Not every hunter is looking for a spotting scope for use during the hunt, but they are looking for something at the range. If this is you, I’m proud to inform you about one of the most affordable spotting scopes often overlooked in even the best spotting scope reviews.
Here, I’ll get straight into the essence of what it means to have a decent scope at your side while you’re popping off lead. Think high magnifications, rubber armoring, and BK7 prism glass.
Simmons Spotting Scope Review
Now, don’t turn your nose up or go to a new page because this is a Simmons spotting scope review. Instead, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised that you’re going to get something that has more quality than it should for its price.
Simmons may not be considered a first-tier brand, but they’ve been making hunters happy for many a decade. When you want something that can get the job done well with as little cost as possible without being “cheap”, Simmons should be your first choice.
And, to make that choice even easier, Simmons only offers one, quality spotting scope. There’s no point in offering more if you can get everything you have to give in one, well-made device. For dependability, clarity, and high power viewing, the best Simmons spotting scope is fully reviewed right here.
Simmons 20-60X60 Spotting Scope Review
This Simmons spotting scope has BK7 prisms, fully coated optics, and super magnification ranges of 20-60X. It’s also completely weatherproof and is full-body wrapped in rubber armoring.
This newer model currently has a solid base of reviews online, and it sports an above average rating. For a spotting scope under $100, this rating is well-earned.
As the only spotting scope in the Simmons line-up, I can fairly say that it will be the star feature in this review.
And, for all of you hunters and marksmen out there who just need a good recommendation, you’ll want to pay attention to the Q&A. You’re about to be loaded with everything there is to know on the Simmons scope.
Simmons 20-60X60 Q&A:
Q. Is this an angled or a straight spotting scope?
A. This Simmons spotting scope is a straight body scope. You can tell by its eyepiece that remains in line with the body.
While many brands typically offer a straight and angled version of their scopes, Simmons doesn’t bother with an angled model.
Their spotting scope is aimed for the hunter and the marksman at the range – you don’t need any awkward angles where you’d need to switch out for an angled eyepiece. And, if for some reason you do have an awkward angle, you’d still be able to reach it well with a straight model.
Simmons keeps things simple and clean with the straight body without giving into the increased hype of angled eyepieces that are trending today.
Q. What is the image quality like?
A. Short answer: better than what you’d expect for a scope that’s under $100.
Long answer: the image quality is going to be excellent during daylight use within high ranges of about 20X to 40X.
After that, images most likely won’t be as sharp as you’d like it to be, especially as you get closer to 60X power and as you start getting into low light conditions. Also, eye relief is very short at 13 mm at 60X, so it’s going to be impractical, let alone uncomfortable, to use at such high power.
Q. What are fully coated lenses?
A. Lenses are coated to improve the transmittance of light throughout the optical pathway in the scope. It looks like this…
The more light that comes through the objective lens without being lost or reflected back out, the more light that reaches the eyepiece to your eyes. This results in a bright image.
Fully coated lenses means that all air-to-glass lenses and prism surfaces have been coated at least once to improve light transmission. Although this isn’t the best level of coatings that’s available, it’s standard quality for under $100.
Q. What type of spotting scope is this Simmons?
A. This is what you would call a prismatic refracting telescope/spotting scope.
Inside the scope body, there’s a prism erecting assembly that interacts with light-waves in a way to bring the image upright and facing the front.
There are also more complicated types of spotting scopes such as catoptric or reflective scopes and catadioptric telescopes. But, more often than not, most spotting scopes are refractive devices.
Q. What is BK7?
A. Just as important as it is to erect carefully and precisely-made prisms in an optic, it’s of equal import to consider what it’s been made out of.
This is where BK7 comes in. Most often than not, prisms are made out of either BAK4 or BK7 glass. BK7 is a term designated by the glass authority Schott AG, and is basically a borosilicate crown compound that’s used to produce the glass for sport optics.
It has a very high refractive index rate, is more affordable than BAK4, and is often seen on porro prism optics.
Q. What is the ranging distance of this Simmons scope?
A. The high magnifications of 20-60X makes it an excellent viewing tool for while you’re at the range. You can expect to get some good results at 300 yards, excellent viewing at 200 yards, and perfect clarity at 100 yards.
These distances are ideal for sighting in and for positive bullet strike identification. No more walking back and forth to your targets and having the entire range go cold while you do so.
Q. Is this Simmons spotting scope waterproof?
A. Fully weatherproof includes being absolutely waterproof and fog-proof. Most low budget scopes don’t always fully weatherproof their optics, but only the best Simmons spotting scopes are.
And, you don’t really want to compromise on this feature since a fogged-up scope can literally render your spotting device useless either forever, or for a very long time.
But this 20-60X60 scope has been nitrogen-purged and o-ring sealed to ensure the inside of the scope maintains its condensation-free integrity.
Q. Will this scope break easily?
A. An impressive aspect of this low budget spotting scope is its build quality. It’s fully armored in a rubber coating that keeps it protected from any drops, crashes, and bangs.
