Saturday, November 22, 2014

Tapping The Versatility Of The M40 Tactical Hunter Scope

If you are looking for a hunting rifle scope that can offer some of the range-finding and shot-placement features of a true tactical scope, but without having to totally re-educate yourself on how to use the scope, here's the answer - the 3-9x40mm M40 Tactical Hunter.

The basis for this scope is the Hi-Lux Optics re-creation of the Vietnam era M40 USMC sniper scope. What made this scope so "hi-tech" back in the 1960's was its simple ranging system, which required the shooter to zoom in and frame a known object of 18-inches between two upper cross-wires...then read the range on a scale visible in the bottom right quadrant of the rear lens.  It was easy to learn...and reasonably accurate.  The shooter then only had to apply the needed "hold over" for those shots out at 300 to 600 yards.

The Hi-Lux Optics re-creation of this scope is better than "authentic".  Today's lenses are far superior than what was available during the 1960's, and the new lens coatings make the Hi-Lux Optics M40 USMC Sniper Scope far brighter and sharper than the originals.  Likewise, a new etched glass ranging scale is more precise and reliable than the fragile plastic scale found in the original USMC scopes.

For today's hunter, Hi-Lux Optics has now incorporated a Bullet Drop Compensating reticle in the M40 Tactical Hunter version of this scope - with short cross-bar hold-over aiming points on the lower vertical cross-hair for those shots at 200 to 500 yards.  (Where the cross-hair and the lower heavy duplex post meet also serves as a 600-yard

USMC Vietnam snipers mounted the original M40 scope on high-grade Remington bolt-action rifles, chambered for the .308 Winchester cartridge.  Hi-Lux Optics chose to base the location of the longer range cross-bar aiming points on the trajectory of .308 Winchester Match ammo, such as the Hornady 155 gr. OTM Match (at 2,775 f.p.s. muzzle velocity) and 168 gr. BTHP Match (at 2,700 f.p.s. muzzle velocity) loads.  Sighted right at 2 inches high at 100 yards, both of these rounds share very similar trajectories out to 500 yards - due to the higher .450 ballistic coefficient of the slightly slower 168-grain BTHP bullet.  (The 155-grain HP Match bullet has a .405 b.c.)

At 300 yards, the 168-grain bullet drops 8.5 inches, while the 155-grain hollow-point drops 8.3 inches. Moving to 400 yards, the heavier BTHP drops 24.7 inches, while the lighter 155-grain bullet is down 24.1 inches - and at 500 yards the 168-grain BTHP drops 50 inches, while the 155-grain HP drops 49.2 inches. With a .308 Winchester caliber rifle sighted 2 inches high at 100 yards, the BDC reticle of the Hi-Lux Optics 3-9x40mm M40 Tactical Hunter will keep hits in the kill zone of any North American big game animal out to 600 yards.

Now, some of you are surely saying to yourselves, "I don't shoot and hunt with a rifle chambered for the .308 Winchester cartridge."

The rifle shown at left and at the top of this post has become just about the only "big game" center-fire rifle I pack into the field these days.  It is a stainless steel Winchester Model 70, chambered for the .300 Winchester Short Magnum cartridge. For deer-sized game, my load consists of a moderate 65-grains of Accurate Arms 4350 behind a Hornady .308" diameter 168-grain polymer-tipped A-MAX bullet.  At the muzzle, the .475 b.c. bullet exits at 3,070 f.p.s..

I like the handy ranging system of the M40 Tactical Hunter scope, and it has become my favorite for this hunting rifle.  So, how compatible are the BDC hold-over cross-bars with the higher velocity of the load and the higher b.c. of the bullet?

Very compatible, it just took some shooting to determine exactly where those cross-bar hold-overs would place bullet impact at longer ranges.

Now, this rifle, scope and load consistently prints sub M.O.A. at a hundred yards.  To fully tap the flat shooting trajectory, I've sighted the rifle to print the 168-grain A-MAX right at 2 inches above point of aim at 100-yards.  With a dead on hold, that puts bullet impact right at .6 inch high at 200 yards.  Using the 300-yard cross-bar hold-over, bullet impact at that distance is right at 2.7 inches high.  At 400-yards, the cross-bar for that range prints 4.3 inches high...and at 500 yards the BDC hold-over puts shots 7.5 inches above point of aim.

Rarely will I shoot at big game much beyond 400 yards.  Shooting this rifle with the load detailed, I've found that the 400-yard hold-over actually puts shots pretty much on at about 430 yards...the 300-yard hold over hits on at around 340 yards...and the 200-yard hold over prints on at about 250 yards.

