Don't know your definiton of cheap. I have a Cabelas ED. $600 ish. I compared it to Leica and Swarovski. The Cabelas compared well with the Leica. The Swaro was quite a bit nicer than both. Plus, Cabelas has a satisfaction guarantee. So, if you decide you don't like it for any reason you can trade it in. I am happy with mine.
A few weeks ago I was in Kentucky visiting and we were shooting at a steel plate painted yellow at 500 yards. My friend was using his Celestron Ultima 65 at 55X to spot my shots. I could not see the holes (6mm) in the spotting scope but he said he could and showed me where I hit. We then walked out to the target and sure enough he was correct. So apparently it also depends on how good your eyes are?
I gave up on seeing holes in targets with any spotting scope and switched to gongs painted black. Way too much mirage to even really be able to focus on the target let alone a bullet hole. However, 338s are a lot easier to see than 270s.
I have a Bushnell Elite 80mm w/ED glass I am very pleased with. It was in that price range I bought it for you looking to spend. Get the angled eyepiece. I got rid of my Spacemaster and just kept the table tripod and window mount. This what I use out west too for spotting game. I can see pebbles on the other side of the Susquhanna river here in York county to Lancaster county 850 yards by the Lieca. I can also see 25 & 30 cal bullet holes in the jugs out to 800 in the long range field. FWIW /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif www.binoculars.com
Rotorhead and freebore ,I have the elite 80mm ED also and it compares favorably with the best. For highcountry early season hunting I like the fixed 30x eyepiece but for bullet holes the 20-60x would probably be best.
I'm like Ole Roy. I shoot at a gong painted black with a white dot in the middle. You can clearly see your impact and make adjustments as needed from the bench instead of driving down to look where you are hitting. Besides, I would'nt wont my favorite beverage of choice be gettin hot.
Instead of getting a spotting scope, getcha a N/F mounted on your rifle and shoot at a black gong.