I have a 20x Kowa - a good spotting scope but it really needs a bit more
power. The optics are OK, but I could certaily see the difference when I
looked through a Leupold next to me on the line. Cost a LOT more, but you
coudl see the difference.
I bought a second hand 20-60X 80mm scope a couple of months ago, and I am
impressed. Probably Chinese made, and I can look up the brand name when I
go home next week. you need more than 20x magnification, and the bigger
lens helps a lot as well.
I have not been impressed with Bushnell scopes for a long time - I have a
cheap Tasco which is much clearer than the Bushnell it replaced.
This topic had been discussed in the past in one of the groups I used
to follow. The target shooters said that Champion's Choice and Kowa
were the two brands of lower priced scopes that had good optics. A
lot of the guys had gone through the search for decent scopes and over
the years had bought less expensive ones and couldn't see clearly
through them despite relatively high magnifications 45-60x. Their
experience had been that Kowa's and Champion's Choice scopes had good
Here are some quotes from the discussion in 2000
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
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
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,
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
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.
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.
One that I find highly recommended is the Champion's Choice 22x60mm,
with the 45 degree eyepiece, sold by (oddly enough) Champion's Choice,
Champion's Choice, Inc.
201 International Blvd.
Lavergne, TN 37086
CC caters to the competitive shooting community, and their scope is a
great value. A lot of them are used out there.
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. 20 X 60 that seems to be in
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.
Things of course can change in 5 years, but the above messages are the
voice of experience of competititve shooters.
RWL ******* Recreate gaps in email address to reply *******
The problem with Bushnells & the like is that the quality is
inconsistent. Looking through one doesn't tell you much, because the
next one could be a lot worse. I wanted a small scope for 10 meter air
gun shooting, and went for the Bushnell "Competitor", which is admittedly
the bottom of the line. I had to go through 5 in the store to find one
that could focus that close, despite Bushnell's claims that they would
ALL work at that distance. I have a 60 mm Spacemaster that I got rid of
the instant I looked through a Kowa 77 mm. I've never heard anyone say
they had a bad Kowa, only that occasionally someone will find a Bushnell
that looks as good. If you can go to a store and they will let you
"cherry pick" a low end scope, you can probably do quite well. Ordering
one sight unseen, you could be easily disappointed.
Objective lens dia. is a major factor in resolution. That's why you will
see quality 60mm scopes topping out at about 45X.
Additional power doesn't help. Using low dispersion glass helps some, but
the real answer is to go up in objective dia. That's why the 80mm and up
scopes are popular.
I have an early B&L that I picked up at a pawn shop years ago, that
can resolve .22 bullet holes at 100 meters very well.
I think it cost me $20
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire.
Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us)
off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give
them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you
for torturing the cat." Gunner
According to R. O'Brian :
The larger the objective diameter, the more light you collect.
The more the magnification, the poorer the illumination. So -- to go up
in magnification and still be able to see things in poor light, you need
to increase the objective diameter as well.
But my 80's are color special - they are deep space watchers.
I think to many eye watchers waste big money to look 'big' when
their eyes are the weak links.
@ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net
NRA LOH, NRA Life
NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder
Of course not. But I don't think big lenses are a good substitute
for quality lenses. I am not convinced that a 100mm normal lense will
let me see the target as well as a smaller higher quality lens.
Another side affect of larger lenses is they do not work well at
low magnifications (accorning to articles I've read).
There has to be more to it. I tried a 20-60x 60mm Bushnell scope. It had
plenty of magnification but the .22 holes were very difficult to see at
100 yards because the target was just too fuzzy.
Apparently inexpensive zoom lenses are prone to this which is
why Kowa charges as much for their zoom eyepiece as an entire