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View Full Version : Binoculars or Spotting Scope- which do you use at the range ?


Electric Factory
10-02-2008, 2:53 PM
When you're off to a day at the range, which do you generally take with you or which is a steady part of your range kit- binoculars or spotting scope ?
Please share which you prefer, what make you use and why .

nikonuser
10-02-2008, 3:06 PM
Spotting scope on tripod saves you time from having to find your target since it stays locked on your target and it has more magnification so you can see those small .223 holes from your AR. I use binocular for pistol shooting though.

ocabj
10-02-2008, 3:12 PM
Spotting scope. Unless you have high power binoculars (greater than 15x magnification), I don't see how you get any benefit over a spotting scope.

But if you are shooting iron sights, binoculars are better than nothing.

Binoculars for spotting should only be used for spotting trace, anyway.

Electric Factory
10-02-2008, 3:24 PM
Be sure to include what kind and make of spotting scope or binocular you use, I'm getting ready to buy one or another in the near future.
FYI I have a pair of Leica 10x25 binoculars which have beautiful glass and almost enough magnification to work at rifle ranges. Almost.
I'm looking hard at the Burris Landmark 10x50 Compact Spotting scope simply for its small footprint and clear view.
Any other suggestions ?

caldude
10-02-2008, 3:28 PM
Both, but mostly a spotting scope. I have two spotting scopes, a Barska I got at Big 5, and an Alpen (forget the model number, but it was highly rated for the price). I mostly use the Alpen. The only time I use binocs (Bushnells) is if I'm shooting pistols at 10 yds, or if I'm shooting 25 yds and my wife is using the spotter.

X-NewYawker
10-02-2008, 3:45 PM
Leupold 60X Sequoia scope on tripod.
See here behind Lou:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p54/Fasanoland/LouShoots.jpg

I can spot for myself if alone.

JOEKILLA
10-02-2008, 3:49 PM
Binoculars

Mail Clerk
10-02-2008, 3:53 PM
I use a Bushnell 20X-60 at my bench. Good enough for general useage and cheap enough in case it gets banged around a little.

Mail Clerk

DedEye
10-02-2008, 4:02 PM
60x Konus spotting scope.

X-NewYawker
10-02-2008, 4:46 PM
I had a GREAT spotting scope from Weaver or someone I can't remember -- yeah it was a tasco -- but the big thing was that the focus ring had soft "clicks" and would STAY where you set them. Biggest problem with even the most expensive spotting scopes is focusing on a 100 yard + target and then touching the scope and it moves your settings. This Cheap Spotting scope was the only one I'd seen with these indexes.

sb_pete
10-02-2008, 7:08 PM
I have and use both. I am poor though so I have a tasco 20-60x spotter and bushnell 10-20x binos. If I am shooting from a set position or range, or at least moving only at regular intervals - like in high power - I use the spotting scope. Moving around alot, I use the binos. If you have time to put the scope on target and focus it in, spotting scopes are better by far. If you don't, then binos are easy to find the target and focus in with.

That said, I have come to really appreciate the high quality glass and Creedmore style (http://www.creedmoorsports.com/store/home.php?cat=267) tripods/mounts for spotting scopes that others have. If you are willing/able to part with $600+ for a decent scope and tripod, the status of things downrange becomes much clearer.

ocabj
10-02-2008, 7:49 PM
Be sure to include what kind and make of spotting scope or binocular you use, I'm getting ready to buy one or another in the near future.

Kowa 821M with 27x long eye relief eyepiece on a Ray-Vin stand.

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http://www.ocabj.net/gallery2/d/4715-2/IMG_4184-1024pp.jpg

Works fine for all positions (standing, sitting, prone, and benchrest).

bombadillo
10-02-2008, 8:07 PM
I have a cheapo barska 20-60x60 which is way overkill for the distances that I'm shooting, but it works great. A little dim for the glass, but for 69 bucks at big5 with a tripod for bench or prone, it works great. I have had such great luck with barska I may get some more of their products. I know people knock them, but I beat the crap out of my stuff, and it still holds up really well.

Electric Factory
10-02-2008, 9:24 PM
Anyone using the Burris Landmark 20x50 Spotting Scope ?

sb_pete
10-03-2008, 5:42 AM
Kowa 821M with 27x long eye relief eyepiece on a Ray-Vin stand.
http://www.ocabj.net/gallery2/d/4715-2/IMG_4184-1024pp.jpg

Works fine for all positions (standing, sitting, prone, and benchrest).

After seeing a bunch of other guys' stuff, I think I would get one of those Kowas with THAT eyepiece, if I had the money. Maybe another eyepiece down the line, but that LER eyepiece is a friggin joy to use

Chukar hunter
10-03-2008, 8:54 AM
I use a Nikon spotting scope, lightweight tripod. It's especially nice when you are sighting in or doing 2-300 yard shots. I carry binoculars in the field, even bird hunting.

ohsmily
10-03-2008, 10:03 AM
I am a glass snob. If you are going to be shooting beyond 100 or 200 yards, buy a good scope. Your eyes will thank you.

Swarovski, Leica, Kowa, Meopta, Pentax (to a lesser degree), Nikon (their high end line, not their cheap Chinese line).

ivorykid
10-03-2008, 4:41 PM
I like both. Binoculars are more convenient for me (smaller, no tripod, easy to hold) but have a magnification limit. I would say that a 10X binocular is about the practical limit. You can go to a higher mag, but you either need very steady hands or a good place to rest them. 10X binos at 100 yards is doable, but a bit of a stretch, causing a little bit of eye strain to discern little holes at 100 yards. I really like Vortex optics Viper binoculars a lot!

A spotting scope is better for longer range use with a tripod / bench mount. As others have said, it really helps in positively identifying .223 holes beyond 100 yards. Again, there is a practical limit to a spotting scope's magnification, but it is not so much limited by your ability to hold steady. Anything beyond ~50X is not practical in my opinion due to image degradation and loss of brightness. As far as brands, it all depends on how much you are willing to spend. With optics, you usually get what you pay for. However, often times you wont benefit from the extra quality of an expensive scope unless you spend a lot of time with you eye up to the ocular. For the average rifleman, a fleeting glance to verify bullet placement is doesn't require uber-expensive glass.

Jicko
10-03-2008, 4:48 PM
When you're off to a day at the range, which do you generally take with you or which is a steady part of your range kit- binoculars or spotting scope ?
Please share which you prefer, what make you use and why .

I have a spotting scope. But I am trying to get a NF 22x rifle scope now, once I got that, I think I can spot with my "NF scope"....

huck
10-04-2008, 11:37 AM
I have a spotting scope and I always bring it to the range, but I have found the easiest thing is to just keep my 30-06 with 3X9 scope on the bench when I'm shooting my AR with iron sites. We even shoot the '06 sometimes. ;)