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August 2nd, 2021

Kowa Introduces 99mm Objective Prominar Spotting Scope

Kowa TSN-99A TSN-99 99mm Spotting Scope Prominar new

Kowa TSN-99A TSN-99 99mm Spotting Scope Prominar newBigger is normally better — when it comes to light transmission and field of view. Kowa has introduced an all-new, high-end spotting scope, the TSN-99 Prominar, which has a huge 99mm front objective lens. This 99mm spotting scope features a pure Fluorite XD (eXtra-low Dispersion) lens for maximum light transmission, with superior edge-to-edge sharpness, and minimal chromatic aberration.

The TSN-99’s primary TE-11WZ II eyepiece provides a 30-70X range of magnification and there is also a 40X extreme-wide-angle eyepiece. That would be very effective for wind-reading. Existing accessories for Kowa’s 88/77 series are compatible with the new TSN-99 series spotters.

Who needs a spotter this big? We expect this will be popular with wind coaches and shooters involved in the ELR game. And guys who started with a 60mm, then graduated to an 80mm or 88mm, may decide to step up to this big new optic. It will certainly offer better low-light performance. That 99mm objective equals 3.898 inches.

With a 100% magnesium alloy structure, this big spotter is lighter than you might expect. The angled model weighs 3.99 lbs. (1810 grams) while the straight version weighs 4.04 lbs. (1835 grams). With the magnesium body, Kowa claims the TSN-99 series is “one of the most compact and lightweight in its class … making it more portable than many other models.” The objective lens boasts a protective Kowa KR coating which actively repels dirt, moisture and dust.

Kowa TSN-99A TSN-99 99mm Spotting Scope Prominar new
Kowa TSN-99A TSN-99 99mm Spotting Scope Prominar new

Avaliable accessories include: TE-11WZ II 30-70X wide zoom eyepiece, TE-80XW 40X extreme-wide-angle eyepiece, TSN-EX16 1.6x extender, plus Digiscoping adapters.

The TSN-99 PROMINAR spotting scopes will be available for pre-order starting August 2, 2021, with product distribution beginning on September 9, 2021.* Click HERE for product information.

PRICING — $3999.00 with 30-70X Eyepiece or $3250.00 Body Only
Current actual retail price now at EuroOptic.com for the Angled TSN-99A is $3999.00 with TE-11WZ II 30-70x Zoom Eyepiece or $3250.00 for TSN-99A body only. Likewise the Straight TSN-99S with 30-70X eyepiece is $3999.00, or $3250.00 for TSH-99S body only.

For our European readers, the Kowa Website lists the prices for TSN-99A Angled OR TSN-99S Straight spotters as follows: €3,899.00 with 30-70X eyepiece, or €3,199.00 body only. (I.e. same price for either straight or angled, VAT included).

Kowa TSN-99A TSN-99 99mm Spotting Scope Prominar new

Kowa’s 88mm TSN-880 Prominar spotters have finished at the top of many spotting scope comparison tests, so we expect the new 99mm TSN-99 to raise the bar even higher. Kowa explains: “The TSN-99 Prominar Series is the evolution of over six decades of Japanese optical design and technology. It utilizes the very best from our optical heritage and benefits from features, technology, and engineering developed by generations of Kowa optical experts.”

Kowa states that the TSN-99 Prominar Spotter was created to deliver “the brightest and widest view of nature[.] We created TSN-99 PROMINAR series because we wanted to deliver one of the most immersive and detailed views of the natural world.”

This short 1.5-minute video shows the TSN-99 used in the field:

This 7.5-minute video provides details of the TSN-99’s design, lens properties, and controls:

TE-80XW Extreme-Wide-Angle 40X EyePiece: 37M at 1000M
Along with a 30-70X zoom eyepiece, Kowa offers the Kowa TE-80XW eyepiece for the TSN-99 spotter series. The TE-80XW offers an 80-degree view, one of the widest field of views ever offered with similar magnification. This provides a view of 37 meters (40.5 yards) width at 1000m distance. That would allow you to see a very long line of targets or wide spread of wind flags with 40X magnification.

The TE-80XW incorporates a field-flattener lens maintaining flat resolution throughout the entire 80-degree field of view. The Kowa TE-80XW is 100% waterproof, sealed against the elements, and protected against dirt, moisture and dust by Kowa’s unique KR coating.


*The September 9, 2021 date was in Kowa’s official press release. However, Kowa’s global website states: “The new TSN-99 PROMINAR spotting scope series… will be available to purchase from Kowa authorised dealers from the 1st October 2021 [sic].” Thanks to EdLongRange for finding TSN-99 Series current pricing.
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July 8th, 2021

Training Tip: Shooter and Spotter Working as a Team

Shooting Spotter training video NSSF

When shooting at long range, two heads (and two sets of eyes) can be better than one. Teaming up with a buddy who acts as a spotter can speed up your long-range learning process. You can focus 100% on the shot, while your buddy calls the wind and spots your hits and misses.

The NSSF has created a short video that shows how shooter and spotter can work as a team. In the video, the NSSF’s Dave Miles works with Rod Ryan, owner of Storm Mountain Training Center in Elk Garden, WV. As the video shows, team-work can pay off — both during target training sessions and when you’re attempting a long shot on a hunt. Working as a two-person team divides the responsibilities, allowing the shooter to concentrate fully on breaking the perfect shot.

The spotter’s job is to watch the conditions and inform the shooter of needed wind corrections. The shooter can dial windage into his scope, or hold off if he has a suitable reticle. As Rod Ryan explains: “The most important part is for the shooter to be relaxed and… pay attention to nothing more than the shot itself.” The spotter calls the wind, gives the information to the shooter, thus allowing the shooter to concentrate on proper aim, gun handling, and trigger squeeze. Rod says: “The concept is that the spotter does all the looking, seeing and the calculations for [the shooter].”

Shooting Spotter training video NSSF

Spotter Can Call Corrections After Missed Shots
The spotter’s ability to see misses can be as important as his role as a wind-caller. Rod explains: “If you shoot and hit, that’s great. But if you shoot and miss, since the recoil pulse of the firearm is hitting your shoulder pretty good, you’re not going to be able to see where you missed the target. The spotter [can] see exactly where you missed, so I’ll have exactly an idea of how many [inches/mils it takes] to give you a quick secondary call so you can get [back on target].”

Recommended Premium Spotting Scopes
Looking for a truely superior spotting scope? Then check out the Kowa Prominar TSN-880 Series. These big spotters feature ultra-sharp Flourite glass, with huge 88mm front objectives. In comparison tests with other premium spotting scopes the TSN-883 (angled) and TSN-884 (straight) units always finish at or near the top. Right now you can get the TSN-883 (Angled) body at Amazon for $2450.00 or EuroOptic.com for the same price. A Special 125th Anniversary Black-Body Edition with TE-11WZ 25-60x Zoom Eyepiece runs $3150.00 at B&H Photo.

Shooting Spotter training video NSSF

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July 3rd, 2021

Eye on Optics — How Riflescopes and Spotting Scopes Work

Accurateshooter.com optics rifle scope Swarovski

For many years, the Swarovski Optik website featured a blog with interesting technical articles. (Unfortunately some of these articles have been taken offline.) In the “On Target” series of blog stories, Swarovski provided a handy explanation of how optics systems work, with exploded diagrams of rifle scopes, spotting scopes, and binoculars. We’ve reproduced the key diagrams here. CLICK HERE for Swarovski On Target Archive.

Accurateshooter.com optics rifle scope Swarovski

Scope Terminology
Focusing Lens
The focusing lens is an adjustable lens inside the optical system for focusing the image at different distances…. In the case of rifle scopes, apart from focusing, the focusing lens also facilitates parallax compensation.

