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August 20th, 2012

Minox ZA 5 6-30x50mm SF Scope — Great Glass, Good Value

We know that many readers, particularly target shooters and long-range varmint hunters, are looking for a fairly high-magnification optic that is also affordable. A common question in our Shooters Forum is: “I can’t afford a Nightforce. Is there a quality scope with more than 25X magnification that costs under $900.00.” Fitting that bill are two scopes that have been on the market for a while — the Bushnell Elite 6500 4.5-30x50mm, and Sightron SIII 8-32x56mm. Now there’s a new optic from MINOX to add to the list of quality, high-magnification scopes that can be purchased for well under $1000.00.

Great Glass in 6-30x56mm MINOX
There is a new 6-30 power scope from Minox that offers impressive features at an affordable under-$900.00 price point. The Minox ZA 5 6-30x56mm SF riflescope offers a wide 500% zoom range, 30mm main tube, and outstanding Schott glass from Germany. These scopes are engineered in Germany and assembled in the USA. The Minox 6-30×56 offers a handy side-focus parallax control. What’s more, the Minox has a European-style diopter eyepiece, with a -2 to +1.5 range. That’s great for shooters who would otherwise require corrective lenses. Leupold and Bushnell don’t provide a diopter eyepiece — that’s something you normally find on high-end European scopes (such as Schmidt & Bender).

The Minox 6-30x56mm riflescope is offered with three reticle choices: MinoPlex (Medium Plex), BDC (bullet drop compensating), and XR-BDC which has finer lines in the central zone, with both vertical and horizontal stadia (hash-marks). We favor the XR-BDC for target use.

Minox offers a strong “no-fault” lifetime warranty on its scopes. The MINOX Lifetime Total Coverage Warranty “provides protection against manufacturing defects, functional failures, or any accidental damages to the covered product, including breakage, water damage, or any accident”. Put simply, “MINOX will repair or replace any damaged MINOX Riflescope with no questions asked.”

Features of Minox ZA 5/30 6-30×56 SF Riflescopes:

  • Side Focus Parallax Adjustment
  • Ample 4″ plus Eye Relief
  • Premium lenses by SCHOTT AG of Germany
  • Zero resettable 1/4 MOA Windage and elevation knobs
  • Fast-focus European-style diopter eyepiece (-2 to +1.5)
  • Minox M* multi-coated lenses for improved contrast, detail, and brightness

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August 20th, 2012

Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan Supports Gun Rights

Congressman Paul Ryan hunterYou’ve heard by now that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has chosen Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate. Since Ryan’s selection as a VP candidate, the mainstream media has focused primarily on Ryan’s positions on government spending, health care policies, and debt reduction.

You may be wondering, where does Ryan stand on gun rights issues? In a nutshell, Ryan is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and he has lead efforts to protect the shooting sports and hunting. An avid hunter, Ryan is the former co-chairman of the bi-partisan Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. Ryan has received an “A” grade from the NRA for his overall voting record. Among other things, Ryan has voted to protect the right of hunters to use traditional ammunition and to prohibit suing manufacturers and retailers for the criminal misuse of firearms. He has also supported a national cross-state standard for concealed carry. Here are highlights of Rep. Ryan’s voting record in Congress, on matters relating to hunting and gun rights:

  • Voted YES to protect the right of hunters to use traditional ammunition.
  • Voted YES to prohibit suing manufacturers and retailers for the criminal misuse of firearms.
  • Voted YES to decrease background check waiting period from 3 days to 1 day for a firearm purchase at a gun show.
  • Supported national cross-state standard for concealed carry.
  • Opposed the gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington, DC.
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August 20th, 2012

LED Lamp Kit Improves Shooting Chrony Low-Light Performance

Here’s good news for owners of Shooting Chrony Chronographs — you can purchase a Chrony LED Lamp (CLL) upgrade kit that allows your Chrony to work indoors. In addition, the new LED illuminators will enhance outdoor performance in uneven or shaded lighting conditions. The CLL kit costs $87.95 and can be ordered directly from the Shooting Chrony Website, or from vendors such as

Shooting Chrony LED Lamp

Why the LED Illuminator Kit Is Needed
Shooting Chronys are popular “entry-level” chronographs. They are inexpensive to purchase and they stow compactly with their signature “folding box” design. This Editor used a Shooting Chrony (Beta Master model) for a few years with generally good results. However, I quickly learned that the Shooting Chrony gave the most reliable readings in diffuse mid-morning light with mildly overcast skies (thin cloud layer). The unit did not like to work in the late afternoon with the sun at a low angle. Likewise, uneven, shady conditions caused problems. In summertime, the ultra-bright, noontime summer sun, directly overhead, seemed to “over-power” the diffusers, causing errors. So, I learned to do my speed tests only when conditions were most favorable for the Shooting Chrony. Now, admittedly, not all Shooting Chronys are so temperamental — I’ve seen a few that worked great in bright overhead sunlight. But most Shooting Chronys do seem to struggle with shady conditions or low-angle sunlight.

LED Lamp Kit Components and Accessories
To improve Shooting Chrony reliability in all light conditions, Shooting Chrony offers a $87.95 LED kit (Item #110) that comes with LED-equipped 14″ white diffusers mounted on 16″ wire support rods. The LEDs provide a constant, consistent light source, so you can shoot in the late afternoon and evenings. The kit includes a 120V/220V AC Adapter, output 12VDC @500mA. If AC power is not available, you can run the LED Lamp with an optional 12v dc “Power Station” battery pack (Item #111, $47.95), or you can draw 12v current through an available cigarette lighter-style adapter (Item #112, $10.00).

Shooting Chrony LED Lamp

LED Kit Users Say It Works
We haven’t tested the LED kit ourselves yet, but here’s what one kit buyer had to say:
“If you shot in poor light, you are going to miss velocities no matter what chronograph you are using. You go to all the work of assembling your handloads, set up the chronograph, and then shoot at the target through the detectors… only to get ‘Err 2′ or ‘Err 9′ and use up most or all of the carefully assembled handloads without getting any velocity data. The Chrony LED Lamp assembly has been perfect. Bright sun/no clouds, hazy/cloudy, or shadows/shade makes no difference — all the readings come through without a single ‘Err X’ code. Current draw is also surprisingly low. With the C.L.L. on for five straight hours, the battery pack still shows a full charge.”

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