Spotting scopes are an important tool for hunting. I like to use binoculars to glass and grid an area and then use the superior magnification of a spotting scope to examine what I’ve found. It has saved me miles of walking as well as time because it allowed me to know if the animal I was seeing was a “shooter” without closing the distance. Sometimes closing the distance isn’t even an option as you can’t get closer and still see the animal due to geographic constraints or not enough light left in the day.
Gear that weighs too much can take the joy out of hunting and make it real work. The idea is to find quality equipment that is smaller and lighter but that still performs the needed job adequately. Often smaller, lighter gear is a compromise between smaller/ lighter and performance. I’ve been on the hunt for a spotting scope that was packable and light but that still possessed enough magnification, field of view, and low light performance to work for my style of hunting.
Kahles K16i 1-6×24, 2014 King of the Multi-Gun Optic world
Three years ago, I started shooting 3 gun seriously. One of the best decisions I made was to purchase a Swarovski Z6i 1-6×24 BRT. I wrote a review of that optic and crowned it the 2011 King of the Multi-Gun Optic world. Even with every other optic company in the world playing catch up, the Z6i is still a top optic. The only optic to top the Swarovski Z6i is made by a sister company of Swarovski. The Kahles 1-6×24 K16i SM1 is, in my opinion, the new king of the Multi-Gun Optic world.
I have been using a 10-50×60 Sightron for shooting F-class in TR division for the past year, which included shooting at the F-Class World Championships.
Finding a good quality affordable scope for F-Class shooting is pretty tough but the Sightron 10-50×60 is competitive even with the most expensive scopes at around 1/3 the price. For the last year I have been using a Sightron 10-50×60 with a MOA reticle. I shoot F/TR class in which the trend has been going towards higher magnification optics. I resisted going to a higher power scope for a while and had been using a Sightron 8-32×56
A good bipod can extend the effective range of almost any shooter. For lightweight hunting, the SnipePod has no equal that I am aware of and I’ve tried just about every bipod made for hunting. The reason its superior is because of its ability to be rapidly deployed, its weight, lack of bulk, versatility, and its minimal impact on zero.
I recently found some muzzle brakes built in Boise, Idaho that are truly fantastic. I ordered two. The first one went with me hunting on my self-configured Savage 7 WSM. The muzzle brake works so well that I don’t lose sight picture through the scope even when I place my weak hand back under the butt stock of the gun.
In fact while hunting I shot a mule deer at just under 500yards, sitting, right before dark and watched the bullet hit the deer, watched the deer go down, and then worked the bolt for a follow up shot I didn’t need, all without losing sight picture through the scope. While the 7 WSM isn’t famous for being a hard kicking rifle, it kicks hard enough to make it impossible to keep sight picture without using a muzzle brake. I’m shooting 168g Bergers going