The buck in the above left photo was taken at 396 yards (lasered after the shot).  When the deer walked out into a huge alfalfa field, I ranged the buck with the M40 Tactical Hunter ranging system (framing the chest from the top of the back to the bottom of the chest) and could see it was right at 400 yards.  Using the BDC hold-over for that range, I knew that bullet impact would be a little over 4 inches high at that range, so held about 3 inches below center of the chest cavity and squeezed off the shot.  The 168-grain A-MAX drove home about 2 inches above where I was holding and this buck went down on the spot.  (The kill zone on a whitetail buck is about as large in diameter as a 9-inch paper plate.)

For the hunter who is willing to do some shooting to determine where a particular rifle, load, bullet and velocity combo prints on with the BDC hold-over bars of this scope, the M40 Tactical Hunter just could be the most practical and useful hunting scope you could ever mount on a hunting rifle - no matter if it is chambered for .223 Remington, .300 Winchester Short Magnum, or even .45-70 cartridges.  This scope, ranging system, and BDC reticle is compatible with rifles chambered for just about every popular big game cartridge...the shooter just has to do some "homework" on the range to determine where those long range hold-over marks print bullet impact down range.  -  Toby Bridges, Hi-Lux Optics      

Friday, September 5, 2014

Hi-Lux Optics Introduces New MAX-TAC Dot Sight

The Shooting Wire shares a look at the new MAX-TAC Dot reflex red-dot sight from Hi-Lux Optics.  This is a high quality and full featured electronic red-dot sight at a price that won't clean out your bank account. Here's more on this great sight -



Last fall, I put the prototype of the MAX-TAC Dot sight through some fairly extensive test shooting, and was so impressed with the sight I also used it on a Traditions .50 caliber in-line ignition muzzleloading pistol to fill one of my Montana antlerless whitetail tags.

I was shooting a 60-grain charge of Blackhorn 209 behind a saboted 240-grain Scorpion PT Gold bullet (from Harvester Muzzleloading).  The yearling whitetail offered a perfect 40-yard broadside shot...and when the illuminated red dot of the sight was perfectly behind the shoulder...the trigger slowly came back...the big handgun barked...and the deer went down.  It was -15 degrees that morning.  - Toby Bridges, Hi-Lux Optics

To Read More On This Hunt Go To -

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hi-Lux Optics Buck Country 1.5-6x42mm Scope - An Affordable Classic Scope

                                                               (Click On Photos To Enlarge)

The rifle shown above is something of a modern classic.  It is the Thompson/Center Arms single-shot TCR Model 87.  The company first introduced the rifle as the TCR Model 83, in 1983.  The only real difference between the Model 83 and the Model 87 is that the earlier model, also known as the Aristocrat, featured double-set triggers, while the model shown here, often referred to as the TCR Hunter, came with a single trigger.  The interchangeable barrels fit both models.  From what I can gather, only about 40,000 were produced (both models combined) between 1983 and 1991.

What kept the rifle from being any more successful was the price.  The retail cost of either the TCR 83 or TCR 87 was noticeably higher than popular bolt-action center-fire rifles of the time, such as the Winchester Model 70, Remington Model 700 or Ruger Model 77.

Just finding a fine condition Model 83 or 87 today that's for sale is quite an accomplishment...But, finding one for sale at a bargain price is, well, PRICELESS!

I lucked into the Model 87 shown here a couple of months back on the Montana Armslist on the internet - and bought the rifle with two barrels (.22 Hornet and .30-06), a new riflescope, with two bases and sets of rings already attached, and 5 boxes of .22 Hornet ammo - for a whopping $400. I've since turned down a $600 offer for the rifle with the .22 Hornet barrel - and a $300 offer for the .30-06 barrel.  I've wanted one of these for years, and this one is staying right here.

When I bought the rifle, the .22 Hornet barrel was on the frame, and had a current model Redfield 3-9x42mm model scope mounted on it.  The scope had less than 50 rounds fired under it, and I put another 20 rounds through the .22 Hornet barrel the day I bought it.  The scope seemed to perform well enough, but I just did not like its overly large size.  It was just too big and bulky for the slim and trim lines of the TCR Model 87.  The scope I chose for this barrel is the 1.5-6x42mm Buck Country model from Hi-Lux Optics. The scope is considerably shorter, and looks much better on the rifle.

This has long been one of my favorite scopes in the Hi-Lux line, and it retails for just $129.00.  It's built with much of the quality and ruggedness of higher priced models in the line.  The BC156x42 features multi-coated high quality lenses that are super bright and sharp.  The fingers actuated windage and elevation adjustments are crisp and positive - and the somewhat European styling of the scope simply adds to the overall look of a classic single-shot like the TCR Model 87.

