I am a caveman when it comes to new gadgets and changing my ways; however, I decided that I was not happy with the limited 300 yard range of my favorite rifle. I needed a change, but I was terrified of all the new long-range scopes that seemed too fancy for my taste. I have to report, I am terrified no more! I tried and tested the Leupold Custom Dial System (CDS), and here is what I learned.
After researching easy-to-use dial systems, the brand Leupold kept hitting my radar screen, so I read as many online ratings as possible and decided to purchase one. I bought the least expensive model of scope that featured the CDS, the Leupold VX2 4-12×40. For around $500.00, you get a great scope with adjustable parallax and objective focus rings. Leupold also offers a free custom dial, matching your ballistics, with the purchase of every CDS system.
If you are like almost every other hunter, you are used to using a fixed or variable rifle scope. For years, you have sighted your rifle in a little high at 100 yards, and then adjusted your crosshairs accordingly in regards to the shot. This set-up was supposed to end that old practice and I was eager to give it a try. I received my custom dial in the mail and headed to the range.
The whole transition from old-school to new-school was painless and the process was simple. Leupold requires that you sight in dead-on at either 100 or 200 yards with the standard adjustment dial that comes with the new scope. I zeroed in at 100 yards and hoped for the best.
The next step was to simply replace your factory dial with the new custom dial. It takes all of two minutes and after that, I was finished. My transition was over. All I had to do was turn my new dial to the distance I was shooting and pull the trigger. I tried it out at 300 yards right away and managed to shoot a 1.5” group of three shots. I was sold, and now I am a huge CDS fan.
My specific dial is good out to over 600 yards, but I think I had better practice some more before taking a poke that far. Right now, I am totally comfortable shooting out to 450 yards. I have never felt perfectly confident at that distance before now. If you give the Leupold CDS system a try, you may also find a new comfort zone that could enhance your hunting career.
Big Sky Overhead Rack
For a variation on the rear-window theme, consider an overhead mounted rack. One of the best is produced by Big Sky because it’s equipped with padding at the stock, handle and most importantly the scope. Fastened down with Velcro, a rifle in this rack isn’t going anywhere. It’s also more concealed in the overhead position and can still be easily accessed. MSRP $69-$89
Now here’s a rack that requires no installation. Simply slip the two components of the Cabela’s Hunter TackleBack behind the seat backs of the two front seats and you’ve got a readymade gun rack, bow holder and supply storage device. The best part is when you’re not using this rack, it can be easily removed. This rack also has the added bonus and making your guns easily accessible and well-padded to avoid any damage. MSRP $29
Rugged Gear Removable Floor-Mount
This rack puts the guns right at your disposal. With the Rugged Gear Removable Floor-Mount Compact Gun Rack, two rifles or shotguns can be mounted right next to the gear shift. This setup might get in the way for some drivers and could obscure your view a little, but it puts your guns at an easily accessible position and you’re able to keep tabs on them at all times. This mount can also be removed and assembled on an all-terrain vehicle. MSRP $79
Behind the Seat Rack
Probably the simplest solution to portable gun storage is the DU-HA Under/Behind-Seat Storage rack. Simply a bin that you can put fit a couple full length rifles or shotguns along with any supplies, this rack is one of the most concealed racks on the market. Able to stow under the back seat or behind the passenger seats, this rack will keep your guns safe and secure even when you’re away from the rig. MSRP $29-$179
Rackbone by Condition Zero
For all you assault weapons enthusiasts, the Rackbone by Condition Zero is just for you. This stout mounting device can be installed overhead, behind or across the seat back. Milled from aluminum and hard-coat anodized black, this rack is as rugged as the weapons it’s meant to hold. The rackbone also comes with accessories depending on what type of gun you pan to mount. MSRP $189
Pistol Clamp Mount
Since we haven’t covered pistols yet, here is a rack specifically designed for concealed handguns. With the Pistol Camp Mount by Condition Zero you can holster your pistol along the side console of your pickup, on the inside of the door or along a handlebar. Due to the universal clamping system, this device can be mounted just about anywhere. MSRP $89
Door Mount Pair
Here is a rack specifically designed for an open door setup. This Door Mount Pair rack by Condition Zero looks like something you’d have on an African big game hunt. Created from solid steel and powder-coated, this rack easily slips into the door hinges, putting your weapon right at your fingertips when you need it in a hurry. MSRP $395