September 12th, 2017

Hunting Tip: How to Use Binoculars with a Tripod

Vortex Binoculars

With hunting season right around the corner, we know that many readers will soon be out in the field — with a set of binoculars. On most game hunts, you’ll speed a lot more time glassing with binocs than looking through your riflescope. With wide field of view and extended low-light capability, a good set of binoculars will be your most important game-finder. And with premium LRF binoculars, such as the new Vortex Fury, one tool serves both for spotting and laser ranging.

In this article, Vortex Optics’ Mark Boardman, an experienced hunter, explains the benefits of using a tripod with high-magnification binoculars. Everybody knows that powerful spotting scopes work best when mounted to a stable tripod or otherwise secured to a steady mount. Yet when most folks use binoculars, they never even think of using a tripod, despite the fact that tripod adapters are available for many premium binoculars.

Vortex Binoculars


» READ FULL ARTICLE with More Tips for Hunters

Vortex BinocularsOutdoorsmans Tripod Adapters
Outdoorsmans.com sells tripod adapters for various kinds of binoculars. “Mounting your binoculars to a quality tripod is a must for the serious western hunter. Without the stabilization of your binoculars [by] mounting them to a tripod … you will be missing a majority of the game you are glassing for.”

A serious hunter should learn how to glass with tripod support, using methods outlined here. With binoculars offering more that 8X magnification, you can really benefit from a steady mount. You’ll be amazed at the difference the tripod will make.

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, Optics No Comments »
August 30th, 2017

Great Rangefinder for Hunters — Sig Kilo 2000 under $400

Sig Kilo 2000 LRF laser rangefinder one mile

UPDATE: The Amazon price is Back up to $439.99. We told you $376.69 was a good deal!! This just proves you need to strike while the iron’s hot.

Hunting season is coming soon. That means going through your gear check-list before you head to deer country. If you don’t have a quality, compact Laser Rangefinder, here’s a great deal. The 7x25mm SIG Kilo 2000 Rangefinder is now on sale for under $380.00. This is a very accurate LRF, that ranges deer-sized targets at long distances quickly. The scan mode is fast and very effective. The unit is compact and light — a bonus for hunters.

This Sig LRF sold for $500.00 just a year ago. Now you can save 25%, with the Kilo 2000 selling for just $376.69 at Amazon, with Free Shipping. Given its performance, that’s a steal. We have tested a variety of LRFs from Bushnell, Leica, Leupold, Sig, Swarovski, and Zeiss. This Sig Kilo 2000 will run with anything in the sub-$600 price range. If you are looking for a small LRF than can fit in a shirt pocket, this Sig 2000 is a good choice. Glass is good, controls are good, ranging capability is excellent. Light-Wave DSP Technology enables the Kilo 2000 to range faster with increased accuracy. Scan mode refresh rate is an ultra-fast 4 times per second.

Read the reviews on Amazon. Virtually every purchaser gave this thing Five Stars. Here are three typical buyer reports.

SIG Kilo 2000 Verified Buyer Reviews

Five Stars: “AWESOME! Best rangefinder for the money. Easily ranges out to 1100 yards. That is the furthest I have tested it to.” (Review by Kochman, July 2017)

Five Stars: “I will review by comparing it with another 2000-yard rangefinder… a Newcon 2000 which finally broke after about 6 years. This Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 has better optics, faster readings, ranges reflective and non reflective targets farther… it’s much smaller and it’s about $150 cheaper. It has better warranty.” (Review by Hillbilly, April 2017)

Five Stars: “Challenges $3000+ Rangefinders for performance. Let me say right up front that I received zero perks, products, or considerations for the review that follows. It’s strictly the opinion of an old shooter still trying to hit groundhogs in adjacent area codes, nothing more. I’ve used laser rangefinders since they first hit the market in the early 90s and ranged all of 200 yards. I have used and owned $2K rangefinders with built-in ballistic computers.

It’s small — palm-sized. If you’re a backcountry shooter and every ounce counts, you can wear this unit around your neck all day long. In my experience and opinion, the Sig Kilo 2000 is an amazing laser rangefinder at a very reasonable price. When it comes to the raw function of a laser rangefinder, to give accurate, repeatable distance measurements within your target range, the Sig Kilo 2000 blows away anything even remotely close to it in its price range.” (Review by Verified Customer, July 2016)

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, Optics No Comments »
May 27th, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend Special Promotions

Applied Ballistics Memorial Day Sale Kestrel LabRadar Sig Kilo 10% Off

Applied Ballistics is running a big promotion this Memorial Day weekend, to honor those who served their country. There are significant savings on top-flight, category-leading products, such as the Sig Kilo 2400 LRF, and Kestrel Elite. Check out these deals…

Starting Saturday and ending Monday (72 Hours) Applied Ballistics offers these DEALS:

1. 10% Off Sig Kilo 2400, Kestrel Elite, AB Tactical*

2. 15% Off All Book BundlesAB Book Bundles

3. 10% Of All Individual BooksAB Books

4. 5% off Whidden Pointing DiesWhidden Die Sets

5. 15% Off All Hats & Shirts — AB Apparel

6. 25% Off AB AnalyticsAB Analytics

No coupon code is needed, discounts will automatically apply at checkout. Sale pricing while supplies last, NO back-orders.

The folks at Applied Ballistics also asked to note that military and LEO personnel qualify for discounts all the time: “Active Military Members and Law Enforcement (Including Allied Nations) get a 10% discount off MSRP with proof of current active service 365 Days a Year!”

