12 Best Spotting Scopes for Target Shooting (2020)

If you can’t tell the difference between a smudge or a bullet hole on your shooting board or can’t tell whether it is on the 3 rings or right next to the bull’s eye then you need a scope designed for target shooting.

Choosing the best spotting scope for target shooting means you have to consider various factors – budget, eyepiece orientation, range, magnification, field of view, and eye relief being the critical features to consider. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed already, then here are 12 best spotting scopes for shooting to simplify things for you! 

We Recommend

Best price/value ratio

Vanguard Endeavor HD

Best for the money

Leupold Mark 4

Best budget option

Redfield Rampage

Best spotting scope for target shooting

1. Redfield Rampage 20-60x80mm Full-Size Spotting Scope

The Rampage by Redfield is the best spotting scope for target shooting by a significant margin. 

It comes with an 80mm wide objective lens to provide you with a full-sized image on the field. 

And coupled with a varying magnification of 20x to 60x you get to see whether it is a smudge or a bullet hole on your shooting board with top-notch clarity. 

It has an angled design which makes viewing very easy if you have it fixed on a tripod while you are standing or sitting. Even if you are holding it, the scope is extremely light and your hands won’t feel any fatigue while holding it. 

The target scope is made of polycarbonate material which is very durable and an excellent choice for on-field operation. 

Whether you are an outdoor adventurer or a hunter, this scope is a valid choice. With a good field of view and an excellent magnification, this scope is the best choice for target shooting.

Check the price of Redfield Rampage 20-60x80mm Full-Size Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • Lightweight polycarbonate body
  • Come with a carrying case and a tripod mount
  • Large objective lens performs well in low light conditions
  • BaK4 prism and fully multi-coated lens 
  • Resistant to water
  • Reduced glare
  • High magnification range

What we didn’t like

  • No ED glass
  • Not great to hold in shaky hands
  • Not for smaller objects

Range: Up to 500 yards
Magnification: 20x to 60x
Objective lens: 80mm
Prism glass: BaK4
Eyepiece system: Angled
Eye relief: 16.6mm to 19.3mm
Field of view: 52 feet to 105 feet @ 1000 yards.
Weight: 2.7 pounds
Length: 15 inches

2. Vortex Razor HD 27-60x85 Spotting Scope

The Razor HD by Vortex comes with a large 85mm objective lens for high-quality twilight performance. 

It is one of the best spotting scopes for target shooting in dim light conditions. 

Backed by a high variable magnification that ranges from 27x to 60x, this spotter scope is available in both angled and straight designs. 

So you can choose one according to your requirements. The straight one is better suited for those who hold their scopes in their hands while the angled one is for the ones who use a tripod. 

With its high-quality optics, the Razor HD can manage crystal clear views with less noise and distortion. You will also get edge-to-edge sharpness as well as high color accuracy. 

The optics are fully multi-coated and they are fog and waterproof. The shooting range spotting scope also comes with anti-glare features to keep the sun out of your sight while viewing.

Check the price of Vortex Razor HD 27-60×85 Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • ArmorTek finish for durability
  • Variable magnification
  • Large objective lens for better dim light performance
  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • Long eye-relief
  • Comes with a carrying case and lens covers
  • Inbuilt sunshade

What we didn’t like

  • Slightly heavy
  • Very delicate
  • Higher price tag

Range: Up to 1000 yards
Magnification: 27x to 60x
Objective lens: 85mm
Prism glass: Porro
Eyepiece system: Straight/Angled
Eye relief: 16.7mm to 17mm
Field of view: 68 feet to 117 feet @ 1000 yards
Weight: 4.1 pounds
Length: 15.5 inches

3. Nikon Prostaff 5 20-60x82mm Zoom Spotting Scope

Nikon’s Prostaff 5 also comes in two designs and you can either pick an angled one or a straight one according to your preferences. 

Prostaff 5 reduces its weight by up to 20% as compared to its predecessors. 

This is a good choice if you are looking for long-range spotting scopes with lightweight. 

The fully multi-coated lens of this shooting spotting scope can deliver sharp images of distant objects and also reduce color aberrations. 

