Sightmark Congratulates Lithuanian IPSC PCC Champion, Marius Kazanskis

Sightmark-sponsored shooter Marius Kazanskis, Lithuanian IPSC PCC Champion
Marius Kazanskis, Lithuanian IPSC PCC Champion

(MANSFIELD, TEXAS 2019/07/16) – Sightmark would like to congratulate sponsored shooter Marius Kazanskis on becoming the IPSC Lithuanian Champion for the PCC division in 2019 while using Sightmark optics! After tirelessly competing in matches across Europe over the course of this season, Kazanskis captured another first-place victory at the level III Lithuania Open last week, securing his #1 spot for PCC.

Kazanskis has been utilizing a range of Sightmark optics on his competition firearms to keep him on target, including the Citadel 1-6×24 riflescope, Ultra Shot M-Spec reflex sight and 45-degree mounted Mini Shot reflex sight.

“I am very happy with my Citadel 1-6×24 scope,” stated Kazanskis. “It works perfectly, with no issues. It does the job for me 110 percent.”

Marius Kazanskis' Grand Power  Stribog with Sightmark optics
Marius Kazanskis’ Grand Power Stribog

The Citadel 1-6×24 proves to be an excellent competition scope due to its low variable power and reticle illumination for low-light shooting scenarios. You can follow Marius Kazanskis on his IPSC and IDPA shooting adventures by following him on Instagram @mariusipsc.

 

How to Prepare for Deer Season 2019

Is it too early to start preparing for deer season?

Who are we kidding? We were ready for next season as soon as last season closed! Even though it may feel like summer will never end, right now is the perfect opportunity to plan and prep to increase your odds at bagging that buck come fall.

It’s All About That Seed

Food plots for deer supplement a deer’s natural diet and provides nutrition the deer need.
Food plots for deer supplement a deer’s natural diet and provides nutrition the deer need.

Have you planted a food plot yet? A food plot is a way to supplement the deer’s natural diet. It will attract deer in the area and give you a scouting location to place your stand or blind and trail camera. Deer like to munch on high-protein crops like peas, soybeans, kale and corn, as well as red clover, chicory and orchard grass.

Monitor and Maintaining Your Food Plots

The offseason is the opportune time to prepare your land for deer hunting by plowing, planting and mowing. If you already have a growing food plot, a trick to making it even better hunting ground is to create cover around it, so the deer feel safe to feed there, as well as help hide you while going to and from your deer stand. Plant a food plot screen with tall grasses or crops that deer don’t particularly find that tasty. Sorghum and Egyptian Wheat grasses are popular choices.

Check Out the Latest Gear

The Sightmark Wraith offers full-color digital image clarity during the day.
The Sightmark Wraith takes 1080 HD photo and video.

While you are hard at work on your tan, we’re hard at work cranking out the latest and greatest accessories to make your hunt more efficient. The newest product Sightmark has is the innovative, high-definition Wraith digital riflescope. Useable both day and night, it is the one optic you need for your summertime predator pursuits, as well as fall and winter hunting seasons!

Quality Range Time

Time to dust off the ole rifle. Take this time to get reacquainted. You can sight-in your new scopes, try out the latest ammo and just become a better shot in general with regular trips to the range for practice and training.

Somebody’s Watching Me

Put your game cameras around your hunting area so you can start watching where deer are going, where they feed and bed, and gain insight on the herd’s health. You have plenty of time to move your trail cams around to find the best hunting spots. Consider placing your cameras so you can check memory cards without disturbing your hot spots. Game cameras that stream to your mobile are great options.

Gear Check

Man shooting a WMD Guns Big Beast rifle long-distance with a Sightmark Pinnacle riflescope and tactical Cantilever mount
You will want to sight-in your scope before heading out into the field.

Old camo with holes in it, sleeping bags with broken zippers, decrepit stands…Since you have a few months to repair or replace, now is the perfect time to make sure everything you use during the hunt is in good working order.

Blowin’ In The Wind

Once you’ve found your hot spot and established where your stand will be, it’s time to do some maintenance and planning. Map out a few ways to get to your stand. You wouldn’t want to ruin your chances just because the wind is blowing in the wrong direction on opening day. Having multiple routes to your stand depending on wind direction won’t blow your cover. Trimming back limbs and trees and cutting down weeds and grasses might be necessary. In addition, you may set up a backup hunting spot that accommodates for a change in wind direction.

Locate Prime Bedding Spots…

or make your own. You can create a natural bedding spot for deer near your food plots and stand by clearing out a spot surrounded by woods.

Line Up Them Ducks

Double check your licenses, stamps, tags, etc. Your state takes hunting without the proper paperwork very seriously. Make sure you have everything you need to be legal opening weekend.

Psych Yourself Up

Picture of three deer.
Set up your game cameras to know where the deer are going.

Yes, mentally you’re preparing, planning and excited, but take a few minutes to calm down and take a reflective, big-picture look of why you hunt. Remember those who came before you, who taught you and think about who you’ll teach next. At the end of the day, hunting isn’t about bagging the biggest buck or having the most expensive, the latest gadget, it is about tradition, conservation, honor and nourishment.

To read more about this, click here.

How do you prepare for fall hunting? Tell us in the comment section.

Introducing the New Citadel 3-18×50 MR2

(MANSFIELD, TEXAS 2019/07/11) – Sightmark listened to its customers adding the new Citadel 3-18×50 MR2 riflescope to the Citadel family. The Citadel 3-18×50 MR2 is designed to provide premium performance without denting your wallet. The Citadel 3-18×50 features a first-focal-plane lens system with a versatile illuminated MR2 reticle for mid- to long-range hunting.

