How Sketching Like a Sniper Can Help Your Situational Awareness

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How Sketching Like a Sniper Can Help Your Situational Awareness It seems like the survival and preparedness community cannot harp on situational awareness enough. The problem is that you have to be open to the fact that it’s a pretty boring subject. It’s also one that doesn’t really have a lot of subcategories. GET YOUR …

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The SW22 Victory: A Project Squirrel Pistol (Part 2)

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2_Smith_and_Wesson_SW22_Victory_Leupold_DeltaPoint_Front_sightIn Part 1 of this Project Squirrel Pistol using a Smith and Wesson SW22 Victory .22 long rifle semi auto pistol, my focus was on the gun and its parts. For part 2, let’s take the Victory out for a spin. The Victory is not a light pistol. Not even of average light. The Victory is heavy. Out of the box, the Victory weighs in at 36 ounces. Compare that to the Ruger 22/45 Lite I used for my B.O.L.T. Pistol build at 25 ounces. So when I add an optic, suppressor, and 11 round mag, the Victory is approaching three pounds. That’s well over halfway to a lightweight .22 rifle.

By Doc Montana, a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and

My initial field tests of the Victory highlighted three main things. First, the Victory is accurate. Its heavy barrel balances the gun while holding the front sight on target easily. Second, it ate all the regular .22 ammo I threw at it. Whether rapid fire or slow and deliberate, the Victory cycled 100% of the time. No light strikes, no FTF, and no FTE with or without a silencer. However, when loaded with several different brands of subsonic .22 ammo, about half the time there was a failure to eject leading to a very predictable and easy to clear stovepipe. In fact, the odds of a successful reloading cycle with subsonic ammo can be improved by holding the ejection port down. Yes, gangsta style. Most of the time, the bolt was slamming down on an almost-ejected case. Put a little gravity in your favor and your odds improve. So much so I wondered if maybe the ridiculous sideways gang-style holding of an autopistol was a natural evolution of getting a cheap-crap gun to eject the spent round. Probably not though.

Precision Shooting

3_Smith_and_Wesson_SW22_Victory_rail_rear_sight_ironThe factory sights on the Victory are excellent. In fact, they could easily be mistaken for an aftermarket upgrade. A green horseshoe fiber optic on the rear sight provide to bright zombie-green dots in which to center the front fiber optic green dot. Frankly, I think it would be a nice touch to have an orange front sight dot rather than another green one. Or even a fiber optic color kit like some Rugers come with. For precision shooting, a black front blade is sometimes more welcome than an in-your-face bright dot, but for this build I am going to leave the irons alone and move on to both a red dot and a scope. The Project Squirrel leanings of this project require more than irons can deliver consistently. Low light, long distance, and tiny targets all tax the irons. When shooting golfball sized objects at 30 yards, the target can disappear behind the sight, or be hard to see above the trio of green dots.

Related: The SW22 Part 1

3_Smith_and_Wesson_SW22_Victory_Leupold_DeltaPoint_Pro_red_dotFor a red dot, the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro seemed a perfect match. Lightweight, low profile, simple interface, and rock solid. The Leupold DeltaPoint Pro also has the advantage of being able to swap the battery without tools and without removing the sight from the gun. Further, the topside sealed battery compartment allows the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro to mate with any mount without the need for additional sealing plates. Using a 2.5 MOA dot, it’s possible drill target after target with a simple accuracy one reserved for those with extensive shooting experience. The Leupold DeltaPoint Pro uses a steel housing shell over the core aluminium housing. The steel shell transfers the force of blows around the important parts of the sight. Another feature of the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro is that it has “Motion Sensor Technology” meaning that the red dot turns on automatically when the sight moves. So the DPP as it’s known will shut off when still, yet fire back up instantly when moved. Of course you can shut off the DPP completely if you like.


4_Smith_and_Wesson_SW22_Victory_Leupold_scope_3To run an optic on the Victory, you may need to replace the back sight rail with an included picatinny rail. The included S&W rail is polymer so there are aftermarket machined aluminium versions available to maximize a stable zero for competitive target shooting. I considered one, but then I havn’t noticed any issues yet with my optics on the Victory. The Leupold DeltaPoint Pro has zero magnification, and the scope is a 2x. Plus both are held at arm’s length from the eye. Now if I was using a 4x or higher rifle scope on a polymer rail, I would have serious concerns about zero retention. Another hesitation with an aftermarket rail is that the factory one has a notched rear sight so if you lose your optic, you can still use your irons with the rail as a traditional matte black rear iron sight. Given the growing number of aftermarket barrels for the Victory, and that the competition barrels have no front sights, I’ll probably upgrade the rail if ever upgrade the barrel. But for the moment, the factory match grade heavy barrel works perfectly for this project.

