Shopping for a spotting scope?
Do you have questions regarding quality and durability?
Unlike when I started competing in High Power some 24+ years ago, there are many options available for today’s high power competitor, with highly affordable scopes such as the Trailseeker 80mm Angled Spotting Scope, and the Konuspot-80 Spotting Scope. Personally, I made the decision some back then to jump right into the deep end and purchased a Kowa Spotting Scope, first a Kowa 77mm scope, then the Kowa 821 series 80mm scope. The 77mm was not waterproof and competing with it at Quantico in the rain with a fogged up scope lens was not fun!
So why Kowa? A the time, Kowa represented the best quality in a spotting scope, and while there are now a number of top scopes available, Kowa is still right there among the best. By the word ‘best’ I am not only referring to scope quality, but also the company and their customer service. While more expensive than the cheaper options, in my opinion the investment in the quality of the scope was worth it. I cannot speak for the customer service on the cheaper scopes, but with the permission of Kowa I would like to share my recent experience with them.
My Kowa 821 series scope has been exposed to the elements, rain, gritty hands at matches, even under salt water during Super Storm Sandy. It never lost its functionality or waterproofness, but over time the exterior finish had become gummy. This was most noticeable after competing in the torrential downpour during this years Hearst Doubles Match at Perry. When I returned to New York, I reached out to Creedmoor’s rep at Kowa to ask about possible refurbishment services. He told me that there was a known issue with the paint on some older 820 series scopes, and directed me to go to Kowa’s customer service page and open a claim. Note that there was no insider treatment provided.
Kowa’s customer service opened a claim number and instructed me to mail in the scope and rear lens to their California headquarters. In what would be a 3-4 month turnaround, they would then send the scope to Japan to be disassembled, paint stripped, cleaned, repainted, assembled, gas purged, sealed etc. and returned to me. The entire process ended up taking less than two months, not four, and with my only expense being the shipping of the scope to Kowa, I have what is essentially a brand new looking 20+ year old spotting scope.
If you have experienced the same ‘gummy’ feeling on the finish of your older Kowa 820 series spotting scope, don’t hesitate to reach out to their customer service like I did. You will not be disappointed.
When shopping for a spotting scope, if you are into the sport of High Power for the long haul, consider quality over price and you will never regret it.
If you are shopping for a scope, here are two great Kowa combo deals that Creedmoor has put together that you should consider: