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CHEAPEST spotting scope that will work

Printed From: OpticsTalk by SWFA, Inc.
Category: Other Optics
Forum Name: Spotting Scopes
Forum Description: Big Eye Optics
Printed Date: January/23/2019 at 17:04

Topic: CHEAPEST spotting scope that will work
Posted By: gdpolk
Subject: CHEAPEST spotting scope that will work
Date Posted: January/11/2018 at 19:43
I'd like a very, very basic and inexpensive spotting scope for use at the range.  What I need it to do is see bullet holes at 100 yards in good lighting conditions when sighting in my hunting rifles that don't have high power optics on it.  That's it.  My target rifles all have high enough power scopes it isn't needed but when playing with the 1-6x class of hunting optics, tiny holes at long ranges are kind of hard to see, especially in rimfires or when they are in all black on the target against the grey metal trap a dozen yards behind it.  I don't really care if its a variable power or not, but want at least 20x zoom because I can typically see what I need to with my 6.5-20xAO scopes.  I would prefer a 30-40x zoom but again, it doesn't matter all that much as all I'm doing is sighting in hunting guns.  I couldn't care less about the weight or bulk of the thing.  I couldn't care less about image quality so long as I can find a hole in paper, be it fuzzy or otherwise.  I honestly doubt that it will be used more than 2-3 days a year.  I really don't need anything grand.

I have no desire to spend more money than needed and no desire for this to be a high quality or even frequently used item.  Good enough is good enough.  I'll keep the leftover funds to buy more quality hunting equipment, Swaro binos, or other stuff that matters more.

What are the recommendations?

Thanks in advanced

Posted By: urbaneruralite
Date Posted: January/11/2018 at 20:50
If you have a scope on a rifle that will do it, why not just use the scope? Or good binoculars? I can usually make out bullet holes from hunting rifles at 100 yards using a decent pair of binoculars. Perhaps those who use the better binos can comment whether such is always effective if using better binos.

Posted By: supertool73
Date Posted: January/11/2018 at 20:51
Check out celestron. They are on the less expensive end and get great reviews

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Posted By: gdpolk
Date Posted: January/12/2018 at 06:09
I have Swarovski binos but 8x is still too little to see 17hmr and .22 sized holes at times because of how the dark lead trap silhouettes the holes in the targets. Our only sight in range within 2 hours of me is a game and fish range with 4 benches that's first come first served. It's usually got at least one less than desirable other person there and there is no range master to call for looking at targets or what not. I try to get in and out of that one as quickly as possible. Also it has no gun racks so bringing several guns gets to be a hassle. I'd just like a basic cheap scope that I can toss in the range bag for this range to only use when sighting in. I'd like to hang targets ONCE, shoot, pack up, and pull targets ONCE.

Posted By: tahqua
Date Posted: January/12/2018 at 13:10
I used a Swift for your same purpose and it worked fine -


Posted By: SVT_Tactical
Date Posted: January/16/2018 at 14:48

Depends on how cheap, cheap is...... For bench work I like straight viewed spotters, works better for me than an angled.... this one off the samplelist would be a good one I think  - -

Another option, if you like playing with stuff - -

I have one of these bullseye systems and its quite fun and interesting.  Like it better than the spotter because I can easily open my left eye and look at my tablet instead of coming off the weapon all together to view through the spotter

"Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be" - Abraham Lincoln

Posted By: gdpolk
Date Posted: January/17/2018 at 18:51
Thanks for all the help guys.  I'll look into these options.

Posted By: koshkin
Date Posted: January/17/2018 at 19:56
You really do not need a whole lot to see bullet holes at 100 yards.

I have a few nice spotters lying around that I use for specific purposes when I need a top notch spotter, but in my range box I have the diminutive Athlon Ares 7.5-22.5x50.  It gives me plenty of magnification for 100 yards and takes very little space, so it is always with me when I go to the range.

I think Celestron Hummingbird is the same basic design and there are two models: 7.5-22.5x50 and 9-27x56.

Both are angled designs so if you want to use the spotter handheld, they are not ideal.  It works great off of a small tripod or even off of a backpack.

If you want something with a straight eyepiece that you can use offhand or leaning against something in a pinch, Hawke Endurance 12-36x50 is inexpensive and decent.


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Posted By: Son of Ed
Date Posted: July/08/2018 at 18:19
I used to have a cheap ( inexpensive ) Russian spotting scope that I got at a mail order Army Surplus place...It was real basic....I paid about $69 for it....I only wanted to look at bullet holes. It was a was 50 power it was as if I was squatting in front of the target from 10 inches away....I mounted it on my camera tripod...

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Posted By: Son of Ed
Date Posted: July/08/2018 at 18:25
wow. I didn't know this thread was from January!   Confused

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