One of the most tedious aspects of range shooting is walking to see your targets after a set of shots – every time!
To get away from this, you need a spotting scope. However, there is an abundance of these on the market. For long-range shots, it’s even less practical as you spend more time walking than shooting.
A spotting scope saves time and money on targets. Besides, if you are sighting in, you can adjust in real-time without fatigue setting in from walking.
A spotting scope made for target shooters offers more than one that is made for hunting. Weight and size are not much of an issue as they are mounted mostly in one location. In addition, a target shooter can enjoy very high magnification power for intimate details at the range.
Unfortunately, not all high-power spotting scopes are made equal. Nevertheless, there is a lot to know, and the range of spotting scopes is huge. So here we have the best spotting scopes for long-range shooting. (Find the Best Crossbow Scope)
By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of all the features to look for and which tactical spotting scope delivers exactly what you need from your target spotting scope.
- Why You Need a Good Spotting Scope For Target Shooting?
- Top Budget Spotting Scopes For Target Shooting Reviews
- 1. Emarth 20-60x60AE 45 Degree Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod, Phone Adapter
- 2. Spotting Scope, Huicocy 20-60x60mm Zoom 39-19m/1000m Fully Multi-Coated Optical Lens Fogproof and Movable Eyepiece Rubber Design Telescope with Smartphone Mount Kit and Tabletop Tripod for Target
- 3. BARSKA 15-40×50 Colorado Spotting Scope
- 4. Suncore HD Zoom Spotting Scope – Standard 15-45×60 Waterproof Fully Multi-Coated Optical Lens, Movably Eyepiece Monocular for Target Shooting Hunting Stargazing Bird Watching Wildlife Scenery
- 5. Gosky Updated Spotting Scope with Tripod, Carrying Bag – BAK4 Angled Scope for Target Shooting Hunting
- Best Budget Spotting Scopes For Target Shooting Buying guide
- Final Verdict
Why You Need a Good Spotting Scope For Target Shooting?
When target shooting, you can shoot hundreds of yards away. To understand how well you’re shooting, you need to see where the last bullet hole is about the target and the bullet holes before it.
Walking to your target can tire you when you do it after every shot, and it’s hard to remember which hole is which. Besides this, if you use binoculars, they don’t offer the same magnification, and you need to pick them up to check your target.
When using spotting scopes for target shooting, you can have a fixed scope on a tripod that is set exactly on the target. Now, you can see how close your last shot was and what you need to do to adjust your rifle scopes to offer a more precise aim. (Find the Best Cheap Night Vision Scope)
Top Budget Spotting Scopes For Target Shooting Reviews
1. Emarth 20-60x60AE 45 Degree Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod, Phone Adapter
It can be difficult to find a decent spotting scope at a reasonable price. However, the Emarth spotting scope delivers. It offers fully multi-coated lenses and a roof prism with a BaK-4 rating.
There is a magnification range of 20x to 60x, an ergonomically 45 degree designed angled eyepiece, and a wide field of view. You can even focus using the separate focus ring rather than adjusting the eyepiece.
The optical quality and image quality aren’t far behind many of the high-end spotting scopes costing far more in comparison.
The Emarth spotting scope is rugged and can even be used for hunting, thanks to durable construction, high-quality rubber armor, and more. In addition, the spotting scope has sealed O-rings for waterproof protection and nitrogen purged to make it fog proof.
Combining fully multi-coated lenses and the massive objective lens at 60mm enables comfortable long-range viewing even in low light conditions.
- High-quality tripod with 360-degree rotation
- It comes with Tripod, Phone Adapter, and Carry Bag.
- High image quality
- Effective 20x to 60x magnification
- May lose bullet holes in the target dark areas at long range
- Image may fade a little at the very top of the magnification range
The Emarth switch a guide price of less than $75, and it is hard to understand the performance and features you get for such a low price. If that isn’t enough, the target shooting spotting scope is fully supported by friendly customer service and lifetime VIP customer service.
