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June 11th, 2013

Updated Swarovski Website Launched

Swarovski Optik NA (Swarovski) has completely updated its website at www.swarovskioptik.com. The redesigned web page is divided into three main categories: hunting, nature, and travel & leisure. You’ll find in-depth product information with images, spec sheets and videos. There are easy-to-use, mobile-friendly links for Rifle Scopes, Spotting Scopes, Rangefinders (optronics), Binoculars, and Digiscoping Accessories. The enhanced site also features a Swarovski Blog with articles on optics products, hunting, and tech matters such as ballistics and lens technologies.

AccurateShooter.com Swarovski Optik web review
Caroline McDonald, Swarovksi Marketing Services Manager, tells us: “The redesign of the website will make it easier for our consumers and dealers to research and learn more about the Swarovski Optik brand and products.” The new website also incorporates an E-Shop, where consumers can purchase most Swarovski products directly, other than rifle scopes. Product descriptions include photo galleries and video clips. Here’s a video of the innovative Swarovski Modular ATX/STX Spotting Scope System:

Swarovski Ballistic Program
Swarovksi’s updated website includes an “Apps” section with software for mobile devices and smartphones. Swarovski currently offers a handy, FREE ballistic calculator App designed for use with Swarovski Distance Reticles or the Ballistic Turret. This App delivers two types of outputs. For Swaro scopes with long-distance reticles, the App generates aiming points. For Swaro scopes with ballistic-matched turrest, the App provides click values for various yardages and wind values. The App is available for iPhone, iPad, and for Android Devices.

Swarovski also offers a free web-based Ballistics Calculator you can use from any computer.

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March 18th, 2013

Leica CRF1000 Laser Rangefinder on Sale for $469.00

Looking for a high-quality laser rangefinder (LRF) at a great price? Well Eurooptic.com has slashed the price on the Leica CRF1000 compact LRF. You can now get the CRF1000 for just $469.00 — that’s deeply discounted from the previous price. Weighing just 7.8 ounces, the 4.5″-long CRF1000 is very compact and can stow easily in a vest or jacket pocket. It offers 7X magnification, and a LED read-out that automatically adjusts to the light conditions.

Leica CRF1000 sale eurooptic

While not rated for as long a range as Leica’s top-of-the-line CRF1600B, the CRF1000 will work great for most users. In reality, very few people can hold a compact unit steady enough to range accurately on small objects past 1000 yards, now matter what the yardage rating. In fact, most users would have trouble holding their LRF steady enough to range a mule deer at 800.

The CRF1000 has proven to be durable and reliable. Mike, Editor of IReviewGear.com writes:

“I have been using the Leica 1000 CRF Range Finder for about six months. I have taken it on several hikes, hunting in Idaho… and on several Deer and Elk scouting trips. For the price of $599, I think the [CRF1000] is the best all around option for a range finder. Why do I say that? I can easily range animals out to 1000, just as advertised. It is EASY to use — push once to get the red box on target, push again and get an accurate range. It is durable.

I have a couple of other range finders that are advertised to range out to 1000 yards, well I cannot get them to do it. That is just simply not the case with the Leica 1000. It can be counted on to range accurately regardless of the condition out to the advertised range. To summarize: I have ranged many many items from 20 yards to 1000 yards with ZERO failures. This device is accurate, dependable, and just flat works!”

Leica CRF1000 vs. CRF1000-R
Along with range-to-target (in yards or meters), the CRF1000 model displays ballistics information for the user. It measures and displays both outside temperature and barometric pressure. It also displays recommended hold-overs for the ranged distance (based on load profiles selected from built-in tables). It will also measure and display the angle of shots above or below the horizontal. However, this unit, unlike the newer, more expensive CRF1000-R, does NOT automatically calculate the solution for angled shots, nor does it automatically figure environmental data into the hold-over. To get that functionality you’ll need the higher-priced CRF1000-R version. To reiterate — the CRF1000, on sale at $469.00, gives you temp/pressure data, and angle numbers, but you have to manually figure this into your shot. The model 40535 CRF1000-R costs $559 at Eurooptic.com.

Sale tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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December 21st, 2012

Ten Days Left for Zeiss Rebates on Optics and Rangefinders


Carl Zeiss Sports Optics has some very attractive promotions in place right now — with rebates from $50 to $500.00. With Zeiss Field Days mail-in rebates you can save money on premium rifle scopes, spotting scopes, laser rangefinders, and rangefinding binoculars. But time’s running out. The 2012 Carl Zeiss Field Days Promotion runs out on December 31, 2012. CLICK HERE for Field Days Rebate Coupon.

Save $500.00 on Zeiss Diascope Spotting Scopes
Zeiss produces a very high-quality spotting scope. We did a three-way test with a Pentax PF-100ED, 2010-model (one piece) Swarovski 80mm, and 2012 Zeiss 85mm Diascope. Compared to the big Pentax, the Zeiss could resolve very fine lines better and the Zeiss had less chromatic aberration. The Diascope was very, very close to the Swaro in resolution, but it had a slight edge in low light given its larger front objective. Most of our testers gave a slight edge to the Swaro for contrast. The dual-rate focus system on the Zeiss does take a while to master, but it allows faster focusing than either the Pentax (which uses two separate knobs for course and fine focus), or the Swaro (which has one large full-diameter focusing ring). If you’re choosing between the Swaro and the Zeiss, the $500.00 rebate can easily settle the argument. Street price for the Zeiss Angled 85mm Diascope (before rebate) is $2999.99 including Vario 20-60x Eyepiece. Do note, however, that anyone considering a high-end spotting scope should also look at the Kowa 88mm TSN-88X Prominar HD series ($2310.00 street price for TSN-883 Angled, BODY ONLY).

How to Get Your Discounts
All purchases must be made from a Carl Zeiss Authorized Dealer in the United States and rebate request forms must be completed and postmarked within 30 days of purchase. Payment will be made by a ZEISS Prepaid Reward Card by American Express. For promotion details, visit the Field Days Promo Page. For faster payment and real-time tracking, register on-line at Zeiss.4myrebate.com. After submitting your rebate forms, check the status of your rebate with the Zeiss Online Rebate Tracker.

  • $500 rebate on the 65mm and 85mm VICTORY DiaScope (plus free tripod).
  • $300 rebate on the award-winning VICTORY RF rangefinding binoculars.
  • $50 rebate on the award-winning VICTORY 8×26 PRF laser rangefinding monocular.
  • $100 rebate on the NEW Conquest HD 42mm binoculars.
  • $100 rebate on the NEW Conquest 30mm Duralyt Riflescopes.
  • $100 rebate on all riflescopes that have any Rapid-Z reticle.
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April 10th, 2012

New High-End Extreme-Range Laser RangeFinder from Vectronix

terrapin LRF laser Vectronic rangefinderEurooptics.com now carries the impressive Vectronix Terrapin Laser Rangefinder. The $1995.00 Terrapin is a high-grade, milspec device rated to 2400m, well beyond the stated ranges for LRFs in the $600-$1000 class. Field reports indicated that the Terrapin is very good. One field tester, using a Terrapin set on a tripod, said the Terrapin hit 16″ plates at 800 yards more reliably than a Swarovski Laserguide. Ranging a small object like that at 800 yards is a tough test for any LRF. The Terrapin performs well on smaller objects because it has extremely tight beam divergence (this means the beam doesn’t spread out like a wide cone at long range).

The reports we’ve received indicate that the Vectronix lives up to expectations created by its 2400m distance rating. Jason Baney reports: “This Vectronics is impressive. In the right conditions, these units can range well beyond 2000 yards. On a Snipers’ Hide Thread, Vectronix Terrapin owners have reported ranging successfully past 3000 yards on large objects.” Available in tan or green, the Terrapin has a rugged aluminum inner housing and is rated to be waterproof with 60 minutes of immersion. It is easy to hold, and weighs just 1.1 pounds. Efficient electronics allow the Terrapin to make over 7,000 ranging “shots” before the two CR123 batteries need to be replaced.

terrapin LRF laser Vectronic rangefinder

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March 22nd, 2012

Get Leica CRF 1600 Rangefinder on Sale for $649.00

Here’s a very good deal if you’re looking for a premium Laser Rangefinder with excellent long-range performance and a compact form factor. The popular Leica CRF 1600 laser rangefinder is now on sale at EuroOptic.com for just $649.00. That represents a $150.00 savings over the previous price. The hundred and fifty bucks you save can pay for other gear items you need.

Why is the CRF 1600 on sale? Leica is bringing out a CRF 1600-B in June, 2012. The newer ‘1600-B’ model will have more bells and whistles, yet it will be sold at the $799.00 price. That means the price has been slashed on the current CRF 1600.

Should you wait for the ‘1600-B’ version? That depends. The new CRF 1600-B model offers built-in angle correction plus an LED output for holdovers (in inches or cm). It can also display the elevation clicks you need at particular distances, based on reference to a set of internal ballistics curves. That sounds cool, but if you already have a come-up table (as you probably do), all you really need is an accurate range to the target — and the CRF 1600 can definitely deliver that. The current CRF 1600 does offer hold-over values (in cm or inches), based on built-in ballistics curves, but it doesn’t have an inclinometer and it doesn’t provide click-value read-outs. If you don’t need the “fancy extras”, or you don’t want to wait until June for the ‘1600-B’ model, it makes sense to pick up a CRF 1600 now at the $649.00 sale price.

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September 17th, 2011

Bushnell Fusion 1600 ARC RangeFinder Binoculars

Bushnell 1600 ARCBushnell recently released its new Fusion 1600 ARC range-finding binoculars. With a “low street price” under $799.00, Bushnell’s 1600 ARC binoculars are less than one third the price of Leica Geovids (10×42, $2399.00) or Zeiss Victory RF Binoculars (10×45, $2,799.00).

That huge price advantage makes the Fusion very tempting — but can Bushnell’s 1600 ARC binos perform as advertised?

Forum Member Reviews Fusion 1600 ARC
Forum Member Stan (aka BigBamBoom) acquired the Fusion 1600 ARC RF binoculars and has posted a video review. Stan was favorably impressed with the quality of the glass and the exterior ruggedness of the unit. He was able to range very large objects (water-tower, trees) beyond 1200 yards. He also praised the speed of the unit, saying it ranged faster than his Leica CRF 1200. Consider however, that the very small CRF1200 is harder to aim precisely, simply because it is so small and light and held in a vertical orientation. Most people can aim the larger, heavier LRFs with more steadiness using a normal two-handed horizontal grip. In the real world, if you can hold the LRF more steady, you can get a true range on a small object more quickly.

YouTube Preview Image

Don’t Expect to Range a WhiteTail at 1600 yards
We also caution that, in our Laser rangefinder comparison tests, we learned that there is BIG difference between ranging a water tower, and ranging a deer-sized animal. We found that some units that could range a water tower at 1300+ yards could NOT reliably range an actual deer (stuffed by taxidermist) at 700 yards. Note that Bushnell lists three different effective ranging distances for the Fusion 1600, and Bushnell claims only 500-yard effectiveness on deer-sized objects. This is fairly consistent with our LRF comparison tests:

Bushnell Fusion 1600 ARC Ranging Ability (Factory Specs)

  • Reflective Ranging Performance: 1600 yards
  • Tree Ranging Performance: 1000 yards
  • Deer Ranging Performance: 500 yards

It can be fun to range buildings at a mile, but for the hunter, that may not have much practical utility. You want to be able to range deer-sized game at all practical distances. For the tactical shooter, you need a narrowly focused beam (with minimal beam divergence) that can range a gong or metallic silhouette reliably at 1000 yards. If an LRF can’t do that, it may not be all that useful, even if it the sales price is attractive.
Bushnell 1600 ARC
Fusion 1600 ARC Features
The 10×42 roof prism binoculars feature built-in battery life indicator, twist-up eye pieces, and multi-coated optics with RainGuard. The Fusion 1600 is fully waterproof and submersible, meeting IPX7 “waterproof” specification. As Stan observed, the Fusion 1600 has good glass, and the red readouts are easy to see. Bushnell employs Vivid Display Technology™ (with four display brightness settings) to enhance display readability in all lighting conditions.

The built-in laser rangefinder features ARC (Angle Range Compensating) technology, which calculates the angle to the target (-90 to +90 degrees). ARC also and gives the hold-over range for the rifle shooter, and true horizontal distance for bow hunters. We like the fact that you can choose between Inches and MOA for holdover. There is a brush mode for measuring distances in heavy cover and a bullseye mode for ranging in open areas. The brush mode can filter out false returns from closer objects. This IS a useful feature that actually does work.

The Fusion 1600 ARC laser rangefinder binoculars come with battery, neck-strap, and carrying case. MSRP is $899.00. It pays to shop around as we’ve seen advertised prices from $789.00 to $899.00. For more info, visit www.bushnell.com or call 800-423-3537 for consumer inquiries.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
September 6th, 2011

Swarovski Introduces New ‘EL Range’ Laser-Equipped Binoculars

Swarovski EL RangeSwarovski has released a new binocular product with built-in laser rangefinder, and angle compensation. Designed on the popular “open-bridge” EL binocular body, the EL Range comes in two configurations: 8x42mm and 10x42mm. Weighing just 910grams (32 ounces), both versions are lighter than other premium rangefinding binocs. The shape and size (6.5″L x 4.6″W) of the EL Range are basically the same as the non-laser EL Binocular — all the additional electronics are housed in two small belly extensions, one on each side (see photo). These curved extensions fit comfortably into your palms, so the the EL’s good ergonomics have been maintained.

Swarovski EL Range

Max Range is 1375 meters (1504 yards)
The EL Range is rated to 1375m or 1504 yards — that’s comparable with the latest Leica LRFs. Swarovski claims that its ranging laser can measure with an accuracy of +/- 1m over the entire measurement range (30–1375m). Ranging options (reticle brightness, angle compensation etc.) are controlled by a small button under the bridge. This can easily be accessed by your thumb while glassing. You don’t have to remove the EL away from you head to find or operate the digital controls. The EL Range is comfortable in the hand, and it is noticeably easier to hold the EL Range steady on a small target than the ultra-compact, pocket-sized rangefinders.

