Binoculars

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    • #105897
      Corvette
      Participant

        Max Velocity writes

        I received the following by email:
        I am not a warrior or want’a-bee warrior, too old at 67 y/o. However I have spent 34 years as a Professional Alaskan Hunting Guide. We use quality binoculars more than any other tool to get the job done. I may have missed it, but when you talk of important gear you do not mention binoculars.

        This is a short post I made to a prepper forum:

        “Quality binoculars are a real asset multiplier for defense, offense, general security, and survival hunting while minimizing your bodies exposure to danger.

        Having spent 34 years as a PH, I early learned that hunters tend to buy small binoculars because they are lighter. And while better than nothing, they are not much better than nothing.

        Odd that people spend a lot of money on a firearm, and totally miss the value of quality binoculars and spotting scope. I mention this as I have just upgraded from Zeiss 10X40B binoculars to Swarovski 15X56 binoculars.

        Yes, “Quality” cost a lot of money, but good binoculars are way more valuable and useful that a top-shelf firearm”.

        It’s a good point and well presented. I mention binos but I don’t make enough of a point about it. I talk in a recent post about forming a hollow square and handing the binos over to the next person filling the command appointment. Binos were the symbol of command because they implied you were going to use them to observe the battlefield.
        It’s an affliction I have called ‘CRS” – which stands for ‘can’t remember stuff’ caused by information sometimes falling out of my head or somehow to the back of my mind, until reminded.
        I have talked in great depth about weapons optics, and the use of night vision/thermal devices such as NVGs and FLIR. For daylight observation you should consider a good pair of binos. The tendency nowadays is to use a weapon sight optic to scan. This is useful if you have a x 4 optic on your rifle, but a set of binos should have far better magnification than this.
        An essential item for either running an OP or for scanning ground before moving over it. You can combine that with a handheld FLIR to key you in on areas of heat that you may not have spotted through the optic. The spotting scope is particularly useful for a static op, the stand will give you better stability and help you scan better for longer.
        Any good recommendations from readers are welcome in comments.

      • #105898
        Max
        Keymaster

          It is also good to consider whether you will be using your binoculars for static purposes or carrying them on your person during an operation. Higher magnification is a great advantage for static use. However, under movement and for your pack, you have to consider 2 things:
          field of view and image stability
          Field of view is the size of area that can be viewed while looking through your binoculars. Image stability is how still the image is when looking through your binoculars. Generally as you increase magnification slight movement and breathing can cause the image to bounce around and make it difficult to discriminate details. If you are moving on foot, you want something that will allow you to scan a pretty large area and pick up other people or groups of people. You may have to do this while breathing heavily or unable to hold crisply still. In a high movement activity (ie light infantry) where pack space is also a factor, a good trade-off is 7×35 binoculars. You might squeak up to 8x, but anything higher that that your are giving up too much in image stability. For the static role, you can go much higher in your magnification. So, in conclusion, you may be better off having a pair of high magnification (10X ) that you use for your static location and a pair of 7X35 for your mobile activities.

          As the author above stated – quality is vital. Do the research and buy the best quality you can afford. All is not lost if you can’t buy Leica, but don’t trot down to Wal-Mart and buy some $34 dollar specials and feel that they are adequate. Do some research and see if you can come up with a solid choice that doesn’t make you have to cancel family Christmas. (Hint – Bird watchers know more about binoculars than all but a small handful in the tactical community.) There is a saying that 50% of a dollar is better than 100% of nothing. This is true. Just don’t go telling yourself that 50% of a dollar is the same as a full dollar – because it isn’t.

        • #105899
          D Close
          Moderator

            I own a pair of Nikon Monarch 10x. I highly recommend them. They ride in my 3rd line gear, in the ruck. Good value at $350-$400. Currently looking for a compact pair/monocle for my second line. Not sure which.

          • #105900
            Corvette
            Participant

              I own a pair of Steiner 8×30 Safari rubber armored.

              yes they are NOT the high powered models others have.. But if its too large and heavy I wont carry it as I am not a forward observer or a BN Commander surveying a larg(ish) battlefield.

              I suspect my PoU will be more at the Fireteam level.

              And lower powered models like mine are dramatically superior to a heavy/bulky pair that wasnt brought :D

            • #105901
              Max
              Keymaster

                D Close mentioned a monocular in his post. Monoculars are perfect for undercover/low profile urban operations. Where someone holding up binoculars stands out like a sore thumb, a monocular can be hidden in the users fist and used in a way much less likely to attract attention. They are also discreet to carry on your person.

                So, readers, with that in mind….do you have a stand-alone urban op kit? Have you thought about that? Or… are you planning to do urban ops by running around in camo and some trimmed down version of your apocalyptic freedom fighter outfit? It would be best to try to be outfitted for the work you are going to be doing. It is why plumbers don’t use hammers and nails to install shower heads.

              • #105902
                Corvette
                Participant

                  I own a pair of Steiner 8×30 Safari rubber armored.

                  yes they are NOT the high powered models others have.. But if its too large and heavy I wont carry it as I am not a forward observer or a BN Commander surveying a larg(ish) battlefield.

                  I suspect my PoU will be more at the Fireteam level.

                  And lower powered models like mine are dramatically superior to a heavy/bulky pair that wasnt brought :D

                  I second on the Steiners..Mine are the 8×30 predators.450$ back in 2004 and they have survived me dragging them around the world..

                  after wasting money on other brands i go through in a month i dropped the $$ on these and never had another issue.

                  Bergmann

                • #105903
                  Max
                  Keymaster

                    I keep a folding set of 10x Bushnell H20’s in 2nd line gear. I have a set of 10x Leica Geovids for OP use. Bushy’s weigh nothing so they stay on me.

                  • #105904
                    Brian from Georgia
                    Participant

                      I used a buddy’s pair of Steiner 10X50 military binoculars a while back. Awesome clarity. I think they’re worth the weight and size if you are planning on recce type work.

                    • #105905
                      Max
                      Keymaster

                        If your looking for a monocular check out Vortex’s Solo R/T 8×36 Tactical Monocular. It is reasonably priced and you can carry it on your battlebelt in a smoke grenade pouch. It does have a ranging mil reticule but its very coarse you won’t be able to do fine ranging. I have the older 7x version and it’s very handy.

                        1 other point for those using there primary weapon sight for observation…. I know I personally would be a tad upset to see someone pointing a rifle at me, it could lead to misunderstandings if your not sure who your looking at.

                      • #105906
                        D Close
                        Moderator

                          Danie, wrt the urban kit, I think this deserves a post of its own, but I’ll say a couple things. I agree the monocle will work well in urban terrain. An awareness of the true threat level is paramount. I use SIGINT a lot in my AO. Police freq is a must. Situational awareness is your best defense in urban terrain in my opinion.

                        • #105907
                          Max
                          Keymaster

                            I have to put another vote in for the 8×30 Steiner Safaris. Not so heavy that they would be left in the safe. 8X power to scan things/areas.

                          • #105908
                            Max
                            Keymaster

                              D Close, good info and that is right on. We will have to put our heads together on something in the near future.

                            • #105909
                              Submariner
                              Participant

                                Until funds are available for something better and other priorities, e.g. training, are met, we are using used 3X Aimpoint magnifiers as a monoculars and magnifiers.

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