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View Full Version : 1000yard Spotting Scope


PistolPete75
08-23-2007, 10:39 AM
What are the good ones out there that won't break the bank.

Budget is $500-$900. Preferbably closer to $500-$600. $700-$900 if it's well worth it.

need the focus feature which is a must.

Mute
08-23-2007, 10:48 AM
In that price range I'd look at used Nikons and Kowas. If you're lucky, you might find some used Pentax scopes around the $900 mark which would be my top choice in that price range. Keep in mind you're not going to see bullet holes.

rksimple
08-23-2007, 12:07 PM
For the money, I think the Kowa is hard to beat. The ones I've seen are fantastic. I've only got to look through them @ 200 yards at some local high power matches, but they are very clear and bright. Haven't had a chance to spend some time with the Nikons, but if they're anything like their cameras, they should be awesome.

Jicko
08-23-2007, 12:21 PM
What are the good ones out there that won't break the bank.

Budget is $500-$900. Preferbably closer to $500-$600. $700-$900 if it's well worth it.

need the focus feature which is a must.

Is there are spotting scope that allow you to see "bullet holes" (.308 or .223) at 1000yds!?!?!?!

I truely DOUBT that!!!

Or are you just talking about seeing "spotter disc"?

ocabj
08-23-2007, 12:28 PM
The Kowa 821 is still the go to for most High Power shooting. Kowa just came out with the 881, but it's insanely expensive compared to the 821 ($1400 vs $650, bodies only). If you are just shooting Across the Course, then I'd say go with the 661 which is lighter. I had the 661 with the 25x LER eyepiece, and the only reason I sold it is because I got an incredible deal on an 821 through the For Sale section on Calguns.

But since you appear to be shooting 1000 yard long range High Power, you'll want the 821 over the 661. The extra diameter on the objective lens will give you better overall image so you'll be able to pick up the mirage and bullet trace a lot better.

I've seen a lot of Zeiss scopes used by 'tactical' shooters, but given what my friend told me about Zeiss's strict warranty (non-transferable, scope must have been purchased from an authorized dealer, warranty service subject to Zeiss discretion), I would vote against spending $1k on a Zeiss scope.

You should be able to swing a Kowa 881 with the 27x LER eyepiece for under $900 new. If you want the 20-60x zoom eyepiece, it's going to set you back at least $100 more (and I don't think it's going to be very useful).

Nile
08-23-2007, 12:33 PM
I have a Kowa 823. Works really well for high power 200,300,600 and 1000yd competition, but as far as seeing bullet holes past 300 yards is doubtful. Maybe 400 yards if the light is right. Kowa's have various eye pieces which can help as well, such as 20x60 zoom etc...

Timberwolf
08-23-2007, 12:39 PM
For your price range either a Nikon, Kowa or Leupold. At 1K you're not going to see your bullet holes you'll be looking for either splash or movement if hitting steel or the disc if on paper. I've used Nikons, Leupys and Ziess before but never a Kowa so can't comment on the quality of the Kowa. Of the three I've used I liked the Ziess but alas not in my budget.

All that said though I have a old Bushnell 20X that I've had for over 10 years that still serves me well. If and whenever mine goes south (if it ever does) I'll probably go with a Leupy or if I can afford it a U.S. Optics.

rksimple
08-23-2007, 1:28 PM
All that said though I have a old Bushnell 20X that I've had for over 10 years that still serves me well. If and whenever mine goes south (if it ever does) I'll probably go with a Leupy or if I can afford it a U.S. Optics.

At the USO open house, they had one of their spotter prototypes out. Very compact and excellent glass with a GAP reticle too. They expect the price to be in the $700 range so it should be a viable contender with other similarly priced spotters.

PistolPete75
08-23-2007, 2:50 PM
For the money, I think the Kowa is hard to beat. The ones I've seen are fantastic. I've only got to look through them @ 200 yards at some local high power matches, but they are very clear and bright. Haven't had a chance to spend some time with the Nikons, but if they're anything like their cameras, they should be awesome.

nevermind, i got it messed up with a konus.

PistolPete75
08-23-2007, 2:57 PM
At the USO open house, they had one of their spotter prototypes out. Very compact and excellent glass with a GAP reticle too. They expect the price to be in the $700 range so it should be a viable contender with other similarly priced spotters.


is it out yet?

PistolPete75
08-23-2007, 3:15 PM
hmm which one should i get? this is getting confusing.

