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Post by AE374 on 6/2/2020, 5:24 pm

I'm planning on shooting some matches at 50 yards this summer and was wondering if someone could recommend a good, but not bank breaking, spotting scope?
Thanks!

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Post by James Hensler on 6/2/2020, 6:41 pm

NG 20x33 around 275 bucks can see 22 holes at 50
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Post by AE374 on 6/2/2020, 6:48 pm

Hi James
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll start looking for one.

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Post by Allen Barnett on 6/2/2020, 6:57 pm

I have a $30 Barska that does just fine outdoors but indoors it is lacking.

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Post by AE374 on 6/2/2020, 6:59 pm

I currently use a 20x50 burris compact for indoor but do not know what the resolution will be at 50yds and also was not sure what power scope I would need.

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Post by James Hensler on 6/2/2020, 7:54 pm

AE374 wrote:Hi James
Thanks for the suggestion.   I'll start looking for one.
Call the company up in Canada and see when they are importing the next batch
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Post by AE374 on 6/2/2020, 7:58 pm

I'll give them a call tomorrow and see what they have to say

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Post by SteveT on 6/3/2020, 7:52 am

I am a fan of the NG spotting scope. The image is more clear than any of the low cost scopes I've seen. Kowa TSN501 is probably better optically, but is a lot bigger. If money was really tight and I had to get a cheap scope, I would call Champions Choice (champchoice.com) and talk with them. If possible, I would want to go to their store or Camp Perry to actually look through the scope before buying.

A few more general comments about spotting scopes.

No scope will be able to pick out all shots under all conditions. In bright lighting all scopes can spot 22 holes in the white. Cheaper scopes won't be able to identify doubles as well, especially in the black. If the target is in shadow, none of the scopes under $500 will be very good at picking out doubles or seeing if a hole touches the scoring ring. Kowa and NG will be better than cheap scopes.

There are some good cheap scopes out there, but it is a lottery. There is a lot more variability in <$100 scopes. You might get a good one, you might get a really bad one. The Kowa and NG are more consistent and have better coatings so there is less "fringing" of colors. Really expensive scopes will be better still, but they won't fit in a box and many don't focus down to 25 or even 50 yards.

Seeing every hole at 50 yards is not that important in bullseye. It can speed up scoring a bit. Mostly we want to see a group before we adjust sights. We shoot under pretty much the same conditions so we should not have to make adjustments very often. It happens, but if a shooter is constantly adjusting their sights, they are doing something wrong.

Magnification does not help. If you can't see a double with 15x or 20x, cranking up the magnification will show a darker image and more visual distortion.
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Post by hammerli on 6/4/2020, 12:23 am

Some thoughts from an older shooter. Make sure you know what you are using the scope for. I have an old old Baush & Lomb green scope and I use it only for calling my shots. In practise this helps my training. In matches I make sure I am not trying to record my score. If you are using the scope as a training aid then you can get by with a cheaper option.

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Post by AE374 on 6/4/2020, 8:07 am

Thanks for the input. Its interesting that you mentioned not keeping track of scores during matches. I recently picked up a book called Bullseye Mind that among other things talks about this issue and says something like you cant be doing math and concentrating on shooting 100% at the same time. This is one of the best books I've read on shooting.

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Post by hammerli on 6/4/2020, 8:33 am

AE374 wrote:Thanks for the input.  Its interesting that you mentioned not keeping track of scores during matches.  I recently picked up a book called Bullseye Mind that among other things talks about this issue and says something like you cant be doing math and concentrating on shooting 100% at the same time.  This is one of the best books I've read on shooting.
I read this a long time ago. When you are shooting just shoot. Never mind scores and the thoughts of winning or under performing.
Once your pistol is zeroed, nothing will affect the shot other than your input.

Other than reassuring yourself  that you are calling your shots correctly maybe every 5 or 8 shots you dont really need a scope in a match.

In training I use  a scope when I am concentrating on calling. At such times I reset my zero 10 clicks up and 10 clicks left. Then I am not stressed about 10's and 9's but look fort a tight group in the 8 and 7 rings and try to call my shots.

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Post by troystaten on 6/4/2020, 10:07 am

I like my Minox 15-30 it has nice glass and is compact.  At 50 yards 22 holes are just visible when they are in the black.  I did use it at the rifle range earlier in the week and at 100 yards I could make out the holes in the target made by my 3006.

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Post by LenV on 6/4/2020, 11:38 am

AE374 wrote:I currently use a 20x50 burris compact for indoor but do not know what the resolution will be at 50yds and also was not sure what power scope I would need.
That is all the scope you need. I have the adjustable power Burris and never have to set it over 12x.
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Post by bpettet on 6/4/2020, 1:55 pm

I have really high end spotters for hunting but have found the inexpensive angled spotter by Champion's Choice to be very good for 50 yards.  It's only $115, fits on my range box well and isn't heavy.  I easily see what is needed at 50.  http://champchoice.com/store/Main.aspx?p=ItemDetailOptions&item=CC542

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Post by Fotomaniac on 6/6/2020, 10:40 am

The Bushnell Spacemaster is a great “Old School” scope...with the zoom eyepiece, and is straight. You can find them on eBay at very reasonable prices and they do the job well.  ( between $50-150 depending on condition etc.) If you’re looking for small and sexy, you’ll pay much much more.

