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High-Tech Shooting Gadgets for the 21st CenturyWords by Drew Warden
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Technology is an ever-growing part of our lives, and its growth has led to a number of great innovations that make life easier. We see this every day with objects such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, but technology’s influence is certainly not limited to these devices.
Manufacturers in the firearms industry have been integrating new technologies into gear that is continuously more advanced, providing shooters and hunters with the best tools possible. New laser rangefinders are being built with increased long-range capabilities; bags and packs are being constructed to be more durable and to use space more economically; and accessories of all kinds are being redesigned to be more versatile, effective and user friendly.
No matter what a shooter’s discipline, there are cutting-edge products to assist them whether on the range or in the field. Provided below are several of these great, high-tech gadgets designed to make a shooter’s life easier.
Bushnell Elite 1 Mile CONX
A perfect example of how various technologies can be paired together to form a powerful solution, the Bushnell Elite 1 Mile CONX laser rangefinder interfaces with a smartphone or a CONX compatible Kestrel Windmeter via Bluetooth Wireless Connectivity to provide enhanced performance to the shooter. The Elite 1 Mile CONX will wirelessly transmit range and angle data to a Kestrel Windmeter.
The Kestrel Windmeter using an Applied Ballistics engine will provide precise elevation and wind hold data to the shooter. When paired with a smartphone, the app allows users to create a custom bullet curve for their exact rifle and bullet setup. That data is transmitted to the rangefinder and stored in the rangefinder in the field. The rangefinder can range targets up to 1,760 yards with 1 yard accuracy and provide holdover data in inches, MOA or mils for multiple firearm/ammunition profiles entered and saved in the unit. This makes the Elite 1 Mile CONX the perfect tool for the shooter, especially as distances stretch.
BLACKHAWK! Pro-Shooters Mat
The Pro-Shooters Mat from Blackhawk offers a comfortable, non-slip shooting surface 82 inches in length and 28 inches in width. It utilizes dense closed-cell foam surrounded by durable 1,000-denier Cordura. The foam allows for comfort even among rocky terrain, while the Cordura provides a protective barrier against wear and tear. The Pro-Shooters Mat also houses an innovative hydration-compatible pouch with a tube-routing system near the front of the mat to keep the shooter properly hydrated.
Bushnell PowerSync SolarBook 850
As smartphones and tablets become more commonplace, it only makes sense that some of these electronic devices may need to be charged out in the field. Offering a solution to this problem is Bushnell’s PowerSync SolarBook 850, a powerful solar charger built to keep smartphones and other electronic accessories charged while outdoors.
The SolarBook 850 contains six 6×7-inch amorphous solar panels that fold out from a hard plastic protective case. Attached to a strip of Cordura nylon, the panels are easy to operate and fold up when they are finished collecting energy. The device features an on-board dual long-life lithium ion battery and two USB outputs for charging multiple devices. On a full charge, the SolarBook 850 can completely recharge two cell phones, recharge a camera or GPS device battery five times, or bring a dead tablet back to half a charge.
BLACKHAWK! Quick Mod Mag Case
The Blackhawk Quick Mod Single Mag Case for pistol magazines affords competition shooters and law enforcement officers a fast, easy method of placing a spare magazine on a belt. The quick-mod magazine case is built to open easily and lock securely onto any belt. Each case is manufactured from temperature and crush-resistant injection-molded polymer and features a quick-detach belt attachment with a cant that offers 360 degrees of angle adjustment. The cant can be set so that it is fixed or movable, depending on the situation and the shooter’s preference, and the device incorporates a positive lock indicator for added security. The Quick Mod Single Mag Case accepts most standard pistol magazines.
Bushnell Equinox Z 4.5x40mm Monocular
Night vision has always had an undeniable cool factor among hunters and shooting enthusiasts, but most night vision optics are priced in the thousands of dollars, well beyond reach of the typical consumer. Luckily, the Bushnell Equinox Z 4.5x40mm night vision monocular offers similar features and is available for a more accessible price.
Built with a durable, water resistant housing, the Equinox Z monocular has the ability to zoom, capture images and capture video. Capable of operating in low-light or broad daylight, the Equinox Z features three levels of infrared (IR) light and has a viewing range of 750 feet. The unit is also tripod-adaptable and utilizes an integral tripod mount for prolonged viewing.
Uncle Mike’s Long Range Tactical Bag
In addition to providing safe transport and storage for rifles, the Long Range Tactical Bag from Uncle Mike’s also offers another unique feature: It converts into a comfortable and durable 78-inch shooting mat.
When not converted into a shooting mat, the bag has an overall length of 50 inches, making it suitable for transporting almost any long gun equipped with a scope and bipod. The 30-inch flip-out shooting mat includes a front load strap that allows shooters to load the bipod while shooting prone and establish a rock-solid rest.
The Long Range Tactical Bag is built with rugged 1000 Denier fabric for protection and contains four self-adjusting magazine pockets that hold magazines in calibers ranging from .223 Rem./5.56mm NATO to .308 Win./7.62mm NATO.
Bushnell G-Force DX
The rangefinder is a great piece of shooting gear that has really come into its own in the past few years, and the G-Force DX is an excellent example of that. The G-Force DX offers quick and precise laser range-finding capabilities while simultaneously illustrating the correct holdover position for the target in inches, MOA or mils. During the initial setup process, the shooter can select between one of eight different “ballistic groups” that match the rifle used. The G-Force DX is easy to use and provides patented VSI™ (Variable Sight-In) technology, allowing the user to pick their own zero when sighting in. The maximum range for the G-Force DX is 1300 yards and it features a waterproof and rugged design.
Bushnell T500R Rechargeable Flashlight
Lighting solutions represent another area where manufacturers have been innovating. The T500R flashlight from Bushnell’s Rubicon Lighting line offers 538 lumens of light with a number of useful features. The flashlight incorporates an advanced total internal reflection (T.I.R.) optic with collimated beam technology to provide a crisp, clear beam of light for increased visibility.
It also comes with a patented auto-dim feature that automatically adjusts brightness based on proximity. For close-range viewing, the beam automatically dims to a duller and less harsh light. The T500R has a runtime of 2 hours but also includes a micro USB cable for recharging the device. Its body is constructed using aircraft grade aluminum, and the light itself uses top-quality Cree LEDs.
Night Optics Ambia Gen 2+ B/W Night Vision Monocular
The Ambia Gen 2+ B/W Night Vision Monocular from Night Optics comes with an array of great features all packaged in a compact, weather resistant housing. The device provides black and white night vision using a built-in, variable power Infrared Illuminator and utilizes high quality multi-coated optics for increased clarity.
The night vision monocular can be mounted on a firearm and can also be paired with an iPhone or digital SLR camera. The Ambia Gen 2+ B/W is designed to use power modestly for a longer runtime and is available with a wide range of optional accessories such as weapon and helmet mounts, head mounts and magnification lenses.
BLACKHAWK! Diversion Rolling Load Out Bag
The Diversion Rolling Load Out Bag expands on Blackhawk’s popular Diversion line of discreet firearms bags, offering storage space for up to 200 pounds of gear. This includes a hidden, padded full-length firearm compartment with a muzzle pouch and retention straps. The Diversion Rolling Load Out Bag features S.T.R.I.K.E. webbing and loop panels for customizing storage options and attaching accessories. As with previous Diversion bags, it comes in common color schemes and sports a subtle design.