View Full Version : What Spotting Scope do you like

11-20-2009, 08:31 AM
I am looking to upgrade my spotting scope for something that will work on the range and also for use out west. What would you recommend with priorities of; seeing 6.5 or 7mm on the range (furthest distance), durability for packing, and size for backpacking.

11-20-2009, 03:39 PM
Not knowing what spotting scope you're currently using makes it difficult to know what an "upgrade" might be. Any scope that works "on the range" will work anywhere else and I don't know how using a scope "out west" would be any different than using one anywhere else.
Priorities for any scope will depend on the user's preference. Some are willing to surrender light gathering capabilities for compactness and light weight. Then of course, there's the issues of edge-to-edge sharpness, color fidelity and lots of other subjects that make selecting a scope such a personal thing.
What I would suggest is that you buy the best scope you can find for the purpose(s) you have in mind within the budget available. If you can afford it, I'll tell you that I've never found a Swarovski I didn't like.

11-21-2009, 06:38 AM
Swaroski... yes I am looking into those little babies. Currently I am using a Wind River Leupold (15-45 in 60mm). Nice scope for praire dogs and out west open area. Also cheap for what you get...but problem is that where I practice it has some trees that overhang and it is difficult to see 7MM holes past 350...400. No chance unless you are out to lunch. Want something to get me out there and also to pick apart those antlers or for finding them sleeping spots out west.

I have looked thru the Swaroski's....me likey alot but I also see Zeiss and Nikon but do not remember the models that were told to be really nice. Kowa?? have not seen any of those except back in my college days of small bore.

Trying to get something that will depict 6mm-7mm holes from the black @ 500 + yards if possible. Then I don't have to count on shooting buddies to be there to practice. I also figure that I will use it out West for finding those sneaky ol mule deer hiding out.

next is 60mm or larger... what do others use that work. Lets say that money is an object but what the wife does'nt know does'nt hurt ...scenario:eek:

11-21-2009, 09:12 AM
I've got a Kowa 661 purchased for NRA highpower shooting. The angled eyepiece scopes are the only way to go for prone shooting, but aren't as easy to line up on something you've picked out with the naked eye or binocs, and want to take a closer look at. For that, a straight eyepiece body is much better.

Personally, I think the reason most competitive shooters buy Kowas is because they offer extended eye relief eyepieces, which make it way easier to use while shooting from the prone position wearing shooting glasses. Kowa's optical quality is sure enough OK, but there's better glass available for the same or less money.

No matter what brand you choose or how much money you spend, conditions have got to be practically perfect to resolve 6.5 or 7mm bullet holes in the black at 500yds. Swaro makes some excellent glass, as do most of the other top name makers, but I'd sure want to have a chance to look through someone else's $$$$ spotter at 500-600yds. before I plunked down $1200+ for one of them.

11-21-2009, 10:46 AM
I am looking to upgrade my spotting scope for something that will work on the range and also for use out west. What would you recommend with priorities of; seeing 6.5 or 7mm on the range (furthest distance), durability for packing, and size for backpacking.

spotter. I bought the scope from the widow of a deceased fellow shooter. It came with 5 eyepieces and a nice case. The scope, howerver, was extremely hard to focus...the rubber ring in the center that performs this function was very hard to turn...as if lubricant had dried. I mailed it back to Nikon service center in California. After about 3-4 weeks in their hands, a package showed up. It contained a brand new Nikon ED 82mm and another Nikon 20-60mm eyepiece! If you are concerned about warranty, don't be concerned about Nikon warranty.

Depending on your use a 60mm may be more handy to carry and setup. Both are very nice scopes for the money. Seeing bullet holes is many times, when the temps are hot and mirage is prevlent, a dicey thing. Even the best scopes can't overcome heavy mirage. Seeing bullet holes is a function of resolution(size of the front objective lens) and contrast(quality of the optics). You get what you pay for in optics just like in benchrest equipment. There are no shortcuts. Good luck.

f d shuster
11-21-2009, 11:56 AM
Another vote for the before-mentioned Nikon. Bought a new Fieldscope 111, ED glass, 82 mm objective, 25 to 75x eyepiece. When there is no mirage I am able to spot 6mm holes at 500 yds., on a well lit target, not in the shadows. Throw in some mirage, depending on severity and 400 yds to see the same holes is more likely. With mirage, 40x is about the maximum I'm able to use, but even with those conditions related limitations, it's still a very good scope, deserving of the high ratings it's being given.

11-22-2009, 10:19 AM
Swarovski is a superb hunting scope, clarity and brilliance is second to none.