Spotting Scope

Spotting Scope

This is a discussion on Spotting Scope within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Can anyone recommend a good spotting scope that won't break the bank. I will be using it most at 25 yards but might use it ...

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Thread: Spotting Scope

  1. #1
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    Spotting Scope

    Can anyone recommend a good spotting scope that won't break the bank. I will be using it most at 25 yards but might use it up to 100 with a rifle.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    I got one from Midway years ago. It isn't great, but it does what I want it to do at the distances I need it. I think it is a Bushnell, it was less than 100 bucks I think, it has been several years now.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I got a 20x60 Barska for Christmas this past year. Still have to try it out on the range. Anything 100yds and under would be a waste IMO. I'll save it for the river range and 300yds with my reloads for this year.

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    You have better eyes than me.

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    If you're sure your max range is 100 yards, any decent spotting scope in the 30-50 power range on the top end should serve you O.K. even for seeing 22 cal. bullet holes. At 200 yds. and beyond, it's a different story. After years of fighting scopes in the $100-$300 dollar range to see bullet holes at 200-500 yards, I finally gave up and sprung for this. I like the angle eyepiece as I set mine up on a full size tripod next to the shooting table so that it doesn't get moved each time I fire. Until you're trying to look through heat mirage for tiny bullet holes at 200+ yds., you can't realize the difference in inexpensive glass and quality glass until you see it for yourself. DC does have a sponsor, Optics Planet that has a huge selection.

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  6. #6
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    That's a nice scope Hoss, but a little more than I want to spend right now. But I would rather spend that than have something that is useless.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redrick View Post
    That's a nice scope Hoss, but a little more than I want to spend right now. But I would rather spend that than have something that is useless.
    As I indicated before, if you're sure that you won't be looking for bullet holes beyond 100 yds., any decent scope will work. Optics Planet lists a bunch of them in the $70-$150 range. One thing I should have said before was that, especially on inexpensive glass, get more power than you need that way you don't have to go to max power to get the job done. Inexpensive glass will generally be more clear if you don't run it up to max power. If you buy a 60X scope but can see your bullet holes using only 40 power, you'll usually have a clearer picture than if you run it all the way up to 60. Also, for whatever money you want to spend, try and get as large an objective lens as possible. The less expensive glass won't transmit light as well as quality glass so the bigger objective will help by letting more in to start with. You haven't really said what price range you'd like to stay in, but this Tasco may be close to what you're looking for.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    I got a 20x60 Barska for Christmas this past year. Still have to try it out on the range. Anything 100yds and under would be a waste IMO. I'll save it for the river range and 300yds with my reloads for this year.
    I also got the same spotting scope from Santa at Christmas. It came from Sportsman's Guide and was under $60. I had it at the range yesterday and it was crystal clear. I used it for spotting out to 100 yards and had no problems focusing or seeing my targets clearly. I was sighting-in a couple of 10/22's and could easily see the tiny holes. AND, it came with a nice carrying case!
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  9. #9
    Member Array Wuchak's Avatar
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    Check out the Burris 20x50. It's available individually or with a scope/spotting scope combo. People buy the combo and sell of the spotting scope on eBay so they can be had for $50 - $80. The scope is light weight, very compact, has fully coated optics and uses BAK4 (the good glass) prisms. The image is clear almost to the edge, is very bright, and very clear. It's compact enough to mount on a walking stick/monopod and walk with all day so if you want to use it for something other than just the range, e.g. birding, hunting, you can do so easily. The small size means it will fit easily into a regular rangebag with a tabletop tripod. It also has 3/4" of eye relief which is enough to let you use it with shooting glasses on.

    Burris 20x50mm Landmark Compact Spotting Scope w/ FREE UPS 300128 300127 20x50 Scopes 20 x 50


    Fixed power scopes will always give a better image than variable. Variables get close but not until you spend $150 and up on just the eyepiece alone. I bought one of the Burris scopes for birding and my wife and I liked it so much we bought a second one. Birding requires good optics since you are looking for details at distance and spending a long time looking through them, as opposed to a few seconds to check a target. Spend a full day looking through bad optics and your eyes and head will be pounding from the strain. Going birding a bunch of times with my local Audubon Society gave me the chance to hang out with people who had some serious money in their optics. Swarovski, top of the line Nikon, Leica, Zeiss, etc. People will set-up their scopes and let others use them. One of the things I noticed is that even people with the larger sized 80+mm scopes often use only a 20x fixed eyepiece. Once you have more magnification you might see a larger image but the atmospheric distortion and extreme sensitivity to the slightest vibration, including the wind even when mounted on a very expensive and solid tripod, means you don't always see more detail.

    A good reasonably priced higher magnification scope is the Burris XTS-2575. There are some reviews by shooters on the Optics Planet page.
    Burris XTS-2575 25-75x70mm Xtreme Tactical Cassegrain Spotting Scope 300101 w/ FREE UPS 25-75x70 Scopes 25-75 x 70

    A couple of thing to keep in mind:
    1. fixed optics will give the best image until you get into higher dollar scopes
    2. if you want more than 20x go to a 60mm or larger objective. More magnification needs more light, this is especially true with variable power and cheaper lenses. If you have the choice of a 60mm scope and a 80mm scope at the same price the 60mm will probably have better glass and be the better buy.
    3. Be sure the eye relief will let you use it with shooting glasses on. Having to remove them to check the target will get old fast. Most variable lenses decrease in eye relief as the magnification goes up.
    4. If you need more than 20x consider going to a scope with interchangeable eyepieces. Something like the relatively inexpensive Audubon Dimensions, which uses standard telescope eyepieces, is a good value. The eyepieces can be had used on eBay in various power inexpensively. A 20x, 45x, and 60x would cover just about everything.

    Audubon Dimensions Spotting Scope with Free Full Size Tripod from Eagle Optics
    Audubon Dimensions 80WA 80mm Spotting Scope - 80WA-ES AB-80WA-ES
    Scope only on sale for $99 w/free shipping and it comes with desktop tripod, 20x and 45x eyepieces. http://www.eagleoptics.com/spotting-...spotting-scope
    Eagle Optics gives you a 30 day in home trial. If you decide to return the only thing you are out is the return shipping.

    Here is some great information on optics. The focus is on birding but they really cover what to look for very well and the pros and cons of different types. Better View Desired

    Note: I have both the Burris and the Audubon Dimension. The Burris gets a lot more use.
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  10. #10
    Ex Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    My range is out my back door so I use my legs for my scope.

  11. #11
    Member Array samh's Avatar
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    +1 on the Burris 20 X 50, for the money it's a good scope. I've got 2 of them that I got with the combo deal with thier Fullfield rifle scopes. There's usually a bunch of them on E-Bay.
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  12. #12
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    Thanks for all of your advice. I like the Burris 20 x 50, sportsmanguide has a Meade in the magazine that I just received. Does anyone have any experience with it?

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