August 15th, 2019

Training Tip: Shooter and Spotter Working as a Team

Shooting Spotter training video NSSF

When shooting at long range, two heads (and two sets of eyes) can be better than one. Teaming up with a buddy who acts as a spotter can speed up your long-range learning process. You can focus 100% on the shot, while your buddy calls the wind and spots your hits and misses.

The NSSF has created a short video that shows how shooter and spotter can work as a team. In the video, the NSSF’s Dave Miles works with Rod Ryan, owner of Storm Mountain Training Center in Elk Garden, WV. As the video shows, team-work can pay off — both during target training sessions and when you’re attempting a long shot on a hunt. Working as a two-person team divides the responsibilities, allowing the shooter to concentrate fully on breaking the perfect shot.

The spotter’s job is to watch the conditions and inform the shooter of needed wind corrections. The shooter can dial windage into his scope, or hold off if he has a suitable reticle. As Rod Ryan explains: “The most important part is for the shooter to be relaxed and… pay attention to nothing more than the shot itself.” The spotter calls the wind, gives the information to the shooter, thus allowing the shooter to concentrate on proper aim, gun handling, and trigger squeeze. Rod says: “The concept is that the spotter does all the looking, seeing and the calculations for [the shooter].”

Shooting Spotter training video NSSF

Spotter Can Call Corrections After Missed Shots
The spotter’s ability to see misses can be as important as his role as a wind-caller. Rod explains: “If you shoot and hit, that’s great. But if you shoot and miss, since the recoil pulse of the firearm is hitting your shoulder pretty good, you’re not going to be able to see where you missed the target. The spotter [can] see exactly where you missed, so I’ll have exactly an idea of how many [inches/mils it takes] to give you a quick secondary call so you can get [back on target].”

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
June 28th, 2019

Seeing Bullet Holes at 1000 Yards? Yes It IS Possible…

Pentax PF 100ED
Coalinga Range in California. At dawn we could clearly see 7mm and .30 Cal bullet holes at 1000 yards.

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 $2980 Swarovski ATS-80 ) 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-884 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 5 Comments »
January 7th, 2019

Bargain Finder 172: 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. Brownells — Marlin 336Y .30-30 Lever Gun, $389.99 with Code

Lyman C-Frame Ideal compact press cast iron

We think everyone should have a lever gun in their collection, and here’s an exceptional value — Marlin’s model 336Y for just $389.99. The 336Y (for “youth”) has a shorter stock that makes it suitable for younger hunters. The .30-30 Winchester chambering may seem dated, but plenty of bucks have been taken with the venerable .30-30 round. This lever-action rifle features 5-shot tubular magazine, side ejection, and Buckhorn sights. Just 34″ overall, with 16.25″ barrel and weighing only 6 pounds, Marlin’s 336Y can also be a very effective home defense arm. This gun lists for $399.99 with a $10.00 FFL handling fee. Use CODE M8Y to save $20 with FREE shipping, reducing your net cost to $389.99 delivered. NOTE: Brownells has other discount codes: Code LAV ($10 off $100 + free S/H) and Code NCS ($15 off $150 plus free S/H).

2. Al’s — Vortex Razor HD 20-60x85mm Spotting Scope, $809.99

Vortex Razor 20-60x85mm 20x60 Spotter Sale Discount Spotting Scope

AMAZING DEAL — save $390.00! Other vendors sell this very same Razor HD spotter for $1199.
Here’s a great deal on a high-quality spotting scope from a top optics maker. AL’s Sporting Goods has last year’s model Vortex Razor 20-60x85mm spotter for only $899.99, including eyepiece. This impressive HD-glass spotter sells elsewhere for $1200.00. But it gets better — use Code ALS10 for another 10% Off, bringing the final price down to $809.99. This is a very good spotter for the money and as Vortex will tell you, “buy a Razor now and we’ll always replace it with a Razor in the future”.

3. CCI and Federal .22 LR Rimfire Rebate — Save up to 20%

cci federal ammunition ammo .22 lr rimfire rebate

Get Federal Rebate Form HERE | Get CCI Rebate Form HERE

Get paid back when you buy Federal or CCI .22 LR rimfire ammunition. For every 5 boxes of Federal or CCI Rimfire Ammunition you buy, you will receive a rebate of the cost of one (1) box. The rebate amount will equal the purchase price of the LOWEST-cost box of the five. This rebate program is offered for most Federal and CCI .22 LR ammo. The maximum rebate is $200 per household. Print off your redemption form from links below. NOTE: This deal is good through the end of March, 3/31/2019. Purchase qualifying ammo from vendors including Bruno’s, Graf’s, Midsouth, Powder Valley, and Precision Reloading.

