September 2nd, 2018

Huge $200 Rebate on Bushnell Elite Tactical Scopes

Bushnell Tactical Rebate Program $200 savings

With most optics rebate programs, typical savings are fifty bucks — maybe $75 if you’re lucky. Here’s something WAY better — now through the end of October 2018, Bushnell is offering TWO Hundred Dollars ($200) off the price of Bushnell Elite Tactical Riflescopes. That’s great for PRS and tactical shooters — that $200 can pay for your support bags and other essential accessories.

Terms of Bushnell Rebate
Purchase any qualifying Bushnell Elite Tactical Riflescope (excluding red dot) and receive a $200 rebate. Limited to 2 qualifying riflescope purchases. Product must be purchased between 9/1/2018 through 10/31/2018. DEADLINE for mail in or online submission 11/30/2018. Click here to Download FORM.

Here our two of our favorite First Focal Plane (FFP) Bushnell Elite Tactical Scopes. Compact for their magnification ranges, both are good choices for hunters and/or PRS Competitors:

Bushnell Tactical Rebate Program $200 savings

Bushnell Tactical Rebate Program $200 savings

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics, Tactical No Comments »
March 7th, 2018

New Kahles K525i Scope for PRS and Tactical Comps

Kahles FFP Tactical 5-25 powder scope Vortex Nightforce $4000

PRS guys — check this out. Kahles has just announced a 5-25X First Focal Plane optic that should be a class leader. If you are thinking of upgrading your tactical scope this year, the new Kahles K525i should definitely be on any “short list” of ultra-premium optics. We predict this will be one of the top-performing tactical scopes on the market. Unfortunately, it will also be one of the most expensive. Kahles lists the K525i at €3,300.00 Euros. That’s $4,093.58 at current exchange rates! You can buy a pair of pretty nice tactical rifles for that. Hopefully Kahles will consider dropping the price a bit for the American market. Don’t know how many PRS guys are willing to fork over four grand for a scope.

Thankfully, it looks like the true “street price” in the USA will be a lot lower. EuroOptic.com is now taking pre-orders for the K525i at $3,299.00 USD — that’s a lot different than the €3,300.00 Euro MSRP. Kahles says the scopes should start arriving in summer 2018.

Kahles FFP Tactical 5-25 powder scope Vortex Nightforce $4000

Kahles FFP Tactical 5-25 powder scope Vortex Nightforce $4000This scope is available in both Mil and MOA versions. Click values are 0.1 MIL, or 1/4 MOA. A variety of illuminated, First Focal Plane (FFP) reticles are offered: SKMR3, SKMR, MSR2, Mil4+, MOAK. Notably the parallax control is coaxial with the elevation turret (meaning it is centrally mounted). You adjust parallax by rotating a large-diameter control that runs around the base of the elevation turret. We know that south-paws really like that feature.

Kahles also offers two windage configurations. You can have the windage mounted on either side — on the left side for right-handed shooters or on the right side for left-hand shooters. The windage knob also features a patented “Twist Guard” rotating end cover, which is easy to control while preventing accidental windage rotation.

Manufacturer’s Product Description
K527i features: Maximum optical performance-field of vision, contrast and picture quality, Exceptional repeat accuracy, precise and clearly defined turret mechanism 0.1 MIL or 1⁄4 MOA, side adjustment left or right, Parallax wheel integrated in the elevation turret, patented TWIST GUARD windage, precise illuminated reticles in the first focal plane and large adjustment range.

“The big brother of ultrashort K318i is the new flagship of KAHLES in the field of tactical riflescopes. It combines … maximum optical performance and highest precision with unique handling and ergonomics. The rugged K525i, with its practical magnification range, has been developed for tactical use and long distances.”

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS
.: Maximum optical performance — field of vision, contrast, and picture quality
.: Exceptional repeat accuracy
.: Precise and clearly-defined click mechanism 0.1 MIL, MRAD or ¼ MOA
.: Side adjustment left or right
.: Parallax wheel integrated in the elevation turret (patented) for 20m – infinity
.: Innovative, patented TWIST GUARD windage
.: Precise illuminated reticles in first focal plane: SKMR3, SKMR, MSR2, Mil4+, MOAK
.: Large adjustment range with 2.9m (E) and 1.3m (W) at 100m
.: Zero Stop

Permalink New Product, Optics, Tactical 7 Comments »
February 13th, 2018

Tall Target Test — How to Verify Your Scope’s True Click Values

Scope Click Verify Elevation Tall Target Bryan Litz NSSF test turret MOA MIL

Have you recently purchased a new scope? Then you should verify the actual click value of the turrets before you use the optic in competition (or on a long-range hunt). While a scope may have listed click values of 1/4-MOA, 1/8-MOA or 0.1 Mils, the reality may be slightly different. Many scopes have actual click values that are slightly higher or lower than the value claimed by the manufacturer. The small variance adds up when you click through a wide range of elevation.

In this video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics shows how to verify your true click values using a “Tall Target Test”. The idea is to start at the bottom end of a vertical line, and then click up 30 MOA or so. Multiply the number of clicked MOA by 1.047 to get the claimed value in inches. For example, at 100 yards, 30 MOA is exactly 31.41 inches. Then measure the difference in your actual point of impact. If, for example, your point of impact is 33 inches, then you are getting more than the stated MOA with each click (assuming the target is positioned at exactly 100 yards).

