View Full Version : Barska Blackhawk 20-60x60 Angled Spotting Scope Any Good for 100 yard shooting?

05-17-2012, 12:51 AM
I am a new shooter that has started going to Sunnyvale Rod and Gun and Los Altos and I am looking for my first spotting scope. I would love to buy premium but finishing grad school and with a baby on the way that budget is not there at the moment so I just want something better then the Nikon 10x50 binoculars that I have been using. I have a Ruger 10/22 and an AR15 that I regrettably have not had time to shoot yet. I do not see myself needing to shoot farther then 100 yards for at least the next year until I finish school as the only places to shoot that are not hours away only go up to 100 yards. I am close to spending 2 optics planets $25 for $50 gift certificates on a Barska Blackhawk 20-60x60 Angled Spotting Scope. Bringing the total cost to around $80 shipped as it is $129.99 and I paid $50 for the $100 of gift certificate. Is this a go or no go? I also dabble in photography and use to be really into amateur astronomy so I fully understand the value of high priced glass but as I said all I need is something to see .22 holes and .223 holes out to 100 yards. Will this get the job done in an adequate fashion?

05-17-2012, 12:52 AM
One more thing...I am leaning angled because after using both during my astronomy days I prefer the flexibility of head positions for angled.

05-17-2012, 1:07 AM
skip the cheap spotting scopes. Those will be barely cut it at 100 yards to see a .30 hole.

The problem with them is the fact that you cannot see detail....once you zoom all the way in...your gonna see blurry. I learned my lesson by buying a cheap barska scope thinking that the magnification power was going to be enough. It was....just that the clarity wasnt there.

I think a spotting scope is one of those "buy once, suffer once" kinda deal.

05-17-2012, 1:25 AM
skip the cheap spotting scopes. Those will be barely cut it at 100 yards to see a .30 hole.

The problem with them is the fact that you cannot see detail....once you zoom all the way in...your gonna see blurry. I learned my lesson by buying a cheap barska scope thinking that the magnification power was going to be enough. It was....just that the clarity wasnt there.

I think a spotting scope is one of those "buy once, suffer once" kinda deal.

I appreciate your honesty. This will just be to get something better then the binoculars I am using now. I believe in quality and when I get out of the medical training I am
Involved in now it will be premium
Optics for
The rest of my life
On everything. This is just a temporary way to see bullet holes at 100 yards. Has anyone used these to see .22 and .223 holes at 100?

05-17-2012, 1:29 AM
I have one and for black targets it can be difficult to make out holes at 100. Sometimes I can see em, sometimes not. The price was right, but it sure is a turd.

05-17-2012, 1:32 AM
I'm planning on using glowshot and shoot n c targets. Any scopes better near the price range? Or under 200?

The Virus
05-17-2012, 6:15 AM
its fine at 100 yds.

05-17-2012, 9:02 AM
I have the same spotting scope and at a 100 yards, it is fine to see 22 rounds. I got mine at Big 5 for $90. I shoot my Ruger 10 22 and an SKS at a 100 yards and see the targets with this scope with zero problems. It is a cheap decent spotting scope and I like mine.

05-17-2012, 9:37 AM
I have one as well and I too use it for spotting my shots from my ruger 10/22 and ar15. It's fine out to 100 yards especially with shoot-n-c targets. I just leave it at 20x magnification. If I try any higher magnification it gets blurry.

05-17-2012, 10:09 AM
It's not fine for 100yds. At 20x the eye relief is bad. At 60x your eye ball is almost touching the ocular. It's fuzzy and noticeably dim at 20x. It's grainy and dark at 60x. FOV is horrendous at 20x. FOV at 60x is... what FOV? Basically, it's unusable past 20x. It would be a great spotter at $19.95. And even acceptable at $39.95. But at $99.95, it's just a rip off.

Let's just put it this way. I can spot .22 caliber holes at 100yds much better with my 18x rifle scope. You'll won't notice how terrible it is until you get behind a quality spotter or even a decent rifle scope.

Now, if you can't afford a nicer spotter but absolutely need one, get one used so that when you throw it away or sell it to another poor soul, you won't be out much. There's no better way of burning money than buying POS stuff like this. I've tried a RedField. It's double the price but triple the quality.

05-17-2012, 10:21 AM
Do not waste your money.

23's Dad
05-17-2012, 3:48 PM
I found it pretty disappointing. The shooter on the line didn't have a tripod that would allow him to get prone. I swapped him my B&L Balscope from the 1960s. Save your coin!

I just got the 62mm from Creedmoor Sports. I haven't had a chance to run it thru it's paces, but the eye relief is phenomenal.


I've tried the Konus 80mm and the Celestron 80mm, and while they have wider fields of view, the most important thing to me is eye relief.

That Creedmoor scope has better eye relief than most other zoom scopes in production. Take a look at the stats, and browse around. Most eye relief is in the 15-20mm range. This one gets 19-28mm!

05-17-2012, 11:10 PM
I hate to say it, but in your situation, you just might be better off going to ranges that have spotting scopes for public use like Metcalf in south of San Jose where I shoot every now and then. There is a good reason why Barska = Basura more often than not.

05-17-2012, 11:31 PM
For 100 yards it will be fine. Its not the best scope and it does get fuzzy at 60X. If you need a scope now and want to spend 90 dollars, then it will serve its purpose. I highly recommend you use Shoot-N-C targets and anything past 100 yards is a no go. I have the 25-75x model and at 200 yards its horrible. My rifle scope which is 16x has better clarity.

