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Range Spotter?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/01/2017 at 18:19
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Optics Apprentice
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I left my spotter with the guide on my last trip, and will be needing another.

'Twas a Vortex Skyline, 20-60x80.  Nothin' fancy, Chinese made, fairly good view below 40X, darkened considerably toward 60X, $350-ish when I got it 4 or 5 years back.  It was fine for range work, but big and heavy, and I wouldn't have brought it along on a backpack hunt.  However, we had horses to schlep it around, so it wasn't an issue. We even used it to find my goat, since the guide's spotter went [breasts]-up.

So nearly as I can tell, Alpen makes a near clone of the Skyline.  For that matter, I've noticed there seem to be lots of companies selling basically the same scopes in a given configuration.  I see lots of brand-new companies with "lifetime" warranties on their products, but I have a suspicion that my lifetime might well be longer than theirs.

What's available these days in that $300-$500 price range that's worth a look?  Or, does moving to $750 get me into something that's far better?  If I were to go that high, would it make sense to consider a used model of a higher-end spotter?

Thanks,

FC
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/01/2017 at 18:55
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Follically challenged but not on my face and vertically challenged and probably older than you 😂 buy the best glass you can afford. Don’t look back.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/02/2017 at 06:05
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Optics Apprentice
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Originally posted by Peddler Peddler wrote:

buy the best glass you can afford. Don’t look back.

That's my mantra most of the time.  In this instance, I could afford a high end Alpha offering, but it would be about like buying a 75 hp tractor and a bat-wing mower to cut 1/4 acre's worth of grass each week. 

To my eyes, it seems as if there are 4 or 5 kinds of spotting scope "chassis", into which different grades of glass (and probably mechanicals) are stuffed.  I'll display my utter ignorance about this below:

*  "Standard" spotter body:  Hawke offerings, Sightron SII, Vortex Diamondback, Sig Oscar 7, Bushnell Trophy, Alpen, etc.

*  "Wiggle" body:  Meopta, Vortex Razor, Kowa 88, Athlon Ares, and others

*  "Clunky" body:  Vortex Viper, Bushnell Legend & Elite, Kowa 82, Barska Blackhawk (just going by thumbnail pictures)

*  "Big Bell" body:  Vanguard, Burris, Redfield

I know that each of these companies is not reinventing the wheel to design their own proprietary stuff, and I would fully expect different price points to reflect different levels of glass, robustness of mechanicals, expected overall durability, and a hedge against warranty claims.  Like the rest of the world, I'm just trying to figure out where the best bang for the buck lies.

Years back, it seemed (to me, anyway), that Vortex was stuffing better glass into their offerings at a given price point.  Is that still the case today?  Have Hawke/Athlon surpassed them in that regard?  Do Vanguard/Promaster/Zenray have the "wow" in their spotters that their binoculars enjoyed when first introduced?

Yeah, I know - I'm making a damned science fair project outa this.  I just can't seem to find a quick & dirty guide for how to select a spotter.

FC
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/11/2017 at 13:02
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FC,you might want to take a look at the SWFA used list,sometimes you can get a great deal for a reasonable price..........Ernie
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/29/2018 at 13:05
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Optics GrassHopper
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About 4 years ago I purchased a Vortex Viper HD 20-60x80HD.  It's a great scope, a bit above your price point.  If I was going to make that same choice again, I'd go with the smaller 65mm scope just to reduce the bulk and weight.  Might be more than you want to spend though at something less than $700  I'm quite sure you'd like it, but maybe not the price.

EJ
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2018 at 15:24
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Optics GrassHopper
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This is some what of an old thread, but I am looking to upgrade my spotter. I now have a Konus 20x60. The problem is I like to shot paper out to 400- 500 yards and I need to see the holes. The Konus works out to 350 on cool mornings. What would be your s choices? I don't want to go over board on the cost.
Thank for your input
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/18/2018 at 14:07
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Optics Apprentice
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FWIW,

I bought an Athlon Ares 20-40x65, and have been very well pleased with it.  I'm not able to shoot past 200 yards at my range (or any within a couple hours drive), but I can see .22 cal holes at 200 yards with this spotter.  I've found it to be an awful lot of glass for the $, while being lightweight and compact.

FC
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2018 at 16:07
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Optics GrassHopper
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No thoughts on me upgrading my spotter?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2018 at 17:05
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Optics Jedi Master
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400+ yards in good atmospheric conditions gets tricky (bad atmospheric conditions, don’t even bother.) can you use shoot-n-see targets for more splash? Can you shoot something reactive? Can you video the shot and watch the vapor trail?
Short of that, a field video camera system might be an option.
What caliber are you shooting?

I’ve run some of the very best spotters on the planet, and atmosphere makes far more difference than does whether it is a $2k vs $3k spotter.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/21/2018 at 09:22
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Maybe I'm a little confused. Are we talking about a range spotter or a field spotter? With a range spotter weight isn't as important as glass quality and magnification. With a field spotter size and weight start becoming as important as glass.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/21/2018 at 16:15
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This will be use from a bench. I just like to be able to see 223 and 6.5 out 400 to 500 yards. I know this is asking a lot, I like to shoot for groups, would like not to break the bank. Yes I use shoot-n-see 3 inch on sheets of printer paper.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/21/2018 at 16:49
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Seeing bullet holes at 500 yards means good atmospheric conditions and really nice optics.

That will be difficult in the $500 range.

Sightron SII 20-60x85 is probably the closest along with Hawke Endurance ED 20-60x85.

Honestly though, given the rather challenging task in hand you should be really looking at higher end stuff.

ILya


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/21/2018 at 17:03
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Optics GrassHopper
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koshkin, What would you suggest. I am just no sure what I need,like I said I don't wish to break the bank. But like they say buy once and cry a lot. If it works it would something I would use for hopefully a long time.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2018 at 01:49
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Originally posted by want-to-be want-to-be wrote:

koshkin, What would you suggest. I am just no sure what I need,like I said I don't wish to break the bank. But like they say buy once and cry a lot. If it works it would something I would use for hopefully a long time.

Give me a price range to work with.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2018 at 08:33
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Optics GrassHopper
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Not sure on price range. I guess I am like most want to get away with in reason. Like I said I want something that works. For if it don't, its a waste of time and money with a spotter to put in the closet for no one wants to buy. Like I said for bench work and don't need a lot of over kill just the basic.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2018 at 09:46
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Shooting high power matches there are guys in the pits that mark your targets with disk. These can be seen with most fixed 20x60 spotting scopes out to 600 yards. If you go down the firing line, you can spot the serious guys that come to every match they can by the equipment they have. Probably the most popular spotting scopes are Kowa spotters that I have seen, but it's been a few years since I was at a match.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2018 at 15:55
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Originally posted by want-to-be want-to-be wrote:

Not sure on price range. I guess I am like most want to get away with in reason. Like I said I want something that works. For if it don't, its a waste of time and money with a spotter to put in the closet for no one wants to buy. Like I said for bench work and don't need a lot of over kill just the basic.


Razor HD and Oscar7 are a good start.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2018 at 14:40
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I second the Razor HD. I never thought my Bushnell Elite was a slouch. But next to the HD it was no comparison.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/24/2018 at 16:39
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koshkin and tahqua, If you guy have these can you see 223 hole out to 400 yards on shoot-n-see? Do you know the weight? The one on samplelist looks to be one that I can afford without going hungry.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/24/2018 at 17:13
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Optics GrassHopper
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Also how would the Vortex Razor compare to the Athlon Ares ED 20-60x85? I found one on another site for sale.
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