Meopta MeoStar 10-42 binoculars

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

MeoStar binoculars
MeoStar 10X42 HD binoculars.

This report covers:

  • Top quality optics
  • The binoculars
  • Zeiss binoculars
  • Lighter and smaller
  • Flouride objective lens
  • Focus is fast!
  • Case
  • Summary

Top-quality optics

Meopta MeoStar 10-42 binoculars are not a piece of equipment most of you will every buy, but I want to talk about them today. I have been looking at them for the past three years — ever since seeing them at the SHOT Show in 2016. You may recall I did buy the MeoPro 80 HD spotting scope after seeing it at that show, and I am still impressed by its sharpness and clarity. I can see .22 caliber bullet holes in a black bullseye at 200 yards with that scope — admittedly on a sunny day — but just try doing that sometime.

I wrote a feature article for Firearms News about that spotting scope, and in the process of researching I learned a lot about Meopta. They started making darkroom equipment in the 1930s, and made military optics during World War II. When the Iron Curtain went up in 1945, they were behind it. The communists had them continue to make optics for the military and they made the finest quality possible. When the wall fell down in 1989 and it was “anything for a buck” throughout the eastern block nations, Meopta suddenly found a market for their high-end optics that was then being served by Leica, Swarovski, Steiner, Zeiss and others. read more


Umarex Forge combo: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Forge
Umarex Forge.

This report covers:

  • Different
  • Ballbearing detent
  • Power
  • Stock
  • Size
  • Picatinny rail
  • Scope included
  • Open sights
  • Trigger
  • TNT
  • Synthetics
  • Where is it made?
  • Many good things

Today we begin looking at an air rifle I have been waiting to review since first seeing it at this year’s SHOT Show. Every SHOT Show has dramatic new products that all writers scramble to review. Then there are the quiet new products that don’t seem to attract as much attention. But some things I am always looking for fall into this quiet group, and the Forge from Umarex is one such gun.

Different

The Forge is a different breakbarrel. For starters, although it develops an advertised 1,250 f.p.s. with lead-free pellets, it’s relatively easy to cock! Of course I will measure the effort in Part 2, but I’m estimating something around the specified 30 lbs. For a gas piston, that is remarkable! Easy cocking is one thing I am always looking for. read more


Revisiting the BSA GRT Lightning XL SE

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This is a guest blog from reader Dennis. He may have a handle, but I don’t know what it is.

Today he presents an air rifle he really enjoys. If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me. Now over to you, Dennis.

Revisiting the BSA GRT Lightning XL SE

By Dennis

BSA GRT Lightning XL
BSA GRT Lightning XL SE.

This report covers:

  • Introduction
  • The rifle
  • The optics
  • The shooter
  • Issues and solutions
  • Results
  • Conclusion

Part Two

Introduction

The BSA Lightning was reviewed a few times a few years ago [However, not on this blog — as far as I can tell, Ed.]. The results were mixed. One had no idea whether or not the gun was a keeper. Well, she is for me, and I want to tell you why.
I love this gun! It is beautiful and accurate. It is light and ergonomically designed. Yep, I love her, but getting to this point was difficult. The courtship was long and tortuous. Let me take you instead by the straight and narrow path directly to the end which is quite good. read more


Air Arms Galahad: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Galahad
Air Arms Galahad PCP in walnut is a striking looking air rifle!

UTG 8-32 SWAT Mil Dot
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

This report covers:

  • JSB Exact Jumbo
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 5.53mm heads
  • Crosman Premiers
  • UTG 8-32 SWAT scope
  • Summary

This final report has taken two months to complete. I went to the range one time and shot the rifle at 50 yards, but the wind was blowing on that day and the groups were not good. I felt that was due entirely to the wind, so I needed to try it another day. It took me most of the time to get that second day — a combination of other business and a lot of windy Texas days!

Today I am reporting on the .22 caliber Galahad-rifle from Air Arms at 50 yards. Naturally I shot off a rest. The rifle was shot on power setting 4 (there are 5 settings) and I refilled after every second 10-shot group. Let’s get right to it. read more


Some frank talk about optics

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Dot sights — the good and the bad
  • The downside of dot sights
  • Dot sight summary
  • Compact scopes
  • Compact scope summary
  • High magnification
  • Summary of high magnification
  • Know the limitations of your equipment

Last week I asked for help determining how to test and evaluate a set of scope rings and a new scope. I got some good suggestions, but there was also a lot of discussion about optics that I would like to address today. I’m calling this report “Frank talk about optics” because this is what I would tell you if we were speaking privately. I’m not trying to sell you anything today. I just want you to consider some fundamentals when you select an optical sight.

Dot sights — the good and the bad

A dot sight shows an illuminated dot inside an optical tube that can be placed on a target of your choosing. Let’s start with the good stuff. I am preparing to demonstrate the Air Venturi Air Bolt system to the public at the 2016 Texas Airgun Show this coming Saturday, and I mounted a dot sight on the Sam Yang Dragon Claw 500cc rifle I’m using. I needed a sight that is quick to acquire the target and also very reliable, so I selected a red dot sight. read more


Optics test — please help

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • P.O.I. rings
  • What do you want to know?
  • Not cheap
  • New scope
  • That’s it

Today will be different. For once I am stymied how to test two new products in a meaningful way. Maybe I’m biting off too much to test them together, but they do seem to compliment each other, so this seems to be the thing to do. I’m hoping some of you can help me decide how to proceed.

P.O.I. rings

The first product is a set of the new UTG Precision Optics Interface (P.O.I) rings from Leapers. I saw these rings at the 2016 SHOT Show and told you about them in the Day Two report.

P.O.I. rings
P.O.I. rings are very stout, and come with a torx wrench for installation.

These rings are supposed to be more accurately aligned, and have tighter tolerances than other rings. They are made thicker, so the appearance is one of strength, but how do I test strength and precision? I want you to tell me what you think I should do. Remember that I am not a tsting laboratory. I have to test in the same way you would. read more


MeoPro 80 the MeoPro 80 HD Spotting Scope: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Meopta MeoPro HD 80
MeoPro 80 HD spotting scope from Meopta.

This report covers:

  • Sometimes you just have to pay the price
  • So what?
  • My tale of woe
  • Meopta
  • The scope
  • Not a fair test
  • My evaluation

Today’s report is about a piece of equipment that has been central to my entire shooting career, yet one that has troubled and eluded me the entire time — a spotting scope. In fact, I have written about this subject before, through few of you probably remember.

Years ago I told you how I paid more than retail (in a trade) to wrest a Burris spotting scope away from a friend, after seeing how clear and sharp it is. That scope might have been the pick of the litter (it probably was) — performing well beyond the Burris spec for their $250 scope, but what do I care? It’s clear and sharp and lets me see tiny .22-caliber bullet holes in a black bullseye at 100 yards on a sunny day. In short, it does the job — sort of. read more