The added medium-range MR2 reticle is uncomplicated and easy to use, featuring a red illuminated four-solid post with thin crosshairs and center crosshairs reticle. The reticle’s crosshairs are separated by 1, 0.5 and 0.2 MRAD intervals with 11 brightness settings. The MR2 reticle is simple at low magnification, while still offering the ability to adjust your aim at higher magnifications.

If you are a dealer and would like to speak to someone about pre-orders or becoming a new authorized Sightmark dealer please contact sales@sightmark.com or if you are a media member and would like to test and evaluate please contact mediarelations@sightmark.com.

 

Are Red Dot Sights Accurate?

What is a red dot sight?

Sightmark M-Spec reflex red dot sight
A red dot sight uses a reflective glass lens to gather light from an LED which projects an illuminated reticle.

A red dot sight uses a reflective glass lens to gather light from an LED which projects an illuminated reticle—typically a dot or a circle with center dot—superimposed on the field of view. The greatest benefit of using a red dot sight is increased speed of acquiring a target without loss of accuracy.

A red dot sight makes a highly visible aiming point for the user. Unlike traditional magnified scopes, you can aim with a red dot sight with both eyes open and it has unlimited eye relief. Iron sights require users to align both the front and back sights to aim at a target, while red dot sights are designed to get the shooter on target very quickly.

To answer the question, “are red dot sights accurate?” and get the most out of your red dot sight, you must use the sight correctly.

Bindon Aiming Concept

As noted above, red dot sights are designed specifically to be used with both eyes open. This is called the Bindon Aiming Concept. When we keep both eyes open, we get the benefit of focusing both on the target and the reticle. Your dominant eye sees the reticle and the target, while your non-dominant eye sees only the target, resulting in what is called a stereopsis image. The image from the dominant eye is overlaid with the image from the non-dominant eye. This process happens subconsciously and nearly instantaneously. This not only naturally leads to faster target acquisition and the probability of an accurate shot; stereopsis also allows a fail-safe method of target acquisition in case your red dot’s line of sight is blocked.

Shooting with both eyes open, called the Bindon Aiming Concept provides faster target acquisition and well as increased situational awareness.
Stereopsis also allows a fail-safe method of target acquisition if your line of sight is blocked.

Red dot sights have 1x or a true zero magnification. Instead of concentrating on getting the reticle centered on your target, the illuminated reticle of a red dot sight happens as fast you can raise your firearm and see the dot. Remaining focused on the target, as soon as the dot is at your aiming point, you can fire an accurate shot.

Using the Bindon Aiming Concept also allows shooters to remain situationally aware with a wide field of view. This is particularly useful in self-defense, law enforcement and military situations, as you can still see your surroundings and identify further threats.

Parallax

To a certain degree, red dot sights are nearly parallax-free. Parallax is what you experience when using magnified riflescopes. When you move your head, the reticle seems to move around the target. This is caused by the reticle not focusing at the same distance as the target. With a red dot sight, your head position will not affect the red dot sight’s accuracy.

No optical sight, though, is 100% parallax free as parallax will occur at some point at closer ranges. This can be clearly seen when a red dot is mounted in an absolute co-witness setup. In this setup, the reticle will “swim” all around the front iron sight. The typical red dot sight will be parallax-free from 25 to 50 yards to infinity.

MOA Dot Sizes

Another important factor affecting the accuracy of the red dot sight is the size of the dot.

Smaller dots—1 to 2.5 MOA—are used for precise shots at longer distances. 5, 6, 6.5 and larger MOA dots will get you on target faster but will be less precise because the dot will cover a broader area on the target.
Smaller dots—1 to 2.5 MOA—are used for precise shots at longer distances. 5, 6, 6.5 and larger MOA dots will get you on target faster.

The illuminated reticle, whether it be a single red or green dot or a circle with subtensions and center dot, is measured in minutes of angle (MOA.) The minute of angle is a unit for angular measurement of a circle. 1 MOA is equal to 1.047 inches at 100 yards, rounded down to 1 inch. For example, a 1 MOA dot will appear to be 1 inch big on at target 100 yards out. A small MOA dot will be harder to see, especially at longer distances. A large MOA dot, especially at the highest brightness level, will be very easy to see but may cover too much of your target to precisely hit where you’ve aimed.

3 to 5 MOA dots—with 3 being the most popular—lay between the middle of small and bigger dot sizes. Since most red dot sights have adjustable brightness, the 3 to 5 MOA dot is the most accurate in most shooting situations from home defense in tight quarters to medium range steel target shooting or hog hunting.

Picking out the right reticle size will help or hinder your accuracy with a red dot.

For more about how to chose which dot size, click here.

Though magnified riflescopes and iron sights with extensive training and practice are extremely accurate, the red dot sight’s design is inherently more so with the addition of speed. The illuminated dot stays parallel with the sight’s optical axis, so the point of aim is always in line with the point of impact, as well as the red dot always remaining in focus no matter how far away the target.

The only area in which the red dot’s accuracy does not excel is longer distances. CQB and medium-range target shooting, competition, self-defense, and predator and varmint hunting, some even use a red dot sight while turkey hunting, are all where the red dot sight is most useful.

For more on red dot sights, read the following helpful articles.

