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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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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10 Apr

Those Germans, Belgians, and Austrians Sure Know How to Make a Fine Firearm

Steven K. Ledin, Those Germans, Belgians, and Austrians Sure Know How to Make a Fine Firearm

Undeniably, the countries of Germany, Belgium, and Austria really know how to make some of the best firearms in existence.

And it's hard to beat an H&K P7 M13 for a carry gun. Squeeze-cocker, cock-squeezer, combat staple gun, call it what you will. One of the finest machines ever made.

Top rifle is an FN SCAR Heavy .308 with OPMOD EOTech HHS-1, Steiner DBAL I2 IR and visible green lasers, and an InForce 500 lumen weapon light. Middle gun is a customized HK 416 D .22LR, and bottom is a ridiculously accurate 1/4 MOA Steyr SSG .308 with …

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03 Mar

Chuck the Vet’s AR Fixed Front Sight Chop

Steven K. Ledin, Chuck the Vet’s AR Fixed Front Sight Chop

My friend Chuck the vet's M&P 15 came with a fixed front sight. I put on a Diamondhead VRS handguard that I had that wasn't a free-float, so it was a direct replacement for his fore-end without rails. I also installed a low gas block that I had. The manufacturer said it would work in the place of a standard A2 front sight, including with the use of the fore-end cap. It didn't mate up exactly, apparently, because the gun didn't reliably cycle. The gas hole must've been just a bit off. It looked ok, but it used set screws …

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29 Jan

SHOT Show Media Day, Las Vegas, 2015

Steven K. Ledin, SHOT Show Media Day, Las Vegas, 2015

I arrived in Las Vegas Sunday afternoon, a couple days before the SHOT Show officially started. Monday was Media Day, which is the day before SHOT and is spent at a shooting range in the desert outside of Vegas. It’s  under an hour ride to the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club, and comfortable tour buses take the writers there in style.

After checking in and grabbing eye and ear protection if you didn’t bring your own, you walk the dusty grounds and peruse the wares of vendors in tent after tent, most with their own designated ranges. I’ve …

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13 Jan

New OPMOD Sparc II Almost Here!

Steven K. Ledin, New OPMOD Sparc II Almost Here!

We're partnering again with one of the finest manufacturing companies I'm aware of, Vortex Optics. No kidding. I've been in this business going on 30 years, and let me tell you, these guys are the real deal. They make superb products and support their customer base as well as humanly possible. The new OPMOD Sparc II is now available in tan color as an OPMOD exclusive. The OPMOD Sparc II can do just about anything on just about any gun. Waterproof, fogproof, shockproof, and comes with spacers to be used at 4 different heights to mount …

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