Scope Click Verify Elevation Tall Target Bryan Litz NSSF test turret MOA MIL

How to Perform the Tall Target Test
The objective of the tall target test is to insure that your scope is giving you the proper amount of adjustment. For example, when you dial 30 MOA, are you really getting 30 MOA, or are you getting 28.5 or 31.2 MOA? The only way to be sure is to verify, don’t take it for granted! Knowing your scopes true click values insures that you can accurately apply a ballistic solution. In fact, many perceived inaccuracies of long range ballistics solutions are actually caused by the scopes not applying the intended adjustment. In order to verify your scope’s true movement and calculate a correction factor, follow the steps in the Tall Target Worksheet. This worksheet takes you thru the ‘calibration process’ including measuring true range to target and actual POI shift for a given scope adjustment. The goal is to calculate a correction factor that you can apply to a ballistic solution which accounts for the tracking error of your scope. For example, if you find your scope moves 7% more than it should, then you have to apply 7% less than the ballistic solution calls for to hit your target.


CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD Tall Target Worksheet (PDF) »

NOTE: When doing this test, don’t go for the maximum possible elevation. You don’t want to max out the elevation knob, running it to the top stop. Bryan Litz explains: “It’s good to avoid the extremes of adjustment when doing the tall target test.I don’t know how much different the clicks would be at the edges, but they’re not the same.”

Should You Perform a WIDE Target Test Too?
What about testing your windage clicks the same way, with a WIDE target test? Bryan Litz says that’s not really necessary: “The wide target test isn’t as important for a couple reasons. First, you typically don’t dial nearly as much wind as you do elevation. Second, your dialed windage is a guess to begin with; a moving average that’s different for every shot. Whereas you stand to gain a lot by nailing vertical down to the click, the same is not true of windage. If there’s a 5% error in your scope’s windage tracking, you’d never know it.”

Scope Tall Test level calibrationVerifying Scope Level With Tall Target Test
Bryan says: “While setting up your Tall Target Test, you should also verify that your scope level is mounted and aligned properly. This is critical to insuring that you’ll have a long range horizontal zero when you dial on a bunch of elevation for long range shots. This is a requirement for all kinds of long range shooting. Without a properly-mounted scope level (verified on a Tall Target), you really can’t guarantee your horizontal zero at long range.”

NOTE: For ‘known-distance’ competition, this is the only mandatory part of the tall target test, since slight variations in elevation click-values are not that important once you’re centered “on target” at a known distance.

Permalink Optics, Tech Tip No Comments »
September 22nd, 2016

Aiming Techniques for F-Class Competition

F-Class Aiming Long Range Score Shooting
The movie “The Patriot” gave us the phrase “Aim small, miss small”. While that’s a good mantra, aiming strategies for long-range competition are a bit more complicated, as this article explains…

The U.S. Mid-Range and Long Range Nationals kick off tomorrow, September 23rd, in Lodi, Wisconsin. Here are some tips that can help F-TR and F-Open shooters aim more precisely, and achieve higher scores. F-Class ace Monte Milanuk reviews reticle choices and strategies for holding off.

In our Shooters Forum, one newcomer wanted some advice on selecting a reticle for F-Class optics. He wondered about the advantage of Front (first) Focal Plane (FFP) vs. Second Focal Plane scopes and also wondered if one type of reticle was better for “holding off” than others.

In responding to this question, Forum regular Monte Milanuk provided an excellent summary of aiming methods used in F-Class. For anyone shooting score targets, Monte’s post is worth reading:

Aiming Methods for F-Class (and Long-Range) Shootingby Monte Milanuk

600-yard F-Class TargetF-Class is a known-distance event, with targets of known dimensions that have markings (rings) of known sizes. Any ‘holding off’ can be done using the target face itself. Most ‘benefits’ of Front (first) focal plain (FFP) optics are null and void here — they work great on two-way ranges where ‘minute of man’ is the defining criteria — but how many FFP scopes do you know of in the 30-40X magnification range? Very, very few, because what people who buy high-magnification scopes want is something that allows them to hold finer on the target, and see more detail of the target, not something where the reticle covers the same amount of real estate and appears ‘coarser’ in view against the target, while getting almost too fine to see at lower powers.

Whether a person clicks or holds off is largely personal preference. Some people might decline to adjust their scope as long as they can hold off somewhere on the target. Some of that may stem from the unfortunate effect of scopes being mechanical objects which sometimes don’t work entirely as advertised (i.e. one or two clicks being more or less than anticipated). Me personally, if I get outside 1-1.5 MOA from center, I usually correct accordingly. I also shoot on a range where wind corrections are often in revolutions, not clicks or minutes, between shots.

Some shooters do a modified form of ‘chase the spotter’ — i.e. Take a swag at the wind, dial it on, aim center and shoot. Spotter comes up mid-ring 10 at 4 o’clock… so for the next shot aim mid-ring 10 at 10 o’clock and shoot. This should come up a center X (in theory). Adjust process as necessary to take into account for varying wind speeds and direction.

John Sigler F-Class

600-yard F-Class TargetOthers use a plot sheet that is a scaled representation of the target face, complete with a grid overlaid on it that matches the increments of their optics — usually in MOA. Take your Swag at the wind, dial it on, hold center and shoot. Shot comes up a 10 o’clock ‘8’… plot the shot on the sheet, look at the grid and take your corrections from that and dial the scope accordingly. This process should put you in the center (or pretty close), assuming that you didn’t completely ignore the wind in the mean time. Once in the center, hold off and shoot and plot, and if you see a ‘group’ forming (say low right in the 10 ring) either continue to hold high and left or apply the needed corrections to bring your group into the x-ring.

