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Education / Training Scope basics: Part 1

Scope basics: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

This article was originally written for the upcoming Pyramyd AIR catalog. But there were so many new rifles and pistols that we didn’t have room for this. I felt it was important enough to get it out, so I’m publishing it on the blog.

You’d like to have a scope; but when you check into the subject, it gets very confusing, very fast. In this 2-part blog, we’ll explore the basics of scopes.

A telescopic sight, or scope, is a type of sight that magnifies the target, usually making aiming easier. It may have a fixed amount of magnification or the magnification may vary within a range, allowing the shooter to select what he wants.

Inside the scope are lines called reticles. One runs up and down and the other runs side to side. They intersect in the center of the field of view. They are the aim point that’s put on the spot where you want the pellet to go. They adjust in both directions, but you never see them move. They are held inside a tube inside the scope; and when they’re adjusted, the entire tube moves so they always appear centered.


Mil-dot reticle

Duplex reticle

If your rifle is sighted-in, the pellet should land fairly close to where the intersection of the reticles was when it fired. How close it lands depends on several things—how accurate the rifle is, how well it was held when it fired, how good a pellet you use, the weather conditions (especially the wind) and so on.

The rifle is always moving!
The first thing that surprises someone who looks through a scope for the first time is that the rifle is always moving. In the movies, the camera sometimes looks through scopes that never move; but in real life, they’re never still. The rifle is also moving when you sight with open sights; but since the target isn’t magnified, you cannot see the movement.

Just because there’s a scope on your rifle doesn’t mean it will be more accurate. You have to find ways to slow the movement and to eliminate or minimize it as much as possible. Once you learn to do this and to follow through after every shot, you’ll be rewarded with better groups and more accurate shots.

More magnification may not help
You would think that because a scope magnifies the target it automatically makes it easier to see and hit. Sometimes it does, but other times it does the opposite. When the magnification is too great and the target area is dark, you may not be able to find the target in the scope. When you hunt in the deep woods, for instance, a 4x scope will do a lot better than a 16x scope. You may be able to see the veins on each leaf through the 16x scope, but which leaf are you looking at?

Greater magnification also can make the image seen through the scope darker, and it may even appear as though it’s in fog. On every scope that has adjustable power, the amount of light that gets through the scope decreases as the power increases. This effect is offset by superior quality lenses and by special lens coatings, but the budget brand scopes don’t have these things.

Magnification — use what you need
Why do airgunners need so much magnification? Well, most of them don’t need it, but one group does. The field target shooter uses his scope to help determine the range to the target, so he can know where his pellet will be in its trajectory when it arrives on target. The difference of a yard or two can make the difference between a hit or a miss.

A field target shooter wants to see the smallest object he can possibly see at the farthest distance on the course, which is 55 yards. He’d like to be able to see a blade of grass so clearly at 55 yards that when he adjusts the parallax he can see the image come into sharp focus. If that blade of grass is standing next to the target he wants to shoot, he’s just determined the range to the target.

It takes a lot of power to see a blade of grass clearly at 55 yards in a dark forest setting. So, field target shooters use scopes of 32x, 40x and even 60x to resolve things this small. These scopes aren’t too useful for most shooting; but for the rangefinding task, they excel.

Most airgunners will do very well with 9x, 12x and even 16x. Scopes of that power will be smaller and lighter, and that translates to less fatigue while hunting. A squirrel hunter in the deep woods can get by with even less power. Maybe 6x is all he needs. Benchrest target shooters, on the other hand, have a stable platform and can spend some time finding the target in the limited field of view that a powerful scope gives. For them. the most important thing is being able to bisect the target as precisely as possible, so every shot is aimed at the same place. Understanding what magnification you need and matching it to your sport is one of the things that increases satisfaction when shooting airguns.

Understanding scope adjustments
Most shooters know there are both vertical and horizontal adjustments available on a scope. They’re called elevation and windage adjustments. Here are some facts about adjustments that you may not know.

