All posts tagged Bushnell

Ruger 10/22 range day and scope options

I’m brainstorming with this blog post so give me some of your advice if you have any on what to put on my Ruger 10/22 rifle.   This is a standard 10/22 and not a tricked out barrel or trigger.   I purchased all of my 22lr for new shooters to learn on and didn’t want to get too fancy with optics in the beginning.   After picking up a Marlin Model 980 bolt action and having the rear sight replaced with an adjustable elevation like the standard 10/22,  I haven’t had the urge to buy another optic for this gun.   Many bolt actions are capable of shooting quarter size groups at 100yds with the right kind of ammo, but even though my bolt action has that capability, I still wanted it for novice introduction to firearms.

My ruger 10/22 was a training gun, but after recently doing some aggressive testing between the two, there was no comparison in accuracy.   The bolt action was shooting dime size groups at 50ft and the Ruger was shooting 2 inch groups with the same ammo.   I’m thinking about picking up a rifle scope for this gun that is either a fixed power or a red dot.   I have a Butler Creek 25 round magazine that I have yet to test out, but it could be a good close quarters combat training tool for wiping out soda cans and other carbonated reactive targets.   I had an Eotech 552 on a Ruger Mini 14 and had fun with it, but went back to a 3-9x40mm scope because it just seemed more practical.


Gun holsters, concealed carry, accessories and Carbine upgrades

We carry a  lot of gun accessories and gun holsters and we are always eager to hear back from our customers about which products they like the most.   We have trimmed our inventory several times after getting feedback and reviews from our customers and we are very happy with the products we are selling.   Firearms are much better made than even just 20yrs ago due to superior technological changes in the production and manufacturing of synthetic materials and product consistancy.   Many rifle scopes and tactical optics are being made with etched glass and not mounted.  This has a huge impace on the life and durability of an optic.  I remember the tactical scopes I saw at gun shows in the 1990’s that cost $40.   I have since broken every optic that ever was mounted on a firearm that cost under $150.   I guess I do more shooting that the average gun guy, but why waste the money inexpensive tactical gear or rifle optics.

A good hunting scope can be had in the $200 price range and there isn’t always a need to have to spend a grand or more.   Get good Leupold rifle scope mounts and use loctite to on the screws for added reliability.   If you are looking for tactical gear or a tactical rifle scope, then you’re really going to  have to cough up the money and spend the cash.   There are many applications for tactical rifle optics, zero magnification like the Eotech combat optic, or low magnification with a added magnifier on your Eotech or go with low magnification medium range optics like the Trijicon ACOG.   Long range shooting means finding the right reticle that applies to the type of shooting you want to do.


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.


Lights that don’t go out

I’ve been involved with several gun clubs that ran various competitions.  My favorites are always the Carbine events.   Every year we get to see who the best shooters are and almost every year, the guys that show up with the most expensive guns are not the ones with the highest scores.   If you got money to blow there’s no reason you can’t buy what you want, but operator caused malfunctions are the #1 reason I see guns go down.

I’ve had a love hate relationship with my Eotech rifle scopes.    I love how easy the reticle is to pick up when shooting, but I hate how hard it is to nail targets beyind 100yds in low light because of how the reticle obscures the targets.   I’ll never forget my first 100yd shooting experience with my Eotech where we were shooting steel plates.   I couldn’t see any of the 3 inch plates with my Eotech at 100yds.   The shade of the trees darkened the targets and when I shot with iron sights, I could clearly make out the plates.   Battery operated optics are something that will surely go extinct in the not too distant future.


Young eyes and iron sights

I guess I feel fortunate that at the ripe old age of 42 I still don’t need to use glasses.   I’m in the minority amongst my piers, but that still doesn’t mean I’m the best shot.   Having good eyes doesn’t mean you have the best shooting skils either.   There have been multiple times I have taken young maidens to the ranges and they out shot more experienced shooters, just because they didn’t jerk the trigger like their 25yr old male rivals did.   Breath control and trigger control can do a lot for you whether you where glasses or not.   I started out shooting with guns that had optics on them  before I started shooting with iron sights.   I feel that most shooters should start the other way around, but as long as you eventually undestand the skills behind each, all is well.

There is nothing wrong with skipping the whole 22LR training stages for novice shooters, that’s a call an teach, instructor or family member will have to make and the  decision is theres.    I personally believe a beginner training gun is an A2 20inch AR15 target rifle.   The XM15E2 is a great shooting platform for anyone that wants to shoot with out using rifle scopes and depending on the personality and attitude, you can do quite well if you know your ballistics limits.  The experience an operator is, the more they will acknoledge that when an optic goes down, you better know your irons or you’ll wish you did.


Hunting overkills this Fall

For most of the Northeast, hunting will start in about 6 weeks for archery and then small game begins.   Archery has gained a  lot of ground in this region because so much of the good hunting areas are populated and it’s hard to safely manage deer populations if areas where it’s not really safe to use a firearm.   I still don’t know why so many people go with monsterous optics that when put under any kind of realistic hunting test, will always slow you down.   Whenever I ask people what they are doing with a 50mm objective on a gun that is really meant for something that weights 800lbs and they are out hunting white tail, they usually say they are afraid of making bad shots.

From my own personal experience in the military and law enforcement community, I think hunting with a red dot is probable more practical than any optic that magnifies more than 5xs.   For small game I’d recommend against using a red dot, but there have been times I’ve been tempted to just bring a Mini 14 with an Eotech out for while tails just because the speed I get with that configuration is better than any lever action or 7mm bolt action.   Whenever you are thinking about doing long range shooting, go ahead with magnification, but wheneve you are thinking about rifle scopes for hunting applications, do a realistic gauge of how good your eyes are and what kind of opportunities you may expect when out in the field, and don’t slow yourself down with too much magnification or an optic that has an eye relief inhibits your mobility.