4. CDNN — .22 Rimfire Popper Target (Auto-Reset), $19.88

Shooting Mat

Everyone loves reactive targets, and hitting steel is particularly fun with a .22 LR rimfire — you can plink safely at relatively close range. Here is a nicely-designed, self-resetting target at a remarkably low price — just $19.88. Heck you could pay that much for a couple packs of paper targets, and this Range Ready .22 Popper target should last for years (just don’t shoot centerfire ammo at it!). These resetting popper targets are just plain fun to shoot. Plus they are cheap enough that your club could buy a half-dozen or more for use in rimfire tactical matches.

5. CDNN — Kryptek Sound Soldier 27 db NRR EarMuffs, $8.88

ear muff earmuff 27 nrr db kryptek highlander passive deal $8.88
Note: You get one set of muffs (either gray or camo, NOT both) for $8.88 plus S/H.

Good muffs that offer 27 db Noise Reduction and won’t spoil your cheekweld — for under ten bucks? Can’t argue with that. Right now CDNN is offering a killer deal on Kryptek Sound Soldier 27 NRR muffs that sell elsewhere for around $24.00. Get these in either Highlander Camo or Typhon Grey for just $8.88. These passive muffs have low profile shells engineered to stay out of the way when shouldering your weapon. The ergonomic headband keeps the muffs aligned, in their proper position. Purchasers report the soft leatherette ear seals are surprisingly comfortable. These muffs provide a pretty high NRR considering the low profile design. And the price, just $8.88 on sale, is hard to beat! NOTE: Other vendors have a more conservative 25 NRR for these type of muffs. That’s still quite good.

6. Midsouth — Lyman Brass Smith Ideal Press, $69.99

Lyman C-Frame Ideal compact press cast iron

Lyman’s new Ideal compact press works great as a second, lighter-duty press. It also is a good choice for loading at the range. It can easily be mounted to a range bench with C-clamps. With its cast-iron body, this C-Frame press is stronger than other presses in its price class. If you are looking for a secondary press for de-capping, bullet-seating and other tasks not requiring heavy leverage, this is an excellent choice. The Lyman Ideal costs just $69.99 at Midsouth Shooters Supply.

7. Optics Planet — NcStar Vism Shooting Mat, $24.99

Shooting Mat

Still laying on the ground or using your wife’s yoga mat for shooting? For $24.99 now you can grab this NcStar Vism shooting mat and give your knees, belly, and elbows a break from the ground below. It opens wide and even has straps for pre-loading your bipod. This is a quality pad that helps put some space between you and your rocky position. When you’re done simply fold in the edges, roll it up and it takes up the same or less space as a sleeping bag. This is a good product tested and used by our staff.

8. Walmart — 46″ Workbench with LED light, $49.00

46

Are you looking for a solid workstation to reload or gunsmith on? This Walmart 46″ Workbench is solid, easy to assemble, and comes with an LED light, peg hooks, plus drawer liner. That’s a lot of bench for $49.00 especially considering how much you can store under it or in the drawer. The advantage of the LED light is that it won’t affect delicate electronic scales.

9. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $17.85

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 3800 customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $17.85, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
March 9th, 2017

Using Mirage to Read the Wind (Spotting Scope Technique)

wind mirage spotter spotting scope

Mirage as a Wind Indicator

Read FULL ARTICLE in Midsouth Shooters Blog
wind mirage spotter spotting scopeby Glen Zediker
Most good shooters use mirage as their leading indicator to spot changes in the wind. With well-designed stand, the scope can be set it up where you can see the wind with the left eye and see the sight with the right without anything more than a visual focus shift. That gets the shooter back on the trigger with the least chance of missing another change. In the photo above you can see 11-time National High Power Champion David Tubb using a spotting scope set up for his left eye.

There are resources that give clues or evidence of wind direction and strength: wind flags, observation of grass and trees, and mirage.