FREE Hazmat Fees at Grafs.com

Now through Monday May 29 at 11:59 pm CST, you can order powder and primers from Grafs.com with no Hazmat fees. To qualify for FREE Hazmat, you must order at least sixteen (16) pounds of smokeless powder. You can add other items to the shipment — up to 50 pounds total of hazmat products. This deal will save you $20.00 if you order this weekend. NOTE: standard $7.95 fixed-rate handling fee applies, and this offer is good for in-stock items only (no back-orders).

graf & sons grafs.com free hazmat shipping powder primers

FREE Shipping at Bruno Shooters Supply

bruno shooters supply free shipping memorial day sale offer

Now through Tuesday, May 30th at 8:00 am PT, you can get FREE Shipping on all products in stock at Bruno Shooters Supply. This is a great offer because the free shipping applies to everything in stock — actions, stocks, barrels, optics, reloading components, tools and more. But there are some qualifications:

1. Free Shipping requires a minimum order of $150.00, or $299.00 for powder and primers.

2. The Free Shipping offer applies to in-stock items only — no back-orders. Also this does not cover gunsmithing or complete rifles.

3. Hazmat orders will still have a $32 hazmat fee.

Sale Tips from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hot Deals, New Product 1 Comment »
May 10th, 2017

Sig Kilo 2400 ABS Laser RangeFinder Review

Sig Kilo 2400 ABS Ballistics Laser Rangefinder Bluetooth

The new Sig Kilo 2400 ABS RangeFinder raises the bar among compact LRFs on the market. This unit offers class-leading ranging ability, combined with an Applied Ballistics solver, handy mobile App, and even a plug-in windmeter. If you are considering getting a new Laser Rangefinder (LRF), you should definitely consider the new Kilo 2400 ABS. With a $1499.00 price, this unit is not inexpensive. However, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any other compact LRF that offers better performance (or more sophisticated features) for the money. Here are highlights of a field test by Andy Backus of Longrangehunting.com. READ FULL FIELD TEST HERE.

— Claimed Ranging ability: Deer (1400 Yds), Trees (1800 Yds), Reflective Steel (2000 Yds).
— Syncs with iOS and Android smartphones via Mobile App (Bluetooth Compatible).
— Embedded Applied Ballistics Elite calculator with bullet database.
— Onboard temperature, air pressure, and humidity sensors.
— Display shows hold-over, wind direction/speed, density altitude, and shot angle.
— Scan mode refreshes at ultra-fast 4 times per second.
— Lumatic™ OLED display automatically calibrates brightness to changing light conditions.
— Lightweight magnesium housing with binoculars-style eyecup and diopter adjustment.

Sig Kilo 2400 ABS Ballistics Laser Rangefinder Bluetooth

Sig Kilo 2400 OEM User Manual | Sig Kilo 2400 ABS App User Guide

Sig Kilo 2400 ABS Field Report

by Andy Backus, Longrangehunting.com
The Kilo’s scan mode is outstanding and is an important reason that it outperforms other rangefinders. I can’t think of any reason not to always use it on scan mode. The results are instant. The fact that the Kilo’s laser seems to be perfectly lined up with its reticle is another reason for its outstanding ranging performance. I think the size of the circular reticle and corresponding beam divergence of the laser is just about perfect. Because of the outstanding scan mode, the fact that the beam is smaller than some other rangefinders does not mean that you can’t do a good job of ranging freehand. And the relatively small beam means that the max range outperforms most other rangefinders.

Cycling through the menu and making changes to the settings on the KILO 2400 rangefinder is fast, simple and intuitive. The options are easy to read and understand.

One other slight negative I noticed is that it is hard to feel the RANGE button being depressed when wearing gloves. I would prefer a more noticeable click when depressing it.

Using the Mobile App with Ballistic Solver

The Sig Kilo 2400 ABS comes complete with a mobile App featuring the Applied Ballistics solver. This allows you to create profiles for various rifles and loads. Once you create the profiles and provide ambient altitude, temperature, and wind values, the Kilo 2400 will give you a ballistics solution via its onboard display. To range a target and get a ballistic solution you simply push the RANGE button. The first number that appears in the rangefinder is line of sight distance followed two seconds later by your elevation holdover and two seconds later by your wind hold (in MOA or MIL). The KILO 2400 will continue to cycle through the three numbers every two seconds for 30 seconds.

Sig Kilo 2400 ABS Ballistics Laser Rangefinder Bluetooth

Great Features for Hunter in the Field

The array of on-board sensors along with the built-in Applied Ballistics solver mean that the KILO 2400 is capable of providing an instant and very accurate ballistic solution including wind hold with the push of a single button out to very long range. As a long range hunter this is exactly what I want.

The automatic brightness adjustment on the KILO 2400 seems to work flawlessly. No matter the lighting conditions on the day I tested, the KILO’s display was perfectly visible.

You hold the RANGE button down to take advantage of the KILO 2400’s outstanding scan mode and its precise circular reticle displays at just the right brightness level for the lighting conditions. The first number you see displayed on the KILO 2400 is 637 yards and it climbs as the scan mode follows the buck walking away from you. You let go as he stops at 642 yards and the KILO 2400 instantly tells you to dial your scope turret to 11.2 MOA. It also tells you that for a 10 MPH, 90 degree cross-wind you should hold 2.4 minutes. You estimate the full wind value to be about 5 MPH so you’ll hold 1 1/4 minutes.

