Optics Planet OPMOD Spotting Scope Review

Optics Planet OPMOD Spotting Scope Review

The spotting scope is a constant companion to almost all long-range shooters–its kinda tough seeing your shots at long ranges without one.  And like all things in the gun industry, there is a wide range of prices that usually correlate to quality.  Most spotting scopes I’ve seen that are worth using cost upwards to $400 plus.  Optics Planet sent us one of their new limited edition OPMOD spotting scopes to check out and the first thing I did (like many people) is I checked out how much it cost.  So when I saw it was under $200, I was skeptical–was this a gun-show-special optic that would collect dust after realizing that one should just fork out the extra dough for something usable, or was it a deal too good to be true?

We’ll get to the quality of the OPMOD spotting scope in a minute, but I must say you get a lot for $200 with Optics Planet’s Spotting scope.  It comes with a soft case, objective and eyepiece lens covers, a small tripod that has vertical and horizontal movement, and a cleaning cloth.  The spotting scope can be a tight fight in the case, but fits in snug along with the tri-pod which is separated by a padded cloth insert.  The tri-pod itself is suitable, but it’s not the most robust piece of hardware.  I can see a leg  bending if given the right amount of pressure; however, it would take a significant amount of force to do so as if to intentionally bend it.

The OPMOD spotting scope seems to be well constructed.  It has a rubber like coating while maintaining a sturdy and durable feel.  It features a built in sun shade that extends over the objective lens.  Controls are where you would expect them to be with the focus on the right hand side of the housing and the zoom control around the eyepiece.  The OPMOD spotting scope has a 20x-60x magnification rate and it features an adjustable eyepiece so that a user can set the desired eye relief “sweet spot.”

So for the price, material wise you’re getting a good bang for your buck with the OPMOD spotting scope–but the real and most important question is as with any spotting scope, the optical quality.  Considering the price of the OPMOD spotting scope, there’s nothing I can say to ding this thing.  The picture is crystal clear, I would of never guessed that I was looking through $200 dollar glass.  Even on a rainy cloudy day, the light capture was superb.  I was able to distinctly see my grouping at 200 yards at the range and out in the desert I was easily able to see my partner’s shots at 700+ yards in order to give him adjustments.  Honestly, I wanted/expected to say something about the glass since I would of never considering owning a quality spotting scope for under 400 bucks, but the OPMOD’s glass was a surprise–again, if you look through this thing, you’ll never guess it costs under $200.

Picture from approximately 800 yards away at a mountain approx 750 ft high at full 60x zoom

Optics Planet’s OPMOD Spotting Scope definitely surprised me to say the least.  I’ve seen some lower end spotting scopes within the same price range as the OPMOD and I would of never given them a second look.  The OPMOD does seem to reign supreme within the given price range, and it would even give some higher end spotting scopes a run for their money.  Now is it as good as, lets say  a Leupold Gold Ring?  Well, no but we’re talking about a spotting scope that’s 4 or 5 times the price, and not all shooters have the need, or the bank account to justify that type of purchase.  But if you’re a Saturday shooter or a regular range warrior, and budget is a concern, then the OPMOD Spotting Scope would be a perfect choice.  Its durable, easy to operate, and the glass seems to be a few levels above its price point.  For a fraction of the cost of high level spotting scopes, now the average range warrior can finally have a spotting scope worth looking through.

Read More

FNH Ballista Bolt Action Rifle

FNH Ballista Bolt Action Rifle

FNH Ballista

One of the finest looking rifles at SHOT SHOW 2012 I’ve seen so far has to be the FNH Ballista.  The Ballista is FNH’s submission to SOCOM’s PSR solicitation and lucky for us, they’ll be offering it on the civilian market as well.  There’s one common theme amongst all the new bolt action rifles I’ve seen at SHOT this year–modularity.  FNH’s new flag ship bolt action follows suit.

Using a few tools (stored on board) and losing a few bolts, an operator can change out the caliber of the new FNH Ballista in about 2-3 minutes and FNH claims that each barrel remains true to the receiver’s centerline.  The Ballista can be configured in 3 calibers:  338 Lapua Mag, .300 Win Mag, and .308 Winchester.  It has a fully adjustable trigger that can be set between 2 and 5 pounds.

FNH Ballista

FNH’s Ballista has a barrel length of 26 inches (with the .338 Lapua Magnum barrel installed), an overall length of 49 inches with the stock fully extended (47.75 collapsed), and the length when the stock is folded is only 37 inches.  It weighs 15.8 pounds with a fully loaded magazine.  The Ballista rifle system will retail around $8,000 and will come with all three caliber kits (I believe, inferring from the video below).  I got a chance to shoot the Ballista at the SHOT SHOW Media Day Range Event, and I have to say I completely loved the 5 or 6 rounds I got to send down range with it.  I tagged a 60″ steel plate at 900+ yards a couple of times, so needless to say I was happy.  Check the video below to see it.

Read More

Sig Sauer P224

Sig Sauer P224

Sig P224 Banner

The concealed carry movement isn’t slowing down, and neither is SIG Sauer’s Exeter, NH plant–they’re pumping out a new concealed carry pistol for 2012, the SIG P224.  In a nutshell, Sig pretty much cut off an inch from the front and the grip of their P226; in fact, that’s exactly what they did to prototype the idea.  The result is a sub-compact pistol that’s in between the size of a P226 and a P290.

Sig P224 Stainless

Any SIG owner, or frequent shooter of SIG’s P226 or P229 will be instantly familiar with the operation and features of the SIG P224.  The P224 will accept newer P229 magazines which will allow owners to carry a full capacity magazine as a spare, which a lot of concealed carry practitioners like to do. Sig’s new sub-compact will also feature full size SIGLITE night sights and a Double-Action-Only trigger.  Other common features include an overall length of 6.7″, overall height of 4.5″, overall width of 1.3″, a 3.5″ barrel length, and it weighs 24.5 ounces.  The SIG SAUER P224 will be available in 9mm, .40, and .357 SIG.  Suggested retail of the P224 is between $1,100-$1,200 depending on the model.

SIG will be putting out 4 different versions of the P224:

  • The SIG Anti-Snag (SAS) model features a de-horned slide and frame, and the new
    ergonomically enhanced one-piece grip. SIGLITE Night Sights will be standard in the Nitron®
    coated slide. The short-reset trigger (SRT) will be available in the DA/SA version.
  • A Nickel model will sport a black hard coat anodize frame as a contrast to the nickel slide and
    controls. Custom Hogue® G-10 grips and SIGLITE Night Sights round out this package.
  • As part of the Extreme family of handguns, the P224 will feature the distinctive black and grey
    Hogue Piranha grips, SIGLITE Night Sights and the SRT (in the DA/SA version).
  • The P224 Equinox® features the same two-tone accented Nitron slide treatment as the rest of the
    popular Equinox series. A Tru-Glo® fiber optic front sight is paired with a SIGLITE Night Sight in
    the rear. Nickel controls and Hogue black diamondwood grips make the P224 Equinox as striking
    as it is reliable.

See the video below for a quick look at the P224 at SHOT SHOW, along with some footage of me shooting it at the Media Day Range.

 Sig P224 SAS

P224 Equinox

Read More

Page 1 of 4912345102030Last »