Almost always I use mirage as my leading indicator. Mirage (heat waves) is always present but you’ll need a scope to read it. For 600 yards I focus my scope about halfway to the target. Mirage flows just like water and the currents can be read with respect to wind speed as well, but it’s not clearly accurate beyond maybe a 15 mph speed. The thing is that mirage shows changes, increases or decreases, and also direction shifts, really well.

A couple more things about mirage flow: when mirage “boils,” that is appears to rise straight up, either there’s no wind or the scope is dead in-line with wind direction. And that’s a quick and accurate means to determine wind direction, by the way, move the scope until you see the boil and note the scope body angle. It’s also how to know when a “fishtail” wind is about to change, a boil precedes a shift.

wind mirage spotter spotting scope
You don’t need to spend big bucks for an effective spotting scope to view mirage. You can get the Kowa TSN-601 Angled Body for just $249.00 from B&H Photo. An eyepiece will run another $275.00 or so. Though relatively inexpensive, the TSN-601 is used by many top marksmen.

I use a long-eye-relief 20X to 25X wide-angle eyepiece. That setup shows the flow best. And pay attention to where the wind is coming from! See what’s headed your way, because what’s passed no longer matters. That’s true for any indicator. Right to left wind? Read off the right side of the range.

Once I get on target then all I am doing is watching for changes. It’s really uncommon to make a big adjustment between shots. The fewer condition changes you are enduring, the easier it is to keep everything on center. That’s why I shoot fast, and why I start at the low point in a wind cycle.

sighters spotting scope mirageMaking Corrections with Limited Sighters
Here’s a Tip for NRA High Power matches where only two sighters are allowed: “Make a full correction off the first sighting shot location! Even if there are minor changes afoot, that’s how to know how well you assessed condition influence pre-shot. Don’t second-guess. After the second sighter you should be on target and then simply watching for changes. Pay attention, correlate visible cues to the results of prior shots, and if in doubt, click into the wind.”

Information in this article was adapted from material in several books published by Glen Zediker and Zediker Publishing. Glen is an NRA High Master who earned that classification in NRA High Power Rifle using an AR15 Service Rifle. For more information and articles visit ZedikerPublishing.com.

Permalink - Articles, Shooting Skills No Comments »
September 5th, 2016

Nikon Introduces New High-End Monarch ED Spotting Scopes

Nikon Monarch Spotting Scope ED HD low dispersion Apochromat

If you’re in the market for a premium spotting scope, it’s time to consider Nikon again. In recent years the “best you can get” were offered by the likes of Kowa, Swarovski, and Zeiss. Now Nikon has released its first-ever Monarch line of spotting scopes with ED low-dispersion, apochromatic glass. And the price will be very competitive — around $1600.00 MSRP for the 82mm version. Nikon says its new Monarch Spotters “are being offered at a price point that is virtually unrivaled for this level of optical quality”.

Key Features of New Nikon Monarch Spotting Scopes

  • Advanced Apochromat Optical System with ED (extra-low dispersion) glass minimizes chromatic aberration.
  • Field Flattener Lens System provides consistent sharpness across the entire field of view, all the way to the periphery.
  • Dual-speed focusing system offers fine action for focusing on distant subjects and coarser action for nearby subjects.
  • Bright and clear view is achieved with a total reflection prism. Straight models use a Porro prism, while angled-type models employ Nikon’s original prism.

Nikon Monarch Spotting Scope ED HD low dispersion Apochromat

Apochromat ED Glass Minimizes Chromatic Aberration
As with other premium spotting scopes, the Monarch boasts ED (low-dispersion) glass. Nikon’s Apochromat ED glass dramatically reduces chromatic aberration which causes “color fringing”. This fringing is particularly noticeable at long range when viewing targets — you’ll see color bands at the edges — blue on one side and red on the other. Nikon’s advanced Apochromat ED glass corrects not only chromatic aberrations or red, blue, and green but also violet chromatic aberration to the furthest limits of the visible light range. This results in much greater contrast and sharpness when viewing objects at long range. Honest guys, having ED glass makes a real difference when trying to see bullet holes at long range.

