Spotting Scope recommendations please

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Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by Precisionjunky on 1/28/2018, 1:45 pm

I am going to buy my first Spotting Scope. I will only be using these for 25 yard and 50 yard 22lr matches (my club meets indoors). I want to keep the price low, under $100. I don't need a tripod (willing to buy separately) I hear most of the tripod that come with the lower end scopes are horrible. I don't know anything about what is enough magnification for this, or even what all those numbers even mean, to be honest. So I need suggestions on specs and brands to consider, and anything else I am unaware of.

Thanks in Advance
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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by Chris Miceli on 1/28/2018, 1:51 pm

i can't think of anything... 22lr are hard to see at 50yards with good glass at times.
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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by Precisionjunky on 1/28/2018, 2:09 pm

one I found on Opticsplanet was this one.
Celestron C70 Mini Mak 25-75x Zoom Angled Spotting Scope, Black w/ Table Tripod 52238
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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by Tim:H11 on 1/28/2018, 2:28 pm

Anything under 20 power will disappoint you probably. Try the Champions Choice scope. $115 I think. A little over budget but I’ve heard good things in it.
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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by JKR on 1/28/2018, 2:47 pm

I always scour EBay. I just saw a couple Bushnell Competitors for under $50. These are great little scopes for a pistol box. I'm using a Bushnell Sentry that I bought on EBay for 30 bucks. Twenty power is plenty.

Jim

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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by jglenn21 on 1/28/2018, 2:57 pm

I'm with Jim


you'd be surprised how good some of the old Bushnells are.. the original competitors were made in Japan and were pretty good.. the later versions(shorter) were all Chinese..

I too have a like new Sentry on my box and even with old eyes can see just fine at 50.  The Spacemasters were the premiere scope back in the day
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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by Doug Tiedt on 1/28/2018, 3:26 pm

Precisionjunky wrote:I am going to buy my first Spotting Scope. I will only be using these for 25 yard and 50 yard 22lr matches (my club meets indoors). I want to keep the price low, under $100. I don't need a tripod (willing to buy separately) I hear most of the tripod that come with the lower end scopes are horrible. I don't know anything about what is enough magnification for this, or even what all those numbers even mean, to be honest. So I need suggestions on specs and brands to consider, and anything else I am unaware of.

Thanks in Advance

I agree that most low end tripods are lacking.

If I can borrow your thread... I do need a tripod to replace what came with the scope.  Looking for recommendations that would allow about 24" of height.
Like the OP, I'd like to keep a new tripod under/around $100.  Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Doug

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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by Precisionjunky on 1/28/2018, 3:37 pm

JKR wrote:I always scour EBay. I just saw a couple Bushnell Competitors for under $50. These are great little scopes for a pistol box. I'm using a Bushnell Sentry that I bought on EBay for 30 bucks. Twenty power is plenty.

Jim

thanks for the tip
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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by Mike38 on 1/28/2018, 3:44 pm

I bought one of these stands on ebay. Mine was lightly used for $8. This one is new for $20. Just place your pistol box on one of the flats of the stand, and it sits nicely. https://www.ebay.com/itm/UTEBIT-Copy-Stand-Macro-Rotatable-Camera-Table-Top-Monopod-Stand-with-360-Deg/332302394248?hash=item4d5ec42388:g:--gAAOSw95FZZuFZ
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Post by LenV on 1/28/2018, 3:59 pm

Burris Landmark Compact. I don't know why they quit making this scope. Easy to focus with knob and no problem with .22 at 50 yds. Only one for sale on Ebay right now and it looks like it was rode hard and put away wet. I have bought quite a few of them all under your budget.

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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by Precisionjunky on 1/28/2018, 7:47 pm

Ebay is showing many bushnell sentry II 18-36 X 50 SPOTTING SCOPE is that good magnification?
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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 1/29/2018, 8:33 am

I bought a Celestron Landscout 50 mm spotting scope and was disappointed.  Not by the magnification, but the optical clarity.  I have a Kowa with a 25x eyepiece and the optical clarity makes more difference than magnification - of course there is a price difference between the two.  My Landscout 50 mm was ~ $70 shipped and the Kowa about an order of magnitude higher in cost.  I'm looking into another Celestron though, an Ultima 65 mm - which sells for about $115 for my range box. 

The Landscout 50mm actually works OK, but I can't make out the .22 holes in the black paper against a black backstop with indoor lighting @ 25 yards.  Holes which aren't in the black are easily seen.  If the lighting was different or on a bright sunny day, (I think) it would do better. Also, the Landscout 50mm is about the least expensive scope that Celestron sells - and with optics, the price is directly related to optical clarity.  There are some good buys for used optics.  I tend to stay away from Tasco, Simmons, and Barska.   Bushnell requires some scrutiny.  YMMV, of course.

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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by willnewton on 1/29/2018, 10:46 am

Same issue as above with my 50mm Landscout. Just barely see .22 holes at 25 yards, at 50, forget it.

Good for air pistol though.
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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by jglenn21 on 1/29/2018, 10:52 am

My old sentry is a fixed 20 power.. more reliable than the variable scopes.
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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 1/30/2018, 8:05 am

Yes, the fixed power eyepiece will (almost) always provide better optics than a variable one.  Not to get too geeky/nerdy/etc., but the actual tube optics - with the larger lenses - are fairly good quality these days.  It's the eyepiece, especially for optical clarity, that makes the difference.  Some scopes (and I'm not going into brands) use plastic eyepiece lenses but the larger tube lenses are reasonable quality optical glass.  My Kowa, for example, is sold as a tube and eyepieces are purchased separately - the eyepieces cost as much or more than the tube.

