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Monday 17 February, 2014 | RSS Feed

Mini Red Dot Sight Best for Pistols?

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Mini red dot sights have been around since the 90s, primarily in the competition arena. They’ve been used by several well-known competitive shooters and slowly started to transition into the combat arena, when we saw red dots on rifles become so successful.

1. What's the pros and cons of red dot sights on pistol?

On the pros, which include anytime viewability of the sight, target focus versus sight focus shooting style and binocular versus monocular vision. And on the cons, increased cost for a duty pistol, a commitment to that pistol to ensure functionality and an understanding of the battery life, which for all purposes is quite good.

2. Is MOA on a Red Dot sight an important consideration when making a purchase?

Because the engagement distances are so close, in my opinion MOA consideration is less of a factor. The most common sizes are 3.5 and 6.5 MOA in a dot configuration and 7.5 in the Delta configuration. The furthest distance I’ve shot red dot sights on a pistol has been 50 yards and certainly at that distance the smaller size dot is very helpful.

Since most pistol engagements will be well inside of the 25 yard line, I’ve struggled to see a clear leader in the size. My preference is more for the larger. since it is assumed most engagements would be close in nature and the larger dot would theoretically be quicker to pick up. My daily carry gun has a 6.5 MOA as the primary optic.

3. Red Dot Sight to be “better” than irons in pistol shooting?

Red dot sights as a huge improvement over iron sights. There are so many positive gains when you moved to a red dot on a pistol. Not to point out the obvious, but we aren’t getting any younger. As we get older and our eyes become more seasoned, positive identification on the iron sights becomes much more difficult. The red dots simply bypass that difficulty and it’s literally like flipping

How To Select The Right Pair Of Binoculars

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Binocular sizes are expressed with two numbers: 7x35, 10x50, etc. The first number is the magnification (or power), the second is the aperture, or diameter of the objective (front) lenses in millimeters. For example, 7x35 binoculars provide 7x power magnification and have 35mm objective lenses. For a given magnification, larger objective lenses yield a brighter image in dim light, but also result in a bulkier, heavier pair of binoculars.

The higher the power, the "shakier" the image will be, because small hand movements get magnified. Therefore, we recommend binoculars of moderate 7x or 8x magnification unless you have a specific need for more power. Lower-power binoculars also usually offer a wider field of view, allowing you to take in more of a scene at one time.

To select the best binoculars for your own particular needs, let's consider a few simple but vital questions and features:

1) What Will You Do With the Binoculars?

Hiking If you hike or travel a lot, you'll want binoculars that are compact and lightweight, perhaps even weatherproof. An 8x24 or 10x25 would be a good choice, thanks to their small size, great portability, and good daytime performance.

Birding The most popular models for birdwatching are 8x40 and 8x42. They're small and nimble, offer steady hand-held views, and have sufficient light grasp to provide bright, well-resolved images. If you plan to study birds at close range, look for binoculars with a near-focus distance of a few feet.

Astronomy For stargazing, light grasp is the most important factor. Choose binoculars with at least a 50mm aperture. A 7x50 model is easily hand-holdable and provides nice, wide-field views of starry swaths. The higher-power 10x50 is also popular, and in fact is preferable to the 7x50 where skyglow light-pollution is a problem. A tripod is recommended for a steady view through astronomy binoculars - your arms will thank you!

"Giant" astronomy binoculars of 70mm, 80mm, or 100mm aperture will reveal fainter deep-sky objects and more subtle detail. If you can afford the higher price (and a good tripod) and don't mind the extra bulk, you'll be rewarded nightly with incredible views.

Binocular Prisms: Porro vs. Roof
The prisms inside binoculars turn what would otherwise be an upside-down image right-side up. There are two main types of prism systems used in modern binoculars: porro prisms and roof prisms.

Porro-Prism Binoculars

Each barrel of a porro-prism binocular contains two right-angle prisms. They are offset from each other, which requires that the objective lenses be spaced farther apart than the eyepieces. Thus, porro-prism binoculars are bulkier than their roof-prism counterparts. Optically, however, porro-prism binoculars usually perform better, because the prism design requires less strict tolerances. That makes them easier to manufacture, so they cost less. Also, porro prism binoculars yield a more stereoscopic, or three-dimensional, image.

Roof-Prism Binoculars

The prisms in a roof-prism binocular overlap closely, allowing the objective lenses to line up directly with the eyepieces. This results in a more streamlined, compact, and often more lightweight binocular than equivalent porro-prism models. But roof-prism binoculars are also more difficult to manufacture, so they cost more. Roof prisms lose slightly more light to reflection than porro prisms - a disadvantage for astronomical use but not a concern for daytime terrestrial viewing. Well-made roof-prism binoculars can provide optical performance nearly equal to, but not better than, porro-prism binoculars.

Prism Glass

Most optical prisms are made from either BK-7 (borosilicate) glass or BAK-4 (barium crown) glass. BAK-4 is the higher-quality glass and yields brighter images and better edge sharpness. It is also more expensive.

3) Field of View

The field of view is the size of the "window" you see through a binocular. The field has no effect on the size of the subject being viewed (that's a function of the magnification). Surprisingly, the field of view is not determined by the binocular's main (objective) lenses, but rather by the eyepiece and prism designs.

The width of the field is expressed either as an angular measure in degrees, or as a linear width measurement, in feet, of the viewing area at a distance of 1000 yards. You can convert from angular field to linear field by multiplying the angle in degrees by 52.5.

"Wide-angle" is an inexact term that simply indicates that a binocular field is wider than average. Generally, a binocular is considered wide-angle if its apparent field of view (angular field in degrees times magnification) is 60 or greater.

A wide-angle binocular is ideal for finding subjects quickly, and it can deliver spectacular panoramic views. A wide field is especially desirable for watching action sports or scanning to pick up motion at close range, such as in a wooded area. A narrower field of view is sufficient for longer-distance observation.

10 Favorite Targets With Astronomy Binoculars

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Choosing Binoculars for Astronomy

The nighttime performance of binoculars depends on the aperture (diameter) of the front (objective) lenses and the magnification provided by the eyepieces. The wider the objective lenses, the more light the binocular will collect and transmit to your eyes. For astronomy, objective lenses of 50mm diameter or larger are recommended. Indeed, 7x50 binoculars (7x power and 50mm objective lenses) are ideal stargazing glasses because they offer plenty of light gathering, good power, bright images, and a wide field of view (which makes it easier to find things). A 10x50 binocular, also a popular size, has the same light-gathering capability but provides higher magnification (10x). The higher magnification may result in a slightly shakier image if you’re holding the binoculars by hand. But for astronomy, it’s advisable to mount the binocular on a tripod anyway, to prevent arm and neck fatigue from prolonged overhead viewing.

Even better for stargazing are "giant" binoculars with 70mm, 80mm, or 100mm objective lenses. Because they admit more light, they can reveal fainter objects. But beware: such binocs are heavy and will require a tripod for support. Big binoculars often come in higher powers such as 14x, 16x, 20x, or even more. With smaller binoculars, high powers like that would yield very dim images, but larger apertures take in enough light to maintain good image brightness as magnification is increased.

10 Favorite Binocular Targets

1) The Moon — Wow! You’ll see an unbelievable number of craters and rocky mountainous features, all in stunning clarity. Because its surface is so bright, the Moon is best observed during its crescent phases.

2) Jupiter and its Moons — Binoculars will reveal the bright disk of this giant planet, flanked by its four largest Moons, whose positions change nightly.

3) The Milky Way — Scanning along this dense band of stars on a summer night is immensely pleasurable. You’ll see countless clusters, knots, vacant dark patches, and nebulous puffs.

4) Sagittarius Star Clouds — The part of the Milky Way near the constellation Sagittarius ("the Teapot") reveals the richest detail in the night sky. It teems with interesting objects, including the Lagoon, Swan, and Eagle Nebulas, the M24 Star Cloud, and a wealth of open clusters. Use a star chart to help identify them.

5) The Pleiades — This sprawling cluster in Taurus appears as six or seven bright stars to the naked eye, but blooms to several dozen in binoculars.

6) The Andromeda Galaxy — Easy to spot with the unaided eye under a dark summer sky, this majestic "island universe" fills a good portion of the binocular field. You’ll see its bright core and faint disk, perhaps even the dark dust lane around the edge.

7) The Orion Nebula — One of the most beautiful gems in the sky, this expansive winter nebula glows brightly, displaying intricate wisps and tendrils. At its heart is an easily-split double star and a luminous quadruple star, called the Trapezium, which can be resolved with binoculars of 11x or more.

8) The Double Cluster — Residing halfway between the "W" of Cassiopeia and the constellation Perseus, these side-by-side stellar splashes are a true delight to behold in binoculars.

9) Albireo — A bright double star in the head of Cygnus the Swan, notable for its gorgeous color contrast: one star glows yellow, the other blue. Ten-power binoculars will split the pair cleanly.

10) Scutum Star Cloud — This impressive star field contains the compact open cluster called the Wild Duck and some dark, starless patches.

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