With the Swaro EL Range, you get great glass along with a very accurate laser. The transmission in both binocular halves is 91%. They are equipped with a 61° wide-angle eyepiece which supports a field of view of 137m (8×42) or 110m (10×42). The large eye relief offers four positions, to which the eyecup can be adjusted individually. This means that even spectacle wearers can enjoy the full benefit, with a crystal-clear vision and great comfort. Diopter compensation is an ample -7/+5. Interpupillary distance is 2.2 – 2.9 inches (that’s enough to fit all adults). The exit pupil on the 8X version is 5.3mm, while on the 10X version it is 4.2mm, still plenty big.

Swaro-Aim Angle Compensation Aids Hunters
The newest “SWARO-AIM” technology features an integrated gradometer to show the precise and correct shooting distance and angle. Designed with electronic readout of yards and meters, brightness levels and angle compensation, the display offers 5 individually adjustable brightness levels on an easy-to-read LCD screen with a simple and intuitive menu operation.

Swarovski EL Range

VIEW EL Range Techical Data | DOWNLOAD EL Range Specifications

Release Date and Price: MSRP on the EL Range laser-equipped binoculars is $3077.00 for the 8×42, and $3188.00 for the 10×42. We expect “street price” to settle around $2770.00 for the 8X and $2870.00 for the 10X. That’s quite a bit more than the 8×42 Leica Geovid Rangefinder binocular, which retails for $2349.00 (street price). On the other hand, Swarovski’s standard (no laser) EL 8.5×42 Swarovision binocular costs about $2350.00 (street price), so that means you’ll pay about $420.00 more for the ranging capability. For someone who can afford the standard (non-laser) EL binoculars, it probably makes sense to spend a few hundred more for the EL Range. Vendors expect to receive the Swarovski EL Range in late October, but Swarovski tells us that “quantities will be very limited before the end of the year”.

Permalink New Product, Optics 3 Comments »
June 10th, 2011

Zeiss 3-12×56 Victory Diarange Scope/Rangefinder at 50% Off

EuroOptic.com has a couple Zeiss 3-12x56mm Diarange units for sale at $2000.00 each — half off the normal $3999.00 price! The Victory Diarange is a quality riflescope with an integrated, through-the-lens laser rangefinder. The Zeiss Diarange was a breakthrough innovation when first released and it remains the most sophisticated combo scope/rangefinder you can buy. You have a choice of two reticles with the special $2000.000 sale items from EuroOptic.com. One unit has the illuminated #70 reticle, a illuminated red dot in the center of a medium plex. The other sale unit has the #77 reticle, an illuminated cross in a medium plex. When the illumination is switched on, the combined scope and display brightness can be adjusted with the plus and minus buttons. Reticle and display are powered by a conventional battery that provides at least 100 hours of scope illumination and 5000 laser range measurements.

Zeiss Diarange Scope/Rangefinder Features:

  • Riflescope with integrated laser rangefinder (eye safe, laser Class 1).
  • Large measuring range from 10 yds to 999 yds.
  • High measuring accuracy: 1 yard up to 600 yards and 0.5% of reading at 600+ yards.
  • Very short measuring time = 0.5 sec.
  • Simple, fast operation.
  • Outstanding performance and high low-light capability.
  • High mechanical sturdiness as well as recoil-proof, water tight and nitrogen-filled.
  • Lowest subtension resulting from reticle in the 2nd image plane.
  • Mounting achieved through rail type system.

This story tip from Edlongrange. We welcome submissions from our readers.
Permalink Hot Deals, Optics 8 Comments »
August 26th, 2010

New Leupold Calibrated Scope Dials — CDS™ System

Leupold CDS ranging scope dialsLeupold has launched a dedicated website to educate hunters and shooters about the Custom Dial System (CDS™) feature for VX-3® riflescopes. The innovative CDS system is darn clever. Basically what Leupold has done is create calibrated elevation knobs that allow hunters and varminters to simply dial the yardage to their targets, rather than input a specific number of clicks. For example, to shoot a buck at 300 yards, you simply rotate the elevation turret to “3” on the scale. CDS helps hunters and shooters get on target at any range, with any load, by matching their scopes to the ballistics of their ammunition.

Leupold CDS ranging scope dialsLeupold’s CDS system is a user-friendly invention that can really simplify shooting at multiple yardages. The big single-digit Arabic numerals on the elevation dial correspond to 100-yard intervals, while the smaller numbers show 50-yard intervals. (Click values are otherwise 1/4-MOA.) No longer do you have to remember specific come-ups for particular distances. For the CDS system to work correctly however, your load’s ballistics must match a set of master loads that Leupold uses to calibrate the dial scales. Hunters using most common cartridges should find a calibrated load that matches their muzzle velocity and bullet BC. CDS turrets are available on these scopes: VX-3 3.5-10x40mm, VX-3 3.5-10x50mm, VX-3 4.5-14x40mm, VX-3L 3.5-10x50mm and VX-3L 4.5-14x50mm.