Open or Tube Reflex Sights—Which Type of Red Dot Sight Should I Buy?

How to Shoot with a Red Dot Sight

Sightmark Mini Shot M-SPEC FMS Reflex Sight Review

What do you like about using a red dot sight? Leave your thoughts in the comment section.

The AR-15 for Home Protection

According to Fee.org, with data compiled from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the FBI, “it would take almost one-hundred years of mass shootings with AR-15s to produce the same number of homicide victims that knives and sharp objects produce in one year.”

On June 14, 2019, Time Magazine published an op-ed piece written by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chris Murphy (D.-Conn.) encouraging Congress to “act” on “gun violence,” stating, “Guns like the AR-15 aren’t used for hunting and they’re not viable for home protection. They have only one purpose, and that’s to fire as many rounds as possible, as quickly as possible. Outlawing these weapons, an action supported by 60 percent of Americans, will bring down the number of mass shootings and reduce the number of casualties, just as it did when the ban first passed in 1994.”

Both Senators, along with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced a bill to ban MSRs on January 9, 2019.

Senator Dianne Feinstein wrote the original Assault Weapons Ban and introduced other ones often. Her reasoning for her AWB 2019? Because she says AR-15s are "viable" for hunting or self-defense.
Senator Dianne Feinstein who wrote the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, has said in the past that she would “banned them all” when talking about firearms.

Sen. Feinstein has never been secretive about her wish to ban what she calls “assault weapons.” In fact, she has introduced an assault weapons ban (AWB) legislation numerous times. In 2013, her reasoning was because, “Military-style assault weapons have but one purpose, and in my view that’s a military purpose, to hold at the hip, possibly, to spray fire to be able to kill large numbers.” When she introduced the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017, she said, “This bill won’t stop every mass shooting, but it will begin removing these weapons of war from our streets. The first Assault Weapons Ban was just starting to show an effect when the NRA stymied its reauthorization in 2004. Yes, it will be a long process to reduce the massive supply of these assault weapons in our country, but we’ve got to start somewhere.”

When introducing the newest AWB, Sen. Feinstein said, “If we’re going to put a stop to mass shootings and protect our children, we need to get these weapons of war off our streets.” Sen. Murphy said, “Military-style assault rifles are the weapons of choice for mass murderers. There’s just no reason why these guns, which were designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible, are sold to the public” and Sen. Blumenthal said, “Assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are deadly and dangerous weapons of war that belong on battlefields—not our streets. They have no purpose for self-defense or hunting…”

“…the weapons of choice for mass murders…”

“…no purpose for self-defense or hunting…”

“…weapons of war…”

This language is particularly harmful to the population of Americans that sit on the fence about gun control—those who support the Second Amendment but also strongly believe in restricting it. These Americans aren’t hunters, shooters or gun owners, yet aren’t necessarily anti-gun either. Unfortunately, when a politician says something with authority, those uneducated about the topic tend to believe what they are being told sold. Without citing sources, Feinstein and Murphy claim over half of the citizens in the United States support a ban on AR-15s, hunters don’t use the AR-15 and they aren’t “viable” for home defense. Despite what anti-gun politicians and media tell the public, there is irrefutable evidence that the AR-15 is not the weapon of choice of most mass shooters and that banning it will virtually have no impact on the number of Americans who die from gunshots.

In fact, research shows that the AR-15 is one of the most widely owned firearms, used not only for target shooting and recreation but for hunting and self-defense, as well.

America’s Rifle

The NSSF estimates that there are 16 million MSRs owned in the United States.
The NSSF estimates that there are 16 million MSRs owned in the U.S.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates about 16 million MSRs are owned in our country. It is overwhelmingly the most popular centerfire rifle in the U.S. Its traditional 5.56mm chambering has been our military’s primary caliber since the early 1960s because its lighter weight means soldiers can carry more rounds, it has relatively low recoil, it flies fast with a flat trajectory and is just effective as stopping the bad guy as 7.62.

Merriam -Webster defines “viable” as “capable of working, functioning, or developing adequately.” If the 5.56 isn’t capable of working or functioning, then how has it been our military’s primary caliber for over 50 years?

Why is the AR-15 Good for Home Defense?

Let’s Talk Ballistics

When discussing the “right” gun to defend the home, the two biggest concerns have always been what is commonly referred to as “stopping power” and over penetration. Over penetration is a serious safety issue and the ammo you choose for your home defense gun needs to be designed specifically for this purpose—penetrate deep enough to stop an attack yet won’t travel any further through than its intended target. This is why many believe the shotgun is the best home defense gun…but all rounds have the potential to over penetrate. Fortunately, ammo technology is so far advanced now that we have a wide variety of self-defense bullets to choose from in many different calibers. Many .223 bullets will fragment when they meet soft targets, while still transferring energy into the target—this is exactly what you want in a home-defense round. (Guns and Ammo)

The AR-15 is commonly issued to many SWAT teams that must engage in close quarters. Expanding .223 bullets have proven safe and highly effective in the field.

it’s Physics, Man

Though to be a great marksman/woman, you must practice no matter the type of firearm, many shooters find certain guns to be easier to operate than others. This is especially true when comparing semiautomatic pistols with semiautomatic rifles. The AR-15’s overall heavier weight helps users recover from recoil quicker. Further, the longer barrel makes aiming easier because of the longer sight radius. (The sight radius is the distance between the front and rear sights.) These two fundamentals of shooting often cause people to be inaccurate.

