Product Reviews

Latest outdoor product reviews

The New Henry Lever Action H018G-410 Shotgun

In 1996, when Louis Imperato and his son, Anthony Imperato founded Henry Repeating Arms to honor the Legacy of Benjamin Tyler Henry. Their goal, as that of Mr. Henry, was to produce quality lever action rifles “Made in America and Priced Right”. “Henry Repeating Arms takes its name from Benjamin Tyler Henry, the inventor who patented the first repeating rifle in 1860, known as the Henry rifle. There is no affiliation or lineage to Benjamin Tyler Henry or to the New Haven Arms Company, who sold the original Henry rifle from 1862 to 1864. Anthony Imperato secured the trademark to the Henry name in 1996.”
Their first (and most successful model) was the Henry Golden Boy, a rimfire lever action that “brought out the West in you”. Over 1 million Golden Boy rifles have been sold. The Golden Boy was followed quickly by a “replica” of the original Henry in 44-40 and 45 Colt calibers and the Henry Big Boy which was ideal for brush hunting and cowboy action shooting.

Today, there are more legacy model Henry rifles than I can count, all of which feature the iconic tubular loading magazine, which has become characteristic of Henry firearms. Then, in November 2020, the company issued a press release informing us all that in response to popular demand, ALL centerfire Henry rifles would now feature a side-loading gate on the frame, in addition to their tubular loading magazine. Our legacy Henry rifles just became more valuable and the newer models guaranteed that Henry Repeating Arms would continue to be one of the leading long gun manufacturers in the U.S.A.
Jim has always been a cowboy at heart, having harvested his first whitetail deer with an old Winchester lever action rifle in 1965. When Henry came out with their Golden Boy, he was first in line to get one. Ever since, he has loved Henrys and has been motivated to obtain more of the rifles that are “Made in America or not made at all”.

Shortly after the announcement that all centerfire Henry's would feature the side-gate loading feature, they introduced the steel-frame, side-loading gate 410 shotgun with an Invector choke, the Henry H018G-410. I decided that we had to get one, not just for our “collection of Henry's”, but for small game hunting AND home defense... not to mention the fun of busting clay pigeons with a 410.
As one can see in the title picture, the H018G comes in two versions: one with iron sights and one without. We ordered the one without iron sights and it arrived just before Christmas. This is one gun that will be my favorite and Jim will have to ask me nice to borrow it.

The laser-engraved checkering on the dark straight-grained American walnut furniture is superb. It is both functional and beautiful. The wood to metal fit is excellent. It is too bad that some of the other manufacturers can't do the same.

The Invector full choke included with the shotgun ensures that this gun will deliver a 40 inch spread at 40 yards. Because we wanted to have a more open spread for trap shooting, we ordered a modified choke which delivers a 40 inch spread at 35 yards. Between the two chokes, we are set for busting clays, hunting small game and home defense.

Home defense... that may sound a bit strange when referring to a diminutive 410 shotgun, but with Winchester PDX1 rounds, this gun is ideal for folks who don't want the excessive recoil from larger gauges, yet still want the stopping power of a shotgun. Rather than take our word for it, go to the YouTube channel of the Kentucky Patriot for field demos of the PDX1 rounds from a 410 at self-defense distances and you will be a believer. Steve's channel is

The H018G shotgun has a thick non-slip ventilated black rubber recoil pad which reduces the “felt-recoil” to almost nothing. It also has sling swivel studs, but we are not sure why, as few folks are going to put a sling on a 410 shotgun. However, the studs are there, in case you want/need them. The gun is drilled and tapped for a Weaver 63B base mount in case you wish to mount a scope for turkey hunting.
Our test gun cycled flawlessly, loading each new round from the magazine after ejecting the spent hull. No hesitation, no hangups, no glitches... everything functioned perfectly. The side-gate made it easy to reload “on the fly”, while the tubular magazine permitted rapid unloading when necessary. This Henry was accurate and fun to shoot, like all Henrys.

