Shooting Instructor’s Opinion: Best Shot Timer?

CED 7000 Shot Timer Review

We have tried various shot timers with moderate success, however in time the electronics stopped working.  This was the case with our old PACT  Club Shot Timer. Upon the advice of our local USPSA leaders, we tried out a CED 7000, and loved it!  We bought two more, and would like to share our CED 7000 Shot Timer Review with you.

Summary

The CED 7000 has functioned well for us, and is fairly simple to use.  It is not too complicated, yet has all the needed features.

Cons

Our only complaint about the CED 7000 came from a client that purchased one upon our recommendation.  He noticed that at his indoor range, it was picking up the shots of someone 3 lanes away.  He decided to adjust sensitivity of the CED 7000 .  Despite adjusting to the minimum, the timer still picked up unwanted noise.

Pros

  • It is easy to use.
  • It is durable
  • It has more functions than I understand
  • Its internal rechargeable battery holds a charge for a long time.

I sometimes find that the beep is too loud, but I simply cover the speaker partially with my finger and it muffles the sound. Our team of world class shooting instructors loves using this timer, and we think you will as well!  You may buy one through our Amazon affiliate link here:  https://amzn.to/3qJwdNm

Best Shot Timer


My wife and late daughter enjoying the old PACT timer:

Review Vortex Diamondback versus Razor

Review Vortex Diamondback versus Razor

 Vortex Diamondback & Vortex Razor HD

A friend of mine recently asked me, “What do you know about spotting scopes?”  Truth be told, I, Brice Dudley) don’t know a lot about spotting scopes. As a shooting coach, I have spent a fair amount of time looking at targets through $200-$400 dollar spotting scopes.  I even own a couple within that price range, so I just figured “a spotting scope is a spotting scope”.

As I laid my theory out to my friend, he stared at me with his mouth agape.  He had an expression on his face like he was getting ready to accuse me of eating too many leaded paint chips as a kid.  As I got done talking, he shook his head and said, “I have a couple of spotting scopes I would like you to take out in the field and compare them to what you’re used too.  If you find these products favorable, please let me know.”

I had the afternoon off, so I loaded these new fangled optics into the truck along with my own personal spotting scopes, “Old Reliable” and “Trusty” and headed to a favorite spot down the road from the house.  This spot is nothing more than a turn out on the highway, but there is a wooden forest service sign about 1600 yards down the road. I figured this would be an adequate distance to do my comparisons.

I set up all 4 scopes side by side starting with “Old Reliable” and worked my way over to the Vortex Razor HD.  As I looked at all 4 scopes standing there, I noticed that “Old Reliable” looked a lot more like a wooden pirates leg than it did a spotting scope.  I peered through the eyepiece in an attempt to acquire my target. No can do. In fact, I wasn’t even sure that I was pointed in the right direction at this point.  I cleaned the eyepiece and the lens and eventually managed to find the target. I wasn’t too impressed. It was like I was looking down an old wooden pirates leg. In fact, I had a better view of the target with my naked eye.

Next up was “Trusty”.  Trusty has managed to ride shotgun in every truck or car I’ve owned since 1992.  Trusty was a gift from my wife and kids and I can’t tell you how many deer and elk I managed to watch through her.  I smiled as I leaned over the eyepiece to acquire my target knowing that this spotting scope would be a great deal better than the previous, and it was.

Acquiring the target was relatively easy.  I spent about 5 minutes trying to adjust the eyepiece and messing with the tuning knob in order to clear up the view.  It just wasn’t meant to be. This thing was performing at its best. You could see, but you couldn’t see. Do you know what I mean?  It was like looking through a clean mayonnaise jar with a dirty magnifying glass.

Then I stepped over to the Vortex Diamondback.  On paper, this scope was nearly identical to “Trusty”.  In reality, we are talking about a different league here!  As I took my first look down range, I couldn’t believe the clarity and the colors.  I decided to switch eyes. Again, the color and clarity were wonderful. No distortion at all and I could actually read the wording on the sign as if it were newsprint in my own grubby hands!  