2. Spotting Scope, Huicocy 20-60x60mm Zoom 39-19m/1000m Fully Multi-Coated Optical Lens Fogproof and Movable Eyepiece Rubber Design Telescope with Smartphone Mount Kit and Tabletop Tripod for Target
The Huicoy is a cheap spotting scope, yet it can suffice if it meets your needs. The Huicocy spotting scope is just that.
The Huicocy spotting scope is a great choice for overall value and deserves a position among the best spotting scope for target shooting for the money.
It features a 60-mm objective lens diameter for a bright image and a wide field of view. It helps when trying to spot your bullet hole against the target. Glass quality makes all the difference, and match this with anti-glare multi-coating on the lenses helps keep images clear.
You have a 20-60x zoomable eyepiece that offers lots of eye relief, and you can focus using the large focus ring on the body. For durability, the barrel is made from rubber armor.
This spotting scope can connect to your cellphone so that you can take pictures.
- Low cost
- 20-60x zoom
- Easy to use with a smartphone
- Comes with carrying bag and cleaning cloth
- Hard to use wearing glasses.
- The carry bag won’t carry the tripod.
With a guide price of just over $65, you don’t get a high-quality scope, yet you do get a great scope for the opposite end of the budget. It can be among the best spotting scopes for the money if you don’t need too many features.
3. BARSKA 15-40×50 Colorado Spotting Scope
Barska is a well-known company in the world of optics, and its products are well-liked, as is the Barska 15 -40×50 for target shooting. The Colorado Spotting Scope 15-4050 is made for target shooting and is constructed from armor rubber on the outer shell.
It comprises a multi-coated lens, and the scope features a Porro high-quality prism system that clearly enables you to see far-away targets up to 150 yards. Above this and images blur quickly.
It offers a high magnification level of 15-40 x and a separate focus dial on the scope’s body. In addition, it comes with a soft carry case and a tripod.
- Multi-coated lenses
- The prism system is Porro. BK -7
- Effective up to 150 yards.
- It comes with a tripod, carrying case, and cleaning cloth.
- Poor stability tripod
- Not suited for anything besides target shooting
With a guide price of under $35, you are right at the budget end for the best compact spotting scope. It is ideal for short-range shooting yet goes too far, and you can lose the chance to see your bullet holes.
If you need more or conditions are net the best, you need a larger objective lens than the 50 mm one on the Barska.
4. Suncore HD Zoom Spotting Scope – Standard 15-45×60 Waterproof Fully Multi-Coated Optical Lens, Movably Eyepiece Monocular for Target Shooting Hunting Stargazing Bird Watching Wildlife Scenery
The SunCore MS Series is a high-quality spotting scope with a premium design for an affordable spotting scope.
The spotting scope delivers an excellent zoom and magnifier, which makes it a favorite among users. In addition, it comes with a user manual, a carrying case, and lens covers for convenience and storage.
It can be used for a variety of activities besides your target practice. It also comes with a retractable sunshade to reduce glare and protect the objective lens.
The spotting scope has 16mm eye relief, which is ideal if you wear spectacles. The SunCore is a high-quality spotting scope that uses a high-quality BAK4 roof prism for increased light transmission to deliver high-contrast, three-dimensional realistic images in low light conditions.
- Waterproof spotting scope with high magnification
- High levels of optical quality for eye protection
- Ergonomic and anti-skidding design
- 1-year warranty
- Tripod not the same quality as the spotting scope
The Suncore has a guide price of a little under $150, so it is more expensive on the best spotting scope list.
It is a top performer and offers all the features you need right down to the O-ring sealed body and argon purged to eliminate fogging and deliver waterproofing performance. You also get a 1-year warranty for a full backup.
5. Gosky Updated Spotting Scope with Tripod, Carrying Bag – BAK4 Angled Scope for Target Shooting Hunting
The Gosky updated Spotting Scope comes with a plethora of accessories and features. It comes with a phone digiscoping adapter, a T-ring, and an M42 T mount for a Nikon camera for taking photos.
You have a sturdy tripod for stable viewing from any angle. It also comes with a carrying case, eyepiece and lens protection covers, and a cleaning cloth for the entire set.
The Gosky Updated has a variable magnification range of 20x to 60x and a dynamic lens focusing system, which results in better optics, more stable images, and easier focusing power.
