Home Blog  
Accessories Leapers UTG Accushot 2-7X44 Scout scope: Part 4

Leapers UTG Accushot 2-7X44 Scout scope: Part 4

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

This blog post was mistakenly published a day early, and we got some comments to it before we discovered that. So, for those of you who try to be the first to make a comment, it looks like you’ve missed your turn!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

UTG 2-7X44 Scout SWAT scope
Leapers UTG Accushot 2-7X44 Scout scope is a remarkable sight!

This report covers:

• Scout scope on centerfire rifle
• My Mosin Nagant
• A powerful round
• What today’s test is all about
• What about the scope?
• The mount
• Overall evaluation

Scout scope on centerfire rifle
This is a special report I promised several readers who are interested in this UTG 2-7X44 Scout SWAT scope. When I tested it on an airgun, I used the Crosman MK-177 Tactical multi-pump pneumatic because it allowed me to mount the scope out away from the eye. That was a good test, but it was also a forced one because I could have mounted any scope on that airgun. Scout scopes are made for those troublesome arms that don’t allow the mounting of scopes in the conventional way. I asked Leapers to send me a mount for my Mosin Nagant 91/30 rifle — a centerfire rifle that needs a scout scope because of its straight bolt handle. While the bolt handle can be bent down to clear the scope, the scout scope is a non-gunsmithing solution that allows you to preserve the rifle in its original condition. Not that any Mosin Nagant in existence today is still in its original condition!

My Mosin Nagant
My 91/30 is built on an early action with a hex-shaped receiver. It didn’t start out as a 91/30 but was converted by an arsenal at some point in its existence. The markings on the metal parts tell a story of numerous overhauls and refurbishments over the past century. Some early marks have been removed by grinding and polishing, while others are new and fresh. The action was very possibly made in the 19th century, yet the barrel is like new, as are many of the metal parts and the wood. The Soviet Union made good use of these rifles and refurbished them as necessary after each conflict, not unlike many countries. As a design, the Mosin Nagant has been in continuous service longer than any other military firearm.

A powerful round
This rifle is chambered for the Russian 7.62X54 rimmed cartridge made for what the Russians refer to as the “Three-line rifle” — with a Russian “line” being equivalent to one-tenth inch. It refers to the bore diameter of the bullet. It was adopted as standard in 1891 and is still in limited service today.

The cartridge is roughly the ballistic equivalent of our .30-06 Winchester cartridge. It’s shorter — though much larger at the base. It is a rimmed cartridge, which means the action has to be made to handle the cartridge case without feeding problems. Rimmed cartridges give repeating actions feeding problems, which is why the majority of cartridges made for repeaters are rimless. But the Mosin Nagant action handles this cartridge reliably.

UTG 2-7X44 Scout SWAT scope 762-54R-and-30-06
Mosin Nagant 7.62X54R on left, .30-06 cartridge on right. Both deliver similar ballistics in military loadings.

This Mosin cartridge exists in numerous different loads. The current sniper round has a 152-grain bullet leaving the bore at 2700 f.p.s. The standard for accuracy at 300 meters is all rounds inside an 80mm (3.1-inch) circle. Of course, the standard military battle ammunition is less accurate — keeping 50 percent of its shots inside a 90mm (3.5-inch) circle at the same 300 meters.

What today’s test is all about
With such power must also come recoil, and that is what today’s test was for. I wanted to see that this scout scope could stand up to the punishment of a heavier recoil. I fired 20 factory rounds and 20 reloads through the rifle, which is not a very big test. But if there are any major weaknesses, they should show up. And they didn’t. After zeroing at 50 yards with the factory loads, I shot a 3-inch 10-shot group at 100 yards, and then rang the 6-inch gong at 200 yards with the remaining few rounds.

My reloads didn’t do as well as I’d hoped. The bores on these rifles can vary in diameter from 0.309 inches to 0.313 inches, so you really need to slug the bore to know what diameter bullet your rifle likes. I haven’t done that yet and was hoping to squeak by with some 170-grain lead bullets sized 0.312 inches, but it was not to be. I did manage to ring the 200-yard gong once out of 5 shots, but that’s not what I’d hoped for.

What about the scope?
You can see in the photo where the scope is mounted relative to my eye. My head looks very erect on the stock, which it has to be to see the scope, but the image fills the eyepiece. The target is sharp and clear, even at the top magnification of 7X. The reticle is thick enough to pick out quickly, even against the deep woods; and, of course, it’s illuminated, which is a blessing on a scout scope.

UTG 2-7X44 Scout SWAT scope mounted
The UTG Mosin scout scope mount clears the action for loading and ejection. The straight Mosin bolt handle can be rotated up without interference.

