TRUGLO, A Broadhead For Every Need
By Patrick Meitin
By now most serious bowhunters have heard of TRUGLO’s new lineup of Titanium X Broadheads. These remarkable broadheads were designed with input from Bruce Barrie of past Rocky Mountain Broadhead fame, milled from Grade 5 titanium to include TRU-CUT cut-on-contact tips and holding stainless steel TRU-THRU .031-inch-thick, precision-sharpened blades. Titanium provides the strength of steel with the weight of aluminum—in other words, the best of both worlds. The TRU-CUT tip assures deeper penetration and bone-splitting performance. TRU-THRU blades includes spooky sharpness needed for superior penetration and fast kills on the toughest big game. All are spin and sharpness tested for assured field-point flight and devastating results on game. Each model comes in three packs with free broadhead wrench.
There are six models included in this new lineup, each filling an important niche in the bowhunting program. So let’s take this opportunity to investigate the inherent advantages of each design and where they best fit into your bowhunting pursuits.
White-tailed deer, especially tough old bucks, have a tenacity for life reviling a desert shrub. They’re also regularly hunted in thronged vegetation which complicates tracking efforts. The new standard in whitetail coverts has become a wide-cutting mechanical design, providing pin-point accuracy during the most demanding shots, and opening a world of hurt and blood-spilling wound channels which result in faster kills and blood trails that are much easier to follow under demanding conditions.
For whitetails taken with average equipment (according to most bow manufacturers I talk with, this means 65 pounds at 29 inches, or 65#@29”), it’s pretty tough to beat TRUGLO’s Titanium X 2-blade mechanical. It includes a solid-titanium ferrule like the rest, including TRU-CUT tip to start penetration off right. The two scissoring blades include a torque-balancing design that start cutting instantly on impact, self adjusting to push around bone without shedding energy (which also means it’s impossible for blades to open in flight), opening to a full 2 3/16-inch cutting diameter through soft tissue to inflict maximum damage. The blades remain folded flat against the ferrule in flight for superior accuracy, a design feature making them welcomed for archers who invest the time and effort required to become long-range proficient.
For those shooting energy above the national average (like my own standard 70#@30”) the Titanium X 4-blade offers yet more devastating, cross-cutting action. The 4-blade model works on the same principle as the 2-blade but inflicts twice as much damage. The cutting TRU-CUT starts penetration out right, opening to 1 ¾ inches to spill copious amounts of blood.
BIG Big Game
Mechanicals will certainly get the job done on the largest big game, like elk and moose, but I choose to prepare for real-world, worst-case scenarios, like the substantial bone comprising an elk’s shoulder. When game is larger than 250-pound Midwest whitetails, I turn to fixed-blade broadheads. TRUGLO has you covered there as well, including Titanium X 3- and 4-blade versions.
The TRUGLO Titanium X 3-blade includes an industry-standard 1 3/16-inch cutting diameter. This is a cutting diameter offering an ideal balance of easy tuning from today’s fastest compound bows, but also enough cutting diameter to produce ample trailing blood. With its blade-aligned TRU-CUT cut-on-contact tip and TRU-THRU sharp blades these heads slick through game like butter.
I’m also intrigued by the Titanium X 4-blade because it mirrors lines of the traditional broadheads I started bowhunting with, but with replaceable main and crosscutting bleeder blades. The TRU-CUT tip streamlines right into cutting edges to enhance penetration. It includes 1 3/16-inch cutting diameter. It’s a head that would give me utmost confidence while chasing bugling bull elk.
These fixed designs also make excellent options for smaller or weaker bowhunters—women, youth or elderly shooters with achy joints—while shooting average game such as whitetails.
TRUGLO didn’t forget the crossbow enthusiast while designing the Titanium X line. Crossbow-specific models include a 1 ¾-inch-wide 4-blade mechanical and 1 3/16 4-blade mimicking vertical-bow design, but including larger-diameter ferrules to better match larger-diameter crossbow bolts. Modern crossbows give you energy to burn, making the 4-blade mechanical ideally suited for blasting through any sized game, even at extreme ranges. The 4-blade fixed is perfect in states where mechanical designs aren’t yet legal, or for added insurance when hunting the largest big game at extended ranges.
Average, he-man or limited kinetic energy vertical bow shooters, or crossbow aficionados; TRUGLO has your broadhead needs covered with the new Titanium X series!
The Perfect Release … For You
By Aaron Carter
Are you in the market for a mechanical release? Here’s what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
For many archers, abundant consideration goes into selecting a seamless bow setup; however, seldom is much emphasis placed on a component that’s essential for extracting the utmost performance from the aforementioned outfit—the release. To attain top-notch accuracy with any bow requires a clean, consistent discharge of the arrow, and on a high-performance compound bow, employing a mechanical release is the best method to achieve such. With so many styles from which to choose, how do you know which release is the best for you? Read on.
Of the releases utilized by archery hunters, the overwhelming majority falls within the index finger- and thumb-activated categories, with the former being the most popular—for good reason. Why? Typically, index finger-activated releases have an attachment system consisting of hook-and-loop fasteners, buckles, or some combination of the two. TRUGLO’s unique and user-friendly BOA closure system (available separately to upgrade your current connection system, too), that affixes it to the archer’s wrist, keeping it nearby and ready at all times. This is obviously an important consideration when hunting. As the release is secured to the archer, it cannot be dropped from a tree stand. Unlike a handheld release, which the fingers must hold during and after the draw, the wrist strap of an index finger-activated release places the drawing burden on the wrist.