The overall specifications are:
Model Number: H018G-410
Action Type: Lever Action Shotgun
Caliber: .410 Bore
Magazine Capacity: 6 rounds - 2 ½” shells (only)
Safety: Transfer Bar
Barrel Length: 24"
Barrel Type: Round Blued Steel
Receiver Finish: Blued Steel
Rate of Twist: Smooth Bore with Full Invector Style Choke
Length of Pull: 14"
Rear Sight: None
Front Sight: Brass Bead
Scopeability: Drilled and Tapped
Scope Mount Type: Weaver 63B
Stock Material: American Walnut
Buttplate/Pad: Black Ventilated Rubber Recoil Pad
Overall Length: 42.75"
Weight: 7.54 lbs

With an MSRP of $983, this Henry is competitively priced with other shotguns on the market, except it is better.

Wheeler 45 Piece SAE/Metric Hex and Torx Key Set

Most of us have an assortment of hex and torq keys scattered around our work bench. That is the problem. They are scattered, never in the same place when we need them and finding the correct one for the project at hand is often a challenge. Add in the fact that they are not labeled as to size, we really get challenged, especially when we cannot find the exact one that we need.

Facing the above situation more than once, convinced Jim to buy the Wheeler set which had all of the essential SAE/metric hex and torq keys in a single case, with each one having its own spot. No more scattered keys, no more lost or missing keys... they are all in one case, hanging on the wall behind of his Tipton gun vise for easy access.

The convenience and accessibility of this set make the $32.99 MSRP a real bargain. This set has every SAE/metric hex and torq key that you will ever need, and then some. The following are included in the set (along with the storage case):

SAE HEX: .028" .035" .05" 1/16" 5/64" 3/32" 7/64" 1/8" 9/64" 5/32" 3/16" 7/32" 1/4" 5/16" 3/8&QUOT
METRIC HEX: .7MM, .9MM, 1.3MM, 1.5MM, 2MM, 2.5MM, 3MM, 4MM, 4.5MM, 5MM, 5.5MM, 6MM, 7MM, 8MM, 10MM
TORX: T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6, T7, T8, T9, T10, T15, T20, T25, T30, T35

Tipton Range Vise

Virtually every shooter has had the occasion to run a few cleaning patches through their gun or make some minor adjustments while at the shooting range. And, most of us had to figure out how to hold the gun or prop it up to get the job done. That is no longer a problem with the Tipton Range Vise.

MSRP of this little gem is $27.99, a price that everyone can afford. Out of the box it is folded up for storage, measuring a mere 11 ¼” in length.

However, when you need it, simply open up the supports and the Vise expands to almost 18”, more than adequate to support most sporting arms for a minor cleaning or slight adjustment.

However, when you need it, simply open up the supports and the Vise expands to almost 18”, more than adequate to support most sporting arms for a minor cleaning or slight adjustment.

We found it ideal for placing our firearms on when they are not being used, rather than laying them down on the table. And, when the range is cold, the vise is ideal.

As with all of the Tipton vises, this one is constructed from a solvent-resistant nylon which will last a very long time. The two forks are equipped with non-marring pads to protect your guns’ finish while holding them securely in place for cleaning, light maintenance or as an extra set of hands. And, there are six rubber feet on the base of the vise to ensure that it does not slip.

This vise is well designed, very functional and totally practical. We definitely recommend it.

Real Avid Gun Boss® AK47 Cleaning Kit

Over the past few years, a new breed of firearms owners has emerged. It is difficult to pinpoint an exact time, whether it was when the AR or AK-platform rifles were introduced or with the advent of the polymer frame pistols; but, this new breed of owners are highly motivated to learn all of the finer points of how their weapons operate AND to be able to perform many of the tasks previously left to gunsmiths themselves.

With that demand for knowledge came a demand for better, higher quality, and easier tools with which to DIY their firearms. That is where the folks at REAL AVID came into the picture. They tapped into the knowledge and experience of professional gunsmiths, armorers, and builders across the world, adding to the mix of law enforcement and military personnel to produce professional-grade products for you and me.

All of their equipment/tools are designed and tested in their laboratories and on the range before they are produced for the public. That is why we consider REAL AVID products among the best that can be obtained ….. anywhere. And NO, we are not paid for our opinions. We just believe that their tools are well built, easy to use, and priced right.

With the above being said, we decided to take a look at their Gun Boss for the AK47 platforms. Now, everyone has an excess of gun cleaning tools. Cleaning rods of all sizes and lengths, patches of every size, and enough brushes/jags to swab an army arsenal. But, very few of us have a single kit that is designed specifically for the AK47 which is small enough to easily fit into your range bag.

