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January 24th, 2012

SHOT Show: Oehler Model 35P Chronograph Lives On

Though it is a 20-year-old design, the Oehler Model 35P Chronograph remains one of the best chronographs on the market. By employing three screens instead of two, the 35P takes two (2) measurements of each shot — adding an extra measure of reliability. It has very simple controls, so you don’t need to bring a 100-page manual to the range. The Model 35P features an integrated printer that conveniently records every shot and calculates Average Velocity, SD and ES for your strings. We like having the “hard-copy” output from our tests. This way we can simply staple the our paper record to the target and nothing gets lost.

Model 35P is Back in Production
Oehler Research decided to phase out the model 35P Proof Chronograph a few years back. But consumer demand never abated. In fact, the prices of used units started to climb. So Ken Oehler decided to bring back the model 35P, and we’re glad he did. In the video below Ken explains that the Model 35P is back in regular production, now that his company has found a source for printer components. The Model 35P, complete with printer, skyscreens, and mounting rail costs $575.00. Ken told us “If we knew how to make them cheaper, we would … but we make ‘em so they work.”

If you already own or use a Model 35P, be sure to watch the video through to the end. In the last minute, Ken Oehler demonstrates how to position the metal support that holds the paper roll. Putting this support in place can be tricky to say the least. But the video shows how to accomplish the task quickly, without losing your temper.

Another helpful tip, provided by Ken’s wife, will help you feed the paper into the machine. Simply take the end of the paper and fold both left and right sides in toward the middle, forming a ‘V’ (like the nose of a paper airplane). This will then advance much easier through the printer’s internal spools when you load new paper.

Oehler model 35p chronograph

Permalink - Videos, News, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
January 24th, 2012

SHOT Show: Quick Reviews of New-for-2012 Optics

Show Report by Jason Baney
Nearly every major optics manufacturer showcased innovative new products at this year’s SHOT Show. And some of the scope-makers surprised us by venturing into new product areas. For example, Vortex came out with a nice, compact Laser Rangefinder, and Sightron released a 1-7×24 hunting/tactical scope. Here are new product highlights from Kahles, Meopta, Schmidt & Bender, Sightron, and Vortex.


New Tactical Scope with Parallax Control On Elevation Turret
Kahles has brought out a beefy 34mm-tubed tactical scope with some smart features. The parallax adjustment on Kahles’s new 6-24x56mm scope is located at the base of the elevation turret — not on the side like an Nightforce NXS. It may seem odd to put the parallax control BELOW the elevation adjustment, but when you think about it — this is pretty clever. Locating the parallax below the elevation is very convenient — when you dial for longer range, you can quickly dial the new parallax without changing your hand position, or fiddling around for a second turret. Putting the parallax control on the central turret allows the illumination rheostat to be placed on the left side of the tube. This allows much more scope-mounting freedom — you don’t have a big illumination module positioned next to the rear ring, limiting how far forward you can position the scope.

Kahles 6-24x56mm scope

Initially the Kahles 6-24×56 will be offered with just two (2) reticles. We would like to see a wider zoom range, but overall, this is a very well-thought-out scope. Kahles is also offering a 1-6 with nicely designed reticles.The 6-24×56 is expected to cost about $3000 while the 1-6 should be priced around $2700. Both scopes should be on dealers’s shelves by summer 2012.


All-New 82mm Spotting Scope and iPhone Adapter
Meopta has totally redesigned its top-end spotting scope to keep up with current market trends. But we’re pleased that Meopta has maintained a more moderate price-point than most in this class of 80mm spotters. The new spotter has a 82mm objective, solid rubber armor and is available straight or angled. Two eyepiece options are offered: a 30-60X Wide-Angle and a 20-70X standard eyepiece. Meopta’s new 82mm spotter should be available in March 2012, priced at about $2200 for a complete spotter with eyepiece. Meopta has also introduced a handy adapter to allow iPhone users to take pictures through the spotter. This adapter retails for $50.00.

Meopta 82mm Spotting Scope

Schmidt & Bender

New PMIIs — at Higher Prices
Schmidt & Bender had a few new scopes on display, most notably, a redesigned (and still unavailable) 3-20×50 PMII as well as S&B’s 1-8x PMII. The most obvious difference on the revised 3-20 was the updated locking turret that is different, and much better than it was 2 years ago. Street price on the PMII scopes will be in the $3500-$4000 range depending on reticle choice. We also noted the very aggressive tactile fins on the magnification adjustment dial. Also shown was a prototype compact, tan 1.5-6x20mm straight tube dot scope. Based on S&B’s track record, this 1.5-6X might actually make it to North American dealers in 2014.

Schmidt & Bender 2012 Scope


New Compact 1-7X Variable
Sightron unveiled a new 1-7×24 scope, which should please hunters and 3-Gun shooters. The new 1-7×24 is only offered with one reticle currently; this appears similar to the Meopta 4C red dot reticle. The reticle features an illuminated red dot in the middle, with a thinner upper post and thicker left, right and bottom posts. The scope features 0.1 MRAD clicks and 5 mils per turn with covered low profile target turrets. We hope to see an improved reticle with holdover stadia for longer range shooting in the future. The 1-7×24 will retail for $799.00 and should be at dealers by the end of March, 2012.

Sightron 1-7x24mm scope


New Compact Rangefinder with Angle Correction
Vortex introduced a very cool little laser rangefinder at a nice price point. The Ranger 1000 is rated for 1000 yards, has a great feel, great size, pleasant red-cross aim point display, and unlike any other similar laser products out there, offers a LIFETIME warranty. Along with all these features, it also gives angle-corrected readings for shooting more accurately uphill and downhill. The Ranger 1000 is very easy to operate one-handed and has a nice rubber coating and removable pocket clip as well. Retail price will come in at $379 with availability in May 2012.

Vortex Ranger 1000 laser rangefinder

Permalink New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
January 24th, 2012

SHOT Show: New Skin Kits for Accuracy Int’l AE and AW Rifles

Accuracy Internation AW AE chassis skin

Accuracy Internation AW AE chassis skinAt SHOT Show, Accuracy International (AI) unveiled a new line of pistol-grip skins that will allow owners of the AE and AW rifles to match the ergonomics of the pistol grip on AI’s new AX rifles. This “skins” bolt on to the underlying AI chassis system, providing a new look from fore-arm to buttplate. We expect these new skins will be hugely popular among AI shooters, many of whom will ditch their old thumbhole skins and bolt on the new pistol grip models. Availability is unknown at this point, but pricing will be in line with AI’s other skins.

Accuracy Internation AW AE chassis skin

Accuracy Internation AW AE chassis skin

Accuracy Internation AW AE chassis skin

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 6 Comments »