Nikon has also developed a new lens technology that keeps the image sharp all the way out to the periphery. Nikon call this the “Field Flattener System”. It works by compensating for Field Curvature:

Nikon Monarch Spotting Scope ED HD low dispersion Apochromat

Choose 82mm or 60mm with Three Monarch Eyepieces
Customers will have the choice of 60mm or 82mm objective sizes and a straight or angled Fieldscope body. Monarch Fieldscopes come with Monarch Eyepiece (MEP) 20-60 (20-60x w/ 82 series and 16-48x w/ 60 series). Two additional eyepiece options are MEP 38W (38x w/82 series and 30x w/ 60 series) and MEP 30-60W (30-60x w/ 82 series and 24-48x w/ 60 series). All eyepieces feature a Type 1 Bayonet Mount for swift attachment/detachment.

The suggested retail prices for all MONARCH FIELDSCOPE options will be as follows:

20-60×82 ED Straight Body $1599.95 | 20-60×82 ED Angled Body $1599.95
16-48×60 ED Straight Body $1399.95 | 16-48×60 ED Angled Body $1399.95

MONARCH MEP Eyepieces MEP-38W $299.95
MONARCH MEP Eyepieces MEP-20-60 $299.95
MONARCH MEP Eyepieces MEP-30-60W $549.95

Nikon Monarch Spotting Scope ED HD low dispersion Apochromat

Permalink New Product, Optics No Comments »
December 4th, 2015

New 3-Way Mount Holds Spotting Scope, Rangefinder & Camera

R-F LRF Camera Cam Cradle Defensive Edge RLC Customs

The R-F Cam Cradle is a smart new product that lets you securely mount a Laser Rangefinder (LRF), digital camera, and spotting scope all on a single tripod. The “game-changing” feature of the R-F Cam Cradle is that it allows you to colimmate (i.e. precisely align) all your optics on the same spot. This way you can simultaneously aim all three devices at a long range target by simply moving the tripod head. A tactical shooter can easily range his target while watching the wind though his spotting scope. And the long-range hunter can range and film his prey as he watches it through the spotter. This unit costs $179.95 from DefensiveEdge.net.

You’ll find a detailed product evaluation of the R-F Cam Cradle on the LongRangeOnly.com website. Reviewer Sam Millard uses the R-F Cam Cradle in the field with a variety of optics and rangefinders. Millard explains how the R-F Cam Cradle conveniently allows combined use of spotting scope, LRF, and compact video camera.

Millard was very impressed with the system: “I field-tested the R-F Cam Cradle in the mountains of northern Idaho and the wide open spaces of eastern Wyoming. I believe the most effective way to use the cradle is in a long range ambush; get the spotting scope, camera, and LRF aligned on a landmark, then lock it down. The LRF and spotter won’t be aligned perfectly, but they’ll be well within the field of view of each other, requiring only a gentle tilt of the tripod to center the beam of the LRF on the target. At ELR distances, a well-supported LRF is crucial to obtaining an accurate range. This mount makes it easy, and doesn’t require displacing your spotting scope to get it done.”

See R-F Cam Cradle Demonstrated in the Field:

Having a video camera mounted in alignment with spotting scope is great for Long Range applications notes Millard: “The camera mount is my favorite feature of the R-F Cam Cradle. It allows co-witnessing the video camera to the spotting scope, then aiming the field of view of both with one movement of the tripod head. This is a great improvement to the normal way of recording the shot and spotting at the same time, which previously required two tripods or a clamp-on head for the camera, both of which required separate aiming of the camera and spotting scope.”

R-F Cam-Cradle Product Details

Manufacturer: RLC Customs
Vendor: Defensive Edge, Inc.
Rathdrum, ID
DefensiveEdge.net
Order Phone: (208) 687-2659

Material: 3/16” 53 Series aluminum
Finish: Powder-coated Matte Black
Total Weight: 16.5 ounces
Mount: ¼-20 Threaded Standard Camera Mount
Retail price: $179.95

Shawn Carlock of Defensive Edge explains: “The R-F Cam Cradle is a way for one person to run everything. Otherwise it’s really difficult to run the spotting scope, run the video camera, run the rangefinder, get dope — do all those different things. So RLC Customs has come up with the idea to put everything together in one platform, where you can sync it together and use it effectively, as a cluster.”

Product Find by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions
Permalink - Videos, New Product, Optics No Comments »
August 30th, 2015

NEW TS-80 Hi-Def Spotting Scope from Nightforce

Nightforce TS-80 spotting scope ED Glass TS-82

Nightforce is bringing out a new 20-60X 80mm spotting scope that is significantly less expensive than its 82mm big brother, the 20-70X TS-82. The new TS-80 Hi-Def spotter is priced at $1595.00 MSRP compared to $2653.00 for the TS-82 (MAP “street price”). Yes, you heard that right, the new TS-80 is more than $1000.00 less expensive than its 82mm big brother. That’s a lot of hard-earned cash saved in return for the loss of just 10X magnification on the upper end. Both spotting scopes feature high-definition glass and easy-to-use, full-diameter focusing controls.

