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Spotting scopes

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 52grain, Jul 12, 2009.

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  1. 52grain

    52grain Member

    Jun 21, 2009
    I am looking for a spotting scope. I was wondering if someone could fill me in on what I need to be looking for.
  2. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    Phoenix AZ
    Okay, Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness! Actually a lot depends on what your using it for and how far you'll need to see. Cheapies are good for a couple hundred yards max beyond that good luck. From what I've gathered the Konus brand offers a lot for the money.
  3. Birdmang

    Birdmang Member

    Jun 14, 2009
    I need to see only 100 yards, can someone point me in the direction of a cheap one?

    Sorry to jack the thread.
  4. 52grain

    52grain Member

    Jun 21, 2009
    I don't mind spending some money to get something decent, but don't want to spend a lot of money either. I plan to use it for target shooting on a range. I shoot 50 and 100 yards now and plan to shoot 200 yards in the future. Anyone have any insight as to how much magnification I would need to locate the holes easily?

    As far as the objective lens goes- how big does it need to be able to gather light. I shoot after work sometimes and I need something that will work in the early evening sun.
  5. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    I bought one of these cheap Barska (Slavic name aside, it is a Chinese made scope) from Gander Mountain a couple of years ago. It was $100.00 at the time, came with a case and cheapie tripod.

    I can see .223 bullet holes at 100 yards with the thing. I believe I can see 30 caliber holes at 200 yards.

    The image has a green tint. Images at the edges are not clear. Using it in a match, at 500 yards I could see the color difference between the black pasters and the black bull. Same day, same target, with my $1000.00 Pentax, I could see the edges of the pasters at 500 yards.

    Obviously the Pentax is a lot better optically.

    But, for $100.00, if I bust it, so what.

  6. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Member

    Nov 20, 2008
  7. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Member

    May 22, 2003
    Every now and then, Burris will offer a combo deal on a rifle scope and a spotting scope. I have a 15X45 Burris spotting scope and I can clearly se .223 holes at 200 yrds.
  8. skoro

    skoro Member

    May 2, 2008

    A good spotter sure makes your range sessions a lot more enjoyable. And you can use it for looking at wildlife and some casual stargazing, too.

    Look for:

    a) fully multicoated lenses

    Lens coating increases light transmission and cuts down on reflection. If you look for the reflection of a light fixture in a coated lens, it will look dull and green or dull and purple. Almost all scope makers will claim "coated optics" or "fully coated" or "multicoated". None of those statements is really good enough. Go with a scope that says it's been fully multicoated for the best results. This gives you better light transmission and brighter images. At least go for "multicoated" as a minimum.

    b) good eye relief

    Especially if you wear eyeglasses. Look for at least 1.5 inches (38mm). This is the distance your eye is from the eyepiece to get a full view. If you back up beyond the specified eye relief, you get "black out" and an incomplete view.

    c) good usable power range

    If you're going to be using the scope for no more than 100 yards, 25x to 30x is probably enough. If you're going farther out, look for a top power of 45 to 60x.

    d) large objective lens

    The larger the objective lens, the brighter and more detailed the image will be. My own scope has an 80mm objective lens and it works real well. You'll sometimes see spotting scopes with 50mm objectives - stay away from these. They'll be too dim under most conditions. There are some decent ones with 65mm objectives. They have the advantage of smaller size for easier portability, but they lose some brightness.

    Real good spotters at reasonable prices are:

    Celestron Ultima
    Bushnell Spacemaster

    You should be able to get one of those for $200 or less.

    If you're willing to double that amount:

    Nikon Prostaff
    Bushnell Elite
    Celstron Ultima ED

    If money's no object:


    And don't forget to buy a STURDY tripod. You can have the world's best scope, but if it's mounted on a jiggly tripod, you won't see anything clearly.
  9. Faitmaker

    Faitmaker Member

    Jun 29, 2009
    Dayton, Ohio
  10. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

    Sep 18, 2005
    North Central Ohio
    Though it hasn't been mentioned for whatever reason, I have been satisfied with my Leopold 80 power variable. I use it for "service rifle" competition when I compete with my AR 15. I will offer the caveat that not many spotting scopes are capable of providing effective definition of .22 caliber holes at 200 yards, especially when located in the black; let alone when shooting at the 600 yard stage of fire.
  11. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

    Nov 14, 2007
    You should be looking for the best quality you can find within your budget. What's the budget, are you willing to buy used, or new only, and what's the max distance you want to see .22 holes at?

    But skoro has given you a nice summary. This belongs in the Accessories forum.
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