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 8×42 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 8×42 and 10×42. 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;