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The Day the Cell Phones Died Part 1

The Day the Cell Phones Died  Part 1/* custom css */.td_uid_2_5f379d9a049c8_rand.td-a-rec-img { text-align: left; } .td_uid_2_5f379d9a049c8_rand.td-a-rec-img img { margin: 0 auto 0 0; } Don’t count on your cell phone to work during a disaster. Cellular telephone systems are based on a centralized network, making them susceptible to failure any time traffic exceeds “normal” levels, common during any widespread emergency. Editor's Note: This is the second of a 3-part series looking at two-way emergency radio for disaster preparedness. Click here to read part 2 . On the afternoon of Sunday, May 22, 2011, the residents of Joplin, Missouri, learned to distrust their cell phones. What convinced them were the hellish winds from a maximum-strength EF5 tornado that reached down from the heavens like a giant vacuum cleaner of death. It touched down just east of the Kansas state line and blazed a 22-mile path of death and destruction through the town — sucking, ripping and tearing the city’s structures into mangled toothpicks and violently ending the lives of 158 people. Related GunDigest Articles Cell Phone Outages in Boston Highlight Ham Radio Use Emergency Lighting: Glow-in-the-Dark Paint? Emergency Preparedness Checklist: Everyday Carry Gear The monster mile-wide twister caused catastrophic damage in the neighborhood of $2.2 billion. And it knocked out cell phone communications for days. When the storm passed, 1,300 people were missing.  The Show Me State learned a tough lesson that day: Don’t rely on cell phones. While they’re a great modern convenience, they’re also the first to fail when high winds crush cell phone towers like pop cans. Today’s small amateur radios are incredibly advanced. This Yaesu VX-6R is a dual-band transceiver that operates in the 70 cm (440 mhz) and 2m (144 mhz) bands FM. It also receives international shortwave AM transmissions and NOAA weather radio. When the cell phones stop working, this thing keeps going. It wasn’t the first time. New York City, the morning of September 11, 2001. Terrorists strike the World Trade Center.  New Yorkers — and virtually everyone else in America — rush to their cell phones. They called to report smoke and fire. They called to request medical help. They called to check in on loved ones. And many just called because they needed to talk to someone, anyone who would listen, about the horrific scenes they saw on TV. It didn’t matter why they called, as much as the fact that everyone called at the same time. The phone system locked up. There was too much data flooding the network and not enough bandwidth. While some infrastructure damage could be blamed for the failure — several cell towers and connecting land lines were indeed destroyed — the real reason the networks failed was simply because they were overloaded. “I walked from downtown to Lincoln Center (about 4.5 miles) before I was able to hail a cab with four strangers,” said Andrea Mancuso as reported by CBS News ( Post 9/11: Can We Count on Cell Networks? September 7, 2011 ). Mancuso was working just north of the Trade Center. She was lucky; her phone worked. “Everyone was upset, and no one had a cell phone signal except me. I passed my phone around like a hot potato all the way to Harlem. Everyone including the cab driver graciously and tearfully called their families.”