Objective Lens
The objective lens is the optical system’s front lens group facing the object and operates like a converging lens. Its purpose is to display an image which, at the image plane, appears upside down, laterally transposed and reduced, and which is subsequently displayed correctly again by the reversal system.

Diopter Adjustment
For rifle scopes, the reticle can be focused using the diopter adjustment on the eyepiece, thereby correcting any visual impairment. [Editor’s Note: Movable eyepiece diopter adjustment is not offered on all rifle scopes. It is a useful feature on Swarovski and other premium scopes. This allows shooters who need eyeglasses to get a sharply focus image even without wearing corrective lenses. Of course shooters should always wear ANSI-certified eye protection. With the diopter, folks who need correction can use inexpensive, non-Rx safety eyewear instead of expensive prescription safety glasses.]

Reversal System
The purpose of the reversal system is to reverse the image by means of prisms in binoculars and telescopes, and lenses in rifle scopes….The lens reversal system is needed in rifle scopes to control the variable magnification and move the exit pupil[.]

Resource tip by EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
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May 19th, 2021

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.

Pentax PF 100ED

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February 9th, 2021

Reading Mirage to Determine Wind Speed and Angle

South Texas Mirage Reading article
Diagram from SouthTexasShooting.org.

How to Read Mirage as a Wind Indicator

Note: This article was written by Glen Zediker. Sadly, Glen passed away in October of 2020. However, you can still order his books from Midsouth and read his articles in the Midsouth Blog.

Most good shooters use mirage as their leading indicator to spot changes in the wind. With well-designed stand, the scope can be set it up where you can see the wind with the left eye and see the sight with the right without anything more than a visual focus shift. That gets the shooter back on the trigger with the least chance of missing another change. In the photo below e you can see 11-time National High Power Champion David Tubb using a spotting scope set up for his left eye.

wind mirage spotter spotting scope
David Tubb sets up his spotting scope so he can easily see through it with his LEFT eye, without shifting his head and body position.

There are multiple resources that give clues or evidence of wind direction and strength: wind flags, observation of grass and trees, and mirage.

Almost always I use mirage as my leading indicator. Mirage (heat waves) is always present but you’ll need a scope to read it. For 600 yards I focus my scope about halfway to the target. Mirage flows just like water and the currents can be read with respect to wind speed as well, but it’s not clearly accurate beyond maybe a 15 mph speed. The thing is that mirage shows changes, increases or decreases, and also direction shifts, really well.

A couple more things about mirage flow: when mirage “boils,” that is appears to rise straight up, either there’s no wind or the scope is dead in-line with wind direction. And that’s a quick and accurate means to determine wind direction, by the way, move the scope until you see the boil and note the scope body angle. Here’s another tip — the boil can predict when a “fishtail” wind is about to change, a boil precedes a shift.

wind mirage spotter spotting scope

You don’t need to spend big bucks for an effective spotting scope to view mirage. You can get the Vortex 20-60x60mm Diamondback angled spotting scope for just $399.99 from Midsouth. That’s complete with 20-60X zoom eyepiece. Though inexpensive, the Vortex Diamondback is popular with many competitive shooters and hunters. No, it doesn’t offer the sharpness of an 80mm Kowa Prominar or Swarovski spotting scope, but you’ll pay $2400+ just for the body of those high-end optics.

Choice of EyePiece — Wide-Angle LERs Work Well
I use a long-eye-relief 20X to 25X wide-angle eyepiece. That setup shows the flow best. And pay attention to where the wind is coming from! See what’s headed your way, because what’s passed no longer matters. That’s true for any indicator. Right to left wind? Read off the right side of the range.

Once I get on target then all I am doing is watching for changes. It’s really uncommon to make a big adjustment between shots. The fewer condition changes you are enduring, the easier it is to keep everything on center. That’s why I shoot fast, and why I start at the low point in a wind cycle.

Read FULL ARTICLE in Midsouth Shooters Blog

sighters spotting scope mirageMaking Corrections with Limited Sighters
Here’s a Tip for NRA High Power matches where only two sighters are allowed: “Make a full correction off the first sighting shot location! Even if there are minor changes afoot, that’s how to know how well you assessed condition influence pre-shot. Don’t second-guess. After the second sighter you should be on target and then simply watching for changes. Pay attention, correlate visible cues to the results of prior shots, and if in doubt, click into the wind.”

Information in this article was adapted from material in several books published by Glen Zediker and Zediker Publishing. Glen, who passed away in 2020, was an NRA High Master who earned that classification in NRA High Power Rifle using an AR15 Service Rifle. For more information and articles visit ZedikerPublishing.com.

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January 25th, 2021

Bench Mount for Spotting Scopes from Creedmoor Sports

Creedmoor spotting scope bench clamp mount support hanger

Probably 95% of all civilian rifle shooting is done from the bench — if you include fun shooting, load development, sight-in sessions, practice days, youth training, as well as actual benchrest and club competitions. If you shoot with iron sights, or a low-power optic, you’ll definitely need a spotting scope to see your shots on target. And if you’re shooting long-range, that spotting scope will help you see mirage, as well as hits on far targets.

It’s not always easy to place a spotting scope near your bench. There are short benchtop tripods, but they take up precious bench-top space and can interfere with your non-favored arm placement/functions. Or you can deploy a complete separate tall tripod, next to the bench, but, frankly, that’s inconvenient, and with some bench structures it’s difficult to get the scope close enough to the shooter’s eye.

Here is a smart solution from Creedmoor Sports — a specialized, clamp-on Spotting Scope Support that mounts directly to the side of your bench. This will work with heavy, thick range benchtops as well as thinner-top portable shooting benches.

Creedmoor Spotting Scope Bench Mount

This mounting system clamps to the bench, allowing your spotting scope to be suspended near your face, with nothing below it to get bumped. If your buddy wants to look through the scope, simply spin the horizontal boom piece away from the bench. This system adjusts up and down and left and right. Set the scope head in any configuration you prefer. The $219.95 kit has everything you need, including all clamps AND the blue adjustable scope head. Select either 3/4″ rod diameter or 1″ rod diameter. (Bigger is better for heavier scopes).

Creedmoor spotting scope bench clamp mount support hanger

Creedmoor Bench Mount Spotting Scope Stand Features:

1″ or 3/4″ aluminum rods for vertical and horizontal support (18″ in length)
Anti-pivot pins to keep the mount from twisting on the edge of the bench
Includes high-grade Blue anodized adjustable scope head
Durable anti-slip rubber on the clamp
Micro-adjustment clamping stopper

Creedmoor spotting scope bench clamp mount support hanger

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October 17th, 2020

Spotlight — Creedmoor Sports Polecat V2 Spotting Scope Stand

Polecat spotting scope stand Creedmoor sports

Every serious competitor needs a good spotting scope support. Spotting scopes are not just for iron sights shooters. Even if you have a powerful riflescope, the spotting scope, typically set at 15-25X magnification, lets you observe wind flags, mirage, and other shooters’ targets. If you are looking for a high-quality, made-in-USA support for your spotter, consider the Polecat V2 system from Creedmoor Sports. Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com recently posted this video review:

Creedmoor Sports has offered excellent products for competitive shooters for decades. The Made-in-USA Polecat V2 system is updated version of Creedmoor’s best-selling spotting scope stand. After collecting feedback from shooters across many disciplines for several years, the designers brought some major advances to this scope stand. First, no pretension are adjustments needed. Horizontal and vertical resistance is controlled by the knurled tightening knob. Second, the Polecat boasts a pre-aligned Delrin clamp so you don’t have to spin the clamp to align with the rods during stand assembly. You can order a Polecat V2 with 3/4″-diameter rod for $296.95 or get the 1″-diameter rod version for $364.95.