As a class, index finger-activated-releases are quick and easy to attach to the bowstring—even in low-light conditions. Considering that most trophy-class animals appear suddenly and in diminished light, this is significant.
Index finger-activated releases use one or two jaws to attach directly to the bowstring (not suggested), D-loop, or metal nocking loop and, true to their name, are activated by the index or “trigger” finger. Archers who hunt with also firearms will find their operation instinctual and comforting; there’s nothing new to learn. And, like firearms, high-quality models—such as TRUGLO’s Nitrus —have a trigger that’s customizable for both sensitivity and travel. Additionally, these releases enable the user to shorten or lengthen the release head. Due to their numerous benefits, as well as myriad makes and price points, index finger-activated- (wrist-style) releases are the best choice for most hunters—especially new archers, those with compromised strength, and hunters who don’t practice sufficiently to master a target-style release.
Some archery hunters use thumb-activated releases which have features found on index finger-activated and target-style releases. Most thumb-activated releases are handheld—like tension/hinge- and resistance-activated “target” models. For the archer, this means back, shoulder, and arm muscles are used during the draw cycle, finger strength is still needed to hold the release. The string, which is held by a loop or jaw, is released by pressing the trigger with the thumb. It takes some practice to get used to—especially for firearm hunters. However, after sustained use most archers tend to stick with thumb releases.
Except for models featuring a wrist strap or lanyard, or are retrofitted with one, thumb-activated releases need to be attached to the bowstring (and thus left dangling) or placed in a coat or vest pocket. As such, there exists a risk of inadvertently dropping it from a tree stand, or not having it immediately accessible when needed. But, the benefit is that there’s nothing attached to one’s person for lengthy periods, which can also clang on the side of a tree stand. Price-wise, most thumb-activated releases are typically more expensive than index finger-activated releases.
Typically utilized in competition, a small segment of archers are now using back-tension/hinge- and resistance-activated releases for hunting. Attached to the bowstring, D-loop, or metal nocking loop in a manner identical to other releases, these finger-held variants don’t have a “trigger”. As the name suggests, the back-tension-activated release is activated after the bow is drawn and the back muscles are tightened (i.e. shoulder blades cinched), which causes the hand and release to naturally rotate. The rotation permits the string to free itself in a surprise manner—similar to that of a surprise break of a lightweight rifle trigger—so that one cannot flinch. Resistance-activated releases, on the other hand, fire from a build up of pressure and not rotation of the hand, or as Carter Enterprises explains, “pulling through an amount of poundage greater than your holding weight.” There’s now a new generation of mechanical releases that combine both release options of thumb- and resistance-activated releases, all in one model. Because of the nature of their operation, target-style releases require considerable practice to perfect, and even then they’re not the best choices for hunting because of the amount of movement associated with the sport—especially from an elevated position on a tiny platform, and where proper form is hard to achieve. All it would take for a poor shot would be to unconsciously make a wrong movement. Some hinge-type models have a click feature that signals to the user that it’s ready to fire; however, this wouldn’t be a good idea for hunting, as it could inadvertently alert game animals, too. As these releases are intended for competition, user adjustability is guaranteed; however, finding the perfect setting takes time and practice. As for other benefits and detractions, those of these release types are similar to thumb-activated releases.
In the end, the release that’s best suited for you will depend on a host of considerations, many of which were mentioned within this article. Once you’ve considered these, the choice will be clear. For me it’s the TRUGLO Detonator index finger-activated release. How about you?
Shotgun Slug Hunting, Sighting Options
By Joe Byers
Shotgun slug technology has come a long way in recent years such that 100-yard shots are a certainty with a quality sight and solid rest. Slug guns have tremendous knockdown power, penetration, and lethality. A fellow recently took a slug gun to Africa on a plains game safari and took a Livingstone eland at 75 yards with a single shot. Despite a chest nearly two feet thick the copper slug stopped just under the skin of the far shoulder. The beast ran 50 yards and crashed. Although many states mandate shotguns due to the flat nature of terrain or urban development, you need not feel handicapped by those laws. Test your shotgun to see which brand of slug works best and top your buck-buster with one of these three sighting options. Adding a more precise sighting system to a shotgun will likely increase the effectiveness at distance. As they say in the military, “aim small, hit small.”
Open sight fans will love the TRUGLO Pro Series Slug Gun sights that keep your cheek on the stock and provide a precise aim, even on moving game. Sight down the barrel and you’ll see how naturally the red front dot fits between the two green dots of the rear sight. Line up the three dots and you get a precise shot every time. The added light grabbing ability of the fiber-optics work well in low light or inclement weather when traditional iron sights can be fuzzy and difficult to see. This is especially valuable for hunting deer or other game where shots typically occur close to dawn or dusk. The sights mount easily and solidly—attaching to any shotgun rib. The rear sight allows for vertical and windage adjustments. They are made of steel to take tough punishment and require no magnets or tape to mount.