Check Out: Weaponized Nanotechnology

On the muzzle-end of this Victory is a factory-threaded barrel. It came with a heavy steel thread protector so when not running a suppressor, use a TandemKross compensator. While adding only three-quarters of an ounce to the mix, the compensator at four times longer than the factory option gives direction to the muzzle exhaust providing a reduction in muzzle rise and even some indexing potential. And I’ve experienced shooting with the TK compensator on the B.O.L.T Pistol on snowy surfaces only to have the “dust signature” of the snow be an issue without the compensator, and be a non-issue with one.

So if Project Squirrel Pistol matches your bug out needs, than the S&W SW22 Victory is a great starting point. And ending point.

Choosing The Best Rifle Scope For Survival

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When you’re in a sudden SHTF situation, a lot of things will probably go through your mind. Have you prepared enough? Do you have enough food? Does your family have enough protection? Do you have a plan? Will you survive? One of the most important things to consider if ever caught in a survival situation […]

The post Choosing The Best Rifle Scope For Survival appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Survival Gear Review: Celestron Hummingbird 7-22x50mm ED Micro Spotting Scope

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Celestron_Hummingbird_7-22x50mm_ED_Micro_Spotting_Scope_Camelbak_caseAs you build out your optics kit, the spotting scope is a necessary component for longer-term, higher-magnification observing. Unfortunately most quality spotting scopes are larger, heavier, and more expensive. Luckily there is a new spotting scope space that rivals binoculars in size, but offers the performance and magnification of of a quality spotting scope. A new kid on the rather small block of micro spotting scopes is the Celestron Hummingbird ED Spotting Scope. Where the Hummingbird differs from the others in its space is with ED glass, 45 degree eyepiece, and affordable price.

By Doc Montana, a Contributing Author of Survival Cache and SHTFBlog

Spotting scopes provide a much more powerful viewing option compared to binoculars and are used for surveillance, target spotting, and, of course, enjoying wildlife. Unless your viewing leans towards astronomy, a 10x bino is on the high side, with 8x a normal power for those who anticipate scoping subjects during or after exertion. Seven power is reserved for use on boats, and anything below that is for the opera or when something small enough to slip into a shirt pocket is needed. But spotting scopes, while rarely starting their magnification in the single digits, quickly move into the 20s, 40s, and higher powers. In the case of the Celestron Hummingbird ED Spotting Scope, two options are available with a 7-22×50 and a 9-27×55.

Mini High Power

Celestron_Hummingbird_7-22x50mm_ED_Micro_Spotting_Scope_posingSpotting scopes bridge the gap between binoculars and telescopes. They range in power from about 10x to 60x. Above 60x and you are well into telescope territory. Spotting scopes are also identified by their objective lens (the target-facing end of the scope) diameter measured in millimeters. A small objective is about 30mm while an average scope might be around 60mm. Large spotting scopes have 80mm or larger diameter objective lenses. As the objective grows in size, so to0 does the rest of the scope that houses the scope’s internals.

Related: Opmod Optics 

The numbers of a scope describe the optics but not the optical quality. Many spotting scopes have variable power (zoom) eyepieces that change the magnification through a rotation of a collar on the eyepiece. The difference between zoom and variable power is that a true zoom will retain focus throughout the magnification range while a variable power requires refocusing when the power changes. The light gathering of the scope is noted by the diameter of the outer objective, and the bigger the number, the more light enters the system. Celestron’s Hummingbirds are 50mm and 56mm respectively. Fifty millimeters is not an unusual rifle scope size so for perspective, 60mm is a common starting diameter in a spotting scope company’s product line with the numbers going up from there. Binoculars also use objective diameter numbers as in 10×50 or 4×32. In these cases, the 50 and 32 represent the objective size in millimeters. So, you can see that even a small scope like the Celestron Hummingbird 7-22x50mm ED Micro is on the big size for binocular and rifle scope objectives.

