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Spotting Scopes & Bench Stands (Read 4372 times)
OkeyMaple
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Hendersonville, North Carolina, USA
Spotting Scopes & Bench Stands
Aug 4th, 2012 at 9:35am
 
I finally learned my lesson - that cheap is cheap. Now it's time to invest in a spotting scope & bench stand that will satisfy my desire to clearly see 22 cal holes @ 200 yds. Being "not extremely wealthy", cost is a factor. Any suggestions for a package for under $1,500?
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KAF
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Rural Oakwood, OH, USA
Re: Spotting Scopes & Bench Stands
Reply #1 - Aug 4th, 2012 at 9:45am
 
http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=721067&WT.z_mc_id1=43000000...


http://www.opticsplanet.com/nikon-spottingscope-fieldscope-outfit.html

When buying a spotting scope the 80+ MM objective is the way to go.
More resolution, more light gathering, means better clearer picture. I know this from experience.
A 60 MM will be nothing compared to a 80 mm.
Sure it is a bit more costly, but you'll be way glad you spent the funds after using it a bit.

As for seeing 22 holes at 200 yds, the scope is only as good as the atmosphere you are looking thru. The more humidity and dust and anything else will effect how well you see the target at any distance.
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« Last Edit: Aug 4th, 2012 at 2:57pm by KAF »  

Keith L 3240
 
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SSShooter
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Re: Spotting Scopes & Bench Stands
Reply #2 - Aug 4th, 2012 at 2:20pm
 
This scope is all you need to see .22 holes at 200m. Kowa is pretty much the 'standard' for high power shooters out to 1000yd for quality seeing and build.
http://www.opticsplanet.com/kowa-66-high-performace-spotting-scopes.html
As boats notes below, you'll want the LER (long eye releif) eyepiece. If you don't, you will always be fighting being able to get behind the eyepiece to get a good sight picture. Careful if getting a variable magnification eyepiece as the higher the power, generally the shorter the eye relief. Anything above about 35X generally makes it a worse picture, as well. It is the sharpness of the picture, not high magnification that allows you to see the bullets holes. If you have bad eyes, almost nothing will make it so you can see .22 holes well.

For a bench stand, this works great.
http://www.creedmoorsports.com/shop/Freeland_RSB-12_Regal_Bipod.html
You might want to add a chunk of lead or cast iron to the bottom of the vertical rod (it is threaded, so is easy) to add a bit of extras stability.
Will add that you will want at least a 1" diameter rod if you think you will ever use it on the ground for off-hand shooting with a 60" or longer rod. Something like the Ray-Vin that Creedmoor also offers. Anything less than 1" diameter and it sways in the wind, which is horrible.

Too bad that Celestron stopped making these. ED glass (the best) for only $400. I've had mine for 3-years and is excellent. Four other members of my club looked through it and immediately purchased one. Check eBay. You may still find one and they have a life-time warranty that Celestron is very good about standing behind. You can see from the Nikons listed above with ED glass how much they are today.
http://www.opticsplanet.com/celestron-spotting-scope-ultima-52247.html
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« Last Edit: Aug 4th, 2012 at 6:58pm by SSShooter »  

Glenn
 
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boats
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Virginia, USA
Re: Spotting Scopes & Bench Stands
Reply #3 - Aug 4th, 2012 at 6:25pm
 
Ebay has a Unertl 63mm 24 power listed. Looks like a nice one.  If there is a better 600 dollar scope out there have never seen it. These generaly sell as low as 400 if rough up to 600 if real nice

My 63/24 out spots all but the Largest objective Kowa's in the same power. Of course Not long eye relief, old with no warranty and difficult if repairs are needed is a risk.

Like SSS said Kowa 82 mm with the 25 or so power LER eyepiece is the safe bet.  1000 bucks.

I have several mounts depending on what I am using it for.

One caution, 22 holes at 200 is very dependent on atmospheric conditions. Gets soupy the best won't resolve the holes.  .22 to start with round nose the paper closes some when they go through. It's a difficult test.

