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Forum Index > Optics > Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?

Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?

03 Jan 2014
@ 12:31 am (GMT)

Scott McKean

Hi All,

Quick intro because I'm new here and this is my first post. Just met up with Marty at the Eagle Park range and he pointed me to this website. I have ordered the books as I feel I'm lacking in a lot of foundational knowledge and really want to improve my abilities as a shooter. I've also read Nathan's article on Hold that Forend and will look to put this into practice next time I'm at the range.

I’ve been shooting for a 3 or so years (probably been to the range 5-6 times) and was introduced by my brother in law who is a mad keen pig hunter (dogs). I picked up a 6.5 x 55 Swedish Mauser (sporterised stock) and have been hunting (mostly for goats) 3-4 times.

I invested in a .308WIN Remington 700, target tactical with a Burris Fullfield ii scope 6.4x-20x-50
(http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/centerfire/model-700/model-700-target-tactical.aspx) about 12 months ago but only just started back at the range because I couldn’t get the scope zeroed in (found out I needed windage mounts as drilling and tapping was off a bit, and I had 30MOA bases which were a silly decision). I’m shooting groups within 1 MOA at 300 yards (having a bit of trouble understanding the Burris scope and which lines in the scope I should be using so took me a while to get on target but ended up with a tight group). Hopefully this rig will


Just after some advice for a decent spotting scope for the range? It's getting tiresome / annoying having to wait until the cease fire at the range to know where I'm hitting on the target. I have a decent pair of binos so not sure if the spotting scope would make it into the field but you never know maybe a friend could use it to glass while I have the binos...

I'd be happy to spend $500 but not really sure if more / less is appropriate. Let me know if more info is necessary to make a recommendation and I'll be happy to provide.

Cheers,

-Scott

Replies

03 Jan 2014
@ 04:23 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
Hi Scott, I am out of the loop as far as spotting scopes go because for the last few years we have been using high optical zoom camcorders. I find camcorders useful for client work as we can review shooting and observe errors etc.

I have had such good results with Sightron optics over the years, I wonder how these stack up against other spotting scopes. The one thing I do know is that if the optics aren't near perfect, the extremely high zoom of spotting scopes can cause terrible eye strain. Of the spotting scopes I have used in the past, I found the units to be cumbersome, difficult to train in the field when they were needed in a hurry and hard on the eyes. The Euro spotting scopes have been the best but again, I would be tempted to research the Sightron units. It is shame that I never had a chance to use a Sightron Spotting scope when we were selling the Sightron brand.
03 Jan 2014
@ 11:07 pm (GMT)

joshua sutcliffe

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
Hi Scott,

I think your best bet would be to go second hand in the $500 range and id be looking at something like a Meopta TGA 75 with a fixed 30X eye piece expect to pay from 600 to 700 though. As far as new spotting scopes go i thing you will find you will have to pay substantially more if you are after decent quality especially if you want higher than 30X magnification. The best bet would be to politely ask next time your at the range if it would be possible to look through some of the spotting scopes from other users to get a feel for what you are after. If your thinking of taking it into the field also consider weight, size and tripod. Best value tripod that i have used would be the SLIK Mini II.

Alternatively if your binoculars arn't to bad and your not shooting too far away you could try some Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C targets.
04 Jan 2014
@ 10:58 pm (GMT)

faulkner

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
Hi Scott, buy optics can be a pain,, so many brands and styles and price ranges, for a range set up I have found it hard to beat the Bushnell Space Masters, the really old 30X fixed and newer 15x45 had great glass and they can be found at second hand shops and/or new (not as good as the old ones!) for about $300CAN new - $100 used.

something that I have messed with at the range is using different thicknesses of card board and paper to enhance the visual of a bullet strike on paper, thick card board or the normal stuff spray painted black with a fairly thin "off white" paper really helps me to see the impacts on targets, might save you some $ on a spotter?!

Happy shooting, Aj
06 Jan 2014
@ 04:45 pm (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
G'day Scott,
You will find some great info in Nathans books they are a great investment you will refer to often!
As l said to you at the range l can spot my groups with my Sightron 6-24 on the paper with cardbord behind! AJ's tip on painting the cardboard black would have to help, l will try that one myself!

I would want to be up around the 30x power as well in a dedicated spotting scope. Some of the cheap units l have looked through look more like kaleidoscopes than spotting scopes! Have a good look through them!

Cheers Marty
07 Jan 2014
@ 10:49 pm (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
G'day Nathan
I'm thinking of getting a camcorder myself! What are you using? Any sugestions please?
Bob
08 Jan 2014
@ 06:30 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
I am using a JVC Everio GZ HD 620B which is now already an older model. This has 30x optical zoom. Would be nice to have more optical zoom. I really like the JVC clarity in comparison to past camcorders but again, would be good to have a bit more optical zoom.
09 Jan 2014
@ 05:07 pm (GMT)

Michael Neeson

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
HI Bob, I just bought a JVC GZ EX355. It has 40x optical zoom and reports say picture quaity start to fall at about 55x zoom. I'll do some tests and let you know if you like. I have some old previously perforated targets so will get the kids to go for a run up the street and see what I can see.
10 Jan 2014
@ 12:10 am (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
Thanks guys
I would like somthing compact to take while hunting that also takes stills, rather than my camera that I leave in camp becase it's too big.
Bob
11 Jan 2014
@ 07:43 am (GMT)