On the other side, telescopes transcend millimeters pretty quickly when above 90mm. Inches are the preferred unit of measure where eight inches (203mm), 10 inches (254mm) and 12 inch (305mm) scopes are common telescope objective/mirror sizes.

Less is More

Celestron_Hummingbird_7-22x50mm_ED_Micro_Spotting_Scope_HandOne major way to save weight is to limit the diameter of the optics. The Celestron Hummingbird 7-22x50mm ED Micro Spotting Scope was tested because it was the smaller of the two small scopes and small was the objective, both figuratively and literally. There are plenty of larger scopes on the market, but quality mini spotting scopes are still fairly rare. Possibly because they can be viewed as a contradiction. The smaller the lenses, the less light the scope gathers leading to lower performance as daylight diminishes, or with dawn still in the future. But once there is enough light which happens to be the majority of the day, the limitations of larger heavier objective lenses are lessened. However, if you don’t or won’t carry your spotting scope into the field due to its size and/or weight, then that huge objective lens that likely cost a bundle now distracts from usefulness. So everything is a tradeoff. No point in owning the best if you won’t or can’t carry it, and no point in miniaturization if it loses its usefulness.

Other features of spotting scopes include interchangeable eyepieces, zoom eyepieces, ED glass, mounting options, water and shock proofing, nitrogen or argon filled, rubberized or armored exteriors, fine and coarse focusing, straight or angled eyepieces, integrated shades, transport cases and camouflage covers, and even integrated rangefinders for those with more tactical needs.

Other considerations of spotting scopes include the weight, size, and brand reputation. In the case of the Celestron Hummingbird 7-22x50mm ED Micro Spotting Scope, the weight is a touch over a pound, the size is about a pistol, and the brand is known for building world-class optics especially those of the high-powered telescope variety.

Through The Looking Glass

Celestron_Hummingbird_7-22x50mm_ED_Micro_Spotting_Scope_window_mountThe ED glass, or Extra-low dispersion glass helps to compensate for the difference in how colors of light bend when moving through lenses. The size of the wavelengths of visible light (well, all light for that matter) causes it to have a unique refraction when “bent” with a lens. Objects, especially lighter colored ones, when viewed through a higher magnification (think more bending) optic can cause the light waves to separate into colors causing “fringes” of color to appear especially where there are light-dark boundaries. To combat the so-called chromatic aberrations, rare earth elements are mixed with the silicon when making the glass. In many ways, glass making is like knife blade making. There is silicon and steel, and then there are a multitude of additional elements that can be added in proprietary quantities creating a lens or knife with unique properties and best suited for its tasks.

Out in the field, the Celestron Hummingbird 7-22x50mm ED Micro Spotting Scope is a winner for wildlife and bird watching, general observation of the greater outdoors, and a fine close-work mini-telescope. With a minimum focus distance of under 10 feet and over half-an-inch of eye relief, this Hummingbird can sing. Its lightweight and compact size allow for quick and easy handheld use, but bolted to a tripod or truck window mount using its integrated tripod socket locks in a viable viewing platform you can use for hours with little or no eye fatigue.


Celestron_Hummingbird_7-22x50mm_ED_Micro_Spotting_Scope_Dirt_EyepieceI did notice one thing that hopefully other users won’t encounter and that is it’s hard to clean dirt out of the eyepiece. The dirt was not inside the eyepiece, but I did manage to fill the eyepiece cup with a fine powdered soil. It all started while using the Celestron Hummingbird 7-22x50mm ED Micro Spotting Scope in Yellowstone National Park. It was a particularly windy day and while birdwatching at the edge of a open field, the wind caught the light scope and even lighter carbon fiber tripod and tossed them gently to the ground. Fortunately the scope’s fall was broken by grass and silky soft powdered dirt. Unfortunately the scope landed user-side down in the soil effectively plugging the eyecup area with dirt. Most of it fell out and much more blew off with little effort. However the coarse threads of the screw-out eyecup remained filled with dirt as did the rim of the eyepiece lens. The eyecup was glued in place and required forced removal to get at the stubborn dirt. In the end, it was no big deal, and I’m sure the rubber armor covering of the Celestron Hummingbird 7-22x50mm ED Micro Spotting Scope would have easily protected the scope had the ground arrived sooner.

