November 24th, 2017

Great Black Friday Optics Deals

Sightron 10-50x60mm Siii scope
Get this Burris Xtreme Tactical XTR II 4-20x50mm SCR Mil Scope for $999.00, a $150 Savings.

If you are looking for a new riflescope, spotting scope, laser rangefinder, or binoculars, today’s the day. This Black Friday, you’ll find some of the best bargains of the year. Looking for that Sightron 10-50X for your new F-Class rig? Need a new rangefinder for your next tactical match? Check out these great optics deals. You can easily save hundreds.

Midsouth — Sightron 10-50x60mm Riflescope, $929.99

Sightron 10-50x60mm Siii scope

The Sightron SIII 10-50x60mm is THE value leader in a high-magnification competition scopes. Nothing comes close at this price level. Yes, there are high-magnification comp scopes that may be better (such as the Nightforce 15-55x52mm) but they cost more than twice as much. Can you be competitive with a 10-50X Sightron? Absolutely. At the 2017 IBS 600-Yard Nationals three of the top 10 shooters, including the second overall finisher, used the 10-50X Sightron. Right now the 10-50x60mm Sightron is on sale at Midsouth as a Black Friday Special. Get the Target Dot Reticle version for $929.99, or the LR Fine Cross Hair model for $949.99. You can also get the Long Range MOA version for just $879.75 at Amazon. READ 10-50x60mm Scope Review.

Cabela’s — Vortex Viper HD 20-60x80mm Angled Spotter, $599.99

Sightron 10-50x60mm Siii scope

This is an impressive spotting scope that can run with other spotting scopes that cost well over $1000.00. Right now, as a Black Friday Special, Cabela’s is offering the Vortex Viper HD 20-60x80mm Angled Spotter for just $599.99. That is $300 less than the current price on Amazon — $899.00. Who doesn’t want to save three hundred bucks! You can also get the Vortex Viper HD 20-60x60mm straight body version for $599.99 at Cabelas.com.

Cabela’s — Nikon Laser RangeFinder Binoculars $200 Off

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week cabela's cabelas.com nikon laser rangefinder LRF binoculars

As part of its week-long Black Friday promotion, Cabela’s is offering big discounts on Nikon optics. One truly outstanding deal is the 10x42mm Nikon LaserForce rangefinder binoculars — the price has been slashed $200 from $1199.99 down to $999.99. Yes these highly-rated LRF binocs do sell elsewhere for around $1200. These Nikons offer performance rivaling expensive European rangefinding binoculars (Leica, Swarovski) for hundreds less. Clarity is excellent. Ranging ability is very good. CLICK HERE for LaserForce Field Test Full Review.

EuroOptic.com — Zeiss Conquest 6-20x50mm Scope, $649.00

Zeiss Conquest 6-20x50mm Varmint Reticle

The Zeiss Conquest 6-20x50mm scope would be one of our top choices for a varmint rifle optic, and now you can save $150.00 on Black Friday. The Zeiss glass is exceptionally sharp and the controls are positive. The range of magnification is just about optimal for shooting varmints from 100-400 yards. We also like Zeiss Rapid-Z Varmint ballistic reticle. This features hold-over hash-marks so you can move quickly from one yardage to another. When a P-dog pops up you may only have a few seconds to make the shot. With this reticle, optimized for chamberings such as .204 Ruger and 22-250, you don’t have to mess with clicking for elevation. This scope has a 1″ main tube and 1/4-MOA clicks.

Woodbury Outfitters — Big-Name Scopes, All Under $180.00

Zeiss Conquest 6-20x50mm Varmint Reticle

Sometimes a budget optic will do the job — for a youth rifle, or a “truck gun” that sees hard use. For a hunting rig, you don’t necessarily want or need more than 9-power, and a lighter-weight scope with lower profile has definite advantages. If you are looking for a budget riflescope, check out thes Black Friday Bargains at Woodbury Outfitters. Here are six scopes all under $180.00. To sweeten the deal even further, every scope comes with a $20.00 Woodbury Gift Card. You can gift that card to a friend for Christmas, or use it on your next purchase. VIEW Woodbury Outfitters Black Friday Sales Flyer.

Cabelas.com — Sig Kilo 2000 RangeFinder $349.99

Sig Sauer Kilo 200 Laser Rangefinder LRF Black Friday Cabelas

This Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 is a very good laser rangefinder that performs as well as some other brands costing nearly twice as much. You’ll get performance on par with a Zeiss Victory or Leica CRF for hundreds less. User reports on the Sig Kilo LRF have been very positive. NOTE: There is a newer model, the Sig Kilo 2200, but that costs around $500.00 now. Save 30% with this Kilo 2000 Black Friday deal.

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October 16th, 2017

Bargain Finder 108: 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 — Special 5 Reloading Press Kit, $199.99

RCBS Special 5 Reloading Kit

Looking for a great holiday gift for a family member getting started in metallic cartridge reloading? This RCBS Kit has everything a new reloader needs: single-stage press, powder measure, scale, powder trickler, priming tool, cartridge tray, “rocket” chamfer tool, case lube and more. This is an excellent entry-level reloading kit, on sale for just $199.99 at Natchez Shooters Supplies. We like the relatively compact Special 5 press for most reloading duties. Eventually you may want to add an additional, large heavy press, but this will get the job done. For the combined package, with all the tools one needs to hand-load quality ammo — this is a stunningly good deal at $199.99.

2. Amazon — RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press, $112.49

Amazon.com Amazon RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Reloading Press Sale

We said this was a good deal when priced around $135.00. Well now the Rock Chucker is just $112.49 at Amazon — matching the lowest price we’ve seen in years. The RCBS Rock Chucker remains a classic — a big, strong, versatile press that can handle most reloading chores with ease. And now you can get a genuine Rock Chucker Supreme for $112.49 — an insanely great deal. The Rock Chucker offers plenty of leverage for case-sizing and the “O” is tall enough for long cartridges. The Rock Chucker has a very strong base and should last a lifetime.

3. MidwayUSA — RCBS Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine, $104.99

RCBS ultrasound ultrasonic brass cartridge cleaner cleaning machine tank

If you’re looking for an ultrasonic cleaning machine — here’s a very good deal. On sale now at MidwayUSA for $104.99, this same unit sells for $139.99 on Amazon. With a powerful 60-watt transducer, this unit can process hundreds of cases at once. The machine boasts a 3.2 quart stainless tank with drain valve, five temp settings, and a 1-to-30 minute timer. There’s even a built-in sensor showing when to change solution. Here’s a verified buyer’s review: “Worth the money… it can heat the solution up to 140° F. The best thing about this cleaner… is that it has a drain port and valve — SO MUCH EASIER to drain compared to [other units].” NOTE: MidwayUSA has been offering free shipping for orders over $99.00 in recent days — check when you order.

4. Whittaker Guns — Howa Lightning 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle, $329.99

With this deal you can get a complete 6.5 Creedmoor Howa 1500 Rifle with HACT 2-Stage Trigger for just $329.99. That’s $80.00 less than the price of a Howa 1500 barreled action by itself! ($409.99 at Brownells). This is a no-frills rifle, but its hard to beat the $299.99 price for a solid, multi-purpose rifle. Use “As-Is” for hunting or drop it into a modular stock for tactical/practical games.

