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What power needed?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/29/2012 at 08:56
gk2410 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: February/29/2012
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I'm retired and now have more time to spend at the range with my grandsons.  Due to failing eyes,
I'm looking for a spotting scope to use at 100 yard distances, viewing .22 caliber holes on black targets.  
 
I've been reading a lot of reviews and looking at scopes in local sporting goods stores, but my biggest question would be how much power do I actually need for these distances?
 
Thanks
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2012 at 06:19
gk2410 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Nobody?  
 
I thought it was a simple request for info/advise on how much power is actually needed. 
 
I'm trying to decide between two almost identical scopes from the same manufacturer, and don't know if I need to go with the heavier and larger 20-60x80 over the 15-45x60.   I don't have the opportunity to conduct a field test, so was hoping that SOMEONE had actually looked through these at a 100 yd paper target....Shocked
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2012 at 06:55
budperm View Drop Down
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show me your sheep!!

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What scopes are you comtemplating?  Whats your budget?
I use a Vortex Sandpiper 15-45X60 marketed at birdwatchers. 
It was purchased new/discontinued for only $199.00  For the money it's
great.  When researching / shopping pay attention to the eye relief
and exit pupil specs.  Those will give you an idea how hard it is to get
behind and obtain a full sight picture.
Vortex have been making quite a name for themselves the last couple of years.
Their putting out some excellent products at price points well below the
competition.  Their customer Service is fantastic too!
 
Best thing you can do is go and look at scopes and be sure to look outside
under natural light when comparing.
 
Before you buy you should look at the SWFA "Sample List" where they sell
demo's, trade ins and discontinues / refurbs.
 
GHoing in a totally new direction.... A nice pair of Binos will do the job too!
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2012 at 13:31
gk2410 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks BudPerm.
 
I stopped at a large sporting goods store downstate, and they had a display set up behind a large picture window that contained about a dozen spotting scopes, running from about a hundred to five hundred dollars.  They also had the high end (Swaorvski, etc) on the shelves, but that's way beyond my budget. 
 
I don't recall all the names, but among the ones I tried were Barska, Burris, Nikon, Leupold, Winchester (?), and others.  Eye relief was important, and the only brand that didn't "tunnel" for me when I zoomed with glasses on was Leupold.  They had both the Gold Ring and Ventana's, with the Ventana (@ $425) being a more realistic buy for me.  The problem with the display is that you looked out over an empty corn field, with nothing closer than about 300 yds to focus on.   It still didn't give me an answer if I can get away with the 1-45 zoom.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2012 at 15:10
gulf1263 View Drop Down
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IMHO many people don't go more than 45x because of mirage..lots of high power shooters use Kowa's with a fixed 25x or 30x eyepiece.
To take advantage of higher power you will need to spend a lot more on the glass..think Pentax at the bottom end and the big five at the top (Nikon, Kowa, Leica, Zeiss and Swarovski).
You will need HD glass to really take advantage and that means much higher cost.
Truth be told 25x-30x should do for 100 yards.
My Swaro 65mm with 25 to 50 eyepiece allows me to spot 5.56mm under good conditions.
Art

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2012 at 15:15
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How close to you have to be to see the bullet holes with your naked eye?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2012 at 21:14
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Optics Master Extraordinaire
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gk2410,
 
You aren't really asking for much.  Any decent quality spotter with a magnification of 20 and up should be able to do what you need it to.  I think the Zen Ray Ridgefield would fit the bill just fine.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2012 at 07:28
coyote95 View Drop Down
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+1 on 20x and larger. I used a fixed 22x for years that worked fine at 100yrds. Quality glass trumps magnification any time. imo
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2012 at 20:54
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Optics GrassHopper
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Spotting .22 holes in black targets is one of the more difficult jobs for scopes. If the light is good it's easy if not it's all but imposable. You will gain a lot by using Red targets, but I don't like to use Red. I am match director our Clubs Small-bore Silhouette, and shoot a lot of BPCS to 500 yards. Also Schuetzen at 200 yards with a .32/40  & Indoors at home 10 meter air rifle. We look through a lot of scopes spotting for each other. Here is my take on scopes.

 

Most often seen on target ranges today are the larger Kowa's with 25 or 27 x eyepieces long eye relief. They are almost a thousand bucks though. Few shooters go for the coated lens Kowa's they are even more expensive. Go to many matches you have to say for shooters Kowa's are the first choice.

 

Any of the Variables Kowa included don't resolve bullet holes as well as a fixed power, and any power over about 25 is a negative.  That's not only my opinon but the one generaly held by target shooters, variable is a negative.

