September 11th, 2018

Cabela’s Deer Nation — Great Resource for Hunters

Cabela's Deer Nation hunting info hunter tips

It’s hunting season in many areas of the country already. If you’re planning a fall hunt you want to do your homework — make sure your gear is checked out, your rifle zeroed, and your hunting grounds plotted. You’ll want to sight in your rifle, get the right clothing, make sure you have your hunting license, deer tags, and other needed paperwork.

Cabela’s has a ton of helpful information for hunters on its Deer Nation website. You’ll find numerous videos as well as articles from expert guides and experienced hunters.


This episode of Cabela’s Whitetail Season highlights ground hunting. While some hunters prefer a stand, the cover provided by the background and tall grasses can help with your stalks.


In this video, Bill Winke, host of Midwest Whitetail, shows how he hunts over small food plots.

Cabela’s Deer Nation portal offers over 100 informative articles for hunters. Here are six of our favorite features:

1. Hiding in Plain Sight — Finding Game

Cabela's Deer Nation hunting info hunter tips

2. Binoculars Buyers Guide
(Very comprehensive and useful!)

Cabela's Deer Nation hunting info hunter tips

3. Top Seven Hunting Apps for iOS and Android

Cabela's Deer Nation hunting info hunter tips

4. How to Field Dress a Deer

Cabela's Deer Nation hunting info hunter tips

5. Trail Camera Set-Up and Monitoring

Cabela's Deer Nation hunting info hunter tips

6. Taking Kids Deer Hunting

Cabela's Deer Nation hunting info hunter tips

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
July 16th, 2015

Zeiss Summer Field Days Optics Rebates

Zeiss Rebate Summer binoculars Ballistics Reticle

We all know Zeiss makes good optics, and now you can save $50-$150 on Zeiss binoculars or Zeiss riflescopes. As part of the Zeiss Summer Field Days promotion, Zeiss is offering $50.00 cash back on select scopes and binoculars (and $150.00 on the Victory HD binos). Hunters may want to take advantage of this offer for the CONQUEST HD5, and Victory HT Scopes with RAPID-Z ballistic reticles. Those are nice optics. To claim the rebate, purchase eligible products between 7/1 and 8/31/2015 at any participating ZEISS Authorized Dealer, then visit the Zeiss Online Rebate Center to register your rebate. Be sure to save your product receipts.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
December 12th, 2014

Comprehensive Sports Optics Book from Alan Hale

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[.]”

FREE Book Preview at Amazon.com
The Sports Optics book is offered at Amazon.com for $21.95. 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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October 9th, 2013

Gear Review: Steiner 8x30mm Military/Marine Binoculars

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.

Permalink Gear Review, Optics 6 Comments »
May 11th, 2013

Save Money on Optics with Bushnell “Deals for Dad”

Bushnell Father's Day RebateAs a Father’s Day Promotion, Bushnell is offering rebates on Trophy XLT and H20 full-size binoculars and a GPS tracker for hikers/hunters. CLICK HERE to learn more about these “Deals for Dad” which are valid from today (May 11, 2013) through June 16, 2013.

Bushnell Father's Day Rebate

Promo found by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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August 27th, 2012

Buy Minox Scope, Get Minox Binocular or Monocular for 1¢ More

Camera Land Minox SaleCamera Land has announced a remarkable Combo Optics Sale on Minox Optics products. If you purchase a qualifying Minox rifle scope from Camera Land, you can get a Minox Binocular or Minox Monocular for just one penny more. Yes, that’s correct, add your choice of four Minox BF Binocular models or the MD 8×42 CWP Monocular for just $.01. That’s an awesome deal — consider that the Minox BF 10×42 binocular (by itself) sells for $150.00-$199.00 elsewhere. Note: Purchasers are limited to a single $0.01 Binocular or Monocular per new riflescope ordered.

New ZA 3 and ZA 5 Minox Scopes Are Good Buys
These are current production, quality scopes. The new Minox line of riflescopes is impressive, with German Schott glass, strong monotube construction, and a no-fault, lifetime warranty. Just last week we reviewed the new Minox ZA 5 6-30x56mm scope and concluded it offers an impressive set of features for the price. Retailing for $799.00 to $829.99 (depending on reticle) the 6-30X ZA 5 is an outstanding value for a high-magnification, side-focus, 30mm-tube scope with premium glass. The 6-30X ZA 5 is more than two hundred bucks cheaper than a Leupold VXIII 8-25x50mm LRT, yet the Minox offers more magnification, plus a true diopter eyepiece not found on the Leupold. The Minox scopes from Camera Land even come with a Scopecoat cover at no extra cost.

Minox ZA5 ZA-5 riflescope

Camera Land reports very positive buyer feedback on the new Minox ZA-3 and ZA-5 riflescopes: “We’ve sold a ton of these. Buyers tell us they are impressed with the glass and the overall quality. These scopes hold zero, the controls are positive, the warranty is great. The Minox rifle scopes are an excellent value right now.”