Sig Kilo 2400 ABS Ballistics Laser Rangefinder Bluetooth

Syncing Features and Remote Laser Activation

When synced to the KILO 2400 via Bluetooth, the Mobile App displays real-time information from the rangefinder including the line-of-sight range, elevation hold-over, and wind correction. It also displays temperature, pressure, density altitude, energy at target, and velocity at target. You can also enter a specific wind speed on this screen and quickly sync it to the KILO 2400.

One other cool feature on this screen is the opportunity to remotely fire the rangefinder. I played around with this a little bit when I had the KILO 2400 mounted on a tripod and I was trying to get the absolute farthest range I could. By firing the rangefinder remotely there was absolutely no wiggle from pressing the RANGE button on the rangefinder.

Complete Kit with Key Accessories

The Sig Kilo 2400 ABS comes complete with a a nice carry case, tripod mount, and even wind-meter that plugs into your mobile device. You get all this…

Sig Kilo 2400 ABS Ballistics Laser Rangefinder Bluetooth

- Padded Ballistic Nylon Case
– TYR Water Resistant Molle Gear Bag
– Lanyard (Neck-strap)
- Wind Meter (plug-in for mobile device)
– One-Piece Machined Tripod Mount
– Sig Sauer Tactical Pen/Stylus
Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, Optics 3 Comments »
June 20th, 2016

Bargain Finder 40: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Monmouth Reloading — Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 LRF $499.00

NRA Life Membership Offer

This excellent laser rangefinder rivals other premium LRFs selling for hundreds more. Head-to-head field tests with Leica, Zeiss, and Swarovski LRFs proved that the new Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 can play in that league, but at a much more affordable price point. Sig accomplishes that with tight beam divergence and state-of-the-art DSP technology which allows the Kilo 2000 to range faster (and more reliably) at longer 
distances. Optic magnification is 7X. The Kilo 2000 weighs 7.5 oz and measures 3″ x 4.2″ x 1.3″.

— Lumatic OLED Display™ monitors ambient light and adjusts display brightness.
— AMR™ (Angle Modified Range) built-in angle compensation.
— 4X per second refresh rate in scan mode.
— Dependable waterproof (IP X-4) and fog-proof performance.
— Lightweight magnesium body and compact form.

SAVE MORE: Right now you can save an additional $110 off every Rangefinder Monmouth Reloading sells, including the Sig Kilo 2000. To save an additional $110, use Coupon Code LRF 110. That will lower your cost to $389.00 for the Kilo 2000, which is a total steal. (Time-limited offer).

2. Natchez — Special 5 Reloading Press Kit, $199.99

RCBS Special 5 Reloading Kit

This is an excellent entry-level reloading kit, which is on sale for $199.99 at Natchez Shooters Supply. We like the relatively compact Special 5 press for most reloading duties. Eventually you many want to add an additional large heavy press, but this will get the job done. This kit includes an RCBS Powder Measure, Digital Scale, Powder Trickler, Hand Priming Tool, Load Manual, Loading Tray, and more. It’s hard to beat this combination of tools for under $200.00.

3. NRA Life Membership $500 — Offer Ends 7/31/2016

NRA Life Membership Offer

If you are considering getting an NRA Life membership, now is the time to buy. You can get a Life Membership for $500.00. That’s $1000.00 off the regular $1500.00 price. You heard us right — save a thousand bucks on an NRA Life Membership. This offer is good through July 31, 2016. And with each lifetime membership, you get your choice of one of four print magazines: American Hunter, American Rifleman, Shooting Illustrated, or America’s First Freedom.

4. Midsouth — Lyman 50th Edition Reloading Manual

RCBS Special 5 Reloading Kit

Here’s a good deal on the new Lyman 50th Ed. Reloading Manual. Our Forum members have rated this as the best Loading Manual for starting hand-loaders. This 50th Anniversary Edition, the first to be produced in full color, includes more load data, and covers more cartridge and bullet types than ever before. This handbook has a strong heritage, starting with the Ideal/Lyman reloading manuals from the early 20th Century. (In 1925, Lyman purchased Ideal Reloading Products, which produced the Ideal reloading handbooks.)

5. Amazon — RAVPower 16750mAh Portable Charging Pack

Amazon Ravpower battery charger USB high-output battery pack LadRadar Bart Sauter

Bullet-maker Bart Sauter used this RAVpower portable charging unit to power his LabRadar chronograph at a short-range shooting match. He reports: “I bought a RAVPower pack from Amazon. It was the most powerful cell phone charger they had and it was reduced to $31. It was able to run the LabRadar for two full days without recharging and still had juice.” This unit has impressive specs: “4.5A Output: Highest output in the market, featuring a 4.5A total output capable of simultaneously charging two tablets, making it faster and more powerful than the rest. Exclusive iSmart Technology… ensures fastest and most efficient charge.”

6. Bullets.com — Norma .22LR Ammo (Match 22 & Tac 22)

Norma Match 22 Tac .22 LR Ammo rimfire ammunition bullets.com

Need quality .22 LR rimfire ammo at an affordable price? Consider Norma. Most folks think Norma only produces centerfire ammo and cartridge brass. As a result, people haven’t been looking for Norma rimfire ammo. Their loss is your gain. Accurate, reliable Norma .22 LR ammunition is in-stock right now at leading online vendors. This is good quality ammo, made in Europe. Bullets.com has Norma Tac-22 ammo in stock at $5.25 per 50-rd box (SKU: BL7819). In addition, Bullets.com offers Norma Match-22 ammunition at $7.50 per 50-rd box (SKU: BL11887).

