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6/25/2018 7:04:05 PM
Posted: 11/18/2017 11:57:53 PM EDT
Wasn't sure where to put this post to get the best coverage from experienced personnel. A close family friend is a Marine infantry Lt who is heading to Stan for his first real deployment. I want to get him a good set of tough binoculars that are suitable for infantry, as in can take the abuse without failing plus be sharp, clear, etc.

My personal gold standard is the Steiner Military-Marine 8x30 for past 34 years. The Steiners impressed me with their size, weight, toughness, clarity, color rendition, and take freezing & thawing many time a day without ill effects. Steiner's one big selling point is not having a focus wheel to fiddle with. Set each eyepiece and GTG.

Been browsing many sites looking at current binocs in the sub $300 range. I tend to keep drifting back to the Steiners.

So my question is, especially to those who've been in Stan, is there any other binoculars I should consider??
Link Posted: 11/19/2017 12:09:35 AM EDT
I had the Steiner 10x50s, they were good. Expensive but good glass.

Vortex has some interesting offerings:

https://www.opticsplanet.com/vortex-binoculars.html?_iv_sort=lowest-price
Link Posted: 11/19/2017 12:13:34 AM EDT
I'll play along. So why exactly can't the young Lt go to supply and sign out a pair.
Link Posted: 11/19/2017 12:25:05 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By m4hk33:
I'll play along. So why exactly can't the young Lt go to supply and sign out a pair.
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This.

With the mil-dots to make adjustments if he needs to call for fire.
Link Posted: 11/19/2017 1:16:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2017 3:39:01 AM EDT by lukef]
The Steiners we used in the USMC were good, the illuminated compass and ranging reticle were nice. Had a red rosy tint to everything, although the image was clear and good contrast. I suspect that tint was some kind of laser protection, but I dont know if that was a lens coating, or an external filter. Here's a link to the current model from the steiner website. Any of their civilian models with the 30yr warranty (vs the 10 year warranty) should be constructed to the same specs.
https://www.steiner-optics.com/binoculars/military/m750rc-commander-military-7x50rc

For my money the Fuji FMT/Polaris line is just as good, for a bit less money. Optics are probably a bit better, with more general application if you wanted to use them for astronomy, etc. Like the Steiners, the Fuji FMT and Polaris lines are also built tough to meet/exceed the mil specs (they use a lightweight metal housing under the rubber armor, the Steiners use polycarbonate), supposedly the FMT line is also in use by the US mil, although I didn't see any in my slice of the USMC. One hit on Fuji vs Steiner, the compass models don't come with a nighttime illuminator standard, it's sold separately by Fuji.
http://www.fujifilmusa.com/products/binoculars/polaris/index.html#overview-features

I'd be happy with either, but the lowest prices I could find from factory authorized sellers were $1050 for the Steiner, and $830 for the Fuji (extra $55 for the illuminator). Both models focus to infinity, so set it once and forget about it. Since the Fuji has arguably the better optics I'd probably go for that and save $170+.

I have to echo what others said, if your friend needs binos why can't he get a pair that Uncle Sam bought?
Link Posted: 11/19/2017 2:08:35 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By cornhskr:
This.

With the mil-dots to make adjustments if he needs to call for fire.
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View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By cornhskr:
Originally Posted By m4hk33:
I'll play along. So why exactly can't the young Lt go to supply and sign out a pair.
This.

With the mil-dots to make adjustments if he needs to call for fire.
This.

The last thing you want is to worry about iscrewing up a personally owned pair of binocs.
Link Posted: 11/19/2017 8:51:15 AM EDT
The current issue M24s are small and light. Fuji makes them.
Link Posted: 11/19/2017 9:09:07 AM EDT
Just to echo what others have said...while the gift is certainly thoughtful, your friend the JO probably won't want to worry about his nice personal binos...and then when he gets back and you're all like "So, did the binos I gave you help you kill many Taliban?!"....and they've been resting safely in his foot locker in storage back in the states.... you'll save him an awkward moment.

The other risk is that his Marines will think he's a douche.

But seriously...if he needs optics, he's almost certainly got a bunch of dudes around him who can tell him what's up, and at least a couple somethings (optic, laser) on his rifle or RTO's weapon that he can use to confirm...whatever he's looking at. I don't know anything about Marine rifle MTOE, but he's probably got all kinds of thermals/NVD/optics (or all 3 in one package! LRAS3 with far-target locate button, FTMFW!) that he can use, and far better than binos.

LT's greatest weapon is his radio, most important task is to be able to see and understand the big picture, with which to make sound decisions quickly.

So, now that ARF has saved your mega-bucks, just find out what his APO is, and find out ways to send cigarettes, energy drinks, dip, and porno to his guys. Then they'll really want to fight for him.
Link Posted: 11/19/2017 9:15:22 AM EDT
As said previously. He needs to get ones out of supply. The only time I’ve ever used my own was as an O/C-T at Ft. Irwin and we didn’t have any to isssue. You would think guys that have observer in their job title would get them but nope.

Personally I would get him a gift certificate to Tactical Tailor or one of the good gear shops. But I don’t know the USMCs policy on personally owned kit. Either that an iTunes gift certificate so he can load his iPad or iPod up before deployment.
Link Posted: 11/19/2017 9:36:21 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Teamer:
Either that an iTunes gift certificate so he can load his iPad or iPod up before deployment.
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This.
Link Posted: 11/19/2017 6:03:11 PM EDT
Thanks for input. Think I'll look for something else for Christmas gift. The supply issue might be much better than the earlier years in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Link Posted: 11/23/2017 7:51:45 AM EDT
A goalzero folding solar panel with a battery pack.

A garmin wrist gps. I think it was the foretex 3, it takes AAA bats. He'll use that shit so often.
Link Posted: 11/23/2017 8:23:00 AM EDT
Get him nothing until he is there. Then he'll know what he needs.

issue binos are fine. Both the big and the mini. I carried the M24. I took over a bunch of stuff I thought I needed. Used maybe 20% of it.
Link Posted: 11/28/2017 8:15:31 AM EDT
Got issued a set of Steiners 8x30 during the First Gulf war and like them enough that I've bought a pair for hunting. My deployment binos is a small set of Bushnells 7x21s that I've carried around the world since 84'. Only paid $40 back then and they are still crystal clear, still with me on this trip over here. I would suggest a good folding knife or multi tool.

CD
Link Posted: 12/15/2017 2:30:45 AM EDT
A monocular he can keep in his pocket would be good.
Link Posted: 12/15/2017 5:11:28 AM EDT
good headlamp, flash light, multitool, folding knife or the new garmin foretrex would all be awesome gifts
Link Posted: 1/1/2018 8:21:19 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By wvusoldier217:
good headlamp, flash light, multitool, folding knife or the new garmin foretrex would all be awesome gifts
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As those are not always issued or unit cots purchases I would highly suggest one of those over bino’s that will be apart of platoon equipment that he will be signing for as a PL.
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