June 12th, 2019

Scope Smarts — Five Videos That Explain Optics Topics

Optics rifle scope sight-in video parallax scope mounting

Rifle accuracy is pointless unless you can see your target and aim precisely. That’s why good optics are so important for precision shooting — from 50 yards out to a mile and beyond. Today’s premium scopes can be very expensive — you’ll see optics costing $3000 or more on many competition F-Class and PRS rifles. This article covers important “Riflescope Knowledge”, including how to adjust for parallax, and how to properly sight-in your scoped rifle. In addition there’s a helpful video defining Minute of Angle (MOA) plus two videos showing how to mount scopes.

Rifle Sight-In Process — Start to Finish

Here Ryan Cleckner shares his process for sighting in a scoped rifle. This helpful video covers the full process: bore-sighting, 25-yard shot confirmation, shooting groups, making adjustments at 100 yards, and finding mechanical zero. Looking for more valuable rifle instruction? Then check out Ryan Cleckner’s book, Long Range Shooting Handbook.

How to Adjust for Parallax

Most precision rifle scopes have parallax adjustment, but what is it and why do you need to adjust it? In this Shooting USA video, John Paul of JP Rifles defines parallax and explains why you need to set parallax correctly for the distance to your target. The video then show how to adjust parallax correctly. a process which should start with the scope’s ocular focus.

Understanding Minute of Angle (MOA)


MOA scope milradian minutes angle ryan cleckner

In this video, Ryan Cleckner explains the measurement term “minute of angle” (MOA) and how to use MOA adjustments on your scope to compensate for bullet drop at varying distances. MOA is an angular measurement, used often in long range shooting, that is 1/60th of one degree of a circle. One MOA represents 1.047″ at 100 yards and 10.47″ at 1000 yards. Want to learn more? Read Ryan Cleckner’s article Understand and Using Minute of Angle.

How to Mount a Riflescope

When mounting a scope you want to use quality rings, and ensure that the scope is leveled properly. In addition, you need to adjust the fore/aft position of the scope so that eye relief is correct. Ideal scope position may be different when shooting from the bench vs. shooting prone. In this Shooting USA video John Paul of JP Rifles reviews scope mounting basics.

Scope Mounting on a PRS Precision Rifle

Optics rifle scope sight-in video parallax scope mounting

Here the MasterPiece Arms (MPA) Academy experts show how to mount a scope on a PRS-type tactical rifle. Special considerations for tactical shooters are discussed. The video also shows recommended tools for scope mounting operations.

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June 12th, 2019

Powder Spotlight — Reloder 15 and Norma 203B

norma 203B Reloder 15 berger load manual

In response to a Bulletin story about Norma powders at Midsouth Shooters Supply, one of our Forum members asked: “I’m having trouble finding Reloder 15 for my 6.5×47 Lapua — should I consider running Norma 203B instead?” As we’ve explained before, these two powders, both made by Bofors in Europe, are very, very similar. Here are some hard numbers that should demonstrate how virtually identical these powders really are.

Target Shooter Magazine writer Laurie Holland compared Norma 203B and Reloder 15 using data from QuickLOAD. Laurie also checked load manuals to see how listed charge weights varied for the two propellants. Laurie concluded there was very little difference between Norma 203B and Reloder 15.

Laurie Holland RatonNorma 203B vs. Alliant Reloder 15
Commentary by Laurie Holland

Running [203B and RL15] through QuickLOAD doing a ‘charge table’ run for a 130gn Berger VLD at 2.700 COAL in 6.5X47 Lapua, gives very similar positions in the table [for both powders]. The charge required to achieve 62,000 psi estimated pressure varies by a mere 0.2 grains between the pair, Norma 203B being the heavier of the two. The estimated Muzzle Velocity (MV) also varies by a mere 2 fps, RL15 estimated to produce 2,946 fps MV compared to 2,944 fps for N203B at 62,000 psi (with the parameters I used).

If they aren’t the same thing, they’re so close as to make no difference and as Forum Boss points out, they’re made by the same people (Bofors) in the same plant.

[The Berger Reloading Manual includes data for both powders] for the .308 Winchester and heavier bullets (185 to 230 grains). Maximum charges and claimed MVs are not always identical, but are so close as to be marginally different production lots of the same thing, or maybe the result of minor testing variations.

.308 Win Max Charge Weights in Grains (RL15 / N203B) (Berger Manual)

norma 203B Reloder 15 berger load manual

MVs [for the four bullet types] are close but not identical, the largest difference being for the 210s which shows RL15 producing 2,428 fps MV v 2,383 for Norma 203B.

Norma 203B Chemistry
According to the Norma Reloading Handbook #1, Norma 203B has the following composition:

85% Nitrocellulose
7.5% Nitroglycerin
2.0% surface coating
4.6% Various chemicals
0.9% Water

3,957 J/g specific energy
890 g/l specific density

For comparison, the 7.5% NG component compares to 15% in Viht N500 series powders and 10% in Ramshot TAC / Big Game / Hunter.

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June 12th, 2019

New from Nikon — Reticle Eyepieces for Spotting Scopes

Spotting scope reticle Nikon Monarch Fieldscope MOA MRAD MEP-30

This is big news for anyone who spots for a fellow shooter. Nikon has introduced new RETICLE EYEPIECES for spotting scopes. Having a reticle eyepiece with precise hashmarks allows the spotter to make wind calls, recommend hold-offs, and give precise click recommendations for follow-up shots. On Nikon’s new eyepieces, integral FS-MRAD or FS-MOA glass-etched reticles include precise milling scales for highly detailed measurements of targets. Nikon’s new MEP-30 Reticle Eyepieces, priced at $449.95 each, provide 30X magnification on 82mm spotting scope bodies and 24X on 60mm bodies.

MRAD and MOA Reticle Eyepieces Fit Straight or Angled Body
For its flagship Monarch Fieldscopes, Nikon offers the new MEP-30 Reticle Eyepieces, with either MRAD or MOA reticles, priced at $449.95. Both reticle types allow a person spotting to locate/focus on the same target as his counterpart to communicate reference points and follow-up corrections. For example, someone watching shot impact could immediately report: “You’re hitting 2 MOA low — add 8 clicks elevation.” (E.g. for a scope with 1/4-MOA clicks).

Spotting scope reticle Nikon Monarch Fieldscope MOA MRAD MEP-30

Current Monarch Fieldscope owners can fit either eyepiece to a straight or angled 82mm or 60mm body. Nikon also sells Monarch Fieldscope 82 ED-A spotting scopes complete with either MEP-30 FS-MRAD or MEP-30 FS-MOA reticle. This spotter body + eyepiece package runs about $1700.00. LINKS: Fieldscope 82 with FS-MOA Reticle; Fieldscope 82 with FS-MRAD Reticle.

About the MEP-30 Eyepieces
Nikon states: “The Field Flattener Lens System in the new MEP-30 eyepieces provide exceptional edge-to-edge clarity, resolution, life-like color and contrast. The new eyepieces feature a type-1 bayonet mount for simple and secure attachment to the MONARCH Fieldscope body. Like the Fieldscope body, the eyepieces are waterproof and fogproof (when attached to the body).”

Spotting scope reticle Nikon Monarch Fieldscope MOA MRAD MEP-30

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