Video: Ritter and Stark

Ritter and Stark SX-1

I like this rifle. I have been in contact with Ritter and Stark and I have told them I want to see this rifle in the American market because of how awesome it is!

I am on a caliber conversion kick right now with the #WindhamProject, so the Ritter & Stark: SX-1 MTR Modular Tactical Rifle has really tickled my fancy.

This promo video below is making me drool.

This is just a thought of mine and not something I have talked about with them but it would be cool to see a platform like this that runs the .308, .300 Win Mag and the .338 Lapua but has the ability to be upgraded to .50BMG or .408 Cheytac. (The Ritter and Stark SX-1 does not do this)

If you haven’t caught our Name this Gun post where we talk about it you can check it out here:
Name This Gun: 7-13-16 Answer SX-1 MTR

 

Name This Gun: 7-13-16 Answer SX-1 MTR

Ritter & Stark SX-1 MTR [UPDATE]

 

Ritter & Stark SX-1 MTR Sniper Rifle

Ritter & Stark SX-1 MTR Sniper Rifle Broken DownThe SX-1 MTR is an Austrian bolt action rifle that has an interesting modularity to it. It was designed by the Russian team who helped bring the Orsis T5000 to life. They have built a platform that allows the end user to customize this rifle not only in stocks, pistol grips and triggers but also in calibers as well.

The SX-1 can be chambered in .308Win, .300Win Mag and .338 Lapua… almost as if they knew all my hopes and dreams…     *clears throat* as I was saying the modularity of this rifle is rather impressive. The picatinny rails are attached to the barrel rather than the receiver so that you don’t have to rezero the rifle every time you change calibers if you want to mount three different optics to the barrels.

The SX-1 does not use three bolts but rather one, that with a quick change of the bolt head, you can change calibers. Okay, so the carrying case is going to be big to fit all that expensive glass you are going to have mounted to each barrel, but we can save “some” space with the lack of three distinct bolts.

When it comes to how the rifle feeds, you might be asking, am I going to be spending $100s on extra mags for each caliber? No, because they offer magwells that use SR-25 style mags for your .308 and Accuracy International Mags.

The trigger is a Remington 700 so you can get after market triggers for this rifle which is an excellent feature.

The stock and pistol grip use standard AR platform stocks and grips so you can customize the rifle even more. Personally, if I owned this, I would use the SIG Brace and call the whole rifle my pocket pea shooter.

Sig Brace

I don’t know about you, but I only would shoot this rifle off hand from a standing position, with a sig brace and arm fully extended. That is how you get SUB SUBMOA.

[Insert epic photo of Atticus riding a Griffin while shooting this rifle with a Sig brace]

 

FN Ballista

The FN Ballista has similar features in that it can be rechambered to the same calibers, however it is lacking on some of the modularity that the Ritter & Stark SX-1 MTR has.  Such as. the interchangeably of the stock, and possibly the trigger (I cannot not remember if the FN Ballista uses a trigger like that of the Remington 700)

On the topic of Remington Defense we look to their XM2010.
Remington Defense XM2010

Are you noticing a theme here?  While this rifle is just an upgraded version of the Remington 700 (M24 or M40) it has the same looking features as the Ritter & Stark SX-1 MTR and the The FN Ballista just without interchangeability (GET ON THAT REMINGTON! Also make it available to us).

I have yet to find anyone selling the Ritter & Stark SX-1 MTR rifle in the US. I am hopeful that maybe they will think about bringing it here by 2017 with an introduction at SHOT Show 2017.

(UPDATE from Ritter and Stark)

”Only one important thing you missed I think, the bolt is locked into the barrel breach not a barrel extension, locking lugs machined in the breach. Main idea was to create a very stable shooting platform and get rid of parts between the scope and the barrel. So basically the rifle itself is the barrel.”

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Accessories and Scopes: Shot Show 2016

Here is a collection of the photos from the floor.  These photos are just a few of the best photos taken.  They are meant to show the variety of what is to be seen at Shot Show and are not necessarily a reflection of our editorial support.  Our accessory collection includes companies that manufacture ammo, scopes, triggers, mags, speed loaders, re-loaders, stocks, slides and bi-pods.  Make sure you stay til the end.  Leopold has put together some really awesome found gun stories.  We snapped a few photos of the guns and the stories to share with you guys.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

 

50 BMG Ammo:

50 BMG Ammo

Aimpoint:

Aimpoint Micro H2 AR Ready Scope

Aimpoint Micro H-2 AR Ready

Aimpoint Micro T-2 Red Dot Scope

Aimpoint Micro T-2 AR Ready

Archangel:

Archangel Stock & other gun accessories

 

Archangel

Boyds Gunstocks:

Boyds Gunstocks

X Products:

drum mag

EOTech Scopes:

EOTech1

EOTech2

EOTech3

EOTech4

ESS Solutions:

ESS Solutions

Franklin Armory Binary Trigger:

Franklin Armory Binary Trigger

General Dynamics Ammo:

General Dynamics Ammo

Harris Engineering Bipods:

Harris Bipods

Lone Wolf and Alpha Wolf Sides:

Lone Wolf & Alpha Wolf Slides

Lone Wolf Glock Slides

Magpul:

Magpul 1

Magpul 2

Magpul 3

Magpul Magazine pistol speed loaders

MEC Reloaders:

MEC Shotgun Shell Reloader

Night Force Scopes:

Night Force Scopes 1

Night Force Scopes

Nikon Scopes:

Nikon Scopes

 

ProMag:

ProMag AR15 Mag with the Roller Follower New at Show

Pulsar Scopes:

Pulsar Scope

Pulsar Scopes

Schmidt Bender Scopes:

Schmidt Bender Scopes

Schweitzer Scopes:

Schweitzer Scopes

Sightmark Scopes

 

Sightmark Scopes

Vortex Scopes:

Vortex Scopes

X Products:

Drum mags and lowers

X producs Drum Mags

x products drum mags

X products new Scar 17 lower

 

Leopold Scopes:

Leopold 11

Leopold Scopes 1

Leopold Scopes 2

Leopold Scopes 3

Leopold Scopes 5

The LOST STORIES

We just love these lost gun stories by Leopold.  They tell the stories of how long these scopes and guns were lost under the worst conditions.  They are a testament to the quality of the products.

Lost Gun Story 1

Lost Gun Story 2

Lost Gun Story 3

Lost Gun Story 4

Atticus James is traveling in India for the month of February.  You can follow his adventures at AtticusJames.com.  In the meantime, he has left all of the photos from Shot Show 2016 for those of us left behind to post for him.  (This would explain any issues with photos being mislabeled.  Apologies in advance if this happens).

Meade Wilderness In Full Scope

Meade Instruments Wilderness™ Spotting Scope – 20-60x100mm Review

Meade Instruments Wilderness™ Spotting Scope - 2060x100mm Review

The Prologue

While visiting with one of my cousins on a recent layover in Dallas, we started talking about her sister who works for Meade Instruments in the marketing department. I went home and checked out Meade’s site. I had found they had a few sporting optics. I wondered why I had never heard of Meade before. I explored the website further and I looked into their sports optics. I found their target audience to lean more in the general sporting optics needs and astronomy.

I called my cousin and she set me up with a Meade Instruments Wilderness 20-60x100mm spotting scope. I requested the largest scope they make because we are trying to see 6 to 8mm holes at 200 yards. My general rule of thumb is, the bigger the optic the better chance of making out what we just hit.

Specs

  • Meade high-quality, 20-60 power, zoom porro prism binoculars deliver years of use.
  • Large 100mm objective gathers plenty of light for bright detailed images.
  • All Wilderness spotters feature high index BaK-4 prisms and high-quality, precision ground lenses that are coated with multiple layers of anti-reflection coatings to provide optical performance that is equal to, or better than any spotting scope in its class.
  • Each Wilderness spotting scope features a sliding sunshade to further reduce glare.
  • A rugged rubber armor covering protects your Wilderness spotting scope from abrasions and damage from regular use.
  • All Wilderness Series spotting scopes are waterproof, fog-proof, and nitrogen purged to ensure many years of performance regardless of the environment.
  • All Wilderness spotting scopes come standard with the soft case and camera adapter (requires T-Mount, not included).

I asked if they manufactured any of the scope parts or glass in the United States and sadly the answer is no as they manufacture in Mexico and China.

Testing

I used this scope during all of our range trips as well as during the September 2015 blood moon eclipse. We were fortunate enough to be able to see that event clearly here in Texas.

Meade Blood Moon

I own only one tripod. All of the others are owned by Clay, our videographer. My tripod is a super expensive one, a $9 deal, that I picked up on Amazon a few years back. I have only used cameras with this tripod prior to this and it had always been fine for that use.

This tripod however did not work well with the Meade Instruments spotting scope. The weight and balance of the Meade scope needs a better built tripod. With that said, the only time this was a big problem was when we used it for the lunar eclipse. Trying to keep the scope centered on the moon was challenging.