Just holding is generally faster, and allows the shooter to shoot fast and (hopefully) stay ahead of the wind. Plotting is more methodical and may save your bacon if the wind completely changes on you… plotting provides a good reference for dialing back the other way while staying in the middle of the target. — YMMV, Monte

Permalink Optics, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
February 4th, 2016

SHOT Show Optics Reports from the 6.5 Guys

Nightforce March Vortex Youtube Optics

Our nominees for the “Hardest-working Heroes” of SHOT Show 2016 are our friends Ed and Steve, aka the 6.5 Guys. Over the course of four days, this tireless duo completed over FIFTY short videos. They visited dozens of manufacturers, finding the “latest and greatest” rifles, stocks, actions, scopes and other hardware. While in Vegas, the 6.5 Guys managed to visit most of the top-flight optics-makers. Here are videos reviewing products from Nightforce, Vortex, and March. To see 50+ more videos, visit the 6.5 Guys YouTube Channel.

2016 SHOT Show Highlights — OPTICS

Nightforce Optics — New SHV 4-14x50mm (FFP)

The new 4-14x50mm SHV scope from Nightforce is available with either 0.1 Mil or 1/4-MOA clicks, with two reticle choices: MIL-R and MOAR.

Nightforce SHV 4-14x50mm 6.5 Guys Video

Vortex Optics — New Razor 6-24x50mm AMG (FFP)

The new 6-24x50mm Razor HD AMG is a made-in-USA scope with a full 25 MOA of elevation in one turret rotaion. Vortex says this scope rivals anything on the market in its category.

March Optics — 3-24x52mm (FFP)

March’s popular 3-24x52mm scope is offered with either 0.1 Mil or 1/4 MOA clicks. The particular model featured in the video has 0.1 Mil clicks and an illuminated reticle. March Optics USA also offers a remarkable 5-50x56mm scope that can work for everything from short-range practical matches to extreme-long-range shooting. One of our staffers has the 5-50X March and he uses it for both Tac Comps and 1000-yard F-Class matches.

march optics 3-24x53mm 6.5 Guys Video

Permalink - Videos, New Product, Optics No Comments »
January 8th, 2014

Gen 1 Nightforce 15-55X Comp Scope $1850.00 at EuroOptic.com

When introduced last year, the original Nightforce 15-55x52mm Comp Scope sold for $2231.00 (or more). Now that same 2013 edition Nightforce Comp Scope can be yours for just $1850.00. This is a special promotion for AccurateShooter.com readers and Forum members. The 2013 Edition Comp Scopes are on sale because the Gen One model has been replaced by a second-generation model.

Call (570) 368-3920 to Get 15-55 NF Comp Scope for $1850.00

IMPORTANT: To get the super-low $1850.00 price you must call or email EuroOptic and mention that you saw this offer on Accurateshooter.com. Otherwise the price on EuroOptic’s website is $1950.00. To get the $1850.00 price call (570) 368-3920 or email sales [at] eurooptic.com and request the AccurateShooter.com Nightforce 2013 Competition Scope Special.

Nightforce Comp Scope 2013 Edition

The 2014 version of the Nightforce 15-55 Comp Scope will cost at least $2352.00 (MAP) and it will not arrive at dealers for many more weeks (or months). If you buy the 2013 Edition NF Comp Scope you can save $502.00 compared to the 2014 model, and you can get your scope right now. Saving over $500.00 provides a pretty compelling reason to go with a Gen One 2013 model. NOTE: This is a LIMITED-QUANTITY Offer. When these scopes are gone they’re gone (2013 model NF 15-55x52mm Comp Scope has been discontinued).

Nightforce Comp Scope 2013 Edition

What’s the Difference Between 2013 Comp Scope and 2014 Model?
The 2014 edition has turrets with 10 MOA per revolution instead of 5 MOA per revolution. The 2014 model also has a zero-stop feature and more reticle choices. Other than that, the previous 2013 Edition is pretty much the same as the later version. Both have 15-55X magnification, boht have 0.125 MOA click values, both have 52mm front objectives, and both have 80-90mm eye relief. The 2013 does have some advantages — it offers 60 MOA of elevation and 60 MOA of windage travel. The 2014 version only has 55 MOA of elevation and 50 MOA of windage. Also, the SILVER COLOR is only offered in the 2013 Edition. The 2014 model comes only in Black.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
January 6th, 2013

New Nightforce 5-25x56mm FFP Scope with 120 MOA Elevation

Nightforce 5-25x56mm BEAST Scope

Nightforce Optics has created quite a stir in the tactical shooting community with the announcement of its new 5-25x56mm First Focal Plane scope, which it calls the “B.E.A.S.T.”. The news is in the numbers — this new scope offers a whopping 120 MOA of elevation travel, and you get a full 60 MOA travel with each rotation of the turret. That’s right — 60 MOA with one turn. With many modern cartridges you can get to 1200 yards (and maybe farther*) with a single revolution — that eliminates all sorts of user-error issues when dialing back-and-forth between yardages.

Nightforce 5-25x56mm BEAST Scope

This is a first-focal-plane design, so the reticle stays constant relative to the target, allowing ranging at any magnification. The scope is offered with four (4) click-value choices: 1/4 MOA, 1/2 MOA, 0.1 Mil, and 0.2 Mil. Whether you chose MOA clicks or Mil-based clicks, you can get an appropriate reticle because Nightforce offers both the MOAR ranging reticle and the Mil-R ranging reticle. The three other reticle options are: MD2.0, TReMoR, and H59.

Nightforce 5-25x56mm BEAST Scope

Nightforce 5-25x56mm BEAST Scope

The new B.E.A.S.T. 5-25x56mm Nightforce has a mounting length of 5.92″ and weighs just 39 ounces. If you need illumination for low-light work, you’ll like the new B.E.A.S.T. scope. It offers external-control digital illumination with Unique i4F™ four-function brightness control. Other features are listed below.

