by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
Aeon 8-32X50 AO scope with trajectory reticle.
This report covers:
- A long story
One little problem
At the range
Comments on the scope
This report on the Aeon 8-32 AO scope with trajectory reticle was a long time coming. So long many of you won’t remember why I’m even writing it. The answer begins with a long story.
A long story
In the first part of this report I mentioned a shift in the point of impact that might have been caused by me changing the magnification while I shot the string, or it may have been caused by a Bullseye ZR 1-piece scope mount that I was testing. We never got that sorted out in that report and I said I would come back to it.
My plan was always to use my Talon SS at 50 yards for both tests —
1. Does changing the power of a variable-powered scope change its point of impact?
2. Does the movement of the Bullseye ZR scope mount (it moves in recoil to cancel vibration) change the point of impact?
There has been discussion by blog readers on both of these questions since the last report. And they are both worth pursuing, in my opinion. These are the sort of things airgunners need to know to further their success in this hobby. Even firearm users can benefit from the knowledge. Anyone who uses a scope sight needs to know this.
I selected the Talon SS for testing because it is the most consistently accurate .22-caliber PCP I own. No special technique is required to get great groups, and I needed something stable that I could depend on.
One little problem
I was all set to start the test when the phone rang. An airgunner in Ohio had acquired an AirForce rifle at the recent Findlay airgun show and had taken the trigger apart to see how it operates. He couldn’t get it back together, so he called me for help. How many times do I have to tell people not to take something apart if they can’t put it back together? AirForce sporting rifles have triggers that are very complex — not in the number of parts but in the unique way they operate. They are not triggers you can work on, and most people cannot even understand how they function.
While the guy is on the phone I took my Talon SS trigger apart far enough to describe how the springs fit. It was a long conversation, because he had difficulty understanding how they can work the way I was describing them, but everything worked out in the end. He got his rifle back together and also learned not to take it apart.
There was just one little problem. Now I couldn’t get my rifle together and functioning again! The pieces all fit but the trigger did not hold the striker. I worked at AirForce Airguns for 3 years and have taken these triggers apart hundreds of times, but I always had a jig and a pin press to do the job. I have neither tool now and over the 10 years that have passed I have forgotten the subtleties of the trigger. I set the gun and parts aside until I could find the time to figure it out. Time passed — a lot of time.
Then chance brought me in contact with the AirForce general manager and I told her the story. She took my gun back to the plant and someone there who does have access to the right tools and who does remember how this older trigger works put it together for me. Voila — I’m back in business.
At the range
I told you it was a long story. But last Friday I was at the rifle range with the SS and the Aeon scope mounted in conventional 2-piece BKL high rings. I just want to test one thing at a time, so I’ll switch to the Bullseye ZR scope mount after I know how changing the scope’s magnification affects the point of impact.
The Talon SS with Aeon scope is on the bench. I’m shooting at 50 yards.
I’ve shot the Talon SS enough to know it’s a reliable testbed for what I’m doing. I will run it on power setting 8 and shoot JSB Exact Jumbo 15.89-grain domes that I know are the most consistently accurate pellets. If you want to see how accurate it can be, look at this test.
When I first set the rifle on the sandbag I discovered that the scope hadn’t been fully mounted. Fortunately I carry the right tools in my range bag, so all it took was a quick alignment of the reticle and then tighten the scope mount cap screws and we’re good to go. The first shot at 50 yards landed about 6 inches low and 3 inches to the right. An adjustment of the scope knobs put me on target in just 2 shots.
I filled the rifle to 3,000 psi and then shot 20 shots before refilling. When I refilled I noted that the tank still had about 2700 psi in it. This fill is good for a minimum of 30 good shots at 50 yards, but I didn’t want to take any chances.
Today I am testing how changing the scope’s power affects the point of impact. I used 32 power and 14 power for today’s test. The first target was shot at 32 power. The wind was blowing in my face and varied from 1-5 m.p.h. I waited until the wind was at its lowest before shooting. Ten pellets landed in a group that measures 0.852 inches between centers. That’s very representative of how well this rifle and pellet shoot.
Ten JSB Exact pellets went into 0.852 inches at 50 yards with the scope set at 32 power. The group is not centered on the bull, but I will leave the adjustments alone for now.
Next I adjusted the scope to 14 power and shot another 10 rounds. This time the pellets landed farther to the left and higher on the target. The center of this group moved approximately 0.8-inches to the left and above the center of the first group. It is well-centered on the bull, left and right. Don’t draw any conclusions from this target, though, because I feel I did not give it my full concentration. I will discuss that further in a moment.
When the scope was set at 14 power ten JSB Exact pellets went into 1.521 inches at 50 yards. The group is centered but high.