5. B&H — Kowa TSN-501 20-40X Angled Spotting Scope, $349.00

B&H Kowa TSN 501 Compact spotting scope bargain 20-40X

You don’t need to spend big bucks for an effective spotting scope to view mirage. You can get the Kowa TSN-501 Angled Spotting Scope for just $349.00 from B&H Photo. This is a super-compact scope with 50mm objective and built-in 20-40X eyepiece. Though relatively new, the small, light-weight TSN-501 can perform basic spotting tasks effectively. This doesn’t have the resolution of the $1500+ spotters but this is fine for viewing mirage and shot markers. Put the money you save into barrels and bullets.

6. CMP — ELEY .22 LR CMP Standard Ammo, 7 Cents per Round

CMP Eley Standard Bulk pack

ELEY, the UK-based rimfire ammo-maker, has teamed up with the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) here in the USA. Now you can purchase quality ELEY-made ammo for just seven cents a round. This new “ELEY CMP Standard” ammunition, available exclusively through the CMP, propels an accurate 40-grain bullet with an average velocity of 1090 fps. These particular paraffin-coated bullets are designed feed reliably through all .22 LR firearm platforms.

ELEY CMP standard will be available exclusively through the CMP. Though budget-priced, it “will still be incredibly accurate compared to other ammo at this price point”. There is a limit of two (2) cases per individual per year, priced at $354.95 for 5000 rounds, with Free Shipping to all contiguous U.S. States. NOTE: To purchase this ammo you must register and provide proof of eligibility.

7. MidwayUSA — Packable Shooting Mat, $19.99

MidwayUSA roll packable shooting mat light weight mat

Here’s a heck of a deal on a good light-weight shooting mat. MidwayUSA has slashed the price on its Packable Shooting Mat. Available in Coyote Tan or Olive Drab, this 67″ Long x 31″ Wide padded mat is now just $19.99. This Packable Mat has some nice features, such as 12″ front flap, elbow pads, 0.15″ thick padding, and six staking grommets. It’s easy to transport, rolling up to a 9″ x 4.5″ package, secured with a heavy strap. If you need a low-cost, basic shooting mat, check out this deal. Weighing just 1.5 pounds, this a good, light-weight mat to keep in a vehicle or to use on a “walk-around” varminting hunt.

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.

9. Mystery Deal — Big Name Product with Lifetime Guarantee

Mysterday Deal of the Week Optics hunting scope

If you have a hunting rifle, this item will help you spot your game. With a best-in-industry, transferable lifetime warranty, you can put your trust in this product. It doesn’t have all the “bells and whistles” but it has the key features and performance a hunter needs. For shooters looking for quality construction, simple but 100% reliable controls, this unit (from a big Oregon-based manufacturer) will get the job done, and last a lifetime. CLICK HERE to see Mystery Deal of the Week.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
September 25th, 2017

Bargain Finder 105: 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. CDNN — Savage 11/111 Rifle with Bushnell Scope, $349.99

Savage 11/111 Bushnell scope rebate sale package hunter hunting

Need a reliable sub-MOA hunting rifle? Here’s heck of a deal on rifle AND optic. Right now you can purchase a Savage model 11/111 for $349.99 after $100 mail-in rebate from Savage. And get this — that price includes a 3-9x40mm Bushnell Trophy scope. That’s right, you get a brand new Savage rifle plus a new Bushnell scope, all for $349.99 after rebate. This has got to be the best rifle deal around for the 2017 hunting season. Chose the Long Action model 111 or the Short Action model 11. Fifteen popular chamberings are offered, so you’re sure to find a caliber/cartridge that suits your hunting requirements. Choices are: .243 Win, .25-06, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, 6.5×284 NORMA, .270 Win, .270 WSM, 7mm-08, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Win, .30-06 Spr, .300 WSM, .300 Win Mag, .338 Federal, and .338 Win Mag.

2. Amazon — Sightron 10-50x60mm SIII Scope, under $970.00

AccurateShooter Deals of Week Sightron Scope Optics Sale
Match photo courtesy Varide Cicognati, Sightron dealer in Italy.

This 10-50x60mm Sightron recently faired very well in recent tests when compared to high-magnification scopes costing twice as much. It displayed excellent repeatability and click precision. It may not have the fancy name, but this 10-50X optic is definitely good enough to win long-range benchrest and F-Class matches. It is now available with MOA grid or Fine Cross Hair reticles for under $970.00. At that price, the Sightron is over $1350 cheaper than the 15-55X Nightforce. It is even $400+ cheaper than the old 12-42x56mm NF Benchrest scope. On a value-for-money basis, then, the Sightron 10-50x60mm makes sense for competitors on a budget. The money you save (vs. 15-55X NF) will pay for a nice BAT, Borden, or Kelbly custom action. NOTE: Other versions with Mil-Dot or Target Dot reticles currently run $1050-$1090 on Amazon.

3. CDNN — Walther Creed 9mm Pistol, $269.99

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Canik RP9 Kahr S&W M&P Walther Creed CT9

The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls at a killer price — $269.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar. The Creed features a snag-free bobbed hammer. Testers have praised the new Creed, saying that, despite the bargain price, it “sacrifices little to nothing in… ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability.”

4. Grafs.com — Hornady Auto Charge, $179.99 + Free Range Bag

Grafs.com Graf Hornady L-N-L Scale Dispenser Sale Discount

Here’s an excellent promo from our friends at Grafs.com. Hornady’s versatile Lock-N-Load Auto Charge™ Powder Scale and Dispenser is on sale for $179.99. And now for a limited time you get a FREE deluxe range bag ($43.99 value) with the purchase of the Hornady Scale/Dispenser. This is a good unit with a nice keypad. NOTE: You can also get the FREE Range Bag when you buy the Hornady Case Prep Center at Grafs.com for $419.99. That’s pretty pricey — getting Scale/Dispenser with the Range Bag is the better deal.

5. MidwayUSA — Packable Shooting Mat, $19.99

MidwayUSA roll packable shooting mat light weight mat

Here’s a heck of a deal on a good light-weight shooting mat. MidwayUSA has slashed the price on its Packable Shooting Mat. Available in Coyote Tan or Olive Drab, this 67″ Long x 31″ Wide padded mat is now just $19.99. This Packable Mat has some nice features, such as 12″ front flap, elbow pads, 0.15″ thick padding, and six staking grommets. It’s easy to transport, rolling up to a 9″ x 4.5″ package, secured with a heavy strap. If you need a low-cost, basic shooting mat, check out this deal. Weighing just 1.5 pounds, this a good, light-weight mat to keep in a vehicle or to use on a “walk-around” varminting hunt.

6. Amazon — Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge, $46.32

Lyman Trigger Pull gauge electronic Walmart Amazon

If you are serious about your precision firearms, you need one of these. We use the Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge to test the triggers on all our match and varmint rifles. The unit is precise and repeatable. Once you try one of these you won’t want to go back to crude spring trigger gauges. Amazon.com offers this unit for $46.32 with free shipping (third party sale).

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

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

Need quality .22 LR rimfire ammo at an affordable price? Consider Norma. Most folks think Norma only produces centerfire ammo and cartridge brass. As a result, people haven’t been looking for Norma rimfire ammo. Their loss is your gain. Accurate, reliable Norma .22 LR ammunition is in-stock right now at leading online vendors. This is good quality ammo, made in Europe. Bullets.com has Norma Tac-22 ammo in stock at $4.75 per 50-rd box (SKU: BL7819). In addition, Bullets.com offers Norma Match-22 ammunition at $6.50 per 50-rd box (SKU: BL11887).

