March 27th, 2017

NEW Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge Coming Soon

lyman digital electronic adjustable trigger pull weight gauge

We liked (and used) Lyman’s Digital Trigger Pull Gauge before, and now it’s even better. Lyman has updated its pull gauge to be faster and more precise. The new gauge measures trigger pull weights from 1 ounce to 12 pounds with resolution of 0.1 ounces (2.8 grams). We think that anyone running match triggers below 2.5 pounds pull weight should have a gauge like this. Among the pull gauges on the market, we think the new Lyman unit now offers the best performance for the price — this gauge has a $59.95 MSRP, and expect to see it for under $50.00 when it is available. We like the new adjustable, 4-position rod which retracts into the gauge body.

Upgrades: More Precise Strain Gauge | Improved Grip Shape | Adjustable Rod Lengths

Lyman’s new, improved Electronic Digital Trigger Pull Gauge is designed to be the fastest and most accurate trigger pull gauge available. State-of-the-art strain gauge technology allows for repeatable accuracy of 1/10 ounce (2.8 grams). The gauge features a large, easy-to-read LCD display and you can switch from ounces to grams with the push of a button. The gauge can also deliver a pull weight average of the last 10 readings. That’s very helpful, particularly when working with factory triggers that may not be very consistent.

lyman digital electronic adjustable trigger pull weight gauge

The new model Trigger Pull Gauge features a solid, collapsible rod with four locking positions. Being able to adjust length makes it easier to use the gauge with a wide variety of firearms. The locking feature prevents the rod from flexing when applying pressure to the trigger. When not in use, the rod conveniently collapses into the gauge body, making the whole unit more compact. The new Trigger Pull Gauge comes in an internally-padded plastic case that can be easily stored in a drawer or on your work bench. The old-style Lyman gauge (shown below) had a limited rod-length adjustment range, and the rod needed to be removed to store the gauge in its soft case.

Compare Old-Style Lyman TriggerPull Gauge

lyman digital electronic adjustable trigger pull weight gauge

Permalink Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
December 20th, 2012

High-Tech Target Systems Plot Shots Automatically

We live in a digital, electronic era. The very story you’re reading right now consists of digital data packets transmitted electronically around the globe. Because of cost factors, 99+% of shooting matches in the USA still rely on old-fashioned manual scoring methods. However, target scoring can be done faster and more precisely with electronic scoring systems. Olympic and international CISM shooting competitions now employ electronic target systems. And electronic scoring is widely used in Europe. Virtually all the rifle and pistol events at the recent ISSF World Championships in Munich featured electronic scoring — complete with large, overhead digital displays so the audience could track the action, shot for shot.

Below is a video showing an electronic scoring system developed by Norway’s Kongsberg Mikroelektronikk AS. Watch as a prone shooter puts five rounds on a 300m target. You can see the group form on the video screen at his shooting station. He’s a good shooter (with an accurate rifle). The first three shots are touching.

As you can see from the video, viewing shots on the monitor is easier than using a spotting scope and waiting for targets to be marked. And, electronic targets eliminate the need for target pullers in the pits.

YouTube Preview Image

The Kongsberg target systems, like the electronic systems produced by Sius Ascor of Switzerland, do more than just display shot locations to the shooter. The target units automatically calculate scores, which are transmitted to a central computer. This can provide updated competitor rankings, and can even display the results to event spectators on large view screens.


CLICK HERE for a longer streaming Flash VIDEO showing how electronic target systems work. This video, produced by Sius Ascor, shows Olympic target systems in action.

Permalink - Videos, Competition 15 Comments »
October 30th, 2012

Awesome Deal on Digital Calipers — $12.99 with case

A few times each year, MidwayUSA puts its Frankford Arsenal Digital Calipers (product #604242) on sale, and we try to let our readers know. Marked down from $22.49, these are just $12.99 through November 30, 2012. We have a set of these calipers and they have performed basic measuring functions in the loading room reliably for many years. But there have been complaints about the long-term reliability of recently-made versions. Still, at this price, you can afford to buy a spare set for your range kit. Measuring resolution is ± .001″ and values can be switched from English to Metric. The calipers come in a handy, protective plastic case, with battery.

