Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom

Spotting Scopes - Kowa:

Some time ago there was a discussion here on spotting scopes. The general concensus was that KOWA scopes were among the best available, if not the best, and that the 600 series were good for both range and tactical use.

I have researched these at Kowa's website and priced them. I discovered that there are two grades of 600 series available. The standard series (Models 611/612) and the prominar or ED series (Models 613/614). The prominar/ED models are roughly twice as expensive as the standard models. Are the prominar/ED models worth the extra money?? (I do not mind paying top dollar for good optics, after all you get what you pay for, but I do want to be sure that these are worth the extra cost.) Also, what is the best eyepiece? I was thinking of the 20x-60x zoom. So far, the only place that I have been able to find that carries Kowa scopes is Creedmoor Sports. Are there any other dealers that carry Kowa scopes, maybe with better prices?

If anyone here with experience with Kowa scopes could provide some input I would really appreciate it.

Jack McC.
Jack McC. <>
Lawrenceville, GA USA - Friday, October 30, 1998 at 10:21:44 (EST) 

Jack McC,
I have a Kowa with the prominar lens and a friend has the standard lens, both in the angled 20x-60x version. We tested them our way. The difference is most noticeble during dusk, I can get about 10 - 15 Minutes longer use out of mine when looking at a Bundeswehr sniper zero target. Also it is a little easier to watch trace with mine. And checking holes in a target at 300 meters goes a little better with mine as well (on a cool day), but I think that for double the money you get,at the max, about 20% more out of it. If you have cleanded your glasses!

Torsten <>
Germany - Friday, October 30, 1998 at 14:36:34 (EST) 

Jack m.

Here is a link to 3 companies that carry Kowa scopes.


Eagle Optics


Jesse <>
Packing for a high country mulie hunt in cold, wet SoCal, Ca. USA - Friday, October 30, 1998 at 22:00:27 (EST) 

Jesse - thanks for the links, it looks like astroptx will be at least 10% cheaper than Creedmoor.

Ron N. - you were discussing the usefullness of a long eye relief (LER) eyepiece. The Kowa LER eyepiece is a fixed power 25x. I realize weather conditions like mirage will affect this, but roughly how far away can I reliably see my hits with a 25x eyepiece? The range I have access to is 500 - 600 yards but I am hoping to do some shooting at ranges out to a 1000 yards someday.

Jack McC.
Jack McC. <>
Lawrenceville, GA USA - Monday, November 02, 1998 at 14:04:51 (EST) 

Jack McC: I see that many may have answered your question on the Kowas. For what it is worth, the Kowa TS-611 is a great scope for the money. BUT if you plan on using it exclusively for civilian tactical type shooting you will want to get this scope with a straight through eyepiece design as opposed to a 45 degree eyepiece. This will make spotting for your partner a lot easier. The 45 is great for High power but can be a real drag elsewhere. Example, if you can not find a tripod that suits you, the straight scope works well on you buttpack or ruck. A 45 will have you craning about to find a position. Also, check out the 25x LER. It is a good feature as you can back off a bit when conditions stop you from getting a good eye relief. Like the old time Unertl and Bausch and Lomb scope, the TS-611 has an integral sunshade. 25x is fine for spotting trace and impacts all the out to 1000 depending on what you are hitting. You will not see the bullet hole of course, but the trace and if you are lucky, impact, will be more than enough to judge a wind call. More power is not generally not needed for this type of shooting.

USA - Tuesday, November 03, 1998 at 14:25:54 (EST) 

Kowa makes some mean glass. Not totally water proof though. I added external housing over the eyepiece that has an O-ring.

Scott <>
USA - Friday, November 06, 1998 at 13:00:20 (EST) 

Bolt: you asked about the TS-611. I have one. I have the 25 LER (Long eye Relief) eyepiece. VERY EXCELLENT scope. Not water proof though. Not necessarily an issue though as measures can be taken. Top notch glass. Wouldn't trade mine for the world.

Scott <>
USA - Tuesday, December 29, 1998 at 13:32:45 (EST) 

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