The exceptional benefits that a spotting scope provides in comparison to conventional binoculars or a rifle have long been appreciated by bird watchers and hunters alike. It is quicker and easier to find what you are looking for, and it is also easier to see what it is that you are looking for. There are a variety of options available for mounting and utilizing spotting scopes in the field due to the fact that they are available in both fixed and portable types. Whether you want a tiny, medium, or big one that fits within your backpack or a larger, heavier one that sits on your shoulder while you walk will determine which type of spotting scope will serve you best. The ideal spotting scope will depend on how you want to use it.
We put a few of the most well-known spotting scopes on the market today through their paces. Continue reading to find out more about what we discovered during our testing, which are geared toward assisting you in locating the ideal spotting scope for your particular requirements.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Spotting Scopes
Before you go out and get a new spotting scope, there are a few things you should keep in mind while you are shopping for one. The next section will provide you an overview of those aspects and help you find the scope that is most appropriate to satisfy your requirements.
When it comes to use, the two primary options accessible are portable or mounted, and before selecting which one is superior, it is important to consider both of these alternatives. Models that are held in the hand can be utilized either when the user is still or while they are moving around, but models that are mounted need to be moved only when it is absolutely necessary to do so.
- Handheld spotting scopes provide versatility and convenience because they are simple to transport from one location to another. They are wonderful for seeing wildlife in its natural habitat, and they can also be beneficial for hunting, provided that the hunter is able to maintain track of the movement of the animals.
- Mounted spotting scopes offer both stability and accuracy, which makes them an excellent choice for pros who want to get more involved in the shooting action. They are not inherently superior to portable ones, but for tactical reasons, some people may prefer their mount.
The term “scope” refers to a category of optics that can be broken down into three primary subcategories: standard (or single), binoculars, and monoculars. Each of these options possesses advantages that make them ideal for use in a variety of contexts.
- The barrel of a standard sight is straight, and the only additional feature is a focus adjustment knob located at the very end. Standard sights do not have any other characteristics. Because of their great size, these are normally reserved for use in long-range shooting. This is because holding the sight too closely to the target might induce distortion and lead to weariness.
- The shape of binoculars is designed to be more comfortable to use, with a curved handle that conforms to the natural curves of your hand. Because of this, they are easy to handle even when you do not have a tripod or ladder to support them.
- Monoculars typically have a more compact size overall, as well as a thinner profile and lower weight, which enables users to comfortably take them around without any difficulties.
Size and Weight
The size and weight of the scope itself are not as much of a concern because most handheld units weigh less than half a pound and stand about 2 feet tall. However, attaching a scope does affect both of these parameters. Most handheld units weigh less than half a pound and stand about 2 feet tall. Before making a purchase, it is essential to evaluate how stable the mount will be in order to accommodate a hefty scope, which is especially important in windy situations.
Most spotting scopes feature metal tubes that attach the scope to the rifle via a clamp. While this seems like it would prevent any twisting motion, experience shows that even with the best anti-twist mechanisms, rotating rifle scope mounts do occur. To avoid this problem, look for a scope with rubber padding inside the tube where your arm meets the gun.
A good quality scope should allow you to adjust your aim slightly without having to readjust the entire thing. Most manufacturers incorporate knobs into their designs that allow you to set your zero point, which is crucial for hitting targets at distance. Some scopes also come equipped with optical sights that assist with aiming. These lights dont improve your vision significantly, but they can help you line up a shot by projecting a bright dot onto the screen of your scope.
As mentioned earlier, spotting scopes are made out of durable materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, brass, and bronze. These elements combine to create a strong scope that won’t bend or twist with rough handling. However, despite being constructed of solid material, a rugged scope still can break down under constant abuse. To ensure durability, look for a model with protective coatings and rust-resistant finishes.
Spotting scopes aren’t cheap – generally starting at $100, they can run upward to $500 or higher depending on performance and features. If money is truly an object, then a high-end laser light show scope might be right for you.
Types Of Spotting Scopes
Spotting scopes are designed for a range of uses, and the same goes for this gear guide. Before you pull the trigger on your next purchase, make sure the scope you’re getting into is up to snuff with some basic information about how these devices work.
Angled spotting scopes
A portion of the eyepiece is tilted in a vertical direction. Because of the shorter length of the body and the more centralized placement of the weight, these are typically simpler to wield by hand. The eyepiece on most angled scopes is also moveable, giving you the ability to adjust it and find a viewing position that is most comfortable for you. Because the eyepiece is situated higher, you won’t require a tripod that is quite as tall, which will result in viewing sessions that are less exhausting on your neck and back. Additionally, the form of the angle makes it simpler to look from lower vantage points.
Straight spotting scopes
These are much longer and have the appearance of a telescope. This kind of spotting scope has a long and straight profile, which makes it simpler to store it in a pack. A straight spotting scope will find things simpler to reacquire your target while switching optics if you are also glassing with binoculars during the same hunt. As a result of the fact that a straight scope and binoculars both have the same position, you will be able to view the same object without having to modify your tripod. However, they can be uncomfortable on your neck because, when placed on a tripod, you will need to squat somewhat in order to view through the scope. Since the straight tube provides for better viewing when gazing down to lower elevation, using a straight spotting scope is easier to do when one is positioned at a higher elevation.
How We Chose Our Top Picks
To begin, we looked for the items that offered the best value in each category. When looking into spotting scopes, we took into consideration the cost, the range of magnification, the quality of the optics, and any other unique characteristics.
In addition to this, we investigated other aspects, such as the compatibility with night vision and resistance to the elements. In order to select our top choices for the best spotting scopes now available, we first selected a reasonable number of viable scopes from the extensive list that was provided to us. After that, we had a few die-hard customers evaluate the items on the list. After that, we considered the feedback provided by customers in addition to the reviews that were obtained from periodicals and online merchants. At long last, we have selected our top choices.
Frequently Asked Questions About Spotting Scopes
What magnification do you need for 1000 yards?
This depends entirely on what you intend to shoot. If you’re just getting started, a good rule of thumb is to take the minimum amount of magnification required by your caliber and add some extra room for error.
How much does a spotting scope cost?
Prices for spotting optics can range anywhere from $250 to over $800, and this is largely determined by the number of features and the quality of the glass used.
Can I use my binoculars as a spotting scope?
Absolutely! Many binoculars are actually designed with the intent of being used as a spot scope. Some even come equipped with a reticle mounted onto the objective lens, allowing you to aim precisely while viewing the target through the eyepiece.