Expert firearms writer Tom McHale explains the AR’s sight radius superiority: “On a pistol with just a 2-inch sight radius, if the front and rear sights are out of alignment by just 1 millimeter, you can miss a target 25 yards down range by up to 17.7 inches. Using a rifle with a 16-inch sight radius, that same miss will be limited to just 2.2 inches.”

There are Many Like It, But This One is Mine

Slings, suppressors, reflex sights...there are plenty of accessories available for your AR-15. The build in this image is good for tactical work.
Slings, suppressors, reflex sights…there are plenty of accessories available for your AR-15.

One of the main reasons why the AR-15 is so popular is due to its versatility and adaptability. There are seemingly endless ways to customize it. Longer barrels, shorter barrels, caliber variations, furniture and optics—every AR owner will find the exact right set-up for them. By building and customizing an AR with accessories and different optics, many beginners, women, youth and those with disabilities find the AR-15 to be the best firearm for them. A confident and empowered shooter will shoot more accurately and determinately.

Smooth Operator

The semiautomatic AR-15 is based on the select-fire AR-10 designed by Eugene Stoner. It is traditionally a gas-operated (there are now piston-operated ARs) firearm which uses the gases expelled from gunpowder when the gun is fired to cycle the rifle.

Operating the AR is simple, you insert a loaded mag into the magwell and make sure it is securely seated. If the bolt is open, push the bolt catch to chamber a round. If the bolt is closed, pull back on and release the charging handle to chamber a round. Switch the safety from safe to fire and boom—you’re ready to rock and roll. All these controls are ergonomically placed and easily manipulated for all hand sizes. This is a huge part of the AR’s appeal.

Research shows that the AR-15 is one of the most widely owned firearms, used not only for target shooting and recreation, but for hunting and self-defense, as well.
Research shows that the AR-15 is one of the most widely owned firearms, used not only for target shooting and recreation but for hunting and self-defense, as well.

Malfunctions are just as easy to clear, and maintenance is minimal with regular cleaning and application of gun lube. If an 11-year old girl can field strip her AR in 53 seconds, then you will be able to disassemble and assemble your AR in no time as well.

Don’t let Sen. Feinstein’s misguided information dissuade you. The AR-15 is one of the most…if not, the most…versatile firearms on the market.

Oh, and as far as her other claims? Here are a few facts you can share whenever someone tries to argue that the AR should be banned:

  • You are four times more likely to be murdered with a knife or other sharp object than a rifle
  • An AR-15 is involved in only 2 to 8% of all gun crimes
  • Only 3.4% of gunshot deaths are from a rifle
  • Mass shooting rose during AWB
  • Production of AR-15s and AR-15-style rifles increased 120% during AWB
  • Gun murders of any kind increased 20% during AWB

In a National Shooting Sports Foundation survey conducted in 2010, the number two reason people chose to purchase an AR-15 was for home protection. With an estimated 8 to 10 million ARs owned in America, there is no doubt that is it a “common use” firearm.

What do you think about the AR-15 for home defense? Tell us if you think it is a “viable” gun for home protection and why or why not in the comment section.

Father’s Day 2019—Gifts for Gun Guys

Sightmark has Father’s Day gifts for shooters. What would dad want more? Probably a new gun…but if you can’t get him that, get him the next best thing—a really cool optic or firearm accessory! Reserve a lane at your local shooting range and take dad out to do what he loves—shoot guns and spend time with you!

Wraith HD 4-32×50 Digital Riflescope

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Digital is the scope of the future. These digital night vision riflescopes utilize a 1920×1080 HD sensor which displays in full-color HD clarity during the day. In night mode, you can choose between traditional night vision green or high-contrast black and white. For better nighttime detection and target acquisition and identification, up to 200 yards, use the removable 850nm IR illuminator. There are 10 reticle choices in 9 different colors for providing the best contrast in various settings and lighting situations. A built-in camera records high-resolution pictures and video. Useable during the day and night, the Wraith is right at home for target shooting, as well as hog and predator hunting at night. Common AA batteries (4) give the Wraith power for up to 4.5 hours. An external Micro USB power input is there for backup.

Check it out here.

Click here to learn more about digital scope technology.

Citadel 5-30×56 LR2

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Have you heard? Long-range is the new CQB. If you’ve been into the shooting sports for a while, you’ve probably exhausted all the tactical training and self-defense drills you have access to. Long-range precision shooting is quickly becoming a hobby of sportsmen. It provides a new challenge, increases your marksmanship skills, plus offers plenty of opportunity to brag. The Citadel rivals any of the much more expensive long-range scopes in features. It has a 5-30x magnification range and 56mm objective lens. A first focal plane, red-illuminated LR2 reticle lets shooters use holdovers across a 6x optical system. Exposed pop-up locking turrets make for swift and smooth magnification changes. Various brightness settings help with contrast in all lighting conditions, including low light for dawn and dusk hunting. The Citadel series of riflescopes are constructed of a single-piece 30mm aircraft-grade aluminum tube with a hard-anodized finish. It includes flip-up lens caps, sunshade and CR2032 battery.

Check out the Citadel here.

Before heading out with the Citadel, save your dad time and money and by having him a laser boresight his rifle at home with an Accudot boresight. Click here to find his caliber.

