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Old May 4th, 2021, 04:54 PM #1
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Spotting scope question

What would be a minimum magnification needed to see a 22 cal hole in, 1) a paper target, 2) a splatter target, at 200 yds?
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Old May 4th, 2021, 05:25 PM #2
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You can't always see the holes, even with the 27X Kowa that I use.
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Old May 4th, 2021, 05:36 PM #3
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It depends on the quality of the scope, the lighting conditions, the type of paper, the color of the paper, the background behind the paper, and the heat mirage. A cheap scope with bad optics isn’t going to get a clear picture.

This Saturday, when the heat mirage wasn’t bad, I could just make out most of my .223 hits in the black at 200yd on a standard SR paper target with my cheap Konus 20-60 on the 20x setting. Once the ground heated up and the mirage got worse, it became more difficult. I don’t usually dial up the magnification since the picture isn’t as crisp and bright, but it does slightly help spotting those hits.
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Old May 4th, 2021, 05:56 PM #4
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I can see .223 holes at 200 yds with a 20x Leupold.
It's hit or miss with my crappy 40x scope. The picture is plenty big, but not clear at all.
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Old May 5th, 2021, 12:03 PM #5
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With optics, you get what you pay for.

Power without clarity is worthless.

Clarity is KING.
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Old May 5th, 2021, 12:42 PM #6
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on the same theme , where is the "sweet spot " at cost versus clarity ? i can't , won't buy a ziess spotting scope , where does the money spent equal value ?
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Old May 5th, 2021, 12:48 PM #7
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I got this and have been happy with it. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It's not "cheap" but it has worked well for me. I don't recall them being that much, may be a supply/demand algorithm. Try the Vortex line of spotting scopes. They are where value meets quality IMO.
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Old May 5th, 2021, 02:07 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyp View Post
on the same theme , where is the "sweet spot " at cost versus clarity ? i can't , won't buy a ziess spotting scope , where does the money spent equal value ?
Much depends on range, environmental conditions, mirage or lack thereof, color of target, and available light and angle. Also, don't discount the importance of your tripod. Clarity disappears quickly in scopes that are moving even slightly.

At 100 yards, I have a 75 dollar straight 20 power x40 Tasco that works just fine. Purchased as my first spotting scope deep in the last century, I keep it in my range box, and use it much of the time.

I later won a 20x60x80 Simmons spotting scope. It will usually perform adequately at 200 yards. That scope would have cost around 150 bucks or so then.

Beyond that, I can't speak to anything I myself own, but rather can only relate to what I've looked through. In my opinion, you'll definitely notice differences in clarity between more and less expensive scopes at 100 yards, but your inexpensive scope will likely be quite usable. My 150 dollar Simmons is great at 100 yards. If that's all the further you shoot, you can probably get away with a scope as inexpensive as my Tasco, as that's all the scope you'll typically need. At 200 yards, my 150 dollar Simmons scope can likewise be usable much of the time. But, given an opportunity to compare, the difference in clarity of a better scope at 200 yards becomes striking. And at 300 yards, setting up my Simmons is largely a waste of time.

If there's a spot where you're likely to be pretty much wasting your time with a 150 dollar scope, I think out past 200 yards pretty much becomes that defining line in my experience. Now, I think you definitely start making some appreciably larger price jumps to have something usable. In other words, I can see well enough to be able to define holes with my 150 dollar scope at 200 yards on a good day, and in good conditions. But I can see noticably better, with a look through the 500 dollar scope of the shooter next to me, who was kind enough to let me have a look.

There's good, and there's better. There's also good enough, depending upon what you want to do, and what you do most often. Much also depends of course, on just how attached you might be, to having and keeping a thick wallet.
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Old May 5th, 2021, 02:08 PM #9
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My Nikon 20-60x scope has given good service with Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C targets shooting .223/5.56 out to 300 yards. 400 is doable if there isn't much mirage, but beyond 400 fuhgeddaboudit.

I went with Nikon because as an optics company I thought their glass would be excellent. Of course, my wallet took a hit, but buy once, cry once is a mantra of mine.
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Old May 5th, 2021, 02:20 PM #10
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Probably an unpopular opinion, but the zeiss spotters are actually very good. The gavia has incredible clarity, even at high power. OP asked about money equalizing value. I'd say for paper hole spotting, zeiss or swaro midline models will be good value (and will hold that value). The nightforce spotters are good but their color palette is "cooler" and I prefer neutral to warm as I am usually looking at targets in natural terrain. Honestly, if you are capable of holding them steady, zeiss victory 15x binos will do as well as many good spotters untill the mirage starts to roll.
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