What’s the Best Spotting Scope for Target Shooting?

Anthony Cote
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If you shoot a lot, you know how difficult it can be to enhance your target shooting experience. Sure, you know you can make a lot of small modifications to the exact sight picture you need to hit your target — you can change a whole slew of variables to get the perfect shot.

But the moment you step to the side, you’ll discover that it’s just plain impossible to hit your bullseye target as precisely as you need it. All shotguns, rifles, and handguns are very sensitive to muzzle blast, recoil, and even your own movements, which means you can’t shoot while you are mastering your shooting technique.

That being said, today we’re going to take a look at making your shooting experience that much better with a good rifle scope.

Here are the best rifle scopes for shooting.

NameCategoryProduct
Kowa TSN-880 Series Angled Body High Performance Spotting ScopeBest OverallKowa TSN-880 Series Angled Body High Performance Spotting Scope
Celestron – Ultima 80 Angled Spotting ScopeBudget PickCelestron – Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope
Vortex Razor HD Spotting ScopeUpgrade PickVortex Razor HD Spotting Scope

1. Kowa TSN-880 Series Angled Body High Performance Spotting Scope

Our rating: 9 / 10

Kowa TSN-880 Series Angled Body High Performance Spotting Scope

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Pros:

  • Angled body design
  • Dust-resistant design
  • Fluorite optical glass
  • Internally-corrected

10-29x.

If you’re looking for the best spotting scope for target shooting, then the Kowa TSN-880 Series angled body should be right up there on your list. Built for people who like to shoot lying down, the angled body design allows you to aim more precisely while shooting without ever having to worry about sniping your elbows.

The Kowa TSN-880 Series also comes with dust-resistant goggles and filters to prevent debris from landing on your lens. If you’re cursing every time your lens gets foggy because of your last hunting trip, then this is something you’ll definitely want to consider.

2. Celestron – Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope

Our rating: 8 / 10

Celestron – Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope

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Pros:

  • Comes with a tripod
  • Includes soft carrying case
  • Waterproof and fogproof
  • Multi-coated optics

When you’re searching for the best spotting scope for rifle shooting, the Celestron Ultima 8×42 is a top-of-the-line choice. It’s a high-quality choice that comes with a tripod, which makes it well-suited for nature lovers and bird watchers as well as hunters.

We really love how the Celestron Ultima 8×42 is more durable than most spotting scopes. It’s waterproof and fogproof, which is a great advantage, particularly for those who hunt.

The lens of the Celestron Ultima 8×42 spotting scope is made of Schott glass, a high-quality lens that maintains its quality over time. If you’re wondering why we’re bringing up the lens of the spotting scope, it’s because in our experience, the lens is one of the most important aspects of a spotting scope, as it is all the user actually looks through. The better the lens, the clearer the object you’re looking at will appear.

3. Swarovski Spotting Scope HD-ATS 80 High Definition Glass

Our rating: 8 / 10

Swarovski Spotting Scope HD-ATS 80 High Definition Glass

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Pros:

  • Made with high quality
  • Has a tracking mount
  • Comes with plenty of accessories
  • Has a 60mm objective lens
  • 60mm objective lens
  • Has a high-class tripod
  • It can be used for long periods of time
  • The binoculars are usable at night
  • It is shockproof
  • It is fogproof

If you want the best spotting scope for long range shooting, look no further than the Swarovski HD-ATs 80 High Definition Glass.

4. Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope

Our rating: 8 / 10

Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope

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Pros:

  • Lightweight spotting scope
  • Budget-friendly price
  • Comes with a tripod and digiscoping adapter
  • Immersive high definition viewing experience
  • Purportedly waterproof
  • Compact and easily portable
  • Works well in various types of weather
  • Perfect for outdoor activities
  • Includes a lens cover and a carrying case
  • Gets rid of chromatic aberration

Cons:

  • Not trimmable
  • Short eye relief
  • No eye piece cover
  • Doesn’t have a rubber covering
  • Not very sharp

You can now take your hobby of birding to a whole new level with the Gosky 20-60 x 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope. This spotting scope boasts of a 10-80 x 60 magnification range and a 20-60 x 80 wide field of view.

This spotting scope comes with a tripod and a digiscoping adapter, which means it’ll serve as a perfect choice for people who enjoy bird watching as well as target shooting. It is specifically designed to let you enjoy nature while providing you with the right tools for the job.

5. Redfield Rampage 20-60x80mm Angled Spotting Scope

Our rating: 8 / 10

Redfield Rampage 20-60x80mm Angled Spotting Scope

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Pros:

  • Compact design
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Portable
  • Easy to take on trips
  • Lightweight

At 20×60 power, this is one of the biggest spotting scopes in the market today. It is also one of the most expensive spotting scopes. At this price, it has all the features that you would expect, plus some.