XT-3 Magnifier with LQD Flip to Side Mount

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If pops already has the reflex or red dot sight of his dreams, make it even dreamier with the 3x flip-to-side magnifier. Magnifiers increase the magnification of your 0-1x red dot to 3x. Using the locking quick-detach mount, mount the magnifier behind your red dot sight for an absolute co-witness. It will extend your reflex sight’s capabilities to help make accurate shots out to 100 yards. Transition quickly back to close quarters with the flip-to-side integral mount. It is windage and elevation adjustable and EOTech- and Aimpoint-compatible. Included is a Picatinny mount and it is shockproof up to .308 Winchester.

Click here to learn more about the XT-3 Magnifier.

Ultra Shot M-Spec LQD Flat Dark Earth

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This military- and law enforcement-inspired optic is designed especially for AR-15, AR-10s and other MSRs with a full-strength magnesium body, patented retractable sunshade and parallax-free lens system. The Ultra Shot M-SPEC has an illuminated 65 MOA circle dot crosshair with 2 MOA center dot reticle for fast target acquisition in up close and personal distances. One CR123A battery lasts up to 2,000 hours due to the Ultra Shot’s motion-sensing auto on and off activation. The low-profile quick-detach locking lever won’t snag or unlatch but aids in quick optic changes when necessary. From extreme low-light to bright day, the Ultra Shot M-Spec provides enough contrast to pick your reticle up quickly with the 10 different brightness adjustment settings. It is recoil rated up to .50 BM and includes the locking quick-detach Picatinny mount, adjustment tools, battery, neoprene cover and a lifetime warranty. This model comes in FDE and black.

Click here to check it out.

LoPro Light and Laser Combo

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Named for its low profile, the LoPro green laser sight and light combo is perfect for your self-defense .223 AR-15, pistol-caliber AR, or SBR (short barreled rifle.) A green laser is visible up to 600 yards at night, 50 during the day and the bright 300 lumen LED light identifies and can even blind targets. A light and laser combo is the perfect AR-15 accessory for home protection, especially in the dead of the night. It has digital push-button and pressure-pad operation. The light has three modes—max, medium and low. It has an integrated 810nm IR visible illuminator for night-vision compatibility. The LoPro works in tandem with the Mini Shot mini reflex sight. It features hand-adjustable windage and elevation adjustments, a 23-hour battery life and is recoil rated up to .308.

Click here to get the LoPro.

Solitude 10×42 XD Binoculars

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Field-tested by the North American Hunting Club, the Solitude 10×42 extra-low dispersion binoculars are optimized to provide the clearest image possible. A straight tube light system delivers the highest light transmission and brightness. The Solitude features superior BAk-4 prism system, rubber armor and twist-up adjustable eye cups.

Get the Solitude binoculars here.

Find where your local Sightmark dealer here.

How will you spend Father’s Day? Tell us in the comment section.

Sightmark Pinnacle Long-Range Scope Review

In all the product review articles that you’ve read, I am willing to bet that you have never finished reading the article and walked away with the ability to provide the Merriam-Webster definition of a word before. To me, that is a problem and just like Sightmark, I am going to provide a solution to that problem.

The Sightmark Pinnacle 3-9x44mm scope with Tactical Mil-Dot Reticle
The Sightmark Pinnacle 3-9x44mm scope with Tactical Mil-Dot Reticle

My solution is this:

pinnacle (noun)

pin·na·cle | \ ˈpi-ni-kəl \

Definition of pinnacle

1: an upright architectural member generally ending in a small spire and used especially in Gothic construction to give weight especially to a buttress

2: a structure or formation suggesting a pinnacle specifically: a lofty peak

3: the highest point of development or achievement: ACME

Now that you have read that, go back up just one line and see the selected part that is in bold and italics.

The Pinnacle has a red or green illuminated reticle
The Pinnacle has a red or green illuminated reticle

That is the focus of this article summed up into just seven words: “the highest point of development or achievement.” And that is exactly what Sightmark brought with the release of their Pinnacle line of magnified riflescopes.

The Pinnacle line of riflescopes was launched by Sightmark in 2016 with various models being introduced since that time. The focus of this article is the Pinnacle 3-18x44TMD. This particular model was designed to fill the gap between the 1-6x (tactical/sport) and 5-30x (long–range) models, with the 3-18x being a versatile scope that can be used for close- to long-range shooting. And for those curious what the TMD stands for, it simply refers to the specially designed reticle, known as the Tactical Mil-Dot.

The key features of the 3-18x44TMD (SM13030TMD) are as follows:

  • Japanese glass with fully multi-coated lenses (Enhanced image brightness, clarity and resolution)
  • Zero stop elevation dial (A true “no look” return to zero without passing below your set zero)
  • First focal plane reticle (Shoot holdovers at any power quickly)
  • 34mm tube (Adds elevation adjustment for long-range shooting)
  • Capped/exposed turret option (Shooter’s choice)
  • Etched and Illuminated reticle (With five brightness settings in each color)

Click here to read the full specifications.

I have to admit, my first impressions upon unboxing the Pinnacle were pure joy but then I remembered I only had 45 days with the Pinnacle before having to box it up and send it back home to Texas, leaving me with sadness. Removing the Pinnacle from its packaging, immediately you could tell that this wasn’t just any scope off the shelf. The 34mm aluminum tube is finished in a matte black coating, and when assembled, is nitrogen-filled and built to be shockproof, fogproof, and built to an IP67 (3 feet/1 hour) waterproof rating.

The Sightmark Pinnacle is a precision, long-range riflescope.
The Sightmark Pinnacle is a precision, long-range riflescope.

