PhotoEscape Aperture Ring Kit

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Post by Jon Eulette on 10/31/2019, 1:29 pm

I’ve been experimenting with the Aperture Ring Kit for the last several months. I initially was only interested in the rear ring (rubber band ring) and was skeptical of the aperture rings.
I was skeptical because of my being set in my ways and not as flexible as I really should be.

I think the Aimpoint 9000 is the best bullseye optic made. The red dot is nice and round and bright even when using a small MOA setting (which I like) and the lens clarity is near perfect. Only thing I do not like about Aimpoint optics is the very fine windage and elevation adjustments.

My first experience with the rubber band ring was positive. I prefer shooting using the red dot as the front sight and the optic tube as the rear sight. So I strive to keep the red dot centered in the optic tube as much as possible. What I immediately noticed about the rubber band ring is that I had less eye bounce as I call it; eye darting from red dot to the optic tube. The optic tube becomes more clear peripherally for me. When I shoot matches I normally show up on minimal amount of sleep and tired right out of the gate. I found that shooting with the rubber band ring I had less felt eye fatigue. At this point I can’t imagine shooting without it.

The aperture rings took some open mindedness on my part. I’ve always liked using 30mm optics and always thought that the extra field of view was an advantage. I initially experimented with the aperture on the rear of the optic tube only because that was our first test parameter. I was here nor there about it and most likely wouldn’t have used it alone. But after getting a prototype front aperture it was like the optic came alive. In other words, I think the combination of the front and rear aperture is the way to go. It seemed to visually help keep the red dot more centered. I found I liked it mostly for slow fire and would change to a larger diameter front aperture for the short line to open up the field of view. I’ve been battling with my eye drifting from/off the red dot on my 5th shot on the short line and throwing a shot in both timed and rapid fire. The smaller field of view has helped to keep my focus on the red dot and not look at the target.

I have tried both bare unfinished aluminum and the red anodized apertures. The bare aluminum is a little bright and the red anodized surface seems to have just the right contrast to keep the red dot the primary objective visually. I’ve shot both with and without overhead cover and find that the red color works well.

The front aperture will appear black when looking through the optic, so the anodizing is purely ascetic. The front aperture size should appear slightly smaller than the rear aperture when looking through the optic. This aids in keeping the red dot easy to find as well as its really the right way to use it. It gives a feeling of a more centered red dot which could for some people lead to better accuracy/grouping. I think it could also be a great training aid as well. When you’re working on grip and wrist consistency with a smaller aperture it will show you inconsistencies better than a large 30mm optic tube.

I found that I had no problems losing the red dot during recoil with the apertures. I found that I preferred a middle ground aperture size from the kit.

I don’t look at the apertures as a gadget or gimmick. They truthfully have merit that I believe can help a shooter be more consistent or grow as a shooter. At a minimum, I would highly recommend the rubber band ring. I will point out that if you do not have a grasp at the fundamentals that using a smaller aperture could be a detriment due to limiting the field of view.

The Aimpoint Micro has a slanted/angled projection inside the optic for the red dot projection. It has always bothered me. I have used the aperture rings on it and like that I can make that disappear.

I have been shooting bullseye since 1989 and at one point was shooting high master 2650 scores. So I have mastered the fundamentals fairly well. I’m saying this because I believe shooters at or near this level probably will not gain as much as a lower classification shooter. But I do believe the rubber band ring to be a huge assist on keeping the optic tube concentric on the red dot.
So I’m interested to see how they continue to work for me in the future.

Jon
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Post by joy2shoot on 10/31/2019, 10:45 pm

Thanks for the write up Jon.  I don’t own a 9000 but I do own several Aimpoint Micros.  So I posted a question to PhotoEscape asking if the Aperature Ring Kit would work with Aimpoint Micro's that have Jon Shue's (aka Black Mass Custom) shades on them.

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Post by john bickar on 10/31/2019, 11:42 pm

Thanks for posting this, Jon. I have the kit and have been negligent about getting around to experimenting with it.
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Post by Dockokol on 11/1/2019, 4:50 am

Can you post a web link for the Aperture Ring Kit?  Im having trouble finding it.