Reflex or “Red Dot” optics are an excellent slug gun choice well suited for running shots and for shooters who are recoil sensitive. A red dot optic can’t reduce recoil, yet because of the unlimited eye relief you are virtually guaranteed it won’t put a ring above your eye. If you hunt deer by driving, you’ll rarely get a standing, broadside sight picture and here’s where that single aiming dot really shines, no pun intended. You get a simple sight pictured that can be aimed quickly and easily. For example, the new Tru•Tec 20mm sight provides a sharp 2-MOA dot with variable intensity so that it shows equally in bright sunshine or at the end of shooting light. It features ultra-long battery life, is shockproof and waterproof making it the perfect match for bad weather when the hunting can be best. Red dot optics are a frequent option for AR and tactical carbine shooters, but are every bit as practical for shotguns. The Tru•Tec identifies well with both audiences and comes with two different mounts (high and low) to match your shooting style. Finally, if you’ve ever seen a buck you couldn’t find in your scope, the ultra-wide field of view of this optic solves that for good. Best of all, red dot sights allow you to shoot with both eyes open and that red dot won’t get mixed in with leaves or tree trunks, important attributes that inevitably make aiming your shotgun quite a bit faster. You’ll be amazed how effective you can become at normal shotgun ranges of 20-80 yards.
Traditional scope lovers will relish the Tru•Brite 30 Hunter configured like a standard rifle scope that offers 1-4x magnification in a 30mm tube for increased brightness. This optic offers nearly four inches of eye relief and an extremely field of view when turned down to 1x. If you hunt in a region with point restrictions, the four-power option can quickly tell you if a buck is legal without affecting accuracy. 4x magnification has been a common and practical choice on rifle optics for decades. Being able to quickly zoom between 1x and 4x provides the advantages of speed and accuracy. Although designed as a slug gun scope, the same optic can easily double on your turkey shotgun or other models for varmints or wild hogs. It features fully-coated lenses for maximum brightness, clarity and contrast. Being nitrogen gas-filled, it is naturally waterproof and fog-proof. This scope is also shock resistant and Weaver-style rings are included.
Confidence is critical to deer hunting success and if you feel you are at a disadvantage with your slug gun, pop one of these sighting systems on your favorite pump or auto and you’ll quickly see the light.
Picking the “perfect” crossbow optic isn’t as straightforward or easy as you might think, as there’s a lot to consider. Here’s what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
By Aaron Carter
The crossbow market differs from others in that all-inclusive “packages” dominate, and for good reason, too. Rather than having to piecemeal his or her way to a range- and field-capable crossbow, the bundler gets all of the items necessary for practice and hunting (except broadheads) with one buy. Included among the many articles is generally found some sort of optic for sighting; except for some bowfishing-specific and low-cost models, seldom are modern crossbows equipped with open sights. But, what if you’re displeased with the pre-packaged optic, the crossbow didn’t come with one, or it no longer works (for one of myriad reasons)? Below is a primer for purchasing a new, improved, or first crossbow optic.
The traditional-type optic rules the marketplace. Not only do these crossbow scopes resemble and function similarly to their firearm-mounted brethren, aiming is also by way of a crosshair (or multiple crosshairs and/or geometric shapes, such as triangles, or some combination thereof). Scopes with multiple aiming points (i.e. trajectory compensating reticles), such as TRUGLO’s TRU-BRITE XTREME, are preferable to those with a single one because you’re provided with exact holds at various ranges. Why? Despite the high velocities attained by modern crossbows, bolts still drop considerably—especially at the crossbow’s furthest practical ranges.
Key to accurate aiming points, however, is using a scope that enables you to match your crossbow’s velocity to a specific, preprogrammed trajectory setting on the second-focal-plane scope. Found on the magnification band, this feature provides precise aiming points for multiple ranges—most go from 20 yds. to 50 yds.—based upon the trajectory of your setup (i.e. crossbow, bolt, and tip/broadhead). For this reason, using published velocities by manufacturers isn’t “good enough”; you must chronograph the setup that you intend to use afield. It takes only minutes, and chronographs today are relatively inexpensive. I prefer Competition Electronics chronographs, which retail for around $100 and can calculate the velocities of everything from bows to high-velocity rifles.
Once set, you’re typically ready to shoot (not necessarily hunt) out to the scope’s maximum range without guessing holdovers. Verify the holds, though. Do not change the setting or the aiming points won’t be accurate. Too, if you change your setup in a way that affects the velocity you must chronograph it again. To eliminate confusion, some such optics have the distances (i.e 20, 30, 40, 50) listed beside the aiming points, though this isn’t necessary.
Your crossbow scope should be no less feature-filled than a riflescope. For example, it should be at least water resistant, though waterproof is preferred, as well as shock resistant and fog proof. Moreover, demand that it have fully multi-coated lenses and consistent, repeatable “clicks.” It’s also nice to have an illuminated reticle, particularly if you’re hunting from a ground blind during low-light conditions or hogs at night (where legal). These are usually rheostat controlled and have multiple colors from which to choose.
Surely you’re wondering if your riflescope can pull double-duty on your crossbow. To this I must say “no.” Standard riflescopes typically have a single aiming point, which would mandate zeroing and firing at a single distance. Do you want to be that limited in the field? Since you’re relying on hemorrhaging to kill an animal, not the tremendous terminal ballistics of a high-velocity rifle bullet, precision is key. Therefore, relying on “holding on hair” or some other imprecise compensating method can be viewed as unethical. Even riflescopes with trajectory compensating reticles wouldn’t necessarily correlate to a crossbow’s trajectories. Stick to crossbow scopes.
