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Spotting scopes... again...

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-TT-
SingleActionAndrew
james r chapman
gjoyce3
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onlylead
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Post by 10sandxs Sat Jul 15, 2023 3:25 pm

First topic message reminder :

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 10sandxs Sat Jul 22, 2023 7:22 pm

My left handed box...Spotting scopes... again... - Page 2 Img_2010

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Post by james r chapman Sat Jul 22, 2023 9:42 pm

Interesting, I was curious about the shell catcher!
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Post by RoyDean Sat Jul 22, 2023 9:53 pm

Ah! So, judging by the Atterbury target numbers, I now know who 10sandxs is!

I have a Kowa 773, had I realised who you were I would have summoned you along a couple of spots to take a look. It was way too big and heavy for my old wooden box, hence the "scope tote" that I now use. My eyes struggle to see 22 holes in the black if the light conditions are poor, hence the very large scope. 

Kowa's are great.

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Post by onlylead Sat Jul 22, 2023 10:34 pm

I use a straight 25 x leupold gold ring and have no problem seeing 22 holes at 50 yds!

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Post by Jack H Sun Jul 23, 2023 12:21 am

Roy, Ask me about scopes when you come to Eugene for primers and rubber UD eye cup things.
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Post by 10sandxs Sun Jul 23, 2023 12:31 am

RoyDean wrote:Ah! So, judging by the Atterbury target numbers, I now know who 10sandxs is!

LOL my secrets out!

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Post by sbtzc Mon Jul 24, 2023 2:50 pm

paulj wrote: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

No longer in stock or offered
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Post by james r chapman Mon Jul 24, 2023 8:29 pm

Yep, had one ordered. Order was cancelled. They don’t plan on carrying it.
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Post by sbtzc Tue Jul 25, 2023 1:04 pm

james r chapman wrote:Yep, had one ordered. Order was cancelled. They don’t plan on carrying it.

Hopefully, someone will order one from the ebay guys and let us know how it worked out. Also if they had to pay any duties or import taxes.


Last edited by sbtzc on Tue Jul 25, 2023 1:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by gjoyce3 Tue Jul 25, 2023 1:14 pm

I occasionally order used camera lens from Japan off of ebay. Process has been good in all aspects.  I was hit up for import taxes.  Fedex just kept sending letters to me until I paid.  I assume that it depends on how the seller fills out the paperwork on thier end.

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Post by james r chapman Tue Jul 25, 2023 2:21 pm

We will keep you posted.
Hopefully, airfreight not in a cargo container on the Japanese Queen.
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Post by Sa-tevp Tue Jul 25, 2023 3:52 pm

I purchased a old Kowa TS-2 from a ebay seller in Japan about three months ago. It arrived by Fedex in two days and was wrapped and packaged safe enough to be air dropped into my yard.

(Edited - While advertised as a TS-1 it was actually a TS-2)


Last edited by Sa-tevp on Sat Aug 05, 2023 12:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by james r chapman Tue Aug 01, 2023 9:21 pm

WSpotting scopes... again... - Page 2 121d9710
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Post by SingleActionAndrew Tue Aug 01, 2023 9:34 pm

I won one of these a couple weeks ago in a raffle just for being there at Atterbury 2023:

https://www.champchoice.com/mc-optics-sights/spotting-scopes/cc-12-36x-60mm-spotting-scope-w-3-tripod-cc1236

It's a surprising and really marked improvement over the scope I got for $25 on Amazon a few years back (which I'm handing on to a service shooter). At 50ft I can see 22 holes in the black like I'm next to it at 12x power without leaning toward the scope - looking from my shooting position at it mounted on the box. I was a spotting scope quality denier, but now that I have a decent one I'm starting to see the light (target is much brighter!)
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Post by james r chapman Sat Aug 05, 2023 12:02 pm

james r chapman wrote:WSpotting scopes... again... - Page 2 121d9710
Spotting scopes... again... - Page 2 Cd4f3210
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Post by -TT- Sat Aug 05, 2023 3:04 pm

Japan vendors are generally very reliable, and it's a fantastic time to buy with dollars since one USD buys over 140 JPY these days. Orders tend to move slowly, so patience is sometimes needed. Enjoy!
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Post by Sa-tevp Sat Aug 05, 2023 4:04 pm

I have an 1980/90 Kowa TS-9 that I like but it had a rough life before I got it for $75. A local camera repair shop is disassembling it to clean it for $150.
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Post by Dcforman Sat Aug 05, 2023 5:18 pm

Well, my 2 cents, worth what it is.... I recently switched from an old Bushnell 20X Sentry II, which was fine, to a new angled Vortex Razor 11-33/50. Yes, much more expensive ($700), but compared to the rest of the stuff in my box, not bad at all. What I like about it most is the zoom. Especially when you have a ton of firing points that aren't lined up well (Perry) or the numbers placed very low. I start zoomed out, find my target, center it, then zoom in. Makes sure I don't accidentally scope someone else's target. 