Prior to the fall of the scope, I got the opinion of a volunteer park ranger and professional bird watcher. He was impressed with the little scope and was surprised not only with the size, but the quality of the optics. I too have used many spotting scopes and owned a Leica for a while and got some heavy use of a Swarovski. My previous carry prior to field testing the Celestron Hummingbird 7-22x50mm ED Micro Spotting Scope was a Gold Ring Leupold (American made, not a Chinese budget Leupold-branded one).


Celestron_Hummingbird_7-22x50mm_ED_Micro_Spotting_Scope_RangerThe Celestron Hummingbird 7-22x50mm ED Micro Spotting Scope has a 7-22x eyepiece that is a functional power given the small objective and desire to be held in the hand. The angled eyepiece is particularly effective for wildlife but can cause issues if used on a bench to view targets. Your eye must be above the scope so if the Hummingbird is on a small tripod that in turn is on the bench, you might have to stand up to see it. When at the range with this scope, I use it on a ground tripod so I can lower it. But that is a case I prefer my straight-sighting Leupold.

Read Also: The Katrina Pistol 

The scope is packaged with a snug padded nylon case with strap and zipper closure, but I prefer an easier drop-in container from which I can one-handed deploy and stow the Hummingbird. So instead of the included case, I use an insulated Camelbak waterbottle case complete with MOLLE attachments and a little additional storage.

Almost Perfect

Celestron_Hummingbird_7-22x50mm_ED_Micro_Spotting_Scope_in_handThe optical performance of the Celestron Hummingbird 7-22x50mm ED Micro Spotting Scope is exceptional except for the final bit of magnification. Above about 18x, I can notice some loss of image quality, and at the full 22x I cannot see near as well as on lower power. Certainly not a deal breaker, but I am spoiled by world class optics with Nikon, Leica, Leupold, and Swarovski. But those brands command impressive prices where a thousand dollars is often the cover charge to get into play. Accessories will follow and, of course, a tripod of equal quality will cost another handful of Benjis. And what usually happens at this point is that a second, less expensive scope is acquired which will get carried, shared, and especially used. So money and the quality it can buy might also be a barrier to practicality and deployment.

Celestron broke new ground with its Hummingbird spotting scopes because ED glass is usually reserved for the larger higher-end scopes. Further, they are affordable, portable, and seem plenty rugged for their intended use. So yes, my new feathered friend and travel partner is a Celestron Hummingbird 7-22x50mm ED Micro Spotting Scope.

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9 Hunting Tips Every Hunter Should Know

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9 Hunting Tips Every Hunter Should Know

Hunting is a very popular sport that requires attention to detail, a great amount of patience, and a love for the outdoors. Many individuals spend their lives hunting to provide game for consumption, while others may do it as more of a leisurely activity.

Whatever your desire is for hunting, there are a lot of key components to hunting successfully. While it may take a lot of practice, anyone can learn how to become a sharp shooter with time. To help you experience a successful hunt, we’ve put together 15 of the top hunting tips to help you find your target with ease and land the shot you’ve been waiting for.

  1. Be patient.

There is nothing worse than having a hunting partner who is in a rush to get trigger-happy. Hunting has a lot to do with being patient and waiting for the precise moment when you can land a good shot, and that can take hours, if you’re willing.

Patience is a virtue, especially for those who are still-hunting. If this is your plan of attack, then you should be ready to stay put for long periods.

  1. Bring a watch.

A watch is a great guide to keep you aware of how long you’ve been in one position, or to set a time for how long you want to stay. Still-hunters will especially benefit from this, as it’s easy to lose track of time if you aren’t paying attention.

Bring a wristwatch that’s easily visible from your position, and decide on intervals in which you want to refrain from moving. This is also a great way to keep track of how long you’ve been out and when you plan to shut down for the day.

  1. Travel with purpose.

Even if you’re still looking for a trail or lead, there is a good chance that you’ve already caught the attention of nearby game. In saying this, only move when absolutely necessary, and move with purpose.

If you’re simply trudging through leaves and snapping twigs, then you’re already losing your chances of finding a target. They will have already recognized you and be long gone. Try making staggered movements, and stay light on your feet. Some animals will mistake these sounds for squirrels or small mammals traveling through the terrain.

  1. Practice shooting positions.

For hunters in tree stands, it’s a great piece of advice to establish your shooting positions. Depending on which direction the animals appear from, you’ll want to be able to maneuver through the tree without bringing attention to yourself.

