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August 11, 2020
Jimmy and Mark hang out with Ryan M to discuss the ever-mysterious H&K G11. Certainly many of us have seen this fascinating firearm in pictures or videos, but so few have actually gotten to see, hold or shoot one in person. The ammunition, function and form of the rifle altogether is extraordinarily unique. Ryan has done some extensive fan-boy research on the firearm along with some speculation about how it works and why it never really caught on to become mainstream. Full disclaimer – this is just some gun enthusiasts spit balling about a gun they’ve never seen before. We don’t claim to have all the answers, but it still brought about some interesting conversation. There’s also an offer of $60 on the table now, apparently, for any listener that has one and would like to bring it in for us to check out!
August 10, 2020
Our friend Josh Froelich just recently finished (or at least reached a point of temporary satisfaction with) a new gun range on his home property in Minnesota – That’s right, a range with a 550-yard shooting lane and a large shooting bay with nearly 20-foot-high berms… In his back yard! And he did the majority of it “DIY”! This was a project for Josh that was many years in the making and after many years of saving up to get the property of his dreams. In this podcast, Josh, our very own Reuben Aleckson, Jimmy and Mark go fully in-depth on how Josh found this dream property, dealing with neighbors and local authorities, range construction, supplies, safety, a few goof-ups, dual-purpose use for hunting, and way more. If you’ve ever thought about having your own shooting range, even if it’s not quite to the scale of Josh’s, this is a must-listen. If you’ve done your own range already, we’d love to see it! Tell us about it or send us pics on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast because we’d love to see what other people are doing out there. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
August 6, 2020
Christian Benson, first time guest of the podcast and also one of the optical engineers on the team here at Vortex, joins Jimmy and Mark to talk all about diopters. This was originally set to be a simple 10 Minute Talk about how diopters work, but a quick call down to the engineering team for their approval, followed by a very complicated explanation over the phone about how diopters actually work, made us realize it requires a full length episode for sure. So, what is the diopter on your riflescope, how does it work, how do you set it properly, how is it tied in with your parallax, what’s the difference in how it works with LPVO’s vs high power scopes and way, way more! The optical engineers are fun guys to talk to for sure and we hope you enjoy this one. Want to hear more from the optical engineers? Hit us up in the comments! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
August 4, 2020
Reuben Aleckson joins Jimmy and Mark to discuss “bipod bounce” and its effect on accuracy. What even is “bipod bounce” in the first place? Aren’t bipods supposed to help us when it comes to accuracy? Have you ever found yourself shooting off a hard bench or slab of concrete with a bipod and for some reason your groups aren’t what you feel you and the gun are normally capable of? If so, you’ve experienced this phenomenon – here’s why!
August 3, 2020
“Glassing” is a term tossed out there by so many hunters, it almost might trick you into thinking it’s a simple concept, but there’s really so much that goes into every facet of spotting game. What techniques and specific strategies are involved? How about the gear selection behind setting up the best glassing suite of optics and related accessories? Scanning, using a grid system, where to look, which magnification to use, when to bust out the spotter vs the binoculars, etc. Ryan, Mark and Jimmy discuss these topics at length, and admittedly, there’s still much more we could cover in the future. Let us know what you’d like to hear for future glassing conversations! Check out "10 Tip to Up Your Glassing Game": https://vortexoptics.com/blog/10-tips-to-up-your-glassing-game.html As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
July 28, 2020
We’ve mentioned it in countless episodes prior to this one, but have yet to do a dedicated episode to the optical phenomena that is “parallax”. What is it and how does it affect us when we shoot? Some riflescopes have a “parallax dial” – what does that do? How about red dots and holographic sights that claim to be “parallax free”? When does it really matter and when does it not? We try and cram in all those questions and answers into this quick episode!
July 27, 2020
Justin Olk, of Game of Inches TV, joins Jimmy and Mark following a “Vortex Selects” video special around SE Alaska archery brown bear hunting. Why even try to go after a brown bear with a bow? Isn’t that dangerous? How many bears do you see in a place like that and what tactics are you employing to get in close enough for the take? How about the logistics of even getting there? If these questions are popping into your head right now, tune in and find out here because we addressed these very topics! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
July 21, 2020
You asked for it and here it is! Jimmy and Mark hang out with Ryan Muckenhirn for a good 10…ish… minutes to talk about the venerable 7mm-08 cartridge. What it is, where it came from, why it exists and what’s the deal with 7mm and why does it so often seem to be looked over? Check it out and as usual, let us know what other cartridges you want to hear about.
July 20, 2020
If you’re listening to this podcast, chances are you’ve dreamed at some point in your life of being a sniper. The stories we hear, the movies we watch, and the images depicted always seem to show a lone ranger with the uncanny ability to sneak in behind enemy lines undetected, frequently engaging targets with incredible precision at extremely long ranges. Is that really what it’s all about? Tony Palzkill is not only one of the team members of a group within Vortex we can’t talk much about, but also a well-respected former military sniper of just over two decades. He joined Jimmy and Mark to talk all about the life of a sniper and what it’s really like in reality, which may differ from what you’ve seen in the movies. PLEASE NOTE – Tony was very graciously willing to join us for this podcast – he didn’t have to. Speaking about something like this in a public format is not easy and requires a great deal of censorship on his part while speaking in order to keep any details that should remain confidential from hitting the airwaves. Tony values the safety and confidentiality of his sniper community far more than beating his own chest about his experiences or incredible stories. So, enjoy the details we do get to hear, and use your imagination based on this real life information to try and figure the rest! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
July 16, 2020
In this episode, Ryan Muckenhirn fills in for Jimmy, MC Ryan flawlessly navigates his complex suite of electronics and we sit down with MeatEater’s own Ryan Callaghan to chat through how we as sportsmen can navigate rapidly changing plans, shifting on the fly, silver linings of plans that get flushed down the proverbial toilet, learning new skills, taking advantage of less popular seasons, and few things he’s been up to lately.  We also cover the super interesting up-tick in hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation as a whole, how that can impact your plans, as well as Ryan’s new, super-cute and spunky yellow lab he hasn’t named yet. Tune in to this fun and interesting conversation with good reminders that as a sportsperson, there’s’ nearly always something fun to do – it just might not be your plan A. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
July 14, 2020
Nick Laufenberg joins Jimmy and Mark to discuss “custom turrets” for your riflescope – What are custom turrets, how do they work, what are their limitations, and should you get some for your riflescope? If not those, what are some other ways to get quick ballistics solutions in the field? All these questions and more get answered right here!
July 13, 2020
Remi Warren! Ryan Lampers! Early Season Archery Mule Deer! Pretty sure that’s all the description you need to click on this and get to learning. Mark connects with this dream team of Mule Deer hunting and Mule Deer knowledge to pick their brains clean of their lifetime of knowledge on this super cool topic! Mature Mule deer bucks don’t like to make mistakes – but these two gentlemen are masters at exploiting any edge they can get. Where do these deer live? What are they doing? Where are they going once they strip their velvet? All questions that get answered. We cover giving yourself enough time, being patient, wind considerations, stalking tactics, gear details, making your move at the right time, anticipating their next move to make the right move, when to back out, picking your hunt area based on terrain, targeting areas with low deer density, targeting areas with high deer density, finding water what to do if you blow a stalk and more! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
July 7, 2020
We see a lot of misinformation/confusion on the interwebs about co-witnessing red dots and holographic sights with the iron sights on AR’s or pistols. Are you supposed to line up your red dot with your irons? Can you use your irons to sight in your red dot? What’s the point of co-witnessing in the first place and how important is it really? Rob Morell joins Jimmy and Mark in this episode to debunk some myths we’ve seen about this topic!