My experience with scopes with zoom is that you get what you pay for. With the Razor, the glass is very good, and 22 holes are quite clear. Happy I purchased it, and it will last my lifetime, which will hopefully be another 40 years of competing.

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Post by shooter1450 Sun Aug 06, 2023 12:51 am

Purchased my 501 Kowa January of ‘22 new from a Japan seller on eBay. Have had zero issues. Will definitely outlive me. I did by a set of Buttler Creek flip up scope covers for it. Better than chasing the original loose ones around.
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Post by 10sandxs Sun Aug 06, 2023 1:42 am

shooter1450 wrote:Purchased my 501 Kowa January of ‘22 new from a Japan seller on eBay. Have had zero issues. Will definitely outlive me. I did by a set of Buttler Creek flip up scope covers for it. Better than chasing the original loose ones around.
flip up scope covers??? tell me of this magic which you speak!

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Post by shooter1450 Sun Aug 06, 2023 3:33 am

Butler Creek rifle scope covers. All different sizes available. Am I the only one to put them on a spotter?
Don't get the ones with the push button made for the rear of a scope. I get the ones that are supposed to be for the objective end. No PIA button.
Size 13&15 for the rear. Size 43&44 for the front on the 501 Kowa.
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Post by KCoop Tue Aug 08, 2023 11:06 am

Got my KOWA TSN-501 for $285, 1 week shipping Smile ; e bay seller was kyoto style from Japan 

Outstanding scope Wink

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Post by james r chapman Tue Aug 08, 2023 5:14 pm

Mine was also received in new condition, well packaged.
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Post by CrankyThunder Tue Aug 08, 2023 5:27 pm

I will share my experiences in spotting scopes, the short background is that I moved during covid and found myself at a number of matches near my new home at new ranges.  Some of which proceeded to early dusk at dark ranges with supplementary illumination provided by vehicle headlights positioned behind the shooters.  I found that my ancient champions choice spotter with the 23x eyepiece and 50 mm lens was not allowing me to see the holes in the black.

Keep in mind that these conditions were/are the worst lighting conditions I have experienced and as dusk progresses, are at the limits of competition, with some competitions being called due to darkness at the range.  

For my first try, I went to my rifle spotter, a Kowa 600 series with a 25x eyepiece.  Works great, able to see holes in the black at 50 yards which did not surprise me because it is a very good spotter.  Not top of the line but somewhat compact.  The downside is that it does not rotate in the mount and has to be removed from the mounting bracket to store in the box for transport.  Since I developed kinks in my neck from using it which impacted my scores, I set it back with the rifle equipment.  

Then I got a Kowa 501 angled 50 mm spotter.  Still does not rotate but it is smaller and fits in my box but the quality was not there.  I figured at this size I can mount a rotating gil hebbard mount to get it at the right elevation but if you cannot see the holes in the target, why have a spotter in the first place.  pretty good for a $350.00 scope but not good enough.  

Then I ordered a small Minox 50 mm from Camerland new york.  Rotating mount, 50 mm with very good reviews.  Want to say this was about $450.00.  This one had a variable power eyepiece but was not good enough.  Had to send it back although it was a nice little compact scope that rotated.  

With the gil hebbard mount attached to the pistol box, I figured that I could try some non rotating scopes since there is a lot more selection out there.  

Next up was a Athlon Cronus variable eyepiece model (discontinued) at 50 mm which fit into my box mounted.  Non rotating and a bit heavy.  so heavy that it overwhelmed my gil hebbard mount but it performed pretty close to the original Kowa 600 series scope.  Pricy at $650 (discounted price too) but I was back to getting a kinked neck looking through it.  Had to send it back (reluctantly but what can you do?)



After some research, I decided to try the Nikon Field ED scope with a 25x eyepiece, angled, with a rotating mount and 65 mm objective.  This one delivers the image in low light conditions at 50 yards, the downside is that it is heavy, I have to remove it from the box to store it on the top shelf next to my firearm, but it rotates and the image is high quality such that I can see bullet holes in dusk/pickup truck illuminations.  When I set it side by side with my Kowa 601 65mm objective with 25x eyepiece, the kowa is slightly better but it has the rotating eyepiece that I discovered that I need to keep my neck from cramping up.  

Am I satisfied?  Close, the Nikon is too heavy, too big, but it delivers on eye relief, clarity, resolution, and image quality.  I am convinced that a 50 mm spotter is not big enough for us "Barnstormer Bullseye Shooters".  

I hear that Swarovski is coming out with a compact spotter that has the bird watching community drooling but the price is on par with their 80 mm spotters.  I will stay with the Nikon for the time being thank you.  

Regards, 
Crankster
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Post by james r chapman Tue Aug 08, 2023 6:54 pm

My progression.

Spotting scopes... again... - Page 2 C86bbe10
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