April 16th, 2014
In the above video, a spokesman for Horus Vision explains how and why scopes can experience zero shift. First, just cleaning the gun can cause a small shift in point of impact. Second, when you re-tighten rings and ring bases, this can cause a change in zero. Horus recommends that you use a torque wrench to confirm that you maintain the same torque settings each time. The same goes for action screw tension — tensioning your action screws can shift the point of impact.
Other factors that can cause a change in zero:
Dramatic ranges of temperature will change your zero, because the air density affects the velocity of the bullet. With increased temperature, there may be a higher velocity (depending on your powder).
Gun Handling and Body Position
You rifle’s point of impact will be affected by the way you hold the gun. A “hard hold” with firm grip and heavy cheek weld can give you a different POI than if you lightly address the gun. Even when shooting a benchrest gun, the amount of shoulder you put into the rifle can affect where it prints on paper.
Type of Rifle Support — Bench vs. Field
Whenever you change the type of rifle support you use, the point of impact can shift slightly. Moving from a bipod to a pedestal rest can cause a change. Similar, if you switch from a mechanical rest to sandbags, the gun can perform differently. That’s why, before a hunt, you should zero the gun with a set-up similar to what you would actually use in the field — such as a rucksack or shooting sticks.
Transportation of Firearms
Even if you don’t mishandle your weapon, it is possible that a shift of zero could occur during transport. We’ve seen zero settings change when a tight plastic gun case put a side load on the turrets. And in the field, if the turret knobs are not covered, they can rub against clothing, gear, storage bags, scabbard, etc. If the knobs turn, it will definitely move your reticle slightly and cause your point of impact to be off.
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April 15th, 2014
If you’ve been considering the new Nightforce SHV scope for a hunting application, head over to LongRangeHunting.com. There you’ll find an in-depth field test of the 4-14x56mm SHV by Nicholas Gebhart. This is a very thorough review — Gebhardt checks every feature of the scope and comparison tests the SHV against the more costly Nightforce NXS 3.5-15x50mm. Gebhardt even put the SHV scope in his freezer for a weekend to ensure there was no fogging.
CLICK HERE for Product Specs and/or to Pre-Order Nightforce NXS.
Overall, Gebhardt was very pleased with the SHV: “Optical clarity, image brightness, contrast and resolution were all extremely good.” The tester also liked the MOAR reticle in his scope. He didn’t think it was too “busy” though he thought the hold-over lines would benefit from numbers: “Nightforce’s MOAR was easy to use and provided a clear sight picture for engaging small targets. The line thickness is perfect for both precise shot placement and visibility. My personal preference however would be for the even hash marks to be numbered for the entire lower portion of the reticle.” Gebhart noted that the SHV’s side parallax knob had yardage marking numbers that proved accurate (and handy to use) — most other scopes just have lines.
Nightforce SHV vs. Nighforce NXS
How did the new SHV stack up against the NXS in a side-by-side comparison? Gebhardt was impressed with the $995.00 SHV, saying it held its own with the pricier NXS model: “I took about 30 minutes to evaluate the optics of the SHV and see how it compared to an older Nightforce NXS 3.5-15X50. Both of these scopes are made in Japan but given the price differential, I expected to see some difference in the optical quality. To my surprise, I couldn’t find any optical difference between the two except for a very slight possibility of a brighter image with the SHV.”
CLICK HERE to Read Full Nightforce SHV Scope Review.
Nicholas Gebhardt has been an active hunter primarily pursuing mule deer, antelope, coyotes and prairie dogs since he was old enough to legally hunt. Nicholas is also a precision rifle competitor and a Captain in the Montana National Guard.
