My knowledge on optics for long guns is very limited. I can say that I’m proficient in close range engagements with rifles. I’ve only shot out to a hundred yards to zero some of my rifles. I am not a sniper or marksman and this post is to pass on some knowledge to those who were in my shoes a while back when I researching what optic to put on my rifles.
What most new gun owners will notice after they had just spent nearly or over a thousand dollars (sometimes thousands of dollars) on a quality rifle, is that the cost of optic for will be in the hundreds and sometimes may exceed the cost of rifle it’s going on.
Iron Sights, in my opinion, everyone should learn how to shoot with them first before adding any optics to their weapon system. Most optics are electronic and therefore can fail. That’s why they call the BUIS, or Back Up Iron Sights. So why have optics? There’s many good advantages you obtain from employing good optics. With Iron Sights, in order to get a good sight picture, you need to align the front and rear sights, usually using yor dominate eye and closing your other. One can be very proficient and fast with Iron Sights, but with a Red Dot Optic (RDO) you only need one point to focus one, allowing both eyes to remain open. This allows for extremely fast target acquisition, increased field of view and peripheral vision. It makes shooting real simple: place the dot on your target and press the trigger.
There are many options for RDO’s, like with everything in life, you get what you pay for! You cannot go wrong with Aimpoint, EoTech, Trijicon and a few other brands. These brands are all expensive and start at the $400 mark. They are all combat proven by our service members and are tough as nails. They will hold their zero and will take a beating. I will go in depth on RDOs on another post.
Magnified Optics do exactly what their description says, they magnify. Here, my knowledge and experience becomes very limited. Like I said, I’m not a skilled long range shooter. There’s not a lot of places for me to shoot further than a 100-200 yards. I also don’t get enough time at the range to shoot my longer range rifles. With my limited experience, I will say that it definitely helps having a magnified optic to identify your target and hit your targets with more accuracy than you would with a non magnified Red Dot Optic. The cost of good magnified optics can get extremely expensive. There are many manufacturers that have affordable options available. Some good brands are Leupold, US Optics, Steiner, Night Force, Zeiss and the list goes on. Some of those will run over $5000 easy! Shooting long range is not a cheap or easy endeavor. It takes a lot of time to be proficient. It is a very satisfying and challenging experience nonetheless shooting things that are far away.
So if you’re a new rifle owner, there’s a ton of information out there, so do your research before you drop a few hundred on one. Always remember, you get what you pay for!
I’ve carried the Beretta M85F Cheetah chambered in .380 ACP or 9mm short for many years as my backup gun.
When I got tired of lugging around my HK P2000sk in my vest holster, I started searching for something smaller but not too small. Back then, pocket .380 pistols were all the rage. Almost every company had one; Ruger, Sig Sauer, KelTec to name a few. I was, however not a fan of the pocket pistols then, believing that they were too small to control and shoot accurately. That was then, I’ve come around on that thinking and that’s why I sold my M85F… back to the review…
I’ve always wanted a Beretta, but didn’t want the full-size M92, so the M85F was a great solution; it is like a mini M92.
To my knowledge, it was the biggest .380 pistol I could find and at the same time, it was smaller, slimmer and lighter than a subcompact pistol. I could get a full grip with both hands.
The Beretta M85F is a DA/SA Semi-Auto with a manual ambidextrous safety/decocker that resembles a 1911’s, it is on the frame and not on the slide like on the M92. It also has a magazine disconnect safety, which I don’t like. The trigger pull is like a standard DA/SA on the M92 and has no trigger reset, another feature I’m not a fan of. The magazines are metal, single stack which hold 8 rounds.
It was accurate and easy to shoot.
So why did I get rid of it? There are quite a few reasons for that.
If you have been following me for the last few months, you would notice that I have been doing what I’m calling a “spring cleaning” of my firearms collection. I’ve been updating my collection with newer guns that I want and will use more often by selling ones that I don’t anymore. At the same time I am consolidating the ammunition that I need by getting rid of a few calibers.
The M85F was one of them. It was the only .380 ACP pistol I owned and those that own .380’s know that it’s difficult to find ammo for it. My department does not provide .380 for practice, so I had to supply it myself, which was not an issue, but I didn’t always have practice rounds with me at work so I rarely shot it.
The .380 is also called a 9mm short because that’s what it is. Some will argue that it is too small of a round to use defensively. I always carried good JHP ammo for duty, but why carry .380 when you can carry 9mm? Enter the Beretta BU9 Nano.
Cost, the M85F isn’t cheap with the price being close to $800! You can get a M92 at that price!
Bottom line: if you like .380’s and Beretta’s this is the gun for you. I sold it to my partner who got it for his wife for the range. It’s an ideal range gun for the ladies who have less upper body strength to deal with other Semi-Autos. The M85F is pretty easy to manipulate.
In my opinion, it’s more of a collector’s piece because of it’s price tag. There’s so many other options out there that are more practical and cost effective.
Throughout my career, I’ve come across a lot of criminals. Most of them made poor decisions or life choices. Seldom do I ever run into some truly evil people. Those are the ones you don’t forget.
It’s like looking into the eyes of a shark; black, cold and empty. Their facial expressions are full of hate and rage. As scary and intimidating as they may seem, I’m not afraid to face them. I too, can look fearsome and when they stare at me with all of their hatred for my uniform, my race, or whatever..I stare right back.
A few years ago, I was in a arraignment courtroom and one the inmates was an overt white supremacist with his lightening bolts and 88 tattoos all over his neck and face. He was uncooperative from the moment he entered the courtroom. He eventually had to be physically escorted by the detention deputies out of the courtroom. Later on, his mother approached me asking about him. Usually, family members I deal with are curious as to when someone gets released from jail. She was the total opposite. With fear all over her face, she asked me to confirm that her son will be staying in custody as she was in fear of her life from her son. I wasn’t a parent then, but now that I am, I couldn’t imagine going through what that poor woman has to go through.
Racism is still in existence of today, sadly. I just don’t get it in this day and age with all of the information available for people to educate themselves. It’s a huge topic in our media and I can say what most cops will attest to, I don’t care what someone’s race or ethnicity they are, it’s their actions that were focused on.
A few months ago a man who was probably suffering from some mental illness had a rough time going through our weapons screening process and had to place a forbidden item outside of the building. He responded by opening the exit door and throwing the item outside. I told him that he needed to take it away from the building and not throw it. He got about a few feet from my face and stared right at me and clenched his fists and started to turn red, it reminded me of the Hulk getting angry. He then turned away and did what I requested him to do. On his re-entry through the metal detector, he yelled something at me that was inaudible. I asked him to repeat himself. He said it again and it was still inaudible. Then he said, “First Amendment! Freedom of speech!” I responded with, “okay…” He then said what he said earlier, this time clear and loud, “I HATE ASIANS!!!!” I replied with, “Well I don’t care!”
Once my partners heard what he said, they stayed with him and eventually escorted him out of the building for saying other absurd things to civilian staff members.
Does it make my blood boil? Yes, but I’m a professional and I know better than to let my emotions get in the way of my job. It’s all part of the job, to take it and move on. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the years is to just let it go.