The other nice thing about it is, the rubber armoring also improves a secure grip. With both of these benefits behind its back, it’s not going to be overly sensitive to regular abuse.
Q. Can I take this scope hunting?
A. This Simmons spotting scope is intended for use while hunting, at the range, and even for some bird watching. While I think its best use and its strengths will be made manifest primarily at the range, you could take it out into the field.
But, if that’s what your main use for it will be, I should mention a few things. The first is its weight. It weighs about 27.8 ounces… lightweight – yes, but a compact device might be better if you’re on the move a lot or out for extended periods of time.
The second is the tripod. While I’ve got more to say on this particular aspect later, I will mention here that you’ll want to take a reliable, sturdy, and metal tabletop tripod with you if you want any quality use out of the scope. Remember, this may also add to your overall packing weight.
Thirdly, the field of view is only 99 feet at 1000 yards. Although this is pretty standard for a spotting scope, it’s still narrow if you’re hoping to catch moving animals in your periphery.
Q. Can I use the Simmons spotting scope for astronomy?
A. For basic use, why not? Just point it up to the sky and you’ll get a better view of the night sky than with a pair of ProSport binoculars. But, this is really made for hunting and shooting use.
This is also a straight body scope, so looking up and raising it to the heavens might just give you a crick in the neck if you’re waiting for Halley’s comet to come by.
Q. Is this Simmons scope camera adaptable?
A. Unfortunately, this Simmons isn’t digiscope compatible. So, if you were hoping to be able to get shots of your prey before it became tucker, no such luck.
But, don’t be too harsh on Simmons here. It’s difficult across the board to find a digiscope compatible device under $100.
Q. What are the extra accessories that come with the spotting scope?
A. This spotting scope comes with the 20-60X zoom eyepiece, a tripod, a soft carry case, and a hard-shell plastic case.
Just a word on the tripod – scrap it. If you’re buying this scope just because you’re getting a free tripod thrown in, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. The tripod is no where near sufficient – very flimsy, too lightweight, and plastic. Just be prepared to buy a metal, quality, tabletop tripod to replace it.
But, the carry cases might just be worth being excited about. They’re excellent quality and might just be worth the price of the entire scope purchase themselves!
Q. Are there other models in the Simmons spotting scope line?
A. No. This straight body 20-60X60 spotting scope is the only one of its kind that Simmons offers.
There used to be an older version of this same model that sold for over $200. It looks pretty much identical to this model, even optically too.
It also had a decent reviewer base of 50 with a 3.7 star rating out of 5. But, that’s been discontinued for this newer $90 spotting scope instead.
But, if you’re looking for something in the same price range and quality to compare it with, the Celestron LandScout 10-30X50, that we’ve already reviewed, would be its compact and angled counterpart.
Q. Does this Simmons scope come with a warranty?
A. It does, even though Simmons doesn’t specifically state their warranty coverage details on their website. But, they do provide warranty coverage, services, and repairs.
Tip – Simmons is a subsidiary company of Bushnell, so, if you’re a Bushnell fan, this will be good news for you. And, since Bushnell is the parent company, you’ll be dealing with them when it comes to warranty coverage.
Unfortunately though, dealing with Bushnell customer service for warranty repairs hasn’t always left hunters with a positive experience – it seems to be hit and miss.
But hopefully, you won’t ever have need to use it for your Simmons spotting scope!
Simmons 20-60X60 Spotting Scope Specs:
- Viewing Configuration: Straight
- Magnification: 20-60X
- Power Variability: Variable
- Adjustable Eyepieces: No
- Eyepiece included: Yes
- Objective Diameter: 60 mm
- Close Focus Distance: 26 feet
- Length: 14 inches
- Weight: 27.8 ounces
- Field of View: 99 feet/1000 yards
- Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 17-13 mm/ 3-1 mm
- Optics Coatings: Fully-Coated
- Glass: BK7
- Focus System: Focus Knob/Single Focus
- Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
- Digiscope adaptable: No
- 20-600X super high zoom for far distance ranging and up-close viewing for fine details
- Large 60 mm lens for optimal light gathering
- BK7 prism glass and fully-coated optics provide clear, sharp, and bright images
- Fully weatherproof and o-ring sealed for fog-proof benefits
- Straight body appropriately suited for hunters and marksmen at the range
Is this Simmons Spotting Scope the Right Scope for me?
This Simmons 20-60X60 spotting scope is exactly what it portrays itself to be – a high quality optic for the price. For functional use while at the range, it’s an excellent option.
And, I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t be sending this scope back for a refund, and I’ve seen this done aplenty with scopes hundreds of dollars more!
For a hunter who wants a low-maintenance pal for affirmative bullet strikes while out at the range, you should give Simmons a chance. They’ve raked in the reviews, they’ve got a prevailing reputation, and best of all, they’ve got the right price.
If you feel you need more of a range of scopes to check out, you may be interested in the the lineup of top spotting scopes from Leupold.