What really impressed me was my very first shot with the rifle with the Hi-Lux Buck Country 1.5-6x scope mounted in the same rings used to mount the previous scope.  Switching out the two scopes took all of about ten minutes.  My first shot out of the .22 Hornet barrel with the new scope at 50 yards, shooting Hornady "Varmint Express" ammo, with the 35-grain V-MAX bullet (at 3,100 f.p.s.), was perfectly left-right center on the target, and about an inch above the center-x of the Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C target.  Two following shots punched a .455" center-to-center group.

A new target was then stapled to the 100-yard target board...and the very next three shots produced a .335" group.  Never before in my life have I been able to pull a brand new scope out of a box, and stick it into existing rings on an existing base - and have a rifle sighted in...without ever turning an adjustment turret.  That group is shown here.

When shipped, Hi-Lux Optics scopes are set at "optical center" - with the same amount of adjustment up and down, and left to right.  The odds of being able to take a scope that's perfectly centered optically, and dropping it into a set of rings on a rifle, and have it perfectly "on" at 100 yards is beyond comprehension.  In my mind, it also says a lot for just how precisely the TCR Model 87 was built - and especially how precisely centered the holes for mounting a scope base were drilled.

I've also put a few boxes of Sellier & Bellot 45-grain soft-point rounds through the Hornet barrel, punching several sub 1-inch hundred yard groups.  The scope took the needed 1/4-inch click adjustment in windage and elevation well.  The rifle tends to prefer the Hornady 35-grain V-MAX, and I was able to easily return to the zero for those rounds by turning both windage and elevation the same number of clicks in the opposite direction.

I'll shoot and bust a few ground squirrels with the .22 Hornet barrel, Hi-Lux Optics 1.5-6x High Country scope, and Hornady's "Varmint Express" ammo until I pick up a set of loading dies for the .22 Hornet. It's been more than 40 years since I've owned a rifle chambered for the .22 Hornet.  I had forgotten how accurate a good rifle in that caliber can be...and how much fun it is to squeeze off a round that tends to have "zero" recoil.

Now, I'm eyeing up that .30/06 barrel for the rifle - and wondering what scope to mount on it.  I'm kind of leaning in favor of the new Hi-Lux Optics 3-9x40mm M40 Tactical Hunter, with a built in ranging system. What do you think?  -  Toby Bridges

                         For More On The Buck Country Scopes - Click Here


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Where Can I Buy Leatherwood/Hi-Lux Optics Riflescopes?

We know, that compared to other name brand rifle optics, we are still somewhat the "new kids" on the block.  However, when it comes to quality, reliability, precision, brightness, sharpness, clarity and toughness...our products will definitely stand up against any other scope line on the market.

We are expanding our dealer list, making it easier for you, the consumer, to actually pick up and compare a Leatherwood/Hi-Lux Optics scope with other brands.  However, if you cannot find our products in any of your local gunshops, here is a list of very reputable internet retailers where you can learn more about our some reviews...and actually purchase the great models that make up our line.

SWFA Outdoors 


Midway USA

Creedmoor Sports


Natchez Shooters Supply

Ironsight Inc.

Buffalo Arms

Taylor's & Co., Inc. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Unique Application Of Hi-Lux Optics AR Tactical Scope...

The following is an excerpt from a feature article about the new LHR Sporting Arms .50 caliber Redemption Carbine big game muzzleloader, which was just published on the NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING web magazine.  This short and fast handling muzzleloader was designed and built for getting on target quickly...and taking the shot.  To tap the accuracy and knockdown power of this new frontloader, for this report the Redemption Carbine has been topped with one of the Hi-Lux Optics 1-4x CMR scopes for AR style cartridge rifles.  Here's what NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING had to say about the scope... 

"As soon as I realized that the 20-inch barreled LHR Sporting Arms carbine is as fast shouldering as it looks, I knew immediately it was built for hunting the "heavy cover" where shots are generally well inside of a hundred yards - often calling for fast shot placement. Choosing the ideal scope for the short .50 caliber was a pretty easy choice - since I just happened to have one of the Hi-Lux Optics 30mm tubed 1x to 4x variable Close-Medium Range (CMR) tactical scopes on hand...and which needed a home.

This scope is actually an extremely popular scope for AR style cartridge rifles, with the low magnification ideal for fast target acquisition during those up close and personal situations ...yet offering enough magnification for punching some tight 100+ yard groups.

