We figured we would start our blogs page off with a bang! What better way to start it off than with the Inteliscope review. Here at Precision Firearms we DO NOT sell anything in our shop or on our website without thoroughly testing and or having used that product in the field. With that being said, we decided to check out Inteliscope. We set our bar pretty low, cause let's face it, it's a mount that puts your iPhone on a rifle. The iPhone is not water proof or shock proof, and putting it on anything bigger than a .223/5.56 might be asking for trouble.
The mounting system itself is even a little light in the design area. It's all carbon fiber and plastic. There is a reason rifle scopes and mounts are made out of steel and aluminum alloys. We decided to check out the app anyway. Upon pulling it out of the fancy packaging we could not find any instructions or specs on the scope other than the obvious how to mount the phone to your rifle, but found the cases you need to mount an iPhone 4/4s, 5 and iPod touch. The instructions are not really a big deal but you would think for something so new to the market there would be some kind of spec sheet. Right off the bat we noticed all the features contained in the app:
-Prevailing wind speed and direction
-A Camera feature
-Date and time stamp
-GPS Coordinates and Azimuth Heading
-Sight in and Weapon platform load out information with
storable ballistic and velocity information.
-Shot yardage calculator
-Up to 5x zoom
All these features make for a really fancy looking app. So here goes nothing. We started out on a Bushmaster M4A3 firing 55gr FMJ's. After finding out how far off the paper we were, we decided to laser bore-site it first. When we went into the sight in screen of the app we noticed some problems. There are two knobs just like you would find on any rifle scope, but next to these knobs were arrow buttons. Apparently by sliding your finger across the knobs the reticle moves approximately ½ an inch MOA at 100 hundred yards. By tapping the arrows the reticle only moves ¼ an inch MOA at 100 yards. The problem was in order to move the reticle the ¼ inch you had to tap the arrow buttons in just the right place, the surface area in the app for the buttons was not very big. Please note we were running version 1.3 when we initially started testing. Inteliscope came out with version 1.4 which fixed this issue as well as some others. The other problem we had was if you zeroed the rifle in at 1x zoom and then saved the sight in and went to 5X zoom the reticle was 4in. or more off. Version 1.4 fixed this issue. The other thing we did not like was when you sight in the rifle the reticle depending on how you had the scope mounted on the rifle, would be in one extreme corner of the screen even after leaving the sight in menu and returning to the firing screen. Version 1.4 also fixed this issue by moving the screen in the background during adjustment instead of moving the reticle. After getting it sighted in we went to firing. The mounting systems seemed to hold up to the recoil from the Bushmaster just fine. We fired four 30 round mags for a total of 120 rounds. Here's the thing. Even though the mounting system held up to the recoil from .223, how does the iPhone hold up to that. Our best guess, because there is no way to really test that on the range, is that every shot fired would be about the equivalent of dropping your iPhone from your waist. This amount of recoil obviously gets even worse when you move up in caliber.
The next weapon we put it on would be the Mossberg 500 Cruiser which we have nicknamed "The Girlfriend". We loaded the lightest round we could think of which was some cheap 2 ¾ 1200fps bird shot shells. We choose this weapon next because it is a pump, and our intention was to transfer as much recoil through the mount as we could. After three shots our phone flew right out of the case and onto the ground. Major shocker I know! The next weapon we put it on was a Ruger 10/22. We did not fire many rounds through the 10/22 for obvious reasons of course, but we found out that once you bore-sight the scope on any gun it does hold zero fairly well. One of the major down sides in the app was that while shooting, if you got a phone call, email, text message or any other notification on your phone whatsoever, it would appear over the app and prevent you from looking down range through your scope to pick up the next shot. We were able to remedy the phone call, email and text message part by simply putting the phone in airplane mode, but every other notification such as low battery alerts still pop up.
With all that being said, the scope is NOT a primary rifle scope, and will not hold up to the rugged demand of tactical use. This scope is nothing more than a toy in our opinion. The app is below par at best for tactical reliance and even further from that for military and law enforcement use. We do not see this thing going much beyond being able to whip out your phone at the range with your buddies, throwing it on your rifle and showing it off. Sure there are tactical advantages to having your phone mounted to a rifle, such as being able to look around corners without head exposure, but this scope can never take the place of a mil-spec red dot scope or even run of the mill hunting scopes. The concept is awesome, but execution was poor. I would not put my phone on a rifle after seeing what we saw during range testing.
So for the conclusion: The Inteliscope will not be on Precision Firearms shelves but will be available for special order through our website if you so desire.
As always stay safe and prepared out there and remember: Peace through Precision!