October 14th, 2018

Minute of Angle (MOA) Explained by Informative Video

one minute of angle

This popular video, viewed nearly 1.9 million times on YouTube, provides a clear explanation of Minute of Angle (MOA) and how that angular measurement is used. Among novice shooters, there is much confusion over this term. In this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, defines the term, “Minute of Angle” (MOA) and explains how you can adjust for windage and elevation using 1/4 or 1/8 MOA clicks on your scope. This allows you to sight-in precisely and compensate for bullet drop at various distances.

For starters, Ryan explains that, when talking about angular degrees, a “minute” is simply 1/60th. So a “Minute of Angle” is simply 1/60th of one degree of a central angle, measured either up and down (for elevation) or side to side (for windage). At 100 yards, 1 MOA equals 1.047″ on the target. This is often rounded to one inch for simplicity. Say, for example, you click up 1 MOA. That is roughly 1 inch at 100 yards, or roughly 4 inches at 400 yards, since the target area measured by 1 MOA increases in linear fashion with the distance.

Story sourced by Edlongrange.
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September 24th, 2018

Bargain Finder 157: 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 Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, 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. Natchez — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $279.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $279.99. Great Deal. Right now, Natchez is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $279.99, a great price considering all the hardware you get: Press, Primer Tool, Scale, Powder Measure, Loading Tray, Reloading Manual and more. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $160.00+. This is good starter kit for any reloader with sturdy items (like the Rock Chucker press), that will last a lifetime.

2. Natchez — FREE HazMat on Orders of $99.99 or more

Here’s a very attractive promotion if you need powder and/or primers. Right now Natchez is offering FREE HazMat for orders of $99.99 or more. This can save you $25-$40 on the delivered cost of your order. NOTE: Act soon — this deal expires 9/26/2018 at 11:59 PM and you must use CODE FH180924.

Credit EdLongrange for this tip. He notes: “Natchez … was somewhat vague as to whether you need to get $99.99 of the same product, so I added one each of two different primers and two different powders and the code worked. Natchez has … excellent prices on Federal Gold Medal Match primers, including what used to be really-hard-to-get GM215M.” ORDER HERE.

3. Brownells — Howa .308 Win Full Camo with Scope $652.99

Brownells Howa Hunting rifle kryptec Camo Nikko scope bargain deal hydrodipped

The Howa 1500 Full-Dip Kryptek rifle is purpose-built for hunters who want a full matching camo rifle and scope. This .308 Winchester rig features a pillar-bedded Howa action with 20″ barrel in a quality Hogue stock. On top is a Nikko 4-16x44mm scope with one-inch tube. The entire rifle and scope features a hydro-dipped Kryptek Highlander camo finish which is handsome AND very effective in the field. NOTE: The current Sale Price is $662.99. Use CODE M8Y to save $10 and get FREE Shipping. That lowers your delivered price to $652.99, which includes the Nikko 4-16X scope. All-up weight, with scope, is 10 pounds. Sorry this deal is not currently available in other chamberings — .308 Win only.

4. Amazon — Nikon FX1000 6-24x56mm SFP Scope, $599.99

Amazon nikon X1000 Black scope MOA Mrad SFP second focal plane

We’ve checked out the Nikon Black X1000 series scopes and they offer a lot of performance for the price. On sale now at Amazon for just $599.99 is the second focal plane (SFP) BLACK X1000 6-24x50mm model with X-MOA reticle. A Mil version with 0.1 Mil click and X-MRAD reticle is also available for $646.99. These scopes have very crisp controls and great glass for the money. The MOA version 1/4-MOA click with 12 MOA per revolution and 60 total MOA internal adjustment. The Mil version has 0.1 MilRad clicks with 17 total MRAD internal adjustment travel. On both versions, a side-mounted control offer 10 intensity levels of red illumination.

5. CDNN Holster Sale — Huge Savings — Everything Under $20.00

CDNN Holster deal bargain sale

Currently, CDNN is running a great Holster Liquidation Sale. Every holster in stock is just $19.99, including some models that normally retail for over $85.00. Chose from quality polymer holsters or traditional leather holsters from Mitch Rosen. Many of these holsters are designed for Sig Sauer pistols, but there are holsters for other popular pistol brands as well.

6. Amazon — Plano 52″ Double Rifle Case with Wheels, $109.08

Plano double scoped rifle case with wheels

This Plano Double Scoped Rifle Case is an Amazon Best Seller for good reason. It offers the functionality and durability of an SKB-type hard case for HALF the money. This is under $110.00, while the equivalent SKB is around $240.00, so you can buy two Planos for the price of one SKB. The 51.5″ interior will fit most scoped competition rifles up to about 29″ barrels (measure your own rifle to make sure). If you separate the barreled action from the stock you can transport even ultra-long ELR rifles. The handles are convenient and beefy and the wheels make this case easy to move. This is a very tough, roomy case for the money (plus there’s Free Shipping).

7. Midsouth — Hornady LnL Auto Charge Scale/Dispenser, $158.99

Hornady Lock and load auto charge scale powder dispenser sale discount

The Hornady Lock N Load Auto Charge Electronic Scale/Dispenser is now on sale for just $158.99 at Midsouth Shooters Supply, discounted way down from the regular $226.24 price. That’s the lowest price we’ve seen on this product in a long time, making this a real bargain. If you are looking for an affordable combination digital scale and powder dispenser, this is very attractive pricing. By comparison, the new RCBS ChargeMaster Lite sells for around $250.00 and is back-ordered at most vendors. That means you can save at least $90.00 by buying RED instead of GREEN.

8. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $16.85

Amazon Neiko Digital Caliper

Even if you have a good set of calipers, you may want to get one of these Neiko 01407A Digital Calipers. The #1 best-selling digital caliper on Amazon.com, this Neiko tool features a large LCD Screen and measures up to 6.0 inches. With over 3000 customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $16.85, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
September 1st, 2018

Scopes by Subscription — the New Vulcan Circle Optics Option

Vulcan Circle scope optics membership

How would you like to be able to switch out your scopes every three months, or try out a variety of optics without having to buy and then re-sell (at a big loss). Well the folks at Vulcan Circle have created a new service that is essentially like a “time-share” for optics. You pay a monthly membership fee, and then you can try out different scopes. Vulcan Circle calls this an “Optics Subscription Service”.

Vulcan Circle allows its members to receive and use high-end optics from brands like Vortex, Leupold, and Swarvoski and send them back to receive a new item every 3 months. The Vulcan Circle website shows a wide variety of scopes from trusted brands including Burris, Bushnell, Leupold, Kahles, March, Nightforce, Schmidt & Bender, Trijicon, Vortex, Zeiss, and more.

Vulcan Circle currently has three subscription levels. The basic “Legionary” Membership costs $45 per month for lower-priced scopes. Move up to “Centurion” ($90/month) to get Nightforce NXS, Vortex Razor, and similar optics. Finally, with the “Tribune” membership ($180/month) you can get high-end scopes such as Schimidt & Bender and Swarovski.

Vulcan Circle scope optics membership

Truth about Guns explains: “Think of it as Netflix for your rifle. You’ve had your eye on a Zeiss 5-30×50mm Conquest V6 for your Ruger Precision Rifle, but $1900 is a lot of samolians. Or maybe you’d love to top your Nosler Model 48 with… something like the Steiner 3-15×50-T5Xi for an upcoming hunt. But you don’t want to buy one, you just want to use one for your trip. Vulcan Circle lets you try before you buy, offering various membership options to give you access to different optics[.]”

Vulcan Circle President John Tippets explains: “As interest in shooting sports continues to grow, Vulcan Circle seeks to help those new to the idea familiarize themselves with optics and determine their needs. Instead of purchasing the optic up-front, members have unprecedented access to the most advanced firearm optics on the market. Even better, members can exchange optics every 3 months to experience something else.”

Vulcan Circle also offers a point-based rewards program for its members. The “Vulcan Honors” program allows members to redeem points which are accrued every month for products like tents, binos, rangefinders, YETI coolers, and more. Members are rewarded with points for continued membership and for returning optics on time and in good condition.

EDITOR’s COMMENT: This is an interesting new business model. Time-based rentals of sports/hobby gear have worked in other industries. You can rent a motorcycle, or a bass boat, or an RV after all. The concern we have with Vulcan Circle comes down to potential liability for damage or even normal “wear and tear”. Scopes used on hunting trips or Gun Games can easily get scratched or damaged. If that $3500.00 Schmidt & Bender scope gets busted, who pays? And how much? For those considering a Vulcan Circle membership (at any level), you’ll want to have these and other “financial exposure” questions answered BEFORE you commit.

Permalink New Product, News, Optics 2 Comments »
August 18th, 2018

Zero Your New Hunting Rifle in Just Four Shots

hunting zero zeroing sight-in easy NSSF boresighting
Photo courtesy Vortex Optics.

Hunting season is around the corner. We know many readers will be zeroing their hunting rigs in the next few weeks. Here is a very simple but effective way to zero any scoped rifle in a few minutes, with just four shots.

Follow this simple procedure to get a solid zero for a hunting rifle in just four shots. Of course you probably want to fire a few more rounds to confirm your zero before you head off to your hunting grounds, but this will let you get on-target with a minimum amount of time and ammo expended. (This assumes your scope is securely mounted, and the bases are not drastically out of alignment.)

QUICK-TIP: The Key to this procedure is Dialing to Shot One Point of Impact (POI). Re-aim at center of target after SHOT ONE. Then with the rifle motionless, use the turrets to put the middle of the cross-hair on the first shot location.

1. First, remove the bolt and boresight the rifle. Adjust the position of the rifle so that, looking through the bore, you can see the center of the target with your eyes. Secure the rifle in the rests to maintain its position as boresighted. Then, without moving the rifle, center the reticle. That should get you on paper. With the rifle solidly secured in front and rear rests or sandbags, aim at the center of a target placed at your zeroing distance (50 or 100 yards). Confirm there are no obstructions in the barrel! Then load and fire SHOT ONE. Then, return the gun to the exact position it was when you pulled the trigger, with the cross-hair centered on the target as before.

2. Locate, in the scope, where your first bullet landed on the target. Now, while you grip the rifle firmly so it doesn’t move, have a friend adjust the turrets on your scope. While you look through the scope, have your friend turn the windage and elevation turrets until the cross-hairs, as viewed through the scope, bisect the first bullet hole on the target. In other words, use the turrets to move the center of the reticle to the actual position of shot number one. IMPORTANT: Dial the crosshairs to the hole — don’t move the rifle.

Watch NSSF Zeroing Video showing method of moving reticle to Shot 1 Point of Impact.

3. After you’ve adjusted the turrets, now re-aim the rifle so the cross-hairs are, once again, positioned on the target center. Keep the rifle firmly supported by your rest or sandbag. Take the SECOND SHOT. You should find that the bullet now strikes in the center of the target.

3-Shot Zero

4. Take a THIRD SHOT with the cross-hairs aligned in the center of the target to confirm your zero. Make minor modifications to the windage and elevation as necessary.

5. Finally, shoot the rifle from a field rest (shooting sticks, bipod, or rucksack) as you would use when actually hunting. Confirm, with SHOT FOUR, that your zero is unchanged. You may need to make slight adjustments. Some rifles, particularly those with flexy fore-arms, exhibit a different POI (point of impact) when fired from a bipod or ruck vs. a sandbag rest.

If you recently cleaned your rifle, you may want to fire two or three fouling shots before you start this procedure. But keep in mind that you want to duplicate the typical cold bore conditions that you’ll experience during the hunt. If you set your zero after three fouling shots, then make sure the bore is in a similar condition when you actually go out hunting.

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August 1st, 2018

Parallax Explained — Nightforce Optics TECH TIP

Nightforce Optics Parallax Newsletter Scope Video

PARALLAX – What is it and Why is it important?

Nightforce Optics Parallax Newsletter Scope Video

What is Parallax?
Parallax is the apparent movement of the scope’s reticle (cross-hairs) in relation to the target as the shooter moves his eye across the exit pupil of the riflescope. This is caused by the target and the reticle being located in different focal planes.

Why is it Important?
The greater the distance to the target and magnification of the optic, the greater the parallax error becomes. Especially at longer distances, significant sighting error can result if parallax is not removed.

How to Remove Parallax
This Nightforce Tech Tip video quickly shows how to remove parallax on your riflescope.

While keeping the rifle still and looking through the riflescope, a slight nod of the head up and down will quickly determine if parallax is present. To remove parallax, start with the adjustment mechanism on infinity and rotate until the reticle remains stationary in relation to the target regardless of head movement. If parallax has been eliminated, the reticle will remain stationary in relation to the target regardless of eye placement behind the optic.

Nightforce Optics Parallax Newsletter Scope Video

This Parallax Discussion first appeared in the Nightforce Newsletter. To get other helpful Tech Tips delivered to your mailbox, CLICK HERE to open the Nightforce Newsletter sign-up page.

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July 18th, 2018

Savage Offers Expert Advice on Updated Website

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

Savage Arms just completed a major overhaul of the Savage website. Now the SavageArms.com site is more mobile-friendly and easier to navigate. Savage has expanded information on its rifle products, and also created a new Expert Advice area. This new section of the website offers informative technical articles/videos, as well as numerous helpful tips for hunters.

You’ll find 47 informative topics in the Expert Advice section of the updated Savage website. Below are FIVE of our favorites, all with linked videos. Even if you don’t own a Savage, these features are useful. And all new shooters should definitely check out the Eye Dominance selection. This features a very helpful video that explains this important topic.

1. How to Determine Eye Dominance

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

2. Customizing Fit for Competition — Stan Pate

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

3. How to Mount a Scope

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

4. How to Sight In a Rifle

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

5. How to Adjust the Savage Accutrigger

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

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July 15th, 2018

TECH Tip: How to Verify Your Scope’s True Click Values

Click Optics MOA turrent verification test

Let’s say you’ve purchased a new scope, and the spec-sheet indicates it is calibrated for quarter-MOA clicks. One MOA is 1.047″ inches at 100 yards, so you figure that’s how far your point of impact (POI) will move with four clicks. Well, unfortunately, you may be wrong. You can’t necessarily rely on what the manufacturer says. Production tolerances being what they are, you should test your scope to determine how much movement it actually delivers with each click of the turret. It may move a quarter-MOA, or maybe a quarter-inch, or maybe something else entirely. (Likewise scopes advertised as having 1/8-MOA clicks may deliver more or less than 1 actual MOA for 8 clicks.)

Nightforce scope turretReader Lindy explains how to check your clicks: “First, make sure the rifle is not loaded. Take a 40″ or longer carpenter’s ruler, and put a very visible mark (such as the center of an orange Shoot’N’C dot), at 37.7 inches. (On mine, I placed two dots side by side every 5 inches, so I could quickly count the dots.) Mount the ruler vertically (zero at top) exactly 100 yards away, carefully measured.

Place the rifle in a good hold on sandbags or other rest. With your hundred-yard zero on the rifle, using max magnification, carefully aim your center crosshairs at the top of the ruler (zero end-point). Have an assistant crank on 36 (indicated) MOA (i.e. 144 clicks), being careful not to move the rifle. (You really do need a helper, it’s very difficult to keep the rifle motionless if you crank the knobs yourself.) With each click, the reticle will move a bit down toward the bottom of the ruler. Note where the center crosshairs rest when your helper is done clicking. If the scope is accurately calibrated, it should be right at that 37.7 inch mark. If not, record where 144 clicks puts you on the ruler, to figure out what your actual click value is. (Repeat this several times as necessary, to get a “rock-solid”, repeatable value.) You now know, for that scope, how much each click actually moves the reticle at 100 yards–and, of course, that will scale proportionally at longer distances. This optical method is better than shooting, because you don’t have the uncertainly associated with determining a group center.

Using this method, I discovered that my Leupold 6.5-20X50 M1 has click values that are calibrated in what I called ‘Shooter’s MOA’, rather than true MOA. That is to say, 4 clicks moved POI 1.000″, rather than 1.047″ (true MOA). That’s about a 5% error.

I’ve tested bunches of scopes, and lots have click values which are significantly off what the manufacturer has advertised. You can’t rely on printed specifications–each scope is different. Until you check your particular scope, you can’t be sure how much it really moves with each click.

I’ve found the true click value varies not only by manufacturer, but by model and individual unit. My Leupold 3.5-10 M3LR was dead on. So was my U.S.O. SN-3 with an H25 reticle, but other SN-3s have been off, and so is my Leupold 6.5-20X50M1. So, check ‘em all, is my policy.”

From the Expert: “…Very good and important article, especially from a ballistics point of view. If a ballistics program predicts 30 MOA of drop at 1000 yards for example, and you dial 30 MOA on your scope and hit high or low, it’s easy to begin questioning BCs, MVs, and everything else under the sun. In my experience, more than 50% of the time error in trajectory prediction at long range is actually scope adjustment error. For serious long range shooting, the test described in this article is a MUST!” — Bryan Litz, Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting.

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June 14th, 2018

Assess Scope Optical Performance Using ScopeCalc.com

ScopeCalc.com

Zeiss DiavariHunters and tactical shooters need scopes with good low-light performance. For a scope to perform well at dawn and dusk, it needs good light transmission, plus a reasonably large exit pupil to make maximum use of your eye’s light processing ability. And generally speaking, the bigger the front objective, the better the low-light performance, other factors being equal. Given these basic principles, how can we quickly evaluate the low-light performance of different makes and models of scopes?

Here’s the answer: ScopeCalc.com offers a FREE web-based Low-Light Performance Calculator that lets you compare the light gain, perceived brightness, and overall low-light performance of various optics. Using this scope comparison tool is pretty easy — just input the magnification, objective diameter, exit pupil size, and light transmission ratio. If the scope’s manufacturer doesn’t publish an exit pupil size, then divide the objective diameter in millimeters by the magnification level. For example a 20-power scope with a 40mm objective should have a 2mm exit pupil. For most premium scopes, light transmission rates are typically 90% or better (averaged across the visible spectrum). However, not many manufacturers publish this data, so you may have to dig a little.

ScopeCalc.com

ScopeCalc.com’s calculator can be used for a single scope, a pair of scopes, or multiple scopes. Once you’ve typed in the needed data, click “Calculate” and the program will produce comparison charts showing Light Gain, Perceived Brightness, and Low-Light Performance. Though the program is easy to use, and quickly generates comparative data, assessing scope brightness, as perceived by the human eye, is not a simple matter. You’ll want to read the annotations that appear below the generated charts. For example, ScopeCalc’s creators explain: “Perceived brightness is calculated as the cube root of the light gain, which is the basis for modern computer color space brightness scaling.”

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May 21st, 2018

BargainFinder 139: 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 Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, 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. Cabela’s — .22 LR Savage A22 , $209.99 with Spinner Target

Savage A22 Bargain discount .22 LR free Champion Target

The A22 is Savage’s .22 LR version of its very popular A17 rimfire rifle. This rifle is an excellent starter rifle for a youngster, and it also can serve as a handy “truck gun” for dispatching small varmints. On sale now at just $209.99 at Cabela’s, this A22 Rifle is a great bargain. But it gets even better. Purchase this rifle and you get a free Champion Metal Spinner Target. Get Spinner Target REBATE HERE. Plus you get free shipping (to your FFL) with promo Code FREESHIP.

2. MidwayUSA — 240 Rds 5.56x45mm IMI, 77gr SMKs, $134.99

IMI Israel 5.56x45 .223 Rem Service Rifle Ammunition 77 grain 77gr Sierra MatchKing SMK

Planning some Service Rifle practice, but don’t have time to reload? Or are you shooting a PRS “Gas Gun” match in Tac Lite Division? Then you should give this IMI ammo a chance. If you aren’t aware, IMI (Israel Military Industries) is the primary military ammo producer for the nation of Israel. This is first-rate ammo produced to high standards. It’s rare to find ammo at this price loaded with premium match bullets — the 77 grain Sierra MatchKing. This sale price works out to $0.56 cents per round. The bullets alone would cost about 28 cents each. This IMI ammo usually sells for $0.90 to $0.96 per round so this is a bargain. The brass is pretty tough — worth reloading. And Sierra specifically designed the 77gr #9377 MatchKing to work optimally loaded to AR15 mag length. This ammo should fit most service rifle chambers even if labeled “.223 Rem”.

3. Amazon — Caldwell Rimfire Resetting Target, $19.99

Caldwell rimfire smallbore resetting target plinking ammo fun spinner frame

Made of heavy-duty steel, this Resetting Rimfire Target is 16.8″ wide x 22.5″ high x 1.8″ deep. Shoot the four lower plates then hit the upper plate to reset the group. Given the price, this metal target system is suprisingly durable — as long as you NEVER use it with centerfire ammo — it’s not built for that. A set of 2.5″ round adhesive target spots is include. NOTE, the Target is most stable with the frame “legs” pushed into the ground a bit. This may be difficult with hard, dry ground.

4. CDNN — Ruger 17 HMR Rifle with Scope and Ammo, $299.99

Ruger American Rimfire 17 HMR Rifle Bushnell scope CCI A17 Ammo sale

Here’s everything a varminter needs — rifle, scope, sling, and ammo — all for under $300.00. For fans of the 17 HMR, this deal is hard to beat. You get the bolt-action Ruger American Rimfire rifle chambered in 17 HMR, plus Bushnell A17 Rimfire Scope with Multi-X Reticle, plus 200 rounds of CCI A17 17grain Varmint Ammo (very good stuff), and a Winchester sling — all for just $299.99. If you figure the scope is worth $100 and the CCI ammo would cost $48.00, then you’re getting the Ruger rifle for $151.99. That’s highway robbery. Full Deal HERE.

