Most spotting scopes seem to focus on long-distance viewing, making it difficult to find a good short-range spotting scope. For pistol shots and hunting through dense forests, you need something more powerful than binoculars but don’t need the power -or the price tag- that comes with higher-powered scopes.

With short-range use in mind, we’ve put together a list of four finalists to analyze in search for the best spotting scope for 100 yards or less. Our pick? The Bushnell Sentry Spotting Scope, but be sure to read through them all to find out why this was our number one choice.

Our Pick: Bushnell Sentry Compact Spotting Scope

This compact spotting scope weighs only 1.5 pounds and measures 8.7 inches long, making it a great lightweight addition to your gear that won’t take up too much space in your range bag.

The 12-36x magnification range has more than enough power to let you clearly see your target, while the 50mm objective lens lets in plenty of light for indoor or outdoor use.

It also features multi-coated optics for increased light transmission, providing clearer images in less-than-ideal lighting conditions. It also features rubber armored housing, is waterproof, and has a lifetime warranty.

Green, Multi-coated optics, Bushnell Sentry Compact Spotting Scope
Bushnell Sentry Compact Spotting Scope


This scope is a great compact size that won’t weigh you down while still having the power and quality to get the job done. While the lightweight and smaller size may make it feel flimsier than heavier scopes, its rugged construction makes it durable. It also has numerous extra features: a table-top tripod, vehicle window mount, soft carrying case, hard-sided case, and a scope glove for handheld use. This makes this a versatile scope great for travel.


This scope scores slightly lower in reviews, with only 76% of buyers rating it four or five stars. Complaints focused on the light weight (it didn’t feel sturdy enough) and that the image quality went down at 300 yards. But, considering this scope’s compact size and magnification range of only 12-36x, it is obviously not designed for long-distance shooting. Numerous buyers raved about how this scope was perfect for their use at the shooting range or even just for backyard viewing, with remarkably clear images at 50 and 100 yards.

Runner-Up: Celestron Landscout 52320 Spotting Scope

This compact and lightweight spotting scope features a magnification range of 10-30x, making it perfect for shorter distances. The 50mm objective lens lets in plenty of light to produce bright, clear images.

Yet, the smaller objective lens also helps contribute to its smaller size, measuring just under 9 inches long and weighing about 2.5 pounds. This compact size and weight, combined with the lesser magnification range, makes them good spotting scopes for 100 yards.

Army Green, Rubber grip, Rotating tripod mount, Celestron Landscout 52320 Spotting Scope
Celestron Landscout 52320 


This scope has a great price, offered for only $50 at the time of this writing. While that is remarkably low for spotting scopes, this scope also has fully multi-coated optics to produce bright images with sharp edges. It also comes with a table-top tripod. However, this tripod may not be adequate for use outside or in the field. This scope does lack the durability of higher priced scopes, but for the price, the quality and clarity are more than is to be expected.


Eighty-two percent of buyers gave this spotting scope a rating of four or five stars. Numerous buyers cited this as being a great backup scope to their more cumbersome long-range spotting scopes. Several reviews also stated that this scope worked excellently at the shooting range, with viewing shots at 300 yards easily possible.

Value Pick: Tasco World Class WC712060 Spotting Scope

This is another compact and lightweight scope that is really designed for short-range use. It weighs around one and a half pounds and is just under six inches long.

It features a standard 20-60x magnification range with fully multi-coated optics to provide crisp, bright images. It has a slightly larger 60mm objective lens to allow for better light transmission in low-light conditions. It includes a soft carrying case and tripod that can also mount to a vehicle window.

Grey , Beautiful design, Tasco World Class WC712060 Spotting Scope
Tasco World Class WC712060 Spotting Scope 


This starter or backup scope is great, retailing for around $100. The optics are what you would expect for this price range, with clear images up to 300 yards, making it a good spotting scope for 100 yards or less.

It does come with a tripod that extends to 4.5 feet. It has a surprisingly large objective lens for small size and weight. It has a rubber armor coating to lend durability and shock resistance.


Ratings and reviews are fairly even with this spotting scope: 75% of buyers gave it four or five stars, with the remaining 25% being all three-star reviews. The lightweight, great price, and clear optics at the short range were cited as being the strong points of this scope. Lesser reviews cited the tripod as junk, and a few buyers stated that they were giving only three stars because, while the scope performed well at short range, they hadn’t tried it for long-range viewing.

Also Great: Sightmark SM11027K Spotting Scope

Note: This model is no longer available. Check its upgraded version, Sightmark Latitude 15-45x60 Spotting Scope SM11033. 

This scope has a surprising amount of quality features and great optics for being so affordable. It features a magnification range of 15-45x, providing more than enough power for short-range shooting or spotting that trophy buck in the dense mountain forest.

In addition to a 60mm objective lens, this scope also features fully multi-coated optics to provide clear images with sharp details. It weighs around one pound and measures about 19 inches long, making it a lightweight addition to your gear.

Black, Dielectric mirror coatings, Folded light path, Sightmark SM11027k Spotting Scope
Sightmark SM11027K


This scope is loaded with features, coming with a hard carrying case, and multiple lens filters that are useful under intense sun conditions and offer extra protection in case of wind-blown sand and dust.

It also comes with a table-top tripod and is nitrogen purged. It also features a built sunshade. While the lower price (coming it at around $100) with so many features does make one wonder just how well it will stand up in the long run, the lifetime warranty does offer some assurance.


This scope has impressive reviews, with 93% of all buyers rating it four or five stars. Great optics and a wide field of view (66 feet at 100 yards at 45x, 136 feet at 1000 yards at 15x) were cited as the best features of this scope, with both the hard and soft carrying cases being stated as high quality. Complaints came down to use at longer distances, as the images were slightly blurry at 45x. However, that buyer also did not state how far out they were trying to see. Several buyers stated they had excellent image quality up to 300 yards.

What is Best Spotting Scope for 100 Yards?

Surprisingly, there is a lot of variation when trying to find a great quality scope for short-range use. While prices, magnification range, and objective lens size are all the same, quality and additional features range wildly. After much consideration, we decided that the Bushnell Sentry Compact Spotting Scope was the best spotting scope for 100 yards. Its compact size makes it travel easy.

We also like the versatility, as it can be used with a tripod (included) mounted to your car or truck window (included) or be handheld (includes scope glove.) However, we were really torn between the Sentry and the Sightmark, as you really can’t go wrong with the impressive number of quality extras that it includes and the surprisingly good optics. But, in the end, the compact size of the Bushnell Sentry won out.

Sources and Official Brand Websites:

Bushnell  |  Celestron  |  Sightmark Tasco | Spotting Scopes

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