The only way this scope could have been any more perfect for the .50 caliber No. 209 primer ignition in-line carbine would be if those BDC hold-over marks seen below the center circle and dot had been calibrated for the ballistics of the short-barreled muzzleloader. (They are actually to allow for the trajectory of .223 Rem. or .308 Win. rounds.) This illustration shows the center portion of the reticle illuminated (available in either green or red). When the illumination is switched off, the center shows up like every other feature shown here.

The 30mm tube lets in a lot of light, making this one of the brightest scopes I now have on a muzzleloader. When the center illumination is switched "off", the small center dot is fine enough to allow precise shot placement out at 100 yards or a bit farther, yet bold enough that it's not lost when trying to catch up with a running target."

                                                         To read the entire article/report, go to -


Friday, April 4, 2014

Part 2 - Testing The New 3-9x40mm M40 Tactical Hunter Riflescope

                                                                                        Click On Targets Below To Enlarge

Yesterday (April 3, 2014) was a great day for shooting in Western Montana.  The high temperature for the afternoon was 55 degrees, humidity was right at 50-percent, and the light 3 to 4 m.p.h. breeze was mostly right in my face.  During the entire 3 1/2 hour shooting session, I put a grand total of 29 rounds downrange - giving the rifle plenty of cool down time between shots.

Since I was shooting at 400...500...and 600 yards, far more time was spent walking downrange to post new targets...and to move the portable target board ever farther back...than shooting.  The purpose of this test shooting was to determine how well the BDC reticle of the Hi-Lux Optics 3-9x40mm M40 Tactical Hunter printed hits at those distances.

During my earlier testing (and March 17th report on this blog), I had done my shooting at 100...200...and 300 yards, loading the .300 Winchester Short Magnum cartridge to get a .475 b.c. .308" diameter 168-grain boat-tailed polymer-tipped Hornady A-MAX bullet out of the muzzle at approximately 2,850 f.p.s. (2,874 f.p.s. actual avg.).  The BDC reticle of the M40 Tactical Hunter has been designed around the ballistics of the .308 Winchester.  The purpose of my testing has been to determine how compatible the BDC hold-over aiming marks are with other popular big game hunting cartridges.  So, I picked up where I had left off during my earlier testing of the scope.

Sighted on at 100 yards, I found that the 200 yard aiming point printed hits on the average just about 3 inches high at 200 yards...and that the 300-yard aiming point would group, on average about 3 1/2 inches above point of aim at 300 yards.  This was when shooting the 168-grain A-MAX at approximately 2,850 f.p.s.  So, when I shot my first group at 400 yards, with the 400 yard hold-over of the scope's reticle, shooting the same load, I wasn't too surprised to find that it printed 4 1/2 inches above point of aim...and at 500 yards with the 500-yard hold over, hits averaged 5 1/2 inches above point of aim.

I've determined that the continued rise above point of aim is due to shooting such a high ballistic coefficient bullet at a higher velocity than typical with a .308 Winchester.  The load I was shooting produced the ballistics of a .30/06.

I had a healthy supply of loads along that would put the same bullet out of the muzzle at 2,782 f.p.s., which is within the ballistics of the .308 Winchester.  A couple of shots at 100 yards allowed me to tweak the scope to put hits "dead on" at that range.  Then I went to the 400 yard target board, using the 400 yard BDC mark, and my first three shots printed just 2 1/2 inches above the bull.  (Center-to-center, the group went 2.550" across - shown at right.)

At 500 yards, using the 500 yard BDC hold over, my group opened some - to 3.826" center-to-center - shown at left.. Now, I'm not complaining at all.  After all...we're talking about shooting at 500 yards...and even with the scope at 9x...that tiny 1-inch dot in the center of the target is pretty much covered up by the aiming mark.  At that range, I was basically holding as close as I could to what I felt was the center of the target.  As you can see in the accompanying photo, the hits were a bit more scattered...but all would have taken the game being hunted - at 500 yards.

I had kind of forgotten what it was like to shoot at 600 yards.  To walk out and move the portable target board to 600 yards...walk back to the bench...shoot the first shot...then walk back out to see where it hit...then back to the bench to shoot two more shots...and to retrieve the target and target board after the last shot...means having to walk 3,600 yards - just to shoot those three rounds at that distance.  That's more than 2 miles of walking.  My first shot at 600 yards had been 2.8" below the center of the target.  The second round printed on the outer lower left edge of the paper, 5.115" from the center of the bull.  And shot No. 3 printed at about 2 o'clock, 2.115" from the center of the bull.  On average, the three hits were less than 3.4 inches from the center of the target - which is outstanding.

Now, it looks as if I am faced with one more long afternoon of long range determine where those M40 Tactical Hunter longer range (400 to 600 yard) BDC hold overs do put the hits pretty much on when shooting at 2,850 to 3,050 f.p.s.

