March 10th, 2014
Leica just released an inline power-booster (1.8X Extender) for its APO-Televid spotting scopes. Brilliant! That’s a great accessory we would like to other spotting scope makers offer as well. Hopefully we’ll see the other major brands — Kowa, Nightforce, Nikon, Pentax, Swarovski, Vortex, Zeiss — follow Leica’s lead.
With Leica’s new 1.8X Extender combined with the 25-50X eyepiece, the effective magnification range is 45-90X. That’s right — you can boost the high-end magnification from 50X all the way to 90X. In good viewing conditions (with a solid tripod), we have found you really can use 80+ power or higher on a spotting scope to resolve very small bullet holes at long range. With its 1.8X Extender in place, Leica now offers the greatest magnification of any premium spotting scope. According to the German company: “Leica is the world’s only manufacturer in the premium spotting scope segment to offer such an additional eyepiece for an existing angled spotting scope and such extreme magnification.”
The optical system of the 1.8X Extender consists of a two-lens achromat that mounts securely with an integrated bayonet mount locking mechanism. With the simple push of a button and a quick turn of the wrist, the Extender 1.8x can be quickly and securely mounted between the APO-Televid angled spotting scope and the eyepiece. (NOTE: the 1.8X Extender only works on Leica’s angled spotting scopes — there is no straight version). Leica designed the new 1.8X Extender to be optically, mechanically, and ergonomically matched with the APO-Televid spotting scopes to work flawlessly as a modular kit. MSRP for the 1.8X Extender is $449.00.
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March 7th, 2014
Here are some great rifle-centric landscape images courtesy of Nightforce Optics. Perhaps these “gunscapes” will encourage you to grab your rifle and head out into the woods this weekend. These images are part of an ongoing series of rifle photos posted on the Nightforce Facebook page. Can you identify the optics, and any of the locations? To see a full-screen version of each image, just click on any photo, and a larger version will load.
CLICK Any Image for Larger View
This is NOT a Photoshop job — that’s the actual view through a Nightforce scope of a deer. Photographer (and rifle-owner) Brandon F. says: “Ya’ll might enjoy this picture of a Fort Hood white tail… 400m away.”
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February 27th, 2014
Nikon has just announced its Mount ‘Em Up Promotion, which runs now through March 31, 2014. Here’s how it works: If you buy a qualifying Nikon scope, you can get a free scope mount worth up to one hundred bucks. Get an AR-specific Nikon scope mount with purchase of select M-223, P-223 or P-300 BLK AR riflescopes. “Year after year the Mount ‘Em Up promotion continues to be a favorite among our customers,” said Nikon General Manager Jon Allen. For more info, visit NikonPromo.com.
|FREE M-223 XR mount ($99.95 value)
with these NIKON riflescopes:
Product # and Model
16300 1-4×20 M-223 Point Blank
16301 1-4×20 M-223 BDC 600
16302 2-8×32 M-223 Nikoplex
16303 2-8×32 M-223 BDC 600
16304 3-12×42 M-223 Nikoplex
16305 3-12×42 M-223 BDC 6000
|FREE P-Series Mount ($49.95 value)
with these NIKON riflescopes:
Product # Model
8496 3×32 P-223 BDC Carbine
8497 3-9×40 P-223 BDC 600
6797 2-7×32 P-300 BLK BDC Supersub
Like all Nikon riflescopes, every model featured in the Mount ‘Em Up promotion is optimized for use with Spot On™ Ballistic Match Technology. This provides users with exact aiming points on the BDC reticle for any load or ammunition at a specified range. Get free Spot On ballistics solutions online at NikonSportOptics.com/spoton. You can also order Spot On Custom turrets calibrated by Nikon for your load.
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February 22nd, 2014
If you have a spotting scope, and a smartphone, you can now be a long-range videographer. One of the great things about digital cameras and smartphones is that, with a simple adapter, they can easily capture video through a spotting scope. This way you can record a string of shots on a target, or a shot on a game animal, or even record mirage for later review and study. Video can be a great training tool, and it’s also fun to record adventures at the range or on a hunt.
Digiscoping adapters hold your camera or smartphone at a fixed position, allowing the camera lens to faithfully record the view through the spotting scope’s eyepiece. Such set-ups work surprisingly well, and most are quite affordable. Phone Skope makes a Universal Digiscoping Adapter for iPhones. Able to adjust to different eyepiece diameters, this unit works with a variety of spotting scopes.