Polecat spotting scope stand Creedmoor sports

Either version can be used for both left-handed and right-handed shooters, with about 5″ standoff from the center of the stand to the scope’s centerline. Polecat V2 packages include head, stop collar, one extension rod, and base. Additional aluminum rods are available to extend height.

Polecat V2 Key Features
— Adjustable head (spotting scope mounts to head)
— Bump stop (protects spotting scope from accidental knock if dropped)
— Base with three fold-out legs
— Leveling adjustment for uneven ground (one leg can be adjusted downward, faced in downhill direction)
— Zero play (slop), giving you the ability to quickly and easily make adjustments
— One-handed operation/adjustment
— 1/4″-20 standard spotting scope thread
— The scope may be positioned above or below the scope head

Shop Polecat V2 here (5% Off with Code UR5) | Read Full Story HERE

Polecat spotting scope stand Creedmoor sports

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August 10th, 2020

Bargain Finder 255: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

Cabela’s — Bergara B-14 HMR Rifle, $949.99

Bergara B-14 HMR rifle PRS hunting

Good Ergonomics, Works for Hunting plus PRS Factory Class

Bergara rifles combine accuracy, good ergonomics, and smooth function at a lower costs than many other brands. If you’re looking for a new rifle that’s capable of hunting, PRS competition, or target shooting, check out the Bergara B-14 HMR now on sale. Available in 6.5 Creedmoor for $949.99, the B-14 HMR features a quality synthetic stock with adjustable cheek-piece (scope not included). The 24″ barrel has a threaded muzzle, so you can add a muzzle brake or suppressor. Order this online from Cabelas.com and it ships for free to your local Cabela’s store.

2. Precision Reloading — Lapua Brass and Scenar Bullets Rebate

lapua brass sale rebate

SAVE 10% with Rebate Program for Lapua Brass and Bullets

Here is a great deal on great cartridge brass and bullets. Right now Lapua is offering a Lapua Summer Savings Rebate on cartridge brass and Scenar bullets. With this rebate, you can then save 10% on your purchases up to $200 max. Precision Reloading has a great selection of Lapua brass and bullets. Of course Lapua brass is the “choice of champions” and we have found the Scenars to be extremely consistent in weight and base-to-ogive measurements. The Lapua Rebate Program covers purchases through August 31, 2020. You can also buy from Midsouth Shooters and Grafs.com.

3. Palmetto State Armory — Rossi RS22 Rimfire Rifle, $109.99

Rossi rs22 RS 22 .22 LR training rifle Mossberg

Rossi rs22 RS 22 .22 LR training rifle MossbergReliable, with very impressive accuracy — awesome deal under $110!

Looking for a very affordable first rifle for a young family member? Here’s one of the best low-cost options you can find among .22 LR rimfire rigs. The Rossi RS22 is a reliable, semi-auto rifle that comes equipped with barrel-mounted iron/fiber optic sights. There are also dovetails on the receiver for mounting scope rings. The RS22 also takes most Mossberg 702 magazines. The Rossi RS22 features an 18″ free-floating barrel, adjustable fiber optic sights and a synthetic Monte Carlo stock. For added accuracy, 3/8″ dovetail mounts allow the mounting of a scope or other optic. Overall weight, without scope, is 4.1 pounds.

4. CDNN Sports — Browning Bucks Summer Rebates: $25 to $100

lapua brass sale rebate

Take advantage of Browning Bucks Rebates up to $100

Browning makes excellent rifles, shotguns, and pistols. The Browning Buckmark is one of our favorite .22 LR rimfire pistol, and Browning Citori shotguns are renown for their build quality and performance. Right now CDNN Sports is running special SALES on a wide selection of Browning Firearms. And now through the end of September, you can can Browning Bucks back — up to $100.00 on Citori shotguns. The rifle rebate is $50, while the pistol rebate is $25.00. Here’s a change to get major savings on quality guns.

5. Bruno Shooters Supply — Massive BAT Action Sale

bat action sale

Superb BAT custom actions, over 80 on sale at $100 Off

BAT actions have an amazing reputation and are available in more configurations that just about any other action on the market. Head over to Bruno Shooters Supply and choose from over 80 BAT Actions on sale. Many models are avaiable, all discounted $100 off Bruno’s normal pricing. This BAT promo gets you $100 closer to that elite custom rifle you’ve always wanted.

6. Midsouth — Rebel Master Reloading Kit, $304.99 w/ Rebate

Shooting Mat

Fine new press and all you need to reload — just add dies and components

The RCBS Rebel Master Reloading Kit features the new Rebel Press plus Uniflow III powder measure, pocket digital scale, hand priming trickler, powder funnel, fold-up hex key set, deburring tool, brush set, case loading block, spray lube, and a Speer Loading Manual. Midsouth’s Rebel Kit sale price is $379.99. But note — this Kit qualifies for a $75.00 RCBS rebate, lowering your net cost to $304.99 — a killer deal. The RCBS Summer Rebate provides $50 back with $100-$249.99 purchase; $75 back with $250-$399.99 purchase; and $100 back with a purchase of $400 or more.

7. Midsouth Shooters — Norma .22 LR Match Ammo, $65.65/500

lapua brass sale rebate

Great accuracy for the price; excellent for gun games and NRL22

Midsouth has 500-round bricks of Norma .22 LR 40gr Elite Match-22 ammo for $65.65 (just 13 cents a round). The Match-22 LR series is known to deliver great performance. Norma tests each lot of .22 LR ammunition and then when a particularly accurate batch is identified, Norma places them into the Match category. This Match-22 ammo was produced for biathlon and target competition. It also an excellent choice for NRL22 tactical rimfire matches. At just $6.56 for a 50-count box, this is a great deal.

8. MidwayUSA — Athlon 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope, $149.99

athlon spotting scope 20-60x80mm

Remarkable value with big 80mm front lens

If you’re looking for a decent, under-$300 spotting scope, check out this Athlon for $149.99 at MidwayUSA. That price, which includes a tripod, is 25% off the regular $199.99 price. No this won’t compete with a $1500 Kowa, but it offers solid performance for the price. A verified purchaser posted: “Great value for the money. For $150 I don’t think you can go wrong. I am also not going to be worried about dropping it or getting it dirty. I had looked at scopes in the $800 range and decided that for me, there just wasn’t another $700 of value with the other scopes”. Another owner posted: “A Swaro it ain’t. But for the price nothing I’ve ever seen even comes close to touching it. Good sharp optics and simple to use.”

9. Amazon — NcStar Vism Shooting Mat, $27.99

Shooting Mat

83% 5-Star Reviews, Easy Rolled-Up Transport, Decent Padding

Here’s a very good mat for just $27.99. This NcStar Vism shooting mat boast decent padding, and reinforced areas for elbows and knees. Full dimensions are: 69″ Long x 35″ Wide. This mat has straps for pre-loading your bipod. When you’re done simply fold in the edges, roll it up into a compact 19.50″ W x 8.50″ H package — the size of a sleeping bag. You can pay twice as much for a shooting mat and not get much more quality. This mat has earned 85% Five-Star buyer ratings on Amazon.

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April 3rd, 2020

How to Watch Mirage and Trace with a Spotting Scope

Nikon MEP-30 Reticle Eyepiec
Nikon offers eyepieces with reticles for its flagship Monarch Fieldscopes. Eyepiece reticles help spotters call shot corrections with precise click values (MOA or Mils).