Nightforce 5-25x56mm BEAST Scope

DOWNLOAD Nightforce PDF Spec Sheet for 5-25x56mm B.E.A.S.T. Scope.

Nice Scope with a Beastly Price
Nightforce says that “B.E.A.S.T.” stands for “Best Example of Advance Scope Technology” — some marketing guy’s bright idea we suppose. Perhaps “B.E.A.S.T.” better signifies “BEAST of a price”. This scope, with either MIL-R or MOAR reticles, costs an astounding $3,298.00! You can build a pretty darn good custom rifle, all premium components, for less than that!

*We used JBM Ballistics to plot the trajectory of a .308-caliber 168gr Berger Match Target BT launched with a 2800 fps muzzle velocity (sea level with 59° temp). Starting with a 100-yard zero, JBM calculates 52.5 MOA drop at 1200 yards and 62.6 MOA drop at 1300 yards.
Permalink New Product, Optics 6 Comments »
November 21st, 2012

Leupold Mark-4 FFP 12-40x60mm Spotting Scopes on Sale

Webyshops.com just let us know about a very special deal — FFP Mildot Spotting Scopes priced way below the original U.S. Army contract price. This is an excellent deal for guys looking for a spotter with mildot ranging ability. Webyshops’ buyer tells us: “We picked up a limited number of Leupold spotting scopes (it was originally a military order and they decided not to take all or did not get the budget approved for all). It has a First Focal Plane Duplex Mil Dot Reticle. Normal retail price is $2800.00. We have them available on a first come, first serve basis for $999.” CLICK HERE for more info.

Leupold Mark 4 Mark IV spotting scope

The rugged, waterproof Leupold Mark 4 Tactical spotting scope is currently in service with several branches of the U.S. military. The LEUPOLD Mark-4 12-40×60 Tactical Spotting Scope, Duplex Mil-Dot Reticle (67180) utilizes a front focal Duplex Mil-Dot Reticle. With the reticle located in the front focal plane, the reticle magnifies with the image, so you can calculate range at any power setting.

LEUPOLD Mark-4 12-40×60 Tactical Spotting Scope
Duplex Mil-Dot Reticle
  • Xtended Twilight lens system provides high definition and superior luminance.
  • Lightweight (37 ounces).
  • Very compact design (12.4″ long).
  • Ranging capability at ALL power settings.
  • Universal 1/4-20 thread tripod attachment mount
  • Includes soft-side protective case which remains on the scope during use.
Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
November 18th, 2012

Feature Story on Varmint and Hold-Over Reticles

In our articles collection, you’ll find a story of interest to varminters and game hunters. Choosing And Using Modern Reticles, by author John Barsness, reviews the many “hold-over” reticle options currently available for hunting scopes. The latest “hunting hold-over” reticles, such as Leupold’s Varmint Hunter Reticle, offer both vertical marks (for hold-over) and horizontal bars or dots (for wind compensation). The idea is to allow the shooter to move quickly from one target distance to another, without having to dial elevation changes with his scope turrets. Likewise, the horizontal wind-hold markings give the shooter reference points for winds of specific velocities. That makes the process of “holding-off” for wind much more predictable.

In the Barsness article, which originally appeared in Varmint Hunter Magazine, the author traces the history of ranging/hold-over reticles starting with the Mildot reticle. Barsness explains how to use the mildot reticle, noting how it is best used with a First Focal Plane scope design.

First Focal Plane vs. Second Focal Plane Designs
If nothing else, you’ll want to read this article just to improve your understanding of First Focal Plane (FFP) vs. Second Focal Plane (SFP) optics operation. If you want to use the markings on a reticle to range at various magnification levels, then you want the FFP design, preferred by the military. If, on the other hand, you prefer the viewed appearance of your reticle to stay constant at all power levels, then you’ll probably prefer the SFP design.

Barsness explains how the modern “Christmas Tree” design reticles, such as the Zeiss Rapid Z, evolved, and he explains how to use these reticles to adjust your point of aim for different target distances. These hold-over reticles can be very handy, but you must remember that the yardages which correspond to the stepped vertical markings are determined by the ballistics of your cartridge. Thus, if you change your cartridge, or even change your load significantly, your hold-over yardage values will change. You will then need to field-test to find the actual value of the reticle’s hold-over points.

Even if you are not a hunter, you can benefit from reading the Barsness article. For anyone shopping for a varmint scope, the article is a “must-read”. And Barness clears up some common misconceptions about FFP vs. SFP optics. Barsness also offers good, common-sense advice. We agree with Barsness when he says that some reticle designs have become too complicated. Barsness writes:

These days there are reticles with everything from a few extra dots along the vertical cross hair to reticles that cover the bottom third of the scope’s field of view, providing an aiming point for every blade of grass in North Dakota. Here we run into the basic fact that simpler reticles are easier to use, if not quite so versatile.

Personally, I particularly like simple reticles in shorter-range varmint rifles, whether rimfires or small centerfires such as the 22 Hornet. These aren’t likely to be used at extended ranges, or in any significant amount of wind. Hence, something like the Burris Ballistic Plex reticle provides about all the information we can realistically use — the reason there are Burris Ballistic Plex scopes on most of my rimfire or small centerfire varmint rifles.

CLICK HERE to Read ‘Choosing and Using Modern Reticles’, by John Barsness.

Permalink - Articles, Optics 3 Comments »
January 17th, 2012

Media Day Report: New High-End FFP Tactical Optics

While we were somewhat disappointed that we didn’t see many all-new precision rifles at Media Day 2012, there were plenty of new riflescopes on display. Among the most impressive new optics were rugged new high-zoom-range, First Focal Plane (FFP) tactical scopes from Hensoldt (Carl Zeiss), Leupold and Trijicon. These new scopes all featured fat tubes, compact overall length, and abundant elevation travel. These lastest top-end FFP tactical scopes offer as much as 26-power in a form factor not much bigger than a “normal” 4-16X scope.

