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Old 05-05-2017, 01:16 PM
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Rastoff Rastoff is offline
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Default Learning more about glass...

I just took a precision rifle class. No one in their right mind would ever use an M&P15 for this class, but what I've learned about scopes and how they're used could be helpful here.

Why spend more than $100 on a scope?
In the past it was about clarity and quality of the glass. Well, technology moves forward and even the low end companies are making really clear, distortion free, glass. Then it was about durability. That too has become more of a standard. For most of us, even the $200 scope will be plenty durable. Now the difference is more about the quality and precision of the build.

The lower dollar scopes are difficult to adjust and not often repeatable. The best way to say it is the adjustments feel squishy. When you try to adjust your zero, the "clicks" are not very positive. Then, if you move one way too far and have to move back, one click is not always one click. Sometimes it's more and sometimes it's less. This will send anyone into a frustration spiral. The technical term for this is called tracking. If your scope won't track, toss it and get another.

If you're only ever going to set the zero once and never adjust the turrets again, this is probably not an issue for you. However, if you're going to hit anything with precision beyond 200 yards, your scope better track.


Why should I have variable power?
I had reached a point where I didn't see the value in variable power. I mean, you only ever use it at the max power anyway, right? Well, I've learned a valuable lesson on this score; field of view.

Take a look at this picture:


The arrow is pointing to the 18"x18" target where Justin is aiming. You can't see it, but trust me, it's there. Of course it's 1,200 yards away (just shy of 3/4 mile). During this exercise we not only had to shoot these targets, we had to find them. Look a little closer in and you'll see the letters L, J, I and M. If you were using a 24x scope, it would be very difficult to even find these targets. Being able to dial the magnification back to 10x or even 3x makes them much easier to find. Once found, dial it up to max and take the precision shot. Target M is only 325 yards out and could easily be hit with an M&P15 with a 4x or 6x scope.

If you were trying to find a target that was closer than 200 yards and all you had was a fixed 6x scope, it could be challenging. Dial that back to 1x and it's much easier to acquire the target.

Another reason for a variable scope is dealing with mirage. However, that isn't as much of an issue until you get out to 400 yards or so.
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:04 PM
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Only rifle I have a scope on is my Remington 700. Put on a Nikon Prostaff 5 4.5-18x40 SF FFP I picked up at Cabela's one day for $230. My one and only complaint is that it is not mil-dot, but I have learned how to use the BDC with the Nikon app
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:14 AM
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Tell us a little more on the course you took. Thanks
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:39 AM
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Roaming the Laurel Highlands of Penn's Woods.......long range shooting is far from the norm.......between the rolling countryside and thick timber and undergrowth .....99% of any shot presented is inside 200yds with most less than 100 ..... a good Leupold 1x4 or 1x5 scope is IMHO a must......................

1X for the woods and walking around........ 4/5X for the 100-200 yd shot at a smaller varmint. 2-3X don't get used a lot but are nice for shots inside 75.

Field of view and crosshairs that don't get lost in the twigs!!!
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Old 05-06-2017, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vonn View Post
Tell us a little more on the course you took. Thanks
OK, really not a course you can shoot with a .223/5.56 round though.

The class is a precision rifle course. It has ten distances; 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 550, 600, 650, 700 and 750 yards. From 100-300 yards, the target is a 3"x5" box simulating the cranial ocular cavity in a head. From 400-750 the target is approximately a 12" sideways D that simulates the thoracic cavity of an average person.

It's a 4 day class. The first three are filled with verifying your gear and learning the basics of shooting precision long distance. The morning of day four there is a test. One shot at each distance. It's very difficult. I had 9 shots on paper, but only 3 inside the intended locations.

In the afternoon we shot where the picture was taken. There are 10 targets (couldn't see three from where we were). We had to find the targets, calculate the range and then shoot them. Some were really hard just to find. The instructor put out an additional target that was camouflaged. We found it, but it was 1,400 yards and neither my friend nor I were able to hit it.


This class was simple, but humbling. If you think you can shoot long distance, this would really test you. Shooting at these distances is as much art as it is science. The wind is very difficult to judge and you need to be intimately familiar with your equipment. It can be done with a $400 scope, but you would want something better.
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