I might as well admit it. I use a Swarovski spotting scope that is one generation outmoded. It is not the latest Swarovski, because although the folks up there in Cranston, RI, were nice enough to loan me one, they wanted it back.

When the shooters at my range see that I am using outmoded equipment, they are so embarrassed that many will not meet my eye, and some simply shrug sadly and turn away.

But I am not ashamed, because I know better. The truth is that when you spend the money for a Swarovski scope, or any other hyper-expensive, top of the line optical instrument, it will never really be outmoded. The things are so good that they will make you happy for the rest of your natural life. Unless, of course, you are a pretentious equipment freak.

Years ago at the SHOT Show, I got in an argument with a German engineer who worked for L***a, about why their binoculars weigh so much. Because, he pointed out, they build them strong enough to last for a long, long time.

But, I pointed out, binoculars are improving so rapidly that they’re outmoded in half a decade. Why go to all the trouble?

Because if we did not, he said, filled with Teutonic fervor, they would not be L****s.

I rest my case.