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March 19th, 2014
Nikon’s Rock Your Rimfire promotion is back. Now through May 11, 2014, shooters can save up to $40 on select models of Nikon’s rimfire-dedicated riflescopes. These models are all compatible with Nikon’s Spot On Custom Turrets. “Year after year our Rock Your Rimfire promotion continues to be a favorite,” said Nikon General Manager Jon Allen. “We hope shooters will take advantage of these savings with one of our rimfire-specific optics.” For more info, visit nikonpromo.com.
||Price After Savings
|6718 4×32 PROSTAFF Rimfire Nikoplex
|6725 3-9×40 PROSTAFF Rimfire BDC 150
|6734 3-9×40 AO PROSTAFF Target EFR
|8498 2-7×32 P22 Nikoplex
|8499 2-7×32 P22 BDC 150
|16313 2-7×32 P-Rimfire Nikoplex
|16314 2-7×32 P-Rimfire BDC 150
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January 29th, 2014
Now through March 12, 2014, you can save big bucks on Nikon optics products. Nikon’s Long Range Precision Promotion offers up to $200 Instant Savings on eligible long-range riflescopes, rangefinders, binoculars, fieldscopes and mounts.
This Instant Savings promotion runs from January 20 through March 12, 2014. The Long Range Precision Promotion covers 49 different Nikon products. Here are some of the deals to be had:
|$100 off select M-223 riflescopes
$100 off M-308 riflescopes
Up to $100 off select MONARCH 3 riflescopes
Up to $100 off select PROSTAFF 5 riflecopes
Up to $50 off select PROSTAFF riflescopes
|Up to $120 off PROSTAFF 5 Fieldscopes and Outfits
$80 off the PROSTAFF 3 Fieldscope Outfit
$100 off a MONARCH 1200 Rangefinder
$70 off a RifleHunter 1000 Rangefinder
$200 off select MONARCH 5 56mm binoculars
For a complete listing of Long Range Precision Instant Savings eligible products, (with terms and conditions) visit NikonPromo.com. Here is a partial sample of some of the riflescopes on sale:
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January 19th, 2014
Need a comp scope with serious magnification, but have a limited budget? Then check out the new XTR II 8-40x50mm from Burris. Priced at $1199.00 (MSRP), this new scope offers 40X max magnification, and a lifetime, bumper-to-bumper warranty. The scope weighs 31.4 ounces, has 1/8th-MOA clicks, and 10 MOA per turret revolution. With a 34mm main tube, the scope delivers 70 MOA of elevation adjustment and 30 MOA of windage adjustment. New this year, this FFP scope should be available by the end of March 2014. Learn more in the video preview below:
Learn about Features of 8-40x50mm Burris XTR 11:
Innovative F-Class MOA Reticle with Multiple Center Dots
Burris offers this First Focal Plane (FFP) scope with an F-Class MOA Reticle, the only reticle of its kind to feature multiple illuminated center dots (on the vertical line), the Front Focal Plane reticle keeps the 1/2 MOA grid design constant (relative to target) at any magnification. A second 20 MOA offset 1/2 MOA grid allow shooters to obtain an extra 20 MOA of elevation beyond the capability of the turret adjustments and still have horizontal wind hold-off references. At each 10 MOA section you’ll find an ultra-fine crosshair with 1/8 MOA illuminated dot for maximum versatility.
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December 27th, 2013
Nightforce Optics has introduced a new medium-magnification, second-focal plane scope for hunters and tactical shooters. Described as “the most affordable Nightforce riflescope [offered] to date”, the all-new 4-14x56mm SHV will sell for $995.00 (non-illuminated model) or $1195.00 with an illuminated reticle. The “SHV” stands for ShooterHunterVarminter™, reflecting this scope’s versatility — it can be used for a wide variety of applications. The SHV has plenty of travel for long-range use: 100 MOA of elevation adjustment and 70 MOA of horizontal (windage) travel. Two reticle options will initially be offered, the basic IHR (Int’l Hunting Reticle) with floating center cross-hair, and the popular MOAR reticle with 1-MOA vertical and horizontal hash marks.