This group measures 1.521-inches between the centers of the two pellets that are farthest apart. If you check the ten 10-shot groups I shot with the rifle in the test against the Ruger 10/22 you’ll see that this group is larger than the largest one shot in that test. I really believe that I didn’t concentrate enough while shooting this group, because the rifle is clearly capable of much better accuracy. You’ll see confirmation of that in a moment.
For the next target I switched back to 32 power. We’ll see 2 things from this. First, we’ll see if I can shoot another good group at this magnification. Second, we’ll see if the point of impact has moved back to where it was on the first target that was also shot at 32 power.
This time 10 pellets landed in a group that measures 1.06 inches between centers. While that is larger than the first group shot at 32X, it isn’t that much larger. It’s within the acceptable parameters for the rifle if you check the results of the 10/22 test.
With the scope back at 32 power, 10 JSB Exact pellets went into 1.06 inches at 50 yards.
The center of this group is about 0.4 inches to the left and slightly lower than it was for the first group. Even though both groups were shot at the same power setting, the center of the groups has moved by an amount that is significant.
The next group was shot on 14 power again. It is the second group shot on that magnification, and this time I concentrated much more on what I was doing. Since the day was sunny, I was able to see the Aeon scope’s thin reticle against the black bull, which helped my concentration.
Ten pellets landed in a group that measures 1.251-inches between centers. That puts it on the high side of what I expect this rifle to do with this pellet at 50 yards. It is within the rifle’s expected accuracy spread though, based on the data obtained in the 10/22 test.
On 14 power again, 10 JSB Exact pellets went into 1.251 inches at 50 yards.
This time the center of the group is almost exactly where it was in the group just before that was shot at 32X. If there is any difference, this group might be 1/8-inch higher than the last one.
This is the group I said earlier that I was going to discuss. I told you that I really tried hard to center the crosshairs on every shot this time. And you can see the results in a group that’s much smaller than the first one shot on 14 power. That is why I say the first group should probably be discounted, because I don’t think I concentrated enough on each shot. Of course that’s a little difficult to prove when there are only 2 groups (at 14 power) to examine. I have a plan for that.
The results of this test are both confusing and inconclusive. But they may also be spot on! If this scope changes its POI every time the magnification changes and if it doesn’t go back to the same place each time, then we have learned something very important about variable power scopes. But 4 targets don’t tell us much.
I hope you readers understand that what is true for this scope is probably true for all variables. The Aeon is probably no better nor worse than other scopes in this respect — if this is in fact a real problem.
Comments on the scope
I find this Aeon scope very bright and clear when used outdoors on a sunny day. I was able to run it at 32X this time without any problems, so the last time I shot indoors there was a lighting problem.
The reticle did give me a problem, though. It was very confusing finding the center of the crosshairs. I said in Part 1 that I found the reticle busy and this time confirmed that observation. One time I actually selected the wrong intersection (there are several because of the trajectory compensation feature of the scope) and shot several inches lower than intended. That shot was not included in this report.
I don’t think this is a good hunting scope for this reason. The reticle is too busy for good work in the field — with the possible exception of varmint hunting on an open clear field. On a sunny day you can see the thin reticle lines against a dark bull, so the Aeon is a good target scope.
I had planned on switching to the Bullseye ZR scope mount next, but there is more to do here, I think. I want to come back and shoot another 4 targets with exactly the same setup as seen here. I didn’t touch the scope setting after the first group was shot, so the next test will be an extension of this one. We will have twice the data to consider.
After I see the results of that test I’ll know better what to do next. You readers could help me with this if you have an accurate pellet rifle with a variable scope. Try shooting 10-shot groups at some far distance using two different power settings on your scope. One setting should be close to half the power of the other. See what happens to the center of the groups and let us know.
The Bullseye ZR scope mount is still on the schedule to be tested. Now that my Talon SS is back in operation I should get to it soon.
84 thoughts on “Aeon 8-32 AO scope with trajectory reticle: Part 2”
BB– When I benchrest my varmint and target rifles, I get tighter groups by using square targets. I find it easier to hold the crosshair intersection on a corner of the square. I have tried bulls eye targets side by side with square bench rest targets. Most of the time the tighter groups are on the square target. When I begin the test, The groups are about even, but as fatigue and eye strain begin to have an effect, the groups on the square targets are the tightest. If you try benchrest targets (square) , I would like to know if you get similar results. Ed
The only issue with using square target is that in competition shooting at least I am not aware of any competitions that use square targets. The round targets we use do not even have crosshair lines on the bullseye. So there is no way to line up the scope crosshairs with anything on the target. So that emphasizes the significance of using a level on your rifle.
But in informal shooting I can see using that as a tool. But keep in mind that both sets of crosshairs must be level and plumb to get the best results.
I do use square hollow targets when I bench a rifle. I suppose that would have helped tighten the groups here, too.