July 6, 2020
It’s about time we talk about survival rifles. What’s the deal with these things? They come in all shapes, sizes and even calibers, but yet never really seem to catch fire. In this episode, Ryan Muckenhirn joins Jimmy and Mark to discuss a bit of the history of survival rifles, many of the different kinds, what cartridge is the best for survival situations, what optic works best on a survival rifle, what the heck are we even preparing to survive in the first place, and much more! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
June 30, 2020
Quick-handling repeating guns firing big, heavy, slow-moving (comparatively) bullets have garnered a reputation for being “Brush Busters” for as long as we can remember. But why? Do the bullets these cartridges fire really bust through brush accurately, delivering their heavy payload on target no matter what lay before them. Are bucks in heavy cover with a screen of brush covering their vitals truly unsafe from these magic bullets? Is this concept fact or fiction? Should we do some experimenting ourselves? Let us know in the comments!
June 29, 2020
Arizona may not be the first state you think of when it comes to fall black bear hunting, but it may be one you want to get on your radar. Mark sits down with Arizona resident and expert hunter Josh Kirchner, to talk about this super cool hunt and all it offers. A beautiful and unique region, over the counter tags, the flexibility to choose your weapon, a season that runs concurrently with several others, and the chance you may come home with some delicious meat – what’s not to like. Josh covers tips, tactics, bear behavior, food sources, and more in this ultra-interesting discussion. And you can start in August - a time when a lot of big game hunters don’t have anything on the docket. Give this one listen and you may just find yourself bearing the heat chasing bears in AZ this fall. Bio: Josh Kirchner is an outdoor writer, photographer, and the voice behind the blog Dialed in Hunter. His blog not only documents his own journey, but provides gear reviews, tips/tactics for western hunting, and encourages other hunters to chase and achieve their goals. Josh is a passionate bowhunter that has been hunting with his family since he was a small boy, and for the last 6 years has been eating, sleeping, and breathing the hunting lifestyle. When he is not chasing elk, deer, bear, and javelina through the diverse Arizona terrain, he is spending time with his wife, two herding dogs, and mischievous cat.   Links: Website - http://dialedinhunter.com/  Book -  https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Backpack-Hunter-Beginners-Backcountry/dp/B085KS1PBV/ref=sxts_sxwds-bia-wc-p13n1_0?crid=TTZQ7C06EI6W&cv_ct_cx=becoming+a+backpack+hunter&dchild=1&keywords=becoming+a+backpack+hunter&pd_rd_i=B085KS1PBV&pd_rd_r=fcd5e8ed-5345-4d7a-8af1-fae50bdfe252&pd_rd_w=mmUAH&pd_rd_wg=8gTXW&pf_rd_p=7f71fdcf-aa37-4d97-b40d-864dcfdc13e5&pf_rd_r=WKNV2RYSAPKESQEQKNHW&psc=1&qid=1591987680&sprefix=becoming+a+back%2Caps%2C196&sr=1-1-beb77b32-1078-477f-b152-b09baa1ee7f7 Social links: https://www.instagram.com/dialedinhunter https://www.facebook.com/dialedinhunter https://www.twitter.com/dialedinhunter As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
June 25, 2020
Remi Warren joins Mark and Jimmy once again to discuss solo filming hunts. After we talked with Wyatt and Erik about outdoor photography, we got a number of requests suggesting going into detail around filming hunts - and who better to talk to about this topic than a man who has been filming his own hunts for years professionally. Not only has Remi put out some incredible videos shot entirely on his own with multiple cameras he’s hiked back into the wilderness, but he also feels it’s made him a better hunter along the way. He even seems to miss the camera when he goes on hunts without it. Remi goes into what to expect when trying to film your hunt, what gear he always packs, how he’s able to think ahead of where to put a camera and what to focus it on, as well as many frustrating times an entire setup went bust thanks to dead batteries, technical difficulties, or uncooperative wild game! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
June 23, 2020
We can’t believe it’s been two years of podcasting already! After all this time, it seemed like a good idea to do an episode for you all to get to know our hosts, Jimmy and Mark, a little bit better. This breaks the normal trend of our mostly instructional episodes and focuses solely on having a little fun. Don’t worry – we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled episodes right after this. Here’s to another 2+ years of podcasting!
June 22, 2020
If you like heart-pounding,  edge-of-your seat, ground-based  whitetail action like we do –  listen to this podcast  -  then go check out the DVD’s Jared Scheffler/Whitetail Adrenaline has been putting out since 07. Yes I said DVDs’, yes they are still making them and yes you should pick one up and have an old fashioned DVD party with your hunting homeys - complete with snacks and a cold one, or two, or……. we’re not your Mom, do what you want. In this episode, we sit down with Jared to talk about how he left the trees to pursue these cagey for-legged ungulates on his own two feet, the tactics he’s developed over the years, the advantages, stories of the ones that got away, ones that didn’t and a whole lot more. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
June 16, 2020
Don’t blame yourself, it could be your equipment. Jimmy, Mark and well, pretty much just our beloved Ryan Muckenhirn, talk you through the things you should check on your rifle and in what order to rule out inconsistencies in accuracy. We also cover how and why issues may manifest so you can spot them easier. We’ve all experienced accuracy ghosts – those things that seem unexplainable. You tear your hair out and burn ammo trying to ferret out the culprit and remedy the problem for days and possibly weeks. Maybe even never. You’re not alone. Listen in to this enlightening podcast and you may just regain some sanity and learn how to get that rifle-rig shooting straight.
June 15, 2020
The title says it all – Does putting a suppressor on the end of your rifle make it inherently less accurate? More accurate? No different at all? Reuben and Adam, our in house “Can Bois” for all things NFA, discuss the many variables and details that go into not only how suppressors work in terms of making your shot quieter, but also how they influence the performance of your rifle. Notice we didn’t say “Hurt” the performance of your rifle – You’ll have to listen to figure out that part! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
June 9, 2020
Taping the muzzle of your rifle – common practice for some, extreme uncertainty for others. I mean how could sealing the business--end of your rifle not effect accuracy? It has to right? Or does it? Jimmy, Mark and our beloved Ryan “Mucky” Muckenhirn sit down to discuss this very topic. Listen up, it may just save your hunt!
June 8, 2020
I’ve you’ve been shooting for really any amount of time, chances are you’ve found yourself in the incredibly frustrating situation where you just can’t seem to hit a target no matter what you do. We’ve certainly been there, too! It really doesn’t matter whether it’s at 1,000+ yards or 100 yards, there are so many variables that go into every single shot, it can happen on any rifle or at any distance. Scott Parks and Reuben Aleckson join Jimmy and Mark to discuss, from some pro shooter’s perspectives, all the many reasons you may be having those frustrating misses. Spoiler alert – a great deal of it has nothing to do with the equipment, and everything to do with the shooter. Don’t worry, though – if this is your case, it doesn’t make you a bad shooter – it happens to all of us. Just learn from those situations for the future! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
June 2, 2020
If you hunt, shoot or compete with an optics-equipped firearm, this could be the most important information you hear or that you can give to your friends to create the most reliable, accurate and repeatable setup possible. “Over-Torqued Rings” is a phrase we’ve mentioned in the past on the podcast and one you may have heard about on the internet from time to time. There’s all kinds of different rings/mounts/specs/ideas/theories out there that can make actually getting the right information on how to properly tighten the rings around your scope tube difficult. While it’s nearly impossible for us to go through every single ring/mount ever created, Jimmy and Mark give a breakdown on the most common ring/mount types we see and not only how to set them up properly, but also why it’s so important that you do. We also talk about scope position in the rings, why the use of thread locker is unnecessary for your ring screws, and a bunch more…    *Please note* - When Jimmy discussed the torque sequence for vertically split rings, the “Top first, then bottom” is the specific sequence we recommend for our older “Pro” or “Viper” series of rings, which are unique in and of themselves being that they’re not like other vertically split rings like those from Warne, American Defense, LaRue, etc. For some of those rings/mounts, we will actually recommend doing the bottoms first, to around 25 inch pounds, and then the tops to our recommended 15-18 inch pounds. Like we said in the podcast – there are so many ring/mount types, it’s always worth it to give us a call when mounting up your scope with a non-Vortex ring/mount to get a second opinion before diving in!
