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Old July 26, 2013, 12:53 PM   #1
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Barska spotting scope - don't

Some time back, somebody was bashing Barska spotting scopes. I have one and I was tempted to defend it. Glad now that I didn't. I've been shooting this morning (220 and 223) at 100 yards and there were (I'm pleased to say) some very small groups. I got the Baska and set it up and just couldn't get a good clear look at the groups. Finally had to walk to the target and look.

I bought it because it was cheap. And I got my money's worth of cheap. And now I'm bashing it.

I wonder what the lowest cost acceptable spotting scope is. I'm open to opinions.
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Old July 26, 2013, 06:51 PM   #2
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lowest cost acceptable spotting scope
I'd like to know, too. Maybe something like the Bushnell 20-60x80 45-Degree Legend Ultra HD.
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Old July 26, 2013, 07:02 PM   #3
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I bought a BSA spotting scope cheap from CDNN a couple years ago.
Pros: I can see 5.45 holes at 100 yards, optics are clear.
Came as a complete kit with screw on caps, tripod and car window mount.

Negatives: came in a plastic case which is twice as big as it needs to be. Scope had a rubber coating on it...a year after I bought it, the rubber coating turned into sticky black tar. I wrapped it with camo bow tape.
I think it was $35, I feel I got more than my monies worth.
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Old July 26, 2013, 07:16 PM   #4
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I have had one for 3 years now and think it was a great deal for the money,if your looking for a high quality scope then I wouldn't recommend Barska but if you want one that is not very expensive but will get the job done then I would recommend them.
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Old July 27, 2013, 06:06 AM   #5
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I bought a Simmons from wally world for $60.00 and it works great for 100 yds, at 200 yds it will not focus sharp enough to see the 223 holes. Its 20 to 60 power and 50 mm objective lense. For the 200 and 300 yd range I use shoot n c targets, it will allow me to make out the holes.
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Old July 27, 2013, 08:19 PM   #6
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I bought a cheap Bushnell 3 years ago and to my surprise it is still going strong. If it every does fail me though I'm planning on upgrading to a Leupold. They have a few that fall into a price range I can agree with.
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Old July 27, 2013, 08:52 PM   #7
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I just got a Redfield Rampage on Friday. It's probably going back on Monday. I can't see bullet holes at 100yds and I'm shooting a 45-70. The holes in the black just can't be seen. I have to walk up to the target to see the holes. I'm getting a Leupold. Pay the money up front and it'll last a lifetime. A lot more money, and a lot more scope.
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Old July 27, 2013, 10:26 PM   #8
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At 32 power I just use my scope
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Old July 28, 2013, 01:00 AM   #9
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I have one. It is sweet. So far i have used 100-450 yards.
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Old July 28, 2013, 03:06 AM   #10
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it is a cheap scope for sure. I am sure you can get some bad ones. I use it to look at stars and the moon and it is amazing. I even leave it out in the rain sometimes and it does fine. It is probably a hit and miss product
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Old July 28, 2013, 09:02 AM   #11
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I've been using this one for a few years and it works well enough for getting a look at holes in paper at 100 yards. Clear optics, but narrow field of view and limited eye relief. Decent price, though.
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Old July 28, 2013, 02:41 PM   #12
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does anyone have a spotting scope that can see 223 holes at 200 yds ?
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Old July 28, 2013, 03:10 PM   #13
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I have an 80 mm Konus like this one: and it works fine.

You can get it cheaper at Opticsplanet or the like. I think I paid $200 for mine a few years ago.

It is not a Kowa but it isn't $1,000 either.
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Old August 1, 2013, 09:19 PM   #14
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I agree, barska cheap sppoting scopes are worthless. Went out plinking with a friend a couple years ago, we were shooting a .50 at various metal targets at 300yds, seeing what we could blow holes in (Subaru flywheels, etc). Barska scope was not clear enough to see the holes! Actually looked blurry, like squinting after being in an over chlorinated swimming pool, after about 75yds.
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Old August 2, 2013, 06:05 AM   #15
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I tried the redfield rampage and took it back because the eye relief was very bad, especially since I wear glasses.
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Old August 2, 2013, 07:39 AM   #16
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I have an old Zeiss 20-60x80 spotting scope that has worked very well for close to 40 years. I paid quite a bit for it then and I imagine that they arn't cheap now. However the optics are crystal clear to this day. It has made countless trips to the firing ranges, and many trips hunting. I have a feeling its going to outlast me. Of course you may not want to lay out that kind of $ for a spotting scope, but something mid line will probably suit your purpose.
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Old December 15, 2013, 11:50 AM   #17
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Barska spotting scope - don't

Be prepared to pay over $500(really prob over $600) for a decent spotting scope. It sucks but it is what it is. I have been wanting one for a while but still haven't bought one because there are other things I decide I want to spend money on more than a spotting scope.
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Old December 15, 2013, 08:41 PM   #18
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As you go up in price, there are several factors involved:
  • Distance - The farther you need to see, the higher the price. 200 yards seems to be the break point; past that prices start seriously jumping up.
  • Ruggedness - how banged about is the scope going to be? Is it going in the field, or just out on the range?
  • Eye Relief - unlike a birdwatcher, you've always wearing eye protection out there.
One important point - get a solid tripod! All the heavenly glass in the world isn't worth whale poop if it's on a wobbly mount.

I wanted more scope than I could justify just for shooting; however, my wife loves to paint and take landscape photographs, and we both have a passing interest in astronomy. I parlayed those multiple uses into a Pentax PF-80ED-A; good glass, tough, easy to find different objectives and camera adapters (it can take most telescope objectives) as well as very good eye relief. For the price, it's probably one of the best bangs for your buck you can get in spotting scopes - especially if you can put it to multiple purposes.
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Old December 16, 2013, 11:52 AM   #19
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Check out this one:

Alpen is not a well known name but the one I have had for several years is excellent quality. When I bought it, 3-4 years ago, they were quite a bit cheaper and I am sure you can find a better price than this one if you search.

I bought it after reading an article in Field n Stream about them and have been very satisfied.
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Old December 16, 2013, 02:24 PM   #20
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Every time the ol' perennial "I need a good, cheap scope" topic comes up I suggest this.

Look at small (5~6") older non-computer controlled astronomy scopes. They have lots of optical quality at a low price because for astronomers there is more to the item than just the optical quality of the scope! They may be optically superb, & usually are, but its in the computer control era nowadays & they go for a song if they aren't "digitally enabled".

You will need to buy one or two easily obtainable accessories, but you ought to be able to bring in one they'll do everything you need for under $300 Out the door & ready to go.

I don't shoot .223, but a .30 cal @ 300 is clearly visible so It ought to do a .223 @ 200.
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