Spotting Scope Video mirage tipsUsing a spotting scope seems simple. Just point it at the target and focus, right? Well, actually, it’s not that simple. Sometimes you want to watch mirage or trace, and that involves different focus and viewing priorities. Along with resolving bullet holes (or seeing other features on the target itself), you can use your spotting scope to monitor mirage. When watching mirage, you actually want to focus the spotting scope not on the target, but, typically, about two-thirds of the distance downrange. When spotting for another shooter, you can also use the spotting scope to watch the bullet trace, i.e. the vapor trail of the bullet. This will help you determine where the bullet is actually landing, even if it does not impact on the target backer.

In this video, SFC L.D. Lewis explains how to use a spotting scope to monitor mirage, and to watch trace. SFC Lewis is a former Army Marksmanship Unit member, U.S. Army Sniper School instructor, and current U.S. Army Reserve Service Rifle Shooting Team member. In discussing how precision shooters can employ spotting scopes, Lewis compares the use of a spotting scope for competition shooters vs. military snipers. NOTE: You may wish to turn up the audio volume, during the actual interview segment of this video.

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March 2nd, 2020

Bargain Finder 232: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Cabela’s — Big Second Amendment Sale

cabelas second amendment sale ammo handguns

Now through March 11, 2020, Cabela’s is running a great Second Amendment Sale, with big discounts on firearms, ammo, optics, hunting gear, and other accessories. Many items are being offered at discounts up to 33%. For example, Frankford Arsenal products are now 20% OFF. Hundreds of items are on sale — a small sample is shown above. CLICK for SALE.

2. Midsouth Shooters — Berger Bullet Sale

berger bullet sale

In a wide variety of competitive shooting disciplines, Berger bullets are a top choice. Bergers are well-made and consistent. They win matches and have set many records. Plus Berger has just released a line of Long Range Hybrid Target (LRHT) bullets. Right now, Midsouth has a big Berger bullet sale including the new Long Range Hybrid Target Bullets at the lowest prices we’ve seen this year.

3. A&A Optics — Refurb Vortex Golden Eagle 10-60x52mm, $900

golden eagle sale

The 10-60X Vortex Golden Eagle is, justifiably, very popular among top benchrest and F-Class shooters. Ian Klemm won back-to-back USA F-TR Championships with this scope. Right now you can snag either the Refurbished Golden Eagle 10-60x52m w/ SCR-1 reticle for a crazy low price of $900 or the Refurbished Golden Eagle 10-60x52m w/ ECR-1 reticle for $1100. NOTE: These Refurb Golden Eagles still come with the Vortex Lifetime guarantee so you can buy with confidence.

4. Bruno Shooters Supply — Alliant Powder Sale

alliant powder sale

Alliant powders are popular for good reason. Many modern Alliant powders work great over a large temperature range and boast very consistent performance from lot to lot. Reloder 16 is a great option for H4350 users. Right now Bruno’s is running site-wide Alliant sale with every Alliant powder in stock on sale at some of the lowest prices we’ve seen in a while.

5. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Sig Kilo Rangefinder Sale

sig lasder rangefinder

Successful hunters and competitive shooters know the key to accurate shots is accurate ranging of a target. You can pick up one of the Sig Kilo Laser Rangefinders models 1000, 1200, 1400 or 1800 at up to 25% off and always know your distance so you can take a safe and accurate shot at any target.

6. Amazon — Mac Folding Cart, starting at $56.99

mac folding cart

Heading to the range or a match always requires transporting gear from your vehicle to the firing line. Most shooters use a cart, but many have small or narrow wheels and are tough to drag across sand, grass or rocks when fully loaded. We like Mac Sports Folding Carts which fold flat yet offer plenty of cargo space for your gear. Amazon offers 35″x20″ Mac Carts starting at $56.99 for Camo and $57.69 for Red, with many other colors. We do recommend spending $23 more for the $79.99 heavy-duty Mac Cart available at Costco. This larger (37″x22″) gray Costco cart boasts much WIDER WHEELS so it rolls way better in sand or gravel. The Costco Mac cart also has a 300-lb carrying capacity.

7. Amazon — Vortex 20-60x60mm Angled Spotting Scope, $393

vortex spotting scope

Whether hunting or target shooting, spotting scopes help you get on target faster and easier than using bare eyes or scope. If you’re in need of good all-purpose spotter check out the Vortex Diamondback 20-60x60mm angled spotting scope. It offers great clarity, a compact form design and an unconditional lifetime guarantee.

8. Keen — Men’s Gypsum II Waterproof Shoe, $69.99

keen shoe sale

Whether shooting at a match or out in the forest having good footwear is critical to your comfort and safety. If you attend any regional or national match and look at what people are wearing, you’ll see quite a few people wearing Keen shoes and for good reason. They’re rugged, durable and probably the most comfortable outdoor shoe this editor has worn for days on end. If you’ve been looking for an extra pair or maybe want to try them for yourself, head over to the Keen website where the Gypsum II waterproof hiking shoe is 47% off. They also have some great sales on other men’s and women’s shoes right now.

9. Grizzly — High-Quality Range Bag Clearance, $13 to $24

grizzly range bags

Every shooter needs a good range bag. Grizzly is near the end of its clearance on range gear and the clearance range bags are now just $13 to $24. Your Editor uses this range bag to carry spotting scopes and camera gear (see photo below).

Grizzly range bag

These quality bags have high-density foam sidewalls and internal padded “shelves” that make these much better than typical floppy range bags. These are more like a premium camera case that holds its shape. There are nice front and side pockets with quality zippers. FYI the $12.97 bag really is a hot pink, though it may look red on your monitor. The photo above is a 20″ bag in original red (sold out).

10. Amazon — Anti-Fog Safety Glasses, $16.94

safety glasses

All recreational and competitive shooters should have quality Z87-rated protective eyewear. Folks, you only have one set of eyes. Without eye protection, a single blown primer could seriously damage your eyesight. Right now you can grab this 3 pack of anti-fog safety glasses and always have an extra pair when you need them.

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January 21st, 2020

“Mirage Is Your Friend” — How Mirage Can Reveal the Wind

South Texas Mirage Reading article
Diagram from SouthTexasShooting.org.

Mirage as a Wind Indicator

Read FULL ARTICLE in Midsouth Shooters Blog

by Glen Zediker
Most good shooters use mirage as their leading indicator to spot changes in the wind. With well-designed stand, the scope can be set it up where you can see the wind with the left eye and see the sight with the right without anything more than a visual focus shift. That gets the shooter back on the trigger with the least chance of missing another change. In the photo below e you can see 11-time National High Power Champion David Tubb using a spotting scope set up for his left eye.

wind mirage spotter spotting scope
David Tubb sets up his spotting scope so he can easily see through it with his LEFT eye, without shifting his head and body position.

There are resources that give clues or evidence of wind direction and strength: wind flags, observation of grass and trees, and mirage.

Almost always I use mirage as my leading indicator. Mirage (heat waves) is always present but you’ll need a scope to read it. For 600 yards I focus my scope about halfway to the target. Mirage flows just like water and the currents can be read with respect to wind speed as well, but it’s not clearly accurate beyond maybe a 15 mph speed. The thing is that mirage shows changes, increases or decreases, and also direction shifts, really well.

A couple more things about mirage flow: when mirage “boils,” that is appears to rise straight up, either there’s no wind or the scope is dead in-line with wind direction. And that’s a quick and accurate means to determine wind direction, by the way, move the scope until you see the boil and note the scope body angle. Here’s another tip — the boil can predict when a “fishtail” wind is about to change, a boil precedes a shift.

wind mirage spotter spotting scope

You don’t need to spend big bucks for an effective spotting scope to view mirage. You can get the Vortex 20-60x60mm Diamondback angled spotting scope for just $399.99 from Midsouth. That’s complete with 20-60X zoom eyepiece. Though inexpensive, the Vortex Diamondback is popular with many competitive shooters and hunters. No, it doesn’t offer the sharpness of an 80mm Kowa Prominar or Swarovski spotting scope, but you’ll pay $2400+ just for the body of those high-end optics.