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Post by Dcforman on 11/1/2019, 5:25 am

http://photoescapeinc.com/products/aperture-rings-kit.html

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Post by Jack H on 11/1/2019, 6:23 am

When Norman first wrote up his rubber band item, I duplicated it with wraps of masking tape around the rear of the Ultradot.  I never did find a rubber band the right size.
Next I simply painted the back edge of the screw in extension with a silver sharpie.  Then I discovered that the silver front trim ring would do the same thing.  Different size dot units can be end painted by pressing onto a flat of wet paint.
I like the results.  Sounds like the red items are very much worth a try. 

Have also thought of drilling four small holes around an extension to make quadrants.  Then stretching black suture material across like crosshairs.  Might work.  Might be stupid.
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Post by Outthere on 11/1/2019, 7:04 am

Jack,

The right size rubber band is found in fish stores. It's the red one that they wrap lobster claws with.

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Post by xmastershooter on 11/1/2019, 9:25 am

Devastating fires in California caused power shutdown in many cities as a prevention.  Roughed it out by getting a couple of Dungess crabs from Costco which as a bonus, had 4 red rubber bands which will fit the 1" and 30mm Ultradot scopes.  Most of the lobster claw rubber bands will fit only the 30mm tubes.

You may find a prototype aperture by Jerry Keefer if you do a search.  Enter his name in the search bar above right, go to Jerry Keefer's Posts, go to page 3 and see dates 5-22-16 and 6-18-16.

Good to see AP of PhotoEscape continuing with this concept.

Norman

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Post by PhotoEscape on 11/1/2019, 11:07 am

Now I'm realizing that "Nothing is new under the Moon".  Smile I'm relatively new to the BE, and looks as re-inventing wheels (or rings).

Dr. Wong, Thank you for pointing to Jerry Keefer's posts.  As well thank for offering to evaluate the rings, - I'm waiting for the information as to where I should ship the set. 

AP
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Post by SteveT on 11/1/2019, 11:15 am

A shooter or aspiring gunsmith could do well spending time reading Jerry Keefers old posts. +1

Norman - glad to hear you're ok. Best of luck.
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Post by PhotoEscape on 11/1/2019, 10:26 pm

It was an interesting day.  My range time was substituted with time spent on sealing packages.  At this point I shipped all orders and with exception of one set of anodized rings reserved for Dr. Wong's evaluation, I'm out of stock, and will be able to fulfill new orders in two-three weeks.

I found and reviewed Jerry Keefer's (RIP) tread about his efforts and experimentations with aperture devices.  I'd love to have ability to talk (and argue) with Jerry about this project.  For sure his efforts point to way more sophisticated design.  Unfortunately I didn't find anything on the subject posted after 6/26/16.  If anyone can point where such can be found I appreciate.

AP
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Post by DA/SA on 11/14/2019, 7:41 am

I figured I might as well jump on the aperture band wagon, but I use mainly 1" Ultradot's and Polarizing filters. I started by making a Delrin insert that plugs into the ID of the 1" Ultradot eye piece.
PhotoEscape Aperture Ring Kit 14H4DL3l

I had made a couple of apertures and taped them to the front of my Ultradot in order to come up with a size I liked. Then I made an aperture disc that was internally and externally threaded to match the Ultradot's extension tube.
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Put it all together and I now have an aperture that allows the use of a Polarizing filter.
PhotoEscape Aperture Ring Kit 8hcC56kl

The purpose of all of this is as a training aid to hopefully tune up/perfect my grip, stance, and hold, so that presenting the pistol to the target and breaking the shot results in near perfect concentricity of the dot in the scope and in relation to the target. Seems like a good idea!

Perhaps Alex might consider this type for others that prefer use of a Polarizing Filter.

