It so happens that I spend more time looking at riflescopes than at all other sporting optics combined. I suspect that the biggest reason for that is simply that it gives me an excuse to go shooting. Lately, I have been trying to rectify that which is why you have been seeing a bit more from me on different binoculars and there are a few more reviews in the works. Interestingly, my binocular reviews, in terms of views on Youtube, clearly do worse than riflescope reviews. That may be specific to my audience being more interested in riflescopes or a reflection of the fact that the rest of you like going shooting as well.
Still, I thought it is worthwhile to go over a few typical binocular configurations and why I like some more than others. My views on this have changed somewhat as I got older, but not dramatically. I'll put together a somewhat detailed analysis of available options, but in the meantime, I am really curious which binoculars you have and your typical use for them. Here are the ones currently at my house, in order of increasing magnification:
Vortex Viper 6x32: SP roof prism. This is my general purpose binocular for hiking, etc.
Vortex Raptor 6.5x32 porro prism. Mostly for my kids' use although it is a strikingly competent inexpensive design.
Steiner Navigator 7x30 porro prism. This is a near perfect budget-ish field binocular and it essentially lives in my car.
Celestron Granite 7x32 roof prism: these were good budget binos, but the collimation did not survive fairly light handed use. These need to go back for service.
Sightron SII 8x25 inverted porro: another binocular primarily for my kids use and for looking at insects. Inverse porros are good for close focus.
Delta Optical Chase 10x42 SP roof prism: These are sorta my beater binocular if I need to loan one to someone. They have proven to be very good optically for the money and surprisingly robust given the amount of abuse they have taken
Vortex Fury 5000AB SP roof prism with LRF (review forthcoming)
Meopta Optika LR 10x42 SP roof prism with LRF (review forthcoming)
Vortex Razor UHD 10x42 AK roof prims (review coming shortly). These are really excellent binoculars and compare to pretty much anything this side of Leica/Noctivid/Zeiss SF/Swaro NL Pure
Vortex Razor UHD 10x50 AK roof prism (review coming shortly). My new favourite 10x bino. With 10x binos I generally prefer the larger 50mm objectives and I am OK putting up with a little weight to get extra stability with higher mag.
Tract Toric UHD 15x56 SP roof prism. Probably best bang for the buck of "Big Eyes"
There are a few configuraitons that I would like to have that are conspicuously missing. For handheld use, a world class 7x35 roof prism binocular would probably be a near perfect configuration, but noone makes one that I can think of.
I got home yesterday and fished Steiner MPS from the mail. I am going to go live in an hour, right here, with some early impressions of it.
I originally planned to do a live show on the Rittenhouse verdict take-aways, but figured you'd want to get the scoop on the MPS first. It is an interesting new option for compact red dot sights and the last thing I needed for the red dot comparison I have been working on.
Let's talk about optics today and touch on the political stuff tomorrow.
Here is a review of the 15x56 "Big Eyes" binocular from Tract.
I ended up liking it a lot more than I expected given the price.
Here is the third installment of this series, recorded after a rather long break.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Here is the rough parts list:
VC Defense billet lower
BCM upper https://bit.ly/3wcHIQX
Proof Research 16" CF barrel https://bit.ly/3whEg7I
Odin tunable gas block https://bit.ly/3EJk8hO
Bootleg adjustable BCG https://bit.ly/3BLeQAl
Q HoneyBadger 12" handguard https://bit.ly/2ZRt7hr
ACE UL Stock https://bit.ly/3mIWpbc
Vortex Razor Gen3 1-10x24 https://bit.ly/3BJkR0j
Hiperfire 24 4Gun trigger https://bit.ly/3bCaykj
Zero Bravo offset sights
Crimson Trace CMR-301 light/laser https://bit.ly/2ZPQrfy
ACE UL stock
Riflecraft RS-3 sling
Here is how I chose to build a general purpose AR-15. That does not necessarily mean it is ideal for everyone. If you are thinking of doing such a build, this is a good starting point. Take a close look at my reasoning and see what you need to change to make it fit you.
During the last couple of livecasts, multiple people brought up a recent article in the Recoil magazine that discusses the MPVO concept. MPVO stands for Medium Power Variable optic, similarly to how LPVO stands for Low Power Variable Optic.
The article in question is this one: https://www.recoilweb.com/medium-powered-variable-optics-mpvo-the-optic-you-dont-know-you-need-170236.html
It is generally a well written piece that makes a reasonable argument. I agree with some parts of it and disagree with other parts, so there is some nuance there.
Before I get into the specifics, there are a couple of things to point out:
1) It will occasionally sound like I am attacking the author of that article. I am not. However, I also have to call a spade a spade sometimes and if I think he has no clue about something specific, I will say exactly that. I have never heard of the guy until today. I did look up a few of his other articles and he seems like a good writer and a competent gun guy. I did not, however, find anything resembling an understanding ...
There is a very fair chance that your e-mail is filled with hundreds of "once-in-a-lifetime" or "today only" deals. If you are not careful, you can end up with a once in a lifetime credit card bill next month.
I am generally not hugely pre-occupied with deals and I do not wait for a particular season to buy something. If I am looking for something specific, I usually need it and I am unlikely to spend months analyzing what deals are out there.
There are some exceptions to that, most notably with backup optics (see my earlier post on Primary Arms) and tools.
I have a good assortment of tools to use, but I have been keeping an eye out for deals on Fix-It-Stick kits since I like to have a few spread around different bags/backpacks/etc. It turns out that I am pathologically incapable of remembering to move one from bag to bag, so I ended up accumulating a few here and there I am picking another one up this time since they have a healthy Black Friday discount going on: https://bit.ly/3nTqzsL
They seem to have a...
Rather than inundate you with a long list of things we are thankful for this year, I'll just leave you with a couple of points
We should all be grateful for our families. I certainly am. I really am blessed and I wish you all to be as fortunate.
All of us who live in the US, should definitely be grateful for that. It is the greatest country in the world (I know people from other countries may disagree, but everyone has the right to be wrong) and I am truly fortunate to be here.
I made a long drive to California yesterday with my kids, so I had some time to think. As irritated as I am with Big Tech at the moment, I have to say that I truly am grateful for the modern marvels of technology. They did not give me a voice, but they sure extended its reach.
Happy tryptophan day, ya'll!