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January 19th, 2016

Media Day at the Range 2016

2016 Media Day Range

Media Day Range

Scores of manufacturers showcase their products at the SHOT Media Day event, held each year in Boulder City, Nevada. This year we saw some legendary names (such as Colt and Winchester), as well as new, 21st-century gun-makers (such as Tracking Point). Savage and Kimber had some surprising new offerings, and we saw impressive new optics from Zeiss and Minox. There were some interesting trends. Many firearms were equipped with “factory” suppressors. Ruger, much to our surprise, showcased a Ruger 10/22 takedown rifle fitted with a Ruger-branded suppressor. It was extremely quiet. Many of the handgun manufacturers, including Ruger and Walther, supplied ammunition with composite polymer matrix bullets. These bullets are significantly lighter than conventional pistol bullets of the same caliber (the reduced bullet mass did lessen felt recoil with 9mm and 45 acp pistols). The polymer bullets are lead-free, and they don’t ricochet, so they are both more “eco-friendly” and safer when used on steel targets.

New Savage 110 BA Stealth Rifle

Savage 10 ba stealth rifle

Savage unveiled a modern, “monolithic” metal-chassis tactical rifle. Designed to compete with the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR), the new Savage 110 BA Stealth has an AR-type hand grip, skeletal buttstock, and a low-profile vented forearm. This rifle will be offered in .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor while a slightly bigger model will be offered in .300 Win Mag and .338 Lapua Magnum. Savage says that all the 110 BA Stealth models will feature “factory blue-printed actions” for improved accuracy. MSRP varies from $1200 to $1600 depending on caliber and configuration. It should be available starting next month.

The model on display, chambered in .308 Winchester, proved accurate in the hands of Ed M. of Ed liked the trigger and the fact that the rifle uses PMags. The stock, based on a design by Drake Associates, is very light but also very rigid. Ed thought this stock would work well on barricades in tactical matches. Steve L. of said there is “pent-up demand” for a rifle like this, and he predicts the 110 BA Stealth will be a big seller for Savage.

Savage 10ba Stealth media day

New K6 Revolver from Kimber

Kimber .357 Mag Revolver

Kimber, known for its 1911-type semi-auto pistols, has introduced an all-new K6 .357 magnum carry revolver. Kimber’s hammerless wheelgun was very nicely crafted and had one of the smoothest double-action pulls we’ve tried. The trigger pull was long, but very consistent and smooth. With the Kimber, you don’t feel a series of “stages” or transitions as you do with most other double-action revolvers. The other impressive thing about the new revolver is the finish — the stainless is very smooth and shiny, the result of “much hand polishing” according to Kimber engineers.

Ruger 10/22 Takedown with Factory Suppressor

Ruger 10/22 Takedown with suppressor

The most fun we had all day was at the Ruger booth. There we got to test a Ruger 10/22 Takedown fitted with a Ruger-branded factory-made suppressor. This little rifle was a hoot to shoot, and with the suppressor in place it was amazingly quiet. We really liked this set-up and the take-down system worked brilliantly — just pull one lever, then twist and the barrel section comes off. For those states where you can own a suppressor, we strongly recommend this configuration. The “can” is sold separately and buyer must still comply with all applicable state and Federal laws.

Zeiss Victory V8 4.8-35x60mm Rifle Scope

Zeiss Victory V8


Zeiss showed off its impressive Victory V8 line of riflescopes. These offer an 8X zoom ratio, with handy BDC turrets — just dial the yardage indicated on the turret (you can custom-order BDC rings calibrated for your favorite load). The new V8 scopes offer many impressive features. We shot a rifle fitted with the new 4.8-35x60mm V8, which features a very beefy 36mm main tube. The glass was bright and ultra-sharp. Zeiss claims 92% light transmission. Fiber optic technology provides a very precise red dot in the center of the reticle. This was visible even in bright sunlight. Zeiss will offer three other V8 models: 1-8x30mm, 1.8-14x50mm, and 2.8-20x56mm.

APO .338 Lapua Magnum

APO Ashbury .338 Lapua Magnum

Ashbury .338 Lapua Magnum

Bigger is apparently better when it comes to serious tactical rifles. There were quite a few rifles chambered for the powerful .338 Lapua Magnum Cartridge. We tried out a .338 LM from Ashbury Precision Ordnance. With some help from a laser rangefinders, we were able to put rounds on a large steel plate at 960 yards. The trigger was nice and the suppressor reduced felt recoil. This was a nice rifle, with a comfortable cheek-piece and ergonomic grip.

Minox MD 88 Spotting Scope


We noticed a BIG front objective on a brand-new Minox spotting scope — one of only two in the country. This new spotter features low-dispersion glass and dual focusing rings — a large “fast focus” ring and a second smaller, fine focus ring. The price, including 20-60X eyepiece, will be around $1750.00. Jason Baney, who works for EuroOptics, says this new Minox spotting scope compares well with other spotters that cost considerably more.

Blaser R8 Professional Thumbhole Fancy Wood


If there was one rifle I wanted to take home with me, it was this nice Blaser R8 “Professional Success” model with a fancy wood new thumbhole stock. This rifle was very comfortable in all shooting positions. The gun balanced well and the straight-pull Blaser action is fun to use. It can be cycled rapidly without disturbing your position on the rifle.

This is always something new and unusual on display at Media Day at the range. This tracked one-man rig provides all-terrain mobility so disabled persons can enjoy hunting and wilderness recreation.

atv disabled power sled

Permalink Handguns, New Product, News 2 Comments »
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

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

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 ( 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.

