SHOT Show 2017: Day 1 Video

SHOT Show stands for Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade Show, It is held at the Sands convention center at the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas NV USA. It is a private INDUSTRY ONLY show. As media, we are invited to come out and see all the new firearms in the Industry so we may bring you the viewer new content.

Day One:

We spent the day visiting with old friends and making many new ones.  Guys, this is 630,000 square feet of AWESOMENESS!  There are over 1600 companies to see and meet with.  On top of all that, over 65,000 people are at the show with me!  We are working fast and furious to find lots of new guns to bring in this year to review.

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.

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.

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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.

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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
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A week later.

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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.