The Gun Boss AK47 is just such a kit. If you take another look at the picture at the head of this review you will see what we mean. The components of the kit include:
1. Compact, weather proof, zippered case with ballistic nylon shell.
2. Gas tube mop
3. 6 Threaded steel rods with durable E-coating and swivel tip, which form a 28.5” rod.
4. 9-Function compact AK47 scraper
5. Bolt and piston brush
6. Cleaning patches
7. AK47 drift pin punch with gas port scraper tip.
8. 7.62mm bore brush
9. Nylon slotted tip
10. Chamber brush which is threaded on both ends
11. T-Handle for cleaning rod
12. Bore lluminator / safety flag
13. Gas tube nylon brush

A chamber brush, carbon scraper, gas tube brush & mop help to clean more than the bore and keep your bolt cycling reliably. No annoying loose parts, as every component is smartly organized and held securely in place. Combine all of these components in the convenient carrying case and you have a complete package for the range or in the field.

The kit is priced right with an MSRP of $29.99. If you have an AK-platform rifle, you should consider picking up one of these kits… you won't regret it.

Real Avid's Bore Boss for Rifles

We all have a wide assortment of gun cleaning tools/products and some of you may be wondering why we are writing about another. Very simply, the Real Avid ( Bore Boss is totally unique and a must-have for every hunter who ventures into the field. It can also come in handy at the shooting range.
When packing for an overnight or multi-day hunt, it is a rare person who takes their gun cleaning stuff with them. Yet, it is all too common for us to get dirt in the muzzle or action while hunting and then the dilemma becomes: how to clean it out?

In my younger days I looked for small sticks and ripped off pieces of cloth from a tee shirt as a swab. Smile if you want, but think of your own hunts; sound familiar?

The Bore Boss is a handy and compact tool that is long overdue. It takes up very little space and the rubber casing protects it, and your other gear, from damage. Simply pull back the rubber TPR ring that covers the polycarbonate case to remove the Bore Boss.

The Boss is no ordinary bore cleaner. Instead of a weighted string, it has a poly-coated steel cable with a ball at the end. On the other end is a phosphor-bronze brush attached to a quality braided bore mop. You thread the cable through the bore, attach the ball end to the case, which now functions as a handle, and pull the Bore Boss through the barrel. The brush breaks most of the debris free and the mop pulls it out.
Bingo, a superb field clean and you are again ready to shoot. After cleaning, simply coil the Boss around the case, flip the TPR ring back in place and drop it back into your pack.

This handy tool is also a great addition to any work bench for regular cleaning, but it is truly a must-have if you are going into the field.

The Bore Boss comes in the following sizes (we tested the two in bold print)
• 22 Cal.
• .223/5.56mm
• .243/.260/6.5mm
• .270/.280/7mm
• .30/.308/7.62mm
• .357/.38/9mm
• .40/.41 Cal.
• .44/.45 Cal.
• 20 Gauge
• 12 Gauge

The specifications are:
• Polycarbonate outside with TPR over molding
• Dual Action Cable loosens and removes carbon
• Flex-Case Handle stores and protects Dual Action Cable
• Clean storing system keeps carbon, cleaners, lubricants from causing a mess
• Ergonomic Handle easily pulls Dual Action Cable
• Patent-Pending Design

With an MSRP of $9.99, most of us can afford to buy one for each of our primary firearms, without breaking the bank. (We Did)

Real Avid's Master Sight Pusher™

In Jim's younger days, if you wanted to adjust or change the press-fit sights on a pistol you got out a small hammer and punch and tapped away. More than one sight base has been ruined by hitting the punch hard, not to mention the frequent marring of the slide or barrel of the pistol. But, that was the only way that even professional gunsmiths had to adjust or install new sights.

Fast forward to the 21st century. The designers at Real Avid figured out how to build a “sight pusher” for press-fit sights. The key to this tool working on so many different pistols is the Universal Press Block. The Press Block features multiple contact surfaces for almost any size and style of press-fit dovetail slots and sight profiles.

This tool is a heavy-duty piece of equipment and it works with just about every pistol on the market. The reason that the tool is so easy to use is because the oversize handle partners with extra fine drive threads to provide maximum torque with minimal effort. And, to ensure that the pistol slides are not damaged in the process, they installed adjustable non-marring surfaces on the clamps.

