Day Two:

was a VERY good meeting as they have an exciting 2014 ahead....
Great news,
Minox actually listened to your input. Shocking that a mfg listened to what the comsumer suggested and responded. Very refreshing.
They have redesigned their ZA-5 series riflescopes. The zooming action on all their scopes has been made tighter. The Turrets are also lower profile while making the the grip slightly wider making for easier handling & grip. The new ZA-5 3-15x42 now features side-focus. It is refreshing to have a mfg respond to input from the consumer and IMO
Minox has stepped up.
BTW, all these ZA-5's are 1/4 click MOA with the exception of their newest 1.2-6x24 which is 1/2 click MOA.
They have also introduced a Rapid Target Acquisition (RTA) System. The RTA provides a significant reduction in vignetting of the light beam on the field of view, creating a clear image, friendlier eyebox and an undisturbed full field of view as well.
Designed and engineered in Germany and assembled in the USA these scopes all carry their no fault lifetime warranty. They offer an exceptionally high degree of precision, quality and reliability; all are equipped with the Rapid Target Acquisition system, and HD glass, with some models also available with illuminated reticles.

I was excited to see what will be the "Coming Soon" 1-8x24 (which unlike the 2010 announced S&B 1-8x24, which never came, this will be available this year). This scope features a unique illuminated reticle.... When you zoom from 8 power down, and the power gets to about 2.5x, it automatically changes from a FFP LR XR MIL reticle to a SFP Dot.
Made in Germany
34mm main tube
Tubes machined from solid-*‐bar stock 6061-*‐T6 aircraft-*‐grade aluminum alloy 2-*‐3x thicker than any traditional riflescope, yet weight remains relatively low
Fast focus, lockable eye piece (prevents accidental movement)
FFP illuminated reticle, Gen2 Mil-*‐dot
Integrated illumination control Automatic red dot in 2nd focal plane that can be either fine dim in low light or bright visible in day light Switching between twilight illuminated crosshair in 1st focal plane and day-*‐light dot in 2nd focal plane is done automatically by switching magnification Under 2x the bright dot is turned on, above 2x the dim illuminated crosshair is turned on
11 illumination intensity settings, with automatic switch off
Exposed tactical turrets
Highest quality German glass
10 mrad single turn elevation (1m at 100m, 75 MOA), in a single turn
0.1 mrad (1cm) click values
117 MOA internal adjustment range
Shock proof tested at 700gs for 10,000 cycles
Waterproof 10m (32 ft) submersion under water for 4 hrs
Field tested by the US Marine Corps
For long range to close quarters this will be a scope to look at. They claim late Spring to early Summer for delivery.

Lastly, but certainly not least they have introduced a ZV series 4.5-14x44 SF riflescope in Plex and BDC reticles starting at only $269.00. I think this is a wonderful addition to the sub $400.00 riflescope offerings available today.

As a camera dealer we have sold
Nikon since we opened in 1957. It's always more of a visit than a meeting for me when I go to "Fort Nikon". If you've ever seen their booth at SHOT you'd understand the "Fort Nikon" term as it is a two story log cabin looking booth with a center section sporting a "campfire". I always feel like its "Fort Apache" from F Troop (I know I'm showing my age here). Anyway, during our visit we discussed their new
Aculon laser rangefinder which will sell for $169.95. With a range of 6-550 yards and a size of only 3.6 x1.5 x2.9 in it should be a great addition to their line.
We are also discussing some super deals on some of their demo EDG binoculars so stay tuned for more details on that.

I was looking forward to arriving at
Swarovski as I have some very good friends there. Today is social as well as business. I kinda figured day two would be good for this as it takes some of the SHOT pressure off. After shooting the breeze about kids and how things have been I was shown the new
Swarovski SLC 15x56 WB and was informed they should be available in the Spring. These are a streamlined designed 15x56 and lighter weight than the one they are replacing. Very narrow IP which for those of you with close set eyes is a major plus. HD glass gives these improved edge sharpness. They also feature a bigger ocular for more eye relief. Yes, these are a bit more expensive than their predecessor, however, they recreated them and did make significant improvements.
I also was shown their new & improved PBC - personalized ballistic cam which is designed to provide hunters with optimum support and to make long-range shooting even more reliable. "Every ballistic turret can now also be fitted with a cam that has been specially customized for your ballistic data, with your personal shooting distances legibly engraved on it. The custom-made PBC gives hunters the chance to read several distances instead of the current three markings on the ballistic turret. They can easily read the shooting distance from the personally engraved turret, select the relevant setting in a matter of seconds, and stay on target. You can switch at any time between your personalized ballistic cam and the standard system that uses the rings, without any need for you to sight in the firearm again.
The numbers and line markings are also easier to align using the index point. Adhesive labels are no longer needed to mark the distances. You can have a number of distances engraved around the cam, depending on the caliber."
They also changed the build on it from three piece construction to a one piece making it even more durable.
This new PMC should be available Spring.

