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Old April 25, 2012, 02:38 PM   #1
rebs
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spotting scopes ?

What are you guys using for spotting scopes ?
I shoot from 50 yds out to about 200 or 300 yds and need a recommendation on a spotting scope to see where my bullets hit the targets.
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Old April 25, 2012, 08:19 PM   #2
frumious
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Go to Amazon and do a search on Celestron spotting scopes. I have a model 52229 20x-60x with a 60mm objective. It came with a tripod, hard case, soft case, and lens covers. I can see 22-cal holes easily at 100 yards at all magnifications. I don't shoot past that so can't comment on 200-300 yards but I'd bet it'd be fine. My scope was less than $100 shipped.

Avoid Barska. I bought one at Cabela's and returned it. It was crap. I also have 2 pairs of Barska binoculars and they are crap too, but I use them to spot for pistol at 25 yards or less.

-cls
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Old April 26, 2012, 11:20 AM   #3
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At the risk of getting tomatoes thrown at me, I'll admit that I have a Barska spotting scope. My rifle scopes and Binocs are almost all high dollar, but I went with lowest dollar on the spotting scope. It works Ok at 100 and 200 yards, but hasn't been used at longer distances than that. It is not a good spotting scope, but it's marginally Ok. And you might even think that it's a decent spotting scope if you never in your life looked through a really good one.

I've used really good spotting scopes and really really bad range loaners, and the Barska is better than the really really bad range loaners. I don't know if you can call that any sort of recommendation. Don't expect too much from Barska and you won't be disappointed. But hey, it works. Whaddayawant for $50 or whatever I paid?
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Old April 27, 2012, 08:33 AM   #4
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For shooting, as in high power, a spotting scope is used more for reading mirage then spotting bullet holes.

Get one that picks up a lot of light, good and clear. As to power all you need is a 20-24 X. In high power I can see 22 cal (223) bullet holes at 300 yards.

Anything more powerful is going to pick up too much mirage and wash out the target.

The old army M-49 20X was dern near perfect for shooting.

When coaching for the AK NG Rifle team I had a 100 MM team scope. I came with 16-32 power. I used the 24X as it worked the best for seeing holes up to 300 yards, and judging mirage and bullet trace for long range. (you could even pick up the trace at 2 & 300 yards.

The biggest problem is people try for too much power. On our team scope I finely had to toss the other eye pieces because all my idiot shooters thought they needed the 32 X.

The same with scopes, don't go with too much power. Not only does it wash out the target (mirage) but it picks up heat from the barrel with interferes with you mirage. I've found 10-X to be perfect for me up to 1000 yards.

Also on a rifle you want a barrel ban, or a strap going the length of the barrel to break up heat waves coming off the barrel.

A hint for seeing bullet holes in "practice" targets" is to build your target frame so you can put another target about 3-4 inches behind your target. Reverse the target to the rear so its all white. When you look at the holes on your target (assuming they are in the black) you'll be able to see the white back ground of the second target.

If you have a dark back ground, such as trees 'n such, its almost impossible to see the holes regardless of the scope.
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Old April 28, 2012, 07:13 PM   #5
frumious
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kraigwy, what is your opinion of targets that are not black? I like reddish-orange targets, myself. I can see black bullet holes in them fine. But that's just me.

-cls
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Old April 29, 2012, 07:51 AM   #6
Rifleman1776
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Mine is a 35 year old Redfield 15-60X and is a sharp and clear today as it was new.
The high power does not "wash" out anything. Holes in targets are clear and easy to see.
Only advice is get best your budget allows. I do favor those that go up to high power.
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Old August 1, 2012, 09:14 AM   #7
rebs
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spotting scope ?

I seen two, one is a Barska and the other is a Vanguard.
Does anyone have experience with either of these ?
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Old August 1, 2012, 12:51 PM   #8
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Without knowing the size of the optics and what you want to use if for, it is a little hard to comment ... other than to say that the cheap Chinese optics have never impressed me.

However, if you are really limited by funds, you might be able to get something serviceable. With respect to size, just about the only thing that matters for a spotting scope is the diameter of the objective lens ... and bigger is MUCH better ... bypass anything 50mm or less and try to find something 70mm or bigger ... I found a good deal on a Konuspot 80 and I love it ... they will likely set you back $200 ... but I know people who use Kowa 80's art work that swear the Konuspot is every bit as nice.

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Old August 1, 2012, 02:49 PM   #9
rebs
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I want one to use at the range for 100 to 300 yds to see my bullet holes so I don't have to keep walking so far with my bad back

I am shooting a 223 cal AR 15
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Old August 1, 2012, 05:38 PM   #10
Clifford L. Hughes
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Rebs:

When I was shooting on several Marine Corps rifle teams, the Corps issued me a 20X, 40mm objective lens Baush and Loamb . With it I could spot thirty caliber holes at 300 yards. Laying next to the shooter I could spot the break of his bullet out to 300 yards.

It's not the power of the scope, unless you buy under 20X, that allows you to see 300 yard bulllet hole, it's the resolution. If I were buying a scope it would be a variable in the 15X to 50X range.

There is a problem with high magnification: on hot summer days it's difficult to see thorugh the mirage using high magnafication. A variable allows you to drop down in power and to be able manage the mirage.

Most cheap scopes lack resolution. Buy what you can afford.