Choice of EyePiece — Wide-Angle LERs Work Well
I use a long-eye-relief 20X to 25X wide-angle eyepiece. That setup shows the flow best. And pay attention to where the wind is coming from! See what’s headed your way, because what’s passed no longer matters. That’s true for any indicator. Right to left wind? Read off the right side of the range.

Once I get on target then all I am doing is watching for changes. It’s really uncommon to make a big adjustment between shots. The fewer condition changes you are enduring, the easier it is to keep everything on center. That’s why I shoot fast, and why I start at the low point in a wind cycle.

sighters spotting scope mirageMaking Corrections with Limited Sighters
Here’s a Tip for NRA High Power matches where only two sighters are allowed: “Make a full correction off the first sighting shot location! Even if there are minor changes afoot, that’s how to know how well you assessed condition influence pre-shot. Don’t second-guess. After the second sighter you should be on target and then simply watching for changes. Pay attention, correlate visible cues to the results of prior shots, and if in doubt, click into the wind.”

Information in this article was adapted from material in several books published by Glen Zediker and Zediker Publishing. Glen is an NRA High Master who earned that classification in NRA High Power Rifle using an AR15 Service Rifle. For more information and articles visit ZedikerPublishing.com.

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June 28th, 2019

Seeing Bullet Holes at 1000 Yards? Yes It IS Possible…

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 $359.00 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
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.

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 ulimate 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 have often been able to 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.

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March 20th, 2018

Collapsible Meopta Spotting Scope — The Compact Option

Meoptia TGA 75 75mm spotting scope

Here’s an interesting spotting scope for hunters and tactical shooters — or anyone who needs a high-magnification field telescope that takes up minimal space. The new TGA 75 collapsible spotting scope is just 9.8 inches when collapsed with eyepiece removed. That about the size of a 20 oz. soda bottle. The classic draw-tube design extends to 14.8 inches when deployed. Engineered for hunters, the Meopta TGA 75 features a 75mm objective lens with proprietary MeoShieldTM coating. The shockproof, water-resistant TGA 75 can be mounted on a tripod but it can also be supported on a tree limb or field pack.

The TGA 75 boasts a rubber-armored, lightweight aluminum body. Three interchangeable eyepieces are offered: 30X WA-R (wide angle ranging), 30X WA (wide angle), or 20-60X zoom. The TGA 75 body only is $899.95 MSRP, while the three eyepieces are each priced at $399.95 MSRP.

“The compact TGA 75 spotting scope is ideal for hunters on the move and especially popular with those who pack into remote areas,” said Randy Garrison, Director of Meopta USA Sport Optics. “Size, weight and optical performance are important, and the TGA 75 delivers on all fronts.”

Meopta logoMeopta TGA 75 Spotting Scope Specifications:
Objective Lens (mm): 75mm
Lens Coatings: MeoBright, MeoShield
Length w/o eyepiece (in): 14.8 in
Weight w/o eyepiece (oz): 44.1 oz
Close Focus (ft): 13.9 ft
Chassis material: Magnesium alloy
Armor: Full rubber armor
Tripod thread: 1/4 – 20
Diopter Correction: +/- 5

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November 24th, 2017

Great Black Friday Optics Deals

Sightron 10-50x60mm Siii scope
Get this Burris Xtreme Tactical XTR II 4-20x50mm SCR Mil Scope for $999.00, a $150 Savings.

If you are looking for a new riflescope, spotting scope, laser rangefinder, or binoculars, today’s the day. This Black Friday, you’ll find some of the best bargains of the year. Looking for that Sightron 10-50X for your new F-Class rig? Need a new rangefinder for your next tactical match? Check out these great optics deals. You can easily save hundreds.

Midsouth — Sightron 10-50x60mm Riflescope, $929.99

Sightron 10-50x60mm Siii scope

The Sightron SIII 10-50x60mm is THE value leader in a high-magnification competition scopes. Nothing comes close at this price level. Yes, there are high-magnification comp scopes that may be better (such as the Nightforce 15-55x52mm) but they cost more than twice as much. Can you be competitive with a 10-50X Sightron? Absolutely. At the 2017 IBS 600-Yard Nationals three of the top 10 shooters, including the second overall finisher, used the 10-50X Sightron. Right now the 10-50x60mm Sightron is on sale at Midsouth as a Black Friday Special. Get the Target Dot Reticle version for $929.99, or the LR Fine Cross Hair model for $949.99. You can also get the Long Range MOA version for just $879.75 at Amazon. READ 10-50x60mm Scope Review.

Cabela’s — Vortex Viper HD 20-60x80mm Angled Spotter, $599.99

Sightron 10-50x60mm Siii scope

This is an impressive spotting scope that can run with other spotting scopes that cost well over $1000.00. Right now, as a Black Friday Special, Cabela’s is offering the Vortex Viper HD 20-60x80mm Angled Spotter for just $599.99. That is $300 less than the current price on Amazon — $899.00. Who doesn’t want to save three hundred bucks! You can also get the Vortex Viper HD 20-60x60mm straight body version for $599.99 at Cabelas.com.

Cabela’s — Nikon Laser RangeFinder Binoculars $200 Off

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week cabela's cabelas.com nikon laser rangefinder LRF binoculars

As part of its week-long Black Friday promotion, Cabela’s is offering big discounts on Nikon optics. One truly outstanding deal is the 10x42mm Nikon LaserForce rangefinder binoculars — the price has been slashed $200 from $1199.99 down to $999.99. Yes these highly-rated LRF binocs do sell elsewhere for around $1200. These Nikons offer performance rivaling expensive European rangefinding binoculars (Leica, Swarovski) for hundreds less. Clarity is excellent. Ranging ability is very good. CLICK HERE for LaserForce Field Test Full Review.

EuroOptic.com — Zeiss Conquest 6-20x50mm Scope, $649.00

Zeiss Conquest 6-20x50mm Varmint Reticle

The Zeiss Conquest 6-20x50mm scope would be one of our top choices for a varmint rifle optic, and now you can save $150.00 on Black Friday. The Zeiss glass is exceptionally sharp and the controls are positive. The range of magnification is just about optimal for shooting varmints from 100-400 yards. We also like Zeiss Rapid-Z Varmint ballistic reticle. This features hold-over hash-marks so you can move quickly from one yardage to another. When a P-dog pops up you may only have a few seconds to make the shot. With this reticle, optimized for chamberings such as .204 Ruger and 22-250, you don’t have to mess with clicking for elevation. This scope has a 1″ main tube and 1/4-MOA clicks.

Woodbury Outfitters — Big-Name Scopes, All Under $180.00

Zeiss Conquest 6-20x50mm Varmint Reticle

Sometimes a budget optic will do the job — for a youth rifle, or a “truck gun” that sees hard use. For a hunting rig, you don’t necessarily want or need more than 9-power, and a lighter-weight scope with lower profile has definite advantages. If you are looking for a budget riflescope, check out thes Black Friday Bargains at Woodbury Outfitters. Here are six scopes all under $180.00. To sweeten the deal even further, every scope comes with a $20.00 Woodbury Gift Card. You can gift that card to a friend for Christmas, or use it on your next purchase. VIEW Woodbury Outfitters Black Friday Sales Flyer.