Heck — now you have gone and suggested a blog topic! See what you did? 😉
The more we learn about shooting the better. 🙂
I would be interested in that blog.
I agree, that would be a good topic. Targets, purposes behind targets, does the human eye shoot tighter groups with squares versus circles.
My range is limited to 10 yards but I’ve got a Benjamin Regal that’s pretty accurate and has a nice 3-9×50(obsolete Gamo) on it and needs to be shot. I just need to wait til daylight so nobody calls Johnny.
PS– I have several Shepherd scopes, and they have circles for the trajectory compensation system . I have shot game out to 320 yards with these scopes (none named Cecil). The problem of selecting the wrong intersection does not exist with these scopes. The only problem is that game animals can vary in size. I once had my scope tell me that the woodchuck was 200 yds. away I did not believe it, used the 100 yd. setting. When I recovered the chuck, it was a young one, about half the size of a full grown chuck. I paced the distance and it was 100 yds. Ed
I believe it was a good test.
I want to ask this though. Did you adjust the parallax setting at 50 yards on the 32 magnification? And if you did was it untouched after the initial focusing of the scope and all groups were shot with that focus.
Or did you try to focus the parallax when you switched magnification each time?
My experience has been that I always have to adjust the objective lens after changing the magnification to get best results. I suppose that’s not necessarily true for everyone but I would think so.
Isn’t it harder for you to tell if you got the focus correct at lower magnification.
What is the lowest magnification you shoot at? That may answer my question once you tell me.
With rifles I rarely, if ever, go below 12X. When I’m shooting competitively I normally use 32X. That little 2mm bullseye is tough to see otherwise. I doubt I would go below 24X then.
I have never used a scope on a pistol. If I remember right the highest power I’ve seen on a pistol scope is 7X. I do however use a red dot on my target pistols.
At those magnifications you should be able tell real good if you have your scope focused right.
I can’t remember about the parallax. I know I did adjust it one time at 32X, but did I then change it at the lower power? I don’t know.
I’ll watch for that next time, which I hope will be this week.
Yes please try that. I would like to know what you see with the groups if the parallax is not brought back in to focus as previous group that was shot.
I know your not changing distances your shooting at. Kind of like when you focus at different distances in a feild target match.
But if you was to change focus for some reason at the same distance your shooting at will it change were your POI will be on the target.
If it does then that means the focus needs to be repeated also at a given distance if you want to reproduce the same or I guess I should say close to the same POI.
And maybe that would be good weekend blog so we have more time to talk about what the scopes will do.
Oh, I have a good weekend blog planned this week! 😉
You always do.
I can hardly believe my good fortune. I was going to write about this today regardless of whatever great blog B.B. had in store for us. Yesterday, I purchased a small container of Crosman PowerShot Red Flight Penetrator Pellets (that is just too long) to see if they would live down to their reputation (not only them, but the plastic sabot ammo in general). Out of my rejuvenated Titan .22 they did.
I also bout a tin (plastic) of Crosman Piranhas (much shorter than the above). Both were an impulse buy, really.
Not knowing how either would perform out of the Titan, I moved in to 10 yards. I was having a difficult time obtaining that nice crisp round sight picture. I would get it for a moment, only to lose it to a black void or other undesirable visual issues.
I demanded that I have a clear focus on the targets numerals. I had the objective dialed to the 10 yard mark. The situation only got better when I discovered that I needed to adjust both the magnification and the objective to find a clear, crisp sight picture that I could hold.
Not only could I hold the sight image, but I started hitting the little round dots I stuck to my end zone (with the Piranhas, not the sabots).
It may not be the same thing you are speaking of; the difference in yardage alone is significant. However, I do believe I learned something important yesterday. Time will tell ….
And there’s another thing to add to what you just said.
Just because you have a target measured out at 10 yards or any distance for that fact. It doesn’t mean that setting the parallax on the scope for that distance will give you the best focus.
Distance, magnification and parallax have to be adjusted to get the best sight picture for your liking.
The parallax adjustment will almost always not be true to to a determined yardage. That’s why some people put the big wheels on the side adjust parallax scopes. Then they put tape on the wheel. They will set targets out at determined distances like 10 to 70 yards then take and focus their scope at the highest magnification that they can see with for that distance then mark that distance on the tape.
That way your suppose to be able to range find your distance of your target with that scope setup.
Then there is one more thing I like to do to keep me and my scope consistent and that’s always dail down to a lower magnification and shoot at that magnification. Not the higher focusing magnification.
Thanks, again, Gunfun1. Last evening I was looking at the old Airgun Academy videos regarding scopes. All of this seems to fit together. Tony Canon said much the same thing regarding the need to adjust the Objective and the magnification to obtain the best sight picture. I will be experimenting with lower and higher magnification. ~ken
Thank you for bringing those things up also.
There is definitely alot to learn about scopes if a person wants to get the full potential out of them.
What is the minimum distance(range) you need to validate the test results? I have a .177 caliber RAW BM500 LW with an Aeon 8-40 X 56 scope that I can regularly shoot 10 shot groups of .20″+ CTC. By the plus I mean they are .2″ to .209″ CTC. I have only recently gotten to this level of accuracy with this rifle. It took me a while to get comfortable with it primarily because it is so light. I had it made for Light Varmint shooting. As you should expect this is at 25 meters. Hence my question, because I can do the experiment at 25 meters with this gun or I will use either my TM1000 .20 caliber or Daystate .22 caliber at 40 yards but they both have Hawke scopes on them. I suppose which scope really doesn’t make any difference.
Anyway, I made this post much longer than it needed to be to get the info I wanted. There’s a lot of extraneous talk here which made sense to me when I started writing it. It’s too late at night.
Simply put, do you prefer I do the testing at 25 meters or 40 yards? I can’t get to 50 yards on my private range. Honestly, when I started typing all that other stuff seemed important to know. Sorry.
I don’t want to put limits on this. I actually noticed it the first time at 25 yards, so that’s a start. The farther the better, though.
I have the Aaron 10-40×56 trajectory teticle. I have it mounted on a tuned TX200mk 3. I really like the scope and use it for Field Target.
I change the focus often and have not really noticed any change in POI.
I recently lowered the rifle power to 12 ft lb. The rifle is more accurate now than ever.
I will pay very close attention to POI change with magnification change as I recheck my dope chart this week.
I have found a small amount of problems range finding from 40 to 55 yards. But apairantly most scopes have similar problems.
The trajectory teticle works well. But light would be a help. And I have also used the wrong cross hair. But not often.
That’s good to know. I still have to repeat this test and now, I might have to also try adjusting the parallax. But that will be a separate test.
Why not just use a laser bore sighter in the end of the barrel? See where the dot is at low magnification and at high mag, and use a square target like Zimbabweed suggested to rule out canting. It would take the pellet and shooter out of the equation. If used with a solid rest system you could still walk down and take a picture at the different settings. Just a suggestion.
Thanks for the suggestions. You have read this report and taken it to heart!
I will be testing a hollow square target against a conventional bull in the near future, but I want to keep the test conditions the same for the rest of this test.
Finally, a use for a laser boresighter.
I like the idea.
In the scope world it seems that the crosshairs are like the velocities of the air rifles, the lures for fishing, the camo patterns, etc. Most of this stuff is to catch the eye of the buyer. For years all I used were very fine crosshairs. I remember when dual x came along. They are nice in the woods, but useless at long range because they are so thick.
The mil dot concept is nice, but all the crosshairs nowadays are so blame thick, however I have noticed a trend toward slimming down again. I would like a very fine crosshair with fine mil marks.
Now if I could just figure out how to pay for the thing.
Have you looked at the Leapers 3-12×44?
I actually have two of them. For the money they are great scopes, however at 300 yards they are as thick as telephone poles. Yes, that is an exaggeration, but I think you understand what I am saying.
Last week I looked through a Unertal 10X scope and the clarity and the crosshairs were awesome! If I could have afforded it, I would have bought it.
Hawke scopes with the half mil crosshairs are pretty decent and almost in my budget. I have been giving one of those some serious thought.
Get a Hawke 1/2 mildot scope. The retical lines and dashes are thin. And the dashes are wast to use the very edge of the line for windage holds.
And what I found on the Hawke scopes is the dot and 1/2 dot spacing is not as far apart as other scopes. For instance like the bug buster scope I got from you.
I can fit a extra dot and dash of the Hawke scope inbetween the dots and dashes on the bug buster scope. And to me that’s a good thing. It gives me distinct POA for various distances that a air gun shoots at. Plus like we said the reticle lines are thin so it don’t block out your target.
Suppose to say and the dashes are (easy) to use the very edge.
I will second that for GF1.
I have three of the lower priced Hawke scopes and like the fine crosshairs and 1/2 mil dots very much.
The crosshairs in the Aeon scope are very fine. I would not want any thinner. I have heard that the crosshairs in the Weaver T36 are quite difficult to see. I have a friend who just got one of those so I’m gonna see for myself.
G&G—-Some of the benchrest competition matches use square benchrest targets. I am talking ( if this form of communication is talking . )about using benchrest targets when testing rifles and scopes for accuracy. BB–I am always glad to be of help. Ed
That’s interesting. I would definitely use the lines as a guide. If targets are hung carefully I could see eliminating the need for a level.
