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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So when I was out on the rifle range a couple weeks ago, my $25 Barska spotting scope fogged up and refused to focus. I went out to zero a red dot scope, and after taking a 200 yard walk every time I fired a five round group, I went looking for a better option. I refuse to spend a lot of money on a spotting scope, and I set an absolute limit of $150 for a new one. I did a lot of looking and read a lot of reviews, and Alpen was getting a lot of good comments. I purchased a 10X Alpen monocular about ten years ago, and that thing's a little jewel. I figured 'what the heck, I'll give 'em another play,' and ordered an Alpen 15-45X60mm Compact Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope from Optics Planet. The price was $139.99 shipped, and I have to say I'm pretty impressed with it. It came with a screw on lens cover for the eyepiece that could easily double as a shot glass, and a snap in cover for the objective lens. It's got a built-in sunshade, and it also came with a decent table top tripod, and a nice ballistic nylon case that's divided to keep the tripod and scope separate.

The longest range I've got to shoot on these days is 100 yards, so 45X was all I really needed. An 80mm objective lens would have been nice, but the range is only open during daylight hours so massive light gathering ability wasn't really an issue. I was a little bit worried because I didn't see a fine focus adjustment, but it turns out the single focus adjustment pretty much is the fine adjustment, and I can easily see .223 bullet holes with it. I found the fastest way to focus it was not to turn the knob with my finger and thumb. Instead I just held my index finger straight, and ran it across the knob in a rough approximation of a rack and pinion. Worked great, and all in all I'm pretty happy with my purchase. Here's what it looks like -



So the Alpen spotter worked great last time out, but the 2-7X40 scope I wanted to use for accuracy testing on my AR just refused to cooperate. I wasn't really surprised - the scope I was using came on a Gamo Hunter that I bought about twenty years ago, and it's not what you would call a real precise optic. So I got looking around for a new rifle scope that was up to the task I intend to put before it. I thought "I've had real good luck with Alpen optics. Why not give 'em another spin on the wheel?" So I did. Today I ordered an Alpen Kodiak 4-12X40 wide angle AO scope.

I'm a big fan of AO scopes because I like the parallax adjustment for different ranges. I also like a duplex reticle, and the Alpen has what they call an accuplex tapered reticle. A rose by any other name - to me it's a duplex reticle. I like target turrets, but I don't really like them exposed. The Alpen is kind of a cross between the two - it's got covers on the turrets, but they're the kind you can turn with your fingers. And you can also set them to zero. Usually that entails first zeroing the scope, and then loosening a screw and moving the finger adjusters 'till they read zero. That's the way I'm assuming it works, but I'll have to wait and see if I'm correct. And it adjusts in 1/4 moa increments, which I also like.

I could have gone a little bigger on the objective lens, but I figure 40mm should work fine for my purposes. Again - I'm always shooting in daylight so I don't really have a need for a huge objective lens. I also didn't want the overall length getting too long, and at 13.4" it shouldn't be overhanging the gas ports on my AR. Wouldn't want the objective lens getting carboned up by the gas ports. 12X should do me fine, and being the cheap sob I am, I didn't drop a ton of money on it - $109.99 shipped to my door. I haven't seen it yet, but if it performs as well as my other Alpen optics I should be a satisfied customer. And if it holds zero at different power settings, Alpen will have gained a customer for life.

And here's what the scope looks like -

 

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Nice set up, dbeardslee. One of the outdoor ranges by me has those exact Alpen spotting scopes chained to their shooting benches when the range is open.

Those spotting scopes have seen a lot of use and are a bit banged up with floppy tripods, but they work pretty dad gum well.

I haven't used an Alpen scope on a gun though, maybe I'll give one a try someday.
 

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Keep us updated on the scope when you get it in and have a few rounds down range. I'll be needing a new one for my 7mm Mag since the cheap tasco won't cut it at much more than 100 yds
 
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Discussion Starter #4
While I'm waiting for the fedex guy to bring my latest prize, I've been doing what I always do. Been reading more stuff on my purchase. I found a really interesting article on the scope, and it's really got me salivating. Seems to answer my question about holding zero at different magnifications too. We'll see. Check it out - 4-12X40 Kodiak Scope
 

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Nice, very nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The new scope arrived today, and my first impressions are very good. Fit and finish are first rate, it's clear and very bright, and all the controls work very well. It came with removable tinted lens covers, which I also like. If they don't disturb the optics I might just shoot with them in place just to keep the lenses nice and clean. And I was right about the zero adjustment for the turrets - you zero it, and then loosen a set screw in the adjusters and move them to read zero.

As I mentioned before I like a scope that's adjustable for parallax at different ranges, and I just found another benefit of the adjustable objective lens. There's a little dot that you use for adjusting the parallax, and the dot is absolutely dead center on top of the scope. I mounted the scope so the dot is on top, and that made it really easy to get the crosshairs level. Eye relief is 3.4" - which is particularly nice for heavier caliber rifles. Nobody likes getting poked in the eye with their scope on recoil. Not as much of a problem with an AR, but on some rifle it's a real pain in the eye. And I've got about the same distance from the objective lens to the gas ports (my AR is piston driven) so I shouldn't have any issues with carbon on the lens.

If this thing works as good as it looks I'll be one each happy camper. Here's some pics. They're not the greatest - indoor lighting being what it is - but I didn't want my neighbors freaking if they saw me in the back yard with my baby. :D





 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just got back from the range where I finally got a chance to use my new scope. One thing I found particularly nice about this scope is that they set the adjustments at the factory to the center of the adjustment range. I was on the paper from the first round with no fiddling. It required some relatively slight adjustments to get it right on the money (which was easily done using the finger adjusters,) and I was off and shooting. I found this optic very clear and bright, and at the 25 yards I was shooting at the bullet holes were easy to see when I cranked up the magnification. Eye relief was good, and adjustments were also very good. It held zero, and the zero didn't move around at different magnifications. I don't know what else to say - this is a nice scope, and I'm glad I bought it.
 

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Glad you got a great optic. Thanks for the heads up on it as well, just the kind of scope I am lookong for for one of my AR's.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I should have mentioned the spotting scope too - I'm in love with that thing. At 45 power 100 yards is about the limit for seeing 22 caliber bullet holes. At 25 yards the 15X setting was all I needed to see the holes. I put up 9 targets, and backed off to 15X I could see all 9 of them as well as all the bullet holes. The last time I used it I set it up on a camera tripod, but this trip I used the table top model that came with it. With the 45 degree angle on the eye piece it was just the right height for the picnic table I was shooting from. It's a nice spotting scope and it works really well out to 100 yards.
 
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