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SHOT Show 2009 impressions

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2009 at 01:20
koshkin View Drop Down
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SHOT Show 2009



I originally planned to start at one end of the convention center and work my way over to the other end.  That did not quite pan out since there were a few people I wanted to get together with, so I ended up running back and forth a fair bit.  It is a good idea from an exercise standpoint, I suppose.


Here is a brief rundown of the new stuff:


Vortex:

They have new high magnification 15x56 binoculars called Kaibab.  This may be a beginning of a new line higher up than the Razor, although visually Kaibab looked like a Viper on steroids.  Mechanics were very smooth and glass looked pretty impressive (the best I can tell on a show floor).  Kaibab has some sort of a new-for-Vortex coating that is hydrophobic and scratch resistant.  The same coating is also added to the Razor line of binoculars.

Vortex is also introducing a new high end spotter called Razor HD.  It is a 20-60x85 model  (also available with a 30x eyepiece, I think).  Looking at those halogen lights near the roof, I was able to comfortably resolve the inner detail on the reflectors with no haze or evidence of CA.  Beyond that I would need to test the spotter outdoors.   Mechanically it looked good.  Focus knob is nice and smooth and it looks like it has enough eyerelief for eyeglass wearers.   It should be a strong competitor to similarly sized Nikon and Pentax spotters.  Money-wise it may end up being a bit more expensive than those two, so it may come into competition with some more expensive Kowa and Euro spotters.


Update on upcoming Vortex tactical scopes: Vortex guys asked me to stop by again a couple of days into the show to talk about their upcoming line tactical scopes.  It turned out that they planned to do more than just talk: they had two nearly-fully-done prototypes of the new Razor line of scopes to show me.  The scopes I saw were: 5-20x50 with a 35mm tube and 1-4x24 with 30mm tube.  Both scopes have FFP illuminated reticles and exposed knobs and are made in Japan.  It certainly looked like a lot of thought went into their design, since I had comparatively little to pick on (and I assure you I can usually find something to pick on).  The knobs had very nice feel to them.  The glass looked good to the extent that I could tell.  The reticles had interesting designs, that I think are very functional.  In terms of user friendliness, every scope is an exercise in compromises: on one hand you want a streamlined appearance so that the various protrusions do not catch on stuff.  On the other hand, you need those protrusions to be able to make adjustments easily and without looking if need be.  I think these new Vortex scopes strike the right balance.  Beyond that, there is really not much I can say about performance until I get to put them onto rifles and torture them a little.  When these are ready for production I should be able to get my hands on them.  The prices still need to be set, but it seems like they will undercut their competition by a non-trivial amount.  Performance wise, I think these will go after IOR and Nightforce above all else, and I would not be surprised if they take some sales from the really expensive scopes like Zeiss/Hensoldt, Premier and S&B.  The first version of the 5-20x50 will have MOA reticle and MOA knobs.  Mil/mil version will follow.  Further out, there will be other models in the Razor line to fill other niches.


 

Hawke Optics:

Hawke is a pretty well established British company that is just now making inroads into the US market.  I have previously acquired a set of their 8x43 Frontier ED binoculars (a review is forthcoming).  I had never seen their scopes before though.  Frontier and Frontier SF scopes are made in Japan by Kenko (same outfit, I think, that makes Super Sniper scopes, some Sightrons and a few others).  The rest of the scopes are made in China.  Several scope lines (Chinese made ones) have an interesting holdover reticle called MAP.  I will not go into detail on that since there is a bunch of information on it on their website.  It is kinda like Zeiss’ Rapid-Z  for people who can not afford Zeiss.  The people in the booth were pretty friendly and I will look to get a couple of their scopes for review.  I will decide which ones later on.  Frontier is a dead ringer for Sightron S1, so I am pretty familiar with that one. Frontier SF looks very nice and 4-16x versions were impressively compact.  I will definitely look at one of those and one of the Chinese made scopes with MAP reticle.

 


Zeiss:

There are now top-end Victory scopes with SFP reticles including Rapid-Z.  I suppose they are trying ot expand their influence in the US hunting market.  They have a BDC knob of some sort called ASV and a couple of new version of the Rapid-Z reicle.   There is also a new pistol scope (a first from a Euro maker) in the Conquest line.  It looked very nice and I wonder if it will work well as a scout scope (which is a bit more up my alley).  There is a new 8x26 rangefinder with trajectory information built in (same as in the 8x45 Victory RF binocular/rangefinder).  It looks like Zeiss is not happy with the fact that Swaro 8x30 is the highest end LRF on the market.  The new Zeiss LRF looks like a worthy competitor for it.

Zeiss also had a prototype of a combination camera spotter, called Photoscope 85 T* FL (15-45x85).  It is an interesting design since the variable magnification is achieved by varying the focal length of the objective not the eyepiece.  I have somewhat mixed feeling on how it is executed.  We'll see what the production model looks like.



Swarovski

There were some new variants of Z6 scopes on display, which looked as good as other Z6 scopes (which is pretty good).  3-18x50 is a nice configuration that can satisfy a lot of different needs.  Otherwise, there was not much new there.  Top notch (and top price) products.

I got to mess with the Ballistic knob a little and it seemd like a nice thing.  Then again, I also like Kahles' Multizero.



Trijicon:

A couple of new Accupoint scopes: 1-4x24 and 5-20x50, both with SFP reticles.  They seem like nice scopes with nothing exceptional except for Trijicons highly visible reticles.  I am not sure if the ones I saw are production models or prototypes, but the 5-20x50 needs better knobs.  Otherwise, good scopes with Trijicon's trademark reticle.  As far as the 5-20x50 goes, I kinda have mixed feelings.  It is a nice scope, but Trijicon's "special" feature is the reticle.  I am not sure how important that is in a high magnification, long range scope.  Now with a 1-4x24, that super visible reticle can really help Trijicon stand out among the competition.  S&B Short

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2009 at 04:31
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Thank you for keeping us posted. At R10 to the $ we in South Africa appreciate the cheap seat.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2009 at 05:27
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Thank you, Koshkin!!
This is a real blessing for those of us who couldn't attend SHOT.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2009 at 06:21
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Thank you, Koshkin!!
This is a real blessing for those of us who couldn't attend SHOT.
 
+1
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2009 at 06:38
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                                                                           Eat and Drink     Cool.   Great information.   
 
   New IOR stuff and, maybe KAPS scopes.....sounds like fun....( too bad I don't have any money.....Shocked )    
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2009 at 07:30
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Koshkin, I, too, thank you for sharing your unique perspectives about these optical devices.



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2009 at 08:02
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cool stuff ...much appreciated
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2009 at 08:05
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Originally posted by swtucker swtucker wrote:

Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Thank you, Koshkin!!
This is a real blessing for those of us who couldn't attend SHOT.
 
+1


+2
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2009 at 08:40
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Sounds like fun, I wish I were there.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2009 at 08:59
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Originally posted by mike650 mike650 wrote:

Originally posted by swtucker swtucker wrote:

Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Thank you, Koshkin!!
This is a real blessing for those of us who couldn't attend SHOT.
 
+1


+2
+3
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2009 at 12:22
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im highly anticipating the info ilya shares with us about leupold and kahles
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2009 at 12:29
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+4

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2009 at 13:47
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Good info, ILya, thank you.

I have toyed with one of the Hawke scopes. It was pretty good, actually.  No real complaints about it.  I really liked the reticles, as I remember.  One called the SR6 or 12 or some multiple of 3.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2009 at 13:52
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don't think there will be much on Kahles, since they aren't there!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2009 at 13:54
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really??? how do you know that? is there a web site with a list of who is there? or are you saying that because they dont have anybody importing for them currently?


nevermind i see where koshkin posted a list, thats too bad to hear about them.


Edited by pyro6999 - January/16/2009 at 15:48
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2009 at 15:39
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I wonder if the glass in the new burris six X series is upgraded over the signiture selects.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2009 at 16:34
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Koshkin, thanks for your time and efforts.  Much appreciated, great job as usual.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2009 at 16:53
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ME.........TOO!........THANKS.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2009 at 11:43
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I need to attend SHOT next year!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2009 at 12:23
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Thank you Koshkin.
 
Signed,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2009 at 14:12
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Thanks ILya! I'm a bit surprised about Leupold's new line or lack thereof. With all the hype I expected something a bit exciting, oh well.
Sam
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2009 at 14:16
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Anything new with the Aimpoint gang, Koshkin?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2009 at 18:41
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Originally posted by jjyoung jjyoung wrote:

I wonder if the glass in the new burris six X series is upgraded over the signiture selects.


My guess is that is will be the same glass.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2009 at 14:50
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Thanks for your report.  I'm looking forward to the rest of the story.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2009 at 19:25
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Thanks for the time and effort you spent on your summaries, Ilya!Excellent  Some interesting stuff there!
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