Cabelas.com — Sig Kilo 2000 RangeFinder $349.99

Sig Sauer Kilo 200 Laser Rangefinder LRF Black Friday Cabelas

This Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 is a very good laser rangefinder that performs as well as some other brands costing nearly twice as much. You’ll get performance on par with a Zeiss Victory or Leica CRF for hundreds less. User reports on the Sig Kilo LRF have been very positive. NOTE: There is a newer model, the Sig Kilo 2200, but that costs around $500.00 now. Save 30% with this Kilo 2000 Black Friday deal.

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October 16th, 2017

Bargain Finder 108: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Natchez — Special 5 Reloading Press Kit, $199.99

RCBS Special 5 Reloading Kit

Looking for a great holiday gift for a family member getting started in metallic cartridge reloading? This RCBS Kit has everything a new reloader needs: single-stage press, powder measure, scale, powder trickler, priming tool, cartridge tray, “rocket” chamfer tool, case lube and more. This is an excellent entry-level reloading kit, on sale for just $199.99 at Natchez Shooters Supplies. We like the relatively compact Special 5 press for most reloading duties. Eventually you may want to add an additional, large heavy press, but this will get the job done. For the combined package, with all the tools one needs to hand-load quality ammo — this is a stunningly good deal at $199.99.

2. Amazon — RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press, $112.49

Amazon.com Amazon RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Reloading Press Sale

We said this was a good deal when priced around $135.00. Well now the Rock Chucker is just $112.49 at Amazon — matching the lowest price we’ve seen in years. The RCBS Rock Chucker remains a classic — a big, strong, versatile press that can handle most reloading chores with ease. And now you can get a genuine Rock Chucker Supreme for $112.49 — an insanely great deal. The Rock Chucker offers plenty of leverage for case-sizing and the “O” is tall enough for long cartridges. The Rock Chucker has a very strong base and should last a lifetime.

3. MidwayUSA — RCBS Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine, $104.99

RCBS ultrasound ultrasonic brass cartridge cleaner cleaning machine tank

If you’re looking for an ultrasonic cleaning machine — here’s a very good deal. On sale now at MidwayUSA for $104.99, this same unit sells for $139.99 on Amazon. With a powerful 60-watt transducer, this unit can process hundreds of cases at once. The machine boasts a 3.2 quart stainless tank with drain valve, five temp settings, and a 1-to-30 minute timer. There’s even a built-in sensor showing when to change solution. Here’s a verified buyer’s review: “Worth the money… it can heat the solution up to 140° F. The best thing about this cleaner… is that it has a drain port and valve — SO MUCH EASIER to drain compared to [other units].” NOTE: MidwayUSA has been offering free shipping for orders over $99.00 in recent days — check when you order.

4. Whittaker Guns — Howa Lightning 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle, $329.99

With this deal you can get a complete 6.5 Creedmoor Howa 1500 Rifle with HACT 2-Stage Trigger for just $329.99. That’s $80.00 less than the price of a Howa 1500 barreled action by itself! ($409.99 at Brownells). This is a no-frills rifle, but its hard to beat the $299.99 price for a solid, multi-purpose rifle. Use “As-Is” for hunting or drop it into a modular stock for tactical/practical games.

5. B&H — Kowa TSN-501 20-40X Angled Spotting Scope, $349.00

B&H Kowa TSN 501 Compact spotting scope bargain 20-40X

You don’t need to spend big bucks for an effective spotting scope to view mirage. You can get the Kowa TSN-501 Angled Spotting Scope for just $349.00 from B&H Photo. This is a super-compact scope with 50mm objective and built-in 20-40X eyepiece. Though relatively new, the small, light-weight TSN-501 can perform basic spotting tasks effectively. This doesn’t have the resolution of the $1500+ spotters but this is fine for viewing mirage and shot markers. Put the money you save into barrels and bullets.

6. CMP — ELEY .22 LR CMP Standard Ammo, 7 Cents per Round

CMP Eley Standard Bulk pack

ELEY, the UK-based rimfire ammo-maker, has teamed up with the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) here in the USA. Now you can purchase quality ELEY-made ammo for just seven cents a round. This new “ELEY CMP Standard” ammunition, available exclusively through the CMP, propels an accurate 40-grain bullet with an average velocity of 1090 fps. These particular paraffin-coated bullets are designed feed reliably through all .22 LR firearm platforms.

ELEY CMP standard will be available exclusively through the CMP. Though budget-priced, it “will still be incredibly accurate compared to other ammo at this price point”. There is a limit of two (2) cases per individual per year, priced at $354.95 for 5000 rounds, with Free Shipping to all contiguous U.S. States. NOTE: To purchase this ammo you must register and provide proof of eligibility.

7. MidwayUSA — Packable Shooting Mat, $19.99

MidwayUSA roll packable shooting mat light weight mat

Here’s a heck of a deal on a good light-weight shooting mat. MidwayUSA has slashed the price on its Packable Shooting Mat. Available in Coyote Tan or Olive Drab, this 67″ Long x 31″ Wide padded mat is now just $19.99. This Packable Mat has some nice features, such as 12″ front flap, elbow pads, 0.15″ thick padding, and six staking grommets. It’s easy to transport, rolling up to a 9″ x 4.5″ package, secured with a heavy strap. If you need a low-cost, basic shooting mat, check out this deal. Weighing just 1.5 pounds, this a good, light-weight mat to keep in a vehicle or to use on a “walk-around” varminting hunt.

8. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $16.85

Amazon Neiko Digital Caliper

Even if you have a good set of calipers, you may want to get one of these Neiko 01407A Digital Calipers. The #1 best-selling digital caliper on Amazon.com, this Neiko tool features a large LCD Screen and measures up to 6.0 inches. With over 3000 customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $16.85, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths.

9. Mystery Deal — Big Name Product with Lifetime Guarantee

Mysterday Deal of the Week Optics hunting scope

If you have a hunting rifle, this item will help you spot your game. With a best-in-industry, transferable lifetime warranty, you can put your trust in this product. It doesn’t have all the “bells and whistles” but it has the key features and performance a hunter needs. For shooters looking for quality construction, simple but 100% reliable controls, this unit (from a big Oregon-based manufacturer) will get the job done, and last a lifetime. CLICK HERE to see Mystery Deal of the Week.

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September 25th, 2017

Bargain Finder 105: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. CDNN — Savage 11/111 Rifle with Bushnell Scope, $349.99

Savage 11/111 Bushnell scope rebate sale package hunter hunting

Need a reliable sub-MOA hunting rifle? Here’s heck of a deal on rifle AND optic. Right now you can purchase a Savage model 11/111 for $349.99 after $100 mail-in rebate from Savage. And get this — that price includes a 3-9x40mm Bushnell Trophy scope. That’s right, you get a brand new Savage rifle plus a new Bushnell scope, all for $349.99 after rebate. This has got to be the best rifle deal around for the 2017 hunting season. Chose the Long Action model 111 or the Short Action model 11. Fifteen popular chamberings are offered, so you’re sure to find a caliber/cartridge that suits your hunting requirements. Choices are: .243 Win, .25-06, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, 6.5×284 NORMA, .270 Win, .270 WSM, 7mm-08, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Win, .30-06 Spr, .300 WSM, .300 Win Mag, .338 Federal, and .338 Win Mag.

2. Amazon — Sightron 10-50x60mm SIII Scope, under $970.00

AccurateShooter Deals of Week Sightron Scope Optics Sale
Match photo courtesy Varide Cicognati, Sightron dealer in Italy.