The Basics of Wingshooting Part 2

The Basics of Wingshooting  Part 2

/* custom css */.td_uid_2_5f379da1ee0c3_rand.td-a-rec-img { text-align: left; } .td_uid_2_5f379da1ee0c3_rand.td-a-rec-img img { margin: 0 auto 0 0; } The more crossing a target to your position, the more lead you will need to hit it. Don't be afraid to miss in front of those crossing birds. To become competent at wingshooting, you must have the basics of shooting flying objects firmly in place. In Part 2 of the series excerpted from the Gun Digest Book of Shotgunning , Marty Fischer gives you more basic tips. A shotgun is a different animal all together. Since there is no rear sight on the models used for wingshooting — shooting flying objects like gamebirds and clay targets — the gun is pointed and not aimed. When you consider the absence of a rear sight, you’ll find that the shooter’s eye on the side of the shooting shoulder takes its place. Assuming the gun fits the shooter properly and is mounted to the face and placed in the shoulder correctly, the gun should shoot exactly where the shooter is looking. Since the gun will shoot to the point of the shooter’s focus when properly fitted and mounted, he should always look down the rib or through the beads of the gun and directly on the target itself or to a point ahead of the target depending on his shooting style. If at any time the eyes leave that focal point relative to the target and are directed back to the barrel for shooter alignment, or they look at some object other than the intended target, the result will almost always be a miss. Successful shooting starts with a good stance, which allows the body to move freely through-out the shot sequence. The shooter’s ability to use his eyes to acquire a lead picture is not the only ingredient needed for a successful shot. Things like proper foot and body position and a well executed gun mount are also required if a shot is to be successful. These important elements of successful shooting require physical motion and can be learned and applied with proper practice. At first, mastering the basics of wingshooting might appear to be difficult for some new shooters, as the thought of having to determine just what sight picture is needed to hit a constantly moving and changing flying target can be confusing. Related GunDigest Articles Video: Mastering the Basics of Precision Shooting Basics of Choosing a Long-Range Cartridge Ruger Mark II: The Best Survival Pistol? Even though humans are not blessed with the best vision in nature, they do have a mental capacity that is superior to all creatures. As a result, we can see and feel lead pictures that can in fact be learned and stored mentally for future use. You will find that shotgun leads are not measured. On shots taken in the field, there simply isn’t time. Professional instructors often tell their students to feel the lead, not measure it. The eyes will tell the shooter when the picture is right. Without question, the more information that is stored for immediate recall when a bird is flushed or passes overhead, the more instinctively the shooter will respond. As this skill is further developed, the shooter’s ability to feel the lead will become more natural. A good understanding of how the eyes and brain work together to direct the hands can give a shooter a leg up when it comes to his wingshooting skills. These skills can only be developed with proper practice. Like other physical skills that require precise use of the motor movement senses, the proper and controlled mechanics for handling a shotgun have to be learned and developed to the point that they become habitual or as some might say, instinctive.