UTG 2-7X44 Scout SWAT scope Tom shooting on rest
As you can see, my head has to be high on the stock to see the scope. This is due to the Mosin’s stock, which drops away, but the scout scope is also mounted very high.

The adjustments worked as they are supposed to, and I got on target very quickly at 50 yards. I used the old standard of removing the bolt and sighting through the barrel to align the scope. The first shot was about 4 inches from the aim point, which is excellent for this kind of rough sight-in.

The mount
I haven’t told you about the Mosin Nagant mount that Leapers makes. It replaces the rear sight blade and leaf, using the rear base to secure a Picatinny rail with 2 side rails. Rubber pads slip over the mount’s side rails to keep them from cutting your hands when you handle the rifle.

Removing the rear sight leaf and attaching this mount was very easy. It took about 20 minutes total to finish the job, which included removing the sight parts first. The instructions are clear and concise, even though they address two different sight base kits for rifles and carbines. Once on the rifle and snugged down, the mount is rock-solid. It remained solid throughout this test.

The base is a tri-rail system with Picatinny rails on both sides, along with the main scope rail on top. These can be used for anything like lasers and tactical flashlights, though on a Mosin Nagant bolt-action rifle such accessories seem out of place. Perhaps hog hunters would like a light, though.

Overall evaluation
I’ve now used this scope on two different rifles — both with success. The first was an air rifle, and the second was this powerful centerfire. This is the first scout scope I’ve ever tested or used, so I don’t have experience with the type — but I do know this one works as advertised.

I wondered if the image would be clear and easy to see, since the eyepiece is 10-11 inches from the eye. No worries there. The image is very large and bright, though your sighting eye can see things other than the target, if you want. Once you focus on the target and reticle, though, nothing else seems to matter.

If you need a scout scope, I can certainly recommend this one from the standpoint of functionality. The size and weight, though, are a different matter. This is a large scope that sits high above the barrel, so you need to give that some thought when making your decision. Most scout scopes are either fixed power or low-powered variables. I believe this one has the highest magnification on the market. If that’s important to you, this may be the best scope out there.

79 thoughts on “Leapers UTG Accushot 2-7X44 Scout scope: Part 4”

  1. BB, If I remember correctly, you were going to mount a TF90 red dot on the MN rifle. Did you try the TF sight? The sight in your test looks clumsy on the rifle. I am considering using my Finn 39 for deer hunting and I hope that you will test a mount and sight that is better suited for hunting. Ed

      • Reb
        I just got the OK from Edith on exchanging info. So here is my Email address. Just send me your name and address to my email and I will get that spring in the mail to you.

        My email is buldawg76@cableone.net

        As soon as I get your info it will be on the way


        • Buldawg,
          Well, it looks like I’ll need some help with this.I’ll have someone come over as soon as I can.I let the lady at TWC talk me into putting on my app that I had some computer skills, I’ll have to alert them about my difficulties sending E-mail. It’s been a while since I’ve felt this dysfunctional. Anyway it’ll be this evening before I can send it.Thanks for coming up with the idea! And Thank You for your generosity!I’ve posted my name and phone# here before and would have no problem doing so again but I’m probably lucky I didn’t get in trouble so I’ll wait in order to follow proper protocol. Hope you get plenty of shooting in on your new toys, shouldn’t you be getting your other one soon?
          Have a good day!

        • Finally got it sent! My advisor, upon seeing Outlook Express asked what I was doing and sent me to my site to get me started.
          Shows ya how well my brain is working right now!Thanks again I’m thinking about getting the camera out to record it’s transformation.


          • Reb
            Got your info in my inbox, I will get the spring in the mail to you first thing in the morning. I will put you in my contacts and call sometime when I get a free moment.

            You can at least get the QB -36 put back together and be shootin again.

            Glad to hear you got some work done on the brake job and some friends to help. I know I have got some good neighbors myself. It has been a relatively mild summer here so far, I think the hottest its been here is 94 degrees, this last week or two it been in the mid to high 80s when we would normally be in the high 90s to low 100s. I am happy for that cause the heat keeps me inside to much.

            Let me know when you get the spring and how the guns shoots when you get it back together.


  2. BB, How could Reb and I comment on your 7-29 blog the day before you posted it? If this blog had a sound track, I think that I would be hearing the twilight zone theme music! Ed

    • zimbabwae ed,
      I thought about abbreviating that name after typing it a few times, due to the fact that I’ve been mostly typing with one hand for the past few months. Would you be offended by Zed? It reminds me of the prisoners(including Zod) in the window from SupermanII, I believe.


