Gearing Up: Petzal's Picks

Must-haves from the 2003 Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor (SHOT) Show.

Field & Stream Online Editors

1. Leupold Compact Spotting Scope
High-powered optics can save you a world of walking, but the problem until now has always been weight-binoculars and spotting scopes with lots of magnification are heavy. Here's the solution: a scaled-down spotting scope that ranges from 10X to 20X and comes in at just under a pound, rubber-armored, waterproof, and as tough as everything else Leupold makes. About $420. 503-646-9171;

**2 .Tikka T3 **
Lite Stainless Very few Americans speak Finnish, but shooters are sure going to know what Tikka means (it roughly translates to "How can we charge so little for a gun as wonderful as this?") when the T3 starts showing up in numbers. Elegantly engineered and flawlessly manufactured, it comes with wood or synthetic stocks and stainless- or blued-steel metalwork. It's available in calibers from .223 to .338 and sells, depending on configuration, for $500 to $700. 800-636-3420;

3. Steiner 8x42 Peregrine Binocular
Steiner designed its Peregrine series specifically for birders, but we must swallow our pride, eat crow, and buy them, because they work. Peregrines come in 8x42 and 10x42. They are exceedingly bright and sharp, not bulky or heavy, and very, very tough. About $850. 800-257-7742;

4.Kimber 84M Montana
Here is a little jewel-5 pounds and a few ounces of stainless-steel-barreled action and Kevlar stock. It has a 22-inch barrel and a trigger to swoon over and comes in .243, .260, 7mm/08, and .308. The 84M Montana is scheduled for delivery this fall, and like all 84s is seriously back-ordered. If you want one, scurry to your Kimber dealer and put down a deposit. About $1,050. 888-243-4522;

**5. .243 Winchester Super Short Magnum **
How short is the .243 WSSM? It's so short that if you wanted to kick its ass, you'd have to stand in a hole. It's a full 1/2 inch shorter than the Winchester Short Magnum, but it packs a mighty wallop-a 95-grain Ballistic Silvertip bullet at 3250 fps and a 100-grain Power-Point at 3110. This is far more punch than a standard .243 and with very little recoil. About $25. 801-876-3440;