MeoPro 80 the MeoPro 80 HD Spotting Scope: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Meopta MeoPro HD 80
MeoPro 80 HD spotting scope from Meopta.

This report covers:

  • Sometimes you just have to pay the price
  • So what?
  • My tale of woe
  • Meopta
  • The scope
  • Not a fair test
  • My evaluation

Today’s report is about a piece of equipment that has been central to my entire shooting career, yet one that has troubled and eluded me the entire time — a spotting scope. In fact, I have written about this subject before, through few of you probably remember.

Years ago I told you how I paid more than retail (in a trade) to wrest a Burris spotting scope away from a friend, after seeing how clear and sharp it is. That scope might have been the pick of the litter (it probably was) — performing well beyond the Burris spec for their $250 scope, but what do I care? It’s clear and sharp and lets me see tiny .22-caliber bullet holes in a black bullseye at 100 yards on a sunny day. In short, it does the job — sort of.

read more


Generation 2 .25 caliber Benjamin Marauder: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin Marauder synthetic stock
Second-generation Benjamin Marauder in a synthetic stock.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

This report covers:

  • What we are testing today
  • Rifle is now adjusted perfectly
  • Removed the UTG folding stock adaptor
  • At the range
  • Changing pressure doesn’t change POI
  • More fun
  • Bottom line

We are looking at a .25-caliber gen 2 Benjamin Marauder with synthetic stock that I purchased specifically for this extended test. Dave Rensing of R. Arms Innovations send me a modular stock to test, and I attached a number of Leapers UTG parts to it. Read the earlier parts of this report to see what’s been done so far.

What we are testing today

Today we will look at accuracy with the rifle installed in the modular stock. You may recall what I’m about to say, but I will summarize for those who haven’t been following and don’t like to read the earlier parts of the report. I found the accuracy was only good in the RAI modular stock, but it was superior in the factory synthetic stock. I noticed a dense rubber pad in the synthetic stock and right away readers started talking about using dense material to bed rifle actions. But my discoveries did not end there.

read more


Aeon 8-32 AO scope with trajectory reticle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Aeon 8-32X50 scope
Aeon 8-32X50 AO scope with trajectory reticle.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The test
  • First group
  • Power increased
  • Gun refilled
  • Last group
  • Results — wait a minute!
  • Conclusion

Today is the second part of the 50-yard test on the Aeon 8-32 AO scope with trajectory reticle, where I change the power of the scope to see whether the point of impact (POI) changes. You may remember last time the results were somewhat vague. Today we will double the number of groups shot under the same conditions to see if changing the scope’s power changes the POI.

The test

The test was to shoot two 10-shot groups at 50 yards with the scope set on 32 power and two 10-shot groups with the scope set on 14 power. I filled the rifle to 3000 psi and shot off a rest with the scope set on 14 power. No scope adjustments were made during this test — either last time or this time. The pellets I used are the same JSB Exact Jumbo 15.89-grain domes that were used in the first test.

read more


2015 Texas airgun show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Setup
  • Big bore draws a crowd
  • The match
  • Texans galore!
  • What about the show?
  • Vortek and the Diana 34
  • More to come

Setup

The Texas airgun show is a one-day event. Everyone knows they have to get in quick, set up quick and get everything accomplished in one short day. The Parker County Sportsman Club that hosted the event provided dozens of volunteers to run the ranges, park cars, sell tickets, prepare and serve food and drinks, and generally help anyone who needed it. As a result, the event was set up and running smooth when the doors opened to the public at 9 am. But, unlike last year, there was no line at the door. The tickets were sold at a gate outside the compound because we had vendors in two different buildings this year. Even so I was surprised and a little disappointed when I didn’t see the immediate crush of people at 9.

read more


Clear talk about optics

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Cheap costs money
  • What to buy
  • Mixing ammo when sighting-in is always bad
  • Spotting scope
  • Back to riflescopes
  • One final thing about riflescopes

Tips:

Tip 1. Don’t buy the cheapest scope.
Tip 2. Don’t listen to the guys that have their own agendas. They’ll spend your money freely.
Tip 3. While a scope may improve your accuracy, a dot sight generally won’t. It is easier to see, though.
Tip 4. Find the best ammunition and stick with it.
Tip 5. Every telescope has a limit of power beyond which it is no longer clear.
Tip 6. Try before you buy — if possible.
Tip 7. Buy scopes from reputable dealers, only.

My brother-in-law, Bob, is a casual shooter who often comes to me for advice. I like working with him because his needs and questions are basic and they help keep me focused on the beginning shooter. But sometimes my answers miss the mark because I have assumed he knows something that he doesn’t. This recently came up in a lengthy discussion about optics.

read more


Back to the basics — Scope tips: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Use a bigger target
  • Don’t look through the sight when adjusting it!
  • Don’t go too far!
  • Don’t adjust on the basis of a single shot
  • Don’t change the reticle!
  • What have you learned?
  • Big bore match at the 2015 Texas airgun show
  • Coming tomorrow: Log-in to make a blog comment

I was at the range last week with my brother-in-law, Bob, who was visiting us for the Fourth of July. He brought his Colt AR-15 to get my help sighting-in, which I was glad to do. He has had a lot of problems sighting-in this rifle with optical sights, and I wanted to see what they were firsthand. Boy — am I glad I did! I think some of you will be, too, because this experience made today’s report.

Bob had already gone through several scopes on this rifle — never being satisfied with any of the results he got. This time, he had a dot sight mounted on the gun, and the mounts allowed him to also see the rifle’s standard peep sights. An AR-15 is hard to boresight (align the bore of the rifle with an optical sight) because you can’t see down the barrel. With a bolt rifle you can simply remove the bolt and look down the barrel while aligning the scope’s reticle. When the bullseye appears to be centered in the barrel at the same time the crosshairs are centered inside the bull, you’re boresighted. A shot at this point should strike pretty close to the bullseye.

read more


Back to the basics — Scope tips: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Droop — or downward slant
  • My point is…
  • I must care about this
  • Scope placement

This series examines the task of mounting a scope on an air rifle and sighting it in. Part 2 addressed mounting a scope, but it didn’t cover all of the problem areas, so today I’ll continue the discussion.

Droop — or downward slant

I will say that 80 percent of all the firearms and airguns I have examined have some degree of downward slant of their bores in relation to the line of sight of a scope that’s mounted on them. And I will go on to say that half of those are so serious as to cause problems. The airgun term for this is droop. The firearm world has no term for it and is generally ignorant of the problem. The single firearm that doesn’t seem to have this problem to the extent mentioned here is the AR platform. Perhaps the designers recognized the problem and solved it through engineering. I don’t know, but ARs seem to be relatively droop-free.

read more