Best Spotting Scopes For Target Shooting – 2020 Guide

Target shooting is a firing sport in which people shoot at different targets. The firearms used in this sport are various types of rifles, pistols, handguns, or shotguns. It is so popular that it was granted a separate spot in the Olympics in 2004. As a sport, it has progressed so much that throughout the country, you will find a number of shooting ranges willing to host a good game for shooting enthusiasts.

Shooting and scopes go hand in hand. You can’t talk about one without mentioning the other. Spotting scopes are usually associated with hunting or bird watching, but let us assure you that they are equally significant for target shooting as well. When it comes to shooting at targets, you might do well within the 100 yards range. But over that, you will need a good spotting scope to perform well. 

Regardless of their experience level, all target shooters greatly rely on spotting scopes for their best performances. If you are amongst them and are looking to buy a good unit, then you are in the right place. Here, we have compiled a list of some of the best spotting scopes for target shooting. It also features a detailed run-down of these devices to help you choose the right one for yourself. Eager to find out more? Read on and learn. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Spotting Scopes For Target Shooting

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Comes with foldable, portable tripod
  • 100% lifetime replacement guarantee
  • Ideal for hunting, hiking, camping, and birdwatching
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  • O-ring sealed to prevent moisture
  • Comes with range of accessories
  • Variable 20 - 60x magnification with dynamic lens
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  • Best Budget Spotting Scope for Target Shooting
  • Great light transmission for sharp images
  • 12 - 36x adjustable magnification
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  • Best for the Money
  • Very durable, rigid construction
  • Nitrogen filled to stop fogging
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  • Best Spotting Scope for Long Range Target Shooting
  • Variable from 20 - 60x magnification
  • Zoom scope with large eyepiece
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What Makes a Spotting Scope Great For Target Shooting?

Purchasing a spotting scope is an investment that will set you back a few hundred dollars. That’s why people hesitate to buy one. But contrary to the common belief, spotting scopes are a must-have even in target shooting. Here’s why. 

Reduce Leg Workout

Ever tried target shooting over a long distance? Imagine the leg workout you will have to endure moving back and forth between the target and your shooting spot. Spotting scopes significantly reduce that. You can easily view the target any time you want while using one. 

Verify Placement of Hits

Spotting scopes come especially handy in target shooting when you want to verify the placement of your hits. They negate the need to go and check the target after every hit. You can just observe the target through a spotting scope to check your progress. 

Perfect Aim

Having a spotting scope as a beginner at target shooting greatly enhances your skill. With this, you can not only perfect your aim but are also more likely to achieve your goals. It also facilitates a faster transition from beginner to expert. 

Trace

You can easily predict the path of your bullet, also known as trace, with a spotting scope. Once you start understanding the trace of your shot, your performance automatically improves. Such is the impact of a good spotting scope. 

How to Choose a Spotting Scope For Target Shooting

Target shooting involves shooting at strategically placed targets to test your skills. It is conducted over both long and short ranges. Although spotting scopes for both styles vary in requirements, the essential features remain the same. Here are some aspects that you should carefully consider while choosing a spotting scope for yourself. 

Eye Relief 

Eye relief is the most important feature to look for in a spotting scope. No target range allows you to shoot without protective goggles. So you need a minimum of 15mm of eye relief between your eye and eyepiece to be able to view better. 

Glass Quality 

When choosing a spotting scope for yourself, look out for the terms HD or High-Density Glass, ED or Extra-Low Dispersion, and APO or Anomalous Partial Dispersion. These are the ultimate determiners of the glass quality the lenses are crafted from. 

Size of the Objective Lens

The size of the objective lens is a major consideration when choosing a spotting scope for target shooting. The larger the objective lens, the clearer your image is. This is especially handy when you are shooting over a long distance range. But it also translates to an expensive purchase as optics with big objective lenses generally cost more. 

Magnification

Magnification is the first thing you should look for when choosing a spotting scope for target shooting. The farther your target is, the better magnification you will need. Spotting scopes come with both fixed and variable magnification ranges. 

A fixed magnification scope is fixed to focus on a single range that cannot be changed. It is generally compact, durable, and lightweight. 

A variable magnification scope can swap between different magnifications that fall within its range. Its magnification range is represented by a set of numbers, like 15x to 45x. This means the lowest magnification setting is 15x, while the highest magnification setting is 45x. These scopes are heavier but offer versatility. 