It also comes with a long eye relief to ensure your viewing pleasure even with the glasses on. 

The scope is nitrogen-purged so it is fully resistant to water and works well in wet conditions too. 

Check the price of Nikon Prostaff 5 20-60x82mm Zoom Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • Variable magnification
  • Large objective lens
  • Close focus of 6.1 meters
  • Comes with digiscoping mount
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Reduced color aberrations
  • Fog and waterproof o-ring seals

What we didn’t like

  • No ED glass
  • Not shock resistant
  • No carrying case or a lens cover

Range: Up to 1000 yards
Magnification: 20x to 60x
Objective lens: 82mm
Prism glass: BaK4
Eyepiece system: Straight/Angled
Eye relief: 16.9mm
Field of view: 109 feet @ 1000 yards
Weight: 4.1 pounds
Length: 18.5 inches

4. Leupold Mark 4 12-40x60mm Tactical Sniper Spotting Scope

The Mark 4 by Leupold is an excellent option if you are a tactical sniper and it comes with a reticle. 

But it is equally efficient to work as your spotting scope for target sighting. 

It has a very compact and lightweight construction and if you are on the move then this scope is the best choice for you. 

The tactical spotting scope is equipped with a 60mm objective lens and also comes with a variable magnification that ranges from 12x to 60x. 

Therefore, it won’t be useful if you are looking at a target well over 500 yards away. 

But the sniper spotting scope will work pretty well up to 500 yards. It is built for the professionals in this field and has a very rugged construction. 

Check the price of Leupold Mark 4 12-40x60mm Tactical Sniper Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • Excellent for tactical sniping
  • Military-grade construction
  • Good for sort range hunting
  • Best riflescope to choose
  • Variable magnification
  • Comfortable eye relief 
  • Features Mil-Dot reticle

What we didn’t like

  • Not for long-range target shooting
  • Dim light performance is not good
  • No ED glass

Range: Up to 200 yards
Magnification: 12x to 40x
Objective lens: 60mm
Prism glass: BaK4
Eyepiece system: Straight
Eye relief: 30mm
Field of view: 52.5 feet to 168 feet @ 1000 yards
Weight: 2.3 pounds
Length: 12.4 inches

5. Celestron Ultima 100 Spotting Scope

Looking for the ultimate powerhouse of a spotting scope for target shooting then you should look at none other than the Ultima 100 by Celestron

The angled scope comes with a huge 100mm objective lens that is best for gathering all the available light to produce life-like images. 

Due to its massive objective lens, you will also get an exceptional low-light performance while using this shooting scope. 

The scope also features a varying magnification from 22x to 66x so that you can zoom in on smaller objects at distance. 

If you want to spot your targets that are around or even further than 1000 yards then you need to choose the Ultima 100. 

It is not only a great option for target shooting but is also suitable for birding, hunting, and wildlife watching. 

Check the price of Celestron Ultima 100 Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • Massive 100mm objective lens
  • Varying magnification 
  • Excellent for multiple outdoor activities
  • Comes with a soft carrying case
  • Fog and waterproof
  • Comes with a T-adapter
  • Fully multi-coated optics

What we didn’t like

  • Very delicate
  • Pretty heavy
  • Shaky at high zooms

Range: Over 1000 yards
Magnification: 22x to 66x
Objective lens: 100mm
Prism glass: BaK4
Eyepiece system: Straight
Eye relief: 18mm
Field of view: 52 feet to 94 feet @ 1000 yards
Weight: 4.5 pounds
Length: 22 inches

6. Celestron C90 Mak Spotting Scope 52268

If the Ultima 100 is too big for you then you should go for Celestron’s compact C90 Mak spotting scope

It comes with multi-coated optics to provide you crisp images with great details and colors. 

The Mak features a Maksutov-Cassegrain prism setting that makes excellent light traveling in a very compact design. 

It is also the best budget spotting scope for target shooting. And its compact design makes it highly suitable for outdoor use. 

The scope also comes with an erect image system that allows you to use the scope not only for target shooting but for astronomical use as well. 

It also comes with an inbuilt T-adapter which allows you to connect your SLR cameras with the scope. This compact spotting scope is very effective at short ranges.

