Anyone who knows me will also know that a pet hate of mine is the poor quality of the more recently manufactured Butler Creek scope covers. So much so I have had a wrangle with Bushnell Customer Service (the parent company of Butler Creek) for the last 3 months, after explaining the issues I have had with their newly manufactured scope covers over the last couple of years.
After 8 phone calls and 10 emails I managed to get them to send to me (FOC) some of their newly designed "Tactical covers" which are a new addition to their product line. Not a replacement for the original scope covers but a but an addition. As an aside they have said they are aware of the issues with the more recently manufactured covers and they have taken measures to rectify this. They went onto say that the new ones are as good as the originals we all know and love. I can't comment on this as I don't have any of the new ones to review.
Anyway the picture below is of one of the poorly manufactured covers. In fact the one pictured doesn't even close shut and is brand new (this was the final straw for me and led me onto the path I have explained above).
I had been using the Weaver Polar caps as a substitute for the BC Flip Opens and although they didn't fail at the hinge, unless the rand was secured with insulation tape, they could (and have) slipped off in field usage. Also the lens can ping out but this has not happened on the one I have. It has however happened to one of my brother's same covers.
After badgering Bushnell CS (wasn't easy but I was on a mission) they agreed to send a couple of their newly designed Tactical covers to me from the US, FOC as a gesture of goodwill. I had explained to them I had been through approximately a dozen of their newly manufactured original covers which were, in my opinion, not fit for purpose.
Out of the covers I am going to talk about, these to me are the most interesting. The reason being is they are fit for purpose, I challenge anyone to break them under normal usage and they are cheap ($12.99 from Cabelas). They do not have a metal spring but they do spring open however not with the same pleasing enthusiasm perhaps as the originals.
They are made of a slightly different material (difficult to put into words but seems a much more durable material) to the originals and certainly the newly manufactured originals and in my opinion they have got it 100% spot on with this new design. They fit well too, however I am told by Bushnell that they are only available in limited sizes. The one pictured fits my 50mm NXS and is the largest size they currently produce.
I have saved the best until last and below are a scope cover manufactured by a company called Tenebraex and are truly superb! I was put onto these by Thomas Haugland. He is the man and I can see why he uses these himself. I ordered a couple of these for 2 scopes and received them a couple of days ago. They come in two parts and are designed to milspec standards. Actually Tenebraex sell them to attach to their ARD's (Anti Reflextion Device) but obviously for civi useage not a requirement. If you do not have one of their ARD's fitted to the objective housing of your scope you need an adapter ring. The adapter ring is threaded! It screws into the sunshade/ARD threads of the objective housing. I was amazed when I took it out of the packaging at this feature and very impressed. You screw the adapter in and then click on to this, the cover itself.
Rather than me type more words about how they actually operate, please see below a clip I found on the internet which provides a demo of operation and one of their excellent design features which is the fact the cover will rotate on the adapter:
The downside (if you could say there is one) is that they are expensive. The two covers and adapters (ordered form Eurooptics - excellent outfit in the US) cost me, all in with postage and customs charges £120. Are they worth it? Well it depends how you look at it. I have been through, as I said previously, a dozen or so BC's which cost me around £12 each. I won't insult anyone's intelligence by doing the sums. The Tenebraex's are truly excellent and are of uber quality. They spring open like the old BC's but are far more durable. The other issue is that they only make them for 50 and 56mm Schmidts and 50 and 56mm NXS scopes. I use both of these makes so fine but if you don't I'm not sure they will fit. They may do but as the adapter screws into the sunshade/ARD threads it depends of course of whether the manufacturer has a threaded end/inner to the housing.
Apologies for the poor quality photographs taken on my iPhone.