The following diagram illustrates the features of the Sight-Pusher. And yes, the base has a functional vise attachment ridge.

1. Ergonomic Grip Control
2. Spring Loaded Vertical Adjustment Knobs
3. Easy Torque Handle
4. 3/8” Rachet Receiver
5. Side Clamp Adjustment Knobs
6. Safe Lock Anti-Torsion Frame
7. Slide Clamp
8. Universal Press Block
9. Slide Cradle
10. Bench Vise Attachment Ridge
11. Magnum Push Rod

With an MSRP of $149.00, this tool is not for everyone. However, if you are an avid pistol shooter, with multiple handguns, you might want to consider it. It makes adjusting and/or changing sights relatively easy. AND, it does not damage either the sights or pistol slides... that makes this tool a winner in our book

Field Testing the Meopta 3-15x44 Optika5 Riflescope

There are lots of good riflescopes on the market these days. The Asians have literally flooded the market with them; however, our preference still rests with either American-made or European-made scopes because of their superior glass. With that bit of bias out of the way, the question now is how to truly test a new scope for functionality. The answer for us was simple... give it to our daughter, a 29-year old archaeologist who has been hunting since she was a teenager and a girl who set an NRA record in 1,000 yard competition at Whittington Center, New Mexico in 2007.... and who killed a running 5x5 bull elk with her muzzleloader last year at 175 yards. Yep, she will put the scope through “the ringer” and if there are any problems, she will find them.

However, we are getting ahead of ourselves (call it parental pride). We received the Optika5 just five day before Susannah's current hunt. As such, Jim had to really hustle to get it mounted and sighted in on her CVA Accura rifle. To simplify the entire process, he used the Real Avid Level Right™ Pro system to ensure the reticle was not canted. Then came the “painful” part... zeroing in the rifle at 100 yards.

Jim can no longer shoot left-handed due to his defibrillator, so he had to shoot right-handed off a rest. He is a bit old for the kind of repetitive punishment that a 50 caliber inflicts on the range, but he is stubborn as a mule and sneaked out (without my knowledge). After three hours, he came home, complaining of the pain, but with great pride he showed me the target.... three perfect rounds at 100 yards. I didn't ask how many rounds it took him to get it dialed in, but he told me anyway.... somewhere between 15 and 20. Jim is a perfectionist and won't accept a “just OK target”, he wants it to be as perfect as the scope and gun can make it.

Jim determined that the click adjustments on the scope were solid and reliable. He remarked that he could feel each ¼ “ click. And the parallax correction knob (marked at intervals from 10 yards to infinity) allowed him to precisely focus, first at 25 yards and then at 100 yards. Those features alone sold Jim on the scope. The windage and elevation adjustment range of 60 MOA is more than adequate for sighting in or for field adjustments for long range shots.

But, how will our daughter like it on the hunt? We had to wait for the end of her elk hunt to get the report. And no, she didn't get an elk this time. In fact, they didn't even see any bulls as the hunt was cut short by an early blizzard. That being said, we asked her about the scope.

She remarked that the clarity of the scope matched her $1,000 target scope, from edge to edge. There was no distortion. The reticle remained sharp and clear at all magnifications. It is mounted in the second-focal plane so it does not change apparent size as the magnification is changed.

Susannah also liked the large zoom ring that easily turned when wearing gloves. That was also true for the side parallax adjustment knob. She considered these features critical for cold weather hunting.

And finally, she wanted to know if she could have this scope, as it put her others to shame. For now, that question is unanswered, as I have not had an opportunity to use it.... AND, if I like it (as she does), she will just have to buy a second one.

The detailed specifications for the Optika5 are:
Magnification: 3 - 15x
Objective Lens: 44 mm
Main Tube Size: 25.4 mm
Eye Relief: 3.6 inches
Field of View: 37.2-7.9 feet/100 yards
Focal Plane Position: 2
Dioptic Compensation: -2 / 2 D
Daylight Transmission: 91%
Impact per Click: 0.25 MOA
Windage and Elevation Adjustment Range: 60 MOA
Parallax Correction: 10 yards to infinity
Length: 13.6 inches
Weight: 21.7 ounces
MSRP: $399

And before we forget, all Meopta scopes come with their proprietary lens coatings which are anti-abrasion and anti-reflective. If that wasn't enough, they have a third coating which is hydrophobic which repels rain, dust and grease. How many other scopes can claim that?

