rest, but I also have the rear bag that goes with it; they were a set. Had mine about 25 years. They don't make 'em anymore. =( I sometimes see the front rest without the bag for sale used for cheap, but without the bag they're not much use.
     
  14. maxxhavoc

    maxxhavoc Member

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    First off, Protektor is a great company that makes a great product. If you are not going to buy an adjustable rest, that will work, but you will probably need a block of wood or something under it. A small bit of 1x6 or 2x6 will probably do, depending on how you shoot.

    I generally use one of three setups when I go to the range:
    1- A Caldwell "The Rock" BR adjustable rest.
    2-A Protektor bag
    3-A cheap Caldwell bag (like this: https://www.amazon.com/Caldwell-Del...1&keywords=caldwell+bag&qid=1593602124&sr=8-6) velcroed to the top of an ammo can.

    Just depends on how much I plan to carry and how serious I am about shooting tiny groups. Honestly, the Caldwell rest comes out once or twice a year simply because it's more of a pain to set up than I enjoy shooting off of it.

    The Protektor comes out every other trip, the little bag comes out every time (because it is small and light and I already am carrying out the ammo can.)

    I must have gotten really lucky on spotting scopes. I bought a Barska scope from Amazon many years ago for $50 on sale with a bag and stand, and I can make out .223 hits on the black part of a paper target at 100 yards with it. I don't have a longer range than that to shoot on, so unless I buy a .17, I can't think of anything it won't do. Oh, the zipper on the bag disintegrated after 5 years. Not sure where they get the metal for zippers.
    It is a lot like this:
    https://www.amazon.com/BARSKA-20-60...otting&qid=1593602614&s=sporting-goods&sr=1-2
     
  15. George P

    George P Member

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    I also have that same front rest. The rear suede bag has more duct tape than suede left, but it functions well enough
     
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