There are so many spotting scopes out there, and the price disparity is huge, that I really don't know where to start on buying one. I'm basically interested in being able to spot my shot placement out to maybe 500 yards on the rifle range. I would like a quality scope, and I'm willing to pay commensurate with what I get, but I'm not going to pay for a name.
Also, where are the best deals to be found, retail?
The finest one I ever looked thru was a Leica, but cost is prohibitive.
Most of the HP shooters I associate w/ like the Kowa spotting scopes sold by Champions Choice, no web-site.
201 International Blvd.
LaVergne, TN 37086
orders only @ 1-800-345-7179
You can call or e-mail and they'll send ya a catalog. I will probably get a Kowa as I have looked thru several.
T-500 series = $150-220
T-600 series = $270-310
T-800 series = $465-up to 1033
Hope this helps,
I am certainly no expert on the subject, but seeing bullet holes at 500yds might be pushing it a bit for most spotting scopes. Whatever the case, buy one with a large ( 80mm +) objective lense. This is what gives you the ability to resolve detail at distances- not magnification. Under most atmospheric conditions, anything above 20x and you will have to contend with mirage and other distortions. Check out this link: www.betterviewdesired.com These Bird people are very anal about their optics. More so than shooters/hunters.
Range spotting scopes don't have to be as clear as scopes that the naturalists use.
A Bushnell will suffice for range work.
I happen to favor Nikon glass.
Not at 500yds.
try the IOR meopta Hermes I. its 20-45x, 70mm and is aparantly a great buy. im getting one as soon as i get my tax $$ back. there is a good review of them over at snipercountry.com
I wound up buying the KOWA TS501 20x X 50mm. I didn't like the variable eyepieces because at the higher mag. you lose eye relief, meaning you have to get your eye right up on the eyepiece and your field of view really changes. I suppose for target sighting this may not be an issue. I bought my KOWA from Jim Owens at www.jarheadtop.com
I talked with him about scopes over the phone one Sunday morning (he called me about my email question on ordering). I felt like I received great service from him.
I picked up the NIKON Spotter XL 16-47x60 kit.
For use outdoors, not only at the range, it is excellent. I'd like a bit more eye relief because I wear 'corrective lenses', but, it works for me.
The cost was reasonable and the optics are sturdy and top notch.
NIKON hunting optics: www.nikonusa.com/usa_group/group.jsp?cat=4&grp=16
NIKON Spotter XL Outfit:
Click on the key features and specs to read about it.
That's the setup in the picture---
...and the picture of the kit---
BTW, that's a NIKON 6.5-20x44 A/O matte scope on the rifle, with a couple of pairs of NIKON binoulars in the background.
I've got a NIKON shotgun scope, and will probably be getting more NIKON optics in the future, including the Laser800, and the 6x15/9x monocular/magnifier.
I may look into the 'Tactical' scope. Regardless of a less than stellar review/comment by one our forum members. I guess it looked 'cheap' in comparison to a Leupold. I don't know. I've not seen the new NIKON setup. I do have a Leupold Tactical scope and it is a good scope.
The picture above was taken with the NIKON N65 SLR camera.
I like NIKON.
you are not going to see holes at 500 yards plus unless you are shooting a 50 bmg.
most highpower shooters either use a kowa or champions choice scope.
champions choice is a 60mm and most of the time 22x or 25x, kowa you can get from around 60mm up to 82mm and either like 27X or the 20x60 zoom I believe. prices run between the mid $200's to over $700.
but here's what you are going to be able to do.
on a paper target to see bullet holes:
champions choice and low end kowa's:
100 yards good bullit placement unless is raining and then the holes have a tendency to close up a bit so .223's you will not see all of them but 30 cal. will be most all ok.
200 yards low end scopes you will only see .223 when and if the sun is at the right angle on the target with .2233 and 30 is fine.
300 yards no .223 but 30 cal most ok unless bad rain conditions.
500 yards and out scopes are pretty much a no see-um holes.
you will not see holes at 500 in regular cal's period even with the $800 kowa or $1200 leica.
if you are hunting a straight body scope is fine but for tartget shooting you really need to have the 45 degree angle on the scope so you do not have to leave the shooting position to look at target. just move your head left or right and look into scope.
for long range scopes the way most folks do it is to look at the bullit trace.
on a regular sunny summer day at 800to 1000 yards since you can't see the holes is after you fire you look there the scope right away and see the bullit trace where it travelled threw the mirage. it will let you know within around a foot or so of the impact area.
so at long ranges you judge the wind with the mirage (and other means like flags or trees depending on what else is there) and use the mirage too jufge wind speed and adjust target. at the long ranges after the shot you look for the trace in the mirage and start to adjust your poi at the same time as you are ready the wind to figure your next shot.
if you have $800 to spend get the kowa 45 degree scope.