Purchase Any of these Qualifying Scopes Get One of These for $0.01 More

ZA-3 3-9x40mm
ZA-3 3-9x50mm
ZA-5 1.5-8x32mm
ZA-5 2-10x40mm
ZA-5 2-10x50mm
ZA-5 3-15x42mm
ZA-5 3-15x50mm SF
ZA-5 4-20x50mm
ZA-5 6-30x56mm SF (30mm)

Minox BF 8×25 BR Binocular

Minox BF 10×25 BR Binocular

Minox BF 8×42 BR Binocular

Minox BF 10×42 BR Binocular

Minox MD 8×42 CWP Monocular

How to Purchase Minox Scope with Companion Optic
NOTE: Not all binocular/monocular options for this promo are displayed on the Camera Land web site. To secure the companion binocular/monocular you want with your Minox rifle scope: 1) Call 212-753-5128 and speak with Doug or Neil, or 2) Purchase the scope you want, select the one binocular shown to be offered, and in the note area of the order type in “Minox Promotion” and list the binocular/monocular you prefer. To keep it simple, we recommend you just call Doug at 212-753-5128 and ask about the Minox “Penny Promo”. Please mention AccurateShooter.com. Doug can take your order or he can send you a Paypal invoice listing the Minox rifle scope the Binocular/Minocular of your choice.

Open Box Bargains on Minox Rifle Scopes
In addition to the 1 cent combo sale, Camera Land has some great “open box” bargains on Minox rifle scopes. Open Box #66030 ZA-5 4-20×50 Plex (#66030) have been discounted from $699.00 to only $449.99. Likewise Open Box ZA-5 3-15×42 Plex (#66020) have been discounted from $499.00 to $319.99. NOTE: All open box items may not be listed on the Camera Land website. Call 212-753-5128 and speak with Doug or Neil about these special discounted items.

Promo Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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August 19th, 2012

“Cash for Glass” Rebates on Steiner Binoculars

Through the end of this year (2012), Steiner is offering substantial rebates on a wide variety of Steiner binoculars. This year’s rebates range from $30 to $200, for the 27 Steiner binoculars listed below. To get your rebate, complete the Steiner Cash for Glass Rebate Coupon and send it, along with your original sales receipt and original UPC barcode, to: Steiner Cash for Glass Rebate, MPS Dept. No. 446-STNCASH 2012, P.O. Box 3250, Cinnaminson, NJ 08077.

LINK: Cash for Glass Rebate Coupon

Note: No photocopies or mechanical reproductions of UPC barcode or sales receipt will be accepted. Mail must be signed and postmarked by January 31, 2013, and received by February 15, 2013, to be eligible for the rebate. Offer valid in USA only, and limited to one claim (rebate) per household.

Promo tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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February 4th, 2012

$35.00 Off Discount Code for Optics Planet

OpticsPlanet.com has a vast selection of riflescopes, spotting scopes, binoculars, red dot sights, and rangefinders. But OpticsPlanet sells much more than just optics. You’ll also find compasses, knives, flashlights, sunglasses, even hunting boots and outdoor clothing. And now you can get $35.00 off with any order of $300.00 or more. What’s more, OpticsPlanet provides FREE UPS Ground shipping to the contiguous 48 states on most orders over $29.95. To save on your OpticsPlanet.com order, use Coupon Code 69B8A7F during online check-out. (Some restrictions apply).

OpticsPlanet.com Discount Code

Steiner Binoculars Offer Good Value
Steiner binocularsWhile you’re shopping Optics Planet, check out the Steiner Military Marine 8×30 Binoculars ($249.00) and 7×50 Marine Binoculars ($324.99). This Editor has used these binoculars on hunts and hikes, and they offer excellent performance for the price. Steiner binoculars, with their wide porro-prism design, may seem old-fashioned, but don’t let that put you off. At SHOT Show an executive of a competing optics maker told us: “The porro-prism offers great field of view and depth of field at 7-8X power. You can produce a better optic at a lower price with this porro-prism design. However, we don’t use the porro-prism in our binoculars because we think consumers prefer the narrow styling of roof prism [straight lens body] designs.”

Steiner binoculars

Steiner binoculars

If styling were not a controlling factor, you’d see more porro-prism binoculars. Experts says that porro-prism binoculars will produce a brighter image than roof-prism binoculars of the same magnification, objective size, and optical quality, because the roof-prism design employs silvered surfaces that reduce light transmission by 12% to 15%. Roof-prisms designs also require tighter alignment tolerances for their optical elements (collimation). This adds to their expense since the design requires the use of fixed elements that need to be set at a high degree of collimation at the factory.

Discount Code Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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December 10th, 2011

Steiner Binocular Sale at Camera Land

Camera Land is slashing prices on a wide selection of Steiner binoculars. These are excellent optics, Made in Germany. The combination of low sale prices, and after-sale rebates on many items, makes these very attractive offerings. The posted prices (including rebates) run through December 31st, 2011. Please feel free to call Doug or Neil @ 212-753-5128 at Cameraland with any questions. Quantities are limited, so if you’re interested, don’t hesitate.

