January 4th, 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 1 Comment »
October 26th, 2018

NEW High-Performance 27-55x80mm Leupold Spotting Scope

Leupold Stevens Santiam SX-5 Spotter spotting scope HD 26-55X 80mm

Leupold recently annouced a new, premium spotting scope with outstanding low-light performance. Leupold’s new Santium SX-5 Spotter features a jumbo 80mm objective with a 27-55X zoom eyepiece. The SX-5 is offered in both straight and angled versions. Suggested retail price (including eyepiece) is $2339.00. Best “street price” should be around $1800.00. That positions Leupold’s SX-5 above Vortex, Burris, and Pentax price-wise, but the SX-5 is over $1000 less than high-end, 80mm-class Swarovski and Leica spotters which approach $3000 with eyepiece.

We’re interested to see how this new Leupold stacks up against the Kowa TSN-880 Prominar spotter ($2450.00 on Amazon) which has been a benchmark in the 80mm class. Leupold worked hard to give the SX-5 “second to none” low-light performance. The goal was to create a truly superior optic for hunters who may spend long periods “glassing” for game at dawn and dusk.

Leupold Stevens Santiam SX-5 Spotter spotting scope HD 26-55X 80mm

The SX-5 features High Definition (HD) glass with proprietary lens coatings to maximize light transmission and color fidelity. Zac Bird, Product Manager for Leupold states: “The human eye is most sensitive to colors outside the middle of the spectrum during dawn and dusk, when game is moving — the Twilight Max HD Light Management System literally helps you see more in less light. The superior glare reduction it offers ensures the maximum amount of usable light gets to your eye. Our proprietary lens coatings and superior optical design help deliver the very best contrast and resolution”

Features of New SX-5 Santiam HD 27-55x80mm Spotting Scope:
– Full-Diameter Focus Ring for smooth and precise focusing
– Oversized Eyepiece for reduced fatigue
– Guard-Ion Rain-Shedding Lens Coating
– Built-in Retractable Lens Shade
– Tough Rubber Armor Coating
– Full Lifetime Warranty

Leupold Stevens Santiam SX-5 Spotter spotting scope HD 26-55X 80mm

Price vs. Performance in the Field
Should a hunter spend a couple grand ($2000) on a spotting scope? It depends on your priorities. Leupold says: “Don’t underestimate the importance of a quality spotting scope. Your spotter can mean difference between tagging out or going home empty-handed…. Ultimately, you can’t shoot what you can’t find.”

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Optics No Comments »
October 5th, 2018

Firearms Industry Jobs — NSSF Career Center Listings

NSSF Jobs Database firearm industry employment listings

Looking for a good job in the firearms industry? The NSSF has you covered. The NSSF Career Center offers up-to-date job listings, powerful search features, and a mobile-friendly interface. It’s easy to upload your Resumé, and the Job Alert feature can send you new listings via email as soon as they post. Visit jobs.nssf.org for current employment opportunities in the shooting, hunting and outdoor industry.

CLICK to FIND Firearms Industry Employment at Jobs.NSSF.org »

Check out the latest job listings on the NSSF Firearms Industry Jobs Website
There are some interesting opportunities right now. Both Hornady and Smith & Wesson (American Outdoor Brands) are looking for engineers. Do you enjoy social media? Well Swarovksi Optik needs a Media Relations Specialist. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is seeking a Regional Director, and Century Arms needs a Sales Manager.

Click to See All Current Job Offerings:
NSSF Jobs Database firearm industry employment listings

Permalink News No Comments »
September 8th, 2018

Steyr Arms September Contest — Win Rifle, Scope, Gear, & More

Steyr Arms Swarovski Big Buck Down September 2018 contest Steyr Scout Pro THB Creedmoor Jagdhund

Are you feelin’ lucky? Then here is a contest you may want to enter. This new contest has not one but THREE very impressive prize packages that each include a rifle (or shotgun), premium hunting gear, plus a guided duck/quail hunt. The contest prize rifles — Steyr Scout or Steyr Pro THB 6.5 Creedmoor — provide real incentive to enter this contest. Those are nice rigs.

Steyr Arms Swarovski Big Buck Down September 2018 contest Steyr Scout Pro THB Creedmoor Jagdhund

Steyr Arms celebrates the fall deer season with a month-long Big Buck Down contest with THREE big prize packages — one awarded every 10 days in September. All three prize packages will include a Steyr or Merkel firearm, Jagdhund and X JAGD gear, plus a two-day, two-person duck/quail hunting trip. The first two give-aways also include a 3.5-18x44mm Swarovski Z5 riflescope.

The program runs from September 1 through September 30. Those that enter by September 10 will be eligible to win all three prize packages (but you can only win once of course). Along with a firearm, and premium hunting gear, each package includes the winner’s choice of a two-day guided quail or duck hunt for two from Intercoastal Safaris, complete with meals and beachfront lodging in the Florida/Alabama Gulf Coast. CLICK HERE for PRIZES.

THREE PRIZE PACKAGES — One Package Every Ten Days

Steyr Arms Swarovski Big Buck Down September 2018 contest Steyr Scout Pro THB Creedmoor Jagdhund
Steyr Arms Swarovski Big Buck Down September 2018 contest Steyr Scout Pro THB Creedmoor Jagdhund
Steyr Arms Swarovski Big Buck Down September 2018 contest Steyr Scout Pro THB Creedmoor Jagdhund

To enter the Big Buck Down! Giveaway, visit www.buckdowngiveaway.com. NOTE: You must agree to sign up for the sponsors’ e-mail newsletters. After entering the giveaway, contestants can receive additional entries by visiting sponsor websites and social media pages. There is no purchase necessary to enter. Due to legal restrictions in California, New York, Florida and Rhode Island, residents of those states are not eligible to win.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »
August 30th, 2018

Zeiss Victory RF RangeFinder Binoculars Field Test

Zeiss Victory 2018 RF rangefinder range-finding binos binocs bincoculars field review Colton Reid

Field Test and Review by Colton Reid
For years my “go-to” optic for hunting mule deer has been a high-quality set of Swarovski porro prism binoculars. They offer a sharp image, good low light performance, and were about half the price of a comparable roof prism design. I also carry a small, handheld laser rangefinder in my pocket while hiking. This setup has been “good enough” for a long time despite the inconvenience of separate optics and having to scramble for the rangefinder every time I spotted a buck.

But as I get older this setup becomes less favorable and my reasons for upgrading to binoculars with rangefinding capability are outweighing my reasons against. Accordingly, I decided to test if rangefinder (RF) binoculars could really deliver an improvement over separate binoculars and LRF. Fortunately, AccurateShooter.com acquired a new Zeiss Victory 10×42 RF and let me field test it. This is a premium unit, with a premium price tag. The 10×42 Victory RF currently sells for $3399.99.

Zeiss Victory 2018 RF rangefinder range-finding binos binocs bincoculars field review Colton Reid

First impressions were good. The Victory RF employs an Abbe-Koenig roof prism with a comfortable-to-hold black body that has a padded soft-touch surface. The Victory RF is marginally heavier than my older porro prism binocs. The central focus wheel is large, easy to turn, and is positioned to allow index and middle fingers to simultaneously work the focus wheel and rangefinder.