First of all, no scope adjusts exactly by a quarter minute of angle or an eighth minute of angle. When they say these things, scope manufacturers are only making approximations. The scope adjustments depend on the thread count of the adjustment screws, and the manufacturer will round this up or down to give an approximate distance the crosshairs move. This is given in minutes of angle, and the most common understanding is at a 100-yard distance, where a minute of angle is very close to one inch. So, a scope with ¼ MOA adjustment clicks is supposed to move the point of aim by a quarter-inch at 100 yards. It sounds great until you understand that everything is an approximation. The real distance that the crosshairs move with one click of adjustment may be 0.311 inches, but no scope manufacturer is going to put that on the box. So, they write that the scope has quarter-minute clicks, and you work it out when you sight in — unless you’re anal, which is where some shooters get into trouble.

These shooters arrive at the range with their scoped rifle and a notebook to record all the scope adjustments. Man — that is a heartbreak in progress! What will happen, if they stick to it long enough, is that they’ll discover that their scope actually adjusts by 7/19 of an inch per click. Most of them see the futility of trying to do it by the book and default back to adjusting the scope until their rounds strike the paper where they want them to…or as close as their scope can come.

Now, let’s talk about stiction, which is the scope’s unwillingness to move after being adjusted until it is hit with a large amount of vibration. Said plainly, the scope tends to stay where it was before the adjustment until the gun is fired several times and it finally “settles in” to the new adjustment. Put an eager-beaver shooter on that scope and have him try to sight it in, and you have the recipe for disaster. He’ll keep adjusting the knobs, all the while the scope is lagging behind each adjustment by two or three shots. The result will be a scope that wildly changes its point of impact as the frustrated shooter fails to comprehend that he’s causing the problem.

When a scope is adjusted, sometimes it takes several shots for the adjustments to be fully realized. This is called “stiction,” which is the resistance of the scope’s parts to movement after they’re adjusted. In this case, the first shot was to the left and low, where the scope had been before adjustment. Shot 2 moved to the right and up, and shots 3 through 5 are in a tight cluster in the new point of impact.

Not all scopes suffer from stiction. Of those that do, all won’t suffer by the same amount. Each scope must be taken as a unique entity, and the shooter has to have patience when adjusting it. This is the one time where three-shot groups are valid because they give the scope time to move to the new setting. But if the shooter doesn’t realize what’s happening, it can look like the scope is no longer able to hold a group because a three-shot group from a scope with a lot of stiction will look like a wild pattern. All you have to do is to continue shooting the gun, and things will settle down, again. But some shooters don’t have the patience for this.

Look for part 2 tomorrow.

76 thoughts on “Scope basics: Part 1”

  1. “The rifle is also moving when you sight with open sights; but since the target isn’t magnified, you cannot see the movement.”

    I disagree with this statement, at least partially. If you’re shooting a very light-weight gun, you’ll notice the sights moving even with iron sights if you pay attention. (I noticed my Daisy 880 moving sometimes earlier today when I was plinking soup cans at the family farm.) With something heavier, especially if its muzzle heavy, I find I don’t notice the movement as much.

    Its probably more accurate to say that because iron sights don’t magnify the target, you will not notice the movement nearly as much as you will with a scope.

    • I’ll give b.b. the benefit of the doubt here.
      Shooting my Avanti 853 with diopter sights (non optical) and a proper sling, even without an stiff shooting jacket it is fairly easy to hold so that there is no ‘apparent’ movement of the sights when looking through the peep. I can hold for a number of seconds, taking two or three breath and by the end of the second breath the bull (at 10m) is pretty stationary in the front sight.
      As b.b. states, in reality it is moving some…but it is possible to hold in such a way that there is no ‘apparent’ movement, at least for the couple of seconds leading to trigger release.

      • I understand what BB was trying to say. And I understand what you’re saying. I’ll even go so far as to agree that if one tries real hard and has practiced a lot, you can keep the iron sights relatively steady so that they don’t seem to move much. Especially if the air-rifle weighs a decent amount, like your 5.5 pound Avanti 853. Its a bit harder to do that though with a 3.1 pound Daisy 880, and harder still with a 2.75 pound Crosman 760. Especially if you don’t shoot much. That’s why I phrased the last bit of my comment the way I did… The movement’s there, but you probably won’t notice it nearly as much as you would if you had a 4x, 6x, 8x, etc… scope on your gun. That’s part of why I shoot with iron sights. 🙂

          • Interesting, I’m nearly the exact opposite. Then again, when I learned to shoot I did so shooting offhand, without a sling, using iron sights. So I generally find it harder to hit things with a scoped rifle than when using iron sights when shooting offhand and without a sling. (Though I find that since I don’t practice nearly as much now I can’t shoot nearly as well with either sighting system.) Though there are exceptions to that. I’ve shot stuff before that was exceptionally accurate with either iron sights or a scope.