Midway USA Digital Calipers

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading 4 Comments »
December 14th, 2010

Digital Calipers with LCD Display — Just $10.50

Every shooter can use a spare set of calipers. Stow them in your range bag, or just keep a back-up set at your loading bench. Right now Amazon.com offers a great deal on SE 6″ Digital Metric/SAE Calipers with large LCD Display. The calipers, including battery and storage case, are just $10.50. Shipping is FREE with a $25.00 minimum order. So if you combine this set of calipers with another qualifying item over $14.50, you’ll get free shipping.

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One cool feature of these 6″ SE calipers is that you can instantly switch between Metric and SAE (English) display. These asian-made calipers are hardly Mitutoyo quality, but we’ve used them and they work fine for most tasks: measuring neck diameters, Cartridge OAL, bullet diameters, and even the group sizes on your targets. Click the link below to get the $10.50 price:

BUY IT HERE: SE Caliper, Electronic Stainless Steel Body

Note: The vast majority of customers who have purchased these calipers have rated them highly for the price. However a few buyers complained that the display was faulty. The unit we used worked fine and measurements were consistent with a $25.00 Lyman dial caliper. But if you want a serious “last a lifetime” set of calipers, you’ll want to spend more than $10.50 obviously. We see these as an inexpensive alternative for a “back-up” set to be kept in a vehicle or tool kit.

Permalink Hot Deals, New Product, Reloading 5 Comments »
November 10th, 2010

Elcan Digital Hunter Scope — Technological Marvel

Elcan ushers in the age of digitally-enhanced scopes with its amazing Digital Hunter. It’s about time digital features were added to consumer rifle scopes. In many respects a $150.00 point and shoot camera is much more sophisticated than a $2600.00 Schmidt & Bender. Adding a digital image sensor and digital “crosshairs” to a telescopic lens system unlocks an amazing realm of possibilities. First, you can eliminate moving parts, including the reticle itself, avoiding the possibility of reticle movement that could alter your zero. With digital crosshairs “informed” by a ballistics calculator, the reticle’s aimpoint can automatically display the correct hold-over at any target distance. For low-light shooting, you can boost the brightness and contrast of the image. You can even hook up the scope to a remote monitor so an instructor or spotter can see exactly what the shooter is seeing. Last but not least, everything viewed through the scope can be digitally recorded for later playback and analysis. This way a hunter can record, for posterity, the moment he bagged a trophy buck. Or, a military sniper can record a complete target engagement, for later review by his commander and fellow marksmen.

The $1199.00 Elcan Digital Hunter offers a 2.5-16.5X digital zoom, four field-selectable reticles, and built-in video capture. Reticles can be changed ‘on the fly’ and you can output the video to an external monitor, or simply pop out the SD flash memory card to play back video files on your computer.

Elcan Digital Hunter Scope

Electronic Zoom with No Moving Parts
There are no moving parts in the Digital Hunter except for the diopter adjustment. Magnification is accomplished electronically, and the aiming point does not change at all during magnification. The electronic magnification is parallax-free and the exit pupil remains constant, allowing easy target acquisition, even at high power. Elcan claims that resolution does not change significantly from wide field of view to narrow field of view.

Electronic Ballistic Compensation
One of the most useful features of the Digital Hunter is electronic ballistic compensation. Here’s how that works. The scope has a USB port to connect with a computer. Using Elcan-provided PC ballistics software, you input Bullet BC, Muzzle Velocity, and even wind speed and angle. The scope’s processor automatically calculates drift and drop for various distances and then positions the digital aim point for the correct holdover, based on the target distance you select. All the critical calculations are handled automatically. Watch the video below to see how this all works.

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Day-Night Digital Hunter
Elcan Digital Hunter ScopeIn addition to the standard Elcan Digital Hunter, Elcan offers a version for low-light shooting. The Day/Night Digital Hunter, priced at $1399.00, can be combined with IR (infrared) “flash-lights” to provide full night-hunting capability. Low Light mode displays all the available visible light and the near infrared light (that can be “seen” by the scope’s image sensor, but not by the human eye). Utilizing the near infrared means more light energy is available to the scope for better, brighter imaging. After dark, active night vision enables covert surveillance and varmint hunting (where legal). The effective range of the active night vision depends on the power of the IR Flashlight(s).