Check the price of Celestron C90 Mak Spotting Scope 52268 here

What we liked

  • Good for birding and hunting too
  • Comes with a nylon carrying case
  • Includes a 32mm eyepiece
  • T-adapter mount for SLR cameras
  • Very portable and compact
  • Maksutov-Cassegrain setting 
  • Multi-coated optics

What we didn’t like

  • Not for long-distance target shooting
  • Not waterproof
  • Fixed magnification

Range: Up to 75 yards 
Magnification: 39x
Objective lens: 32mm
Prism glass: Maksutov-Cassegrain
Eyepiece system: Angled
Eye relief: 20mm
Field of view: 67 feet @ 1000 yards
Weight: 4.6 pounds
Length: 16 inches

7. Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Spotting Scope

Here is another angled scope with a large objective lens of 82mm. 

The Vanguard Endeavor HD comes with a dynamic magnification of 20x to 60x and it can manage an unmatched color rendition backed up with crystal clear images. 

This scope features an ED (extra-low dispersion) glass to ensure precise color rendition with very low fingering. 

So you won’t have to deal with any image noise. The range spotting scope also comes with a Bak4 prism that is phase coated along with a lens with full multi-coating. 

These kinds of optics are well suited for excellent long-range performance with fewer distortions. 

The scope also features rubberized armor to make it long-lasting. And there is an inbuilt sun shield to keep the glare at bay.

Check the price of Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Spotting Scope  here

What we liked

  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • Phase coated BaK4 prism
  • Rubberized armor
  • Long eye relief
  • Water and fog proof
  • ED glass
  • Large objective lens

What we didn’t like

  • On the heavier side
  • Shaky at high zoom
  • Focusing is a bit slow

Range: Up to 1000 yards
Magnification: 20x to 60x
Objective lens: 82mm
Prism glass: BaK4
Eyepiece system: Angled
Eye relief: 20mm
Field of view: 52 feet to 110 feet @ 1000 yards
Weight: 4.17 pounds
Length: 15 inches

8. Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Porro Prism Spotting Scope

Want to sight your next target with high accuracy and extreme clarity then choose the Trophy by Bushnell

The company has used fully multi-coated lenses backed up by anti-reflective features. 

Therefore, you will get a bright image with high contrast.  

With accurate imaging, you can see a camouflaged target using this scope. Therefore, this target spotting scope is an excellent choice for hunting too. 

As it features a 65mm objective lens, you won’t get to the 1000 yards range but a shorter range can produce some eye-pleasing results. 

As the lens comes with anti-glare features, your distant objectives will be clear even on the hot planes in summer. The scope also comes with a hard case to keep your scope safe when you are not using it.

Check the price of Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Porro Prism Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • High variable magnification
  • Anti-glare features
  • Good eye relief
  • Comes with a sliding sunshade
  • Tripod ring included
  • IPX7 water-resistant
  • Fully multi-coated

What we didn’t like

  • Relatively smaller objective lens
  • Not for dim light conditions
  • Suitable for short ranges

Range: Up to 300 yards
Magnification: 20x to 60x
Objective lens: 65mm
Prism glass: BaK4 Porro
Eyepiece system: Straight
Eye relief: 18mm
Field of view: 60 feet to 105 feet @ 1000 yards
Weight: 1.25 pounds
Length: 15 inches

9. Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Black Ed Glass Spotting Scope

Here’s another one by Bushnell, and this time it’s the Legend that we’re talking about. 

This one comes with an ED glass so you will get excellent results when it comes to color renditions. 

The scope is equipped with a 60mm objective lens that will produce some good results in bright light conditions. 

But it won’t be effective in a twilight set up. The scope can still manage some stunning results with its multi-coated lens. 

It is also one of the best spotting scopes for target shooting in terms of durability. Bushnell has put it through some stringent quality tests to make sure it meets the standards. 

You will also get the clarity that you need in wet conditions with the RainGuard HD lens protection.

