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Long Distance Shooting Discuss tools, techniques, tips and theories of long distance shooting

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  #1  
Old 07-06-2020, 6:39 AM
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Default Will an inexpensive spotting scope work for LR shooting?

The long range game can get expensive, especially if you are on your own and have to come up with all the necessary equipment on your own.

Another challenge is being able to select equipment that will do the job, without being able to use and evaluate other people's gear and being able to make comparisons of quality and features personally.

For many of us, this means having to scour the internet for opinions and reviews, and making choices without ever actually seeing and testing the products we want to purchase. If we read threads on spotting scopes on forums dedicated to long range shooting, most will recommend some of the pricier spotting scopes, and very few if any will recommend budget options, mostly for good reasons, but often because nobody has tried them. Case in point, although Snipers Hide has countless threads on spotting scopes, absolutely nobody (besides me) has mentioned Svbony brand optics.

So I decided to take a chance and evaluate a cheap $250 spotting scope and here is my quick take. What made me decide to give it a try was this review:


* I bought this last year before china was enemy #1.

so here is a video around 130 yds away. wall behind the dock is 140 yds.
20x


some pictures of some fishing gear 20-40-60x.
Sorry for the huge pics, but i wanted you to see the actual pics and not ones that were reduced.







cellphone camera adapter to blame for the fuzzy edges,
actual quality is better than pics. cell camera struggles with focus and color.

basically i would say it works fine for my uses, but i will only use this for range use and i don't ever expect to use this in the field to spot game, so the utmost optical clarity is something that i don't need.

i can't say if this is an option for everyone, but it might be an option to consider if you have a limited budget.
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  #2  
Old 07-06-2020, 8:35 AM
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Thanks for some real-world pics to observe. Aside from the CA-chromatic aberration which is the purple fringing observed on high contrast edges, the clarity is decent. Probably the best value scope I have come across is the Konus Konusport for around the same price. I think the CA is slightly less with the Konus, but maybe the same since there is no side-by-side evaluation here.

In reality, either of these scopes will function fine for LR applications. Some people think that a good LR scope will be able to "see" the bullet holes in a target further than 200yds. Very few high-end scopes can do that. Beyond 300yds the real function of a spotting scope is observing mirage, following bullet trace, and detecting impacts on steel.
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  #3  
Old 07-06-2020, 8:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothy8500 View Post
Thanks for some real-world pics to observe. Aside from the CA-chromatic aberration which is the purple fringing observed on high contrast edges, the clarity is decent. Probably the best value scope I have come across is the Konus Konusport for around the same price. I think the CA is slightly less with the Konus, but maybe the same since there is no side-by-side evaluation here.

In reality, either of these scopes will function fine for LR applications. Some people think that a good LR scope will be able to "see" the bullet holes in a target further than 200yds. Very few high-end scopes can do that. Beyond 300yds the real function of a spotting scope is observing mirage, following bullet trace, and detecting impacts on steel.
thanks. one of my bigger take aways is the need for a good tripod that is both stable, and with a decent head...something i am shopping for now.
i did get a bluetooth remote for the cellphone so the thing doesn't shake when i take a picture.
it is too bad the quality is so much worse through the cellphone camera.
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  #4  
Old 07-07-2020, 9:52 AM
Psyches Psyches is offline
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I got a Gosky 20-60x80 spotting scope a couple of years ago for animal watching, and use that for long-range. I got it due to reviews on how remarkable the clarity was compared to other scopes many times as expensive. It's completely lived up to those good reviews. It's mostly the same specs but half the weight of the SVBONY and half the price. The specs on mine say "waterproof" but they never say IPX7, so if you plan on swimming with your scope, my version of the Gosky is not a good choice. Since then they've come up with newer versions - some more expensive and actually qualified IPX7.

I use a very solid tripod with it that I got years ago. The tripod that comes with the Gosky is not very good, I use that on my laser rangefinder when I even need a tripod for that.
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:23 AM
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I find it interesting, that ysr_racer is your intended target...
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Old 07-08-2020, 9:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The War Wagon View Post
I find it interesting, that ysr_racer is your intended target...
uhhh, what? I must be slow on uptake...I don't see ysr_racer here.
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  #7  
Old 07-08-2020, 11:01 AM
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uhhh, what? I must be slow on uptake...I don't see ysr_racer here.
me either, unless he is a girl.
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Old 07-09-2020, 8:45 AM
ShaunBrady ShaunBrady is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theLBC View Post
thanks. one of my bigger take aways is the need for a good tripod that is both stable, and with a decent head...something i am shopping for now.
i did get a bluetooth remote for the cellphone so the thing doesn't shake when i take a picture.
it is too bad the quality is so much worse through the cellphone camera.
Amazon has a good selection of inexpensive feature rich knock off tripods. My wife has a couple nice Manfrotto units, but I'd rather not tear them up with trips to nowhere in the bed of the truck. The knock offs are generally heavier, but I'm usually not far from the truck. Hanging a 25# weight off the bottom of a full size tripod really settles it down.