June 1, 2020
What do you do when the tide of a war has changed and suddenly your complicated, pole-vault-pole-length, bolt action rifles are no longer a viable solution to close quarters combat or outfitting a massive fighting force? Get out your sheet metal, some random parts from the hardware store, a few car mufflers and as many hands as you can get to build stuff and start cranking out some submachine guns. Few other categories of firearms come in so many unique shapes, sizes, and chamberings with such incredible stories behind each of their developments. Ryan Muckenhirn joins Jimmy and Mark to discuss everything from the classic Tommy Gun and some other obscure old SMG’s to the more modern designs made famous by James Bond’s and Call of Duty’s on the big screens. If you’re a firearm enthusiast, this one has your name written all over it! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
May 28, 2020
Much to Mark’s delight, Ryan Muckenhirn joins him and Jimmy to discuss the 300 WSM. (Sorry, Texans – there’s a lot of different pronunciations we throw around of “WSM” in this one). All of Jimmy’s joking to poke fun at Mark aside, the 300 WSM is one impressive cartridge and to quote Ryan himself, could be looked at as “The modern day gentleman’s 30-06”. That’s a big claim to make, but could it be true? We talk all about design, performance, comparisons and limitations (Just to bug Mark) in this quick podcast!
May 26, 2020
The 4-legged critters we chase are often adorned with impressive headgear…..Not like those back-in-the day tooth-straightening torture devises. We’re talking regal, powerful, impressive, elegant headgear made of bone or hair. Some fall off annually to grow back bigger and can be picked up like Easter-egg-like forest treasures. Some have annuli, grow bigger every year and stay with the animal until the day it dies. And the case of the North-American Pronghorn – commonly called just antelope –  kind of do both of those things, falling somewhere in the middle. Jimmy, Mark and Ryan M. sit down with a stack of euro mounts to chat through the unique characteristics of horns and antlers. No matter which camp they fall in, one thing is certain, they are just plant cool!
May 25, 2020
Get the lead out,  keep it in….or a little bit of both. Lead in ammunition is a hot topic these days. Seems we can all agree we want to maintain the health and integrity of the environment. And we certainly don’t want to compromise our personal health, our family’s health or anybody who consumes wild game we bring to the table using ammunition containing lead. But what are the real risks? What does the research show us, so we can make the most informed and practical decisions. What would be the economic ramifications if non-lead became the requirement for all ammunition. What would be the performance limitations of certain firearms? These are the questions we ask Nephi Cole from the National shooting Sports foundation. He cites several studies as we chat through what can be a complex and at times controversial topic. So many things need to be taken into consideration. The good news is, products exist so we can all make a personal choice as it relates to the matter. So we have that going for us – which is nice. What’s your opinion on the matter? Do you have any research data that may sway a person’s opinion pendulum - listen in and let us know. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
May 19, 2020
If you’re familiar with all four official NATO cartridges, you had to know this one was coming as the grand finale to our NATO cartridges series. The incredible 50 BMG – perhaps sometimes looked at as though made of unicorn horns and leprechaun dust – Ryan Muckenhirn explains the origins of this old beast, what its reasonable capabilities actually are, its many applications, and why you should have a half inch gun in your own safe for when SHTF. You simply can’t miss the one about the biggest of them all.
May 18, 2020
In this installment of the Vortex Nation Podcast, we sit down with Robbie Kroger and Braxton McCoy to talk about Braxton’s story and the powerful film Robby put together to help tell it. Serving our country, Braxton suffered extreme injuries and was told he may never walk again. He’s battled demons, worked his ass off to overcome challenges difficult to comprehend and put himself in a place most would think impossible. From breaking horses to guiding hunters, the healing process and the book he wrote “The Glass Factory,” tune in for this inciteful, inspirational, and informational conversation. To watch Robbie’s film, head over to the Vortex YouTube channel. As Robbie says, “Everybody has a story to tell.” This is not only a good story, but an important story. Thank you to Braxton and all our Military Personnel for your service and sacrifice. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
May 14, 2020
In this episode, we go over 20 MOA bases (Or really any kind of canted base, for that matter - there are other options besides 20 MOA!) What do they actually do, how do they work, how do they actually affect your scope, why would anyone actually ever need one and what are some times when it could actually be the wrong move for your particular firearm and optic combo. Heck - your gun may already have 20 MOA built into the rail it came with! These types of bases can be a great practical tool when used the right way and in the right context. Check it out and let’s us know whether or not you use a canted base and why!
May 12, 2020
Ryan Muckenhirn joins Jimmy and Mark to discuss the 7.62x51 NATO, and inevitably, it’s civilian cousin the .308 in this episode from our NATO cartridge series. We talk about what it is, where it came from, what it was used for and out of which firearm platforms along with maybe the idea that there could be some conspiracy theories behind this cartridge? Ryan also compares this cartridge to his Dad, earning it the new nickname in our books as just “Dad”. Listen in to find out why!
May 11, 2020
Fitness and Mental fitness go hand-in-hand. They can build each other up – or tear each other down. In this episode, we dive into a great conversation with our neighbor to the north and first international guest, Greg McHale, getting into the nitty-gritty of those topics, extreme mountain hunting, professional adventure racing, poisonous plants and more. Greg has no quit and it shows in the stories he tells on this podcast, as well as the hunts he and his team document. Check out Greg’s Bio below for brief glimpse into that which is the Greg. Listen to this podcast for the whole thing. BIO Greg McHale is the host of Greg McHale's Wild Yukon, a hunting television show airing on the Sportsman Channel and available on YouTube and CarbonTV. Greg's background of mountaineering and adventure racing has helped him craft his hard-charging approach to mountain hunting. Living in the Yukon, Greg hunts Dall's Sheep, goats, moose and bison. Using boots, packrafts, a floatplane and snow and all-terrain machines, Greg pushes off the beaten path in search of adventure and the beauty of the wild. Greg is striving to inspire people to live authentic, challenging and rewarding lives, both inside and outside the world of hunting.   Social Media: https://www.instagram.com/gregmchaleswildyukon/ http://www.youtube.com/c/GregMcHalesWildYukon As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
May 5, 2020
Honestly, who doesn’t have a 5.56 or one of the new and fancy “.223 Wylde’s” in their arsenal? This cartridge has become one of if not the most ubiquitous cartridges in our world and we often take it for granted just being there and being what it is. Ryan Muckenhirn joins Jimmy and Mark to take it back to where it all began, what the cartridge has been intended for in its long use with NATO forces, how many different loads there are, what makes it different from its civilian cousin the .223, and what might be the future of this cartridge? Check it out!
