December 21st, 2019

U.S. Optics Introduces New Foundation Series Scopes for 2020

U.S. Optics Foundation Series Scopes 34mm milrad MIL FFP SFP

If you’re looking for a state-of-the-art scope with a 34mm main tube, consider the new Foundation Series™ riflescopes from U.S. Optics. There are four new models, three zooms (1.8-10x42mm, 3.2-17x50mm, 5-25x52mm) plus a 10X fixed power. These look impressive. Check out the features of the FDN 25X 5-25x52mm ($3449) below. There are so many options! Chose among 11 different reticle types, and three illumination colors (Red, Blue, Green). Get a black Anodized finish or order any one of 8 Cerakote colors. For Elevation adjustment, choose a 1/10 MIL knob or 6.5 Creedmoor, or .308 Win BDC knobs. The Rapid Focus Eyepiece is even available with optional internal level.

This all represents serious optics technology. But you’ll pay for it. MSRP on the FDN 25X starts at $3449.00.

U.S. Optics Foundation Series Scopes 34mm milrad MIL FFP SFP

The Foundation Series is machined from aircraft-grade 6061-T6 aluminum and features a low profile ER3K elevation knob with a Zero Stop, capped US#1 windage knob, adjustable integrated parallax and illumination knob, rapid adjustable 180° magnification throw, and customizable options.

Foundation Series Models:

FDN FX10 10x42mm ($1999) | FDN 10X 1.8-10x42mm ($2499)
FDN 17X 3.2-17x50mm ($2899) | FDN 25X 5-25x52mm ($3449)

U.S. Optics Foundation Series Scopes 34mm milrad MIL FFP SFP

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December 21st, 2019

Vortex Fury HD 5000 Rangefinder Binoculars Field Test

Vortex optics Fury HD 5000 LRF Rangefinder Binocs Binoculars Field Test Review

Vortex Fury HD 5000 LRF Binoculars Review

Field Test by Colton Reid, AccurateShooter Hunting Editor
As a solo backcountry hunter, I try to carry as little weight as possible. Each step is a reminder to bring only the most essential/effective equipment. Each item in my pack must earn its precious backpack real estate. That’s why I favor gear that serves multiple purposes — and binoculars are no exception. In a previous optics review, I field-tested Zeiss Victory RF 10×42 ranging binoculars and the results were beyond expectation — they are outstanding. However, such superior, upper-eschelon ranging optics from Zeiss cost over $3000.00. And Leica Geovid HD-B 3000 ranging binoculars cost around $2500.00.

For those looking for a more affordable option, there are several mid-range binoculars with integrated ranging capability. One popular choice is the Vortex Fury HD 5000 10×42 LRF Binoculars. Priced at around $1200 on Amazon, the Fury HD 5000 is half the price of some European LRF Binoculars. Yet the Fury HD 5000 LRF Binos still combine two optical systems (magnification and laser ranging) into one that is more valuable than the sum of the parts.

Vortex optics Fury HD 5000 LRF Rangefinder Binocs Binoculars Field Test Review

Vortex Fury HD 5000 Look and Feel
The Fury binoculars are compact and relatively light — a modest 2 pounds. They are covered by a rubber armor exterior that feels sturdy enough to survive some hard falls, but is also comfortable to hold. The compact size did offer a challenge in determining how best to place my thumbs (see top photo). The rangefinder controls (Measure, Menu) are easy to access and are distinguishable by the braille-like bumps that cover them. Considering that these buttons are going to be located and pressed without looking at the top of the binoculars each time, it was perhaps a poor design choice to place the raised Vortex logo adjacent to the controls. But after a little practice I was able to quickly locate the measure button when ranging in the field.

The eye cups are comfortable and offer four discrete eye relief positions. The focus and diopter knobs are large and easy to turn but also provide resistance to rotation. Resistance is useful for maintaining the previous positional setting.

