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Exploring specs of a spotting scope?

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Canuck Bob View Drop Down
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Joined: April/07/2010
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    Posted: July/26/2020 at 13:30
Hello, you folks were very helpful when I bothered you with a bunch of "what do you think of this used scope" threads.  Thanks, my pride and joy from that advice is a Zeiss Conquest 4X mounted on a CZ 527 lefty Lux.

I need a spotting scope for range work only at a dry prairie site.  I've become fairly handicapped and use a cane or two walking sticks for longer than 50 meters but plan to quit shooting when I've been dead a couple of hours ;-) . 

I'm interested in seeing 22 holes at 300 meters on white paper.  I shoot photocopy paper to mimic shooting 8.5X11 gongs from 300 meters.  So black holes on white background past 200 meters. I'm willing to use shoot n see targets if necessary.  I need to keep the purchase cheap or trade into something of better quality.  


What do you consider as minimum specs so I can weed out potential used scopes/ 

Is 50 mm adequate?
What constitutes decent eye relief in mm, I wear shooting glasses.
What would be a workable magnification?
What Leupold scopes, old or new, might work? Their warranty depot is local and are very competent.
Straight or angled?
Anyone use splatter targets?

Please be aware I'm Canadian and pay 30% more for everything compared to the USA.  I researched Kowa entry level 500 model at $500 landed and the 600 model close to $700 for an idea of pricing.




Edited by Canuck Bob - July/26/2020 at 13:42
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w squared View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote w squared Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2020 at 13:16
Hiya from a fellow Canuck in Alberta.

I posted a very similar set of questions when I was living in Houston a few years back. I got some great input from the people here, so here's a link to their great comments.


I cannot tell you if 50mm is adequate for you, since I ended up going with an 80mm objective lens. I will say that spotting .22 inch diameter holes on paper at 300 meters is not an easy thing to do unless you have good optics and good atmospheric conditions. Using shoot n see splatter targets will make seeing those small holes much easier for sure!

I ended up with a Vortex Razor HD 80mm spotting scope that I got on sale when they changed their line over to the new style. I've added a 30X (fixed) eyepiece with an MRAD scale. That is useful for me because I enjoy shooting .308 at 600 to 1000 meters and I want my spotting scope and rifle scope to use the same units of measure. My longer range setup turns out to work very well for seeing small holes at those short and intermediate ranges....but just because I spent a chunk of money on glass doesn't mean that's the wisest choice for you. For my purposes the optics maxim of "buy once, cry once" has very definitely held true for this scope. I flinched at the cost, but the sting went away completely once I realized that I now have a spotting scope that will meet or exceed my shooting needs for the rest of my life.

As a point of reference, the first spotting scope that I tried for range use was a Konus 20-60X80mm:


I seem to remember being able to see my 7.5mm Swiss holes on shoot and see targets at 300 yards using that....but how much success I had was definitely dependent on the conditions.  With the bright colors of the shoot n see, image clarity becomes very important....as in "hmmm, is that orange-yellow blob just one bullet hole, or are there two that are sorta close together?". For my money, when it comes to seeing holes in the target magnification is nowhere near as important as the clarity of the image. My Razor HD scope with the fixed 30x eyepiece (on a good tripod) allows me to see far more than the Konus at 60X. I believe that is due to the Vortex having ED glass, as well as the overall quality of construction being much higher. 

Whether you want to get a straight or angled spotter is 100% dependent on your own ergonomics. If you have a high quality, rock solid tripod that will let you mount the scope at the same height as your head when you're shooting from the bench, then a straight scope is great! If your head will be higher than the scope when you're set up for shooting, then an angled spotter is the way to go for sure.

For what it's worth - if you've in Central Alberta, I'll happily loan you my Konus 80mm and you can see if that scope will get the job done for you. The glass is not as good as the Zeiss you have on your CZ (yes, I have rifle envy), but it may be good enough to do the job with shoot and see targets.
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w squared View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote w squared Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2020 at 13:18
My apologies....here's the link that I should have used for the Konus scope....and I can't seem to edit the post now.

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Sparky View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2020 at 14:18
Originally posted by w squared w squared wrote:

My apologies....here's the link that I should have used for the Konus scope....and I can't seem to edit the post now.



You need 50 posts to be able to edit.
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w squared View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote w squared Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2020 at 14:39
Originally posted by Sparky Sparky wrote:



You need 50 posts to be able to edit.

Thank you for explaining it - much appreciated. If a mod happens by and would like to edit my original response to have the correct link, that would be absolutely peachy.
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