Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Butler Creek lens covers or "CYG"....COVER YOUR GL-ASS!


Anybody that knows me in the gun culture context knows I'm not currently a huge user of optics but I do use them. In fact I recently purchased my first "good glass" this past summer with a midway birthday discount and the need to put some good optics on a long range rifle. Oh sure I've had "decent" glass in the past, lots of BSA target scopes which work perfectly fine for the small bore applications I was using them for. A low power Leupold scope on one of my belted magnums and a array of older Weaver "K" series scopes, my favorite being the K2.5x1" I have mounted on my Ruger 77/357.  The "good glass" I purchased this past summer was a higher end Vortex scope and right away I wanted to make sure that the lenses were kept clean and protected. I sought out one product I have used on a few other scopes and think highly of. Butler Creek lens covers....its like floor mats for your BMW...you don't really think of them but you're glad you have them when you get into some mud or wet weather.

Eyepiece cover, press the red toggle with your thumb and...
                             

I'm not sure when Butler Creek came out with these handy lens caps/covers but they sure do make a world of difference when you're hunting or "snap shooting".  I recently purchased a objective lens and eyepiece lens cover set made by Butler creek to accommodate my Weaver K2.5x1". In a quick ebay search a "blizzard" objective lens cover in the size I needed (#1) was found for a couple of bucks shipped new in the package. The "blizzard" has a clear or yellow (depending on model) window which will permit use of the scope while the lens is folded down. If you need to use the scope "full range" then you simply flip up the cover and have at it. The thinking is the lens does distort some light and thus where your cross-hairs are might not be where you think they are.  For the eyepiece I went with the red button pop up cap (#9) new from ebay as well, both caps came in combined for under $14 delivered. 

"Sproing" the cover flies open.

Not a super frugal option but you not going to lose these like you would the production bikini type covers or similar home made inner tube scope covers. Not to mention the flip up caps are very fast to use, rugged and reliable. If you spend $100 or $1000 on a scope for your pistol, rifle or what have you then I would suggest you invest a few more bucks in a fool proof method to protect your investment.


"blizzard" objective lens cover allows the shooter to use while still folded down.



Cap flipped up for use of the scopes full range, when not snap shooting or in close.




The view with the front cap down is just a bit darker than if it were up. No readily noticeable distortion though in this application it would not be used pass 100 yards with the .357mag/38spl

Ruger 77/357, the "Hearing Protection Act" and a job well done.

2016 has come and gone and with it Ruger fans everywhere got a little sad news in mid September that the  rim-fire and pistol caliber series of the rugged, reliable and typically Ruger, 77 bolt actions rifles would be temporarily discontinued. For how long who knows....but when I got the news I thought about how much I've been enjoying my 77/357 and was hoping that Ruger would not only continue its production but also come out with a .327 Federal version as well as other pistol caliber bolt actions. Keeping one eye on what companies were starting to bring into production towards the end of 2016 and the other on the political climate that was Bedlam, USA in a presidential election year I asked myself if there was any work I wanted to get done that I didn't feel comfortable doing myself possibly before things got more tumultuous.  I thought to my beloved 77/357 and the rumors that the HPA was going to make for another push to pass and remembered researching smiths that specialized in 77 barrel threading jobs. 

Barrel prior to front sight set back and threading by JP Grips
For me I not only wanted my 77 threaded for 1/2x28 but wanted to keep a usable front sight with most of the aesthetics that one gets with Ruger sight bands. These days few rifles have serious iron sights and as such the barrels are easily threaded without regard for the irons sights. Factories have caught on now and ship rifles threaded, such as the Savage Axis and other Ruger bolt actions (among many many others, MVP etc) but few such as the Axis have iron sight options which make aftermarket threading of the muzzle easier for home smiths or mail order places, not having irons to index makes life easier. So these jobs where sights are involved start to get more complicated.

Barrel with thread protector in place
I recalled seeing a few photos of some other 77 fans who had their rifles threaded and the front sights "set back" and went in search of who they trusted with their guns. Jim Pixley of "JP Grips and Machine" came up time and time again. I emailed a few individuals who had work done and they were all very pleased with his service. I contacted Jim and arranged to have my action sent out right after Thanksgiving, his quote of $175 for threading, a thread protector, sight set back and return shipping was reasonable to me as this was not something that should be done by somebody who thinks this sort of work can be done quickly or with short cuts. Jim's turn around time was quoted as 1 month and he delivered under that time frame. As I'm giving this review prior to having a can on the barrel I can only give my thoughts on how well the job looks, and I think he did a marvelous job, I don't expect the accuracy has been altered at all from how the rifle has performed prior to the threading but only a trip to the range will tell.

Ready for any 1/2x28 devices, flash hiders, compensators or cans. 
Of course the Hearing Protection Act  is still being hashed out in D.C. as I'm typing this but I think we have a good chance of seeing it pass. If it does I plan on pursuing a Liberty Mystic X as soon as I can....no pun intended.  The Ruger 77/357 is one of the most versatile guns I have ever owned and so far all the little upgrades have made it more enjoyable and more practical for my style of shooting. 

I highly recommend if you plan on getting into any "canned goods" if/when HPA passes that you start considering now what you want as hosts. Getting the threading done now will alleviate what I think will be some painful wait times as I can see custom job shops such as JP Grips getting VERY busy in short order as he also works on the Beretta 92, Buckmark's, Remington 597 and all sorts of other flavors of guns. Below is his website and contact info



http://www.jpgrips.com/page1
jpixley@loretel.net