It's a Dirty Job...but someone has to do it! - Toby Bridges, Hi-Lux Optics    

Thursday, March 20, 2014

301 Yard Shot Thanks To The Hi-Lux Optics TB-ML Muzzleloader Hunting Scope

"Watching with the binocs, it seemed as though time stood still in the quiet valley. I wondered as he stood there “Was he hit...and why did he stay out in the open?”  After about 5 seconds, he staggered sideways and fell down dead. I wondered, Could it really be?”   The feeling was unbelievable. After 30 minutes of seeing no movement, I pursued the animal and thought about how until 2 years ago I was afraid to ethically black powder shoot past 125 yards. The information on the NAMLHUNT.COM website and the multi-range reticle of the Hi-Lux Optics TB-ML scope have been game changers for me."

Mike Ross,
New Virginia, Iowa

To Read Mike's Article On This Great Hunt, Go To - 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Testing The New 3-9x40mm M40 Tactical Hunter Riflescope

Most days...I just love my job...especially the part that keeps me on the shooting range a lot.  Unfortunately, like most of the country, where I play in Western Montana has had more than its share of cold...windy...and snowy weather this winter.  Even when the weather began to break the first of March, getting to the range was pretty much out of the question as FEET of snow began to melt...turning my range and the dirt road leading to it into a muddy mess.

After a week of warm sunny weather and dry conditions, yesterday morning (3-16-14) I decided to go for it...and see if I could four-wheel myself into the old hay barn where my somewhat portable shooting bench is stored. I was more than a month behind in the testing of the new Hi-Lux Optics black matte finished 3-9x40mm M40 Tactical Hunter scope, which features the same ranging system as the company's recreation of the green anodized scope used by Marine Corps snipers in Vietnam, and which was mounted on the .308 Winchester bolt-action M40 sniper rifle.

Both versions of the scope feature a simple and easy to use ranging system.  All the shooter has to do is
zoom in on a known target of 18 inches, until it fits in a bracket incorporated in the reticle, then read the range on a scale that's inside the scope.  What sets the M40 USMC version of this scope apart from the new M40 Tactical Hunter model is that with the military version, the shooter still must know the drop of the bullet at 200 to 600 yard, and manually apply the correct amount of hold over.  On the other hand, the M40 Tactical Hunter model incorporates a bullet drop compensating reticle (shown above).  Once the shooter ranges the target, and knows the distance, it's just a matter of using the proper BDC aiming mark to consistently place the shot in "The Zone" - insuring a game taking hit.

While the BDC reticle of the M40 Tactical Hunter has been calibrated for the trajectory of the .308 Winchester or .223 Remington, to 600 yards, those same BDC hold-over aiming marks work extremely well with rifles chambered for many other popular cartridges.  It's now my job to determine which rifle calibers are most compatible with the longer range aiming point of this scope - and I figured I would begin with the .30 caliber cartridges.

The rifle on which the scope is shown mounted at the top of this post is one of my favorite rifles - it is a stainless steel Winchester Model 70 chambered for the .300 Winchester Short Magnum.  Using Accurate Arms 4350 powder, I have worked up loads for the rifle, shooting the same 168-grain Hornady .308" diameter boat-tailed  polymer-tipped spire-point A-MAX bullet, that will keep groups inside of an inch at 100 yards, at velocities the same as that achieved with the .308 Winchester (at 2,700 f.p.s.)...the .30/06 Government (at 2,850 f.p.s.)...and at the typical velocity of the .300 Winchester Short Magnum (at 3,050 f.p.s.).

The rifle, being a .300 WSM, had been sighted to print about 1 1/2 inches high at a hundred yards with the bullet at 3,050 f.p.s..  At the upper end velocity, the 168-grain A-MAX has been a stellar performer on deer and similar sized game.  For my testing, I began at the .30/06 velocity (2,850 f.p.s.).  Several shots were sent down range to see how much the 200 f.p.s. slower velocity affected point of impact - and I was surprised to see that it tended to print about an inch higher...probably due to the slight rise of the muzzle during recoil before the bullet gets out of the barrel.

Once the M40 Tactical Hunter sighting had been tweaked to adjust for the slight drop in velocity, the rifle was printing the .475 b.c. bullet right at an inch above the center of the bullseye.  Then, with a new target on the board, I went for a 100 yard group.  Much to my satisfaction, the three shots punched the .555" center-to-center cluster shown here.