Part of my reasoning for the Celestron Ultima 65, is that the eyepiece is removable and can be replaced by a fixed longer eye relief eyepiece or by a another brand, such as Baader.  Of course, that involves some 'tinkering' with a piece of equipment that is generally expected 'to just work'.  The idea is to allow some upgrades in optics - but the main goal is to have a spotting scope that fits in the box and works: it's not for everyone (or even most).

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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by JKR on 1/30/2018, 8:43 am

Precisionjunky wrote:Ebay is showing many bushnell sentry II 18-36 X 50 SPOTTING SCOPE is that good magnification?
Look for one of the older ones that are have grey painted metal tubes. There's a Competitor up now with a starting bid of $24. These are great little scopes for a shooting box. As jglen21 mentioned earlier the newer plastic and rubber covered ones are not the same quality.

Jim

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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by lyman1903 on 1/30/2018, 10:42 am

Doug Tiedt wrote:
Precisionjunky wrote:I am going to buy my first Spotting Scope. I will only be using these for 25 yard and 50 yard 22lr matches (my club meets indoors). I want to keep the price low, under $100. I don't need a tripod (willing to buy separately) I hear most of the tripod that come with the lower end scopes are horrible. I don't know anything about what is enough magnification for this, or even what all those numbers even mean, to be honest. So I need suggestions on specs and brands to consider, and anything else I am unaware of.

Thanks in Advance

I agree that most low end tripods are lacking.

If I can borrow your thread... I do need a tripod to replace what came with the scope.  Looking for recommendations that would allow about 24" of height.
Like the OP, I'd like to keep a new tripod under/around $100.  Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Doug

Freeland's

Champ Choice and Champ Shooter Supply (as well as Creedmore) sells the new version of them

ideal for rifle, but I use mine on the bench with one riser attached,

the one I use is actually called a bipod

http://champchoice.com/store/Main.aspx?p=ItemDetailOptions&item=CC500SJC

you can get them cheaper (used original freeland's ) cheaper on ebay

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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by JKR on 1/30/2018, 11:20 am

If it's a rifle type scope stand you're after, I have an old Freeland's stand left over from my High Power gear. PM me if that's what you want.

Jim

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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 1/31/2018, 8:53 am

As a comment on spotting scopes and range boxes.  I took my new Strong Case SRC-1608 box with the Celestron Landscout 50mm to a match yesterday. What I noticed was the scope oscillated (jiggled) when cantilevered on the scope arm of the box.  I don't think any scope will perform well under those conditions.  A cloth between the scope arm and the box may stop the oscillations, but may not.

I have a Freeland bipod stand that I could use.  It's great, but it defeats the purpose of a box scope to me.  I'm trying to reduce the number of 'bags and boxes of stuff' that go to the range and that's not going to happen with another scope stand.

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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by JKR on 1/31/2018, 10:54 am

I agree with Bullseye_Stan. For pistol, a box mounted scope is the only way to go. Minimize the amount of stuff you have and focus on shooting.

Jim

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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by Magload on 1/31/2018, 7:31 pm

Bullseye_Stan wrote: What I noticed was the scope oscillated (jiggled) when cantilevered on the scope arm of the box.
I cut a wedge out of Styrofoam and jam it between the scope arm and the box lid.  It helps a lot when the bill of my ball cap bumps the scope.  Don
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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by C.Perkins on 1/31/2018, 7:38 pm

Still using my vintage Bushnell Sentry that came with two eye pieces, a 20x and a 32x.
The 32x stays on it.
.22 holes at 50yds are easy to see.
Indoor is overkill but heck, I can see the holes and the whole target is in the image circle.
A lot of the older glass is better than the newer and above all, cheaper.
For what it is worth, when it comes to optics, it is all about the glass.

Clarence
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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by Precisionjunky on 1/31/2018, 10:03 pm

thanks very much for all the help.. I think I will keep and eye on ebay and pick something up when I think the right one comes up.
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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by LenV on 1/31/2018, 10:48 pm

My old Bushnell is a lot older then a Sentry. It has been in my box since 73, 74? It has been there for a long time. I have never wanted to replace it. Well, one reason for that is that anything bigger then 40mm won't fit in the older box. 9-30X-40 Sportview. It works great on sunny days but it is getting harder to see .22 holes at 50yds with my older eyes on cloudy days. The price is sure in your budget. NFI

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bushnell-Sportview-Spotting-Scope-Zoom-9-30-x-40/122927940172?hash=item1c9f13824c:g:TFgAAOSwEYBaZiez


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Re: Spotting Scope recommendations please

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 2/1/2018, 6:52 am

Rumor has it that the older Bushnell spotting scopes were made by Kowa, before Kowa became a brand of it's own.  Today, the least expensive and sized-to-fit Kowa scopes seem to be the 50mm TSN-501 and 502 which cost ~$350.  That is about 3x the amount of the Celestron Ultima 65: however, the Kowa scopes are smaller and lighter weight.  I'm still not sure the Ultima 65 will fit in my box, which is a show stopper.  With some patience, picking up a slightly used 50mm fixed eyepiece magnification Bushell Sentry is probably the best deal. 

All I want to do is see .22 holes in black paper against a black background at 25 yards indoors, but it seems the lower end scopes won't do that.  In a 25 yd indoor match, the only time I want to use the scope is for .22 slow fire.  For the .45 slow fire, I can see holes outside the black without a scope.  I stopped adding up my score while shooting so I don't use the scope for shooting .45 - but the lower end scopes will work for the larger holes if I want to do that.  I've started saving for another Kowa.

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