Adding a Custom Turret To My Rifle Scope
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You may recall that I mentioned I would be upgrading my scope in the near future.Well, my Viper HS LR from Vortex arrived, along with a set of 30mm Medium height rings.

Although the Viper comes with a great turret system, I thought it would be a neat upgrade to put on a custom turret made by Kenton Industries. Kenton has a rep for making great turrets and you know they are trusted when Vortex puts up their link on all their web pages showing scope specs.

Now, this kind of tinkering is a new realm for me, so I called Mark Kenton from Kenton Industries to ask a few questions. Mark clearly knows his stuff and I thought it would be cool to profile the process, the product, and his company on Desert Rat Outdoors. Mark was gracious enough to answer a few questions leading up to the selection of a Kenton turret.

What are the advantages of a custom turret over the turrets that come with the scope? Simply laser the target distance, turn the turret to the corresponding yardage, place the crosshairs on the target and shoot.

Should customers contact you before they select a scope, or is it best to purchase what they want and then figure out the turret? As long as they are purchasing a scope which we can provide a custom turret, we can assist them on which yardage format is best for their needs

What information will you need from me to help select the best turret? Desired maximum range – for example you’re looking at 600 yard. We can also use your field data, handload data, etc.

What are some of the different options available? What are the differences in turret styles? Speed dial format= larger fonts, 50yd increments up to one turn. LR hunter format= 2 tier system allows most high end cartridges to dial out to 1000yds. We also have military turrets and windage turrets.

What if a person shoots 2 different bullet weights? You can purchase a TTC knob that is calibrated for your main load and adjust the knob for the other loads. For example, your knob was calibrated for the 308-168gr. Federal Match load and you want to also shoot your 150gr. Federal NBT load. You will have to subtract a set amount of clicks from each 50/100 yd setting. A 500 yard shot for the 150 gr. NBT would be to dial the knob to 500 yds then subtract (decrease yardage) 9 clicks. You can make up a simple chart for the 150gr. load: 100 yds -2 (clicks), 200 – 3, 300 – 4, 350 – 5, 400 – 6, 450 – 7, 500 – 9, etcナ

The preferred way is to have a second knob calibrated for the 150gr. load. This way you can swap knobs accordingly. You should keep a simple log that tells you how many clicks to subtract to re-zero the scope from the 168gr. 100yd zero to the 150gr. 100yd zero. For Example: Log entry: 150gr. 100yd zero = – 2 clicks down @ 100yds. (mount 150gr. knob and set at 100yds; – 2 clicks down, loosen setscrews, reset knob to 100yds, then tighten setscrews.)

Now you are ready to dial in and shoot the 150gr. load. The process would be reversed when you want to remount your TTC calibrated for the 168gr. load. (mount 168gr. knob, set at 100yds, +2 clicks up, loosen setscrews, reset knob to 100yds, then tighted setscrews)

I have a .270 WSM – I’d like to be comfortable out to 600 yards. The scope I just purchased was a Vortex Viper HS LR 4-16×44 I have medium rings for it (30mm). What do you recommend? Choose our speed dial yardage format. large 50yd markings, one turn

My 2 best bullets are 130 Grain Sciroccos and 140 Grain Swift A Frames Two turrets most likely needed for 600yd target engagement, but you can get away with one custom turret if willing to do slight adjustments for the other bullet.

So now I’m ready to call Mark up again and order the turret. Stay tuned and I’ll describe the installation process. Installation is something that is supposed to be so easy that even I can do it. Stay tuned!

A new addition to the family
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I had a .41 Magnum for a long time that I loved, but it was a closet queen so I reluctantly sold it. I then picked up an XD40 with the tactical slide. That gun shoots nice and is reliable but the long slide doesn’t make it practical for concealed carry. It now has a flashlight attached underneath and is at the ready in my nightstand. I don’t regularly carry concealed, but that is partially because I haven’t owned something that was well suited to CCW. That led me on a search for a CCW piece. I had it in my head I was going to get a single-stack .45 – either Springfield’s XDS or a Glock 36. While shopping though, I came across a great deal on a Glock 32 in OD. I didn’t know much about the .357 Sig so I did some research and discovered it has a lot of fans and is generally considered to be a very effective cartridge. I have never owned a Glock before but I am excited to get out on the range with this. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Vortex Optics – Great Service!
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I have been associated with Vortex for several years and in spite of having rifle scopes, spotting scopes, and 2 different pairs of binos – I have never had to use their warranty program. Vortex is well-known for their superior level of service, but I had never needed to experience it first hand.

