In this article, we’ll go through what defines the ideal spotting scope for target shooting, what attributes to look for, and how to get the greatest value model.
Spotting scopes are typically used to assist with shooting targets at various distances, but many shooters are unsure what objective size, magnification, and, most importantly, optical quality are needed when shooting at a specific distance. When it comes to 100-yard scoring vs. 400-yard scoring, how powerful of a spotting scope is required?
Before we get into the specific spotting scope features, we should address how weather conditions can affect your spotting scope’s performance. While utilizing a shooting spotting scope, humidity, air turbulence, dust, haze, and heat mirage, as well as other atmospheric variables, can all influence image quality. These circumstances might change by the hour. There is no way around this. Even a high-end spotting scope for target shooting can be totally unusable under extreme heat, and increasing magnification or distance from the target just exacerbates the problem.
For those reasons and more, if this scope is going to be critical to your survival, you must test the spotting scope under a diverse array of conditions before forming a final opinion on it. Many scopes are criticized for poor performance while the real culprit is the environment.
However, assuming good conditions, we can focus on considering features and quality. And from here, you can find the top spotting scopes at many locations and sources.
Approximately 100 yards
Spotting target holes from an air rifle or .22 rounds on a target face at distances of up to 100 yards is easily done by most any spotting scope with a power of 15-40x range with a target lens ranging from 50mm to 100mm.
Gosky 20-60×60 HD Spotting Scope with Tripod, Carrying Bag and Scope Phone Adapter – BAK4 45 Degree Angled Eyepiece Telescope for Target Shooting Hunting Bird Watching Wildlife Scenery
- 【POWERFUL MAGNIFICATION】: Adjustable powerful 20-60x zoom magnification allows you to lock onto your target and zoom in for more detail. Perfect for target shooting, archery, hunting, bird watching, wildlife watching, hiking, camping, scenery, outdoor sporting, astronomical observation etc
- 【FULLY MULTI-COATED LENS】: Fully multi-coated 60mm green film objective lens provides a field of view at 50-110ft/1000 yards. The quality BAK4 Porro prism optics increases light transmission, delivers bright, clear, high-contrast images even in low-light conditions. 45 degree angled eyepiece provides more comfortable viewing
- 【DURABLE CONSTRUCTION】: Durable framework and high-quality rubber armor provide non-slip grip, shock-proof grip and durable external protection, which enables the scope to withstand the toughest weather conditions. The eyepiece shield can be stretched out to protect the eyepiece
- 【WATERPROOF DESIGN】: O-ring seals prevent moisture, dust and debris from penetrating the scope for reliable performance in all environments. Nitrogen gas purging delivers further waterproof performance
- 【FULL RANGE OF ACCESSORIES】: A smartphone digiscoping adapter included enables you to take photos and videos of what you have observed. Bring the nature closer to you and you can explore the distant world easily through the phone screen. A tripod provides you a more stable observation from any angles. A carry case, eyepiece and lens protection covers, cleaning cloth make you more convenient to carry and maintain
With a decent budget, you will undoubtedly get a spotting scope that will meet your needs. There’re a lot of well-priced and also well-featured affordable spotting scopes on the market currently. If you’re only shooting short distances, one criterion you might want to consider is the minimum or near focus space. Scopes don’t pay attention to close-up objects, so if you occasionally want to observe something from 20 yards, make sure your scope will provide you the minimum attention to do that; otherwise, all you’ll see is a blur.
Approximately 200 yards
When you get above 100 yards and start moving into longer ranges such as 200 yards, optical quality begins to play a role. In comparison to those with a somewhat greater price, bargain-basement budget dividers typically have poorer standard lens glass, cheaper coatings, and a poorer internal structure.