The target board had two heavy magic marker drawn lines across it, the inside edges of which were exactly 18-inches apart.  I had a friend move the board back a little at a time, and each time I checked to see how the 18 inch bracket of the reticle fit to match that 18-inch grid on the target.  It took several moves of the board...and finally a minor move of the portable shooting bench before the lines on the target board fit perfectly between the brackets in the scope...with the scope zoomed until the range on the scale indicated 200 yards.

Before shooting at the distant target...I took a reading with a laser rangefinder...which indicated the board was at 203 yards.  The next three shots, using the 200 yard BDC aiming mark, kind of printed a little strung out vertically, at an angle (target at right).  Still, from the center of the lowest hole in the target paper to the center of the top hole, the three shots stayed right at 1.251".  That's a great 200 yard group - and as you can see, it is still near the center of the kill zone of any big game animal.

I was impressed with how closely the range could be determined using the ranging system of the scope.  Knowing that laser rangefinders aren't always exactly right on the money either, I feel comfortable saying that there's a very good chance, that a hunter zooming in on the chest cavity of a mature whitetail buck (appx. 18 inches from the top of the back to the bottom of the chest cavity) can fairly accurately determine the distance of the deer, using the M40 Tactical Hunter ranging system, to within +/- of 5 yards.

Next, the board was moved out to 300 yards, again using the ranging system within the scope to determine the distance.  A check with the laser rangefinder put the distance at 304 to 305 yards - depending on whether you leaned a bit forward or a bit backward.  Using the 300-yard BDC aiming mark, the next three shots printed an average of 1 1/2 inches above point of aim - and center-to-center all three shots averaged just 1.390" across.  Quite honestly, I think this very well may be the best 300-yard group I have personally ever fired.  One thing is for certain - any whitetail buck that had been ranged with the scope at that distance, with a center hold on the chest cavity, would have been pretty much anchored on the spot.

Some preliminary shooting has already told me that the M40 Tactical Hunter scope...the standard hunting rifle being shot...the Hornady 168-grain .308" diameter A-MAX bullet...and charge of Accurate Arms 4350 powder used to get that bullet out of the muzzle at 2,850 f.p.s. will definitely keep hits inside the 8 to 10 inch diameter kill zone of a whitetail deer out to 600 yards.  In April we will cover more shooting with the rifle, scope and cartridge at this velocity at the longer ranges, plus take a look at shooting the same rifle and M40 Tactical Hunter scope with the same A-MAX bullet at 2,700 f.p.s. and at 3,050 f.p.s. to see if the combination can "Keep 'Em In The Zone!"

My guess is that I won't be disappointed. - Toby Bridges, Hi-Lux Optics


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Two Hi-Lux Optics 8x USMC Scopes Are Better Than One!

Bought a second scope because I liked the first scope so much. 

First scope is mounted on a Kimber Model 82 .22 target rifle obtained from CMP. Perfect for this application - good magnification (especially @ normal 50 yard range distance); excellent optics, as I have had several Unertl and Lyman scopes to compare with; mounting was only a minor challenge, as I had a collection of Unertl and Lyman mount bases, two of which worked well (bull barrel on rifle drilled & tapped for scope blocks - just needed right height, and length to get the 7.2"). 

The second scope is mounted on a Springfield 1903, as you guys actually intended. Mounting, of course, was more of a challenge, but I found a video instruction on the Web that helped a lot. Mounted the rear mount first, using a Wheeler scope mounting mandrel, which assured proper spacing and, more importantly, alignment with the fore-aft receiver axis. Next, I built an aluminium jig (clamped the two mounts between two rails) that allowed me to exactly align the front mount with the rear mount, and included precise markings for the 7.2" spacing. Just some drilling and tapping, and the job was well and easily done. 

Have not yet fired the Springfield, but laser bore sighting looks very good, with zero very near to the mechanical center of the rear mount. Anticipate excellent performance, as was experienced with the first scope & mount. Recovering form heart attack, quadruple bypass, triple hernia repair, and am afraid to shoot any rifle with any recoil with a sewed-up sternum. Can't seem to get a straight answer from the doctors, as they don't shoot, thus don't understand the recoil forces involved, and the transfer of those forces to the sternum. Frustrating, to say the least! Looking for another shooter with same experience, but haven't found one yet. 

Only comment I would make is that the threads on the lens covers are extremely fine, and thus always a challenge to replace on the lenses. Thanks for an excellent product at a very reasonable price!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Testing The New Hi-Lux Optics Max-Tac Dot Sight In Extreme Cold Weather

                     One Very Cold Montana Deer Hunt Puts This Electronic Sight Through Its Paces... 