5. Midsouth — Hornady 17 HMR Ten Boxes for $84.99

Hornady 17 HMR week deal varmint V-Max ammo ammunition sale

Varmint hunters take note. Here’s a great deal on premium 17 HMR ammo. Midsouth is selling 500 rounds of Hornady 17 HMR ammo for $84.99. That works out to just $8.50 per 50-rd box — the best price we’ve seen in a while. Loaded with 17gr V-Max bullets, this ammo is accurate — expect about 1 MOA at 100 yards in a good rifle. The V-Max bullets are effective on small varmints out to 200 yards.

6. MidwayUSA — Caldwell LR Target Cam System, $295.99

Caldwell wifi wireless 1 mile long range target cam system

Forum members have purchased this Caldwell Target Cam System and they’ve found that it works reliably, providing a clear signal to any WiFi-enabled mobile device (smartphone, iPad, Laptop). One member specifically tested the unit at 1000 yards and it functioned fine. NOTE: This system does NOT have a zoom camera lens, so you need to position the camera within 10 yards or so of the target. But if you place it to the side a bit, this shouldn’t be a problem. This system comes with a nice, fitted carrying case that holds camera, transceivers, antennas, and stands. This is a good deal. Right now this very same system costs $349.95 on Amazon and $369.99 on Brownells.com! Save big with this sale pricing at MidwayUSA.

7. EuroOptics — Leica CRF 2000, $399.00

Leica 2000-B Rangemaster Laser LRF Rangefinder Sale Eurooptics.com

This may be the best deal we’ve seen on the vaunted Leica 2000-B Laser Rangefinder (LRF) with 7-power optic. This unit is rated out to 2000 yards on reflective objects (in real-world use it will laze a deer well past 800 if you can hold steady). The Leica 2000-B features air pressure and temperature sensors, plus on-board inclinometer. Angle correction works out to 1200 horizontal yards equivalent, with the true hold-over displayed in both MILs and MOA. The compact Leica CRF 2000-B weighs just 6.5 ounces and measures 4.5″ L x 2.25″ H x 1.25″ W. It has a waterproof outer shell.

8. Walmart — Stack-On 10-Gun Fire-Resistant Gun Safe, $249.99

Stack-On 10-Gun Fire resistant vault gunsafe Walmart

Here’s a good secondary safe for your workshop or home. Though budget priced, this Stack-On 10-Gun Safe is tall enough to hold match rifles. “Roll-back” priced at just $249.99, this fire-resistant safe offers great protection for the price — much better than a thin-walled “security cabinet”. External dimensions are approximately 55.25″ high x 16″ wide x 15.25″ deep. The safe has a robust 3-number rotary combination lock and is fire-rated for 30 minutes at up to 1400° F. Pick up this safe at your nearest Walmart, or you can have the safe delivered to your residence for another $49.97 shipping fee. This same safe sells elsewhere for up to $389.00.

9. Amazon — Sixty Glow Shot 6″ Splatter Targets for $14.99

Deals of Week 6

These Six-inch “splatter” targets display a bright yellow ring around each bullet hole. We like these adhesive Glow Shot targets for practice at 300-600 yards. The neon yellow on black provides high contrast so you can easily see 6mm bullet impacts at 600 yards. The 6″-diameter is one-MOA at 600 yards — a good aiming center size. Priced at just $14.99 for a sixty-count package, these are a good value compared to the larger Birchwood Casey Splatter Targets. Note: This Glow Shot target is also available in a Red Circle version, and Tri-Color version (red, yellow, and green).

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, New Product, Optics No Comments »
March 23rd, 2018

Angular Measurement — Mil vs. MOA — What You Need to Know

Mil MOA reticle ranging PRS tactical minute angle precision rifle series
Visit PrecisionRifleBlog.com for a discussion of MIL vs. MOA.

Many guys getting started in long range shooting are confused about what kind of scope they should buy — specifically whether it should have MIL-based clicks or MOA-based clicks. Before you can make that decision, you need to understand the terminology. This article, with a video by Bryan Litz, explains MILS and MOA so you can choose the right type of scope for your intended application.

This March-FX 5-40x56mm Tactical FFP scope features 0.05 MIL Clicks.
Mil MOA reticle ranging PRS tactical minute angle precision rifle series

You probably know that MOA stands for “Minute of Angle” (or more precisely “minute of arc”), but could you define the terms “Milrad” or “MIL”? In his latest video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballitics explains MOA and MILs (short for “milliradians”). Bryan defines those terms and explains how they are used. One MOA is an angular measurement (1/60th of one degree) that subtends 1.047″ at 100 yards. One MIL (i.e. one milliradian) subtends 1/10th meter at 100 meters; that means that 0.1 Mil is one centimeter (1 cm) at 100 meters. Is one angular measurement system better than another? Not necessarily… Bryan explains that Mildot scopes may be handy for ranging, but scopes with MOA-based clicks work just fine for precision work at known distances. Also because one MOA is almost exactly one inch at 100 yards, the MOA system is convenient for expressing a rifle’s accuracy. By common parlance, a “half-MOA” rifle can shoot groups that are 1/2-inch (or smaller) at 100 yards.

What is a “Minute” of Angle?
When talking about angular degrees, a “minute” is simply 1/60th. So a “Minute of Angle” is simply 1/60th of one degree of a central angle, measured either up and down (for elevation) or side to side (for windage). At 100 yards, 1 MOA equals 1.047″ on the target. This is often rounded to one inch for simplicity. Say, for example, you click up 1 MOA (four clicks on a 1/4-MOA scope). That is roughly 1 inch at 100 yards, or roughly 4 inches at 400 yards, since the target area measured by an MOA subtension increases with the distance.

one MOA minute of angle diagram

MIL vs. MOA for Target Ranging
MIL or MOA — which angular measuring system is better for target ranging (and hold-offs)? In a recent article on his PrecisionRifleBlog.com website, Cal Zant tackles that question. Analyzing the pros and cons of each, Zant concludes that both systems work well, provided you have compatible click values on your scope. Zant does note that a 1/4 MOA division is “slightly more precise” than 1/10th mil, but that’s really not a big deal: “Technically, 1/4 MOA clicks provide a little finer adjustments than 1/10 MIL. This difference is very slight… it only equates to 0.1″ difference in adjustments at 100 yards or 1″ at 1,000 yards[.]” Zant adds that, in practical terms, both 1/4-MOA clicks and 1/10th-MIL clicks work well in the field: “Most shooters agree that 1/4 MOA or 1/10 MIL are both right around that sweet spot.”

READ MIL vs. MOA Cal Zant Article.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Shooting Skills 4 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 18th, 2018

The Varminters’ Great Debate — Hold-Over vs. Crank Elevation

varmint scope IOR elevation hold-over prairie dog accuracy

Leuopold Varmint Hunters' ReticleA varmint shooter’s target is not conveniently placed at a fixed, known distance as it is for a benchrester. The varminter must repeatedly make corrections for bullet drop as he moves from closer targets to more distant targets and back again. Click HERE to read an interesting AccurateShooter Varrmint Forum discussion regarding the best method to adjust for elevation. Some shooters advocate using the scope’s elevation adjustments. Other varminters prefer to hold-over, perhaps with the assistance of vertical markers on their reticles. Still others combine both methods–holding off to a given yardage, then cranking elevation after that.