Free CDS Calibrated Dials with Purchase of VX-3 Scopes
Leupold’s CDS system is explained at www.leupold.com/VX-3CDS. Visitors to the VX-3 CDS webpage will find an educational video and graphics, an overview of how the system works and its advantages, and details on a special offer. With the purchase of any VX-3 CDS riflescope, shooters receive two customized, ballistically-matched adjustment dials ($100 retail value) at no extra cost. This offer ends December 31, 2010. Click the image below to learn more (turn down your speakers before clicking as a loud video will auto-play).

Permalink New Product, News, Optics 3 Comments »
August 4th, 2010

Steiner Introduces New 10×50 Binoculars with Laser Rangefinder

To compete with the vaunted Leica Geovids, Steiner Optik has released its new 10×50 porro-prism binoculars equipped with a built-in Laser Rangefinder. Steiner’s new model 398 10×50 LRF Military Rangefinder Binoculars feature a handy two-button interface and a powerful Class 1 laser rangefinder with claimed maximum ranging distance of 1,600 yards. That meets or beats the range of any other commercial laser rangefinder on the market. Beam divergence on the Steiner LRF binocular is impressively narrow. This allows ranging at very long distances. Steiner claims: “With sunshine and good visibility, the unit’s accuracy is within one yard at ranges up to 380 yards, within two yards to 763 yards, and within approximately 0.5% to 1,600 yards.”

Steiner Rangefinder Laser Binoculars

Yes, There is a Mounting Slot for Tripods and Monopods
We were pleased to see that Steiner’s LRF binoculars incorporate a 1/4-20 tripod adapter mount. We think all “serious” laser rangefinders should have mounts for tripods and/or monopods. You simply can’t make use of the full ranging capability of these devices unless you can hold them rock steady when aiming at far-away objects. Steiner’s “easy-on” two-button control also helps you aim precisely. With some LRFs, such as the Swarovski LaserGuide, you must press down quite hard to activate the “on button”. This can upset your aim.

Steiner Rangefinder Laser Binoculars

New LRF Binoculars are Built Tough Inside and Out
The new Steiner LRF binoculars are built to withstand tough use, even though, at 46 ounces, they are still fairly lightweight. The chassis is made with Makrolon®, a fiber-reinforced polycarbonate material that is very impact resistant. The exterior is fully armored with Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (NBR) for protection. The interior is pressurized with dry nitrogen fill and is waterproof to 16 feet. All alloy components are anodized, and external metal parts are enamel-finished to prevent corrosion.

Lowest Web Price is Under $2100.00
Though Steiner’s 10×50 LRF binos have “Military” in the product name, this unit can be purchased by the public. Current “street price” at most online optics dealers is $2,499.00. However a few dealers are now undercutting MAP pricing, so if you shop around, you may find the model 398 Steiner 10×50 Military LRF binoculars for under $2,100.00. DigitalFoto.com is listing the unit at $2079.48. For comparison, DigitalFoto.com sells the 8×56 Leica Geovid rangefinder binoculars for $2699.00.

Permalink New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
June 15th, 2010

Bushnell and Leupold Settle Patent Infringement Lawsuits

Bushnell Inc. and Leupold & Stevens have settled their respective lawsuits relating to the Leupold True Ballistic Range® (TBR) technology, and the Bushnell Angle Range Compensation (ARC) technology. So ends the legal battle of competing angle-compensation indication systems. In February, Leupold & Stevens sued Burris, Bushnell, and Zeiss for patent infringement in federal court for the District of Oregon. Then, in a separate action in the District of Kansas, Bushnell sued Leupold & Stevens for patent infringement. This week, after months of negotiations, the two companies dismissed their claims against each other, the two sides having reached an amicable settlement. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but neither company will be required to discontinue selling any of its products.

Patent Lawsuit Leupold Bushnell

“We are pleased with the settlement, because it allows our customers to go on using and enjoying Bushnell laser rangefinders with our patented ARC technology, and we can focus our resources and energy on further developing and marketing new and innovative products,” said Phil Gyori, Executive Vice President of Marketing at Bushnell.

Previously, in March, Leupold removed Carl Zeiss Optical from Leupold’s patent suit. Though originally named as a defendant, Zeiss was dismissed from the suit because its products do NOT incorporate an inclinometer to compensate for angled shots. The inclinometer is a key element of Leupold’s patent.

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June 11th, 2010

New Scope Automatically Matches Magnification to Target Range

Imagine a riflescope that could sense target distance and shift from wide field-of-view/low magnification for closer shots to higher magnification for longer-range shots. Just think of the benefits for a hunter. He could just place his cross-hairs on a buck and the scope would automatically zoom to the optimal magnification. Does this sound like science fiction?