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Old August 2, 2012, 06:26 AM   #11
rebs
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Thank you for the replies, I appreciate it
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Old August 2, 2012, 07:28 AM   #12
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Cheap Chinese optics are certainly a step down from the best available, but you can get 80% of the performance for 20% of the price. I'd go for something with at least a 60mm objective lens.

Something like this might be a bit of overkill but would be useful for light astronomy or birdwatching as well. A decent photo tripod should hold it just fine.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...G&Q=&A=details

This is probably as cheap as you would want to go -

http://www.harborfreight.com/20-60-x...pod-94555.html
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Old August 2, 2012, 02:06 PM   #13
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I have read that Celestron is a pretty decent spotting scope and sold on Amazon.com
Does anyone have any experience with them ?
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Old August 5, 2012, 12:53 PM   #14
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I also have a Celestron celestial scope ... I've used it to spot game at long distances (2000-2500 yds) in the early morning (when there isn't any mirage to contend with) ... it works, but mine requires too much gear to be truly portable. I have no experience with their "spotting scope" style units. I do NOT think that the Celestron that was linked to above is overkill at all ... it may be nicer than what most will have, but 80mm is what I now consider to be my personal minimum diameter for a spotting scope objective.

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Old August 5, 2012, 06:16 PM   #15
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Sorry to be blunt - Barska is garbage.
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Old August 5, 2012, 08:51 PM   #16
rebs
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can anyone recommend a brand or model that you have and works good ?
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Old August 5, 2012, 09:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
can anyone recommend a brand or model that you have and works good ?
Last month I bought (or should I say, my daughter "bought" it for my birthday) a Leupold SX-1 Ventana 15-45x60mm with a case and tripod from Optics Planet for $320 shipped.
It ain't exactly the Leupold Kenai that it replaced... but for the money, it's clear and bright with only a trace of distortion on high mag at the very edges.

I think they have a few left... and some 20-60X80 Ventanas for a hundred more.

Cheers,
C

Almost forgot... as usual, the case and bipod are low quality.
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Old August 6, 2012, 08:05 PM   #18
saands
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Konuspot-80 by Konus ...

many compare it favorably to the Kowa 80mm scopes. You'll notice that I won't even mention at the first take what the power is ... that is because Kraig is spot on ... don't sweat the high power. I think that mine goes up to 50x, but I never use it up there ... 20-25x is all you want.

The amount of light that gets through a scope is primarily a function of the diameter of the objective ... and only a secondary or tertiary effect of the quality of the glass ... sure, awesome glass in 60mm will be brighter than mediocre glass in 60mm, but there is NO glass on the planet that will be brighter in a 60mm than mine (or practically any reasonable scope) is in an 80mm ... the math simply wouldn't allow it. If you have to carry it all over creation, then you might look at the smaller objective lenses, but if you can handle the weight/size of the larger objective scopes, you will be a LOT happier you bought one.

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Old August 6, 2012, 09:19 PM   #19
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The clarity is unsurpassed.....wonderful piece of equipment for target spotting or hunting. No regrets...Swarovski.


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Old August 6, 2012, 10:02 PM   #20
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Mine is a big Tasco-Made in Japan telescope I purchased at a yard sale for $10. Bought a more powerful eyepiece for it, at 100 yards those targets are nice and clear.
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Old August 7, 2012, 08:54 AM   #21
kraigwy
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I have to agree with Clifford on this.

I've coached the AK NG Rifle team for about 12-15 years. Anything over 20-24X is over kill and defeats the purpose.

I used a 100 MM Team Scope for coaching. It came with varying powers between 15 and 32 eye pieces. My shooters kept putting the 32 X eye piece in thinking it would be easier for spotting holes and bullet trace. It wasn't, I ended up throwing the other eye pieces in the trash keeping the 20 & 24X.

Depending on the light, sometimes the 20X worked sometimes the 24X worked.

One of the best scopes I've used was the old military M-49 w/20x eye piece.

Right now I use a Bushnell 20X and it works great on 223's at 200 & 300s.

You have to understand that in some light conditions, no scope will spot bullet holes at 2 & 300.

It also depends on the back gound behind the target. I've shot when the ground was snow covered, you could dern near see the bullet holes with any glass. Then with a dark back ground, like ranges up against a dark tree line you'll never see them.
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Old August 7, 2012, 02:29 PM   #22
rebs
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Quote:
Right now I use a Bushnell 20X and it works great on 223's at 200 & 300s.
what model is your Bushnell ?
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Old August 7, 2012, 04:15 PM   #23
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Bang for buck, the Celestrons are hard to beat. Here is a guide from OpticsPlanet I used to research my own purchase.

I ended up with a Pentax 80mm ED, but mine does triple duty: nature watching, low level astronomy, and target shooting. It allows me to use a variety of astronomical eyepieces, and is rather rugged.

A few other things:
  • Don't neglect the tripod / mount. The best scope can be rendered useless if the mount isn't solid.
  • Eye relief is important, especially if you wear glasses.
  • Sometimes what you are paying for is durability as well as good glass. For example, the Celestrons have just as good or better glass than many competitors in its price range - however, they will require a bit more care in handlling.
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Old August 7, 2012, 07:36 PM   #24
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what model is your Bushnell ?
Got me, its 30 years old or better. It's got a little metal tag that says Bushnell but the model number or name is all faded out.
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Old August 7, 2012, 08:43 PM   #25
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I have had a Nikon 16-48X60 for about 4 years now. Clear as can be and you see those little bitty holes.

I use a camera tripod for mine and once I get it dialed in, I don't have to guess at anything.

Mine has been troublefree.
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