high-def view­ing

ATN’S X-sight II HD Scope

American Survival Guide - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - By Steven Lieber­man

ATN’S X-sight II HD Scope

Acrisp cool breeze blows against my bal­a­clava-cov­ered face. The dew that has been leav­ing the area damp soaks through my wool wood­land cam­ou­flage and threat­ens to pierce my base layer—it’s both cold and wet. I have been sit­ting among th­ese gran­ite rocks for the last three hours; try­ing to re­main as quiet as pos­si­ble in the early morn­ing dark­ness has been a try­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Hunt­ing is not killing; hunt­ing is wait­ing. And the wait­ing is usu­ally done in con­torted po­si­tions in ex­tremely cold weather. The tools of this trade have evolved from sim­ple ob­sid­ian-tipped spears to fletched ar­rows to lead-based pro­jec­tiles. But there’s a ro­man­ti­cism as­so­ci­ated with the hunt, and for that ro­man­ti­cism to be con­sis­tent I have con­sis­tently cho­sen to use wood-fur­nished bolt-ac­tion ri­fles with glass op­tics. The op­tics are typ­i­cally ex­pen­sive, but em­ploy sim­ple glass none­the­less. You could point out that this may be some­what hyp­o­crit­i­cal; were I a true ro­man­tic, I would have re­verted back to the ob­sid­ian-tipped spear. But there is lit­tle de­bate that mod­ern tech­nol­ogy dra­mat­i­cally im­proves the chances of putting meat on the ta­ble and a tro­phy on my wall. With that in mind, I was a lit­tle ner­vous about re­view­ing the two prod­ucts that showed up at my door at the Artemis De­fense In­sti­tute, delivered in a brown UPS box from Atn—the com­pany’s X-sight II HD and the ATN Laser­bal­lis­tics 1000 Laser ranger fin­der.

Old School

The Artemis De­fense In­sti­tute is a tac­ti­cal train­ing fa­cil­ity. Most of our in­struc­tors are for­mer SWAT op­er­a­tors and ac­tive duty Force Re­con Marines. This re­sults in some pretty ex­otic gear mak­ing its way through our doors on a fairly reg­u­lar ba­sis. Make no mis­take, I am a gear junky yet when I’m hunt­ing, I have al­ways pre­ferred to go old-school. So what was I to make of some strange look­ing, tech­no­log­i­cally pow­er­ful pieces of equip­ment that threat­ened to re­de­fine how I hunt? Well, evo­lu­tion is a ne­ces­sity of life, and we must al­ways be pre­pared to dis­pas­sion­ately eval­u­ate new tech­nol­ogy and see how or if it im­proves upon the sta­tus quo. With that in mind, I took the X-sight II HD out of its box for a closer look.

X-sight II HD Scope

There’s def­i­nitely some­thing to be said for this op­tic’s cool fac­tor straight out of the box; ATN has achieved an A grade in that. The scope is re­ally more of a tele­vi­sion set that has been mounted in­side a tube. And like the tele­vi­sion you use at home, this one has a slew of fea­tures. The im­age dis­played when the scope is ac­ti­vated re­sem­bles a crisp HD broad­cast. The strangest thing that took me a mo­ment to get used to was the shape of the op­tic field. As I am more used to a cir­cu­lar field of view, I was slightly put off by the square im­age dis­played by the ATN X-sight. How­ever, I stopped notic­ing af­ter the first few sec­onds. The most im­pres­sive thing is the night vi­sion ca­pa­bil­ity that comes em­bed­ded in the unit. Make no mis­take, this is not the same night vi­sion that our SF guys use down­range, but nei­ther is it the cheap green Eastern Bloc ver­sion ei­ther. Be­fore I even had a chance to mount the scope on my ri­fle, a cou­ple of my in­struc­tors stole it from me and used it to walk around in­side our lab—the train­ing area where we house our force-on-force sim­u­la­tors. The am­bi­ent light is ex­tremely low in there and they were able to use the op­tic to not only nav­i­gate their sur­round­ings but could also read the writ­ing on some of our signs lo­cated across the build­ing, all in vir­tual dark­ness—not bad for a civil­ian op­tic. Chief among some of the X-sight II HD’S other no­table fea­tures are its cam­era and video ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Many have spent a lonely Satur­day evening drink­ing whisky and watch­ing those 30-minute hunt­ing shows, won­der­ing how