Darpa Lockheed DInGo projectWell the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is betting millions of tax dollars that an auto-adjusting rifle scope will soon be science FACT. DARPA recently awarded Lockheed Martin a $3.93 contract to develop a “next generation” Dynamic Image Gunsight Optic, aka DInGO. The DInGO scope automatically calculates the range with a low power laser rangefinder, digitally zooms in on it and accounts for environmental conditions such as wind using sensors built into the scope. It then projects the bullet’s point-of-impact calculated from the embedded ballistics computer. DInGO is based on Lockheed Martin’s One Shot Advanced Sighting System, which utilizes similar technology to automatically transmit crosswind information to a sniper’s scope and move the crosshairs to show the corrected point of aim.

“Current scopes are optimized for a single target range, impacting soldiers’ effectiveness and survivability when engaging targets at different distances,” said Dan Schultz, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Sensors Ship & Aviation Systems business. “DInGO will solve this problem, significantly increasing soldiers’ ability to rapidly reconfigure optics for use from short to long ranges and improving marksmanship capabilities for all soldiers.”

While DInGo scope technology will first be implemented for the military on M-4 and M-16 rifles, eventually this automatic ranging/zooming system could be adapted to hunting rifles. Such a system would be great for game hunters. When the prey appears at close range, the scope would provide a relatively low magnification level for enhanced field of view. If the animal was much farther away, the scope would autmatically increase magnification to allow more precise aiming. Hopefully this will be one example of military technology “trickling down” to the general public for sporting use.

Other Scopes with Built-In Laser Rangefinders
Both Burris and Zeiss currently offer hunting scopes with integrated laser-rangefinders that calculate holdover, based on target distance. The Burris Eliminator even projects the calculated aiming (hold) point as a red dot on the vertical crosshair. Shown below is the view through the lens of the Burris Eliminator scope, with the red dot showing holding point. Just place the red dot on the center of the target and pull the trigger. However, neither the Burris nor Zeiss rangefinding scopes automatically adjust magnification/field of view. Zooming in or out must still be done manually. That’s where the DInGO system offers something radically new.

Burris Eliminator Scope

Permalink New Product, Optics 4 Comments »
June 3rd, 2010

Zeiss Offers $100-$150 Rebates on Rangefinders and Riflescopes

Carl Zeiss Sports Optics has renewed its “Zeiss Field Days” promotion for 2010. Zeiss now offers substantial rebates on scopes, binoculars, and laser rangefinders.

Zeiss Optics Rebate $100

$100 Rebate on Zeiss Victory 8×26 PRF Rangefinder
Earlier this year we comparison-tested a variety of Laser Rangefinders. Among the units tested, we felt that the overall best value, considering price, was the Zeiss Victory 8×26. While larger and heavier than the Leica CRF1200, it was easier to hold and aim, and it costs much less than the Swarovski Laser Guide. The Zeiss Victory is an outstanding unit and now it is even cheaper. From June 1 – December 31, 2010, Zeiss is providing a $100.00 mail-in rebate on the award-winning Victory 8×26 T* PRF Laser Rangefinder. (There is also a $100.00 rebate for the Victory Compact Binoculars.)

zeiss PRF Rangefinder

$150.00 Rebate on Zeiss Riflescopes with Rapid-Z® Varmint Reticle
From June 1 – September 30, 2010, Carl Zeiss is offering a $150 mail-in rebate for customers purchasing Zeiss Victory Diavari 6-24X or Zeiss Conquest 6-20X Riflescopes with the Rapid-Z® Varmint reticle. The Zeiss Rapid-Z® Varmint Reticle provides multiple, labeled hold-over points so you quickly move from one target distance to another without dialing scope elevation.

Rapid-Z Zeiss reticle

According to Erik Schumacher, president of Carl Zeiss Sports Optics: “This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to our many loyal customers…. Given the challenging economic times, these reduced prices and rebate promotions should help many more to afford the best optics possible.”

Rebate Rules
All rebate request forms must be completed and postmarked 30 days from the date of purchase. Payment will be made by Carl Zeiss Visa Prepaid Cards. CLICK THIS LINK for more info about the Zeiss Field Days Promotion. Click the links below for PDF Rebate Forms.

Victory PRF Rangefinder Rebate Form PDF | Victory/Conquest Riflescope Rebate Form PDF

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics 3 Comments »
February 19th, 2010

Bushnell Sues Leupold & Stevens for Patent Infringement

Bushnell Outdoor Products has sued Leupold & Stevens for infringing on two Bushnell U.S. Patents covering the Bushnell Angle Range Compensation™ (ARC™) and Rain™ Mode laser rangefinder technology. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas on February 9, 2010 and alleges that Leupold is infringing on Bushnell U.S. Patent Nos. 5,926,259 and 7,658,031.

Angle Range Compensation is important for both rifle shooters and bow-hunters. When a shooter or archer takes a shot at an extreme up or down angle, there will be less drop than with a non-angled shot (given the same line of sight distance to target). By fitting an inclinometer to its rangefinders, Bushnell is able to plot the shot angle and display the “effective ballistic distance” to the target. You can then quickly calculate the hold-over you actually need.