  2. Glad you brought up the points about MOA and the amount of clicks it takes to adjust.

    Yesterdays blog about scoping the TX200 and rough sighting the scope with the piece of paper and the 2 dots is kind of similar to what I do when I finish sight my gun in.

    I take a piece of card board that’s 2 feet tall by 2 feet wide and put a dot about a 1/4 of the way down from the top and on center. Fire a shot and see where it hits. Usually I sight at 50 yards (its just what I’m use to and how far out I shoot when hunting).

    Just for the fun of it and to keep me in practice I will count the clicks and reference the mil dots to see if the scope clicks is averaging out to be about the same as what the mil dot says.
    Pellet velocity and pellet weight among other things will throw off the amount of clicks that it takes to move the POI verses the POA.

    I wont get a scope any more that doesn’t have the mil dot reticle. Well I actually like the 1/2 mil dot reticles the best now when I do hold over or hold under shooting. They give a more precise aim point to me anyway.

  3. twotalon

    In response to your inquiry from yesterday regarding the TX200 and the HW97K, I dragged them out of the closet for a comparison.

    First off, my HW97 is a slightly older version, it has checkering only on the pistol grip. If you have the newer version with the checkering on the forearm, it has a different stock than mine and my comparison will mean nothing.

    The forearm on the TX is wider than the 97, this can be seen by eyeballing. However, the forearm on the 97 is flatter on the bottom than that of the TX, which is more rounded. This would mitigate the slightly more narrow profile of the 97.

    At any rate the rifles weigh about the same, which is to say that they are enormously heavy pigs. But I don’t get the sensation you describe of the forearm feeling narrow or pointed on either rifle. Are you talking about shooting offhand, or rested with your hand between the rest and the forearm? I tend to keep my hand close to the trigger guard just because I feel it is comfortable there.

    I hope that this has helped, but it probably hasn’t.

    • SL

      I shoot offhand, rested, or assisted (use anything available to help).

      I guess I would have to try a TX to find out which I like best . Enormously heavy pigs is about right. A 48 with just open sights is about my limit. Feels like a wooden fence post (fat) . 48 needs to be front heavy by a bit, 97 about balanced (neutral).

      Thanks. A difference in how a rifle feels makes a big difference in how much I like them and how easy they are to shoot.


      • tt

        I think you would like the TX, but I don’t know you, so what do I know?

        All I can say is that the TX is very smooth, no twang or buzz, out of the box. It IS exceedingly beautiful, but when it comes down to it, that really is besides the point. The 97 is not ugly either.

        As I recall, you took your gun apart and finessed it a bit. So maybe your HW shoots as smooth as my TX. The one thing I can say unequivocally, is that the trigger on the TX is superior to the Rekord. As you know, that is saying quite a bit.

        • SL

          I have had the 97 apart a bunch of times because of vibration problems. It still buzzes just a bit. Might stop if I put the 12 ft/lb kit in it or try a different stock.
          The trigger is set VERY light. Need to measure it some day. Could use a bit less first stage, but I am going to leave that alone. One of my R9s is also about the same way on the trigger. You would not want to try shooting these with even the thinnest gloves on.
          I made sure that the triggers back all the way up (repeatedly) when pulled all the way through the first stage and then released.


        • SL

          I find an odd thing about my 97K….
          No matter what I shoot in it, it is always between 14 and 15 ft/lb. Different velocity spreads, but always within that same power range. My other German guns change power levels to different degrees with different pellets. The R7s change by the largest percentage when switching pellets. Maybe the offset transfer port on the 97 ?


          • I think that the Field Target rifles (TX, 97, 77) are built for consistency. Thus less variance in power, despite variances in pellet weight. Perhaps I am wrong, but that is very unlikely.

            Have you considered a Vortek kit for the 97? Virtually every review of these I have read for Vortex kits have been off the charts enthusiastic. Most reviews talk about mitigating or eliminating any buzz. It would be cheaper and easier than getting a new stock.