Dot- and Reflex-Style Optics
In general, dot- and reflex-style optics have grown in popularity—especially in the shooting sports. But, they’re not as popular for crossbows … yet. Unlike traditional-type crossbow scopes, the aforementioned optics are generally both lightweight and unobtrusive. For example, TRUGLO’s 1X 34 mm DUAL-COLOR red-dot sight weighs a trivial 5.5 ozs., and the 1X 30 mm TRITON is only 7 ozs. The TRU-BRITE XTREME scope is more than double the weight of the latter. The eye quickly focuses on the glowing aiming point, and that illumination is invaluable in compromised lighting. The only downfall is that there’s no magnification, which makes sighting at-distance more difficult than with the traditional-style scopes.
As for the reasons mentioned in the section above, single-aiming-point, dot-style sights that are meant for firearms shouldn’t be affixed to your crossbow; instead, select one that has multiple aiming points (i.e. trajectory compensating system) that get smaller as they descend. Why is this important? Remember, there’s no magnification so you don’t want an oversize dot to take longish shots. One of the best compensating systems I’ve seen on a dot-style sight is found on the TRUGLO DUAL-COLOR, as you can select from one of four speed settings to provide the correct aiming points for your crossbow. Will it be as precise as selecting the exact velocity of your crossbow? No, but it’ll be very close (unless your bow is way outside of the norm with regard to velocity). As mentioned previously, you want your dot- or reflex-style sight to be rugged and dependable.
Once you’ve selected your favored design, the only thing left to do is mount the optic and adjust it, then spend time practicing. Then, come fall, you’ll be confident to take the shot at that once-in-a-lifetime buck, bull, or bear.
Sighting-In for 3-Gun
By Rob Reaser
The country’s hottest practical shooting competition continues to grow. If you are looking to get in on the fun, TRUGLO® offers one-stop shopping for all your pistol, shotgun, and AR sighting needs.
If you do it, you already know. If you don’t, you’ll find out as soon as try it…3-gun competitions are a blast. Not only do 3-gun matches scratch that itch we all have to get out on the range, but participation in this popular and ever-growing sport has real-world benefits the likes of which you just can’t get from static range shooting. The practice of engaging multiple courses of fire with your three primary defensive weapons—pistol, shotgun, and semi-automatic rifle—allows you to hone your self-defense skills. What’s more, the trio of weapons you may use on a 3-gun course can be the same ones you employ for your daily personal and home defense.
Getting into 3-gun shooting is simple. All you need is a pistol in 9mm or larger chamber, a pump or semi-auto shotgun in .20- or .12-gauge, and, for most divisions, a .223 chamber semi-auto rifle, the most popular of which is the AR-15 platform. From there, it’s a matter of refining your weapons to suit your needs while staying within the rules for the division in which you want to participate. If you have questions, there are many resources to help you get started, including your local participating gun range or shooting club. The 3-gun fraternity is a friendly lot, and experienced shooters enjoy every opportunity to help new shooters get involved in the sport.
Although 3-gun equipment rules are in place, they are fairly simple—especially when compared to some competitive shooting associations. One area where the rules are fairly straightforward involves sights and optics; depending on the division in which you chose to participate, no magnified optics are allowed or one magnified optic is allowed in your 3-gun set.
For those of you who are ready to give 3-gun competition a try, these three products will get your gear ready for the buzzer.
TFX™ Pro Pistol Sights
If you’ve done any serious pistol shooting, you know that your original equipment front and rear sights do not provide an ideal sight picture in all lighting conditions. The TRUGLO TFX™ Pro tritium/fiber optic day/night sights, however, work in all lighting conditions, such as you
will often find on a 3-gun course. The advantage the TFX™ Pro sights have over conventional open sights, fiber optic-only sights, or tritium-only sights is that they combine Swiss tritium and fiber optics with a contrasting color front sight ring. This combination provides optimal sight picture acquisition whether you’re shooting with a high-noon sun overhead or you are on a woodland course darkened by storm clouds. What’s more, the tritium/fiber optic elements are encased in almost indestructible, hermetically sealed capsules that won’t be compromised by oils and cleaning solvents. Another advantage these sights have for the 3-gun shooter is their radiused, snag-proof design, which allows you to draw and holster your pistol smoothly and quickly.
TRU•BEAD Turkey Universal Sights
You’re probably thinking, “A turkey sight for a tactical shotgun?” Well, listen up. Three-gun courses are increasingly diversifying their courses of fire, and this includes the shotgun courses. In a shotgun course, you may encounter everything from close-quarter target “hosing” with #6s or 75-yard slug targets. As a result, you need an equally diverse sighting system. An ideal middle-ground sight is the TRUGLO TRU•BEAD™ Turkey Universal. You can use the orange fiber optic front sight to focus on your close-range targets. When it’s time to send a chunk of lead far downrange, the contrasting color rear sights will give you precise targeting. Of course, the rear sights are adjustable for elevation and windage, so you’ll know the steel is in trouble as soon as you hit the stage.