The 4-14 SHV scope represents a new direction for Nightforce. The optics-maker kept the price under $1000.00 by “limiting some options, offering simpler controls, and using a less complex manufacturing process.” Nightforce said the goal with the SHV was to offer a scope priced “within the reach of a wider range of hunters and shooters who don’t need the ‘overbuilt’ characteristics of our NXS™ series, most of which were originally created to withstand actual combat conditions.”
The 4-14x56mm SHV weighs 26.8 oz. for the basic version, and 28.5 oz. for the illuminated model. Full specifications are listed below. CLICK HERE for 2014 Nightforce Catalog.
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December 22nd, 2013
A varmint shooter’s target is not conveniently placed at a fixed, known distance as it is for a benchrester. The varminter must repeatedly make corrections for bullet drop as he moves from closer targets to more distant targets and back again. Click HERE to read an interesting Varmint Forum discussion regarding the best method to adjust for elevation. Some shooters advocate using the scope’s elevation adjustments. Other varminters prefer to hold-over, perhaps with the assistance of vertical markers on their reticles. Still others combine both methods–holding off to a given yardage, then cranking elevation after that.
Majority View–Click Your Scope
“I zero at 100 yards — I mean really zero as in check the ballistics at 200 and 300 and adjust zero accordingly — and then set the scope zero. For each of my groundhog guns I have a click chart taped into the inside of the lid of the ammo box. Then use the knobs. That’s why they’re there. With a good scope they’re a whole lot more accurate than hold-over, with or without hash marks. This all assumes you have a good range finder and use it properly. If not, and you’re holding over you’re really just spraying and praying. Try twisting them knobs and you’ll most likely find that a 500- or 600- or 700-yard groundhog is a whole lot easier than some people think.”
“I have my elevation knob calibrated in 100-yard increments out to 550. Range-find the critter, move elevation knob up…dead critter. The problem with hold-over is that it is so imprecise. It’s not repeatable because you are holding over for elevation and for wind also. Every time you change targets 50 yards, it seems as if you are starting over. As soon as I got completely away from the hold over method (I used to zero for 200), my hit ratios went way up.” — K. Candler
“When I first started p-dog shooting, I attempted to use the hold-over method with a 200-yard zero with my 6mm Rem. Any dog much past 325-350 yards was fairly safe. I started using a comeups table for all three of my p-dog rifles (.223 Rems and 6mm Rem). 450-yard hits with the .223s are fairly routine and a 650-yard dog better beware of the 6mm nowadays. An added benefit (one I didn’t think of beforehand) with the comeups table (elevation only), is that when the wind is blowing, it takes half of the variables out of the equation. I can concentrate on wind, and not have to worry about elevation. It makes things much more simple.” — Mike (Linefinder).
“I dial for elevation and hold for wind. Also use a mil-dot reticle to make the windage holds easier. For windage corrections, I watch for the bullet strike measure the distance it was “off” with the mil-dot reticle, then hold that much more the other way. Very fast once you get used to it.” — PepeLP
Minority View–Hold-Over is Better
“I try to not touch my knobs once I’m zeroed at 200 meters. Most of my varmint scopes have duplex reticles and I use the bottom post to put me on at 300 meters versus turning knobs. The reason I try to leave my knobs alone is that I have gone one complete revolution up or down [too far] many times and have missed the varmint. This has happened more than once and that is why I try not to change my knobs if at all possible.” — Chino69
“I have been using the hold over method and it works for me most of the time but the 450 yards and over shots get kinda hard. I moved to a 300 yard zero this year and it’s working well. I do want to get into the click-up method though; it seems to be more fool-proof.” — 500YardHog
Compromise View–Use Both Methods
“I use both [methods] as well — hold over out to 250, and click up past that.” — Jack (Wolf)
“I use the target knobs and crank-in elevation. I also use a rangefinder and know how far away they are before I crank in the clicks. I have a scope with drop dots from Premier Recticle and like it. No cranking [knobs] out to 600.” –Vmthtr
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December 15th, 2013
Leupold has just introduced a new second focal plane reticle with MOA-based hashmarks, allowing precise hold-overs and hold-offs (for wind). The new TS-32X1 reticle, is a minute-of-angle (MOA) based system designed to allow for precision shots without the need for dial adjustments. The TS-32X1 reticle is designed to work with riflescopes that employ 1/4-MOA target adjustments or M1 dials.
The TS-32X1 is the first in a family of MOA-based reticles that will cover several magnification ranges. The TS-32X1 will be available for a wide variety of Leupold riflescopes. For $159.99, the Leupold Custom Shop can also retrofit this reticle into many existing Leupold scopes. Adding the TS-32X1 to a new riflescope ordered through the Custom Shop will cost $129.99.
MOA-Based Hashmarks on Horizontal and Vertical Stadia
On the TS-32X1 reticle, a heavy post and thin stadia crosshair features 1-MOA hashmarks on both the horizontal and vertical lines. Every other hash mark on the horizontal stadia is slightly longer, providing quick and easy 2-MOA measurements. There is a number placed every fourth MOA for quick reference.
The vertical stadia is also set up with 1-MOA tics and longer 2-MOA marks. In addition, every fourth mark is numbered, all the way to the complete 32-MOA elevation range. Wind dots in the lower half of the reticle are spaced in 2=MOA increments, both vertically and horizontally.
Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
This new TS-32X1 reticle is currently available for most second (rear) focal plane VX-3, VX-III, Vari-X III and Mark 4 4.5-14 LR/T riflescopes. Existing riflescopes can be retrofitted for $159.99 through the Leupold Custom Shop. To add the TS-32X1 to a new riflescope ordered through the Custom Shop is $129.99.
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November 2nd, 2013
Many folks struggle when they sight-in a scoped rifle for the first time. A very common mistake is clicking the turrets in the wrong direction. That’s frustrating and it wastes ammo. Another common problem occurs when people sight-in at a distance other than 100 yards. People sometimes struggle to figure out how many clicks they need to correct point of impact if they’re zeroing at 200, 250, or 300 yards.
To make the sight-in process more fool-proof, AccuScope has released two handy Apps for smart phone users. Whether used for initial sight-in or in-the-field adjustments, these smartphone Apps can get you zeroed quickly and reliably.
Using the Apps is easy. First, boresight the gun to get on paper. After the gun is fouled-in (so it is shooting normally) shoot a carefully aimed 3-shot group. Then go to the target and measure the vertical and horizontal distance from the 3-shot group center to your aiming point. Input those numbers into the App, along with your sight-in distance (from muzzle to target). The App then calculates exactly how many elevation and/or windage clicks you must crank into your scope to move point-of-impact to point of aim. Put in the specified clicks and then take a fourth shot to confirm your zero. The fourth shot should impact right on your point of aim (within the limits of the gun’s inherent accuracy.)
Given Murphy’s Law, a shooter can still mess things up if he inputs left clicks when the App calls for right clicks, or inputs down clicks when he needs up clicks. But as long as you look at the “R/L” and “Up/Down” labels on your turrets before spinning the knobs, you shouldn’t have any problems.
AccuScope is available in two versions, Standard and Premium. The $4.99 Standard version works for 1/4 MOA-click-value scopes. The $9.99 Premium version works with all scopes and any click values. The Premium version works with 1/8 MOA clicks, 1/4 MOA clicks, Metric clicks, or Milrad segment click values. So, if you have a scope with 1/8 MOA clicks, you’ll need the Premium version.
AccuScope iPhone Apps are available through Apple’s App Store: Standard | Premium
AccuScope Android Apps are available through the AppBrain Store: Standard and Premium
Product Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Editor’s Comment: Does this App really provide a solution you can’t figure out yourself with simple arithmetic? No, but some math-challenged guys may find that the App prevents errors. Additionally, following the step-by-step process used by the App will probably help some shooters avoid confusion, and avoid wasting ammo clicking in the wrong directions.
Note however, that there is an even simpler way to zero, if you have a very solid front and rear rest that will hold the gun absolutely steady while you click. After bore-sighting, fire a couple rounds (with the same point of aim). Then place the rifle so the center of the cross-hairs is exactly on your original point of aim. Next, without disturbing the gun in any way, dial your turrets so that the center of the cross-hair moves over the center of your group. That’s it. You’re now zeroed (though you may want to repeat the process for confirmation). Again, this only works if the gun doesn’t shift one bit when you’re clicking. Having a helper steady the gun as you click the turrets will make this “no-math” method work more effectively.
Click-to-Initial POI Zeroing Method Demonstrated
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October 18th, 2013
Based on its external appearance, a modern riflescope may seem simple. It’s just a tube with two or three knobs on the outside right? Well, looks can be deceiving. Modern variable focal-length optics are complex systems with lots of internal parts. Modern scopes, even ‘budget’ optics, use multiple lens elements to allow variable magnification levels and parallax adjustment. We had a chance to look inside a riflescope thanks to a product display from ATK, parent of Alliant Powder, CCI, Federal, RCBS, Speer, Weaver Optics. ATK sliced open a Weaver Super Slam scope so you can see the internal lens elements plus the elevation and windage controls. We thought readers would like to see the “inner workings” of a typical modern rifle scope, so we snapped some pictures. The sectioned Super Slam scope was mounted inside a Plexiglas case, making it a bit hard to get super-sharp images, but you can still see the multiple lenses and the complex windage and elevation controls.
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October 7th, 2013
Here’s a new scope that may be well-suited for short-range varmint hunting (for smaller critters) and for rimfire tactical matches. Bushnell has released a new, affordable 2-7x32mm variable rifle scope with a Bullet Drop Compensating (BDC) reticle configured for the .22 LR rimfire cartridge. Anyone who has shot the .22 LR past 50 yards knows that this round drops a lot in a short distance. The “Drop Zone” BDC reticle, with multiple aiming points out to 125 yards, helps you stay on target. The reticle is calibrated for 38-40 grain, .22 LR high-velocity loads, with a 50-yard zero. This new scope, part of Bushnell’s AR line of scopes, features a 1″ main tube, target-style turrets, and side-focus parallax adjustment. MSRP is $149.99, but web vendors have lower prices. Amazon.com sells the scope for $131.23 with free shipping for Prime Members.
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October 6th, 2013
Carl Zeiss Sports Optics is extending its ZEISS/Kenton Industries Custom Turret Promotion through December 31, 2013. Through this special offer, when you purchase a new CONQUEST HD5 Riflescope, you get one of two Kenton Custom Turrets calibrated for your specific load — either a LR Hunter Turret or Speed Dial Turret. Eligible scope models are the Zeiss CONQUEST HD5 3-15×42 #20 reticle with Lockable Target Turret, and the CONQUEST HD5 5-25×50 #20 reticle with Lockable Target Turret. The retail value for the free custom elevation turret is $125.00
Mike Jensen, President of Carl Zeiss Sports Optics USA explains how the system works:
“With our custom turret system, [just] set the dial to the number 4 for 400 yards and you’re done. No complicated math, and no color codes to compensate for the bullet drop. The numbered markings on the custom turret by Kenton Industries are easy to read and intuitive. Add the available ‘no-hold-over’ PLEX reticle with the Kenton custom target turret and you have an extremely accurate and very robust long-range shooting setup.”
To receive a free ZEISS/Kenton Custom Ballistic Turret, the qualifying CONQUEST HD5 Riflescopes must be purchased from an authorized ZEISS dealer before December 31, 2013. Offer details and order forms can be found at Kentonindustries.com or at www.zeiss.com/sports. The order form requires ballistic info such as cartridge, ammunition type, bullet weight, and zero range. The custom turret will be shipped within 2-3 weeks. This offer is valid for U.S. customers only.
For more information on ZEISS products visit www.zeiss.com/sports or the Zeiss Facebook Page.
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