8. Amazon — AR500 Steel 8″-Diameter Gong, $19.95 Delivered

Reactive Target AR500 Steel Gong Free Shipping 8 inch 8

We like reactive targets. It’s fun to “ring steel” and see a target move instantly when hit. For just twenty bucks (including shipping), it’s hard to go wrong with this 8″ AR500 Steel Gong. The 8″-diameter size is big enough for zeroing at 200 yards, yet offers a nice challenge at 500 yards and beyond. There is also a 6″-diameter model for just $14.00.

9. Amazon — Mystery Deal of the Week with 57% Price Reduction

Mystery Deal of the Week Stabilized Optic

Here’s a versatile, compact product that every hunter and tactical competitor can use. It can replace two or three common gear items and includes a high-tech system that makes it work better, helping you get on target faster and spot game easier, even in low light. When introduced, this item earned great reviews when it sold for $499.99. Now it is available through Amazon for just $215.00. That’s a full 57% off the original price. We think any game hunter or PRS shooter will want this high-tech unit. The super-low price makes it hard to resist.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
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 »
March 27th, 2017

Bargain Finder 80: 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, 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. Midsouth — Labradar Chronograph and Accessories

Labradar chronograph

Midsouth Shooters Supply is now carrying the advanced Labradar chronograph. This unique unit allows you to measure your shots without having to set up a tripod and skyscreens downrange. When you start using a Labradar, you’ll never want to go back to old-style chronographs. You can also purchase the Labradar from Bruno Shooters Supply. Price is $559.95 from either vendor. NOTE: Very soon Labradar plans to offer Bluetooth functionality, allowing you to control the machine remotely with your mobile device. This functionality will come via new software — the Bluetooth transceiver is built-in to all current Labradar units, so you can buy one now and use Bluetooth later (when the software is released).

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

RCBS Special 5 Reloading Kit

This RCBS Kit has everything a new reloader needs: single-stage press, powder measure, scale, powder trickler, priming tool, cartridge tray, “rocket” chamfer tool, case lube and more. This is an excellent entry-level reloading kit, on sale for just $199.99 at Natchez Shooters Supplies. We like the relatively compact Special 5 press for most reloading duties. Eventually you may want to add an additional, large heavy press, but this will get the job done. For the combined package, with all the tools one needs to hand-load quality ammo — this is a stunningly good deal at $199.99.

3. CDNN — Browning Maple X-Bolt Medallion, $849.99 with Rebate

Browning X-Bolt Medallion

CDNN Sports has some of the nicest modern Browning rifles we’ve seen. These deluxe Maple-stocked X-Bolt Medallion Rifles are now on sale for $899.99, marked down from $1519.99. Plus, through March 31st, you can get another $50.00 off with a Browning Rebate. The machine-engraved receiver features a polished blued finish, and is glass bedded into the stock. The free-floating barrel is high-gloss blued, hand-chambered and finished with a target crown. The bolt has a 60° lift and the trigger is adjustable. The stock is a high gloss AAA maple with rosewood fore-end and pistol grip cap. These are very nice rifles that any shooter would be proud to own. This Editor has ordered one as a gift to a family member — that should say something.

4. Amazon — Ammo Can/Gun Case/Range Bag System, $44.99

Plano 1612 X2 range bag ammo can gun case

This Plano 1612 X2 Range Bag System combines a plastic ammo can-type container with a two-pistol hardshell case, both enclosed in a durable, padded fabric cover with many pockets. This handy system lets you keep pistols in a separate locked compartment while still accessing ammo, muffs and other gear from the main compartment, which can also be secured with a padlock. This is a clever, versatile design, and owner reviews have been very positive:

The perfect range bag. It comes with a nice gun case, more pockets than shown, plenty of storage for earphones, several boxes of ammo and room to spare. Would buy again!” — Nate K

The problem with most range bags is that they are range ‘bags’. This is an ammo can with pockets for all your other gear. No more ‘saggy baggy’!” — MPowers

5. Sportsman’s Guide — 1000 Rds 9mm Ammo, $204.99 delivered

9mm Luger 9x19mm ammo deal case 1000 rounds Sportman's Guide

Everyone can use a 1000-round case of 9mm Luger Ammo. This Sellier & Bellot 124gr FMJ brass-cased ammo feeds and functions well. We’ve checked around and this $204.99/1000 price is one of the best deals on brass-cased 9mm ammo this week (for SG members, the cost is $194.99). Plus you can get FREE shipping with CODE SH2656 at checkout. We have shot this ammo in Glock, H&K, Sig Sauer, and S&W pistols. Rated at 1080 fps, this 9mm ammo was very reliable, and the boxer-primed cases are reloadable.

6. Cabelas — Simmons 20-60x60mm Spotter, $49.99 with Rebate

Simmons Spotting Scope Bargain Cave Cabelas 20-60x60mm

Let’s be realistic — this 20-60x60mm Simmons is NOT a great spotting scope. The sharpness is nowhere near as good as you’d get with a $1000+ spotter. However, you can now get this unit for under fifty bucks with manufacturer’s rebate. Cabela’s Sale Price is $59.99 and Vista Outdoor is offering a $10 Rebate. For basic work, such as viewing pistol targets, or spotting hits out to 250 yards, this bargain basement Simmons should suffice. Read the owner reviews — they have been surprisingly good. This scope will also work for general recreational use. Hard to beat for fifty bucks.

7. Amazon — 34 dB Noise Rating Ear Muffs, $17.45

34dB NRR 32 hearing protection earmuffs

These 34 dB NRR earmuffs provide excellent sound protection without being too heavy and bulky. At at $17.45, they are a great bargain. The lower section of the muff is trimmed for a narrower profile — that helps with rifle and shotgun stocks. The headband is adjustable and has comfortable padding. These Pro For Sho Muffs have earned a 4 1/2 star consumer rating, with over 1,600 Amazon customer reviews. NOTE: These fit pretty tight. If you have a very large hat size you might want a different brand.

8. Amazon — Lyman 50th Edition Reloading Manual, $19.99

Lyman 50th Reloading Manual

Here’s a good deal on the new Lyman 50th Ed. Reloading Manual. Our Forum members have rated this as the best Loading Manual for starting hand-loaders. This 50th Edition, the first to be produced in full color, includes more load data, and covers more cartridges than ever before. New Cartridges Include: 17 Hornet, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5-284, 26 Nosler, 28 Nosler, 300 Blackout, 300 RCM, 338 RCM, 450 Bushmaster, 458 SOCOM, 50 Beowulf. Amazon has the Softcover version for $19.99 and Hardcover for $23.99. Notably, Lyman donates $1.00 to the NRA for every Lyman 50th Edition Reloading Handbook sold during the first year of publication.

9. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $16.45

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 2300 customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $17.74, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Reloading 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 »
February 19th, 2017

Tech Trio — Combo Kestrel, Rangefinder, Spotting Scope

Ashbury Hensolt Zeiss Spotting Scope LRF Laser Kestrel Trimble Nomad
Click Image to View Full-Screen Version.

Here’s a triple-threat hardware package for long-range shooting. This cool set-up combines a folded-path spotting scope with a Laser Rangefinder (LRF) and a Kestrel Wind Meter. The LRF is mounted directly to the Hensoldt-Zeiss spotting scope ($4330.00 retail) so the two units stay aligned at all times. That makes it easy to spot and range your target quickly. LRF and weather data is piped into a PDA which automatically generates a firing solution (providing windage and elevation adjustments). That’s slick. Feeding the range and weather data directly into the Ballistics solver eliminates human input error and allows rapid updates to the ballistics solution.