May 4, 2020
"Ultralight" is in the title of this one so you already know who our esteemed guest is going to be - Lightweight Dave! Dave joins us to talk about his latest ultralight rifle build that he plans to take to the mountain this fall during the unlimited sheep hunt. Ryan Muckenhirn joins as well as we discuss ways to make a rifle extremely light, tradeoffs one may need to face when going so light (i.e. - Recoil?!) and a bunch of other ultralight-type stuff as well. If you've been looking for ways to cut ounces, and maybe even pounds depending on where you're starting out, from your hunting kit - check this one out! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
April 30, 2020
Perhaps you didn’t even know shotguns could be suppressed, or maybe you did and you’re wondering how it works or what shells can work with the can on the end? Reuben Aleckson and Dan Knuth (New guest) join us to talk about Dan’s Benelli M2 shotgun with a Silencerco Salvo on the end. He shoots with it all the time in almost every application and with a huge variety of ammunition types. Check it out if you’ve been curious as to whether or not you should silence your scatter gun!
April 28, 2020
With all these cartridge-based 10 minute talks, we decided it would be a good idea to talk about some of the more common and often forgotten like the remote you lost in your hand cartridges out there, most of those being NATO cartridges. So, the first in our “NATO Series” is the 9x19 – often just referred to as the 9mm. What is NATO, what’s the origin story of this cartridge, what makes the NATO version different from the regular 9mm ammo you get at the store (If at all?), and how has the 9mm evolved over time to become more effective in comparison to some of the larger calibers out there like .45 acp? You’ll find out right here! Stay tuned for more NATO cartridges in the coming weeks, too. We’re doing all four!
April 27, 2020
By now it’s no secret we love shotguns around here at Vortex, so we’re going to keep the shotgun conversations rolling with this choke-specific full-lengther with Ryan Muckenhirn. If you’ve ever wondered what types of shotgun chokes are available, what they all do, and when you would want to use one over another, this is the podcast for you. Everything from the rare “Spreader choke” to full-on turkey chokes, fixed chokes, rifled chokes and shooting slugs out of a shotgun with a choke in it. Check it out and let us know what your go-to choke is! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
April 21, 2020
NFA items in and of themselves can be complicated things to own, but how about what it’s like actually traveling with them out of state? Adam and Reuben join Jimmy and Mark once again for one last “Traveling with” 10 minute talk to discuss some of the considerations you should keep in mind when traveling with your NFA items. **Disclaimer** – we are not lawyers, nor are we always going to be perfect in our interpretation or verbiage behind every federal law, state law, or in this case, individual airline regulation. You should always do your own research about your own situation at the given time given the complexity and changing nature of these things. Vortex and the hosts/guests of this podcast are not responsible for the actions of our viewers and listeners.
April 20, 2020
Could the .22LR actually be considered “America’s cartridge”? Ryan Muckenhirn and new guest Seth Toy (From our engineering department) join Jimmy and Mark to talk all about rimfire cartridges, NRL precision .22 LR matches and a brand new scope from Vortex that might just so happen to have the perfect set of features for precision rimfire shooters. If you’ve always been the kind of person to take a fun game and get really competitive about it in a quest to beat literally everyone else on the planet, you’d make a great competitive rimfire guy/gal and should totally listen to this one. Also, if you watch on YouTube, stick around after the podcast to hear Ryan and Seth go on a completely interesting and nerdy tangent about making their own ELR .22 cartridge. Truly revolutionary. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
April 16, 2020
We’re going to try and throw out a couple bonus episodes during this pandemic, so here’s a short one all about bore sighting your rifle. Whether that’s a bolt action rifle or an AR-15, this is an easy step that takes minimal time and zero ammo to help you get closer on your first shots out of a new rifle and optic setup. We also discuss what to do if you find yourself trying to sight in a rifle that has no way of being bore sighted like AK’s, Ruger 10/22’s, etc.
April 14, 2020
Did you know you can fly with your firearm checked on the plane and even ammo, too? To some that may seem crazy, but to Reuben and Adam on this podcast, it’s what they’ve done all the time over their career in our dealer sales and training department and their own hunts/competitions they’ve traveled to. In this podcast we learn about approved containers and methods of packing your ammo, alternatives to traveling with ammo if the amount of ammo you need exceeds the airline limit, and even the fact that magazines can be an approved storage container on planes! **Disclaimer** – we are not lawyers, nor are we always going to be perfect in our interpretation or verbiage behind every federal law, state law, or in this case, individual airline regulation. You should always do your own research about your own situation at the given time given the complexity and changing nature of these things. Vortex and the hosts/guests of this podcast are not responsible for the actions of our viewers and listeners.
April 13, 2020
We have red dot sights, a big old Tom has a red head. Coincidence  - We think not. Today’s modern shotguns, turkey loads and choke tubes make mounting a red dot sight to your gobbler-getter more practical than ever – and just might make your rig more effective than ever! And it’s really not that hard! There’s more than one way to mount your dot, and we go through those methods. And if you have a do-all shotgun for all your hunting applications, mounting your dot and taking it off depending on your upcoming hunt, just ain’t that big a deal. Not only is a red dot sight “parallax-free,” letting shooters get their shot payload downrange to its intended recipient no madder how awkward your cheek weld or shooting position, but they provide a finer aiming point, as well as don’t obscure your target  - particularly at  longer ranges. Fast and easy, put the dot on the thing and pull the thing. Toward the end we chat through magnified optics on shotguns for big game and turkeys and Ryan hucks out a sighting-in Pro-Tip that will save you $$$! Outfit your turkey gun with a red dot and take a hung up gobbler – and hang his hooks on a limb. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
April 7, 2020
We’ve talked all about the vast expanse of shells available for your shotgun and how you can choose what works best for your application, but being that spring is upon us and folks are looking to socially distance themselves by going turkey hunting, we want to dedicate some time to discussing turkey loads specifically. How they work, what you should look for, the advances they’ve made over time, and much more. There’s a lot packed into this short episode for your spring season so tune in!
April 6, 2020
Dylan Easley, Garrett Grover and Reuben join Jimmy and Mark to discuss tuning pistol reloads for competition. We had no idea so much went into getting the perfect ammunition for not only a specific gun, but a specific shooter, specific competition and even a specific sighting system (Red dot or iron sights) too! These guys bring being one with your firearm to the next level by seeing and feeling the differences between very small changes in their loads to find the one that works best. We also finished up discussing how these seasoned pro’s keep fresh and stay excited for each season coming up after so many years of competition under their belts and much more around season prep. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
March 31, 2020
Thus far, Reuben and Adam have talked about flying with guns and ammo in two 10 minute talks. What they haven’t covered, however, is that when you travel as much as they do, you’re bound to eventually make a mistake or encounter an awkward/shocking situation. Adam tells the story about when his lateness, a last-minute gamble and lack of planning with his NFA items almost made him miss an important flight and Reuben talks about the time his 2011 wound up skidding across the floor at an airport baggage claim. Truly spine-tingling stuff! Learn from their experiences so the same things don’t happen to you. **Disclaimer** – we are not lawyers, nor are we always going to be perfect in our interpretation or verbiage behind every federal law, state law, or in this case, individual airline regulation. You should always do your own research about your own situation at the given time given the complexity and changing nature of these things. Vortex and the hosts/guests of this podcast are not responsible for the actions of our viewers and listeners.
