Rifle Scopes Sunshade vs. ARD

Ranger822

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Jul 4, 2013
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I have been looking at accessories for scopes. I have seen something that I was curious to get some opinions on.

Sunshades seem to be a simple extension of the telescopic tube without optics that seems to "shade" (duh) the front lens -perhaps avoiding some sun-star and glare entering the scope's view. The sunshade also seems to reduce the chance for a reflection of the optics to give away ones position thus appearing to have a very tactical purpose/benefit.

The Anti-Reflective Device ARD seems to do something similar but with a neat waffle or honeycomb filter covering the front lens face. In looking thru both - the ARD seems to be a bit darker - cutting down the amount of light coming it and with an ever so slight obscuring of the view. The ARD also seems to prevents glare and removes sunlight reflection that might give away ones position but seems to increase the chance of allowing junk to get stuck in the filter further reducing clear visibility. Seems like ARDs are cool, compact, very tactical, but perhaps not so practical for someone doing a lot of nasty traveling about without a protective cover and that seems to carry with it some risk of not having ones primary sight ready at a moments’ notice. Seems like the sunshade would be preferred in most circumstances even if it might add a bit more length to the optics system - what I am missing?
 

hk dave

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  • Jun 7, 2011
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    I think a sunshade is superior to an ARD in every situation except for the one where people shoot back.

    An ARD will cause a considerable loss of light, as well as reduce resolution and contrast.
     

    Ranger822

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    I think a sunshade is superior to an ARD in every situation except for the one where people shoot back.

    Thanks - after reading my my failed to focus on the subject and I began to think of some humorous, sarcastic and perhaps not applicable responses:

    1. So, I guess I better not miss.
    2. Uh, excuse me but dead people don't shoot back
    3. So, I can look cool and not get shot at? What a deal!
    4. Not much chance of me getting shot at my local range unless I am a REALLY bad shot
    5. I have always been a shade kind of guy - I guess I will just take my chances
     

    TallShot

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    Hk Dave gave an honest non sarcastic response. And a conclusion that I've come to with ARD's as well.

    Not sure where your going? :-/
     

    2brothers641

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    I just bought my first ARD from Scott at Liberty optics. It is the type you put into a BC flip cap. I installed it on a PST 6-24 and I have not noticed any distortion or lack of light. Most of my shooting recently has been in the evening, plenty of sunlight though. My rifle is a 20" rem 700 and I personally didn't like the look of a long scope + long sunshade, but needed something to reduce glare. I would recommend giving an ARD a chance.
     

    phreakmode

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    Thanks - after reading my my failed to focus on the subject and I began to think of some humorous, sarcastic and perhaps not applicable responses:

    1. So, I guess I better not miss.
    2. Uh, excuse me but dead people don't shoot back
    3. So, I can look cool and not get shot at? What a deal!
    4. Not much chance of me getting shot at my local range unless I am a REALLY bad shot
    5. I have always been a shade kind of guy - I guess I will just take my chances

    Interesting way of thanking a person for an honest view that you did in fact request.
     

    hk dave

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  • Jun 7, 2011
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    I just bought my first ARD from Scott at Liberty optics. It is the type you put into a BC flip cap. I installed it on a PST 6-24 and I have not noticed any distortion or lack of light. Most of my shooting recently has been in the evening, plenty of sunlight though. My rifle is a 20" rem 700 and I personally didn't like the look of a long scope + long sunshade, but needed something to reduce glare. I would recommend giving an ARD a chance.

    Try it with and without the ARD in darker situations... or at home at night with some lights on or dimmed.

    During a bright sunny day, it may be more difficult to notice a difference because the amount of light being pumped through the optic is high enough that our eyes will just adjust the pupil diaphragm to what the brain considers the "optimal" amount of light. As it gets darker, or you aim at something dark, like a dark forest, our pupils dilate. As they can only dilate so much to adjust for the lower light condition, they will reach a limit. It's at this limit that the amount of light coming through the scope will make or break the image.

    The other easy way to figure out how much of a light loss there is is to take a light meter (with spot metering ability) and check the amount of light coming through the lens. The difference is astounding. My guess is an ARD will reduce the amount of light going through the lens to 1/4th of what it has without it.

    As far as resolution, I suppose the only way to qualify that loss is to take some photos with and without the ARD or see if it affects your ability to clearly see your target at distance. It may never be enough to matter with a high end lens when it comes to engaging a target at distance? I've never tested the theory.

    I do know one evening I was in my home and looking through a new scope that I had just received... and kept saying to myself, "This can't be right. The image looks like crap compared to the crap scope it's replacing. Way less resolution and light. Did I get a lemon?" I would look at the crappy scope, and the nice scope I just received back and forth and I started becoming flustered.

    I turned the new scope around to see if perhaps the lens was caked in grease or something and then I remembered the ARD. I removed it and looked through both optics again... the difference was huge! The new scope became razor sharp and very bright.

    I do not know, nor really think that any of this would matter on a bright sunny day with a quality optic... but just like everything else, it's only when things start getting pushed to certain limits, that it becomes readily apparent what is the better.
     
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    unreconstructed

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    Thanks - after reading my my failed to focus on the subject and I began to think of some humorous, sarcastic and perhaps not applicable responses:

    1. So, I guess I better not miss.
    2. Uh, excuse me but dead people don't shoot back
    3. So, I can look cool and not get shot at? What a deal!
    4. Not much chance of me getting shot at my local range unless I am a REALLY bad shot
    5. I have always been a shade kind of guy - I guess I will just take my chances

    Did you just join arfcom also? I would expect a '13er from arfcom to post this waste of bandwidth.