#234 Steiner 8×22 Predator Pro Compact Binocular reduced from $154.99 to only $134.99.

#236 Steiner 10×26 Predator Pro reduced from $174.99 to only $139.99.

#250 Steiner 10×42 Predator C5 Binocular reduced from $699.99 to only $499.99.

#438 Steiner 8×32 Merlin Binocular reduced from $439.99 to only $349.99.
PLUS $40.00 after purchase rebate.

#448 Steiner 8×42 Merlin Binocular reduced from $499.99 to only $399.99.
PLUS $50.00 after purchase rebate.

#430 Steiner 10×50 Merlin Binocular reduced from $699.99 to only $549.99.
PLUS $50.00 after purchase rebate.

#510 Steiner 10×50 Nighthunter XP Binocular reduced from $874.99 to only $769.99.
PLUS $100.00 after purchase rebate.

#353 Steiner 7×30 Navigator Pro Binocular w/ Compass reduced from $449.99 to only $349.99
PLUS $50.00 after purchase rebate.

Sale tip from EdLongrange. We welcom Reader submissions.
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September 17th, 2011

Bushnell Fusion 1600 ARC RangeFinder Binoculars

Bushnell 1600 ARCBushnell recently released its new Fusion 1600 ARC range-finding binoculars. With a “low street price” under $799.00, Bushnell’s 1600 ARC binoculars are less than one third the price of Leica Geovids (10×42, $2399.00) or Zeiss Victory RF Binoculars (10×45, $2,799.00).

That huge price advantage makes the Fusion very tempting — but can Bushnell’s 1600 ARC binos perform as advertised?

Forum Member Reviews Fusion 1600 ARC
Forum Member Stan (aka BigBamBoom) acquired the Fusion 1600 ARC RF binoculars and has posted a video review. Stan was favorably impressed with the quality of the glass and the exterior ruggedness of the unit. He was able to range very large objects (water-tower, trees) beyond 1200 yards. He also praised the speed of the unit, saying it ranged faster than his Leica CRF 1200. Consider however, that the very small CRF1200 is harder to aim precisely, simply because it is so small and light and held in a vertical orientation. Most people can aim the larger, heavier LRFs with more steadiness using a normal two-handed horizontal grip. In the real world, if you can hold the LRF more steady, you can get a true range on a small object more quickly.

YouTube Preview Image

Don’t Expect to Range a WhiteTail at 1600 yards
We also caution that, in our Laser rangefinder comparison tests, we learned that there is BIG difference between ranging a water tower, and ranging a deer-sized animal. We found that some units that could range a water tower at 1300+ yards could NOT reliably range an actual deer (stuffed by taxidermist) at 700 yards. Note that Bushnell lists three different effective ranging distances for the Fusion 1600, and Bushnell claims only 500-yard effectiveness on deer-sized objects. This is fairly consistent with our LRF comparison tests:

Bushnell Fusion 1600 ARC Ranging Ability (Factory Specs)

  • Reflective Ranging Performance: 1600 yards
  • Tree Ranging Performance: 1000 yards
  • Deer Ranging Performance: 500 yards

It can be fun to range buildings at a mile, but for the hunter, that may not have much practical utility. You want to be able to range deer-sized game at all practical distances. For the tactical shooter, you need a narrowly focused beam (with minimal beam divergence) that can range a gong or metallic silhouette reliably at 1000 yards. If an LRF can’t do that, it may not be all that useful, even if it the sales price is attractive.
Bushnell 1600 ARC
Fusion 1600 ARC Features
The 10×42 roof prism binoculars feature built-in battery life indicator, twist-up eye pieces, and multi-coated optics with RainGuard. The Fusion 1600 is fully waterproof and submersible, meeting IPX7 “waterproof” specification. As Stan observed, the Fusion 1600 has good glass, and the red readouts are easy to see. Bushnell employs Vivid Display Technology™ (with four display brightness settings) to enhance display readability in all lighting conditions.

The built-in laser rangefinder features ARC (Angle Range Compensating) technology, which calculates the angle to the target (-90 to +90 degrees). ARC also and gives the hold-over range for the rifle shooter, and true horizontal distance for bow hunters. We like the fact that you can choose between Inches and MOA for holdover. There is a brush mode for measuring distances in heavy cover and a bullseye mode for ranging in open areas. The brush mode can filter out false returns from closer objects. This IS a useful feature that actually does work.

