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.
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.
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.
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.
Today I start looking at the Aeon 8-32X50 AO scope with trajectory reticle. We actually began our look in the final section of the BSA Supersport SE review, which is why there’s a link to Part 4 of that review at the top of this page.
For starters, I said this is the shortest 8-32x scope I’ve ever seen. I showed you a picture of the scope mounted on the BSA rifle, but the only comments that picture got were about the Diana Bullseye ZR recoil-reducing scope mount. Apparently not many of you own an 8-32X scope; and so when you see one that’s several inches shorter, it doesn’t make much of an impression. So, the first thing I’ll do today is show you the Aeon scope next to a UTG 8-32X (no longer made), so you can appreciate what I’m saying. The Aeon is 13.75 inches long, compared to 17.52 inches for the UTG.
• What we’re doing
• Many things going on
• First things when mounting scopes
• Clean the gun and mount
• The mount
• Installing the mount
• Install the scope
• Install top caps and screws
• Align the vertical reticle
• Time to tighten the caps
What we’re doing
Today, I’m going to mount a scope for you and show some of my mounting techniques. These have been available for 10 years in the Pyramyd Air articles pages as a 3-part series — Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
Pay attention to how much elevation your new scope needs
Reason for this report
This report is for a friend who recently acquired a new-to-him 30-06 bolt-action rifle. He asked me for some tips on mounting a scope and sighting-in the rifle, and I’m afraid what I gave him was a college-level course instead of the basic information he needed. Despite my “help,” he stumbled through the process, making many mistakes as he learned what I am going to try to tell you in this report.
This misadventure opened my eyes to a need for even more basic instruction about rifle scopes. If my friend is having problems, so are hundreds of others who read this blog.