To Magnify or Not to Magnify
That is the question you must answer before deciding in which division you want to shoot. The Limited division, which is popular for those just entering the 3-gun world, does not allow any magnified optics. If this is your chosen path, you’ll want to consider using a fast-acquisition red dot, such as the TRUGLO TRU•TEC™ 30mm Red Dot. This sight provides a wide field of view and unlimited eye relief for the fast-paced 3-gun environment while the 2 MOA reticle ensures precise targeting for those way-out-there shots.
If you want to jump right into the highly competitive Tactical division, you will be allowed one magnifying optic in your arsenal. This, naturally, would be best served on your rifle. While some competitors combine canted open sights with a higher power scope to cover both short and long distance targets, fixed power or variable power scopes (1-4X and 1-6X) are commonly used for both. The scope is set at its low setting for engaging close targets, then the shooter cranks up the magnification to engage the 200- and 300-yard plus targets. For this, the TRUGLO TRU•BRITE™ 30 Series is your huckleberry. The TRU•BRITE™ 30 Series can be purchased with either 1-4X or 1-6X magnification and includes two pre-calibrated BDC turrets (one for .223 caliber/55grain and one for .308 caliber/168 grain) so you can be confident of your shot placement. Another feature that makes this scope optimal for 3-gun shooting is the ergonomic magnification adjustment ring, which minimizes fumbling and grip slip when you need to quickly transition between magnification settings.
Try It Out!
Three-gun competition is great fun, and it is a terrific opportunity for developing real-world defensive shooting skills. There are firearms clubs and associations around the country which host three-gun matches throughout the year. The National Shooting Sports Foundation maintains a listing of shooting ranges in the U.S., many of which host 3-gun competitions. Contact your local ranges for more info. You can also check out 3-Gun Nation for additional shooting opportunities in your area. In the meantime, check out this NSSF introductory video to 3-gun competition.
Tune Up for Long-Range Shooting
By Rob Reaser
“Long-distance” is a relative term in the hunting world, but whether 50 yards or 500 yards is stretching it out for you, here are some tips that will help extend your lethal zone.
Ask ten hunters what they consider to be a long-distance shot on a game animal and you’ll probably get as many different answers. The correct answer is measured not in distance, but in shooter skill and equipment. A long-distance, pushing-the-envelope shot for me is around 250 yards. When shooting in a hunting situation, that’s about as far as I can confidently make a kill shot. I simply cannot keep my rifle still enough to shoot any farther than that and know that the kill will be ethically quick. For other hunters, 300 yards may be their maximum ethical shooting distance, or perhaps 400 yards. Go much beyond that, unless you are shooting a highly specialized rifle and scope combination and have years of practice doping wind and calculating bullet drop, and most shooters are dancing in the “pull-and-pray” zone.
So, maximum shooting distances for ethically hunting game is relative to the skill and confidence level of the hunter. The thing is, it doesn’t matter whether you want to make clean shots at game animals that are 50 yards or 300 yards away, the principles of shooting accuracy are all the same. If you follow these shooting fundamentals, you’ll learn your maximum shooting distance, be confident that the shot you take will be true, and possibly push your personal “long-distance shot” a bit farther than you thought possible.
Is one rifle setup better than another? No question about it. That said, we all are going to shoot what we like and the best we can afford…be that a particular brand, model, chamber, cartridge, optic, or accessory. The important thing is that your equipment fit your body and shooting style, that everything is properly set up, and that you find the load that shoots best from your particular barrel and stick with it.
A common problem many hunters have that can adversely affect accuracy is not having a comfortable fit when they shoulder their rifle. The length of pull may be too long or too short, which can force you to shoot in an unnatural position, or the scope may be mounted too far forward or backward to achieve proper eye relief, which can also cause you to shoot in an unnatural position. Remember when you were a kid and wanted a particular pair of sneakers but the store didn’t have the right size? You convinced yourself and your parents that the ill-fitting shoes would be fine because, darn it, you wanted those shoes! Later, of course, you paid the price. Don’t be that kid again! If your rifle needs to be adjusted, there are aftermarket solution, such as installing a longer butt pad or getting a gunsmith to trim some stock length. The point is to make sure your rifle fits and the scope is properly set up, because failing to do so will only frustrate your efforts to maximize your shooting distance.
Speaking of scopes, there are so many on the market today that picking the right one can be an exercise in frustration. I’ve seen people drop a month’s worth of wages on a high-power, multi-function, BDC reticle scope designed for 600-yard-plus shots knowing full well that it will never be used for more than dropping a whitetail at 100 yards max. I’ve also seen people try to use their 3X fixed scope for western hunting and expect to drop a mule deer at 300 yards. Not that it couldn’t be done, but it couldn’t be done by these hunters. The point is, you need a scope that fits your likely hunting conditions.
If your primary tactic is hunting whitetail in woods and fields where 50- to 100-yard shots are the norm, a scope such as TRUGLO’s new TRU•BRITE™ 30 Hunter is ideal. With a 1-4X magnification, wide-view 24mm objective, and fully coated lenses for optimal light transmission, this scope works great for rapid target acquisition in tight quarters, yet will easily deliver the kill shot out to the average maximum 200-yard range of most hunters.
For those whose long-range endeavors including dropping western game at ranges up to and beyond 300 yards, a scope such as the TRU•BRITE™ Extreme IR Rifle scope is a good candidate. This scope offers several features favored by those who have developed the skill and confidence to make those outside shots, including illuminated Dual•Color Bullet Drop Compensating or standard duplex reticles in red, green, and black, large 44mm or 50mm objective lenses for a wide field-of-view and brightness in low-light conditions, and magnification options covering 3-9X, 3-12X, and 4-16X.