I always adjust parallax with every change to magnification every time, whether it fixed a change in poi I never checked into, I just notice the difference in visual clarity if I adjust parallax after adjusting magnification. My vision is all over the place and different from one eye to the other, I don’t wear glasses or contacts either, they both give me headaches and migraines, my vision problems are from a car accident when I put my head almost through a windshield. No wonder my vision is bad huh, lol.
Very good friend must sell his firearm collection. He’s 87 years old, doesn’t do internet, can’t take digital photos, has no idea the value of his guns, etc., etc. In a weak moment I agreed to help him value and sell his guns.
He has 47 guns. No theme to his accumulated guns. Most are from the civil war era but he also has a bizarre, incomplete under-hammer and an Italian colt navy replica. No theme.
I have the latest blue book and the 9th edition Flayderman. I went online to buy a copy of the latest Flayderman and was surprised to learn that this book hasn’t been updated. It was out of date for values years ago.
Is there a more up to date book on gun values for older/antique firearms than Flayderman’s?
Blue book is the best, but not for antiques. What you need is an impartial vintage firearms expert. Local gun store?
Thanks for the reply and advice.
I’m ashamed to admit that our local gun stores have dwindled and I don’t know of any antique firearms experts anymore. Plenty of guys with gun stores that will talk your arm off about AR’s though.
I’m also struggling with our 2013 gun transfer law that changed the way we must sell firearms. Wish I hadn’t made this promise.
By federal law black powder arms and arms made before 1898 are not modern firearms. No firearms laws apply to them. So, unless your state has draconian laws for antique arms, those guns are off all books.
Luckily our new gun laws didn’t tamper with transferring antiques made prior to 1899 nor did they affect the transfer of black powder arms, except in lines.
In all other firearm transfers, pistols and rifles, even private sellers must perform a background check, use an FFL and transfer to an FFL. Pain in the behind and more costs that add up quick especially when you consider the low value of most of the guns I’m trying to help Jack sell.
Thanks for catching that slip. You are correct, 1899 is the cutoff date. Guns made in 1898 and earlier are not classified as modern firearms.
Maybe you could keep us informed as to what is for sale and how much?
I tried three different magnification settings at 25 yards.
Five shots each. The groups are under 1/2 inch. The POI center did not seem to change. The groups seem to get better with less magnification. This was a quick lunch break test. I’ll do more when I dial in the gun tonight.
Thanks for this.
I hope you are keeping busy. Glad to see you blogging these past few days. A couple of off topic questions:
1. What scope mount would you recommend for a magnum-type springer, like the HW 90 for example. Would you think a one-piece mount would be better than two? Any particular mount recommendation?
2. I found a deal on a RWS 52 recently that I couldn’t pass up. It is a 1996 model with reportedly less than 500 pellets through it. From the condition, I believe it. Should I do anything special to help with the break-in? From reading your recommendations elsewhere, I did put a couple drops of chamber oil in the port and let it sit for a couple of days. The chamber slide seemed really dry — slight dragging / friction noise when cocking, so I also put a couple of drops on the outside of the chamber, and that seemed to work great. Anything else to be done?
Thank you. Still keeping you in my prayers. God bless.
I would recommend anything high-end UTG or the Hawke 4.5-14X sidewheel.
I never recommend one-piece scope mounts. They are too limiting for scope placement. Try to get something that has some droop if you can. I like the BKL rings, and alto the UTG rings.
As far as breatking-in your new 52, just shoot it. What you have done already is more than enough. Those rifles need to be shot.
Sounds good. Thanks B.B!
I love this when everyone chips in with his or her insights and results. Is it possible to blog some results? I would like a photo with the first set and the a second photo with the second set with a the relevant details (rifle, scope, distance, pellet etc.).
On a more serious level: Is there a theoretical basis of the change of POI? As far as I know my optics this could only result from some misalignment of the optical axes of the different sets of lenses in the scope. But if that should be the case it would be visible in more than a change of POI. However, the subject is way out of my range and I may be woefully wrong.
I was hoping CalinB would chime in, because he si the one who put me onto this. It’s a misalignment of some sort, no doubt, but with optics, even microns matter.
While we are on scopes, I would appreciate an “article” on “mirroring a scope” (aligning the “ghost reticle”),..as well as correcting the reticle “swing” as you rotate the scope, mounted, tops off, as you look through it. Both, methods to correct error in the lenses. Perhaps most important,..your view on if it matters or not. Oh, yea,….centering the turrets, by counting clicks too. Funny,…none get the same results,…at least by me anyways.
We, (you and I), have been “around the block” a time or two on this. But, I do not remember an article proving or disproving the benefits and lack there of. If I recall, it does not matter and you need only be concerned with not going to far up on (E) and not too far out on (W).
From (personal) experience, I have tried all three, and still end up adjusting E/W for final sight-in, despite shimming to avoid adjusting.