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Post by Aprilian on 11/14/2019, 8:29 am

For concentricity, I played with these https://www.lancasterarchery.com/gunstar-funnel-lens-decal-small.html

The center circle can pop out and I just used the "hole punch repair" section.   for me, it made me prioritize the centering of the dot over locking my wrist and/or caused me to drop my head.  So now I allow the dot to be high in the tube - as long as it is in a consistent place.
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Post by PhotoEscape on 11/14/2019, 9:34 am

DA/SA wrote:I figured I might as well jump on the aperture band wagon, but I use mainly 1" Ultradot's and Polarizing filters.

Perhaps Alex might consider this type for others that prefer use of a Polarizing Filter.

I want to use this great post to start wider discussion on couple of topics Dr. Wong and I exchange emails as late as last evening.

1. Use of polarized filters. Both Dr. Wong and I stopped using them for more than one reason, - changes in zero, aging eyesight and difficulties seeing through even in lightest conditions, needing to do something to prevent filter from self-rotation (Dr. Wong mentioned another use of red lobster rubber band suggested by late Larry Carter (RIP) to name few.  I do have a design that would allow use of polarizing filters.  Needless to say it would increase cost of the rings.  Thus question here is how many of you want to see this option?

2. Rubber Band Rings.  Dr. Wong uses covered range.  He commented that in such conditions 30mm ring alone doesn't stand out, and benefit of it was diminished.  When he complemented 30mm ring with his favorite red lobster rubber band, entire "system came alive".  Dr. Wong didn't have chance to try another wider ring (side note, - I might of screwed up, and forgot to include 0.700" Rubber Band Ring in his test set), and hope to do such next week.  He recommended wider rim based on his current testing and as well making rubber band rings out of translucent plastic.  This is when "delrin" came up, - I looked into machining rings out of Delrin during product research phase.  Once again, using Delrin would increase (and quite a bit) cost of rings due to the cost of material, and cost of tooling.  Hence I have multiple questions here.
a. are any of the current rings owners  Smile shoot in covered ranges, and experienced same as Dr. Wong with 30mm ring not standing out.  If so, have you tried 0.700" ring and, if affirmative, what is the result?
b. I'm open for suggestions on using Delrin or any other material.

3. I'm interested to know how many of the shooters would be interested in rings for 1" Ultradot's?  

AP
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Post by Wobbley on 11/14/2019, 10:36 am

Maybe better than machined delrin, a friction fit or threaded ring with these attached.  

https://www.amazon.com/3-28ft-Plastic-Optic-Source-0-16in/dp/B01N64U5PT/ref=asc_df_B01N64U5PT/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=344089724878&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1826134330646101656&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=t&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9061211&hvtargid=pla-756643714734&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=69357499655&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=344089724878&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1826134330646101656&hvqmt=&hvdev=t&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9061211&hvtargid=pla-756643714734
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Post by xmastershooter on 11/14/2019, 11:19 am

It's been a while since I posted pictures so I hope these came through.  My rubber band ring which I thought of over a decade ago has evolved and this is what I've been using so that I can see the concentric ring effect better under covered shooting ranges.

The lobster claw rubber band works well under the open sun and dry firing at home.  Jack H did a neat job with his painted trim ring.  In our covered range, each firing point is separated by cinder block walls.  This, along with large wooden roof beams block the ceiling lighting.  Thus the effects of the ring does not show up.

The solution was to use a translucent material for the ring which would catch any light to show the ring effect.  Being an advocate of KISS, the idea of using a household item which was both effective and free was intriguing.  Our eyes are very sensitive to yellow color and that is why we use yellow for caution signs.  Yellow and amber color lenses work well in certain lighting conditions as we experienced with our sunglasses.

The amber/yellow pill bottle was the perfect color, and diameter to fit onto the 30mm red dot scope.  I used a 1" hole cutter to open up the bottom of the pill bottle.  Four small pieces of pipe wrap tape gave just the right amount of tension as the amber eyepiece ring slide into the rear facing extension tube.  It can be removed just as easily.

