I received a really good question on LPVOs via a private message and I think it is worth digging into a little more in a future livecast. Let me know if this is something you want discussed.
The question itself was rather detailed, which I like, and I will leave the details in a private conversation where they were asked. However, the gyst of it is as follows: "With Low Powered Variable Optics of today, at what price point do you get the most for you money?"
The same question can be asked about prismatic scopes (and I am looking at a whole bunch of them right now trying to answer that) and non-focusing sights (I spent part of the last two years trying to answer that, so I am pretty up to speed there).
Naturally, the discussion gets really complicated by the "Made in China" question. Are you willing to buy a Chinese made product or not?
I take a pretty dim view of Chinese Communist Party, as you may imagine, but I am also a realist and a lot of stuff is made in China. Moreover, I have to be honest with you and admit that sporting optics are not exactly something that makes any difference in the great power competition between the US and China. Now, high tech stuff, like 5G technology, high tech military technologies and semiconductor stuff is a different ballgame. On top of that, I also have to differentiate between the Chinese Communist Party and normal Chinese engineers and technicians who just want to live their lives and trust the CCP about as much as you an I do.
Ultimately, I do not pretend to have any sort of an answer on whether we should be buying Made in China optics and that is something you should answer for yourself. I own a good number of Chinese-made products and I make it a point to note where things are made, so you can make a decision for yourself.
I do try to stick to brands that also have some sort of a presence in the US and that are trying to grow their operations here, but as I said, you have to make your own decisions there. I am happy to make recommendation either way, as long as we define the boundary conditions the right way.
Perhaps, I'll do a livecast on where I think the value curve tops out for different types AR optics, i.e. price point beyond which you run into diminishing returns.
With LPVOs, it really depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for a true do all scope, I think $2k for Vortex Razor Gen3 1-10x24 is where it is at. It is a lot of money, but FFP LPVOs with bright reticle illumination are still expensive.
If you are willing to compromise on a few things here and there, you can save a lot of money. For example, if your typical use is restricted to mid/close range or at least you do not need engage targets beyond 500 yards or so on a regular basis, you can save a lot of money by sticking with several excellent options in the $800-$1200 range (Delta Stryker 1-6x24, Vortex Razor Gen2, Sig Tango6, etc). That is the price range that better Chinese scopes are really pushing into and seem to offer a lot of value.
For example, SwampFox Arrowhead 1-10x24 surprised me with how competent it is for under $600 and there are several new models coming from multiple manufacturer that will likely take a step above that.
Thankfully, there are a lot of options in the $500-$1200 range made in China, Phillipines and Japan, so if you are clear in terms of feature you are looking for, it is not terribly difficult to come up with something.
I plan to continue looking at LPVOs in 2021 and the under $2k segment is what interests me the most.
I am really curious about the Sig Tango 6t that is assembled in the US.
Athlon has a new Ares ETR 1-10x24 coming out that I really should look at.
I am sure SwampFox has something interesting up their sleeve, but like most makers they have a hard time keeping up with demand with their current products.
I am looking at a few very compelling red dots and prismatics from Primary Arms, and I am considering re-visiting some of their LPVOs as well.
Burris is definitely due for a new LPVO since they discontinued the 1-8x24 XTR II. I am sure they have something coming.
Their sister company, Steiner, is doing some really clever things with thermal scopes and I wonder what they have planned for LPVOs.
Crimson Trace is a company to watch. They have some new stuff coming out and they understand how important the AR market is.
Vortex already has one of the most complete LPVO line-ups in the business, so I am not sure what to expect from them in 2021, but time will tell.
Leupold is a little weak at the moment as far as LPVOs go and a lot of their recent designs have been very good. I am very curious to see what they are planning.
Bushnell is also a little weak there, especially in the mid-to-high end where they discontinued just about everything they had. I am sure they are cooking something up.
And the list goes on. I suspect that four years of Kamala Harris in the White House will keep the gun market very lively with shortages of damn near everything. It will be difficult for optics companies to balance out the need to manufacture existing products with the need to develop new ones. 2021 will likely tell us in which direction different companies will lean.
Through vagaries of my work, I ended up in Phoneix for a brief moment, so I stopped by Nammo's complex in Mesa, AZ to do some ammo testing on my Tikka T1x and take a quick look at the Berger bullet factory.