Okay, we’re not actually going to cover all of the shooting basics here because most of you already have those well in hand. What we want to zero in on are a few facets of shooting basics that many hunters tend to forget…especially when they are in the field.
First is trigger pull. Precise, consistent shooting accuracy demands precise and consistent trigger pull. There are two techniques to keep in mind when pulling the trigger. One is to position your body, grip, and trigger finger so that you are pulling straight back with the pad of your index finger. This is another example of where proper gun fit comes in. If you aren’t pulling the trigger straight back with the end of your index finger, it means you are pulling the trigger to the side and running the risk of pulling it all out of alignment as the shot breaks. This condition is particularly noticeable when shooting a pistol, but it also has a detrimental effect when shooting rifles as well. Always pull straight back on the trigger in a slow, steady pull. The second technique is to follow through the trigger pull after the shot breaks. Simply put, keep pulling straight back on the trigger after the shot goes off. If you immediately let up on the trigger after the break (for example, to cycle the bolt for a follow-up shot), you risk disturbing the rifle alignment before the bullet leaves the barrel. Following up on the shot also keeps you in place to better see what is happening downrange. Did you hit or miss? Did the animal drop or is it running for cover? Stay calm, follow up the trigger pull, and observe.
Staying calm is also a key part of long-distance shooting accuracy during the shot cycle—particularly breathing control. In order to maintain a steady target lock and execute a well-placed shot when high magnification and adrenaline wreak havoc on platform stability, timing the shot with your breathing cycle is critical. Your body and sight alignment is most stable at the bottom of your breathing cycle (exhale). When you’re ready to make the shot, the goal is to lengthen the bottom of your breathing cycle (not hold your breath!) and break the shot midway through that extension. Focusing on your breathing cycle will help you calm down when things get tense.
Now that you have your equipment and shooting fundamentals in check, it’s time to put them to practice.
It’s an old saw that bears repeating, but bench performance doesn’t necessarily translate to performance in the field. You may be able to stay in the ten ring at 200 yards from the bench, but it’s tough to do that when you’re stretched across a boulder or leaning your rifle against a tree. Fortunately, practicing under realistic field conditions (or as close to them as you can get) will serve you well when that trophy is standing on the ragged edge of your comfort zone.
Once you have your rifle zeroed, you should spend your practice sessions shooting from various positions away from the bench. Bring your hunting pack to the range, throw it on the ground and practice shooting prone at various distances. Do the same while sitting, shooting freehand, shooting with sling support, and shooting while propped against a vertical support. You may be surprised that your effective maximum shooting distance changes significantly with each shooting position. The same is true if you use shooting sticks or a monopod. Until you actually practice with these supports, you’ll never know your limits or be able to improve your accuracy at longer distances.
A side benefit of practicing for long-distance shots is the improved accuracy you’ll gain when shooting at closer distances. If you are also a bowhunter, you know that when you practice regularly at 50 or 60 yards, those 20- to 30-yard shots are as easy as buttering bread. The same is true when shooting a rifle. The difference is that you must be cognizant of changes in bullet trajectory and parallax changes due to scope magnification. That is one of the advantages of having a scope with a BDC reticle, which is available with TRUGLO’s TRU•BRITE™ Extreme IR Rifle scope. You can calibrate the scope to most centerfire cartridges on the market today, giving you precise and confident shot placement out to 600 yards.
Make life easier on yourself and maximize your range time by using high-visibility targets such as the TRU•SEE Splatter targets by TRUGLO. Their bright green impact rings allow you to see your point-of-impact at long distances much better than conventional paper targets. Using TRU•SEE™ Splatter targets will significantly reduce your zeroing time, and keep you from having to wait for the “all clear” every time you need to check your target.
As you can see, a lot goes into extending your effective (ethically lethal) shooting distance. Refine your setup to suit your needs, then practice the basics both on the bench and off. Then, whether that trophy is 20 yards or 200 yards away, you can shoulder your rifle with confidence.
By Doug Howlett While the AR market remains more than steady, though perhaps slightly off-pace from the red hot buying frenzy of 2013, the tactical accessories market is blazing right ahead. It makes sense, now that so many people own an AR or two or more, it is only natural these savvy gunowners will want to trick out and customize their rifles to match their intended purpose or, quite simply, to make them look even cooler.
That is, after all, one of the great attractions of this firearm platform; it is so easily customizable, that every gun can be tricked out to match its owner’s personality and purpose no matter whether it is competition, hunting, self-defense or simply plinking. Following are seven essentials every AR owner will want to consider.
Handguards – Also simply referred to as a rail by many operators, this is where your forward hand will grip the rifle (or for many tactical instructors, just before it) and where you will run your Picatinny rails for rapid attachments of many other accessories. AR-15s with quad-rails certainly had their day—when shooters simply wanted as many railed attachment points as possible. While quad-railed systems are still common, modular systems that allow the addition of any number of small rail panels (M-Lock, Key-Mod, Etc.) are rapidly taking over. These options simply expand the possibilities for accessories. Consider this the foundation of your platform when it comes to accessories such as lights, bipods, vertical grips and more as this is the area many will attach.
