Now that summer is here, yard work is under control and all those graduation open house food fests are done. It’s time to look over your varmint/target/hunting rig and decide if an optic up date is in order. Manufacturing improvements are providing better more affordable glass for the shooting public along with some features that would otherwise only be available on high end glass.
30mm main tubes are all the rage today with some even providing 34mm -40mm main tubes (Burris & Valdada). One myth about main tube diameter is the ability to allow more light for dusk /dawn applications, the ability to allow more light in is the function of the objective lens ( forward end of scope) one example would be a 50mm bell. The above photo shows a 50mm bell (top scope), 44mm bell (bottom scope) and a 28mm CQB bell (middle short scope), all will do a good job for there intended purpose with the 50mm getting the nod for allowing the most light in. I personally go with 50mm bells and 30mm main tubes as they are bright enough for those dark gray Michigan days and early evening shooting.
Other nice features would be side paralux adjustment knobs (only really needed above 10X). Leatherwood Hi-Lux has a unique 45 degree angle paralux knob however the new PentaLux sports a left hand side knob (Industry typical). While we are talking adjustment knobs do you remember the “Burris Posi-Loc” ? before Burris marketed that feature the bench rest community used a “Tucker conversion reticule lock” the purpose is to provide added erector tube support to stabilize the zero position of click adjustments (making the scope more repeatable for consistent shot placement). These tension buttons are typicaly located on the bottom left side of the turrent housing, you can see the one I made and installed on the BSA 36X target scope and yes it works fantastic!
The 30mm main tube allows more elevation and windage adjustment than a 1″ main tube would, this will come in handy when you are cranking thru clicks to make that long shot elevation adjustment. Re-settable zero adjustments are a nice feature (most scopes have this) but what you need to look for is a zero stop feature, this will allow you to set your desired zero and after a days shooting and clicking thru turrent adjustments you can simply turn all the way down to the stop and you are at your preset zero.
Reticule choices are abundant so look thru several models to decide what works best for you, weather it be a fine cross hair dot for pin point shots at that pesky crow or a Mil dot system used for hold off points. Most are glass etched and illumination features are common, first focal plane scopes will magnify the target and reticule image at the same rate allowing for Mil dot adjustments at any power. Second focal plane scopes will grow the target in relationship to the reticule staying the same, this set up needs to be at 10x for Mil dot estimation so make your adjustment and crank up the magnification.
Turrent click need to be tight and crisp, try out some different models and you will feel the difference! mushy and sloppy are not conductive to accurate point of impact movement. Hunting set up rigs most likely are zeroed and left alone so clicking thru 30 minutes of angle will not be an issue there, once again what’s your intended use will determine the optic you need.
One last thing I will mention is to keep the lens covers closed when not using the scope in bright sunlight. As light enters thru the lens it magnifies the internal heat inside the scope this will dry out the seals and flake the interior coating. Just like when you burnt that ant on the sidewalk with a magnifying glass when you were in elementary school….Ok so maybe it was just me that did that
Get out to the range and burn some powder while testing out your new optics, shoot the box to check clicks, and check for impact shift while dialing magnification.
Until next month spend some time behind that trigger. Right on Dead on All the Time