What size spotter do you carry?

letrbuck

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2013
Messages
62
Location
Wyoming
Found this year after scouting a new region, that a spotting scope is going to be a necessity, so I'm looking for my first. I'm unsure if I should get a mid size, (15-45) or a full size (20-60). What do you carry, and why? Thanks!!
 

Rich Coyle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2013
Messages
4,342
Location
Grants Pass, Oregon
letrbuck,

Check out this little bit if info.

April 14, 2014
spotting scopes
This morning I took the Kowa 20-60X77 and a Bushnell Spacemaster 12-36X 60 to compare with a Sightron 6-24X42 AO, a Bushnell 6500 4 1/2-30X50 SF and a Swarovski z5 5-25X62 SF to the shooting range. There was a target at 200 yards with a few .22 caliber bullet holes so I decided to use it. After looking through the Kowa on its lowest setting of 20X I found a bullet hole at 12 o’clock about 2” from the “X” in the red part of the target and decided that would be the “target” detail.

When looking through the Sightron on 24X I just could not get it to resolve the bullet hole no matter how much I adjusted the scope. I could see holes in the white O.K., but not the red. Then I got out the 6500 and found the hole with it set on 24X. I could not go down even 1X and still see the hole. After fooling with the z5 for a while trying to see in on a lower setting, I finally turned it up to 25X and could see the hole in the red. Thinking I was wasting time, but already had it with me, I took out the Bushnell Spacemaster. I set it on 20X and could easily see the hole at 12 o’clock so I turned it down to 12X. I could still see the hole!

I asked a fellow shooter if he didn’t mind would he look through all the optics to see what he saw. He obliged; and even brought a Zeiss 3-15X42. He ended up on the same settings I did. Also he mentioned he just could not resolve the hole with the Sightron. When we looked though his Zeiss we could not see the hole.

Conclusion: Mediocre spotting scopes are definitely better than good rifle scopes for resolving detail.
 

Plinker147

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2015
Messages
837
The size is in the bell/objective. Usually Small are under 50mm, average size are 65mm, and large are 85mm and up. The larger usually have the best clarity, gather more light and are better on higher powers. Down side is they are huge to carry in a pack. I used a 11-33 vortex razor last year which was nice to carry but wasn't good enough to tell the detail I would prefer at distance but it was good enough to identify animals. I think the 65mm bells are much better and worth the extra trouble to carry.

When you talk power 15-45 or 20-60 the higher power you go up the more quality glass matters. IMO there is no point getting a 50-X-60X spotter unless its an 85mm bell and you are willing to pay for top notch glass. If you are going to get an average/middle road priced spotter you will be happier with a 15x-45x type. Really the $600-$800 range spotters will work for most folks application. All depends on the detail you want to see.

I personally prefer Swarovski ATS with 65mm bell
 

WeiserBucks

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
1,740
I pack a Swarovski 80mm . Using it is great, carrying it sucks. If you're going to be carrying a spotter very far or backpack hunting, I'd recommend something lighter and more compact.
 

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