Great Glass with Excellent Low-Light Performance
Diopter adjustment was a bit more complicated due to the built-in rangefinder display, but once set didn’t require further adjustment. When all knobs were adjusted, optical performance was excellent. Compared with my tried and true Swarovski Habicht 10×40 porro prism binoculars, the Zeiss Victory RF exhibited an equally sharp image that was also brighter in the fading daylight. Additionally, the Victory RF had a narrower depth of field than the old Swaro porro. This produced a noticeable “3D” effect that helped the target pop out of its surroundings. The optics alone make the Victory RF an excellent product, but the Victory RF’s built-in rangefinder made these binoculars truly exceptional.

Testing the Victory RF Laser Rangefinder Capability
Having rangefinder functionality inside quality optics was remarkably convenient. This allowed spotting and ranging targets without having to re-acquire an image using separate optics. It also ensured that the image for ranging was the same magnification and quality as the binoculars. Beyond just convenience, the Victory’s ranging capability was superb.

During one testing session at dusk, distances out to an astonishing 2600 yards could be repeatedly measured. To dispel my skepticism I verified all ranges with Google Earth (Google earth image + range image). Ranging game-sized objects beyond 800 yards required a stable surface (or tripod) to hold the red dot on target. However, the rangefinder had no problem ranging trees or large boulders at longer distances by hand. Measurement to measurement variation was within about 5 yards, which is likely due to movement from the user, especially at long distances.

In most outdoor environments I’ve hunted, ranging nearby vegetation or rocks gives enough accuracy in distance to obtain a satisfactory ballistic solution. In my experience, the vast majority of hunters are taking their shots inside 300 yards. At that distance or closer, hand-holding the Victory RF works well. For shots that exceed 300 yards, where bullet drop is a concern for hunters, the rangefinder is able to incorporate ballistics profiles from the Zeiss Hunting App running on a smart-phone, and deliver a precise ballistic solution visible IN the binoculars.

[Editor: Press a button and right in the glass you can see the calculated elevation correction in inches or cm, with clicks in MILS or MOA. A Long-Range Only video review confirmed how well this works: “The sync was almost immediate. Gives you custom drop right in your binoculars, with one push of a button.” The Zeiss RF also calculates true horizontal distance for angled shots.]

Zeiss Victory 2018 RF rangfinder range-finding binos binocs bincoculars field review Colton Reid

The Victory RF was able to range larger objects at 2000 yards and beyond with the unit placed on tripod or solid support. In the example above, the Victory RF was targeted on a specific object on a ridge over one mile away. The Victory RF’s 1928-yard read-out was confirmed with a Google Earth GPS trace.

Zeiss Victory 2018 RF rangefinder range-finding binos binocs bincoculars field review Colton Reid

Zeiss Victory 2018 RF rangfinder range-finding binos binocs bincoculars field review Colton ReidSmart RF Binoculars with Built-in Ballistics Solver
Customized ballistics data can be transferred to the Victory HF’s display via a Bluetooth connection with the Zeiss Hunting Application*.

The Zeiss Hunting App deserves its own full review. But I can say the interface is clean, minimal, and FREE. There is much to be desired from the notes section, but the Ballistics Calculator makes it one of the better hunting apps I’ve used. Because ballistics data can be transferred to the rangefinder display, the App is a “must-have” accessory for the Victory RF.

GET iOS Hunting App (iTunes) | GET Android Hunting App (Google)

KEY FEATURES: Ballistics Solver, GPS Tagging, Weather Forecast, Field Notes with Photos

Comments on Zeiss Victory RF
Despite the Victory RF’s excellent optics and impressive ranging performance, there is some room for improvement in this product. The red rangefinder display proved difficult to see against a tan/brown backdrop during bright daylight hours. Also I noted that, if you look away from the center of the field of view, the read-out seems to dim. At full LED brightness the red dot target was always visible but still showed a tendency to blend in with a tan backdrop. [Editor: The Zeiss RF does offer 11 brightness curves, and the manufacturer notes the unit features an automatic brightness control.]

Setting the dual eyepiece diopters was also a bit more complex than a single diopter system. The “trick” was to first focus the rangefinder display using the right diopter wheel. After that the central wheel and left diopter could be focused as needed. The accompanying neck strap and binocular case were well made and may work well for birding or nature hikes, but would not be preferred for hunting. When performing extreme physical activity, a shoulder harness or chest pack carrying case such the Badlands Bino X (shown below) is needed for support and fast extraction.

Zeiss Victory 2018 RF rangefinder range-finding binos binocs bincoculars field review Colton Reid

CONCLUSION — Superb Binoculars with Outstanding Rangefinding Capability
All together the Victory 10×42 RF is one of the finest binoculars I have had the pleasure of using. The crisp image coupled with a reliable long-distance rangefinder gave me the confidence to spot and stalk game over a mile away. As a hunter who spends 70% of his time behind optics I am convinced that with the Victory RF my ability to observe and plan in the field has dramatically improved. And with a little bit of care, these binoculars will be a reliable field favorite for years to come.

Zeiss Victory 2018 RF rangfinder range-finding binos binocs bincoculars field review Colton ReidZeiss Victory RF Binoculars Features:

– Laser Ranging capability from 16 to 2,500 yards
– On-board B.I.S. II ballistic calculator with integrated sensors
– Custom ballistics input via smartphone or tablet
– Bluetooth connectivity
– Holds custom ballistic profiles
– Measures angle, temperature, and air pressure
– Calculates equivalent horizontal distance
– Displays holdover in inches/cm, MOA, MIL and clicks
– Features Scan and Target modes
– Automatic LED brightness adjustment (11 brightness curves)
– User-Programmable ontrol buttons and display
– One-touch ranging (right or left hand)
– Syncs personal settings and ballistic profiles to and from the RF
– Large focusing wheel for minimal rotation
– FL glass, ZEISS T and LotuTec® coatings

About the Author, Colton Reid, Ph.D.
Colton Reid is a hunter and outdoorsman, who is also an optics expert. A Ph.D. engineer in the high-tech industry, Colton works with high-resolution electro-optical measuring devices for microchips. Raised in Colorado, Colton’s favorite activity is a backcountry hunting adventure. AccurateShooter.com is fortunate to have Colton review optics products.

* The Zeiss Hunting App integrates many useful features — ballistics solver, compass, GPS tagging, hunt history. The “Field Notes” function can record a wide variety of info — save photos, record shots and hits, log animal sightings, and even plot game locations on a map. Shots can be tagged via GPS through the shooter’s and the target’s position, and then displayed on a map. The Field Notes hunt diary shows all entries in chronological order.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Gear Review 3 Comments »
November 6th, 2017

Bargain Finder 111: 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. RCBS — Buy Green Get Green Rebate Program

RCBS Buy Green Rebate Program Sale Discount Deal

RCBS just kicked off its best rebate program of the year. The Holiday 2017 Buy Green Get Green promo is simple — buy ANY RCBS product over $49.99 and you qualify. There’s no restricted list of “qualifying” products. The more you spend, the more you get back — up to $175.00 total. If you are considering purchasing a single-stage press, electronic powder dispenser, progressive press, or a full reloading kit, save big with this promotion. It is good for purchases made through the end of the year, December 31, 2017. Download REBATE Form HERE.