Meade Instruments Review

During all of our range trips, the scope was clear and crisp when defining each shot taken at 200yds. We only ran into trouble using it to define each hole in the paper at 300yds.

Final Thoughts

If you are planning on using this scope I would recommend a stronger tripod first and foremost. The scope performed well for us up to 200yards and that was our max. The MSRP is $380. I found the price of this scope to be about $260 online, which is a fair price in my opinion, for the quality of the scope. The scope comes with a carrying bag. As someone who had to carry out two trucks worth of gear for an average range day, I would definitely want to replace the bag with a hard case with foam. I like to keep my gear protected.

Nikon Monarch 3 6-24×50 SF Matte BDC Review

I have been provided the materials needed for this review. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

I had no clue Nikon made sport optics prior to going to my first SHOT Show. I only knew Nikon as the company who had made my last 3 digital cameras and outside of that I really didn’t know anything else.

The Nikon Monarch 3 6-24×50 SF Matte BDC

Nikon Monarch 3 6 24x50 Matte BDC Review

Specs

•       Magnification: 6-24x
Objective Diameter: 50mm
Exit Pupil: 2.1-8.3mm
Field of View: 4.2-16.8 ft @ 100 yds
Tube Diameter – Other: 1 in
Eye Relief: 4in
Objective Outside Diameter: 57.3mm
Eyepiece Outside Diameter: 44mm
Weight: 20.5 oz
Overall Length: 15.5 in
Adjustment Graduation – Other: 1/8 in
Max Internal Adjustment: 30 MOA
Parallax Setting – Other: 50 yds – ∞
Side Focus: Yes
Waterproof/Fogproof: Yes
Spot On Custom Turret: Yes
Parallax Adjustment: Yes
Matte Finish: Yes
Use: Centerfire Long Range
Reticle: BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator)
 
 
 

The Rifle and Scope Combo

I am not a distance shooter, but I enjoy the time spent practicing. With that said, I do not at this time, see a reason for me to spend $10,000 on a rifle and optics because I don’t shoot farther than 400 yards.
I just need a good bolt action and clear optic that will let me see 400 yards. I have mounted this Nikon Monarch 3 6-24×50 SF Matte BDC on my Mossberg ATR .308 which came with a inexpensive optic. The scope that came with the Mossberg was okay and worked out to 200 yards but it just was not a good scope for anything past that.
I wanted a scope to replace the old one and let me ring the gong at a distance.

In the Box

Nikon does not want to just give you the normal scope and paperwork. They want make sure you, the consumer, get what I like to call: the happy meal.
Open the box and be happy to see: Monarch 6-24×50 Side Focus Matte BDC, Nikon sunshade, Nikon low-profile adjustments with caps, target-style high profile knobs with caps and tapered easy grip knobs.
This means the scope comes with the inclusion of two additional sets of turrets.  One set is a high profile (tall) turret for target and tactical shooters, (it includes the appropriate size high profile turret caps). You also get a wider style turret, which gives the shooter more real estate to make quick adjustment (the wider turrets do not come with caps).

GearsofGuns Monarch3 review

(Scope not shown due to already being mounted to the rifle)

The Testing

While I had wanted to send this scope on an Elk hunt on the Wyoming/Colorado Border. We did not have the time to do this before writing the review.
We did not put this scope through any durability testing outside of the normal bouncing it gets inside the pelican case in the bed of the trucks on the dirt roads.
The scope stayed zeroed in every time we pulled it out of the case after driving to the range.

Bullet Drop Compensator Reticle (BDC)

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I like this reticle. Shooting a .308 bolt action using this scope made it easy to shoot at multiple targets at different ranges. 
 

The Turrets

If you have not spend much time behind a tube scope, the turrets on the scope are how you adjust for windage and elevation. The benefit to a scope with turrets is that it allows the shooter to zero the rifle to a distance (We will say 100 yards for the sake the explanation) and then reset the turrets MOA markings to the zero mark so you can always return your scope back to the distance you had it zeroed in for.

imgres

The turrets are not mushy. Each 1/8 inch click is positive and audible making for very noticeable adjustments.
Price
This scope is $699.95 on Nikons’ website, but you can find it online for around $660. The price might not be what a newer shooter would want to spend for their first rifle. For someone who knows how to shoot at longer distance and is looking for a quality scope this price isn’t going to break the bank.
 