At any rate, I am throwing this out in a (broadest/most general) sense. I think that anyone that has heard of these methods, would be curious as to your thoughts and experience.
No doubt,…a rather extensive test. Your comment above that “even microns matter” prompted this request/idea.
That’s quite the honking scope at 32X power. I thought I was on the high side with my 6-24X scope. How was the image at 32X? At 24X, mine is noticeably dimmer and slightly fuzzy.
An interesting test, but I think the results are inconclusive on the question of how POI shifts with magnification. Undoubtedly, there is some variation given that the mechanism of the scope is based on parts with less than exactly perfect tolerances. The question is whether the shifts are significant. Discounting the one group as recommended, the shifts seem small, and could be attributed to other things like changes in body position or a personal preference for a certain magnification size. I don’t see any solid basis for tying POI directly to magnification.
ChrisUSA, undoubtedly you’re right. Follow-through affects what happens before the pellet leaves the barrel because anything else would be magic. I’ve often heard that the pellet moves so fast inside the barrel that you cannot react fast enough to change things. True, but I think what is overlooked is how much movement matters at the start of the shot. We had a conversation long ago about whether a wind value is more important near the gun or far from the gun. A deviation near the gun has more effect farther away. But wind farther away has more time to the affect the shot. A related phenomenon is how misalignment between the front and rear sight is more critical than a misalignment of your sights with the target. The underlying principle would be the “ballistic cone” which models how trajectories continually spread out once they leave the muzzle. The near has a disproportionate effect on the far. The key point is that while the time a pellet dwells in the barrel is infinitesimally short, the effect of even the slightest deviation is enormous, and it is not clear how those two things balance out.
Even though the influence of muzzle deviation is large, the question is how to intervene since the pellet is gone before we can react. I think the answer is that “nature abhors a vacuum.” Your mind will register the shot at some level if it doesn’t have another focus. Here, I think, is where follow-through comes into play. It doesn’t really affect the pellet after it leaves the barrel. By focusing on what happens afterwards, you wall out distracting thoughts in the present. It’s like what Bruce Lee called the “energy of intention.” I suspect that this is how follow-through operates in a realm of time that is very distorted.
I forgot to say before that the Delta Force veteran I am reading says that it takes a lot of training to really call your shots, so you sound pretty far along already.
All good points. Something I learned, and forgot, was that if you are just shooting to hit the bull,….and,…you are doing the (same) follow through over and over,….you can release the shot, before the reticle crosses the bull. Right now, with the TX, I am looking for group size/best pellet. So I really don’t care at this point if I hit the bull. Once I study the data, hitting the bull will be much more important.
Follow through is important in both exercises,….if not in fact, the same. All I can say at this point, is I can more often than not,..know when I messed up, before the pellet lands.
As for targets at the same range and different mag. levels,…when going from 25 and 30 and 50, I do adjust parralex. If I adjust mag. level during four…. ten shot groups….I could not see much of an POI change. I do 7 at 25 and 30 and 10 at 50. As for focus, I use graph paper and also write “25/30 yds.” on the targets as well as put in a few dots that are about 1/8″ apart. When I can see these clear,…I know my parralex is “on”.
Heck,…at this newbie stage,…my POI can change all by itself,…without me doing a thing. 😉
Throw in hold/rest/finger placement on trigger/shoulder placement and about a million other little things,…and all I can say is that you need to shoot enough to have it all become “automatic” and “instinctual”. Still,…working on that.
Follow through is critical. I still have my crosshair on the POI a couple seconds after the shot. I’m checking to see if I hit my POA of course. If I don’t do that I can pretty much guarantee I didn’t hit it.
I smile,….in a good way,…..at my “stage”, I release the shot just before the reticle crosses the bull,…the sight moves on,..and past the bull. 2 seconds,… you can hold that ? 😉 I am still working on (.)2 seconds. 🙂
I say this with good humor,…..Man !,… do I have a LOT more work to do.
At the risk of being redundant “technique” like this comes with practice, practice, practice. The goal is to build this stuff into your mental and muscle memory such that it becomes the natural thing to do. It just takes time. Fortunately I have plenty of time now as I am retired (disabled actually). That is the only reason I have been able to improve as quickly as I have. If your still working it’s much harder.
Stay with it though. You’ll get there and when you do it’s a blast. Not too long ago B.B. wrote a blog on all of the important steps of a full shot cycle which will lead to better accuracy. I try to keep that memorized. B.B. is indispensable when it comes to stuff like that. Like having your own private tutor.
As I said earlier I have an Aeon scope 8-40 X 56. I do not use the 40x. The image just gets too dark. I was disappointed. Fortunately, I won the scope so the extra power which I can’t use didn’t cost me.