Vortex Spotting Scope ReviewI stood up and looked to my right.  There stood the Vortex Razor HD. I almost couldn’t wait to strap myself into this bad boy and see what kind of sorcery I was about to become involved with.  If the Diamondback was a different league, this scope was an entire new ball game! The first thing I noticed was that the Razor HD had a little bit longer eye relief that worked out great while wearing my glasses.  Adjustments were a bit more precise and effortless in comparison to the Diamondback and I also had another eyepiece to play with! The additional eyepiece was a wide angle eyepiece which brought a whole new aspect into play.  Interchanging the eyepieces was easy-peasy and it’s my understanding that they have additional eyepieces to choose from.

Suffice to say, while doing this Review Vortex Diamondback versus Razor my opinion on optics (especially spotting scopes) has completely changed!  “A scope is a scope” is the biggest fallacy I have ever told myself. The good folks over at Vortex have a lens system that is beyond everything that I have ever used and I can’t begin to do it justice by trying to explain it!  The body of the scopes appear to be rugged and can probably handle some knocking around (although I wouldn’t recommend doing that) and if I understand this right, they also come with a handy/durable neoprene soft case to carry them in.

The Diamondback comes in at around $500 and the Razor HD comes in at around $1600 dollars.  Additional reticle-ranging eyepieces come in at around $369 for the Razor, but if it were up to me, since I don’t do the long range nomad rifleman thing, I’d run it just the way it comes out of the box.  You can pick them up with the angled eyepiece or straight to better suit your preferences (I tested the angled eyepieces in my Vortex Spotting Scope Reviews.)

Here’s a little something else to chew on.  The have a VIP warranty as well as what sounds like top tier customer service.  I called them pretending to have an issue with the product and their rep couldn’t have been more kind, apologetic and helpful.  I haven’t had an opportunity to test any of their other products but they do have what looks like a fantastic line of rifle scopes, red dots, binoculars, range finders, tripods and other gear.

Well, it looks like I will be saving my lunch money for the next few weeks so I can find myself in the middle of a little Vortex love.  I think you should too!  Heck, here are some links through our Amazon affiliate account where you can get great deals:

Are you more of a Leupold person?  My partner Scott wrote a very detailed review here:

REVIEW OF LEUPOLD IMPACT RETICLE SPOTTING SCOPE

 


by Brice Dudley, 

Product Testing Specialist

#Endgunviolence Brice Dudley
Brice Dudley

Jackson Hole Shooting Experience & Nomad Rifleman

Vortex Spotting Scope Reviews

Stickermule custom stickers​​

REVIEW OF LEUPOLD IMPACT RETICLE SPOTTING SCOPE

Buy the LEUPOLD IMPACT RETICLE SPOTTING SCOPE 120373 GR HD HERE.
See reviews of other spotting scopes HERE.

Have you ever used a particular piece of equipment in your hunting/shooting repertoire that never seems to be as good as you would like, no matter how much you spend? For me that “hunk-o-hardware” has been the spotting scope. Whether it’s too heavy, too long, too bulky, not bright enough, clear enough, too shallow of an eye relief, it has never come close to meeting my expectations. 

I’ve owned spotting scopes from low budget big box stores to top of the line European, with glass that was supposedly more rare than the Hope diamond, but nothing has even come close to what has been on my wish list – until now. Enter the Leupold 120373 GR HD Impact Reticle Spotting Scope, Shadow Gray, 12-40 x 60mm. Every time I use it I am thoroughly impressed. For more technical aspects check out Leupold’s website @ https://www.leupold.com/spotting-scopes/hd-spotting-scopes/gr-12-40x60mm-hd?selectedSku=120373

From a practical perspective there are a number of things that make this spotting scope really stand out. Have you ever looked through a spotting scope at maximum magnification only to find you feel like you’re looking through a coffee stirring straw? This scope has the most generous eye relief (maximum 30mm) throughout its magnification range of any scope I have ever used. Particularly for those who wear glasses or sun glasses this becomes a huge asset. 

Along with that generous eye relief it has a huge eyebox. Ok, what’s the eyebox? Believe it or not there are tons of threads discussing how to accurately define the term.  Simply put the eyebox is the lateral and axial space behind the eyepiece. All of this technical jargon basically means it’s very easy to acquire a full field of view, which ultimately means less fatigue when spotting. You really have to see it to believe it. 