I have an olddddddd pair of 8×42 binos – “Sidewinders’ that they don’t even sell any more. Years of bouncing around in Rangers, tramping around the desert and riding in the front of the truck had made them victim of our nasty Arizona dust. They felt really gritty when adjusting the focus. I called Vortex and asked if they could clean and service them and they said “Sure”. On the Service Form I indicated “Need a good cleaning, missing a lens cap”

Wow! The binos were only gone 2 weeks or so, and here is the work they performed, at no charge:

Repaired both eye cup assemblies
Cleaned and lubed focus mechanism
Adjusted diopter so both sides focus together
Checked alignment
Cleaned binoculars
Installed objective lens covers and rain guard.
Included new cleaning cloth
Included new case

These came back to me working flawlessly and looking like they were brand new! Great job by Vortex!

Healthy Joints for Life – a book by Richard Diana, MD
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“But… but… this is a hunting website!”

Yes, yes it is. But I have been plagued with arthritis for several years so when I was offered a chance to review this book, I took it! Thanks to Saraciea Fennell at Harlequin for reaching out to me and getting me a copy of the book!

What a great book! Dr. Diana discusses the ins and outs of inflammation in layman’s terms that make sense, even when he is discussing it at a cellular level. He describes what inflammation is, what causes it, and how to reduce it. He discusses foods and supplements – what works and what to avoid. He discusses exercise and presents an 8-week comprehensive program to get you back to feeling better. In this program he covers in detail recipes, vitamins, and exercise – why, how and when.

I’m 47 and everything hurts. If you’re starting to ache or get creaky, I highly recommend this book. It’s interesting, thorough and well-written. Dr. Diana utilizes current research, years of training and experience as a physician, and past suffering of aches and pains as an NFL player to make this practical and easy-to-read.

Think you’re destined to eating carrots? Check this out:

Fiber Creamsicle Smoothie

1 teaspoon orange flavored Metamucil
1 Tablespoon sugar-free yogurt
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
3-4 ice cubes
1 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

From the Harlequin press release:

HEALTHY JOINTS FOR LIFE: An Orthopedic Surgeon’s Proven Plan to Reduce Pain and Inflammation, Avoid Surgery and Get Moving Again (February 2014).

Dr. Richard Diana—the only orthopedic surgeon to play in a Super Bowl—is uniquely positioned to explain joint pain and how to free yourself from its debilitating hold on your life. Diana, who retired from the Miami Dolphins after playing Super Bowl XVII to attend the Yale School of Medicine, has drawn on his professional experience and cutting-edge science to develop a proven plan to reduce pain and inflammation without surgery or medication. HEALTHY JOINTS FOR LIFE is a proven 8-week program that teaches joint pain sufferers how to use diet, exercise and supplements to reduce inflammation, relieve pain and rejuvenate their joints.

You can purchase the book at all major book sellers. It sells on Amazon for about 15 bucks.

Richard Diana, MD

Simple Fly Fishing by Yvon Chouinard, Craig Mathews & Mauro Mazzo
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I loved fly-fishing in my younger days, and probably miss it more than any other type of fishing. I was fortunate enough to grow up in Atlantic Salmon country, fishing rivers such as the famous Miramichi. That being said I had never heard of Tenkara – what a cool technique! I was fortunate to be able to view an advance copy of the book and I can tell you this will be a great book whether you are young or old, novice or expert – I guarantee you’ll learn something!

From the release:


Modern-day fly fishing, like much in life, has become exceedingly complex, with high-tech gear, a confusing array of flies and terminal tackle, accompanied by high-priced fishing guides. But in a long-anticipated book, Simple Fly Fishing, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard joins noted fly fishermen Mauro Mazzo and Craig Mathews to reveal the best way to catch trout: simply, with a rod and a fly and not much else.

