HIGH END spotting scopes.

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Post by zanemoseley on 11/5/2018, 7:27 pm

First topic message reminder :

So there are countless discussions about cheap/budget spotting scopes but lets say you've got nice equipment and finally want to upgrade your scope, what's the best for our purposes? I know a lot of people like the old Kowa scopes, are the new ones as good? I have an inside track on Vortex products, they have a 11-33x50 Razor spotting scope I can get for $500 which is still quite high even with the discount.

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Post by zanemoseley on 4/2/2019, 9:14 pm

Its easy to find a 80mm scope that looks good. I have a Celestron Ultima 80mm which is pretty nice for the money but when you get smaller apertures I think brings out the imperfections. As the light gathering ability decreases you really see the optical flaws.

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Post by lyman1903 on 4/4/2019, 3:08 pm

find an old Unertl , excellent scopes
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Post by tovaert on 4/26/2019, 4:10 pm

I'm new to Bullseye, and just getting a range box together. I contacted the guy in Canada on eBay regarding the NG scope, however, with only about 15mm eye relief (I wear glasses), that was problematic. I like long eye relief (coming from HP rifle). So I installed a pretty nice angled scope for under $200, with a warranty. Only drawback is it's a little heavy. It's a Celestron C70 Mini Mak ($89 on sale). However, I removed the stock zoom eyepiece (which is kinda crappy), and installed the 1.25" eyepiece adapter that was included with the scope, and installed my (fixed) 28mm Edmund Scientific RKE EFL eyepiece (~$85 new). I've owned mine for over 20 years, and it appears to be the same eyepiece as what Edmund currently sells. There are reviews on this eyepiece in the "Cloudy Nights" (astronomy) community. The focal length of the scope is 750 mm, so you wind up with a fixed 750/28 = 27X magnification with this combination. This with an awesome eyepiece that claims 25mm eye relief, however, both my wife and I tried it and I can honestly say that the true eye relief is more like 35 to 40mm, with a very bright and clear view in the Celestron. The only modification I would make is to drill and tap a couple of extra threaded holes in the 1.25" adapter, and install extra set screws. The adapter itself comes with only one 3mm thumb screw...which could loosen with bouncing, etc. The 3-5/8" diameter tube on the Celestron fits fine inside the 4-1/4" opening below the shelf in my (progressing) PPB 3-gun kit. Will get to the range hopefully this weekend to try it further.
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Post by New2BE on 4/28/2019, 9:18 am

Used to be able to buy a TS 501 from CMP for less than $300. I’d check, maybe you still can, really perfect for BE - sharp, light and perfectly sized for your gun box. 

If you want high end optics, Leica is my go to. Camera equipment, binoculars, spotting scopes, monoculars and laser range finders are all built to last a lifetime or more, hold their value fairly well, and provide exceptional optical quality. 

Ymmv. Good luck.

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Post by Axehandle on 4/28/2019, 10:53 am

You just don't need much scope for 22 holes at 50 yards.  One man's apple is another man's orange.   Go up and down the line at matches and ask people to let you take a look. If you plan for some rifle stuff at longer ranges the need for quality glass increases.

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Post by radjag on 4/28/2019, 10:30 pm

Interesting that at my second ever Bullseye 2700 match today the targets frames were in shadow for the first hour or so in the morning - suddenly I could not make out the 22 holes at 50 yards - just when I needed to cause I had problems getting my 22 sighted in the day before (at the previous match it was "winter rules" at 25yds only). As soon as the shadow lifted I could see clearly, but by then it was centerfire - I could almost see those with the naked eye anyhow!

So, my $30 Chinese made Barska 15-40x50mm compact scope which just fits into my box has turned out to be a liability.

The two shooters next to me were using Minox (MD 50 W - I think - less than $200 on Amazon) and the clarity was excellent, more than good enough for 50 yards. Both shooters were experienced and extolled the virtues of these scopes.

