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Spot on spotting scopes

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Post by hipirn on 6/14/2011, 9:39 am

Yeah I know this subject has gotten a lot of space in the past and most everyone has an opinion. I've owned I suppose 10 or so moderately priced spotting scopes over the last 50 years and I'm still looking for the "right" scope.
I currently have an Aspen 15/30, 50MM straight tube on my box. It is decent, a bit heavy, optics pretty good but not out standing. I don't like the focus adjustment, it works OK but is awkward to use and I can't always see 22 holes at 50 yds. under some lighting?
The other scope I use is a Champions Choice 15/45, 50MM with the angle tube. It is also a bit heavy, the optics are about the same as the Aspen. The thing I dislike most about this scope is that the eye piece sticks out a long ways from the scope body, in fact at some space restricted indoor ranges I can't use it and my brass catcher at the same time as their is not enough room to operate a recoiling gun between the two!
When at matches I try to observe what spotter others are using and if there is a lull I'll ask permission to look through it. Usually the owner has an opinion, seldom is anyone completely happy with their scope setup.
If you are very satisfied with your spotting system and it has good eye relief, please share it with us... hipirn

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Post by DavidR on 6/14/2011, 10:45 am

I use the kowa 501 ts, I had one when i stopped shooting 5 years ago when i injured my shoulder, now on a comeback i wanted one but kowa no longer makes them. i was lucky enough to buy one from a list member, if you can find one they work great for BE, also the NG is a great scope but a bit pricey at 300.00
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Post by hipirn on 6/14/2011, 10:09 pm

Thanks David. I suppose I should have bought the only used 501 ts Kowa I've seen for sale, but the thing was PINK! If I see another within reason color won't stop me the next time (I've painted several cars, surely a scope could be color changed)!
I've seen a couple of the NG's on the line but never looked through one. One match I attend usually has a guy with an NG. Cute looking, gotta be light weight, don't know about it's other attributes though. hipirn

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Post by Founder on 6/14/2011, 11:22 pm

I too searched high and low for a Kowa 501. Ended up with a Champions Choice scope that I am very pleased with for only $95! I will update this post with a model number later on.
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Post by F. Paul Figlia on 6/15/2011, 7:49 am

hipirn wrote: Thanks David. I suppose I should have bought the only used 501 ts Kowa I've seen for sale, but the thing was PINK! If I see another within reason color won't stop me the next time (I've painted several cars, surely a scope could be color changed)!
I've seen a couple of the NG's on the line but never looked through one. One match I attend usually has a guy with an NG. Cute looking, gotta be light weight, don't know about it's other attributes though. hipirn

Does anyone know a source for spare parts for the Kowa 501? I need to replace a small plastic tab on the internal mechanism to restore it to working order. Damn fine scope for the price!

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Post by sklarcpa on 6/16/2011, 5:12 pm

Joe Fobes wrote:I too searched high and low for a Kowa 501. Ended up with a Champions Choice scope that I am very pleased with for only $95! I will update this post with a model number later on.

I recently went with this scope as well after having one with a plastic body & base. This really is a good scope for the money.
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Post by Mark Patterson on 6/16/2011, 6:10 pm

I have had a NG scope since mid winter and this little scope is just what the dr ordered..It weighs very little and it takes up very little room in my Strong box..It works extremely well for 33ft air pistol and works just as well at 25 and 50 yards with .22/.38 and.45 rounds..The field of view is just right for 33ft-50yds and the focus is just a half turn of the eyepiece from 33ft to 50yds..I put Butler Creek scope caps on mine which really work nice for keeping the dirt and debris out and you just push them open with a flick of the thumb when you get to a match..I have had many spotting scopes but the NG is really handy and has good optics as well..And it takes up virtually no room in the shooting box..5 STARS FOR THIS ONE
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Post by hipirn on 6/16/2011, 9:27 pm

Thanks Mark, the NG sounds like a winner for our use.. hipirn

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Post by CrankyThunder on 8/19/2020, 9:01 am

does this NG rotate about its axis?
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Post by -TT- on 8/19/2020, 10:21 am

CrankyThunder wrote:does this NG rotate about its axis?

Yes, the NG's eyepiece rotates a full 360 on the body.

Don't discount the widely-available Celestron ones. They're quite good, not heavy and easy to deploy. And you can buy several. They have a ring with a small thumbscrew which allow the entire scope to rotate in its mount, which works rather well. They sell them at Cabela's so you can check them out easily (and CC carries them too).

I have the NG 20x33, and also the Celestron LandScout 10-30x50 (zoom).

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Post by troystaten on 8/19/2020, 12:50 pm

I have a Minox 15-30 power scope, nice glass not super expensive.  Mine is the straight version but I think they have an angled eyepiece version as well. Reasonable eye relief but not great eye relief.

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Post by Jwhelan939 on 8/19/2020, 9:40 pm

I currently use the ng20. It's okay. I love the small size and light weight. The clarity is just okay. Oftentimes I have a hard time seeing 22. I used to have a Burris Landmark. It was phenomenal. Unfortunately the thread insert is a weak point and it ripped right out of the scope.

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Post by zanemoseley on 8/19/2020, 10:48 pm

I started with a 50mm Celestron Landscout which was great for the money but just ok. Then I jumped to the 50mm Vortex Razor, great scope, nice glass, easy adjustments and looks durable. A 50mm scope will never look like an 80mm scope, I'd rather use a $200 80mm than a $2000 50mm but size can become cumbersome for us pistol shooters. Spend the most on glass you're comfortable with and you'll likely be pleased with the outcome, if you buy a $75 scope you may be looking again in a year or two.

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Post by TonyH on 8/20/2020, 6:39 am

sklarcpa wrote:
Joe Fobes wrote:I too searched high and low for a Kowa 501. Ended up with a Champions Choice scope that I am very pleased with for only $95! I will update this post with a model number later on.

I recently went with this scope as well after having one with a plastic body & base.  This really is a good scope for the money.
Are you guys referring to the older model Kowa TS-501 and not the newer TSN-501? If the older model, does it have a rotating barrel, so that the angled eyepiece can be rotated to any angle? My Celestron 10-30X 50mm Landscout broke for the second time, and even though Celestron is replacing free, I am on the hunt for a newer and optically better scope. Anyone have and use a Celestron Hummingbird 9-27x56mm ED Micro Spotting Scope? It's small and has a 56mm objective lens...wonder how well it does at 50 yards for 22 holes?
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Post by New2BE on 9/12/2020, 2:20 am

As an FYI, CMP has Kowa 501 spotting scopes for sale, nib. If you need parts or service look up Kowa USA they are in Torrance, California.

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Post by bushidoshooting on 9/12/2020, 3:36 pm

KOWA scope never let you down!  I've been using a few different KOWA scopes for more than 35 years for highpower rifle shooting.  This year I started the bullseye pistol shooting and my first choice was Kowa TS-501.  It is compact enough in your pistol box and powerful enough to spot bullet holes for 50/25yd BE.  Highly recommended.

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Post by Sa-tevp on 9/13/2020, 12:53 pm

I pounced an an ebay sale of a used Kowa TS9 angled 20x50 a few years ago. It was old and dirty but cleaned up very well. I like it and a Bushnell Sentry II for long eye relief and really good glass. Both of these can often be found at reasonable prices. I also have a Minox MD 50 that is very compact but the two older scopes have the better lenses.

The first time I used the Kowa in a match I got distracted watching one of the 22 holes start walking around the target at 50 yards before it flew away. I could tell it was some sort of beetle but it was fun to scope it on the target.
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