The scope is 14.6 inches in length and weighs in at 33.5 ounces. Seeing the scope online Is one thing, but when you are handling the scope in person, you realize instantly that this optic was designed for serious work. Right then I decided to enjoy my time with the scope and put it to work.

The scope was mounted via Sightmark 34mm Medium height Weaver/Picatinny rings (SM34013) on my Savage 110 LA .308.  Seeing the Pinnacle mounted up was impressive, as I am used to seeing a 3-9x riflescope mounted up which was dwarfed by comparison.

Mounting the scope was made easy with the rings from Sightmark and a Wheeler Engineering FAT Wrench. If you’re going to invest in a quality optic like the Pinnacle, a torque wrench is a required tool. The days of simply tightening here and there until it “feels” tight are over unless your nerves are properly calibrated in in/lbs. A precision riflescope on a precision rifle requires precise torque settings in order to evenly mount the scope and avoid crushing the tube (which has happened.)

Several days later, I was able to get out to the range. A quick boresight got me in the ballpark and from there, after several rounds, the scope was zeroed at 100. The turrets on this scope are huge and each click feels like a quality ratchet clicking with each turn. There is no doubt in counting “clicks” as you make your adjustments as they are tactile and just audible enough. The provided turret caps are shipped with the scope but really are up to the user to decide if they want to run them. You aren’t going to accidentally knock your scope out of adjustment with the turret design and construction. They aren’t going anywhere unless you want them to. The ammunition used in my rifle is the Federal Gold Medal Sierra MatchKing 168-grain BTHP which are rated to move along at 2650 FPS with a ballistic coefficient of 0.462. Predictable and repeatable are two words you need to be able to use to describe your target ammo, especially when doing testing. This ammo fits the bill.

After zeroing, I cranked back the magnification down to a little over 4x and sent a round downrange. It hit in the center of the head portion of the standard police silhouette target without much effort, which is a chip shot with magnification at 100 yards. Then, since my job was to literally play with this scope, I cranked it up to 18 power at the same distance. For me, 18 power at 100 yards was overkill, unless you’re scoring a target and want to see the faint lines on the target while lying prone without the effort of getting up. The target was crisp and clear without a doubt, but with that magnification power at 100 yards your own heartbeat becomes an issue. So, I decided to stretch the legs of a Pinnacle just a bit. As the range I use is limited to roughly 250 yards, I decided to test out the holdovers built into the reticle. They made ringing 1/3 sized IPSC.

The battery life is rated at 50-1000 hours with the red illumination and 30-800 hours with the green.
The battery life is rated at 50-1000 hours with the red illumination and 30-800 hours with the green.

That does bring one thing up: Many people forget that, sure, your target is magnified 18 times, but so is any movement that you are introducing to that rifle and scope. Long range shooting, which this scope gets you into the realm of, is truly an art form, a craft which doesn’t come easily without work. Even having been through a basic 40-hour law enforcement sniper/observer school, I do not consider myself a long-range shooter as that wasn’t a main focus of the school. We focused on extreme accuracy at shorter distances, under less than desirable shooting conditions and positions. The longest shot I took in that school was 250 yards. What that school did teach me was that the guys that can “lay bullet on top of bullet” at long distances are truly masters of their craft, whether they are civilian, military or law enforcement. Shooters of that caliber, and shooters who seek to attain that level of ability, seek out equipment that will help them continue to improve and the Pinnacle line does exactly that.

The clarity of the objective lenses, combined with the illumination provided by the etched and illuminated reticle, made low-light shooting less tedious. The illuminated reticle offers both red and green illumination, with the green illumination taking a tad bit more of a toll on the CR2032 battery. The battery life is rated at 50-1000 hours with the red illumination and 30-800 hours with the green illumination, dependent upon the brightness level you select. The illumination knob is housed on the left side of the scope, opposite of the turret. As with the windage and elevation turrets, brightness settings are crisp when moving between brightness levels.

There are other optics in the class of the Pinnacle, of course, but none of them provide the performance AND value of the Pinnacle. Leupold offers the Mark 6 3-18×44 for $2199 and Vortex offers the Razor HDII 3-18x also $2199 as of the time of this writing. They both offer similar capabilities but at a much higher price point.

In a market filled by optics costing over $2000, the Pinnacle from Sightmark is a lifesaver. It offers the clarity and magnification needed to make those long shots but comes in at $1299, approximately 40% less for virtually the same performance. In addition, it is backed by Sightmark’s Lifetime Warranty, which gives you the peace of mind to go out and use your riflescope without worry.

Hopefully, after reading all of this you walk away with two things:

  1. The meaning of the word Pinnacle, and
  2. 40% more cash in your pocket from purchasing the Pinnacle instead of a competitor’s product

Click here to check out the new Pinnacle.

 

Jamie Trahan is a career law enforcement officer with over 17 years of experience and works for a Sheriff’s Office in southern Louisiana. His full-time assignment is as a Detective in the Crime Scene Investigations Unit where he holds the rank of Lieutenant. He is also the entry team leader for the SWAT team, a member of the department’s Honor Guard and an LA POST Firearms Instructor. He is a member of the National Tactical Police Officer’s Association and the Louisiana Tactical Police Officer’s Association. First and foremost, he is a husband to his wife, Tara, and a father to his two sons, Luke and Liam. He is a staunch supporter of Second Amendment rights for all law-abiding citizens of this great country. He plans to pass the love of shooting on to his sons in the hopes that after he is gone and they are spending time with their own children, that they will reflect back upon the memories of what Jamie taught them as they are teaching their own, just like Jamie’s father taught him.

