January 19th, 2010

Burris "Eliminator" LaserScope Automatically Sets Aim Point for Ranged Target Distance

Today at the SHOT Show’s “Media Day at the Range”, Burris gave us a glimpse of the future in hunting optics. The new Burris Eliminator scope will range your target, calculate your trajectory, and illuminate a spot on the reticle that becomes your aimpoint at extended range. We could write a treatise on the Eliminator’s breakthrough technology, but all you really need to know is that after you range your target with the scope, a red dot appears on the vertical crosshair that is the correct aiming point for your ranged distance. The ballistics “hold-over” is already calculated. Just put the calculated red dot on the target, and pull the trigger. It’s that simple.

Burris Eliminator LaserScope

The new “Eliminator” scope is being introduced as a 4-12x42mm optic, for an expected $850.00 street price. The laser is activated with a simple push-button on the left side of the scope, and also comes with a remote switch that you can attach to the rifle in a more convenient position allowing the laser to be activated while maintaining the aim of the rifle. In the above photo you can see the remote switch on the objective end of the scope.

Burris Eliminator LaserScope

Burris Eliminator LaserScope

Once the target range is acquired, the range displays for about 10 seconds and the illuminated aiming dot remains illuminated for 70 seconds. The illumination clock allows plenty of time to pull off a good shot, yet saves battery life.

So how does the Burris LaserScope calculate the appropriate trajectory of your load? The software in the scope contains a database of hundreds of factory-loaded cartridges and even calculates handload trajectories using two (2) user-provided data points. The user inputs the zero range (100 or 200 yards) along with the inches of drop at 500 yards. The 500-yard drop is best found by real world shooting, not by using a calculated trajectory approximation from a ballistic program. The scope’s software then uses the zero-distance and the 500-yard drop figure to extrapolate the entire trajectory.

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While shooting this scope on a Tikka 7mm-08, we successfully engaged targets from 350-570 yards that were approximately the size of a whitetail deer’s vitals area. Seeing how the conditions were not very conducive to accurate shooting with rain and a 5-15 mph switchy wind, we were impressed with the results.

For those that hunt or shoot out to about 600 yards or so, this scope will definitely speed up the process of pulling off an accurate long range shot. In a matter of seconds, you can locate a target, range it, and engage it. There is no time wasted fumbling with a separate laser rangefinder, no time wasted looking at a drop chart, and no time wasted clicking in the appropriate amount of elevation. As long as you can get a range on your target, the only thing left to worry about is the wind! This scope is obviously not for everyone, but we are confident that many hunters can benefit from this remarkable new technology.

Burris Eliminator Specs:
Click value 1/4″ at 100 yards
Weight 26 ounces; length 13″
Eye Relief 3-3.5″
Elevation Travel 50″
Laser range 550-800 yards based on reflectivity

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product, News, Optics 6 Comments »
January 19th, 2010

NEW Steyr SSG 08 Showcases Sophisticated Design Features

At the Media Day rifle venues, “Tactical” rifles were definitely the featured attraction. There were, of course, many AR-based black rifle offerings, but the purpose-built, precision bolt guns really were the stars of Media Day this year. Savage has a new .338 Lapua Magnum, its first ever. SAKO unveiled an impressive new .338 TRG with front rails and a very sophisticated folding stock (more on that later). Barrett had some thundering big boomers on display. You could feel the compression from the muzzle blast on the new .416 Barrett a dozen feet away. JP Enterprises had its handsome new MOR-07 on display. This features an aluminum chassis with either tubular or square 2×4-style fore-arm, plus a buttstock that looks like the Magpul AR stock. JP’s new MOR (Manually Operated Rifle) is offered either as a chassis to fit Rem footprint receivers, or as a $4499.00 complete rifle.

Though there were many impressive domestic tactical bolt guns, one of the nicest overall designs, in this Editor’s opinion, came from Austria’s Steyr Arms. The new Steyr SSG 08, shown below, features an advanced folding stock that is solid in the locked position while offering full adjustability of comb height and length of pull. The pistol grip was one of the most comfortable I’ve tried. The SSG 08 features a unique, 3-position triggersafety. In the “full safe” position, a positive pop-up selector locks the safety in place and actually blocks the firing pin. The detachable box magazine can be secured in two positions. In the first, the magazine is fully retained in the gun but you can cycle the bolt without picking up or extracting a round.

While the SSG 08 had all the tactical bells and whistles (such as forearm rails and 10-round magazine), it was the overall execution and competence of the weapon that impressed me. The design was well thought out — there were no “rough edges”, and everything, from the buttstock hinge to the mag release, functioned smoothly (and quietly). What separated the SSG 08 from most of the competition was the quality of the trigger. Many of the tactical rifles had very, very heavy trigger pulls with lots of over-travel. The Steyr SSG 08’s trigger was crisp and light. Shooting this gun was a pleasure. One noticed the attention to detail in every element of the rifle. We are told that Steyr received input from Austria’s Special Forces on this rifle. We aren’t surprised. With the SSG 08, one can see that real marksmen were involved in the design.

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Permalink Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
January 19th, 2010

NEW Savage m93 17 HMR Varmint/Tactical Rimfire

Savage Arms was well represented today at the SHOT Show’s “Media Day as the Range.” We saw and shot several new offerings from Savage (including a tactical rifle in 338 Lapua Magnum and a hunting weight 6.5-284). We’ll cover these centerfire Savages later this week. One of the new Savages we really liked was the model 93R17 TR, a slick little 17 HMR. It looks and feels like a full-sized centerfire tactical bolt-gun, it comes with an excellent stock and nice trigger, and it is both affordable and very accurate. (NOTE:v Savage is also offering 22LRs rimfires in the same stock, the MK II TR and TRR.)

This rifle features an all-new, texture-painted wood stock with a very sound “tactical” design. It is well thought out, with good ergonomics, and offers options and design details that most rimfires do not. The stock features a moderate beavertail fore-end, a fairly vertical grip and a shallow butt-hook at the rear for support using the non-shooting hand. The black textured paint is very similar to the black painted finish on McMillan stocks (notice the texture in the photo).

The “look and feel” of the model 93 TR is similar to the popular Rem 700 PSS, and that’s good news for tactical shooters. With the new m93 TR, you feel like you are shooting a full-size tactical rifle. It feels solid and comfortable. And this rifle features with an optional factory-installed picatinny rail — a very nice feature on a rimfire rifle. You can easily move your scope back and forth between the model 93 and a Picatinny equipped centerfire bolt-gun. The model 93 should prove very popular with shooters who want to train with an economical rimfire that has very similar ergonomics to a centerfire bolt gun. For training duties only you may prefer the 22LR version. But the 17 HMR would be our pick for a “working” varmint rifle.

With CCI hollowpoint 17 HMR ammo, the m93 proved very accurate — we hit everything we shot at with ease, even in rainy, gusty conditions. Targets were mostly clay pigeons at 50-100 yards; we could break a clay, then easily hit the smaller pieces. Clearly this gun can be a very effective short-range varminter.

Overall, we really liked the feel and ergonomics of this rifle. It is a good choice for those seeking a rimfire trainer that handles like an “adult-sized” centerfire rifle. We are confident this will make a great varmint rifle as well as a economical tactical trainer. Your Editor expects that this rifle will be a hot seller for Savage.

Savage m93 17 TR Specs: Cal 17HMR; barrel 21″; overall-length 40″; weight about 7.5 lbs.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »