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February 18th, 2018

The Varminters’ Great Debate — Hold-Over vs. Crank Elevation

varmint scope IOR elevation hold-over prairie dog accuracy

Leuopold Varmint Hunters' ReticleA 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 AccurateShooter Varrmint 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 Elevation Knob
“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.”
– Gunamonth

“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

Varmint Hunting ScopeMinority 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

Permalink - Articles, Hunting/Varminting, Optics 4 Comments »
May 6th, 2017

Optics Review: IOR Valdada 36x42mm Benchrest Scope

IOR Valdada Benchrest 36X 36x42mm optic scope James Mock

Note: In this review, James Mock talks about his experience with an IOR Valdada 36X fixed power scope. A newer, slightly-modified version of this optic is now available. The current IOR Valdada 36x42mm scope is just like the scope James reviews, except that the rear ocular lens is slightly smaller and the new version is about three ounces (3 oz.) lighter. All of Mock’s observations and comments otherwise apply to the current production model.

IOR Valdada 36x42mm Benchrest Riflescope

Review by James Mock
For the past eight years I have been using the IOR Valdada 36x42mm Benchrest scope on my 6mm Dasher/6PPC switch barrel rifle. It has performed flawlessly during this time. Perhaps this may be the best 600-yard fixed power scope in existence. With the 1 MOA reticle one can judge the distance from sighter to point of aim very accurately. With this knowledge, he/she can either adjust the reticle to the point of aim or may use the hash marks for a definite aiming point. The 1/8th-MOA adjustments are positive and repeatable. There is a provision to set a “zero” after adjustments.

The lens in this scope may be its outstanding feature. The glass comes from Schott Glass Werkes of Germany, and in my opinion it is as good as one can buy. Another great feature is the spring that is set against the erector tube (this is similar to the system used by the Nightforce BR model). The photo below shows the housing containing that spring.

IOR Valdada Benchrest 36X 36x42mm optic scope James Mock

Reticle Options — Fine Cross-Hair or MOA with Hash Marks
The IOR Valdada 36x42mm scope is offered with a fine cross-hair for those not wanting the MOA reticle. My choice is the MOA reticle with 1/8th-minute dot in the center.

Tested in Competition — This Scope’s a Winner
My first success using this scope was at the NBRSA Nationals at Desoto, Kansas in 2010. I won the 200-Yard Sporter Agg with a .1727. The scope performed flawlessly and I was lucky enough to pull the trigger at the right time. The following year I finished second behind Jeff Thompson III in the Sporter 200 at the NBRSA Nationals at Midland, Texas. Hall of Fame shooter Don Powell commented that my shooting had really improved since I switched to the Valdada. This scope is rock solid and it surely didn’t hurt my shooting.

IOR Valdada Benchrest 36X 36x42mm optic scope James Mock

I have not shot much short range Benchrest in the last few years, but I still use the Valdada in 300- and 600-Yard matches quite often. Its adjustments are crisp and accurate. The adjustments move the reticle 0.125 inches at 100 yards and therefore 0.75 inches at 600. Using the MOA reticle and the precise adjustments, one can determine the number of clicks needed by using the reticle to see how far off of the aiming point one is on the sighting gongs. If a person wants to “hold off” rather than adjust the scope, he/she can do so by using the hash marks for a definite aiming point.

Updates to IOR 36x42mm Scope — Slimmer and Trimmer
Since I got my IOR Valdada 36x42mm scope, there have been some changes made. My scope weighs about 25 ounces but the new one is about 3 ounces lighter. The folks at IOR (Valdada) got input from Bart Sauter and made the ocular (eyepiece) lens smaller and the scope lighter. Bart is now a distributor for Valdada and many in the Benchrest community are now using this fine scope. Billy Stevens won the Super Shoot and qualified for the World Team using the Valdada. If you are interested, please contact Val Leautu in Littleton, CO at 303-979-4578 or Bart Sauter at 270-879-4279.

Permalink Gear Review, Optics 1 Comment »
October 3rd, 2011

NEW IOR/Valdada 12-52x56mm 100-MOA Scope — $3695.00

It’s big (40mm tube, 48 ounces), it’s powerful (52X max magnification), and it’s wickedly expensive ($3,695.00 MSRP). The new IOR 12-52x56mm “Terminator” is designed to “raise the bar” among rifle optics — to be the new Gold Standard. Is the new fat-tube 12-52X IOR really as “bad-ass” as its “Terminator” name implies? Well it does have some impressive features, starting with 100 MOA of vertical elevation travel (25 MOA per revolution). It also boasts ultra-high-grade Schott HD glass, digital illumination with auto shut-off, optional interchangeable BDC rings, and a Fast-Focus eyepiece.

IOR Valdada Terminator Scope 12-52x56mm

But the real innovation is the Terminator’s proprietary Mid-Focus Parallax adjustment. Handier than old-fashioned front-adjusting objectives, this new mid-focus system dispenses with sometimes-troublesome side-focus knobs. Look at the photo below. You’ll see a wide ring about 3″ ahead of the turret housing. Rotate that to set the focus for your target distance — anything from 21.5 feet to infinity.

IOR Valdada Terminator Scope 12-52x56mm

1/4″ Clicks and Tiny Exit Pupil at Full Magnification
With 52-power magnification on tap, you’d think IOR might offer 1/8th MOA clicks, at least as an option. However, the click value is listed at “1/4 inch”. Apparently, the Terminator scope, as launched, has one reticle choice, a new design, the “MP-8 EXTREME MOA-X1″. Below is a photo of the reticle taken by dealer Citadel Gun & Safe which has Terminators in stock for $3599.00. The reticle has 1 MOA stadia (hash marks), alternating in line length (taller vs. shorter). We’re informed that the markings are 1 MOA at 26X, so they’d be 1/2 MOA at 52X. It also has four sets of hold-over lines (set in +5 MOA intervals), with 1 MOA stadia running out from center. This will let you hold-off for windage, while simultaneously holding-over for elevation correction. We think this reticle is too “busy”, but it may appeal to some folks. Frankly, we are surprised that the front objective is only 56mm. This means that the exit pupil will be a tiny 1.08mm at 52 power. That’s really quite marginal. A 50+ power scope should have a larger front objective. CLICK HERE for More Photos (scroll to bottom of linked page).

IOR Valdada Terminator Scope 12-52x56mm

Story Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, Optics 22 Comments »
July 30th, 2010

Optics: James Mock Tests New IOR Valdada 36X Benchrest Scope

IOR Valdada 36X ScopeValdada 36X Scope, First Report: Benchrest shooter and noted gun writer James Mock recently tested Valdada’s new 36X Benchrest scope on his PPC. Valdada scopes are made by IOR (Industry Optic Romania) in Bucharest, Romania. James was impressed with the scope — and it certainly didn’t hurt his performance any. With the Valdada on top of his PPC, James nailed a 0.150″ three-shot group at 200 yards during testing earlier this week. Below you’ll find Mock’s first impressions of the Valdada 36X, along with photos of the scope mounted on his rifle. James — Thanks for sharing this!

IOR Valdada 36X ScopeNEW Valdada 36X Benchrest Scope
by James Mock
Yesterday, I received one of Valdada’s new 36X BR scopes for testing. My initial tests proved that Valdada may have a winner. The scope has 7-layer coating on their German glass optics for a superb image. The 1/8th-minute clicks are positive and they repeat well. The reticle is a 1/8th MOA floating dot with 1 MOA hash marks for both windage and elevation. The scope has a very smooth worm gear parallax side adjustment that is marked in meters. Overall I am impressed with the initial testing. The suggested retail is around $1295.00, but I don’t know what the “street price” will be. Here are a couple pictures that show the scope mounted on My BAT-actioned rifle, currently fitted with a PPC barrel.

IOR Valdada 36X Scope

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Optics 1 Comment »