7. Cabela’s — Lyman Turbo Sonic 1200, $59.99

Cabelas Lyman Turbo Sonic ULtrasonic Cleaning machine

Looking for a reliable ultrasonic cleaning unit at a rock-bottom, $59.99 price? Here’s a very good deal — this new Lyman 1200 sells elsewhere for up to $110.00. This machine will hold up to 350 9mm cases, and clean them in 10-15 minutes. The see-through cover lets you view the progress in the 6.5″L x 5.4″W x 2.6″D heated tank. Select four different dwell times with handy touch controls.

8. Amazon — 34 NRR Top-Selling Ear Muffs

hearing protection amazon cleararmor nrr 34 earmuff muffs safety

If you want serious hearing protection, and can tolerate large muffs, these Clear Armor earmuffs are hard to beat for the price. They seal very well and carry an unsurpassed 34db Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). These are the #1 Best Selling Safety Muffs on Amazon. Yes they are big and bulky — but you only have one set of ears. These are a good choice for loud magnum rifles and noisy indoor ranges.

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading 1 Comment »
May 9th, 2016

NEW: Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting, Volume II

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-order

There’s an all-new book from Applied Ballistics. Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting – Volume II, is now available for pre-order from the Applied Ballistics eStore. This 356-page hardcover resource is chock full of information, much of it derived through sophisticated field testing. The pre-order price is $34.95, $5.00 off the regular $39.95 price. The books are expected to ship in July, 2016.

AUDIO FILE: Bryan Litz Talks about Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting, Volume 2. (Sound file loads when you click button).

Volume II of Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting contains all-new content derived from research by Applied Ballistics. Author Bryan Litz along with contributing authors Nick Vitalbo and Cal Zant use the scientific method and careful testing to answer important questions faced by long range shooters. In particular, this volume explores the subject of bullet dispersion including group convergence. Advanced hand-loading subjects are covered such as: bullet pointing and trimming, powder measurement, flash hole deburring, neck tension, and fill ratio. Each topic is explored with extensive live fire testing, and the resulting information helps to guide hand loaders in a deliberate path to success. The current bullet library of measured G1 and G7 ballistic coefficients is included as an appendix. This library currently has data on 533 bullets in common use by long range shooters.

Bryan tells us that one purpose of this book is to dispel myths and correct commonly-held misconceptions: “Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting aims to end the misinformation which is so prevalent in long range shooting. By applying the scientific method and taking a Myth Buster approach, the state of the art is advanced….”

Bullet Dispersion and Group Convergence
Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-order

Part 1 of this Volume is focused on the details of rifle bullet dispersion. Chapter 1 builds a discussion of dispersion and precision that every shooter will benefit from in terms of understanding how it impacts their particular shooting application. How many shots should you shoot in a group? What kind of 5-shot 100 yard groups correlate to average or winning precision levels in 1000 yard F-Class shooting?

Chapter 2 presents a very detailed investigation of the mysterious concept of group convergence, which is the common idea that some guns can shoot smaller (MOA) groups at longer ranges. This concept is thoroughly tested with extensive live fire, and the results answer a very important question that has baffled shooters for many generations.

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-orderPart 2 of this Volume is focused on various aspects of advanced hand-loading. Modern Advancements (Vol. II) employs live fire testing to answer the important questions that precision hand loaders are asking. What are the best ways to achieve MVs with low ES and SD? Do flash hole deburring, neck tension, primer selection, and fill ratio and powder scales sensitivity make a difference and how much? All of these questions are explored in detail with a clear explanation of test results.

One of the important chapters of Part 2 examines bullet pointing and trimming. Applied Ballistics tested 39 different bullet types from .224 through .338 caliber. Ten samples of each bullet were tested for BC in each of the following configurations: original out of the box, pointed, trimmed, pointed and trimmed. The effect on the average BC as well as the uniformity in BC was measured and tabulated, revealing what works best.

Part 3 covers a variety of general research topics. Contributing author Nick Vitalbo, a laser technology expert, tested 22 different laser rangefinders. Nick’s material on rangefinder performance is a landmark piece of work. Nick shows how shooters can determine the performance of a rangefinder under various lighting conditions, target sizes, and reflectivities.

Chapter 9 is a thorough analysis of rimfire ammunition. Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets, 2nd Edition presented live fire data on 95 different types of .22 rimfire ammunition, each tested in five different barrels having various lengths and twist rates. Where that book just presented the data, Chapter 9 of this book offers detailed analysis of all the test results and shows what properties of rimfire ammunition are favorable, and how the BCs, muzzle velocities and consistency of the ammo are affected by the different barrels.

Chapter 10 is a discussion of aerodynamic drag as it relates to ballistic trajectory modeling. You will learn from the ground up: what an aerodynamic drag model is, how it’s measure and used to predict trajectories. Analysis is presented which shows how the best trajectory models compare to actual measured drop in the real world.

Finally, contributing author Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog presents a study of modern carbon fiber-wrapped barrels in Chapter 11. The science and technology of these modern rifle barrels is discussed, and then everything from point of impact shift to group sizes are compared for several samples of each type of barrel including standard steel barrels.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Reloading No Comments »
September 16th, 2015

SilencerCo Offers New Rail-Mounted Laser Rangefinder

Silencerco laser rangefinder lrf scope co-locate

SilencerCo has introduced a new laser rangefinder (LRF) that mounts directly on a rifle. The new Radius rangefinder can attach to a standard Picatinny rail in any orientation. Windage and elevation controls allow the Radius be precisely aligned with your scope. This way you can place your scope’s cross hair on a target and instantly get a range at the push of a button. The Radius even includes a visible laser to help align the LRF with your riflescope.