2. Brownells — Remington RP9, $199.99 with $100 Rem Rebate

Remington Pistol Rebate RP9 9mm $199.00 $189.00 super deal

This may be the best pistol deal of the year. Right now Brownells.com is selling the Remington RM9 for just $299.99. NOTE: This item shows out of stock, but you can back-order the Rem RM9 and still get this price. But there’s more! You can get another $100.00 off with Remington’s Pre-Black Friday Rebate Program for pistol purchases made now through November 18, 2017. So you can get this brand new 9x19mm full-size, polymer-framed pistol for just $199.99. Plus if you use Brownell’s Coupon Code “H7L” at check-out, you’ll save another $20.00 and get free shipping. That lowers your actual cost for the RP9 pistol to $179.99, or $189.99 including Brownells $10 FFL processing fee. A new pistol for $189.99 is a heck of a deal. GET Remington Rebate Form.

3. Amazon — Sightron 10-50x60mm SIII LR MOA Scope, $973.06

Sightron 10-50x60mm optics
Match photo courtesy Varide Cicognati, Sightron dealer in Italy.

At the recent IBS 600-yard Nationals, 4 of the Top 10 shooters (including the 2nd-place finisher) used Sightron 10-50X scopes. Though reasonably priced, this 10-50x60mm optic is definitely good enough to win long-range benchrest and F-Class matches. If you’re looking for a high-magnification, variable-power target scope (with 1/8 MOA clicks), the Sightron 10-50x60mm is a smart choice. There is nothing else at the $1000.00 price point that can touch it. The new Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition Scope is a great product, but it costs $2352.00, more than TWICE the price of the Sightron 10-50x60mm. The money you save (vs. 15-55X NF) could pay for four barrels or a custom action. On a value-for-money basis, then, the Sightron 10-50x60mm makes sense for competitors on a budget. NOTE: Other Sightron 10-50x60mm scopes with FCH, Mil-Dot, or Target Dot reticles run $1000-$1030 on Amazon.

4. Amazon — MTM AC4C Ammo Crate with 4 Ammo Boxes

MTM Ammo Carrier Crate Box

Here’s a very cool product from MTM at a great price. The versatile MTM AC4C Ammo Carrier features four, lockable polymer ammo cans in a fitted, four-slot 23.5” x 11.3” x 7.5” carry crate. This makes it easy to haul four full ammo cans. Actual purchasers have raved: “Moments after I received this storage box set I ordered another. Very well built and great design. Awesome and a steal at the price.” Right now this is on sale at Amazon for just $29.99 with free prime shipping. The system includes four lockable, O-Ring 11.3″ x 7.2″ x 5″ ammo cans (AC30T) for multi-caliber ammo storage. The crate even includes tie-down points for transport in a cart or ATV. NOTE: Earlier this summer this MTM AC4C system sold for $39.99. The current $29.99 price represents a 25% savings! See price chart below.


MTM Ammo Carrier Crate Box

5. Natchez — Lowest Prices Ever on Swarovski Z3 Scopes

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week Swarovski Scope Optics Z3 discount

Swarovski makes superb optics. The riflescope glass is exceptionally clear and sharp, and the controls have a refined feel. No question, Swarovski makes a premium product. And right now you can get Swaro scopes at exceptionally low prices. These are some of the best deals we’ve ever seen on Swarovski Z3 riflescopes. Jason Gebhart, Swarovski Regional Sales Director said, “The Z3 is a proven product… this Z3 Seasonal Savings Event gives people an excellent opportunity to purchase the finest optics in the world and become part of our family at an incredible price.”

6. Bud’s Gun Shop — Ruger LCP .380 ACP, Just $169.00

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week Ruger LCP .380 ACP Carry Pistol Handgun

The Ruger LCP is the #1-selling pistol in the USA according to Gun Broker. And now you can get this compact carry piece for just $169.00 at Bud’s Gun Shop. Great deal. The Ruger LCP is light (9.6 ounces) and compact (5.16″ OAL), so you’re more likely to carry it regularly. The .380 ACP cartridge is not as powerful as a 9x19mm or 40 S&W to be sure, but when your life is on the line, a small gun is certainly better than no gun. For those looking for a light-weight, easy-to-conceal handgun, this little Ruger is a solid choice. Owner reviews have been positive and the $169.00 price (with free shipping) is hard to beat. That’s for payment via money orders, checks, or echecks; credit card price is $174.07.

7. American Eagle Pistol Ammo, 25% OFF Manufacturer Rebate

Federal Premium American Eagle handgun pistol ammo ammunition sale rebate 25% off

Rebate Extended to December 31, 2017!

Here’s a great Rebate offer from Federal Premium Ammunition. Now through December 31st, 2017, you can get 25% OFF the cost of Federal American Eagle brass-cased pistol ammo. We’ve used this ammo in .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP and we can say it’s good stuff — very reliable and cleaner that some other less-expensive brands. Midsouth Shooters Supply has qualifying American Eagle Ammo in a variety of calibers: .25 ACP, .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .38 SPL, .357 SIG, .357 Magnum, 40 S&W, .44 Rem Magnum, .45 ACP. Midsouth’s American Eagle Ammo starts at $11.99 for 50 rounds of 9mm Luger. The 25% OFF Super Savings Rebate reduces the price to just $8.99 per 50-ct box. CLICK HERE for Rebate Form.

8. CDNN — 51-Piece Driver Set (Flat-Head, Phillips, Hex, Torx)

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week Outers Screwdriver 51-piece set torx phillips allen driver

This Outers-brand, 51-piece set contains all the drivers you could ever need: Flat-head, Phillips, Hex (Allen), and Torx. Priced under ten bucks, this driver set offers great value for the money. Even if you already own high-quality Allen and Torx wrenches, you can buy this as a spare set for your gun room. And this also makes a great holiday “stocking stuffer” for gun guys. These drivers work great for installing scope rings or bases, or everyday use around the home.

• Molded Driver with Magnetic Tip
• 15 Flat Head Bits
• 10 Hex Bits (inch)
• 9 Hex Bits (metric)
• 4 Phillips Bits
• 9 Torx Bits
• 2 Extra Long Phillips Bits
• 1 Hex to Square Adapter

9. Amazon — 630 1″-Diameter Target Spots, $9.65 Delivered

Amazon target dots discount free shipping sight-in target

We use 1″-diameter Target Spots for sight-in and practice at 100-300 yards. These bright red/orange self-adhesive dots are easy to see. At 100 yards the high-contrast black diamond centers provide precise aiming points. We found this 10-pack of target spots on Amazon at a rock-bottom price. You get 630 total stick-on dots for just $9.65 with FREE Shipping. You can also get 360 Birchwood Casey 1″ dots from Midsouth for just $3.15, but shipping is extra. If you’re already ordering something from Midsouth, you may want to add the dots to your order.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
August 2nd, 2017

Kahles 10-50x56mm Scope Review by James Mock

Kahles MOAK scope 10-50x56mm 10x-50x james mock field test review

The Kahles 10-50x56mm MOAK Long Range Riflescope
By James Mock
The Kahles company of Austria is very old — dating back to 1898. With its long history, Kahles (two syllables, pronounced “Kah – less”) claims to be the oldest rifle scope manufacturer in the world.

