Explore Optics 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope Review

Posted: June 11, 2014 in Vendor Reviews
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I’m getting pretty comfortable shooting my AR-10 at 100 yards, so the next increment is out to two hundred.  While I don’t mind exercise, it will get pretty boring pretty soon if I have to make 400-yard round trips every two or three rounds to see where my rounds impacted.

I get 3.5x mag. out of my ACOG, which is enough to make out approximate target areas at 100-200 yards, but completely inadequate for impact details.  The warm, humid weather at my last practice session emphasized the need to invest in a decent spotting scope.

Now, I don’t want to break the bank, but I did want a platform that was more than adequate at 200 yards, with the potential to go out to 300 once I invest in a long-distance platform.  My original goal for the Sig 716 was to be reasonably accurate out to 200 yards and able to hit something like a car window at 300, but I don’t think the ACOG or a 16″ barrel will get me much better than that.

I decided to invest somewhere between $200 and $300 and began with some online research. There were a lot of good options, but many of the fine features in some scopes are not relevant to me.  I don’t care about eye relief, field of view and even edge sharpness to some extent.  I’m not interested in bird watching, people watching, or observing scenery.  I just want to know where my rounds impacted without having to walk hundreds of yards every couple shots.

At the recent Ft. Worth gun show, Explore Optics made me a deal with appeal on their 20-60x60mm scope.  It comes with a tripod, carrying case, and a rifle-style mount that allows the unit to be easily carried and aimed just like a rifle.  The description of the optical qualities was good enough and it worked quite well in an indoor test.  I like working with local businesses, so I decided to give it a try.


Here is everything you get in the box.  The rifle-style shoulder mount is attached.


And, the carrying case.


Here are a couple pictures of the unit in use in the field.



The tripod was more stable than I expected when I first unpacked the scope.  At 50-100 yards, the scope functioned like a dream.  There is very generous protection from direct sunlight since the interior lenses are recessed inside the scope body.  I experienced no glare or other issues when spotting at 100 yards on a bright day.

Last weekend, I took the unit out to 300 yards and set it up on an overcast day.  At 60x mag. it was easy for me to make fine adjustments to bring a target area into focus.  The view was sufficient to determine where rounds impacted on the target, although I would suggest a high-contrast or shoot-n-see target on an overcast day at that distance.

Eye relief is negligible.  I found it necessary to press right up against the eyepiece in order to obtain a good view with the scope.

Overall, I am pleased with the scope so far.  It has proven to be a good value for the dollar and it performs well for the intended purpose.

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