In 2008 or 2009, I was working SHOT show and saw something I knew was going to change the rifle community drastically and forever. So much so, the thought actually crossed my mind that I should sell most of my high-end European scopes before the bottom falls out of the market.
What was it? Ballistic computers inside of rifle scopes.
The product I was looking at was a Zeiss rifle scope that literally had a small LRF inside of the body. IIRC, it would display target distances in both meters or yards. And it would render this data to the shooter in his field of view.
Admittedly the readout looked like something from a 1970’s Texas Instruments calculator. But it worked!
This was years before Tracking Point. This was years before ballistic software became popular on smart phones. Kestrels were a thing, but not like they are now: married to a computer.
Holding that scope in my hands, I thought, “The Germans are coming and they are going to kill the value of every MIL reticle ever made. This is going to be a blood bath”.
But after walking away and thinking about it rationally for a while, I decided to just keep on keeping on. I was years deep into MILS long before the PRS kids even understood that 1-MOA at 100 yards isn’t actually a 1 inch circle.
I just figured this is a skill I am investing in. My guns. My scopes. My experience. Being a MIL shooter will never be a bad thing. And if The Terminator scopes show up to kill us all, I know they will still have a MIL reticle in them for military contracts.
10 years later, walking NRA 2019 and seeing this thing, I might as well have bumped into Arnold Schwarzenegger asking, “I am looking for Sara Connor. Have you seen Sara Connor?”.
This is a Steiner 4-28×56 M7Xi IFS with a MSR2 reticle. It has a little ballistic computer built into the eye piece. The menus it renders are user navigable, firing solutions are given in a HUD format. Meaning you can see the target at all times. Just like in a fighter jet.
And before you say it, this scope comes with many commercial and military rounds pre-loaded. And I think the user can still add more of his own.
In closing I a not saying I want this. I am not saying it’s worth it. I am not even saying it actually works. Who knows? I was standing at a booth at the NRA show. Not in the field. But even if you absolutely hate this product? Look at it objectively for a minute:
- It’s $5000. That’s a lot. But European glass is usually $3000 anyway. What was Tracking Point? $20,000?
- Speaking of the Tracking Point monstrosity? Do you recall the TP foot print? This is still, for all practical intentions, the same size as any high power scope.
- See the MSR2 on the tag? That’s based off a very fine, and fancy MIL reticle. I could literally pick this thing up dead as a doornail, and run it just fine.
- Speaking of dead. Notice the power source? AA battery. Smart.
I don’t know if this thing will be etched in the history of scopes as the category killer it wants to be? Or the Hindenburg? But the trend line is clear. The robots are coming to kill us. And they will have ballistic powered scopes on their weapons.
It’s only a matter of time.
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”