The Badger Ordnance Cat’s Eye is an accessory that really only benefits folks using a Leupold MK4 or Gold Ring Spotting Scope. However, for those of you out there with a Leupold spotter, this thing is pretty neat! It has two functions. It decreases the aperture of the lens which reduces the amount of light allowed in, and any glare allowed out. It also functions as a pretty high dollar lens cap. Is it worth the $135? Does it have any detrimental effect on the quality of the image or the ability for somebody to use the scope? We’ll answer those questions in more in today’s article!
Badger Ordnance Cat’s Eye
They call it the Badger Ordnance Cat’s Eye because that’s what it looks like! There’s a dial on the front of the Cat’s Eye which you can twist to open or close the two apertures that allow light, and the image, into the spotting scope. This little device is really well made. Just like everything else from Badger Ordnance. The dial allows you to open or close the apertures as much or as little as you like. For the LE/MIL people this thing is pretty handy for reducing chances of glare giving away your position to some unfriendly folks. I’ll be honest. When I saw how it worked, I lost some of my interest. I genuinely thought there would be no way it could function without degrading the image coming through the lens.
I’m happy to report, it doesn’t degrade the image at all. In daylight conditions you really can’t see a difference with the Badger Ordnance Cat’s Eye mounted versus without it in place. The image comes through the eyepiece clear as can be and without any odd shape or distortion. I’ve tried using it in the evenings as well. Obviously as the level of ambient light drops the scope loses it’s ability to present a bright and clear image. You can get a little extra time at maximum performance by removing the Cat’s Eye as the sunlight fades to darkness. However, at that point you don’t really need the Badger Ordnance Cat’s Eye for it’s primary purpose any more.
Cost vs Performance
For what the Badger Ordnance Cat’s Eye is, it is very competitively priced. It’s made from machined aluminum. It’s threaded to match the lens threads of the Leupold Mark 4 spotting scope (Virtually identical to the Gold Ring). The dial opens and closes the apertures and even has detents to hold it fully closed or fully opened up. It’s hardcoat anodized and about as beautifully crafted as anything else that comes out of the Badger Ordnance shop. However, for those of us who aren’t hanging out on a two way range, is it worth the money? I would say yes, to be honest. Frankly, I found it and started reading up on it while I was trying to find the thread pitch for the objective lens of the spotting scope. Ask me why! I really like my MK4 spotter. I think it’s a lot of bang for the buck and functions as a heavy duty, clear glass, spotting scope that doesn’t break the bank. Why it doesn’t come with lens caps…I do NOT understand. Especially in the $1600 realm it occupies in the market.
Honestly, just having a decent lens cover would be worth the money to me. I made a significant investment in purchasing this scope and I would like to keep the lens protected from dirt and debris so the scope lasts. That’s difficult without a lens cover. Yes it comes with a soft cover that covers the lens but it left much to be desired. It also wasn’t all that good at keeping the Colorado moon dust out of the lens when working on the range during really windy days. So in that regard, it’s a home run. Do I really get much out of the decreased size of the objective aperture? Not really. Just looks cool. I think it’s well worth considering for the LE/MIL crowd as it helps avoid glare compromising a shooting position. However, I’ve yet to see any terrorists running around the berms of the Colorado Rifle Club!
This wasn’t a real complex product to explain. It does two things: Keeps crap off your lens and reduces glare off the lens. That’s it! Might add a few points to your CDI factor, who knows?! I wanted a better lens cap so this fits the bill nicely. I don’t have to remove it to use it and it’s well made. I’ve found a Butler Creek cap for the ocular lens so I’ve got that covered too. Keeping garbage off the lens is a plus for me because I do take this out in less than perfect weather. I’ve also been working on upgrading my spotting rig with some accessories that you will hear about soon as well. The bottom line is it will let me take better video of mirage, bullet trace, and impacts on target at distance. It’s also going to be great for working with new shooters or RO’ing at a match. If you have any questions, feel free to ask below in the comments!