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Spotting Scopes

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CascadeFlyer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CascadeFlyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Spotting Scopes
    Posted: 09 January 2017 at 09:31
I have a cheapo spotting scope that can barely "spot" a 30 cal hole at 200 yards. Obviously need something better. Sooooo ...

Quick stop at Cabelas today. They have a pretty broad array of scopes, so good to compare them. They have a standard eye chart up on the wall at about 108 yards, so really nice to see how the scopes look.

Tried the Vortex stuff, and it's nice. Read the chart down to about 7 lines from the bottom. Then I really screwed up and looked through a Swarovski. Holy Crap! What a difference a couple thousand bucks makes.

Anyway, only issue with those is I"d like a spotting scope with ranging marks, and Swarovski does not seem to make such a thing. However, Leupold DOES have a Mark 4 20-60x80 spotter with a TMR reticle. Problem is, Cabelas doesn't carry it.

So, to my question(s), does anybody have any experience with the higher end Leupold spotters and an opinion as to how it compares with the Swarovski glass?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CB900F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2017 at 10:17
Cascade;

Around twenty years ago, when we lived in Casper Wyoming,
I attended a sports show at the events center. There was
a Swarovski display there & they had their best spotting
scope on display & available for the public to look
through.

I just went to Google maps & brought up the Casper area.
I used my micrometer & took some measurements. What I
was after was the approximate distance between the events
center on the north edge of town & some meadows up on
Casper Mountain to the south.

When I looked through that scope all those years ago I
was amazed at the resolution. I could see what I'm
pretty sure were elk moving through a meadow nine to
ten miles away!


You don't have to convince me how good their glass is.
And it's twenty years better today. Unfortunately, it's
also about three times the price too.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CascadeFlyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2017 at 10:33
No doubt the Swarovski is amazing, and probably the best glass out there. Since I wasn't able to compare with the Leupold Mark 4(which does have a ranging reticle), I was just wondering if anybody else had been able to compare them side-by-side. Trouble is (as with so many things) if you buy one that's "good enough" -- right now -- then somewhere down the road when it's not good enough any more, then you want to get another one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote deaddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2017 at 10:53
A board member here has a Vortex spotter he is not happy with. I have
several of their scopes that are an excellent value. Cabela's is a
wonderful place to test optics side-by-side. They have nearly every
game animal mounted so you can see what they'd look like through the
optic. I've noticed that how good a scope picks up the color red in the
store is a good qualifier for acuity out in the wild.


DD
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CascadeFlyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2017 at 11:00
You're right about Cabela's being a great spot to actually compare the scopes. While they don't have the Mark 4 Leupold, they do have a couple other Leupolds. Think I'll swing by again on Thursday to look some more.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2017 at 11:17
Went down that road. Bought a Burris spotter 40-60x.
With my old eyes, I can see 22 holes at 200 yards. that
was what I was looking for.

I spot game with my 8x42 binocs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RobertMT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 January 2017 at 03:48
For a spotter for use at range Konus preforms very well for $.
I have the Konus 80mm
I can readily spot 223 cal bullet holes at 300yds, 30 cal @500yds, in good conditions. 3" spotters are easy at 1,000, even with quite a bit of mirage, much easier to see than through 20x scope.

I wish I'd spent the extra $100 for, the increased size, does read mirage better, but it's much heavier.
Konus 100mm

Neither of these have mildot reticle, I have another one that does, but for ranging lazar is much faster and more accurate. By time I do the math, I could have taken the shot. Unless you need to range over 1,000yds, there are a couple that do well, between $500 and $1,000.

These at 10% of the cost of mark 4 or nightforce, have at least 85-90% of clarity. They're not robust, you don't want to drop them or have tripod tip over, while they're mounted, but are much clearer than Vortex @ triple the price.

Amazon has both for better price, than cameraland, right now.

Edited by RobertMT
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 January 2017 at 04:01
Cascade, don't want to highjack your thread, BUT I find
the scope stand to be critical to see holes over 200
yards. The heavier scopes vibrate to much. Certainly I
can't touch my scope of it vibrates sotarget is not
visible.

Any one know of a good rigid stand for less than the
price of a spotting scope?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CB900F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 January 2017 at 04:29
BEAR;

There are two methods of achieving spotting scope
stability. 1. Put it on a short little tripod that's on a
rock solid bench that you're shooting off of. 2. Pay the
price for a surveyor's tripod.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RobertMT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 January 2017 at 04:32
A good camera tripod is where I started from. I took 28oz can and cast it full of lead, (15lbs aprox) with eye in top. I hung this from chain, off center of tripod, so it just clears ground. I also use this for chrony. A downrigger ball would do the same thing.

Even with this, I avoid touching scope. When shooting prone, I use short tripod and avoid touching it. Neither of these are very practical in field, while hunting. Friend uses short primos trigger tripod, with camera head adaptor, for glassing, right height for seated use. Bog pod also gets good reviews and have many accessories available.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CascadeFlyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 January 2017 at 08:31
Most available scopes lack any sort of reticle, which is fine for spotting game. For target shooting, I would like to find an acceptable scope that has subtensions -- MOA or mil. I am interested in the Leupold 20-60x80 Mark 4 scope, but as usual, having trouble getting any questions answered about the thing. They're real quick about answering, but unfortunately, they don't bother to RTFQ first. (If anybody on here is NOT familiar with that acronym, let me know.)

As for the tripod or mount, two things: a) You are not hijacking the thread. Great comments well within the subject; and b) You are completely correct. Damn hard to get a high powered scope to sit still while you look through it. Famous photographer Ansel Adams said any tripod you could carry probably wasn't stable enough to take good pictures. Same almost applies to scopes. Like the can-of-lead idea. Will have to try that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CB900F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 January 2017 at 11:30
Cascade;

My alternative to the can of lead was to fill a 1 gallon
jug (Oil, antifreeze, etc.) with fine sand, cap it, and
hang it from the tripod center also.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CascadeFlyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 January 2017 at 11:52
Sand would work.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RobertMT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 January 2017 at 12:59
He's not been on in while, but member klallen is very active in long range shooting, if he doesn't have experience with this scope, or one that would meet your needs, I'm sure in brother Kirby does. Might shoot him an e-mail, he's in the Falls and brother is APS in Fort Shaw. Kirby is usually pretty swapped, Allen Precision Shooting does have facebook page, but it's not real active.

klallen always been very willing to help and if not swapped with other projects, he'll get back with you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CascadeFlyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 January 2017 at 13:08
That would be great. Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CascadeFlyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 January 2017 at 14:08
Just discovered that Swarovski does make a tactical/spotter with a mil reticle -- that you can turn on or off, depending on whether you're spotting game or adjusting on a target. And you can have this little darling for under five thousand dollars. Wow. Now where did I put that winning lottery ticket?

Still shopping.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CB900F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 January 2017 at 14:36
Cascade;

Was in Scheel's earlier today. They had Leupold, Vortex,
and Swarovski spotting scopes in stock. I should think
they'd let you compare them back-to-back out the windows of
the store. They may not have the exact model you want, but
I'm also sure they'd be willing to order it for you. At
what price though is another factor entirely.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CascadeFlyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 January 2017 at 14:57
Thanks, CB. Will check that out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2017 at 04:03
My range has a golf cart to ride out to the 300+
targets. I usually chose to walk, hoping to keep the
grim reaper away from my heart and legs.

But the need for a long range scope is reduced with a
cart.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CascadeFlyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2017 at 04:39
Yes, a trip to the target is fine, but I don't need THAT MUCH exercise when I'm out shooting. At 4 MPH (a brisk walk) the round trip to a 500 yard target is over ten minutes. Hard to get in much shooting if you have to do that every five rounds.
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