Eye-Piece Orientation

There are two types of spotting scopes according to their eye-piece orientation: straight spotting scopes and angled spotting scopes. Straight ones offer fast target acquisition. They also allow easier and accurate movement between targets. On the other hand, angled ones offer better stability, are lighter in weight, and easier to carry around. 

Quick Take | Best Spotting Scopes For Target Shooting

Just looking for the three best spotting scopes for target shooting? Here they are:

  1. Roxant Authentic Blackbird
  2. Gosky BAK4
  3. Emarth 20-60x60AE

Review of the Best Spotting Scopes For Target Shooting

If there is one reliable piece of gear for every successful shooter, it is a spotting scope. From beginners to experts, everyone swears by one. And why won’t they when this compact and portable device has helped change the outcome of their game? 

If you are also interested in buying a spotting scope for yourself, then look no further. Below is the detailed account of some of the best spotting scopes for target shooting to easily achieve your goals. 

Roxant Authentic Blackbird High Definition Spotting Scope with Zoom - Rubber Armor, Fully Multi-Coated Optical Glass Lens + BAK4 Prism. Includes Tripod & Case + Lifetime Replacement

PROS

  • Eye-cups can twist up
  • Quite compact and portable
  • Offers a High-Definition image clarity
  • Military-grade glass and full armored body 
  • Features an angled eye-piece for a comfortable viewing experience

CONS

  • The device is not waterproof
  • Lack of a focus knob is noticeable

What Recent Buyers Report

This spotting scope is an excellent device. Even the most choosy buyers were unable to find a flaw in it. Being compact and lightweight, it is a huge hit amongst recent buyers who purchased it for different purposes. They all agree that this is an affordable device that provides the same features as any high-end model. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Roxane Authentic Blackbird is a product that does what it is advertised to do. It features a sturdy and durable build with military-grade glass lenses. It is very lightweight and compact for a spotting scope, which makes it portable. It is very comfortable to use because of an angled eyepiece, which also delivers a stable image. It features a rubber-coated body that ensures a secure, non-slippery grip. 

Unlike many other similar products, this spotting scope comes at a reasonably affordable price, so you don't have to worry about your budget while purchasing it. With a good magnification range, quality build, great features, and affordable price, this is a complete package. 

Bottom Line 

If you are in the market to purchase a new spotting scope for yourself, we highly recommend this model. It offers an amazing combination of form and function that is hard to find. Use it for target shooting or take it with you on a day trip; you will find it useful for any sighting purpose.

Runner-up:
Gosky BAK4

Gosky 2019 Updated Newest Spotting Scope with Tripod, Carrying Bag - BAK4 Angled Scope for Target Shooting Hunting Bird Watching Wildlife Scenery (Phone Mount+SLR Mount Compatible with Canon)

PROS

  • Features a water and fog proof design
  • Metal tripod and mount offer a steady view
  • Comes with both camera and smartphone accessories
  • Comes with a variable magnification range of 20x to 60x
  • Lenses are treated with multiple coatings for better performance

CONS

  • Not very efficient
  • There have been reports of faulty units

What Recent Buyers Report 

Gosky BAK4 is one of those devices that manage to win over hearts immediately. Users really love it for its quality build and attractive design. They report that it is very easy to set up and use. The lens action is smooth, and the option of rotation also allows users to sit down comfortably and view their surroundings. For target shooting, it is reported as a wonderful choice. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This spotting scope features a unique dynamic lens focusing system. This enables it to convey better optics, great focusing, and stable imagery. It features a highly durable design that is completely weather sealed. You can use it in any kind of weather without any fear or malfunctions.

It also comes with a metal tripod and mount, which are quite sturdy and deliver stable and non-shaky images. A variable magnification range of 20 to 60x allows you to view any near or far objects clearly in great detail. It is supplied with all the required accessories, so you won't need to make any separate purchases. 

Bottom Line

If you are a person of nature, then this is your perfect companion. With its dynamic lens focusing system and weather-proof design, this scope is a perfect choice for a day of target shooting. The angled eye-piece serves as the cherry on top of this already amazing device. To top it off, it comes at a budget-friendly price, so you should seriously consider this one. 

