best spotting scopes for hunting and target shooting
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15 Best Spotting Scopes for Hunting & Target Shooting

Spotting scopes are excellent tools for any hunter, competition shooter, or nature enthusiast because they allow you to view your target like it was right in front of you.

Hunters will love spotting scopes for the ability to set up a shooting position to stalk their prey from a long distance.

Range and competition shooters will benefit from owning a spotting scope by seeing where they shot to have a tight zero or to set up their next shot.

They are perfect for photographers because they can capture images not possible with their standard lens kit.

Spotting scopes are even used by amateur astronomers as a suitable alternative to telescopes.

What to Look for in a Spotting Scope

A few things to consider when deciding to purchase a spotting scope include magnification, body type, and glass quality.

Magnification

They have an extensive range of magnification levels to suit the type of activity you are doing.

Having a variable magnification is a must for any activity.

For example, a hunter would have the spotting scope on 20x until they identified a target, and then they could zoom in to 60x or more for a close-up image.

Body Type

Spotting scope comes with a straight or angled body, which comes with advantages and disadvantages.

  • Straight Body: Better for downward angles and offers faster target acquisition but is not great for uphill slopes and is not as comfortable.
  • Angled Body: With angled-bodied scopes, you can use smaller tripods, it has a natural angle for improved comfort and is better for uphill aiming, but it is not as good for downhill aiming, and it can be challenging to pack compared to a straight scope.

Glass Quality

Having quality glass for a spotting scope is essential to the quality of your image.

There are various coating options for the optics that offer benefits to clarity, color balancing, weather resistance, and scratch resistance.

Below are the 15 best spotting scopes for hunting and target shooting.

#1. Barska 20-60x60mm WP Blackhawk Waterproof Spotting Scope

Barska 20-60x60mm WP Blackhawk Waterproof Spotting Scope

  • Magnification: 20x – 60x
  • Body Type: Straight, Angled
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Color(s): Green, Mossy Oak Camo
  • Includes Tripod: Yes

With the Barska 20-60x60mm WP Blackhawk Waterproof Spotting Scope, you can easily zero-in your weapon with a crystal clear sight picture at the 100 or 200-yard line.

They craft the optics with Prism BK-7 multi-coated glass.

It has a 60 mm lens diameter with 20x to 60x magnification, which provides a clear image even in low-light conditions.

A remarkable feature is that the scope includes an extendable glare-reducing sunshade.

For added protection, they equipped the scope with a rubber armor exterior, which is waterproof.
The scope is very affordable and comes with a soft carrying case, a premium hard case, and a tripod.

If you are looking for a solid spotting scope packed full of features and accessories, look no further than the Barska 20-60x60mm WP Blackhawk Waterproof Spotting Scope.

For the price, you really can not beat the value.

It is available from Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#2. Vortex Razor HD 27-60×85 

Vortex Razor HD 27-60x85 Spotting Scope

  • Magnification: 27x – 60x
  • Body Type: Straight, Angled
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Color(s): Green
  • Includes Tripod: No

The Vortex Razor HD 27-60×85 Spotting Scope is a high-performance scope that comes in a straight or angled body.

Vortex prides itself on providing edge-to-edge sharpness with superior color accuracy.

It has an 85mm HD lens with an XR fully multi-coated optical coating.

You can see your target clearly with a sharp 27x to 60x variable magnification.

It also comes with a rotating tripod ring and a built-in sunshade.

This spotting scope has a premium feel that is built to last with the Vortex VIP warranty.

The VIP warranty includes an unlimited lifetime warranty that is fully transferable, and the cool thing is that you do not need to fill out a warranty card or keep a receipt.

The Vortex Razor HD 27-60×85 Spotting Scope is perfect for the professional hunter, bird watcher, or competition shooter.

It is available from Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#3. Leupold Golden Ring 15-30×50 mm Compact 

Leupold Golden Ring 15-30x50 mm Compact Spotting Scope

  • Magnification: 15x – 30x
  • Body Type: Straight
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Color(s): Shadow Gray
  • Includes Tripod: No

The Leupold Golden Ring 15-30×50 mm Compact Spotting Scope has a rugged carbon fiber construction that can take on the elements while staying compact and lightweight.