The ability to collimate (align) your rangefinder with your optic should be a boon to varmint hunters and tactical shooters. A varmint hunter in a prairie dog field can quickly range a dog mound as he scans the field for critters. A tactical competitor can get target range the instant he sees his target in his scope.

With a $999 MSRP, the compact Radius rangefinder features a user-configurable display, long battery life, and extreme durability. It also has a “scan” capability that allows you to range multiple targets quickly. The Radius was developed by SilencerCo Weapons Research (SWR), a new R&D division of SilencerCo. The Radius starts shipping in October 2015.

SilencerCo Radius LRF Mounted on side Picatinny rail. Image from SnipersHide Product Preview Video.

Silencerco laser rangefinder lrf scope co-locate

Also from SilencerCo — 9mm Pistol with Built-in Suppressor
At a product launch this week, SilencerCo also unveiled its new Maxim 9 silenced pistol. This integrally-suppressed, semi-automatic 9x19mm pistol is ergonomic and holsterable. SilencerCo claims the new Maxim 9 is “hearing-safe” with factory ammo. Accordingly, the manufacturer says: “the Maxim 9 will forever change the way people think about firearms as they realize that there is no longer any reason why guns have to be loud.” Report by Chris Cheng.

Permalink New Product, Optics No Comments »
August 24th, 2015

Long Range Shooting Error — Why People Miss

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Long Range Shooting Error Wind Call Kestrel Laser Rangefinder

Applied Ballistics has created a new series of YouTube videos about precision long range shooting. Featuring ace long-range shooter and professional ballistician Bryan Litz, these videos address various topics of interest to long-range marksmen. In this week’s video, the second in the series, Bryan Litz examines the most common causes of ballistics shooting errors at Long Range.

Watch Applied Ballistics Video about Common Mistakes in Long Range Shooting:

Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics often hears the question: “What are the main reasons people miss their target at long range?” To answer that question, in this video, Bryan explains the most important variables in Long Range shooting. Bryan says: “Probably the number one thing is range — you have to have a [precise] range to your target because your bullet is dropping, and to hit the target you need to correct for bullet drop.” Distance may be indicated on the target bay (or berm), but for open ranges you should ascertain distance-to-target with a quality laser rangefinder. Even when the distance to target is shown with a sign or marker, you may want to confirm the distance with your rangefinder. (You may be surprised — we’ve seen marked target distances at commercial ranges off by 25+ yards!) Bryan says: “Get a good laser range to the target and you’ll be within a couple yards”.

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Long Range Shooting Error Wind Call Kestrel Laser Rangefinder

After distance to target, the most important variable is the wind. This is the most challenging factor because the wind is constantly changing. Bryan explains: “After 300 or 400 yards, the wind [will] move your shots off the target if you don’t correct for it. The best way to account for the wind is to measure it at your location with a Kestrel. The Kestrel can give you the speed and direction of the wind at your location, which can baseline your wind call for your long-range shot.” Bryan acknowledges that there will still be variables: “The wind isn’t always blowing the same downrange as at your location… and the wind is always changing”. Bryan notes that you need to account for variances in wind between the time you gauge the wind angle and velocity and the time you actually you take your shot.

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills 11 Comments »
January 23rd, 2015

TrackingPoint Rifle Systems Employ Cutting-Edge Technology

technology Optics tracking point, laser rangefinder PGF

Gear Report by Kip Staton
TrackingPoint’s innovative technology has been on the market for a number of years now, and has proven to be a valuable long-range shooting tool. TrackingPoint is a Texas-based, Austin-area applied technology company that developed a unique, precision-guided firearm (PGF) system in 2011. TrackingPoint’s ordinary rifles in common calibers, designated with the XS prefix, are equipped with high-tech “networked tracking” rifle scopes.

CLICK to view full-screen image:
technology Optics tracking point, laser rangefinder PGF

These advanced optics are the heart of the company’s tag-and-shoot technology, and the entire setup is remarkably similar to the systems found in cutting-edge fighter jets. So, how does it work in the real world?

Pretty darn well, as it turns out. The shooter simply finds his or her target, centers his “X” reticle on it, and presses a “tag” button, which is usually integrated into the firearm’s trigger guard. This puts a digital “mark” on the target, and the optic remembers where that particular tag was placed for the duration of the shot. At this point, the system has already automatically performed all necessary distance and environmental calculations. The only other manual inputs needed on the shooter’s part are to enter the wind call, and press the trigger. And, the rifle even helps out with that part.

technology Optics tracking point laser rangefinder PGF

Because the tag was placed on a unique target, and is remembered by the system, the rifle won’t actually let the shot break until the shooter has lined up the crosshairs with the original tag. So the user may press the trigger, and nothing will happen… until the reticle is placed on the original tag. The rifle will then fire. For each Tracking Point shot, the elevation should be dead on. However the wind can still come into play — the TrackingPoint system does not sense the wind speed or direction. Wind values must be detected by the shooter and entered manually. Once wind speed/angle are entered, the TrackingPoint automatically calculates the needed windage correction (left or right).

technology Optics tracking point laser rangefinder PGF

The firing process (with the rifle’s brain doing the elevation calculation) can be somewhat disconcerting for shooters new to a PGF. But, this system holds promise, and can help shooters make difficult shots with greater confidence. In particular, the built-in ballistics solver means the trigger-puller no longer needs to worry about elevation clicks and/or hold-overs at any distance. The system calculates bullet drop at any rangeable distance and plots the correct point of aim. “X marks the spot”:
technology Optics tracking point laser rangefinder PGF

The TrackingPoint system does much more than make long range shots easier to accomplish. The networked tracking scope is also a WiFi server. This means that the image seen through the ocular lens (by the shooter) can be beamed to an Apple iPad, which is included with the rifle. Hunting guides can then see exactly what their clients are viewing through the optic, and make suggestions or provide pertinent advice to the shooter.

