July 31st, 2020

Vortex Diamondback HD — New Affordable Spotting Scopes

Vortex diamonback spotter spotting scope HD

Vortex’s new Diamondback® HD series of spotting scopes offer impressive performance for the price. While you can spend $2500 or more for a premium Fluorite Glass spotter, Vortex’s new HD spotting scopes cost $500-$600 MSRP. These new Diamondback spotters could be affordable options for competitive shooters and hunters. The Diamondback HD line of spotting scopes include both angled and straight body types in 16-48x65mm and 20-60x85mm configurations.

Vortex diamonback spotter spotting scope HD

The new Diamondback HD spotters employ an HD optical system with multi-coated lenses. Vortex claims these spotters offer greater light transmission, reduced chromatic aberration, better color fidelity, and enhanced sharpness. Vortex says the “crisp resolution, brighter images, and edge-to-edge sharpness [can reduce] eye strain during long glassing sessions.” We hope to test the 20-60x85mm model to confirm these claims. HD glass should deliver greater low-light performance and clarity.

These new Diamondback HD models boast design upgrades to make them more like Vortex’s higher-end Viper HD Spotting Scopes (which start at $1049.99 MSRP). The big change is the new full-diameter focus ring as you would see on a Swarovski spotter. Vortex says: “[We] took a fresh approach to the spotter’s exterior, introducing a streamlined, snag-free profile. The helical focus wheel provides fast, fine adjustments, and an Arca-Swiss compatible foot means the Diamondback® HD mounts quickly to compatible tripod heads without additional plates. Plus, a neoprene cover comes included, keeping your spotter protected in the field.” The video below reviews the main design features of the new spotters:

Vortex diamonback spotter spotting scope HD

Which model should you choose? The 16-48x65mm ($499.99 MSRP) is smaller and lighter, making it easier to pack or move around the firing line. The angled 16-48X spotter OAL is 14.25″ and weight is 49.8 oz., making this a good choice for competition shooters looking for an affordable spotter to watch mirage and shot markers. For hunters and other shooters seeking enhanced low-light performance and magnification, the 20-60x85mm ($599.99 MSRP) offers more light-gathering for just $100.00 more. OAL is 16.0″ and weight is 60.9 oz., about 3/4 pound heavier than its smaller brother. You make the choice.

Vortex diamonback spotter spotting scope HD

Vortex diamonback spotter spotting scope HD

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December 7th, 2019

How To Read Mirage — Expert Advice with Diagrams

South Texas Mirage Reading article

This was one of our 25 Most Popular Articles in 2017. We’re repeating it for those of you who may have missed it the first time around. Diagrams from SouthTexasShooting.org.

South Texas marksmanship trainingThere is an excellent article about Mirage on the South Texas Marksmanship Training Center (STMTC) website. This article explains what causes mirage and how mirage can move the perceived aiming point on your target. Most importantly, the article explains, in considerable detail, how you can “read” mirage to discern wind speeds and wind directions.

Mirage Is Your Friend
While hot days with lots of mirage can be frustrating, mirage can reveal how the wind is flowing (and changing). If you learn how to recognize and read mirage patterns, you can use that information to shoot higher scores. That’s why many leading long-range shooters tell us: “Mirage is your friend.” As the STMTC article explains: “A mirage condition is not a handicap, since it offers a very accurate method of perceiving small wind changes[.]”

CLICK HERE to Read Complete Mirage Article

Mirage Illustrated with Diagrams
With simple but effective graphic illustrations, this is one of the best explanations of mirage (and mirage reading) we have found on the internet. This is a “must-read” for any serious competitive shooter. Here is a brief sample from the article, along with an illustration. NOTE: the full article is six times longer and has 8 diagrams.

South Texas Mirage Wind Diagram displacement

The term “mirage” as used by the shooter does not refer to a true mirage, but to heat waves and the refraction of light as it is bent passing through air layers of different density. Light which passes obliquely from one wind medium to another it undergoes an abrupt change in direction, whenever its velocity in the second medium is different from the velocity in the first wind medium; the shooter will see a “mirage”.

The density of air, and therefore its refraction, varies with its temperature. A condition of cool air overlaying warm air next to the ground is the cause of heat waves or “mirage”. The warm air, having a lower index of refraction, is mixed with the cooler air above by convection, irregularly bending the light transmitting the target image to the shooter’s eye. Figure 1 shows (greatly exaggerated) the vertical displacement of the target image by heat waves.

South Texas Mirage Reading article

Heat waves are easily seen with the unaided eye on a hot, bright day and can be seen with spotting scope on all but the coldest days. To observe heat waves, the scope should be focused on a point about midway to the target. This will cause the target to appear slightly out of focus, but since the high power rifle shooter generally does not try to spot bullet holes, the lack in target clarity is more than compensated by clarity of the heat waves.

Story tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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June 18th, 2013

June Issue of Target Shooter Magazine

June 2013 target shooter magazine UKThe June, 2013 Edition of Target Shooter Magazine is now available online, in PDF format. This month’s issue contains gear reviews, match reports, and a feature on handloading for the .204 Ruger cartridge. As ever, Target Shooter boasts plenty of great, large-format photos. Optics get considerable play this month with a comparison test of spotting scopes by Richard Utting, and an in-depth review of the Vortex Razor HD 5-20x50mm riflescope by Chris Parkin. There’s plenty of great reading material this month — and it’s all free to read online. (Be patient while downloading the PDF file).

CLICK HERE for June Issue of Target Shooter Magazine (PDF file).

Laurie Holland has authored two major articles in the June issue of Target Shooter Magazine. First, Laurie reviews the latest “Mk. 2″ version of Seb Lambang’s joy-stick bipod. Laurie found that Seb’s new “Joy-Pod” was beautifully built and performs “as advertised”. Laurie writes: “The coarse leg adjustment using the ratchet lock is excellent, allowing quick and easy set-up. The overall stability was better than on the Mk.1 — provided I loaded the butt slightly to push the bi-pod forwards and take up the small amount of slack that shows in the mechanism/joystick-head. I thought the Mk.1 prototype was a winner/game-changer. The Mk.2 is a further and noticeable improvement on that.”

June 2013 target shooter magazine UK

Laurie has also compiled a very authoritative feature story on reloading for the .204 Ruger cartridge. Laurie discusses the available brass, powder, and projectile options for this popular cartridge. Laurie also includes Ballistics tables so you can compare performance with various loads. If you own a .204 Ruger rifle, or plan to get one, Laurie’s .204 Ruger story is definitely a “Must-Read”. This is Part One of a two-part series by Holland.

June 2013 target shooter magazine UK

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July 10th, 2010

Exclusive Discount for AccurateShooter.com Readers

Webyshops rifle scopesWebyshops, one of our sponsors, is offering an exclusive July Sale for AccurateShooter.com readers and Forum members. Because of MAP pricing rules, we can’t reveal the exact amount of the discount, but we can say it applies to all items on Webyshops’ riflescopes webstore, and the discount is significant. Webyshops carries a large, brand-name inventory of scopes, spotting scopes, laser rangefinders, binoculars, flashlights, and trail cameras. The promo pricing is effective through July 31th, 2010. Not applicable in conjunction with other coupons/specials.

NOTE: To qualify for the July Sale discounts you must click on the link below, and then provide a name and email address to “get in the door”.

CLICK HERE for Webyshops July Optics Promo for AccurateShooter.com Readers

We know some of you guys do not want to supply your email for privacy reasons. That’s fine — we respect your concerns and nobody is forced to participate. But WebyShops has set up this extra layer of security so that these discount prices are limited to our members.

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