Boats
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Chuckster
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Re: Spotting Scopes & Bench Stands
Reply #4 - Aug 5th, 2012 at 10:48am
 
The mount is at least half of a spotting scope set-up. Have learned to like the pipe clamp idea for bench shooting. Solid, out of the way, easily accessible, yet to find a bench where it won't work.
Chuck
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boats
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Re: Spotting Scopes & Bench Stands
Reply #5 - Aug 5th, 2012 at 12:33pm
 
The Freeland style heads and accessories from Champion Shooters supply will work on bar clamps. Gives you a nice precise adjustment with inexpensive solid base.

Probably the best bench top solution

Boats
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QuestionableMaynard8130
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Berrien Springs, MI, USA
Re: Spotting Scopes & Bench Stands
Reply #6 - Aug 5th, 2012 at 2:03pm
 
What about angled vrs straight eyepieces?  I have an old Kowa that really needs cleaning and refurbishing with a straight through variable eyepiece.  I also have a newer Nikon Earth/Sky with the 45 degree angled eyepiece.   I use a pipeclamp scope stand mounted on the right edge of the bench. 

And also what about offhand vrs bench shooting? 
Since I shoot mostly euro-schuetzens with deep drop stocks my bench setup is high and bulky so space on the bench gets a bit cluttered.    When shooting bench its nice to be able to just look up and through the spotting scope without major readjusting of gear and posture.   I have not been able to get the angled Nikon into the right position for that.   However when shooting offhand it is relatively easy to position below the pipe-mounted forend barrel rest so I can lean over and spot through it without shifting my feet, or losing my balance.   I have not come up with a really good DIY mount to attach the scope to the pipe. but I salvaged an old camera tripod head that may do the job with some adaptation.
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boats
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Re: Spotting Scopes & Bench Stands
Reply #7 - Aug 5th, 2012 at 5:50pm
 
Offhand Schuetzen matches  I use a regular Freeland's bi pod set up. I find a way to lash it to the shooting house, post, rail or bench. Exactly how depends on the individual range.   It's important to get close to the scope so you don't have to come out of position to spot. And be able to sit the rifle down and breech seat without moving your feet either. Space between scope and bench is just enough to stand in a good natural position. Any more than a single vertical post is likely to get in the way

It's worth giving up some scope stability to maintain a consistent neutral position.  I use a extra Freeland style rod with a wood block bolted to the top. V notch in the block that lashes easy to the shaft.  It's not difficult to take that horizontal rod and lash it to some fixture.  This is a lot of trouble and only well suited to Schuetzen were you will be shooting the same target same position all day for several days.

Silhouette were I spend most of my time is another thing, we shoot in squads spotter/shooter. Scope is slightly behind the shooter and run by the spotter. you change banks of animals have to run down a bank 10 or 15 targets and remove all equipment from the line after your 2 1/2 minute relay.  Good Tripod with a fluid head is the way I mount for Silhouette

It's all depends on what the range looks like rules are and how the scope is going to be used.

Boats
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uscra112
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SE Ohio Hill Country, Ohio, USA
Re: Spotting Scopes & Bench Stands
Reply #8 - Aug 5th, 2012 at 6:19pm
 
On the bench I'm using an old Bausch & Lomb reflector-type astronomical scope. Short barrel, comes with its' own very stable alt-azimuth mount with knob adjustments, very bright (it oughta be with 100mm aperture), and it cost me $600 a few years ago. They go for a coupla hundred now on evilBay. Celestron and Meade also make versions of this, usually 90mm aperture. I get funny looks at the range sometimes, but I cannot justify even $500 for a refractor that will match it optically, especially since scopes sold as "spotting scopes" don't have the adjustments for azimuth and elevation.

'Course the image is upside down and backward, but you can get an erecting prism for it.  Me, I just got used to it......
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Chuckster
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Re: Spotting Scopes & Bench Stands
Reply #9 - Aug 6th, 2012 at 10:15am
 
It is fairly easy to turn 3/4" schedule 40 pipe (1.050" OD) to one inch diameter, so any of the accessories will fit.
Chuck
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boats
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Re: Spotting Scopes & Bench Stands
Reply #10 - Aug 6th, 2012 at 10:22am
 
Champion Shooters Universal head assembly will fit any pipe clamp with no alterations. Standard one is for 5/8 pipe only.

Freeland Zoom Head Assembly
SKU: SSA-UZA
The Universal Zoom Head attaches your scope via threads. For use with scopes that have a rotating band (ie Kowa 82SV) The Universal head assembly will fit rods from 5/8" all the way up to 1.3" rods.

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