Forum members have asked “what’s the best option in a spotting scope in the $500 to $1000 price range?” We’d certainly have to include Kowa spotting scopes on the “short list” for value-priced, high-performance spotters. And now Kowa spotting scopes are cheaper than ever, thanks to Bullets.com’s Holiday Kowa Promotion. Kowa Spotting scope and binoculars are on sale at Bullets.com for up to 26% off regular list prices.
If you need an affordable spotting scope for High Power matches or hunting, consider the 66mm or 82mm Kowas. If you want a no-compromise, ultra-low-dispersion glass, category-leading spotting scope, take a look at the 88mm Kowa Prominars. These have been rated among the “best of the best” in a variety of independent spotting scope comparison tests. Bullets.com is also discounting a wide range of Kowa binoculars.
Share the post "Kowa Spotting Scopes and Binocs on Sale at Bullets.com"
Here’s the kind of sale we really like — serious savings on very high-quality products, the top name brands we respect. EuroOptic.com is running a Black Friday & Cyber-Monday Sale that should interest our readers. The brands are top-tier: Accuracy Int’l, Blaser, Benelli, Heckler & Koch, Leica, Zeiss. The deals are sweet: $100 off Accuracy Int’l Rifles, a Leica CRF Rangefinder at $379, Zeiss Conquest 3-9×40 scope for just $329.00 — and there are many more deals (see below). If you have been wanting an EOTech optic, these are now discounted 10% and a $60.00 Factory Rebate is available.
These discounted prices are good through Tuesday, December 3, 2013. And in the Sale Email Announcement, EuroOptic.com declared: “We will not be undersold — if you find a better price, call us at (570) 368-3920″.
Share the post "Very Good Black Friday Deals at EuroOptic.com"
Creedmoor Sports is offering two Holiday Specials with complete Spotting Scope systems, including Spotting Scope (with eyepiece), Scope Cover, and Scope Stand. You can choose between two price levels. If you are on a limited budget, go for the Konus 80mm bundle (item ID Konus-bundle). This includes Konus 80mm spotting scope, Scope Cover, and 3/4″-diameter Polecat Stand with two stand extension rods. These items would normally sell for $607.75, but now you can get them all for $545.00 with Holiday Special Pricing.
Creedmoor Sports also has a Holiday Kowa Scope Package (item ID SCOPEPKG) that can save you $112.65 off the regular $1487.65 price. This is really a nice bundle that should meet the needs of even top High Power competitors.
KOWA SCOPE PACKAGE — For $1375.00 you get all the following:
Kowa TSN-82SV 82mm Angled Spotting Scope
25X Long Eye Relief Eyepiece
Creedmoor Scope Cover in blue
Creedmoor 1″-diameter PoleCat Scope Stand
Two Extension Rods for Stand
Creedmoor Scope Stand Bag
See-Through Objective Lens Cover
Kowa Eyepiece Cover
The regular price for all this hardware is $1487.65, so you save $112.65 with this Kowa Scope Package. That’s a pretty significant savings you can put back into bullets and brass.
Share the post "Spotting Scope Package Deals from Creedmoor Sports"
Replace your scope with an iPhone? That is now possible with the Inteliscope. This new product provides a rigid mount for an iPhone that attaches to your firearm’s Picatinny rail. A special software App allows the Inteliscope to be zeroed, with a variety of user-selectable reticles. Simply tap a button on the iPhone screen to switch reticles. You can even record video of your shooting session. The Inteliscope system costs $99.00, which includes rail mount, iPhone holder, and iOS App.
This set-up offers some benefits for short-range plinking and tactical-style shooting with relatively large targets. It may be best for Paintball and Airsoft applications. The built-in Shot Timer is useful for action shooting events. However, we have concerns about the long-term durability of an iPhone when used on a centerfire rifle. In addition, this kind of set-up is cumbersome and not particularly weatherproof. Therefore it has questionable utility for a hunter in the field.
On the other hand, this device could be a superb training aid. The Inteliscope provides a large display that can be viewed from a relatively wide angle. This allows a trainer/instructer to see how the shooter is aiming the rifle. The iPhone’s video-capture capability lets the shooter record his practice session. The ability to “share the view” (with an instructor) and record video (for later analysis), makes the Inteliscope a very valuable training tool. We know that juniors will enjoy seeing their targets through a digital screen.
Watch Video to See How Inteliscope App Displays Reticle on Gun-Mounted iPhone
Is There an Optical/Digital System in Your Future?
We doubt that most of our readers will want to purchase an Inteliscope. Since magnification is limited to the zoom capability of the iPhone, and the lens is small and cheap, this device will never provide the sharpness, clarity, or resolution of a fine rifle-scope. However, we think the Inteliscope is important because it shows how a small lens, combined with a digital viewing screen, can completely replace iron sights or a conventional optical scope.