The Fusion 1600 ARC laser rangefinder binoculars come with battery, neck-strap, and carrying case. MSRP is $899.00. It pays to shop around as we’ve seen advertised prices from $789.00 to $899.00. For more info, visit www.bushnell.com or call 800-423-3537 for consumer inquiries.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
July 27th, 2011

Steiner Offers Rebates on Binoculars

This Editor has used Steiner binoculars in the field. I believe Steiner’s standard-size models are excellent optics for the price. And now that price is even more attractive. Starting August 1, 2011 and running through Dec. 31, 2011, Steiner is offering rebates on binoculars. Rebates range from $25 to $100, depending on the model. To get your rebate, purchase a qualifying product through an authorized dealer, then (no later than 1/31/2012) mail in a rebate certificate along with sales receipt and UPC barcode. Checks will be received from Steiner within eight to 10 weeks of receipt.

Qualifying Steiner Binoculars and Rebates

$100 REBATE
10×50 Nighthunter XP, 12×56 Nighthunter XP, 7×50 Commander XP C, 8×44 Peregrine XP and 10×44 Peregrine XP.

$75 REBATE
8×42 Nighthunter XP, 10×42 Nighthunter XP, 8×56 Nighthunter XP and 10×56 Nighthunter XP.

$50 REBATE
8×42 Merlin, 10×42 Merlin, 10×50 Merlin, 7×30 Navigator Pro C, 7×50 Observer C, 7×50 Commander XP and the 10×50 Military/Marine.

$40 REBATE
8×32 Merlin.

$30 REBATE
8×30 Military/Marine, 8×30 Predator Pro, 12×40 Predator Pro, 8.5×26 Wildlife Pro, 10.5×28 Wildlife Pro, 8×30 Wildlife Pro CF, 8×30 Safari Pro, 7×50 Marine, and the 8×30 Navigator.

$25 REBATE
8×22 Predator Pro X, 10×26 Predator Pro X, 8×42 Predator Xtreme and the 10×42 Predator Xtreme.

Steiner 8×30 Military/Marine — Field Report
In May, your Editor was in New Mexico, on a prairie dog expedition. While in the field, I used Steiner 8x30mm Military/Marine binoculars to spot the critters. I came away very impressed with these Steiners. The glass is bright and super-sharp. These binoculars offer both right and left diopters. And Steiner’s rapid focus system really works! You don’t have to constantly fiddle with focus — everything past about 20 yards is in sharp focus all the time. I could see blades of grass and other details better with the 8X Steiners than with the 20X Leupold on my rifle. After three days in the prairie dog fields I can recommend the Steiner 8×30 M/Ms without hesitation. As Steiner owner Steve West recently posted on Steiner’s facebook page regarding his Steiner Predator Extremes: “They are as good as advertised. The best value in binoculars today… German optics for American blue collar prices. Can’t beat that deal.”

Steiner 8×30 Military/Marine Binocs are Just $229.99
Amazon.com has the Steiner 8×30 Military/Marine for just $229.99, with free shipping. The rebate (avail. August 1st) knocks the price down to $199.99. That’s a great deal! 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 $499.00, or $449.99 after rebate. Even with the $50.00 rebate, the 10×50 is twice as expensive as the 8×30. For value, the 8×30 is the smart choice.

Disclosure: AccurateShooter.com receives a small percentage
of the purchase price of direct-link sales on Amazon.com.
Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
May 15th, 2011

Bushnell Releases 12x50mm Range-Finding Binoculars

Last year we reported on the Bushnell Fusion 1600 ARC rangefinding binoculars. As first introduced, the Fusion 1600 was sold as a 10×42 binocular with ten-power magnification. Now Bushnell has introduced a larger, more powerful 12×50 Fusion ARC model. This has larger, 50mm objective lenses, plus 12X magnification. With a “street price” under $900.00, the new 12×50 Fusion 1600 is less than half the price of the less powerful 10×42 Leica Geovids ($2349.00) or Zeiss Victory RF Binoculars (10×45, $2,799.00). That huge price advantage makes the Fusion very tempting — but can Bushnell’s 1600 ARC binos perform as advertised?

Don’t Expect to Range a WhiteTail at 1600 yards
There is BIG difference between ranging a water tower, and ranging a deer-sized animal. Bushnell lists three different effective ranging distances for the Fusion 1600, and Bushnell claims only 500-yard effectiveness on deer-sized objects (vs. 1000 yards on trees). This is fairly consistent with our LRF comparison tests.

You can see the features of Bushnell’s new 12×50 Fusion 1600 ARC rangefinding binoculars in the video below. This also shows the smaller 10×42 Bushnell Fusion for comparison. The video does a good job explaining the functional differences between the 12X and 10X units, helping you decide which one best fits your needs. Surprisingly, the bigger Fusion is only about one ounce heavier. If you have any interest in a combo bino/rangefinder you should watch this video. The reviewer concludes the Fusions represent good value for the money.

Bushnell 1600 ARC
Fusion 1600 ARC Features
The 12×50 roof prism binoculars feature built-in battery life indicator, twist-up eye pieces, and multi-coated optics with RainGuard. The Fusion 1600 is fully waterproof and submersible, meeting IPX7 “waterproof” specification. Owners have reported that the Fusion 1600 has good glass, and the red readouts are easy to see. Bushnell employs Vivid Display Technology™ (with four display brightness settings) to enhance display readability in all lighting conditions.

