How to Choose the Best Spotting Scope for Target Shooting (and Our Top 7 Range Spotters)

Target Range Spotting ScopesOne of the most tedious aspects of range shooting is walking to see your targets after a set of shots – every time!

Please don’t do that anymore. You just need a spotting scope.

Save your precious time at the range for more shooting and less time being a gofer. For those long range shots, it becomes even less practical to pound the gravel to your targets.

A spotting scope can save you time, money on targets, and your breath from the trek to and fro. Check out our lineup of spotters that can change the way you experience the range!

 

Best Target Range Spotting Scopes

A spotting scope dedicated to only meeting the needs of shooters at a range have a leg up over a hunter’s needs. Weight and size aren’t a big issue since the scope will be mounted and stationary most of the time in that one location. Consequently, a target shooter can enjoy very high magnification power for intimate details at the range.

However, not all high-power spotters are equal. When a hunter or a shooter unequivocally depends on seeing target performance downrange or the trophy bull several miles away, a spotting scope has a lot to live up to.

This is where cost comes in. Better glass, regardless of magnification range, will always outperform high magnification on bargain-barrel spotters – there’s no debate. However, better glass is always so much more expensive. Where’s the trade off? Spend more money on a spotter and less money on expensive shoot ‘n see targets? Or, spend less money on a spotter and guarantee frustration, blurry image quality, and wasted breath back and forth because you couldn’t see?

We will cut you some slack and offer some affordable spotters that can get the job done, but only after you allow us to list the top brands that offer high-end spotting scopes. Yes, they’re expensive, but high-quality and dependable spotters are in a unique class of optics. Expect to pay more for every 100 yards you want to add for distance clarity. So, just how serious are you about being an expert marksman?

The Best Spotting Scope Brands

 ProductMagnification/
Objective Lens
Viewing ConfigurationPrice Range 
Leupold Mark 4 20-60x80Leupold Mark 4 with Mil-Dot Reticle 11082520-60X 80mmStraightUnder $2500View on Amazon
Burris Signature HD 20-60X85Burris Signature HD with SCR-Mil or SCR-MOA reticle20-60X 85mmAngledUnder $1500View on Amazon
Vortex Viper HD 20-60X85 AngledVortex Viper HD20-60X 85mmAngledUnder $1000View on Amazon
regal-m2-16-48x65Celestron Regal M2 65ED16-48X 65mmAngledUnder $500View on Amazon
vanguard endeavor hd 20-60x82Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A20-60X 82mmAngledUnder $500View on Amazon
Carson Everglade 15-50x60Carson Everglade HD SS-56015-45X 60mmAngledUnder $200View on Amazon
Feyachi 20-60x60aeFeyachi 20-60X60AE20-60X 60mmAngledUnder $100View on Amazon

 

Our 7 Top Spotting Scopes For Target Shooting

1

Leupold Mark 4 20-60X80

Leupold Mark 4 20-60x80The U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps have depended on the Mark 4 spotter for exacting clarity and usable detail at unbelievable ranges. As a spotter that is perfectly suited for use in a sniper team, it must have something other spotters lack, right? The Mark 4 is available with a Mil Dot and TMR (Tactical Milling Reticle) to really get dead-on when marksmanship is crucial.

As expected for a Leupold, you can be assured it has the latest glass coating technology, is fully weatherproof, and if it’s durable enough for the military, it’s definitely going to hold up at the range!

Read Full Review

 

2

Burris Signature HD 20-60X85

Burris Signature HD 20-60X85The Signature HD is a brand new spotter from Burris when they re-entered the observational optics scene once again. It’s definitely no cut-rate spotter to feel out the buying crowd. Burris went all out and equipped this scope with everything you need to get intentionally-placed bullet strikes at long distances. If they’re going to dish it, they’re going to do it with style.

With the interchangeable eyepiece system, you can also have a MOA or Mil reticle on a fixed 30x eyepiece. Top the spotter with a FastFire red dot sight, and you have everything you need to hit the 10 ring every time.

Read Full Review

 

3

Vortex Viper HD 20-60X85

Vortex Viper HD 20-60X85 AngledAnother brand new spotting scope to the 2018 market! The Viper also made it on our Best Long Range Spotting Scope lineup. With a complete transformation, it’s definitely appropriate to hit the range with.

The new Helical focus ring with both course and fine adjustments in one control makes it a more than appropriate feature at the range. Get course adjustments for focusing the target range and then fine focus it to get viper-sharp clarity to see your groupings.

Under $1000, the quality is all there from the glass coatings to the construction. Vortex is definitely a brand where their spotters are moving ever so close to being in the exclusive club of the best of the best spotting scopes.

Read Full Review

 

4

Celestron Regal M2 65ED

regal-m2-16-48x65The M2 65ED model of the Regal spotters the most versatile one of the series. For use at the range, you know you already have those 50-200 yard distances under your belt. To up the optical quality by a lot, this Regal has both XLT coatings and ED glass.