Check the price of Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Black Ed Glass Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • Decent eye relief
  • Straight and quick zoom
  • ED glass for better color rendition
  • RainGuard HD and fully multi-coated lens
  • Dynam magnification
  • Quality tested for maximum durability
  • High definition results

What we didn’t like

  • Not for dim light environments
  • Better suited for shorter ranges
  • Too much noise at high magnification

Range: Up to 300 yards
Magnification: 15x to 45x
Objective lens: 60mm
Prism glass: BaK4 Porro
Eyepiece system: Straight
Eye relief: 20mm
Field of view: 63 feet to 140 feet @ 1000 yards
Weight: 2.5 pounds
Length: 11.1 inches

10. Leupold SX-1 Ventana 2 Spotting Scope

The Ventana 2 by Leupold is another high range best spotting scope for shooting. 

It comes with a huge 80mm objective lens that can gather plenty of light. 

Therefore, you will get some good image clarity even in the low light conditions. 

It also features a dynamic zoom that ranges from 20x to 60x and you can even focus on smaller objects at a distance. 

The scope is nitrogen purged and is fully resistant to water. Leupold is built strongly to keep it shockproof and it performs well in foggy conditions as well.

The scope also features the company’s signature twilight management system to make use of all the available light productively and produce sharp images. 

It also provides you with a very generous eye relief in case you wear glasses. 

Check the price of Leupold SX-1 Ventana 2 Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • Long eye relief
  • Inbuilt tripod adapter
  • Very smooth focusing
  • Very lightweight yet robust construction
  • Folded light path feature
  • Shock, fog and waterproof
  • Twilight management system

What we didn’t like

  • No ED glass
  • Shaky at long distances

Range: Up to 500 yards
Magnification: 20x to 60x
Objective lens: 80mm
Prism glass: BaK4
Eyepiece system: Angled/Straight
Eye relief: 24mm to 26.4mm
Field of view: 47 feet to 89 feet @ 1000 yards
Weight: 4.2 pounds
Length: 18.4 inches

11. Celestron Regal M2 80ED Spotting Scope

The M2 Regal by Celestron features a fully multi-coated lens to ensure exceptional picture quality. 

The glass of this lens comes with ED coating and it can produce high-quality color rendition. 

Therefore, this scope is not only great for target shooting but for birding and hunting as well. 

The reason why color rendition is important for target shooting is that it allows you to see the different rings on your shooting board and allow you to assess your game. 

The lens also comes with Celestron’s XLT coating for brighter images, the kind that you get with a telescope. 

You will also get an Astro-eyepiece if you do star-gazing occasionally.

Check the price of Celestron Regal M2 80ED Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • ED glass for excellent color rendering
  • XLT coating for better dim light performance
  • Fully multi-coating for better clarity in the images 
  • 80mm large objective lens
  • Dynamic zoom ranging from 20x to 60x
  • Comes with an Astro-eyepiece
  • Features a carrying bag

What we didn’t like

  • Bulky in size
  • Delicate eyepiece
  • Somewhat slow focus

Range: Up to 500 yards
Magnification: 20x to 60x
Objective lens: 80mm
Prism glass: BaK4
Eyepiece system: Angled
Eye relief: 20mm
Field of view: 52 feet to 110 feet @ 1000 yards.
Weight: 4.5 pounds
Length: 16.6 inches

12. Swarovski Optik HD-ATS-80 HD Spotting Scope

If budget is not your concern and you are interested in buying a premium quality product then the Swarovski Optik is the right choice for you. 

It also features an 80mm objective lens that has an 80mm diameter. Hence, it can perform well in twilight scenarios. 

The scope comes with a variable magnification ranging from 20x to 60x. 

Therefore, you can zoom in on those distant objects quite comfortably. With an angled design, the scope is very comfortable to use on a tripod. 

Its optics come with fluoride to reduce HD lenses for reduced color fringing and also produce images in high contrast. 

It doesn’t weigh much either but you need to be very careful around your highly expensive spotting scope.

