Riflescope Blog: Expert's reviews, news, notes on rifle scopes, hunting optics, shooting, binoculars, night vision sights, gun accessories, and more

Riflescopeblog is written by Steven K. Ledin, OpticsPlanet’s Director of Product Intelligence. Follow Steve’s daring exploits as he shoots, travels, hunts, tests, teaches, modifies, and breaks the latest rifle scopes, red dots, lights, lasers and more. Get an insight into the corporate world of a professional gunbitch with a dose of his philosophical insight.

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01 Apr

Spring Turkey Season Coming!

Steven K. Ledin, Spring Turkey Season Coming!

Several folks around here are preparing for Spring Turkey season. At least three of them have never gone before! What fun!

I brought in a bag load of turkey loot from years past to share with these new hunters. A Primos "Truth" disc for a few hours of fun while pouring over the other accouterments I brought in, like box calls, slate calls, diaphragm calls, decoys, clothes, gloves, hats,  headnets, vests, packs, face paint, and choke

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03 Feb

SHOT Show Vegas 2016

Steven K. Ledin, SHOT Show Vegas 2016

Media Day for writers was Monday, the day before SHOT Show 2016 officially opened. It's now called Industry Day, because at noon, buyers were invited too. It's under an hour away from Vegas in the desert, at the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club. Over 170 manufacturers exhibited there, and a large percentage of them have guns to shoot, from Kriss submachine guns, to suppressed shotguns and every handgun and black gun you can think of, in every caliber and configuration. The long-distance part of the range goes …

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15 Jan

Yet Another SHOT in Vegas

Steven K. Ledin, Yet Another SHOT in Vegas

Time again for the annual SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade) show in Vegas, the largest gun show in the world. It's been in Vegas for the last several years, and it's scheduled to be there for the next few. It's a user-friendly venue at the Sands, and lots of people enjoy Vegas and bring a spouse or partner for after-show festivities, shows, and dining. I'm booked from Sunday night until Friday. The show starts Tuesday, but because I have a blog and am active on social media, I'll be there Monday for what used to be called Media Day. Now it's called …

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22 Dec

Strike Eagle Wins, a VX-6 on a .375, a Sightron SIII on a Savage, and a Blown Up Colt

Steven K. Ledin, Strike Eagle Wins, a VX-6 on a .375, a Sightron SIII on a Savage, and a Blown Up Colt

The title says it all! The Vortex Strike Eagle deserves the product of the year. The 6x magnification range is eminently useful, and the size and performance of the scope belies the low retail cost of the product. The illumination works as it's supposed to, and in conjunction with the excellent Vortex CM-202 cantilever mount, it's about the best value in a 1-6x scope on the market. Perfect for pigs or three gun matches.

My friend Chuck the vet is headed for Namibia for leopard and eland this year and wanted a new gun in .375 H&H. I …

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11 Nov

Vortex at 540 with Creedmore and Grendel on Steel

Steven K. Ledin, Vortex at 540 with Creedmore and Grendel on Steel

Product Intelligence took a couple hour road trip to visit Vortex Optics, our neighbors in Middleton, Wisconsin. From family-owned meager beginnings to the juggernaut they have become, customer service has been second to none. Readers may know I've been in the shooting sports business for decades, and in all that time, I've never been associated with a company that cares this much about their customers, and goes the extra length to prove it.

I'll give you an example. One of our "Friends of the family" here at OpticsPlanet needed …

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14 Oct

Appleseeding With Polina

Steven K. Ledin, Appleseeding With Polina

Folks that follow her shared blog, "Red Lipstick Optional" may know her as a beautiful and trend setting fashionista, and that is true, but they may not know that Polina is just as sharp slinging up a hot rifle as she is slinging up a Louboutin spike. Polina works in our Vendor Services department, and lately, when she's not offering haute couture advice, you can find her on the firing line.

Polina just aced her first attempt at an Appleseed shoot. She used my 10/22 with a Butler Creek heavy fluted barrel, Hogue stock, and Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 EFR scope in medium Redfield steel rimfire rings

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21 Sep

Cornell University’s Backyard FeederWatch Survey

Steven K. Ledin, Cornell University’s Backyard FeederWatch Survey

I've been a member of Cornell University's Backyard Feeder Watch survey for about 15 years. I've learned a lot.

The Backyard FeederWatch Survey takes place from November to April and is used to help scientists track broadscale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance. You choose two consecutive days a week to count and monitor bird populations. You can watch for as little as two hours a day for those days, filling out a form to count how many birds you see at one time in your watch area. Scientists use this data to …

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07 Aug

Holsclaw, Radcab, Battlescooter, DOGMOM, and the 90th Birthday Pig Trail Excursion

Steven K. Ledin, Holsclaw, Radcab, Battlescooter, DOGMOM, and the 90th Birthday Pig Trail Excursion

Holsclaw is a 1975 three railed motorcycle trailer. I first met her on a bastard cold Chicago day in November last year. She was barely able to peek her remaining rusty blue paint over the snow and ice to look at me as My Shirley and I entered our friend Barb's house. Her husband Don was my best friend. We lost him to a heart attack in 2009. We were helping Barb sort and divest some of her considerable accumulated crap, and I thought I would get a better look at this poor decrepit trailer when Spring eventually rolled around. Through those …

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12 May

Firearms Familiarity Classes and Take the Test!

Steven K. Ledin, Firearms Familiarity Classes and Take the Test!

In the last week I held 7 Firearms Familiarity classes in three different OpticsPlanet locations. Most departments were involved including Procurement, Merchandising, Marketing, LE/Gov't Sales, Sales Force, and even Returns and Warehouse. The class focused on the basic points of firearms, such as safety, action types, how they are used and by whom, how to shoot them, and mostly, since OpticsPlanet is now offering many new items that we haven't sold before, parts. I've gotten the ok through our Compliance and Legal team to approve thousands of new-to-us products such as upper receivers and complete uppers, buffer …

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21 Apr

A JP, a SCAR, and an H&K Walk Into OpticsPlanet….

Steven K. Ledin, A JP, a SCAR, and an H&K Walk Into OpticsPlanet….

"Friends of the family" were here with some guns and some money. My job was to suggest and set up the rifles for their intended uses. Sometimes these guns get pretty outrageous.

A man I'll call "Z" came in with his full-blown JP custom. He's going with his two friends to shoot prairie dogs next month. They have three identical JP customs. No expense was spared on the guns, but they wanted to take it a bit easier on the optics. My first choice was the benchmark for dogs, a Leupold VX-3 6.5-20×40 Long Range for bolt guns, …

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