Wraith Scope Reticles Explained

 A reticle is a pattern of lines, marks or dots (or a combination of the three) in an optic’s field of view purposed as a shooter’s aiming point.

Imagine going to a sporting goods store to look for a fresh pair of sneakers. You’d like to use them to exercise but also to wear for a night out. Hard decision, right? The Sightmark Wraith HD Digital Riflescope will not give you the obstacle of having to pick between two products. With ease, you can customize your reticle settings with the new Wraith HD. The Wraith HD features 10 reticle options featuring Milrad and MOA reticles with 9 different colors to choose from. Reticle and color options give every user the option to customize their optic to their preferred style.

About the Wraith HD

The 4-32x50mm Wraith digital night vision scope can be used to hunt and shoot day or night with removable IR illuminator.
The technologically advanced Wraith is a digital day and night vision riflescope.

Sightmark revolutionized the hunting world with the new Wraith HD 4-32x50mm Digital Riflescope. An advanced 1920×1080 HD sensor provides full-color clarity in the daytime along with classic emerald or black and white viewing digital night vision modes perfect for post-sunset pursuits. The included removable 850nm IR illuminator enhances your detection range at night 200 yards. You can also record with onboard recording and export your content to share with others on social media or to your friends at home.

Click here to check out the Wraith HD digital night vision scope.

What is a Reticle?

A reticle, digital or not, is a central focal point, often compromised of a pattern of fine lines within an optical device like a riflescope or reflex sight. Reticles provide a source of measurement when engaging in close- to long-range shots at a shooting range or when hunting. The Wraith includes a number of reticle options and most contain crosshairs. The variations include chevron, post, dots, circles or a combination of each. The crosshairs represent the intersecting line between the X- and Y-axis or as many know it by, the cross “+”. Each line is called a sub-tension line and the space between each line is the sub-tension which has an increment value when shooting at longer distances.

Wraith’s Reticle Overview by Use

Long-Range Reticles

Reticles 1, 7 and 8 are designed for long-range target shooting and hunting where holdovers are appropriate. Reticles 1 and 7 are both Mil-radian (MRAD) reticles — meaning the subtensions lines are measured by 1 MRAD and the subtentions (spaces between each subtension line) are in 0.5 MRAD increments. The way reticle 1 differs from reticle 8 is reticle 1 features a 0.13 MRAD center dot for a precision shot. Reticle eight is a Minute-of-Angle (MOA) reticle. The Y-axis measures each subtension line at 5 MOA and the X-axis features 10 MOA subtension lines with 2 MOA subtentions.

Reticle 1 is a MRAD reticle with dot for long-range shooting
Reticle 1
Wraith digital riflescope reticle 7 for long-range shooting
Reticle 7
Reticle 8 features a 0.13 MRAD center dot for precision shooting
Reticle 8

Close- to Mid-Range Reticles

Reticles 3, 4, 9 and 10 are close- to mid-range reticles used for target shooting and mid-range hog, predator and deer hunting. These reticles aren’t as complex as the first batch meant for long-range. Reticle 3 is a cross center dot reticle with (4) 0.45 MOA crosshairs with a 1 MOA center dot with a distance of 2.35 MOA between the circle-dot and crosshairs. Reticle 9 is very similar to reticle 3, except reticle 9 does not have a top crosshair. The fourth reticle in this lineup is a crosshair and features 4 simple .45 MOA hash marks, reticle 10 features cross reticle features.11 MOA thick crosshairs.

This is a close- to mid-range reticle for target shooting, hog, predator and deer hunting
Reticle 9
Reticle 3 is designed for hog, predator and deer hunting and is accurate from close- to mid-range shooting distances
Reticle 3
Reticle 4 is a simple crosshair reticle
Reticle 4
Reticle 10 features 0.11 MOA thick crosshairs
Reticle 10

Close-Quarter Reticles

Reticles 2, 5 and 6 are perfect for close-range target shooting and hunting. These less complex reticles are great for quick target acquisition when hunting hog or predators and are also great for close quarter engagements. Reticle 2 is a 30 MOA circle with a 3 MOA dot and 40 MOA crosshairs. The last two reticles feature a 1 MOA dot and a 2.5 MOA V-reticle with 0.5 MOA line thickness.

Wraith's reticle 2 has 30 MOA circle with a 3 MOA dot and 40 MOA crosshairs
Reticle 2
Reticle 5 is an illuminated 1 MOA dot reticle
Reticle 5
Reticle 6 for close range shooting has a 2.5 MOA chevron reticle
Reticle 6

Color and Benefits

The Wraith HD offers nine reticle color options – black, white, red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, blue and magenta. The primary purpose of reticle color is contrast. The contrast between the reticle and target allows for quick target acquisition. Some reticle colors work best for you during the day, like black, since at night it would blend in. The top choices when hunting at night are red, green and orange, all three are vibrant giving them the best contrast. The rest of the colors—white, yellow, cyan, blue and magenta—are great to use but are more of a personal preference.

Click here to buy a Sightmark Wraith digital day/night vision riflescope.

