Whats the Best Spotting Scope for Hunting or Birding?

The best budget spotting scope can be use for surveillance, bird watching, hunting, verifying a shot to zero in guns, or whatever purpose that calls for more magnification (to the power range of 20x to 60x) than a handy pair of binoculars can offer.

Inexpensive spotting scopes come in a variety of brand names, models, sizes, magnification and, of course, price.

They’re also available in straight or angled eyepiece mount. These scopes range from a hundred to over a thousand bucks.

For the budget conscious, we’re putting forward some affordable scopes under 300 dollars.


1. BARSKA Blackhawk 20-60×60 Waterproof Straight Spotting Scope w/ Tripod

BARSKA Blackhawk 20-60x60 Waterproof Straight Spotting Scope w/ Tripod

Barskas Blackhawk straight spotter comes with generous fog-proof and water-proof protection, ideal for all-weather conditions.

It boasts of a multi-coated optics with a large objective lens for enhanced light gathering ability that provides crystal-clear images during light-starved situations.

Blackhawk’s magnification power of 20x-60x delivers a wide field of view for varied applications, which translates to about 91 feet at 1,000 yards and 45 feet at 1,000 yards.

It features a retractable sun-shade that helps reduce glare, and is reinforced with shock-absorbing rubber armor for maximum protection and durableness.

The kit includes a soft carrying case, a premium hard side aluminum case, and a panhead lever tripod, which makes for easy mobility.

The Blackhawk spotter is also available in an angled eyepiece system that costs just a bit higher, with practically the same features and performance, plus an added limited lifetime warranty on both products.

2. Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope Kit

 Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope Kit

Check out this Rampage spotting scope by Redfield: It magnifies an object 20x-60x, has a field of view of 51-114 feet at 1000 yards, and generous eye relief of 14-17mm – all these make the perfect balance between magnification and field of view under various conditions.

The kit includes a sturdy tripod and tripod adapter port, for easy installation on standard tripods or window mounts.

These great features are housed in a polycarbonate body that makes the scope lightweight but durable.

It is packed with a retractable anti-glare lens shade, a fully multi-coated optics with an exceptional BAK4 prism that delivers crisp and clear image, lens covers, a soft carry case, a twist up/down eyecup for convenient use with or without glasses, and a neoprene neck strap for easy tote.

The product is covered by a manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty.

3. Leupold SX-1 Ventana Spotting Scope Kit, Black, 15-45 x 60mm

 Leupold SX-1 Ventana Spotting Scope Kit, Black, 15-45 x 60mm

The Leupold SX-1 Ventana is an angled spotter from one of the leading manufacturers of high-end optics.

The fully multi-coated optics guarantees superior light gathering capability with maximum illumination, clarity and contrast.

And the knurled design knob on the focus and lens shade should give you a firm hold, even with gloved hands, for accurate adjustments.

For quality image enhancement, Leupold offers a retractable lens which reduces glare, and a large eye relief with twist-up eyecup, ideal for prolonged stakeouts or observation periods.

The 15x-45x magnification of this scope works at corresponding field of view of 142ft-89ft.

With tough construction and heavily sealed optics, this spotter is guaranteed 100% water-proof and fog-proof to hold out against extreme conditions.

Leupold’s Ventana kit has provided some extras like a soft case, sturdy strap, and lens cover.

Truly, this angled spotter works great and ideal for hunting, bird watching, and zeroing in any of your rifle scope.

The scope’s features may not be the same as a thousand-buck scope but its a good cheap spotting scope.

What is the best spotting scope for hunting?

For many gun experts, spotter scopes with magnifications of less than 20 times arent as useful in the field as are magnifications in excess of 60 times.

Beyond 60x, illumination will be weaker, field of view will be narrower, and there’s the likelihood of excessive image shaking even when using a tripod.

As target image magnifies, so will dust particles, heat mirage, moisture and haze magnify.

Barska’s Blackhawk and Redfield’s Rampage have similar level of magnifications that fit the 20x-60x norm, while Leupold has a bit lower magnification at 15x-45x.

Both Redfield and Leupold provide fully-multicoated optics, while Barska could only deliver multi-coated lenses.

All other characteristics and features, such as light gathering, construction and materials used, the three contenders share the same performance and offer value for under $300 dollars.

Guide to buying the best scope for a Mosin Nagant

The history of the Mosin Nagant goes back to two world wars as we know it. This was one of the most sought after rifle during its heydays. The rifle’s sturdiness, power, and reliability more than compensate for its scarcity in shooting accuracy.

Even nowadays, these rifles are plentiful on the market, and people are always searching for add-ons. Most hunters would want to upgrade rifles for enhanced shooting accuracy. One way of doing this is to get the best scope for a Mosin-Nagant.

Important considerations

Mosin Nagants, are not only notoriously loud, rough and ugly, they’re also some of the most challenging rifles to scope or mount a scope on.

That’s not surprising considering that Mosins were designed when riflescopes were not yet in vogue, especially not for front-line combatants.

Modification will be necessary and even expensive. You don’t want your Russian old-timer and a high-end scope lying around unused because they can’t be attached effectively.

So before you go investing heavily on a scope, consider first how you will have it mounted on the Mosin.

Consider a scout scope

There are a variety of scopes marketed for the Mosin Nagant rifle.

The scout scope, however, has been found to be the easiest to use because it can be mounted over the chamber and it has long eye relief.

Youll want to find one of the best long eye relief scopes for Mosin Nagant rifles because of its kick.

When shopping for a scout scope, look for one that includes a scout scope mount.

If your budget’s tight, you’ll want a base (along with the scout scope package) that can be mounted over the rifle’s chamber. Otherwise, it’ll cost you a gunsmith’s expertise to do the works.

Magnification power

Another thing is to rummage around for an illuminated scope that’s in the mold of the true concept of a scout rifle.

It should have low magnification levels and varying magnification ranges that can take mid- and long-range shots accurately; preferably one that uses a duplex reticle with crosshair patterns and an extended eye relief.

For crystal-clear light transmission, you’ll want at least a 30mm objective lens and scope rings for more reliability and quick target-acquisition inside of 300 meters.

Sturdy construction

The Mosin-Nagant has one of the loudest shots and the harshest recoils among rifles.

Scopes of lesser makes are mincemeat for these rifles. Obviously, you’ll need a tough and durable scope that’s preferably constructed with solid single-piece tube – the less moving parts, the less points of damage.

It would be well if it were shockproof, water-resistant, and fog-proof to withstand the harshest of elements. And its lenses are fully multi-coated for crystal-clear light transmission.

Authentic military scopes designed for Mosins

Sniper versions of the Mosin Nagant are sometimes sold, and they come with pre-installed scope.

These are the easiest way to acquire scoped Mosins, albeit they can be expensive.

Scope and scope mount often marketed as “authentic” WW II scopes are actually replicas.

There are very few authentic military scopes for sniper versions of Mosin Nagants that exist today, but even those scopes don’t offer the accuracy enhancement that the Mosin needs.

These scopes come either as the top-mounted PE scope or side-mounted PU scope, with magnifications of 4x and 3.5x, respectively.

For the vintage value that they add to your collection, they’d do great. For hunting purposes, though, level up to modern scout scopes.