The best way to do this is to locate your best positions ahead of time, and clear any twigs or brush that will make noise when you move. Decide on a clear position for each area the animal could appear from so that you can get a good look or move swiftly without startling them.


  1. Clear your area.

Similar to individuals in tree stands, hunters on the ground should clear their area once they’ve established a spot for still-hunting. Depending on the weather, you’ll need to clear snow, dead leaves, twigs, and other debris from the area so that you can maneuver to a clear shooting position without letting the animal become aware of your position.

As soon as you find a good location, sweep the area as best you can so that you can be a little more forgiving with your movements.

  1. Travel with a waterproof bag.

You might have all of the skills and equipment you need for a successful go at hunting, but if you don’t protect them properly, then you’ll have some problems. Weather can be unforgiving, and, even if you plan ahead, Mother Nature can still change her mind.

Be ready for unforeseen weather problems by packing your gear and possessions in waterproof packs that will protect everything from water, moisture, dirt, and more. Try to double-bag everything, as well, especially things like your rifle scopes and lenses.

  1. Travel on foot before you settle.

If you want to start your hunt off on the right foot, then you better get walking. If you’re driving to a remote location, animals may recognize and steer clear of car sounds and people. If you want to up your chances of catching them off guard, then it’s best to park your car outside of the area and hike your way into your planned location.

This way, animals may have a harder time tracking you or even recognizing that you’ve entered the area.

  1. Invest in a high-quality rifle scope.

Aside from your prized rifles, investing in a high-quality rifle scope is going to do wonders for your accuracy and precision. There are a lot of different kinds available, and they each have their own advantages to help you become more successful with your targets.

You’ll be able to make a better decision about the type of rifle scope you want when you know what kind of hunting you’re doing. Generally, each design will perform best at a specific distance, certain lighting, size of target, etc., so try to recognize what sort of aiming you’ll be doing to find the one that’s best for you.

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  1. Try a one-man drive.

If you’re hunting alone, you have the opportunity to do a one-man drive to bring animals out of the woodwork. The key to making this work is to walk into a specific location with the wind at your back; this will bring out your unfamiliar smells and get their attention. After you’ve entered the area, circle around and walk into the same area.

You might notice that your smell and the unfamiliar treading confuse the animals, and they won’t be able to locate where you are. This will either bring them out or have them on guard. If you haven’t seen any movement, try to remain still for a while and see if they return when they believe the threat is gone.

Every hunter will have their own theories and practices about the best way to hunt. If you’re hunting alone, the most important thing you can do is to let someone know where you’re going and what area you’ll be focusing on. This way, if anything happens, you’ll be much easier to locate in case you need help.

If you’re new to hunting, consider these 9 tips to help make the experience easier and more successful! With time, you’ll recognize what kinds of tools and practices work best for you.

This Transcription is available for copy under the Creative Commons By-ND license.  You may copy and repost this transcription in its entirety as long as original links, affiliate links, and embedded video remain intact, including this CC notice.


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Spotting scopes and why you need them!

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What are spotting scopes and why you need them! Any prepper worth his salt knows the value of hunting when SHTF. Maybe you need to supplement your diet with protein. Maybe you need to ward of predators. Maybe you just think it’s cool. Regardless you need to know all about scopes or “glass” as seasoned … Continue reading Spotting scopes and why you need them!

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4 Versatile ‘Deadeye’ Optics For The Backwoods Rifleman

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4 Versatile ‘Deadeye’ Optics For The Backwoods Rifleman

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I absolutely love multi-purpose gear which can be used in a wide variety of scenarios, settings and applications.

But selecting an optic for your rifle can become tricky, because you just don’t know what ranges you will be pressed to engage (whether, say, five yards or 500). Thus, to slap a 20x piece of glass on your AR’s Picatinny rail could leave you at a major disadvantage. That’s why I’ve put together a list of optics that would be ideal for just about anything.

Here’s my criteria for what made the list…

Our selected optics must be operationally independent from batteries and have a high level of:

  • Durability
  • Versatility
  • Ingenuity

Also this means that, unlike actual Pentagon-approved military combat missions, we won’t be able to change up and top off our loadout between engagements after a quick stop at the PX … or await extraction via Blackhawk medevac when we’re in a tight spot and losing blood.