If that wasn’t enough, TrackingPoint recently integrated the high-tech Google Glass hardware into their shooting system. By using eyewear with built-in displays linked to the TrackingPoint optic, shooters can make successful shots without looking directly through a rifle-mounted scope. The eyewear has a small display that shows the target(s) “seen” by the rifle’s optic. The operator can then take the shot from any position. You can shoot around a corner, or keep your head and torso out of view. The possibilities for hunters, competitors and real-world tactical shooters are nearly endless.

technology Optics tracking point laser rangefinder PGF

TrackingPoint’s unique rifle systems are available in both semi-automatic and bolt-action formats, ranging in calibers from .223 (5.56 NATO) to a proprietary .338 of the company’s own design. What do these systems cost? Well high technology does not come cheap. Rifle systems range in price from $7,495 to a staggering $49,995. But, for the right client and the right mission, perhaps no price for this technology is too high. That’s what Tracking Point is counting on….

technology Optics tracking point laser rangefinder PGF

Permalink - Articles, New Product 5 Comments »
August 8th, 2012

Burris Expands Line of Eliminator Laser Rangefinding Scopes

Burris is expanding its line of Eliminator range-finding Laserscopes. Burris is rolling out three new Laserscope models: 4-16x50mm Eliminator III, plus 4-12x42mm Eliminator II, and 3.5-10x40mm Eliminator. The innovative Eliminator technology, first introduced in the original 4-12x42mm model, combines a variable-power zoom optic with a built-in Laser RangeFinder. The range-finder calculates the distance to your target, and then displays a red dot range-corrected hold-over point. Just put the dot on your target and pull the trigger. You don’t have to spin your elevation knob.

New Eliminator III Ranges at All Powers
The new top-of-the-line 4-16x50mm Eliminator III is slimmer and less bulky than the original Eliminator. The Eliminator III features a new X96 reticle that will range at any magnification, and it offers a more sophisticated ballistics solver. With the Eliminator III you can now enter BOTH the bullet drop at 750 yards PLUS the ballistic coefficient (BC) for the specific bullet you are using.

The Eliminator III’s X96 reticle also incorporates a new windage compensation system of dots that show lateral hold-off points. By using the dots, you can compensate for wind-drift without dialing the windage knob. The digital readout displays a 10 MPH Wind Value as a “Dot Value” for the shooter’s specific cartridge at the indicated range. Suggested retail price for the new Eliminator III is $1,499.00.

Eliminator II Features Angle Compensation and Remote Activation Switch
The new 4-12x42mm Eliminator II laserscope features the X38 reticle. Burris claims the Eliminator II can range to 999 yards, but we suspect that’s optimistic. We are pleased that the new Eliminator II comes standard with angle compensation that helps hunters make uphill and downhill shots. The Eliminator II comes equipped with a remote activation switch that can be attached to the firearm’s forearm or the scope’s objective bell. Like the other Eliminators, you can program the ballistics solver for different guns/loads. Suggested retail price for the Eliminator II is $999.00.

The new Eliminator 3.5-10x40mm is similar in design to the original Eliminator. The 3.5-10x40mm ranges out to 800 yards, with a ballistics solver you can program for any gun/load. The 3.5-10X Eliminator must be set to 10x power when ranging targets or trophies. Suggested retail price is $799.00.

$100.00 Rebate on First Gen 4-12x42mm Eliminator Laserscope
The original Eliminator 4-12x42mm was the first affordable laser rangefinding riflescope, and now there is a $100 rebate on the first-generation 4-12x42mm Eliminator, making it even easier to fit within your budget. Visit www.BurrisOptics.com for more information.

Permalink New Product, Optics 9 Comments »
August 1st, 2012

Zeiss Announces 2012 FIELD DAYS Promotion

Zeiss Field Days RebateCarl Zeiss Sports Optics has just announced its latest FIELD DAYS promotion. From August 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012, Zeiss is offering consumers significant savings on many of its most popular optics. With FIELD DAYS mail-in rebates you can save money on rifle scopes, spotting scopes, laser rangefinders, and rangefinding binoculars.

Here are the FIELD DAYS Rebate offers:

  • $500 rebate on the 65mm and 85mm VICTORY DiaScope. Customers who
    purchase a DiaScope will also receive a free, portable tripod.
  • $300 rebate on the award-winning VICTORY RF rangefinding binoculars
  • $50 rebate on the award-winning VICTORY 8×26 PRF laser rangefinding monocular
  • $100 rebate on the NEW Conquest HD 42mm binoculars
  • $100 rebate on the NEW Conquest 30mm Duralyt Riflescopes
  • $100 rebate on all riflescopes that have any Rapid-Z reticle

Zeiss Field Days Rebate

How to Get Your Discounts
All purchases must be made from a Carl Zeiss Authorized Dealer in the United States and rebate request forms must be completed and postmarked within 30 days of purchase. Payment will be made by a ZEISS Prepaid Reward Card by American Express. For promotion details, visit www.zeiss.com/sports and click the “Promotions” link on the left. Then click the Field Days Promotion Link. For more information, call 800-441-3005.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
March 13th, 2012

New Leica CRF 1600-B Shows Hold-Overs and Elevation Clicks

Leica just introduced its latest pocket-sized laser rangefinder, the CRF 1600-B Rangemaster. This unit features built-in angle compensation plus a ballistics solver that can give you either hold-over (in inches or cm) or clicks (from your zero) to put the shot on target at the ranged distance. At the heart of the CRF 1600-B is Leica’s Advanced Ballistic Compensation(ABC™) system, a precision integrated ballistics calculator that combines stored data with analysis of current ballistics parameters. To calculate projectile trajectory, the ABC™ system processes multiple ballistics variables, including measured distance, angle of incline, temperature, and absolute air pressure. The new 1600-B should be available in June, 2012. The “street price” should be the same as the current CRF 1600, $799.00.

