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Handgun optics.


In my younger years as a handgunner, I was blessed with perfect vision and neve saw the need for optical sights on handguns. Wandering afield with an accurate revolver equipped with a square-notch rear sight and a crisp, black front sight blade was as much a taste of heaven as I could ever want.

However, when I reached my early forties, my still perfect-for-a-40-year-old vision acquired a preference for longer-range focusing and bright-light conditions. While I still love to wander with a basic belt gun, morning and evening light conditions coupled with longer-range shooting convinced me to re-evaluate handgun optics.

Fortunately for me, my needs for enhanced visual capabilities coincided with a virtual growth explosion in the handgun optics industry. While your customers may not be driven to consider optics for the same reason, optics are a great add-on that can boost your sales.

Shooters can choose from basic scopes that utilize existing light with magnification options, dot scopes that use battery power to illuminate a colore dot inside a tube, and lasers that project a beam of light producing a colored spot on the intended target. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The choice is up to the handgunner.

ADCO offers a number of options in their Mirage series of dot scopes including one-inch diameter tubes with 4 or 10 MOA dots, 30mm tubes with 10 MOA dots, and its new Magnum 50mm tube with 10 MOA dots. ADCO dot scopes cover a lot of shooters' needs. These range from precision plinking with a .22 rimfire to maximizing field-of-view and rapid target acquisition in an action pistol event In addition, shooters can change dot color for the different light conditions encountered in handgun hunting.

Aimpoint, one of the early trendsetters in dot scopes, now offers its 30mm Mode 5000 with built in 2x magnification, dot size options of 3 MOA or 10 MOA, and your choice of silver or black external color. More compact is its Model 3000 i one-inch tube with a precise 2.5 MOA dot. Also available is the Laserdot in either conventional cylindrical shape for mounting on or under revolvers, or in rectangular shape for mounting under the barrel on semi-autos.

Aimtech specializes in semi-auto pistol mounts that require no gunsmithing. Simply replace existing grips or screws or pins with an appropriately shaped single piece of machined aluminum. The device has a Weaver-type mounting platform so you can clamp on your favorite optical device. Aimtech has a system for most of the popular self-loaders.

Applied Laser Systems now offers the new GML Mini Laser Aimer that mounts in th front face of the Glock trigger guard. Its standard Mini-Aimer model, can be mounted on a variety of semi-auto pistols and can be had with a wireless switch that eliminates the need for a connecting wire from laser to the squeeze pad on the grip.

B-Square has offered a tre-mendous variety of handgun optical mounting systems for years. Now they have the 5mw Mini-Laser with the quick detachable system called the T-Slot. This fits on the front edge of the trigger guard and allows instant disconnect of the laser prior to holstering the handgun in standard holster rigs.

Bausch & Lomb's top of the line offering to handgunners is the B&L Elite 3000 pistol scope in either a 2x6 variable or a fixed 2x. They are excellent for medium range hunting and target shooting. Silver or black finishes are the orde of the day.

Bushnell's lower-priced Trophy 2x6 variable (also available in fixed 2x) is one of the better bargains in the handgunning world. Bushnell has added 30mm and 50mm dot scopes with variable intensity settings to its line of handgun optics. It also offers vertically split rings for mounting on Weaver style bases.

Burris revolutionized the world of high-power scopes for handguns with the introduction of its fixed 7x and 10x intermediate eye relief models years ago. It went on to offer the highest power variable pistol scope on the market, the 3x9 long eye relief model followed last year by the more compact 2x7 variable. You also can have any fixed power from 1x to 4x, or Burris' original 1.5x4 variable. Burris mounts are available for many handguns, and its "Z" rings can put a scope on any Weaver style base. If you want to scope a handgun, Burris ca fill your needs at very competitive prices.

Leupold's original 2x EER pistol scope set, and fulfilled, the required endurance standards for modern handgun scopes. It's still available along with the slightly larger 4x EER, and has been joined by the variable 2.5x8 for those pursuing smaller targets at longer ranges. Leupold has expanded its handgun product horizons through the addition of its LaserLight with a pulsing action that extends battery life while brightening the projected dot. Its handgun-oriented product lines include rings for all scopes and mounting system for several makes of handguns.

Pentax has entered the handgun scope arena with three models that address just about every requirement a pistolero could identify. The most compact is the 2x that will handle most big-game situations. The 1.5x4 variable gives some versatility to a big-game hunter at longer ranges, while the 2.5x7 variable wil let you take the smaller targets at much longer ranges.

Redfield makes a pair of fixed-power scopes, a 2x and a 4x, that will handle most hunting situations. They can be had either in black or nickel plated. Offering the handgunner more flexibility, Redfield has introduced a 2.5x7 variable that is available in matte black in addition to the standard black and nickel finishes. Redfield offers a comprehensive variety of rings and mounting systems.

Simmons has three handgun scopes in its Gold Medal collection. The 2.5x7 variable has been around for several years. They still set the performance standards for compact variable scopes while being offered at a very competitive price. Its fixed power models are the standard 2x and 4x, designed to fill most of a handgunner's wishes, and they're available in either polished black or silver. In the red-dot catagory, Simmons has a 12 MOA in black or silver for handgunners.

Stoeger has begun importing the InterAims brand of dot scopes. These scopes are available with either one-inch or 30mm diameter tubes (and appropriately sized rings) in the standard 1x configuration with a choice of black or satin nickel finish. You also can jump to 2x by purchasing an InterAims booster for either tube size.

Tasco's pistol scopes stay at the lower magnification levels with a fixed 2x, fixed 4x, and a 1.5x4 variable to handle different field conditions the handgunner might face. Its line of dot scopes have a pretty comprehensive set o options, with tubes of 25mm or 40mm, dot sizes of 5, 10, 15, and 20 MOA, and eyepieces that provide 2x or 3x magnification. The Tasco selection of rings and handgun mounting systems is about as varied as its selection of optics. No doub about it, Tasco is serious about satisfying the handgunner.

Thompson/Center, better known for its single-shot pistol and black powder guns, offers two excellent pistol scopes, the very compact fixed 2.5x and variable 2.5x7. They can be had in either black or silver, and with or without the rail mount system for the Contender pistol. The most unique option is the lighted reticle, which makes your crosshairs glow at an intensity level the shooter selects by adjusting a battery powered rheostat built into the extra turret knob. Slick!

Trijicon's self-luminous iron sights work due to the inserts that make the thre dots in the sight system glow in low- or no-light conditions. In daylight conditions, the standard front blade/rear notch iron sights are aligned in the normal fashion. The Armson Model 22 O.E.G. (Occluded Eye Gunsight) is a red-dot system that requires shooting with both eyes open and is available in a day-onl version or a day/night model. No electrical power sources are required for Trijicon products.

UITC Armament Corp. has developed the Night Stalker, a factory installed laser sighting system for Sig Sauer semi-autos. It features integrated electronics offering an instant choice of infrared or visible red lasers. The sleek, lightweight profile of the laser chassis, installed on the front face of the slide, allows for carry in a standard retention holster. The infrared/red laser sighting combination is available only to law enforcement departments, federal agencies and DOD. Commercially, the Night Stalker is sold with visible laser sights only.
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Title Annotation:firearm sighting add-ons
Author:Williams, Dick
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Sep 1, 1994
Previous Article:Supreme Court rules in favor of gun owner.
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