Overall Thoughts

Nikon has pleasantly surprised me with a clear, easy to use and affordable scope.
I was very impressed with how clear the glass was. I would say that it is fairly close to the Leupold clarity I have in the multiple scopes I own of theirs.    
The scope has three different style turrets for different types of shooters which is a big bonus in my book.
The quality of the scope meet the expectation set by the price.
I cannot speak to shooting past 400 yards but to that distance I can say this scope was clear and crisp.

Targetvision Short Range Wireless Spotting Scope Review

At SHOT Show 2014 I met Clay Rhoden one of the co-founders of TARGETVISION at media day at the range. Having just finished reviewing a similar short range target camera viewing system, I was interested in seeing what TARGETVISION had done differently. Two of the most noticeable things I first saw was that it was a self contained camera and wireless transmitter housed in a plastic tube vs. the tool box the other company uses. The other thing was the HD camera that they use.

Short_Range_Next_to_Tripod_1024x1024

There were three items total that were shipped to me. The camera system, the charging cord and a small tripod that the camera screws into. This means there isn’t much to misplace. This is a big thing for me since I carry a large amount of gear to the range.

IMG_5941

When I first used the camera, the picture (seen below) was blurry. I called the company from the range and spoke with Clay at TARGETVISION. He, at first, thought it might have been a defective camera. After a couple of conversations, he wanted me to try some different things before we shipped it back. In the meantime, for whatever reason, the camera recalibrated itself when we got home and the next week we had a very clear and crisp video.

At the range
IMG_5910
A week later.

2015-03-31 16.54.17

I am a red blooded male and I admit I do not like to read manuals. As a reviewer, I admit, I should know better. TARGETVISION sent not one, but TWO guides. The 19 page manual and birthday card size quick start guide. Again, I did not read either of them and I thought more was wrong with the camera than really was. The camera tube is meant to be 10-15 feet away from the target and off to the side so you do not shoot it. We were use to my other system, which sits about 6 feet away from the target. Don’t be like me and skip reading the important information TARGETVISION sends you. It is not because they want to send you one more booklet for you to lose but so you know how to use your $595 targeting system.

Setting the System

As you can see in the pictures, there are no wires you have to mess with. The TARGETVISION System is pretty much turn the device on, connect to the devices to wifi, open the app and shoot.

App

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I used the system on my iPhone 4s, 6 and my android (don’t judge me) tablet. The system worked great across all three devices. I do prefer to use the tablet over the phones simply because of the larger screen.

Overall Thoughts

I am a big tech fan and I like seeing how new technology is helping me become a better reviewer and better shooter as we have more and more things to assist in giving us instant data to get the round on target better and faster.

I have to note that when the TARGETVISION system is sitting in a 100 yard long wind tunnel with 12 foot high walls of steel belted radial tires the camera does not always connect quickly or stay connected. I don’t spend much time in them so it wasn’t really a problem but it was worth noting. This has to do with how wifi signal carries and not the device.

A feature I would like to see is integration of a ballistic calculator in the app. Also on that note, I would like to see more community involvement so integration can be like the health app on the iPhone which allows you to better track your health with different devices all in one app.  The more data we can share all in one place the better and safer shooters we all become.

TARGETVISION is one of the companies who first had a product like this. I liked the camera for 3 reasons: It was easy to set up, easy to use, and all self contained. Being able to mark your shots is important but it is a feature on the other cameras so it doesn’t play as much of a factor into my review as that is the norm.

Leupold Mark AR MOD 1 1.5-4x20mm Firedot-G SPR Review

mod1-1-5-4x20-P5-sideprofile-illum-530x119

I suck at shooting. There I have admitted it, they always say the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem. Now I could bore you with all kinds of completely legitimate excuses reasons why I suck. I could tell you it is because the ammo we use is cheap and doesn’t have the correct tracking software installed for the paper targets we use. I could also tell you it is because the large hadron collider causes abnormal parallaxes in the scope making me see the bullseye 6 inch low. Maybe I could tell you it is because my parents told me from a young age that if I didn’t eat all my brussel sprouts I would grow up to be a poor shot. All of these excuses reasons are one hundred and seven percent accurate and my reason for my lousy groupings.

But today I want to talk about what has helped my shooting when the large hadron collider is on.  LEUPOLD & STEVENS.
All joking aside, to say I like Leupold scopes would be an understatement. They are one of my favorite companies to work with because they are just good people making great products.  Over the past few years the GEARS Crew has purchased a number of scopes from them, the latest being the Leupold Mark AR MOD 1 1.5-4x20mm with Firedot-G SPR Reticle.

I reviewed this scope for a member of the GEARS Crew who we haven’t introduced yet, due to timing issues, but will be working behind the scenes in a number of future projects.