The Optika5 line is available in 2-10x42 Rimfire, 2-10x42, 3-15x44, 4-20x44, 4-20x50 and 4-20x50 RD. And like all Meopta optics purchased in the United States, they are backed by Meopta’s Lifetime Transferrable Warranty.

Frankford Arsenal Pile Driver Bullet Puller

If you are a reloader, you are familiar with having to pull the bullets from loaded cartridges. There are a couple of reasons for that: To disassemble old ammunition enabling one to reuse the cases or to correct a mistake in loading (usually a case sizing or bullet seating problem).

As such, you needed a bullet puller. Aside from the few press/die mounted pullers, most are of the impact or inertial type: i.e., a hammer that the bullet fits into its head and you slam it down on a hard surface to dislodge the bullet. The process is time consuming, tedious, and hard on the muscles (not to mention the blisters).

When Frankford Arsenal announced their new pile-driver bullet puller, it immediately got our attention. We wondered if, at last, there was an easier and simpler solution to the task of recycling ammunition. Does the Pile-driver do that job?

The answer is a mix of pros and cons. First and most important, it must be mounted vertically on a strong wood stud. That can be inconvenient for some of us with limited space. And, secondly you should use larger and longer screws than are included to prevent the unit from coming loose with use. This is no small unit, its measurements are 20" x 5" x 2.75" (L x W x D), as such, one must use large enough screws to withstand the kinetic energy which is released when it “fires”. We came to that conclusion after checking out some of the reviews on YouTube.

Next, the unit requires an after-market magnum-carrier assembly (up to .338 Lapua) if you plan on using it for cartridges larger than 30-06. As of this writing, the unit is not priced or available on the Frankford Arsenal website. Our personal opinion is that it should be included with the basic unit.

The Pile-driver is very simple to use. Load your cartridge into the carrier-assembly, pull the lever up to cock the unit and then lower the handle to initiate the pile-driver. Remove the carrier-assembly to retrieve your case and pull the trap out with the bullet and powder. Very simple and straight forward. The lever-spring design generates enough inertial force to pull all but the most heavily crimped bullets with ease. Sometimes, with heavily crimped bullets, one has to “fire” the unit a second time... but, not often.

By placing some foam in the bottom of the collection trap, most bullets can be retrieved without damage for reuse. There is also a barbed fitting allowing the attachment of a tube for collecting. Experience dictates that you put an O-ring clamp on the tube to ensure that it does not come off unexpectedly.

Because of the force generated by the Pile-driver, there is an integrated safety mechanism which prevents the mechanism from being engaged without the carrier being fully locked into place. That is a very good feature when one considers the force behind the Pile-driver.

The MSRP of the Pile-driver is $59.99, and despite the minor short comings which we noted, it functions as advertised and is definitely better than the old “hammer method”.


When we first received this knife for testing and review, we almost sent it back for having a “defect”. Well, it wasn't a defect, it was simply the unique design of this blade; i.e., the G10 scale was only on one side of the folder. That design allows the knife to be removed from your belt (in any of the three positions) more quickly.

So, if don't mind an asymmetrical knife, read on because as with all Coast blades, this one is well constructed and priced right. You may not have known that Coast was a knife maker, as their current fame is for producing among the best (if not the best) flashlights and lanterns on the market. Yet, they got their start over a hundred years ago with the salmon dressing knife designed by their founder, Henry W. Brands. When Henry arrived in the rugged Pacific Northwest (1919) as a hardware salesman he quickly realized some of the tools in the back of his Model T weren’t suited to his new home.

Fishermen on the Oregon Coast told him they needed a stronger, sharper knife to fillet the 50-pound Chinook salmon still common then. So Henry went back to Portland, designed a better knife with a metal cleaning scoop on the back end of the handle, and returned to the dock with a knife that became so popular he couldn’t keep up with demand. It was COAST’s first innovation.

