The wait is over. We now have spotting scopes with reticles. This is a great new tool! Many of us have wanted this for years. The fact we shoot at targets far away with limited access to be able to walk up and check them screams for the ability to measure distance between hits. Or, as a spotter, offer accurate corrections for our shooter. Not to mention it sure is nice to know exactly how wide the bull or buck is when out scouting or glassing for a trophy. Well, now Swarovski has given us what we need to do this with ease. The STR 80 is available with either MOA or MRAD reticles. I used the MOA for this review. I spent a little time with this spotter mounted on the tripod in my living room where I glassed the wide Montana landscape daily. As might be expected, the clear view through the Swaro glass is easy on the eyes and very bright. But this is not where this spotter shined for me. I had to get this Swarovski spotter up in the mountains where she belongs with a good long range rifle and one of my shooting buddies to let this spotter offer its most valuable feature, the MOA reticle.
This is probably my favorite spot to shoot. Peaceful, quiet, wide canyons and target rich from 800 yards to over a mile. To work it out in distance, we started with the rocks at 830 yards at the edge of this small body of water. As you can see, my pics do not do justice. Please excuse my shoddy technique of simply holding my phone camera to the eyepiece of the spotter. It is nowhere near as clear as what you actually see when looking through the scope, and it misaligns some of the reticle pics. In real life, this is not at all what you see. But I hope the pics will offer a usable reference as to what we can do with a great tool like this. Measuring a target of one MOA or less is easy.