For more on the Wraith, read the following articles:

How to Sight in the Wraith Digital Day/Night Riflescope

Digital Riflescopes for Dummies—Quick Start Guide to the Wraith Digital Riflescope

Digital Optics Rule—the Riflescopes of the Future are Here

Sightmark Sets Sights on Texas Trophy Hunters Association Extravaganza

(MANSFIELD, TEXAS 2019/05/27) – Sightmark is set to attend the granddaddy of all hunting shows, Texas Trophy Hunters Association Extravaganza (TTHA) 2019. The 47th annual extravaganza will take part in our own back yard at the Fort Worth Convention Center on August 9-11, 2019. Sightmark and TTHA invite you to experience the numerous vendors, hunting and shooting clinics, contests and meet celebrities from around the world.

Sightmark will display hunting optics and firearm accessories like the Latitude and Citadel Riflescope series, Ultra Shot RAM Reflex Sight series and the newly introduced, Wraith HD Digital Riflescope. If you’re planning to attend TTHA Extravaganza 2019, stop by booth #360 to speak with Sightmark’s educated staff to learn about their top-of-the-line products.

Dealers attending the Texas Trophy Hunters Association Extravaganza may also set up a meeting with Sightmark’s product expert team by contacting sales@sellmark.net or calling 817-225-0310 ext. 298. Media members who wish to visit with our team contact mediarelations@sellmark.net.

 

Marathon Hunting Never Looked So Good

Merriam-Webster suggests marathons aren’t just for runners; in fact, by the trusted source’s definition, a marathon is “something characterized by great length or concentrated effort.” Always one to box things up with labels, I had to take up marathon hunting. Of course, I’m also one to stir pots so responses to inquiries were immediate… and effectively repetitive, “What’s marathon hunting?”

The Sightmark Wraith digital riflescope provides full color images during the day and night vision at night for 24-hour hunting.
The Wraith transitions from daytime to nighttime hunting.

In the context of long stalks and even longer sits, marathon hunting is practiced by countless hunters, predominately during deer season and especially during the rut; even my own mother, while fighting stage-4 cancer, clocked 12 hours in a ground blind to take a bruiser 140-inch buck—now THAT’s marathon hunting!

That said, there is another side to marathon hunting most hunters have never considered—hunting from daylight well into the throes of the witching hours, maybe clear until dawn the next morning. Yes, it’s a thing and last I checked (2017,) 17 states even permitted this transition during deer hunting season; of course, it’s worth checking your state and local hunting regulations since those rules seem to change about as often as most people change their underwear!

As permissible marathon hunting relates to those 17 states, hunters could (perhaps still can) legally transition from hunting deer during daylight shooting hours to taking hogs, predators and varmints, or some combination thereof, at night. To this end, here in Texas, some of us take marathon hunting pretty seriously, turning hunting adventures into 24-hour pursuits—yes, we load up on energy drinks.

The Sightmark Wraith offers full-color digital image clarity during the day.
The Sightmark Wraith takes 1080 HD photo and video with a 1280×720 resolution FLCOS display.

Among 24-hour pursuits, the popularity of marathon hog and predator hunting tournaments has increased. Heck, some competitions even go a might further, clear out to 48 – 72 hours; of course, you do get to sleep, at least in your truck for a couple of hours here and there. To be sure tournament losers often are those choosing lazy slumber in real beds. Glory goes to those with the grit to stay at it—no rest for the wicked… or serious marathon hunters, competition or not.

In years past, hunters committed to hunting during the day and continuing into the night also had to change rifles from one with a traditional day riflescope to another topped with some type of electro-optic, i.e. traditional or digital night vision, or even thermal. For folks with limited firearm options, changing optics may be the only solution; of course, then you have to stop to sight-in or at least double-check accuracy before returning to the hunt—and work through such checks (perhaps including shooting) without blowing your hunt altogether.

The Wraith detects targets out to 200 yards.
The Wraith detects targets out to 200 yards.

Admittedly, optics suitable for handling a 24-hour task have been few, far between and expensive, until now. The Sightmark Wraith solves our 24-hour electro-optic problem once and for all without breaking the bank. At an MSRP of $599, hunters can jump into a digital optic providing true HD, full-color digital imaging by day and with the touch of a button, tried-and-true traditional green or black-white digital night vision for post-sunset pursuits. Even better, the Sightmark Wraith boasts up to 1080 HD photo and video capture with a 1280×720 resolution FLCOS display.

The Sightmark Wraith features 1-8 digital zoom, 4-32x magnification, CMOS sensor, 50mm objective lens, ¼-MOA windage and elevation adjustment values and SD card media storage compatible with up to 64gb cards. Photo and video files are self-contained in easy-to-use .jpg and .mp4 formats. The Wraith’s battery life is up to 4.5 hours and can also be powered with a micro-USB cable. The Wraith also includes up to 10 reticles in 9 colors for a customized display and can detect targets out to 200 yards with the included 850nm LED IR illuminator. All this to close with good news. Marathon hunting is hard work. It’s good to finally see a true 24-hour optic up to the task.

Watching the growing crop of videos showcasing the performance of the Sightmark Wraith gives a great perspective on what to expect. Moreover, the recent trend in night vision videos seems to be detection range. Watching some of these videos should not only support my estimation of detection range but also worthy of noting are the increased detection ranges with the help of third-party IR illuminators, even well past 300 yards. Honestly, it’s hard not to get excited about a digital night vision scope at the Wraith’s price point, making the inclusion of full-color HD imaging for daytime shooting a stellar bonus.

Click here to check out Sightmark’s newest technologically advanced digital day/night vision riflescope, The Wraith.

 

>