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posted
Okay, I'm sick of my crappy Redfield spotting scope and garbage mini-tripod that has broken and stripped-out tightening screws. Since I bring my spotting scope shooting 4-6 times per year, and I can afford it, I'd like a major upgrade. Perhaps one of those true pedestal, ground-up bases. Good glass and eye relief too. I only shoot out to 400m (tops).

Budget-wise, I'm looking at under 1k total. Please step-up to the mic with recommendations, including pros and cons and anecdotes.
 
Posts: 2845 | Location: Alexandria, VA | Registered: March 07, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Buddy of mine has this mount if you are shooting from bench. It's rock solid.

Sinclair Bench Mount Scope Stand




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Posts: 8015 | Location: Alpharetta, GA | Registered: August 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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You will probably get plenty of recommendations for a scope, but the one thing I’ll contribute is that if you have been turning the tripod mounting screw directly into the hole in the spotting scope base, you should get a quick release plate mount for the future. Below is a link to a Manfrotto offering of the sort I use for all my spotting scopes and cameras, but there are many others. Not only does that system permit attaching and removing the scope more quickly, it eliminates the wear on the scope base caused by the screw.

The plates are sold separately to permit mounting different scopes, etc., on one quick release head.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c...html?sts=pi-ps&pim=Y

Manfrotto also makes very good tripods, but again there are less expensive (and cheaper) alternatives.




“A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”
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Posts: 41488 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hop head
Picture of lyman
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table top use or ground use?


I have a Freelands bipod, and a Freelands tripod,

both work well, the tripod is a bit more steady, esp in wind,

available from Creedmore, Champ Choice, or the ever not popular ebay if you want a vintage one,


and there are several similar options out there,



I shoot mostly short range, or on the rare occasion I do longer distance, pits are involved so I just need to read the scoring dots on the target, not the holes,
I have a vintage Bushnell angle spotting scope,

good scope, but if I was buying new I would get a Kowa,

they are the go to for Service Rifle and similar type shooting sports



www.chesterfieldarmament.com
 
Posts: 8164 | Location: Beach VA,not VA Beach | Registered: July 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master of one hand
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This message has been edited. Last edited by: Hamden106,



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Posts: 5248 | Location: Duckburg, OR | Registered: September 01, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Please keep recommendations coming. The reality is the scope will mostly be used on a bench, but I'm intrigued by some "pole--mounted" options.

I'd say $1200 TOPs for everything, scope, base, accessories, etc. I know this is WELL under the price range for many scopes, but I figure it should get me solidly in the good to very good range.

General opinions on angled vs. straight viewers?
 
Posts: 2845 | Location: Alexandria, VA | Registered: March 07, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have the Vortex Razor 85 mm angled spotting scope. Good glass. Got it through Camera Land which was less than online prices but still a little north of your budget. For the mount, I use a table top tripod that purchased from B&H. Around $40. Works well and is stable.
 
Posts: 604 | Location: DFW Area | Registered: January 12, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hop head
Picture of lyman
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quote:
Originally posted by Batty67:
Please keep recommendations coming. The reality is the scope will mostly be used on a bench, but I'm intrigued by some "pole--mounted" options.

I'd say $1200 TOPs for everything, scope, base, accessories, etc. I know this is WELL under the price range for many scopes, but I figure it should get me solidly in the good to very good range.

General opinions on angled vs. straight viewers?



straight works well for some, but if you are doing any position shooting, and even bench work, an angled scope w/ LER ocular is much much better,

easier to position where you just basically twist or move your neck, vs having to get behind it,



www.chesterfieldarmament.com
 
Posts: 8164 | Location: Beach VA,not VA Beach | Registered: July 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Expert308
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by lyman:
quote:
Originally posted by Batty67:
Please keep recommendations coming. The reality is the scope will mostly be used on a bench, but I'm intrigued by some "pole--mounted" options.

I'd say $1200 TOPs for everything, scope, base, accessories, etc. I know this is WELL under the price range for many scopes, but I figure it should get me solidly in the good to very good range.

