An excerpt from "Squaring Away the Bench: It Was About Time" by John Markwell
In discussing this project with John Anderson, TVHM editor, he offered and sent to me the RangeMate High Stability Optics Mount that he had received for evaluation. Manufactured by GaugeMate, this nifty item clamps to the bench top and has a swivel head which fits the screw recess commonly found on most spotting scopes and cameras. I had been using a small economy tripod to hold my old Leupold compact 20x spotter for a long time but was never quite satisfied with the setup. The RangeMate, when clamped directly to the bench top (much like a C-clamp), is very stable and supports the spotting scope with no vibration whatsoever. It's easy to adjust the height of the spotting scope (which is done only once if the mount is left in place) and get on target. When locked in place the scope stays put (no "sagging" off target). All the metal parts of this handy unit are either powder coated, anodized, or chrome plated and should prove to be pretty corrosion proof. The ad I found for this unit states that it "... is better than a tripod." When using the RangeMate as I intend to use it, permanently mounted to my shooting bench, the "better than a tripod" claim just may be an understatement. Having now used the RangeMate fairly extensively, the final verdict on the RangeMate is in, and it has replaced the tripod for use on our bench. Mounted on the left edge of the bench just off my left elbow, the RangeMate provides very steady support for my spotting scope. It makes spotting easy as I can just lean over to take a look at targets instead of having to move the spotter and tripod around everytime I needed to look downrange. The ball and socket base arrangement that threads into the spotting scope stays permanently attached and is removed from the vertical arm of the mount when the spotting scope is not being used. Reattachment is as simple as threading the optic attachment back onto the vertical shaft. The clamp/base and vertical stand remain permanently on the bench. I must acknowledge some initial skepticism upon receiving the RangeMate and, quite frankly, my first thought was, "What kind of gimmick is this?" Now, having put this unit to use for some time, I find i really do like the RangeMate Optics Mount.