4 Best Heated Jackets: Keep Your Core Cozy

4 Best Heated Jackets: Keep Your Core Cozy

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Keeping properly warm is essential . Not only is being cold just the worst , but hypothermia is also very dangerous and a lot easier to succumb to than many people realize. Proper cold weather gear keeps the cold at bay, but for long periods outside in very cold weather, it can feel like you’re stuck going with bulky and uncomfortable layers. Sure, they keep you warm, but they’re annoying when you’re trying to work or enjoy yourself. That’s what makes heated cold-weather gear like hats, jackets, gloves, and socks so awesome. Instead of just providing insulation to keep the heat that your body produces from escaping, these items have heat sources of their own to supplement that heat. Hand Warmers, mittens, and liner gloves help keep your fingers working If you’re new to heated cold-weather gear, jackets are a great place to start since maintaining your core body temperature is especially important. Since they produce their own heat, heated jackets don’t need to be as bulky as most winter coats which make them more comfortable and makes them ideal for layering under more insulated coats if necessary. How to Choose a Heated Jacket There are relatively few hard and fast rules for what to look for in a heated jacket since exactly what you want from your heated jacket depends heavily on what you need and want. However, there are some things that you should consider before choosing your heated jacket. Budget Heated jackets can be pretty expensive compared to most everyday wear, but then again, so can pretty much any winter coat. And like with regular winter coats, a good heated jacket can least you for years. A lot of us experience this when we walk by the ammo section of our local sporting goods store. The jackets on this list run between about $150 and $300, with an average around $200. There are more expensive jackets out there and if you live in an area with very cold winters and spend hours and hours outside every day in the winter, one of those may be worth it for the extra bells and whistles, while people who only anticipate needing their heated jacket a handful of times each year probably don’t need to spend that much. Before buying, think about how much you can and are willing to spend on a heated jacket to avoid sticker shock or being taken in by a fancy jacket that’s more than you need. In addition, you can usually save money by buying in the spring and summer when this type of gear gets marked down. Plus, by starting your search early, you can keep an eye out for sales. We can help with that with our Daily Deals page ! Heating There are two types of heated jackets: chemically heated and electrically heated. You know those little handwarmer pockets that you expose to air and shake to heat up? Chemically heated jackets have pockets for you to place larger versions of those, like HotHands Body Warmers , in. The problem with this is that heat isn’t evenly distributed, so the areas of your body near the heat packets can easily feel like they’re in the midst of hell, causing you to sweat, while several inches away you may barely feel the heat if at all, then chill as the sweat evaporates. They also only have one heat setting, which is typically scalding. On the other hand, these heat packs will last you for up to 18 hours and require no power source. Still, I prefer electrically heated jackets. They have battery-powered electrical heating elements, which spread heat more evenly across the body. The area that each heating element warms is referred to as the heating zone. Heated clothing thermal picture, very cool Most heated jackets have at least three heating zones: one on each side of the chest and around the middle of the back. Additional zones may be around the hand pockets, in the collar, or over the additional surface area on the back. Electrical heating elements also offer more control over the intensity of the heat, with most offering at least three levels and many offering pre-heat options as well. All of the heated jackets that I recommend are electrical. Battery Ideally, you want the jacket’s battery life to extend beyond the amount of time you plan on wearing it, but that’s not always feasible. In those cases, having a spare battery or two will help you keep the jacket working for as long as you need it to. When possible, I’ve linked to where you can buy additional batteries for the recommendations below. Not these batteries, these are too small. Some jackets, like the first one on this list, from DeWalt, use the same battery as power tools from the same manufacturer, so you may already have a battery or two that you can use. All off the jackets I’ve linked to here are sold in kits, meaning that they come with a battery and charger, but many of them are also available without them so you don’t have to buy another battery if you don’t