Bushnell pioneered the sportsman-oriented laser rangefinder, and Bushnell was selling rangefinders long before Leupold even entered the laser rangefinder market. Bushnell earned U.S. Patent No. 7,658,031 for its rangefinder technology that provides hold-over info for angled shots.

“Bushnell has invested an enormous amount of time and resources into developing our patented technology and we will vigorously enforce our rights against all infringers,” said Phil Gyori, Executive Vice President of Marketing at Bushnell Inc. “While we prefer to resolve disputes with our competitors without resorting to litigation, we felt we had no choice but to defend our intellectual property against Leupold’s infringement.”

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November 7th, 2009

Holiday Promotional Rebates on Zeiss Optics

Carl Zeiss Optics LogoCarl Zeiss Sports Optics has launched a 2009 Holiday Promotion, offering rebates on select binoculars, riflescopes, and rangefinders. Customers who purchase select ZEISS optics from authorized dealers between November 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009 can save up to $250.

Rebates will be offered on the following ZEISS optics products: All Victory FL Binoculars ($250 rebate); Conquest 10×40 Binoculars ($200 rebate); Conquest 8×30 Binoculars ($100 rebate); all Victory Compact Binoculars ($75 rebate); Victory 8×26 T* PRF Laser Rangefinder ($50 rebate); and all Victory Riflescopes ($100 rebate).

Carl Zeiss Optics Logo“This is our holiday gift to hunters, birders and outdoor enthusiasts who want to own the finest optics but may be hesistant to make such a purchase in this challenging economy,” said Erik Schumacher, president of Carl Zeiss Sports Optics. “Hopefully the savings we are offering on a wide selection of award-winning ZEISS optics will make it possible for many to upgrade their optics.”

All rebate submissions must be completed within 30 days of the purchase. Rebates will be issued via a Carl Zeiss prepaid VISA card. You’ll find promotion details and a list of authorized ZEISS dealers at www.Zeiss.com/sports.

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July 14th, 2009

New Bushnell RangeFinder with Angle Range Compensation

Bushnell has released a new Legend 1200 ARC laser rangefinder (LRF) with a claimed 1,200-yard capability on highly reflective objects. Bushnell claims the Legend 1200 will range a tree out to 850 yards, or a deer-sized animal out to 475 yards.

AccurateShooter Bushnell Laser Rangefinder

A compact 4.3″ x 2.9″ x 1.7″ size, the Legend 1200 weighs just 7.4 ounces. This is small and light enough to carry in a shirt pocket. The Legend 1200 features a multi-coated 6X optic and all external lens surfaces are coated with RainGuard HD. With a $349.00 MSRP, the Legend 1200 is available in black or Realtree® AP™ camouflage.

AccurateShooter Bushnell Laser RangefinderBuilt-In Angle Compensation
The Legend 1200 has a built-in inclinometer so it can give you true horizontal yardage for up-angle and down-angle shots. That is very important for hunters and tactical shooters who must rapidly adjust for shot angle to ensure a hit. In Rifle Mode the Legend 1200 calculates the angle and indicates the holdover required in either inches or MOA (user selectable output). The range of angle measurement is -90 to +90 degrees.

A new feature in the Legend 1200 is Variable Sight-In Distance capability or VSI™. In Rifle Mode, users can select between 100, 150, 200 or 300 yard sight-in distances to accommodate their shooting styles and preferences. Other standard features include SCAN, Bulls Eye and Brush Modes for better targeting and accuracy. The Legend 1200 ARC is rubber armored and fully waterproof. It comes with a carrying case, lanyard and 3-volt CR2 battery.

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May 14th, 2009

Cabela's Kicks Off Memorial Day Sale

Cabela’s has commenced a Memorial Day Sale that runs through May 25, 2009. Selected products are up to 50% off and sale prices are in effect right now. There are some real bargains to be had. Here are some good deals we found. To get these Memorial Day Sale prices, CLICK THIS LINK.

Leica Rangemaster CRF 1200 Rangefinder
Item: QZ-712561
Reg: $699.99
Sale: $599.00

Leice CRF 1200 Rangefinder

You probably already know that Leica’s CRF 1200 is a top-of-the-line laser rangefinder, rivaled only by the $999.00 Swarovski LaserGuide and, maybe, by the new $699.00 Zeiss Victory PRF. Among these three units, the Leica is the most compact by far. And, now, it is the least expensive. NOTE: You can also buy the Leica CRF 1200 from Amazon.com for $599.00 with FREE Shipping by clicking the special link below:

$599.00 Leica Rangemaster CRF 1200-Y Laser Rangefinder (Yards Version)

Cabela’s Covered Loading Tray
Item: XJ-215760
Reg: $14.99
Sale: $12.99

covered loading tray

When we first saw this product we thought: “Great idea… it’s amazing nobody else has offered a covered loading tray before”. Being able to cover your loading tray makes sense. With the cover in place, you can’t inadvertantly drop something into the tray, or knock over cases filled with powder. You can also keep loaded rounds protected from the elements before they’re packed into ammo carriers.