March 30, 2020
We drink it every day – if you’re a sane person. It’s part of our morning routines, it’s part of dating culture, and it just tastes damn good – particularly in the backcountry where frills and creature comforts are few. There’s a heck of lot more to coffee than meets the eye! In this podcast, we sit down with Tony Burlison, Master Roaster and owner of Dark Timber Coffee, to talk everything coffee. From the life cycle of a coffee bean, that starts out as a cherry, but is actually a pit, to the best temperature to brew, cupping (that sounds hot), best brew methods (there are many), light vs dark roasts, getting the most flavor out of your beans, the importance of good water – and oh yeah, we top it off with one of Tony’s signature Accent Packs (a compact, lightweight, single-serve pour-over that will leave thinking you brought a barista in your backpack. If you drink coffee, you’ll like Dark Timber. If you don’t drink coffee then. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
March 24, 2020
Sure, you can legally fly with your beloved firearm and its ammo, but how should you actually pack it? What combo of hard cases, bags, locks, etc do Adam and Reuben recommend? We also briefly chat about what to do if you get pulled over in another state with firearms you’re traveling with toward the end as a bonus. **Disclaimer** – we are not lawyers, nor are we always going to be perfect in our interpretation or verbiage behind every federal law, state law, or in this case, individual airline regulation. You should always do your own research about your own situation at the given time given the complexity and changing nature of these things. Vortex and the hosts/guests of this podcast are not responsible for the actions of our viewers and listeners.
March 23, 2020
So right off the bat, we should tell you this isn’t going to be a series of “If/then” statements about “If you do _____, then you should get _____ scope”. Truth is, the possibilities there are endless and it would get pretty boring pretty fast. What Jimmy, Mark and Ryan M really wanted to get at in this episode is how do you determine exactly what it is that you’re going to be doing with your rifle and scope, and then how do you determine exactly what features, level of optical quality, and price range, to name just a few of the variables, you really and truly need to accomplish that task. We see bad advice all over the internet about choosing optics – many times putting down new comers to hunting and/or shooting or making them feel like the sport/lifestyle simply can’t be done without a huge budget or gobs of time and an optical engineering degree. Perhaps a few times we got in “Rant” mode here because of it, but just know, it’s all in the name of helping everyone figure out what’s best for them and simply being comfortable with that choice being different from what another person may want/need. As always, if you have any questions about what riflescope you should choose for your very specific application and situation, we’re more than happy to chat that over with you and you can contact us on social media, via phone, e-mail, or in person if you stop by our showroom here in Barneveld, WI.   As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
March 17, 2020
Maybe you had no idea you could actually even fly with your firearms checked on a flight, maybe you did but haven’t done it before, or maybe you have done it, but still feel a little uneasy about it and aren’t totally sure how best to handle it next time – Never fear! Reuben and Adam join Jimmy and Mark to discuss this very topic. These two guys work in our dealer sales and training department and do range days and competitions and hunts all over the country so they fly with firearms all the time. After all that experience, they’ve been able to boil down how you should approach the situation with no fear of getting taken to that scary dark room in the back. **Disclaimer** – we are not lawyers, nor are we always going to be perfect in our interpretation or verbiage behind every federal law, state law, or in this case, individual airline regulation. You should always do your own research about your own situation at the given time given the complexity and changing nature of these things. Vortex and the hosts/guests of this podcast are not responsible for the actions of our viewers and listeners.
March 16, 2020
Nothing preserves memories in the field better than a well-taken photo, so we sat down with Wyatt Cole and Erik Barber to talk about all-things “getting started in photography”. Listen in for great tips and tricks on getting the perfect shot. Whether you’re shooting on a fancy mirrorless camera with a lens that costs more than your truck payment, or snapping away on your phone, this episode covers everything you need to capture a wall hanger of a different variety. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
March 10, 2020
At one point or another, we all have to mount a scope to our rifle. Besides getting good gear and adhering to proper torque specs/sequences, leveling your riflescope is one of the most important things we do in order to set ourselves up for success at the range. The internet is full of differing opinions on how to properly do the job, but the fact remains, you can’t argue with physics, and that’s exactly what Nick Laufenberg used in this 10 minute conversation with Jimmy to explain how to properly level your long range riflescope. Spoiler alert – it may not be perfectly level to your rifle! This was Part 2 of a longer conversation between Jimmy and Nick. If you missed part 1, Nick started by explaining how rifle cant can affect your accuracy at long range and the importance of having your reticle level to the earth when you take your shot. Check it out.
March 10, 2020
Nick Laufenberg joins Jimmy to discuss the effect of rifle cant on accuracy at long range. If you’ve ever wondered why some people put bubble levels on their riflescope and whether or not it’s just to look cool with some extra range bling – here’s your answer. Spoiler alert – just a little bit of cant can absolutely cause you to miss! Nick brought charts and specific examples to show you exactly how important a level reticle (notice we didn’t say rifle) for your shot is. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this same conversation as it naturally transitioned into the question – “How should I actually go about leveling my riflescope when I mount it??”
March 9, 2020
The number one reason to wear camo: Conceal yourself from game. The number one reason to avoid wearing camo: Every non-hunter you encounter will hit you with the same unavoidable joke  - “Whoa, I didn’t see you there”  -  forcing you into the same polite laugh you’ve responded with Lord knows how many times. Regardless, there’s no doubt camouflage can have a positive impact on your hunt. In this podcast we cover the importance of camo, how it works, it’s evolution, hunt tactics you can use to enhance concealment, wearing solids, weapon and game-specific considerations and a whole lot more. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
March 3, 2020
Ian Klemm joins Jimmy and Mark for 10 minutes to blow some minds. Does barrel break-in even matter?? Conventional wisdom says “Yes” and perhaps there’s some truth to that, but Ian would argue it’s not nearly as important as the internet wants you to believe and that you don’t need to waste a ton of time/ammo to get your barrel ready to shoot extremely accurately – Even with hand-made custom barrels! Tune in to hear why and let us know your thoughts on barrel break-in, too. This one was in response to a ton of feedback on our full-length Barrels podcast with Ian, so keep those suggestions, questions and ideas coming! Best spot to throw them out is on Instagram by messaging @vortexnationpodcast
March 2, 2020
Reuben and Scott Parks (Back from our Long Range series some time ago!) join Jimmy and Mark to discuss the topic of making your rifle fit you. This is a broad topic that can really go in a lot of different directions – proper stock/chassis choice and setup, proper optic setup, and probably most importantly – a good understanding of the fundamentals of marksmanship and plain good shooting. Scott also talks natural point of aim and the fact that shooting a heavier recoiling rifle can often times immediately point out any shooting fundamentals you’re doing wrong or have gotten a little lazy about. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
February 24, 2020
Just when you thought they were done, Jimmy and Mark carried on Westward to LA to meet up with Damyan Tuchenishki from Renner Racing Development, a highly specialized Subaru racing shop that helped Jimmy remotely along the way during the Forester build process. They talk even more about why Subaru’s are awesome, what goes into making their record-breaking time attack cars, the history of their shop, and a whole lot more. Stay tuned, too, because the crew at Renner is set to do a little more work on the Forester from here to make it even better for future Podventures! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
February 24, 2020
First off – we made it to Arizona AND hunted all four days we intended to hunt, so we can already say this is a marked improvement over the last podventure. Mark and Jimmy sit down in a hotel room on an oddly rainy southern Arizona evening around midnight or so to talk about one of the most challenging but immensely fun hunts they’ve ever done. They give the rundown on how the Subaru performed going cross-country and then offroading around the AZ desert, lessons learned bowhunting coues deer in some seriously brutal terrain, glassing tips, and how effectively stalking deer is a lot like mimicking tigers on National Geographic. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
February 24, 2020