need it. Batteries like these! Battery life is heavily dependent on the heat setting used. You can get your battery to last longer by turning off or turning down the heat at regular intervals until you notice the heat starting to fade. Also remember that when you’re active you don’t need the heat set as high, so turn it down or off once you’ve gotten warmed up. Material The material that any jacket, heated or not, is made out of plays a big role in how effective it is in keeping the wearer warm. Generally, the outer layer of a heated jacket is made of polyester, nylon, Gore-Tex, or another similar technical fabric. The inner layer is a soft lining, typically fleece. Gore-Tex What’s most important is that the outer layer keeps the cold air, wind, and water out, but is still breathable so it doesn’t trap sweat. Aside from being gross, trapped sweat cools you down. The inner layer should wick moisture. Between the liner and any additional insulation, there should be plenty of insulation to keep heat inside of the jacket. Style & Fit Since heated jackets are a primarily functional garment, aesthetics aren’t very important, but there are some stylistic features worth taking a look at. Fit is the most important. Your heated jacket should fit close to the body and close snugly around the cuffs, waist, and collar. This minimizes escaping heat and means that there’s less air between your body and the jacket that has to be warmed. Most heated jackets, even supposedly unisex ones, are cut for men unless otherwise indicated, but women are much better off with one cut for a women’s body since it minimizes that excess air. Three of the four jackets on this list are available in cuts for both men and women. While the fourth is only available for men, the same manufacturer offers a similar style cut for women. In addition, to fit, there are a few other considerations. If you plan on wearing your heated jacket underneath another layer, you’ll want to go with one with less insulation and a more sleek, lightweight design. Condor Men's Alpha Tactical Fleece Jacket 50 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 50 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing Virtually all heated jackets have, at minimum, two hand pockets, plus a battery pocket, though most have a chest pocket as well. If you have work or recreational equipment that you need to be able to store, you may want a jacket with additional storage. Other features to consider include a hood, removable sleeves, and reflectors. Best Heated Jackets 1. DeWalt 20V MAX Lithium-Ion Soft Shell Heated Jacket Kit DeWalt is known for their power tools. This jacket is made for the same audience and is even compatible with most of the same batteries. With wind and water-resistant cotton twill shell and a soft fleece liner, it’s designed to be functional, comfortable, and durable enough for long daily shifts of hard manual labor. The LED controller allows you to choose between three heat levels with a preheat function. The DeWalt 20V MAX Lithium-Ion "Soft Shell Heated" Jacket has four heating zones, one on each side of the chest, one on the collar, and one on the mid-back. The adjustable waistline and cuffs prevent heat from escaping. With the included 20V MAX* compact 1.5Ah battery, the jacket has up to seven hours of battery life on the low setting and a just 30 minute charge time. Extra batteries compact batteries available in single and double packs . However, this jacket is compatible with the entire DeWalt 12V/20V battery system, so you can use a larger battery for longer battery life. The battery pocket, found on the left side of the jacket behind the hand pocket, expands to fit 20V Max XR batteries, also available in single and double packs . DeWalt 20V 5.0Ah Lithium Ion Battery, 2-Pack 160 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 160 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing In addition to the jacket and compact battery, this kit also comes with a fast charger and a USB power source that measures battery charge and allows you to charge portable electronics from your jacket battery (an additional battery is needed if you want to charge at the same time you use your jacket). DEWALT Mens Black Quilted Polyfil Heated Jacket Kit 300 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 300 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing This jacket comes in both a men’s cut and a women’s cut . 2. Bosch 12V Max Heated Jacket A similar option from Bosch. The Bosch 12V "Max Heated Jacket" has three heat settings and begins warming in seconds. It has three heat zones, one on each side of the chest and another on the back. A polyester shell is water and wind-resistant, yet breathable, and the lining is soft fleece. Like with the DeWalt jacket, you can use the Bosch 12V Max Heated Jacket with the same batteries that you use for any other Bosch 12V Max products that you already own. The jacket comes with a 2.0 Ah battery that provides up to six hours of heat on the lowest setting, but you can buy Bosch 12V Max 2.0 Ah , Bosch 12V Max 3.0 Ah , and Bosch 12V Max 6.0 Ah batteries separately. The 6.0 Ah may push the boundaries of comfort, however, in the jacket’s interior waist battery pocket. The included charger can be used with any Bosch 12V Max battery. So that’s cool. This jacket also comes with a USB compatible BHB120 Battery Holster/Controller that you can use to charge your portable electronics at the same time you use your jacket. Bosch 12-Volt Max Lithium-Ion Soft Shell Heated Jacket Kit 150 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 150 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing Like the DeWalt jacket, this one comes in both a men’s version and a women’s version , though the only difference between the two is the cut. 3. Milwaukee Heated Toughshell Jacket Last up is the Milwaukee "Heated Toughshell Jacket" . This one is only available for men, but the Milwaukee Heated AXIS Jacket is similar and available for both men and women. Anyway, back to the Toughshell Jacket. This jacket’s defining feature is its Toughshell outer shell. It’s made out of flexible, DWR coated polyester with FreeFlex Mobility Gussets for comfort and a five times longer lifespan. The liner is made from brushed tricot and between the liner and shell is additional high loft insulation. It has adjustable cuffs and a waist with a drop tail extended back to help keep warm air in and cold air out. In addition to the battery pocket, the jacket has three outer zip pockets and one inner zip pocket. This jacket is both washer and dryer safe, so it’s easy to keep clean, even if you wear it in messy conditions. The Milwaukee Heated Toughshell jacket has three quick-warming heat zones: chest, back, and hands. It has three heat levels and the chest and back zones can be set independently from the hands zone. It has up to eight hours of battery life with the included M12 REDLITHIUM CP2.0 Battery. However, it can also be powered by Milwaukee’s other M12 REDLITHIUM batteries, just like any Milwaukee M12 tools. Milwaukee Jacket M12 12V Lithium-Ion Heated Jacket 240 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 240 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing You have lots of options, but I would suggest going with an additional Milwaukee M12 REDLITHIUM Compact 2.0 Battery or the larger Milwaukee M12 REDLITHIUM Compact 3.0 Battery . 4. Ororo Heated Jacket This jacket is the most budget-friendly option on this list and probably the most comfortable as well. It’s wind and water-resistant with a flexible, breathable polyester shell and an ultra-soft and cozy fleece liner. It has a tailored design to fit close to the body, minimizing excess air pockets. It has three heat elements, one on each side of the chest and another on the mid-back. Ororo doesn’t produce power tools for fun battery mixing and matching, but they make up for it in other conveniences. For one, this heated jacket is totally machine washable. Most heated jackets have to be spot cleaned, what with having electrical components and all, but with this one all you have to do is disconnect and remove the battery then replace the connector and you’re good to go. Speaking of the battery, you get a whopping 10 hours of battery life on the lowest of the three heat settings (you get six hours on medium and two on high), though you can still get additional batteries if you need or want them. The jacket is also very lightweight and packable compared to other heated jackets, making it great for travel or just stowing in your bag when you’re not using it. ORORO Soft Shell Heated Jacket 150 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 150 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing Additional features include a detachable hood and three pockets (two hand and one chest) in addition to battery pocket. What’s your take on the Ororo? Readers' Ratings 5.00/5 (135) Your Rating? Conclusion So that’s the rundown on heated jackets. The ones I’ve recommended above are all great options and at least one of them is sure to suit almost all situations and budgets. Our Editor’s Pick is the Ororo since it’s the most affordable and actually the comfiest too. ORORO Soft Shell Heated Jacket 150 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 150 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing With that said, there are other excellent heated jackets that are also available and you should now have the know-how to find them too, so if none of the jackets on this list are quite what you want, don’t resign yourself. Keep looking until you find one that really fits your needs and wants. Then let us know which one it was! Now that you know how to choose a heated jacket and know of a few of the best, which one did you go with? Need some more heated clothing? Take a look at the Best Heated Gloves ! Fantastic 4 Fire Hands

[Whats the Difference?]: AR-15 vs M4

[Whats the Difference?]: AR-15 vs M4

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s You hear a lot about the M4 and especially the AR-15–both in the firearms community and in the news–but have you ever wondered what the differences are between them? At first glance, these two rifles seem virtually identical. The truth is they are very similar, so there’s a lot of confusion about what differentiates them. Simply put, the difference between the two is the M4 has either a full-auto or burst fire mode while the AR-15 does not. There are also minor differences such as barrel length and attachments, but these do not fundamentally affect the rifle. (top) M4 Vs. (bottom) Ar-15 We’re going to talk about the histories and differences of the M4 and AR-15 so that you can differentiate between these two fantastic rifles–and correct your friends when they use the names wrong. Let’s dig in! Origins of the Rifles To start, let’s talk a little bit about the history of these two rifles to get a sense of their purpose. History of the AR-15 The AR-15 was first designed in 1956 by Armalite as a scaled-down version of the AR-10. The “AR” in AR-15 stands for Armalite Rifle, while “15” is a model number. It doesn’t actually stand for “assault rifle,” which is a popular misconception. The AR-15 was designed in response to a request by the CONARC (U.S. Continental Army Command) for smaller .223 rifle to test that could replace, all in a single rifle , the Browning Automatic Rifle, M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, Thompson Submachine Gun, and M3 “Grease Gun.” Imagine replacing all these circled weapons plus the Tommy Gun with just one rifle. Unfortunately, the rifle was nixed in favor of the M14, despite the fact that the AR-15 performed far better in testing. As a very small company, that setback–combined with limited funds and production capacity–led Armalite to sell the AR-15 (along with its predecessor, the AR-10 ) to Colt just a few years later in 1959. Colt made some improvements on the design, then began mass producing the rifle and pitching it to military organizations. The Colt AR-15 quickly began to see success in small markets. After seeing a demonstration of the rifle in 1960, General Curtis LeMay, at that time Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, ordered 8,500 for Air Force pilots to use as survival rifles. Early AR-15s LeMay would continue to champion the rifle in the US military, even attempting to order 80,000 units in 1961 after being promoted to Chief of Staff of the Air Force, but would continue to be shot down. Until 1963, that is. The US Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, was almost a decade into the Vietnam War and had to face three facts: The M14 could not compete with the enemy’s AK-47 The AR-15 consistently outperformed both the M14 and the AK-47 in testing M14 production simply couldn’t meet the demands of the US Military McNamara approved the rifle and it was adopted as the M16 (or as the M16A1 or XM16E1 for the variant with forward assist). The semi-automatic version of the Colt AR-15 for civilian and police use hit store shelves in 1964, where it quickly gained popularity. When Colt’s patent on the rifle expired in 1977, other manufacturers quickly began selling their own versions. Modern AR-15 (Diamondback DB15SB M4 Basic AR-15) These days, just about every firearms manufacturer has their own AR-15 style rifle and there’s a huge market for AR-15 parts and accessories due to the rifle’s modular design. History of the M4 The history of the M4 builds on that of the AR-15 and M16, so there’s not as much to say here. After the M16 was adopted, the military quickly demanded a carbine version for close quarters combat, so Colt began producing the Colt Commando XM177 in 1966. Colt Commando The Commando did the job, but it had some issues with range and accuracy due to the shortened barrel, so in 1984, Colt began development of the XM4. Their goal was to combine the advantages of the Commando and of the new, improved M16 design, the M16A2, into the same carbine. The XM4 underwent a decade of testing and modifications, as well as being renamed to the M4, before it was adopted by the US military in 1994. M4 Carbine Both the M4 and the M16 (now up to the M16A4 model) are still in service today, and the M16 is the longest continuously serving rifle in US military history. So now that you’ve got a feel for where these rifles come from, let’s move on to the real reason you’re here: what makes the M4 and AR-15 similar and different? Differences Between the AR-15 and M4 As we’ve seen, the AR-15 and M4 are in the same family, so it’s shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are very few differences between the two rifles. You often hear the M4 described as the military version of the civilian AR-15 and vice versa, but that’s not really accurate. In reality, the M4 is the carbine version of the M16, the real military version of the AR-15. Colt M16A2 If these rifles were a real family, then the AR-15 is more like an uncle, with the M16 being the AR-15’s brother and the father of the M4. But what does that mean for the actual differences between the designs of the two guns? For one, the M4 is a carbine-length rifle, so it has a smaller, 14.5-inch barrel, but the standard AR-15 barrel is 16 inches. With so many different versions and such a large market for AR-15 upgrades, longer barrels can also be found, but US laws on short barreled rifles place a 16-inch minimum on barrel length on civilian weapons. As a military weapon, the M4’s barrel can also be mounted with a grenade launcher thanks to a cut out in the barrel. M4 Carbine with M203 Grenade Launcher In proportion with the shorter barrel, the M4 has a shorter gas tube and to compensate for the shorter gas tube, the M4 also has modified feed ramps. The M4 has a collapsible stock, while the standard AR-15 has a fixed stock–but collapsible stock configurations are widely available for the AR-15. Finally, the primary, and best known, difference between the AR-15 and M4 lies in selective fire capabilities: the AR-15 is semi-auto while M4 can be fired in either three round burst or fully automatic firing options. Similarities The similarities are basically everything else. The bolt carrier group, charging handle, and trigger assembly are all the same. The internal parts of both the upper and lower receivers are virtually identical, and the few discrepancies are those required for the differences discussed above. Depending on the configuration of the AR-15, even the handguards and rail systems can be the same. M4 vs. AR-15: Which is Better? Unless you join the military or are already serving (and if the latter, then thank you!), then you’ll have to settle for the AR-15 as the M4 is only available for use by military personnel. Putting on that uniform is the only way you’ll get to shoot a real M4. Don’t sweat it too much, though, because the AR-15 is virtually the same gun without the fully automatic capabilities, and there are some options for making it even more similar. The easiest and most accessible way is to buy a mil-spec lower and M4 handguards, which are both easy to find, and upgrade your AR-15 with them. Under federal law you can also purchase or create an AR-15 with an M4 length barrel–assuming you fill out the correct form, pass the NFA background check, and purchase the $200 tax stamp. You can even have a fully automatic AR-15, but this is considerably more difficult and expensive. For a fully automatic weapon to be civilian legal, it has to have been produced before 1986. Fully automatic AR-15s that meet this requirement do exist, but they’re relatively rare and in very high demand. Full auto SP-01, sold at Rock Island Auction for $34,500 Getting one can easily set you back $14,000 . Though I guess, in context, the NFA background check and addition tax stamp that is also required don’t seem so bad. Looking for other ways to upgrade your AR-15? Then check out our guide to AR-15 upgrades and accessories , and don’t forget to share your questions and thoughts with me in the comments.

Browning Extends X-Bolt Eclipse Rifle Line

/* custom css */.td_uid_2_5f379cc09a2d0_rand.td-a-rec-img { text-align: left; } .td_uid_2_5f379cc09a2d0_rand.td-a-rec-img img { margin: 0 auto 0 0; } Have a hankering to chase varmints or knock out the bull's eye? Then Browning might have what you're looking for in two new variants of one of its popular X-Bolt Eclipse rifle. Browning ’s X-Bolt Eclipse rifle series has always offered shooters something a bit out of the ordinary. Stocked in a light and hardy laminate, the rifles have been a perfect option for those who put their firearms through the wringer. But the stock also has the features to make it a precision shooter, in addition to being rugged. Related GunDigest Articles Browning Expands X-Bolt Line with Varmint Stalker Rifle New Savage B-Series Rifle Line New Rifle: Howa Adds 7.62x39 to MiniAction Line The Utah gun designer has expanded the traditionally large-game focused X-Bolt variant, now offering options to those searching for a rifle perfect for smaller game or knocking out the X-ring off the firing line. Browning introduced the Eclipse Target and Varmint models this year, giving shooters all the advantages of the unique line, but in calibers perfect for competition and coyotes hunts. The Eclipse Target is offered in two of the most popular competition calibers — the 6.5mm Creedmoor and .308 Winchester. While the Eclipse Varmint is set to mystify rock chucks and other critters, slinging .204 Ruger, .223 Remington and .22-250 Remington rounds. The new rifles have many features those familiar with the X-Bolt and Eclipse lines will quickly recognize. But each also has some particular tweaks that tailor them to their task — mainly pertaining to their barrels. Both of the new Eclipse variants are outfitted with target-crowned heavy bull barrels, offering shooters superior harmonics and heat dispersion, thus aiding in the accuracy inherent to their missions. The Target version, however, has a slightly heavier and more stable 28-inch barrel, while the Varmint model's 26-inch barrel should make it a more maneuverable firearm in the field.

Nikon 1-424 Black Force 1000 Scope: SHOT Show

The new Nikon 1-4×24 Black Force 1000 marks the companies first official entry into the world of competitive shooting optics and they certainly know how to make an impression. This year at SHOT Show 2017 we saw a great many offerings from the usual players in the optics game then we got a phone call and were requested to come over to the Nikon booth. I admittedly am a huge fan of Nikon cameras and have spent many thousands of dollars on their equipment so I was understandably excited but the Sporting Optics and the Digital Photography operate as two independent entities, unfortunately. I was aware of Nikon’s lines of binoculars, range finders and hunting optics but was unaware that they had branched into a complete line of optics tailored to competitive shooting. The rise of 3 gun competitions has been amazing to watch, but often times shooters were forced into having to use higher priced optics that were not designed strictly with competition in mind. Many shooters selected optics and just practiced and worked with them until they became comfortable with them. The more common optics that these types of competitive shooters were using were 1X-4X power variable scopes that usually cost anywhere from $700 all the way to $1200. What Nikon has done is listen to the moans and groans of shooters from all areas of the shooting sports and designed from the ground up an affordable, durable optic that will exceed the needs of military sporting arms shooters, this optic is the Nikon 1-4 x 24 BLACK FORCE 1000. What makes this optic better than the competition ? Glad you asked lets break down the specifications. Name: Nikon BLACK FORCE 1000 Magnification : 1 x-4X Objective Diameter: 24 mm Eyepiece Diameter: 44 mm Tube Diameter: 30mm Adjustment Graduation: 1/2 MOA Length: 10.5″ Weight: 16.4 Oz Reticle Type: Nikon Speedforce Reticle Illuminated: Yes (10 settings) Battery Type: CR2032 Misc Specs: Glass etched with reticle Fog proof Water proof Anti-reflective multi layer protective glass coating Designed for AR/MSR style rifles MSRP: $399.99 Image from authors collection When I had a chance to handle the display AR-15 and look threw the optic and look through it I was pleasantly shocked by what I found. I will admit that generally smaller scout optics in the 1x-4x range frustrate me, this wasn’t the case with the Nikon 1X-4X BlackForce 1000. While shouldering the weapon and switching back to a low ready position repeatedly I notice that the 44mm diameter of the eyepiece seemed very easy to pick up and seemed to be extremely clear and crisp. I repeated this basic action probably 9 or 10 more times before I decided I needed to try adjusting the variable power on the optic. This is were most optics loose their appeal for me. The first thing I noticed when I gripped the magnification ring of the Nikon is the aggressive texturing of it, far too often optics manufacturers leave the magnification ring nice and smooth. A smooth or lightly textured magnification ring can cause shooters fingers to slide around and loose their grip when trying to adjust the magnification while on the move between stages or while in a heightened sense anxiety for whatever reason. Fine motor skills and the dexterity of a persons fingers can be one of the first things to feel the effects of heightened adrenaline. Being able to have a solid and gripable surface can save precious time during competitions. Nikon really did their homework on this optic and their attention to detail is in my opinion one of the things that sets this optic a head of its competition. The same texturing I mentioned above is also on the adjustment caps and on the illumination control dial located on the left side of the body tube. The high quality and consistent craftsmanship is evident in every aspect of this scope. When I slid the magnification dial through the full range of magnification I was shocked to see how clear the black etched reticle was with the illumination turned off. I was expecting something that was hard to pick up and see, for once in my life I’m glad I was disappointed in my expectations. The reticle both black and illuminated was very clear and easy to see. Image Courtesy:Nikondownload.com It is the opinion of us here at The Arms Guide that Nikon really has taken the time to listen to the needs of all shooters who prefer to use military sporting arms and developed an optic to meet our needs. Their “No Fault” repair and replacement policy is good for the life of the optic, when you take that lifetime warranty and add it to a MSRP of $399.99 and look at the features of this 1x-4x scope you can see how nice of a deal this optic is. Keep in mine the MSRP is the suggested price for the optic and if i was a betting man I would say that all of the regular big box sporting goods dealers and online optics sites such as Optics Planet will have these in stock very soon. If you are actively in the market for a new optic you should really take a few weeks and wait for these to be in stores and try them out. I can say that at SHOT Show range day I tried a similar optic from a competitor that retailed for $1299 and I can say with all honesty that the Nikon is every bit as good as that optic. In fact I would say better because for less than the price of that other optic a person can buy a very nice AR-15 and this optic and have a few hundred dollars left over. Drop us a line in the comments section below and let us know what you think of this affordable offering from Nikon, I’m thinking on trying to get one and mounting it to my Sig Sauer Model 556 Classic SWAT and trying it out. Rick

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