Save up 100 more dollars and get something better.

05-18-2012, 6:37 AM
Save your money and just walk the 100 yards if you are unable to see the holes with the naked eye, exercise is a good thing.

Friends don't let friends buy:
NCStar (sorry Jason)
TapCo (AK stuff is ok from what I've heard)
and all the other Chinese forgeries.

05-18-2012, 6:58 AM
It is fine for 100 yards. If you want to test it for yourself, go to any Big 5. They carry them and have them in stock. Ask the counter clerk to let you take it to the front of the store and look through it. It is plenty fine at 100 yards. And even if you are worried, just get the Shoot N See targets.

I have one and I can see bullet holes fine. With Shoot N C targets, I can even see 17HMR bullet holes at 100 yards.

For your situation and budget, it will be fine. Just take a look through it at Big 5. Did I mention, you will be fine?

05-18-2012, 7:19 AM
I have a cheap Zhummel scope I use for highpower, silhouette and also spotting holes at 100. For highpower/silhouette, I am able to see is the spotter/swinger and mirage just fine. Sure, it's not a Kowa, but it works fine for me at this point.

I'm in the same situation as you, college student with baby on the way. Some things like reloading and cheaper gear are necessary for me if I want to shoot at all. When you get ready to upgrade, you can sell the old spotting scope to help cover the cost of the new model. ;)

05-18-2012, 7:48 AM
Look on ebay. There are all sorts of cheap spotting scopes. I have one that I bought for $39.95 delivered. I have no idea what brand it is. It works fine to 200yds. CLICK HERE! (http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=20-60x60+spotting+scope&_sacat=0)

I also have a Yukon 6-100x100. It can spot target hits very nicely to 500yds on a bad day and out to 1000yds on a good day. I have used it to spot for people out to 1 mile.

05-18-2012, 8:04 AM
I've had that barska. I found the eye relief at full power unacceptable and the image quality was like a happy meal toy. I bought this other cheap scope that turned out to be much better. It's still cheapo, and although the tripod is rather fragile, it has much better optics.http://www.amazon.com/Meade-20-60x60-Spotting-Backpack/dp/B002VBRIEC/ref=sr_1_65?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1337349702&sr=1-65

05-18-2012, 8:06 AM
...Barska Blackhawk 20-60x60 Angled Spotting Scope Any Good for 100 yard shooting?.... Will this get the job done in an adequate fashion?

You can rationalize it all you want, but they are crap. Any barska I have looked through just doesnt get it done in any real range, match, target shooting scenario.

If you need an entry level scope, get one like this. http://www.champchoice.com/prod-CC_12_50x50mm_W_45_DEGREE_SPOTTING_SCOPE-2567.aspx
Not the best either, but within your budget and sold by shooters for shooters.
Next step up would be a Konus. A little over your budget, VERY GOOD for the money, and if you buy it from Jim Owens he will buy it back for full purchase price no questions asked when you upgrade.http://jarheadtop.com/KONUS.htm

Here is another http://www.creedmoorsports.com/shop/Creedmoor_60mm_Spotting_Scope.html

Buy from companies that are run by shooters.

05-18-2012, 10:51 PM
I own a barska I picked up at big five a few years back. It's no swarovski thats for sure, but mine works from 20 to 60 power just fine. At 60 power my only problem is from visible heat waves. If you can find better for the same $ go for it, but dont confuse a $50 to $100 scope with a $500 scope.

05-19-2012, 3:35 AM
My starter scope was a Barska from Big 5. It was fuzzy and hard to see. I ended up returning it for a Tasco which was actually better n clearer for about the same price. The cheap Tasco n Bushnell have better glass and are clearer than the Barska.

05-19-2012, 4:29 AM
Had a $100 barska, all it really did was irritate me. I don't know how anyone can claim that you can see anything with it at 60x unless you take your eye protection off to deal with the almost non-existent eye relief. Even taking your glasses off, it's still a blurred mess at 100 yards on 60x. The 4.5-14x sitting on top of my .308 does a better job spotting at 100 yards. I like shoot-n-c's, but I shouldn't need one with a spotting scope.

Crappy optics also become fatiguing to look through. My 45x leupold spotter($300 model, not one of the higher end versions) has no problem with eye relief, I can easily see .22 holes at 100 yards without even having to line my eye up with the eyepiece exactly right. Someone mentioned heatwaves... no problem with the leupold, I can see them but the image is still crystal clear.

Will the barska work? Yes. But it will also be a waste of money. If you're strapped for cash, pick up one of those konus 80's when they're on sale or something. The only reason I haven't put the barska in the trash, is if something were to happen to the leupold I'd have a backup or something to loan to someone if I'm not going to be around. Other than that, waste of money.

05-19-2012, 6:17 AM
It's not always about the money either. A very good friend bought a Swarovski spotting scope a while back. Paid almost double what he could have got a Kowa for. He had to have "the best". In my opinion it isnt half the scope a Kowa is. It is clear. Right in the middle of the field of view. Really fish eyed at the edges and just not set up well for shooting. Maybe its the best for looking at birds or something, but all things considered for shooting (eye relief, field of view when in a shooting position, adjustments, etc.) it and the Barska are the same to me. If the utility of the scope for shootng is poor, it doesn't matter how much (or litte) it cost.
Sorry for the slight thread jack. OP there are a few scopes within your budget that will do better than a Barska.
Call any of the good folks at Creedmoor, Champions Choice, Champions Shooters Supply, Jim Owens, etc. and they can get you set up with a decent entry level scope.