Specialized Optics For Special Uses.

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Published: 08th May 2020
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There aren't many things more tiring than staring for a couple of hours through a pair of binoculars or a compact spotting scope. But that is exactly what varmint hunters do. So do special law-enforcement and military units that must keep a distant suspect or target under surveillance. Binoculars are commonly used for this type of work, but their weight limits useful magnification. It's just simply too hard to hold them steady.

Early Experiments

Quite a few years ago, serious varmint hunters began to rig up two best spotting scopes to form a pair of more powerful binoculars. There's a lot more to that than just gluing two parts together -- but when it was done right, the result was difinitely worth the work.

On a recent groundhog hunt in the Virginia mountains, I had a chance to use a set of Eagle Eyes from Gradeur Manufacturing. The company is a high-tech manufacturer of such diverse products as sophisticated industrial control and conveyor systems and custom motorcycles. There is a surprising degree of percision needed to make the Eagle Eyes work right.

I'm sure you've noticed how you have to adjust the spacing between a pair of binoculars so that it appears as if you're are looking through a single lens. The same applies to the Eagle Eyes, but it can't be done with a simple hinge. Instead there's a spring-loaded adjustment that slides on a precision-ground rod, which is fitted to a tolerance of .001 inch. Turning a knurled adjustment wheel moves the right side scope for individual adjustment.

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