we could ar­range our own lives to spend as much time afield as the host. Many of the cam­era men that ac­com­pany th­ese hosts have be­come an in­spi­ra­tion to oth­ers to of­fer video ser­vices to hunters that want more than just a tro­phy from their hunt. The most im­por­tant part of this video is, of course, the mo­ment that the hunter con­nects. Too of­ten th­ese videos are sim­ply the hunter ly­ing prone and fir­ing, then a quick cut to him walk­ing up to his fallen an­i­mal. This is re­ally not the cam­era man’s fault. Some­times the an­i­mal is at such ex­treme dis­tances that the cam­era can­not eas­ily pick it up in time, so they just focus the lens on the hunter. Other times the cam­era it­self cre­ates the il­lu­sion of dis­tance and makes the an­i­mal so small that it looks like the moose hunter is ac­tu­ally shoot­ing at Coues deer. The X-sight II HD elim­i­nates this is­sue. Since the scope is broad­cast­ing a sig­nal to a screen, it has the abil­ity to not only record the in­for­ma­tion be­ing broad­cast, but to cre­ate a se­ries of still pho­tos as well. Up­load that video to the web,

and then edit it into your hunt video and you now have a more thor­ough dig­i­tal me­mento of the ex­pe­ri­ence. A built-in com­pass also al­lows for quick un­der­stand­ing of your re­la­tion­ship to the sun for those of you that plan on us­ing this on a preda­tor hunt. As far as op­tics go, I can hon­estly say it is just as good as a tra­di­tional scope, but dif­fer­ent. Like I stated ear­lier, the field of view takes a bit to get used to un­less you al­ready have ex­pe­ri­ence with dig­i­tal scopes. The bal­lis­tics seem to be just fine, as well. I used the scope on my Rem­ing­ton 700 cham­bered in .308. That ri­fle is ca­pa­ble of sub-moa groups at 100 me­ters. Af­ter push­ing through 50 rounds down range (with the oc­ca­sional break for clean­ing), the scope was still hold­ing its zero. The sin­gle big­gest con­cern—and it is a con­cern I have with all elec­tronic parts taken afield—are the bat­ter­ies. Un­like a red dot in­cor­po­rated with BUIS, if this scope goes down you are SOL. You will want to make sure that you

“The most im­pres­sive thing is the night vi­sion ca­pa­bil­ity that comes em­bed­ded in the unit.”

bring an ex­tra set of four AA bat­ter­ies on your ad­ven­ture, as well as a Mi­cro SD card if you want to keep the video.

A Plus All Around

The X-sight II HD from ATN is an ex­cep­tional prod­uct that en­hances the shooter’s ex­pe­ri­ence when afield. We had two tar­gets set up at known dis­tances: one at 214 and the other at 378. I set up on the 200-yard shoot­ing bench and ranged the tar­get with the one of ATN’S LRF 215 laser rangefind­ers. I

“The x-sight II hd from atn is an ex­cep­tional prod­uct that en­hances the shooter’s ex­pe­ri­ence when afield.”

checked the range dis­play in the up­per left of the screen, and it also read 215. At this point I'm itch­ing to sling lead so I set­tled the ret­i­cle in on the cen­ter of the tar­get, went hot and heard the tell-tale ring of the steel. Af­ter a cou­ple more di­rect hits, I moved down to the next sta­tion to try my hand at a first-round hit on the 378-yard tar­get. As ex­pected, I made an­other firstround hit with an op­tic that was ze­roed for 100 yards. To say the least, I was im­pressed from the very be­gin­ning. I look for­ward to putting it fur­ther through its paces.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.