What are the features of this scope that endear it to the discriminating long range shooter? First, it offers serious magnification — a true 10X-50X. It has a rather unique, centrally-mounted parallax adjustment control integrated with the elevation turret (i.e. they share the same axis). Included with the scope is a large ring which can be attached to the parallax control to facilitate adjustments without removing one’s head from the stock. Another unique feature is a small red and white pin that indicates how many revolutions one has made. If one red band shows, the scope is in the first revolution; with a one red and one white band, it is in the second revolution, and so on.

Kahles MOAK scope 10-50x56mm 10x-50x james mock field test review

This scope has a 56mm lens, fast-focus eyepiece, and 1/8th MOA adjustments. This is an expensive scope ($2799.00 at Brownells), but there are no short cuts in its construction. The lenses have a proprietary “AMV” multi-layer coating that’s claimed to transmit almost 100% of the light. Also, there is an oil-phobic coating to resist scratches and contaminates such as oil or dirt from sticking to the lens. The scope is nitrogen-filled and features hardened steel mechanisms for adjustments.

Kahles 10-50x56mm Specifications:
Magnification: 10X to 50X
Objective lens: 56mm
Reticle: Second Focal Plane with MOA subtensions at 40X power
Tube diameter: 30mm, Nitrogen filled
Length: 16.9 inches
Weight: 31.4 ounces
Click Value: 1/8 MOA with 20 MOA per revolution
Range of adjustments: 5.3 ft. elevation/ 3.6 ft. windage @ 100 meters
Field of view at 100m: 8.7 feet @10X and 3.6 feet @ 50X
Parallax Control: Parallax ring is centrally mounted on same axis as elevation knob.
Parallax Range: 8m to infinity
Eye relief: 3.74 inches

I first got to test the Kahles in competition at a 300-yard match. The scope performed flawlessly with spot-on, positive adjustments. The central-mounted parallax ring worked perfectly, giving me parallax-free viewing with the ring set on 300. The quick focus ocular adjustment also brought the image into sharp focus. We had some mirage today, but I had no problem seeing bullet holes with the scope set at 40x. The MOA reticle served me well by allowing me to know how many 1/8 MOA clicks to adjust from the sighter target. I shot my Bartlein 1:13.5″-twist 6mm PPC barrel with N133 and Bart’s 65gr Super Man BT bullets. I shot 296-4X out of 300 possible. The 65gr BT seems to be at its maximum range and I was edged out by an excellent 297/?x by a 6mm Dasher. The scope certainly did its part, but I didn’t.

Shooting the Kahles 10-50X at 200 yards before 300-yard match. The quality of this scope makes zeroing it a pleasure. The clicks are positive and audible.
Kahles MOAK scope 10-50x56mm 10x-50x james mock field test review

Kahles Performs Superbly Shooting the Square
With every new scope that I test, I shoot the “square” (a box test). This target below above has ½ inch squares and my aim point was the small square in the lower right quadrant. I shot two shots at it then moved the windage knob 5 MOA left and fired one. I then moved 5 up and fired again; moved 5 right and fired; followed by my final shot after clicking 5 MOA down. This last shot went through the hole made by the original two shots! That’s amazing. These were shot at 100m without wind flags.

Kahles MOAK scope 10-50x56mm 10x-50x james mock field test review

Shooting with the Kahles in 600-Yard Competition
On the 3rd Saturday of the month, we shoot a 600-yard match consisting of four, 5-shot targets on the IBS target. The 600-yard match demands a scope that is very reliable and “spot on” in its adjustments. Since I don’t have a 600-yard range on which to zero, I simply zero at 100 yards and click up 11 MOA. At our matches we shoot steel gongs for sighting in. There is NO sight-in period before the match — all competitors are expected to be “on target” upon arrival. I had to put my faith in the Kahles click values.

Our 600-yard match was my first opportunity to use the Kahles at that distance. I shot the scope set at 40X all day. The crisp adjustments allowed me to get on target quickly and in the first match, I shot a respectable 48/50 with 1X. NOTE: for this 600-yard match I replaced my 6 PPC barrel with an 8-twist 6mm Dasher. I use 32.8 grains of Varget pushing a Bart Sauter 105gr rebated boat tail bullet.

Testing with Hood Scope Checker
Many shooters’ primary concern with scopes used for competitive shooting is their ability to hold point of aim (POA). To test the Kahles, I mounted it on the Hood Scope Checker alongside my 36X Valdada. By aiming both scopes at a given point on the paper and firing several shots, one can determine if either of the scopes’ POA is moving. I don’t have a “frozen” scope to use, but the Valdada has been rock solid for me during many competitions over the last eight years. Pictured below is the setup that I used to test the scopes.

Kahles MOAK scope 10-50x56mm 10x-50x james mock field test review

Kahles MOAK scope 10-50x56mm 10x-50x james mock field test review

It is a pleasure to test a scope of this quality. Everything works as advertised and there are no unpleasant surprises. Many premium scopes fail the POA test outlined above. If a scope holds point of aim, has repeatable crisp adjustments, and sharp clear images, what more could a person ask?

Summary: A Quality Optic with Great Performance
Although I am still evaluating this scope, there are some definite conclusions that I have reached. This scope is for the person who will not compromise his demands for quality, regardless of price. This is not the most expensive large scope on the market at $2799.00, but it represents an extremely high-quality product for those willing to pay a premium for a premium product.

Are there things that I do not like about this scope? Yes, the primary one is the weight (31.4 ounces). This is not a problem for those shooting long range with 17- or 22-pound limits, but the weight is a consideration for those shooting short range benchrest varmint classes (10.5 or 13.5 pounds). Also, I would appreciate screw-on lens caps rather that the large bulky cover. I know that both of these are minor things and do not reflect the quality of the instrument.

If I had to offer any type of critique, it would be for a lower price and lighter weight. I cannot fault the price or weight too much however because quality costs and the scope has large objective lens and a sturdy tube. All in all, I can recommend this scope without reservation to all who want the best and have the ability to pay for same. — James Mock

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Optics 6 Comments »
February 6th, 2017

Optics Terminology — Lessons from Swarovski Optik

Swarovski Optik exit pupil scope accurateshooter.com

Swarovski Optik exit pupil scope accurateshooter.comWhen shopping for a new riflescope or spotting scope it’s easy to get confused by all the technical terminology. Do you wish you had a better way to compare scopes — beyond just size, weight, and price? Well Swarovski Optik can help. The Swarovski Hunting Blog offers a helpful guide to technical terms used when comparing scope specifications. Here are some important definitions, expressed in layman’s language:

Objective Lens Diameter
The objective lens diameter determines the size of the optical system’s entrance pupil. The bigger the objective lens diameter, the more light the system can capture. However, the size of the objective lens does not determine the size of the field of view.