A spotting technique I use with gear similar to yours is to hit the bluetooth remote at the shot. The phone I'm using has a video buffer that starts saving the video from about 3 seconds before the button is hit. I stop the video at about twice the bullet flight time. The advantage of capturing the muzzle blast is you can start counting to when you expect to see the splash. You wind up with a 10 second clip that can be quickly played back while you search for the splash. If you can't find them on your phone in the field, try again at home on a larger monitor.

I zoom the phone enough to loose the vignette. It's a digital zoom, so it won't help resolution, but the image is larger.

I started with a spotting scope bought for less than $200 twenty five plus years ago. It worked well for spotting bullet holes during 100 yard testing and for shooting steel to past a mile. It was even fine out to 2500 yards until I looked through a Swarovski for the first time. I'd put the first big optics money into the rifle scope before the spotter because self spotting is going to be the most intuitive information to use.
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Old 07-09-2020, 9:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaunBrady View Post
Amazon has a good selection of inexpensive feature rich knock off tripods. My wife has a couple nice Manfrotto units, but I'd rather not tear them up with trips to nowhere in the bed of the truck. The knock offs are generally heavier, but I'm usually not far from the truck. Hanging a 25# weight off the bottom of a full size tripod really settles it down.

A spotting technique I use with gear similar to yours is to hit the bluetooth remote at the shot. The phone I'm using has a video buffer that starts saving the video from about 3 seconds before the button is hit. I stop the video at about twice the bullet flight time. The advantage of capturing the muzzle blast is you can start counting to when you expect to see the splash. You wind up with a 10 second clip that can be quickly played back while you search for the splash. If you can't find them on your phone in the field, try again at home on a larger monitor.

I zoom the phone enough to loose the vignette. It's a digital zoom, so it won't help resolution, but the image is larger.

I started with a spotting scope bought for less than $200 twenty five plus years ago. It worked well for spotting bullet holes during 100 yard testing and for shooting steel to past a mile. It was even fine out to 2500 yards until I looked through a Swarovski for the first time. I'd put the first big optics money into the rifle scope before the spotter because self spotting is going to be the most intuitive information to use.
thanks for the input.

i am seriously considering one of these suggested by joel at cameralandny.
problem is i cannot decide on a moderately priced tripod and fluid head, or going whole hog on something i can shoot off of if i need or want to do that.

30-45% off until the end of july.

https://www.snipershide.com/shooting...dvice.7014574/
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  #10  
Old 07-09-2020, 12:14 PM
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I'd suggest putting the money in the glass rather than the tripod.

If you're not packing them anywhere, you don't need to limit yourself to a single tripod. The knock offs make testing the features you're after affordable. I shoot with buddies that have RRS tripods and heavy duty surveyor type units, but can't justify the price for the way I use them.

I have 2 pistol grip ball head tripods for the spotting scopes, a heavier duty standard ball head tripod with a pig saddle, and a couple horizontal boom tripods for the Labradar. The collection was less than the wife's first Manfrotto.

My current spotting scopes are the 80mm Mk4 and a STR80. The Mk4 has better eye relief and is easier to use prone when I'm shooting. I'll use a horizontal boom tripod for that. If I'm not self spotting, the Mk4 gets the video setup and the spotter is on the Swaro.

You don't need those scopes when you're starting out and they're too large to pack far, but something with a reticle is a big help. Just don't ever look through a $3K+ scope before you're ready to buy one.
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  #11  
Old 07-09-2020, 4:10 PM
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For spotters that have a Milrad reticle, the best value is probably the Bushnell Legend Tactical.
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2020, 9:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothy8500 View Post
For spotters that have a Milrad reticle, the best value is probably the Bushnell Legend Tactical.
Two guys I shoot with have those.

I would have appreciated having something like that available at that price when I started.
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Old 07-14-2020, 2:28 PM
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I bought a used Manfroto 410 geared head with screws to turn instead of a fluid head. It works beautifully and I mounted it on some heavy acetal block with adjustable feet. It's solid and I can make minor adjustments easily.