PistolPete75
08-23-2007, 3:17 PM
how is this spotting scope?

http://www.opticsplanet.net/leupold-green-ring-sequoia-20-60x80mm-angled-spotting-scope-with-45-eyepiece.html

Green Ring Sequoia 20-60x80 Angled Scope & Tripod Kit

ocabj
08-23-2007, 3:24 PM
The Sequoia line is produced in foreign factories. Not sure where the glass is coming from. I believe the scope is made in Southeast Asia (if that is a concern to you). What should be a concern is the very minimal eye relief (non existent, you'll need to take off eye protection to view through the eyepiece properly) and medicore image quality. I've looked through a couple since quite a few people bought them during a period when Turners was advertising them in their weekly ad. All of them were fine for 100 yards, but 200 yard image quality wasn't anything to write home about. My straight body Bushnell Spacemaster 20-45x60 from 2001 was far better than the Sequioa.

ocabj
08-23-2007, 3:29 PM
BTW, go here: http://www.lasc.us/IHMSANewsArticles.htm

On the left side there should be a bunch of articles on sporting optics. Some are fairly dated, but it gives you an idea of what is out there. They're written by Todd Spotti who is a shooting buddy of mine at IFG. He gets his hands on most of the Leupold stuff and a lot of the mid priced spotting scopes and can give a decent opinion on a spotting scope as far as image quality is concerned.

Forestboy
08-23-2007, 4:29 PM
Which spotting scope do you reccomend if money is not an object. Top 5 in a list?
Thanks

PistolPete75
08-23-2007, 5:03 PM
money is no object go with this.

http://www.valdada.com/vn/ior/07e

only 2k

IOR 30-60x100 tb/g hdf

Mute
08-23-2007, 5:32 PM
Which spotting scope do you reccomend if money is not an object. Top 5 in a list?
Thanks

My opinion only:

Top tier:

-Swarovski
-Zeiss
-Leica

Next level:

-Kowa
-Pentax

I've also heard good things about Optolyth also, but they're kinda hard to find. USO has one in the works that should be interesting, but I haven't had a chance to look at it yet.

Pthfndr
08-23-2007, 5:35 PM
Before you go spending money on a spotting scope, maybe you should explain what it is you want to accomplish with it.

At 1000 yards I could see the 6" spotter with my Leupold 10x rifle scope. In cool clear weather (minimal mirage) I could see it with the 4x Ajack scope on my Swede M41b.

For High Power/Palma, I use the Kowa 821 so I can read the mirage.

Forestboy
08-24-2007, 8:50 AM
Target shooting to 500 yds for now. Glassing for Mulies. Bird watching. Possibly attaching a camera and using it for photography.

I am not buying one in the next couple of weeks but probably in the next 6 months . Just looking for opinions. Leaning towards the Swarovski, as a buddy lent me his and it was nice. Thanks.

Prc329
08-24-2007, 8:56 AM
Konus dude. Good price for a good scope. I love mine. I don't think you will see holes at 1000 but I can clearly see the bullet impact on metal at 600.

http://www.opticsplanet.net/konus-konuspot-80-80mm-3-1-spotting-scope.html

PistolPete75
08-24-2007, 9:41 AM
Konus dude. Good price for a good scope. I love mine. I don't think you will see holes at 1000 but I can clearly see the bullet impact on metal at 600.

http://www.opticsplanet.net/konus-konuspot-80-80mm-3-1-spotting-scope.html

i think im gonna go with it. very affordable, big bang for the buck!

brassburnz
08-24-2007, 12:25 PM
I've got an older Bushnell Spacemaster with the 60mm objective lens. It has a "Made in Japan" plate on it, and someone told me it was made by Kowa for Bushnell.

I have fixed 20x and 15-45x variable eyepieces. I've never used it to spot at 1000 yards, but I've used it to glass terrain at 1000. The resolution is quite good for the price, less than $400.