Check the price of Swarovski Optik HD-ATS-80 HD Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • HD lens with a fluorine coating
  • 20x to 60x dynamic zoom
  • 80mm large diameter
  • Premium quality materials
  • Tripod ready
  • Brilliant light transmission

What we didn’t like

  • Expensive
  • Extremely delicate 
  • No ED glass

Range: up to 500 yards
Magnification: 20x to 60x
Objective lens: 80mm
Prism glass: BaK4
Eyepiece system: Angled
Eye relief: 17mm
Field of view: 60 feet to 108 feet @ 1000 yards
Weight: 2.8 pounds
Length: 14 inches

Target Shooting Ranges

Most people think that magnification is the only important feature to consider and it’s the endgame of the optics. If a scope is not able to zoom in significantly then there is no point in buying it. But some features are even more important than magnification itself. The quality of the glass used and the optics are even more important.

At a long distance, you will experience chromatic aberrations. And the quality of the lens will show you much of these aberrations they can handle. For instance, a 20-60×60 is never going to achieve the performance of an 18-45×65. 

The optics are no match and it will be evident in the clarity, brightness, and sharpness of the image.  In such a scenario, the 20-60×60 can only manage up to 200 yards but an 18-45×65 can take you to almost 500 yards. And it is just because of the better quality objective lens. High magnification is no match for high-quality optics. 

But of course, you will be spending a lot on an 18-45×65 scope as compared to the 20-60×60 scope. Therefore, it is better for you to spend around $100 to $300 and see your groupings at 100 yards. And you will have to spend around $2000 to see them at 1000 yards. 

Therefore, you will have to look for different scope for particular yardages, 

  • The best spotting scope for up to 100 yards needs to come with magnifications of 16-48x, 14-45x, 18-36x, and 10-30x. A 50mm objective lens would be a good choice. And it will cost around $100.
  • For going up to 200 yards you will need a bigger objective lens with 60mm diameter. Magnifications can remain the same. But the cost will now be in the $300 bracket. 
  • For up to 300 yards, the magnification range can go slightly up to 20-60x or 20-80x. The objective lens power will go up to 65mm and the price can cross the $600 mark.
  • For up to 500 yards, magnification might remain the same but the objective lens diameter can go up to 85mm. And the price will reach the $1000 mark. 
  • If you are looking to go up to 1000 yards then the magnification can still be around 20-60x or 20-80x mark but the objective lens diameter can be over 85mm. And the price here would be over $1500.

How to choose the right spotting scope for target shooting?

Here are some key aspects that you need to consider when buying a spotting scope for target shooting.

Eyepiece – There are two different types of eyepiece settings. One is straight and the other one is angled. With the straight eyepiece, you look straight at the target through the lens. Seeing objects in front of you will be easier with this type of eyepiece. 

The other one is the angled eyepiece which has mirrors in it and the light from the object is entering your eye through the eyepiece at a 45-degree angle. It is the best option for seeing objects that are above your eye line. 

The straight one is frequently used as a rifle scope and if you don’t want to use tripods then this will be a suitable option. If you are looking to use tripods then an angled one will work better for you as a target shooter. 

Magnification – You don’t need high magnification for target shooting. In most cases, your target will be up to 1000 yards or less. A scope with good quality optics will be better and a varying magnification of 20-60x will suffice. 

Field of view – As a target shooter, you need a spotting scope that doesn’t have much field of view either. Your entire focus is on the target ahead but you will have a higher FoV if you have scattered target points. But this will be only necessary when you want to have a broader view. An ideal range of FoV for a target shooter ranges around 60 feet to 120 feet @1000 yards.

Glass quality – It is the most important factor, even more, important than the magnification itself. If you have good quality glass, it will produce better results and color rendition. In simple words, you can see those bullet holes clearly from a distance. It is better to go with fully multi-coated ED glass for the best results. 

Objective lens – A larger objective lens is only going to matter if you prefer to practice in low light conditions. In such a case anything over 80mm will be a good choice. In the broad daylight, a 65mm lens will be fine. But nothing below than if you are looking to shoot over 300 yards. 

Eye relief – These features I’ll come in handy especially if you wear eyeglasses. But even if you don’t the better option is to go for longer eye relief. The minimum requirement for a target shooter is 18mm.

Weatherproof – If you live in a wet climate that experiences a lot of rain and moisture then waterproofing would be a good choice. Even if you don’t waterproof it can be a good option because you never know when it is going to rain. 

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