At its $1595.00 price point, the Nightforce TS-80 looks like a winner. It shares features we liked in the more expensive TS-82: Extra-low-Dispersion (ED) glass, easy-to-use zoom ring, built-in sunshade, and rubber armor on the entire body. However, on the TS-80 the eyepiece is NON-removable. That means you cannot swap in a different eyepiece (such as a fixed power 25X for greater field of view).

Nightforce TS-80 spotting scope ED Glass TS-82

The TS-80 offers a lot of performance for the $1595.00 price. Most other current-production spotting scopes with comparable features and ED glass cost a lot more. Weight is 68 ounces (4 lbs., 4 oz.) — that’s fairly hefty. The TS-80 will focus from 20 feet to infinity, making it suitable for all shooting chores, even close-range pistol work. The mounting foot fits many quick-release tripods and accepts standard 1/4″ tripod screws. The TS-80 includes an integral, retractable sunshade for the front objective. Optional accessories include a protective sleeve and a fitted carrying case, shown below.

Nightforce TS-80 spotting scope ED Glass TS-82

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
March 10th, 2014

Leica Introduces 1.8X Extender for APO-Televid Spotting Scopes

Leica Spotting Scope Power Booster Extender 1.8xLeica just released an inline power-booster (1.8X Extender) for its APO-Televid spotting scopes. Brilliant! That’s a great accessory we would like to other spotting scope makers offer as well. Hopefully we’ll see the other major brands — Kowa, Nightforce, Nikon, Pentax, Swarovski, Vortex, Zeiss — follow Leica’s lead.

With Leica’s new 1.8X Extender combined with the 25-50X eyepiece, the effective magnification range is 45-90X. That’s right — you can boost the high-end magnification from 50X all the way to 90X. In good viewing conditions (with a solid tripod), we have found you really can use 80+ power or higher on a spotting scope to resolve very small bullet holes at long range. With its 1.8X Extender in place, Leica now offers the greatest magnification of any premium spotting scope. According to the German company: “Leica is the world’s only manufacturer in the premium spotting scope segment to offer such an additional eyepiece for an existing angled spotting scope and such extreme magnification.”
Leica Spotting Scope Power Booster Extender 1.8x

The optical system of the 1.8X Extender consists of a two-lens achromat that mounts securely with an integrated bayonet mount locking mechanism. With the simple push of a button and a quick turn of the wrist, the Extender 1.8x can be quickly and securely mounted between the APO-Televid angled spotting scope and the eyepiece. (NOTE: the 1.8X Extender only works on Leica’s angled spotting scopes — there is no straight version). Leica designed the new 1.8X Extender to be optically, mechanically, and ergonomically matched with the APO-Televid spotting scopes to work flawlessly as a modular kit. MSRP for the 1.8X Extender is $449.00.

Permalink New Product, Optics No Comments »
January 13th, 2012

NRA Changes Some High Power Rules for 2012

The NRA has issued some 2012 Rule Changes for High Power Matches. You really need to download and read the new Rules yourself, but we’ll summarize some (not all) of the changes below.

Rule 2.11:
Sets residency and “paid-up” membership requirements for Club Team shooters. Different standards for (a) Local Club Teams; and (b) Open Club Teams.

Rule 3.3.2 NRA Any Sight Match Rifle/Tactical Rifle
Part (c) now reads: “Competitors may use a service rifle equipped with optic sights to compete under this rule. Competitors using service rifles described in Rules 3.1(c) and 3.1(d) may remove the carry handle to allow mounting of the optic sight.”

Rule 7.22 F-Class Long Range National Championships
This section now reads:
“Any match sponsor that wishes to conduct the F-Class Long Range National Championships shall use the following courses of fire:
Day 1, 3-15 shot 1,000 yard individual matches.
Day 2, 3-15 shot 1,000 yard individual matches.
Day 3, 2, 4-person team matches, 20 shots per individual plus the aggregate of the 2 team matches.
Day 4, 2-20 shot 1,000 yard matches.”