I had this scope on the Windham .308 AR we reviewed a few months back. After shooting with this scope for a month I almost went out and purchased a second scope for myself for this rifle, that is how much I loved it.

Normally for my AR platforms I like red dots. I don’t really care to spend much time behind a tube scope shooting unless I am shooting farther than 100 yards. I prefer to use my bolt action rifles on anything past 100 yards because I like the feel of the action more than the semi auto recoil. To all rules, there is always an exception, this combo is my exception. With this scope and rifle combo I was having fun ringing steel at 300 yards and almost ran 150 rounds just doing that. To say that the rifle with this scope paired together made for a match(grade) made in heaven might just RING true.

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I really didn’t care much about the illuminated reticle as I never shot in anything but bright day light.
The Firedot-G SPR reticle is Mil Dot and makes for quick changes when engaging targets at different distances.

markarmod1-1-5-4x20-P5-large-527x530

I really don’t have much to say on this scope other than how much I liked it. This scope made for great shooting at everything from 7 feet to 300 yards (max range we used it at).

At the price of a magnifier and red dot, this scope comes under by half (if not more) in most cases, at $564.99 for the illuminated and $374.99 for the Duplex. (below)

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After years of uses I have found that my Leupold’s have always held up from trips to the range and being jostled around in the backseat of my pickup on old dirt roads.

Time and time again they have showed me that they know how to make quality and dependable scopes and make you want to return for more.

Editorial: Modernizing the Wheel vs. Newly Invented

I was talking with someone the other night about guns (Yes, I do talk about other things than guns… sometimes) when they asked what I thought was the 5 top new innovations were in the industry. This is a topic I have been wanting to write about for a while, I just have never had the words.

M1 vs SCAR

When it comes to the gun industry we have cycles we go through. The inventing and learning cycle and what I call the modernizing of the wheel. In the inventing and learning cycle we have invented things like the tube sights for long distance shooting and learned things like rifling. With the modernizing the wheel cycle, which we are currently in, we are just finding ways to make these older designs fit the 21 century.

In the 1950s and 1960s the .308 Winchester and the .223 Remington made their debut in the in the shooting world and we are still using them as a our standard calibers. The FN-H SCAR is a modernized version of the FAL. The target cameras are the updated version of a spotting scope.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with the advancements we have made. However, I want to see something new. I want to live in a time like my grandfathers era when a lot of new things were introduced.  He saw the explosion of “modern guns with the invention of the  “plastic gun” or “black gun”, He also saw the invention of the standardized 30 round magazines as well as being able to control the muzzle climb with an intermediate cartridge.

I am not saying we don’t live in a time without people like Eugene Stoner and Mikhail Kalashnikov.  I am just saying we haven’t really seen something that has made a small arms like the M16 or M14 go almost obsolete. We saw the M16 quickly replace the M14 as the US service rifle in the 1960s.

As strange as it might seem, history shows us that the government is the main reason for innovation and invention in this industry. Until a government demands a new product to suit their new need, we do not see new creations. A government contract can be in the price range of billions which goes towards R&D and eventual release to the general public.

While some might think with the increased use of drones, it may be a long time before we see anything new.  I am a believer that we will always need boots on the ground, if for no other reason than for intelligence gathering, for aid and for maintaining goodwill.  I am excited and hopeful for the future of our industry.

Poll: Tech in Shooting

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I have noticed as I go to the range lately, I carry out about 75 pounds of gear. This doesn’t even include my guns and their respective cases.

Range Tech in the Range Bag

While a lot of what I carry to the range is related to reviews and just normal work equipment, I have noticed that over the past few years my distance range tech as increased and yet my range distance hasn’t.

I have observed more people with lasers and lights and camera mounts on their $700 M&P-15. I have asked a few why they have this mounted at all times and they tell me that they just need it. Mind you this is not your SWAT officers or Texas National Guard, I am talking to, but that guy who has been in the semi-auto rifle game for 2 years.

Constant Evolution

Like most every other industry, we are subject to constant evolution with the tech world. I carry out my electronic spotting scope for any shots over 25yds. I wear electronic ear muffs to help me hear and still mute the shooting. I use laser trainers at home to help me with my rifle and pistol skill. Tech is replacing the old school shooting world which is helping us with our shooting skills.

Old School

I look back to my grandfather’s era of hunting and shooting and how the trail cameras were the tracks you saw on the ground, the e-spotting scopes were binoculars and monocular spotting scopes, the laser trainers were tin cans on a fence.