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Post by Sa-tevp on 6/6/2020, 11:50 am

Fotomaniac wrote:The Bushnell Spacemaster is a great “Old School” scope...with the zoom eyepiece, and is straight. You can find them on eBay at very reasonable prices and they do the job well.  ( between $50-150 depending on condition etc.) If you’re looking for small and sexy, you’ll pay much much more.

I'll recommend old Bushnell scopes also. I bought an old Gun-Ho box and the seller threw in an old Bushnell Sentry II scope with a 25x eyepiece that was worn and dirty. I was able to disassemble and clean it and really like how it works. I had a ball type camera/GPS mount and set it up on a Qwik-Clamp like I had seen Ed Hall use. 

Supposedly these old Bushnells were made by Kowa in Japan as Kowa was trying to get into the optics market and were offering good glass a low prices.

A Sentry II 50mm scope:
spotting scope  667643-1

Here is a good review of a Spacemaster 60mm:
https://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/bushnell/spacemaster-ii.htm

I also have an old Kowa angled 50mm 25X 501 that cleaned up very well. The people bidding on it on fleabay were lowballing it around $45 and I knew it had a value to me so I blew it up at the last minute by bidding $100. It is a matter of having an idea of what you want and waiting for an opportunity. Some of the Bushnells on fleabay seem to get ignored and a good bargain can be found.

Also, for some of the older scopes with mount threads in aluminum a Creedmoor Spotting Scope Mount Saver works well.

https://www.creedmoorsports.com/product/creedmoor-spotting-scope-mount-saver/Scope-and-Stand-Accessories
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Post by mpolans on 6/6/2020, 1:08 pm

I've got an NG20x33 and love it.  I think it hits the sweet spot between quality, weight, and cost.

I tried it's big brother, the NG30x50, but I don't think the added benefit was worth the cost, and it was about twice the size and weight of the NG20.  Especially when I picked up a Japan-made Apollo 20x50 that is about the same size and quality of the NG30, but about 1/3 the cost.  I kept the Apollo and sold the NG30.


Last edited by mpolans on 6/6/2020, 7:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by radjag on 6/6/2020, 1:53 pm

James Hensler wrote:NG 20x33 around 275 bucks can see 22 holes at 50

I made some enquiries in China and one agent got back to me recently - I was thinking of buying several and offering them here on the forum at cost:-

- QTY 5 set.
- EXW price: US$258/set.
- Fedex/UPS freight to USA: US$80.

But the price works out to be very similar to the distributor in Canada and so it is not worth the effort/risk.

I started out with an old scope from my youth, then a cheap Barska, then a Minox (compact and pretty good at 25, hard to see 22 holes in the black on a dull day at 50) and now have a $400 Vanguard Endeavour which is very good at 50 yards. It is huge/heavy, but I made some minor modifications to my Bullseye box and it fits OK.
https://www.amazon.com/Vanguard-Endeavor-XF-80A-Magnification/dp/B00BJFAYKQ/ref=sr_1_24?dchild=1&keywords=vanguard+endeavor&qid=1591469348&sr=8-24

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Post by Jack H on 6/6/2020, 7:59 pm

I have used the Bushnell Sentry like forever in my main box.  And for a while in the 70s I used it for Smallbore Prone.  Spotting 100yd 22 shots was no problem.
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Post by James Hensler on 6/6/2020, 9:15 pm

radjag wrote:
James Hensler wrote:NG 20x33 around 275 bucks can see 22 holes at 50

I made some enquiries in China and one agent got back to me recently - I was thinking of buying several and offering them here on the forum at cost:-

- QTY 5 set.
- EXW price: US$258/set.
- Fedex/UPS freight to USA: US$80.

But the price works out to be very similar to the distributor in Canada and so it is not worth the effort/risk.

I started out with an old scope from my youth, then a cheap Barska, then a Minox (compact and pretty good at 25, hard to see 22 holes in the black on a dull day at 50) and now have a $400 Vanguard Endeavour which is very good at 50 yards. It is huge/heavy, but I made some minor modifications to my Bullseye box and it fits OK.
https://www.amazon.com/Vanguard-Endeavor-XF-80A-Magnification/dp/B00BJFAYKQ/ref=sr_1_24?dchild=1&keywords=vanguard+endeavor&qid=1591469348&sr=8-24
One thing to think about is the exchange rate between Canada and the US
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Post by hg401 on 6/6/2020, 9:35 pm

Kowa was known for excellent photographic lenses in the 60s.

I have an older Celestron that works great for .22 at 50 yds and .30 cal at 100.  Haven't tried .22 at 100.

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Post by Motophotog7 on 6/9/2020, 5:26 am

I’ve been following this intently, the NG is back in stock, but not for long, and then this showed up, I live my Nikons (cameras and scopes) and know they make excellent glass. Anyone have any experience with a Nikon spotting scope? https://www.ebay.com/itm/MINT-NIKON-FIELDSCOPE-Spotting-Scope-D-60-P-w-20x-EYPIECE-from-Japan-11163/174294241252?hash=item2894bf0fe4:g:-JkAAOSwp49evRXz

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