The built-in laser rangefinder features ARC (Angle Range Compensating) technology, which calculates the angle to the target (-90 to +90 degrees). ARC also and gives the hold-over range for the rifle shooter, and true horizontal distance for bow hunters. We like the fact that you can choose between Inches and MOA for holdover. There is a brush mode for measuring distances in heavy cover and a bullseye mode for ranging in open areas. The brush mode can filter out false returns from closer objects. This IS a useful feature that actually does work. The Fusion 1600 ARC laser rangefinder binoculars come with battery, neck-strap, and carrying case. Typical retail price for th 12×50 Fusion is around $900.00. For more info, visit www.bushnell.com or call 800-423-3537 for consumer inquiries.

Permalink Gear Review, Optics 1 Comment »
April 29th, 2011

Zeiss Offers Scope Rebates and Cuts Rangefinder Costs

Zeiss Optics RebateCarl Zeiss Sports Optics has announced attractive consumer promotions that can save you hundreds of dollars. From May 1 through December 31, 2011, you can get a $50 mail-in-rebate on all Conquest Riflescopes with Rapid-Z® Ballistic Reticle. Zeiss will also offer a $100 mail-in-rebate on all Victory Riflescopes with Rapid-Z reticle. “Even though the economic outlook is improving, we know there are many people out there who are mindful of every dollar spent,” said Erik Schumacher, president of Carl Zeiss Sports Optics. “This is our way of helping hunters’ dollars go further.”

Zeiss Rangefinder Price Cut $100.00
Zeiss is also lowering the price of its Victory Laser RF binoculars by $200 and Victory 8×26 T* PRF laser rangefinder (LRF) by $100. NOTE: AccurateShooter.com recently conducted a comparison field test with the Zeiss Victory Laser PRF, Leica 1200, and the much more expensive Swarovski Laser Guide. The Zeiss Victory LRF ranged as well as the Leica and the Swaro out to 1000 yards, and we found the Zeiss to be easier to hold and aim than both the Leica and Swaro. Even before the price drop, we considered the Zeiss Victory LRF a “best buy”. The Zeiss LRF was the favorite of all three of our testers and it was the unit we eventually purchased with our own money.

Zeiss Rangefinder LR

Carl Zeiss is also offering special Victory DiaScope Spotting Scope kits at participating dealers. These kits include a DiaScope Spotting Scope (65mm or 85mm, straight or angled), with 15-56x / 20-75x Vario eyepiece and new Zeiss Carbon Fiber Tripod set. Purchasing these items as a kit yields a $300 savings to customers.

Story sourced by Edlongrange
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March 18th, 2011

Zeiss Range-Finding Binoculars (with Ballistic Compensation)

Zeiss Victory RF Binoculars recently received the 2010 Sporting Classics Award of Excellence. The Zeiss Victory 8×45 and 10×45 T* RF Binoculars, the world’s first premium binoculars with rangefinding capability, LED display and integrated BIS™ ballistic calculator, were described by Sporting Classics magazine as “the finest example of an integrated binocular and laser rangefinder yet manufactured.” While other binoculars, most notably the Leica GeoVid, have a built-in laser rangefinders, only the Zeiss Victory RF Binoculars provide a built-in Ballistics solver.

Here’s more of what the testers at Sporting Classics had to say: “The RF eliminates the hassles of carrying two separate units, especially the all-too-familiar struggles when switching between them in excitable moments……. In our tests, the RF outperformed all rivals in ease of operation, speed, distance, accuracy and optical quality…….Best of all, resolution, contrast, flare control and overall optical quality showcase Zeiss’s commitment to impeccable performance.”

In a review of the Zeiss RF Binocular for his LongRangeHunting.com website, Len Backus writes: “I was able to show the Zeiss Victory RF 10×45 Rangefinder Binocular unit to several other hunters. Without exception, the first comment was always to marvel at the speed with which the unit returned a range. Only one touch of the main control button is needed. The hunters also liked the ergonomics. The focus wheel turns easily, but not too easily, and it is well located. [The] two control buttons are located well and the unit has a good, solid feel to it. The glass is superb. I thought it was slightly better than that of my Swarovski 10×42 SLC binoculars. Edge to edge sharpness was very good.”

Available in 8×45, 10×45, 8×56 and 10×56, the Victory RF Binoculars have also been recognized by National Geographic Adventure magazine, Outdoor Life and Gray’s Sporting Journal.

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December 22nd, 2010

Below Wholesale Burris Optics Sale at SWFA.com

If you’ve been shopping for Burris riflescopes or binoculars, visit SWFA.com. Texas-based SWFA is running a special liquidation sale on Burris optics with some items marked way down “below distributor cost”. Supplies are limited. Here are some examples of the savings:

Burris 3-12x50mm Xtreme Tactical XTR 30mm SideFocus with Mildot Reticle.
Price: $599.99, regularly $789.95. Stock #201914.

