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Old December 3, 2010, 01:49 AM   #1
Ignition Override
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Join Date: February 18, 2008
Location: About 20 nm from the Big Muddy
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Reliability of low-priced spotter scopes.

It's time to finally face the need to buy one.
Can a scope with a retail price of around $100 be as durable as the much higher-priced series? A friend got one at Walmart for around this price.
I've never looked in stores, just glances at prices on "GB".

My range shooting is only 100 yards (might try 200 this spring, but not often: a partner is required), but being advised to move from Shoot-N -See targets to real NRA targets, my decent small binoculars might not be up to it.

Are there very good quality scopes without going up in price? "Consumer Reports" had no results when searching for these.

Oh well.. can always try the other websites.

Last edited by Ignition Override; December 4, 2010 at 06:37 PM.
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Old December 13, 2010, 10:56 AM   #2
Buzzard Bait
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Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Republic of Texas
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My experience

In my experience it's not the reliability or the durability that suffers as the price goes down but the resolution suffers as the price goes down. So you end up with a scope that has the magnification you wanted but can't see small details like if your spotting targets you might not be able to see hits in the black as well as a higher quality optic will.

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Old December 13, 2010, 11:10 AM   #3
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Buzzard Bait has it right on. I've got the cheap 20-60 power Bushnell and it is really only good for about 100 to 150 yds. On my 30 cal rifles, I could maybe see hits out to about 200 but definately nothing beyond that with any real clarity.
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Old December 13, 2010, 02:05 PM   #4
Join Date: July 10, 2008
Location: Texas
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I can see hits better

with my 18 power Nikon than my Konus spotting scope
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Old December 15, 2010, 04:18 PM   #5
Join Date: November 27, 2010
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I have a cheap Russian spotting scope (says "tourist" on it in russian, lol). Cost me about $40 maybe 12 years ago. 30 power.
On a day with decent light, I can make out .223 holes at 100, in the black. At 200, I can see .308 holes, but only the ones in the white.

If I were still shooting Service Rifle, I'd get a better one.

Also, if you're shooting matches with it, a 45 degree eyepiece makes a world of difference. Probably better for a hunting scope as well, it's easier to line up with the game or target.
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Old December 15, 2010, 08:52 PM   #6
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I've been using a Winchester 50x spotter for about 6 years. It's good to 150 yds. At the time I bought it I didn't have good glass on my guns, so I felt that I needed the spotter, but I had nothing else to compare it to.

What I learned: Don't scrimp on optics, period. Buy the best glass you can afford. I learned that with good optics I really didn't need a spotting scope. If you can't do that, then upgrade when you can. Spend once, have it for life.
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