Majority View — Click Your Elevation Knob
“I zero at 100 yards — I mean really zero as in check the ballistics at 200 and 300 and adjust zero accordingly — and then set the scope zero. For each of my groundhog guns I have a click chart taped into the inside of the lid of the ammo box. Then use the knobs. That’s why they’re there. With a good scope they’re a whole lot more accurate than hold-over, with or without hash marks. This all assumes you have a good range finder and use it properly. If not, and you’re holding over you’re really just spraying and praying. Try twisting them knobs and you’ll most likely find that a 500- or 600- or 700-yard groundhog is a whole lot easier than some people think.”
– Gunamonth

“I have my elevation knob calibrated in 100-yard increments out to 550. Range-find the critter, move elevation knob up…dead critter. The problem with hold-over is that it is so imprecise. It’s not repeatable because you are holding over for elevation and for wind also. Every time you change targets 50 yards, it seems as if you are starting over. As soon as I got completely away from the hold over method (I used to zero for 200), my hit ratios went way up.” — K. Candler

“When I first started p-dog shooting, I attempted to use the hold-over method with a 200-yard zero with my 6mm Rem. Any dog much past 325-350 yards was fairly safe. I started using a comeups table for all three of my p-dog rifles (.223 Rems and 6mm Rem). 450-yard hits with the .223s are fairly routine and a 650-yard dog better beware of the 6mm nowadays. An added benefit (one I didn’t think of beforehand) with the comeups table (elevation only), is that when the wind is blowing, it takes half of the variables out of the equation. I can concentrate on wind, and not have to worry about elevation. It makes things much more simple.” — Mike (Linefinder).

“I dial for elevation and hold for wind. Also use a mil-dot reticle to make the windage holds easier. For windage corrections, I watch for the bullet strike measure the distance it was “off” with the mil-dot reticle, then hold that much more the other way. Very fast once you get used to it.” — PepeLP

Varmint Hunting ScopeMinority View–Hold-Over is Better
“I try to not touch my knobs once I’m zeroed at 200 meters. Most of my varmint scopes have duplex reticles and I use the bottom post to put me on at 300 meters versus turning knobs. The reason I try to leave my knobs alone is that I have gone one complete revolution up or down [too far] many times and have missed the varmint. This has happened more than once and that is why I try not to change my knobs if at all possible.” — Chino69

“I have been using the hold over method and it works for me most of the time but the 450 yards and over shots get kinda hard. I moved to a 300 yard zero this year and it’s working well. I do want to get into the click-up method though; it seems to be more fool-proof.” — 500YardHog

Compromise View–Use Both Methods
“I use both [methods] as well — hold over out to 250, and click up past that.” — Jack (Wolf)

“I use the target knobs and crank-in elevation. I also use a rangefinder and know how far away they are before I crank in the clicks. I have a scope with drop dots from Premier Recticle and like it. No cranking [knobs] out to 600.” –Vmthtr

Permalink - Articles, Hunting/Varminting, Optics 4 Comments »
January 8th, 2018

Bargain Finder 120: 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 Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, 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. Sportsmans Outdoor — T/C Rifle with Vortex Scope, $324.99

thompson center arms compass hunting rifle vortex scope package bargain Aim to Save rebate

Here is a truly great package deal. Right now get a Thompson/Center Arms (T/C) Compass rifle with Vortex 4-12x40mm Diamondback scope for $399.99. But there’s more — this package qualifies for a $75 T/C factory rebate. That lowers your net cost to just $324.99, so you’re effectively getting the rifle for under $200.00! Available chamberings are: 22-250, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08, .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, .300 Win Mag. If you don’t need a scope, you can also get the Thompson Center Compass for just $224.99 (after Rebate) in a variety of calibers. The Thompson/Center Arms Aim To Save Rebate program is valid from 1/1/2018 until 4/30/2018. REBATE TERMS HERE.

2. GunPrime — 6.5 Creedmoor Ruger Precision Rifle, $998.00.

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor PRS production class

Ruger Precision Rifle, 6.5 Creedmoor, $998.00 complete — what’s not to like? If you’ve been thinking of purchasing a Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, here’s the best deal we’ve found in recent months. Right now Gunprime.com is offering this poular tactical rig for under $1000.00, in the high-demand 6.5 Creedmoor chambering. Heck of a bargain boys — you can pay $1300 or more elsewhere for the same rifle. This is a good choice for the PRS production class, or you can take in to another level of performance with a Pre-Fit 26″ cut-rifled barrel from Krieger. This is the lastest RPR Gen 2 version with the upgraded handguards. NOTE: GunPrime also has the RPR in 6mm Creedmoor for $1018.45.

3. Amazon — Plano Tactical Rifle Case, $67.99

Plano tactical Rifle case 43

This Plano All-Weather Tactical Rifle Case is an Amazon Best Seller for good reason. It offers the functionality and durability of an SKB-type hard case for HALF the money. This is under $70.00, while the equivalent SKB is around $220.00, so you can buy three Planos for the price of one SKB. The 43″-long interior will fit most ARs and many hunting/varmint rifles (measure your own rifle to make sure). The handles are convenient and beefy and the wheels make this case easy to move through airports and parking lots. This is a very tough, roomy case for the money. Dimensions: 43″ X 13″ X 5″ (Interior); 46″ x 16″ x 5.5″ (Exterior).

4. Natchez — Bushnell Elite 4500 8-32x40mm Scope, $419.99

Bushnell Elite Demo Scope 6-24x40mm Sale

Bushnell’s highly-regarded Elite 4500 Series scopes offer good performance and reliability for the price. Here’s a great deal on a Demo Bushnell 8-32x40mm Elite 4500 with Multi-X Reticle and 1″-diameter main tube. This would be a good choice for an F-Class or long-range varmint rifle. We’ve used this scope in a 600-yard Benchrest match and it worked well, though we would prefer a reticle with MOA-based hold-off marks. We do like the 1/8-MOA clicks for precision target work. NOTE: Natchez also has 6-24x40mm Bushnell 4500 Elite zoom scopes on sale now for just $329.99 (with Multi-X Reticle). That’s a crazy low price for an optic this good.

5. MidwayUSA — Pro Series Padded Shooting Mat, $29.99

MidwayUSA Midwas OD Green padded shooting mat sale discount

Here’s a heck of a deal on a good shooting mat. MidwayUSA has slashed the price on its Pro Series Shooting Mat (in Olive Drab). Get this 73.5″ x 35.5″ padded mat for just $29.99. This Mat has nice features, such as a Bipod Pre-load Web, 0.35″ thick padding, multiple pockets, and 6 grommets for staking. It’s easy to transport, rolling up to about nine inches in diameter and fitted with a nice carry strap. Midway normally sells this Pro Series Mat for $59.99, so the current $29.99 price is a great deal. If you need a good basic shooting mat, check out this deal.

MidwayUSA Midwas OD Green padded shooting mat sale discount

6. Midsouth — Nosler Factory Seconds, Save up to 30%

Nosler Bullet bargain factory seconds Accubond Tip

Nosler Factory Seconds are now available at Midsouth Shooters Supply. These bullets are completely functional (with correct weights and dimensions), with only minor cosmetic blemishes. You’ll find slight tip discolorations, water spots, and little else. The Accubond and Ballistic Tip bullets will work great for hunting — your prey won’t care about the water spots. Available bullets include popular calibers: 55gr 6mm Varmageddon, 140gr 6.5mm 140 tipped Accubond, 168gr and 175gr 7mm tipped Accubond, and 180 gr .308 caliber Spitzer Accubond. NOTE quantities are limited and these factory seconds blems always go fast. Once they are gone, they’re GONE!