Equipped with both dual focus and interchangeable eyepiece systems, you’re getting the potential to experience high-end features for the lowest costs possible.

Want a little more distance reach at the range? Change out the eyepiece for a higher power one and you’re good to go. Why spend more if you don’t have to?

Read Full Review

 

5

Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A

vanguard endeavor hd 20-60x82When it comes to shopping for a cheaper spotter, expect to lose out on distance clarity. While the 20-60x specs might sound ideal, you’ll be compromising on glass quality.

However, it’s an affordable spotting scope with a few premium perks that might give it an edge in your shooting spree. With ED glass, dual focus, and phase-correction coatings, the optics are your side when it comes to seeing what it looks like down range.

For standard target shooting ranges to spot groupings at 100-200 yards, the Endeavor is up to the job. It even has the interchangeable eyepiece system so if you want more range, you have the option of switching out the eyepiece.

Read Full Review

 

6

Carson Everglade 15-45X60 – Best Budget Spotting Scope for Target Shooting

Carson Everglade 15-50x60For the price, many of you might skip over the Everglade and you’d be doing yourself a disservice. This spotter has a lot to offer if you’re on a strict budget even though it may not be anything fancy.

Its strengths lie in its lightweight and indestructible design – we’re not kidding when we say this spotter can take a beating! While the power range may be on the low end, you’ll be able to identify groupings up to 200 yards. The included table top tripod is one worth keeping.

Even better, this spotter can be used anywhere and everywhere. Pack it up for a day hike, haul it in the hunt, or set it up at the range!

Read Field Test

 

7

Feyachi 20-60X60AE

Feyachi 20-60x60aeThis spotting scope certainly made a grand entrance in 2017. As a new product, it’s definitely striking a chord with the buying crowd. Why? The fantastically low price is probably why it’s so popular, but it’s sure to raise some eyebrows. Is it too good to be true?

From first glance it covers all the basics with features needed at the range. Clarity and distance power to 200 yards? Check. Weatherproof for sudden changes at the range? Check. Full package of accessories included? Check mate.

For a spotting scope for target shooting under $100 that costs less than ammo and targets combined, you better check out the full review so you’re not left blind come range day!

View on Amazon

 

How to Choose a Spotting Scope For Target Shooting?

There are many variables in play that can affect your visibility down range through a spotter: types of targets being used, atmospheric conditions, and the distances you want to see tiny bullet strikes. While many factors can fall within your control, conditions like snow, mirage, and wind bow to no-one.

Always try to ensure a successful range session by appropriately preparing your equipment such as types of targets and high-quality tripods. You might want to plan your trip to the range when wind and mirage aren’t at their most active.

You should also look for specific features that may help with your target shooting needs. Would you benefit from a spotter with a reticle, the interchangeable eyepiece system, or extra lens coatings? Let’s get you started with a few things to think about.

  • Design: Straight may be the default design for range use, however, angled will provide more versatility for other activities.
  • Glass Quality: High-end glass will always outperform low-end glass with higher power ranges. This is the most important feature that determines optical performance at long ranges.
  • Len Coating Quality: Prism-correction and external lens coatings help to enhance light transmission and protect the glass.
  • Magnification: 20-60x and higher is ideal for long range target shooting. However, going down in magnification to a range of 15-45x and improving glass quality can provide better optical performance than a poorly-made 20-60x spotter,and it will be good for intermediate ranges.
  • Eyepieces: Going premium might mean you have to pay extra just for the eyepiece. However, interchangeable eyepieces provide the option to change power range for versatility in various activities.
  • Reticles: Reticles in spotters are nothing new, but they’re beginning to set a popular trend. Ensure the reticle system matches the one in your rifle scope. Look for additional features such as illuminated or the ability to turn the reticle on/off.
  • Size/Weight: Stationary use at the range weight won’t be too much of a concern. However, if you’re using the same spotter for multiple applications like hunting and backpacking, you’ll have to consider weight and size dimensions for more versatility.
  • Quality tripod: A high-end spotting scope can’t provide maximum performance without a solid and quality tripod system.
  • Warranty coverage: Protect your spotting scope with a warranty that’s fitting for the scope or better. Get familiar with what to expect warranty-wise before purchasing a scope.

 

Rewards Fit The Risks!

It’s really hard for many buyers to shell out thousands of dollars on a high-end spotting scope. What it comes down to is if you want to be able to see past distances of 300 yards, how serious you are about precise and tight groupings, and if you want the spotter to be in perfect unison with the shooter.

These scenarios legitimately call for a quality spotting scope, and the more serious you are about your shooting, the more you’ll come to terms with the costs. If the scope is for the occasional trip to the range within 300 yards, go easy on yourself and your budget and take a cue from our lineup. Again we ask, just how serious are you about being an expert marksman?

back to spotters with reticlespremium spotters priced over 1000