Long rang isn’t limited to rifles. Today’s hunting bows are technologically advanced engineering marvels built to send projectiles to their intended target with astonishing precision. Mark and Jimmy sit down with Evan Williams of Hoyt, to chat through wringing out every last ounce of performance from your compound bow. This is pretty nerdy stuff - all geared toward maximizing your effective range and the capability of you and your setup. We cover everything from the anatomy of your bow, break in, tuning, paper tuning, getting optimal arrow flight/terminal performance to the color pink being cool and a whole lot more. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
February 24, 2020
With the Subaru mostly finished, Jimmy and Mark head to Reno, NV to talk to Remi Warren about how to bow hunt coues deer in Arizona. People don’t call these things grey ghosts for nothing – they’re extremely difficult to spot, constantly on high alert for predators, and during the rut when we’re going in January, quite unpredictable. Remi has a boat load of experience and success spotting, stalking and killing coues deer, so picking his brain for every last bit of information, tips and tricks is incredibly interesting and helpful. As a bonus, the timing and location of this hunt lends itself to bow hunting another unique creature, the Javelina, so Remi also gives us the 4-1-1 on exactly what to do if we bump into them along the way and why it’s usually an incredibly fun and heart-pounding experience! Next up – How complicated could “Bow accuracy” and getting one’s self prepared for a potentially long shot on game really be? (Spoiler alert – Just as complicated as if not more than long range rifle shooting!) As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
February 24, 2020
Mark, Jimmy, and Erik sit down to talk about purchasing and rebuilding a $1200 Subaru Forester they found on eBay for their cross-country road-tripping, overlanding, off-road Arizona coues deer bow hunting adventure. Jimmy gets the chance of a lifetime to talk about cars for an entire podcast and tries to get real with folks about what it’s really like for the average guy or gal to search for, purchase, inspect and rebuild their own hunting rig. We also chat about why an SUV most commonly seen as a mundane grocery getter like the Subaru Forester might currently be one of the best options in reliable, comfortable, spacious and off-road capable vehicles on the market that you can probably find for an absolute bargain. If you’re interested in learning about cars, like a challenge and have kicked around the idea of a relatively cheap vehicle you can beat on in the backcountry without worry for scratched paint or a dirty interior, you won’t want to miss this one. If you don’t give a rip about cars and never will – skip to our next episode where we talk how to hunt coues and Javelina with Remi Warren! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
February 18, 2020
Remi Warren sits down with Jimmy and Mark prior to their next big podventure to discuss Javelina hunting. Remi has extensive Javelina hunting experience in the southwest and passes on his knowledge of calling them, what to expect when they come running in, shot placement, stalking, behavior and one controversial topic – how do they taste and how should you cook ‘em?? Spoiler alert – Remi loves him some Javelina chops! Stay tuned – this is just a taste of the next podventure to release!
February 17, 2020
So you got a shotgun – good – you own one of, if not THE, most versatile firearms ever created. It’s pretty simple to operate, pretty simple to understand, but what about the ammo? Shotgun aisles at stores are jam-packed with hundreds of different options – are they all really that different? Does it matter what you actually choose? If so (Spoiler alert – it does matter), how do you go about choosing the right ammo for your shotgun, your application, and maybe ever your location? Reuben and Ryan M join Jimmy and Mark to talk about gauges, shot size, toxic vs non-tox, why some shells are super expensive and some are dirt cheap, shell length, how certain loads interact with your barrel and choke, and so much more. We also forget the topic for a hot second and talk all about getting your shotgun properly fitted to you for better accuracy and speed in the field, at the gun club or in competition. Don’t miss this one! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
February 11, 2020
Adam Maxwell joins Jimmy and Mark for 10 minutes (Or close enough, right?) to talk about piston vs direct impingement (DI) gas systems in semi-automatic firearms. What’s are they, what do they do, why are they different and are there pro’s and con’s to each of them? You’ll have to tune in to learn those answers!
February 10, 2020
Jimmy and Mark are joined by Reuben Aleckson and Adam Maxwell to talk SBR’s (Short Barreled Rifles). Why are they so hot right now? Why do so many people assume they’re impossible to attain? With pistol brace “Technology” making pistol AR’s closer and closer to their rifle counterparts these days, is it still worth it to SBR your lower? Do people just do it to be cool or are there serious practical applications to a shorter barrel? And of course – WHAT ABOUT VELOCITY?!? Answers to these questions and so much more are ready to fill your ears in this episode! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
February 4, 2020
Jimmy and Mark stand up for way more than 10 minutes with Ryan Muckenhirn to discuss the mighty little FN 5.7. This cartridge has been around for a long time but still seems new and exciting every time it finds its way into a new firearm brand’s handgun or rifle. Ryan breaks down its performance, both in some of the professional loads and guns FN originally designed it for, and in some of the civilian firearms we see on the market today with civilian ammo. Could it be used for hunting? Is it a viable self-defense cartridge? Is it the cartridge itself or the guns its chambered in that make this little devil so dang cool??
February 3, 2020
Jimmy and Mark got the unique opportunity to talk to two of the technicians from the Vortex binocular repair team, Scott and Cody, so they could answer many of the questions we’ve received about how to properly care for, maintain and generally be good owners of one’s optics. These guys spend every day working on binoculars, spotting scopes and other observation optics that have been used, abused, rode hard and put away wet. Many times they’re using professional optical equipment and years of know-how under their belt to fix a given product, but many times the problems could have been avoided or can be remedied with patience and some simple procedures you can do yourself at home or in the field.    As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
January 28, 2020
What’s your go-to backcountry snack to pack for fuel? Jimmy, Mark and Erik hang out for 10 minutes to each give their number one go-to snack from canned fish to candy bars. Tune in to hear what they are and why they pick them!
January 27, 2020
Jimmy, Mark and Ryan Muckenhirn are joined by Luke Horak from Arrowhead Rifles to chat about long range muzzleloaders. That’s right – you didn’t read that wrong – we’re talking about rifles you load from the front just like they did well before even the 1900’s that can also shoot accurately out to 1,000 yards. To get a frame of reference, we also take some time to talk about the more classic forms of muzzleloaders and what makes them different from the high performance builds Luke makes in his shop. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
January 21, 2020
It’s been a minute since we last brought up some cheap tools you just can’t live without in the backcountry, but we’re back with Mark and Jimmy to discuss Vaseline and cotton balls as a dang good fire starter. Combined, this cheap DIY will give you easy ignition and super long burn times considering how small and lightweight they are together. They’re easy to carry around and the Vaseline even doubles as a good protectant for dry skin or wind burn to keep you comfortable in the wild.
January 20, 2020
Looking for a howling good time – look to calling coyotes. Jimmy and Mark sit down with Coyote calling expert (he would be humble and deny the title “Expert”, but we insist) Dustin Butler to chat through how a person goes about calling one of these masters of their surroundings into gun range.  These crafty critters will test a hunters mettle every time they head afield. Coyote hunting can be a year round pursuit, licenses are cheap, and there is typically no bag limit (obligatory always check the regulations before heading afield.) And, if you get into putting up and selling hides, you may even make back a little gas money. There’s so much to chasing these buggers. Tune in to hear all about it. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
January 14, 2020
Jimmy, Mark, and Erik spend 10 minutes talking about a tactic in hunting that involves walking at a painfully slow pace through the woods, utilizing each and every one of your senses to their max, and possibly getting crazy close to wild game without them even realizing you’re there – Still hunting.
January 13, 2020
Adam Maxwell and Rob Morell join Jimmy and Mark to talk all about LPVO’s (Riflescopes that go from 1x to a higher magnification) their rise to huge popularity with the shooting community these days and one very exciting new product coming out from Vortex in the category for 2020. If you like to be in the know on new and exciting stuff, you won’t want to miss this one! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
January 7, 2020
Looking for a new “Do-All” big-game cartridge. Don’t ignore this medium-bore darling of the modern era. Modern case design took all the big pill hucking qualities of the 375 H&H and put it in a standard length cartridge sans the belt without sacrificing a thing in the performance dept! The result - an easy-to -carry, 600-yard capable bomb dropper. The smart phone is to the Rotary dial as the 375 Ruger is to the 375 H&H. Extreme – maybe? Listen and decide for yourself.
