A Toy Made Serious

How do you attach a telescopic sight to a rifle?  You have to firmly (firmly!) clamp it on to the weapon.

browning scope rings

rifle scope on a 10-22

After tightening it down, you then have to carefully adjust the scope until the bullet strikes where the crosshairs meet.


The reason why I emphasized how tightly the scope has to be clamped down is because it is a precision instrument.  Any movement of the scope, any slight misalignment of the rings or the sight itself, and the bullet will no longer strike where you expect it.

Red dot sights are very similar.  First the sight has to be firmly attached to the weapon.

red dot scope

red dot scope on picatinny rail

After the attaching comes the adjusting, just like with something that uses crosshairs.  People generally use red dot sights for more up close and personal situations, so they tend to use a bit less finesse when they sight it in.  But, even so, just slapping it on the gun and then trying to use it is a recipe for failure.  If you don’t make sure it is set up correctly, the bullet won’t land where you want.

red dot image

A company has been sending me unsolicited emails the past few weeks, announcing that they are accepting pre-orders for a new firearm accessory.  Called an Inteliscope, it seems to be nothing more than a mount so you can attach your smart phone to a rifle.

intelliscope mounted to ar style rifle

An app for the phone will activate the camera, and paint a very large red circle on the screen.

intelliscope with cell phone in mount

The idea is that the bullet will strike somewhere inside of that huge red circle.  Maybe.  If you are lucky.  I suppose.

When you are done shooting, the phone is easily removed so that it can be employed for the purpose for which it was originally designed.

The manufacturer claims that the mount was originally used to train police, which I find a bit odd.  (Impart and hone useful skills how, exactly?)  They also claim that the mount-and-phone makes an ideal toy, which is certainly something I can get behind.  Besides using a mount such as this to record paintball exploits for replay later, this YouTube video details how the device is useful when attached to extremely large toy guns that shoot foam darts.

But something that would actually be useful in a defensive situation?  Because, after all, the makers of this cell phone mount seem to be making that very claim.

I wracked my brains for several days.  It seems obvious that it would in no way be a help in defending lives, if for no other reason that the margin of accuracy error represented by that huge red circle would make the thing worthless.  But then a memory slowly slurped its way up from the fetid and dark recesses of my mind.

Decades ago, I was browsing through the late night cable offerings in order to relieve my boredom.  A snippet of a horror film caught my attention for a few seconds.

A young man, chased by an unstoppable machete-wielding zombie, breaks his eyeglasses.

071111 ep GLASSES 1 LIFE.jpg

So near sighted as to be virtually blind, the young man manages to gain a few extra minutes of life by picking up a video camera.  He peers through the electronic viewfinder, and uses the focusing buttons to sharpen up the image enough to see clearly.

So that is the sole serious and practical role that I can imagine for this phone mount.  If someone is extremely myopic, and cannot see very far past the end of their nose, then using this device will at least be able to use their defensive carbine in the case of a home invasion.

Yeah, I know.  It is an extreme stretch.  Why not simply keep a pair of eyeglasses on the nightstand, and slip them on before reaching for their favorite home defense firearm?  But it is the only thing I can think of.

If the makers of this product find my opinion of how worthless it is to be offensive, the only thing I can say is that I would have never heard of it if they had not seen fit to send along emails to my personal account.

6 thoughts on “A Toy Made Serious

  1. Wow.

    I think my favorite part is the “Adjust for windage!” (dart strikes four inches to the right of the reticle), “Chose your favorite reticle!” (dart strikes four inches to the right of reticle), “Something something tactical!” (dart strikes four inches to the right of the POA).


    About the only value to this is recording your nerf attack on unsuspecting office co-workers, of course the recording may serve as the basis for some sort of HR chat, but hey.

  2. I can’t imagine that anyone would leave their phone attached to their gun routinely, and in an emergency situation I can’t imagine anyone taking the time to mount their phone on the gun.

  3. Will it attach firmly enough to keep the phone in place? And not jiggle, or come loose/off? Really?

    And if the phone dies, how quickly can you detach it and regain a light picture? Kinda looks like the view down the barrel would still be obscured.

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