All posts in Binoculars

Something to pack in a range bag, but nothing too expensive

There are a lot of really nice gun bags out there made by Tuff Products, Blackhawk gear, Elite Survival and even Uncle Mike’s.   At first it might seem expensive to drop $100 or more on a range bag but considering how organized your shooting or range gear will become you’ll eventually get your money bag when you realize that you almost never forget to bring something to range with you.  In the age of the M4 Carbine and close up gun fighting optics, sometimes we might forget that you really can’t see the targets at 100yds-300yds with an Eotech or red dot gun sight.   Sometimes I would bring a hunting rifle with me that had a 3-9×40 scope on it and basically use it as a spotting scope.

Now that I have a 3x Eotech magnifier on my M4 Carbine, I haven’t had some of the issues I previously had, but if I am taking a new shooting to the range and starting them off with iron sights, sometimes its nice to be able to call the shots as they are fired.  You need a good pair of Bushnell Binoculars to be able to see that.   I have optics that cost less than $50 that fit nicely in my range bag and get the job done.   The less expensive binoculars tend to not work very well on cloudy days or low light, but they’ll be a good asset to have in your range bag at all times.


Are there still reasons to carry binoculars?

I’ve questioned whether or not it was worth packing up my binoculars for range trips from time to time, and now that most of my rifles have some level of magnification, I really don’t have to guess if I’m hitting my target anymore.   Shoot N C targets help, but sometimes even magnification doesn’t help you in those regards.   I learned my lesson the hard way when I took a 6.5x50mm Zeiss Conquest scope to a 500yd rifle range and thought that I was going to have a fun day shooting because I wouldn’t need to do as many target changes since I had high magnification on my rifle.   Does anyone know what a mirage is?   When that hot sun starts beating down, you might as well have zero magnification because you won’t see you’re holes on paper beyond 200yds even with high magnification.

The real reason to still pack a pair of binoculars in your hunting or shooting bag is for target identification and field of view.   If you are using a rifle to identify targets you may be violating some of the basic firearms safety rules of not pointing a firearm at anything you don’t want to destroy.  I have had very good experience with Nikon binoculars and their rifle scopes are top notch.   The 7×35 Nikon Action are still my favorite because they don’t cost very much, aren’t very big and still give a good field of view.   There are better binoculars, but I have always had a hard time spending more on a scope than the actual rifle costs, some people don’t have that issue, but I do.


Long range shooting the importance of a team

We were invited out to another spectacular training event over the weekend and we got to watch some of the best police sniper teams do their work.   When you see stuff like this go on you really feel good to know that people like this are involved in protecting the public.   Many of these guys that were spending the day in a a friendly competition may be involved in taking down a hostage taker or taking down a terrorist.   These are the men that have to remain calm and follow orders, but know that they are serving and protecting the public.

When the conditions are right, it’s real easy to see bullet vapor trails.    Your eyes have to be trained for it, but many people don’t even know to look for it.  The one thing that I find amazing is the guy pulling the trigger always seems to get the credit for the hit, but he’s really just the person following directions.   Having a good pair of binoculars that give you the clarity and field of view can help you gather information about the range, target selection and even bullet vapor trails that will increase your chances of getting a higher hit ratio.


The original spotting scope

I rememeber the days when the vast majority of rifle hunters were using lever actions with iron sights.   In the last decade or so, there have been massive improvemenets in the durability of rifle optics and even the less expensive optics, don’t fog up like they use to.   Some of those $20 binoculars you see work quite well in daylight, but in low light, that is the time you will really know how much your optics cost.    My recommendations when it comes to using binoculars is to get fixed power optics and get the lightest weight ones you can buy.

The biggest argument against packing a pair of binoculars up in your shooting bag or on  your tactical vest is the added weight.   My Bushnell powerview optics are compact and lightweight and for target identification with fixed 12x,  that’s a very inexepensive option.   I’ve held all of the Steiner optics, and those are outstanding, but you may not get your moneys worth if you are only using them a few times a year.   Steiner binoculars imho are the Trijicon ACOGS of binoculars and they are outstanding for the people that need them.


Combat rifle scopes and a backup plan

When you mount your rifle scope, please do some research on how to properly level and mount it.  A properly mounted combat optic should not be over torqued and should have loctite on the screws.  I have yet to see a mount come loose on a gun that used loctite.   When you go out an spend $1000 on a combat rifle scope, ask yourself, what will you do and how will you remove the scope and aim it if the optic goes down.   If one your Trijicon rifle scopes takes a bullet, are you going to be able to see through it and still be able to lay down effective fire if you can’t see through it?  Even if you have a rifle scope that does not allow for co-witness, would it be a good idea to still attach flip up sights to the gun if there is room for them?  Always have a backup plan for your defensive carbine.

The vast majority of M4 Carbines I see at the range have optics that are top of the line.    Aimpoint and Eotech along with the Trijicon ACOG are probable the top 3.   All of these are good for a certain purpose which is mostly for close up fighting.   The Trijicon ACOG is more of a medium range combat optic depending on the type of reticle you choose.   They do have a line of red dot or even green dot optic options, also.   If you are are a weekend warrior and new to defensive shooting and tactical gear, I would suggest you think about this next statement, whenever you attach an accessory to your Carbine, think about what you would do if that accessory mount broke or the actual item failed.