7. Stocky’s Stocks — M50 Hunting Stock with AccuBlock, $219.00

Stockys Stocks M50 accublock aluminum chassis hunting stock adjustable comb

Here’s a very new product from Stocky’s Stocks, at a very good price. This new M50 Monte Carlo-style hunting stock for Rem 700-type actions offers great features you won’t find on some other stock costing three times as much. The action is supported by a built-in Aluminum Accublock chassis. The comb is adjustable for height, and the stock comes with a nice “Softkick buttpad”. A variety of premium finishes are available. If you are thinking of re-stocking your Rem 700 rifle or building a new hunting rig with a Rem 700 clone, this is an excellent choice — an outstanding value.

8. Amazon — Jiallite Scope Bubble Level, $11.29

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

If you shoot long range, you need a scope level. This nicely designed Jiallite Scope Bubble Level is fully CNC-machined to close tolerances for a good fit. It features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes — that dual-diameter versatility is a nice feature. We also like the way the unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product: 89% of verified buyers rated this five stars.

9. Brownells — Save Money Codes plus Free Shipping

Brownells discount codes

Planning to do some shopping on Brownells.com? You can save up to $60.00 on your purchase with these discount codes. Plus you get free shipping — can’t complain about that. For orders $200+ use code M2H to save $20. For orders 400+ use code M2J to get $40 off, and for orders $600+ use Code M2K to save $60. NOTE: Don’t dawdle if you want to take advantage of these savings. The discount codes expire 1/8/2018 at 11:59 pm CST.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
December 28th, 2017

Magnified Service Optics — Scope Options for All Budgets

Service Rifle Presidents 100 match camp perry
In the 2016 President’s 100 Match, Match Winner Keith Stephens, runner-up SFC Evan Hess, and third-place Hugh Reich all used scopes, making for an All-Optics Podium. Both Stephens and Reich used the 1-4.5x24mm March.

Are you a Service Rifle shooter or would you like to give Service Rifle competition a try? The big news in this discipline is that magnified optics up to 4.5 max power can now be used. You can still use classic iron sights, but most serious Service Rifle competitors have moved to optics — and nearly all the “top guns” at major matches are running optics. Our friend Dennis Santiago, who is doing a long-term test of the Nightforce SR 4.5x24mm scope, says magnified optics are the future of the Service Rifle Game. If you want to win these days, you need glass.

nightforce 1-4.5x scope Service Rifle
The Nightforce SR Competition 4.5x24mm fixed-power scope retails for $1892.00.

Optics Options from $120 to $2400
You have many optics choices running all the way up to a 1-4.5x24mm March at $2338.00. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good optic. Our Systems Admin, Jay Christopherson, will be trying the Konus XTC-30 1-4X24mm sold by Creedmoor Sports and the CMP. Priced at $495.00, the Konus has good glass and parallax set at 200 yards. And if you want the best deal going for a Service Rifle scope, right now Cabela’s offers the Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24mm scope for just $119.88 with Free Shipping (Promo Code 2017FREE). That’s an incredible deal on a scope that can do double-duty on your hunting rifle. This same Vortex 1-4X optic sells for $188.88 on Amazon.

Super Deal — Vortex 1-4x24mm Scope for $119.88

Service Rifle Optics Vortex Cabela's bargain cabelas Crossfire II

Service Rifle Optics — How They Will Change the Game

Under NRA and CMP Rules first promulgated in 2016, Service Rifle competitors can use a scope with up to 4.5X magnification, and 34mm max objective. This rule revision to allow magnified optics will be a game-changer says Service Rifle shooter Dennis Santiago.

Dennis explains: “Per the 2016 Rulebooks of the CMP and NRA, today’s Service Rifle is now defined to include an M-16/AR-15 variant with an optical sighting system not to exceed 4.5X magnification. So, this optic-equipped rifle goes head-to-head with the match-tuned M-16A2/AR-15A2 iron sight guns in the same class. The rules were updated to take into account that some military branches no longer train service members to shoot iron sights as their primary marksmanship method and have switched to reliance on combat optics. The rules were debated and tried in 2015 and codified at the beginning of 2016. The 2016 Nationals were the first where the old and new generation guns compete side-by-side.

Here is my personal prediction: There will be improved scores by Expert Class shooters who figure out how to work with optics jumping into Master class. At the High Master level, there may be a slight rise in numerical scores but there will be a massive jump in X-Count. EICs will remain the all-out race they’ve always been; whoever makes the fewest mistakes wins the day.”

What to Look For in a Service Rifle Optic

by Johnny Fisher
2016 brought with it a long-anticipated rule change that allows for the use of optics in Service Rifle competition. Thus far, it seems the biggest concerns that Service Rifle shooters have when considering an optic are: quality, repeatability, parallax, reticle choices, and durability.

Parallax Considerations
The vast majority of Service Rifle Rule-compliant scopes currently on the market have a fixed parallax. That means there is no separate focus knob to adjust parallax to target distance. Accordingly, there has been much concern about the potential for parallax error over the three different distances in Across-The-Course competition. It is possible that the repeatably-indexed head position maintained while shooting a Service Rifle, along with a little extra emphasis on sight alignment to ensure that the shooter’s eye is directly behind the scope, can greatly mitigate the potential effects of parallax error. [Editor: However, we have talked with a number of Service Rifle shooters. Most would like adjustable parallax. If the parallax must be fixed, they would like it set at 200-300 yards. 100 yards is too close.]

reticle service rifle reticle

Reticle Choices — Something to Consider
My Nightforce 1-4X scope has the IHR Reticle, which provides a very clear, unobstructed and simple sight picture. The IHR reticle for the NXS 1-4x24mm boasts an illuminated center cross-hair. Unfortunately, the red-color illumination is really only intended for low-light situations and is not bright enough to offer any aid to National Match shooters competing in broad daylight at stationary targets.

Editor: Unlike PRS competitors who (mostly) shoot bright-painted steel plates, Service Rifle competitors aim at traditional black bullseyes. The bullseye target design makes sense for iron sight shooters. With magnified optics you have some kind of black reticle that may not stand out at well against the black bull at 4.5 max power. You probably want to look through a number of different scopes to chose a reticle that works best for your eyes and aiming procedure.

Permalink Competition, Optics 2 Comments »
October 21st, 2017

Killer Optics Deal — Celestron Spotting Scope $39.99 at Cabela’s

Bargain Budget spotting scope spotter Celestron Cabela's

Here is an exceptional deal on an entry-level spotting scope. Right now the Celestron Cavalry Spotting Scope, normally $119.99, is just $39.99 on sale at Cabelas.com. That’s right, this spotter is under forty bucks. This optic features a 70mm front objective, 25-75X eyepiece, and rubber armored body. Will it compete with a premium spotting scope costing $1000.00 or more? No, but you may find it can do many basic tasks, such as watching target shot markers, watching wind flags, or spotting prairie dogs. It’s also perfectly fine for spotting pistol and rifle shots at close ranges. With a price this cheap, you can get one to use as a “back-up” spotting scope.