With a rubberized outer coating, it has added protection against accidental drops or spills and provides a better grip.

The scope can withstand the harshest environments and will survive -40 degrees up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Leupold backs their product with a lifetime guarantee where they will either replace or repair the spotting scope for free.

The optics have excellent clarity with a scratch-resistant coating on the 50mm lens.

The Leupold Golden Ring 15-30×50 mm Compact Spotting Scope is perfect for those who want a lightweight spotting scope that they can easily store in their pack.

It is available from Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#4. Pentax PF-80ED-A Spotting Scopes ED Glass 80mm

Pentax PF-80ED-A Spotting Scopes ED Glass 80mm

  • Magnification: 21x – 63x
  • Body Type: Angled
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Color(s): Black
  • Includes Tripod: No

The Pentax PF-80ED-A Spotting Scopes ED Glass 80mm is equipped with extra-low dispersion glass to provide a clear image with an accurate color range at any distance.

It has a large 80mm objective lens that provides a high-quality viewing while in the bush or the range.

The barrel provides a 45-degree slant to reduce strain for added comfort.

They constructed the spotting scope out of a magnesium alloy that is rugged and lightweight.

It can be used in all types of weather, with a fog-proof lens and a waterproof design.

With an excellent 21x to 63x magnification and a lightweight, heavy-duty design, the Pentax PF-80ED-A Spotting Scopes ED Glass 80mm provides superior performance in the field.

It is available from Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#5. Vortex Razor HD 11-33×50 

Vortex Razor HD 11-33x50 Spotting Scope

  • Magnification: 11x – 33x
  • Body Type: Straight, Angled
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Color(s): Green/Gray
  • Includes Tripod: No

The Vortex Razor HD 11-33×50 Spotting Scope is perfect for those who do a lot of backcountry hunting with its super lightweight design of only 23 ounces.

You can easily acquire your target with a variable 11x to 33x magnification with a smooth dual focus.

You will have a crystal clear image with the HD lens no matter the distance.

Like the Razor HD 27-60×85, it comes with the Vortex VIP warranty, which is an incredible value by itself.

If you are looking for a compact spotting scope that you can quickly grab and on the go, the Vortex Razor HD 11-33×50 Spotting Scope is an excellent choice.

It is available from Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#6. Bushnell Legend T-Series 15-45x60mm Spotting Scope

Bushnell Legend T-Series 15-45x60mm Spotting Scope

  • Magnification: 15x – 45x
  • Body Type: Straight
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Color(s): Flat Dark Earth
  • Includes Tripod: No

Bushnell Legend T-Series 15-45x60mm Spotting Scope is a premium optics package that will give you a sharp image at any distance.

It includes a high-definition optical system with fully multi-coated lenses, BaK-4 prisms, and extra-low dispersion glass.

The variable 15x to 45x magnification is excellent for zeroing in on a target, and it comes with a first focal plane MIL-Hash reticle for better windage calls.

Bushnell comes with a great no questions asked lifetime warranty.

If you run your spotting scope over with a truck or drop it off a mountain, Bushnell will cover it.

A unique feature is that it includes a Picatinny rail system to mount various accessories.

The Bushnell Legend T-Series 15-45x60mm Spotting Scope is rugged, compact, and comes with a lifetime warranty, making it perfect for any hunter.

It is available from Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#7. Kowa 88mm Prominar 

Kowa 88mm Prominar Spotting Scope

  • Magnification: 25x – 60x
  • Body Type: Straight, Angled
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Color(s): Black/Green
  • Includes Tripod: No

The Kowa 88mm Prominar Spotting Scope has a large objective lens, providing a high resolution and excellent contrast.

The lens is crafted with a clear fluorite crystal, which provides accurate color ranges.

It also includes a smooth dual focus for fine-tuning your sight picture.

With a wide-angle 25x to 60x zoom, you can get a clear image at any distance.

The scope includes a sunshade which is beneficial when looking towards the sun.

It also includes a lifetime warranty.