Burris 3-12x50mm 30mm Euro Diamond with Ballistic Plex Reticle.
Price: $349.95, regularly $619.95. Stock #200916.

Burris 6.5-20x50mm Fullfield II, Adj. Objective Front with Fine Plex Reticle.
Price: $249.95, regularly $419.95. Stock #200191.

Burris 3-9x40mm Fullfield II with Electro-Dot/Duplex Reticle.
Price: $199.95, regularly $329.95. Stock #200156.

Burris 8x56mm Signature Select Binoculars, multi-coated lenses, black body.
Price: $199.95, regularly $524.95. Stock #300284.

Below you can see a small sample of the many items on sale (CLICK HERE for full list). Visit SWFA.com or call (972) 726-7348. SWFA offers a price guarantee and SWFA claims it “will beat any price”.

SWFA Burris Liquidation Sale

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
December 2nd, 2010

Protect Your Expensive Optics with ScopeCoats

ScopeCoat Scope ProtectorWith the price of some premium scopes approaching $3000.00 (and beyond), it’s more important than ever to provide extra protection for your expensive optics. ScopeCoat produces covers that shield scopes with a layer of neoprene rubber (wetsuit material) sandwiched between nylon. In addition to its basic covers, sold in a variety of sizes and colors, ScopeCoat has a line of heavy-duty 6mm products that provide added security.

Triple-Thickness XP-6 Model for Added Protection
The XP-6 Flak Jacket™ is specifically designed for extra protection and special applications. The 6mm-thick layer of neoprene is three times thicker than the standard ScopeCoat. XP-6 Flak Jackets are designed for tall turrets, with sizes that accommodate either two or three adjustment knobs (for both side-focus and front-focus parallax models). To shield an expensive NightForce, March, or Schmidt & Bender scope, this a good choice. XP-6 covers come in black color only, and are available for both rifle-scopes and spotting scopes.

ScopeCoat Scope ProtectorThe heavily padded XP-6 Flak Jacket is also offered in a Zippered version, shown at right. This is designed for removable optics that need protection when in storage. The full-length, zippered closure goes on quick-and-easy and provides more complete protection against dust, shock, and moisture. MSRP is $30.00.

Special Covers for Binos and Red-Dots
ScopeCoat offers many specialized products, including oversize covers for spotting scopes, protective “Bino-Bibs” for binoculars, rangefinder covers, even sleeves for small pistol scopes and red-dot optics. There are also custom-designed covers for the popular Eotech and Trijicon tactical optics. Watch the Shooting USA video below to see some of ScopeCoat’s latest specialty covers.

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink Gear Review, Optics 1 Comment »
August 4th, 2010

Steiner Introduces New 10×50 Binoculars with Laser Rangefinder

To compete with the vaunted Leica Geovids, Steiner Optik has released its new 10×50 porro-prism binoculars equipped with a built-in Laser Rangefinder. Steiner’s new model 398 10×50 LRF Military Rangefinder Binoculars feature a handy two-button interface and a powerful Class 1 laser rangefinder with claimed maximum ranging distance of 1,600 yards. That meets or beats the range of any other commercial laser rangefinder on the market. Beam divergence on the Steiner LRF binocular is impressively narrow. This allows ranging at very long distances. Steiner claims: “With sunshine and good visibility, the unit’s accuracy is within one yard at ranges up to 380 yards, within two yards to 763 yards, and within approximately 0.5% to 1,600 yards.”

Steiner Rangefinder Laser Binoculars

Yes, There is a Mounting Slot for Tripods and Monopods
We were pleased to see that Steiner’s LRF binoculars incorporate a 1/4-20 tripod adapter mount. We think all “serious” laser rangefinders should have mounts for tripods and/or monopods. You simply can’t make use of the full ranging capability of these devices unless you can hold them rock steady when aiming at far-away objects. Steiner’s “easy-on” two-button control also helps you aim precisely. With some LRFs, such as the Swarovski LaserGuide, you must press down quite hard to activate the “on button”. This can upset your aim.

Steiner Rangefinder Laser Binoculars

New LRF Binoculars are Built Tough Inside and Out
The new Steiner LRF binoculars are built to withstand tough use, even though, at 46 ounces, they are still fairly lightweight. The chassis is made with Makrolon®, a fiber-reinforced polycarbonate material that is very impact resistant. The exterior is fully armored with Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (NBR) for protection. The interior is pressurized with dry nitrogen fill and is waterproof to 16 feet. All alloy components are anodized, and external metal parts are enamel-finished to prevent corrosion.

Lowest Web Price is Under $2100.00
Though Steiner’s 10×50 LRF binos have “Military” in the product name, this unit can be purchased by the public. Current “street price” at most online optics dealers is $2,499.00. However a few dealers are now undercutting MAP pricing, so if you shop around, you may find the model 398 Steiner 10×50 Military LRF binoculars for under $2,100.00. DigitalFoto.com is listing the unit at $2079.48. For comparison, DigitalFoto.com sells the 8×56 Leica Geovid rangefinder binoculars for $2699.00.