Michael Neeson

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
Hi, Here are some initial stills from the GZ EX355. First is a target at 100 yds using 60x Dynamic zoom - thats 40 optical with 20 digital added.
<a href="http://s1318.photobucket.com/user/theneesons/media/PIC_0005_zpsef4c47a0.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1318.photobucket.com/albums/t652/theneesons/PIC_0005_zpsef4c47a0.jpg" border="0" alt="100 yds 60x Dynamic Zoom photo PIC_0005_zpsef4c47a0.jpg"/></a>

Next at 200 yds
<a href="http://s1318.photobucket.com/user/theneesons/media/PIC_0008_zps2ec2d117.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1318.photobucket.com/albums/t652/theneesons/PIC_0008_zps2ec2d117.jpg" border="0" alt="200 yds 60x Dynamic Zoom photo PIC_0008_zps2ec2d117.jpg"/></a>

The targets are 2" shoot'n'C pasters. I should have backed the zoom off to about 55 and used my mobile as a remote to cut out the wobble.
The cam is small and light but the screen isn't really big enough to see fine detail like bullet holes. Detail can be seen when viewed from a wifi linked tablet or phone that has a bigger screen. It would be okay for picking out animals etc though, just not bullet holes. There is still a whole lot for me to explore on this cam and I hpe to get some improvent in how I use it.
My plans next are to try it at the range wifi linked to a tablet. This will allow me to operate it remotely and hopefully see some bullet strikes. We shall see!
11 Jan 2014
@ 07:40 pm (GMT)

Michael Neeson

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
OOPS lets try the piccies again
100 yds


200yds
11 Jan 2014
@ 10:09 pm (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
Thank you Michael
I might have to stick to a spotting scope to get better quality long range vision and use a compact camera for normal photos.

Cheers
Bob
13 Jan 2014
@ 02:41 am (GMT)

Michael Neeson

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
And another one at 40 x optical zoom and 8mp instead of 2mp @ 200yds.

13 Jan 2014
@ 03:14 am (GMT)

Michael Neeson

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
Last one... 40x zoom from 200 yds using mobile phone as a remote connected via direct wifi link. Hot day and mirage is evident boiling off the road and wind blowing at about 15-20 knts. Cam on tripod.

http://youtu.be/wYBX6dki5P0
13 Jan 2014
@ 04:32 am (GMT)

deerndingo

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?

That last one is good one. It's enough to convince me that use of the camcorder is a pretty good dual option of image collecting and saving. Saves weight by just carrying one item.
13 Jan 2014
@ 05:32 am (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
I think I'll buy a Sony DSC-HX300. 50x zoom big lens looks good to me????
Bob
13 Jan 2014
@ 08:03 am (GMT)

Michael Neeson

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
Superior in every way... but for me it might be that size too big that doesn't scream "take me with you" when you walk out the door. The JVC I ended up getting is about as big as a cardboard toilet tissue tube - no joke. I have had big cameras before and they always stayed home. But it all depends on what you're looking for. For me it was a compact camera with pretty good versatility. The plethora of cameras out there makes my head spin. Good luck with the decision making... I'm just glad it's over for me!
14 Jan 2014
@ 03:39 am (GMT)

mark whiteley

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
howdy scott,
there is a bloke that goes to eagle park who is making up camera's with monitors that sit next to you at the bench for $350 new, I have one, his first made, and have tested it out to 600 meters, there is no difference in picture at any distance tested, Ian (who makes them) is going to test them further and has sold a few at the range. his cameras have capture and movie ect to record your shots, my biggest problem at eagle park is after I have shot my group at 500 and am waiting for cease fire someone else is always shooting my target, IMHO this is much clearer (no haze) and better than a spotting scope. if you are interested let me know and I can arrange a demo for you

regards mark
14 Jan 2014
@ 03:48 am (GMT)

mark whiteley

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
another way to enhance the look of your bullet holes on paper is to put a black garbage bag over your target and paint it with ceiling white, the holes do stand out really well,
regards mark
08 May 2014
@ 07:04 pm (GMT)

Scott McKean

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
Hi All,

Pretty long time between posts, have been busy selling my IT Company (all worked out) so have been pre-occupied.

Thanks to everybody for the valuable input, I haven't bought a spotting scope yet but it does seem like just having a video camera would represent better value for money.

If I was buying new I'd be looking at:
http://www.nvt.com.au/p/1327/sightron-36x50-spotting-scopes-code-si1836x50kit.html @ $387 as the next one up:

http://www.nvt.com.au/p/1328/sightron-series-waterproof-2060x63-spotting-scopes-code-siiwp2060x63kit.html is @ $940

Or secondhand the Meopta TGA 75 of Bushnell Space Master as Joshua and AJ recommended.

Mark, thanks for your comments - I was searching for a way to get in touch with you directly but it doesn't seem this forum has the capability. I'd love to check out the Camera's / monitors that Ian is making. Maybe we could meet at the range some time? My direct email address is scottmckean at outlook (dotcom) obscured to protect against spam (sort of) and we can arrange a demo.

Not sure if Mark has subscribed to this thread and will be notified of my untimely reply, so if anybody else has his details and could give him a nudge that'd be awesome.

Cheers,

Scott

11 May 2014
@ 09:52 pm (GMT)

mark whiteley

Re: Intro / Spotting scope recommendation?
sorry I haven't revised this post Scott, the bloke who make's them is,

Ian Loyd ph# 0416225077

you can arrange a time that he would be there or you can email me at,

[email protected]

and I will bring mine down and give you a go with it,

sorry again, regards mark
 

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