Rule 14.18 Signal Systems for Scoring Targets
The Visual Signaling System described below will be used in all high power rifle tournaments:

(a) Slow Fire: Value spotters are placed as indicated on the target frame, all of a highly visible color such as fluorescent orange or black. The shooter may request the color they can best see.

X ………………………….……Center Right side
10 ……………………………..Bottom right corner
9 ………………………………..Bottom center
8 ……………………….……….Bottom left corner
7 ………………….…………….Center left side
6……………….……… Center right side (same as X)
5 ……………..…….Bottom right corner (same as 10)
Miss ……………….Both bottom Left corner
……………………..and bottom Right corner

Permalink Competition 2 Comments »
January 15th, 2011

Zeiss Introduces New Compact 65mm Spotting Scope

Zeiss has just introduced its latest spotting scope, the Dialyt 18-45x65mm Compact Field Spotter. We like the design and we think there’s a place in the spotting scope market for a simple straight-tube spotter with razor-sharp, ultra-premium glass. High-end spotting scopes have become increasingly large and heavy over the years as the optics-makers have chased ever-greater levels of brightness and magnification. But a hunter or tactical shooter doesn’t want to hump 8 pounds of glass up and down mountains. The Dialyt (“Die-Ah-Lite”) weighs a mere 2.6 lbs. (1.2 kg) and is just 15.5 inches long.

Zeiss Dialyt Spotting Scope

Easy to Use, Easy to Carry
The Dialyt is easy to use — twist the eyepiece to zoom and rotate the front objective to focus. Originally designed for European Alpine hunters, the new rubber-armored ZEISS Dialyt 18-45×65 Field Spotter is built tough for field use. This should appeal to hunters and tactical shooters. And unlike older-style draw-tube scopes, the straight-tube Dialyt is dustproof and fully waterproof (rated to 400 mbar).

About the size of a thermos bottle, the 2.6-pound Dialyt 18-45×65 fits easily into a backpack and, if necessary, can be rested on a pack for stabilization at higher magnification. This spotter also has threads for a tripod or monopod.

The Dialyt 18-45×65’s variable eyepiece provides a wide field of view at low magnification and plenty of magnification up top. This compact spotter also features multilayer coatings and high light transmission for good performance at dawn and dusk — something important for hunters.

Zeiss Dialyt Spotting Scope

Permalink New Product, Optics No Comments »
June 6th, 2010

Zeiss 85mm Victory DiaScope T* FL Wins Major Design Awards

The new Zeiss Victory DiaScope 85 T* FL Spotting Scope has earned two prestigious awards. First the new 85mm DiaScope won the coveted Red Dot Design Award. “All products honored with the red dot design award had to impress an international jury. These products [must] demonstrate their quality in one of the toughest design competitions in the world,” says Professor Dr. Peter Zec, speaking on behalf of Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen which issues the Red Dot Design Awards.

Ziess 85 diascopeOutdoor Life Magazine. Outdoor Life’s editors praised its “optically superior [flourite] glass in a surprisingly lightweight chassis”. The ZEISS DiaScope won the low-light test, had a top resolution score and “the two-speed focus and wide-angle eyepiece sparkled”, according to the test team.

YouTube Preview Image

We checked out the new 85mm DiaScope at SHOT Show and reviewed its new features with Zeiss project engineer Stephan Albrecht. Make no mistake about it. This is an outstanding spotting scope. We loved the dual-rate focus system. You can do the gross focus really fast, but still achieve the ultra-precise focus needed to resolve bullet holes at long ranges. We were very impressed with the new higher-magnification 20-75X zoom eyepiece. This is one of the best variable-power eyepieces ever made, and long-range shooters can definitely use the extra magnification (75x vs. 60x). Overall the Zeiss system is surprisingly compact, yet it offers excellent low-light performance, plus higher magnification than most other spotting scopes in the 80mm category.

The new 85mm Diascope is available in straight or angled bodies both boasting a rubber-armored exterior for protection. Eyepieces are available as variable 20-60x, 20-75x, or fixed 40x. A 65mm version of the new Diascope is also available, but we feel that, if you’re going to spend this kind of money ($3000.00 for 85mm with 20-60X eyepiece), you should go with the 85mm. The 20-75X eyepiece only delivers 15-56X when used with the smaller 65mm Diascope.

Permalink News, Optics No Comments »