Have you ever used a particular piece of equipment in your hunting/shooting repertoire that never seems to be as good as you would like, no matter how much you spend? For me that “hunk-o-hardware” has been the spotting scope. Whether it’s too heavy, too long, too bulky, not bright enough, clear enough, too shallow of an eye relief, it has never come close to meeting my expectations.
I’ve owned spotting scopes from low budget big box stores to top of the line European, with glass that was supposedly more rare than the Hope diamond, but nothing has even come close to what has been on my wish list – until now. Enter the Leupold 120373 GR HD Impact Reticle Spotting Scope, Shadow Gray, 12-40 x 60mm. Every time I use it I am thoroughly impressed. For more technical aspects check out Leupold’s website @ https://www.leupold.com/spotting-scopes/hd-spotting-scopes/gr-12-40x60mm-hd?selectedSku=120373
From a practical perspective there are a number of things that make this spotting scope really stand out. Have you ever looked through a spotting scope at maximum magnification only to find you feel like you’re looking through a coffee stirring straw? This scope has the most generous eye relief (maximum 30mm) throughout its magnification range of any scope I have ever used. Particularly for those who wear glasses or sun glasses this becomes a huge asset.
Along with that generous eye relief it has a huge eyebox. Ok, what’s the eyebox? Believe it or not there are tons of threads discussing how to accurately define the term. Simply put the eyebox is the lateral and axial space behind the eyepiece. All of this technical jargon basically means it’s very easy to acquire a full field of view, which ultimately means less fatigue when spotting. You really have to see it to believe it.
As far as size and weight go, it doesn’t get much better for a top tier scope. Leupold gets their subcompact design through what they call their Folded Light Path System – again, something beyond my technical paygrade to explain. At only 12.4” and 37oz performance is unparalleled. For years I carried a straight 30x Leupold Golden Ring as my window mount spotter or for high country hunting, not any more. That old scope served its purpose but now it collects dust in my loft.
OK so I’ve got a super compact, super clear, super bright, super easy-to-view-through spotting scope. Big Whoop! Anything else for me “optics boy”? I’ve saved the best for last. Leupold has incorporated their Impact reticle which is situated in the lower half of the field of view. While a number of other companies have added reticles to their scopes (no big news here), this one provides both MOA and Mil-based dots and hashmarks which allows our instructors (nomadrifleman.com) to walk student’s bullets into their intended target regardless of which scope platform they are using. Talk about efficient! This is revolutionary as no other company I know blends both systems.
This is the perfect scope for the long range shooter/spotter to work with. For those of us who like to hunt this allows us to reverse engineer some fancy math and actually be able to determine the size of animals (and their headgear). Some of you know what I’m talking about. See https://www.tacticalclassroom.com/moa-reticle-formula-ranging-made-easy/ for more information on this. Is there anything not to like? This really isn’t a huge complaint, but by virtue of its design (Folded Light Path system) it doesn’t lend itself easily to rotate the scope for measuring purposes. I simply overcome this by having a tripod head that has plenty of lateral adjustment – such as a ball head.
I’ve finally found the perfect spotting scope. –Scott Austin, Jackson Hole Shooting Experience https://longrangebook.com/leupold-impact-reticle-elr-spotting-scope-review/
We finally found the perfect spotting scope, the Leupold Impact Reticle Spotting Scope. See up-to-date pricing here: https://amzn.to/2DkXeAk