"Using the padded rail that went around the front of the stand as a rest, I hit the "on" button of the Max-Tac Dot sight and looked through it to make sure the reticle was on. The two young deer held their course, coming right along the edge...then about a hundred yards away they began to slightly angle out into the field. Fortunately, they then began walking parallel with the edge of the timber...and as the deer slowly eased past at about 40 yards, I centered the glowing red dot right over the rear line of the front shoulder...cocked the hammer back...steadied my hold...and eased back on the trigger. The big handgun barked...and the makings of one fine roast (and other great eating) went down on the spot. The shot was perfectly placed along the rear edge of the front shoulder..."

To read the entire article on this hunt with the Max-Tac Dot topped .50 caliber Traditions VORTEK Pistol shown above, go to - 


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Transforming The Standard Short Wm. Malcolm Scope Into A Precision BPCR Competition Scope

Note:  The standard mounts that come on the short 3x and 6x vintage style Wm. Malcolm scopes, produced by Hi-Lux Optics, are copies of original mounts of late 1800's and early 1900's design.  They are extremely reliable, and relatively easy to adjust.  However, they are not designed for being quickly adjusted back and forth during black powder cartridge rifle long range shooting or competition.  The mounts have been built to be sighted and locked (using a friction ring) into place - for hunting or close range (<100 yards) target shooting and plinking.

One solution to installing more adjustable and more precise target mounts is to purchase the precision micrometer click style mounts built for the external adjustment Wm. Malcolm 8x USMC Sniper scope.

Here is a look at how one shooters made that change out...  

Leatherwood Rolling Out New Hi-Lux M40 Tactical Hunter Scope

                Here's An Early Review On The New M40 Tactical Hunter Model

"The heart of the M40 Tactical Hunter is the reticle. Instead of using MOA or mils these scopes are marked to estimate the distance to the target based on its size in the reticle. Then the shooter just positions the target on the appropriate hold-over mark and pulls the trigger."

                                                       Click Here To Read The Full Write Up

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Hunting With The .50 Fast-Twist Rifling Pedersoli Missouri River Hawken And Long 6x 1850's Style Wm. Malcolm Scope

Following are excerpts from a great hunting article published on the NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING website...

                                                                   Click On Photos To Enlarge

"NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING first started shooting this rifle in 2007, and the bullet that first gave us the kind of accuracy and knockdown power we wanted was the 450-grain .50 caliber conical bullet shown in the photo at right. A good supply of the bullets had come with the test rifle, and shooting an 80 grain charge of FFg black powder, we were able to punch a number of 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inch hundred yard groups - but only after we had mounted one of the long 6x "Wm. Malcolm" circa 1850's styled 3/4" diameter steel tubed "telescopic rifle sights" produced by Hi-Lux Optics.

The lubed bullets loaded easily and shot very well. That first fall I filled several whitetail doe tags at ranges out to 80 yards. Everything knocked down by the rifle and load tended to stay knocked down. Now, I'm not knocking the old patched round ball, but it does have its limitations. The modern hunter looking to do a little traditional muzzleloader hunting, especially if shots are likely to reach out at 100 or more yards, may want to concentrate on such a bullet-shooting rifle. "  


"One of my favored hunting spots in the so-called "Missouri Breaks" is one place I had always wanted to go after a buck with the rifle. With the rebuild of this website in late 2011, we began to expand our coverage of hunting with trditionally styled muzzleloaders. We knew that the site would always continue to cater mostly to modern muzzleloading hunters - who now make up 90+ percent of all muzzleloading hunters these days. However, I have always had a love of traditional muzzle-loaded rifles and felt that, perhaps, that side of the sport had dropped off so drastically due to the fact that it simply was not getting enough coverage.

I also realized that while I had continued to take a doe or two most seasons with a traditionally styled front-loaded rifle ever since going to an in-line rifle in 1986, I had taken ONLY one buck with a traditionally styled rifle during the 25 years since going "modern". And that's the buck in the photo at left - taken in 2005 with a custom half-stock fast-twist bullet shooting .50 caliber barrel. That year I was wringing out the recently introduced long "Malcolm" scope, and had the rifle shooting very, very well - taking this nice buck at about 125 to 130 yards."



"Sitting on a favored knoll overlooking a long narrow river-bottom hayfield, by the time the sun began to peek over the ridge at my back, at least 40 whitetails had passed within 200 yards of where I sat with the .50 caliber bullet-shooting Hawken propped on a set of home-made hickory cross-sticks. Four of the deer had been smaller 3x3 and 4x4 bucks - on a couple of which I had eased the rifle up and taken aim through the long Malcolm 1850's style scope.