Just had a similar problem while checking my Regal, I started @3x to keep in the lower range of adjustments.
Things got too dark and blurry to pick a poa so I reached for the eyepiece to get things focused again but still no luck, then tried using the RBG reticle light which was working yesterday but not now.
“RBG reticle light”,….What’s that ?
There you go again,…. 😉 I should have known that. What ya’ gonna’ call that 3-12×44 UTG you got your eye on ? It has 36 colors ! By the way,….anyone,….red and green will do it. 36 “may” just be a “wee bit” on the over-board side. Just sayin’.
Yeah I agree and I’d prefer not even having it most of the time but they come in handy when light is low
Thank you for coming back to this scope review.
I have a rifle scope question about sporter class small bore .22 lr rifles. While this may somewhat off the topic of air rifles, since booth air rifles and small bore rifles are fired at 25 and 50 yards, I’m hoping you or some other helpful, knowledgeable air gunner can help out a 10 meter coach as I add CMP sporter small bore to my “resume”:) 🙂
After reading what you and others have posted, I think I understand variable power, (CMP max rule is 6X), the differences in types of reticules, AO either on the bell or side parallax wheel etched glass reticule vs wire reticule. But now I’m very confused about first focal plane or second focal plane. What is this and how does it come into play? What are the advantages to purchasing expensive complicated rifle scopes? Or are fixed power 4X or 6X rifle scopes sufficient for 25 and 50 yard shooting?
Venture Crew .357
Take a scope and set the parallax at 10 yards. Have a target set at a determined 50 yards. Set your magnification at say 10 power. Slowly bring the parallax adjustment up till you focus on your 50 yard target. Hopefully your scope will be at the 50 yard marking for parallax.
Now start adjusting the parallax upto a higher yardage setting. You will see the scope go blurry and as you keep turning the parallax adjustment the focus will come back in. It may say something like 200 yards. And of course you know your at 50 yards.
That’s your second focal plane. The second focal plane is not accurate at determining range at closer distances. That’s why you should set your scope down on 10 on the parallax and slowly come up till you just come into focus on your target.
And that’s another reason why some people put the big side wheel on their scopes. It helps you slowly come into focus and gives you a finer adjustment.
So what use, if any, is the second focal plane ? Or rather, something to be aware of and avoid ?
Also, (at 25+30), on the Hawke, 25-30 dials out at 55 while the UTG dials at 25-30. Is that normal from brand to brand ?
The second focal plane is for farther distances. Say like a hundred yards and out.
You might be able to focus on a object at a hundred yards in the first focal plane. Say the parallax is set at 50 yards and using 10 magnification. But you will use a lot of movement on your parallax adjustment before you come into a good focus with the scope which will be the second focal plane. The 100 yard and up adjustment starts to show a more precise focus for the longer distances.
I’m probably not explaining it the best. But its like the first focal plane can see good at closer distances. The second focal plane can see better at longer distances.
And I’m sure there is mathematical formulas that explain it also.
Typically FFP scopes will not focus as close as an SFP scope. Even higher end FFP scopes like March, Schmidt & Bender and Kahles don’t focus down to distances that airgunners desire.
I guess the side focus parallax scopes have more room by design than the front focus parallax scopes.
Let’s not confuse a scopes focus ability with a scopes parallax adjustment.
This is an often misunderstood difference and complex topic for the novice.
Simply put, for those scopes that have parallax adjustment there are two focus’ within a scope. One for the eye, that should be set once and left alone, and one for the target, that should be adjusted often, correctly.
You got it.
The eye piece is to set the reticle focus and then left alone.
The parallax adjustment on the front or side of the scope is to focus the target.
Would like to thank you for your major contribution of time and effort to introduce and encourage young shooters into the fascinating world of shooting sports. Very worthy.
To your question about the necessity of First Focal Plane (FFP) vs. Second Focal Plane (SFP) in your CMP discipline and “complicated rifle scopes:
Not sure what you mean about the complications of rifle scopes. If you mean busy, trajectory reticle so and multiple options for lighting up the reticle your team doesn’t need these features. If you mean parallax adjustment your team will have an advantage if your local CMP rules allow it. Just know that your scope options with fixed magnification (6X in your case) AND parallax adjustment are limited. IF your rules allow variable magnification scopes, as long as they’re set at 6X for the match your choices for scopes with parallax adjustment grows exponentially.
The primary purpose of the FFP scope is that the scale of the reticle remains constant regardless of magnification. This is valuable when you’re using your scope to range distances.
This has the most value when magnification is set outside of multiples of 10 (10x, 20x, 40x, etc).
I think your’re far better off for CMP with a second plane reticle because ranging to target is unnecessary. The good news is that SFP scopes are typically cheaper than FFP scopes.
Hope this helps.
