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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:22 pm 
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Posts: 2181
Location: West Midlands
Home club or Range: Dudley Rifle Club, Kingsbury
So my club are going to renew some of our equipment as our spotting scope stands are all on their last legs, falling apart, threaded and generally in need of replacement (we'll be salvaging what we can for spares). And also our scopes are in need of some TLC.

Our plan is to salvage and repair as many of the 4 club owned spotting scopes we have in order to keep them for outdoor shooting, loaners and other less day-to-day roles, but we are in need of 4 new club scopes to be used on the club-owned range.

Historically we've got freeland style scope stands, and we are looking to replace like-for like - http://www.intershoot.co.uk/acatalog/Fr ... tands.html

This will leave in the region of £315 each for scopes. So I was wondering if any of you have experience in scope/stands for smallbore. I will list through the potential usage for the scopes below to adequately determine the best scopes for the job. Suggestions for cheaper locations to get scope stands, or alternative scope stands are appreciated.

Requirements

Disciplines
  • Prone Target Rifle
  • Benchrest Shooting
  • Pistol Spotting (from behind a bench)
  • Lightweight Sporting Rifle
  • Air Rifle

Distances
  • 10m (Air Rifle)
  • 20yd (LBP/LSR)
  • 25yd
  • 50m
  • 100yd

Ideally they should be crisp and clear at 100 yards to easily spot holes in NSRA 1001C targets with a backer. They should also be able to focus and be usable at 10m for air rifle. What Zoom/Field of view this will require is beyond me, advice here is appreciated.

If anyone has suggestions, they will be sorely appreciated, and please be mindful of the budget. £500 total per scope AND stand. I have to get 4 so prices may be negotiable with some dealers, so slightly more expensive scopes than budget might not be out of the question, but £1000 scopes are definitely a no-go!

Thanks in advance.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:28 pm
Posts: 615
Location: Cornwall
Home club or Range: Cornwall RC @ Millpool; Duchy Shooting Assn @ Zelah
Mr TG,
You sometimes find Aldi and Lidl have scopes 'on offer' in the middle isles. Would it be worth trying one under range conditions then stocking up! I think the last ones I saw were c£30

JohnG


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:01 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:42 am
Posts: 5
Home club or Range: Southampton University
johngarnett wrote:
Mr TG,
You sometimes find Aldi and Lidl have scopes 'on offer' in the middle isles. Would it be worth trying one under range conditions then stocking up! I think the last ones I saw were c£30

JohnG


Those scopes are fine for 25yds, usable for 50m but aren't really usable for 100yds


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:05 am 
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Location: West Midlands
Home club or Range: Dudley Rifle Club, Kingsbury
JohnASmith97 wrote:
johngarnett wrote:
Mr TG,
You sometimes find Aldi and Lidl have scopes 'on offer' in the middle isles. Would it be worth trying one under range conditions then stocking up! I think the last ones I saw were c£30

JohnG


Those scopes are fine for 25yds, usable for 50m but aren't really usable for 100yds

Thanks, This is what I found with the Aldi and Lidl scopes and also one of my slightly cheaper Centaur scope that I use for outdoor, it makes shooting 100 yard very difficult.

What we're looking for is an investment for the club of equipment that will be reliable and last a long time whilst having good enough clarity to make spotting/shooting at those distances as easy as possible.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:42 am
Posts: 5
Home club or Range: Southampton University
TattooedGun wrote:
JohnASmith97 wrote:
johngarnett wrote:
Mr TG,
You sometimes find Aldi and Lidl have scopes 'on offer' in the middle isles. Would it be worth trying one under range conditions then stocking up! I think the last ones I saw were c£30

JohnG


Those scopes are fine for 25yds, usable for 50m but aren't really usable for 100yds

Thanks, This is what I found with the Aldi and Lidl scopes and also one of my slightly cheaper Centaur scope that I use for outdoor, it makes shooting 100 yard very difficult.

What we're looking for is an investment for the club of equipment that will be reliable and last a long time whilst having good enough clarity to make spotting/shooting at those distances as easy as possible.



I have the Celestron Ultima 80mm, and I've found that you can just about see shots at 100yds without a backer, and clearly with a backer


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:50 pm
Posts: 1317
Location: Reading
Home club or Range: Aldershot R & P Club
This very thing has just been talked about on the airgunbbs.
The outcome for the OP on there was this:

The Hawke Nature-Trek 20-60x80 works perfectly well at 100 yards
The picture is clear and well defined. You can clearly see where the hole is and can see the imperfect paper edge.
I set my target up in the shade and could still see what I wanted to with no issue.
If I had one complaint, I'd say you have to put your eye right up against the lens to get the whole round picture, but at only £220, I can live with that


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:37 pm
Posts: 46
Home club or Range: Bisley
mag41uk wrote:
This very thing has just been talked about on the airgunbbs.
The outcome for the OP on there was this:

The Hawke Nature-Trek 20-60x80 works perfectly well at 100 yards
The picture is clear and well defined. You can clearly see where the hole is and can see the imperfect paper edge.
I set my target up in the shade and could still see what I wanted to with no issue.
If I had one complaint, I'd say you have to put your eye right up against the lens to get the whole round picture, but at only £220, I can live with that



https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-Hawke-Na ... 3001200279?

£154 on ebay as a special offer, new with 7 available. The seller name looks odd but its actually Tring Astronomy, had kit of them in the past.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:56 pm
Posts: 683
Home club or Range: Bisley - Mostly
Look at the scopes competition shooters use & you will not find much supermarket kit, they are simply not worth their money. Kowa, Opticron dominate but Viking are very good too & make RSPB scopes. Even old 60mm Greenkat/Dnar/Ross scopes can see 22 rimfire holes at 100yds adequately better with the x30 eye piece.

How to spot a good scope - tint or a lack of it! Clear is best avoid any orange tint. Focus range - the depth of field or length of the range in focus is more than 30%, the focus does not change radically if a zoom eye piece is used, eye relief - if you have to stick you eye into the lens its short & the optics are below par.

If the FP is flat concrete etc then the cheap black opticron stands are ok & can be inverted to get the scope lower, a good camera ball head can help. Freeland are very good for all conditions. But look at scope stands on offer from Dolphin, Crispin engineering, Ellesmere target sports for the current best of the crop of stands. They are also British design & make.

https://www.facebook.com/commerce/products/1494595973910215/
http://crispinengineering.co.uk/index.php/scope-stands/
http://www.dolphinguncompany.co.uk/spotting-scope-stands.html

I can see shot holes at 600yds with my Nikon scope ............ & can see mirage in low light too - far more use than seeing the holes!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:55 am
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Location: West Midlands
Home club or Range: Dudley Rifle Club, Kingsbury
Thanks for the input!

I have the opticron stand and it's just not "heavy duty" enough to last very long with Juniors, Probationers, Heavy handed users and everything in between using it 5 days a week, 52 weeks per year. Fortunately the Freeland style are tried and tested, and whilst ours are now at the stage they're falling apart, they were bought in the 70's/80's, so they haven't done too badly, so a worthwhile investment to head that route.

I looked into the Dolphin stands, but the secretary dismissed them hands down due to the 3 directional base and having to fit on the benches. I realise it doesn't take much more room, but there was no wiggle room in his opinion. Further, all of those scope mounts are more expensive than the freeland version - which is disappointing really considering the freeland ones have to travel the atlantic - if the home-brewed versions were cheaper, I'm sure it would be an easier sell on the 3 directional base.

Scopes - thanks on the Hawke - I was looking at a couple of hawkes, albeit the slightly more expensive ones. Given that the eye relief is very limited, I'd like to find something with some a bit better, however I will certainly keep these in mind.

hitchphil - out of interest, what Nikon scope do you use?

I think current scopes are Vintage Kowa (bushnell) scopes.

Anyone got experience with the Sub £500 Modern Day Kowa Scopes?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:56 pm
Posts: 683
Home club or Range: Bisley - Mostly
TattooedGun wrote:

hitchphil - out of interest, what Nikon scope do you use?

one of them but with the zoom eye piece

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Nikon-RAII-A-angled-spotting-scope/153039882151?hash=item23a1e347a7:g:AL8AAOSwvBdbC-lw

down side is no rotating ring................

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