      • How bout Zed the bank vault pro in Killing Zoe? You’ll know me a little better by the fact I think that movie’s hilarious, lol. Hey Reb, your a big fan of pumpers, right? What do you think of a powerline 901? I found one a friends got for 30$, might grab it. Works mint, sounds like good power, sights are perfect center. Bout to go check some reviews but for 30 or so looks like a good fun gun.

    • I meant B.B. could just pull the scope and mount the TF-90 on it for testing.That was kinda freaky wasn’t it?I just learned a little about using the Dashboard within the last 2 or 3 days, that’s how I got here early when you commented on it and I hadn’t seen this blog yet. Got a little extra airgun reading in today!
      Thanks B.B.!I hope he don’t tell us we gotta miss a day now

        • Reb
          Its all good, just as soon as you can get me the info on where to send it I will get it in the mail.

          I just talked to the guy that I am getting the 2240 from gunbroker and he is out of town on a job so it will be Thursday before he gets home and can give a total so I can pay him and get it on its way.

          I not in a hurry for it because I got plenty of work to get the swapping from my2289 to the 2240 done any way.

          My neighbor just ask me about fixing a water pump on her sons car so I may have the money for the hi-pac sooner than expected which would be great.

          Just get me your info as soon as you can.


          • Don’t ask me how I got it done but I did a rear brake job on a ’89 Dakota last week,Wheel cylinders and all! Between having to go in and cool off and my back cramping up it took about 4 hours. Of course there were friends there willing to help If I told ’em what I needed( Big help!)

          • So how is that 2249 comin’ along anyways? I can’t wait to get me one! If I don’t hear from SSA by the 17th I’m supposed to get their attention again. Should know something by the end of the month.


            • Reb
              I have been busy today getting meds and fixing my neighbors weed eater and 4 wheeler in exchange for keeping my yard cut and getting an old dead tree cut down before it falls on my house.

              I also went to check out the air gun range 20 miles from my house. it ain’t to bad the have target stands every 10 yards to 100 yards and some reactive targets at several different distances. got to bring your own shooting table and chair though because its just a concrete slab with a roof over it.
              But still beats pacing out your own distances.

              I haven’t started on the swap yet and it will probably be this weekend before I do, got to help another neighbor fix his sons car tomorrow.


              • Busy huh? I’ve been cooped up most of the week trying to get these ribs healed up or at least not hurt ’em again.I did take the same bike out for about a mile yesterday,just to get outta the house for a bit.I guess nobody has built a bench at your new range yet.I wonder if a few members got together with management, would they let ’em build some equipment.Or is everybody happy shooting off card table and lawn chairs?
                Hope that water pump works with ya tomorrow!


              • Reb
                I don’t know about the shooting tables yet , but it looks like you have to bring your own, I will know more when I go back Saturday when the club is there. They may have some that they bring out when they meet every first Saturday of the month.

                Yea I hope the water pump goes easy tomorrow to so I can get the cash for my hi-pac kit. Hopefully you will get the spring by Saturday also.


  3. BB
    Was you shooting at 7 power and if so how many mildots did that 6” target take up at 200 yards when you looked through the scope? If you remember.

    I want to know if that 6” target looked small at 200 yards. That would be a little taller than a 12oz. soda can. I’m thinking the target took up a total of 4 mildots. Which would be a small target to hit at 200 yrds at 7 power.

    Does a person that uses that type of scope like the lower power for more field of view. Is that why its not offered in a higher power? Or is it due to the design of the scope with the long eye relief that they can’t make it higher powered? Just curios why they don’t make it in higher power.

    • GF1,

      Of the few scout scopes I have seen, this one is pretty powerful. For a combat weapon, you want quick target acquisition. When you are shooting at a man’s chest with a high powered rifle, pinpoint accuracy is really not needed unless you are going for the psychological effect. Also the higher the power, usually the “narrower” the eye relief zone.

      It is also physically pretty big compared to many I have seen. It is built on the Compact SWAT frame. It seems kind of bulky for a combat weapon, but would be real nice to help up the ante on making some of these old war horses into deer hunters without chopping them up.

      • RR
        The high power and eye relief is what I was wondering about. I was wanting to know if it was possible to have both. You know have your cake and eat it to.

    • GF1,

      No idea! I was holding over for certain, but when I saw that I hit to one side I was also holding off to the other side. It was a guesstimate.

      Yes, the gong was very small in the scope.

      I guess they don’t make them in higher power because they can’t — or higher power isn’t useful.