Looking for Zombie killing options

Do search for gun clubs and shooting ranges in your State to find out if anyone is holding a Zombie shoot.   They usually occur in the September to October months.   Having some good tactical clothing that will securely hold your gear.   The Eotac Style 201 pants are my favorite because they hold 6- 30rd PMAGS and they are easy to run in.   Tactical vests like the Style 101 are not heavy and don’t make you feel like you are wearing a flak jacket.   There is a time and a place for different types of tactical vests, but mobility is important.  You may want to try getting your magazines loaded up with all of your gear and then try running 100yds with it and see what it feels like and if stuff starts to fly out of your pockets.   Mobility is extremely important.

There seems to be a new craze in competition shooting in recent years.   I’ve seen more high school boys coming home from class with Zombie survival guides, the recent 28 Days later type movies and the doomsday virus outbreaks.    I guess IDPA has lost some traction to the present generation, but I’ve attended a few Zombie survival competitions and they were very good training events.   The best thing about it was the amount of tactical gear that I watched fail, and the number of really novice mistakes people made.   Out of the 5 stages I attended, there was 1 stage that we saw about 18 firearms go down.   About half of those were AK variants and they were mostly magazine related.  Some guys never knew how hard it was to do a tactical reload on an AK if there was a round in the chamber and a fully loaded 30rd magazine.  People found out what happens after firing off the 1st round and the magazine falls out.



rifle scopes vs binoculars

binocularsWhile many in the tactical community have been learning that magnification does not increase your effectiveness is close quarters combat, it can actually hinder you, some are finding out that using a rifle scope to monitor movement, whether it’s for hunting, military or law enforcement purposes is not really a good idea.   Field of view is very important for tracking movement because a 50mm objective on a rifle scope stands out like a sore thumb, weighs a lot and might actually be set at too high of a magnification that you will most likely miss any potential threat.    It’s really almost like watching the stars at night with only one eye open and trying to spot shooting stars.

If you are not looking to break the bank and are just a target shooter or hunter, you can get a good set of binoculars for under $100 that will give you a very wide field of view.   Check out our website for some good deals on Bushnell binoculars.    I would suggest you consider keep a pair in your shooting range bags or active shooter bag.   Bushnell has a an extra wide binocular that gives you an oustanding field of view of up to 900ft.   That’s pretty good and not something  you’re going to get from a combat optic like an ACOG or Leupold CQT.   If you are on a team, you may want to consider having a designated observer.


Binoculars, part of your every day range gear

TA168RB-1Binoculars seem to be getting over looked today now that so many people are using rifle optics instead of iron sights.    I guess I’m old enough to remember that the vast majority of friends that owned AR15 or M16 rifles had them without optics.    If you go back to many of the 1970 and 1980s TV shows, none of the military or police that  used them had optics on them.   I’m sure that there was a basis for that in reality.    Back in some of the old WWII movies,  used see guys toting around with M1 Garands and an Army General with a pair of binoculars scouting the landscape for the enemy, well now that everyone has an ACOG rifle scope, every guy with an M4 can see very well several hundred yards out, still there is a place for having binoculars.

If you are doing taget shooting and still think  you would rather have a spotting scope, well then go ahead and get a spotting scope.    I can tell you that there have been plenty of times I’ve been to long range gun clubs where frustrated plinkers couldn’t see the holes on targets 200yds away with 60X spotting scopes that cost $700 or more.   Well, the reality is on a hot summer afternoon, a mirage is going to obscure your visibility as much as a dark rainy day.    Binoculars are being made lighter and lighter and if you get in a good position,  you can still use them for seeing great distances even without using a stand.  Some of us still like to carry around lever action guns for deer season but it’s sometimes a good idea to carry a pair of binoculars for identifying potential targets beyond what your eyesight allows.


Enjoy Wildlife without the Risk

zeiss binocularsGetting up close and personal to wildlife is always exciting, but campers have to be careful that they don’t tread too closely. You don’t ever want to interact too directly with wildlife for the sake of you and the animal itself. For your safety, you must always remember that wild animals are just that-wild. They can act in unpredictable ways, and that includes attacking without notice. Keep your distance for this reason alone. And also don’t forget to keep the safety of the animals in mind as well.

Animals that learn not to fear humans are more likely to be picked off my hunters or predators. Also, feeding animals is also something that should never be done. Wild animals can grow dependent on humans as a food resource and simply forget how to find food on their own. For all these reasons, all wildlife is best viewed through a high quality pair of binoculars. Whether you’re interested in sighting birds or larger animals, look into any number of binocular brands. There are plenty available, so you’re sure to find the pair that’s right for you whether that’s Burris binoculars or Zeiss binoculars.


Action Binoculars

Nikon BinocularsBinoculars are a very versatile tool.    The reality is this, a good pair of binoculars is just an extension of  your eyes.   What do you use your eyes for?   Binoculars can be  used for eveything you use your eyse for.  Nikon Binoculars come in fixed power from 7×32 – 10-22×50.   When you are looking for a good pair of binoculars, keep in mind that some of the best views are with the medium and larger sizes and they can get heavy real fast.   If you are looking for  high magnification you may want to think about spotting scopes instead since they are normally used with tripods.

Nikon Binoculars are reasonable priced optics.    When you figure out what you are using these optics for think about how you might carry them, whether its in a jacket or in a range bag.   Something as little as 7X magnification can help you ID targets or objects that are just out of your visible sight and this is an extremely useful tool to have.   We see a lot of Nikon optics on firing ranges and very few complaints.

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