I have just returned from the SCI convention in Las Vegas. I met with some old clients and many old friends as well and met a few new clients. The dramatic change in temperatures from Cache Valley to Las Vegas was worth the trip alone. Campbell Smith brought his usual South African humor that kept everyone within ear shot rolling in laughter for hours. We did acquire a bottle of Blue Sapphire, some tonic and I seem to recall some limes that got flown in from Colorado.
Tia Shoemaker picked up her 416 and then spent the rest of the convention trying to explain to everyone why it had head lights. With a 12.5" Length of pull and 8 pounds and an ounce or two fully loaded with 5 rounds you don't have to eject an empty to know its gone off. Together the pair should make a formidable force to deal with in a punch up as the lady is now packing some serious heat.
During the week I spent some time looking over what the optics companies have in store for us in 2017. There is noticeable trend a foot and I must admit I'm a bit puzzled by it. The number of Precision Rifle shooters in this country seems to be increasing every year. I think this is partially due to the lack of anyone being able to draw any tags in the west anymore and I'm told this shooting discipline is a lot of fun. The sport requires practiced skill and dedication and this has spawned a need for ever evolving kit with optics being front and center.
It would appear that we, the shooting public, have requested our rifles scopes to be Biggie Sized once again to allow for that currently fashionable 1138 yard shot onto the next ridge line, or over the county line or perhaps into the next time zone. To do so we now apparently "need" larger scope tube diameters to better fill this need. The new darlings of the game come with 34mm tubes but hang on folks a 36mm line is now plowing ground into the market as I type. Allowing enough reticle movement in the come up turret to almost insure a hit on a target at the edge of your horizon. Be still my beating heart.
You begged for bigger and the Industry has listened. All this is well and good for the practiced Long Range Shooter/Hunter but the trend I now see is the morphing over of these specialized optical marvels into a line of scopes now marketed as a "standard" hunting rifle scope. No, I'm not kidding, I wish I were.
In one booth I was being shown such a scope and the Rep was doing his absolute level best with a straight face I might add to convince me his companies newest model, engineered around a 34mm tube was without any question the finest general purpose hunting scope on the market and would insure me precise shot placement from off the muzzle to beyond a 1000 yards.
I swirled the ice in my $18 G&T and asked him if he'd ever seen me shoot ?
Confused by my question he pulled up short for a reply. I'm sure when he saw my eyes begin to glaze over that he decided to help out a more likely prospect that had just entered the booth.
Look carefully at the 2 pictures below, seems far fetched doesn't it ? A 77mm, many pound Hubble sitting atop my daughters hunting rifle conjures up an image of a Buck Rogers taking on Martians that have over stepped their boundary.
No way you say, it will never happen!!
As the M-16 has evolved into what is now termed by many as the "Modern Hunting Rifle" so may a rifle scope such as in my mock up become a standard on many deer rifles in the future. Can you imagine the balance and dynamics of this sweet combo ? Gives me goose bumps just thinking about it.
I fully understand the internal space required to add an additional 1/2 mile come up to your turret column but are we beginning to not only loose sight of the forest through the trees or have we lost sight of the whole damn forest ?
Time will tell, anyone want to take some odds ?
No 77mm Leica's were harmed during the filming of this picture