Ashbury Precison Ordnance sent us these photos, noting: “The ingenuity of APO customers never ceases to impress us! This rig has a co-located LRF adjustable for azimuth and elevation, a Kestrel weather station (Bluetooth?) and Trimble NOMAD RPDA. Firing solutions are updated as data is transmitted to the PDA from the LRF and weather station. That Hensoldt Spotter 60 is a nice piece of glass for shooting at extremely long distances.” The spotting scope is mounted on a Manfrotto 410 3-axis geared head.

Click Image to View Full-Screen Version
Ashbury Hensolt Zeiss Spotting Scope LRF Laser Kestrel Trimble Nomad

Permalink Gear Review, News, Optics 4 Comments »
October 17th, 2016

Bargain Finder 57: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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

1. CDNN Sports — Ruger American .270 Win, $289.99

RUger American Rifle hunting hunter .270 Win Winchester Long Action .270 Win Winchester

If you’re looking for a good deer-hunting rifle at a super-affordable price, check out this .270 Winchester Ruger American. It comes with a gray-blue digital camo finish that actually suits gray fall days pretty well. The long action sits in a integral bedding block, and features a three-lug bolt with 70° bolt lift. The 22″ hammer-forged barrel has a 1:10″-twist, so it’s capable of shooting the most popular .270-caliber hunting bullets. Ammo is held in a flush-fit rotary magazine. The Ruger American is a good, solid rifle — and this is a steal at $289.99. If you don’t like the finish, buy a $5.00 can of spray paint.

2. Grafs.com — SK Standard Plus at $5.99 per Box

Graf and sons grafs.com SK standard plus rimfire .22 LR Ammo

This is very good European-made rimfire ammo at an affordable price. SK Standard Plus is much better than most low-priced rimfire ammo. This is a good choice for cross-training, fun plinking, or rimfire tactical matches. When we don’t need ultra-high-quality Eley or Lapua match .22 LR ammo, we’re happy to shoot SK Standard Plus. The Grafs.com price includes shipping (after one flat $7.95 fee).

3. Midsouth — FREE Hat with Lee Pistol Die Sets

Midsouth Lee Pistol Carbide Dies Shell Holder Free shooting hat

Lee pistol dies are not expensive, but they work perfectly well for most handgun cartridges. We like the fact that Lee’s three-die sets come complete with a shell-holder and dipper. We use Lee dies ourselves for 9mm Luger and .380 ACP reloading. Right now Midsouth has a special offer — buy any pistol die set (starting at $30.56), and you get a FREE Midsouth hat (green or khaki). We recommend the 3-die carbide die sets. These include Carbide Full Length Sizing Die, Bullet Seating Die, Powder-Thru Expanding Die, Universal Shell Holder, and Powder Dipper. All the elements (dies, shell-holder, dipper) fit inside a convenient see-through plastic storage case.

4. Amazon.com — RCBS Rockchucker Supreme Press, $126.99

Amazon.com Amazon RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Reloading Press Sale

The RCBS Rock Chucker remains a classic — a big, strong, versatile press that can handle most reloading chores with ease. And now you can get a genuine Rock Chucker Supreme for $126.99 — a very good deal. The Rock Chucker offers plenty of leverage for case-sizing and the “O” is tall enough for long cartridges. The Rock Chucker has a very strong base and should last a lifetime. We’re not fans of the Rock Chucker’s priming system but most serious reloaders use a separate priming tool.

5. Midsouth — 20-60x60mm Vortex Spotting Scope, $399.99

Vortex Spotting Scope Midsouth bargain

This is a very good spotting scope for the price. Yes it gives up some low-light performance to a spotter with an 80mm objective, but otherwise it is a good performer, and we can’t think of much that will touch this Vortex Diamondback spotting scope for anywhere near the $399.99 sale price. Choose from angled or straight version for the same $399.99 price, which includes the 20-60X zoom eyepiece.

6. Natchez — RCBS ChargeMaster Dispenser, $279.99

RCBS Chargemaster scale dispenser Natchez

Here’s a very good deal on the popular RCBS ChargeMaster combo scale/powder dispenser. This unit sells elsewhere for up to $389.00. You may want to act quickly as sale pricing changes frequently and many other vendors have recently raised their prices. Grafs.com sells this for $369.99 now while the current Amazon.com price is $296.99. You can save a lot through Natchez right now. NOTE: There is an RCBS Rebate Program in effect now — if you spend at least $300.00 on “RCBS tools and accessories” you can get $75.00 back.

7. Home Depot — 72″ Wood Workbench for $75.36

Folding Wood Work Bench Home Deport Reloading

This patented Home Depot workbench assembles in a few minutes. Simply unfold the legs, pop in the shelf, and you are ready to start your project. Made from Premium 2×4 Hemlock fastened with glue and screws, this workbench is a great value. The bench (72″ wide x 35″ high x 22″ deep) can easily be stored when not in use. NOTE: The wood is unfinished (can be painted or stained).

8. Amazon.com — Gerber Folding Bear Grylls Survival Knife

AccurateShooter Deals of week Gerber sheath folding survival knife Bear Grylls  discount  bargain coupon

This is a pretty darn good folding knife, and a killer deal at under $20.00 from Amazon.com. Yes your Editor bought one. The semi-serrated stainless steel blade is sharp and holds its edge surprisingly well. The knife comes with a nylon sheath and a Bear Grylls survival guide. Despite its low cost, Gerber offers a lifetime warranty on this knife.

Here is a verified owner’s review: “Most retailers sell it for 30 bucks. This knife is…very sturdy with no blade play and has a good solid feel. The handle is very grippy… [and] fits VERY nicely in the hand. Love Gerber’s serrations… great for cutting rope, cordage and strapping.” Note — this price has been fluctuating. There was one Amazon seller at $19.85 with Free shipping, Click link at right to see multiple price options.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading 1 Comment »
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 »
September 5th, 2016

SSG Sherri Gallagher — How to Read the Wind Video

Reading Wind Sherri Gallagher

Sgt Sherri GallagherThe ability to read the wind is what separates good shooters from great shooters. If you want to learn wind-doping from one of the best, watch this video with 2010 National High Power Champion (and U.S. Army 2010 Soldier of the Year) Sherri Gallagher. Part of the USAMU’s Pro Tips Video Series, this video covers the basics of wind reading including: Determining wind direction and speed, Bracketing Wind, Reading Mirage, and Adjusting to cross-winds using both sight/scope adjustments and hold-off methods. Correctly determining wind angle is vital, Sheri explains, because a wind at a 90-degree angle has much more of an effect on bullet lateral movement than a headwind or tailwind. Wind speed, of course, is just as important as wind angle. To calculate wind speed, Sherri recommends “Wind Bracketing”: [This] is where you take the estimate of the highest possible condition and the lowest possible condition and [then] take the average of the two.”

It is also important to understand mirage. Sheri explains that “Mirage is the reflection of light through layers of air, based off the temperature of the ground. These layers … are blown by the wind, and can be monitored through a spotting scope to detect direction and speed. You can see what appears to be waves running across the range — this is mirage.” To best evaluate mirage, you need to set your spotting scope correctly. First get the target in sharp focus, then (on most scopes), Sheri advises that you turn your adjustment knob “a quarter-turn counter-clockwise. That will make the mirage your primary focus.”