IMG_1207.jpg
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Last edited by sonofeugene; 07-14-2020 at 2:35 PM..
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Old 07-14-2020, 2:35 PM
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I used to be able to post pix. Now it's not working. Anyone have any ideas as to why?
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Old 07-14-2020, 2:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofeugene View Post
I used to be able to post pix. Now it's not working. Anyone have any ideas as to why?
i can see your picture. i was considering a mini geared head...but no decision yet. might opt for an all in one solution, maybe an anvil ball head.
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Old 07-14-2020, 2:50 PM
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I just got the Vortex Viper Hd 20-60x80mm spotter from B and H photo and it came with Vortex’s own Tripod for free. Seems decent to me and there’s options for reticle eye pieces. Works while wearing glasses or not if that’s something you care about.

Last edited by RugerNo1; 07-14-2020 at 3:02 PM..
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Old 07-14-2020, 3:08 PM
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Originally Posted by RugerNo1 View Post
I just got the Vortex Viper Hd 20-60x80mm spotter from B and H photo and it came with Vortexís own Tripod for free. Seems decent to me and thereís options for reticle eye pieces. Works while wearing glasses or not if thatís something you care about.
i shoot all by myself, so i am not spotting in real time.
so far, i have mostly just mounted my cellphone on it and i just look at that (even though the quality suffers through the phone).

i may buy a scope with a reticle at some point, but since i cannot call my own corrections and shoot at the same time, it isn't an urgent need.
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Old 07-15-2020, 4:19 AM
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You could always use your phone to record the shot and make adjustments. Not ideal but still useful.
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Old 07-15-2020, 8:51 AM
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Originally Posted by RugerNo1 View Post
You could always use your phone to record the shot and make adjustments. Not ideal but still useful.
i definitely intend to do that if i cannot spot my shots through the scope.
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:22 AM
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I use a sub $300 redfield out to 1 mile. Not crystal clear but gets the job done.
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theLBC View Post
i can see your picture. i was considering a mini geared head...but no decision yet. might opt for an all in one solution, maybe an anvil ball head.
Anvil ball heads are no where near as good as a geared head. You loosen the clamp and the scope moves in every direction even though you only wanted to, say, move it up.

A geared head isolates the different planes of movement. For instance, shooting with a buddy, I set up the scope between us so that all I had to do was turn one knob to move the view back and forth between two target stands. Yes, they're more expensive (I bought mine used), but it's so vastly superior to any other kind of head.
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Old 07-17-2020, 1:33 PM
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Camera system instead of spotting scope?

https://www.amazon.com/SME-Bullseye-.../dp/B07BLJZPZJ

https://www.amazon.com/SME-Bullseye-...KTPZSXG524CGHK
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Old 07-17-2020, 1:34 PM
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Camera system instead of spotting scope?

https://www.amazon.com/SME-Bullseye-.../dp/B07BLJZPZJ

https://www.amazon.com/SME-Bullseye-...KTPZSXG524CGHK
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  #24  
Old 07-17-2020, 1:41 PM
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Quote:
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those are cool, especially if you have your own private range, but the public range doesn't let you go out to set this up.
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Old 09-15-2020, 6:56 AM
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If you visit YouTube there is a couple that shoot long-range in Australia that post as Mark and Sam after work.
She uses an inexpensive spotting scope and calls shots at very long distances.
If you post a question on one of there videos they will post back the brand and size spotter she uses.

In my limited experience you don't notice any difference in spotters at the store or at the range but you do when they are side by side in the field.
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  #26  
Old 09-18-2020, 5:50 AM
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The clarity in the photo is excellent, despite the fact that the phone cannot perfectly convey everything that the eye sees through the eyepiece. And the price is quite reasonable, as for me. But at the expense of the recommendations of the most expensive models - this is a standard story in any area. Wherever you look, in any specialized store (from clothing and cosmetics to household appliances), the stores are full of illiterate consultants who do not even try to delve into what they are doing. They just "oh, this is a good firm" or they see that you are well dressed in rather expensive things, so immediately "look, this is the best we have." Only the most expensive does not mean the best in a particular situation.
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Old 09-18-2020, 7:46 AM
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:59 AM
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Good glass is a pleasure to use.

The difference between good glass and acceptable ones I’d the same as an premium dry aged ribeye steak to skirt cut.

I’d love the ribeye, but the skirt will hit then spot.
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