General opinions on angled vs. straight viewers?



straight works well for some, but if you are doing any position shooting, and even bench work, an angled scope w/ LER ocular is much much better,

easier to position where you just basically twist or move your neck, vs having to get behind it,

The angled eyepiece is definitely the way to go. And don't bother with a zoom eyepiece. Instead put your money on a long eye relief (LER) eyepiece, you'll find it much more comfortable to use.

I have a setup similar to the one posted by Hamden106 a few posts back up, only a little heavier duty and homemade (the base, not the scope). It works great for standing/sitting/prone position shooting but it takes up way too much space on a bench. You could set it on the ground next to the bench with the longer pole, but I'd be afraid that I'd accidentally kick it over. So I'm going to get something like the Sinclair clamp-on bench mount that myrottiety linked to in the 2nd post in the thread. My scope is a Kowa TSN-8<something> that I paid in the neighborhood of $800 for (including the 27x LER eyepiece) about 25 years ago.

A few years ago on an impulse I picked up a $100 Winchester branded (probably made in China) straight spotting scope with a zoom eyepiece, 20-60x I think. It came with a cheap plastic tabletop tripod base and a (actually fairly nice) padded case. It is the most useless piece of crap optic that I ever wasted money on. That's the takeaway from this: If you're going to buy a spotting scope, spend the extra money on a good one, in the long run you'll be glad you did.
 
Posts: 5888 | Location: Portland, OR | Registered: February 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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I have an ancient Bushnell Spacemaster, a Swarovski, and a Leupold spotting scope and the only reason I bought the Leupold with its straight view was because it had the reticle I wanted. Otherwise I wouldn’t consider anything without the angled eyepiece. The straight view is fine as long as it’s possible to position the scope exactly right, but that can be a nuisance, especially if there are two or more people using it in rotation. Assuming the scope can be rotated in its mount, the angled eyepiece permits much more flexibility in where it’s positioned with respect to the observer. The only advantage the straight eyepiece provides is that the scope will fit into a smaller carrying case.




“A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”
— Simon & Garfunkel, The Boxer, 1970
 
Posts: 41488 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hop head
Picture of lyman
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Expert308:
quote:
Originally posted by lyman:
quote:
Originally posted by Batty67:
Please keep recommendations coming. The reality is the scope will mostly be used on a bench, but I'm intrigued by some "pole--mounted" options.

I'd say $1200 TOPs for everything, scope, base, accessories, etc. I know this is WELL under the price range for many scopes, but I figure it should get me solidly in the good to very good range.

General opinions on angled vs. straight viewers?



straight works well for some, but if you are doing any position shooting, and even bench work, an angled scope w/ LER ocular is much much better,

easier to position where you just basically twist or move your neck, vs having to get behind it,

The angled eyepiece is definitely the way to go. And don't bother with a zoom eyepiece. Instead put your money on a long eye relief (LER) eyepiece, you'll find it much more comfortable to use.

I have a setup similar to the one posted by Hamden106 a few posts back up, only a little heavier duty and homemade (the base, not the scope). It works great for standing/sitting/prone position shooting but it takes up way too much space on a bench. You could set it on the ground next to the bench with the longer pole, but I'd be afraid that I'd accidentally kick it over. So I'm going to get something like the Sinclair clamp-on bench mount that myrottiety linked to in the 2nd post in the thread. My scope is a Kowa TSN-8<something> that I paid in the neighborhood of $800 for (including the 27x LER eyepiece) about 25 years ago.

A few years ago on an impulse I picked up a $100 Winchester branded (probably made in China) straight spotting scope with a zoom eyepiece, 20-60x I think. It came with a cheap plastic tabletop tripod base and a (actually fairly nice) padded case. It is the most useless piece of crap optic that I ever wasted money on. That's the takeaway from this: If you're going to buy a spotting scope, spend the extra money on a good one, in the long run you'll be glad you did.



do you have the weight for the bottom of your spotting scope stand?