We think the Inteliscope is important as a precursor of future integrated optical + digital technologies. In truth, a combined optical/digital system may be more suited to benchresters than hunters. A small, high-magnification optic (not much bigger than a pill bottle) could be mounted to the scope rail of a benchrest rifle. Windage and elevation could be adjusted externally, or via software. Light would pass through the optic’s lens to a high-resolution sensor — the kind already used in quality digital cameras. Then the “view” from the lens could be passed to a digital screen (or iPhone) via a cord, or via a wireless blue-tooth or WIFI connection. The screen (or iPhone) could then be placed on the bench in a position most convenient for the shooter. The Inteliscope demonstrates how software can provide the aiming reticle. With the very best high-magnification competition scopes now approaching $3000.00, it is time to look at other solutions. By reducing the size of the lens system and outputting the “view” to an iPhone or similar device, the entire cost of the rifle-mounted optic could be much less than we are paying now for premium rifle-scopes.
Share the post "Inteliscope — Gun-Mounted SmartPhone Sighting System"
A quality borescope is a pricey tool, but once you get to use one, it’s hard to imagine how you ever did without it. To learn how a borescope can help you diagnose barrel issues, you should read a Rifle Shooter magazine feature story, What the Eye Can See.
In this article, writer Terry Wieland explains how to inspect for defects in new barrels, how to recognize different kinds of fouling (in both barrels and brass), and how to spot throat erosion in its early stages. Terry uses a Gradient Lens HawkEye BoreScope. The current generation of HawkEyes can be attached to a still or video camera to record digital images of your bore. The most interesting part of the article is on the second page. There, author Wieland provides photos of various types of internal flaws that can appear in barrels. This will help you spot pitting, excessive land wear, rust damage, and damage from corrosive primers.
Wieland notes that BoreScopes aren’t just for barrels: “The borescope has other uses as well. It can be used to examine the interior of a cartridge case to look for the beginnings of a case separation or to examine the interior of a loading die that is giving you trouble. When you consider the number of tubular objects that play such an important role in rifle shooting, it is a wonder we were ever able to function without such a method of studying bores.”
This Gradient Lens video shows how to correctly borescope your barrel:
Share the post "Borescopes — What They Reveal May Surprise You"
Many folks struggle when they sight-in a scoped rifle for the first time. A very common mistake is clicking the turrets in the wrong direction. That’s frustrating and it wastes ammo. Another common problem occurs when people sight-in at a distance other than 100 yards. People sometimes struggle to figure out how many clicks they need to correct point of impact if they’re zeroing at 200, 250, or 300 yards.
To make the sight-in process more fool-proof, AccuScope has released two handy Apps for smart phone users. Whether used for initial sight-in or in-the-field adjustments, these smartphone Apps can get you zeroed quickly and reliably.
Using the Apps is easy. First, boresight the gun to get on paper. After the gun is fouled-in (so it is shooting normally) shoot a carefully aimed 3-shot group. Then go to the target and measure the vertical and horizontal distance from the 3-shot group center to your aiming point. Input those numbers into the App, along with your sight-in distance (from muzzle to target). The App then calculates exactly how many elevation and/or windage clicks you must crank into your scope to move point-of-impact to point of aim. Put in the specified clicks and then take a fourth shot to confirm your zero. The fourth shot should impact right on your point of aim (within the limits of the gun’s inherent accuracy.)
Given Murphy’s Law, a shooter can still mess things up if he inputs left clicks when the App calls for right clicks, or inputs down clicks when he needs up clicks. But as long as you look at the “R/L” and “Up/Down” labels on your turrets before spinning the knobs, you shouldn’t have any problems.
AccuScope is available in two versions, Standard and Premium. The $4.99 Standard version works for 1/4 MOA-click-value scopes. The $9.99 Premium version works with all scopes and any click values. The Premium version works with 1/8 MOA clicks, 1/4 MOA clicks, Metric clicks, or Milrad segment click values. So, if you have a scope with 1/8 MOA clicks, you’ll need the Premium version.
Editor’s Comment: Does this App really provide a solution you can’t figure out yourself with simple arithmetic? No, but some math-challenged guys may find that the App prevents errors. Additionally, following the step-by-step process used by the App will probably help some shooters avoid confusion, and avoid wasting ammo clicking in the wrong directions.