Archery and crossbow time of year

binocularsHere in Pennsylvania the laws for hunting with a crossbow have opened up new territory for hunters.   Many people have stayed away from archery season for physical reasons.   It takes more energy to bull a bow back and fire it, and hit what you are aiming at than simply bringing your Winchester Model 70 30/06 and taking a 100-600yd shot and then taking a sip from your coffee mug.   I have to admit that I have found Archery to be fun if you have someone to help set you up, but it takes far more patience than some people have to be efficient.   The only real drawback I have even seen to archery is that there are more bad shots in archery than I see with rifles and it’s not pretty to watch a wounded animal walk off and die and sometimes not be recovered.  Pennsyvania has a deer problem.  As a matter of fact, it has a huge problem.   There are a declining number of people going out and hunting every year, but the number of car accidents has been inceasing.

It has now been about 2yrs since crossbows have been allowed for hunting by the general hunting community and the are more likely out selling the standard compoun bows you use to see in hunting stores.   If you are familiar with using a rifle, it’s going to be an easy transition to using a crossbow.   The ability to use an optic with a calibrated bullet drop is going to make those 50yd shots pretty easy compared to using a compound bow.   I still think they need to change the rules and loosen things up even more to try and curb the deer population, but this new change was welcomed.    Having a good pair of binoculars with you on you next hunting trip will help you scout out more territory and give you the edge in observing your surroundings.   The things to think about are how much weight  you are carrying and being practical when it comes to magnification.   Anything above 4x and below 10x is recommended.


When optics go down

rifle scopesThe Trijicon NSN has iron sights mounted on the top of the rifle scope which can come in handy in closer situations and are a less expensive alternative to mounted a red dot on your ACOG.    That is worth the money if you are in the line of work that calls for it, but for general blasting and plinky, I think that $1800 optics is a bit much.   The Eotech 512 is probable my recommended optic for an M4.  I think people can get carried away with optics on the M4 because even though the rifle is pretty accurate, it really is not very powerful or effective past 200yds.    With a growing selection of combat optics you can put on the AR15 type rifles, one other suggestion I have for shooters is to always keep your iron sights on the rifle.   I’ve seen a few people show up at classes with just an Eotech mounted and they complained the front sight blocked their FOV.   Well,  taking a 200yd shot with an Eotech that has a dead battery is like parking a mini van from the furthest back seat.

There are numerous reasons that your rock solid rifle optics will go down.   Some optics use batteries which will always go down at some point.   Your tough Trijicon ACOG will hold zero under most combat conditions, but a 30 caliber bullet can still dismount it.     Reticles can come loose, rings can fail, glass can break and numerous other things occur in a fight that don’t normally happen with occassional hunting trips.   Most rifle optics won’t handle real big drops, but having the ability to have a backup just incase the glass goes down.  Co-witnessing your sights is a simple answer for those using rifle scopes and quick detach mounts in my opinion are worth considering.   It has never happened to me in a hostile situation, but having a MOA rifle with broken glass that is solidly mounted on my rifle has got to be a nightmare sceneario.



range estimations and value estimations

rifle scopesI remember the days when I would stare at rifle scopes and ask shooters how much they cost, and when they told me how the rifle scopes cost, I’d calculate that whichever rifle I was thinking about putting the scope on, the cost of the rifle was less than the cost of the optic.   I have no idea how much money companies are making off of some optics, but there is a certain point that I really don’t care how good people think  they are, 90% of people spending that kind of money on optics probable could get the job done with something that cost 50%-75% less.   In all of my years of target shooting and plinking, I have only had scope mount issues and 2 rifle scopes that ever broke.   Every rifle scope  that broke cost less than $100.   I have a few Leupolds that have been on bolt actions and semi-autos and they all hold zero and have excellent clarity.

If you do research on rifle scope manufacturers and there warranties, then put some thought into what kind of objective lense you think  you want and get the reticle that applies to your shooting purposes.  There are a lot of really interesting reticles being sold by various manufacturers and they work very well.   Mil-Dot reticles still have their place, but some of the range estimation reticles for varmint and big game work very fast.   Once you’ve determined which rifle scopes you want then get the best rifle mounts you can afford to get and remember to use loctite on every screw.   I have had scope mounts fail on me, but never when I used loctite.  For hard use optics I strongly recommend marking the heads of the screws so you can do visual checks to see if they are turning.


Magnification and tracking movement

binocularsRifle scopes and spotting scopes each have their intended purposes.   A good rifle scope and act as a spotting scope in some situations, but not everyone wants to have a 50mm objective lense on their rifles.  Sometimes when I’m going to be shooting an AR15 that is setup with iron sights, I use to  bring one of my rifles that had a 3-9×40 scope and just use that for spotting.    The more I’ve progressed as a shooter, the more I realized that it would be nice to be able to just setup a spotting scope on my target and after pulling the trigger on my AR, I could just roll over and see the holes on paper since the spotting optic was already sighted on it.

I thought the need for using binoculars when going target shooting was unnecessary, but after taking a long range shooting course, I realized that the guy with the binoculars, even if they did not have a lot of magnification, usually high more visibility, a better field of view, and could identify movement faster than the guy with the high magnification on his rifle scope.   The problem I still saw with some binoculars was that they were heavy and can easily reflect a lot of light.   There are tacticals that can  help you avoid portraying a lot of reflective light from your objective lenses, but the better option is to only use binoculars that get the job done, and not something that is an overkill.  I’d recommend using binoculars that are atleast 25-30 mm as a  minimum.

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