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Binoculars vs Spotting Scope LRP Shooting


Broncos79
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All - new to Long Range Precision shooting and trying to decide between binoculars vs a spotting Scope - Binos appear more versatile and the spotting scope more specialized- hoping to learn from those who have evaluated this decision already 

 

appreciate perspectives and pros and cons 

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Binoculars are superior for long range spotting use, but they are incredibly specialized. For instance 15x Swarovski SLC, or Zeiss Conquest. Or 18x Vortex. Occasionally you’ll see two spotting scopes held together in a fixture (Big Eye). All of these methods give less eye fatigue and better depth perception/ visual clarity. All of them are very expensive.

Most people use a spotting scope. I’ve had good luck with Vortex Razors, Leupold Gold Ring and Swarovski.


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Pretty much all the high power guys use Kowa scopes.  Probably a reason why.  That's what I have and am very happy with it.  If i were to choose something else, I'd go with Nightforce, which is a very nice piece.  Most high quality binocs max at 10x, and to go over that and get good quality glass is very expensive.  I don't really see anyone using binocs at the shoots.  

Edited by ltdmstr
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I have a Kowa. With the zoom eye piece at 60X I can see 22cal holes in the black at 300 yards

 

And again the mount/stand is important. I have looked thru great glass on a mount that wiggles. It takes a lot away from the sight picture watching thru a wobbling scope

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9 hours ago, Broncos79 said:

Great points all - sounds like the consensus is to go with a spotting scope - now to research brands, features and cost 
 

Speaking of stand/mounts - any recommendations or models to stay away from?

You get what you pay for.  The best glass in the world will  look like crap if the stand is being blown by wind.

I have a Ray-Vin that works very well.

What position do you plan on using the spotter in?

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When it comes to glass there is a difference in those that cost 200 bucks and 3000+, I spend my money first on a high dollar rifle scope first instead of a Swaro spotter or Swaro binos.  if that is covered get a spotter first, I prefer the straight ones over angled models, unless F-Class is your game, then get some 10x Swaro ELR binos, ie Bino/LRF

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In High Power I use a Konus 100mm, which is the poor man's spotting scope at about $300.

 

If High Power was my main game I'd get a Kowa. The 25x long eye relief on a 80mm main tube with Calcium Flouride lenses lets you see so much more detail than a lesser scope with higher magnification. If the detail isn't there already what good does magnifying the haze get you? Seeing .22 holes in the black at 200yards is doable with the Konus but I have to concentrate. They jump out at you in the Kowa and you can actually see them at 300yd.

My binos are 8x because I expect to have to hold them. Maybe I could hold 10x stable enough to get use of it but I wouldn't go higher.

Edited by belus
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On 8/2/2020 at 7:50 PM, Chillywig said:

And again the mount/stand is important. I have looked thru great glass on a mount that wiggles. It takes a lot away from the sight picture watching thru a wobbling scope

THIS ^^^

 

And a good stand isn't cheap, so don't forget to factor one in when setting your budget.

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On 8/3/2020 at 10:49 PM, Broncos79 said:

Speaking of stand/mounts - any recommendations or models to stay away from?


I forgot to mention and I don' t think the distinction has been made here: Get an angled eyepiece spotting scope, they're much more flexible to use.

If you're going to shoot paper get a stand that goes low enough that you can look through the spotting scope while prone. This is why you want an angled eyepiece. These stands aren't that common outside of High Power and F-class circles and take a bit of searching. Most also go high enough that you can use them from a chair as well.

I use Jim Owen's scope stand. It's very stable even in the wind and adjustable from prone to off hand.  The little tension screws could be better quality, but they're easy to replace and repair.  The simple nesting design lets it fold up to about the same size as my spotting scope. At ~$200 delivered it's one of the best values out there in off-hand stands.
 https://www.jarheadtop.com/jim_owens_scope_stand____improved.html

If you're only planning to use your spotting scope from a chair spotting for other people then a $40 camera tripod is fine.

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Giruard, Creedmore Pole Cat are both great stands..be sure and get 1” tubes though..makes stands much more steady. I’ve used about all scopes out there..I’m a F-Class shooter, compete national level..I’m currently using a Kowa 883 angled..it’s ED glass is incredible! That being said, for $900 you can get a Kowa TSv-82 scope..it’s not ED glass, but for me, I can see mirage much better through it as compared to my $3000 883...the 883 seems to “look through” mirage sometimes where the 82 in same mirage jumps out at me....

 

The Kowa’s with their LER eye pieces offer the best in eye relief of all scopes in my opinion. The Nightforce, Vortex, etc are all good scopes, but the box on the Kowa is huge..makes it really easy to setup and use shooting from prone..

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I use the vortex razor 85mm with the mrad reticle eye piece.  I have RO'ed a fair number of PRS match over the last few years and it only once let me down on a very humid rainy warm day in NC.  I was getting a lot of fogging, but so were most other scopes.  I would like to have a Swaro but would have paid double and I'm not sure about the gain.  In addition to the PRS and LR field matches where I've used it, I've used it for field hunting.  I was able to count points in the last 10 minutes of shooting light to pick a buck for my son in a point restricted area.  Could a better scope have done, better probably, but for what I need, it has done the job.  At one match I RO'ed I used Swaro and vortex side by side, and several other version.  Hands down the best glass was in the Hendersoldt.  Under the light conditions that day, I could tell very little difference between the swaro and the vortex and I had a slight preference for the color hue of the vortex.  I've looked through the Zeiss, Leica, Swaro, and vortex ranging binos, and there I could tell enough difference that I will wait and get the Zeiss or the Leica when the rangefinder I'm currently using gives up.  My match and hunting rifle both wear Schmidt and Bender glass.

 

I suppose you could see the mirage in some of the high power binos, but I prefer the spotting scope.  Enough power for good mirage, but still wide enough field of view to spot shots.  I also prefer the straight tube to the angled, the aiming just makes more sense to me.

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