Shield RMS deal on Brownells
I was looking for something on Brownells and accidentally stumbled on Shield RMS with 4MOA dot for under $300. This is the exact red dot sight I have been using for several years and I have never seen it this low. My best guess is that they are clearing out their inventory as RMS 2.0 gets there. RMS 2.0 is a better sight, it seems (I have one of those as well), but for under $300 a UK-made RMS is mighty tempting.
The newer waterproof RMSw is also on sale, this time for about $100 off of what the normal price is. I took one of these (with 8MOA dot) on a 45Super Glock to Alaska’s bear country with me this past summer with a good amount of time spent getting splashed while in flat bottom boats going up rivers. It handled the water without any issues.
As we get closer to Black Friday, I’ll be occasionally posting links if I think a product I like is available at a particularly good price.
This time, it looks like Primary Arms has a one day deal on a bunch of Geissele products. The one that caught my eye is the SD-E trigger. I have been slowly going over to flat triggers and good ones are expensive. This is a good price.
They do have the regular option and you can see all of the discounted stuff from them here.
This is a one day sale only.
Updating the Recommendations
I update the recommendations page roughly once each year. Occasionally, I’ll do mid-year updates, but that is not common. It takes me a little time, so I started out with what is arguably the most asked about price segment: under $2k.
I’ll update the rest as I go along.
Recommendations have been updated!
I went through and updated all of my recommendations for riflescopes, binoculars and spotting scopes.
Camera recommendations are next on the list.
It’s a new year…
And hopefully a better one than 2020. There is an old joke about life being like a zebra skin where light and dark stripes alternate. The implication is that when things look particularly aweful (i.e. dark stripe) they are usually followed by something good (i.e. light stripe).
Let’s all hope that 2020 was a dark stripe!
Anyway, most of my new content will be on my new site, although this one will stay up and receive occasional updates (mostly where my recommendations are).
Here is my latest post:
It’s a new world…
2020 has been an interesting year.
Between the sorry state of our politics, the Left finally admitting what they are and COVID-19, nearly everyone’s life has changed in some significant way.
I am no exception to that. I have had to make some significant decisions regarding how I want to proceed with my online presence and one of the main realizations of that was that it is difficult to combine the long form written articles I have been publishing for all these year with the way content is distributed in the modern era.
Another thing that happened was my introduction to print media. I have been writing for Guns and Ammo’s Special Interest Publications for a little while now and I have to grudgingly admit I enjoy that immensely.
There have also been other demands on my written musings. As a result of that, my ability to put together long written reviews has been diminished. Partly it is due to time constraints and partly due to me simply needing a change of pace once in a while.
“Change of pace” ended up taking the form of making more videos for my Youtube channel.
Another realization I had as I went along was that I am not a huge fan of the affiliate marketing model. Affiliate marketing is where you click on one of the links I post and I get a small percentage of whatever you buy. It turned out that in order to be successful with that I have to follow market trends and post links to stuff that people are already looking for.
Well, that sorta runs counter to what I do here: I look at products I find interesting, analyze them to considerable depth and share my impressions the best I can. I really have no interest in trying to follow market trends and I am not nearly well known enough to set those trends myself.
Affiliate marketing business introduces a set of split loyalties that I am not hugely comfortable with. I believe I should only be responsible to my audience and noone else.
From that standpoint, Youtube was interesting in a sense that I have no control over what type of advertising they add to my videos, so I can focus on content. Also, Youtube opened my channel up to offer paid memberships which is an approach I prefer. If I am directly supported by people I make this content for, there are no split loyalties.
The way it works, Youtube takes 30% of what people pay and I get 70%. As a thanks to people who financially support my channel I have negotiated discounts with a few companies for my supporters. There is no kickback to me. I am just trying to get a you a better deal. Another perk of being a paying member is access. I am facing an increasing number of questions and channel members have dibs on my time.
However, Youtube is generally hostile to 2nd Amendment people, so eventually I see them pushing people like me out.
That is where my latest idea comes in. I stumbled onto a website designed for creators. It is the initiative started by Dave Rubin and it purports to be everything that Big Tech is not. They also offer a “supporter” model, but I get to keep a lot more than I do with Youtube and they have a healthy respect for both 1st and 2nd amendment. And on top of that, I can combine a blog with video stuff on a community page there.
They finally approved my community there and it resides at darklordofoptics.locals.com
www.darklordofoptics.com is pointed there as well.
Starting now, opticsthoughts.com remains here as a database of legacy material I have written, while darklordofoptics.com becomes my new start.
I hope to see you all there.
I am officially kicking off the testing of the SwampFox TriHawk Prismatic 3x scope. Here are the first couple of image I posted on Instagram. More to come.
Palmetto AKs IN STOCK
I seldom do posts pertaining to product availability, but in this crazy market we live in, getting some of the AK and AR rifles and products has been interesting.
I accidentally noticed that Palmetto has their AK-103 clone miraculously in stock. Not sure for how long.
