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Posted: 2/26/2001 7:55:46 AM EDT
I am in the market for a spotting scope.  Will shoot out to 600 yds.

Obviously, I'll want to see holes in the target out to as far as possible, but I don't really expect to be able to see  holes in the paper out to 600, 500, or maybe even 400 yards.  I would expect to spot holes out to 100, 200, 300 yards - is this a reasonable expectation?

Also, what kind of scope can I get for a moderate amount of $.   I definitely can't afford a Leica or some other scope that costs an inordinate amount of $.  Definitely can't get one that costs even $600 or $500 or $400.   Am I gonna be able to get a good "mid-range" scope for $300 or so?  (am not expecting a Swarovski or Leupold either).

If so, what do you recommend.  I'm interested in the usual - clarity, resolution, brightness, and of course - magnification.  45 degree canted eyepiece would also be nice -

Problem is that there are tons of scopes out there in mail order catalogs and on websites, but it ain't the same as being able to touch, feel, and see the scope first hand before making a buying decision.

Link Posted: 2/26/2001 8:57:44 AM EDT
I looked around a bit, wanting one to spot when I shoot 50 BMG, and wanting to be able to spot up to 1000 yards.  It seems like max powers are in the 60 range, and the more expensive scopes in that range are fairly weatherproof.  When I found one on sale at $69, I just picked up the Bushnell sportview 10-60 x 60.  I passed the $220 weatherproof model, because if this one gets rained on and ruined I can replace it twice for the same cost!

Unfortunately, I would need to compare the side-by-side with a pricey one to fully endorse going with a cheap one, but I was really ready to spend $300 when I was looking. It is a straight-tub model and vibrates a bit in stiff wind, but came with a small tripod.

Link Posted: 2/26/2001 8:58:27 AM EDT
ESP try your local Big5
Link Posted: 2/26/2001 9:52:46 AM EDT
" I would expect to spot holes out to 100, 200, 300 yards - is this a reasonable expectation? "

No !!
With a reasonably good scope ($300 -$400 range), you might be able to see a 30 caliber hole at 200 yards with GOOD light conditions. 22 calibers holes doubtful. 300 yards & beyond, forget it even with top quality ($$$$) optics.
Link Posted: 2/26/2001 9:58:49 AM EDT
Good advice on both these posts;
I have a cheapie (100.00) Simmons straight tube, it gets the most use.
I also have a Nikon, the optics are like night and day compared to the Simmons, but I use the cheapie cause it works fine at the 1&200 yd ranges.
I bought the Simmons at Big 5.
Where the good optics shine are hunting, the low light needs make the Simmons pale in comparission.
You pays your monies.
Link Posted: 2/26/2001 10:50:15 AM EDT
My friend has a Kowa 821 with at 20-60x eyepiece. Are those any good?
Link Posted: 2/26/2001 11:24:10 AM EDT
HANGFIRE, maybe you don't understand Imbrog|io's humor.

Is that a good reason to freak out on him??
Link Posted: 2/26/2001 11:25:40 AM EDT
Kowa is considered top of the line, and it's hard to see .223 holes at 200 yards with one.

I ended up with a $225 Cabelas that looks like it's made by Nikon.  I feel it's well worth the extra money over the $69~ish Bushnell and Tasco's.  Better eye relief, better controls, more compact, nice case & tripod, etc....


Link Posted: 2/26/2001 11:27:33 AM EDT
ESP - for your price range check out some of Nikon's scopes.

Imbroglio - Kowa's are among the very best.  Check SniperCountry.com for preferred models.  Those guys use them a lot.

Bermshot - I must disagree with you on distance.  I use a cheapo Bushnell 32X all the time and can see my .30 caliber holes just fine at 300 yards with heavy overcast.  While I have not tried it myself, I would be surprised if you could not see .30 caliber holes at 400 yards with a good 60X Kowa, Swarovski or something similar.  Now, .22 caliber holes are a different matter entirely.  I have trouble seeing them clearly at 300 yards with a 40X, even in bright sun.
Link Posted: 2/26/2001 3:07:04 PM EDT

Link Posted: 2/26/2001 3:25:26 PM EDT
No brains no headaches
Link Posted: 2/26/2001 4:00:23 PM EDT
Fox - I based my statement on my own experience, didn’t mean to make it sound like a
hard, fast rule. The range I shoot on does indeed have a lot of  “tricky” light conditions. I use a Kowa 821 most of the time, cause it’s easier to read the rapid fire scores on the chalkboards with it. If it weren’t for that, I’d probably just use the (much) less expensive BSA or Bushnell (got one each of them, too). They are fairly good general purpose scopes.
Only problem I’ve had with the Kowa is it’s too heavy for the flimsy Freeland stand. One of
my shootin’ cronies has a Top Owens stand with which I’m favorably impressed. I will probably wind up getting one.
Link Posted: 2/26/2001 4:54:11 PM EDT
Just a quick note on SIMMONS crap. I have their 60X scope and a $49 russian scope i got from sportsmans guide will out perform it. SIMMONS is latin for JUNK!!
Link Posted: 2/26/2001 5:32:01 PM EDT
I have the Kowa 821 with both 27x LER and 20-60x eyepieces. They're really great around dusk due to the 82mm objective. I use the 27x at the 100 yard range and have no problem seeing .22 cal holes. For longer ranges, you need the 20-60x, but the eye relief is more of a problem with that eyepiece.

Anyway, if you're shooting in bright light, you can get by with a cheaper scope. But a lot of guys on the old board agree that by the time you go through the frustration of using 2-3 cheaper scopes, you end up spending as much as a good one. So they recommended saving for the better scope from the start.

The Kowa is large, but it gets the job done.
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