In my opinion if your going to keep the scope on the rifle all the time it is more practical to have a variable power scope for shooting at different distances and target sizes. However, in my opinion, if you use the rifle strictly for shooting at one range(distance) then fixed power is fine. Many competitive target shooters do so.
Thank you. I appreciate your insights. The juniors I work with are starting to shoot sporter class small bore.There are both open iron and scoped rifle classes. The CMP course of fire is a combination of slow and rapid fire. Four stings are shot at 50 yards and then the last two strings are shot at 25 yards. So two different ranges but both are known distances and the targets are large, 21″x21″ a 1.78” ten-ring and an 18” outer one-ring. Trying to educate myself about scopes for the juniors that want to shoot in the T class. There’s a 6X limit built into he rules and no scopes allowed in 10 meeter air rifle. So I’m trying to tap into the wisdom of this blog to educate myself about the ins and outs of competition scopes.
Again, thanks for the response.
That’s funny you say 6 power. Most of my shooting is 15 to 50 yards and my scope stays on 6 power. But I do occasionally shoot out to a 150 yards and more sometimes.
Guess what my scope stays on 6 power when I shoot. Even at the longer distances. But I will say I’m not shooting at a 1″ kill zone at 150 yards. The objects are about 10″ by 2.5″ diameter. Corn cobs to be precise out in the plowed feild.
But I would say for what kind of shooting your talking about I would get a fixed power scope that’s 4-6 fixed magnification with the scope parallax fixed at 50 yards.
That would allow for good focus at both the 25 and 50 yard shooting and you wouldn’t have to worry about the setting changing. And by settings I mean parallax and magnification.
The UTG golden image 4 power scope is a excellent scope at those distances. It has a wide feild of veiw and very bright and sharp sight picture all the way out to the edge of the scope view.
But that’s just my opinion from what I seen using that scope.
I spent the evening working with my TX200. I’m converting it to WFTF field target >12 ft lb . So I’m shooting a lot. I added different magnifications just for fun and to answer Toms question about point of impact change. So far I have found none.
But I have noticed slightly better groups with slightly less magnification. is it’s my imagination ?
Is less more wham it comes to target shooting?
I got a TX in .22. To answer your question, in my opinion, there is less “wiggle” at lower mag. So,…you feel more steady, which allows you to focus more on your target,…and less about controlling your “wiggle”.
By the way, I did stock, 12- and HO tunes. The jury is still out. HO now. Check back for results. 😉
I guess it depends a lot on range and target size but for me less is not more. I’m pretty sure many here will disagree. That’s ok. Variety is the spice of life.
I have a 12 fpe tune on my Tx.
I shoot better groups at 6 magnification than I do with 12 magnification.
Other guns I tryed 16 and 24 magnification and it just doesn’t work for me.
I’m very busy these days and finding it difficult to keep up with your blog. Sorry for this late comment, which may not even get read, given my tardiness.
>The results of this test are both confusing and inconclusive.
You have illustrated the difficulty of testing a scope by only shooting it, B.B.! I’ve measured the shift of reticles (opto-mechanical errors) with the actuation of controls on dozens of scopes. Magnification changes do sometimes cause errors. However, the source of error that I’ve found to be far more common is parallax adjusters. I’ve never found an AO scope (one where the objective lens moves back and forth as you turn its housing ring) that exhibited less than about 1/2 MOA of reticle shift across its full range of adjustment. Most AO scopes are far worse (a few MOA of error). Side adjust scopes are typically much better, but I’ve still found only a handful of them that exhibited no discernible or measurable reticle shift with parallax / focus adjustments and they were all expensive scopes! However, I have also tested several expensive scopes (kilo-bucks) that had a few “clicks worth” of error. Side adjusters tend to produce error in elevation only, whereas AO scopes usually exhibit error in both elevation and windage, with the reticle tracking a semi-circular arc as the AO is turned.
Yeah, it’s been a while Calin did you get to the Texas show?
Sadly no–no time. I read the B.B.’s blog and sighed. I would’ve enjoyed meeting you there.
There will be another installment next Wednesday. It will have parallel data from a separate test that provides very conclusive evidence.
I’m looking forward to reading it on Wednesday, B.B.! Keep your eyes open for a used Leupold Zero-Point for sale. Maybe Leupold will start producing the product again someday but, while I was evaluating Leupold scopes in their SHOT show booth, all the reps kept telling me, “don’t ever lose that Zero-Point!”
I don’t particularly recommend them for their marketed purpose (zeroing rifles), because traditional methods (and your method) work very well, but I can give you some tips and techniques for using a Zero-Point as a “riflescope pocket optics lab.” However, I’ve turned a few other gun blog owners and gun journalists onto them and they are looking for used Zero-Points in the marketplace too!