OT - Buying a Spotting Scope

So I went to the range on Sunday to sight in my new rifle. I found that without a spotting scope, I would have to wait 30-40 minutes to go downrange
and look at my target. So I have to buy a scope.
It looks like there's three choices. A no-name $60-$100 scope, a Bushnell Spacemaster for $300, or a name brand Nikon/Pentax/Leopold for > $400.
The scope will be used for casual shooting at 100 yards, 30 caliber bullets.
I don't want to spend more than $400 and I'd like to get off considerably cheaper if possible.
Any recommendations?
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I skipped the meeting, but the Memos showed that Jim Stewart
rec.crafts.metalworking :

    For casual shooting, "whatever works". I picked up a generic scope for <$75, variable power. Works for me.

-- pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
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Jim Stewart wrote:

I use a pair of 20X binoculars. Barska, $20 on sale.
I have a cheap tasco spotting scope. It's junk.
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Get one with an angled eye piece. You do not want a scope that has an inline one. Trust me.
After that, you need sharp optics and a good support (stand)
Wes -- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
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Can you see bullet holes through your rifle scope?
Have you tried those targets that have special coating to better show where bullets impacted?
I cannot say anything meaningful about spotting scopes, but will be reading this thread with interest.
i

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Darned near anything will work for 30 cal at 100 yds. Even a decent 9x riflescope can see the holes. When you go to 22 cal, or start stretching out to 200 and 300 yds the cheap ones fall off pretty fast. I've got a cheap Simmons variable that works just dandy at 100. Might have paid $40 for it with junky tripod and case.
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Your range doesn't rent them? Depending on how often you go to the range, consider that. The place I used to shoot would rent them out by the hour for three or four dollars an hour.
Tom Dacon
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On Tue, 13 Jan 2009 12:57:38 -0800, the infamous Jim Stewart

I'm cheap and bought the $30 spruce-wood Belarussian scope from HF. It doesn't have an angled eyepiece so it's a PITA to use, but it works. HF no longer sells them.

Yeah, just one: don't go to the range on Sunday afternoon with 500 other people.
-- A great preservative against angry and mutinous thoughts, and all impatience and quarreling, is to have some great business and interest in your mind, which, like a sponge shall suck up your attention and keep you from brooding over what displeases you. -- Joseph Rickaby
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Larry Jaques wrote:

^^^^^^^^^^^^
You misspelt "AR15 posers", otherwise you're right.
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Jim Stewart wrote:

Sorry, my clever carrots didn't work. I think you know what I meant.
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On Tue, 13 Jan 2009 21:56:14 -0800, the infamous Jim Stewart

<vbg>
The carets were in their proper place when I saw them, Jim. Agent 5 + Courier New font.
-- A great preservative against angry and mutinous thoughts, and all impatience and quarreling, is to have some great business and interest in your mind, which, like a sponge shall suck up your attention and keep you from brooding over what displeases you. -- Joseph Rickaby
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Look at scopes. Physically go to the dealers, then select what you want. Now shop price. Ebay, pawn shops, local newspapers that advertise goods for sale, like Quick Quarter, or whatever it's called where you are. We have a local AM radio show called Tradio. You get to put pretty much whatever you want on there, but not commercials. I called in today for telephone poles, and within one minute a guy called me with three of them begging me to come drag them off. I will go Saturday with chain saw and trailer.
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wrote:

I have a Burris Landmark 15-45x60 that I'm very happy with, cost under $200. I think it's a lot of scope for the money. I actually got it for spying on bass fishermen from my deck at the lake, (what are they throwing today?) but then got back into riflery and find it quite satisfactory at the range. There's also a 20-60X80 Burris Landmark. I chose the 15-45 because it's considerably smaller and lighter with ample power for my uses. Burris also makes a fixed power 20X50 which would probably be quite sufficient for 30 cal at 100 yd. About $85.
None of these have an angled eyepiece. I might prefer an angled eyepiece, but I don't find not having one to be a problem.
Some of the no-name stuff is utter crap. I compared Burris with Bushnell, found Burris to be markedly superior. I also compared it to Nikon. The Nikon was a little better, but not enough better to pay twice the price.
Things to look for: sharpness of course, brightness of course, also an acceptably large exit pupil so it isn't critically fussy about where your eyeball is. Some scopes are difficult to use because your eye has to be in exactly the right place or you don't see anything at all.
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I got a Kowa angle eyepiece model (TS-7) about 20 years ago for about $200. Excellent quality. Quite a bit at the time but a bargain compared to today's prices. The smartest thing I did was get a "long eye relief" eyepiece. Wearing glasses makes seeing through a regular eyepiece a pain. You get a full clear view with the LER.
Bob

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Keywords:

Unfortunately, most cheaper scopes don't come with an LER eyepiece, so you are best off trying a few, which means hitting the brick & mortar stores. On the cheaper scopes, there can be significant varition from unit to unit, so try the one you are going to buy, not just a display model. I had to go through 5 "identical" $80 B&L plastic scopes to find one that would focus down to 33 feet for my basement air gun range.
30 caliber at 100 yards doesn't take a super duper scope. You don't need zoom, and in your price range, the extra money you pay for it will give you inferior optics compared to a fixed power scope. If you only plan on shooting in broad daylight, you probably don't need anything bigger than a 50 mm objective. 20 power should be plenty.
I just bought a Kowa TS-501 scope for $150 on eBay. It has good optics, and a 45 degree eyepiece. I got it for pistol shooting out to 50 yards (mostly .22), but I suspect it would work fine for 30 caliber holes at 100 yards. They don't specifically claim it has super long eye relief, but my wife shoots with one & she has never complained about problems with her glasses.
Doug White
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wrote:

.....................................
This gets asked with regularity on the shooting forums. Here are a series of messages I saved from several years ago. They favor Champion's Choice or Kowa scopes.
I have a BSA Cateye 15-45 X 50 with a long eye relief ocular at 45. It's fine on a sunny day, but late in the afternoon, particularly on a cloudy day I have problems seeing the holes in the target at 100 yds. It was about $80 when I got it on sale several years ago. Today, I think I'd save up and buy one of the scopes recommended by the regular target shooters.
Saved messages below.
At 10:12 AM 12/28/00

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To: snipped-for-privacy@egroups.com Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 10:40:11 -0600 Subject: Re: [CB-L] Spotting scope question
Chase,
I can make a specific recommendation here. We use spotting scopes in NRA Highpower shooting all the time.
The most highly recommended of the moderate priced scopes, and the kind I have, is the Champion's Choice CC645 22 x 60mm spotting scope. It has a 60 mm objective, a standard 22x eyepiece, and excellent optics. The eyepiece mounts at a 45 angle, which is desirable for most shooting.
I have looked through a lot of spotting scopes, and I would not even consider buying any other scope that costs less than about $600 including eyepiece.
If greater magnification is desired (not usually needed for shooting sports) up to 50X eyepieces are available for $50 each. A clamp to adapt the scope to a tripod mount is $16.00 and a padded water resistant cover, which can be left on the scope when it is in use, costs $25.
You will find that most scopes in the higher price ranges are priced without the eyepiece, which can cost more than the entire Champion's Choice scope.
Available from Champion's Choice, Inc., 201 International Blvd., LaVergne, TN 37086, phone 800 345 7179.
PS: If I absolutely had to have a more compact scope, I would buy the 50mm Kowa from the same company for $150-$220.
tb _________________
To: snipped-for-privacy@egroups.com Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 12:28:11 -0800 Subject: Re: [CB-L] Spotting scope question
Look for someone with a used 77mm Kowa who upgraded to the new 82mm scope and buy their old scope from them, Great spotting scope.
_____________________
From: Dale LeDoux <dledoux2t> To: snipped-for-privacy@egroups.com Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 17:48:35 -0600 Subject: Re: [CB-L] Spotting scope question
Chase-- One that I find highly recommended is the Champion's Choice 22x60mm, with the 45 degree eyepiece, sold by (oddly enough) Champion's Choice, Inc.
their info: Champion's Choice, Inc. 201 International Blvd. Lavergne, TN 37086 PH: 615-793-4066/800-345-7179
CC caters to the competitive shooting community, and their scope is a great value. A lot of them are used out there.
Dale ______________________
From: Herm <hermperez To: snipped-for-privacy@egroups.com Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 21:32:51 -0500 Subject: Re: [CB-L] Spotting scope question
would recommend a small, compact astronomical telescope, top notch quality and will easily handle 80x if so desired...its much cheaper than the typical spotter and uses standard 1.25" eyepieces for your choice of magnification...the typical one is an 80mm diameter lens with a focal length of 400mm, includes a 45degree viewing adapter and a couple of eyepieces giving 40x and 16x, if you desire you can get a zoom eyepiece but they usually have lower optical quality than fixed-magnification eyepieces. Here is a reputable dealer:
http://www.telescope.com/cgi-bin/OrionTel.storefront/3a4bf76200248556271a40984218062d/Product/View/A021
and the best part, its only $175 and will give a $1000 spotting scope a run for its money. I own one and its razor sharp, I have used it up to 120x on a heavy duty photo tripod.
Herm Astropics http://home.att.net/~hermperez
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From: MAC4HT To: lamparte Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2001 07:24:25 EST Subject: Spotting Scope
HI guy, Saw your CBL question about scopes. Think I know where you can get a good one with early stand and extensions. Guy just had one on Ebay that did not sell. He had a starting bid of 200.00 and no one bid. It is a Bausch & Lomb Balscope Sr. 20X60 that seems to be in beautiful condition. The other guys talk about the Kowa, I had a chance to place a brand new Kowa next to a B&L Balscope Sr. last summer and look at 30 cal. bullet holes at 600 yards on white paper. Both scopes were equal in bringing out the shot holes. The Kowa we agreed was about 5% brighter (it has a 77MM objective so obviously) but as far as seeing the holes, no better. I have three Balscope Sr., two Bushnell 45s (also excellent) and a earlier B&L from the 40s. They made the Sr. from 50s to 80s and were the top all US made scope in Rochester, NY. Don't know anything about the one they are telling you about. I have been shooting competition since l956 and went to Camp Perry in 57 first time. I have been on four US international rifle teams, owned about 12 spotting scopes, six now and you won't go wrong. I have a 600 yard range at my shop so I look at long distance all the time. Write the guy, get him to send you pictures you can download. Do not think you will be sorry. clueski@
Mark South Carolina 803-649-6xxx _______________________________
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<GeoLane at PTD dot NET> wrote in message

There is a store called Sportsman Warehouse. They will send you a catalog. There is one in my town. They had some great ones the other day for less than $100 WITH a tripod. For what you want, they should be fine. If they don't have one on sale in the catalog, call the St. George, Utah, store, and maybe they have a store special, and can have it to you by Priority Mail in a few days.
Last two evenings, a common road that we travel on, we saw some deer. First herd was 52, the next 36. Several bucks of nice size in the first group. Think we will pop over and get one, and the attachment that goes on the window. Last evening, fewer, but we waited, and right at sunset, they came trailing down the mountain, pretty as could be. Mule deer.
Steve
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