Today we are overwhelmed with the amazing clarity of optics, mainly used for long range rifles though the market has readily expanded for shotguns and pistols.

Today we are overwhelmed with the amazing clarity of optics, mainly used for long range rifles though the market has readily expanded for shotguns and pistols.

One of the most commonly recognized names in these parts is the Eotech (made by LG3 Communications that also makes those wonderful black boxes for airplanes). This optic is truly a holographic sight – which means that even if the lens is cracked, the red dot still works. Though not a magnifier, it is designed for the user to keep both eyes open for target acquisition at close range. Durable, water proof, and one of the most reasonable of all the high end optics, this can be used for all types of weapons (including a smaller version for pistols).  An additional magnifier may be added to make this a long range optic (though a bit pricy).

Aimpoint is designed to work the same way and tends to have a longer battery life for tactical use.

UTG makes a circle and cross hair red dot that is one of the most affordable and best for the money (under $100) and is shock proof, water proof and fog proof and has the ability to be installed on a shotgun without losing zero. All of these options make this a very impressive option for the new buyer.

Leupold is one of the most recognized makers of scopes and optics on the market today and is American made product. This company has been a military optics supplier since before Vietnam war and continues to supply our men and women today.  One of the best customer service departments in the industry and unknown to most, this company has just acquired Redfield (also an optics company).

The very best optic made today is by Schmidt and Bender ( A German Company). Even the very basic model of their scope starts at around $1,000.00. From what I’ve heard, the best of the best prefer this scope over all others for competition and military.

To change gears….let’s talk about the famous red laser. Crimson Trace has made red lasers on pistols almost a household commodity. There is nothing more fascinating to some than wrapping their fingers around a pistol grip of a handgun only to have that magical red beam of light appear, with a small red dot glaring back at them in the distance. It always fascinates.

Adding anywhere from $100 to $400 to the price of a pistol, this feature can add an extra level of confidence for the shooter in both target practice and self-defense.

A red dot blazing on someone should be a true sign that you have a weapon and you are prepared to use it. Numerous criminal acts have been deterred due to the use of the simple red laser.

Though a red dot laser may not make you more accurate, it should give you better visualization of where you are aiming on the target.

I like to wrap up my columns each week with the reminder that knowledge is power — that phrase was underscored by a tragic event this week.

My heart is broken at the news of the loss of a young man who always made me smile. Chris was a pale skinned strawberry blond who could make you laugh even on your toughest days. He was proof that when a class clown grows up he can still keep his magic. Though I don't know what exactly happened, I do know that two young men died during a fight that involved knives and that the lives of many will never be the same.

In one of the news reports I read where a person stated that " things like this don't happen around here."  This kind of thinking scares me the most. No one, no man woman or child is immune to danger, regardless of where you live. The notion that you are always safe is a foolish one. My intentions are not to frighten, but to share the awareness that we are all just one bad decision away from danger.

Simple measures like not shopping alone at night, not leaving your doors and windows unlocked when you are away, or being so busy on your phone when you are in public that you have become oblivious to others around you are simple things to keep your chances lower.

Remember, knowledge is power.


Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.