This gun uses the FN barrel, presumably the same one as I have in my Palmetto AK-E. If you are in the market for an AK, I suggest you jump on this. This is easily the most accurate AK barrel I have seen to date.
I’ve been talking about the Optika6 riflescopes for a little while now and figured I should sorta summarize my thoughts.
I have not tested any low powered Optika6 scopes. The scopes I have tested are one 3-18×50 with MRAD1 reticle and two 5-30×56 with MRAD reticle. I designed these reticles for Meopta, but I did not have anything to do with the design of the riflescopes. A few people asked me, so to clear things up: I have exactly zero inside knowledge on these and everything I know comes from spending time with the three scopes mentioned above. Moreover, Meopta kinda went silent on me since SHOT, so if you ask me a question about a different product I have not tested, my chances of getting any information from them are not very good. We had a nice conversation at SHOT, but I reached out to them a few times since with zero success.
With that out of the way, the Optika6 scopes I have, I happened to like a fair bit and I think they do quite nicely in their respective price ranges.
Optically, both Optika6 models I have seen demostrate excellent, probably class leading resolution, but midpack contrast. Eye relies is long and reasonably forgiving. FOV is midpack, but at a slightly longer than average eye relief. BigJimFIsh had some issues with flare. There must be sample variation since the scopes I have control flare very nicely for sub-$1k designs.
Low light performance is respectable, but if you step up in price to around $1200, that is where you will see improvements, along with contrast.
Reticles are in the eye of the beholder, but I obviously like the ones in Optika6.
Mechanically, none of the Optika6 scopes gave me any issues. There is a slight amount of slop in the elevation turrets due to the locking mechanism, but it did not get in the way. 5-30×56 has an exposed non-locking windage turret, while 3-18×59 has a low profile covered windage turret. I much prefer the latter. The only real problem I have with the turrets is the lack of the rev counter.
Here is the spec table for the 3-18×50. There isn’t really a lot of direct competition for this scope, so most other ones listed are more expensive.
|Tract Toric UHD 4-20×50||Element Nexus 5-20×50||SWFA SSHD 5-20×50||Meopta Optika6 3-18×50||Burris XTR III 3.3-18×50||Brownell MPO 3-18×50|
|Main Tube Diameter||30mm||30mm||30mm||30mm||34mm||34mm|
|Eye Relief, in||3.9||3.7 – 3||4||3.94||3.25 – 4||3.4|
|FOV, ft@100yds||24.5 – 4.9|
|23.3 – 5.8|
11.6 @ 10x
|20.1-5.1 10.2@10x||33.6 – 5.7|
10.3 @ 10x
|37.7 – 6.8|
12.24 @ 10x
|35 – 6.2|
|Exit Pupil||8 – 2.5||9.5 – 2.8||8.6 – 2.7|
|Click Value, mrad||0.1||0.1||0.1||0.1||0.1||0.1|
|Adj per turn, mrad||10||10||10||10||10||10|
|Adjustment range, mrad||19||E: 23.2|
|E: 40 |
|Close Focus, yds||25||10||35||10||25||25|
With the 5-30×56, there also isn’t a ton of direct competition with the somewhat more expensive Ares ETR being the closest. The big question there is whether it is best to stay around $1k with Ares and Optika6 or step up to Cronus or Stryker. All four are nice scope. In the lower price ranges, only the new Strike Eagle is kinda competitive with Optika6, but I have yet look at the side-by-side. Soon though. Strike Eagle does have really wide FOV and is generally a very competitive design
|Meopta Optika6 5-30×56||Athlon Ares ETR 4.5-30×56||Delta Stryker HD 4.5-30×56||Athlon Cronus BTR 4.5-29×56||Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25×56|
|Main Tube Diameter||34mm||34mm||34mm||34mm||34mm|
|Eye Relief, in||3.94||3.9||3.2 – 3.8||3.6 – 3.8||3.7|
|FOV, ft@100yds||24.6 – 3.65.4 @ 20x||24.5 -3.7|
55.65 @ 20x
|24.8 – 3.7|
25.58 @ 20x
|24.8 – 3.8|
35.55 @ 20x
|24 – 5.2|
6.2 @ 20x
|Exit Pupil||9.5 – 1.9||8.8 – 1.9||8.8 – 1.9||8.8 – 1.9|
|Click Value||0.1 mrad||0.1 mrad||0.1 mrad||0.1 mrad||0.2 mrad|
|Adj per turn||10 mrad||10 mrad||10 mrad||10 mrad||10 mrad|
|Adjustment range||32 mrad||32 mrad||E: 30 mradW: 15 mrad||E: 32 mradW: 18 mrad||E:31 mradW”23 mrad|
|Close Focus||25 yards||25 yards||23m||25 yards||15 yards|
Here are the videos I made about these. Please be forewarned: I speak with an accent and editing videos and sound is not something I do well or a lot of. I am getting better though, so bear with me. For now, combination of less than optimal sound and my accent does not make things easy. THe accent is not going anywhere any time soon, I am afraid.