This 10-50x60mm Sightron recently faired very well in recent tests when compared to high-magnification scopes costing twice as much. It displayed excellent repeatability and click precision. It may not have the fancy name, but this 10-50X optic is definitely good enough to win long-range benchrest and F-Class matches. It is now available with MOA grid or Fine Cross Hair reticles for under $970.00. At that price, the Sightron is over $1350 cheaper than the 15-55X Nightforce. It is even $400+ cheaper than the old 12-42x56mm NF Benchrest scope. On a value-for-money basis, then, the Sightron 10-50x60mm makes sense for competitors on a budget. The money you save (vs. 15-55X NF) will pay for a nice BAT, Borden, or Kelbly custom action. NOTE: Other versions with Mil-Dot or Target Dot reticles currently run $1050-$1090 on Amazon.

3. CDNN — Walther Creed 9mm Pistol, $269.99

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Canik RP9 Kahr S&W M&P Walther Creed CT9

The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls at a killer price — $269.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar. The Creed features a snag-free bobbed hammer. Testers have praised the new Creed, saying that, despite the bargain price, it “sacrifices little to nothing in… ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability.”

4. Grafs.com — Hornady Auto Charge, $179.99 + Free Range Bag

Grafs.com Graf Hornady L-N-L Scale Dispenser Sale Discount

Here’s an excellent promo from our friends at Grafs.com. Hornady’s versatile Lock-N-Load Auto Charge™ Powder Scale and Dispenser is on sale for $179.99. And now for a limited time you get a FREE deluxe range bag ($43.99 value) with the purchase of the Hornady Scale/Dispenser. This is a good unit with a nice keypad. NOTE: You can also get the FREE Range Bag when you buy the Hornady Case Prep Center at Grafs.com for $419.99. That’s pretty pricey — getting Scale/Dispenser with the Range Bag is the better deal.

5. MidwayUSA — Packable Shooting Mat, $19.99

MidwayUSA roll packable shooting mat light weight mat

Here’s a heck of a deal on a good light-weight shooting mat. MidwayUSA has slashed the price on its Packable Shooting Mat. Available in Coyote Tan or Olive Drab, this 67″ Long x 31″ Wide padded mat is now just $19.99. This Packable Mat has some nice features, such as 12″ front flap, elbow pads, 0.15″ thick padding, and six staking grommets. It’s easy to transport, rolling up to a 9″ x 4.5″ package, secured with a heavy strap. If you need a low-cost, basic shooting mat, check out this deal. Weighing just 1.5 pounds, this a good, light-weight mat to keep in a vehicle or to use on a “walk-around” varminting hunt.

6. Amazon — Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge, $46.32

Lyman Trigger Pull gauge electronic Walmart Amazon

If you are serious about your precision firearms, you need one of these. We use the Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge to test the triggers on all our match and varmint rifles. The unit is precise and repeatable. Once you try one of these you won’t want to go back to crude spring trigger gauges. Amazon.com offers this unit for $46.32 with free shipping (third party sale).

7. Bullets.com — Norma .22LR Ammo (Match 22 & Tac 22)

Norma Match 22 Tac .22 LR Ammo rimfire ammunition bullets.com

Need quality .22 LR rimfire ammo at an affordable price? Consider Norma. Most folks think Norma only produces centerfire ammo and cartridge brass. As a result, people haven’t been looking for Norma rimfire ammo. Their loss is your gain. Accurate, reliable Norma .22 LR ammunition is in-stock right now at leading online vendors. This is good quality ammo, made in Europe. Bullets.com has Norma Tac-22 ammo in stock at $4.75 per 50-rd box (SKU: BL7819). In addition, Bullets.com offers Norma Match-22 ammunition at $6.50 per 50-rd box (SKU: BL11887).

8. Amazon — AR500 Steel 8″-Diameter Gong, $19.95 Delivered

Reactive Target AR500 Steel Gong Free Shipping 8 inch 8

We like reactive targets. It’s fun to “ring steel” and see a target move instantly when hit. For just twenty bucks (including shipping), it’s hard to go wrong with this 8″ AR500 Steel Gong. The 8″-diameter size is big enough for zeroing at 200 yards, yet offers a nice challenge at 500 yards and beyond. There is also a 6″-diameter model for just $14.00.

9. Amazon — Mystery Deal of the Week with 57% Price Reduction

Mystery Deal of the Week Stabilized Optic

Here’s a versatile, compact product that every hunter and tactical competitor can use. It can replace two or three common gear items and includes a high-tech system that makes it work better, helping you get on target faster and spot game easier, even in low light. When introduced, this item earned great reviews when it sold for $499.99. Now it is available through Amazon for just $215.00. That’s a full 57% off the original price. We think any game hunter or PRS shooter will want this high-tech unit. The super-low price makes it hard to resist.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
September 22nd, 2017

Seeing Bullet Holes at 1000 Yards — the Ultimate Optics Challenge

Pentax PF 100ED

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 $359.00 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
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.

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 ulimate 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 $3900 Leica APO-Televid 82) 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-883 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 have often been able to 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.

Permalink - Articles, Optics, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
March 27th, 2017

Bargain Finder 80: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Midsouth — Labradar Chronograph and Accessories

Labradar chronograph

Midsouth Shooters Supply is now carrying the advanced Labradar chronograph. This unique unit allows you to measure your shots without having to set up a tripod and skyscreens downrange. When you start using a Labradar, you’ll never want to go back to old-style chronographs. You can also purchase the Labradar from Bruno Shooters Supply. Price is $559.95 from either vendor. NOTE: Very soon Labradar plans to offer Bluetooth functionality, allowing you to control the machine remotely with your mobile device. This functionality will come via new software — the Bluetooth transceiver is built-in to all current Labradar units, so you can buy one now and use Bluetooth later (when the software is released).

2. Natchez — Special 5 Reloading Press Kit, $199.99

RCBS Special 5 Reloading Kit

This RCBS Kit has everything a new reloader needs: single-stage press, powder measure, scale, powder trickler, priming tool, cartridge tray, “rocket” chamfer tool, case lube and more. This is an excellent entry-level reloading kit, on sale for just $199.99 at Natchez Shooters Supplies. We like the relatively compact Special 5 press for most reloading duties. Eventually you may want to add an additional, large heavy press, but this will get the job done. For the combined package, with all the tools one needs to hand-load quality ammo — this is a stunningly good deal at $199.99.

3. CDNN — Browning Maple X-Bolt Medallion, $849.99 with Rebate

Browning X-Bolt Medallion

CDNN Sports has some of the nicest modern Browning rifles we’ve seen. These deluxe Maple-stocked X-Bolt Medallion Rifles are now on sale for $899.99, marked down from $1519.99. Plus, through March 31st, you can get another $50.00 off with a Browning Rebate. The machine-engraved receiver features a polished blued finish, and is glass bedded into the stock. The free-floating barrel is high-gloss blued, hand-chambered and finished with a target crown. The bolt has a 60° lift and the trigger is adjustable. The stock is a high gloss AAA maple with rosewood fore-end and pistol grip cap. These are very nice rifles that any shooter would be proud to own. This Editor has ordered one as a gift to a family member — that should say something.