With that first knife, Henry determined that functionality was more important than looks. We believe that also applies to the FX350. It isn't as pretty as some other blades, but it is incredibly functional. The blade is perfect for field dressing and skinning a large animal. When you are done, it goes right back on your belt until it is needed again. Around the camp, it will find a lot of uses, including cutting that “home-cooked” piece of beef you cooked for dinner. (or slicing up some kindling for the fire).
The specifications for the FX350 are:
Blade length: 3.5” (8.9 cm)
Length closed: 4.5” (11.43 cm)
Length open: 8,0” (20.3 cm)
Blade style: plain
Blade material: 9Cr18MoV Stainless Steel (excellent edge holding properties)
Handle Material: G10 (3 Position Knife Clip)
Frame Locking Blade with Thumb Stud for easy opening
Weight: 5.1 oz (144 g)

The G10 scale is contour-machined for maximum grip efficiency. The thumb studs are just right for opening with control. Add in the Coast lifetime warranty against defects in material and workmanship and you have a very nice blade. With the MSRP of $35, you have a blade worthy of Mr. Brand's legacy.

Caldwell Professional Crosswind Meter

If you haven't already used a Caldwell Wind Wizard II, you are missing one of the best on the market. The Wind Wizard II does everything that the average shooter could ask for at a reasonable price. For details on the Wind Wizard II, you can read the review on this site.

The question is, how do you improve a device that is already almost perfect. Well, the folks at Caldwell did just that. Instead of a fixed anemometer, they installed one with a 90o rotating head which allows you to measure exactly how much crosswind is involved and make the appropriate adjustment in your shooting.
No longer is one required to hold up your wind meter, face it into the wind and do some mental calculations as to how much crosswind to compensate for. Now, you simply face the meter downrange, rotate the anemometer head into the wind and you have your crosswind value. It can't be more simple than that.

We found the Crosswind Meter to be especially useful in our blinds in Texas where we could not step out to get a reading. We simply held it out the window, rotated the head and had our crosswind adjustment for our shots (when the deer eventually showed up). Knowing the proper crosswind adjustment is really critical when you are shooting a muzzleloader. And, of course, when you are using a bow.
And, as with the "regular" Wind Wizard, this device measures/calculates: temperature, station pressure, barometric pressure, altitude, density altitude and wind chill factor. No, this is not a weather station and it is not supposed to be. It is simply an incredibly useful device for range shooters and hunters. It gives you all the information you need to remain on target at the range or harvest your game in the field. Add in the automatic power off function to save the battery in case you forget to turn the meter off and the LED backlight for low light conditions and you have a device that is as perfect as one can make it .

The specifications for the Professional CrossWind Meter are:
• Operates on one CR2032 battery (included).
• Wind Speed measurements in: mph, ft/min, km/h, m/s, or knots
• Measures Max Wind Gust, Average Wind Speed and Current Wind Speed
• Anemometer head rotates 90 degrees to calculate the applied crosswind to the projectile
• Measures/Calculates: Temperature, Station Pressure, Barometric Pressure, Altitude, Density Altitude and Wind Chill
• Features a Data Hold Function & Water Resistant LCD backlight
• Auto power off
• Protective holster

It is well worth the MSRP of $109.99. At the time of this writing, there is no other wind meter on the market with a rotating anemometer head. If you are an active shooter or hunter, we encourage you to check out this handy device at

Caldwell Wind Wizard II

Winds routinely cause bullets to deviate from their target. Whether you are an avid hunter or long range target shooter, you need information on the wind speed so that a compensation can be made for wind drift. We would venture an educated guess that more misses have occurred in long range hunting due to wind than any other factor.

Without a wind speed meter, it is nearly impossible to compensate for the drift. Given the fact that a lot of hunters cannot afford the $400 - $500 ballistic meters (which are very cool), they were left guessing at the wind speed until Caldwell introduced the Wind Wizard II.

This unit is reasonably priced at about $40 online and provides one with a precise wind speed and temperature. One can set the device to measure temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit and the wind speed can be displayed in just about every mode you can think of.

The Wind Wizard II comes with a removable non-slip rubber sleeve which protects the unit, should you drop it. The rubber sleeve also provides a better grip with gloves. The lanyard is a nice touch to ensure that the unit is always handy. Our only complaint is we would like to see the rubber sleeve incorporate a cover flap to protect the screen.... but, that is just us.