Seems to be a balance point for power vs. objective lens size. Large lens can handle more power if 50 mm or 60 mm most resolve better if 20x.

What do I use ? have a small Bushnell Stalker 50 mm 20x that spends most of its time indoors at 10 meters for Air Rifle shooting or little bit of 25 yards Pistol I shoot. It's fine spotting close and small fits in the shooting bag nice. They are available off eBay cheap, of the used cheap scopes the little Bushnell’s are probably the best. They will do fine at 100 if the light is good.

 

General spotting when carry size is important I use a old fixed power Leopold 25x 50 mm Long Eye relief. It's the best small scope I have ever looked through, Small gives up something but with the Leopold not a lot. Long eye relief is worth having too.

 

When I have medium range - 200 to 500 yard spotting to do I use a old Unertl 63mm 24 power. It resolves nearly as well as the new Kowa's. Used they are half Kowa prices and something about a Unertl people like. It's much admired in matches. I have owned it so long could never replace for a Kowa even though I know they would be better. At 500 My Unertl won't resolve many bullet holes even .45 caliber. 200 it resolves .32 cal holes very well.

 

Any scope will be much improved with a solid mount system. I use several depending if I am spotting for someone else like in Silhouette with a tripod, or self spotting like in Schuetzen when the scope has to be close. From postion Champion shooters Freeland style shooters stand. Other thing that helps is to use a spotting target at the bench. Fire a shot mark the spot with a push pin. Saves scanning the target over and over trying to figure out which hole is new. It's easy to lose holes in poor light, spotting target lets you register what you have seen and find it again if difficult.

Boats

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2012 at 15:59
gulf1263 View Drop Down
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IMHO the Unertl has serious downsides for anyone who wears glasses, 6mm of eye-relief and a metal eyepiece that destroys glasses..I used one for several years.
The Kowa's work great but are not cheap..the ED glass version's are expensive but the improved glass actually helps.
Many, many years ago we used old Bushnell scopes with 20x and 25x eyepieces for spotting bullet holes at 100 meters.
You can always use a quality scope for much more than just spotting bullet holes.
Try to get the best your budget will allow, maybe even stretch a bit, a good scope will last a lifetime.
Art
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2012 at 17:08
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All  good info Cheap Kowas 600 mm are the way to go & don't forget to add in the price of a good tri-pod & a scope coat.Make sure when you order what ever scope it will be,don't forget the eye piece as they are usualy sold seperately.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/29/2012 at 05:57
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Optics GrassHopper
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It's true most of the Unertl's are 50 years old with no modern features like LER coated lens & waterproff. 
Our club Buffalo matches at 550 Meters we use lead bullet single shot & lever action rifles offhand and score with spotting scopes.   When there is a shot close to another bullet splash or not real clear hit or miss, scorers always walk over to my Unertl to make the call. It's a money match, hit or miss can make a big difference pay out.  Most of the scopes we spot that target with are Kowa's, never any of the Cheaper Aisan variables, they just won't do the job.  Kowa picture is brighter and easier to use, with the Long Eye Relief. Try to see if a splash is a single or double hit & not sure go over to the Unertl and it's all of a sudden obvious
 
Not being a optical expert I always wondered why it resolves so well. My guess is about anything you do to enhance a scope, short, light, variable or LER reduces it's ablity to resolve.  They can get some of the resolution back if top quality coated glass, still the bells and wistles make the job harder.
 
Just as good as the old Unertl's are the B&L's of the same vintage and size, and half the price.
 
Boats
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/22/2012 at 11:48
Hammer47 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Originally posted by gk2410 gk2410 wrote:

Thanks BudPerm.
 
I stopped at a large sporting goods store downstate, and they had a display set up behind a large picture window that contained about a dozen spotting scopes, running from about a hundred to five hundred dollars.  They also had the high end (Swaorvski, etc) on the shelves, but that's way beyond my budget. 
 
I don't recall all the names, but among the ones I tried were Barska, Burris, Nikon, Leupold, Winchester (?), and others.  Eye relief was important, and the only brand that didn't "tunnel" for me when I zoomed with glasses on was Leupold.  They had both the Gold Ring and Ventana's, with the Ventana (@ $425) being a more realistic buy for me.  The problem with the display is that you looked out over an empty corn field, with nothing closer than about 300 yds to focus on.   It still didn't give me an answer if I can get away with the 1-45 zoom.
 
You HAD to be at Miller's in Sugarcreek.  I am in Bolivar and visit there often.  If you have not bought a scope I have the answer to your needs....gary
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