            I can’t really describe what it is about the TX trigger that is better than the Rekord. Ergonomically it feels better, but that isn’t the whole story (you can buy setback triggers for the Rekord that are similar). It is more adjustable than the Rekord, but I have never adjusted my TX trigger so I don’t think that’s it either. The main thing is it’s predictability, I think. You just always know when it is going to go off. No matter how light or heavy I adjust the Rekord, it never feels as good. It does feel good… VERY GOOD. Just not as good as the TX.

            • SL

              The 97 has been a circus . First a JM kit (tar and all). The guide fit about as loose as the stock guide. It helped, but was still pretty bad.
              Got a Vortek, but ordered the 12 ft/lb by mistake. Put it in and it was pretty nice, but I still wanted the 14-15 ft/lb. Got one of those, and that is where I am now. A bit of vibration…just a very short buzz. More like a quick hum. The screws stay tight, and have not busted any more scopes. The screws do have thread locker, but originally it did not help much. The buzzing behemoth was always shaking itself apart.
              I have really not noticed any accuracy difference or pellet preference through this whole thing. It shoots very good.


              • tt

                Ahh yes. Now that you mention it I remember.

                My 97K is .20 cal and very accurate with at least 2 different pellets (Benjamins and H&Ks) I don’t remember the JSBs doing so great.

                The rifle does have a destinct buzz during the firing cycle. It hasn’t vibrated the gun apart, or broken any scopes. But the buzz requires more effort on my part to shoot it right. And I am exceedingly lazy.

                If you still have the 12 fpe kit, I could take it off your hands if, as Bob Barker says, the price is right. 🙂

                I know you are a discriminating airgunner. I think you would really like shooting the TX.

                • SL

                  My 97 is a .177, so I don’t know how it would compare with a .20, or a .22 . The R9s , 97, and 48 do not care for JSB. The little R7s like the Exact RS about the best. My 97 likes FTT, CPL, Preds, and FMR within 25 yds. I get the best power and tightest velocity spreads with FTT. The .177 R9 likes the FTT the same way. The .22s are different. The power plants in the .22 R9 and the 48 like the RWS domes best, but don’t shoot them worth a hoot. They shoot the best with FTT. Used to like the FTS, but they shrank the size back down to the 5.50 as advertised. Too loose now. Used to be 5.56. They will do fairly well with CP and the 16 gr Exacts, but the power plants don’t sound quite as good with them.

                  I do power plant analysis over the chrono first, arrange the pellets in order of what the power plant thinks, then see how they really line up on target. With some rifles, the best pellet ends up being what you would think would be best. With others, I have to settle for second or third choice.

                  Will have to think about getting rid of the 12 ft/lb kit.


      • Spot on twotalon…my RWS 48 clone ( XS-B21..22 Cal. ) feels like a M-1 Garand to ths 84 year old, but I love it. When properly mounted, it is killer air rilfe. We all call it “The Beast “. The extra extension cocking slide out arm is a great aid. Have tried two RWS 48s, and I find them hard to cock. Yes, my dream is a TX with the fish scale checkering.
        Santa Maria, California

        • Pete..

          I find the 48 to be difficult to cock too . It’s a motion that I find to be something that is quite alien to me. I simply never use that kind of motion for anything else. I don’t shoot it enough for it to become easy.

          I often see complaints about “spring torque”, but I think it is more about the issue of off center weight with the cocking arm. Makes it a bit unusual to hold because it wants to roll to the right when held. Requires a bit of hand adjustment to make it feel balanced before the shot. If there is an actual “spring torque” issue, then most of the other springers should have the same issue.
          It fits me well for open sights, which is what I wanted in the first place. Not too good with a scope anyway. After installing the required drooper mount, the scope gets way too high. Requires a “chin hold” that I can’t deal with. Way too wobbly.


          • TwoTalon…Indeed. I find my Clone easiest to cock by placing the butt on a flat piece of wood ( would prefer a curved one to match the butt pad curve) and holding it upright, slide out the cocking arm and extention and cock it in a downward motion. Holding on my hip is very iffy !..
            Anyway, I like funky air rifles and BB guns.
            Thanks TwoTalon..

            • Pete..

              I find it necessary to shoot where I happen to be, so the upper part of my right leg is where the rifle goes. Must wear my belt buckle off to the left side though or the stock gets dinged up.