Most notably, you’ll get a lifetime warranty, from the manufacturer, on the scope itself. This is a huge plus, and because the Redfield Rampage is such a big scope, you’re sure to use it for a lifetime of shooting and hunting.

In terms of its size, this one is pretty decent. In terms of its design, we think it has one of the finest designs on the market. The solid metal construction can handle just about any kind of weather. This is important for hunters who have to deal with a lot of rough terrain.

6. Leupold SX-1 Ventana 2 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope

Our rating: 7 / 10

Leupold SX-1 Ventana 2 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope

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Pros:

  • Large Field Of View
  • Easy to Read ATB Turret
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Very Durable product
  • Comes with a variety of accessories
  • The Tripod is very solid and steady

Cons:

  • Does not have a rangefinder
  • It may take a while to get used to the graduations on the scope
  • The elevation adjustment may need some oiling
  • Should be used under direct sunlight for a clearer view

With Tripod, Black.

The Leupold SX-1 Ventana spotting scope is perfect for long range shooting.

This product can be used for hunting from a stand, treestand or blind. It can also be used for range estimation, load development or evaluating your shot.

7. Vortex Razor HD Spotting Scope

Our rating: 7 / 10

Vortex Razor HD Spotting Scope

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Pros:

  • HD optics
  • Extra large, angled eyepiece with soft-touch rubber eyeguard for extra comfort and protection
  • Includes ´precision ground glass the prism surfaces, as well as the anti-reflective coatings, provide the highest possible resolution
  • Great for spotting game at long range
  • Ballistic Rings: choose from a variety of different reticles and ballistic profiles to quickly estimate range information and holdover, with drop scales for common cartridges.
  • Three Different Set-Ups: removable sunshade and extension for low-light situations, a precision bubble level to ensure a perfectly level setup, and flip-proof rubber armor to help prevent damage if dropped on its side or corner.
  • The heavy duty, Soft Touch rubber armored body makes it both comfortable and a secure in hand.
  • Waterproof and Fog proof: nitrogen filled and o-ring sealed
  • Multi-coated optics
  • Includes premium hard carry case, ballistic targets, lens caps, flip caps, and lens cloth.

Cons:

  • No internal rangefinder
  • A little heavier than some

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best spotting scope for the money?

One difference to consider between low magnification spotting scopes and high magnification is the maximum target distance. Low powered scopes (up to 8x) are designed to be kept very close to your eye, so the maximum target distance is only a few hundred yards. They are ideal for target shooting, but they have very limited utility for other activities like animals at long distances or viewing the stars.

High powered spotting scopes are designed to be used at longer distances. The higher light gathering capacity and larger aperture increases the magnification so that targets can be viewed hundreds of yards away.

As a rule of thumb, if you plan on viewing birds in flight, making a long-distance shot, or scanning wildlife across a wide area, then you should look for a high-powered spotting scope with 20x or higher magnification. These scopes are not as convenient to carry and tripod-mount, but they have a wide array of uses for wildlife watching and hunting.

What is a good spotting scope for 100 yards?

First, let’s get something out of the way: magnification is not always about how much it is magnifying the target. It’s mostly about how much you can bring the target up close to your eyes. The closer the better. Ultimately, the best solution is to use your own eyes paired with a good spotting scope. That’s why magnification isn’t a make-or-break feature in choosing a spotting scope.

Do spotting scopes tell range?

There have been a lot of new technologies in rifle scopes over the years, and in reality, the spotting scope is at the forefront of some of them. There are scopes on the market that have ranging capabilities that you can use while you sight-in your rifle. These devices use laser technology and provide an easy and immediate readout and range estimation.

Technically, these devices are called optical rangefinders. Most rangefinders are far off of the target. These devices, however, are pretty accurate and can even be used with multiple targets at once.

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What is the best 1000 yard spotting scope?

Conclusion

Spotting scopes are great tools for hunters and marksmen to take a step beyond, and they are a great way to take your marksmanship to the next level. The best spotting scope for a target shooter like you will have high magnification, eye relief, and of course, resolution. The best one will fit on your firearm for stability or in a convenient location for you to use without affecting your firing. It should be lightweight, yet tough enough to handle being mounted on the rifle. It should also have the best battery life so that you can use it for a long time without interruption. The list includes the best spotting scopes for target shooting.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Kowa TSN-880 Series Angled Body High Performance Spotting ScopeBest OverallKowa TSN-880 Series Angled Body High Performance Spotting Scope
Celestron – Ultima 80 Angled Spotting ScopeBudget PickCelestron – Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope
Vortex Razor HD Spotting ScopeUpgrade PickVortex Razor HD Spotting Scope