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GUNS Magazine December 2011 Digital Edition - Page 14

• J A C O B G O t t f R E D S O N • I f you’re anything like me, you appreciate fine glass. some people, however, like the inexpensive stuff that comes in that tough bubble wrap and takes a chain saw to open. You can buy one of them every year, throw the old one away and have a new one. but for those who step up to the plate for the good stuff, ruining them can be a heart breaker. Leica sent a very nice binocular for evaluation and an article. I was testing the quality of the image when my wife told me the back fence had just blown over. The bino was still hanging from my neck as I ran outside to rescue the fence and keep the dogs at bay. As I bent over, the bino hung from my neck, swinging like a church bell. The objective lens met its match with a nail, and the resulting ding ruined my day. I ended up buying the glass, which happened to be quite expensive. That experience taught me much about the value of lens covers. Many top binoculars are now sold with covers that can be quickly removed, but retained so you don’t lose them in the excitement of the moment. Every tactical shooter I know protects their riflescope lenses with Butler Creekstyle covers. Jacob Bynum of Rifles Only harps on every student at the end of an event: “Protect your glass”; by this he means, replace the lens covers. I have the bad habit of stabbing some mistakes are very avoidable. GLASS CARE swarovski, for example, provides lens covers for both the objective and ocular lenses. a flick of the little fingers removes the objective lens cover for viewing. the rubber-retaining ring remains on the body so they are not lost. the ocular covers are attached to the carrying strap so that they are not lost either—use them. a huge ding in the lens of a binocular that runs just shy of $2,000 is not good! 14 the ocular lens of a prized riflescope now and then with the sharp end of a cleaning rod. I hope no one is as spastic as I am. Both lenses should be covered when cleaning a rifle. Most scopes and lens’ coatings don’t care much for the solvents we use. I used to like to hike into bad country after some elusive trophy. In doing so, I have twice fallen from the sides of mountains. I was bumped a little, mostly embarrassed, but found the rifle more damaged than I. On both occasions, I noticed rather large dents in the scope body. And both times the zero had changed a foot or more, if the scope was still usable at all. Now, I bring a backup scope, pre-sighted in, using quick detachable mounts. I have also discovered riding in an air conditioned vehicle then exiting on a humid day, fogs the glass so thoroughly it is impossible to see anything for several minutes. That same wetness in the air will affect the electronics of cameras. I now put them in a zip lock bag in order to let the condensation form on the bag instead of the glass and electronics. Once they equilibrate to the atmosphere, I can remove the optic. I was at a rifle match a few years ago when I noticed some guys making a fuss about a riflescope, so I wandered over to see. I was thoroughly amazed at appearance of the objective lens. It was a hot, dusty shoot that day, and the fellow had used a can of compressed air to blow away the dust. He let the nozzle come a little too close to the lens, and the coldness of the liquid crystallized the lens’ coatings. Strangely enough, you could not see the effect when you looked through the scope, but the outside was a mess. At another match, I noticed a guy picking up his rifle by the scope’s bell. must have been the balance point. This went on for several days of shooting. The scope was an expensive, tactical job but had been assembled in three pieces: the body, objective lens and ocular lens. The objective lens finally took its leave of the rest of the scope. That ended his match. Remember the bubble wrap binos? Those sold for less than $40, hang-ona-hook at the local store, but oblige you to put yourself in danger trying WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2011

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