Bargain Budget spotting scope spotter Celestron Cabela's

Comment: Will this Celestron perform like a premium spotting scope from Kowa, Pentax, Leica, Swarovski or Zeiss? Of course not. But it may “do the job” if you are looking for a basic spotter to use at close range, or when pistol shooting.

(more…)

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
September 22nd, 2017

Seeing Bullet Holes at 1000 Yards — the Ultimate Optics Challenge

Pentax PF 100ED

Pentax smc-xw 10mmWhile attending the CA Long Range Championship a few seasons back, we had the opportunity to test the performance of a high-magnification (63X) spotting scope in near-ideal conditions (maybe the best I’ve ever witnessed). On the event’s last day we arrived at 5:45 am, literally as the sun was cresting the horizon. I quickly deployed our Pentax PF-100ED spotting scope, fitted with a Pentax SMC-XW 10mm fixed-power eyepiece. When used with the 100mm Pentax scope, this 10mm eyepiece yields 63X magnification. Befitting its $359.00 price, this eyepiece is extremely clear and sharp.

At the crack of dawn, viewing conditions were ideal. No mist, no mirage, no wind. The first thing this Editor noticed was that I could see metal nail heads on the target boards. That was astonishing. As soon as the first practice targets went up, to my surprise, I could see 6.5mm, 7mm, and 30-caliber bullet holes in the white at 1000 yards. No lie…

That’s right, I could see bullet holes at 1000. I know many of you folks may not believe that, but there was no mistaking when I saw a 7mm bullet cut the white line separating the Nine Ring and Eight Ring on the target in view. (I was watching that target as the shot was fired and saw the shot-hole form). And when I looked at the 30-cal targets, the bullet holes in the white were quite visible. In these perfect conditions I could also make out 3/8″ bolt heads on the target frames.

The Human Factor
When viewing the bullet holes, I was using my left naked eye (no safety glasses or magnification). I also had a contact lens in my right eye (needed for distance vision). To my surprise, while I could see the bullet holes without much difficulty with my left eye, things were fuzzier and slightly more blurry with the right eye, even when I re-focused the scope.

Pentax smc-xw 10mmThen I invited 3 or 4 shooters to look through the scope. One younger guy, with good eyes, said immediately: “Yeah, I can see the holes — right there at 4 o’clock and seven o’clock. Wow.” Some older guys, who were wearing glasses, could not see the holes at all, no matter what we did to the scope’s main focus and diopter adjustment.

The lesson here — if you have to wear glasses or corrective contact lenses, just that extra bit of optical interference may make a difference in what you can see through the scope. Basically anything that goes between the scope eyepiece and your eyeball can degrade the image somewhat. So… you may be better off removing your glasses if you can still obtain good focus sharpness using the diopter adjustment and focus ring. I did the left vs. right eye test a half dozen times, and I could definitely see small features at 1000 yards with my naked eye that I could not see with my right eye fitted with a contact lens. (I did have to re-focus the scope for each eye, since one had a corrective lens while the other did not.)

Mirage Degrades Image Sharpness and Resolution
The “magic light” prevailed for only an hour or so, and then we started to get some mirage. As soon as the mirage appeared I was no longer able to see raw bullet holes, though I could still easily see black pasters on the black bulls. When the mirage started, the sharpness of the visible image degraded a huge amount. Where I could see bullet holes at dawn, by mid-morning I could barely read the numbers on the scoring rings. Lesson: If you want to test the ulimate resolution of your optics, you need perfect conditions.

Chromatic AberrationChromatic Aberration Revealed
As the light got brighter and the mirage increased I started to see blue and red fringing at the edges of the spotting disk and the large numerals. This was quite noticeable. On one side of the bright, white spotting disc you could see a dark red edge, while on the other side there was a blue edge (harder to see but still present).

The photo below was taken through the Pentax spotter lens using a point and shoot camera held up to the eyepiece. The sharpness of the Pentax was actually much better than this photo shows, but the through-the-lens image does clearly reveal the red and blue fringing. This fringing is caused by chromatic aberration — the failure of a lens to focus all colors to the same point. Chromatic aberration, most visible at high magnification, causes different wavelengths of light to have differing focal lengths (see diagram). Chromatic aberration manifests itself as “fringes” of color along boundaries that separate dark and bright parts of the image, because each color in the optical spectrum cannot be focused at a single common point on the optical axis. Keep in mind that the Pentax does have “ED” or low-dispersion glass, so the effect would be even more dramatic with a cheaper spotting scope.


CLICK HERE to view LARGE PHOTO that shows aberration more clearly.

If you wonder why top-of-the-line spotting scopes (such as the $3900 Leica APO-Televid 82) cost so much, the answer is that they will deliver even LESS chromatic aberration at long range and high magnification. With their exotic apochromatic (APO), ultra-low-dispersion glass, a few ultra-high-end spotting scopes can deliver an image without the color edging you see in the photo above.

The Pentax PF-100ED is a heck of a spotting scope. Any scope that can resolve bullet holes at 1000 yards is impressive. But if you want the ultimate in optical performance, with minimal chromatic aberration, you may need to step up to something like the 88mm Kowa Prominar TSN-883 with Flourite Crystal lenses ($2450.00 body only), or the 82mm Leica APO ($3899.00 with 25-50X eyepiece).

EDITOR’s NOTE: The purpose of this report is to show what is possible… in IDEAL conditions. With this Pentax 100mm, as well as a Swarovski 80mm, we have often been able to resolve 6mm bullet holes at 600 yards. But again, that performance requires really good viewing conditions. By 10:00 am at my range, even with the 100mm Pentax at 75 power, seeing 6mm bullet holes is “iffy” at best. So don’t go out and mortgage the house to buy a $4000 optic with the hope that you’ll be able to spot your shots at 1000 yards. If conditions are anything less than perfect, you’ll be lucky to see bullet holes at 500 yards. The real solution for very long-range spotting is to set up a remote target cam that broadcasts a video picture to a screen at your shooting station.

Permalink - Articles, Optics, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
September 11th, 2017

Breath, Relax … and Improve Your Vision

Vision Eye Target Scope Relaxation Oxygen Target

Do you find that the crosshairs in your scope get blurry after a while, or that you experience eye strain during a match? This is normal, particularly as you get older. Focusing intensely on your target (through the scope or over iron sights) for an extended period of time can cause eye strain. Thankfully, there are things you can do to reduce eye fatigue. For one — breathe deeper to take in more oxygen. Secondly, give your eyes a break between shots, looking away from the scope or sights.

In our Forum there is an interesting thread about vision and eye fatigue. One Forum member observed: “I have noticed recently that if I linger on the target for too long the crosshairs begin to blur and the whole image gradually darkens as if a cloud passed over the sun. I do wear contacts and wonder if that’s the problem. Anyone else experienced this? — Tommy”

Forum members advised Tommy to relax and breath deep. Increase oxygen intake and also move the eyes off the target for a bit. Closing the eyes briefly between shots can also relieve eye strain. Tommy found this improved the situation.

Keith G. noted: “Make sure you are still breathing… [your condition] sounds similar to the symptoms of holding one’s breath.”

