By Brian Jensen
Leapers / UTG
Many of you out there are familiar with the company known as Leapers or UTG. They are well known for selling firearm accessories such as mounts, lights, and optics. This year they came to SHOT with more gear than ever, taking up quite an amount of space in the hall. I was looking through it, and there is something for everybody.
What you may not know about Leapers, is that they are all American owned, and continue to transfer ever growing amounts of manufacturing here to their Livonia Michigan address. Any work done outside the US is in Taiwan, and is completely owned by UTG / Leapers. Their people make it and inspect it. And above all else, I’ve found these products to be quality made, and at a substantial savings. (My police department even uses their gear on our issued rifles, and has been very pleased.)
I spoke to David Ding, the owner, and he gave me his “why” as to why he became interested in the business of making firearms accessories. Ding was the station chief for the police in Taipei from 1978-1984, where he fought organized crime, and learned the importance of tactics and good equipment. He moved to the US in the mid 1980’s with his wife, and began “tinkering” in his garage. While he didn’t know much about gun accessories and how to make them, he soon learned as he built up manufacturing, first in Taiwan, now in Michigan. While his products were initially for the civilian market, they now branch into law enforcement and military markets as well.
One thing that David Ding seems to get, and he said it himself, is that, hunting and shooting sports are a positive thing here in America, and should be appreciated.
What also got my attention was how the group looks at product development, it is highly end-user driven, with countless modifications made at the customers’ input to improve their products.
So, what is UTG Leapers bringing to SHOT this year, well it was a lot more than I can put in one small article, but I’ll try.
The first thing they noted, was that new for this year, many of the scopes are equipped with a 36-color scheme illuminated reticle. Tom Zhu, of UTG said this was developed to better adapt to those who may have difficulty seeing certain colors in the reticle, allowing them to switch through the colors until they find one that sticks out for them. This is standard on a number of their new scopes for this year.
One of their new scopes, the Accushot Tactical Series is an ideal setup of an AR or similar style rifle. This 30 mm tube scope has an illuminated reticle in either red or green, and has either a circle-dot or mil-dot reticle. What’s more, if the battery dies, the reticle is still visible as black. The scope has a 1-4 power, or a fixed 4 power setting. These scopes are parallax preset for 100 yards, have an extended eye relief of 5 inches, and come with mounts included. The MSRP for these is just under $115.
UTG Leapers also has a large line of red dot scopes able to fit any need. These SWATFORCE Dot Sights are compact and range in size from2.6 inches long, to a 6.4 inch tube. All come with an illuminated red and green dot without magnification. They all come with mounts included, and all are magnifier compatible. (Leapers also sells a separate 3x magnifier that can go with the optics.)
While everyone is making a weapon mounted light, I found Leapers was doing so as well. Their new ELP123 uses an LED light that puts out 120 lumens. The light was nice, but will not likely fit any current holsters as it is due to the light affixing with a cam lever on the side. The light was bright enough to light up a dark hallway, and would serve well as home defense gun light.
Another new item is a new twist on the weapon mounted laser. Many times, the small dot of red light put out by a laser is hard for the shooter to see. UTG Leapers decided to address this by their new expanded laser dot of their Buckshot Laser, which makes the laser light that’s being projected expand, so at 10 yards it’s 2 inches, and easily picked up. For hunters in the brush, it expands to 5 inches at 30 yards, or 8 inches at 50 yards.
One added note, all of UTG’s AR mounting rails as well a good portion of the other rail systems are being made in the US, and are proudly marked as such. These mounting systems are excellent quality, very sturdy, and well made. In fact, all of their products I saw at SHOT were quality, looked very durable, and are sold at a great price point.