It is interesting to me, to see the distance shooters at my local range who are much older and the worries they have are about the clarity of their glass on their high end scope and the twist rates of their bolt action rifles. Then I see the younger shooters looking for every piece of tech they can get their hands on to make them the next top shot.

Controversy

Personally, I love the tech. Even with how tech is changing and making some interesting splashes in the gun industry. Some tech is even controversial such as the Barrett Optical Ranging System (BORS) or the Tracking point systems giving shooter an easier time making the right calculations to hit their target out at 1000+ yards.

Shooting World has Room for All

Change can be scary to some people. All I know is that you can adapt to the new tech in shooting or not. Old school and new school, both have their amazing shooters who defy what we think is possible.

Mossberg ATR™ NIGHT TRAIN™ 27204 .308 Bolt Action Review

I have been provided the materials needed for this review. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Normally I don’t put the model number in the title but with the number of different options Mossberg offers  for the rifle I want to be specific on which rifle I reviewed.

timthumb

Specs

Caliber: .308 WIN
Capacity: 5
Barrel: 22” Fluted
Rail: 6” Picatinny Rail
Scope: UTG 6-24x50MM w/ Illuminated Reticle, Sun Shade and Lens Protectors
Twist: 1:10
Length Of Pull: 13.25″
Finish: Matte Blue
Stock: Synthetic (Multi-Cam Camo)
Weight: 9.5 lb
Overall Length: 42″
MSRP: $891

Features:

LBA Lightning Bolt Action Adjustable Trigger
Free-Floating Button-Rifled Fluted Barrel
Scope and Bipod Included
4+1 Capacity, Top Load Magazine
Free Gun Lock/2-Year Limited Warranty

First Impressions

Growing up in the Boy Scouts, I knew Mossberg for two reasons. They made the Mossberg .22 bolt action rifles my troop owned for shooting sports and we had a Mossberg 500 12 Gauge shotgun we would use. When I was in the market for a new 12 Gauge I contacted Mossberg because they make the Mossberg 500 Flex which lets you customize your shotgun for your shooting needs.

You can pick up a wide range of different parts to make your gun more tactical or more home defense. If you want to keep it a normal bird gun, you can change the length of pull with different recoil/length of pull pads that snap in and out of the buttstock.  After a year of shooting the Mossberg 500 Flex 12 gauge, I wanted to do more work with Mossberg.

I requested the Mossberg ATR™ NIGHT TRAIN™ 27204 .308 Bolt Action Rifle for review. The gun, out of the box, makes you feel like you were just handed a sniper rifle and you are going to be able to take down all the bad guys from 4 miles* away. The scope is over a foot and a half long (w/ sun shade) and it has a the multi-cam stock fluted barrel and bipod.

Man, this Mossberg ATR looks like it can hit a dime from miles away*. (* The GEARs Crew understands that the max effective range of a .308 Win is 800-1000 meters. The distances named are for this writers dramatic impact only and should not be the expected results.)

Shooting and Feel

After getting the Mossberg ATR sighted and realigned I started out shooting 20 rounds at the 100 yard range getting the rounds to go through the same hole. When I felt comfortable, I moved on to the 300 yard range and noticed that the optic was fuzzy in the beginning. I had expected this, since it is not a very high end scope.

I had the steel gong as my target which I figured I would hand load each round and do a rapid engagement of 10 (3-5 seconds per shot to reload) back to the 300 yard target, even with my speed the rifle maintained about a 6 inch grouping. After about 80 rounds my shoulder was not fatigued. The rifle had the right length of pull for my size, making this rifle rather enjoyable to shoot with all day.

The barrel is threaded into the action and not one solid piece. This is normal, however the chamber is not as forgiving to someone who is hand loading each round vs. using the magazine to load the rounds. I would have liked to have seen a feed ramp on this, but for the price of the Mossberg ATR, it still feeds like it should.

The bolt does have good play and good flow when manipulating the bolt to load rounds.

The recoil as mentioned above is not overwhelming so if you shot more than 100 rounds you shouldn’t be running for the ice pack.

Scope

The UTG scope is good if you are not planning to shoot past 100 yards. The scope that Mossberg mounted on this rifle was fuzzy until we shot about 20+ rounds. The scope prisms must have moved to the correct spot and cleared up enough to shoot the 200 yard range. It was still fuzzy and hazy at 300 to the point you could not see your hits on high visible targets.

When we first took the rifle to the range the scope had not been zeroed and it took about 20 rounds to zero in. I never used the Illuminated Reticle since it was a bright sunny day every day we went to shoot.

