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Old August 29, 2017, 10:09 PM   #1
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Join Date: July 15, 2014
Posts: 195
Scope cover review

I didn't want to derail the other thread with my review so I figured I would start a new one.

Vortex Defender flip up scope covers

I have been in search for some good flip up scope covers for sometime now, but until recently I have not had much luck. I have always used Butler Creek caps, but I typically have to replace them once a year on anything that I use with regularity, and this gets frustrating. I have been wanting a cap that will fit properly and hold up for several years to repeated heavy hard use. There have been some good covers made by specific scope manufacturers but they are for their line only which really doesn't help with all of my needs.

I saw some time ago that Vortex put out their own flip up scope cover, however I suspect they are manufactured by Tenebraex, which is fine by me if they are.

Here we are less than a month away from the start of the 2017 fall big game hunting season and I needed to replace some covers, again. I decide to order a set of covers for my Swarovski 8.5x42 binoculars to replace the year old Butler Creek caps. (Yes I use flip ups to cover on the objective lens on my binoculars.) When the new Vortex Defender covers arrive there were a few things I notice right away. The first one was the hinge is larger requiring a longer retaining pin which I suspect won't require constant pushing back into place to keep the cap on and prevent the spring from popping out. Next was the rubber body that stretches around and hugs the objective and does not impede the operation of the cap. Finally the hard plastic cover and snap ring that allows the cover to secure tightly closed to.

When I started to look closer and pulled out my calipers I measured the spring on the old Butler's and it was .013” the spring in the Vortex was .026”. I suspect this accounts for the hard fast opening of the cap and more importantly I predict the thicker spring will prevent the retaining leg of the spring from bending and pulling out of place, resulting in a flip cap that doesn't flip open.

The rubber body allows a broad range of sizes which the cover can slide over and will not affect how the cap it self preforms. Example, I have had some covers on objectives that were in between the manufactured offered sizes. So I had to choose to go oversized, which would allow the cover to pull off without much effort or under sized which would prevent the cap from closing properly. This order was no exception, the OD on my binoculars is 54mm, per Vortex their 44mm cover is for an OD of 48-53mm the 50mm cover has an OD range of 55-59mm. I know I know it is splitting hairs on this one but regardless there is the concern of not fitting. I settled on the 44mm, the rubber body stretched nicely and with no performance issues at all.

The other thing I like is Vortex offers DOPE discs that snap into the ocular cap. You enter your personal DOPE and they print it out and then you insert it to the cap. Much better than trying to place some tape with the info on the inside of the cap. Don't have these yet but when I do I'll write my thoughts up on that product.

The one down side I see right now is the spring tension is so high if you are in close to something you need to gently ease the cap open and not just flick it loose. When you quickly flick it from its snapped closed position it makes a bit of a pop when it stops in its open position. But I would rather have that than a cap that won't stay open due to a weak spring.

Those are just a few of my immediate observations. I look forward to abusing these covers this hunting season and reporting back on how they hold up.
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