I have found the rim thickness of the "rubber band ring" to be of importance.  If I doubled 2 lobster claw rubber bands, the concentric ring effect allowed an easier alignment to the red dot and the bullseye.  Coincidentally, the rim thickness of 2 rubber bands is the same as the pill bottle rim, around 0.125".

This amber/yellow eyepiece ring allow more available light so the concentric ring effect will be more prominent under challenging lighting conditions.  The picture of the scope with the amber/yellow eyepiece was taken early morning as the sun was rising.

Norman






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Post by PhotoEscape on 11/14/2019, 4:36 pm

Machining something like this out of any plastic, and making it economically viable is quite difficult. It is more in the die-making and termoplastic manufacturing avenue then turning metal. However in order to justify making mold for the part, thousands of rings must be sold. So I'm not sure anyone would invest money, IMO.

AP
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Post by lablover on 11/14/2019, 5:01 pm

PhotoEscape wrote:Machining something like this out of any plastic, and making it economically viable is quite difficult.  It is more in the die-making and termoplastic manufacturing avenue then turning metal.  However in order to justify making mold for the part, thousands of rings must be sold.  So I'm not sure anyone would invest money, IMO.

AP
3D print...would think it would be real simple and the color or type of material is huge
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Post by PhotoEscape on 11/14/2019, 5:35 pm

lablover wrote:
3D print...would think it would be real simple and the color or type of material is huge


It is a great idea.  Area of the concern though is 41-44 TPI thread.  I'm not sure without it ring would hold under recoil of the 45ACP.  Maybe Andrew can chime in.

AP
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Post by Ed Hall on 11/14/2019, 5:45 pm

PhotoEscape wrote:. . .
1. Use of polarized filters. Both Dr. Wong and I stopped using them for more than one reason, - changes in zero, aging eyesight and difficulties seeing through even in lightest conditions, needing to do something to prevent filter from self-rotation (Dr. Wong mentioned another use of red lobster rubber band suggested by late Larry Carter (RIP) to name few.  I do have a design that would allow use of polarizing filters.  Needless to say it would increase cost of the rings.  Thus question here is how many of you want to see this option?
. . .
AP
Just wanted to address part of the above briefly, although it isn't exactly relevant to the main topic:

Part of the rotation issue with the original filter set is that the actual filter material is held in the plastic rings poorly.  After a little weathering the material becomes free to spin within the rings, so locking the two rings so they can't rotate with a band, tape or such, isn't enough.  However, Super Glue is NOT an answer!  It can fog the lenses in a permanent fashion.  I use a small dab of silicon to fix the filter material to the rings and then a rubber ring to hold the two rings stationary.  I also use the filter set quite sparingly nowadays, but do have it in my box, in case it is of use.

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Post by lablover on 11/14/2019, 5:46 pm

PhotoEscape wrote:
lablover wrote:
3D print...would think it would be real simple and the color or type of material is huge


It is a great idea.  Area of the concern though is 41-44 TPI thread.  I'm not sure without it ring would hold under recoil of the 45ACP.  Maybe Andrew can chime in.

AP
I’m working on something now

I’m thinking more of a slip on type situation...I’m sure I can’t print threads that small
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Post by WesG on 11/14/2019, 6:48 pm

Re polarizing filter, I popped the front filter element out and use the rear as a neutral density for bright days. It can rotate all it wants and I dont know or care. Maybe someday, hopefully, I may actually be able to notice if it changes POI.

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Post by james r chapman on 11/14/2019, 7:23 pm

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Been 3D printing these for awhile. Cheap alternative and once the diameter is set it usually stays by friction or locktite
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Post by lablover on 11/14/2019, 7:57 pm

I was waiting for you to chime in!
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Post by DA/SA on 11/14/2019, 8:04 pm

I've not had any issues with the 1" Ultradot polarizing filters. The 30mm are a different story, none of them have functioned properly without the discs rotating. (with the exception of the one I glued)

I'll have to check, but it seems like they may have gotten the O-ring groove in the proper location on the 1" filters to secure the disc. The 30mm are definitely not in the correct location.

I'm in Florida where the sun actually shines bright, so using the filters changed the world for me.

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