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Post by Al on 4/29/2019, 4:03 pm

Another sleeper to watch for is the older Bushnell Sentry 20x. You can find them on ebay if you keep watching, usually $50-75. Excellent optics, Japan made in the 70's & 80's. No issues seeing 22 holes @ 50 yards, even with my eye's.

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Post by Domino1 on 4/29/2019, 5:12 pm

I have an older Kowa and really like it.  The glass is very clear and crisp even though I am not using a high magnification I can see 6mm bullet holes at 200 yards really easy.

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Post by mhayford45 on 4/30/2019, 6:23 am

I went through this last year. Ended up with a Champion Choice. I looked at several other scopes and this scope seems reasonable. 
 http://www.champchoice.com/store/Main.aspx?p=ItemDetailOptions&item=CC1236

It will just fit into the Strong box... bumps on the way in but does fit. 

The optics are good enough to see 22 holes at 50 yards in good day light.
It focuses good enough but not as clear as I would like
Not a bad scope for the money...Would I like better...yes. but it is good enough to make sure I am on call and sighted in correctly for distance and sun location. 

For a lower cost scope I would recommended it. I am just not willing to spend more as it does work.

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Post by zanemoseley on 4/30/2019, 6:52 am

Regarding any kind of tool or shooting accessory, I've never been disappointed by spending the cash for something high quality, I have been disappointed and wish I'd spent more on the other hand. Its not like a high end spotting scope will go bad, it should last a LONG time, and if you get something like a Vortex or other major brand several of them have no questions asked lifetime warranties. So you're literally buying a lifetime spotting scope.

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Post by 1joel1 on 4/30/2019, 9:47 am

zanemoseley wrote:Regarding any kind of tool or shooting accessory, I've never been disappointed by spending the cash for something high quality, I have been disappointed and wish I'd spent more on the other hand. Its not like a high end spotting scope will go bad, it should last a LONG time, and if you get something like a Vortex or other major brand several of them have no questions asked lifetime warranties. So you're literally buying a lifetime spotting scope.

Agreed, quality won't disappoint. Also, how a thread on high-end spotting scopes turned into one on cheap-ass spotting scopes, I'll never know. 

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Post by pgg on 5/4/2019, 8:13 pm

The Kowa TSN-553 55mm Prominar looks very nice. Small enough to fit in a pistol box. Reviews are universally glowing.

$1800

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Post by TonyH on 5/4/2019, 8:35 pm

How about Leupold? Either this one: https://www.leupold.com/spotting-scopes/angled-eyepiece-spotting-scopes/sx-1-ventana-2-15-45x60mm-angled-spotting-scope
Or
https://www.leupold.com/spotting-scopes/hd-spotting-scopes/gr-10-20x40mm-compact
Anyone have any input on either one? My cheapo Celestron had a catastrophic failure today!
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Post by Slartybartfast on 5/13/2019, 4:16 pm

Was recommended a Celestron Regal 65 by a local store.

Any comments for or against?

https://www.celestron.com/products/regal-m2-65ed-spotting-scope

Seemed clear, good zoom, good eye relief. Not trying to fit it in a box so size doesn't concern me so much.
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Post by adminbot1911 on 5/17/2019, 12:48 pm

A vote for Kowa 601.  Bought it for rifle, but use it for pistol.

Pulled out the old Russian glass I had in my pistol box.  Fit nicely but the eyepiece wasn't angled which was a knock and just too much effort to read holes at the 50.

The Kowa is carried in my range bag with extra ammo, binder, hat, plugs, etc.  Mounts in the same Gil Heberd mount I used before.
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Post by zanemoseley on 5/17/2019, 1:33 pm

Slartybartfast wrote:Was recommended a Celestron Regal 65 by a local store.

Any comments for or against?

https://www.celestron.com/products/regal-m2-65ed-spotting-scope

Seemed clear, good zoom, good eye relief. Not trying to fit it in a box so size doesn't concern me so much.


Dollar for dollar its hard to beat Celestron and Vortex. I'm not sure how restrictive Celestron's warranty is, I know with Vortex you can send them a destroyed scope and get a free replacement under warranty, original owner or 10th owner, no receipt required.