New 3.5-26x50mm Hensoldt Was Outstanding
Hensoldt showcased a very impressive, prototype 3.5-26x56mm FFP tactical scope. Though this scope offers a whopping 7.4X zoom range and 26-power on top, this new Hensold is relatively compact. The reticle in these prototype versions was a very useful (and simple) milradian-based reticle that we hope Hensoldt retains in the production versions. The Hensoldt boasted an impressive 36 Mils of total elevation travel in two (2) turns of the turret. The new Hensoldt still shares the same superior glass and compact size that puts these scopes at the top of their class. We tested a prototype mounted to an Accuracy International AX 338. Expect the production version to be the same size and cost approximately $4000.00.

As you can see in the video, the new Hensoldt coupled with the new Accuracy Int’l AX in 338 Lapua Magnum worked very effectively at 900 meters in some tricky winds. This combination made it fairly easy to break clay pigeons on the bank at 900 meters. Off camera this combination continued to show great accuracy and very effective design features.

New Leupold MK-8
Leupold showed off a brand new MK-8 3.5-25x56mm with a Horus reticle and a beefy main tube. Again, this featured a lot of elevation in one turn as well as a pinch-and-turn locking turrets. This is a big leap forward for Leupold and we feel this will be well-received in the tactical world. Along with the new MK8, we also sampled Leupold’s new MK6 3-18x50mm. This shared similar features as the 3.5-25, and was incredibly compact as well. We expect the MK8 to sell near $4000 and the MK6 to be substantially less, likely under $3000 according to company reps.

Trijicon made a departure from their standard fare and jumped into the tactical scope world with a beefy Front-Focal Plane 3-15x50mm. This featured a well-executed MOA-based reticle and turrets with 30 MOA per turn (a Milrad version offers 10 Mils per turn). The Trijicon showcased the “short and fat” appearance that seems to be the latest design trend in tactical scopes. But though the Trijicon had a fairly short OAL (for its zoom range), it was still quite heavy at 47 ounces. The glass in this prototype version was disappointing for a scope that will retail in the $4K range. Reps told us the production version glass would be much improved. (It had better be, if Trijicon hopes to play in this stratospheric price range.)

It was apparent at Media Day 2012 that scope companies have worked hard to provide more features and more performance in their high-end tactical scopes. Consequently, the latest generation of scopes offer some very interesting and useful innovations — wider zoom range, more compact size, more elevation travel per rotation, and “goof-proof” turret mechanisms. We can only hope that, with more competition in this market, prices may become more reasonable. $4000 is an awful lot of money to pay for a scope.

Permalink New Product, Optics 3 Comments »
December 26th, 2011

March Unveils New 5-40x56mm FFP Tactical Scope for 2012

Here’s a sneak preview of the new March FX 5-40x56mm tactical scope from Kelbly.com. This FFP scope features a 34mm main tube, side focus adjustment (10 yards to infinity), and 24 milrads elevation travel (about 94 inches at 100m), with 0.05-milrad click values. The March FX will be offered in both a non-illuminated basic version (weight: 860gm or 30.3 oz.), and a higher-priced illuminated version (weight: 890gm or 31.4 oz.), with four brightness levels. So how much will these babies cost? MSRP for new March FX has not yet been announced, but we expect to get pricing info at SHOT Show in January.

March FX 5-40X scope

First Focal Plane Reticle and Huge Magnification Range
Yes the FX features a First Focal Plane (FFP) milrad-type Reticle. This means that the ranging stadia (hash marks) remain constant relative to the target at all magnifications. So, you can range your targets using the milrad system at any power settings. That’s a big deal for tactical shooters. This new FX scope also offers an 8 times power range — the highest magnification ratio in any FFP rifle scope made to date. Is that valuable? Our tactical shooting buddies say yes.

March FX 5-40X scope

On some tactical courses of fire, you can definitely use the full 40X magnification on precision targets at 800-1000m. However, for target spotting and close-range multiple target courses of fire, the 5X magnification, with its wide field of view, definitely comes in handy. AccurateShooter.com’s “Master Fabricator” Mark LaFevers currently uses a 12-42X Nightforce NXS in tactical matches. He likes the Nightforce but he tells us that: “The NXS I’m using with its minimum 12X does not open up enough for some of the close, multiple-target stations.” Overall, Mark was very intrigued by the new March FX: “I like the March’s 34mm tube and first focal plane design which allows ranging at all magnifications. Depending on the price, this scope would be a contender for the kinds of unknown distance, tactical competitions I’ve been doing. For benchrest, on the other hand, you really need a more finely-graded MOA-based adjustment system, in my opinion.”

March FX 5-40X scope

March FX 5-40X scope

March FX 5-40X scope

Story Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, Optics 8 Comments »
November 27th, 2011

Review of Vortex PST 4-16x50mm FFP Mildot Scope

Mike of CS Tactical has released a good video review of the Vortex Viper PST 4-16×50 FFP (first focal plane) rifle scope. Mike praised many of the scope’s features, and he believes it is a good value for the money (about $850.00 street price.)