Randy
NRA Life Member

gobabygo
08-24-2007, 12:39 PM
i think im gonna go with it. very affordable, big bang for the buck!
I bought my Konus here:

http://www.outdoorsuperstore.com/product.asp?KONUS+OPTICS=Konuspot+20%2D60x80&prod=531965

Way cheaper than anyone else. I still haven't taken it to the range though. People already are saying you can't beat the Konus for the price at $200 and here it's 25% less. :)

snafu510
08-24-2007, 5:20 PM
I bought my Konus here:

http://www.outdoorsuperstore.com/product.asp?KONUS+OPTICS=Konuspot+20%2D60x80&prod=531965

Way cheaper than anyone else. I still haven't taken it to the range though. People already are saying you can't beat the Konus for the price at $200 and here it's 25% less. :)

I got one here also. I used this site for a free shipping coupon.

http://www.savings-center.com/store/OutdoorSuperStore

Paratus et Vigilans
08-25-2007, 7:20 AM
I bought the 100mm Konus from Optics Planet, and it suits my needs just fine for High Power out to 600 yds. I'm sure the 82mm (??) Kowa that costs five times as much is better than my Konus, but probably not five times better! :D

PistolPete75
08-27-2007, 2:15 PM
I got one here also. I used this site for a free shipping coupon.

http://www.savings-center.com/store/OutdoorSuperStore

nice hook up!

just ordered one. tnx!

Jicko
08-27-2007, 2:23 PM
Now, I've to go buy one too..... u guys are EVIL.... :D

PistolPete75
08-27-2007, 2:26 PM
$146.25 shipped! can't beat that. i was looking at opticsplanet for the same scope last week for about $200.

Jicko
08-27-2007, 2:31 PM
Thanks for the hookup..... I had been thinking about this scope EVER since ocabj told me about it....

$146 is MUCH better than $220.....

THANKS!!!

PistolPete75
08-27-2007, 2:34 PM
Thanks for the hookup..... I had been thinking about this scope EVER since ocabj told me about it....

$146 is MUCH better than $220.....

THANKS!!!

i concur!

Jicko
08-27-2007, 2:49 PM
Just ordered one from opticsplanet.

Price matched (w/ free shipping).... with the free "digital camera attachment" accessory from opticsplanet too!!

:D

tlillard23
08-27-2007, 3:12 PM
One of the guys I was shooting with just told me about Konus. placing an order now...

Prince50
08-27-2007, 7:26 PM
For 1,000 yards spend the money and get the Swarovski. Yes it is close to 2K, but it will NEVER let you down, and will be worth $1500 in 10 years whereas the (Insert other scope maker name here) will be worthless.

I bought an NC STAR 20-60x90 thinking the extra large objective would be better and might help....NOPE.

Leupold Green ring spotter was hard to use, and almost worthless.

With a Swarovski, you can see .50 cal bullet holes at 1000 yards. I've done it with my shooting partner's HD 20-60x80HD spotter, and it made me go buy my own. I did not pony up the extra $400 for HD, but that is mostly for color anyway. Targets and holes are black and white.

Get your Konus scopes, try them at 1000 yards, and use the return policy if you are not as impressed as you thought you would be. Used AT80s on Ebay can be found for less than $1500, Sometimes they go for $1000 and the optics are still the best in the world.

US Optics making a spotter for $700? Sign me up for two. I did not even know US Optics knew there was a price point below $2,000. My bubble level from them was darn near $100.

As a side note, if you insist on cheaper optics...(I can understand why as $$$ are hard to come by lately.), do yourself a great favor and get the best tripod you can buy. A good tripod can do wonders for a marginal spotting scope. A bad tripod makes a good spotter near worthless.

Darin

ocabj
08-27-2007, 8:56 PM
All due respect, but I call BS on the statement that you can see bullet holes on paper at 1000 yards with a 20-60x80 Swarovksi.

I'd be impressed if you could even see bullet holes on paper at 500 yards with light mirage.

Next time I'm at a match and I see someone with a Swarovski, I'm definitely going to have to look through it and test it out.

I think most people have misguided intentions when buying a spotting scope to see bullet holes at great distances. I guess long range benchrest shooters may want to be able to have that option at a certain point. But your spotting scope's main function in medium to long range shooting is to give you a good image for reading mirage.

CSDGuy
08-27-2007, 9:02 PM
Well, I DO know that there are optics out there that CAN see bullet holes at 1000 yards... just look at any space shuttle launch, about 2 min after launch. Those cameras are looking at an object that's 45 MILES away with reasonably good resolution. Maybe someone who WANTS to see the bullet holes should get one of those systems... :p




You want portable???? Totally different story... LOLOLOL

Prince50
08-27-2007, 10:09 PM
All due respect accepted, and I understand your doubt. Bullet holes in the black, no. Bullet holes in the white Yes. Also I was shooting .50BMG (Big holes, and bad shooting I might add as they were in the white.) Even the spotting disk is only 4 inches across, and I could see them easily with my 22 powered nightforce. Not too much of a stretch to see a hole 1/6th the diameter with 3x more magnification. You are an instructor so I assume you have shot 1000yards?