Leica 1600-B Rangemaster

There’s a lot of marketing mumbo-jumbo in the product release info, but what you need to know is that the new CRF 1600-B offers three important functions, in addition to ranging distance to target. These functions are: Angle Compensation, Display of Hold-Over, and Click-Value Display.

Leica 1600-B Rangemaster1. Built-in Angle Compensation
If you are taking an angled shot (whether up-hill or downhill), the 1600-B tells you the true horizontal component distance to the target. Use this number (as opposed to the line-of-sight distance to the target) to set your elevation. The 1600-B figures out the angle through a built-in inclinometer. This is a handy feature for hunters and tactical shooters, but it’s not really that innovative — other rangefinders have have offered angle compensation for quite some time. Still this is a nice feature that allows hunters to dispense with an angle indicator on their rifles, and you won’t have to work out math equations in the field.

Leica 1600-B Rangemaster2. Hold-Over Values (Inches or CM)
When you range a target, the 1600-B can display the actual hold-over you need (at the ranged distance), either in inches or centimeters. Then you simply place your cross-hairs higher on the target, according to the hold-over value displayed in cm or inches. This works well — so long as you have some idea of the actual size of the target. If you don’t know if your prey is 4-feet tall or 6-feet tall then you can make mistakes. The hold-over display can read in either inches or cm. Holdover values, based on 12 pre-programmed ballistics curves, are given from 100 yards to 880 yards (compared to only 500 yards on the CRF 1600).

Leica 1600-B Rangemaster3. Elevation Click Values to Correct POI
One very handy feature of the new Leica 1600-B is that it automatically calculates the elevation clicks you need to correct your point of impact (POI) for the target range. First, you must select a matching ballistics curve (based on your muzzle velocity, bullet BC etc.). Then the 1600-B uses its built-in ballistics solver to calculate drop at the target distance, figuring in temperature and barometric pressure automatically. With a click of a button the 1600-B will displays the number of up-clicks you need to have the correct POI at the ranged distance. Available click values are: 1 MOA, 1/3 MOA, 1/4 MOA, 10 mm/100 m, 5 mm/100 m.

CRF 1600-B Rangemaster Specs (and Real-World Ranging Performance)
The new Leica 1600-B features a 7X monocular optic with 24mm objective and 3.4mm exit pupil. The external lenses have AquaDura® coatings. Though it’s packed with computing power, the 1600-B weighs just 8.1 ounces and, measuring 3″ x 1.63″ x 1.25″, it really does fit in a shirt pocket. Along with target distance, hold-over, and calculated clicks, the auto-adjusting red LED display can show Angle of Incline, Temperature, and Air Pressure.

Leica claims the 1600-B will range out to “approximately 1,600 yards”. Yes, in ideal conditions, the unit can nail a large, reflective object (such as a barn) at that distance, but you’ll find real-world performance on deer-sized targets to be quite different.

It is hard to hand-hold the tiny CRF 1600-B with sufficient stability to range small objects at extreme long distance. When testing the current CRF 1600 model we’ve found the practical max range for hand-holding on a deer to be about 800 yards, and even to do that you need very steady hands and a bit of practice. For long-distance ranging, we actually prefer a larger, flat-body design, such as the Zeiss Victory PRF, which can be rested more easily on a pack or sandbag. For the new 1600-B model, Leica claims measuring accuracy of +/- 1.1 yards to 400 yards, +/- 2.2 yards to 800 yards, and +/- 0.5% over 800 yards.

Permalink New Product, Optics 3 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
Permalink Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
February 8th, 2010

Zeiss Diarange 2.5-10×50 on Sale for $2400.00

The innovative Zeiss 2.5-10x50mm Diarange riflescope with built-in Laser Rangefinder is now on sale at EuroOptic.com for $2400.00. That’s an amazing price — the Zeiss Victory Diarange 2.5-10x50mm normally sells for $3949.00. This represents a $1549.00 savings over the regular price — almost 40% off. (EuroOptic.com also has the Zeiss Victory Diarange 3-12×56 T* demo models for $3,200.00 marked down from $3,999.00.)

Zeiss Diarange Sale

Zeiss Diarange SaleEuroOptic.com has about 40 units at this price. They are offered with either Rapid Z 800 or Rapid Z 600 reticles (both illuminated). The Zeiss Diarange is a unique products that combines a very high-grade riflescope with an integrated laser rangefinder. Measuring range for the laser is from 10-999 yards, with a measuring accuracy of ± 1 yard up to 600 yards and ± 0.5 % of reading at ranges beyond 600 yards. Ranging is fast and the scope offers outstanding low-light performance.

For a hunter looking to simplify his load-out, the Diarange allows you to sight your prey and range it with one device. You can keep both hands on the rifle at all times and you can keep your muzzle on target while you’re ranging. Eurooptics’ $2400.00 price is a lot of money, to be sure, but consider that the discounted Diarange gives you a high-end scope AND a rangefinder for about the same price as a Zeiss Diavari scope by itself.