Emarth 20-60x60AE 45 Degree Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod, Phone Adapter, Carry Bag, Scope for Target Shooting Bird Watching Hunting Wildlife
- ✅【High Magnification】This spotting scope features a powerful zoom magnification range that adjustable 20x to 60x magnification,45 degree angled eyepiece ergonomic design allows more comfortable viewing. Field-of-view is 39-19m/1000m, brings nature closer to you than ever. Perfect for target shooting, hunting, bird watching wildlife, spotting moon, traveling, hiking, camping, archery, astronomy etc
- ✅【Fully Multi-coated Lens】The lens are all fully multi-coated and features BAK4 roof prism to increases light transmission and delivers bright, clear, high-contrast images even in low-light conditions. For long range viewing, a dual focus wheel system enables fast and fine-tuning focus adjustment,allows you to lock onto your target and zoom in for more detail clearly
- ✅【Durable Construction】High-quality rubber armor provides non-slip grip, shock-proof grip and durable external protection. Built-in retractable sunshade reduces glare, come with tripod allows rotation of the eyepiece to a sideways position, providing adjustable viewing angles
- ✅【Waterproof Fogproof 】The waterproof spotting scope provides exceptional performance in the most rugged conditions. the spotter scope optics are sealed with O-rings to prevent moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the spotting scope, fogproof barrel is filled with nitrogen gas to inhibit internal fogging, completely protection for all weather conditions
- ✅【Emarth VIP Customer Service】 – Emarth offers lifetime VIP customer service for our customers, you are welcome to contact us if any problem with our optics products, our special line service will work hard to put a smile back on your face
We’d recommend looking for one with a magnification range of 15-60x, a 60mm to 80mm objective lens, and a moderate price tag. The 100mm behemoths can be rendered for much longer ranges.
Approximately 300 yards
However, increasing the distance to 300 yards significantly raises the stakes. It’s far more difficult than the extra 100 yards imply. At this range, optical quality will become the sole deciding criterion. Forget about low-cost scopes with large objective lenses. Inexpensive jumbo objectives also are cheap objectives, and no amount of marketing will change that.
I recommend larger 80mm lenses for 300-yard work to better manage the magnifications required. You have the option of selecting an excellent scope in ordinary glass or scope of good quality in ED glass. However, for a high-quality objective, you must use an eyepiece that is up to date. If you use a low-priced eyepiece behind this, attaching an ED objective to a poorer scope is a waste of money.
500 Yards and Beyond the 500-yard mark
Those latter five (the Big Five, in my opinion) are the only ones that can go beyond 500 yards, and as any expert shooter will tell you, superior spotting scopes should be used at these ranges more to determine atmospheric quality plus air currents than for scoring. Even the best spotting scopes require assistance for scoring at these greater distances, which is typically in the form of a tagger or spotter on the target.
The eyepiece may be the last thing you will think about. Fixed and zoom are the two most common types of eyepieces. Both of these are excellent for target shooting, but you must pick which one is best for you.
Fixed eyepieces have higher optical performance than the other types because they have a wider FOV (field of vision) and somewhat crisper images. Because of the improved image quality, folks who use digiscoping tech (and basically everybody who is shooting images by using their scope) favor this sort of eyepiece.
Conversely, a zoom eyepiece can be used. However, this is not a standard; this style of the eyepiece is often better for target shooting since it allows for faster zooming in and scanning on the aim (thus the name).
Another consideration when selecting an eyepiece is the amount of eye relief it can provide. If you want to prevent getting black-eyed, you’ll have to get a lot of eye-relief because target shooting includes a lot of ‘shooting’ (in contrast to hunters who only shoot once they’ve locked in on the target).
The size of the objective has a big impact on a lot of things. Portability and compactness are the first and most visible aspects that they influence. Target shooting and hunting are typically accompanied by proper equipment, and many individuals wind up purchasing scopes with large objective lenses and having to leave particular items at home just because they take up too much room.
People sometimes choose larger objective lens scopes without first assessing the efficacy of the lens. Keep in mind that the price of scope is decided by the total number of parts it contains, so just because your model has a large goal doesn’t mean you’ll receive a clear picture.
On the other hand, the larger the aim, the more details are seen. Large objective scopes are commonly employed for target shooting in this situation.
You’ll be hard-pressed to locate an inexpensive optic that doesn’t include completely multi-coated lenses. All lens surfaces are fully multi-coated, which means there are many layers of coating on all of them. A coating aids in the enhancement of the glass’s natural qualities in order to transmit as much light as feasible. The optimum type of coating is fully multi-coated optics. Coated, fully coated, or multi-coated are all inferior.
That specification, however, says nothing about the number of layers of coating applied, the quality of the procedure, or the type of coating used. So don’t be deceived.
Around 100 yards, you might be able to go without a tripod, but the picture will grow increasingly shaky unless you set your scope on a firm foundation. At all distances, you should use a tripod; some scopes come with one, and virtually all of them are equipped with a tripod standard 14”-20 thread hole, allowing you to attach them to one.
It’s not easy to find the best spotting scope for target shooting. If you know you’ll use it for spotting a target, it’s ideal to pick one that can perform the job at 300 yards.
Premium spotting scopes, on the other hand, can provide brilliant, crisp views at 500 yards and even greater magnification power. When it comes to purchasing a spotting scope, my advice is to always go for the best that you can afford!