While this scope can be quickly adjusted for different ranges, and I had my 200 yard mark clearly defined, I had decided to sight the scope about 2 inches high at 100 yards, and simply hold at the top of the back for shots at 200 yards. I'd decided not to shoot beyond 200 yards, even though the powder, charge and Hornady FPB bullet were fully capable of delivering the shot with sufficient energy for taking deer at more than 200 yards."


                                        To Read The Complete Article Go To -


Monday, February 3, 2014

Military Arms Channel Reviews The Hi-Lux Optics 1-4x CMR Scope

If you've ever truly wondered how well the Hi-Lux Optics 1-4x CMR (Close-Medium Range) tactical scope compares to much higher dollar scopes of the very same basic design - here's a great video review by the Military Arms Channel.

Wonder No More!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Leatherwood/Hi-Lux's New Max-Tac Red Dot Sight – SHOT Show Optic Preview

                                                                      By Timothy G. Yan

     Leatherwood/Hi-Lux Optics displayed their new MaxTac Dot red-dot sight at SHOT Show 2014. This new red-dot packs a lot of features for just a $199 MSRP. Some of those include a robust machined aluminum housing, dual-mode digital illumination control, built-in picatinny mount and a screw-on anti-reflective filter comes with the sight.

     On the top of the Hi-Lux Optics new MaxTac Dot you'll find an ambient light sensor which is a part of the automatic illumination control feature.  The user has the option of overriding the sensor to manually adjust the reticle brightness.  The objective lens size is the standard 30mm - and all lenses are multi-coated. 

    On the left side of the new Hi-Lux red-dot, there’s the battery compartment for the CR2032 lithium battery. The battery life is between 400-500 hours and there’s an automatic shutdown to save battery power. A touch of either button will wake up the sight from sleep mode. Hi-Lux is currently working on a mount spacer that will increases the sight height to 1.5 inch for shooting with AR style rifles. 

     The Hi-Lux MaxTac Dot’s lens covers are metal and screw into the front and rear of the machined aluminum body housing. The anti-reflective filter that's included also threads into the front of the sight, using the threads for the metal lens cover. The sight’s capped adjustment turrets offer 1/2 MOA per click. The sight housing is sealed, and is water proof and shock resistant.

     The Hi-Lux MaxTac Dot has a 4 MOA red dot reticle (the dot is off focused in this image). I found the lens coating has a noticeable greenish tint at low light. Due to its use of larger honeycomb grids, the Hi-Lux anti-reflective filter does not seem to dim the sight picture as much as other similar type of ARD filters.

                           Watch For This New Sight On The Hi-Lux Website Soon!

Monday, January 6, 2014

HI-LUX/LEATHERWOOD CMR4 1-4x24 Scope Review

"Where most optics are designed around a single duplex reticle with a “best ballistic compromise” zeroing point (usually 300 yards for AR15s), a BDC reticle like the one on the Hi-Lux CMR4 greatly increases precision at all ranges. For example, an AR15 zero’ed to 200 yards delivers a bullet path that will vary approximately 1.5” high at 100 and only 1.5” low at 225 yards and a 300 yard zero will get you out further, however the bullet path will vary considerably more up to 4.5” high at 200 yards to 12” low at 400 yards. The BDC reticles offer more precise pre-calibrated aiming points than a single duplex reticle and offer you most precise shot placement at all distances. The CMR4 BDC is designed around the ballistics of the 55 gr ballistic tipped Hornady TAP round however I found that most other 55 gr rounds matched the BDC marks well at 200, 300, 400, 500, and 600 hash marks and provided a hit and satisfying gong ring at each distance."

Major Pandemic

To read more of his report, go to -


"One of the reasons 1-4X scope have been taking the AR industry by storm is that at 1X magnification, the scope can take the place of a both eyes open red-dot sight and with higher magnification setting it provides the power for reliable hits at longer distances. The scope features Diamond Tuff14 multi-coated photographic polished lenses for clear sharp images and true 96% light transmission, fog-proof construction, combination horse shoe dot reticle, a subdued 308/.223 calibrated bullet drop compensating reticle, “no-math” ranging MOA and MIL-DOT reticle, choice of red or green illuminated models with 11 levels including a very low night vision setting. Other notable features are Leatherwood’s zero-able “Zero Locking System” target turrets, wear resistant Prema-Coat blue-black finish, positive audible turret click adjustment, and class leading FOV. The Hi-Lux CMR is a hell of a scope for the money. The scope sits in the middle ground between crazy expensive and in-expensive. It is nearly twice the price of the Millet DMS, but it is about half the price of the competing Trijicon AccuPoint all while offering more features."

Major Pandemic

See what else he has to say about Hi-Lux Optics' best selling model...