Permalink New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
March 13th, 2009

Zeiss Victory RF Binoculars Win Optics Awards

At SHOT Show 2009, we were impressed with the new Zeiss Victory laser rangefinder (LRF), listing it as one of the highlights of the 2009 Show.

A companion product line, the Zeiss Victory range-finding binoculars, have won a series of prestigious awards. Introduced in early 2008, the Zeiss Victory RF was named a “Leading Edge: The Best of What’s Next” product by National Geographic Adventure magazine, which wrote: “Zoom in on an object through the Zeiss Victory 8×45 rangefinding binoculars and a crisp LED display will give you its exact distance — as if you had Million Dollar Man eyesight. Traditional high-end Zeiss lenses and workmanship and a waterproof body complete this first-of-its-kind package.”

The Victory RF, claimed to be the world’s first premium binoculars with digital laser rangefinder, LED Display AND Ballistic Information System (BIS), also won the prestigious Red Dot Design Award in addition to the Chicago Athenaeum: GOOD DESIGN™ Award. Both are international awards that recognize the best design innovations of the year.

Zeiss Victory RF Binoculars Features:
• Ranges from 10 yards to 1,300 yards.
• Integrated design — Victory RF binoculars are the world’s first binoculars with a hinge bridge that do not require a separate laser emitter.
• Tightly focused Beam — The laser beam used in the Victory RFs is narrow with minimal beam divergence, so you can range small targets even at long distances.
• Accurate “One-Touch” rangefinding for a steadier image.
• Ballistic Information System (BIS) that automatically calculates required aiming hold-over at the ranged distance.

Great Performance, but Extremely Expensive
What’s the downside of the Zeiss Victory RF binoculars? They cost a fortune. The Zeiss Victory 8×45 version retails for about $2900.00, while the 10×45 model runs about $3,000. That makes the Zeiss Victory RF Binoculars MORE Expensive than the Leica 8×56 Geovids which have a much larger objective, providing better low-light performance (and a larger exit pupil). And, you can get the smaller 8×42 BRF Geovids for $2245 at Adorama.com and other large online vendors.

Are the 8×45 Zeiss Victory RFs worth $750 more than the 8×42 Leica Geovids? You’ll really have to make that decision for yourself. The Geovids are a known quantity, having proven themselves in the field over many years. The Zeiss Victory RF offers more sophisticated software (with the BIS), and we think the Victory is more secure and comfortable to hold.

Permalink New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
March 4th, 2009

High-Magnification Binoculars for Long-Range Varminting

Forum regular Aaron H. (aka “6BR”) has been having great success in the California varmint fields with “Orange Crush”, his super-accurate 6BR rifle. Aaron recently posted his experiences with various laser rangefinder (LRF) types, and field binoculars. While there’s plenty of information available on LRFs, including our own Laser Rangefinder Comparison, it’s harder to find good info on binoculars from the perspective of a varmint hunter. Aaron looked at a variety of premium binoculars, and ended up choosing the 15×45 Zeiss Conquest, after careful consideration.

6BR rifle

Choosing the Right Binoculars for Long-Range Varmint Hunting
Aaron writes: “[It] was a hard undertaking to pick the right pair. I decided I wanted a high magnification pair of binos in the 10x to 15x range. I narrowed my choices down to Zeiss, Swarovski, Leica, or Nikon. I was sure I was going to buy the Swarovskis when I started comparison shopping. However, I was wrong… I ended up getting a pair of the Zeiss 15×45 Conquests.”

Zeiss binocularsZeiss binoculars

Aaron reports: “The clarity of the Zeiss binos is awesome. I am glad I took the time to look through each and every pair before I bought. I was also impressed with the Nikon Monarch ATB; for the price, they are impressive. The Swarovskis were awesome too. However, through my eyes, the Zeiss clarity was better.”

The Zeiss 15×45 Binoculars are fairly expensive. At most places they go for about $1100.00 (see chart below), but you can find some better deals. Aaron tells us: “I had to sell other firearms to be able to afford the Zeiss binos and a Swaro 8×30 LRF. If you decide to shoot varmints, at long range, you’ll find out very quickly how important it is to have quality optics. When you spend a bunch of time looking through binoculars, it can become very hard on the eyes. So the better quality binoculars you have, the more comfortable you’ll be during your varmint hunt. I learned the hard way during the beginning years of long range varminting, and I realized how important it is to have quality optics.”

