Monday, February 9, 2009

The Range Reviews: Otis Advanced Bore Reflector

© 2009 Albert A Rasch

While at the 2009 Shot Show I was amazed by some of the displays. As I’ve mentioned before, there were several log cabins, lighting displays that would rival the “Pink Floyd Laser Light Extravaganza,” and booths with craftsman grade cabinetry.

There was one setup though, that really knocked my socks off. I was at the Shot Show a day early to attend the Media Day at the Range event, which was being sponsored by Bass Pro Shops. I went into the Orange County Convention Center to get my Media Pass, and while crossing the bridge over show floor, I spotted the OTIS booth.

Ooooo... Shiny!

To call it a booth is an understatement. Three levels of polished metal, brightly lit by hundreds of lights. The Otis team was still putting the finishing touches on it on Wednesday in preparation for the Show opening on Thursday.

On Opening Day, Philip Laughlin of The Hog Blog and I hit the doors and never stopped. Phillip has been to the Shot Show many times before, but I had no idea what was in store for me. Just trying to find the Otis booth was a journey in and of itself! I was distracted by the sheer enormity of the show; as I’ve said before, it is overwhelming.

I finally managed to get to the Otis display area where I was met by Cara Peebles, Marketing Coordinator for Otis. Cara kindly gave me the grand tour of their booth and then we sat down for a few moments while she showed me the newest offerings from Otis. Among them was the new Advanced Bore Reflector.

The Otis Advanced Bore Reflector

It is shaped like a capital letter J with a flat section at the bottom that acts as a bolt or slide stop. This is an improvement over the original which had no stop and could tip. Whereas the original was a smooth piece of plastic, the new version is has angles and ribs meant to maximize light gathering and transmission. It is also tapered to fit better in the chamber.

The reflector has a fluorescent orange color, and is made of a special fiber optic material, and can be used with a borelight, small flashlight, or ambient light. The orange/yellow color also helps the eye distinguish between areas of varying contrast. White light tends to diminish this contrast and allows imperfections or issues in the bore to escape notice. When looking down the bore of an SKS in 7.62, and a Bushmaster in 5.56 we noted a substantial difference between a white light bore light, an original Otis Bore Reflector, and the new one. The white light does tend to wash the details out, and in some cases completely hide them. The older version worked well with an added light source, and the newest was surprisingly good at transmitting light regardless of light conditions. With a bore light, or a MiniMagLite, the bore illumination was superlative.

Down the Barrel - Ambient Light

The reflector also can act as a range safety device. Placed in the chamber, it is a very clear and obvious indication that the weapon does not have a round in the chamber, nor can a round be chambered while it is in place. On a shooting line, this is the safest condition a firearm can be in.

Reflector in the Chamber. Bushmaster courtesy of S. Goshea

Reflector used as range flag. SKS courtesy S. Goshea

You can carry it in your pocket to check the bore of your rifle while hunting. You never know if you might need it, and it is pretty cheap insurance.

For the price of a couple of quarters (street price), it is a great accessory. Lightweight, and capable it is a must have in every pocket, range bag, and ammo box.

Otis Technologies Inc
Advanced Bore Reflector
MSRP: $2.00


Anonymous said...

Great post and very good information. That is one nice inexpensive tool that should be in anybodies tackle. I am putting that on my list of goodies to pickup.

Phillip said...

Nicely written, Albert!

Time to start looking into submitting to some local outdoors magazines, like Florida Hunt and Fish. Your writing is there.

Albert A Rasch said...

You fellows are too kind!


Anonymous said...

As someone who puts together trade shows for our companies, I know exactly how much that Otis booth cost, and how much time it took to set up. Oh, to have that sort of budget!

The rest of the post was good too, but I'm just stuck on the booth.

Albert A Rasch said...

I really like them there at Otis. Miss Cara is just great and responds quickly to any request.

I will be having a follow-up post on Otis itself; the start-up story is fascinating. A great American business success story!