CLICK HERE for $2400.00 Zeiss Diarange Deal at EuroOptic.com

CLICK HERE For Zeiss Diarange 2.5-10x50mm SPEC Sheet

CLICK HERE for Zeiss Diarange Product Page with VIDEO

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics 3 Comments »
January 19th, 2010

Burris "Eliminator" LaserScope Automatically Sets Aim Point for Ranged Target Distance

Today at the SHOT Show’s “Media Day at the Range”, Burris gave us a glimpse of the future in hunting optics. The new Burris Eliminator scope will range your target, calculate your trajectory, and illuminate a spot on the reticle that becomes your aimpoint at extended range. We could write a treatise on the Eliminator’s breakthrough technology, but all you really need to know is that after you range your target with the scope, a red dot appears on the vertical crosshair that is the correct aiming point for your ranged distance. The ballistics “hold-over” is already calculated. Just put the calculated red dot on the target, and pull the trigger. It’s that simple.

Burris Eliminator LaserScope

The new “Eliminator” scope is being introduced as a 4-12x42mm optic, for an expected $850.00 street price. The laser is activated with a simple push-button on the left side of the scope, and also comes with a remote switch that you can attach to the rifle in a more convenient position allowing the laser to be activated while maintaining the aim of the rifle. In the above photo you can see the remote switch on the objective end of the scope.

Burris Eliminator LaserScope

Burris Eliminator LaserScope

Once the target range is acquired, the range displays for about 10 seconds and the illuminated aiming dot remains illuminated for 70 seconds. The illumination clock allows plenty of time to pull off a good shot, yet saves battery life.

So how does the Burris LaserScope calculate the appropriate trajectory of your load? The software in the scope contains a database of hundreds of factory-loaded cartridges and even calculates handload trajectories using two (2) user-provided data points. The user inputs the zero range (100 or 200 yards) along with the inches of drop at 500 yards. The 500-yard drop is best found by real world shooting, not by using a calculated trajectory approximation from a ballistic program. The scope’s software then uses the zero-distance and the 500-yard drop figure to extrapolate the entire trajectory.

YouTube Preview Image

While shooting this scope on a Tikka 7mm-08, we successfully engaged targets from 350-570 yards that were approximately the size of a whitetail deer’s vitals area. Seeing how the conditions were not very conducive to accurate shooting with rain and a 5-15 mph switchy wind, we were impressed with the results.

For those that hunt or shoot out to about 600 yards or so, this scope will definitely speed up the process of pulling off an accurate long range shot. In a matter of seconds, you can locate a target, range it, and engage it. There is no time wasted fumbling with a separate laser rangefinder, no time wasted looking at a drop chart, and no time wasted clicking in the appropriate amount of elevation. As long as you can get a range on your target, the only thing left to worry about is the wind! This scope is obviously not for everyone, but we are confident that many hunters can benefit from this remarkable new technology.

Burris Eliminator Specs:
Click value 1/4″ at 100 yards
Weight 26 ounces; length 13″
Eye Relief 3-3.5″
Elevation Travel 50″
Laser range 550-800 yards based on reflectivity

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product, News, Optics 6 Comments »
May 8th, 2008

Newcon Optik Laser RangeFinder from Canada

Newcon Optik, based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, produces many optics products for the Canadian military including laser rangefinders, image stabilizers, and night-vision gear. Newcon Optik also sells a line of laser rangefinders for consumers. Newcon claims that its rangefinders offer performance comparable to Leica, but at a much lower cost. The Newcon Optik LRM2000 Pro is designed to function out to 2000 meters, with a “reliable, all-conditions range” of at least 1500 yards. The LRM2000 Pro sells for $499.95 at SWFA.com, making it considerably cheaper than comparable models from Leica and Swarovski.

AccurateShooter.com has not been able to field test the LRM2000 Pro ourselves. For that reason it was not included in our Review of Laser Rangefinders done in 2007. However, we’ve handled the unit at SHOT Show and there are many features we like. First, it has a selectable reticle, offering a choice between a small rectangle and a cross-hair. By contrast, the $890.00 Swarovski Laser-Guide only offers a rather large aiming circle. Some hunters have complained the Swaro’s reticle is just too big for deer-sized animals out past 600 yards or so.

FEATURES
1 – Measurement result
2 – Units of measurement (Yards, Meters, Mils, Degrees)
3 – Low battery indicator
4 – Over 100m indicator (LRM 2500, LRM 2500CI Models only)
5 – Laser active indicator
6 – Target quality indicator (optional)
7 – Reticle (cross or rectangular selectable)

We also like the Newcon Optik’s shape and ergonomics. Sized 4.72″ x 4.8″ x 2.36″, the Newcon is flat and easy to hold, with non-slip rubber grip sections on both left and right sides. You can hold the brick shape securely with two hands, horizontally, like using binoculars.

By contrast, Leica went to an ultra-compact, vertical design for its latest CRF1200 rangefinder. The CRF’s small size makes the Leica easy to carry, but it is more difficult to hold the Leica stable when precise aiming is needed. With the Newcon Optik, you can set it flat on top of a case or rucksack and it’s easier to maintain a solid grip. The LRM2000 Pro also offers a built-in digital compass, a nice feature for anyone in the outdoors.

In the video below, Alex Rudi of Newcon Optik explains the features of the LRM2000 Pro model:

CLICK HERE to watch NEWCON OPTIK VIDEO

How do the Newcon Optik rangefinders perform in the field? Do they live up to the claims of Leica-class performance? We invite our readers who own or use Newcon Optik rangefinders to add their comments.

CLICK HERE for LRM2000 PRO SPECS SHEET (.pdf file)

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