Zeiss Conquest 15×45 B T — Price Comparison
B&H Photo
$829.99
Night Vision Planet
$934.95
Eagle Optics
$1099.99
Optics Planet
$1099.99

Nikon Monarch ATB Offers Great Performance for the Price
Aaron was impressed with the Nikon ATBs, given their low cost. But Aaron cautions: “It’s very important to go look through the binos before you buy a pair. Had the Zeiss 15×45 Conquests not been so remarkably clear, I probably would have bought a pair of the Nikon Monarch ATBs. If you need a pair of binoculars and you can’t afford the higher end binoculars, I would highly recommend the Nikon Monarch ATBs, offered in both 10-power and 12-power. I would have to say, and I am not making this up, they were close to the clarity of the higher-end binos. I also looked through a pair of the Leupold Golden Ring binos. They are nice, however, I felt the clarity of Nikons were much better and the price was much cheaper.” [Editor: The Nikon 10x42mm and 12x42mm Monarch ATBs retail for about $290.00 and $330.00 respectively at discount vendors such as B&H Photo.]

Zeiss binoculars

Aaron added: “One more thing, I am stating my own opinion on what I think works best for me. Another brand of optics might work better for someone else. I don’t want to offend anybody or imply that other brands are bad, I just wanted to give my experience with what I use and have had success with.”

Tips for Holding Binoculars Steady
Nate Haler, another Forum member, offered this advice about high-magnification binoculars: “Unless you are using a tripod or other mechanical support for a binocular, 15x magnification is too much. Image tremble will be much more problematic when trying to hand-hold a binocular of such high magnification. Furthermore, the exit pupil (i.e. the little circle of light transmitted to the ocular lens) will be only 3mm in a 15×45 binocular, which means 15x magnification and a 45mm objective lens. Exit pupil enables you to see the image better or worse in low light. 7mm exit pupil is about as big as a healthy human eye in a young adult can dilate. Smaller than that, and the image is dimmer.”

Editor’s Comment: Nate makes some very good points, but we would add that you can rest your binoculars on a pack or sandbag, or use an inexpensive tripod or bracket to hold the binoculars steady. Zeiss also makes a 12-power version of the binoculars Aaron favored. This editor has used 12x binoculars in the field without difficulty, but you definitely have to learn to “hold steady”. One technological solution is built-in image stabilization. Canon has a series of image-stabilized binoculars (8x, 10x, 12x, 15x, and 18x), and they work very well. The 15×50 is shown below. Regarding the 3mm exit pupil, yes a bigger exit pupil is better in low light, but 3mm should be adequate for daytime hunting. Keep in mind that a shooter using a 25-power riflescope will be looking through an exit pupil that’s 2mm or smaller.

Canon IS biniculars

Geovid All-in-One Option (Rangefinding Binoculars)
The Leica Geovid binoculars are another option for hunters. These combine great glass with a built-in Laser Rangefinder. That way you only need one optic for both game spotting and rangefinding. Aaron considered the Geovid option, but it didn’t offer any money savings compared to purchasing binoculars and LRF separately. Additionally, he felt that his Swaro 8×30 rangefinder out-performed the LRF in the Geovids. “The Leica Geovids are excellent. They are just so darn expensive. I think they start around $2600 for the 8×42 and go up to $3300 for the 15×56 pair. I would still choose the Swaro 8×30 LRF over the Geovids. Why? Because the Swaro out-ranges the Geovids by 300 yards and the Swaro is $1600 cheaper. That leaves a lot of cash left over for good binoculars.”

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Optics 3 Comments »
September 4th, 2008

Beretta-Owned Burris Acquires Steiner-Optik GmbH

Here’s another outdoor industry business consolidation, another big fish swallowing little fish. Beretta Holdings, through its Burris division, has acquired Germany’s Steiner-Optik GmbH. Steiner, a respected maker of optics, particularly binoculars, is based in Bayreuth, Germany, and now employs 120 workers. Steiner will be integrated into the Beretta Group through its optics subsidiary, Burris, based in Colorado. So now the Germans will be making binoculars for a US-based company owned by Italians.

Steiner BinocularsWhy did this acquisition take place? Steiner has not been very successful in the North American market. Steiner’s President and CEO, Carl Steiner, needed the help of an international group with strong distribution and plenty of marketing clout. Beretta Holdings doubtless believes that the addition of Steiner, a “prestige” optics name for over 50 years, will help Burris compete against high-end brands such as Leica and Swarovski. This is a good thing for Burris. Steiner has a record of innovation: Steiner produced the first pocket-sized binoculars, the first commercial binoculars with rubber armor, and the first binoculars with an anti-UV protective lens coating.

Burris General Manager, Steve Bennetts, said both Burris and Steiner have strong brand identification, and he suggested that the two companies will soon coordinate their product development efforts. We suspect this means the high-end optics will carry the Steiner name while mid- and low-cost optics will be sold as Burris products.

Beretta’s companies offer a vast range of products, with optic devices representing an increasingly important component. Current companies owned by Beretta Holdings include: Beretta, Benelli, Burris, Franchi, Meccanica Del Sarca, Sako, Stoeger, Tikka, Uberti Replicas.

Permalink News, Optics 1 Comment »