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What are some current US military binoculars?

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#1 NDfarmer

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 08:50 AM

I was wondering what our Army, Navy, Air Force and Coastguard are using to defend our great country. Are the main kinds, Fujinon, Steiner, and what power and models are typically in use?

#2 brentwood

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 01:01 PM

I believe that the US Navy uses Fujinon 7x50, AR series. That is the lowest of the three Fujinon lines. The Army uses Steiner 7x50 and 7x28 (?) roof prism Fujinon. I believe all these are laser filter protected, which would probably make them useless for Astronomical viewing. They do look dark when you look through them. The Navy also uses a variety of 'Big Eyes' on the bridges of their ships. The last ones I looked through were made by Litton Industries.
When no one was looking I used my pocket tape measure and found the aperture to be 120-125mm and the magnification as 25X (based on the exit pupil)
The Canadian Navy uses similar 'Big Eyes' and I was able to use some once, on a berthed ship, on The Orion Nebula.
What a sight! Way above the same object through those Chinese 25-40x100.

#3 Gordon Rayner

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 03:48 PM

What do USMC use now? I have some USMC Tasco (Katsuma) with lots of cracked brittle glue used to "secure" the prisms, in both 7 x 50 and 8 x30. Swift and others put their label on the same equipment, superficial copies of WW II B&L .

I was able to see the relative durability of the AR (Kamakura) vs. the Steiner, vs. WW II B&L , after use/abuse by the SEAL teams, in lots sold about a decade ago at a Navy base. In several ways,the WW II B&L were in better condition than their much younger competitors, in spite of decades of service and/or storage before the SEALS use. There is considerable plastic in the Kamakura/Fuji AR . Eyepiece to coverplate junction breaks were noted. The Steiner are all glued up, and not repairable by normal methods, if at all. Any rubber"armor", does not seem to add significant protection to the interior integrity, and almost none to the sealing, and adds weight. In professional fishing boat use , it eventually turns into a sticky mess from perspiration, hand oil, salt water, sunlight, etc.

One supposes that WW II production was so numerous, that no replacement was needed until after B&L ( the real , Rochester B&L) had surrendered to Japanese competition ( via such as Dave Bushnell and Humphrey Smith and Jake Levin and the Tasco bunch).

The procurement people know almost nothing about binoculars. They work with specifications which were adequate ( and unnecessary in Rochester B&L WW II times), with additions of some modern requirements which have little to do with product quality. It is similar to the situation which David Packard noted for general military procurement, when he became Secretary of Defense in the Nixon administration.

Buying on price as the major factor has obvious limitations.

Do the Canadian forces use the Leitz Canada binoculars? The Bell & Howell M-19 program residue went to the Leitz-Hughes- whoever Hughes is now Canadian facility.


Which big mounted binoculars are used by the Canadian Navy/Coast Guard? What about UK?

#4 KennyJ

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 05:33 PM

Military binoculars tend to be classified by M numbers .

The last time I read up on the subject , in addition to M22 ( 7 x 50 ) and M24 (7 x 28 ) with reticles in one eyepiece , the US armed forces were also using M25 ( 14x40 ) image stabilised binoculars supplied by Fraser Volpe , probably manufactured in Japan .

I suspect that these days ( and nights ) some other types of " electronic optical " devices are being used rather than , or at least in conjunction with , traditional binoculars .

To satisfy current political correctness legislation and etiquette , in certain circumstances law enforcement personnel in the UK are not even allowed to use binoculars for observation / surveillance before filling out a seven page " permission for use " form , the officer having to specify in advance precisely what is going to be observed .

In the UK I don't think it's unusual for Police officers to ( be expected to ) pay for their own chosen optical aids out of their own pockets .

In any case , I'm sure that ( especially ) in daylight , modern digital cameras are probably far more useful tools in the vast majority of situations than would be any binoculars , monoculars or scopes .

Kenny

#5 brocknroller

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 06:15 PM

I'm not sure who makes these mil spec bins, but it looks like it has Bushwacker covers.

Bins with Bushwacker

#6 NDfarmer

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 07:38 PM

They look like they are offset, must be porros. I'll bet they are pretty good! They are probably top secret.

#7 Pinewood

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 08:06 PM

I'm not sure who makes these mil spec bins, but it looks like it has Bushwacker covers.

Bins with Bushwacker


Hail B'rock, son of Grilka,

Those covers look pretty opaque to me.

Arthur Pinewood

#8 NDfarmer

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 08:17 PM

Arthur:
Your eyes must be pretty sharp, I don't see those lens covers hanging either. Photo op!

#9 GadgetGeek

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 08:21 PM

Oh dear... :lol:

#10 Pinewood

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 08:45 PM

Good one, B'rock!

#11 beachchairbill

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 05:50 PM

B'rock,

I wonder what is on the other side of those lens covers. He seems to have no objection to haveing them on.


Beachchairbill

#12 ronharper

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 11:38 PM

Probably a single mother with four kids in the ghetto near the White House.

#13 beachchairbill

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 02:55 PM

I bet he was checking on DC with his eyecaps on

BB

#14 Man in a Tub

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 05:54 PM

I can't resist posting this link here. It's kinda military, obviously!

