I was a little leery about buying the Barska 11-33X50 WP Tactical Spotting Scope as I have had bad luck with Barska products in the past (most notably a Barska SKS Scope I recently reviewed on Overstock). However, for training purposes I require a Spotting Scope with a MILDOT reticle. I had a Bushnell Excursion with MILDOT reticle backordered for more than two (2) months with a Overstock competitor with the "expected date of arrival" repeatedly being pushed back. When the earthquake and subsequent events struck Japan I canceled the backordered item and took my chance with this Barska.
I have had this item over a month. I volunteer at a local shooting complex and take this scope with me each time I go there. I "loan" it out to others that do not have spotting equipment and have not had any complaints yet from others. I have used it out to ranges of 400 yards. I can clearly see .308 impacts at 300 yards with this spotting scope and just barely see the impacts at 400 yards (which is more than I expected).
I like the front flip up lens cover and the way the body has a slot for it when its not in use. I would like to see a similar slot and cover for the rear eyepiece. I do not lend out the rear eyepiece cover as it got "lost" twice in one day.
I like the easy side adjustment. If anything breaks I think it would be the side adjustment knob as it does not feel very strong.
I have ranged numerous objects with this scope out to 600 yards and verified the rangings with either a laser range finder or the MILDOT scope on my .308 and always come with 10 yards of the Barska's rangings.
Overall the tripod that comes with the spotting scope appears strong. I am somewhat leery of the silver colored rivets that hold the pivot legs in place as they (along with the aforementioned adjustment knob) do not appear to be very strong. However, I have not had any problems with it thus far.
This Barska's cost was considerably less than the Bushnell Excursion that I wanted. For training purposes it is doing the job intended for the Bushnell that I could not get. The difference in cost was utilized for other items (such as a Blackhawk Cheek Pad for my SKS which I also got from Overstock).
I am happy with the product. It surpassed my expectations.
Did the product fit true to size? Yes
How is the quality of the product? Better than expected.
Was the product free of any manufacturer defects? As far as I can tell.
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