September 30th, 2016

New Compact Ruger American Pistol in 9mm Luger

Ruger Compact American Pistol

Ruger has just introduced a new compact version of its Ruger American Pistol. We predict the new American Compact will become popular with CCW-holders. With a 3.55″ barrel, and 6.65″ length, Ruger’s new 9mm carry gun is similar in size to a S&W M&P9C, and slightly smaller than a Glock 19. At 28.7 ounces, the new Ruger Compact is heavier than the M&P9C (21.7 oz.), and the Glock 19 (23.6 oz.), but the Ruger is the slimmest of the three, with a slide width of just 1.05 inches.

Ruger Compact American Pistol

We’re pleased to see the American Compact is offered either with or without an external frame-mounted safety, to suit the buyer’s preference. Also, the gun offers easy take-down with no trigger pull required (by contrast, you have to pull the trigger to take-down a Glock).

Ruger Compact American PistolRuger’s new Compact American Pistol is offered either with 10+1 capacity*, or 17+1 capacity. The 17+1 version employs magazines from the full-size Ruger American pistol, with a sleeve or “boot” to fit the shorter grip. With either type of magazine, the gun has proven 100% reliable, according to writer Rich Grassi, who tested the new pistol for The Shooting Wire.

The grip ergonomics on the Compact American Pistol could be described as “Walther-esque”. Rich Grassi says that’s a good thing — this little pistol is comfortable in the hand: “You also don’t pinch a finger when inserting a magazine – either magazine – into the American Compact. Like the service-size gun, three grip modules (back strap with palm swells) are included. The gun has the Novak Low Profile carry sights with the ‘3-dot’ pattern thereon.” Grassi said his test pistol shot low with a standard sight picture, but otherwise the accuracy was good.

NRA testers say the new Compact Ruger American Pistol is extremely reliable and very accurate.

Ruger says this pistol “combines a recoil-reducing barrel cam… with a low-mass slide, low center of gravity and a low-bore axis to provide better balance, less felt recoil, and less muzzle flip[.]” The Ruger Compact American Pistol also features a pre-tensioned striker system, which allows for a short-take-up trigger with positive reset. Like its bigger brother, the Compact American Pistol features a modular wrap-around grip system that fits a wide range of hand sizes.

Ruger Compact American Pistol

*Some early reviews have stated the “standard” capacity as 12+1. However Ruger’s website and the official Spec Sheet lists 10+1.

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August 8th, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

Minox MD 50 16-30x50mm Spotting scope

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

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

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

Minox MD 50 16-30x50mm Spotting scope


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

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