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills 5 Comments »
August 22nd, 2016

Bargain Finder 49: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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

1. Kelbly.com — 15% Off Discount on All Products

Bargain Coupon Code Kelbly Kelbly's Panda Action stock

Looking for a Panda or Atlas Action, or a complete match rifle? Here’s a great promotion from our friends at Kelbly’s. Now through Tuesday, August 23, 2016 you can get 15% of ANYthing on the Kelblys.com website. That includes rifles, actions, stocks, barrels, scope rings, muzzle brakes, Berger bullets, accessories and more. To save big, use code 15ALL at checkout. Don’t delay — this offer expires at 11:59 pm on September 1, 2016.

2. EuroOptic.com — Tikka T3 Liquidation Sale, Huge Discounts

Tikka T3 sale inventory closeout reduction discount truckload

Looking for a great price on an excellent hunting rifle? Here is the Tikka Deal of the Decade. EuroOptic.com has received nearly 3,500 Tikka T3 rifles, which will be sold at deep discounts as part of an inventory clearance program by Beretta, Tikka’s parent company. The Tikka T3 is a good, stout rifle with a smooth, 3-lug action, crisp trigger, and quality barrel. Accuracy is typically well under 1 MOA (for three shots). T3 barreled actions also are a good “core” for a tactical build. The strong T3 action handles detachable magazines, and fits a variety of third-party stocks.

3. Monmouth — Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor Brass, $34.95 for 50

Deals Week Kowa Spotting Scope TSN-61

The 6.5 Creedmoor has become one of the most popular chamberings for tactical/practical shooting. This mid-sized cartridge offers excellent ballistic performance with 120-140gr bullets, with moderate recoil and excellent inherent accuracy. Now you can get Hornady-brand 6.5 Creedmoor brass at a very good price: $34.95 for 50 cases (that’s $69.90 per 100).

4. Amazon — Kowa 60mm TSN-601 Spotting Scope Body, $259.00

Deals Week Kowa Spotting Scope TSN-61

If you are looking for a rugged, reliable, and affordable spotting scope to watch flags, mirage, and shot spotting discs, this angled-body Kowa TSN-61 will do the job. And $259.00 with free, fast Prime Shipping is a great deal. These Kowa spotters have been used successfully for years by prone and High Power competitors. Sure the glass can’t rival the latest top-of-the-line HD spotting scopes, but the TSN-61 is a small fraction of the price of high-end models which cost $2000 or more. The money you save can buy four premium hand-lapped barrels. NOTE: Eyepieces are sold separately — expect to pay $275.00 – $300.00 for a Kowa 20-60X Zoom eyepiece.

5. Midsouth — $15.00 HazMat Fee with 15-lb Powder Purchase

Midsouth discount sale hazmat feed $15.00

When you purchase powder, it makes sense to buy in bulk. That way you get powder from the same lot, and save on the HazMat fees. Now you have even more incentive to place a big order. Right now Midsouth is offering $15.00 Hazmat with orders of 15 or more pounds of powder. Get 15 one-pounders or two eight-pound jugs and you’ll qualify. Midsouth has a large selection of popular powders in stock, including Hodgdon Varget, H4198, H48931sc, and the new IMR Enduron powders. With this special HazMat deal you can save up to $20.00 (many vendors charge $35.00 HazMat per order). Don’t hesitate — this offer ends 8/25/2016.

6. Amazon — Tipton Gun Vise, $30.32 (free Prime Shipping)

Tilton Best Vice reloading bench rifle

This is an awesome deal on a durable, well-designed polymer Gun Vise that every rifle owner can use. Your Editor has one of these units which has served well for more than a decade. The base has compartments for solvents, patches, and tools. The cradles and pads contacting your gunstock are a soft, rubber-like material that is gentle on fine finishes. This vise is relatively light in weight, but sturdy enough to support big, heavy rifles.

7. Amazon — Mildot Master Ballistics Calculator, $29.86

Mildot Master Amazon scale bargain

A Mildot Master is one item every tactical/practical shooter should own. This handy tool has been used successfully for years. It doesn’t require batteries, no keypad data entry is require through a keypad is necessary, as the device is purely analog. No complex calculations for determination of telescopic sight adjustment or hold-over at various ranges are necessary, as the scales of the device convert drop/drift figures directly into both MOA and mils.

8. Amazon — Ten-Pack of 2″-Diameter Splatter Targets, $8.99

Bargain Coupon Code Kelbly Kelbly's Panda Action stock

We use these splatter targets for fun shoots and practice at 300 and 400 yards. When hit, each shot displays as a bright, neon-green/yellow circle. That makes it easy to spot your shots, even with relatively low-power optics. These targets also work great for handgun practice at shorter distances. For just $8.99 you get ten sheets each with 16 stick-on circles — a total of 160 target bulls.

Permalink Hot Deals, New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »
August 9th, 2016

New Zeiss Conquest Gavia 85 Spotting Scope Looks Good

Zeiss 85mm spotting scope HD glass Gavia Conquest

Carl Zeiss Sports Optics has introduced a new 85mm spotting scope, the Conquest Gavia 85. This new 30-60X spotter is a modern, shorter and lighter design that may challenge Kowa’s category-leading 88mm Prominar spotter, at a more attractive price. The Zeiss Gavia 85’s MSRP is $1999.99. You can pay $2100.00+ for the Kowa 88mm Prominar angled BODY ONLY. Kowa’s 25-60X Prominar LER Eyepiece runs another $569.00, so total cost approaches $2700.00 for the Kowa system.

The new Conquest Gavia 85 angled spotting scope combines 60X max magnification with a wide-angle field of view. A large center ring allows fast, positive focusing. Zeiss claims the large 85mm objective and low-dispersion HD glass provides “outstanding optical performance and brightness” plus great low-light performance. For a spotting scope with a large 85mm objective, the Zeiss Gavia 85 is lighter than expected. With 30-60X removable eyepiece, this spotter weighs in at 60 ounces (3.75 lbs. or 1.7 kg). The spotter is fogproof and waterproof, with LotuTec® lens coatings for easy cleaning and good clarity in all types of weather.

Zeiss 85mm spotting scope HD glass Gavia Conquest

Zeiss 85mm spotting scope HD glass Gavia ConquestZeiss Conquest Gavia 85 Specifications:
Magnification: 30-60X
Objective Lens Diameter: 85 mm
Exit Pupil Diameter: 2.8-1.4 mm
Focal Length (Objective Lens System): 494 mm
Field of View at 1,000 yards: 99-69 ft
Close Focus: 10.8 ft
Lens Type: HD with LotuTec® /T* coating
Length: 15.6 in
Weight (incl. Eyepiece): 60 oz.
Lens Thread: M 86 x1
Retail Price: $1,999.99

For more information on the Zeiss Gavia 85 spotting scope and other Zeiss products, visit www.Zeiss.com or the Zeiss Facebook Page.

Optics Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, Optics 3 Comments »
July 4th, 2016

Bargain Finder 42: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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

1. Midsouth — 20-60x60mm Vortex Spotting Scope, $399.99

Vortex Spotting Scope Midsouth bargain

This is a very good spotting scope for the price. Yes it gives up some low-light performance to a spotter with an 80mm objective, but otherwise it is a good performer, and we can’t think of much that will touch this Vortex Diamondback spotting scope for anywhere near the $399.99 sale price. Choose from angled or straight version for the same $399.99 price, which includes the 20-60X zoom eyepiece.

