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Barska Blackhawk Spotting Scope Review (Angled Body 18-36x50)

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Barska Blackhawk 18-36x50 spotting scope
Image Credit - Barska

Viewing Configuration: Angled
Magnification: 18-36X
Power Variability: Variable
Adjustable Eyepieces: No
Eyepiece included: Yes
Objective Diameter: 50 mm
Close Focus Distance: 23 feet
Length: 12 inches
Weight: 52.8 ounces
Field of View: 137-100 feet/1000 yards
Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 20-17 mm/ 2.8-1.4 mm
Optics Coatings: Multi-Coated
Glass: Not Listed
Focus System: Focus Knob/Single Focus
Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
Digiscope adaptable: No

Best Uses: For the Range, Hunting, Birdwatching

Barska Blackhawk 18-36x50 Spotting Scope Review

This Blackhawk 18-36X50 is fully waterproof and fog proof with multi-coated optics and shock absorbing armor.

There are loads of reviews about this scope online, it's doing extremely well with an excellent rating.

The Blackhawk name and the magnification + objective lens size combo of this spotting scope is what won it a spot among our optics reviews and our line-up of the best spotting scopes under $100. With low powers and a decent sized 50 mm aperture, I'm seeing why it's a big hit with hunters out in the field.

If you're wondering what makes this Blackhawk different from other spotting scopes, the Q&A holds the answer to your questions.


  • Price
  • Fully weatherproof
  • Shock absorbent body
  • Complete package
  • Angled body


  • Not for low light
  • Defective products

Blackhawk 18-36X50 Spotting Scope Q&A:

How far out can you see with the 18-36x50 Blackhawk?

If you're target shooting at the range and you're using your spotting scope to conveniently see where your bullet lands, this 18-36X scope will get the job done.

Its close focus distance is 23 feet, so from about 23 to 100 yards on any color target paper, you're going to get positive bullet strike images. At 200 yards plus, you'll want to start using splatter or shoot-n-see targets.

But, for while you're out ram, elk, or mule deer hunting, you'll be able to count the rack on a buck or confirm the sex of your billy from 400-600 yards away.

What is the build quality like on Barska's Blackhawk Spotting Scope?

The Blackhawk is aesthetically pleasing, but what matters most is how it's going to hold up while out in the field. And, with the help of the shock absorbing armor, it should stand up to a few knocks and dings.

But, what's the reality?

Disappointingly, this particular Blackhawk has numerous complaints of the cheap, plastic assembly that's made to hold the o-ring and objective lenses.

While a lot of low budget scopes are made with this piece being plastic, quite a few Blackhawk ones are found to be defective in workmanship, where the objective lens is misaligned or the plastic piece cracks and breaks easily.

Word of caution: be prepared to return this scope and use your warranty or call it a loss for $80.

What are the other models in the Blackhawk series?

There's quite the variety when it comes to the Blackhawks, and this particular 18-36X50 model is just one of 12.

While 12 sounds like a lot, I'm including the angled and straight models. That number also includes quite the variety of 20-60X60 Blackhawk scopes as well. But, one other platform includes a 25-75X100 model.

Is this Blackhawk 18-36x50 a good spotting scope for low light conditions?

No. I'll be upfront from the start. The exit pupil on this scope is only a mere 2.8-1.4 mm. This is barely good enough to stay bright with maximum light transmission during daylight.

And, combine the small exit pupil with anything less than the best type of coatings, and image clarity and brightness is going to be extremely weak come low light hours.

Noteworthy Features:

  • 18-36X low magnification suitable for 400-500 yard ranging and 200 yard target shooting
  • Multi-Coated optics, Porro Prism Design, Angled Viewing Design
  • Fully waterproof and fogproof for use in all types of weather
  • Comes with Soft Carry Case, Tripod, and Lens Cloth
  • Shock absorbent rubber armored body
  • Backed by Barska's Limited Lifetime Warranty

Our Verdict On The Barska's Blackhawk 18-36x50 Spotter

The scoop on the scope is, the Barska Blackhawk 18-36x50 spotter is an affordable and compact unit for the field. However, the build can present some issues if you're planning on using and abusing it. It's also not for hunting in low light hours. For low light hour power, consider the Benchmark 8-24X58 WP spotting scope.

For more spotting power, the Gosky 20-60x80 keeps the price real with with more optical prowess. Completely weatherproof with an entire tripod, soft case, and digiscope adapter to boot.

Barska knows how to provide entry level spotters for not only beginners, but for expert hunters, observers, and target shooters too. Picking the right Barska for you will be easy to spot with hawk eyes on the Blackhawk!

Further Reading

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Simon Cuthbert - Founder

Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast and the founder of Target Tamers. He is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on sports optics of all kinds and for all applications. Simon has contributed to notable publications online and teaches beginners the technical side of optics through his extensive library of optics guides.

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