If you have a Swarovski spotting scope, and an Apple iPhone 5/5s, you’re in luck. Swarovski just released a new digiscoping adapter for the latest generation of iPhones. This can be used with a Swaro spotter or other brand of spotting scope with the same eyepiece diameter.
Along with iPhone adapters, Swarovski makes a variety of adapters for mounting digital cameras. Swarovski shows how to use these camera adapters in a “how-to” video (see below). One of the many tips in the video concerns focus. Many people attach the camera or iPhone and then forget to focus the spotting scope properly. Swarovski’s experts say you should focus in two steps: 1) set general focus; then 2) focus very precisely on the particular object (or surface) of primary interest.
Video Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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February 22nd, 2014
If you are looking for a premium-quality hunting scope, with a wide magnification range, here is a great opportunity. Leica has just discontinued the Leica ER Scope Series. These are excellent optics that will be sold on “close-out” basis through EuroOptic.com. These Leica ER Scopes will be offered by EuroOptic for as much as $600.00 off the regular price, with target turret models available for as little as $1179.00. These scopes all include Leica’s Lifetime Warranty. According to EuroOptic: “Quantities vary and there will not be any more once they are gone”.
Leica ER Rifle Scopes are rugged, bright, and precise. Each Leica ER Rifle Scope is designed for field use, with a long tube for easy mounting and eye relief to spare – perfect for large caliber hunting rifles. Choose from the Leica ER 2.5-10×42, an all around scope with a wide field of view for quick acquisition, or the Leica ER 3.5-14×42, a higher magnification scope with an optional ASV elevation turret.
Leica ER 2.5-10×42 Riflescopes | Leica ER 3.5-14×42 Riflescopes | Leica ERi Riflescopes
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February 13th, 2014
Readers often ask “What’s the difference between a Weaver scope rail and a Picatinny Rail?” The answer is not as simple as it seems. The dimensions of a Picatinny Rail should be consistent (from one rail-maker to another), since there IS a government spec. Conversely, there is some variance in “Weaver-style” rails. The width of the groove is the most important difference between Picatinny Rails and weaver rails. “Mil-spec” Picatinny rails will have a grove width of 0.206″ while Weaver rails typically have a narrower, 0.180″ groove width.
Brownell’s has a helpful GunTech™ Article that discusses the Picatinny Rail vs. Weaver Rail. That article explains:
“What are the differences between the ‘Picatinny’ and the ‘Weaver’ systems? The profile of the two systems is virtually identical. Depending on the quality of the machining done by the manufacturer, the two systems should be indistinguishable from the profile. The key difference lies in the placement of the recoil grooves and with width of the grooves. MIL-STD-1913 (Picatinny) grooves are .206″ wide and have a center-to-center width of .394”. The placement of these grooves has to be consistent in order for it to be a true ‘Picatinny’MIL-STD system. Weaver systems have a .180” width of recoil groove and are not necessarily consistent in a center-to-center measurement from one groove to the next.
In many instances, a Weaver system has a specific application that it is machined for, so interchangeability is not necessarily an issue. A MIL-STD-1913 system must adhere to the specifications listed above in order for it to be considered MIL-STD, since the military desires uniformity in the recoil grooves to allow for different systems to be mounted on the weapon with no concern for compatibility.
Now, what does this mean to you? Boiled down, it means that accessories designed for a Weaver system will, in most cases, fit on a ‘Picatinny’ system. The reverse, however, is probably not the case. Due to the larger recoil groove, ‘Picatinny’ accessories will not fit a Weaver system. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule, but for a good rule-of-thumb, [full-width] ‘Picatinny’ won’t fit Weaver, but Weaver will fit ‘Picatinny’.”
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January 30th, 2014
Nightforce makes great scopes — just ask the man who owns one. Here’s your chance to get a Nightforce NXS, Benchrest, or Competition scope at a big discount. Bullets.com has acquired a large selection of 2013-model Nightforce scopes, and these are now being offered at sale prices. You can save hundreds of dollars on a scope (compared to original retail prices). For example the 5-22x56mm NXS is on sale for $1495.00. This same 2013 optic retails elsewhere for $1830.00 or more. The 2013 15-55x52mm Competition scope is $1840.00. Compare that to $2352.00 for a 2014-edition 15-55 Comp scope.