The Viper PST 4-16×50 PST (Precision Shooting Tactical) FFP riflescope offers a lot of features for the money, including low-dispersion XD Glass, glass-etched illuminated reticle, ArmorTeck scratch-resistant, anti-reflective lens coatings, and a zero-stop turret system. Vortex delivers all this with a street price around $850.00. The hard-anodized one-piece 30mm tube, machined from 6061-T6 aluminum, offers ample adjustment — 21 millirads both elevation and windage. First Focal Plane subtensions remain consistent throughout the magnification range — that’s important if you use the scope to range objects at unknown distances. Vortex claims its argon-filled scope is waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof (O-ring seals prevent moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the tube). The 4-16×50 PST comes fully equipped with 4-inch sunshade, CR2032 battery, and CRS shims.

Vortex 4-16x50mm First Focal Plane Scope

Vortex 4-16x50mm PST Specifications
Magnification: 4-16X
Objective Lens Diameter 50 mm
Eye Relief: 4 inches
Field of View: 27.4-7.4 feet/100 yards
Tube Size: 30 mm
Turret Style: Tall Uncapped – CSR Zero Stop
Reticle: Milrad type in First Focal Plane (FFP)
Adjustment Graduation: 0.1 mrad
Max Elevation Adjustment: 21 mrads
Max Windage Adjustment: 21 mrads
Parallax Setting: 50 yards to infinity
Length: 13.7 inches
Weight: 22 ounces

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Optics 2 Comments »
February 5th, 2011

Bushnell Elite 4200 Tactical Scopes on Sale at MidwayUSA

Experienced tactical shooters will tell you that a first focal plane (FFP), mil-mil scope is the smart way to go — if you need to range targets at unknown distances. This gives you mil dots for measuring the size of a target, a reticle that can range at all power settings, plus 1/10th mil-radian turret clicks for compatibility. There are a lot of “tactical” scopes marketed these days, many of which are just medium-power target scopes with bulky turrets. The top-end tactical scopes do offer the right combination of features, but you can easily spend $2000.00 or even $3000.00 on a good FFP mil-mil optic.

Save Hundreds on 30mm, Mil-Mil Illuminated Bushnell Tactical Scopes
With its Elite 4200 series of tactical scopes, Bushnell has created a truly affordable series of quality 30mm-tube, mil-mil optics. The FFP Elite 4200s rival some tactical scopes costing twice as much (honest). And right now you can save even more. Through the end of February 2011, MidwayUSA is offering huge discounts on the Bushnell 4200 FFP 3-12x44mm and 6-24x50mm tactical scopes. Both these scopes feature FFP mildot reticles, 30mm tubes, 1/10th mil adjustments, and illumination. And the prices are amazing. The 3-12X is marked down from $849.99 to $594.99, a $255.00 savings. The 6-24X price has been slashed from $999.99 to $699.99, a $300.00 savings.

Bushnell Tactical Scope Sale

Go ahead and comparison-shop the price. We think you’ll find these deals hard to beat. And this scope comes with all the right features out of the box. Here’s what one 3-12x44mm owner says: “This is the best scope [value] on the market right now that offers mil/mil, good glass, tactical turrets, [and] rugged reliability. [T]his scope has optics as good as my Vari-X-III 4.5-114x50mm and is mil/mil and more rugged! Great scope!”

Midway’s prices are good through 2/28/2011. If you need a good tactical scope for under $700.00 these Elites will do the job. And for those who want a solid hunting scope with good glass, MidwayUSA is also discounting the Bushnell Elite 4200 2.5-10X50mm scope with illuminated T-Dot Reticle. The rugged 2.5-10X features 1/4-MOA clicks, and is now just $405.99 on sale, marked down from $579.99.

Bushnell Tactical Scope Sale

Note: As Bushnell’s Elite 4200 series scopes have somewhat limited elevation range compared to the high-dollar tactical scopes, we recommend mounting these optics on a +10 or +20 MOA rail.

Free Rain Suit with Purchase of Any Bushnell Elite Riflescope
As an added incentive, Bushnell is offering a FREE two-piece olive drab rainsuit to all purchasers of Elite riflescopes. To get your rain suit, just send in the product UPC code, a copy of the sales receipt, and $15.00 to cover shipping and handling. This offer is good through 12/31/2011.

CLICK HERE for free Rain Suit Offer

Bushnell rainsuit offer

Story Sourced by Edlongrange. Disclosure: MidwayUSA advertises with this website.
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January 28th, 2011

SHOT Show Report: New 3-20x50mm PMII and 1-8x24mm from Schmidt & Bender

Schmidt & Bender has a very impressive new tactical scope in the PMII (Police and Marksman) line, the 3-20x50mm PM II/LP/MTC/LT. A first-focal-plane design, the new 3-20X PMII features very bright glass, and a double-turn, locking elevation turret. The scope can be ordered with a variety of reticles, and either 1/4-MOA clicks or one-tenth milrad clicks, with MTC turrets.

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First delivered in late 2010, this unit has already drawn praise from the tactical community. JR, posting on SnipersHide.com Forum, declared: “I had the opportunity yesterday while at the Modern Day Marine show in Quantico to take a look at the new 3-20×50 PM II and to say that it impressed would be an understatement. The overall size was right between the 3-12 and the 4-16 and the 50mm objective is perfectly proportioned to this optic. Locking MTC turrets are very user friendly and it’s nice to have the option to leave them in the unlocked position when needed. Having a parallax range of 25 metres to infinity can also be very beneficial in many circumstances. Overall I was very impressed with the newest PM II … this scope will most definitely be sitting on one of my rifles before the year is over.” Another observer, writing in the Optics Talk Forum states: “If money is no object, consider the Hensoldt. But I think the scope that will be hardest to beat in the high-end tactical market will be the Schmidt & Bender 3-20.” That’s probably an intelligent call. However, at $3100.00+ per unit, we wonder how many shooters can actually afford the new 3-20x50mm PMII.
Schmidt & Bender 3-20x50

Schmidt & Bender 3-20x50

New Illuminated 1-8×24 Hunting and Multi-Gun Scope
At about $1899.00, Schmidt & Bender’s new 1-8x24mm Zenith scope is considerably less expensive. This scope is designed for short to medium-range tactical use, multi-gun competition, and hunting. One nice feature is that the scope has a “pure 1-power” setting that is 100% parallax-free. There will also be an illuminated version offered for $2149.00 US.