January 6, 2020
Remi Warren is an all-around badass, so when we get the chance to podcast with him following up a bizarre conversation over sushi about the time he tried eating a slug as part of a survival course he was doing “Just for fun”, we had to jump at the opportunity. When he’s not remembering last minute that slugs aren’t exactly… “Edible”… Remi is a master at surviving in the wilderness. It’s not just the gear that he carries with him (In fact, you’ll find he doesn’t carry a whole lot) but simply the know-how of how to use his surroundings to keep him alive. So hunker down and “Get bushy” with Remi here for this great episode! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
December 31, 2019
Mark, Jimmy and Erik take 10 minutes to go over their hunting and shooting 2020 New Year’s resolutions. In typical Mark fashion, he has about 20 of them, all of which we need your help keeping him accountable for. What are your hunting and shooting New Year’s resolutions for 2020? We’d love to hear what you’ll be working on this year!
December 30, 2019
Ian Klemm, previous guest from some some of our most popular podcasts of all time in the Long Range series, joins Mark and Jimmy to talk all about barrels. Are these the most important parts of your gun? Why are there so many different kinds? Materials, fluting, twist rates, types of rifling, lengths, coatings, tuning, free floating, the list goes on and on! Ian discusses all these topics in-depth in the way only a mega-genius gun-nerd engineer could. Whether you’re looking for a barrel to complete your ultra-custom long range rifle or simply want to know what all the hubbub is around these things, this podcast is perfect for all you gun nuts! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
December 24, 2019
“It’s the holiday’s – we’re all miserable!” OK, maybe not all of us, but the holidays certainly bring some of us a great deal of stress and time consumption doing things we, quite frankly, would rather not be doing. Jimmy, Mark and Erik discuss some of their best tips and tricks for hunters and shooters to make it through this time of year. From “Sneak hunts” to last minute squirrel sniping and showing up at the front door with a bucket of AR parts, these will make the time fly by!
December 23, 2019
If you can avoid holiday parties, schmoozing the in-laws, and consuming enough calories to comatose a sasquatch, the holiday season offers plentiful hunting opportunities. This episode is all about the seasons still in full-swing during the waning months of hunting season. Jimmy, Mark, Ryan, and Erik fill you in on big and small game species you can chase from the upper-Midwest to the southwestern desert. Even better - most of these hunts come with tags at affordable price points that are very attainable on a DIY hunter’s budget. Sit back, turn the volume up, and enjoy this articulated conversation about pursuing grey ghost, a northern rabbit the size of a housecat, and everything in between. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
December 17, 2019
It happens more often than you’d think. Someone is right handed, for example, but not necessarily right-eyed. Everyone has an eye that their body naturally relies on as its dominant eye, and if it happens to be opposite of your dominant shooting hand, people are often left scratching their head as to how they should go about shooting. Switch to the other hand to take advantage of the better eye? Try to train the weak eye? There are different answers to this question depending on the reasoning behind your eye-dominance (Some people simply don’t have a properly functioning eye on their strong hand side) but Reuben joins Jimmy and Mark here to discuss his recommendations for the majority of people he sees with this issue.
December 16, 2019
In this episode, Ryan Muckenhirn says he feels sad for people who live and party in big cities, Mark says “Intimate” an uncomfortable amount of times, and Jimmy talks about cars more than hunting. It’s hard to sum up this interesting podcast where we go deep into the human DNA to try and figure out why it is that we hunt. Mark and Ryan are die hard hunters who want to do and think about nothing other than chasing game (Or picking berries for Ryan, too). Meanwhile, Jimmy enjoys hunting, but has his own hard-wired obsession outside the sport. Is it bad to not be a hunting fanatic? Do we live in a much more specialized society today that has weeded out all but the most fanatical hunters? Are some people, regardless of exposure, simply more predisposed to become cold blooded hunters than others? What are your thoughts after listening to this one? Plenty more left on the table that could be talked about when discussing the human mind! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
December 10, 2019
After many requests to discuss the .220 Swift, Ryan Muckenhirn joins Jimmy and Mark to do a 10(ish) minute dive into the cartridge, its history and application. As always – it is phenomenally interesting not only to learn about the cartridge but to get a peep into the cartridge encyclopedia that is Ryan’s brain.
December 9, 2019
We didn’t expect to need two parts for this topic, but there’s just so dang much to talk about when it comes to riflescopes! Lightweight Dave joins Mark and Jimmy once again, this time not to talk about sawing his toothbrush in half, but to discuss all things riflescopes. How they’re made, how their optical systems work, how our eyes interact with the light they funnel through their many lenses, what parallax is and what parallax adjustable scopes do when you spin their dials, and so much more! Minds were blown for this one as usual and we’d love to hear from you about what further riflescope topics we can discuss in Part 2. Let us know! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
December 3, 2019
Bullpup firearms have long been the choice of sci-fi movie heroes (or villains) and middle schoolers playing their friends in Call of Duty. They look crazy cool with all the common features of a regular rifle or shotgun, seemingly thrown into an engineering blender, coming out on the other end with parts in weird places that look nothing like their more traditional gun cousins. Adam Maxwell joins Jimmy and Mark to discuss what all the fuss is about these unique looking firearms, why they exist and their various pro’s and con’s of operation and ownership. What do you think about Bullpups? All about ‘em? Or are they just cool to look at?
December 2, 2019
You’ve seen it at the range, your local gun store, long range matches, and now you’re even seeing it in the military - it’s hard to deny 6.5’s are here in a big way. But while we all look to prom-king cartridges like the 6.5 Creedmoor as a new and totally exciting, 6.5mm rounds have actually been a part of the cartridge landscape for quite some time - and there are seemingly countless variants of cartridges all pushing 6.5 mm bullets down  barrels. Ryan Muckenhirn, the cartridge version of a beautiful mind, joins Jimmy and Mark to discuss where all the fuss of the 6.5 revolution comes from, some interesting bullet history and also gets into some proper bullet selections for hunting that may surprise some people. If you’re a cartridge nerd, want some clarity on which 6.5 is right for you, or just enjoy learning things about the shooting sports we all love while getting a bit of history, this is most certainly one you don’t want to miss! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
November 26, 2019
People often ask us if they can paint their riflescope without causing any kind of rip in the VIP-Warranty-Time-Continuum. The answer is yes – you’re still covered even if you paint it. Unless it’s ugly… Just kidding! But what are the different methods out there for painting or “Coating” your riflescope? Whether it’s just for looks or for a specific application like camouflage for a hunting rifle, coating your scope (and gun) can be a ton of fun and give you a very unique looking package. Just make sure if it’s a Vortex scope to send us some pics when it’s all done!
November 25, 2019
What better way to ring in 100 episodes than with a series of 10 minute talks back-to-back about all our favorite things – hunting, shooting, and good food. Reuben Aleckson, Ryan Muckenhirn, and Erik Barber join Jimmy and Mark to discuss why the world needs to “Make the 30-06 great again”, “will CWD turn humans into zombies?”, what’s the ideal 3 Gun setup if there was no budget, which type of grill is best, some of the craziest VIP warranty stories we can remember, and the ultimate showdown of “Whitetail vs. Mule deer – which is best?”. There’s also an unexpected surprise at the end of this one, too. Check it out and thanks to all our listeners who have been around since the beginning! Here’s to another 100! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
November 19, 2019
We see it all the time – New shooters come to the internet for advice on a riflescope for their first long range rifle and are instantly berated by all the gear junkies who look to the absolute top of the top competitive shooters for all their gear with super expensive and complicated options that they apparently “Have to get” to somehow avoid utter failure and frustration. Nick Laufenberg joins us for this 10 minutes (Plus a bonus at the end) to explain the differences between what a recreational target shooter might actually need at the bare minimum vs what a competitive tactical long range shooter would require for their matches. In the end, he also discusses a riflescope’s theoretical maximum capable range with any given rifle based on its available travel and subtensions in the reticle.