Vortex optics Fury HD 5000 LRF Rangefinder Binocs Binoculars Field Test Review

Vortex Fury 5000 — Rangefinding Performance
The Vortex Fury’s rangefinder function, along with its menu, is simple and intuitive. In my humble opinion, simple is better. The display is a red LED projection in the right optic. As noted in another review, the red display can be difficult to distinguish against a tan/brown image, so I used max brightness at all times to ensure display visibility. The display menu covers the core items: distance (line of sight or angle compensated), measurement units (yards/meters), brightness, and the ability to display either the strongest “Best” signal or the “Last Result” to help range objects behind trees or brush. The rangefinder also enables scan mode (continuous ranging) that updates displayed distance every three-quarters of a second as you sweep over the terrain.

In the field, rangefinder performance was good. I could consistently range objects at distances out to around 1500 yards. Beyond that, the rangefinder struggled with hills, trees, and brush. Ranging Longer distances required a rock or something more reflective. I will likely never shoot targets at or beyond 1500 yards, but the ability to range objects at those distances is extremely useful when scouting in the field. I routinely use my rangefinder to measure the distance to my next vantage point or staging area for a stalk, which can be over a mile away.

Optics — How Good is the Glass?
I should first note that it is difficult to quantitatively compare optical systems without objective data from sophisticated scientific measurement systems used in optics labs. Consequently, I must rely on a qualitative comparison with a known reference. In this case I compared the Fury HD against my tried and true Swarovski Habicht porro-prism binoculars.

With that disclaimer, I would rate the Vortex Fury optics as good to very good. In ample daylight, the Fury and Habicht binoculars were comparable. The main difference being that the Fury required a more precise adjustment of the focus knob in order to capture a crisp image. In low light, the Habichts had the advantage. The Fury images appeared slightly darker than the Habichts and the image sharpness in the Fury seemed to degrade more quickly with the fading light.

That may be partially linked to lower light transmission but also to the more sensitive focus knob of the Fury. With that sensitivity it could be difficult to tell which knob position yielded the best image. That being said, I was still able to spot deer with the Furys in low light (see image). What is more, I didn’t have to switch between my binoculars and a rangefinder to determine distance or suffer the reorientation of a different magnification and field of view. That is a huge benefit!

The Verdict
Overall, I was happy with the Vortex Fury’s performance. Both the optics and rangefinder were what I would consider mid-range in terms of performance. But for a street price of about $1200.00, that is a good value. Yes you can do better, but you’ll have to pay more than twice as much. Considering my recommendation is always to buy the best optics you can afford, the Vortex Fury HD 5000 would be a good choice for serious hunters on a budget. These are solidly made. Vortex states the aluminum alloy body is nitrogen-purged, and O-ring sealed to provide a waterproof, fogproof and shockproof product.

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December 21st, 2019

NOTICE — Replace Batteries in Your Gun Safe Keypad Every Year

If the battery on your safe’s electronic lock is
more than a year old, or if it is not giving you the
right voltage, replace it today!

safe battery gunsafe sargent greenleaf

Gunsafe safe keypad control battery batteriesThis time of year, many of our readers are putting their guns away in a safe for the winter. It’s easy to just tuck the guns away and forget about them. But there’s something you should do before you shut the safe door. If you have a safe with an electronic keypad, you should replace the battery every year as a precautionary measure. Trust us, you don’t want to come back in a few months and find that the keypad memory is kaput, and you’re locked out. That can lead to frustration and an expensive locksmith visit.

Here’s a true story. I have one safe with a Sargent & Greenleaf (S&G) keypad. A couple years back, in early December, I went to get into the safe. I punched in the correct combination, but all I got was a rapid “beep, beep, beep, beep” after I finished the last combination entry. I tried again to ensure I entered the combination correctly (I did). But again, the locking system responded with multiple rapid beeps indicating something was wrong. And the safe would not open. Now I was worried….

I popped out the battery holder (which slides in from the bottom of the keypad housing on the door). I removed the battery and tested it with a volt-meter. The 12-month-old Duracell 9-volt battery only registered 6.1 volts.

Low voltage was the problem. I went down to the store and got a couple new 9V batteries. I tested the new batteries and both measured 9.4 volts output. I slipped one of the new 9V batteries into the keypad housing, punched in the combination and everything worked OK again. Eureka.

Most electronic locks for safes WILL “remember” the combination for a period of time even when the battery is low (and the keypad’s “brain” should retain the combination when you remove the battery for replacement). However, a dead battery, or extended periods of low voltage can give you problems. Don’t rely on wishful thinking…

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