Note however, that there is an even simpler way to zero, if you have a very solid front and rear rest that will hold the gun absolutely steady while you click. After bore-sighting, fire a couple rounds (with the same point of aim). Then place the rifle so the center of the cross-hairs is exactly on your original point of aim. Next, without disturbing the gun in any way, dial your turrets so that the center of the cross-hair moves over the center of your group. That’s it. You’re now zeroed (though you may want to repeat the process for confirmation). Again, this only works if the gun doesn’t shift one bit when you’re clicking. Having a helper steady the gun as you click the turrets will make this “no-math” method work more effectively.
Click-to-Initial POI Zeroing Method Demonstrated
Product Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Share the post "AccuScore SmartPhone Apps Help with Rifle Sight-In Process"
Want to guide one of America’s leading optics companies? Well here’s your chance. Leupold & Stevens, Inc. is seeking a Chief Executive Officer. Leupold is seeking a new CEO to “lead the company as it continues to expand into new markets and experience record growth.” Here’s the job description:
“The CEO at Leupold & Stevens, Inc. partners with the Board of Directors and Corporate Executive Team to ensure short- and long-term organizational goals are achieved. This position is responsible for the strategic leadership and direction of the business, with the objective of providing optimum financial results while maintaining the vision and values of the company.
The Chief Executive Officer also has a key responsibility to ensure that the interests of customers, owner-shareholders, and employees are served in a manner that supports business objectives and in a manner consistent with Leupold & Stevens, Inc. core values. A strong outdoors background is preferred for this highly visible role within the organization and industry.”
Candidates should submit resumes via the Leupold Career Page at Careers.Leupold.com by November 15, 2013. For questions, contact Kimberly King, VP of Human Resources/ Organizational Development. King can be reached at (503) 526-1433 or by email at kking [at] leupold.com.
Share the post "Want to Be the Boss? Leupold & Stevens Seeks New CEO"
Burris Signature Rings in Stock Again
Because they allow you to mount a scope without markings, to “pre-load” elevation, and to correct for windage mis-alignment, Burris Signature Rings (with Pos-Align inserts) are extremely popular. So popular in fact that Signature Rings, particularly the “Zee” models for Weaver rails, have been hard to find. Well, Signature Ring fans can now celebrate. Burris has recently shipped large supplies of Signature Rings, including the hard-to-find 30mm High Zees, to vendors across the country. If you’ve been waiting on these unique, affordable ring sets, get your orders in now.
Records Have Been Set with Signature Zee Rings
Are Signature Zees good enough for competition? Absolutely. Some folks scoff at these Burris rings, given their low price. A set of 1″-diameter Sig Zees cost less than $35.00 at Midsouth Shooters Supply. But consider this, Rodney Wagner shot the smallest 600-yard group in history, a 0.359″ 5-shot stunner, using Signature Zee Rings on his IBS Light Gun. Here’s a photo of Rodney showing the record-setting rifle, outfitted with affordable Signature Zee 30mm rings.
Vendors Have Burris Signature Rings in Stock Now
A quick search of webstores shows that various models of Burris Signature Rings are available from many vendors. NOTE: You may have to check with more than one seller to get the exact size, height, and model you prefer. But right now Midsouth has a very complete selection of Signature Zees, including the hard-to-find 30mm High and Extra High models.
Here’s a useful, cost-efficient product if you have a rifle with a 3/8″ dovetail on top of the action and you want to use a scope with Weaver-style rings. Kwik-Site offers three grooved receiver adapter products. The first is a two-piece set of short rails that clamp to a 3/8″-wide dovetail. Priced at just $13.50, this two-piece rail set, item KS-W22, is available in gloss black, matte black, and a stainless finish. If you prefer a one-piece rail, Kwik-Site offers the KS-W23 ($29.95) and KS-W24 ($30.95). Both are offered in matte black or stainless finishes. The KS-W24 will work with Romanian rifles.
These Kwik-Site products provide a low-cost solution if you want to take a scope from a rifle with a Weaver Rail and place the optic on a dove-tailed action without removing the scope from the ring set. Please note however, you’ll still need to re-zero the scope when you move it from one rifle to another. To order online, visit www.KwikSitecorp.com.
Share the post "Weaver Rail Adapters for Top-Grooved Receivers"
Based on its external appearance, a modern riflescope may seem simple. It’s just a tube with two or three knobs on the outside right? Well, looks can be deceiving. Modern variable focal-length optics are complex systems with lots of internal parts. Modern scopes, even ‘budget’ optics, use multiple lens elements to allow variable magnification levels and parallax adjustment. We had a chance to look inside a riflescope thanks to a product display from ATK, parent of Alliant Powder, CCI, Federal, RCBS, Speer, Weaver Optics. ATK sliced open a Weaver Super Slam scope so you can see the internal lens elements plus the elevation and windage controls. We thought readers would like to see the “inner workings” of a typical modern rifle scope, so we snapped some pictures. The sectioned Super Slam scope was mounted inside a Plexiglas case, making it a bit hard to get super-sharp images, but you can still see the multiple lenses and the complex windage and elevation controls.
