First Look: Meopta 80 HD

If you're a "real" shooter, you spend a lot of time at the range. And you spend that time doing two things: shooting and looking at targets. If you're going to look at targets and if you're shooting at any distance past rock-throw range, you'll either have to walk downrange or have a high-quality spotting scope to look through.

I know times are tight and it can seem wasteful to spend a thousand dollars or more on optics that you mount to a tripod, but after years—and years—of pulling triggers, I've learned that the time you can save with a spotting scope is as precious and valuable as the greenbacks in your pocket book.

A good spotting scope will help you sight in your rifles faster, and it will circumvent the need to walk down range when you simply cannot see your group through your lesser-powered riflescope. And, a really good spotting scope lets you do other things as well.

I use a lot of Nightforce optics, and the Nightforce TS-82 Spotter comes standard with an iPhone adapter. You can use the adapter to take photos of your targets or photos of animals while hunting or scouting. If you're one of those birding kind of guys, you can even take a photo of that forked-tail flycatcher.

Even though I use a lot of Nightforce optics, I've not had a chance to test the TS-82. Then, just a few days ago, I received a new spotting scope from Meopta. It's from their MeoPro line and it's the 80 HD (it's so new it's not even on Meopta's website yet). Included in the box was an iPhone adapter. And, being the modern man I am, I just happened to have an iPhone 5 in my pocket.

Because I had to test some handloads I put together for my .25-45 CUR, I set the Meopta up and attached my iPhone. As you would expect, seeing bullet holes at 100 yards was not a problem, but my son had a different idea. We set the video record feature on the iPhone to slow motion and zeroed the scope in on a steel plate at 100 yards. I yanked the trigger and, upon review of the video, we found we could see the bullet in flight right before impact.

My son thought this was really cool, and I did, too!

Yes, a spotting scope is a useful tool for the shooter and hunter, but it can also be a toy. If you're going to lay down the necessary cash to get a useful tool, it ought to be fun, too.


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