Best for the Money:
Emarth 20-60x60AE

Emarth 20-60x60AE Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod, 45-Degree Angled Eyepiece, Optics Zoom 39-19m/1000m for Target Shooting Bird Watching Hunting Wildlife Scenery (20-60x60) Green

PROS

  • Very suitable for beginners
  • Especially effective for 100 yards range
  • Features a sturdy and durable construction
  • Retractable sun-shades greatly reduce glare
  • High-quality rubber armor offers a better grip 

CONS

  • Comes without a digiscoping adapter
  • The provided tripod is short and flimsy

What Recent Buyers Report 

Buyers did not have any high hopes for this spotting scope, given its price. But they were pleasantly surprised by how good it performed. The images it delivers are crisp and clear. Even at a distance of 400 yards, the result is more or less the same. It is delivered in a nice little carry case, which all the buyers love. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Despite being a budget-friendly spotting scope, this unit is designed to bridge the gap between quality and affordability. It offers a stunning image quality without breaking your bank. It features a sturdy rubber armor body that is comfortable to hold and not susceptible to accidental slips. 

Although it is highly effective for short-distance shooting, you will note that it does not deliver the same results over longer distances. With its high magnification power and ease of usage, it is certainly one of the best spotting scopes for target shooting. It is also equipped with extendable sun-shades which effectively shield you from bright sunlight and significantly reduce glare. 

Bottom Line

Emarth 20-60X60AE is a complete package of durability, affordability, and functionality. It is designed with shock-absorbing rubber and other quality materials to ensure a long time of service. It comes at a very affordable price that is within every buyer's range. It also delivers very clear and crisp images. All of these wonderful aspects certainly make it a top contender for you to consider. 

Best Budget Spotting Scope for Target Shooting:
Celestron 52322 Landscout

Celestron 52322 Landscout 12-36x60 Spotting Scope (Army Green)

PROS

  • Lightweight design is highly portable
  • Features a durable and water-resistant body 
  • Coated lenses offer a clear and bright image 
  • The focus wheel is large, and rubber gripped
  • Eye-piece is padded with a rubber cap for comfortable viewing

CONS

  • Offers a narrow field of view
  • Lenses are prone to fungal growth 

What Recent Buyers Report 

According to buyers, this is an amazingly portable spotting scope. With its compact size, it can easily fit inside any backpack. They say that it is ideal for target shooting with its clear optics and affordable price. Its sturdy construction is also a plus point for many buyers who believe that this device will surely last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Primarily, this model stands out because it is a versatile unit suitable for indoor and outdoor activities. The water-resistant body is completely weather-sealed. You can use it in any conditions, rainy or foggy, without risking it. It has a very lightweight and compact design, making it very portable and easy to carry around. 

The variable zoom range also allows you to focus on any distant or near object easily. The focus wheel is large in size with a rubber rimmed edge to help maintain a better focus. It is especially useful for target shooting because of its ease of set up, usage, and good image quality.

Bottom Line

Celestron 52322 Landscout is an ideal spotting scope for target shooting. Wondering why? It has managed to satisfy a lot of customers with its functionality, portability, and affordability. It is small, yet it packs a punch. Easy to set up, stylish look, satisfactory performance, and a reasonable price all combine to make it a worthy choice. 

Best Spotting Scope for Long-Range Target Shooting:
SVBONY SV46

SVBONY SV46 Spotting Scope with Tripod HD Dual Focus 20-60x80 Zoom IPX7 Waterproof Long Range Angled Telescope for Bird Watching Hunting Archery Range

PROS

  • Provides a wide field of view
  • Offers a crisp and clear image quality
  • Features a unique 23mm big eye-piece 
  • Backed by a good customer care service
  • Equipped with a dynamic lens focusing system 

CONS

  • Tripod quality is not great
  • Smartphone attachment does not fit every model 

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have all classified it as a good buy. They report that it looks and performs as well as any high-end model which is likely to cost four times more. It maintains a sharp focus even at low magnification, which is a sign of excellent performance. Some users did have issues with the tripod, but even they are satisfied with the scope’s performance. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The sharpness and the excellent construction of the unit make it stand out to us. The exterior is crafted from high-quality plastic, which is very smooth and silky to touch. Upon closer inspection, we observed that its build tolerance is also very tight, making it one of the sturdiest devices on our list. It speaks of the manufacturer's dedication and attention to detail. 

