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Shooting Industry June 2011 Digital Edition - Page 29
on both the hunting and the law enforcement sides of optics. “On the high end, we’re seeing military products going into the commercial market,” he said. “We’re seeing mil-radian adjustments tied to mil-radian reticles. For us, that’s the (Leupold) Mark 4 long-range target models, with the M5 adjustments.” Many other manufacturers also are offering mil-dot or mil-radian reticles, including Nikon, Bushnell, Barska, Premier and Weaver. On the hunting side, Mundy says Leupold is experiencing continuing strength in their Redfield brand, and a strong product launch for their VX-R riflescope line. “With the Mark 4 products, we’re responding to customer need,” he said. “Customers have been asking for what we term mil/mil-reticle dial combinations, and I think those features make products easier for people to use.” Mundy says the customer who buys tactical optics in the commercial market seems to pay more attention to trends, and is someone who has done the research and knows what he wants. Although some of these customers may be coming back from military tours of duty, he says there’s an overall trend toward more sophisticated products in the optics market. “There’s definitely the ‘returning soldier’ factor,” Mundy said. “But I think there’s also a recognition of what optics can do for you if they’re intelligently designed. “In riflescopes in particular, people are always looking for an edge or an advantage,” Mundy said. “I think one of the reasons our VX-R series is popular is that it provides illuminated reticle technology that allows users to take advantage of a broader range of hunting conditions.” Although this tactical trend is strongly apparent in riflescopes, it also carries over into other areas of the optics market. When it comes to binoculars, the key seems to be ease of use. “Customers like binoculars that are easy to use, but still have a full set of features,” Mundy said. “I think in the last five or six years, optics customers, in general, have become more discriminating in what they want. They walk into the store with an idea of what they need to fit their conditions.” Customers seem to gravitate to new features and new ergonomics, he says, and there are new features in today’s binoculars. Steiner has what they’re calling CAT, or “Color Aided Transmission,” which helps game animals “pop out” from the background. Carson is attracting a lot of attention with its 3-D Series binoculars, and Swarovski is promoting the light-capturing features of its new EL 50 Swarovision binoculars. Meopro Swarovski is promoting its new EL50 Swarovision and Minox offer ergonomi- binoculars with a major consumer campaign. Visit www. cally enhanced binoculars to shootingindustry.com/swarovskioptik. make long glassing sessions more comfortable. likes to see more electronics in riflescopes.” Pursue Educational Resources The Burris Eliminator Laserscope ofMundy says one common thread fers an integrated rangefinder, as well as among customers is they’re learning a Ballistic Plex reticle. Some Nikon and more about the optics before they walk Leatherwood scopes have illuminated retinto a store. icles in green or red. “They’re using the Internet, catalogs All of these changes in optics demand and other information more and more,” more of dealers who want to sell them efMundy said. “Customers are taking full fectively — it requires keeping up with advantage of all the communications me- your customer in knowledge. dia to really bone up on products.” “Retailers need to be better educated One specialized segment of the market than they were in the past,” Mundy said. is electro-optical products. “Because today’s customer can do so much “There’s always been a small push to- research on his own, when he comes to a ward these products, but it’s not overwhelm- store, he expects to get a little bit extra.” ing,” he said. “A certain market segment The Minox MD 88 W APO is a high-resolution spotting scope featuring 20x to 60x magnification. Visit www.shootingindustry.com/minox. www.shootingindustry.com JUNE 2011 29