Sighting Systems – Is your AR for varminting or hunting hogs over open fields and hillsides? Then you’ll want a quality variable optic that will allow you to deliver pinpoint accuracy at longer ranges. For more close-up targets or if magnification is not an issue for your hawk eyes, a quality red dot is maybe more up your alley. Since ARs are often used for closer targets (30 to 200 yards) red dot sights provide quick, accurate target acquisition and can be adjusted for extremely bright or low-light shooting.
Variable magnification optics with a tactical pedigree are the most preferred route for pinpoint accuracy out to ranges beyond 100 yards and having the option to adjust the magnification for both optimal sighting at longer distances and for lower or higher light can be helpful. TRUGLO®’s new TRU•BRITE™ 30 Series of scopes offers shooters a choice of 1-4x or 1-6x from a 30mm tube. The magnification ring boasts a quick adjustment lever, easy to work when wearing tactical gloves and two-precalibrated BDC turrets in calibers .223 (for 55-grain bullets) and .308 (for 168-grain bullets) for adjusting aim out to 800 yards away. With a true 1x minimum power, and the ability to zoom in to 4x or even 6x, this style optic works well for fast close-range shooting and reaching out to medium distances with precision. This combination often fits the bill for a 5.56mm tactical, yet practical, carbine.
Lasers – Rail-mounted lasers either beneath the barrel, above it or even along the sides can be great for rapid target acquisition, easy sighting as the laser rests directly on the target at the sight of impact thus building confidence in the shooter and work great in low light situations when many defensive situations likely take place. For an ingenious take on the laser, check out the TRUGLO® TRU•TEC™ 30mm Red Dot Sight with an Integrated Laser. The unique combination incorporates a built-in side-mounted laser that gives the shooter a choice between a crisp red dot sighting system or direct laser on the target. A quick detach lever allows for rapid mounting and dismounting of the optic and it is built at a natural co-witness height so it can be used in conjunction with back-up sights.
Lights – When it comes to utilizing a firearm for home defense, the majority of situations will be in low light. For that reason, many AR users like to have a weapon-mounted light to help flood the areas where they may need to aim with bright, white light. Manufacturers have done an excellent job of creating lightweight, small-scale lighting systems that attach directly to the Picatinny rail of an AR. Some provide the option to remain on or to turn on only when a grip-mounted button is depressed. A unique take on the latter is the TRU•POINT™ LASER/LIGHT COMBO, which combines both shining light with an optional use laser lighting system. This particular light features a medium-to-wide flood, superior to narrower beams for most defensive purposes. The integrated laser (available in red or green) includes windage and elevation adjustments, allowing the beam to be either aligned to the bore, or zeroed to an exact point-of-impact at a given distance.
Forward Grip – Gripping the handguard with a natural shooting position can twist the wrist of the foreward hand at an almost unnatural angle. Vertical and angled grips can great not only a more comfortable hold, but a surer handle on the front end of an AR when engaged in fast-paced shooting scenarios or tactical simulations. Like virtually everything used in conjunction with the AR, these are designed to quickly attach directly to the rail.
Bipods – For a steady rest when shooting at targets down range, a compact, rail-mounted bipod folds out of the way when not needed and with an easy flip, can be set and extended in seconds. The legs adjust independently when shooting from uneven surfaces or lying prone on the ground.
Sling – Whether practicing tactical carry techniques or using your AR for hunting, a sling makes toting your rifle a much simpler—and comfortable—task. Think of a rifle sling the way you think of a handgun holster—as a critical implement that connects the weapon to the shooter. Single-point, two-point (similar to a traditional sling) and three-point slings are all an option, with the single-point attaching behind the receiver and worn like a bandolier slung over the torso and a three-point sling, which is slightly more complicated but can hold the gun in a more secure position.
The fun of owning an AR is experimenting with all of these accessories and finding out which setup works best for you and for the type of shooting you typically do.
By Brad Fenson
I have to admit that I’m extremely fussy when it comes to which mechanical release to use with my bow. I believe it comes from my long-held affinity for marksmanship values stemming from my years of hunting and shooting rifles. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind—the better the trigger, the more accurate and consistent the shot.
A release is an interesting device, capable of holding back extreme weight with a simple hook or caliper. Releasing that weight smoothly and consistently is paramount to anyone being a good archer. The release is likely one of the biggest advancements in archery, as anyone that used to shoot fingers can attest.
When I was at the Archery Trade Association show earlier this year I checked out some new releases and used them to shoot a variety of bows. I learned a few things and have now become even fussier about what I’ll use.
If you’re looking for a new release, try to compare an open-hook with a caliper or jaw-design release. The best way to narrow down your preference is to look at the options.
The TRUGLO Detonator is streamlined, fast and accurate. It uses an open-hook single-jaw design for fast and easy loading, especially with string loops. Shooting the release, I found it easy to attach to the string loop without even looking, which could save time and reduce movement when hunting. The trigger was sweet and broke clean and crisp. The shooter does have the ability to adjust the trigger pull to make it extremely lightweight.
The release just felt good in the hand, which is one of the biggest considerations. The forward trigger position adds safety and draw advantages. Plus, the release is made to last with stainless steel wear-free jaws and firing mechanism, and the head itself rotates fully to ensure there is never torque on the string.
