View Full Version : Spotting Scope for .223 @ 300yds

May 20, 2002, 12:23 AM
Hey guys,

I just bought a Thompson Encore with a heavy .223 bbl. and would like to try it @ 300yds. Does anyone know what the minimum spotting scope quality and power I'll need to see .223" holes at that distance?

Any input is appreciated!


May 20, 2002, 12:32 AM
32X in a Leica APO-Televid works Ok in heavy mirage conditions. You might get by with less glass if there's no mirage. In heavy mirage, you need lower power and very good resolution, meaning big glass and a fixed eyepiece.

Probably a lot cheaper to use those Birchwood-Casey Shoot-n-see targets ;)

Art Eatman
May 20, 2002, 06:13 AM
First, finger out the distance at which you can halfway-clearly see that .22 hole with your nekkid eyebone.

Divide that into 300, to get the minimum magnification you need.

If it's 15 yards, for example, you need 20X. An el cheapo 20x60 is usually pretty okay up to around 40X or 45X...

:), Art

May 20, 2002, 06:20 AM
Good Grief Art!

Using that test I would need the Hubbel Telescope:eek:


May 20, 2002, 07:38 AM
In my experience, by the time you get a cheap spotting scope to 40x, the mirage effect is so bad on most days that it's useless. The other problem is that a good quality scope that'll spot .22 holes at 300 yards is going to be expensive.

I did see a home-brew rig that worked really well for one guy at our local range. He had a remote TV camera in a heavy steel box, tapered at the rear in case some idiot shot it. He set this about 15 feet from the target and focused it on the target, then he just checked his shots on a portable TV at the bench. It was a pretty slick idea, and it worked really well. :D

Steve Smith
May 20, 2002, 09:23 AM
Many HP shooters use Kowa scopes, but it is rare when we can actually see .223 hits at 300 yards. 200, yes, 300, not too common. Mirage becomes a real problem, especially if you're low to the ground, which we normally are.

May 20, 2002, 11:29 AM
You'll really have a hard time seeing a .223 [email protected] 300 in the black,,,,,in the buff of the target, probably. (But then you really will feel bad seeing that anyway:) )
A lot depends on conditions.

May 20, 2002, 08:06 PM
Thanks for the input guys, I guess I'll spend my money on something else--maybe walking shoes for all those 600 yard round trips...

May 20, 2002, 10:25 PM
Many HP shooters use Kowa scopes, but it is rare when we can actually see .223 hits at 300 yards. 200, yes, 300, not too common.

Mirage definitely makes thing much more difficult, but I generally have no problem identifying .223 holes in both the black and buff zones of NRA highpower targets at 300 yards with my Leica APO Televid scope in heavy mirage conditions such as are commonly found at Ben Avery in Phoenix, or Lee Kay in SLC. The Leica APO is generally much better resolution glass than anything made by Kowa and costs only a little more. The Swarovski AT/ST HD fluorite scopes are also quite good.

I have been the official announcer for my sport at the past three Olympic Games (used a Nikon in 1992) and I would not use anything less than the Leica for a critical situation such as instantly identifying arrow values in Olympic competition on live worldwide TV. One can't afford a screwup in that situation, especially when your boss is the VP of the IOC, and notably unforgiving of mistakes.

May 20, 2002, 11:51 PM
I'm afraid to ask...

How much did your Leica cost?

May 21, 2002, 10:14 AM
The APO model can be had with a fixed power eyepiece for as little as $1100 if you shop around. The regular model is considerably less.

4V50 Gary
May 21, 2002, 10:54 AM
Leupold 15x40 will do the trick. When everyone gets frustrated trying to spot through their scopes, they come to my bench and look through the Leupold.

May 24, 2002, 09:51 PM
Problem Solved...I think.

My company has a gun club. I happened to remember that they had some equipment available for checkout.

Sure enough, there was a Kowa 20-60x60 with all accessories just sitting in the equipment locker. Not anymore!

Club rules say I can keep it for 2 weeks or until someone wants it--whichever is LONGER. The last guy had it for a year...

Thanks for the input. It discouraged me from spending money on something that was very likely going to be inadequate (since I didn't have the kind of money it sounds like is required for what I needed).

Good shooting,


May 24, 2002, 11:39 PM
Hard to beat that price John.:D


4V50 Gary
May 25, 2002, 03:41 PM
Free just so happens to be my favorite four letter "f" word; even if the word "loan" is attached to it.