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

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.

MountMy friend Chuck the vet is headed for Namibia for leopard and eland this year and wanted a new gun in .375 H&H. I have an in with Weatherby, and he ordered one of their new Vanguard Dangerous Game rifles. Wow, what a package. We topped it with a superb Leupold VX-6 1-6×24 in QR bases and rings. It's the first time I've recommended and installed Leupold QR mounts. It's nice to have the option of removing the scope in an instant if wanted. The small levers are unobtrusive, and the rings get tighter when shooting, not more loose. I lapped the rings like always for important friends with important equipment. These new rings with the "L" stamped on top are attractive, and made not far away from us here, on the South side of Chicago. Overall, I like them better than the old ones. The "L" looks clean and classy, and they are excellent quality. I noticed where the high and low spots on the rings were after lapping, and they would not cause any issue whatsoever. I've lapped about half a dozen sets of the new rings so far, and all of them have been remarkably consistent. The contour on the sides is slightly different, and the screws are not exactly the same as the old ones, but I really like them even more than the old standard.


Overall it's a great package. Great gun and cartridge, excellent scope and mounting system. Trigger is crisp, iron sights are good, and the recoil pad will suck up a lot of bark. I asked Weatherby about installing a brake, and they can do it, although they haven't tried yet on one of these guns with the attached front sight. They may have to cut a bit of barrel off and reinstall it so they could thread it. An alternative is Magnaport, which in this cartridge may lessen felt recoil by only up to 15%. But the front sight could stay where it is, and it looks super clean.


I regularly test cleaning equipment, and there are differences in everything, including patches. Kleenbore are good, but Pro-Shot patches have always been my favorite. they're finished on both sides and absorb great amounts of crud and don't shed threads. Cheap patches are useful for removing lots of gunk when you don't quite need a paper towel. Tipton also makes a good patch.


We got an SIII 6-24×50 illuminated scope from Sightron, and for photos I put it on a Savage 10 McMillan in Leupold Medium Mark 4 rings on top of a nice and low EGW Steel HD mount. Sightron has a following, and although they have not been the most mainstream manufacturer, that's why many people buy them. Just a little bit different, and in a competitive price range.

SSIIII've also been playing with an old Colt SAA I've had for forever. It's a first generation, serial number 66957, made in 1881. The topstrap is blown off and the cylinder is gone. I'm sure someone put in a smokeless load and grenaded it. The numbers match, and the rest of the parts are good: the barrel, backstrap, trigger and trigger guard, hammer, etcetera. The grips look original, and besides the normal hammering marks, have three notches cut into both sides. Oh, if guns could talk. I've balked at sending in the hundred bucks to Colt to have it's birthday and first home authenticated, but I still might. Someone offered me 500 bucks for it back around 2003.

Colt SAA6695766957-2Lastly, I'd like to say Merry Christmas to everyone, and that you and yours have a healthy and happy new year. From me and My Shirley and the beasts next to our cozy tree and manger, God bless.


About Steven K. Ledin

Steve has never not known guns. Before motorcycles, money, or girls, they have always been part of his life. He was tenured as General Manager of one of the country’s largest gun stores and ranges, a buyer in a big box sporting goods store, and is currently OpticsPlanet’s Director of Product Intelligence. He was a US Navy gunners mate, and is an NRA certified instructor in ten categories, as well as an Illinois CCW instructor. He shoots competitively and has hunted from Alaska to Africa. He thoroughly loves life with his beloved wife, Shirley, and their three wildish dogs Tinker, TranRek (pronounced “Train Wreck”), and Crash Almighty. He is a stubborn stage 4 cancer survivor not yet ready to cash in his chips.

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