September 3rd, 2020

ZEISS Victory SF Binoculars Win Editor’s Choice Award

zeiss victory SF 10x32 8x32 binoculars Editor's Choice outdoor life
Zeiss Victory SF 8×42 model shown. The 10×32 has 90% light transmission.

If you are looking for high-end binoculars, you should definitely consider the new ZEISS Victory SF series. These offer superb glass, rapid focus, and ultra-wide field of view (very important for hunters).

Recognizing the qualities of the ZEISS SF line, Outdoor Life Magazine recently named the ZEISS Victory SF 10×32 binoculars as the winner of its Editor’s Choice Award in the hunting binoculars category. This Award was announced in Outdoor Life’s September issue.

zeiss victory SF 10x32 8x32 binoculars Editor's Choice outdoor life

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Outdoor Life noted three key features of the new Victory SF: 1) Very Wide Field of View; 2) Rapid Focus; and 3) Balance. Outdoor Life also praised the exceptionally sharp and clear SCHOTT fluorite glass with proprietary high-contrast coatings. Outdoor Life’s editors wrote: “Optically, the Victory SF brings the same best-in-class attributes as earlier Victory models. The guts are SCHOTT fluoride glass protected by ZEISS’s proprietary high-contrast and weatherproof coatings. We also liked the very positive four-position eyecups and the locking diopter control, located conveniently on the center hinge.”

zeiss victory SF 10x32 8x32 binoculars Editor's Choice outdoor life
zeiss victory SF 10x32 8x32 binoculars Editor's Choice outdoor life

Why the ZEISS Victory SF Won the Award
Outdoor Life had high praise for the Zeiss Victory SF line, with its impressive features and performance:

“With its remarkable Victory SF, ZEISS has managed to upend the staid world of binoculars and offer a product with three noticeable advantages. The first is its absurdly wide field of view, achieved by increasing the sizes of lenses and redesigning the optical prescription, or how all lenses and prisms work together. Finally, SF in its name stands for ‘SmartFocus’ but it might stand for ‘SpeedFocus’ given the rapidity of zooming from close focus to infinity in just 1.6 turns of the wheel.”

zeiss victory SF 10x32 8x32 binoculars Editor's Choice outdoor life

Outdoor life also praised the Victory SF’s balance: “Another remarkable attribute of the new ZEISS, which will be available in 8×42, 10×42, and 8×32 configurations along with the 10×32, is its balance. The binocular weighs a trim 20.8 ounces, but it feels even lighter, largely because of its wonderful equilibrium.”

zeiss victory SF 10x32 8x32 binoculars Editor's Choice outdoor life

With the 10×32 model at $2299.00 and 10×42 model at $2699.00 MSRP, ZEISS Victory SFs represent a substantial investment. However, these are arguably the best hunting binoculars you can buy at any price.

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September 3rd, 2020

Go Big or Go Home — Big Presses Needed for Big ELR Cartridges

Ko2m king two miles ELR .416 Barrett cheytac .50 BMG Extreme long range press

In the ELR game, particularly the King of 2 Miles (KO2M), it’s “go big or go home”. The top shooters run large-capacity cartridges that push large-caliber, ultra-high BC bullets at very high velocities. Bullets launched by cartridges such as the .416 Barrett can sustain supersonic velocities at Extreme Long Ranges — and that’s what it takes to win. The .416 Barrett can launch a 550-grain solid bullet at 3000+ FPS.

.416 Barrett cartridge ELR .50 BMG RCBS press
Photo from ELR Competitor Corbin Shell.

2018 and 2019 Kings of 2 Miles Loaded on RCBS Presses
So how do you load jumbo cartridges such as the .416 Barrett? It takes a big, heavy, super-strong reloading press. We’ve learned that the last two Kings of 2 Miles, Paul Phillips (2019) and Robert Brantley (2019) both loaded their KO2M ammo on RCBS AmmoMaster .50 BMG presses. Phillips loaded .416 Barrett ammo, while Brantley loaded custom .416 MCS rounds.

In 2018, Robert Brantley topped the field using his custom .416 MCS loads perfected on the AmmoMaster .50 BMG Press. This year, Brantley took a close second to 2019 KO2M winner Paul Phillips. Both Phillips and Brantley use the AmmoMaster .50 BMG single stage press kit and RCBS .416 Barrett dies to hand-load for extreme long-range. “My ammo has been much more consistent after switching to the RCBS press and dies,” remarked Phillips, who runs the Global Precision Group. Brantley said he uses RCBS products for most of his reloading needs — from the dies and AmmoMaster, to the ChargeMaster and Brass Boss. His custom .416 MCS loads launch a 550-grain bullet more than 3,100 fps.

Ko2m king two miles ELR .416 Barrett cheytac .50 BMG Extreme long range press

Loading with RCBS AmmoMaster .50 BMG Press
This video shows reloading with the RCBS AmmoMaster .50 BMG press. While this video shows .50 BMG cases being loaded, the principles are the same for loading the .416 Barrett used by both Brantley and Phillips. Big cases need big presses!

Derek Rodgers Shooting the .375 CheyTac at K02M in 2017
Another ELR ace, 2017 King of 2 Miles champion Derek Rodgers, favored the .375 CheyTac cartridge. For his successful K02M quest, Derek ran Cutting Edge Bullets in Peterson brass with Hodgdon H50BMG powder. The video below shows Derek in action at the 2017 KO2M event.

The KO2M competition is a two-day extreme long-range (ELR) match held at the NRA Whittington Center outside Raton, New Mexico. Teams consist of one shooter and up to two wind coaches/spotters, who fire on steel targets ranging from about 1,500 to 3,500 yards.

KO2M .375 CheyTac AmmoMaster Derek Rodgers

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September 3rd, 2020

Gold Medal Shooter Ginny Thrasher Looks Forward to 2021

Ginny Thrasher Olympics

Ginny Thrasher won the very first Gold Medal of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. And now she has her sights set on another strong performance in the next Olympics, slated for Japan in 2021. Ginny Thrasher’s marksmanship success story started a decade ago at the age of 14 when she went on a hunting trip with her grandfather. From there she rose to stardom in collegiate shooting and then the Olympics.

In 2016 when Ginny earned Gold in Rio for Team USA she was the youngest American female to ever win a shooting Gold Medal. In first Olympic showing, she led the Women’s 10-meter air rifle and set a new Olympic record with a finals score of 208.0!

Ginny Thrasher Olympics

“There are so many feelings associated with 2016 for me … I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was the year that all athletes dream of”, the now 23-year-old said. “Going to the Olympics was one of the most amazing and singular once-in-a-lifetime experiences that not everyone gets … It was amazing,”

Returning to the United States after the Olympics in 2016 presented a swirling new world for Ginny. As a collegiate athlete on the West Virginia University (WVU) rifle team, she suddenly found herself the most famous person on campus — often stopped while walking to class or shopping for groceries, being asked for a picture or an autograph.

Ginny Thrasher Olympics

The overwhelming response of the country, from strangers to national media, turned attention to the sport of rifle shooting. That gave Ginny a sense of pride in the impact she had made for the entire marksmanship community: “That’s something that athletes in other sports experience all the time, but it’s not something rifle shooters typically experience,” she said. “I was very, very grateful to have the community support, and it was a lot of fun to go and be invited to different events and speak to different media outlets and truly represent my sport.”

ginny thrasher wv gold medal 10m air rifle

She went on, “It was getting a lot of attention at a time when our sport is not very common, not a lot of people know what it is … So the more I could answer people’s questions to advocate and to educate, to me, that was a huge opportunity.”

ginny thrasher wv gold medal 10m air rifle

With her medal carefully tucked away in a bank lockbox for safekeeping, Ginny has done her best to become accustomed to her new reality. As she went back to competing with her WVU teammates in 2016, she found herself sometimes distracted by the attention.

(more…)

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