  4. My experience with Leapers scopes is that I would not hesitate to buy this one if I had need of a scout scope.

    I have had a Compact SWAT since 2010 and it has stood up to a gas sproinger with flying colors. The sproinger is gone, but the scope is still here.

    I just purchased a 3-9 Bug Buster. Nice optics, great eye relief and a real nice reticule. If the reticule had been glass etched and if it had been side focus I would have embarrassed myself, but still a very nice scope for what they cost.

    The only complaint I have about Leapers scopes are those lens covers. If you try and use them on a sproinger, you will be picking them up on occasion. They will fall off, period. If your scope is front AO like the Bug Buster, a flip up is really out of the question. If your scope comes with a sunshade, the front cover will not fit.

    I prefer the Butler Creek Bikini scope cover anyway, so it is not a real issue with me except I am starting to get a collection of flip up scope covers in my parts box.

    If you guys have been fidgeting around about buying a Leapers scope because you are not sure you will like it, just do it. What you are going to find is you will have a scope of a high enough quality that you will probably quit buying those other overpriced scopes.

    • RR
      I got a little fixed 4 power x 32 Leapers Golden image scope that is absolutely clear and sharp.

      Its a very good scope. Its on my HW50S right now.

      And whats strange is when you look through it. It looks like it is more than 4 power. More like 6 power. I think because the field of view is bigger on it. Its a nice little scope and its only like 50 bucks.

  5. My comment was lost 🙂 I’ll try to reproduce it.

    Great rifle and great shots, B.B.!

    Can you tell us more about the rifle itself?
    Had it been counterbored? Many surplus Mosins I’ve seen had troubles with barrel crown and had to be re-crowned. This operation brought accuracy back. From what I know about Mosin, lead bullets behave very bad in Mosin barrels – too much power, jacketed soft core tad larger than the actual caliber works best.


    • What you say about the lead bullets in the Mosins is true. I have messed around with four of them , two Russian, one Finn , and one Chi-com carbine and the barrels vary The Chinese one slugged out at .316 and any bullet keyholes. That one was a tomato stake at best. The Mosins behave a lot like the Brithish SMLE’s with cast bullets, in that your best accuracy will come with moderate velocity and cast bullets with gas checks of the Loverin style. Even then , jacketed bullets even if slightly undersized will do better, and do it at high velocity. These guns are not the lead bullet shooters that our own .30 cal rifles like the Springfields and Krags were. The BEST! rimmed ex-military rifle I’ve used for cast bullets is the 30-40 Krag, and you can still find them reasonable as most of them were cut down and used for hunting , especially here in the eastern states.

        • BB: I’ve used the Lyman #311316 in the .303 SMLE #4, Krag, 1917 Enfield and Springfield in .30-06. Good for only short range ,like 50 yards. I used the gas check.The Hornady .32 HBWC was a good( better) performer in the .311 and larger barrels. Charges were 7.5 – 10,0 grs of Unique . I’ve had very good results with squib loads using buckshot and similar charges of Unique to shoot squirrels and pest birds at airgun ranges. The .32-20 100gr flat nosed jacketed factory bullet is another option ,as is the 85gr .32 mag bullets. I have found them to be only accurate at short range , but the jacketed bullet helps in the oversized .311 dia barrels. To be honest , given my fasination with the .32-20 cartridge and the little rifles that chamber it, I find little need to shoot little .30 cal bullets in the big guns. I know that some folks do not like the adapters for the Mosins and others to shoot the .32 ACP pistol cartridge , but I have had very good luck with mine. Never stuck a bullet in a barrel yet. The .30-06 I use to hunt deer with ,shoots them to POA at 25 yards, when zeroed for my full power cast bullet hunting load using the Lyman # 311291.

            • BB, glad to help, grew up using these guns. Used to shoot woodchucks with my old man’s chopped Krag and Lyman # 311332 spitzer style, 183 gr bullets, over 8.0grs of Unique. They will shoot under 1 1/2” at 100 yards. Had to have a good backstop though as they like to bounce on hard ground. BTW, maybe try the Lee #90371 in your Mosin and SMLE for a full size bullet. It is the gas check ,round nosed design.

        • B.B.

          If you mean firing pistol bullets from Mosin – such experiments were made back in 1930’s. They tried to make training rifles use 7,62×25 ammo (TT) but tests failed. Bullets were understabilized, loosing accuracy and pistol loads were unable to push the bullet to minimum required stable speed.


          • You can get an adapter that allows you to shoot 7.62×25 in this rifle. In fact I saw one this weekend at a yard sale. If I had one of these, I would have picked it up for giggles.

    • duskwight,

      I hoped you would see this one!

      No, the barrel is not counterbored. I think the barrel is a brand new one, because I have ownerd other Mosins and this one doesn’t look like any of them.

      On the chamber in front of the receiver the barrel is marker 1934/49. The 1934 is faint — like it has been buffed and reblued. The 49 stamp is sharper.

      There are numbers all over this rifle. What a story (stories) it could tell.

      I know not to push lead bullets too fast in these big cartridges. I’ve been loadingt for my 1903A3 Springfield for several years and I can hold a couple inches at 100 yards with the best groups of lead bullets. I’m probably launching this bullet at 1100 f.p.s., which may have been too slow. I will give that a rethink next time.


      • B.B.

        As far as I understand Mosin markings, they seem to show that it was made in 1934, then took part in action, was repaired and refitted in 1949 before being put into storage. Perhaps one of the repairs was screwing in a new barrel. As it was 1949, with AKM being _the hit_, I believe the quality of work could be rather relaxed. So, maybe you could give it a try and re-crown it.

        From what I know, standard Mosin accuracy is c. 2MOA, sniper-capables are more like 1.5 MOA, so if it shoots worse, you may look for some work on yours. By the way, even-tightening of the screws sometimes does wonders to Mosins, and I would also check the wood for pressing the barrel and front metal part, it may affect accuracy if it touches the barrel.


        • duskwight,

          I concur with your reasoning about the dates. I have just begun to work with this rifle, so there is everything to do. And I do have others that satisfy my need for pinpoint accuracy, so this one I will keep for its history. But I will try to get it to shoot well with a cheap reduced load (i.e. cast lead bullet and small powder charge). That way I can shoot it a lot.

          BTW, this rifle used to belong to my friend, Mac. He owned 6 Mosins and was fascinated with the design. So I will keep it just because of that.


  6. Seeing the picture of B.B. shooting on a bench with a rest, compelled me to ask this question of all. What is your favorite bench rest set up? In the old days, I used to use zippered cloth bank bags and fill them with sand. The banks don’t seem to give them away any longer and I am pretty sure they were not as good as the rests available at the present.

    I now use two Caldwell bags. The front is shaped like a big “H” and the rear is a smaller “V” shaped bag for the bottom of the butt of the stock. It works pretty well, but I almost always find myself putting a little pressure on the stock to get the final adjustment.

    I will appreciate your input.


      • B.B.

        Thanks for your reply.
        I noticed that the “Lead Sled” has a big star shaped nut for elevation adjustments.
        Have you had experience with other metal U-shaped rests that have elevation and windage adjustments? Are they any better than bags?

        • Jerry,

          They are better because the butt rests against the device and not against your shoulder. They take up most of the recoil.

          Yes, they are better in a lot of ways. But they do take longer to align with the target.


          • Thank you for your response. I want to try some 50 yd. target shooting and maybe some 100 yard. I have the same wind issues that you have to deal with.

            I look forward to the Ft. Worth air gun show.


    • Mine is just an old backpack full of sand. I use the pockets to hold screwdrivers, Allen wrenches and whatnot. Give it a good whack wherever you wanna lay your gun and go! I guess another one for the stock would probably make things more steady,I’ve been thinking about making one for a while but then I wouldn’t have much bench left.


  7. Mike, I agree. But first I have to get to the blind. If the deer are in the woods while I am on the way to the blind, I would be carrying a brush catcher. The side rails are not needed where I hunt, and could be a liability. I had a scout scope on my 03-A3 for several years. I hunted with it and took a deer with it. I removed it, re-militarized the rifle. I went back to rifles with conventional scopes. I use the old Pachmayr swing mounts on my favorite rifles. On two occasions they made it possible for me to get the game. Now that N.Y.S. is generous with doe tags in my area, I would like to use some of my military rifles , without having to alter them. I am willing to go back to scout scopes (I have 2) for some of my hunting. Ed

  8. I just had a brain fart. Mag springers are known for killing scopes because the sharpest recoil is in the wrong direction. Ever think about mounting a scope on a centerfire rifle – but mounting it backwards – to see how well it handles reverse recoil? Obviously you couldn’t sight with it, you’d just have to send a bunch of rounds downrange.

    Or should I just stop suggesting the first things that pop into my head?

  9. Matt61, I researched my basement archives and located a copy of the American Rifleman magazine, April 2002. It has a very good article entitled “Garands in the Kings Service “. It has a lot of info re the 38,001 M1,s sent to England, and how and where they were used. If we lived near each other, I could lend you my copy. I sent the wrong serial # for my M1, it is 237, 0xx, the earliest one that I have ever seen on the range. Ed

    • Hi Ed. Thanks. I was quite unaware of this. With the British focus on rapid fire with bolt-actions or “musketry” as they called it up to WWI, I had wondered what the British would think of the M1. What’s not to like? These collaborations can be very fruitful. I understand that it was the British who figured out how to make the Corsair fighter plane suitable for carrier service in WWII by curving in towards the carrier to see around the fighter’s long nose. The U.S. Navy had already dismissed the plane and relegated it to the Marines for land bases, but the Navy adopted the British method and the Corsair remained in service through the Korean War.

      Anyway, as to the American Rifleman article, I should be able to find that one way or another. I’m a librarian. 🙂


  10. While not relevant to airgun use I wouldn’t mind seeing a comparison between the optical performance of the Leapers and the original type PU scope. I’m sure the Leapers would be much better but it would still be an interesting comparison. A friend of mine has a Nagant and it’s one of the few powderburners that I really want to have for myself.

    • nowhere,

      I have an original Soviet PU 3X snipescope for an AR. It doesn’t begin to compare, because the reticle moves as the scope is adjusted.

      Clarity is about the same through both scopes and there field of view is perhaps larger in the PU scope.

      Given a choice this (the UTG scout scope) is the scope I would want.


  11. Thank you, B.B. I’ve been looking forward to this report, and you have come through as always. I’ve heard that the 7.62X54R is closer to the .308 than the 30-06 although that’s not much of a difference. And I’ve heard too that notwithstanding the old rimless design that the cartridge is extraordinarily accurate.

    I can see how a projecting rim might cause problems with an automatic action, but this cartridge continues to be used in Russian machine guns without a problem. And the Vepr semiauto rifle seems to use the cartridge with great reliability. So, whatever the problems are they cannot be too significant.

    I had wondered about how you would mount the scope with no gunsmithing. I suppose that the same method is not available to mount the scope on an M1 Garand which was my next idea. The high position of the scope on the Mosin is a problem with the Soviet PU scope as well as the Scout scope. I’m going to use a strap-on cheek rest to solve this problem. That’s fine accuracy you’ve got. I bet that a Huber trigger would improve things significantly. ZimbabweEd’s concerns about safety are very well-taken, but I think that the trigger can be adjusted to be safe. I’ve not had problems with mine so far. And the trigger makes no permanent changes to the rifle (it is only a slightly modified version of the original), so you wouldn’t have to worry about compromising the historical value.

    An historical aside. Given the unusual procedures for cleaning corrosive ammunition, how did Russian and German soldiers manage this in the field? Or did they just let the barrels wear out and get them replaced?

    Newsflash! I bought a second IZH 61! Now that rifle is safe from any future Izmash sanctions. The price of $149 made me feel like a relic. Time was when it was under $100.

    It is the best of times. It is the worst of times… I read with keen interest about the Beretta AR100 soon to be offered for sale. Sounds like quite a rifle. And I also learned that the German government is marketing to sell its G36 service rifle to the commercial market in the U.S. How cool is that? I’m especially excited about the G36 since I’ve heard that it is considered one of if not the best service rifle in NATO. And it is almost identical in design to the AR-18. That was the rifle designed by Eugene Stoner with a piston in response to critics of his direct gas system.

    This takes us back to a pivotal month at the height of the Vietnam War. The complaints about the newly fielded M16 were reaching crisis proportions. So General Westmoreland instructed the army facility in Aberdeen, Maryland to fix the problem within 30 days or on his authority as the commanding field general, he replace the rifles with the AR18. The Aberdeen folks solved the problem sufficiently with chrome plating and powder changes!? The outcome doomed the AR18 to obscurity and commercial failure despite good reports of its accuracy and reliability. The design went on to gain notoriety with the IRA and then largely disappeared. But it had a large influence on other rifles, one of which was the G36, HK’s foray into a gas piston design after dispensing with their roller-locked bolt system, and there have been no complaints about the G36. So the new German offering would be a sort of coming home for the AR18.

    What would have been lost had the Aberdeen laboratory failed and the AR18 gone into service in the 1960s? I suppose we would have missed the quick-moving pointability of the direct gas system in combat and some really outstanding service rifle scores. On the other hand, the direct gas system has had no imitators in the new generation of rifles which says something. Moreover, we would be where we are currently at with AR pistons 50 years ago, and who knows what someone would have come up with in the meantime. It seems like such a waste for modern gunmakers to sweat reinventing what Eugene Stoner did decades ago and probably did better. He was a very smart guy and as the designer of the direct gas system he probably had a better insight into the role of the piston than anybody. Actually, his AR18 design has already been available with the commercial HK416 which copies the action of the G36. But at $3500, it has not been too widespread.


    • Matt, been there and done that. Familier with both the AR-18 and (in passing,) the legendary Russian tank, the T34. I mention these two items for two reasons; We have a Russion hardware theme going here, and they both desperately suffered from the same defect.
      Succinctly put, brilliant design, and (very) poor execution on production.
      It must be wildly frustrating to the designer to have the actual manufacture so colossally botched.
      In the case of the AR-18, many of the later production dissolved in a morass of improperly produced and un-heat-treated bolts, sears and otherwise junk parts. (If you’re not-so-blessedly still around, are you listening, Sterling?)
      I know, I owned one. Major POS. You could track me through the woods by my trail of shed and disintegrating parts.
      And later…
      Thanks to an illuminating day spent with the late Jacques Littlefield, and an extended crawl-through of his (beautifully restored) T34, I can verify the horrifrying (mispelling intended) ergonomics to the crew.
      Try and imagine, if you will, thinking yourself protected behind tempered-steel armor-plate and belatedly learning it’s mild steel, and merely spot welded in place. And once the stored-in-the-open ammunition cooks-off, then there are really no escape hatches, especially for the hull-gunner, …and the double top-hatch is likely too heavy to lift if you’re on fire and injured…And…, well, you get the point. All because somebody was not-so-dedicated, or “making allowences” at the factory. Best to balance off reputation Vs actual performance.
      Really. Check it out on-line.
      But unlike the misbegotten AR-18, at least persistance paid off, and eventually became a pretty darn effective instrument for international relations.
      (But even then, once the T34/85 went up against the Sherman/76 in Korea in direct confrontation, things didn’t go so much as planned by…anybody involved.
      Funny how that goes, when raw physics is applied to tactical and strategic negotiations,
      Really, Really!
      A longish story worth pusuing on our ubiquitous internet.

  12. … the things that make me smile… if Vassili zaitsefwould have had your setup he would have defeated the Germans single handedly… I love the mosin, and the way you have yours set up would make me stretch its capabilities to ridiculous status… at that point i think we would reach ballistic limitations on ammo, not the gun… nice.

  13. BB, I have had good results reloading for 2 (of my 3 MN,s) and a Finn39. This is what I do–I bought a lot of Yugo 7.62×54 ammo. I pull the bullets with a collet puller (around 200 at time). Using an electronic scale, I separate them into 3 groups. I weigh the powder from 10 rounds, take the average and reduce by 2 grains. Then I reload. Some of the time I use canister powders. It takes a bit of extra time, but the ammo was cheap and the results are worth it. There are enough winter storms here in the Hudson valley, to allow me to load a summers worth of ammo.It keeps me from becoming a couch potato and a tv addict. My loading bench is next to my basement archery and airgun range, so I can take numerous breaks from reloading. Ed

  14. OT
    “Once you focus on the target and reticle, though, nothing else seems to matter.”
    That reminds me that my sighting eye cannot multitask.

    However, sometimes I like to play with being able to have my sighting eye on the poi and simultaneously having my other eye focused on the target. Two pictures superimposed.

    I find that hard to do. One or the other fades out. Is this an attainable skill to be able to keep both…don’t know how to say it but you know what I mean. And if attainable with practice, is it a desirable skill? Whadya thimk?

      • John
        Shooting with both eyes open does two things for me.

        First is I have a wide field of view with my off eye. I can see alot more of the area around where the target is located.

        Second it makes me concentrate hard to keep my scope eye the dominant eye. That helps me keep the reticle on the target better.

        I dont know if it works that way for other people but it does for me. And both of my daughters shoot the bow and arrow with both eyes open.

        • I am left eye dominant shooting a bow, but couldn’t possibly shoot left hand triggering, so my right eye sights and is weak. If eye, hehe, leave my left open looking down sights I don’t hardly see them, I have to close it. I go cross eyed trying to focus on close things and need reading glasses, but have 20/20 vision according to my eye exams, anybody heard of that poop? So annoying.

          • RDNA
            My eyes are similar to yours. Up close is where I can’t focus. Like arms length and in I can’t make out print or wording anymore. It is fuzzy and blurry. But the farther I move out away from arms length the better I can see. And I can see real good at night time for some reason also.

            But here is something I think you missed above. I said that by keeping both eyes open it makes me concentrate harder to keep my scope eye dominant.

            What I mean by that is my left eye which is my off eye wants to keep taking over. It is actually my dominant eye. It always wanted to make me see the field of view area when I put the scope to my eye.

            I use to have to open and close my left eye to get the right to eye pick up the scope picture. Now for the most part after years of shooting with both eyes open I now automatically pick up the scope picture with my right eye with both eyes open. I will see the field of view eye trying to take over some times still and I will just blink my left eye and the right eye will take over again.