    Actually, HK Dave's reply was spot on. Too bad it was wasted on you.
     

    RFtinkerer

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    I seriously think Ranger822's response was humor. Missing maybe a smiley or two to emphasize that it was not serious or criticism.
     

    KP '14

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    Yeah guys, relax. Reading Ranger's post it never crossed my mind that he had any ill intentions; it was merely him trying to poke fun at his own question. It's Friday everyone, get out and pop some rounds off this weekend
     

    earthquake

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  • Jul 30, 2009
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    I had an ARD once. I didn't like it and won't use another. If i'm paying all that dough for quality glass and light gathering ability, I want to maximize it. I use a sunshade only now if needed.

    If you end up on a two-way range, just use a "bird's nest".
     

    2brothers641

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    May 21, 2008
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    Try it with and without the ARD in darker situations... or at home at night with some lights on or dimmed.

    During a bright sunny day, it may be more difficult to notice a difference because the amount of light being pumped through the optic is high enough that our eyes will just adjust the pupil diaphragm to what the brain considers the "optimal" amount of light. As it gets darker, or you aim at something dark, like a dark forest, our pupils dilate. As they can only dilate so much to adjust for the lower light condition, they will reach a limit. It's at this limit that the amount of light coming through the scope will make or break the image.

    The other easy way to figure out how much of a light loss there is is to take a light meter (with spot metering ability) and check the amount of light coming through the lens. The difference is astounding. My guess is an ARD will reduce the amount of light going through the lens to 1/4th of what it has without it.

    As far as resolution, I suppose the only way to qualify that loss is to take some photos with and without the ARD or see if it affects your ability to clearly see your target at distance. It may never be enough to matter with a high end lens when it comes to engaging a target at distance? I've never tested the theory.

    I do know one evening I was in my home and looking through a new scope that I had just received... and kept saying to myself, "This can't be right. The image looks like crap compared to the crap scope it's replacing. Way less resolution and light. Did I get a lemon?" I would look at the crappy scope, and the nice scope I just received back and forth and I started becoming flustered.

    I turned the new scope around to see if perhaps the lens was caked in grease or something and then I remembered the ARD. I removed it and looked through both optics again... the difference was huge! The new scope became razor sharp and very bright.

    I do not know, nor really think that any of this would matter on a bright sunny day with a quality optic... but just like everything else, it's only when things start getting pushed to certain limits, that it becomes readily apparent what is the better.

    You have some valid points Hk Dave, but I think you are way over thinking this and getting too technical. There may minimal light and resolution loss, but my 20/20 vision can't tell enough difference to say they are not worth a try. I will give it a try at dusk and see how it compares. I say there are pros and cons to both, but the ARD is not as bad as the internet makes it out to be.
     

    tylerw02

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  • May 16, 2011
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    The range I normally shoot at you face the east in the mornings and the glare can be quite bad.
     

    Eric B.

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    Hunting and ARDs:

    Perhaps when hunting Wiley Coyote an ARD would be OK but then, so would a sunshade.
    As hk dave said, an ARD is only necessary in tactical situations. There, where the length and fagility of a sunshade would be a liability, the compact ARD comes into its own.

    But take the damn thing off as light fades and reflection is not a concern. As Mr. Spock would say, "That is logical."
     

    TheGerman

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  • Jan 25, 2010
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    - Get nude pantyhose.
    - Cut out a square that is a bit larger than your objective diameter
    - Stretch panty hose over objective
    - Secure loose ends of panty hose underneath butler creek cover or a rubber band
    - Save 80$
     

    2brothers641

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    - Get nude pantyhose.
    - Cut out a square that is a bit larger than your objective diameter
    - Stretch panty hose over objective
    - Secure loose ends of panty hose underneath butler creek cover or a rubber band
    - Save 80$

    If you don't want to "Bubba" it, Liberty optics has them for like $8. They snap into the BC caps.
     

    Ranger822

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    Yeah guys, relax. Reading Ranger's post it never crossed my mind that he had any ill intentions; it was merely him trying to poke fun at his own question. It's Friday everyone, get out and pop some rounds off this weekend

    In all seriousness, since my humor is just about as lacking as my knowledge, I really do appreciate all the great info. I am a new guy here so, I'll try to straighten up a bit. At least until I have a lot more posts.

    In general it is all to easy to interpret a poorly worded post in a completely different way than was intended. A few well intended words are better said in person around a dinner table or campfire, or better yet in between firing orders at the range.
     

    Cuban Croc

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    null_zpsdb86b90b.jpg

    null_zpsed92f55b.jpg

    null_zps3547f964.jpg

    Made my own out of a sunshade, butler creek cap and ARD. Cut the sunshade to the depth of the cap, ripped off the cap/cover, and added the ARD. Now, when it is bright outside I add the ARD. When it is cloudy ... I just unscrew it. Reasoning: I like it better than a long ass sunshade hanging off of my scope.
     

    Ranger822

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    Nice finished looking adaptation Cuban Croc!

    After what has been discussed and giving it some thought, I think for my purpose the sunshade is probably going to work fine for me - target shooting in the Rookies, maybe an occasional hunting excursion. I doubt Bambi will be to concerned if the sun reflects off my scope. I might purchase a few bubba items to add to my bug-out bag. Thanks again for some good suggestions.
     
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