Exit Pupil
The size of the Exit Pupil is determined by the objective lens diameter and the magnification. If you look at the eyepiece from a distance of around 30 cm (11.8 in), the Exit Pupil appears as a bright disc.

For calculating the Exit Pupil the formula is:

Exit Pupil = objective lens diameter ÷ magnification (expressed in power number).

The larger the Exit Pupil, the more light will reach the eye.

Swarovski Optik exit pupil scope accurateshooter.com

Field of View
The Field of View is the size of the circular section of the area which can be observed when you look through a long-range optical device. In the case of rifle scopes, it is specified at a distance of 100 meters or 100 yards. For example, 42.5 m at 100 m or 127.5″ at 100 yards. As an alternative, the Field of View can also be stated in degrees (e.g. 6.6°).

NOTE: The technically-feasible size for the Field of View is essentially determined by the magnification. The higher the magnification the smaller the Field of View.

Twilight Factor
The Twilight Factor defines the optical system’s performance in poor light. The statement “the greater the twilight factor, the better the suitability for twilight” only applies if the exit pupil is larger than or at least as big as the eye’s pupil. The pupil in the human eye can only open to around 8 mm. As we get older, our eyes become less flexible, which limits our ability to see things in twilight or at night. Therefore [an optic’s] exit pupil cannot always be fully utilized.

For calculating the Twilight Factor the formula is:

Twilight Factor = root of ( magnification x objective lens diameter ).

NOTE: Spotting scopes have extremely high twilight factors because of their high magnification and large objective lens diameter. But [when used at high magnification] their small exit pupil can make them [somewhat difficult] to use in twilight.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Article (with more illustrations).

Photos copyright Swarovski Optik Blog, all rights reserved.

Story Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Optics No Comments »
January 15th, 2017

New Fury HD Laser Rangefinding Binoculars from Vortex

Vortex Fury HD Laser Rangefinder Rangefinding Binoculars Leica Zeiss Swarovkski

We like binoculars with built-in Laser Rangefinding capability. With rangefinding binoculars, you can carry one less piece of gear, and a binocular optic is much more effective in the field than the monocular on a typical dedicated laser rangefinder (LRF). The stereo view gives better definition and depth perception, and the larger, binocular lenses give better low-light performance than the smaller-diameter monocular optic found in a conventional LRF.

Leica and Swarovski make excellent rangefinding binoculars, with great glass and impressive laser performance. But these European LRF Binoculars are very expensive — the latest Leica 10×42 Geovid is $2600.00 and the Swarovski 10×42 EL hits the three grand ($3000.00) mark. Frankly, that’s just too expensive for the vast majority of consumers.

New Vortex Rangefinding Binoculars at $1199.00 Street Price
Enter Vortex into the HD rangefinding binoculars marketplace with a quality, life-time “unconditional” guaranteed product at less than HALF the price of the Leica Geovid. MSRP of the Vortex’s new Fury HD Laser Rangefinder Binoculars is $1599.00, but “street price” will be hundreds less. Vortex says “expect to pay about $1199.00 at dealers for the Fury HD”. A lot more guys can afford $1200.00 than $2600.00, that’s for sure.

Vortex Fury HD Laser Rangefinder Rangefinding Binoculars Leica Zeiss Swarovkski

The Vortex Fury has some very cool features. It offers angle compensation as well as line-of-site modes. Scan mode gives readings as you pan or track a moving animal. You can set the distance output to yards or meters. All the controls are on the right side so you can operate the Fury HD easily with one hand. Check out the Fury’s features in the promo video below:

The Fury HD has good glass — fully multicoated HD lenses with good lowlight performance. The armored housing seems pretty tough. We like the fact that Vortex has provided a left eye diopter adjustment so users can fine-tune image focus for their vision.

Vortex Fury HD laser rangefinder rangefinder binculars

Vortex says the Fury HD will range “reflective targets to 1600 yards with an ultra-fast readout”. That may be a bit generous. In the real world, we expect the hand-held Fury HD to range deer-sized objects out to 800 yards or so, and larger objects (such as vehicles) out to 1200. This is based on our testing of other similar rangefinding binoculars.

Permalink New Product, Optics No Comments »
March 14th, 2015

New Long-Range Scopes from Swarovski and Leica

If you are looking for a premium riflescope with 25-26X max magnification, there are two impressive new options, and both come from Europe. Swarovski just announced its new X5 5-25x56mm scope while Leica has unveiled the new ER 6.5-26x56mm LRS. Intended for long-range shooting, both these scopes offer razor-sharp glass and some advanced features. The Swaro offers 20 MOA per revolution, plus a unique “Sub-zero” capability. The Leica has some interesting reticles and an attractive price.

Scope Brand/Model Max Power Elevation Clicks Tube Lume Est. Price
Swaro X5 5-25x56mm 25X 82 MOA 1/4 or 1/8 MOA 30mm Optional $3300/$3500(i)
Leica ER 6.5-26×56 LRS 26X 120 cm* 1/6 MOA* 30mm No $2089**

* This is at 100m for the Euro version with 0.5cm click values (1/6 MOA). Leica has not published MOA elevation. 120 cm at 100m works out to about 41 MOA at 100 yards.
** Based on €1990.00 (Euros) stated price. The actual price, as sold in the USA, could be higher.

Swarovski X5 5-25x56mm

Swarovski recently unveiled its new X5 series of second focal plane scopes for long-range shooting. There will be two models, a 3-18x50mm and a 5-25x56mm. Both are available in standard and illuminated versions, the latter designated as X5(i). Long-range reticles with be available with either 1 MOA or 2 MOA stadia hash-marks. The 5-25X model offers either 1/4-MOA or 1/8-MOA clicks.

Leica 6.5-25x56mm LRS Scope Optics Swarovski

Swaroski says: “The X5 series has been developed specifically with the long range shooter/hunter in mind. The newly-designed turrets allow for 20 MOA per revolution, have a viewing window to show the user what revolution he or she is on. At the heart of the X5(i) is a Spring Retention and Lever System that exerts the same pressure on both turrets from the inversion system regardless of positioning. This assures maximum accuracy and repeatability.”

Check Out Features of Swarovski X5 Riflescopes

The 5-25x56mm X5 has a lot of elevation travel — 82 MOA. And this is a rugged scope — the elevation, windage, and parallax turrets, as well as the inversion system are built with stainless steel components. This enhances component longevity and durability.

Leica 6.5-25x56mm LRS Scope Optics Swarovski

X5 Offers Dual Zeros (for Long Range and Short Range
The Swarovski X5 scopes boast a new “Subzero” Function. This innovative feature allows the shooter to instantly come down 10 MOA (40 clicks) from a pre-set zero. That’s a nice option for training, letting you quickly switch from near to far. The new X5(i) Rifle Scope will be available in two different models, X5(i) 3.5-18×50 and X5(i) 5-25×56, in Fall 2015. For more information, visit Swarovskioptik.com.