A downside to the Kowa 88mm Prominar is that it is expensive compared to the other scopes on this list.

If you are looking for a larger objective lens spotting scope that provides a sharp and crisp image, the Kowa 88mm Prominar Spotting Scope is perfect for you.

It is available from Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#8. Barska Blackhawk 18-36×50 Waterproof

Barska Blackhawk 18-36x50 Waterproof Spotting Scope

  • Magnification: 18x – 36x
  • Body Type: Angled
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Color(s): Green
  • Includes Tripod: Yes

The Barska Blackhawk 18-36×50 Waterproof Spotting Scope is the perfect spotting scope for any hunter on a budget.

It comes as a complete package, including the spotting scope, a lens cloth, a soft carrying case, and a tripod.

With a Porro prism system and a multi-coated lens, you get a premium set up at a budget price.

It has a 50mm objective lens diameter and an 18x to 36x magnification for an excellent viewing experience.

The spotting scope has a rubber armor exterior and is waterproof for added protection.

If you are looking for a high-quality spotting scope without paying a premium price, the Barska Blackhawk 18-36×50 Waterproof Spotting Scope is perfect for you.

It is available from Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#9. Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A 

Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Spotting Scope

  • Magnification: 20x – 60x
  • Body Type: Angled
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Color(s): Black
  • Includes Tripod: Yes

The Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Spotting Scope has a magnesium body with a rubber exterior for a firm grip and added protection.

The lens is crafted from high-definition extra-low dispersion glass for a clear, high-contrast image no matter the distance or light conditions.

It includes a variable 20x to 60x magnification to allow you to get up close and personal to your target.

It includes a Vanguard VEO 2 PRO 233AO Tripod, which will provide a firm base for your spotting scope.

Another excellent feature of the Vanguard Endeavor is its premium lifetime warranty.

The Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Spotting Scope is an excellent pick for those who want a spotting scope with a crystal clear image and an included tripod.

It is available from Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#10. Vortex Viper HD 15-45x 65mm

Vortex Viper HD 15-45x 65mm Spotting Scope

  • Magnification: 15x – 45x
  • Body Type: Angled, Straight
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Color(s): Green
  • Includes Tripod: No

The Vortex Viper HD 15-45x 65mm Spotting Scope is great for spotting your target at a long distance.

This spotting scope’s optics are equipped with premium extra-low dispersion glass, XR fully multi-coated lens, and a dielectric coating to provide you with an anti-reflective lens with a crisp, high-resolution picture and color-accurate images.

For added protection, it has an ArmorTek body that is rugged and scratch-resistant.

It has several convenient features such as adjustable eyecups, helical focus, a built-in sunshade, and it is Arca-Swiss compatible.

It also comes with the Vortex VIP warranty, which is an unlimited lifetime warranty that is fully transferable.

If you are looking for a solid spotting scope to take out some big game, the Vortex Viper HD 15-45x 65mm Spotting Scope is an excellent pick.

It is available from Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#11. Bushnell Trophy Xtreme 20-60×65 Porro Prism 

Bushnell Trophy Xtreme 20-60x65 Porro Prism Spotting Scope

  • Magnification: 20x – 60x
  • Body Type: Straight
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Color(s): Green
  • Includes Tripod: Yes

Bushnell’s Trophy Xtreme 20-60×65 Porro Prism Spotting Scopes is crafted for high-precision magnification from 20x to 60x to spot your prey, and its anti-reflective coating ensures that they do not see you.

It is a waterproof all-weather spotting scope perfect for big game hunting, a day at the range, or even birding.

With the Porro prism system and a 65mm objective lens, you get a superior field of view and visibility.

This package comes with the spotting scope, a hard case, and a compact tripod.

The Bushnell Trophy Xtreme 20-60×65 Porro Prism Spotting Scope is an affordable spotting scope that can handle any task you throw at it.

It is available from Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#12. Alpen Shasta Ridge 20-60×80 Waterproof Spotting Scope

Alpen Shasta Ridge 20-60x80 Waterproof Spotting Scope

  • Magnification: 20x – 60x
  • Body Type: Straight
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Color(s): Green
  • Includes Tripod: Yes

The Alpen Shasta Ridge 20-60×80 Waterproof Spotting Scope is ruggedized to withstand any environment with a rubberized protective coating that is waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and nitrogen-filled.