With this being said, if I am able to continue reviewing this rifle, I would look at a relatively inexpensive scope upgrade to a Redfield Revenge 6-18x44mm scope with an MSRP of $314.  This upgrade keeps the look of the rifle and scope package with a better optic.

Bipod and Rail

The Caldwell bipod is “adjustable” however, when I tried adjusting the height, the legs never matched up enough to give a stable shooting platform. Thankfully, I did most of my shooting off the bench and not from prone, so the short legs were at the correct height.   I personally feel that Mossberg would have been better suited to have the bipod attached by picatinny rail verses the “permanently” mounted Caldwell. In keeping with how I would upgrade this rifle, I would unmount the bipod and have a gunsmith mount a 3” picatinny rail on the flat bottom of the stock allowing for a bipod and other types of sling mounts.

The scope rail is a 5” picatinny rail. This is nice, but in terms of upgrading this rifle I would change to Leupold dovetail scope rings and so I would have to change the rail. Mossberg does make this possible as the rail is not wielded to the action.

Modularity

Mossberg introduced the Mossberg flex line of shotguns and MVP rifles. Although this rifle doesn’t need to be changed into a pistol grip rifle, I would have liked to have seen the buttstock length of pull modularity added into the design of the of the ATR™ NIGHT TRAIN line of centerfire rifles.

I think Mossberg is really onto the next gen of designs by adding features like the modularity they have already introduced. It would be great if companies like MAGPUL who already make stocks for Mossberg shotguns started adding new stocks and parts to Mossberg Flex line of modular rifles and shotguns.

Trigger

For those of us who are trigger snobs, you should like the Mossberg’s no gunsmith needed adjustable trigger. I didn’t mess with this trigger adjustment as I was having issues with the scope and my review focus changed.

Final Thoughts

The Mossberg ATR was designed for someone getting into the art of distance shooting. This gun is for someone who doesn’t want to spend $800 on a bolt action rifle that won’t have a long life and then drop another $400 or $500 on scopes and rings and bipods just to get your first shot down range. This gun has it all for $891 MSRP.

Out of the box, this rifle is ready to be sighted in and taken on a hunting trip or just to the distance range. The upgrades I have talked about are not something you will have to get if you are starting out and learning how to shoot. As a shooter gets more proficient at shooting longer and longer ranges that is the time to start thinking about upgrading.

I have loved shooting the Mossberg ATR. As a proficient distance shooter, I would love to be able to report back with my findings after some simple upgrades to an already extremely well built bolt action.

POLL: What is your MAIN sight you use on your go to MSR?

Nikki With Leupold Scope | Gearsofguns.com

While in the gun shop this past week I overheard a conversation between a new AR-15 owner and his friend asking about what his main optic should be.

I have been asked this question a lot over the years and I always ask them a few questions before I give them my opinion.

  1. How often do you plan to shoot this rifle?
  2. You have just dropped $1000+ on a rifle what is your optic budget? Also what other accessories do you plan to use on this rifle and what is your budget for that?
  3. What kind of shooting do you intend to do with this rifle? Bench rest (distance), short range (100yds max/ home defense) or a mix of both?
  4. Do you plan on taking any shooting classes with this rifle?

After hearing their responses I have a better idea as to what kind of shooter they are and what they might want.

What kind of questions do you ask yourself before you make a decision on your optic choice?

 

Panzer – Leupold VX-3 3.5-10X40mm Reviewed

2013-08-12 18.37.53 2013-08-12 18.38.17

This review will start like so many of my previous in Las Vegas at the Shot Show 2013. Since I was planning an elk hunting trip that fall  and had very little knowledge about optics and sights I made it my mission to collect as much info as possible. I had done a little long-range shooting but never took the time to learn the subtle nuances of high-powered rifle optics. Five months later and the final search for a scope was on. We followed up with Leupold and spoke with Sarah Kirby who is the Marketing Communications Assistant for Leupold & Stevens, Inc. She was very eager to help us find the perfect scope for what we needed. The attention to customer detail is phenomenal at Leupold, anything we needed and even things we had not thought of Sarah was ready to help. After consulting with her scope experts at Leupold they suggested the Leupold VX-3-10X40mm with the Matte 1 in reticle. She explained it might take 6-8 weeks for the scope to arrive and within 3 weeks I had my new scope. We forgot to ask for the mounting rings but a week later she suggested the Leupold duel dovetail mounting system for my Winchester model 70.  It is possible to mount the scope yourself, but in order to ensure a perfectly aligned scope I took it to SMR firearms because my gunsmith had the right tools and expertise.

Here is a list of the specs for the VX-3.