Today, I am in my office in Texas, so I figured I should jump onto a livecast and tell you a little bit about it.
Post show notes:
Here is the current configuration for the rifle:
Tikka T1X 20" barrel: https://bit.ly/3zi6grq (if it was available when I was looking, I would have bought the 16" barrel version and I still might: https://bit.ly/3EtTEl8)
Area 419 Picatinny rail https://bit.ly/3ClaLU9
Element Nexus 5-20x50 scope https://bit.ly/3lz66qN
What I am going to do with it:
XLR Element 4.0 Chassis: https://xlrindustries.com/products/element-chassis
March 5-42x56 scope with FML-3reticle https://bit.ly/2YZd8xr
There are other accessories you can ad to the rifle: bolt handles, etc, but I am not sure I am hugely interested in those.
Jard makes a very nice trigger for the T1X, ...
Today is September 12, 2021.
Yesterday was a day of reminiscing.
Today is a day better suited for planning.
Post show notes:
A couple of things I mentioned that I am working on:
1) Delta Titanium RD 9x45 binocular review will be up shortly. It is going to be added to my list of recommendations. http://darnfineshot.com/deop9xhdrfra.html
2) I am kicking off a test of Crimson Trace's CMR-301 light laser combo. I like what I see so far, but it is early. https://alnk.to/9I85t93
3) Shield Arms magazines for Glock 43x/48. 15rd capacity in a rather tiny gun with 100% reliability so far. https://alnk.to/ge07LkS
4) CTS-1550 keeps on soldiering on. https://alnk.to/2jGggTM
Given that it is August 31st, I thought it appropriate to say a couple of words.
It has been twenty years since 9/11 which for most of us is a very somber day to remember. Naturally, all the regular talking heads out there will fill the airwaves with detailed recollections of how they felt on that day. Even our retard-in-chief will, I am sure, chime in with some heartfelt story that, in essence, boils down to: "never mind what I do, just listen and feeeeel that empathy in my voice". He can take that empathy and shove it where the sun do not shine. In the first eight months of his presidency he has done more to enable the next jihadi attack on US soil than all the terrorists in the world could dream about.
Remember that when yo go to the polls in 2022 and 2024.
But I digress. I wasn't in New York on 9/11/2001. I didn't serve in the armed forces. I did not deploy to the Middle East. I did not make policy decisions.
Hell, arguably the biggest problem I, personally, had after 9/11 is that since I look vaguely Mediterranean and speak with a funny accent, I got...
This year's Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year, happens to fall on Labor Day. Labor Day, in all its Marxist glory, really does not interest me, but Jewish New Year is sort of a big deal.
The history of Labor Day and its meaning in the US is kinda murky, which is to say I have not spent a ton of time digging into it. To me, it has always looked frighteningly similar to the Marxist class warfare that was crammed into us back in the Soviet Union. Digging up any factual data on the origin of Labor Day is a little tricky, but everything I found so far suggests that socialists and communists had something to do with it (nearly every time there is a bad idea being promulgated in America you can be fairly certain they had something to do with it). I am not likely to be tilting at windmills, so I just ignore the whole thing the best I can. It was always just a long weekend when instead of focusing on my dayjob, I could focus on one of my sidejobs, and I have a few of those. Interestingly, I am...
Well folks, I am now officially a member of the 6ARC club. It took a little while since components were coming it bit by bit and it took me a little while decide how I want to configure it.
Here are the highlights of the build:
Shilen 18" mid-weight barrel with matched bolt
BLK LBL handguard with integrated bipod
Standard gas block (non of the adjustable gas blocks I had on hand worked with this handguard; I have the smallest one I know of on the way from Q. Hopefully, it will fit).
New Frontier C4 side-charging upper
Bootleg adjustable bolt carrier
CMMG linear comp (for now)
For the time being, the scope I have on it is the Primary Arms GLx 2.5-10x44 that I need to finish testing. Eventually, I have some other ideas on what will be the permanent scope on this gun.
The lower is the one had before (I have been using it with my Grendel prior):
Spike's lower receiver
TriggerTech adjustable AR trigger
Odin Zulu 2.0 stock
Magpul MOE grip for now (I stumbled onto Reptilia CQG grip that fits me ...