Optical Voice and Data Communications for Binoculars

#15 apollo13

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 03:37 PM

Here are my Steiner M22's (7X50). Refurbished issue. Great all around binos. They have the ranging reticle and the laser eye protection filters.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 3259808-m22.JPG


#16 beachchairbill

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 05:21 PM

Last night, I was watching Generation Kill a war movie about the Iraq war. You have to see the Binos they were using. Nothing that I have seen before and it looked like they had IS buttons on them.

BB

#17 brentwood

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 06:22 PM

Those Military Steiners look different from the ones I have seen in that the objective lens Laser coatings were a very bright light green. The ones I looked through gave a dark image, how are they on the night sky?

#18 apollo13

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 07:24 PM

I had that style in the beginning but they still had Desert Storm sand in them...literally. I called to Pioneer Research (the Steiner Factory repair outfit) and they said send them back and they replaced them with a perfect pair of the new issue model (stellar customer service). These are color neutral and very bright (nothing like the old models). They work well for stargazing but are not the optical equivalent of my 10X70 Nikons...but they are close. They have great eye relief and are comfortable with my glasses. They really "pop out the details" when viewing landscapes as they are very sharp. I am very, very happy with them. I had them out last night looking at the Moon and Jupiter.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 3260106-trio.JPG


#19 BillC

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 11:18 PM

I'm not sure who makes these mil spec bins, but it looks like it has Bushwacker covers.

Bins with Bushwacker


While decidedly conservative, I was not a big Bush fan. But, I do believe in giving the "devil his due." George is holding a Stabilized bino that CAN have night-vision capabilities, That would have to be used with pin-holed cover in daylight.

That is in opposition to Bill Clinton who was once photographed LOOKING through conventional binos with the covers on.

Those who can't tell the difference in thse two situations should not be allowed around sharp objects! :bawling: :jump: :roflmao:

Cheers,

Bill

#20 StarStuff1

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 10:21 PM

:funny:

#21 brocknroller

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 11:06 PM

I'm not sure who makes these mil spec bins, but it looks like it has Bushwacker covers.

Bins with Bushwacker


While decidedly conservative, I was not a big Bush fan. But, I do believe in giving the "devil his due." George is holding a Stabilized bino that CAN have night-vision capabilities, That would have to be used with pin-holed cover in daylight.

That is in opposition to Bill Clinton who was once photographed LOOKING through conventional binos with the covers on.

Those who can't tell the difference in thse two situations should not be allowed around sharp objects! :bawling: :jump: :roflmao:

Cheers,

Bill


Since we're tossing around adages, here's one for you, Bill (paraphrased):

Those who make extraordinary claims should present extraordinary evidence.

Below is a photo of Bush seconds after the first one with the caps off . He goofed. No surprise there.

Clinton's photo looks more like it could be a fake, it's very grainy and has "artifacts" on the covers.

Or it could be covered with a non-reflecting material to keep glints of light being seen by the enemy (according to snopes).

Snopes couldn't confirm it one way or the other:

Presidents with Binoculars

If this photo of Sharon using bins with the covers on is a fake, hats off to the prankster, because it is a closer, clearer shot than the others, and he got the lighting angle right.

The bin must have very long ER. :-)

Sharon's covered roof

#22 mercedes_sl1970

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 07:50 AM

I'm not sure who makes these mil spec bins, but it looks like it has Bushwacker covers.

Bins with Bushwacker


While decidedly conservative, I was not a big Bush fan. But, I do believe in giving the "devil his due." George is holding a Stabilized bino that CAN have night-vision capabilities, That would have to be used with pin-holed cover in daylight.

That is in opposition to Bill Clinton who was once photographed LOOKING through conventional binos with the covers on.

Those who can't tell the difference in thse two situations should not be allowed around sharp objects! :bawling: :jump: :roflmao:

Cheers,

Bill


Since we're tossing around adages, here's one for you, Bill (paraphrased):

Those who make extraordinary claims should present extraordinary evidence.

Below is a photo of Bush seconds after the first one with the caps off . He goofed. No surprise there.

Clinton's photo looks more like it could be a fake, it's very grainy and has "artifacts" on the covers.

Or it could be covered with a non-reflecting material to keep glints of light being seen by the enemy (according to snopes).

Snopes couldn't confirm it one way or the other:

Presidents with Binoculars

If this photo of Sharon using bins with the covers on is a fake, hats off to the prankster, because it is a closer, clearer shot than the others, and he got the lighting angle right.

The bin must have very long ER. :-)

Sharon's covered roof


Maybe getting off topic here, but any idea of what models of binocular are being used by Sharon, Clinton and Bush? Just curious.

Andrew

#23 BarrySimon615

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 08:22 AM

I attended the commissioning ceremony for the U.S.S. New Orleans in New Orleans on 3-10-07. Pictured is a Mark III, Mod V ship's "Big Eyes" binocular. They are 20x and the id. plate when I blow it up even more seems to indicate that it was manufactured in 2005.

A walk thru of the ship's bridge revealed several binoculars. All looked to be quite common and nothing appears to be very high end. I have a pair of Bushnell's pictured.

Barry Simon

Attached Thumbnails

  • 3266370-Big Eyes from the front.jpg


#24 BarrySimon615

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 08:24 AM

2nd view of giant binoculars on the U.S.S. New Orleans

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  • 3266375-Big Eyes on the New Orleans.jpg


#25 BarrySimon615

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 08:26 AM

ID Plate on giant binoculars - U.S.S. New Orleans

Attached Thumbnails

  • 3266379-Binocular Specification Plate.jpg



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