My favorite feature of any TRUGLO release is the BOA technology in the release strap. A dial and wire system increases tension on the strap to hold it in place. You simply pop the dial up to release the tension to take the release off or reposition it. The wrist strap itself is easy to adjust with the BOA system, and will fit everyone from junior shooters to people with large wrists. The BOA system was designed for comfort and allows for unlimited adjustment to accommodate different custom fits for clothing or changing conditions—especially in the colder months.
One of the features I liked best on the Detonator was the one-inch of adjustment in the connection rod, allowing you to custom fit the release to your exacting standards. The adjustment increments—six holes spaced at 3/16th of an inch—are extremely fine, allowing for an easy fit your hand, shooting style, and trigger finger.
The rod on the Detonator is notably superior to many other brands, which often offer no adjustment, limited adjustment, or require threading or cutting to shorten the rod-to-trigger length.
When you are glassing, traveling, or just want the release out of the way, there is pivot that locks the release up or down, keeping it out of the way when doing anything besides shooting. Simply click it into the center position when you want to shoot.
Any seasoned archer will immediately see the quality and engineering in the NITRUS line of releases. They are similar looking to the Detonator line, but have a dual caliper jaw design for smooth consistent release from the string or D-loop.
The NITRUS is also available with the BOA or Velcro versions. As described in the Detonator line, this Cadillac of releases comes with the same rod/yoke adjustments.
If you’ve been looking for an upgrade to your current release, the NITRUS is the one you’ll want to check out. It is the top of the line, and is worth a look.
SPEED•SHOT XS BOA
The Speed Shot XS BOA has the dual-jaw design that also works great on D-loops. Like the Detonator, there is over one inch of length adjustment to custom fit the release for any sized shooter and five color matching covers. They also offer the Speed Shot XS BOA in a junior model with specialized wrist strap to accommodate smaller shooters.
The BOA system has been a favorite of mine for many years, as it allows me to keep the release at the perfect length no matter what the conditions.
The caliper or dual-jaw release itself is compact and easy to attach. Simply pull the trigger to open the jaws and grab the D-loop or string.
The Speed Shot XS BOA is an economical option for those looking for a mechanical release. ThSpeed Shot XS BOA is a great entry-level release or one for a junior shooter that might want to look at different options as they grow.
Comparing Arrow Rests
By Brad Fenson
Archers have a tough choice to make when selecting an arrow rest. Do you want a full-capture rest that your arrow shoots through, or do you want a drop-away rest that is limb driven or powered by buss cable? The full capture has no moving parts and ensures your nocked arrow is always in place no matter what angle you hold your bow. A drop-away is thought by many to be more accurate and easy to tune. There is no contact with the rest after the release of the string, allowing your arrow to fly free without any contact.
There isn’t a bad choice when you look at technologies offered today. It comes down to personal preferences and the style of hunting you want to engage in. Are you a consistent treestand hunter, or do you prefer spot-and-stalk? That might be the question that leads you to the perfect rest.
Look at the options below to help you make an informed decision.
UP-DRAFT LIMB-DRIVEN DROP-AWAY ARROW REST
A drop-away rest is inherently more beneficial for archers who may have less than perfect form as the arrow leaves the rest sooner, and therefore, you have less time to affect it. It also provides an accuracy advantage for seasoned shooters who pay attention to every little detail of their bow and shooting form.
The UP-DRAFT LIMB-DRIVEN DROP-AWAY ARROW Rest is a good example of a fall-away rest loaded with features to ensure consistency and accuracy. The drop-away operates on a torsion spring that lifts the rest when drawing your arrow and is pulled out of the way with the movement of the limb when the bowstring is released. Thorough design and good quality components ensure there is no launcher bounce back to recontact your arrow.
No bow press required to install this rest and instructions are easy to follow. The drive string can be attached to the top or bottom limbs, providing an advantage depending on the model of your bow, and where accessories may dictate which limb you use. The rest can be used for left or right handed shooters.
Rubber dampeners silence arrow loading where arrows contact the launcher. The rubber inserts can be changed out, and each rest comes with five colors to choose from.
The Up-Draft Limb-Driven Drop-Away Arrow Rest can provide faster arrow stabilization on a well-tuned bow because there is no contact.
STORM™ CAPTURE ARROW REST
One of the biggest selling features of a full-capture rest is ease of installation. Bolt it on the bow, adjust your windage and elevation to the bow, and you’re done. With no moving parts, you eliminate timing issues associated with a rest driven by the movement of the bow.
TRUGLO’s STORM™ Capture Arrow Rest uses adjustable brushes to hold your arrow at almost any angle. The portion of the rest your arrow sits on, sometimes referred to as the launcher, is designed to have the flexibility to ensure proper arrow flight with minimal contact. The launcher and brushes that hold an arrow are replaceable if you do lots of shooting. Reduced arrow contact means you are ensuring good performance without losing speed and accuracy.
When compared to competitor’s brands, the brushes are designed and placed to eliminate vane contact with the rest, which means less maintenance with arrows and vanes with this rest.
The brushes are narrow to help with vane clearance as the arrow leaves the rest, for fast and quiet arrow release. This rest is durable for hunting but well suited for 3-D and target shooters too.
The rest is quick and easy to install, and can be used for left-and-right–handed bows. There are five color matching inserts to customize your arrow rest.
MSRP $49.00 black only