Written by ILya Koshkin
I did go to SHOT both in 2012 and 2013, but never managed to produce a complete write-up. It takes me a lot of time and effort and other things in my life tend to get in the way: kids, wife, day job, etc.
This time around I decided to take a different approach. Upon returning home from SHOT, I sat down ain front of the camera to record my impressions. My original impression was to keep the video clips for myself to use in the writeup, but after some consideration I decided to post them here.
They are completely unscripted, so please bear with me. If my accent gives you trouble, I sympathize, but can’t do much about that.
Now that the videos have been posted, I can gradually type up additional snippets of information. Sometimes, it will be the same information except I will have had more time to process it.
Unless my memory fails me, I forgot to mention Hawke in the videos above. That is shameful for a couple of reasons:
1) I always got a long well with Hawke guys and think their products offer a lot of value for the money
2) They had a couple of potentially interesting products this year
On the riflescope side, the Endurance product line is back. It is now made at a different factory, so it does not have much in common with the earlier Endurance and Endurance 30 scopes I liked a fair bit (with some exceptions, of course). The new scopes look fairly respectable and this time the Endurance family is split up into three lines:
1) Endurance 30 SF has two scopes, 4-16×50 and 6-24×50, both available with three different reticles: Mil-Dot, 223/308 BDC reticle and LR Dot ( a variation on #4 theme with a couple of holdover hashmarks)
2) Endurance 30 comes in 1-4×24 with L4A reticle (#4 with illuminated dot), 1.5-6×44 with L4A or 30/30 Center Cross (duplex with illuminated floating dot), 2.5-10×50 with LR Dot and 30/30 Center Cross and 3-12×56 with LR Dot
3) Endurance is a line of somewhat more affordable scopes with 1″ tubes available in 2-7×32 with 30/30 Center Cross, 3-9×40 with 30/30 Center Cross or 223/308 Marksman, and 4-12×42 with 30/30 Center Cross.
I looked at them a bit and thought they were well designed. All seemed to have respectable glass, long eye relief and well executed illumination. I think the 1-4×24 is begging for a AR-specific reticle (perhaps I should offer to design one for them), but LR Dot in other scopes is very much to my liking. Earlier during the show i was talking to another maker about reticles and suggested they use a design I personally like on their upcoming scopes. A few hours later, I see the LR Dot at the Hawke booth that is somewhat similar to what I had in mind. I think I can make some meaningful improvement, but somebody at Hawke was clearly thinking along the same lines.
Either way, I think it is worth my while to test the Endurance 30 1-4×24 and Endurance 30 SF 4-16×50 as they become available.
On the binocular side, the Saphire ED is back in the US market with dielectric prism coatings. It looked like a nice piece when I glanced at it. Aside from the glass, the focusing mechanism had a good feel.