Shooting Gear

LuminAID: Solar, Inflatable, Floating, Waterproof Light

LuminAID review

The most interesting portable light on the market?  Perhaps.

I’ve reviewed a lot of flashlights over the years, but the LuminAID is new to me.  Essentially, it is an inflatable lantern that charges during the day using a small solar panel.  When not in use, the lantern folds into a small package that keeps the panel exposed for charging.  The battery takes a full charge with seven hours of full daylight exposure.

Shooting Gear

MaXbox Gun Rest


MaXbox is a development of Eagleye Hunting Gear.  Made from high quality EVA closed cell foam, which is unbreakable and weather proof, the MaXbox provides shooters a stable rest platform for shooting from a variety of positions.  Designed to provide the stability often not found when shooting outside of a range, the MaXbox offers shooters options for target, field, and even vehicle shooting.

Ammunition Hunting

Winchester Varmint X Ammunition: Coyotes Beware

Winchester Varmint X

With a focus on accuracy, Winchester Ammunition announced the introduction of the new Varmint X cartridge line.  The new ammo will be offered in four different calibers for a total of five loads.  See below for the exact details on each load.

The number of varmint hunters has rapidly increased in the recent past.  According to Winchester, this segment of the market has doubled in the past decade.  Understandably, ammo companies are moving to meet the specific needs of these hunters.


Hornady Heavy Magnum Coyote Shotshell Ammo

Hornady Heavy Magnum CoyoteLooking for a 50-yard shotshell specifically designed to take coyote?  Consider the brand new Heavy Magnum Coyote load from Hornady.

The new Heavy Magnum Coyote load is a 3″ Magnum shell loaded with 1.5 ounces of 00-buck or BB shot.  The shot is lead with nickel-plating.  From the muzzle, these loads are making 1300 fps.  Expect that they might kick a little bit.

Hornady claims these loads are good to 50 yards as they use a special Versatite wad that provides tighter patterns at longer distances.  Several other manufacturers are also making shotshell loads that estimate good patterns up to 70 yards.  These are all a lot better than the 25+ yards I am used to with “standard” 00-buck loads.

I’ve never hunted coyote, much less done so with a shotgun.  Assuming there are no hunting restrictions, I would think an AR chambered in .223 would be an excellent coyote gun.  However, I see no reason why this load wouldn’t be deadly effective on them as well.  If the patterns hold to 50 yards, that’s a darn fine load.

Hornady coyote shotshellHornady makes special mention that this load is an economical choice when compared to tungsten options.  I presume the cost on these is roughly the same as other premium hunting ammo, but I do not have any MSRP information currently.  By way of comparison, a box of 10 Hevi-Shot Dead Coyote shells goes for $41.99 at Midway USA.  Midway also has the Winchester Xtended Range coyote shells priced at $15.29 for a box of five.  So, I would guess Hornady may try to bring these in under $10/box.

Currently, there aren’t a lot of choices on the market for coyote-specific ammunition.  In addition to the Hevi-Shot and Winchester loads mentioned above, Federal also makes a coyote load.  Coyote loads for the 12 gauge definitely seem to be a small niche, and it is interesting that Hornady is jumping into this market.  Presumably, the cost of manufacturing isn’t too bad, but developing the loads has to take a significant amount of man-hours.

Optics and Sighting Systems

Quick Sighting: A Fast Way to Sight in Your Rifle

So it’s early November and all over the country hunters are in the fields stalking that buck of a lifetime. The cool air has arrived, leaves are falling, and some areas of the country already have snow. Rifle season has already begun in some areas, and in others the opening of the rifle season is fast approaching.

One of the most important things a hunter or sport shooter must do is make sure that their rifle is zeroed. The need for zeroing goes for shooters using iron sights, scopes or other optics. Iron sights and red dot optics are their own animals, so I want to focus in on shooters using scoped rifles.

Something I realized recently is that many shooters aren’t aware of the easiest and quickest way to zero in their scoped rifle. Particularly if you have just had the scope mounted to that rifle. Some people think that having a rifle “bore” sighted is sufficient to make the rifle shoot on target.