It comes with a low-profile swivel tripod for enhanced stability and concealment.

The package includes the spotting scope, the low-profile 12” tripod, and a padded field carrying case.

If you are pointed towards the sun, you do not need to worry with the included extendable sunshade.

Alpen guarantees the Shasta Ridge 20-60×80 Waterproof Spotting Scope with a lifetime warranty.

With a variable magnification of 20x – 60x, you can quickly identify your target or enjoy nature from afar.

If you want a reliable spotting scope with a lifetime warranty, the Alpen Shasta Ridge 20-60×80 Waterproof Spotting Scope is an excellent choice.

It is available from Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#13. Zeiss CONQUEST Gavia 85

Zeiss CONQUEST Gavia 85

  • Magnification: 30x – 60x
  • Body Type: Angled
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Color(s): Black
  • Includes Tripod: No

The Zeiss CONQUEST Gavia 85 is an advanced spotting scope with a large 85mm objective lens and a variable magnification of 30x to 60x.

The optics are treated with the ZEISS T lens coating that provides a crystal clear image with excellent brightness and resolution even at 60x magnification.

With their advanced optics technology, you will have an excellent field of view even at far distances.

It has a magnesium body that is built to be rugged and lightweight.

With a compact 15” design, you can easily store it in your pack while you move in the backcountry.

It comes with a limited lifetime warranty, but it only has a five-year no fault policy, unlike other brands on this list.

The Gavia 85 is an excellent spotting scope, but it is expensive compared to other models with similar specifications.

The Zeiss CONQUEST Gavia 85 is lightweight, compact, and tough, making it perfect for any hunt.

It is available from Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#14. Nikon Prostaff 5 20-60x82mm Zoom 

Nikon Prostaff 5 20-60x82mm Zoom Spotting Scope

  • Magnification: 20x – 60x
  • Body Type: Straight, Angled
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Color(s): Black
  • Includes Tripod: No

The Nikon Prostaff 5 20-60x82mm Zoom Spotting Scope was built for wildlife enthusiasts or photographers.

With the 82mm objective lens, you will have a bright image and an excellent field of view.

It comes with a variable magnification from 20x to 60x for long-distance spotting.

You can attach a digiscoping mount and connect many different camera models to the scope for excellent long-distance shots.

The Prostaff 5 is perfect for all environments with a waterproof design and nitrogen-filled main body.

If you are a photographer looking to get some amazing shots, the Nikon Prostaff 5 20-60x82mm Zoom Spotting Scope.

It is available from Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#15. Leupold SX-2 Alpine HD 

Leupold SX-2 Alpine HD Spotting Scope

  • Magnification: 20x – 60x
  • Body Type: Angled
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Color(s): Shadow Gray, Black/Gray
  • Includes Tripod: No

Leupold’s SX-2 Alpine HD Spotting Scope is perfect for viewing in all lighting conditions.

It has Leupold’s Twilight Max light management system, offering better viewing in low light conditions, and it eliminates glare for an enjoyable viewing session.

A Guard-Ion optical coating prevents dirt and water from building up for a crisp image.

The scope is also completely waterproof and fog proof making it great for any environment.

The package includes the spotting scope, soft case, lens covers, and lens cloth.

If you are looking for a spotting scope that can handle low-light environments, the Leupold SX-2 Alpine HD Spotting Scope is an excellent pick.

It is available from Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

References / Resources

Spotting Scopes – A Complete Guide

How To Choose A Spotting Scope

Spotting Scopes vs. Telescopes for Beginner Astronomers

See Also

Best Air Rifle & Pistol Scopes

Best Military Grade Binoculars

 
Rob V.
Best Spotting Scope

Best Spotting Scope

4.8 out of 5 (67 Ratings)

If you're looking for the best spotting scope for the money, check out these 15 selections. These are perfect for hunting, target shooting, bird watching and wildlife viewing, and more.
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