Magnification: 20-60X Zoom
Objective Lens Diameter: 60 mm
Eye Relief: 14-17 mm
Close Focus: 20 feet
Length: 14 inches
Weight: 33.8 ounces

2. Amazon — Caldwell Long Range Target Camera System, $399.49

Amazon Caldwell Precision Long Range Target System Cam Camera

A few Forum members have purchased this 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 with 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 very nice, fitted carrying case that holds camera, transceivers, antennas, and stands. You get a very capable system for under $400.00.

3. Sportsmans SuperStore — .243 Win Ruger Prec. Rifle, $1049.50

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Ruger Precision Rifle RPR Tactical .243 Win 6mm PRS modular stock

The Ruger Precision Rifle has been one of the hottest-selling long guns in America since its releases. It has pretty much been sold out for months. And Ruger just bumped the price on the new Gen2 edition up to $1599.00 MSRP. The Superstore got hold of some of some Gen 1 production RPRs in .243 Winchester. These rifles are IN STOCK and on sale for $1049.50. That’s a great price. The venerable .243 Win cartridge is a good choice for this rifle — Gavin Gear of UltimateReloder.com has an RPR chambered in .243 Win that has proven very accurate.

4. Grafs.com — Magnetospeed Sporter $179.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

If you have been waiting to get a Magnetospeed… wait no longer. Priced at just $179.99 at Grafs.com, the Magnetospeed Sporter model costs less than half as much as Magnetospeed’s V3 models. This chronograph attaches directly to your barrel so you don’t have to go downrange to position tripods and set up skyscreens. For most people the Sporter Model contains all the features they need. Using Magnetospeed’s XFR adapter (sold separately), data can be transferred easily from the display module to your mobile device. READ Magnetospeed Sporter Review.

5. Amazon — Gun Concealment Furniture Bench, $126.32

Amazon Gun Concealment bench American Classics

The American Furniture Classics Gun Concealment Storage Bench hold ups to five (5) long guns. There is also a removable accessory tray for handguns or other accessories. There is padding on top and the outside of the bench is covered with stitched brown polyurethane. In the upper compartment (above the guns), you can store blankets, bedding, or other outdoor gear. NOTE: while the lower gun compartment has a lock, this is NOT a steel-shielded gun locker; the walls are wood composite.

6. Natchez — 1k Rounds Blazer 9mm (Brass Cased), $199.99

9mm Blazer Brass Cased

This is quality, CCI made-in-USA ammo with reloadable, brass casings. We have used this CCI-made Blazer 9mm ammo in Sig, HK, and Glock pistols and it performed very well. This stuff won’t last long at this price (less than $0.20 per round). If you need 9mm practice ammo, order soon — this very same 1000-round case of Blazer 9mm ammo costs $60.00 more at MidwayUSA. Blazer Brass is loaded in boxer-primed, reloadable brass cases for added value.

7. MidwayUSA — Promo Codes, $10, $20, or $30 Off

MidwayUSA Promo codes independence day

For the 4th of July, MidwayUSA is offering money-off Promo Codes. Use Code 10July100 to save $10 on $100 or more order, use code 20July200 for $200+ orders, and use code 30July300 on orders of $300 or more. Exclusions: Gift Certificates, out-of-stock products, products with Quantity Limits. Also excludes any product from FNH, 5.11 Tactical, Benchmade, Geissele, Garmin, Leica, Atlas Bipods, Accu-Shot, Airforce, select Leupold, select Redfield, Nightforce, Sitka Gear, Zero Tolerance, Under Armour, Oakley and First Lite.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
March 21st, 2016

Bargain Finder 27: Accurateshooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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

1. Defender Outdoors — Rem 700 .300 Win Mag M40, $639.99

Remington Rem 700 .300 Winchester Win Magnum Mag Bell & Carlson M40

Come on, admit it — who wouldn’t like to have a .300 Winchester Magnum in their personal arsenal. Here’s a chance to pick up a nice Rem 700 in .300 WM for under $650.00. The Model 700 Long Range features a 26″ heavy varmint barrel mated to Remington’s Long Action. This model comes with a Bell and Carlson M40-type tactical synthetic stock with dual front swivel studs for a sling and bipod. The 700 Long Range also features an aluminum bedding block for accuracy. The trigger is the externally-adjustable X-Mark Pro, factory set at 3.5 pounds.

2. Grafs.com — Nikon ProStaff 4-12x40mm Rimfire Scope, $99.95

graf grafs.com nikon rimfire prostaff rock rimfire sale coupon dicount

Right now Nikon is running a “Rock your Rimfire” promotion with instant savings of up to $50.00 per scope. With this program, you get a super-low price at time of purchase — there are no rebate forms to fill out or delays. While a variety of Nikon rimfire scopes are on sale currently, we think the most attractive deal is the Nikon 4-12x40mm Prostaff scope with BDC (bullet drop compensation) reticle. Right now, this scope is just $99.95 at Grafs.com. That’s a steal.

3. Amazon — RAVPower 16750mAh Portable Charging Pack

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

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

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

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

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

5. CDNN Sports — Browning Stainless .22 LR Buck Mark, $379.99

Browning Buckmark Stainless Camper UFX Pistol Handgun .22 LR 22 rimfire

Everyone needs a good .22 LR rimfire handgun, and the Browning Buck Mark is a classic. This stainless, bull barrel version is marked down this week to $379.99. That’s a very good price. Buckmarks, with their excellent triggers and great ergonomics, are fun to shoot and VERY accurate. This is a pistol you can keep for a life-time and pass on to your kids. Browning says: “Every Buck Mark starts out as a solid piece of aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum alloy, and then is CNC machined to exacting tolerances. The crisp single-action trigger, hand reamed chamber, target crowned barrel and finely adjustable target sights mean the Buck Mark comes ready for fun straight from the box.”

6. Widener’s — Norma 203B and 204 Powders on Sale

Wideners Norma alliant powder discount sale 203B Reloder 16 Norma 204

Looking for an excellent powder for your .308 Win, 6BR, or other small-to-midsized cartridge? You should consider Norma 203B. This Bofors-made powder is essentially the same as Alliant Reloder 15, which has set many records in the 6mmBR and 6mm Dasher cases. Right now Norma 203B is on sale at Wideners.com for just $19.95 per pound. That’s a great deal for an outstanding propellant. Other vendors charge up to $29.00 per pound for Norma 203B. Widener’s also has 8-lb jugs of Norma 204 powder is also on sale now for $139.00 (which works out to $17.35/lb). Norma 204 has a burn rate similar to H4350.

7. Amazon — Kowa 60mm TSN-601 Spotting Scope Body

Deals Week Kowa Spotting Scope TSN-61

If you are looking for a rugged, reliable, and affordable spotting scope to watch flags, mirage, and shot spotting discs, this angled-body Kowa TSN-61 will do the job. These Kowa spotters have been used successfully for years by prone and High Power competitors. Sure the glass is not as sharp as the latest top-of-the-line HD spotting scopes, but the TSN-61 is a small fraction of the price of high-end models which can run $2000 or more. The money you save can buy four premium hand-lapped barrels. NOTE: This item is the scope body only. Eyepieces are sold separately — expect to pay $260.00 – $300.00 for a Kowa 20-60X Zoom eyepiece.