Here, then, is the list, starting with No. 4:

No. 4 – Trijicon 4×32 ACOG

Yes, I do know that this particular optic will run you a whopping $1,700. I get it.

However, let’s consider a few things concerning this particular piece of glass. First, I do believe that if you can drop that kind of cash on an optic, then this would be a ridiculously strong option. Not only did it prove to be terrifyingly effective for our Marines in the battle of Fallujah, but it also seems to have been sturdy enough to absorb the energy of an enemy round upon impact -as discovered by Sgt. Todd B. Bowers.

Learn The Secrets Of A Veteran Hunter As He Demonstrates How To Quickly Field-Dress Game

Anecdotal credit aside, the Trijicon ACOG is an optic that extracts ambient light to illuminate the reticle without burning through battery power — and 4x also appears to be a highly versatile magnification. Considering you can shoot with both eyes open, while still quickly transitioning to targets at ranges long enough to stretch the 5.56’s capabilities, I’d call that a win.

No. 3 – Nikon Monarch 3 Rifle Scope 1-4×20

The coolest aspect about “safari”-style rifle scopes is the fact that they enable the shooter to take game at long ranges; while at the same time, they can also be dialed back to 1x for defensive “gee-willakers, Batman, where did that huge lion come from!?”-type of CQB situations.

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For this reason, the Nikon Monarch 3 makes for a great optic because it does offer that same transitional magnification power. Also, it’s made for the ruggedness and durability needed to survive Jumanji.

Combine that with its $280 price tag, and you’ve got a great option. And heck, you don’t even need to worry about batteries.

No. 2 – Leatherwood Hi-Lux ATR 2-7×32 Scout

Let’s change this up a bit…

One unique optic possibility is mounting an LER (long eye relief) system, rather than using the traditional kind that sits about five inches from the eye. This setup does offer a few solutions to several fast long/short range-transitional problems, and it’s also one reason why I picked the Leatherwood Hi-Lux ATR 2-7×32 LER. Not only does it offer greater magnification capability than you might get from a 4x scope, but the Jeff Cooper-style ‘scout rifle’ concept is certainly a valid configuration to support your objectives. To further explain, here’s Midway’s description on this particular Leatherwood model optic,

“The long eye relief of the Leatherwood Hi-Lux ATR is designed for forward mounting scout style rifles. The maximum 13 inch eye relief gives the shooter a unique advantage whether shooting at targets long range or near point blank.”

It’s a fantastic system and worthy of at least giving it a try. Heck, for less than $140, you don’t have much to lose, even if you eventually end up mounting it on a wayward and greasy Mosin Nagant project rifle, because you couldn’t stand the LER configuration.

Hey I do understand, such a system doesn’t work for everybody.

No. 1 – Leupold VX-2 3-9×40

Leupold is probably one of the greatest and most well-known rifle scope manufacturers of all time, given the rock-solid reputation for quality and customer service throughout the many decades that they’ve been in business. They probably manufactured the scope that was on your grandpa’s old 30-06, and they’re still making scopes that you’ll probably be able to give to your own grandkids. And then, of course, it doesn’t get much more tried and true than the 3-9×40.

The reason I placed the Leupold VX-2 3-9×40 at the top of this list is because there will be absolutely no doubt in this scope’s ability to perform above and beyond expectations.

Based on the familiarity-factor and quality of this optic, the Leupold VX-2 is el numero uno on my list. And by the way, here’s a quick tip to expand your CQB abilities…

RifleHack: Have Your Scope and CQB It, Too

Don’t want to sacrifice your cheek weld with a see-through mount, but you still want to have your 3-9×40 and CQB it, too? Well, if there’s one thing that three-gun matches have taught us, it’s that innovative methods, on how to increase target acquisition speed and sight picture versatility, have created quite a few three-gun winners.

That’s why I mount rapid transition sights on my AR, which are irons that provide a sight picture that’s simply canted 45-degree offset — and yet still sits on the same rail as the primary optic. This enables you to utilize a higher-powered magnification (without it being obscured), and still quickly engage those up close and higher-threat targets by simply tilting the rifle sideways.

Food for thought.

What optics would you add to this list? Do you disagree with anything on the list? Share your tips in the section below:

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

How To Mount A Firearm Scope, The Right Way

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How To Mount A Scope, The Right Way

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There are two methods of doing things in life: the wrong way and the right way. The right way often may take longer, but the results are almost always much better than the wrong way. This is especially true when it comes to the wonderful world of firearms and shooting. There certainly is a wrong vs. right way.

For the two decades I have been a firearms instructor, I have seen both the right way and the wrong way. The wrong way is certainly is not pretty.

When it comes to properly mounting an optic on a firearm, I have seen many people get it oh-so-very wrong. I’ve seen optics fly off of rifles or take a pounding from rattling around loose mounts screwing up the zero. The wrong way can cost you a deer, a competition or even your life.

The right way can fill your freezer, win trophies and protect your life and that of your family.  It only takes a little bit of time and perhaps a few extra dollars to do this the right way.

Let’s discuss the right way to mount an optic on your firearm.


You will need a stable rest for your rifle that keeps the firearm in a solid position; you can buy one or build one. You will mostly need a good set of screwdrivers here, with some flatheads. I have yet to ever need a Phillip’s head to mount a scope. For the bases themselves, you will most likely need a larger head, while the rings will require a smaller head.

Having a scope level makes your job go by so much more easily. Most of these are magnetic and stick to the top of a scope’s turret. Don’t scrimp and neglect to purchase one of these, as they are not expensive and will save you time.

Mounting Your Optic

The first step is to have the rifle you want the optic mounted on to be drilled and tapped. Most modern firearms come drilled and tapped, or if you are shooting an AR-15 or anything in that class you will most likely have a Picatinny rail. After you have your ducks lined up in a row with your rifle, choose your optic. We’ll discuss optics another day, but I will say to be sure you also have the right screws, bases, rings, Allen wrenches, everything you need to mount your optic before you get to it. Double check your rings and mounts before you leave the store and make sure you have the right size.

Vicious New Hand-Held Self-Defense Tool Turns Lethal In Seconds!

Pay attention to your bases and mounting screws. This is especially important for a drilled and tapped rifle. You don’t want to widen out your tapped drill holes in the receiver of the firearm.  You also don’t want to strip screws. Don’t settle for substandard parts or the wrong size screws and parts.

Thoroughly clean your firearm and you mounts. Be sure you get any grit and debris off of the area you will be mounting to, and from the scope’s bases. Taking your time here will prevent rust and scratches.

How To Mount A Scope, The Right Way

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My next step here is to dab a thin layer of Hoppe’s 9 or a decent protective oil onto the receiver where you will be installing your new scope.  If you have a Picatinny rail system and you need to install a riser mount to offset an AR-10 or AR-15’s front sight, do so at this time, and after that install the bases but wait to tighten in case you have last-minute adjustments. For a rifle with traditional taped receiver, install the base mounts and get the screws as tight as you can without stripping them.

Next, install the bottom rings and place the optic on them. Adjust to where you want the optic to be and then place the top rings on the scope. Use a good scope level and be sure everything is kosher. When you’ve done this, tighten everything up until you can tighten anymore.

Be sure everything is secure, and give everything one last tightening.

When you are satisfied with your work, take your rifle out and sight her in. If you have done a good job, you should have no problem getting nice tight groups and maintaining the scope’s zero.

Sighting In

Before sighting in your rifle, I highly recommend you purchase a quality shooting rest such as a Lead Sled, or burrow one from a buddy. A laser bore sight is a great tool, as is a quality spotting optic.

I prefer to laser bore sight a rifle first. Place your bore sight in your firearm’s chamber and set up a target at 25 yards. Unscrew the turret caps that cover the adjustment knobs on your scope. The laser sight will make a laser dot appear on the target; adjust you optic until the cross hairs are right on your laser’s dot. This eliminates much of the time to get on target and should ensure your first rounds hit near the bullseye. You will probably have to tweak your adjustments slightly downrange, but this step saves ammo.

Next, set up a target at 100 yards. Shoot three rounds and group your rifle. Make any needed adjustments to your scope and shoot a few more rounds. Normally this step takes me around 3-10 rounds of ammunition. Keep in mind that most shooting optics have an adjustment of one-fourth MOA, meaning that every time you adjust your scope one click you are moving it a quarter of an inch or a one-half centimeter at 100 yards.

After you have sighted in your rifle, replace your scope’s turret caps and be sure that they are snug. You may need to readjust your scope after every few hundred rounds.

Happy shooting!

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