Last SHOT we got more active with
Meopta. We had been selling a few of their items but not too many and last year we expanded what we offered, somewhat. My issue with
Meopta is a simple one....They make a great product, however, they keep it a secret. They do very little marketing so most people are unfamiliar with their line.
We discussed having them build some MeoPro 3-9x40's, 4.5-14x44's and 4.5-14x50's for us to fill the void left by Zeiss discontinuing their Conquest scopes. IMO, if we can work this out we will be able to deliver a fantastic scope to you priced as it should be. More to report once plans get finalized.
Take a moment and look at
Meopta's site. I think you'll be glad that you took the time to do so. Great products foolishly kept secret.

signed us up as a dealer last year at SHOT and it was a great year with them. We baby stepped our way learning about their products as well as which products best suit the needs of our clients. Overall it has gone great and we look forward to an exciting 2014 growing our relationship with them.
We do still request your assistance in knowing what we should keep in stock. Their product offerings are way too vast to always have everything here in the store. If you enjoy a particular
Leupold item and feel it is something we should stock please let us know. We can only serve your needs if you work along with us. We do appreciate your assistance.

Yesterdays ice cream cone was so refreshing I went off to get another one. This one too was very good and just what my throat needed.

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Day Three:

Today I only had a few meetings and then I wanted to walk the show a bit and also see about adding one more optics line. Each year at SHOT I try to add a new line that during the prior year people have requested we look into. We do not feel adding more than one optic line a year would be advantagous to our clients as it is near impossible to learn one line a year so more than one would not be a good idea. This year we met with
Nightforce. The meeting went well, IMO, and we applied to be a dealer. They have a very exciting line of optics including their new SHV hunting scope. Once all is gtg we will let you know. As with
Leupold we request your assistance in guiding us with what to carry in inventory.

Next stop was to my buddies at
Pentax with hope in my heart and doubt in my mind. Their product line has been so stale for so long that it is more of a social call than anything else. As with
Nikon we, as a camera store, have carried Pentax products forever and I know a couple of the Sports Optics folks for more than 25 years.
I arrived at the
Pentax booth to see a large Ricoh sign above it as now Pentax is a Ricoh owned company. This is great for the camera side of the business but apparently not for the Sports Optics side. They will no longer offer riflescopes in their line of Sports Optics as Ricoh is a worldwide company and the detail of worldwide riflscope distribution is not something they want to contend with. Too many regulations I assume.
They have assured me that they have warehoused a generous quantity of riflescopes to cover any repair/replacement issues.
They showed me a new Porro Prism binocular they have in the works, 8x30 and 10x30. I guess the folks at Ricoh never saw a
Vortex Raptor 8.5x32 or a Leupold Yosemite 8x30 as they are planning pricing around 50% higher than those sell for. IMO they just don't get it. A shame as they offer great glass.

After more than 20 someodd years of being my
Swarovski rep my friend Mark was downsized. He is now with Celestron. I spoke with him last month and set up a meeting. He feels a few of their products may be a good fit for us. More research will need to be done before a decision can be made. He feels they have some products that offer more for less $ as well as some products with a difference making Celestron a possible addition sometime in the future. We will keep you posted as this develops.

Yes, one more ice cream cone was waiting for me. Yes, as good as the one from yesterday. There is never a time, nor an age, that a good ice cream cone does not hit the spot.

Today was my last day as I have some family things that needed attention. I did my best to cover the show and work with the mfg's to arrange for new product delivery, demo/samples and inventory control to keep the "out of stock" issues to a minimum.
If I can answer anything for you as always it will be my pleasure. For those of you who took the time to read this entire report please mention this to me when you place your next order and I'll add a bonus into your shipment. Nice to know that you're taking the time to read the whole thing when I take the time to write it, lol.

As always, thank you for all the support we receive. We are nothing without you, and we know that.
Have a great day