              I should shut up pretty soon. It’s a nice day but a bit cool yet. Sleazed by another follow up visit to one doctor a couple days ago. Wacked another possum a day or two before that. Feelin’ good.


              • TwoTalon, In the field, I just place the butt on my foot and cock downward. One coud build a Spencer Rifle type of pre-loaded ammo tubes holder but with a “ledge” to set the butt on, then cock downward..hmmm…an “Invention” ?

                • Pete..

                  I don’t like having my foot mashed on, or my hands either.
                  Now, one finger cocking would be great if I could still get any power. My Titan has that, but it won’t be much longer before the pellets won’t get out the barrel anymore. It’s a leaker, and the shot cycle is getting into slow motion now.


    • Stiction is a term frequently used when talking about suspension systems. When a coil spring is topped out at its maximum extension it takes more force to start compressing the spring than it does to continue compressing the spring, to a point. As a spring approaches the end of its stroke, the force increases again.

      To battle this initial resistance, or stiction, springs are precompressed slightly. This adjustment is called preload in the suspension tuning biz.

      This blog is testament to the fact that even seasoned airgunners such as myself (snicker, scoff, snicker) can take something away from BB’s blogs covering the basics. When I am sighting in an airgun with a scope, I rarely take the time to shoot enough shots to make absolutely sure the erector tube is settled before I make additional adjustments. It is one of those things that could drive you crazy chasing POA if you were unaware of it.

      • SL

        I have a couple scopes that seem to work O.K. in warm weather , but are sticky as all get out to the point of being worthless when the weather gets cool. These are the China-mart Centerpoints that so many people rave about. Springers bust them up too, unless they have changed the crappy things.

        I have a Hawke on my T200 right now . It’s a bit of a sticker too. If I change horizontal by an inch or so and then start shooting, it will draw a horizontal line of holes in the target for 4 or 5 shots until it settles. Each shot gets closer to the desired point. That rifle has a light spring and striker. Very little vibration to affect the scope.


        • tt

          I have a CZ200S, so nearly the same as yours. I wish mine had the target sights as yours does.

          These are some of the best rifles out there, IMHO. CZ makes some of the most accurate barrels in the business. I added the the repeater kit to mine, and have no complaints (except maybe the price.) I only wish you didn’t have to choose between having a pressure gauge and being able to fill the cylinder without removing it.

          Despite me being somewhat large at 6’2″ the smallish target stock fits me just fine.

          • SL

            You are a lot bigger than I am. I do like the T200 because it’s short and light. I can’t lean it against a door knob while I wait for the next starling though. Can’t do it with the TSS either. I have one of each kind or tank. Both running the same fill, the tank without the gauge is about 4-5 fps slower. Originally I thought they were the same, but after a closer look I saw the rather insignificant difference.
            The barrel was trash, and now it has a LW on it. Can’t set the trigger quite as light as I really want to.


            • tt

              Dang! That is surprising. AA puts their name on guns made by them, and the Cricket PCPs that seem to be setting the airgun world on fire have barrels from CZ. I have 4 CZs, and all are great shooters.

              It sucks to hear you got a bum barrel.

  4. There is something that I have thought about but have not brought up before about sticky scopes….
    Do they ever really settle ? They get bounced around with every shot. How consistently do they return to the right spot ? Maybe with some there is a narrow range that they fall into rather than returning to an exact point . Then the question gets to be… just how narrow is that range ? Could a rifle shoot better with one scope or another because of this ?


  5. One technique I have seen to overcome the scope sticktion is to tap the turret lightly with the handle of a mini screwdriver after adjusting it.

    I much prefer the mil dot reticles. I make little range tables that I stick on the scope or stock that list the hold over (or under) at various yardages in terms of the number of mil dots, usually to the nearest 1/2 dot. I standardize on 9x or 10x power on all my rifles. The thing to remember is that if you change the magnification, the holdover, in terms of mil dots, also changes. If you reduce the magnification by 1/2 to get a larger field of view, you also use half the mil dot holdover number.

  6. Is stiction (I tend to think of fork seals on a motorcycle when I see that word) a result of lens tolerances or merely spring resistance? You’d think manufacturers would eliminate that in pursuit of ultimate accuracy. Kinda funny, I have a very cheap Leapers that only needs a slight tap for any adjustment to take place, while an incredibly expensive Nikon I’ve got on my big game gun won’t settle down for at least 5 (very expensive) rounds.
    Off topic, anyone catch GunTalk yesterday? They featured a sight-less Daisy rifle called the Quick Kill originally issued to new soldiers in an effort to teach them how to shoot quickly, and the S&W M&P as a cheap way to get trigger time. Good to see our little sport getting some national attention.