November 18, 2019
Taco’s may have won our debate of “Taco’s vs. Burrito’s”, but when it comes down to hosting a wild game, Mexican-inspired cookoff, burrito’s just felt like the right thing to make. Jimmy, Mark, Sawyer Briel (New guest!) and Colin Hornback each had their own idea of what the all-time best wild game burrito would be, and we had quite the variety for our returning food critic, Rebecca, but only one would be named the winner! Tune in to hear Mark’s struggles after winning the wild game burger cookoff, Jimmy’s strict burrito construction techniques, Sawyer’s unique Asian-inspired burrito and Colin’s never-ending pursuit of back-to-basics, total food freshness. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
November 12, 2019
Why get a 25 when I can get a 30??” – Mark Boardman. What’s the deal with this “25-06” cartridge that so many of you have requested we do a 10 minute talk about and why is it so great? Could it even “Stomp the 6.5 Creedmoor” within 500 yards on deer? You’ll have to listen to find out!
November 11, 2019
Rut’s here! Make sure you’re ready to tag your buck by joining us for big rut questions and small talk with outdoor writer and all-around hunting encyclopedia Pat Durkin. We’ll touch on what makes the rut so special, all-day rut hunts, and general strategies for whitetail success. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
November 5, 2019
You’ve heard it before –  “The best way to eat goose meat is to wrap it in bacon, cook it, throw the goose meat away and eat the bacon.” – Is the bad reputation for their meat well deserved? Could it just be that a lot of people cook it wrong? Mark and Jimmy, after our Boats and Bows adventure, where we shot down two Canada Geese, set out to decide for themselves once and for all if goose meat sucks. Armed with salt, pepper, their favorite garlic powder, a hot plate, a cast iron skillet and some oil, they cook it up live on this podcast as straight up rare/medium-rare steaks for a final verdict. What do you think about goose meat? Any other great recipes in your arsenal?
November 4, 2019
Seriously, folks, this is one you don’t want to miss. Mark and Jimmy had the unique opportunity to join Wisconsin Brewing Company Brew Master, Kirby Nelson, their director of operations, Mike McGuire and Wisconsin distributors’, Ryan Sprague, to talk about something we all hold near and dear (At least we definitely do here in Wisconsin) – Beer! WBC is located just down the highway from Vortex and has one heck of a cool culture, we just couldn’t help but get them on the podcast to learn more about our favorite adult beverage. We discuss how the beer industry works behind the scenes, why canned beer is better than bottled beer, how beer was used as water sanitation for the pilgrims on Plymouth Rock, How some monks in an Abbey in Germany are producing some of the world’s best beer, tracing beer’s roots back to the ancient world, and so much more this list could be endless! So crack a cold one, kick back and prepare to be the coolest person at the bar this coming weekend when you drop all these knowledge bombs on your friends. Want to hear more beer history? Let us know! We wouldn’t mind another trip back to WBC in the near future 😉 As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
October 29, 2019
First off – Should you decide to take the plunge into reducing, stippling, or modifying your pistol frame in any other way, use the tips given in this podcast to help, but know what we’re not liable for any accidents that may occur by attempting to customize your own pistol. Also always ensure that anything you do to your own firearms is legal and doesn’t create an issue with your own state and local laws. With that said, modifying your own polymer pistol frame is relatively inexpensive, fun, not that hard to do and can result in a better feeling pistol when it comes time to head to the range or competition. Jimmy has done a few of his own and goes through his process. If you’d like a custom pistol frame that looks like all the stunning ones on Instagram, perhaps you’d consider sending it to one of the pro’s with much more experience and better tools, but this way certainly gets the job done, too!
October 28, 2019
OK so we had to start with two super cool rifles on this one, but the rest are some really awesome handguns of the early 1900’s. Nick Rowden from our previous WW2-era rifles podcast and his friend Greg join us with an impressive collection of handguns from a 1911, to a Luger, some revolvers, even a PPS-43 and much more. All these guns have impressive stories and equally impressive history behind their creation and application in conflict times in our world’s history. If you’re a gun nut, this is one you don’t want to miss. As always, if you want to see these guns we talk about, check out the podcast on Youtube, too!   As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
October 24, 2019
Wait… Why are Mark, Jimmy, Erik and the camera guy, Nate back at HQ? Wasn’t this podcast supposed to be from the banks of the river at a remote campsite? Well… Yes… And as the guys will quickly explain – you’ll find that the boat didn’t exactly make it as far as we hoped. BUT! Was it a complete failure? In this episode we dive into the massive debacle that was our 24 hours on a river in “Up North” Wisconsin. Though we experienced many failures, (and did finally determine that, indeed, we did get the wrong boat) we experienced a few triumphs and learned a whole heck of a lot along the way. Had we sat on our butts all day dreaming of adventure and agonizing over making everything perfect, we never would have had this much fun, nor would we have learned quite this much to make for an even better river hunting trip next time. Speaking of which… “Next time” might just have to be a thing in the future! Stay tuned as always for more podventures and if you have any ideas of your own for a podventure you’d like to hear/watch, please let us know!
October 23, 2019
DJ Struntz of North American Rescue joins Mark, Jimmy and Erik for a reality check into the world of trauma response in the backcountry. He dives into the equipment, knowledge and mindset needed to avoid finding one’s self in a traumatic situation in the first place, but also how to keep each other alive should one occur. Cuts from broadheads, fractures from tree falls, blunt trauma from river rocks, fire burns and even eyeballs getting ripped out of their sockets from fishing hooks… Feeling queasy yet?  Hopefully this is all information that you, too, can arm yourself with for all your future adventures and, of course, that you never need to use! As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
October 22, 2019
Months of speculation, hours poring over aerial maps and a somewhat impulsive boat purchase have led Mark, Jimmy, and Erik to the office of DNR Wildlife Biologist/Area Expert Bob Hanson, to find out if their hypotheses’ about the region are overly optimistic, or on target. Is this river the mecca of fish and game – or a barren water wasteland. Spoiler alert, there is a heck of lot going on in the area if you’re willing to work for it. From bass to bucks, waterfowl to wild rice, and so much more, Northern WI is an outdoorsman’s paradise. If you’re one of those folks who consider Wisconsin a fly-over state, we would selfishly like you to keep on thinking that. Oh yeah, do we have the right boat? Bob says, “That depends”. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
October 21, 2019
Few folks know whitetails and water access tactics like “The Hunting Public”. Jim, Mark and Erik tap into their vast knowledge and experience to aid in planning an upcoming multi-day river hunt. From low-impact speed scouting to backdooring low-pressure areas, this is a podcast worth listening to. Did we choose the right boat for the job? Well, they didn’t say it was the wrong boat. As always, we want to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any topics you'd like covered on the Vortex Nation podcast by asking us on Instagram @vortexnationpodcast
October 15, 2019
Say it ain’t so!? Jimmy, Mark and Nick Laufenberg get 10 minutes to explain why, contrary to popular opinion, lightweight rifles are not always the best way to go. In this case, we’re talking specifically to precision long range rifles.
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