Spotting Scope - Tactical/Range/Hunting ~ $500USD Range?


Well-Known Member
Jul 24, 2008
N.T. Australia
Hi all,

I am on the initial research phase of making a spotting scope purchase. So far I've seen many I like (read Swarovski) but as my first purchase I'd like to keep the initial buy in at around the $500.00USD mark as I'm still building my kit together.

My uses:

  • Mainly to start with - club/range work at up to 500mtrs and then later out to 600 or 1000mtrs.
  • Tactical style of match practice - range finding and engaging various targets up to the 500mtr mark.
  • The occasional hunting trip - maybe two to four times a year.
Looking here in country the price point is about $1000.00 mark for something that looks remotely like it will do the job, so, now I broaden my search to the U.S. and the price point is now $500.00USD - a few good models fits into this point really well, take a look at this list (If you want to see the item individually I have created links to their information pages):

  1. Sightron SII WP 20-60 X 63
  2. Nikon XLII 16-48 X 60 Outfit
  3. Bushnell Elite 15-45 X 60
As you can see I'm interested in something reasonably compact, a straight version and preferably in a 'kit' as I'm starting I want the tripod and a nice carry bag/case to go with. The list above is in preference order, I sorta like the Sightron look and style so that helps and the Nikon and Bushnell seem very close are they made by the same factory?

I appreciate any assistance you may wish to offer in this matter as I'm sure many have been in this position before and want to offer their experiences of not what to do.;)

I have seen the Bushnell issued to sniper teams in country. Not exactly what I would call a tactical piece of equipment. A tactical spotter to me needs to be built exceptionally well and have a FFP ranging reticle. The glass seemed as good as the MK4 spotter I used. But the Leupold is TOUGH and is definitely made for tactical applications.
I have the Nikon XLII package and if I didn't happen to catch it on sale at Gander Mountain for $279 instead of the $499 price tag I wouldn't have bought it. It is a decent scope but I wouldn't pay $500 for it! I have no experience with the Sightron. If you are wanting a Swarovski, I say you should wait till you can afford it. $500 is a lot to spend on a temp if you ask me.
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