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May 26th, 2022

NRA 2022 Annual Meetings & Exhibits Kick Off this Afternoon

2022 NERA annual meetings exhibits houston tx texas

The 2022 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, Texas gets underway this afternoon, May 26th, with on-site registration and lobby displays. Then this evening, there will be two ticket-required special events: 1) Houston Metro Friends of NRA Event, Ballroom of Bayou Place at 5:30 pm; and 2) 2022 NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum, Dinner & Awards Ceremony, Rice Hotel, Crystal Ballroom at 6:00 pm.

Following the Thursday evening events, the full NRA convention opens up Friday morning at 8:00 am at the George R. Brown Convention Center. There will be over 1400 exhibitors showcasing products at the Exhibit Hall, and there will be numerous important meetings throughout the weekend, including the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at 2:00 pm on Friday, and the Annual Meeting of Members at 10:00 am on Saturday. The Exhibit Hall closes at 5:00 PM on Sunday, May 29, 2022, so the event will fully conclude prior to the Memorial Day holiday (Monday 5/30/22).

2022 NERA annual meetings exhibits houston tx texas

NRA Annual Meetings Full Event Schedule (Printable PDF) »

2022 NRA Annual Meetings convention printable schedule events

Location of 2022 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits

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May 26th, 2022

Bullet Holes at 1000 Yards — The Ultimate Optics Challenge

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 $299.00 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 — Good Vision Required
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. That contact lens was degrading the fine resolution.

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 ultimate 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 can often 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. Among the target cams on the market, we recommend the LongShot LR-3. It boasts excellent resolution and incredible range. The LongShot LR-3 target cam is used in major ELR competitions.

longshot target camera lr-3 UHD

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May 26th, 2022

Brownells Memorial Day Discounts and Dream Build Giveaway

Brownells Memorial Day Sale contest dream build giveaway 2022

Right now through 5/30/2022 at 11:59 pm Central Time, you can get significant savings on the vast majority of products Brownells sells, along with FREE Shipping. This is through the Brownells Memorial Day Sale Event. In addition, if you’re feeling lucky, Brownells is running a contest. The Grand Prize winner will receive all the components for a dream rifle along with a full-paid trip to Brownells Headquarters. Total prize value is $4500.00.

Here are the current DISCOUNT CODES for significant savings when ordering in the next few days. Take note — these codes expire at 11:59 pm on Monday 5/30/2022. These promos apply to domestic sales only in the continental USA and is not valid on international purchases.

Brownells Memorial Day Event Discount Codes
MEMSHIP: FREE Shipping on Orders $150+
MEMORIAL30: FREE Shipping and $30 Off Orders $300+
MEMORIAL50: FREE Shipping and $50 Off Orders $500+

Along with the discount codes, a number of popular products are on SALE this week, including ammo, optics, magazines, AR components, barrels, triggers, and complete rifles and handguns. CLICK HERE to see ALL current items on sale at Brownells.

NOTE — These discount codes are not valid on these brands: B&T USA, FN USA, Franklin Armory, Galco Int’l, Glock, Holosun, Kahles, LabRadar, Law Tactical LLC, Leica, Leupold, Nightforce, Raven Concealment Systems, Ruger, Sig Sauer, Swarovski, Vortex Optics, Trijicon, Zenith Firearms, and Zermatt Arms. Additionally, some product types are excluded.*

Brownells Memorial Day Sale contest dream build giveaway 2022

* Discount Codes not valid on these products: barrel blanks, benches, barrel hones & accessories, barreled receivers, barrels, bluing salts, bullets, case tumblers & accessories, cleaning rods, color case hardening, parkerizing, progressive presses, reloading kits, rifle barrel blanks, rifle barrels, rifle stocks, shot, shotshell presses, specialty bluing chemicals, ultrasonic case cleaners, water storage, bake-on finishing curing oven, Neycraft manual control fiber furnace, bluing system kit, roll-around compact bluing system, first step bluing kit, HT-1 heat treat oven, color case hardening kit, Aztek Unlock Key Software, and Match Precision Optics (MPO).

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