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Binocular Newbie: Rifle range?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/19/2010 at 20:22
leftism View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: September/19/2010
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Points: 8
I'm starting to do some rifle shooting and looking for something to help spot at 100-150 yards max, and most likely in the 50-100 yard range.  Although I understand some aspects of optics from photography, I'm pretty clueless when it comes to binoculars or spotting scopes.

I'm not eager to spend several hundred dollars on a spotting scope that won't get much use, but I figure that if I can get by on the range with some decent binoculars, those might see more use in different situations (hiking, camping, etc.), and eventually get used by my two kids in a few years.

Given this, a few questions / details:

1) Is it practical / worthwhile trying to use binoculars for spotting at 100 yards, and potentially up to 150 yards?  I could use a monopod or rest / lean on something to steady them if necessary.  If this is not practical, I totally understand and may start to look into a proper spotting scope.

2) If yes on #1, what "size" might work for the 100-150 yard rifle range, yet be usable for other outdoor purposes (kids looking at birds, etc.)?  6x, 8x, 10x?  25, 35, 42, 50mm?  Size and weight are not really an issue, so if 50mm would be fine if that offered some worthwhile advantage--but see interpupilary consideration in #3.

3) Two considerations:  A) One of the shooting ranges I go to will not let me lift my glasses to use binoculars.  They require that you wear glasses at all times, even when using binoculars or a spotting scope.  B) I seem to have a slightly narrower than average interpupilary distance.  I'm always having to adjust binoculars to the narrowest width, or near the narrow end of the range, and some binoculars I have used in the past are simply too large for me. 

4) If the criteria above don't rule out binoculars as a practical option, any specific brand / model recommendations?  Preferably under $200, but I'm aware that you generally get what you pay for with optics.

Based on threads on this forum, it seems that the Leupold Yosemite model is a very good value for the price, and also designed for narrow interpupilary distances, which I assume would make them a better option for my kids.  But it seems they are only available in 6x30 and 8x30, so I was then considering the Rogue 10x50 if more power and FOV were required--but the 10x50 seem to have larger interpupilary distance.

Thanks for any thoughts...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/19/2010 at 21:04
leftism View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: September/19/2010
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Well, after doing some searching, my local CalGuns forum seems to have covered this topic, at least briefly.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=270271

The consensus seems to be that binoculars can't begin to compete with even a budget spotting scope, which I can understand.

Unless anyone can offer a practical alternative, I guess I'll start shopping for a spotting scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/19/2010 at 22:16
WestOfPecos View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
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Hi leftism-

I don't have very good eyes - so this will qualify my answers... I find that 7x-8x binoculars work to 50 yards, or maybe 100 yards with shoot & see targets (high contrast). Up till about 100 yards, I can in general see my bullet holes with my rifle scope, assuming I am using a decent scope. Above that, I really need a spotting scope. Up to approx 200 yards, maybe 250 yards, cheap spotting scopes are good enough. But above that imho there is no shortcut, and you have to invest in really good optics. At least that is true for my eyes... Good luck!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/19/2010 at 22:46
leftism View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: September/19/2010
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Thanks for the feedback.  Just like you indicated, I've seen some forum threads indicating that the budget spotting scopes like Barska are usually fine out to 100-150 yards, so I think I'll try one.  For $100 I won't expect much, and hopefully it will get me by and help me understand what to look for, and avoid, in a spotting scope.

I have plenty of the Caldwell shoot-n-see style targets (love 'em!), so those did help this weekend when we were using binoculars, but it was pretty tedious and tiring trying to spot using binoculars.

After reading the positive reviews on the Leupold Yosemite binoculars, I'm going to buy a pair to try--I've never owned any decent quality optics, so I'll be interested to see what they look like.
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