On my way home from work yesterday evening, I came to a halt at a stoplight and began the ritualistic inspection of my facial hair in the rearview mirror of my truck. Completely distracted by my cosmetic antics, I caught enough movement from the corner of my eye in time to look out the passenger-side window and see some hoodlum pull up to the line, his head bobbin’ and weavin’ to what I assumed was some heavy rap crap blaring behind the glass of his rolled-up windows. He was driving a silver and rusted-orange Corolla that must’ve been born sometime during my high school years, and it was as ugly as the girls that chased me in high school, too.
As we waited for the green flag, the dude rolled down his window to expel some cigarette smoke, and out with the smoke came some of the best-sounding Bob Seger that I’d heard come from a car audio system. I didn’t see that one coming—his choice in music or the quality of those tunes. I’m guessing that fella couldn’t get $500 for that car if he were giving away his girlfriend with it, but there’s little doubt he has a sound system hiding within that was easily valued at three times that much. I would’ve opted to foot some cash for a hood with less rust or a tail light that required less duct tape for operation, but apparently he valued his tunes. The light finally turned green, and I gave him a thumbs-up as I left him sputtering at the starting line.
When I got home, I pulled the new North American Hunter custom AR from the back of my truck and headed for the gun safe. As I removed the gun from its case, I admired it and realized the Corolla-driving thug might not be as backward as he originally seemed. In the shooting world, there are a pile of opinions about how much one should spend on a high-quality riflescope to complete a rifle setup. I’ve actually heard shooters—whose opinions I value—talk about spending three times the value of the gun on a scope to put on that gun. Now, I don’t know about all that, but I do know the most accurate rifles are completely worthless without a good scope companion.
When my Web Editor, Josh Dahlke, came to me with the news of giving away a sweet DPMS/North American Hunter AR, my immediate question—after wiping the drool from my beard—was in regard to his optics plan for the giveaway. When he told me to figure it out, I made an immediate call to Wisconsin to talk with my Vortex Optics buddy.
Let me make a promise to you now that this blog will never—ever—turn into a product whoring venue, but when I come across something fantastic, whether it’s gear or tactics or whatever, I’m compelled to spread the gossip. If a friend of mine came across some secret that drastically improved his hunting success and didn’t tell me about it, I’d be pissed. Get what I’m sayin’?
And for whatever reason, Vortex has been a bit of a secret—at least with most people I talk optics with—and I have no idea why. I hunted whitetails with a Vortex scope last fall along the Missouri River in South Dakota, where deer hunting tactics almost exclusively involve taking a sniper’s perch high in the river breaks … and great optics can make or break a hunt. Those optics made my hunt.
And that’s exactly what I wanted atop the custom AR package we’re giving away. Chambered for 5.56 NATO (and it accepts any .223 Rem. round, too), I asked for a 2.5-10X scope, and that’s the exact configuration I got when a Vortex Viper HS landed on my desk from Phil, our mail-delivery master, the following day. This gun is a coyote’s worst nightmare, and I’m going to cry like a baby when I have to take it out of my safe and give it away to the winner.
Don’t get me wrong: This gun is no Corolla—it’s more like a brand-new Silverado. And with this scope, it’s like adding $10,000 worth of after-market accessories. In the right hands, any rogue ‘yote that hangs up within 400 yards is going to be in serious trouble.
Keep your nose to the wind—and stay tuned this week at HuntingClub.com for the AR giveaway. When it drops, you'd better sign up to win before I change my mind and keep this rig.