            It sounds complicated. But if you keep forcing your scope eye to do the work you will see how much better your whole view is. And that is another reason that I mostly shoot at lower power settings on the scope. I try to get the most magnification out of the scope that I can before it starts making my off eye want to take over. And again that is what it does for me with my eye sight. Maybe other peoples eyes it works differently. I mean how would you know.

            But you should try to shoot both eyes open with a scope. Its not comfortable at first but eventually becomes natural. And ain’t that what happens when the fighter jet and copter pilots put on their helmets and then use the one eye piece to over lay or super impose the reticle on their targets if I remember right.

          • 20/20 essentially means being able to recognize a size 20 type face from a distance of 20 feet as I recall.

            Focusing on stuff close is a different matter. My eyes, even with glasses, have a limited range of focusing ability. My daily-wear glasses are configured with right eye for distance, left eye for computer monitor (I can’t do bifocals, the “look down” is too painful to maintain) at 20-24 inches distance — making my left lens also optimal for handgun iron sights (unfortunately, at the range, my shooting glasses have lenses ground for distance, and I’d need the right eye set for 20-24″ anyway; shooting glasses are okay when using optical sights as the projected reticle and target should be at infinity focus).

            My separate reading glasses are optimized for a bit over the size of a dinner plate (allows me to balance the plate between collar bone and left hand wrist — holding a paperback — while the right hand manages the fork)

      • John,

        NO! Keeping both eyes open has to do with what the one open eye sees when the other is closed.

        I have written about this back in 2009, but I can’t locate the report. Maybe if there is enough interest I will do another report on the subject.


        • BB
          I would like for you to do another article about it. Its amazing what the eye’s will try to do if you let them. So yes if you can I would for sure be interested.

  15. BB, while searching my American Rifleman magazines, I also looked at my precision Shooting magazines. In the July 2007 vol55 no3 issue I found an article about the use of molybdenum disulfide. The author (Merrill Martin) claims that moly can act as an abrasive when it is between 2 hard steel rolling objects, and when in a liquid it acts like sand. Can you get a copy of this article? If he is correct, how would this affect airguns? Ed

Leave a Comment

Buy With Confidence

  • Free Shipping

    Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

    Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

    View Shipping Info

  • Shipping Time Frame

    We work hard to get all orders placed by 12 pm EST out the door within 24 hours on weekdays because we know how excited you are to receive your order. Weekends and holiday shipping times will vary.

    During busy holidays, we step our efforts to ship all orders as fast as possible, but you may experience an additional 1-2 day delay before your order ships. This may also happen if you change your order during processing.

    View Shipping Times

  • Shipping Restrictions

    It's important to know that due to state and local laws, there are certain restrictions for various products. It's up to you to research and comply with the laws in your state, county, and city. If you live in a state or city where air guns are treated as firearms you may be able to take advantage of our FFL special program.

    U.S. federal law requires that all airsoft guns are sold with a 1/4-inch blaze orange muzzle or an orange flash hider to avoid the guns being mistaken for firearms.

    View Shipping Restrictions

  • Expert Service and Repair

    We have a team of expert technicians and a complete repair shop that are able to service a large variety of brands/models of airguns. Additionally, we are a factory-authorized repair/warranty station for popular brands such as Air Arms, Air Venturi, Crosman, Diana, Seneca, and Weihrauch airguns.

    Our experts also offer exclusive 10-for-$10 Test and 20-for-$20 Service, which evaluates your air gun prior to leaving our warehouse. You'll be able to add these services as you place your order.

    View Service Info

  • Warranty Info

    Shop and purchase with confidence knowing that all of our air guns (except airsoft) are protected by a minimum 1-year manufacturer's warranty from the date of purchase unless otherwise noted on the product page.

    A warranty is provided by each manufacturer to ensure that your product is free of defect in both materials and workmanship.

    View Warranty Details

  • Exchanges / Refunds

    Didn't get what you wanted or have a problem? We understand that sometimes things aren't right and our team is serious about resolving these issues quickly. We can often help you fix small to medium issues over the phone or email.

    If you need to return an item please read our return policy.

    Learn About Returns

Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

View Shipping Info

Text JOIN to 91256 and get $10 OFF Your Next $50+ Order!

* By providing your number above, you agree to receive recurring autodialed marketing text msgs (e.g. cart reminders) to the mobile number used at opt-in from Pyramyd AIR on 91256. Reply with birthday MM/DD/YYYY to verify legal age of 18+ in order to receive texts. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Msg frequency may vary. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. See Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy.