spotting scope, looking for sweet spot

Discussion in 'Scopes, Optics, LRFs, Spotters, BoreScopes' started by Ed333, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. Ed333

    Ed333

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    I need a spotting scope which will reliably show me .22 holes in the black at 100 yards. I have a sturdy and heavy tripod, stainless steel, made by hi-power shooter/machinist for fellow hi-power shooters. My nice little Leupold compact does not cut it for making out holes in the black. But I would prefer not to spend mega-bucks. I could maybe go $600. Am I whistling Dixie, or do I have a chance at finding something that will work? I have never owned a really high end optic, so I am asking from ignorance.
     
  2. dkhunt14

    dkhunt14

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    I would look for a used Kowa 66mm or bigger. They have good glass. Maybe a Pentax 80mm. Matt
     
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  3. Delfuego

    Delfuego

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    Check out the Vortex Razor HD 11-33x50. A guy brought one to one of our matches and I was kinda impressed. Small package, good price and great glass.
     
  4. perry42

    perry42

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    A used KOWA TSN-1 with a long eye releif eye piece.

    perry42
     
  5. Turbulent Turtle

    Turbulent Turtle F-TR competitor

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    The big problem is not really magnification, it's one of contrast. There have been many a times when I could not easily find a .224 bullet hole in the black on a highpower target 2 feet in front of my face. Mostly black on flat black is difficult to see.

    This will only be magnified at a longer distance with optics. If background behind the target is light colored, it would help some but even then, since we don't shoot wadcutters, the hole is not properly cut and mostly closed up.

    Humans can resolve about 1 to 2 MOAs, and looking at the hole that is left after a .224 caliber bullet has been through it, at 100 yards, you're looking at .22 MOA for the diameter but the hole itself is closer to .05 MOA. To bring that up to between 1 and 2 MOA, you need to look at something in the neighborhood of 50X, to RELIABLY see the .224 holes in the black.

    If the light is right and the background is of a light color, you can get away with a lot less magnification.

    The easier solution is to use Shoot-N-C targets or use a white target.
     
  6. Bart B.

    Bart B.

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    A Celestron 80mm 20-60 Ultima resolves 22 caliber bullet holes at 300 yards in clear weather set at 20X to 25X. 30 caliber holes at 600. My 45 degree eyepiece one does. I've watched bugs crawl on tree trunks 170 yards away. It's resolution spec is better than 1/30th MOA. Darned near as good as my 25X Kowa TSN1.

    http://celestron.factoryoutletstore.com/cat/29980/Celestron-Ultima-Series-Scopes.html

    I've got a 60mm Bushnell 45 deg. Spacemaster with 20, 22 wide angle and 25 power eyepieces I'll sell. It's as good as or better than the Celestron.

    Human eyes resolve 1/4 to 1/2 MOA line pairs. One can usually see a 1/4" to 1/2" diameter black wire across a target at 100 yards. Reasonably good vision assumed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
  7. R.Morehouse

    R.Morehouse Gold $$ Contributor

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    I have a Celestron Mini Mak C65 that goes up to 90x with a 45* eye piece that i don't use since buying the top end Mepota. I will let it go for $85. shipped if it would help you out. Or trade for some 140ish grain 6.5mm bullets.
     
  8. bpm990d

    bpm990d

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    The Celestron Regal M2 is the scope you want. You can get the 80mm with a LER eyepiece. I have a Kowa TSN1 and the Celestron has significantly better resolution and a brighter image.
     
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  9. T-shooter

    T-shooter

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    Why not use the splatter targets? You can see your hits easily with any magnified optic.
     
  10. Ed333

    Ed333

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    T-shooter, I do use splatter targets for day to day sight adjustments, but that doesn't work in a match. The last match I was in, I was a late arrival, I had to shoot at least 5 targets for record, and I put three up at once, shooting them all in one (the last) relay. I had to change ammo lots and when I retrieved my targets, I saw some very good groups which were off to the right by enough to be out of the money. With a good spotting scope, I could have seen what was going on.
     
  11. scubohuntr

    scubohuntr

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    It's a little more complicated than that... the spotting scope is only part of the equation. If mirage is running heavy or there's a bit of haze in the air, it may be impossible to see even .30 cal holes at 100 yards, no matter what scope you are using. Likewise, contrast. Depending on your backstop it can be very difficult to make out small holes in the black. In the white, it's usually easier, especially if you shoot moly bullets which tend to leave a smudge ring. That's why I generally shoot in the white, so I can see my hits. Really. Yup.

    Champion's Choice sells a 20-60 X 77 http://www.champchoice.com/store/Main.aspx?p=itemdetailoptions&item=CC2060 that is the best deal going for the price. It's certainly not a Kowa or Swarovski, but it's a solid no-frills scope and punches way above its weight. As soon as my Lyman Great Plains sells over on Armslist, I'm ordering one for elk season.
     
  12. 6and7mm

    6and7mm Gold $$ Contributor

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    Your budget and your requirements make for a tough solution. In your price range, a Meade ETX 90 will give you what you seek. It's an astronomy telescope with replacable eye pieces.
     
  13. Intell

    Intell

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    You would be better off buying a higer end used scope off eBay. I got a good deal on a Lecia a few years ago. 1/3 the price and like new.
     
  14. Endyo

    Endyo

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    Ed,

    Over the last two years I've owned 5 different spotting scopes from Leupold, Meopta, Konus. I've borrowed a buddy's Kowa for a while and looked through plenty on the firing line.

    The two I've kept in my collection to date are

    A Celestron Regal M2 and the brightness and clarity is fantastic on the ED glass. Mine is a 80mm and I think I paid around $550 plus shipping after shopping around. A lot of birdwatchers use this scope. For the price point you won't beat the image clarity.

    I also have a Vortex Viper HD 20-60X80. This scope also performs very well. It is closer to a $900 scope. The image is also very clear on the Viper with ED glass. It comes with bells and whistles like a neoprene case, and Vortex's VIP warranty. I can't say that it's better than the Celestron.

    If you want to go cheap I think the best scope for you money would be a 100mm Konus. What you face is enough light gathering to give you clarity to define bullet holes. The large objective of the Konus will provide maybe the most light out of the options I've listed. It is a poor man's Kowa. However, it is not ED glass and with have very obvious color fringing and the mirage distorts image quality a bit more than the others.

    While the Kowa is probably the best of all the scopes listed good luck getting a GOOD one for under $1000. A 65mm objective Kowa will probably just barely perform above the scopes I've listed. If you're getting one for under $1000 it probably doesn't have the ED glass. With that said I would love to own a Kowa.

    The last thing you want to consider is ED glass. It will help with light gathering I don't believe as much as just moving up to a larger objective. I think the difference in light gathering between standard glass and Florite Crystal (the highest end ED) is 96% vs 99.5% or something to that effect.

    However, with ED glass you get less color distortion between the different wavelengths of light. This manifests as color fringing on the edge of your targets especially at long range.

    Spotting holes on a black target can be tough. However, any of these scopes should have enough resolution to spot .22 cal holes at 100 yards as long as mirage isn't horrible and your vision is good.
     
  15. Endyo

    Endyo

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    I tried to take pictures at the range yesterday. A buddy shot a small NRA target with his .22 pistol.

    I posted this target out to 100 yards and could literally count the bullet holes in black with my two spotting scopes.
    (I wear glasses and have relatively young eyes)

    So I think you should be good to go.
     
  16. C.E.Smith043

    C.E.Smith043 Gold $$ Contributor

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  17. Turbulent Turtle

    Turbulent Turtle F-TR competitor

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    I take exception to the bolded statements above.

    ED glass does nothing for "light gathering."
    ED glass is used to counter chromatic aberration in lenses, this is the fringing that was mentioned in the post, but it's not "on the edge of your targets" it's manifested at every edge where there is a color difference. For instance you will detect fringing on the rings in the aiming black of a highpower target. That fringing disappears with ED glass.

    "Florite Crystal" is not a thing that you will find in a scope or a camera lens.
    Fluorite (notice the spelling) glass naturally eliminates chromatic aberration. However, it's difficult to make in any size and it's fragile, which is why you don't see it used for riflescopes.

    Light gathering is not measured in percentages.
    I'm not sure what is being posited here. I'm guessing Endyo is conflating light transmission through glass with amount of light coming into a lens system. For a specific focal length, a larger objective will bring in more light than a smaller objective. Light has about 5% of it reflected at each glass/air surface and this is countered with multi-coats on lenses which bring that down to very little. If Endyo is saying that regular uncoated glass only transmits 96% of the light; that is incorrect since a lens has two sides and the loss would be closer to 10%. I am not aware that Fluorite Glass does not need to be coated to have that low level of reflectivity.
     
  18. hogan

    hogan

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    Seeing .22cal bullet holes at 100yds should not necessitate a top-tier spotting scope, even at 200yds.

    I owned a Kowa angled 60mm scope for several years. The 20-60mm zoom eyepiece was very poor performing at higher magnification and in shadow. What really matters in spotter performance is the eyepiece. A 1.25" eyepiece will make all the difference in shadow and at full magnification.
     

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