With a large, fully multi-coated 80mm green film objective lens and a field of view of 82.9-48ft/1000yards, it’s the best choice for target shooting. For light transmission, the scope employs a high-quality BAK4 Porro prism, ensuring brighter, clearer images.
Magnalium and a Rubber Armor coating are used in the construction. It is a fully waterproof design with sealed O-ring seals that prevent moisture out and nitrogen gas purging that keeps fogging out.
- Heavy-duty tripod
- Large objective lens
- Fully coated lenses for anti-glare and protection
- Can easily take photos with phone or camera with supplied adapters
- Very expensive
- Scope easily shakes on the tripod
With a guide price of over $185, you get reliable performance from the lens and the scope, yet these are let down by reports of unreliable mounts and tripod function. If you spend this much on a target shooting scope, all the features should be top class.
Best Budget Spotting Scopes For Target Shooting Buying guide
There are many factors to consider when purchasing a spotting scope for target practice. Here’s what you should look into.
The distance between the rear scope lens and your eye is referred to as eye relief. The higher the number, the greater the distance while still seeing the image. Any ocular device should provide eye relief. (Find the Best Recurve Bow for Hunting)
The objective lens is the lens furthest away from your eye and responsible for allowing light in to provide you with a large and bright image from your scope. It is also in charge of determining the field of view. The more light that can enter a large objective lens, the better the image and the range.
Maximum magnification is essential for a spotting scope, and you can choose between fixed lenses and zoom lenses. Long-range target shooting requires a magnification of 20-60x or higher. High-quality optics have larger objective lenses and thus the chance to deliver better magnification at any magnification range.
Fixed lenses have a fixed magnification, and changing lenses is required to change the magnification. Because they can collect more light, these lenses typically come with high-quality glass and deliver better images than zoom lenses.
Zoom lenses are common, and while they do not produce as good an image as a fixed lens, technological advancements are closing the gap. For example, a spotting scope with variable magnification can make sure the scope works properly.
Method of Focus
There are two methods for focusing on your target when using a spotting scope.
Twist the eyepiece
Twisting the eyepiece until the target comes into focus is the most common method. It is quick, but it is difficult to focus on small increments. In addition, small twists can bring you several feet closer than you’d like.
A stand-alone zoom has its own control and looks like a small second scope on top. This type of zoom is slower, but it allows you to zoom in smaller increments for better focus.
Even if you’re using your spotting scope for target shooting, you never know what kind of weather you might encounter. So to make the scope fog proof, your spotting scope should be waterproof or water-resistant.
Anti-Reflective and Anti-Glare
Anti-reflective and anti-glare multi-coated optics aid in providing a clear image. Lenses without providing images with spots or that appear washed out. The image is hard to see due to glare and chromatic aberration. External lens coatings help enhance light transmission and protect the glass.
Field of View
The amount of image visible through your scope is referred to as its field of view. A larger field of view aids in locating targets faster and prevents disorientation when looking through your scope. (Learn What is the Only Arrowhead That May Be Used For Big Game Hunting)
Straight or Bent
Spotting scopes are classified into two types: straight scopes and bent scopes.
The Straight scope resembles a straight pipe with lenses inside. These are typically found on rifles.
A bent scope uses mirrors to position the eyepiece at a 45-degree angle, making it easier to look at objects using a tripod.
Quality of Tripod
A high-end spotting scope cannot perform to its full performance without a solid and high-quality tripod mount system. Conversely, a low-quality tripod could make your spotting scope shake, making it impossible to see an image at long distances.
Protect your spotting scope with a warranty that is at least as good as the scope. Before purchasing a scope, familiarize yourself with the warranty terms.
In testing, we put all the scopes through their paces and mostly performed as expected. Adding in the price to work out the price to performance, the cheapest and the most expensive were quickly ruled out.
The Emarth 20-60x60AE 45 Degree Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod, Phone Adapter soon showed itself as a clear winner.
The images do suffer right at the top end, yet you would rarely use the scope at such magnification. Besides this, you get features in the tripod and the scope, and much more to enrich your target shooting experience or any other use where you find you can use the scope.