Leica ER 6.5-25x56mm LRS

With 26X magnification on tap, the ER 6.5-26x56mm LRS riflescope is suitable for long-range hunting as well as many target disciplines. The new Leica ER 6.5-26×56 LRS offers ultra-sharp glass with low color fringe (chromatic aberration). This is a big advantage when viewing high-contrast subjects such as black-on-white targets. Eye relief is ample, and the scope offers a -4 to +3 Diopter compensation. Three reticle options are offered including two Ballistic reticles with elevation lines and horizontal (windage) hash marks.

Leica 6.5-25x56mm LRS Scope Optics Swarovski

With a rugged, aluminum “mono-body” main tube, the Leica is waterproof and fog-proof. Like all of Leica’s ER riflescopes, the ER 6.5-26x50mm LRS features a high-tech glass coating process technology. The scope is bright, with 91% light transmission. The HD glass elements are precision-ground with a state-of-the-art laser-guided production process.

Leica 6.5-25x56mm LRS Scope Optics Swarovski

Leica Pricing is Attractive
The new Leica ER 6.5-25x56mm is priced competitively. At the IWA show in Germany this month, Leica said the scope should retail for about 1990.00 Euros, which works out to $2089.00 U.S. Dollars at current exchange rates. Even if the “as imported” price goes up for the U.S. Market, that makes the scope much less expensive than Swarovski’s X5 5-25x56mm scope, and less than some comparable US-made optics.

Leica 6.5-25x56mm LRS Scope Optics Swarovski

Permalink New Product, Optics 15 Comments »
October 3rd, 2014

Swarovski’s New 80mm Spotting Scope Offers Illuminated Reticle

STR 80 Swarovski Spotting scope with ReticleSwarovski has a new STR 80 spotting scope with an illuminated reticle. That’s right, this new STR 80 spotter has a ranging reticle like a riflescope, with adjustable brightness levels. This 80mm spotting scope can be used for estimating range to targets, using MIL-based or MOA-based stadia lines on the cross-hairs. This allows you to range targets optically, as you could with a ranging reticle in a riflescope.

Revolutionary Reticle “ON”, Reticle “OFF” Technology
The STR 80’s illuminated ranging reticle makes the new STR 80 a fairly unique product among high-end, imported spotting scopes. Thanks to a new technology, Swarovski is the first manufacturer to successfully project a reticle directly in a spotting scope. The reticle (MOA or MRAD) can be activated or deactivated as required. Notably, because the reticle appears via electro-illumination, it can be “turned off” for un-obstructed viewing. So you can have a totally clear field of view when desired, OR a ranging reticle when that functionality is desired. Having the ability to turn OFF the reticle is great — that’s a very intelligent feature.

STR 80 Swarovski Spotting scope with Reticle

When viewing targets, the STR 80’s sharp HD (high-definition) lenses will resolve bullet holes at long range. Current Swaro 20-60X and 25-50X (wide) eyepieces can be used with the new STR 80 spotter. Optional accessories include Picatinny mounting rail, digiscoping attachment, and a winged eye cup.

How to Range with STR 80 Reticles
The new STR 80 scope offers a choice of either MOA or MRAD reticles with 15 brightness levels, 10 day levels, and 5 night levels. For convenient ranging, set the magnification level so that the MOA reticle displays ¼ MOA divisions, while the MRAD Reticle displays 0.1 MIL divisions. (NOTE: the reticle will change in size relative to the target at different magnifcation levels. Therefore ranging is normally done at one standard magnification level).

STR 80 Swarovski Spotting scope with Reticle

Dustin Woods, Sales Director for Swarovski Optik NA said: “Long range shooters asked for a premium spotting scope with integrated reticle and we have listened. With our new STR spotting scope we now have MOA and Mil-Radian reticle models. Because the reticle is illuminated, the user can have the reticle turned on when they are judging hits and misses but also turn it completely off for an unobstructed view during observation. This product is a real game changer in the precision shooting segment.”

Permalink New Product, Optics 5 Comments »
February 22nd, 2014

Record Video from Spotting Scopes with your iPhone or Camera

If you have a spotting scope, and a smartphone, you can now be a long-range videographer. One of the great things about digital cameras and smartphones is that, with a simple adapter, they can easily capture video through a spotting scope. This way you can record a string of shots on a target, or a shot on a game animal, or even record mirage for later review and study. Video can be a great training tool, and it’s also fun to record adventures at the range or on a hunt.

Digiscoping adapters hold your camera or smartphone at a fixed position, allowing the camera lens to faithfully record the view through the spotting scope’s eyepiece. Such set-ups work surprisingly well, and most are quite affordable. Phone Skope makes a Universal Digiscoping Adapter for iPhones. Able to adjust to different eyepiece diameters, this unit works with a variety of spotting scopes.

iphone digiscope adapter

If you have a Swarovski spotting scope, and an Apple iPhone 5/5s, you’re in luck. Swarovski just released a new digiscoping adapter for the latest generation of iPhones. This can be used with a Swaro spotter or other brand of spotting scope with the same eyepiece diameter.

iphone digiscope adapter

Along with iPhone adapters, Swarovski makes a variety of adapters for mounting digital cameras. Swarovski shows how to use these camera adapters in a “how-to” video (see below). One of the many tips in the video concerns focus. Many people attach the camera or iPhone and then forget to focus the spotting scope properly. Swarovski’s experts say you should focus in two steps: 1) set general focus; then 2) focus very precisely on the particular object (or surface) of primary interest.

iphone digiscope adapter

Video Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Optics No Comments »
June 11th, 2013

Updated Swarovski Website Launched

Swarovski Optik NA (Swarovski) has completely updated its website at www.swarovskioptik.com. The redesigned web page is divided into three main categories: hunting, nature, and travel & leisure. You’ll find in-depth product information with images, spec sheets and videos. There are easy-to-use, mobile-friendly links for Rifle Scopes, Spotting Scopes, Rangefinders (optronics), Binoculars, and Digiscoping Accessories. The enhanced site also features a Swarovski Blog with articles on optics products, hunting, and tech matters such as ballistics and lens technologies.

AccurateShooter.com Swarovski Optik web review
Caroline McDonald, Swarovksi Marketing Services Manager, tells us: “The redesign of the website will make it easier for our consumers and dealers to research and learn more about the Swarovski Optik brand and products.” The new website also incorporates an E-Shop, where consumers can purchase most Swarovski products directly, other than rifle scopes. Product descriptions include photo galleries and video clips. Here’s a video of the innovative Swarovski Modular ATX/STX Spotting Scope System:

Swarovski Ballistic Program
Swarovksi’s updated website includes an “Apps” section with software for mobile devices and smartphones. Swarovski currently offers a handy, FREE ballistic calculator App designed for use with Swarovski Distance Reticles or the Ballistic Turret. This App delivers two types of outputs. For Swaro scopes with long-distance reticles, the App generates aiming points. For Swaro scopes with ballistic-matched turrest, the App provides click values for various yardages and wind values. The App is available for iPhone, iPad, and for Android Devices.

