All posts tagged Leupold

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.


5.11 tactical jeans review pt 1

I finally did my rounds and checked out a few local 5.11 dealers to see what they had in stock.    Something I always find annoying about stopping in these places is how much of a mess the clothing usually is.   I always have to dig around for my sizes and rarely do any of these gun shops or police and security stores keep there crap together.   The other thing that I find annoying is that so many of them clear out certain styles of clothing during the year like there is a non-season for polos and jeans.   Some of these tactical clothing manufacturers are running huge shortages and various products are out of stock for 6-9 months at a time.   I actually noticed many of the gun shops in my neck of the woods stopped selling 5.11 tactical pants because it was too much of a headache for them to deal with.

It was time to restock my tactical pants inventory and I’m not prone to sticking to only one manufacturer.   I have worn 5.11 tactical pants, Eotac, Woolrich Elite and even SigTac.   Each tactical clothing company and tactical gear manufacturer has it’s pros and cons,  but I’d give Eotac and Woolrich Elite the edge on quality control.     I am comparing the Eotac 205 concealed carry jeans to the 5.11 jeans and there is no comparison.   I feel a difference in the movement of each jean, but I really don’t think I feel restricted in any way.   They are both well made, but there are huge differences in the designs.   The Eotac jeans are very similar to the Woolrich Elite Discreet MKII pants, but they are definitely not the same.   The 5.11 jeans are what I’d call more for deep concealment.   There are internal pockets that can hold a j-frame revolver or a small semi-auto and a few spare magazines.   I find the pockets to be a  little too deep and don’t really like the fact the guns are practically inside the pants.   I tried putting a Sig 239 in the pockets with spare magazines and it was extremely uncomfortable when sitting down, so I would have to say you need something smaller than that.


Low light and background

Recently I got a chance to get out during archery season here in New York State and hunted from a tree stand with a Horton Vision crossbow.   The crossbow came with a bolt drop comepsator and it worked impressively.  Using 100gr arrow points, it was dead on out to 50yds and I tested it at every range.   I probable would have gotten this crossbow without the scope because I still have young eyes and think i could have faired well without it.  There is an adjustable reticle knob that can allow for varying brightness and it also can illuminate with red or green reticles.

At first, I thought I didn’t need the illumination, but when I was out in the woods and depending on the background of what I was aiming at, the different color reticles were actually a bonus.  I could see the black crosshairs on this scope, but when I was aiming into thick vegitation, the red reticle option looked best, when I was aiming into the dark woods with mostly a wooden tree and leave background, the green reticle really stood out.   Trijicon riflescopes and ACOGS have been issued to military and law enforcement for many years now, but although there have been some changes to the reticle configurations, there has been a real trend away from just the red reticle.   Even laser manufacturers are moving more towards green for proveable reasons.   The human eye picks up certain colors better than others in low light, and it’s yet another reason to do some research into what you are using a rifle scope for and what environement it will be in.


Tools and accessories and practicality

Once we out grow the arguments about which gun is better than the other and which caliber has more stopping power, the next bit of squabbling is usually about accesories and gizmos.   There are absolutely higher quality tactical scopes and combat reliable flashlights like Surefire and Streamlight, but there are still credible debates about how much of a white light you should have on a firearm.    If it’s too powerful, you’re more than likely going to be draining batteries for more than what you need and a light can easily get in the way and begin to snag on things especially if it’s too big.

Tactical gear like rifle stocks like VLTOR and Magpul have a very good reputation from users and those that sell them.   We have very few complaints about durability and even though the average weekend warrior can put one of these on their Bushmaster or DPMS AR15, these tactical rifle stocks will last the life of the firearm.  When you are trying to decide on what to put on your AR15, think about everything you expect to use the firearm for and leave yourself some room for future modifications without having to overhaul the stock. If you think  you’re going to be putting a laser or flashlight on the gun, get the appropriate rail configuration.  If you are looking for long range shooting, a red dot or Eotech may not be something to put on your gun, just leave it setup for iron sights until you find the right tactical rifle scope that your money can buy.


The move away from red to green

I really don’t have a problem shooting with regual optics in low light, but I’ve never been in the streets for combat missions in low light.    I’ve done plenty of hunting in the early mornings and since I could clearly tell that some of my lower end optics really sucked as far as brightness, I still got the job done when the sun came up.   I never liked many of the red dot reticles because the red dots all seemed to blurry to me.   I guess its a disadvantage for those of us with good vision, but I found the blurry bright red dots annoying.   They tend to obscure targets because they are either too big or too hazy.

Trijicon ACOGs are well known for their reliablility and clarity and for their unique illuminated reticles.   I find many in the gun community like the fancy reticles, but I still prefer my reticles small and thin.    The only time I don’t mind a larger reticle is with the Eotech rifle scopes, but that is only for close up fighting.   Trijicon has also discovered that the green illuminated reticles are preferred by military and law enforcement because the human eye picks up the light better.    Very interesting.


Mounting an optic and locking it down

Just like every other accessory or firearm, there are pros and cons of any tool.    The novice attitude towards firearms is that a certain firearm is better than another just because they spend more money on customization.    I’ve seen guys with Kimber 45acp that couldn’t hit a plate at 15yds and guys with a Mil-Spec 1911 hit a plate at 100yds.    There are always variables when it comes to accuracy and tolerances, but it’s more than likely all about the skill level of the operator.

When  you are discussing the topic of which rifle scopes are better than others, the real issue would be about the clarity and reticle type and the durability.    I have read so much BS when it comes to rifle scope durability because most of that is from improperly mounted optics.   I’d say 75% of the time I pick up a rifle that is not my own, the rifle scopes are canted or the rings are not loctited.    If you don’t have a scope that is leveled properly, your hold overs are going to be shooting to the left or right of your target instead of dead on, high or low.   You’ll have a heck of a time trying to practice your accuracy because your elevation adjustments will cause your windage to change.  Reliability with an optic has more to do with how you mount it and lock it down than the price you paid for it.


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.


Looking for a white light?

streamlight flashlightsIf you have ever taken a course at Thunder Ranch, one of the things you will hear from an instructor is to put a white light on your gun.    I think there are valid arguments about how to use lasers and lights on a firearm, but there are mostly liabilities in not having  a light available in defensive situations, especially in your own home.   Why would anyone not put a light on a firearm in there house?  Police are trained to move and turn lights off and on as they move white pretty much voids the argument that it gives the bad guys a place to aim, well, if the guy with the light spots the guy in the dark first, his gun is probable already pointed in the right direction.

If you wanted to, you can use duct tape on a lever action or a double barrel shotgun and use your grandfathers Radio Shack flashlights and it may do the trick, but for only another $25-$30 you can get a white light from Streamlight flashlights that won’t burn a hole in your pocket, and given modern advancements in battery and bulb science,  you will save money on batteries in a very short time period,   The new Streamlight flashlights called the Polytac have a C4 LED that are 2-3x brighter than other LED.   I’ve done side by sider comparisons with my Surefire G2 and I do see the difference.  These flashlights are easily attached to most modern flashlights and can be used on Combat rifles without problems.


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.

1 2 3 Page 1 of 3