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Spotting scopes... again...

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Post by 10sandxs 7/15/2023, 3:25 pm

For years I've struggled to find a "cheap" scope that could see 22 holes in all conditions. I don't know how many $75-125 scopes I've tried and been disappointed. I finally broke down and bought this.for $325.

https://www.creedmoorsports.com/product/kowa-compact-50mm-angled-spotting-scope/Spotting-Scopes 

Used it at the P100 and NTI today, and had my Creston 

https://www.champchoice.com/mc-optics-sights/spotting-scopes/cc-10-30x-50mm-spotting-scope-w-3-tripod-cc1030


The difference is amazing. The brightness and clariry of the Kowa resulted in my buddy going and buying one as well. 

It's not a "cheap" scope, but buy once, cry once...  if.your never shooting at 50 yards, most of the lower cost scopes will work just fine... if at 50... the kowa looks to be really good...

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Post by james r chapman 7/15/2023, 6:52 pm

2nd opinions welcome
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Post by Amanda4461 7/15/2023, 7:28 pm

For me, an old Nikon Fieldscope with ED lenses fit the bill. My Kowa was made more for 600 yard Service Rifle. It is huge, requires a tripod.
The old Nikon was made before Nikon stopped being interested in quality. I liked my first Fieldscope so much that I splurged on the same scope with ED lenses for $200 on eBay. This cost included shipping from Japan. 
The Nikons were originally used by bird watchers, and their quality and small size makes them useful in a shooting box.
50 yard .22 caliber bullet holes are not a problem for these compact scopes.
The bad? Buying used equipment with no warranty. I bought from two different vendors with great reviews, and the scopes are hard to beat, even being no longer made. Quality lasts.
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Post by 8eightring 7/15/2023, 7:41 pm

I have used the vintage Bushnell Sentry II with 20X eyepiece both in and out of the military. They have proven to be entirely adequate for me. There is no problem seeing 22 bullet holes at 50 yds.
There are a couple of them on ebay right now. Not sure of the eyepiece magnification on them.

Here is one with 20x. It is a Sentry but not the Sentry II

https://www.ebay.com/itm/145176765016
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Post by Wes Lorenz 7/15/2023, 7:48 pm

+1 on a Nikon Field Scope. I've used it for 30+ years and it's still tickin.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/166192114014

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Post by 10sandxs 7/15/2023, 9:39 pm

This is NOT a high power scope. The 50mm version (which is what I have) is very compact.  This is a primary difference between some of the scopes mentioned

Spotting scopes... again... 20230710

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Post by james r chapman 7/15/2023, 9:46 pm

Any idea of the eye relief?
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Post by 10sandxs 7/15/2023, 9:48 pm

james r chapman wrote:Any idea of the eye relief?
Long enough for me to look at it with glasses on easily.

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Post by Sa-tevp 7/15/2023, 10:27 pm

8eightring wrote:I have used the vintage Bushnell Sentry II with 20X eyepiece both in and out of the military. They have proven to be entirely adequate for me. There is no problem seeing 22 bullet holes at 50 yds.
There are a couple of them on ebay right now. Not sure of the eyepiece magnification on them.

Here is one with 20x. It is a Sentry but not the Sentry II

https://www.ebay.com/itm/145176765016

I like my used Sentry II 20X too. Supposedly Kowa made them for Bushnell. I also have a used Kowa TS9 20X that is great too.

My only problem is the Sentry's eyepiece cover shattered in shipping and my Kowa has no covers, so alternative protection is used.
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Post by 10sandxs 7/19/2023, 4:46 pm

Here are images (took with my camera phone) of the same target with the two scopes. These are at 20x. Within 5 min of each other.Kowa is at bottom, celestron (champchoice) is top Spotting scopes... again... 20230711
Spotting scopes... again... 20230712


Last edited by 10sandxs on 7/19/2023, 4:49 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by 10sandxs 7/19/2023, 4:49 pm

Here are images of same target at 30 and 40x. Kowa is at bottom, celestron (champchoice) is top

Spotting scopes... again... 20230713
Spotting scopes... again... 20230714

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Post by james r chapman 7/19/2023, 6:55 pm

Now that’s definitive
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Post by WesG 7/20/2023, 11:37 am

Eye relief is the biggest issue for shooting, and I've only found Kowa to fit the bill. I have 2 'big' ones for HP, a 77 and an 88.

My cheap scope for pistol is barely adequate, but trying to get even the 'puny' 77 Kowa on a typical pistol bench is a pain.