Palmdale matches at Desert Marksman are 2-3 times a year, If I am there you are more than welcome to check it out. If I'm not, someone will have one there. Trust me when I tell you, that if I had not seen it for myself, I would have never plunked down the kind of money I spent on a Swarovski ATS80 with a 20-60 eye piece. Now I hope the fact that I did not do the HD has little or no effect on seeing as clearly as Jeff's spotter did. I have not used my ATS80 at 1,000 yards yet, and the one I used was an ATS80HD.

Another unbelivable event with the Swarovski, is you could see the trail the bullet left almost all the way to the target. Not sure if it was some sort of vapor trail, or sonic deal, but I saw it myself.

These scopes are incredible. Nightforce riflescopes and Swarovski spotters for me from now on. Leupold for small caliber stuff, and I'll be happy forever.

US Optics if I could afford it, but one USO scope will buy you a Swarovski spotter and a Nightforce riflescope.

Darin

tjschia
08-28-2007, 10:10 PM
Just ordered one from opticsplanet.

Price matched (w/ free shipping).... with the free "digital camera attachment" accessory from opticsplanet too!!

:D

Thanks Jicko for letting me know that Opticsplanet does price matching, just picked up the Konus for the same price as Outdoor Superstore with the digital camera adapter.

~TJSChia

PistolPete75
08-30-2007, 9:46 PM
Thanks Jicko for letting me know that Opticsplanet does price matching, just picked up the Konus for the same price as Outdoor Superstore with the digital camera adapter.

~TJSChia


dammit, i didn't get the digital camera adapter. oh wells. nice one, jicko!

bruce_ventura
08-30-2007, 10:53 PM
All due respect, but I call BS on the statement that you can see bullet holes on paper at 1000 yards with a 20-60x80 Swarovksi.

I'd be impressed if you could even see bullet holes on paper at 500 yards with light mirage.

Bullet holes in paper? No problem. If you let me set up the lighting conditions, I'll bet you I can see .22 holes at 1000 yards with my $100 Bushnell spotting scope. Actually, I've done it at 9.6 km on a hot day in Palmdale. It's really academic because you can't guarantee doing it under any lighting conditions.

Depending on the lighting conditions, you can "see" that there is a hole in a particular position, without actually resolving the details of the hole. Just as you can "see" stars in the sky without actually resolving the details of them (except our Sun). Can anyone resolve a .50 bullet hole at 1000 yards well enough to tell that it's caused by one bullet and not two? Nope. Not even with a 100 mm objective without a mirage. Simple physics.

Jicko
08-30-2007, 10:58 PM
dammit, i didn't get the digital camera adapter. oh wells. nice one, jicko!

Maybe you will get it. It may just come with every scope. So, we'll see....

PistolPete75
09-06-2007, 3:02 PM
dam outdoor superstore never sent me my stuff!

my credit card wasn't even charged. guess i'll go to optics planet.

wildcard
09-06-2007, 3:04 PM
dam outdoor superstore never sent me my stuff!

my credit card wasn't even charged. guess i'll go to optics planet.

Or SWFA

tlillard23
09-06-2007, 3:10 PM
Or SWFA

Not sure what that means... But I didn't get my scope either. Crap. need to check the card now...

Jicko
09-06-2007, 3:11 PM
I've gone O-P... and I've got my scope earlier this week.

PistolPete75
09-06-2007, 3:12 PM
im talking to op right now.

sales guy is trying to get it approved. let's see how the ball rolls.

Jicko
09-06-2007, 3:14 PM
im talking to op right now.

Remember price match AND get the digicam mount....

You can use mine this wkend....

PistolPete75
09-06-2007, 3:19 PM
got it coming my way!

thanks Jicko, good looking out!

tlillard23
09-20-2007, 12:48 PM
Better go check your credit card again, they charged me and no scope....

Originally Posted by PistolPete75
dam outdoor superstore never sent me my stuff!

my credit card wasn't even charged. guess i'll go to optics planet.

PistolPete75
09-20-2007, 1:49 PM
yep, screw outdoorsuperstore. they suck!

i got my money back from my credit card company. you should do the same. call optics planet, and ask them to do a price match. i ordered two from optics with the same price, and already got one of them!

they ended up charging me like a week later, guess they figured i would never find out! bastards!