I ordered this scope so when I go shooting with my buddy we can use it to see our shots at a 100 yards. When I first got the scope I tested out my window and over 300 yards I was able to bring up a small bolt plate on a side of a building up close and clear as a bell. On the range I could bring up the target at a 100 yards and clearly see each bullet hole with no problems. My buddy was so impressed with the scope that I sent him a link to the scope on this site so he could order one for himself.
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.
The image of is not as crisp as the high end spotting scopes but 'groupings' for 5.56 mm are clear enough at about 100 yards. 40x is not as clear as 15x but if you focus it well then you'll get what you want. I've also tried it at wildlife about 1 kilometer away and I can see a small bird perched on a branch and distinguish it from the leaves. No, I can't identify what bird it was but I was correct that it is indeed a bird because it flew moments afterwards. I also tried it watching the sky at night but the image have aberrations so if you're planning to use it on astronomy other than the moon, its a no - no. Besides, it has a straight eyepiece and you'll develop stiff neck if you insist on using it in sky watching. I can easily bring it with me wherever I go and if you consider its price then its a great buy and . Over-all, I'm happy with the scope.
I can't understand the one review that said that it is not as clear over long distance. I have it turned up all the way and looking through a dirty window on a dark cloudy hazy day. Guess what? This scope is nothing but great! If you go to Barskas site you can find out this was once a $324.00 scope. It looks like newer models may be pushing it out, but who cares when you get a buy like this!
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