Permalink Gear Review, Optics 1 Comment »
August 27th, 2012

Buy Minox Scope, Get Minox Binocular or Monocular for 1¢ More

Camera Land Minox SaleCamera Land has announced a remarkable Combo Optics Sale on Minox Optics products. If you purchase a qualifying Minox rifle scope from Camera Land, you can get a Minox Binocular or Minox Monocular for just one penny more. Yes, that’s correct, add your choice of four Minox BF Binocular models or the MD 8×42 CWP Monocular for just $.01. That’s an awesome deal — consider that the Minox BF 10×42 binocular (by itself) sells for $150.00-$199.00 elsewhere. Note: Purchasers are limited to a single $0.01 Binocular or Monocular per new riflescope ordered.

New ZA 3 and ZA 5 Minox Scopes Are Good Buys
These are current production, quality scopes. The new Minox line of riflescopes is impressive, with German Schott glass, strong monotube construction, and a no-fault, lifetime warranty. Just last week we reviewed the new Minox ZA 5 6-30x56mm scope and concluded it offers an impressive set of features for the price. Retailing for $799.00 to $829.99 (depending on reticle) the 6-30X ZA 5 is an outstanding value for a high-magnification, side-focus, 30mm-tube scope with premium glass. The 6-30X ZA 5 is more than two hundred bucks cheaper than a Leupold VXIII 8-25x50mm LRT, yet the Minox offers more magnification, plus a true diopter eyepiece not found on the Leupold. The Minox scopes from Camera Land even come with a Scopecoat cover at no extra cost.

Minox ZA5 ZA-5 riflescope

Camera Land reports very positive buyer feedback on the new Minox ZA-3 and ZA-5 riflescopes: “We’ve sold a ton of these. Buyers tell us they are impressed with the glass and the overall quality. These scopes hold zero, the controls are positive, the warranty is great. The Minox rifle scopes are an excellent value right now.”

Purchase Any of these Qualifying Scopes Get One of These for $0.01 More

ZA-3 3-9x40mm
ZA-3 3-9x50mm
ZA-5 1.5-8x32mm
ZA-5 2-10x40mm
ZA-5 2-10x50mm
ZA-5 3-15x42mm
ZA-5 3-15x50mm SF
ZA-5 4-20x50mm
ZA-5 6-30x56mm SF (30mm)

Minox BF 8×25 BR Binocular

Minox BF 10×25 BR Binocular

Minox BF 8×42 BR Binocular

Minox BF 10×42 BR Binocular

Minox MD 8×42 CWP Monocular

How to Purchase Minox Scope with Companion Optic
NOTE: Not all binocular/monocular options for this promo are displayed on the Camera Land web site. To secure the companion binocular/monocular you want with your Minox rifle scope: 1) Call 212-753-5128 and speak with Doug or Neil, or 2) Purchase the scope you want, select the one binocular shown to be offered, and in the note area of the order type in “Minox Promotion” and list the binocular/monocular you prefer. To keep it simple, we recommend you just call Doug at 212-753-5128 and ask about the Minox “Penny Promo”. Please mention Doug can take your order or he can send you a Paypal invoice listing the Minox rifle scope the Binocular/Minocular of your choice.

Open Box Bargains on Minox Rifle Scopes
In addition to the 1 cent combo sale, Camera Land has some great “open box” bargains on Minox rifle scopes. Open Box #66030 ZA-5 4-20×50 Plex (#66030) have been discounted from $699.00 to only $449.99. Likewise Open Box ZA-5 3-15×42 Plex (#66020) have been discounted from $499.00 to $319.99. NOTE: All open box items may not be listed on the Camera Land website. Call 212-753-5128 and speak with Doug or Neil about these special discounted items.

Promo Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
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

Permalink Optics 2 Comments »
October 10th, 2009

New Compact Minox Weatherstation

Here’s a new product we found on Minox, famed maker of miniature cameras, has released the new Minox Weatherstation to compete with the Kestrel weather meters. The Minox is very compact and very light. It measures 4.68″ H x 2.28″ W and is just 3/4 of an inch thick. And it weighs just 2.36 ounces (67 grams)! This is definitely light and small enough to be carried in a shirt pocket.

Minox WeatherstationThe Minox Weatherstation has all the functions you’d expect, plus a few more: Wind speed, Barometer, Altimeter, Thermometer, Hygrometer (Humidity), Windchill, Dewpoint, Clock, Stop-Watch, Alarm, Timer, Race Timer. Of course it can display both °Celsius and °Fahrenheit, and the Hygrometer reads from 1% Relative Humidity through 100% Relative Humidity. The barometer function uses five graphically arranged columns on the LC display to show not just the current air pressure hPa, but also changes which have occurred in the last 24 hours.

We like the fact that the Minox offers timing functions as well as weather data. This way the Minox can do double-duty as a match timer. That’s one less piece of kit to bring to the range.

Kestrel 4000 handWith a “street price” of $249.00, the Minox Weatherstation is priced on a par with the Kestrel 4000 and is about fifty bucks cheaper than Kestrels’ top-of-the-line 4500 model. How does the Minox stack up against the Kestrels? Well, the Kestrel 4000 outputs Density Altitude, while the Minox (apparently) does not. The Kestrel 4000 can also record data points and download these to a computer. The Minox doesn’t offer a PC interface. The more expensive Kestrel 4500 has a digital compass so it can plot wind directions (crosswind, headwind, tailwind). It seems then, that the main advantages of the Minox are compact size and light weight (2.4 oz. for Minox vs. 3.6 oz. for Kestrel 4000).

Permalink New Product No Comments »