  7. Stiction is a somewhat made-up word – a contraction of static friction. This is the force required to get an object that is at rest, to start moving. Once it starts moving, the force needed to be overcome to keep it moving is called dynamic friction (how am I doing, Pete Z? Did I nail this exam question?).

    This week, I took out my RWS 52 from the rack as I hadn’t shot it in months. The first shot I took was a dry fire as the pellet I put in was a loose fit and obviously fell out. The next five to 10 shots looked like I was using a really cheap rifle or pellets the rifle hated – scatter gun result. Finally the rifle settled down again and I stated getting one hole groups. I suspect the vibration from that initial dry fire shook the scope off it’s settings and it took a few more shots to re-settle down. Perhaps the action mounting in the stock and the piston and spring were also thrown out of their normal position? Probably a combination of all things.

    Fred DPRoNJ

    • Fred…

      I have seen rifles get flaky for a few shots when I tried some pellets that the rifle severely disliked. They burned lube for a few shots afterwards with the right pellets until it cooked off and got back to normal. Might be because of the difference in firing behavior slung a bunch of lube around and into the wrong places. A dry fire would be about the same thing as a really wrong pellet.


  8. I’m listening to you guys talk about your rifles and I was just wondering if I was alone in this:

    I don’t like the letter and number soup for names. There, I said it, aaah the relief, it’s like I took a weight off my chest, I feel much better now.

    TX200, 97K, T200, S200, S400, S510TC, HW30S…

    I find the short ones a little less annoying: R9, P1 but I still much prefer names like Bronco, Marauder, Black Cat, Tomahawk, Rebel, Talon, Condor, Edge, RedRyder, Scorpion, Challenger, Optimus, Raven, Vantage etc. it has more character to me.

    It’s the same thing with cars, I’d rather drive a Mustang, Civic, Tundra, Camaro, Suburban, Sierra, Challenger, Charger than a 325i, TX, ILX, ML350, G500, E55, F-150, E-350.

    Rant over, I’m getting off my soap box now


      • I’m not saying it has to be “impressive”, it doesn’t have to be called the Doomsday Eliminator Premium Suppressor Edition or the Provocator.
        Bone Collector for example might be a little over the top, but Bronco is fine, the Crosman Challenger or something like the Daisy RedRyder or Buck somehow just sounds better to me than the new XJ300i or the DX8000.

        The 1701P has no soul, I prefer to call it the Silhouette pistol, it doesn’t sound as cool as the Marauder but it’s better the not having a name at all.

        With only letters and numbers I feel like I’m talking about a printer or photocopy machine, an appliance, not something nice that I like to take care of and keep shiny.

        Hatsan and Gamo are as guilty as the others of doing this with the AT44PA, AT44P2, AT44S10, BT65SB, PT85, C15, V3, P25 to name a few.


        • J-F

          I just had to yank your chain. Yeah, some of those letter and number designations can get pretty bad too. People are impressed by exotic alphabets like that too.
          Might make for a good weekend blog….”The psychology of marketing”. If these companies spent more on design and QA than they do with marketing strategies, there could be quite a few people who would buy a “Gutshooter”, “Finger Biter”, “Lead Waster”, or “Gorilla Finger” .


          • Names are cool, but they are better if given by someone else or come from some memorable experience. My .50 cal. flintlock went by various mundane references until this spring when a range officer on the woodswalk at Friendship started calling it Long Tom, both due to its length (really not that long) and because it was hitting the far targets, but I was missing some easier ones (I am having middle age eyesight adjustment lately). I think that it was the experience and the memory that made the name stick for me. I don’t really have names for most guns, except of course my QB36-2, which is “[my] clunk” due to a random comment on the blog. I don’t know if I’ll ever name some — the D34P is so uninspiring that I haven’t really warmed up to it enough to form fond memories, whereas the Ruger Blackhawk that I had for a week at most was such a surprise that I still miss it and would likely have figured out a name for it soon.