As far as size and weight go, it doesn’t get much better for a top tier scope. Leupold gets their subcompact design through what they call their Folded Light Path System – again, something beyond my technical paygrade to explain. At only 12.4” and 37oz performance is unparalleled.  For years I carried a straight 30x Leupold Golden Ring as my window mount spotter or for high country hunting, not any more. That old scope served its purpose but now it collects dust in my loft. 

OK so I’ve got a super compact, super clear, super bright, super easy-to-view-through spotting scope. Big Whoop! Anything else for me “optics boy”? I’ve saved the best for last. Leupold has incorporated their Impact reticle which is situated in the lower half of the field of view. While a number of other companies have added reticles to their scopes (no big news here), this one provides both MOA and Mil-based dots and hashmarks which allows our instructors (nomadrifleman.com) to walk student’s bullets into their intended target regardless of which scope platform they are using. Talk about efficient! This is revolutionary as no other company I know blends both systems.

This is the perfect scope for the long range shooter/spotter to work with. For those of us who like to hunt this allows us to reverse engineer some fancy math and actually be able to determine the size of animals (and their headgear). Some of you know what I’m talking about. See https://www.tacticalclassroom.com/moa-reticle-formula-ranging-made-easy/ for more information on this.  Is there anything not to like? This really isn’t a huge complaint, but by virtue of its design (Folded Light Path system) it doesn’t lend itself easily to rotate the scope for measuring purposes. I simply overcome this by having a tripod head that has plenty of lateral adjustment – such as a ball head. 

I’ve finally found the perfect spotting scope.  –Scott Austin, Jackson Hole Shooting Experience https://longrangebook.com/leupold-impact-reticle-elr-spotting-scope-review/

LEUPOLD IMPACT RETICLE SPOTTING SCOPE
Scott Austin, Nomad Rifleman co-founder

We finally found the perfect spotting scope, the Leupold Impact Reticle Spotting Scope. See up-to-date pricing here: https://amzn.to/2DkXeAk 

Best Spotting Scopes for Long Range Shooting

Best Spotting scopes 2019Spotting is even more important for mid range shooting than long range shooting.  Depending on the shooter’s experience, the target backdrop and the type of rifle they are shooting, typically around 600 or 800 yards, a shooter will be able to see their own impacts in the dirt.  If the target is on an even plane without a backstop, having a spotter becomes more important for spotting trace.


For long range and extended long range shooting, a high quality spotting scope is very important. I like my Vortex Razor with an MOA ranging eyepiece.  I consider it to be  one of the best spotting scopes for long range shooting.  It is good for our Nomad Rifleman experiences, and with the optional fixed 30 magnification ranging reticle, it is fast and easy to measure the misses distance from the target.  It is still a challenge seeing people’s misses out at a mile or more, but this scope helps and I am still able to confirm a lot of people into the One Mile Club!  🙂 I later purchased the next scope on this list, and like it even more!


Coach Scott recently purchased THIS $1,400 Leupold Impact Reticle Spotting Scope, which we really love!  https://amzn.to/2Fvwe2K   Scott wrote an excellent review about this scope, and if you are serious about finding an excellent scope, this is a “must read” review: https://shootingexperience.com/review-of-leupold-impact-reticle-spotting-scope/ 


I used primarily Konus for our business, but switched because of their limited warranty and how frequently they break.  The funny thing is, years after stopping buying Konus scopes, I still find myself grabbing an old one to spot 600 yard shots.


 

Best Spotting Scope for Long Range Shooting
Lynn Sherwood with Vortex Razor

What are the Best Spotting Scopes for Long Range Shooting?  There are a number of good options.  Please let us know what your experiences are as well.


Interested in a scope for your rifle?  Check out the Amazon Affiliate link below:

Shooting Instructor’s Favorite Red Dot Sights – Summary

We decided to share with you our Shooting Instructor’s Favorite Red Dot Sights, and have also provided some Amazon affiliate links. Please share your experiences with us as well, so that we can pass the knowledge on!

A couple words of warning about red dot sights;

  • Some optics manufactured use a Private Label service and order cheapo optics with their formerly proud name attached. Generally, these cheapo optics are not great, be especially suspicious of anything under $150.
  • Some companies do a great job getting into bed with politicians with influence in police and military circles. When hundreds of thousands of product users only deal with one brand, they can become biased.

 

Trijicon Acog $$$$

We don’t have one in our inventory, however they have an excellent reputation among many knowledgeable shooters. If you have the money to spend, we highly recommend them, based on trusted friend’s reports. There are many models, some with reticles designed specifically for particular calibers. https://amzn.to/32adZui 


Eotec $$$

A friend of our company president who is a former gun dealer, recently attended a class taught by a celebrity high-speed, low drag tactical operator, and mentioned that several of the students that had Eotec sights lost valuable time because their optics broke. This is of course anecdotal, however we trust our pal and have never risked it. Many people have differing anecdotal evidence. Amazon Link


Sig Romeo 5 $$

We love this one. For the money, or even another couple hundred bucks, you won’t do better. Check price on Amazon HERE.


Aimpoint ML3 $$$

About ten years ago, our Founder Shepard Humphries asked a friend who had “been there and done that” what optic setup he should buy for his new LWRC M6. The suggestion was an Aimpoint red dot with an Aimpoint 3x magnifier on a LaRue flip mount. This is not the ML3, but appears to be a small step up: https://amzn.to/2Zm7WkN

Cheapo $

If you have to go cheapo, don’t count on it working forever, but the best we have found is this one:

Shooting Instructor’s Favorite Red Dot Sights

Shooting Instructor's Favorite Red Dot Sights

Vertx COF Heavy Range Bag Review by Tony Molina

The Vertx “Course of Fire” range bag has accompanied me on every range trip this month.  It has withstood my destructive nature thus far, so I will vouch for the durable construction and materials. I thought I would share some observations in this: Vertx COF Heavy Range Bag Review.

I am a huge fan of the non-tactical look of this bag. Its appearance resembles a professional duffel and does not draw attention. On the outside, there are cable lockdowns should you want to secure it in a vehicle. I find they work great as a grab handle too! It also has normal duffle-style handles and an adjustable shoulder strap. On the bottom, it has four rubber feet to keep the leather water repellent and damage-free.

Vertx also included a pistol magazine pouch that accepts 6 magazines. This was a nice surprise when I opened the bag. It fits my Glock G20 10mm magazines nicely and keeps them organized. 

Vertx COF Heavy Range Bag Review

The top compartment opens via a U-shaped zipper. I LOVE this. I dislike digging around a bag to find things using my hands instead of my eyes. This design allows for quickly finding items. The top flap has two mesh zipper pockets, great for light and thin items. In the top compartment, there are two more mesh zippered pockets that fit a variety of items like batteries or pens. This main compartment has an “upper deck” which is a nice size and has a hard floor that is an out-of-the-way spot to store papers. On the side, there is a sleeve that is great for handguns, or in my setup, extra magazines. The wall is made of loop fabric, which can accept velcro. I have the included magazine pouch folded so that it stays in place and allows quick magazine storage and access.

The outer zipper accesses a side view of another well-designed compartment. There are two more zippered mesh pockets. Under the “upper deck” there are two drawers that are great ammo caddies. These are well sized for most ammo boxes and when removed, the bag keeps its shape thanks to the rigid plastic inserts. Each drawer has a mesh bottomed bag that can be cinched closed. Perfect for loose ammo or catching brass. 


Vertx COF Heavy Range Bag Review

Design 5 out of 5

Quality 4.5 out of 5

This would have gotten a 5 but the stitching for one of the velcro squares meant to secure the mesh bottom bag to the caddy came off. A local seamstress repaired it for me.

Aesthetics 5 out of 5

I’m fashion blind, but it doesn’t scream GUNS and I love that.

Value 5 out of 5

With a $209 MSRP and $130 on Amazon, it is an expensive item. That being said, I believe it is worth it. 

Practicality 5 out of 5

Keeps things organized and accessible.


Tony Molina is the Range Operations Manager and a Senior Lead Shooting Instructor with the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience. Learn more about Tony HERE.

Blog Post Title

What goes into a blog post? Helpful, industry-specific content that: 1) gives readers a useful takeaway, and 2) shows you’re an industry expert.

Use your company’s blog posts to opine on current industry topics, humanize your company, and show how your products and services can help people.