Remote Viewing Capability Helps Disabled Shooters
When the Elcan Digital Hunter was first introduced a couple years ago, Outdoors writer Ray Sasser of the Dallas Morning News field-tested it with Ray Mauldin, Elcan Products Manager. Sasser wrote: “There’s a new rifle scope technology on the horizon, a spin-off from military developments made by the Raytheon Company [parent company of Elcan]. The software calculated bullet drop… and the information was stored in a computer chip inside the scope. The only two drawbacks I could find were price and weight. The digital scope weighs 26 ounces, nearly seven ounces heavier than Leupold’s LPS 3.5-14x50mm, my personal favorite traditional scope. Mauldin said physically challenged hunters are particularly excited about the Digital Hunter. It can be used with a video monitoring screen so the rifle can be sighted without your eye to the scope. That’s a huge advantage for a quadriplegic, one-armed or no-armed shooter.”

Digital Enhancements for Target Scopes?
Traditionalists may scoff at digital scope technology, thinking that something like the digital Elcan could never be used in a match because it is too big and heavy. But consider this — all you really need on top of the rifle is the lens system with light sensor. All the other controls and the display could be moved off the rifle and built into a benchtop display/control/processing unit (which could be wireless). In fact, the control functions and display could even performed by an iPod or smartphone. With the iPod you could select the reticle, input ballistics data (Velocity, Bullet BC, Wind direction), and select the magnification level. (Fitting longer focal-length lenses would allow higher magnification than the Digital Hunters’ 2.5-16.5X.) And with a finger-tap on the screen you can record the entire match you are shooting. When mass-produced, such a unit could be sold for considerably less than the $1199.00 price of the Elcan Digital Hunter, as the iPod does the processing and replaces most of the hardware.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product, Optics 5 Comments »
March 16th, 2010

$12.99 Digital Calipers from MidwayUSA

MidwayUSA has cut the price on its Frankford Arsenal 6″ Electronic Calipers from $21.99 to just $12.99. This stainless steel caliper features a high-contrast LCD readout, and it comes with a fitted plastic case and 1.55 volt battery. With the touch of a button the tool switches from inch units to Metric units and back again. Claimed measuring accuracy (resolution) is +/- .001″.

MidwayUSA Frankford Caliper 6

We’ve used Frankford Arsenal calipers before. Though they won’t compare to a Mitutoyo, they are adequate for many basic reloading tasks. You can use these as a backup tool carried in your range bag or vehicle glovebox. The $12.99 price (good through March 31, 2010) is the lowest we’ve seen from MidwayUSA in a long time. Unlike some of the no-name electronic calipers sold on eBay or at Harbor Freight, the $12.99 Frankford Arsenal caliper are CE Certified and carry a one-year warranty against manufacturing defects.

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
March 9th, 2009

NEW Portable Reloading Scale from Hornady — $26.65

Quite a few portable, electronic reloading scales have been introduced in the last year or so, and now Hornady has joined the game. Hornady’s new compact (3″x5″ footprint) GS-1500 portable scale will weigh up to 1500 grains — offering more capacity than most other portables. 1500 Grain capacity means that this compact scale can handle just about any reloading task for calibers all the way up to 50 BMG.

Hornady gs-1500 scale

The GS-1500 scale features a 2.5″ x 3″ weighing platform, an aluminum measuring pan, and a 100-grain calibration weight. The scale will run on two (2) regular AAA batteries, which are included. The new GS-1500 scale is ON SALE this month for just $26.65 at Midsouth Shooters Supply, item 005-050107. This is a good deal. By comparison, MidwayUSA’s price for the GS-1500 is $34.99.

Editor’s NOTE: This product is so new that we have not yet been able to test it for function. Hornady usually can be counted on to do its homework before introducing new reloading tools. Hornady also stands behind their products when it comes to warranty repair.

CLICK HERE for Hornady 2009 Reloading Product Brochure

Permalink New Product, Reloading No Comments »