Swarovski also offers a free web-based Ballistics Calculator you can use from any computer.

Permalink News, Optics No Comments »
July 26th, 2012

New Modular Swarovski Spotting Scope: 65mm, 85mm, 95mm

Swarovski has just announced a truly revolutionary spotting scope system. Imagine a “normal” spotting scope sliced in half, with separate objective (front) units and separate eyepiece (rear) units. This way you can have both straight and angled viewing options, and you can select from three (3) different objectives (65mm, 85mm, 95mm), depending on the light-gathering and max magnification you need for the job (and the weight you’re willing to carry).

Swarovski ATX Modular Spotting Scope

The new Swarovski Optik ATX/STX Modular Spotting Scope combines a straight (#49902) or angled (#49901) rear eyepiece module with any one of three front objective sections, the largest of which is a whopping 95mm. All three available objectives have coated HD lenses for high contrast, low chromatic aberration, and optimal light transmission. These lenses are bright, with excellent color fidelity.

Swarovski ATX Modular Spotting Scope

Both eyepiece modules have extended-eye-relief ocular lenses, with a “field-flattener” lens design that provides high contrast and correct geometry all the way out to the edge of the image. The eyepiece modules deliver either 25-60X or 30-70X power depending on front module. NOTE: The eyepieces are built into the rear modules — they are non-removable and you can’t swap in a third-party eyepiece. However, digiscoping adapter can also be fitted in the rear.

Watch Video to See Product Features and Lens Modules Changed in Field

Swarovski ATX Modular Spotting ScopeWith front and rear modules joined, the zooming and focusing rings are located right next to each other. This allows you to zoom quickly, and then easily fine-tune the focus without moving your hand. Centralizing both controls is smart because you don’t have to take your head away from the eyepiece to look for one control or the other. Your hand can stay in one position. We’ve always liked the large-diameter focus rings on Swarovski spotting scopes. Now, with the new modular Swarovski system, you get the advantage of a large-diameter, centralized zoom control as well.

Swarovski ATX Modular Spotting ScopeBig Money for Complete System
As you might expect, the Swarovski ATX/STX system commands a premium price. Either angled or straight eyepiece module is $2179.00 at EuroOptic.com. The 65mm front objective module is $879.00, but you’ll pay $1599.00 for the 85mm objective module. The biggest 95mm objective module costs $1899.00. So, for an angled rear module plus the jumbo 95mm objective, you’re looking at $4078.00 total. If you want BOTH rear modules AND the 95mm objective, you’ll need to pony up $6257.00! That’s got to be some kind of record for consumer spotting scopes. The minimum you can spend (for one rear module and 65mm objective), will be $3058.00, which is still pretty pricey. There are some significant advantages to this modular system though. For example, transport and storage is simplified, and we like the ability to choose the objective size based on the “mission”. You don’t need a 95mm objective to see bullet holes at 100 yards. But at long range, a bigger objective can be very useful.

Permalink - Videos, New Product, Optics 1 Comment »
July 20th, 2012

Zeiss Offers $500.00 Rebate on DiaScope Spotting Scopes

Carl Zeiss Sports Optics has made its top-end spotting scopes much more affordable. From August 1, 2012 through the end of the year, Zeiss is offering a whopping $500 rebate on its 65mm and 85mm Victory DiaScope spotting scopes. Those who purchase a DiaScope during this time will also receive a free portable tripod to enhance their viewing pleasure. This rebate offer is part of the Carl Zeiss 2012 Field Days Promotion. Visit Zeiss.com on August 1st for full details of the DiaScope promotion and other Field Days special offers.

Zeiss Diascope

The current Zeiss DiaScope models were launched in 2010 and won Field & Stream’s Best of the Best award, Outdoor Life’s Editor’s Choice award, Petersen’s Hunting’s Editor’s Choice award and the prestigious international Red Dot Design Award. It has many impressive features, including one-piece construction, full armor, and an innovative Dual Speed Focus System (DSF). For those seeking extreme magnification, the DiaScope has an edge over other premium spotting scopes — MORE POWER. The DiaScope’s 20-75x eyepiece remains the most powerful on the market today.

AccurateShooter.com Field Tests: Zeiss vs. Other Premium Spotting Scopes
We have tested the latest Zeiss 85mm DiaScope against high-end scopes from Swarovski, Nikon, and Pentax. Viewed at equivalent 60 power, the Zeiss glass was sharper, brighter, and clearer than both the Nikon and Pentax (showing less chromatic aberration). Contrast and sharpness was very, very close to the Swarovski, with possibly a tiny edge to the Swaro in contrast. Some of our testers prefered the DiaScope’s Dual Speed Focus. It is definitely fast. Others preferred the simplicity of the big, full-diameter ring on the Swarovski. But when we wanted max magnification, the DiaScope offered significantly more power than the Swaro: 75X for the Zeiss vs. 60X for the Swaro. Advantage Zeiss.

How about price? A Swarovski ATM-80 HD (Angled) with 20-60X eyepiece currently costs about $3059.00. The Zeiss Victory DiaScope 85T FL (Angled) with 20-75x eyepiece retails for about $3150.00 before rebate. If you knock $500.00 off the Zeiss with the rebate, you can get the 85mm Zeiss DiaScope for $409.00 less than the 80mm Swarovski. That should secure more buyers for the Zeiss. But anyone looking at ultra-premium spotting scopes should also consider the 88mm Kowa TSN-883/884 Prominar with Fluorite Glass. The Kowa is superb — perhaps the new benchmark for 80+ mm class spotters. The 88mm Angled version is $2450.00 for body only. CLICK HERE for Kowa TSN-880 Series Gear Review.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
February 20th, 2011

Natchez Offers Big Discounts on Swarovski Scopes

Natchez Shooters Supplies is currently running a major promotion on Swarovski optics. If you are looking for an extremely high quality hunting scope or target scope, you should check out the deals at Natchez. Here are some examples:

Swarovski  Scope

Swarovski Scope

Swarovski Spotting ScopeSwarovski Spotting Scopes
Swarovski Spotting Scopes and eyepieces are also on sale. The outstanding Swaro 80mm STM HD is marked down from $3,110.00 to $2,520.00, while the compact Swaro 65mm STM 65 (Straight Body) spotter is discounted from $1,521.11 to $1,240.00. The Swarovski Optik 20-60XS Oculars Eyepiece is also discounted from $665.56 to $539.00, a 19% savings.

NOTE: Sale inventories are limited, and prices are subject to change.