Schmidt & Bender 1-8x24

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December 3rd, 2009

Weaver Introduces New 3-15 and 4-20 FFP Tactical Scopes

Weaver Optics, now owned by ATK, offers a new line of tactical riflescopes with First Focal Plane(FFP) mildot reticles, zero-reset turrets, and 5X zoom ratio. Weaver’s 4-20x50mm version (MSRP $994.49), delivers all those features for around $725.00 street price (SWFA.com). The smaller 3-15x50mm Weaver tactical scope (MSRP $890.95) sells for about $650.00 street price (SWFA.com).

Weaver Tactical Scope

These Weavers are attractive new options for tactical shooters. The pricing is very competitive considering these scopes have all the “right stuff” for tactical shooting: FFP, Mildot Reticle, Side Focus, and wide zoom range. We also like the new Weavers’ reset-to-zero turrets.

The new waterproof/shockproof/fogproof Weaver Tactical scopes feature one-piece construction, argon-purged tubes and multi-coated lenses with extra hard exterior coatings. For Tac Comps, the 5 times zoom ratio offers a very wide field of view for close-range or moving targets, yet plenty of magnification is “on tap” for long-range targets. The first focal plane reticle stays constant relative to the target at all magnification levels. This allows targets to be quickly ranged with mildots at any magnification setting.

Permalink New Product, Optics 7 Comments »
September 10th, 2009

New 5-25x56mm Tactical Scope from Premier Reticles

Premier Reticles has introduced a new 5-25x56mm “Premier Heritage” Tactical scope. This is a proper First Focal Plane (FFP) tactical scope, offering 1 cm/0.1 milrad turret click values matched with an illuminated reticle with cm/milrad hash marks. (27 milrad Double-Turn knobs are standard; 1/4-MOA clicks are optional.) Total elevation is a whopping 31 milrads (107 MOA). This is not a single-rev turret design, but one revolution covers 15 mils or about 51 MOA. For practical purposes, most shooters can get out to 1000 within one revolution if you have an angled scope base. The scope is 16.34″ overall with a beefy 34mm-diameter main tube. The 5-25x56mm Premier weighs 1.1 kg (39 ounces) and lists for $2899.00. Expect the “street price” to be about $2750.00.

Premier Reticles 5-25x56mm

Premier Reticles 5-25x56mmThe new scope has some nice features. First, the new 5-25x56mm Premier has tons of elevation. Total elevation is 31 milrads (equivalent to 107 MOA). As noted there are 15 mils (51 MOA) per revolution. Second, using a patent-pending Lever-Lock™ system, the scope can be zero-locked without tools. Third, the illumination control nests inside the left-hand parallax/focus turret, leaving the 34mm main tube unencumbered by a brightness knob. Finally the scope has a truly useful 5.5-range diopter. That’s enough diopter range to enable many eye-glass wearers to dispense with correction. A lot of smart thinking went into this scope.

CLICK HERE for full Specifications and more photos

• First Focal Plane Illuminated Reticle Gen 2 XR
• Integrated Illumination and Parallax Adjustment
• 31 Milrad (107 MOA) Total Elevation Adjustment*
• 34mm one-piece maintube constructed from 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum
• Quick-focus eyepiece with Locking Mechanism
• Integrated Articulating Lens Covers
• Temperature rated from -40° to +60°C.
• Lifetime warranty

CLICK HERE for Scope Option List

Premier Reticles 5-25x56mmBig brother to the Premier Heritage 3-15x50mm introduced last year, the 5-25×56 offers excellent brightness, resolution, sharpness and contrast, along with superior color fidelity and light transmission (93% average across all wavelengths). The tactical windage and elevation adjustments on both Heritage scopes feature the patent-pending Lever-Lock™ dial retention for re-zeroing without special tools. Standard turrets have 0.1 milrad (1cm) click values, while “user-swappable” dials are available to change click values to ¼ MOA.

FFP Reticle Features
Currently, all Heritage scopes come standard with First Focal Plane (FFP) reticle placement for consistent subtension regardless of magnification setting. The Heritage 5-25x56mm comes with Premier Reticles’ own patented illuminated Gen II Gen II XR (extended Range) reticle. The illumination control has 11 brightness settings, a locking illumination dial for “off” storage, and a 6-hour time-out function to preserve batteries.

Strong Demand for New Scope
The first run of the new 5-25x56mm Premier Tactical scope sold out, with high demand by both military and civilian customers. However, Chris Thomas, Premier’s President, tells us that “more 5-25s are on their way. Units should be available in about 6-7 weeks, if you order now”. The Premier Heritage scope comes with a lifetime warranty. Premier Reticles is a 63-year-old optics company with headquarters and manufacturing in Winchester, Virginia and an additional design branch in Germany.

Premier Reticles 5-25x56mm

*NOTE: On Premier’s spec sheet, elevation is listed as 30 milrad/103 MOA. That was for the prototype. Production models have more.

