Re: spotting scope question
It is not just the spotting scope and how good the optics are or how much magnification there is the mirage or as optical scientists call it turbulence is a limiting factor on how small an object you can see at a given distance. Think about this, when the mirage is running heavy you may have a hard time seeing the X-ring much less a bullet hole. The limit on seeing bullet hole-sized objects at sea level is somewhere around 600-800 yards. That is why sometimes you can see holes in the target at 600 in the AM but as soon as the sun hits the ground and starts to heat up you no longer can.
If anyone says they have a spotting scope that will see bullet holes at 1,500 yards they are blowing smoke. The Army does not have scopes that they can carry into the field that can either, they have to fight the same turbulence that we do.
If you see an ad for a scope that says it will eliminate the mirage run away fast as they are trying to sell you a load a crap, there are ways of reducing its effects but nothing that will currently fit into a rifle scope. CounterSniper brand of scopes makes just such a claim along with quite a few others that are of similar truths kind of a fun web page to look at until you realize that some people believe the lies and spend good money on ...
I could go into excruciating detail about the process and ways of mitigating it but would bore and annoy everyone, suffice it to say that the limiting factor in seeing bullet holes at ranges beyond 600 yards is the atmosphere and not necessarily the optics.