Spotters Help Select a Spotting Scope for my Birthday

Candyman87

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May 18, 2020
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Ladies and Gentlemen:

My birthday is around the corner and the wife has agreed to get me a new spotting scope. Only drawback is it's got to come from Cabela's (I've cashed in several rewards/points, etc. to get her $450 in Cabela's gift cards to offset the costs) and no more than $450-500 out of pocket for her (yes, she's a keeper).

That said, I've been leaning very heavily towards the Vortex Viper HD 20-60x85 (Angled) model for $899 ($450 out of pocket) to replace my old, battered, and frankly shitty Barska 20-60x60 spotting scope that I bought years back when I was a broke college student.

The scope will primarily be used for competition i.e. IWI Gas Gun Series and MARS Rimfire series, shooting 500-700 yards max, but I'm hoping to see 1,000 yards this year or next.

I've debated stepping down to the Viper HD 15-45x65 for compactness, however, I like the idea of the 85mm models being compatible with the 33.5x MRAD ranging reticle accessory when I'm spotting for a shooting buddy.

Also constantly debating the straight vs. angled aspect as well. But I think the angled would provide me more options, especially self spotting.

Thoughts? Other recommendations from Cabela's?
 

FuhQ

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    That Viper HD is a good one. Wished I had ponied-up the cash back in the day, to get the Viper HD over the Diamondback that I have. The DB is alright scope, but nowhere near the Viper HD. Get the 20-60x85... Having more magnification and not needing it, is better than needing it, and not having it.
     
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    FuhQ

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    powdahound76

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    Get angled. Mag is good most of the time.
    10x42 binos work for when 20-60 is too much.

    Used a Vortex guy’s spotter at a match to spot and it was tough with straight eyepiece.

    Would try to find a way to get that closeout Razor.

    I use a straight scope, but specifically for the reticle and compactness.
    I paired my tripod to move it easily into view so I dont have to jack my neck weird to see.
     
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    Tortuga

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    I don't spend near as much time behind glass as others here, but enough to know what my eyes and brain like and what strains them. Even though I have and use a great Leupold MK4 spotter, when I help spot at a match, I spend all my time behind a par of Bushnell Forge 15x56 binos. Not the best glass, but much less strain by the end of the day. They were part of a two-year plan for trading up to a Swarovski SLC, but that timeline keeps sliding.

    Given your constraints, I would go with the Vortex Kaibab 15x56 Binos or the Leupold Santiam if you could squeeze another $100.

    Sticking to spotters, I would look through the Leupold SX-4 that are on sale or try to squeeze into the $1199 Vortex Razor.
     
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    Old Man with Gun

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    I perfer angled, but also have a straight 16-32x50 that is super compact if size matters most.

    Quality of glass is worth a fair bit of magnification, if you have to choose between better glass and higher magnification, I go for the glass. Usable magnification is dependent upon conditions, so keep in mind, that 60x may not be ideal, even if you have it, on a hot windy day.
     
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    Candyman87

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    May 18, 2020
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    Get angled. Mag is good most of the time.
    10x42 binos work for when 20-60 is too much.
    Thanks... and I've got a couple sets of binos that come out with me depending on what I'm doing. But a cheap set of Bushnell 10x42's are always in my range bag.
    Given your constraints, I would go with the Vortex Kaibab 15x56 Binos or the Leupold Santiam if you could squeeze another $100.
    Those Kaibabs look really nice. I've got a set of Diamondback 15x56's that get used from time to time.
    I perfer angled, but also have a straight 16-32x50 that is super compact if size matters most.
    I'll probably add a smaller straight one in the future if size becomes critical.
     

    JBoomhauer

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    Feb 16, 2019
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    For what you are looking to do I would suggest binos first then the smaller spotting scope.

    Have you considered the Recon. It actually works decent for the type of shooting you will be doing. The glass isn’t the best but the reticle sure is nice to have.