Buck Knives Transport™ Key Chain Knife
Item: 9IS-519169
Reg: $20.99
Sale: $11.99
Buck transport knife

We really like this little knife. Folded it is tiny, and weighs just 1 ounce! The 1.25″ blade is long enough to handle most typical cutting chores (opening box-tops, cutting tape, trimming cords). It even comes with a bottle opener and a sturdy lanyard attachment.

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April 6th, 2009

Leupold Introduces new Compact RX-1000 Rangefinder

Leupold has released a new ultra-compact laser rangefinder, the RX-1000. This thing is tiny — not much larger than a pack of cigarettes. The pocket-sized RX-1000 measures 3.8 inches long and weighs just 7.8 ounces. The “street price” for the basic RX-1000 unit is about $350.00 while the TBR® model with built-in ballistics compensation runs about $400.00 (OpticsPlanet.com prices). Both the RX-1000 and RX-1000 TBR units feature an aluminum frame, inside a weatherproof, matte-black, rubber-armored exterior. The RX-1000 TBR is also available in Mossy Oak® camouflage.

Leupold RX-1000 rangefinder Leupold RX-1000 rangefinder

Beyond the reduction in size and weight, the notable feature of the RX-1000 is an improved optic with better light transmission. Leupold claims the RX-1000’s 80% light transmission is superior to most other rangefinders. In addition, the RX-1000 features a RED OLED read-out. In low light conditions, the OLED is definitely easier to view that conventional LCD displays.

Leupold claims the RX-1000 has a maximum effective range of 1,000 yards (914.4 meters) on reflective targets. Based on the performance of other Leupold rangefinders, we expect this claim is grossly optimistic and you shouldn’t count on reliable ranging much past 700 yards.

One feature we like about the new RX-1000 are the selectable reticles: a small “Plus Point” crosshair for ranging small targets, a larger outer crosshair, or a combination of the two. This is a feature we’d like to see added to premium rangefinders like the Swarovski laser guide. Choosing a tight reticle lets you aim the device more precisely, which reduces the chance of errant laser returns.

We think it’s wise to pay the money for the TBR model which automatically calculates the shot angle and provides the actual Ballistic Range rather than the straight-line distance to the target. This can be very helpful for hunters shooting at extreme up or down angles in mountainous country. To learn more about the RX-1000, check out Jeff Quinn’s Gunblast.com Review, visit www.leupold.com, or call 1-800-LEUPOLD.

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March 13th, 2009

Zeiss Victory RF Binoculars Win Optics Awards

At SHOT Show 2009, we were impressed with the new Zeiss Victory laser rangefinder (LRF), listing it as one of the highlights of the 2009 Show.

A companion product line, the Zeiss Victory range-finding binoculars, have won a series of prestigious awards. Introduced in early 2008, the Zeiss Victory RF was named a “Leading Edge: The Best of What’s Next” product by National Geographic Adventure magazine, which wrote: “Zoom in on an object through the Zeiss Victory 8×45 rangefinding binoculars and a crisp LED display will give you its exact distance — as if you had Million Dollar Man eyesight. Traditional high-end Zeiss lenses and workmanship and a waterproof body complete this first-of-its-kind package.”

The Victory RF, claimed to be the world’s first premium binoculars with digital laser rangefinder, LED Display AND Ballistic Information System (BIS), also won the prestigious Red Dot Design Award in addition to the Chicago Athenaeum: GOOD DESIGN™ Award. Both are international awards that recognize the best design innovations of the year.

Zeiss Victory RF Binoculars Features:
• Ranges from 10 yards to 1,300 yards.
• Integrated design — Victory RF binoculars are the world’s first binoculars with a hinge bridge that do not require a separate laser emitter.
• Tightly focused Beam — The laser beam used in the Victory RFs is narrow with minimal beam divergence, so you can range small targets even at long distances.
• Accurate “One-Touch” rangefinding for a steadier image.
• Ballistic Information System (BIS) that automatically calculates required aiming hold-over at the ranged distance.

Great Performance, but Extremely Expensive
What’s the downside of the Zeiss Victory RF binoculars? They cost a fortune. The Zeiss Victory 8×45 version retails for about $2900.00, while the 10×45 model runs about $3,000. That makes the Zeiss Victory RF Binoculars MORE Expensive than the Leica 8×56 Geovids which have a much larger objective, providing better low-light performance (and a larger exit pupil). And, you can get the smaller 8×42 BRF Geovids for $2245 at Adorama.com and other large online vendors.

Are the 8×45 Zeiss Victory RFs worth $750 more than the 8×42 Leica Geovids? You’ll really have to make that decision for yourself. The Geovids are a known quantity, having proven themselves in the field over many years. The Zeiss Victory RF offers more sophisticated software (with the BIS), and we think the Victory is more secure and comfortable to hold.

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