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Binoculars for "Tactical shooting"

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/22/2012 at 19:59
Barnacle Bill View Drop Down
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OK, let me preface this with the confession that I know absolutely nothing about binoculars. 
 
I own exactly one pair, bought at Service Merchandise 30 years ago (I think they are out of business now).  I'm pretty sure the price was two digits, as I was an broke junior enlisted sailor at the time.  They are "Jason/Empire Model 161 Commander 10 x 50".  Given the vintage & original price, I imagine they are garbage.
 
OK, so I'm taking this precision shooting class in April.  The equipment list says "Optics, (binocular or spotting scope)".  I also own a cheapo spotting scope, a Konus 20-60x that I use for seeing where my shots went from the bench out to 200 yards.  It works for that.
 
Anyway, I'm thinking about getting a decent pair of binoculars for this.  I actually don't know what I'd be using them for, except to whatever extent the context suggests something to those more familiar with precision shooting. 
 
So, I'm lost here - don't even know what sort of spec I'd be talking about.  I can sorta address price range.  I spent a fair amount on rifle & scope, because I know enough there to get a glimpse of a clue and understand the value equation.  I really don't know with binoculars. 
 
So, first off what sort of spec should I be looking at?  Then, what are the hallmarks of quality, and what sort of price range are we talking?  At a gut level it feels like four digits is overkill for me, but as high as $700ish could be justified if I was convinced it would make a difference.
 
So, please fill the vacuum in my skull Big Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/22/2012 at 21:22
Barnacle Bill View Drop Down
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Oh, yeh...
 
I'm particularly interested in goodies I can get on black Friday deals. Wink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/22/2012 at 22:35
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Are u by chance taking your class at front sight?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2012 at 08:39
Barnacle Bill View Drop Down
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Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

Are u by chance taking your class at front sight?
No, TDI.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2012 at 09:17
supertool73 View Drop Down
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Just checking as they say the same thing, but you don't actually need them for that class. 

I would look at the Zen Ray ED3 for just regular binos with great glass.  Or if you want something with a reticle in them, Vortex has the Viper tactical version that has a ranging reticle in them. 

You also have the Vortex Viper HD, Kruger Caldera, both of those a pretty good binos.

You can get pretty good binos these days for $400.  Surprisingly they compete pretty well again the expensive brands.  If it were me in your shoes, I would probably buy the Zen Rays or the Krugers and save the rest of your money for ammo.  They are more than enough for what your intended usage will be. 

I would probably get 8x42 or 10x42.  I am a fan of 10x binos, but a lot of people prefer the 8x for more FOV and they feel like they can hold them steadier.  An 8x32 would not be a bad choice because of the smaller size and weight.


Edited by supertool73 - November/23/2012 at 09:22
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2012 at 11:09
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In your price range you could go for a Canon 8x25 or 10x30 image stabilized binocular.  They are awesome. Great glass and the IS is "the bomb".  I'll never buy anything not IS again...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2012 at 12:47
Barnacle Bill View Drop Down
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Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

Just checking as they say the same thing, but you don't actually need them for that class. 
 
I took a carbine class with TDI a few years ago and ended up needing everything on the gear list, so I'm expecting the same here.  I just don't know enough to understand what I'll be using them for.  Your suggestions help.
 
I ended up going with a Nightforce scope with their NP-R2 ranging reticle.  Is it useful to have a ranging reticle on the binoculars in addition to the riflescope, or is one enough?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2012 at 12:48
Barnacle Bill View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:

In your price range you could go for a Canon 8x25 or 10x30 image stabilized binocular.  They are awesome. Great glass and the IS is "the bomb".  I'll never buy anything not IS again...
 
Please explain IS..
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2012 at 13:08
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IS is image stabilized.  They have electronics in them like a digital camera to help with shake so the image is clearer and more stable.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2012 at 13:17
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OK, it looks like SWFA doesn't carry Canon, but from Canon's web site the models that have 42mm objectives are really expensive.  The 8x25 & 10x30 are affordable.  However, that's a significantly smaller objective.  Is IS worth that trade-off?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2012 at 13:50
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I have a monocular that is 10x25.  It really sucks in low light.  If your only use is a day time optic, they will be okay.  But if you plan on using them in low light they are not likely to be as good as binos with a larger objective.  All else being equal. 


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