Story sourced by Edlongrange.
Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
February 4th, 2011

Big Name Demo Riflescope Deals from Cameraland

Great deals on Swarovski and Zeiss Demo riflescopes are available right now through Cameraland. These are mostly demo items used in trade shows. You can save up to $500.00 on some of these items from Zeiss and Swarovski. Cameraland explains: “As all of these items are limited quantities we have not posted all of them on our web site so please feel free to call Doug or Neil at (212) 753-5128 to place an order.” Supplies are limited. These prices only apply to special demo inventory in stock — when they’re gone, they’re gone. All orders over $100.00 include Fed Ex ground shipping to a street address in the USA. Editor’s NOTE: There is not enough room to list all the sales items. Other, lower-power demo riflescopes, spotting scopes, and binoculars are also on sale. Call for more info.

Cameraland demos

Zeiss

Conquest 3.5-10x50mm Riflescope:
#20 Z-Plex Reticle – $629.99, reduced from $749.99
#71/#72 Rapid Z-600 or Z-800 Reticle $649.99, reduced from $824.99

Conquest 4.5-14×44 Riflescope:
#72/#73 Rapid Z-800 or Z-1000 Reticle – $699.99, reduced from $874.99
#43 Mildot Reticle, Target Turret- $749.99, reduced from $949.99

Conquest 4.5-14x50mm Riflescope:
#72/#73 Rapid Z-800 or Z-1000 Reticle – $769.99, reduced from $924.99
#43 Mildot Reticle, Target Turret- $749.99, reduced from $949.99

Conquest 6.5-20x50mm Target Turret Riflescope:
#20 Z-Plex – $759.99, reduced from $999.99
#4 – $759.99, reduced from $999.99
#43 Mildot – $799.99, reduced from $1049.99
#73 Rapid Z-1000 – $869.99, reduced from $1074.99
#75 Rapid Z-Varmint – $869.99, reduced from $1074.99

#521777-9920 Diavari 4-16×50 T* FL Riflescope 2nd IP 30mm tube, with #20 Z-Plex Reticle, Hunting ASV only $1999.99, reduced from $2499.99

Swarovski

All of these riflescopes are in as new condition and come complete same as a new one, in their original box/packaging.

#59027 Z3 4-12×50 BRX Riflescope only $799.99. This scope is normally $1299.00. It is on Anniversary Sale promotion right now @ $999.00.

#59212 Z6 1.7-10×42 4 Riflescope only $1349.99 This scope is normally $1899.00. It is on Anniversary Sale promotion right now @ $1699.00.

#59613 Z6 3-18×50 4A Riflescope only $1549.99 This scope is normally $2229.00. It is on Anniversary Sale promotion right now @ $1999.00.

#59617 Z6 3-18×50 BR Riflescope only $1599.99 This scope is normally $2299.00. It is on Anniversary Sale promotion right now @ $2069.00.

#59887 Z5 5-25×52 BRX Riflescope only $1299.99 reduced from $1639.00.

SPECIAL: AT 80 HD Spotting Scope #49214 with 20-60x Zoom Eyepiece only $1399.99 (Display Item from Dealer that sold off inventory.)

Story Sourced by Edlongrange.
Permalink Hot Deals, Optics 2 Comments »
October 2nd, 2010

Good Deal on Swarovski Variable Hunting Scopes

Swarovski makes fantastic hunting scopes. They feature extremely high-quality glass, that is bright and razor-sharp. Excellent light transmission ensures good performance at dawn and dusk. Right now, through the end of October, MidwayUSA has clearance-sale pricing on two Swarovski medium-range zooms suitable for varminting or long-range hunting.

The Swarovski PH 4-16x50mm (30mm) with Ballistic Reticle (item #676135) is marked down from $1,849.00 to $1,399.00, a $450.00 savings. The higher power Swarovski AV 6-18x50mm with Ballistic Reticle and 1″ main tube (item #220145) is $929.00 on sale, reduced from $1229.00. Whenever you can get a mid-range zoom Swaro for under a grand, it’s a pretty good deal. Both these scopes feature diopter-type eyepieces offering ample focus correction. That’s a big plus if you normally need glasses but don’t have prescription shooting glasses.

Swarovski rifle Scopes

Both scopes are covered by Swarovski’s 30-year warranty. The AV 6-18x50mm is less expensive, but the PH model should provide enhanced lowlight performance.

IMPORTANT: both these scopes have metric, non-standard click-values. The PH 4-16x50mm moves 0.5 cm per click at 100 meters (about .18″ at 100 yards), while the AV 6-18x50mm moves 1.0 cm at 100 meters (about .36″ per click at 100 yards). Make sure you can live with metric clicks before purchasing either scope.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
September 30th, 2009

Swarovski Sale at Cabelas.com

Now through the end of October, 2009, Cabela’s is running a major Sale on Swarovski Optics. You’ll find significant savings on Swarovski products. Many Swaro spotting scope models are $200.00 off, and Swaro binoculars have been discounted by as much as $250.00.

Cabela's Swarovski

To get Cabela’s best discounts on Swarovski products, click the sale icon below:

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
March 3rd, 2009

Ultimate Optics: BigEyes™ System from SWFA

We often hear the question: “What is THE best spotting scope for viewing objects at ultra-long distances”. That’s not a trick question… but maybe there’s a trick answer. The best optic for ultra-long range may not be ONE spotting scope, but rather TWO scopes working in tandem. Military observers and artillery spotters have long used massive binoculars for long-range observation. Texas-based SWFA, one of the nation’s most successful optics vendors, now offers a dual-scope BIGEYES™ system that offers certain viewing properties no single scope can match. Employing two (2) premium 80mm-objective Swarovski spotting scopes with high-definition (HD) glass, the BIGEYES system promises better depth perception and enhanced perceived brightness compared to a single scope. Many people also find that extended viewing through a dual-lens system is less fatiguing than looking through one lens, but that is more about human factors than internal optic quality.

SWFA Bigeyes Swarovski

That’s Five Grand Worth of Swarovski Glass
The BIGEYES do work remarkably well. You’ll see these mounted on heavy tripods at long-range matches such as Williamsport. But BIGEYES are not for shooters and hunters on a tight budget. This twin-Swaro set-up is very expensive. SWFA offers two models. The STS80HD20XBE, with 20-power eyepieces, costs $4,929.95. The companion STS80HDZOOM with 20-60X zoom eyepieces (lower photo) runs a whopping $5,129.95. You can also purchase other eyepieces at different magnification, but remember, if you change eyepieces you need to purchase a pair — one for each scope.

SWFA Bigeyes Swarovski

Optical Advantages for Hunters
Even if we presume that two scopes are better than one, can a $5K investment in glass be justified? SWFA claims that: “BIGEYES™ allow you to view distant objects in great detail with the equivalent of a 20-60×80 tripod mounted binocular. Porro prism design provides the optimum focal length required to maximize the performance of the 80mm HD (high definition) objectives. BIGEYES offer superior field of view combined with amazing depth perception that no conventional binocular can match. BIGEYES allow you to hunt from a fixed location, providing you the ability to glass animals literally miles a way. You can scout and judge animals with out disrupting their patterns.”

This Editor doubts he could ever afford a set of BIGEYES. But it’s nice to know such a system, complete with mount, is available for those who have the financial resources. For more information, visit SWFA at www.RifleScopes.com.

Permalink New Product, Optics 4 Comments »