    • It’s the same thing with cars, I’d rather drive a Mustang, Civic, Tundra, Camaro, Suburban, Sierra, Challenger, Charger than a 325i, TX, ILX, ML350, G500, E55, F-150, E-350.

      325i => Series 3 body, 2.5liter engine, internal combustion (gasoline)
      F-150 => F-series body, 1500lb cargo rating (3/4ton)
      E-350 => E-series body (this is likely a van), 3500lb cargo rating (1 3/4ton)

      (I think Chrysler products use the extra 0)

      But is that Mustang an LS, a GT, and does the GT still have a 5-liter engine?

      • Stop cutting the fun out my rants! 😉
        I know most of them have a meaning and yes dodge uses an extra zero for their weight class of truck and so does gm.
        LT is usually stands luxury trim and gto was grand turismo omologato and was cut to gt or grand turismo etc
        But I still prefer to get something that has a name rather than just letters. If it’s very short I can live with it (R8/Z4/M5 etc)

  9. I got a giggle out of the stiction part of the blog! Sounds just like me from long ago…

    (sung to the tune of ” My Boomerang Won’t Come Back’)

    I can’t land two shots in one place!
    I can’t land two shots in one place!
    I adjusted my scope all over the place;
    Practiced ’til I was blue in the face;
    I’m a big disgrace, to the Caucasian race;
    I can’t land two shots in one place!

    And to anyone old enough to remember the song…. May it stick in your head all day…. ;-D

    • Howdy D slash, Mom was British, born in India, moved to Australia in her teens. Have a picture of Rolf Harris as the entertainment @ her 21st Bday party. First songs I learned, Tie Me Kangagoo Down, Sport, Waltzing Matilda, Charlie Drake was ’61, after she was here, but I knew about it. Programmed a ’50’s early ’60’s Rock n Roll Station in the early ’90’s called Kool Gold. We did theme weekends. Novelty records were the most popular. Flyin’ Purple People Eater, Transfusion, Beep Beep, Hot Rod Lincoln, They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Monster Mash, Charlie Brown, Alley Oop, Witch Doctor, Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah, Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor, Mr. Custer, The Flying Saucer (Pts 1 & 2), Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late), Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, Along Came Jones, Leader Of The Laundromat, Rubber Biscuit, I Put A Spell On You, My Ding-a-Ling. Fun stuff for us old poops! Thanx. Shoot/ride safe

  10. BB, thanks for the description of stiction.

    I’ve often run into this situation without knowing why. Now I know what causes it, what it is called, and how to avoid it.

    Funny, because I know the importance of pre-loading suspension systems. But the leap to scopes was too much for me to figure out on my own.


  11. B.B.

    Some notes on field of view.

    I was trained to shoot with both eyes opened. A bit of practice, it’s purely psychological, and anyone can learn to use left eye to observe and right eye to aim at the same time (actually it’s just a very fast switching). However I’ve seen rifles used by long-range hunters with high-magnification scope paired with a lightweight low-magnification scope on a slanted mount – for observation. I believe both scopes are sighted in for the same POI at certain distance, but of course, “main caliber” is the 32-48x stovepipe.

    Another thing is psychology again. In my own experience groups made at 4x are not different from those made on 16x, but high magnification tends to make shooting a little bit less comfortable – blood pulse bs seen through the scope, any slightest movement too. 4x just hides it.


    • I also shoot with both eyes open. And I solder electronics with one eye closed … Go figure!? (I guessed its because my eyes are so far apart in their abilities to focus up close…)

      I prefer the least amount of magnification that I can get away with because it isn’t as distracting. Of course, I also like to have a scope with a large amount of magnification just for bragging rights! Hehehe!


      • B.B.

        That’s more psychology than physics 🙂 I believe one just feels more assured and _tries_ less. That helps to stay calm and the result is less affected by one’s own brain.


    • I shot identical groups at 3X and 9X when I ran an experiment, that applied to a .22LR at 50 yards and a .30-06 at 100 yards. Aiming at the same point every time and keeping the cant consistent is the only “trick” to it. I actually prefer 3X most of the time.

        • BB,
          I wouldn’t call it the “end-all” experiment and it has been a while, but I was actually surprised pleasantly by the result. And, I’m more than willing to concede that there very well could be a point at which more magnification would lead to better groups (e.g., 200 yards) not to mention that it may help with some types of targets (both paper and physical) more than others. I look forward to seeing your results, also.