Phil H. explained: “Tom — Our eyes are tremendous oxygen hogs. What you are witnessing is caused by lack of oxygen. When this happens, get off the sights, stare at the grass (most people’s eyes find the color green relaxing), breath, then get back on the rifle. Working on your cardio can help immensely. Worked for me when I shot Palma. Those aperture sights were a bear! The better my cardio got the better and longer I could see. Same thing with scopes. Try it!”

Watercam concurred: “+1 on breathing. Take a long slow deep breath, exhale and break shot. Also make sure you take a moment to look at the horizon without looking through rifle or spotting scope once in a while to fight fatigue. Same thing happens when using iron sights.”

Arizona shooter Scott Harris offered this advice: “To some extent, [blurring vision] happens to anyone staring at something for a long time. I try to keep vision crisp by getting the shot off in a timely fashion or close the eyes briefly to refresh them. Also keep moisturized and protect against wind with wrap-around glasses”.

Breathing Better and Relaxing the Eyes Really Worked…
Tommy, the shooter with the eye problem, said his vision improved after he worked on his breathing and gave his eyes a rest between shots: “Thanks guys. These techniques shrunk my group just a bit and every little bit helps.”

Read more tips on reducing eye fatigue in our Forum Thread: That Vision Thing.

To avoid eye fatigue, take your eyes away from the scope between shots, and look at something nearby (or even close your eyes briefly). Also work on your breathing and don’t hold your breath too long — that robs your system of oxygen.

eye vision Vince Bottomley

Permalink Optics, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
August 24th, 2017

Burris Signature Zee Rings — Low Cost, High Performance

Burris Signature Zee rings

Burris Signature Zee ringsMore and more folks are using Burris Signature Rings these days. These unique rings feature polymer inserts. That allows you to pre-load some elevation in your scope set-up, or you can center-up the windage. Additionally, the polymer inserts hold your scope securely without leaving marks on the tube. Lastly, some folks believe that Signature rings may offer advantages for benchrest competition. Rodney Wagner shot the best 600-yard group in history using Burris Signature Zee Rings (“Zee” denotes the Weaver-rail model). James O’Hara set multiple IBS 1000-yard records using Burris Signature Zee Rings. James will tell you he thinks “all his guns seem to shoot best with these rings”.

Records Have Been Set with Signature Zee Rings
Are Signature Zees good enough for competition? Absolutely. Some folks scoff at these Burris rings, given their low price. A set of 1″-diameter Sig Zees cost just $38.79 at Grafs.com. But consider this, Rodney Wagner shot the smallest 600-yard group in history, a 0.336″ 5-shot stunner, using Signature Zee Rings on his IBS Light Gun. Here’s a photo of Rodney showing the record-setting rifle, outfitted with affordable Signature Zee 30mm rings.

Signature Zee Rings Burris

Vendors Have Burris Signature Rings in Stock Now
A quick search of webstores shows that various models of Burris Signature Rings are available from many vendors. NOTE: You may have to check with more than one seller to get the exact size, height, and model you prefer. But right now these vendors have pretty good selections of Signature Zees, including the hard-to-find 30mm High and Extra High models. If you check all three sellers, you’ll probably find what you need.

Midsouth Shooters Supply Grafs.com Bruno Shooters’ Supply

Signature Zee Rings Burris

Permalink Competition, Optics 12 Comments »
August 22nd, 2017

How To Calculate True Elevation Changes with Burris Sig Rings

Burris signature rings inserts

Burris Signature Rings with polymer inserts are an excellent product. The inserts allow you to clamp your scope securely without ring marks. Moreover, using the matched offset inserts you can “pre-load” your scope to add additional elevation. This helps keep the scope centered in its elevation range while shooting at long range. Additionally, with a -20 insert set in the front and a +20 insert set in the rear, you may be able to zero at very long ranges without using an angled scope base — and that can save money. (To move your point of impact upwards, you lower the front of the scope relative to the bore axis, while raising the rear of the scope.)

Burris Signature Rings

Insert Elevation Values and Ring Spacing
People are sometimes confused when they employ the Burris inserts. The inset numbers (-10, +10, -20, +20 etc.) refer to hundredths of inch shim values, rather than to MOA. And you need the correct, matched top/bottom pair of inserts to give you the marked thousandth value. Importantly, the actual amount of elevation you get with Burris inserts will depend BOTH on the insert value AND the spacing between ring centers.

Forum member Gunamonth has explained this in our Shooters’ Forum:

Working with Burris Signature Rings
Burris inserts are [marked] in thousandths of an inch, not MOA. To know how many MOA you gain you also need to know the ring spacing. For example, with a -20 thou insert set in the front and a +20 thou insert set in the rear, if the ring spacing is 6″, the elevation change will be approximately +24 MOA upwards.

Here’s how we calculate that. If you have a 2 X 0.020″ “lift” over a distance of 6 inches (i.e. 0.040″ total offset at 0.5 feet) that’s equivalent to 0.080″ “lift” over 12 inches (one foot). There are 300 feet in 100 yards so we multiply 0.080″ X 300 and get 24″ for the total elevation increase at 100 yard. (Note: One inch at 100 yards isn’t exactly a MOA but it’s fairly close.)

Here’s a formula, with all units in inches:

Total Ring Offset
——————– X 3600 = Change @ 100 yards
Ring Spacing

(.020 + .020)
—————– X 3600 = 24 inches at 100 yards
6

NOTE: Using the above formula, the only time the marked insert offset will equal the actual MOA shift is when the center to center ring spacing is 3.60″. Of course, you are not required to use 3.60″ spacing, but if you have a different spacing your elevation “lift” will be more or less than the values on the inserts.

Permalink - Articles, Optics, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
August 7th, 2017

Fujinon Enters Riflescope Market with New Accurion Scopes

Fujifilm fujinon Accurion Rifle scope hunting varminting

Fujinon (a division of FujiFilm) is already a major producer of binoculars, broadcast/cinema lenses, and customized precision optics. Parent FujiFilm is also a world leader in the digital camera market. Now the technical expertise of FujiFilm and Fujinon will be applied to a series of lightweight, affordable riflescopes — the new line of Accurion Sport Riflescopes by Fujinon.

We think it’s good that Fujinon is jumping into the rifle optics market. The more competition the merrier. FujiFilm has very high design and engineering capabilities, and we expect the entry of Fujinon into the sport optics market will encourage other scope makers to offer more attractive pricing. The first series of Accurion scopes will be extremely affordable — the highest magnification option, a 4-12x40mm scope, retails for just $189.99. Watch out Burris, Bushnell, Leupold, Nikon, and Weaver.

There are four new Accurion scopes, all featuring 1″ main tubes, 1/4-MOA click values, and multi-coated optics with 95% light transmission. The notable quality of all Accurion scopes is light weight — they weigh up to 10% less than other leading brands. That’s good news for hunters. Two reticle types will be offered initially: Standard Plex or BDC (bullet drop compensation). All Accurion scopes are backed by FujiFilm’s Limited Lifetime Warranty. CLICK HERE for detailed Specifications.

Fujinon Accurion Sport Riflescopes:
• 1.75-5x32mm Plex ($169.99) or BDC ($179.99)
• 3-9x40mm Plex ($179.99) or BDC ($189.99)
• 3.5-10x50mm Plex ($219.99) or BDC ($229.99)
• 4-12x40mm Plex ($189.99) or BDC ($199.99)

Fujifilm fujinon Accurion Rifle scope hunting varminting

Permalink New Product, Optics 4 Comments »