Share the post "Inside Look — Cutaway Weaver Scope Reveals Complex Internals"
A while back your Editor was in New Mexico, on a prairie dog expedition. While in the field, my companions and I used two pairs of Steiner 8x30mm Military/Marine binoculars to spot the critters. Finding the Prairie Dogs (PDs) could be challenging in the high grass. Often, a PD would reveal only its head — a small target at distances approaching 400 yards. We really needed sharp optics with high contrast to spot the dogs hiding behind tufts of grass or dry brush.
The Steiner Military/Marine binoculars performed superbly. I came away very impressed with these armored 8x30mm binoculars. The glass is bright and super-sharp. And the rubber-armored body is truly rugged. These binoculars offer both right and left diopters — important for me as my right eye requires more correction than the left eye. One great feature of the Steiners is the focusing system which keeps everything you can see in focus. This really is a big deal. You don’t have to constantly fiddle with focus — everything past about 20 yards is in sharp focus all the time. As one Steiner owner reports: “Focusing set-up is worth the price of admission. Set it and forget. Amazing. This single feature makes these worth owning.” And the sharpness is impressive. I compared the Steiners’ image with a 6.5-20×40 Leupold EFR riflescope set at 8X. Both 8×30 Steiners were brighter than the Leupold scope, and the Steiners resolved individual blades of grass and fine details better than the Leupold. Of course, comparing a binocular optic with a riflescope is like comparing apples and oranges. The advantages of binoculars (compared to a monocular scope) are well known — the brain combines the two images (left eye and right eye) to create a more vivid, 3D effect, with greater perceived contrast.
Good Binoculars are a “Must-Have” Item for Hunters
After three days in the prairie dog fields I came away convinced that a good set of binoculars is absolutely essential for any varmint hunter. As the PD population was fairly thin where we were shooting, we probably spent five minutes glassing for every minute actually behind the trigger. Over 90% of the dogs were first spotted with binos rather than riflescopes. We had a fixed (non-rotating) bench so it was difficult to swing the rifle more than about 30° from one side to another (60° total arc). With the binoculars, and their wide field of view, we could quickly scan a much wider arc.
Steiner 8×30 Military/Marine Binocs are Just $227.98
At the end of our hunt, I told my host that I planned to purchase a Steiner 8×30 Military/Marine Binocular just like the one we used during our hunt. When I arrived home I was amazed to see that the Steiner 8×30 Military/Marine is available for just $227.98 on Amazon.com, with free shipping for Prime members. That’s a great value, considering the ruggedness and optical quality of the unit.
The 10×50 Steiner Military/Marine is also offered on Amazon.com. It has more magnification and better low-light performance. However, it currently runs about $489.98, more than twice the price of the 8×30 Military/Marine! Unless you really need the 10×50′s extra low-light capability, the 8×30 M/M is the smart choice.
Share the post "Gear Review: Steiner 8x30mm Military/Marine Binoculars"
Here’s a great deal on an excellent spotting scope. Right now Amazon.com has the Pentax PF80-ED Angled spotting scope body for just $684.95 with FREE Shipping for Prime members. Supplies are very limited, so don’t hesitate. Mind you, this is just for the BODY ONLY — but the PF80-ED body alone sells elsewhere for $899.00 (See: Optics Planet PF-80ED).
The PF-80ED has a large objective lens with high-definition glass. Focusing is fast and precise. You will have to purchase an eyepiece separately — but rest assured, the Pentax eyepieces are some of the best available, with large-diameter, astronomy-style mounts, and wide-angle view with extended eye relief. We use a Pentax PF100-ED and PF80-ED, with both zoom and fixed-focal-length eyepieces. The Pentax eyepieces are outstanding.
We actually prefer the PF80-ED (vs. the PF100) for most duties because it is MUCH more compact, and sits more steady on the tripod. While the PF80-ED has been out for a few years, it still compares favorably with spotting scopes that cost twice as much. To do better, you’ll need to spend over $2000.00 for a Kowa, Leica, Nightforce, Swarovski, or Zeiss spotting scope with low-dispersion glass. And, with most of these brands, that two grand will only get you the spotter body — you’ll then need to spend $400-$700 for the eyepiece. We think it’s hard to beat a PF80-ED at this sales price. Even after purchasing the eyepiece your total cost is about $925.00.
Share the post "Pentax PF80-ED Angled Spotting Scope on Sale for $684.95"