1. The tripod is often as important ( and expensive) as the spotting scope itself. I recently purchased a Bushnell spotting scope at about the same price point as the Konus and the supplied table top tripod would not even hold the scope up.

    I am now using a French made Gitzo tripod that is very satisfactory. If you look on B&H’s site, you’ll see this brand along with other good brands. A cheap and wobbly tripod makes the best optics lousy, especially with a high powered spotting scope. In other words, don’t buy a Swarovski scope and put it on a $ 20 tripod.

  2. A spotting scope is one of the most useful tools for any shooter, but especially the rifle shooter. I wish everyone at my rifle range had a spotting scope as that would save so much time not having to call “Cold Range!” numerous times for shooters to go downrange to check their groups every few shots. I have an old Leupold 25X50mm spotting scope with crosshair reticle, but should have gotten the 30X60mm instead. The crosshair reticle is handy for marking a spot for other viewers to see though. If I ever win the lottery, I would buy a Leupold 12-40X60mm HD. A spotting scope is one of the best Christmas gifts for those who don’t already have one.

  3. I like Cliff’s idea of the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network. The NRA, local gun rights groups, and US concealed Carry Association are also good ideas. Some of us don’t need more stuff, but we can never have enough information and support for the cause.

  4. Carbide resizing dies to replace old steel dies and taper crimp or Lee factory crimp dies have been some of my favorite stocking stuffers.

  5. I’ve been an amateur astronomer as well as a shooter for many years. I’ve found that the 90 mm Maksutov telescope that Orion sells to be more versatile than any spotting scope I’ve owned and at a comparable price to the Konus you mention. It can be bought as a spotting scope in a package with an erecting prism or as an astronomy scope on various mounts for different purposes, in which case you’d have to buy the erecting prism separately. The only drawback I know of is that the mirror optics it uses probably are not as rugged as the more conventional optics, but they are sealed and I’ve never had a problem with mine.

  6. I bought a Leupold one one day, had a Basaka one that was pure crap, got pissed off and gave it to someone and went out and bought the Leupold, should have bought it to begin with but figured I’d save a few bucks . . . LOL Use it on a old camera tripod I’ve had for years, love it

    I’m getting the boys here screwdriver bits this year, can never have enough of them and we have a Harbor Freight that has some hollow ground ones at a decent price

  7. Mas,

    I can remember a Georgia “Good Ol’ Boy” that probably wishes he had a Spotting Scope instead of the scope on his rifle the day he wanted to get a closer look at another Georgia Farmer.

    Nevermind the fact that he broke so many firearms rules. If he had used a Spotting Scope he wouldn’t have had to deal with the Secret Service, who were IIRC, protecting a canidate for the Presidency of the United States.

    Spotting Scopes are worth their weight in gold. Just ask a certain Georgia farmer.


  8. Hey Biker:

    Was that “Good Ol’ Boy from Georgia using his rifle scope to look at the other farmer’s nuts?