The detailed specs for the Wind Wizard II are:
Wind Speed Modes
m/s range: 0 – 30
Ft/min range: 0 – 5,860
Knots range: 0 – 55
Km/hr range: 0 – 90
M/hr range: 0 – 45
Temperature Range Modes
°Celsius Range: -10 °C to 45 °C
°Fahrenheit Range: 14 °F to 113 °F

The unit is powered by a CR2032 battery which is included. As expected, there is an automatic shutoff just in case you forget and it has a backlight for early morning or late evening use. Overall, this is a very nice tool that will be of great value to hunters, whether you are after predators, elk or open country pronghorn. And, it goes without saying that its value to long range target shooters is immeasurable.

Real Avid Smart-Torq

Prior to 2010, I would have probably said that this tool was not necessary for the average shooter. After all, I had been mounting scopes, tightening the screws and floor plates in my firearms for over forty years without a problem. However, on a chilly morning in the Floridas Mountains of New Mexico on my once-in-a-lifetime hunt for the Persian Ibex, I changed my mind.

My outfitter had placed me in a makeshift blind along a well-traveled game trail to wait for a herd of Ibex that he knew would be passing by on their way to a meadow for their morning fare. My blind was perched on a ledge above the two-hundred foot canyon floor below. Now, despite my airborne training, I do not like heights, so I kept myself glued against the back of my blind as I waited for the Ibex. Around nine o'clock, right on cue, a herd came off the ridge to my left and angled their way towards my blind. I calculated that they would pass right under me... as they approached, I moved to the edge to take what would have been an easy shot and tripped. I fell on the rocks around my blind and knocked my scope loose. As I shouldered my gun, the scope flopped around like a Russian wobbly doll. As the herd passed beneath me, I wanted to cry, there was a huge billy in the 45" - 48" class walking slowly behind his nannies, and me with a floppy scope. Obviously, I did not take the shot. IF I had owned a Real Avid Smart-Torq™ Wrench and properly torqued the scope and rings down, it would not have come loose and I would have been able to put that Billy on the wall.

Under most conditions, when we tighten the screws down, we do it by "feel", and it is adequate Most Of The Time. Well, "most of the time" cost me a world class Billy. I did manage to get a Billy three days later, but it was not near as nice as the one that I "missed" due to my wobbly scope.

The Smart-Torq's design is unique in the industry. It is very ergonomic. The Force Assist handle/driver allows one to tighten screws and fasteners to the precise torque settings established by manufacturers. “The Force Assists provides the ability to securely seat the main driver and bit (with the free spinning cap) into the screw vertically while applying torque leverage from the perpendicular plane. This not only provides an easier way to manipulate the tool but allows the user to keep the bit properly seated to prevent slipping and stripping. I know Howard Tripp, Chief Innovation Officer at Real Avid, having chatted with him at length on the phone. His comments below also represent our experiences with the Smart-Torq and adequately sum up what this amazing wrench does:

“Building and upgrading guns and mounting scopes have become the bedrock of Gun DIY. Providing DIY installers the ability to confidently match those specifications has become more important than ever. Smart-Torq provides discrete one in-lb. increment settings to precisely match manufacturer’s torque specifications. Another great feature of the Smart-Torq is the well thought out ergonomics. With a driver handle that can be easily gripped with even smaller hands, driving fasteners and applying torque is very comfortable and easy and with the addition of Force-Assist, an extra leverage point is provided which allows the user to maintain alignment and vertical downward force while turning the tool along the horizontal axis.”

The Smart-Torq possesses a unidirectional toothed clutch which permits the user to back out screws, without tripping the torque clutch. A very real benefit of the toothed clutch is that it extends the life of the tool (probably forever) when compared to the ball-bearing setups in other torque wrenches. In addition, the ridges on the rubber grip and the jeweler's spin top permits the user to easily apply the required amount of torque while at the same time maintaining downward pressure. As Dave Steiner of Real Avid has said, this is “the first Master Grade tool in this category designed especially and exclusively for optics mounting and Gun DIY” And we happen to agree.

The Real Avid Smart-Torq Specifications are:
Smart-Torque with a 10 – 70 in-lb range
Ergonomic rubberized grip
Force Assist handle/driver
High-density foam core fabric storage case
Included bits: T10, T15, T20, T25, 3mm Hex, 5/32 Hex, 3/16 Hex,
7/64 Hex, 90-6 Flat, 38-4 Flat, 60-5 Flat

With an MSRP of $79.99, this tool is priced right. We hope you pick one up so that you will not miss a trophy like Jim, due to a loose scope.