These special offers are limited to scopes in inventory. When they’re gone, they’re gone. When shopping online, go to the Bullets.com Nightforce Promo Page, and click on a particular model. In the detail page that opens you will see full specifications, including objective size, turret click value, and reticle type. Here are the specific Nightforce scopes on sale at Bullets.com:
Before placing your order with Bullets.com, be sure you are 100% certain about the model you are ordering. Some scopes with the same magnification range come with a choice of either 50mm objective or 56mm objective. Likewise, there are various reticles offered for each basic model, and Nightforce offers 1/4 MOA clicks on some scopes, with 1/8 MOA clicks on others.
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January 30th, 2014
A 7mm Snake for Santiago
Our friend Dennis Santiago has a new reptile in his arsenal. It’s actually an Eliseo R1 single-shot tubegun chambered in .284 Winchester. The eye-catching aspect of Santiago’s new toy is the snakeskin dip job on the exterior. This really creates a distinctive look. Dennis tells us: “It was Gary Eliseo’s idea to try a water-transfer printing finish for this rifle. There are many patterns to choose from — this is the WTP-260 Snakeskin Illusion-Fall Copper from WaterTransferPrinting.com. For a single shot LR gun, I figured something on the bright side would be interesting and pick up less heat from the sun in the summer.”
Dennis will use his new rifle in prone and tactical matches. He says: “I can’t wait to start breaking it in. Underneath the hood, it’s a Rem 700 Long Action, chambered in .284 Win. Yes it’s a single shot! I don’t need anything else for a prone gun. Nothing to get in the way of building the perfect position.”
Dennis says: “Length of pull, offset and cast initially set the same as my similar RTS .308. My gun, my body dimensions.”
A FFP Sightron Rides on Top
The optic is a Sightron 6-24x50mm, FFP MOA-2. Dennis reports: “I looked at many scopes (within my determined price range), and this is the one that had the best combination of features for for this gun’s particular application. The sight line sits about 3 inches above bore line on these guns. It’s been leveled, bore-sighted and pre-dialed for a 200-yard estimated zero for the ammo I plan to use during break-in. If I did everything right, the first round will be on paper — theoretically. Those are Gen II A.R.M.S. rings. Super easy to tailor to different rail widths. Same rock-steady steel performance.”
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January 29th, 2014
Now through March 12, 2014, you can save big bucks on Nikon optics products. Nikon’s Long Range Precision Promotion offers up to $200 Instant Savings on eligible long-range riflescopes, rangefinders, binoculars, fieldscopes and mounts.
This Instant Savings promotion runs from January 20 through March 12, 2014. The Long Range Precision Promotion covers 49 different Nikon products. Here are some of the deals to be had:
|$100 off select M-223 riflescopes
$100 off M-308 riflescopes
Up to $100 off select MONARCH 3 riflescopes
Up to $100 off select PROSTAFF 5 riflecopes
Up to $50 off select PROSTAFF riflescopes
|Up to $120 off PROSTAFF 5 Fieldscopes and Outfits
$80 off the PROSTAFF 3 Fieldscope Outfit
$100 off a MONARCH 1200 Rangefinder
$70 off a RifleHunter 1000 Rangefinder
$200 off select MONARCH 5 56mm binoculars
For a complete listing of Long Range Precision Instant Savings eligible products, (with terms and conditions) visit NikonPromo.com. Here is a partial sample of some of the riflescopes on sale:
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January 23rd, 2014
If you’re thinking of spending thousands of dollars on a new rifle scope or spotting scope, do your homework first. You need to understand key design features, such as first focal plane vs. second focal plane, and turret click values. You should learn about light transmission, resolution, and other factors that distinguish a great optic from a not-so-great one. You also need to analyze your specific requirements before making a buying decision: How much magnification do you really need? Is illumination important? How much scope weight can you reasonably tolerate?
Sport Optics, a new book by Alan Hale, helps you answer all these important questions. Hale, former CEO of Celestron Optics, has more than 50 years of experience in the optics industry. His book, Sport Optics, is an up-to-date, comprehensive guide to Riflescopes, Spotting Scopes, and Binoculars. Hale surveys products from dozens of domestic and foreign manufacturers. Hale explains, in easy-to-understand terms, the technical jargon used by optics-makers. This helps buyers make informed decisions.
The new book is full of good, sound advice. Respected gun writer Chuck Hawks says: “Alan Hale has impeccable credentials in the optics industry. Sport Optics is written for the layman in a clear, understandable and interesting manner.” Bill Thompson, co-publisher of Bird Watcher’s Digest adds: “Alan Hale is one of the Zen masters of sport optics[.] He knows more about how optics work, how and where they are made, and how to put them to their highest possible use than most outdoor sport optics writers. Read this book before you make any optics purchase[.]“
The Sports Optics book is offered at Amazon.com for $24.13. To preview the book, go to the Amazon web page for Sports Optics, and click the cover photo that says “Look Inside”. This lets you see front and back covers, complete table of contents, and many sample pages (such as those shown below):
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January 22nd, 2014
At the Nightforce booth at SHOT Show, we got our hands on the GEN 2 15-55x52mm Comp Scope. It features large turret knobs with high-contrast numbers. The 15-55 Comp still has the great HD glass from the first generation model, but now it offers 10 MOA per revolution, plus zero-stop. There are now FOUR reticle options: DDR-2, FCR-1, CTR-2, and CTR-3. The 15-55 Comp weighs 27.87 ounces, making it 24% lighter than Nightforce’s 12-42x56mm Benchrest scope. The latest 15-55x52mm Comp scope retails for about $2355.00. Black is the only color option.
Affordable 4-14x56mm SHV Hunting Scope
The big news at the Nightforce booth was the SHV, a new medium-magnification, second-focal plane scope for hunters and varminters. Described as “the most affordable Nightforce riflescope [offered] to date”, the all-new 4-14x56mm SHV will sell for $995.00 (non-illuminated model) or $1195.00 with an illuminated reticle. The “SHV” stands for ShooterHunterVarminter™, reflecting this scope’s versatility — it can be used for a wide variety of applications. The SHV has plenty of travel for long-range use: 100 MOA of elevation adjustment and 70 MOA of horizontal (windage) travel. Two reticle options will initially be offered, the basic IHR (Int’l Hunting Reticle) with floating center cross-hair, and the popular MOAR reticle with 1-MOA vertical and horizontal hash marks. The 4-14x56mm SHV weighs 26.8 oz. for the basic version, and 28.5 oz. for the illuminated model. CLICK HERE for 2014 Nightforce Catalog.
Watch Report on Nightforce SHV Scope from SHOT Show 2014
The 4-14 SHV scope represents a new direction for Nightforce. The optics-maker kept the price under $1000.00 by “limiting some options, offering simpler controls, and using a less complex manufacturing process.” Nightforce said the goal with the SHV was to offer a scope priced “within the reach of a wider range of hunters and shooters who don’t need the ‘overbuilt’ characteristics of our NXS™ series, most of which were originally created to withstand actual combat conditions.”
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January 19th, 2014
Need a comp scope with serious magnification, but have a limited budget? Then check out the new XTR II 8-40x50mm from Burris. Priced at $1199.00 (MSRP), this new scope offers 40X max magnification, and a lifetime, bumper-to-bumper warranty. The scope weighs 31.4 ounces, has 1/8th-MOA clicks, and 10 MOA per turret revolution. With a 34mm main tube, the scope delivers 70 MOA of elevation adjustment and 30 MOA of windage adjustment. New this year, this FFP scope should be available by the end of March 2014. Learn more in the video preview below:
Learn about Features of 8-40x50mm Burris XTR 11:
Innovative F-Class MOA Reticle with Multiple Center Dots
Burris offers this First Focal Plane (FFP) scope with an F-Class MOA Reticle, the only reticle of its kind to feature multiple illuminated center dots (on the vertical line), the Front Focal Plane reticle keeps the 1/2 MOA grid design constant (relative to target) at any magnification. A second 20 MOA offset 1/2 MOA grid allow shooters to obtain an extra 20 MOA of elevation beyond the capability of the turret adjustments and still have horizontal wind hold-off references. At each 10 MOA section you’ll find an ultra-fine crosshair with 1/8 MOA illuminated dot for maximum versatility.
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