A unique feature is its large eye-piece that enables you to observe your target with ultimate clarity and detail. 

Moreover, the functions are easy to manipulate, so you won’t have any difficulty while dialing to a target. All in all, it is an amazing gadget that is followed up by satisfying after-sale customer support. 

Bottom Line

With this spotting scope, SVBONY manufactured a durable structure with high magnification and a great performance. This complete package is conveniently available at a price that is lower than regular market standards. So if you are looking to buy an affordable yet reliable spotting scope for long-range target shooting, this should be your choice. 

Perks of Getting a New Spotting Scope For Target Shooting

Although the spotting scope is a small device in your shooting gear, it single-handedly determines the outcome of your shooting expedition. It magnifies and enlarges the target so you can aim better. A device with such a positive impact on a shooter’s performance is a must-have in the shooting gear. Here are some other advantages of getting a spotting scope for yourself.

Better View

Spotting scopes are specially designed to facilitate shooters. With their high resolution and magnification power, you can view and observe your target better. With a clear and detailed view, you can aim better, which ultimately leads to better performance. 

Identification 

With their ultimate power of magnification, spotting scopes allow you to identify your target easily. Using one, you can identify the target you are aiming for, even if it is moving. You can also distinguish targets that are hidden without having to move from your fixed position.

Focus

When it comes to maintaining a constant focus, spotting scopes are especially useful. When your target is moving within a group, maintaining focus on it is very hard. But if you use a spotting scope, you can easily signal out your target amidst the group, which ultimately doubles your chances of success. 

Ease of Usage

Spotting scopes are a piece of gear that is extremely easy to use. There is little to no assembly required. And if you read the user’s manual carefully, you won’t have any difficulty in operating one. 

Comfort

Every shooter knows that you need to focus on your target to become successful. Focusing is a long and tedious task. But with a spotting scope, locating and focusing on your target is fairly easy. It allows you to take up a comfortable position, which enables you to perform better.

Shot Location

Locating a 0.5 mm hole over a long distance is impossible. But with a spotting scope, you can not only aim better but also view the result of your performance without having to go up close to the target. 

Conclusion

Spotting scopes are essentially small telescopes that are modified for terrestrial usage. They are widely used for hunting, bird watching, surveillance, and many other purposes. They are especially effective for scoring targets.

Above are some of the best spotting scopes for target shooting currently available on the market. If you are a target shooting enthusiast, we strongly advise you to purchase a suitable one from the models described above. These will not only help you aim better but are generally better performing than other units commonly available on the market. 

Once you start using any of these, you will notice an instant improvement in your aim as well as in the overall target shooting game. Of course, the rule of thumb of purchasing the best you can afford applies here as well. 

People Also Ask

Using the right spotting scope certainly increases your chances of success. But finding the right scope is not an easy task. You are faced with several aspects that you have to consider carefully before making your purchase. To help you out, in this section, we have rounded up some of the most frequently asked questions about spotting scopes and tried to answer them to your satisfaction. 

Do Spotting Scopes Tell Range?

If you closely observe a spotting scope, you will notice that it is labeled with three numbers. The first two numbers of the sequence denote the magnification range while the last one represents the size of the front lens. For instance, a spotting scope model of 20-60x80, the magnification range is 20x-60x, while 80 is the size of the front lens. 

Is an Angled or Straight Spotting Scope Better?

Both scopes have their own advantages. Angled scopes offer better stability because of the lower tripod height. They are also very comfortable to use. A straight scope is not only easy to fit in most backpacks but also offers faster target acquisition. If you are spotting from elevated positions, straight scopes offer a better view. 

How Powerful of a Spotting Scope Do I Need?

Spotting scopes are powerful telescopes that are used for terrestrial observation. They usually have a variable zoom, which you can adjust manually. Their maximum magnification power ranges between 15x and 60x. The higher the magnification, the more detail you can see. 

What is the Best Magnification For Long-Range Shooting?

A simple answer to this common magnification question is 10x. However, this is an oversimplified answer, as it does not pay heed to the size and movement of the target. If money is an issue, then 10x magnification is certainly the best. But if you can afford to spend some extra dollars, the variable range 4x to 16x scope is a better choice.