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Post by troystaten on 5/18/2019, 12:21 pm

Midway has some Leica spotting scopes on sale, (still very expensive) I am sure they are very nice.

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Post by machinist mike on 5/18/2019, 6:15 pm

In regards to the Vortex spotters, if you are a veteran you can get 40% off of the list price.

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Post by zanemoseley on 5/18/2019, 7:44 pm

Maybe one day I'll splurge on a European spotting scope but for now I'll settle for a nice Vortex. Now If I could get my range to fix their janky benches.

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HIGH END spotting scopes. - Page 3 Empty Landove 20-60X 65 Waterproof Spotting Scope

Post by IT1 Wes on 5/20/2019, 7:02 am

On Amazon the Landove 20-60X 65 Waterproof Spotting Scope- Prism Scope for Birdwatching Target Shooting Archery Outdoor Activities -with Tripod & Digiscoping Adapter has a review that states, " I have used it at the range several times and it works very well at 100 yards."



 Click Here for Link.
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Post by bpm990d on 5/20/2019, 8:01 pm

Slartybartfast wrote:Was recommended a Celestron Regal 65 by a local store.

Any comments for or against?

https://www.celestron.com/products/regal-m2-65ed-spotting-scope

Seemed clear, good zoom, good eye relief. Not trying to fit it in a box so size doesn't concern me so much.

I have the 65mm & 80mm Regal M2s. The 80mm is fantastic if you can get the version with the long eye relief. It has 27X magnification and the large objective gathers a lot of light. It's perfect for High Power Rifle. 

The 65mm is also nice, but it's unbalanced. Too much weigh behind the rotating ring. It also does not come with the LER eyepiece. It has a nice zoom eyepiece, but it's a pain to use with the shorter eye relief. 

Neither is appropriate for pistol shooting IMO, they are both too big. Even the 65mm is way too big for my Strong Box. 

My suggestion is for either of the Hummingbird scopes that Celestron offers. They are both about the right size. Get the larger objective if your range is dark. 

B

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Post by IT1 Wes on 5/21/2019, 12:08 am

bpm990d wrote:
Slartybartfast wrote:Was recommended a Celestron Regal 65 by a local store.

Any comments for or against?

https://www.celestron.com/products/regal-m2-65ed-spotting-scope

Seemed clear, good zoom, good eye relief. Not trying to fit it in a box so size doesn't concern me so much.

I have the 65mm & 80mm Regal M2s. The 80mm is fantastic if you can get the version with the long eye relief. It has 27X magnification and the large objective gathers a lot of light. It's perfect for High Power Rifle. 

The 65mm is also nice, but it's unbalanced. Too much weigh behind the rotating ring. It also does not come with the LER eyepiece. It has a nice zoom eyepiece, but it's a pain to use with the shorter eye relief. 

Neither is appropriate for pistol shooting IMO, they are both too big. Even the 65mm is way too big for my Strong Box. 

My suggestion is for either of the Hummingbird scopes that Celestron offers. They are both about the right size. Get the larger objective if your range is dark. 

B
The one I was looking at is a foot and a half long. I'm starting to need one of those 3-gun match golf/shopping trolleys.

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Post by bpm990d on 5/21/2019, 7:32 am

This provides a comparison of all three. The only one in the running for my pistol box is the Minox or one in that weight & size category.

HIGH END spotting scopes. - Page 3 Size-of-spotters-2

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Post by IT1 Wes on 5/21/2019, 9:21 am

bpm990d wrote:This provides a comparison of all three. The only one in the running for my pistol box is the Minox or one in that weight & size category.

HIGH END spotting scopes. - Page 3 Size-of-spotters-2
Using the pistol for size understanding is a good idea.


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Post by inthebeech on 5/21/2019, 11:12 am

Based on my experience in Highpower days using a Kowa 60 (I think), I picked up a TS-501 (whichever has the straight eyepiece) fixed 20x for a buck and a half.  Couldn't be happier with it or the case of CCI that I spent the rest of my spotter budget on.  Twenty-two caliber holes at fifty paces are no problem.
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