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May 4th, 2009

Weaver Introduces new "Super Slam" Scopes

Weaver OpticsWeaver is the latest company to introduce a new series of Japanese-made optics with a high (5:1) zoom ratio. The new Super Slam series includes 2-10×50, 3-15×50, and 5-20×50 riflescopes, all offered with 1″-diameter main tubes and four (4) reticle options: Dual-X (med. duplex), Fine Crosshair (with dot), Illuminated Duplex, and Weaver’s proprietary EBX™ ballistic reticle. According to Tom Knudtson, Weaver Product Line Manager. “This new EBX reticle allows for accurate bullet trajectory compensation for long-range shots and is a perfect compliment to our 3-point erector system with improved spring design.” Among the new 1″-tubed Super Slams, we think our readers will be most interested in the 6-20x50mm. This 27.5 oz. scope features side-focus parallax control, extra-hard lens coatings, and “pull-up” turrets (no caps to lose). The 6-20×50 has 1/8-MOA clicks and 3 finishes are offered: Matte Black, Gloss Black, and Silver.

Weaver Super Slam Tactical

Tactical Super Slams Have Front Focal Plane (FFP) Reticles
There are two new Japanese-made Super Slam Tactical Models, the 3-15×50 (#800362), and the 4-20×50 (#800360). Both scopes feature 30mm main tubes, large fixed turret knobs (no caps), and a mil-dot reticle. Notably, both Tactical models have the reticle in the front (first) focal plane. This means the size of the reticle (and the mildots) remain the same (relative to the object viewed) at all magnification levels. That is an important feature for shooters using the mil-dots for ranging. FFP design is logical for a true “tactical” scope, and Weaver was wise to incorporate FFP into the Super Slam Tactical scopes. Weaver claims these Tactical scopes are waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.

Permalink New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
January 21st, 2009

SHOT Show Report: News from Nightforce

Nightforce Benchrest and NXS scopes are very popular among our readers. The Nightforce 12-42×56 BR model is the scope of choice for top F-Class and 1000-yard shooters. It offers sharp glass, big-time magnification, precision parallax control (via a rotating front objective), plus a wide choice of reticles. The NXS offers these same qualities, but it uses a side-parallax adjustment. Many shooters building their first long-range rifle ask: “Which should I get–the Nightforce BR model or the NXS?” Nightforce Sales Manager Kyle Brown helps answer that question in the video below. Kyle explains the major (and minor) differences between the BR and NXS scope lines. You’ll find this video very informative.

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CLICK HERE to download Nightforce Optics 2009 Catalog (Large 5mb .pdf file).

New First Focal Plane 3.5-15×50 F1 Scope
The new NXS 3.5-15×50 F1 was created at the request of U.S. military and other professional sharpshooters. They wanted a rugged scope that offers a choice of elevation/windage click values, plus a ranging reticle in the First Focal Plane (FFP). A reticle located in the first focal plane remains in the exact same ratio to the target across the scope’s entire magnification range. The FFP design (designated by “F1″) is optimal for rangefinding purposes, since the reticle’s markings remain consistent relative to target size at all magnification settings. The 3.5-15×50 F1 scope will be offered with three click-value options: 1/4 MOA, 0.1 Mil Radians, or 1.0 MOA elevation + 0.5 MOA windage clicks.

Nightforce F1 Scope

CLICK HERE to download NXS 3.5-15×50 F1 Scope Spec Sheet (.pdf file).

HOT NEWS: If you like the NXS 3.5-15×50 F1, take note that a Nightforce 5.5-22×56 FFP NXS is coming in the fall of 2009. Plus Kyle told us that the Nightforce Compacts and First Focal Plane scopes now have their scope bodies (main tubes) crafted in Idaho. So, you’ll notice that they are now stamped “Made in USA”.

New Ballistic-Compensating Reticles Offered for 2009
Nightforce will offer a variety of NEW ballistic reticles that provide “hold-over” hashmarks corresponding to the trajectories of popular hunting rounds. With these new christmas-tree style reticles, hunters and varminters can rapidly adjust to different ranges without cranking-in elevation with the top turret. The reticles also include horizontal hash marks corresponding to calculated wind drift in mph (not MOA or mils). There are three basic options, one each for low, medium, and high velocity cartridges. In addition, Nightforce may offer Horus ballistic-compensating reticles, and possibly the Holland ART reticle, later in the spring of 2009.

Nightforce reticle Nightforce reticle
Nightforce reticle Nightforce reticle

New Ring-Top Bubble Level and Level/ADI
Nightforce has introduced the Top of Ring Bubble Level, a low-profile level built directly into the top half of a scope ring. This fits in place of the upper half of a Nightforce Ring (e.g. Unimount, Direct Mount, and Nightforce Mil-Spec). Like other anti-cant devices, the NF bubble level helps the shooter avoid canting his rifle left or right, which can throw off the shot significantly at long ranges. The level also helps ensure your reticle is plumb when mounting the scope.

The Top of Ring Bubble Level is available in three versions: 1) Ring Level alone; 2) Ring level with integrated mount for the Nightforce ADI (Angle Degree Indicator); 3) Ring level with mount plus ADI unit (complete system). You’ll want the ADI if you often have to make shots at steep angles. Calibrated in degrees, the ADI instantly gives the shooter the up or down angle for the shot. Plug that number into a ballistics calculator (or angle drop chart) and you’ve got your corrected drop for the true range to the target.

We definitely recommend an ADI for hunting, and for competition disciplines where up/down angle shots are required. The ADI is simple, robust, and requires no batteries. Mounting the ADI directly to the scope ring is the slickest installation yet for this useful device. This mounting set-up was a collaboration between Shawn Carlock (Defensive Edge), Ward Brian (Sniper Tools ACI), and Nightforce.

For more info, contact Nightforce Optics, Inc., 1040 Hazen Lane, Orofino, ID 83544, tel (208) 476-9814, or visit NightforceOptics.com

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