The wisdom in the book comes from a simpler time when the premise was the more you know, the less you need. It introduces modern-day readers—beginner anglers to master fishermen—to the techniques based on Tenkara fishing, which relies less on equipment and more on how to discover where the fish are, at what depth, and what they are feeding on. Then it describes the practices needed to present a fly at that depth, make it look lifelike, and hook the fish.
“This is a book for the young person who has wanted to learn, but is intimidated by the complexity, elitism, and expense of the sport,” says Chouinard, a Tenkara enthusiast. “For the woman and her daughter who are put off by the image of the testosterone-fueled, good old boy bass and trout fisherman who turned the ‘contemplative pastime’ into a competitive combat sport. And for the long time angler who has everything and wants to replace all that stuff with skill, knowledge, and simplicity.”

With chapters on wet flies, nymphs, and dry flies, the authors employ both the Tenkara rod as well as regular fly fishing gear to cover all the bases. Illustrated by renowned fish artist James Prosek, with inspiring photographs and stories throughout, Simple Fly Fishing reveals the secrets and the soul of this captivating sport.

Patagonia Books is intended as a way to advance our love of books as well as nature and a reflective life. We publish a select number of titles on wilderness, wildlife, and outdoor sports that inspire and restore connection to the natural world. We also present books that raise awareness about not only the environmental challenges our world faces, but suggest ways that we can work together to slow the disintegration of our planet. This includes immediate activities, such as strategies to reduce our carbon footprint, as well as more in-depth examinations of the meanings of affluence, consumerism, and capitalism in the 21st Century.

We believe that books are still the most important medium for passing our values to the next generation. The titles we publish reflect the principles that guide the business and personal lives of many of us who work at Patagonia and many who participate in the sports we support. These include the vow to lead an examined life, to do what we can as individuals and as a company to make a difference to the environmental challenges we all face, and to hold up our company, with full transparency and honesty, as an example for other businesses.

Jim Shockey’s “Uncharted”
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Looks awesome!

Jim Shockey’s UNCHARTED – Trailer from Branlin Shockey on Vimeo.

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RED WING, MN (December 2011) — Irish Setter ®VaprTrek hunting boots with RPM technology are extremely lightweight and hunt-ready.

New VaprTrek boots are 40% lighter than traditional Irish Setter big game hunting boots without sacrificing support or stability. RPM Technology, a breakthrough composite material, significantly reduces the weight of the boot, providing extreme comfort without the extra weight.

The RPM sole features a bi-directional lug pattern for increased traction and balance during heel strike and toe off. The wrap-around instep provides protection and aids in gripping tree stand rungs or ATV foot pegs. Armatec™ heel and toe protection guards against ground hazards. Underfoot comfort is enhanced with an anatomically-correct polyurethane and high-rebound foam footbed with a ScentBan™ odor inhibiting top cover. And a ScentBan lining delivers scent control through a process that kills odor-causing bacteria.

Irish Setter VaprTrek hunting boots incorporate UltraDry™ waterproofing so feet stay dry and boots stay breathable. A memory foam collar forms to fit the ankle for comfortable stability in the boot shaft. The Cushin™ Comfort Tongue offers long-lasting comfort in the shin area. A speed lacing system with one-tug tightening provides fast, snug lacing.

Men’s VaprTrek Boots (sizes 8-12, 13, 14 in D and EE widths)
Style #2868 is an 8″ non-insulated boot with Mossy Oak® Break-Up Infinity® camouflage, $149.99*
Style #2870 is an 8″ non-insulated boot with Realtree Xtra® camouflage, $149.99
Style #2863 is an 8″ non-insulated boot in Stone leather and fabric, $149.99
Style #2864 is an 8″ non-insulated boot in Black leather and fabric, $149.99
Style #2875 is a 17″ non-insulated, lace-up snake boot with Realtree Xtra® Green camouflage, $209.99
Style #2873** is an 8″ boot with 400 grams of PrimaLoft® insulation in Realtree Xtra® camouflage, $159.99
Style #2874** is an 8″ boot with 400 grams of PrimaLoft® insulation in Mossy Oak® Break-Up Infinity® camouflage, $159.99

Women’s VaprTrek Boots (sizes 5-11 medium width)
Style #2862** is an 8” boot in Realtree Xtra® camouflage, $149.99
Style #2881** is an 8” boot with 400 grams of PrimaLoft® insulation in Mossy Oak® Break-Up Infinity® camouflage, $159.99

“Irish Setter VaprTrek boots are engineered to be remarkably lightweight and flexible,” explained Charley Bryant, Irish Setter Hunt Line Manager for Red Wing Shoe Company. “All you have to do is pick up this boot and you’ll feel the difference.”

New styles (indicated by **) will be available at leading outdoor retailers in July 2014. Style #2864 is also available in sizes 4, 5, 6, and 7 in D (medium) width.

About Irish Setter

Based in Red Wing, MN, Irish Setter is a division of Red Wing Shoe Company that produces a full line of performance hunting boots and rugged outdoor casual footwear. Irish Setter continues to use leading technologies and the finest materials to offer customers the highest quality outdoor footwear. For more information about Irish Setter’s heritage, products and retailers, visit

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Deer TrackerRED WING, MN (December 2013) — Irish Setter Deer Tracker Big Game hunting boots feature StableFlex® technology, which combines welt construction in the heel for stability and cement construction in the forefoot for added flexibility. The Deer Tracker sole with an aggressive lug pattern provides superb stability and traction on the toughest terrain. Maximum underfoot comfort is delivered by a triple-density, RPM lightweight sole and polyurethane footbed. The boot features premium US-Made Trout Brook leather with a variety of camo options, proven UltraDry™ waterproofing and ScentBan™ scent control. Additional features include Armatec™ toe and heel protection, Achilles Comfort Panel and a CuShin™ Comfort tongue. Insulated versions provide warmth with long-lasting, hydrophobic Primaloft ® insulation.

Style #4833 is a 7″ non-insulated lace-up boot with Realtree Xtra® camo, $169.99
Style #4835 is a 10″ non-insulated lace-up boot with Mossy Oak® Break-Up Infinity® camo, $189.99
Style #4837 is a 10″ lace-up boot with Realtree Xtra® camo and 400 grams of Primaloft® insulation, $194.99
Style #4838 is a 10″ lace-up boot with Mossy Oak® Break-Up Infinity® camo and 800 grams of Primaloft®insulation, $204.99
Style #4843 is a 12″ non-insulated pull-on boot with ExoFlex™ Performance Fit System for easy on/off and Realtree Xtra® camo, $179.99

“Deer Tracker boots will help you traverse rough terrain with confidence and comfort,” said Charley Bryant, Irish Setter Line Manager for Red Wing Shoe Company.

Irish Setter Deer Tracker boots will be available in July 2014 at leading outdoor retailers. Visit for the retailer nearest you.

About Irish Setter

Based in Red Wing, MN, Irish Setter is a division of Red Wing Shoe Company that produces a full line of performance hunting boots and rugged outdoor casual footwear. Irish Setter continues to use leading technologies and the finest materials to offer customers the highest quality outdoor footwear. For more information about Irish Setter’s heritage, products and retailers, visit

Antelope Awareness Day – April 5th
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This sounds like a great day for anyone interested in these beautiful animals! ~Desert Rat

A day to learn about pronghorn in Arizona and about current and ongoing research projects related to this species. The day will be full of informative presentations, followed by afternoon workshops and field trips.

Saturday, April 5, 2014
9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Horseshoe Ranch, Agua Fria National Monument
Exit I-17 at Bloody Basin Rd. (exit 259) and head east approximately five miles. The road is
graded dirt – suitable for passenger cars. The ranch is just before the road crosses the Agua
Fria River.

Water, lunch, chair, layered clothing, sun protection (hat, sunscreen), binoculars, an interest in
Morning refreshments and water refills provided.

For more information, contact David Brown at (602) 471-2872 or Dana Warnecke at (480) 324-
3547 or

Photo above from the Arizona Antelope Foundation website

Scope Upgrade Coming
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My rifle of choice is a Savage Weather Warrior in .270 WSM and came fixed up with a muzzle brake that you could turn on or off, along with the Accu-Stock and Accu-Trigger. The scope I had on it was OK, but I have decided to tinker away at turning this into a rifle where I would be comfortable taking shots out to 600 yards or so. With that in mind, I am upgrading the current scope to a Viper HS LR by Vortex Optics.

Once I get the scope mounted, I’m going to put a custom turret on it, made by Kenton Industries. Look for a series of articles on the Kenton turret – from how to select, how to install and then a profile on the company and owner Mark Kenton.

Stay tuned!