          I did start shooting the Savage MkII at 16 or 24X, but that was so I could see the holes without carrying an additional spotting scope. I’m looking for a good but not too expensive SMALL 1.5 or 2.5 scope for my Glenfield 60, just to experiment, and because the sights on it (circa 1982) do not inspire confidence with their construction and the front sight screw works loose occasionally (loctite or no). The 4X15 Daisy type scope works OK but the cheap mounts slip under the very heavy back and forth recoil of the bolt (which is probably what gets the front sight screw loose). I may also just sleeve the 4×15 scope to 1″ and put it on a Leapers Accushot one-piece — that mount is excellent on the M60, although I know it would be a very rare case of the mounts costing more than the scope! Anything bigger riding on it looks silly.

    • If you work with telescopes or microscopes, you also are taught to use both eyes open (and worse, use your OFF eye for the eyepiece).

      This way your sketch paper can be seen by the other eye…

  12. I have a friend that had that problem. He’d get the biggest scope he could find thinking that would help. Then he’d take a shot, crank on the scope adjustment. Take a shot, crank on the scope adjustment. This would go on all day until he’d put the scope back in the package and bring it back to the store and say it was defective since it wouldn’t zero. Of course this same friend wouldn’t settle on one gun. He’d get a gun, fire it a day then trade it for another gun, use it a week, then trade again. He’s had several very nice springers that most of you would kill to have and was never satisfied with them because they were not as accurate as my Airforce Condor. He finally got an airforce gun. But it was used, older, and had been rat modded to the point it was falling apart, the barrel couldn’t be changed without completely ripping the gun apart and forcing the barrel out the back of the gun which took around an hour at minimum. He sold that too stating that Airforce guns were junk. They are when they are older, and have been all ratted out. But he wouldn’t listen to any advice I gave him on anything. I finally gave up and let him go through scopes and guns.

  13. It will be interesting to see how the Hawke from yesterdays test does in regards to stiction.
    I know that was one of the big improvements I saw when I purchased my Hawke Sidewinder.
    One of the first tests I tried was, after zeroing my scope at 100m, to take it out to 200m.
    Did the math on my ballistics sheet and adusted 13 clicks up.
    First round was within an inch of the bull, fired 4 more shots and got a 3.5″ group.
    Went back to 100m, adjusted 13 clicks down and was within 1/2 of dead centre.
    The inexpensive Bushnell that had been on the gun previously would most definitely not have done this.
    I tried a couple of times, and going back to 100m always required some fine tuning to get it shooting to where it had been before going out to the longer range.

    • I have had the Bushnell, Centerpoint and others (on air guns and firearms) and it seems to me that the Hawke scopes have worked out to be the best for me anyway. They seem to repeat better on springer’s from what I have experienced too.
      I just bought another Hawke scope to put on my 17HMR. I shoot that gun out to a hundred yards or more every time I shoot it. So I will be interested to see how that works out for the gun.

        • cbsd
          Hopefully I can find some time tomorrow to get the scope sighted in and shoot a bit to see how it acts on the .17HMR.
          Got more room out at my brothers house so I can stretch it out a little better there.

          Don’t you just love those long range shots when they hit the target!

  14. That stiction business is outrageous. I’m glad to say that I don’t believe that I’ve had this problem. It would drive me nuts.

    I just learned that the Russian snipers could do a lot of surprising things with their three line reticle, including a certain amount of range estimation. But there’s no denying that we have come a long way. A German sniper wrote that when he switched from a Mosin sniper rifle with its 3.5X scope to a Mauser 98k with a 6X scope, he felt like he had a super weapon. I wonder what he would have thought of a Leapers 6-24X scope with a 50mm variable objective.

    J-F, right you are about the battery. So that’s what that huge platform on the underside of the car is. But watch out for miniaturization. That could really change things.

    Forget about tuning your springers! Think instead about tuning your single stroke pneumatic pistols, like say the Daisy 747. It’s like a new pistol after Derrick’s treatment. I had fired six strings of 10 shots the other night. They were all contiguous holes except for one egregious flyer with every single one. But that is certainly psychological. With its new trigger, it’s rubber shims to remove play in the grips and a few other things, this gun is amazing.


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