Vortex Skyline series quality???
I like the Skyline, too. The ED version will get you out to 300 yards on a reliable basis, assuming decent atmospheric conditions, but not the standard glass version. That is more of a 200 yard scope. ED improves resolution and for scoring targets that is critical. Other excellent 300 yard scopes under $1000 unclude the Bushnell Elite 20-60x80 or the Brunton Eterna 20-60x80
Beyond 300 yards, using any spotting scope, regardless of expense, becomes an iffy proposition because of the atmosphere if you expect to use a scope for scoring on a consistent basis and by the time you hit 400 yards, you will need the optics of the most expensive premium scopes to do the job. By the time you hit 500 yards, even the most expensive Leica, Kowa and so on will be out of business more days than not. Most ranges opt for remote viewing setups for that kind of distance.
For more info, see my article, Spotting Scopes for Target Shooting
Would the ED version of this spotter have significantly reduced or eliminated CA, or do I have to go even higher in cost to get rid of it?
That's exactly what the ED is all about. Yes, you would notice a significant reduction with the ED in terms of CA, but you can minimize the CA on your current Skyline by keeping the magnification, down, as much as possible. CA gets worse as magnification goes up. If all you are doing with your scope is scoring targets and if the CA is not keeping the scope from doing its job, I'd say let well enough, alone - assuming, of course, that you could live with it. On the other hand, if you want to do some photography with your Skyline, the ED would be a big plus, regardless of the magnification and having Ed would also increase the effective range of your scope for scoring targets.
I can't reduce the magnification too much because the scope is about maxed out at 220 yards as it is, and I have to remove my glasses to get a full picture with any spotter. I will try less contrasty targets and I'll reduce the magnification as much as possible, but I'm still trying to see .223 holes at 220 yards without glasses, so we'll see.
Thanks again for your help.
Yes, when you have a sharp contrast between a dark and light object is when you often see CA at its worst. I can see where this is a real headache for your situation.
If you are in a position to return the scope or sell it off and try another scope, yes, make certain it is ED. Under $100, the Skyline ED is a good alternative, as is the the Celestron Regal HD, the Bushnell Elite 20-60x80 and my favorite, the Brunton Eterna ED