I bought one from Champ Choice years ago,
threaded (male), so it screws right on the bottom of the freelands rods,

holds the scope stand in place rather nicely,


female threads on the other side so I can screw my spike in for when I use it on the ground (dirt vs concrete etc)



www.chesterfieldarmament.com
 
Posts: 8164 | Location: Beach VA,not VA Beach | Registered: July 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
fugitive from reality
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Stands are available for around $200, so that leaves $800 for the scope. I've used several diffenent three leg based stands and have never needed additional weights to keep the stand steady. I also have a bench clamp stand. Dedicated LER eye pieces offer about 1.25" of relief, but a Kowa or Vortex with an LER eye piece runs aroune $1,100 all by themselves. Most regular spotting scopes have around a .50", with a few having around .75" of eye reief. If you know shooters using sopes I'd suggest you take a look through as many as you can to see if you really need LER.

Spotting scopes.

Scope stands.

Bench scope stand.


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Posts: 6555 | Location: Newyorkistan | Registered: March 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by SgtGold:
Stands are available for around $200, so that leaves $800 for the scope. I've used several diffenent three leg based stands and have never needed additional weights to keep the stand steady. I also have a bench clamp stand. Dedicated LER eye pieces offer about 1.25" of relief, but a Kowa or Vortex with an LER eye piece runs aroune $1,100 all by themselves. Most regular spotting scopes have around a .50", with a few having around .75" of eye reief. If you know shooters using sopes I'd suggest you take a look through as many as you can to see if you really need LER.

Spotting scopes.

Scope stands.

Bench scope stand.


Great info. and links SgtGold. Thanks.
 
Posts: 2845 | Location: Alexandria, VA | Registered: March 07, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a couple Optolyth TBG80 spotting scopes. 1 in standard glass and 1 with Flourite. I have a couple different eyepieces. The 20-60 eyepiece is good, but the 30x wide angle with mil reticle is my favorite.

I've set up up next to some other spotters for direct comparison, and found them to be very close to the Kowa TSN4 in glass clarity. My standard Optolyth has just slightly less contrast than the TSN4, with near identical clarity, and my Flourite Optolyth is slightly brighter, with equal clarity.



House is about 2600 yards. I took these pics by holding my phone up to the spotter by hand.



I'm a big fan of maximizing the quality per dollar, so i tend to buy used. You can get a steal on glass shopping ebay or Amazon. For example:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/303502794969

https://www.ebay.com/itm/324087748965
 
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The Unmanned Writer
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quote:
Originally posted by Expert308:

A few years ago on an impulse I picked up a $100 Winchester branded (probably made in China) straight spotting scope with a zoom eyepiece, 20-60x I think. It came with a cheap plastic tabletop tripod base and a (actually fairly nice) padded case. It is the most useless piece of crap optic that I ever wasted money on.


I had one of those. Could not resell it for even $25. Ended up donating it to the Goodwill







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Master of one hand
pistol shooting
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quote:


I have a setup similar to the one posted by Hamden106 a few posts back up, only a little heavier duty and homemade (the base, not the scope). It works great for standing/sitting/prone position shooting but it takes up way too much space on a bench. You could set it on the ground next to the bench with the longer pole, but I'd be afraid that I'd accidentally kick it over. So I'm going to get something like the Sinclair clamp-on bench mount that myrottiety linked to in the 2nd post in the thread. My scope is a Kowa TSN-8<something> that I paid in the neighborhood of $800 for (including the 27x LER eyepiece) about 25 years ago.



do you have the weight for the bottom of your spotting scope stand?


I bought one from Champ Choice years ago,
threaded (male), so it screws right on the bottom of the freelands rods,

holds the scope stand in place rather nicely,


female threads on the other side so I can screw my spike in for when I use it on the ground (dirt vs concrete etc)


I made a weight for my stand



SIGnature
NRA Benefactor CMP Pistol Distinguished
 
Posts: 5248 | Location: Duckburg, OR | Registered: September 01, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hop head
Picture of lyman
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Hamden106:
quote:


I have a setup similar to the one posted by Hamden106 a few posts back up, only a little heavier duty and homemade (the base, not the scope). It works great for standing/sitting/prone position shooting but it takes up way too much space on a bench. You could set it on the ground next to the bench with the longer pole, but I'd be afraid that I'd accidentally kick it over. So I'm going to get something like the Sinclair clamp-on bench mount that myrottiety linked to in the 2nd post in the thread. My scope is a Kowa TSN-8<something> that I paid in the neighborhood of $800 for (including the 27x LER eyepiece) about 25 years ago.



do you have the weight for the bottom of your spotting scope stand?


I bought one from Champ Choice years ago,
threaded (male), so it screws right on the bottom of the freelands rods,

holds the scope stand in place rather nicely,


female threads on the other side so I can screw my spike in for when I use it on the ground (dirt vs concrete etc)


I made a weight for my stand



friend made one but pouring lead in the bottom of a coffee can, with a bolt sticking out to screw into the rod



www.chesterfieldarmament.com
 
Posts: 8164 | Location: Beach VA,not VA Beach | Registered: July 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Expert308
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by lyman:
quote:
Originally posted by Expert308:
quote:
Originally posted by lyman:
quote:
Originally posted by Batty67:
Please keep recommendations coming. The reality is the scope will mostly be used on a bench, but I'm intrigued by some "pole--mounted" options.

I'd say $1200 TOPs for everything, scope, base, accessories, etc. I know this is WELL under the price range for many scopes, but I figure it should get me solidly in the good to very good range.

General opinions on angled vs. straight viewers?

straight works well for some, but if you are doing any position shooting, and even bench work, an angled scope w/ LER ocular is much much better,

easier to position where you just basically twist or move your neck, vs having to get behind it,

The angled eyepiece is definitely the way to go. And don't bother with a zoom eyepiece. Instead put your money on a long eye relief (LER) eyepiece, you'll find it much more comfortable to use.

I have a setup similar to the one posted by Hamden106 a few posts back up, only a little heavier duty and homemade (the base, not the scope). It works great for standing/sitting/prone position shooting but it takes up way too much space on a bench. You could set it on the ground next to the bench with the longer pole, but I'd be afraid that I'd accidentally kick it over. So I'm going to get something like the Sinclair clamp-on bench mount that myrottiety linked to in the 2nd post in the thread. My scope is a Kowa TSN-8<something> that I paid in the neighborhood of $800 for (including the 27x LER eyepiece) about 25 years ago.

A few years ago on an impulse I picked up a $100 Winchester branded (probably made in China) straight spotting scope with a zoom eyepiece, 20-60x I think. It came with a cheap plastic tabletop tripod base and a (actually fairly nice) padded case. It is the most useless piece of crap optic that I ever wasted money on. That's the takeaway from this: If you're going to buy a spotting scope, spend the extra money on a good one, in the long run you'll be glad you did.

do you have the weight for the bottom of your spotting scope stand?

I bought one from Champ Choice years ago, threaded (male), so it screws right on the bottom of the freelands rods, holds the scope stand in place rather nicely, female threads on the other side so I can screw my spike in for when I use it on the ground (dirt vs concrete etc)

In my case the stand serves as its own weight. It was made for me by a friend of mine from square tube stock. Oh and I checked the scope model - it's a TSN-821, which I gather is no longer made (replaced by the TSN-82SV, about $800 not including the eyepiece which is another $225).



 
Posts: 5888 | Location: Portland, OR | Registered: February 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by myrottiety:
Buddy of mine has this mount if you are shooting from bench. It's rock solid.

Sinclair Bench Mount Scope Stand

I have one as well and yes it is rock solid and I prefer it over a tripod.

I have a Pentax PF-80EDA spotting scope with a Pentax XW20 eye piece which works well for the range you list.
 
Posts: 874 | Location: South Dakota | Registered: May 21, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks, got into the "trap" of comparison videos and paralysis through analysis. Leaning toward a Leupold SX-4 Pro Guide HD 15-45x65mm Spotting Scope. Great review and glass and I almost never shoot past 300m so quality of glass, controls, and durability more important than increased magnification. Still looking at bases, but I'll probably get the Manfrotto 323 RC2 System Quick Release Adapter, as recommended.
 
Posts: 2845 | Location: Alexandria, VA | Registered: March 07, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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