Low

High

Actual Magnification

3.30x

9.70x

Linear Field of View (ft/100 yd)

29.80ft

11.00ft

Linear Field of View (m/100 m)

9.90m

3.70m

Eye Relief (in)

4.40 inches

3.60 inches

Eye Relief (mm)

112.00mm

91.00mm

Weight (oz)

12.60oz

Weight (g)

357.00 g

Objective Clear Aperture (in)

1.60 inches

Objective Clear Aperture (mm)

40.00mm

Elevation Adjustment Range

52.00 moa

Windage Adjustment Range

52.00 moa

As I previously mentioned I had a little experience with long range shooting but never had I hunted large game in the mountains and the last thing I wanted was my scope to be the reason I missed my shot. I needed to be able to take down a large game at 300 yards with as clear of an image as possible.  The first day I tested the scope at TDSA range in Ferris TX, I learned the difference between sub par optics and superior quality.  With the help of a friend at TDSA, who was much more skilled, I sighted my rifle in at 200 yards using the non-turreted toolless finger adjustments. It was fairly easy to figure out how to dial in correct adjustments with 1 cm per click. With the generous eye box I had no problem quickly finding the sweet spot in the scope and setting up for the shot whether at 25 or 300 yards. My favorite feature is the adjustable power ring which acts like a zoom dial quickly bringing distant targets into clear view. My confidence level quickly grew as I pushed my abilities to their limits combining the dependable accuracy of my rifle with the preciseness of VX-3 optics.

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2013-08-21 13.58.26

The proudest moment for me was once I put my money where my mouth was at the range in Colorado right before the hunt. My father, who accompanied me, was ready to see what I could do. After hitting a perfect bull’s-eye I proceeded to do it 3 more times at 300, 350 and then 400 yards at varying elevations. I turned around and noticed my dad with a look of satisfaction that meant “alright I think you are ready”. Thanks to all the time at the range in Texas I was very comfortable with what the Leupold VX-3 has allowed me to shoot at various elevations and distances. Most impressive was that I didn’t need to mess with the scope after a month which included a 13 hour drive and a very rough ride on the back of the ATV. I didn’t have to worry about my accuracy because the durability of the scope design protected it from bumps.

While in the mountains the elements put my equipment to the test with rain, mud, snow and ice on the daily. I noticed my eye glasses were fogging regularly while my scope remained crystal clear. Usually Leupold uses nitrogen gas sealed inside the scope which prevents condensation on the lens but with elect scope models, as with the VX-3, uses 2nd generation Argon/Krypton Waterproofing which not only reduces the effects of thermal shock, but also works better at preventing fogging and condensation inside the scope from forming. My other concern was scratching the lens since dirt and dust were inevitable out there. What  I did not realize at the time was that my scope was treated with lens coating called DiamondCoat 2 which not only protects the lens from abrasion but greatly enhances light transmission which increase clarity.

2nd Generation Argon/Krypton Waterproofing

While we still waterproof other optics with bone-dry nitrogen – technology pioneered by Leupold® – Select models feature our exclusive, proprietary Argon/Krypton gas blend. Its advantages are two fold: it nearly eliminates the effects of thermal shock, and the Argon/Krypton molecules are significantly larger than nitrogen molecules, reducing the diffusion of gases sealed inside your scope even more than our proven nitrogen technology already does. We pioneered riflescope waterproofing, and now with Argon/Krypton we’re exceeding the standards we set ourselves.

[From the Leupold.com website]

Overall Thoughts and comments:

After all the time I practiced for that perfect 300 yard shot my elk walked a mere 50 ft. in front of me. I truly enjoyed the opportunity to take the Leupold VX-3 with me on the hunt and have learned what superior quality optics can do when put to the test. Overall I feel the Leupold VX-3 is a reliable scope for the hunter or range shooter because it offers flexibility, durability and top of the line quality for around $600 MSRP. For middle of the road cost you get top quality glass from a company that in my experience not only goes out of their way for you, but seems to take great pride in their craftsmanship as evidenced by the life time warranty.  I was unable to find anything wrong with my scope, and  trust me I did try, but I can not wait for my next hunting trip.

Pros and Cons:

  • Easy to use from box to sighting in.
  • Durable design meant did not have to worry about easily getting damaged and stood up to the elements.
  • The adjustable power ring for clear image at various distances
  • DiamondCoat 2 for abrasion resistance and enhanced light transmission
  • Non-turreted toolless adjustment for windage and elevation made sighting in actually fun
  • Eye box and eye relief made for easy target spotting at various distances