8. Harbor Freight — Ammo Box and LED Light Super Savings

Harbor Freight plastic ammo can Harbor Freight LED light Safe lamp flashlight

Here are two great deals from Harbor Freight — both coupons are good through the end of March, 2016. We like these plastic ammo boxes better than metal .30-cal milsurp ammo cans because the plastic boxes are lighter, don’t rust, and they are much kinder and gentler to human shins and vehicle interiors. This $2.99 compact LED light works great to illuminate the interior of your gun safe. At this price you can buy three and keep a spare for your Emergency kit or vehicle glove compartments.

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January 19th, 2016

Media Day at the Range 2016

2016 Media Day Range

Media Day Range

Scores of manufacturers showcase their products at the SHOT Media Day event, held each year in Boulder City, Nevada. This year we saw some legendary names (such as Colt and Winchester), as well as new, 21st-century gun-makers (such as Tracking Point). Savage and Kimber had some surprising new offerings, and we saw impressive new optics from Zeiss and Minox. There were some interesting trends. Many firearms were equipped with “factory” suppressors. Ruger, much to our surprise, showcased a Ruger 10/22 takedown rifle fitted with a Ruger-branded suppressor. It was extremely quiet. Many of the handgun manufacturers, including Ruger and Walther, supplied ammunition with composite polymer matrix bullets. These bullets are significantly lighter than conventional pistol bullets of the same caliber (the reduced bullet mass did lessen felt recoil with 9mm and 45 acp pistols). The polymer bullets are lead-free, and they don’t ricochet, so they are both more “eco-friendly” and safer when used on steel targets.

New Savage 110 BA Stealth Rifle

Savage 10 ba stealth rifle

Savage unveiled a modern, “monolithic” metal-chassis tactical rifle. Designed to compete with the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR), the new Savage 110 BA Stealth has an AR-type hand grip, skeletal buttstock, and a low-profile vented forearm. This rifle will be offered in .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor while a slightly bigger model will be offered in .300 Win Mag and .338 Lapua Magnum. Savage says that all the 110 BA Stealth models will feature “factory blue-printed actions” for improved accuracy. MSRP varies from $1200 to $1600 depending on caliber and configuration. It should be available starting next month.

The model on display, chambered in .308 Winchester, proved accurate in the hands of Ed M. of 65guys.com. Ed liked the trigger and the fact that the rifle uses PMags. The stock, based on a design by Drake Associates, is very light but also very rigid. Ed thought this stock would work well on barricades in tactical matches. Steve L. of 65guys.com said there is “pent-up demand” for a rifle like this, and he predicts the 110 BA Stealth will be a big seller for Savage.

Savage 10ba Stealth media day

New K6 Revolver from Kimber

Kimber .357 Mag Revolver

Kimber, known for its 1911-type semi-auto pistols, has introduced an all-new K6 .357 magnum carry revolver. Kimber’s hammerless wheelgun was very nicely crafted and had one of the smoothest double-action pulls we’ve tried. The trigger pull was long, but very consistent and smooth. With the Kimber, you don’t feel a series of “stages” or transitions as you do with most other double-action revolvers. The other impressive thing about the new revolver is the finish — the stainless is very smooth and shiny, the result of “much hand polishing” according to Kimber engineers.

Ruger 10/22 Takedown with Factory Suppressor

Ruger 10/22 Takedown with suppressor

The most fun we had all day was at the Ruger booth. There we got to test a Ruger 10/22 Takedown fitted with a Ruger-branded factory-made suppressor. This little rifle was a hoot to shoot, and with the suppressor in place it was amazingly quiet. We really liked this set-up and the take-down system worked brilliantly — just pull one lever, then twist and the barrel section comes off. For those states where you can own a suppressor, we strongly recommend this configuration. The “can” is sold separately and buyer must still comply with all applicable state and Federal laws.

Zeiss Victory V8 4.8-35x60mm Rifle Scope

Zeiss Victory V8

zeissv802

Zeiss showed off its impressive Victory V8 line of riflescopes. These offer an 8X zoom ratio, with handy BDC turrets — just dial the yardage indicated on the turret (you can custom-order BDC rings calibrated for your favorite load). The new V8 scopes offer many impressive features. We shot a rifle fitted with the new 4.8-35x60mm V8, which features a very beefy 36mm main tube. The glass was bright and ultra-sharp. Zeiss claims 92% light transmission. Fiber optic technology provides a very precise red dot in the center of the reticle. This was visible even in bright sunlight. Zeiss will offer three other V8 models: 1-8x30mm, 1.8-14x50mm, and 2.8-20x56mm.

APO .338 Lapua Magnum

APO Ashbury .338 Lapua Magnum

Ashbury .338 Lapua Magnum

Bigger is apparently better when it comes to serious tactical rifles. There were quite a few rifles chambered for the powerful .338 Lapua Magnum Cartridge. We tried out a .338 LM from Ashbury Precision Ordnance. With some help from a laser rangefinders, we were able to put rounds on a large steel plate at 960 yards. The trigger was nice and the suppressor reduced felt recoil. This was a nice rifle, with a comfortable cheek-piece and ergonomic grip.

Minox MD 88 Spotting Scope

minox02

We noticed a BIG front objective on a brand-new Minox spotting scope — one of only two in the country. This new spotter features low-dispersion glass and dual focusing rings — a large “fast focus” ring and a second smaller, fine focus ring. The price, including 20-60X eyepiece, will be around $1750.00. Jason Baney, who works for EuroOptics, says this new Minox spotting scope compares well with other spotters that cost considerably more.

Blaser R8 Professional Thumbhole Fancy Wood

Blaser

If there was one rifle I wanted to take home with me, it was this nice Blaser R8 “Professional Success” model with a fancy wood new thumbhole stock. This rifle was very comfortable in all shooting positions. The gun balanced well and the straight-pull Blaser action is fun to use. It can be cycled rapidly without disturbing your position on the rifle.


This is always something new and unusual on display at Media Day at the range. This tracked one-man rig provides all-terrain mobility so disabled persons can enjoy hunting and wilderness recreation.

atv disabled power sled

Permalink Handguns, New Product, News 2 Comments »
January 3rd, 2016

New Products Will Debut at SHOT Show 2016

newcon optik spotting scope lrf laser rangefinder

SHOT Show in Las Vegas is just two weeks away. Here are some of the interesting new products that will debut at SHOT Show. You can find these items and hundreds more new-for-2016 products at the SHOW Show New Product Center.

Newcon Optik — Combination Spotter + Laser Rangefinder

newcon optik spotting scope lrf laser rangefinder

The Newcon Optik Spotter LRF is a combined spotting scope and laser rangefinder — the first of its kind. This unique piece of equipment integrates a Newcon Optik Laser Rangefinder with a 15-45X Spotting Scope with etched mil-dot reticle. Newcon Optik claims a 5500m maximum range for the LRF. The integrated scope/LRF is housed in a rugged yet light-weight MIL-SPEC housing. We like the idea of a combined Spotter/LRF. Will other companies try to copy Newcon Optik’s innovative design?

Mason Target Systems — AR500 Steel Target With Shot Sensor

Schweitzer Eagle Eye Dual POV Scope

The MTS Target System “Pescadero” unit combines a rugged AR500 steel target with a durable electronics and sensor package that allows shooters to view their shots on a mobile App. With on-board power and wireless communication technology, the system will display shot location to the shooter positioned hundreds of yards away. So you can hear the “ding” of steel and then see your exact shot location on your smart phone or tablet. To aid aiming, the Pescadero target can mount self-healing polymer targets to the AR500 steel plate. Visit MasonTargetSystems.com for more information.

