spotting scope for shooting range

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by dmax1800, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. dmax1800

    dmax1800 Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking for a spotting scope that I can use at the range. I've done several searches, but can't find anything conclusive.

    I want to be able to see 27 and 30 caliber holes at 300 yards and it would be nice, but not necessary to see 22 caliber holes at that distance. I know that mirage can severely effect seeing at that distance. So assume that there is little to no mirage. Also assume holes are not in the black; either white or colored targets. I'm trying to keep the price under $325.

    I've gotten a couple of recommendations. One is for a Celestron Ultima Angled 22-66 x 100mm and the other is for a Leupold SX-1 Ventana 15-45 x 60mm. I've also see some good reviews ofKonus 20-60x100mm scope.

    Anyone use any of these 3 scopes at the range? Do you have any other good first hand recommendations?
     
  2. DT400

    DT400 Member

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    I have the Leupold you are asking about. I use it at 200 yds to see 22 cal holes. The optics are clear at full magnification.

    Darrell
     

  3. Elite Muzzleloader

    Elite Muzzleloader Well-Known Member

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    Earlier I posted that I wouldn't rule out the Redfield Rampage however it disappeared. Either way I've been very impressed with my Redfield Rampage which is made by Leupold.
     
  4. newfiefFisher

    newfiefFisher Member

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    I use the Leupold out to 300 yards and no problem on a clear day.
     
  5. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    I would not recommend anything larger than about 70 mm for sighting targets at shooting ranges. Even without wind and any apparent mirage, shooting ranges have high turbulence in the air. Turbulence happens when the optical path is over flat terrain and the sun heats the ground, causing the ground to have a different temperature than the air. Hot air from the ground rises into the cooler air above it, causing turbulence.

    This turbulence causes the image to become blurred. A 60 mm objective is about optimum for most range shooting conditions. Increasing the objective size merely collects more blur.

    The Leupold SX-1 scopes are about the best I've seen in the $300-400 price range. The resolution is similar to ED scopes costing 2-3 times as much. Also the eye relief is long enough to wear glasses.
     
  6. dmax1800

    dmax1800 Well-Known Member

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    DT400, I can see 22 cal holes at 200 yards, except in the black, with either my Nikon 14 power or Zeiss 14 power rifle scope, even though I have to strain with the Nikon at that range. I can't see the 30 caliber holes at 300 yards with either scope

    Thanks for the input bruce. Is the 15-45 with the SX-1 enough magnification at 300 yards, or do I need to go to the 20-60 even though it is 80mm objective?

    I've also seen good reviews of the Nikon Prostaff 5 16-48x60 scope. Which is better for 300 yards???
     
  7. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    In my experience the extra magnification of an 80 mm scope only gives a larger blurry image at 300 yards because of turbulence. I don't think you will see any more detail with an 80 mm scope than with a good 60 mm scope. On very overcast days, or briefly at dawn and dusk, when the turbulence is low, the bigger scope will have better resolution. Otherwise, you have the cost and bulk of the the bigger scope, with none of the advantages.

    I'm not very impressed with any of the Nikon spotting scopes. At one of the ranges I use, the 80 mm Prostaff is set up next to the 60 and 80 mm SX-1 scopes. On a good day, when the turbulence is low, the resolution of the 60 mm SX-1 is comparable to the Prostaff. Although all three scopes have plastic bodies, mounts and eyecups, the two SX-1 scopes are holding up well to daily use, but the Prostaff is not. On the Prostaff the base is broken and the eyecup won't rotate easily because an internal piece is broken. The SX-1 scopes also have better eye relief.

    It's difficult to say the you will see .30 holes at 300 yds because visibility depends on contrast. If you have dark holes in light colored paper, or bright holes in dark colored paper, you should be able to see them with the 60 mm SX-1 scope. If you cannot, try changing targets.