4. Amazon — Ammo Can/Gun Case/Range Bag System, $44.99

Plano 1612 X2 range bag ammo can gun case

This Plano 1612 X2 Range Bag System combines a plastic ammo can-type container with a two-pistol hardshell case, both enclosed in a durable, padded fabric cover with many pockets. This handy system lets you keep pistols in a separate locked compartment while still accessing ammo, muffs and other gear from the main compartment, which can also be secured with a padlock. This is a clever, versatile design, and owner reviews have been very positive:

The perfect range bag. It comes with a nice gun case, more pockets than shown, plenty of storage for earphones, several boxes of ammo and room to spare. Would buy again!” — Nate K

The problem with most range bags is that they are range ‘bags’. This is an ammo can with pockets for all your other gear. No more ‘saggy baggy’!” — MPowers

5. Sportsman’s Guide — 1000 Rds 9mm Ammo, $204.99 delivered

9mm Luger 9x19mm ammo deal case 1000 rounds Sportman's Guide

Everyone can use a 1000-round case of 9mm Luger Ammo. This Sellier & Bellot 124gr FMJ brass-cased ammo feeds and functions well. We’ve checked around and this $204.99/1000 price is one of the best deals on brass-cased 9mm ammo this week (for SG members, the cost is $194.99). Plus you can get FREE shipping with CODE SH2656 at checkout. We have shot this ammo in Glock, H&K, Sig Sauer, and S&W pistols. Rated at 1080 fps, this 9mm ammo was very reliable, and the boxer-primed cases are reloadable.

6. Cabelas — Simmons 20-60x60mm Spotter, $49.99 with Rebate

Simmons Spotting Scope Bargain Cave Cabelas 20-60x60mm

Let’s be realistic — this 20-60x60mm Simmons is NOT a great spotting scope. The sharpness is nowhere near as good as you’d get with a $1000+ spotter. However, you can now get this unit for under fifty bucks with manufacturer’s rebate. Cabela’s Sale Price is $59.99 and Vista Outdoor is offering a $10 Rebate. For basic work, such as viewing pistol targets, or spotting hits out to 250 yards, this bargain basement Simmons should suffice. Read the owner reviews — they have been surprisingly good. This scope will also work for general recreational use. Hard to beat for fifty bucks.

7. Amazon — 34 dB Noise Rating Ear Muffs, $17.45

34dB NRR 32 hearing protection earmuffs

These 34 dB NRR earmuffs provide excellent sound protection without being too heavy and bulky. At at $17.45, they are a great bargain. The lower section of the muff is trimmed for a narrower profile — that helps with rifle and shotgun stocks. The headband is adjustable and has comfortable padding. These Pro For Sho Muffs have earned a 4 1/2 star consumer rating, with over 1,600 Amazon customer reviews. NOTE: These fit pretty tight. If you have a very large hat size you might want a different brand.

8. Amazon — Lyman 50th Edition Reloading Manual, $19.99

Lyman 50th Reloading Manual

Here’s a good deal on the new Lyman 50th Ed. Reloading Manual. Our Forum members have rated this as the best Loading Manual for starting hand-loaders. This 50th Edition, the first to be produced in full color, includes more load data, and covers more cartridges than ever before. New Cartridges Include: 17 Hornet, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5-284, 26 Nosler, 28 Nosler, 300 Blackout, 300 RCM, 338 RCM, 450 Bushmaster, 458 SOCOM, 50 Beowulf. Amazon has the Softcover version for $19.99 and Hardcover for $23.99. Notably, Lyman donates $1.00 to the NRA for every Lyman 50th Edition Reloading Handbook sold during the first year of publication.

9. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $16.45

Amazon Neiko Digital Caliper

Even if you have a good set of calipers, you may want to get one of these Neiko 01407A Digital Calipers. The #1 best-selling digital caliper on Amazon.com, this Neiko tool features a large LCD Screen and measures up to 6.0 inches. With over 2300 customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $17.74, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths.

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March 9th, 2017

Using Mirage to Read the Wind (Spotting Scope Technique)

wind mirage spotter spotting scope

Mirage as a Wind Indicator

Read FULL ARTICLE in Midsouth Shooters Blog
wind mirage spotter spotting scopeby Glen Zediker
Most good shooters use mirage as their leading indicator to spot changes in the wind. With well-designed stand, the scope can be set it up where you can see the wind with the left eye and see the sight with the right without anything more than a visual focus shift. That gets the shooter back on the trigger with the least chance of missing another change. In the photo above you can see 11-time National High Power Champion David Tubb using a spotting scope set up for his left eye.

There are resources that give clues or evidence of wind direction and strength: wind flags, observation of grass and trees, and mirage.

Almost always I use mirage as my leading indicator. Mirage (heat waves) is always present but you’ll need a scope to read it. For 600 yards I focus my scope about halfway to the target. Mirage flows just like water and the currents can be read with respect to wind speed as well, but it’s not clearly accurate beyond maybe a 15 mph speed. The thing is that mirage shows changes, increases or decreases, and also direction shifts, really well.

A couple more things about mirage flow: when mirage “boils,” that is appears to rise straight up, either there’s no wind or the scope is dead in-line with wind direction. And that’s a quick and accurate means to determine wind direction, by the way, move the scope until you see the boil and note the scope body angle. It’s also how to know when a “fishtail” wind is about to change, a boil precedes a shift.

wind mirage spotter spotting scope
You don’t need to spend big bucks for an effective spotting scope to view mirage. You can get the Kowa TSN-601 Angled Body for just $249.00 from B&H Photo. An eyepiece will run another $275.00 or so. Though relatively inexpensive, the TSN-601 is used by many top marksmen.

I use a long-eye-relief 20X to 25X wide-angle eyepiece. That setup shows the flow best. And pay attention to where the wind is coming from! See what’s headed your way, because what’s passed no longer matters. That’s true for any indicator. Right to left wind? Read off the right side of the range.

Once I get on target then all I am doing is watching for changes. It’s really uncommon to make a big adjustment between shots. The fewer condition changes you are enduring, the easier it is to keep everything on center. That’s why I shoot fast, and why I start at the low point in a wind cycle.

sighters spotting scope mirageMaking Corrections with Limited Sighters
Here’s a Tip for NRA High Power matches where only two sighters are allowed: “Make a full correction off the first sighting shot location! Even if there are minor changes afoot, that’s how to know how well you assessed condition influence pre-shot. Don’t second-guess. After the second sighter you should be on target and then simply watching for changes. Pay attention, correlate visible cues to the results of prior shots, and if in doubt, click into the wind.”

Information in this article was adapted from material in several books published by Glen Zediker and Zediker Publishing. Glen is an NRA High Master who earned that classification in NRA High Power Rifle using an AR15 Service Rifle. For more information and articles visit ZedikerPublishing.com.

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February 19th, 2017

Tech Trio — Combo Kestrel, Rangefinder, Spotting Scope

Ashbury Hensolt Zeiss Spotting Scope LRF Laser Kestrel Trimble Nomad
Click Image to View Full-Screen Version.

Here’s a triple-threat hardware package for long-range shooting. This cool set-up combines a folded-path spotting scope with a Laser Rangefinder (LRF) and a Kestrel Wind Meter. The LRF is mounted directly to the Hensoldt-Zeiss spotting scope ($4330.00 retail) so the two units stay aligned at all times. That makes it easy to spot and range your target quickly. LRF and weather data is piped into a PDA which automatically generates a firing solution (providing windage and elevation adjustments). That’s slick. Feeding the range and weather data directly into the Ballistics solver eliminates human input error and allows rapid updates to the ballistics solution.

Ashbury Precison Ordnance sent us these photos, noting: “The ingenuity of APO customers never ceases to impress us! This rig has a co-located LRF adjustable for azimuth and elevation, a Kestrel weather station (Bluetooth?) and Trimble NOMAD RPDA. Firing solutions are updated as data is transmitted to the PDA from the LRF and weather station. That Hensoldt Spotter 60 is a nice piece of glass for shooting at extremely long distances.” The spotting scope is mounted on a Manfrotto 410 3-axis geared head.

Click Image to View Full-Screen Version
Ashbury Hensolt Zeiss Spotting Scope LRF Laser Kestrel Trimble Nomad

Permalink Gear Review, News, Optics 4 Comments »