Schweitzer Optics — First-Ever Double FOV Scope

Schweitzer Eagle Eye Dual POV Scope

Here is a very innovative new hunting scope that actually displays a 3.5 X view AND and 1.0 X view simultaneously. Schweitzer claims this is the first and only double Field of View (FOV) sports optic in the world. This innovative optical technology doesn’t come cheap — Schweitzer’s Eagle Eye 3.5 dual POV scope retails for $2500.00.

Annealing Made Perfect — Induction Annealing Machine

AMP Annealing Made Perfect Induction Annealer Machine Induction

No more flaming torches (and burned fingers). The AMP Annealing system anneals through electrical induction. This micro-processor controlled, precision-calibrated induction annealer provides exact and repeatable neck hardness. With the various AMP-made pilot inserts, the machine will handle popular cartridge types from .17 Caliber all the way up to 460 Weatherby. Anneal times are pre-programmed for optimal results.

Accu-Tac — SR-5 Tactical Bipod

Tactical Bipod SR-5

The Accu-Tac SR-5 Bipod is crafted from high-quality billet aluminum. The SR-5 mounts quickly and securely to a 1913 Picatinny rail. The bipod’s wide stance provides good stability. Ratcheted leg extensions adjust to five different heights, and then retract quickly with a one-button retraction lever. Legs can be deployed in a conventional 90-degree orientation, or at a 45-degree angle either forwards or rearwards.

Lyman Products — Cyclone Rotary (Wet) Tumbler

Lyman Rotary Tumbler Cyclone

Lyman is introducing a new Rotary Tumbler for 2016. Designed for use with stainless (pin-type media) and liquid, this Cyclone Tumbler gets brass thoroughly clean inside and out. The large capacity drum holds up to 1000 pieces of .223 Rem brass and features a rubber lining to protect brass and greatly reduce operating noise. The included two-piece sifter pans make separating cases and pins easy.

Swiss+Tech Products — Tac20 Firearms Multi-Tool

Tac20 Firearms Gun Tool multi-tool Gerber

This new multi-function gun tool contains 4 driver bits, 2 Torx drivers, 2 Allen drivers, gun pin punch, sight wrench, castle nut wrench, flat screwdriver, bottle opener, knife, and LED flashlight. It even contains a fitting with a male thread connection for attaching cleaning rods. That’s clever. All totaled, the Tac20 multi-tool offers 20 features — that’s a lot of functionality in a small, compact package from Swiss+Tech Products.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 4 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
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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 »
August 8th, 2015

Minox MD 50 — Ultra-Compact Spotter for Under $260.00

Minox MD 50 16-30x50mm Spotting scope
For many spotting chores, this small $260.00 Minox MD50 16-30x50mm may be all you really need.

Many readers have asked: “Can you recommend an affordable, quality, very compact spotting scope for viewing mirage or hunting?” These folks want a handy, general purpose optic — they aren’t trying to resolve 6mm bullet holes at 600 yards and beyond. For that kind of long-range viewing, you’ll need a premium ($2000+) high-magnification spotting scope (or better yet, a target cam system). However, for other tasks (such as viewing mirage, wind flags, or game animals), you can save your pennies and go with something smaller, lighter, and WAY less expensive — such as the Minox MD 50.

If you are looking for an ultra-small, medium-magnification spotting scope that is light, bright, affordable, and easy to use, we recommend the Minox MD 50 16-30x50mm spotter. To be honest, this is a steal. We don’t know of any pint-sized spotting scope that offers better performance at anywhere near the price (currently $259.00 on Amazon.com).

This small optic is easy to mount (even on very small tripods). It has a reasonably wide field of view, and is surprisingly bright and sharp considering the sub-$300.00 price. We prefer the angled model (for viewing mirage and flags while shooting prone), but there is also a straight (non-angled) version for the same price (currently $259.00 on Amazon.com).

Mind you, this little Minox MD 50 will certainly NOT replace a high-end Kowa or Swarovski spotting scope, but it may be all you need to see mirage, wind flags, and shot markers. Moreover, this little unit is ideal for use with pistols or airguns inside 50 meters. In fact this is the spotter we use when shooting pistols because it’s compact enough to fit inside a small range bag.

Minox MD 50 16-30x50mm Spotting scope

We’re not alone in our praise for the little Minox MD 50. The OpticsThoughts Blog reviewed five (5) different ultra-compact spotters from Leupold, Minox, Nikon, and Vortex, which ranged in price from $300 to $700.* Though the little Minox was the least expensive optic in the test, the reviewer concluded it was the best value by far:

MD50 16-30×50mm (OpticsThoughts.com Review)
This is easily the champ in the “bang for the buck” contest. Form factor-wise, it looks like a scaled-down, full-size spotter with a proper “foot” for a tripod mount. It has a very solid feel, owing to it being short and moderately heavy.

Optically, the spotter is very good for what it costs. It is a bit cheaper than the Leupold and outperforms it in most ways, while being more compact: FOV is wider, low light performance is better and overall image quality is better from 15X up to 22X or so. At higher magnifications, eye-relief gets a little short and Leupold is easier to use. However, the FOV advantage carries over across all magnifications. The focus ring is on the body of the spotter and the large diameter offers a fair amount of adjustment precision. [T]he focusing mechanism … is quite good.

Minox MD 50 16-30x50mm Spotting scope


* The products tested were: Vortex Recon Mountain 15×50mm, $590.00; Vortex Recon R/T Tactical 10×50mm, $550.00; Nikon Fieldscope ED50 13-30×50mm, $700.00; Leupold Gold Ring 15-30×50mm $400.00; Minox MD50 16-30×50mm, $300.00.

Permalink Gear Review, Optics 1 Comment »
July 18th, 2015

Swarovski Tech Blog Reveals How Scopes Work

The Swarovski Optik website features a blog with interesting technical articles. In the “On Target” series of blog stories, Swarovski has provided a handy explanation of how optics systems work, with exploded diagrams of rifle scopes, spotting scopes, and binoculars. CLICK HERE for Swarovski Optics Blog.

Accurateshooter.com optics rifle scope Swarovski


Accurateshooter.com optics rifle scope Swarovski

Scope Terminology
Focusing Lens
The focusing lens is an adjustable lens inside the optical system for focusing the image at different distances…. In the case of rifle scopes, apart from focusing, the focusing lens also facilitates parallax compensation.

Diopter Adjustment
For rifle scopes, the reticle can be focused using the diopter adjustment on the eyepiece, thereby correcting any visual impairment. [Editor’s Note: Movable eyepiece diopter adjustment is not offered on all rifle scopes. It is a useful feature on Swarovski and other premium scopes. This allows shooters who need eyeglasses to get a sharply focus image even without wearing corrective lenses. Of course shooters should always wear ANSI-certified eye protection. With the diopter, folks who need correction can use inexpensive, non-Rx safety eyewear instead of expensive prescription safety glasses.]

Reversal System
The purpose of the reversal system is to reverse the image by means of prisms in binoculars and telescopes, and lenses in rifle scopes….The lens reversal system is needed in rifle scopes to control the variable magnification and move the exit pupil[.]

Resource tip by EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Optics, Tech Tip 3 Comments »