The old model 50mm didn't have an interchangeable eyepiece IIRC. At some point I'll take another look at what they currently offer.

Adding ...

The 55mm is a bit bigger. And about twice the weight... which probably makes little real difference. The price a bigger ... much bigger ... issue. 

Eye relief is 12.5-14mm, not really much with glasses on, but probably better than my cheapy...

Both fixed eye pieces, zoom only. You're just stuck with the eye relief issue that way. I think.

My 77 is 25x. The 88 27x. The difference in magnification is minor, the quality of the glass, and the larger objective the bigger factor. First time I looked thru it at a 200 yd HP target was a shock ...

'My eyes! ... my eyes!'

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Post by paulj 7/21/2023, 1:14 am

FYI, I see that you can buy on eBay a Kowa TS-501 shipped from Japan for around $280.  From what I been able to determine, there is no duty as long as it is for personal use.

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Post by RodJ 7/21/2023, 6:21 pm

paulj wrote:FYI, I see that you can buy on eBay a Kowa TS-501 shipped from Japan for around $280.  From what I been able to determine, there is no duty as long as it is for personal use.
Paul,
Any idea whether the Japan scopes are legit?  Those are pretty tempting prices.

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Post by paulj 7/21/2023, 9:35 pm

RodJ wrote:
paulj wrote:FYI, I see that you can buy on eBay a Kowa TS-501 shipped from Japan for around $280.  From what I been able to determine, there is no duty as long as it is for personal use.
Paul,
Any idea whether the Japan scopes are legit?  Those are pretty tempting prices.

I think they are most likely legit.  It appears that they ship from Japan and the sellers appear to have good reviews.

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Post by Tim:H11 7/21/2023, 9:53 pm

First trip to Perry I bumped into a shooter who had just purchased a TSN-501. I really thought it was a great scope. Went to Champions Choice and bought one for myself. I viewed it as a “buy once, cry once” situation. In my position, at the time, I viewed myself possibly spending many days over many years shooting and looking through a spotter. So I decided I wanted my own and I wanted one of quality. Sort of pricey. But I like the image, size, and weight.
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Post by jimsteele 7/22/2023, 6:36 am

The TSN-501 price was more than I wanted to pay (around $300). But it is the right size, light weight, and it works.   I'm just surprised that I don't see more of them on the firing line.

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Post by paulj 7/22/2023, 11:13 am

FYI, here's a US based seller for the Kowa where the TS-501 is selling for $299

https://www.northwestnatureshop.com/product/kowa-tsn-501-compact-spotting-scope

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Post by james r chapman 7/22/2023, 12:35 pm

Reference the 500 series
501 straight 
502 angled
Using glasses, left handed, left side gunbox,
Which do y’all prefer. (So Cal accent)
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Post by DA/SA 7/22/2023, 2:27 pm

Angled. 

Glasses and left handed, but box on right for me. Just lean foreword slightly and your looking right into the scope with the angled eyepiece.
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Post by paulj 7/22/2023, 2:38 pm

james r chapman wrote:Reference the 500 series
501 straight 
502 angled
Using glasses, left handed, left side gunbox,
Which do y’all prefer. (So Cal accent)

501 is angled, 502 is straight.

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Post by james r chapman 7/22/2023, 3:34 pm

paulj wrote:
james r chapman wrote:Reference the 500 series
501 straight 
502 angled
Using glasses, left handed, left side gunbox,
Which do y’all prefer. (So Cal accent)

501 is angled, 502 is straight.
Dyslexia. 🤣
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Post by WesG 7/22/2023, 3:52 pm

Angled. I think the reason you see so many pictures of pistol shooters with straight eyepieces is because that's all there was 'back in the day'.

Box on the left, keeps brass out of it. Left handed, turn your head and lean slightly back. Right handed, box on the left seems soooo clumsy.

But I come from the rifle side. Right handed, scope on the left is pretty much the only way it works. And having half the brass winding up in the cart can be kind of convenient.

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Post by Tim:H11 7/22/2023, 6:40 pm

I like angled. I can set my scope and box up and use it to stay consistent with the position in which I stand. I use the box and scope as a reference point. If I choose to look in the scope, the angled eye piece makes it easy to just glance into the lens and confirm my called shot. A straight eye piece might require a little more movement or turning/bending of my body but not a big deal. If price doesn’t make a huge difference between angled and straight I’ll buy angled.
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