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Education / Training Clear talk about optics

Clear talk about optics

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

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


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

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

Cheap costs money

It began last year with his need for a scope to go on his 1976 Colt AR-15. Bob’s eyes have never been good and now that he is 72 he is feeling the pinch of both poor eyesight and age that causes further degradation. But Bob started out scoping his rifle by making the most fundamental optics mistake that can be made — his first scope was the cheapest one he could find!

His rationale was he didn’t shoot the rifle that much, so he didn’t need an expensive scope. Up to that point, I agreed with him. But he shopped until he had located the absolute cheapest scope he could find that would work on his AR-15. That was a mistake!

He didn’t need me to tell him that, either. He could see how bad his cheap scope was all by himself. He had someone at his gun club zero it for him. As he zeroed the scope this fellow also told Bob it was a piece of junk.

Tip 1. Don’t buy the cheapest scope.

The guy who zeroed the scope then recommended a scope that sells for about $1,200. It was ideal for an AR-15, he said. Somehow Bob knew better, and that’s when he started talking to me. I told him the expensive scope was one that an AR fanatic might use, but his old Colt isn’t accurate enough to warrant such an expense.

Tip 2. Don’t listen to the guys that have their own agendas. They’ll spend your money freely.

While all this was happening, Bob bought a laser boresighter — the kind you insert into the muzzle of the rifle and project a laser dot on the target, thinking it would give him the precision needed to sight-in his rifle. I held my tongue, but I didn’t think it was the answer. He got the laser dot and the crosshairs aligned, but the next time he went to the range, his rifle still was not on the paper.

At this point Bob decided that I was right about his AR. It was not that accurate and a dot sight would work just as well as a scope. So that was the next thing he bought. He brought his rifle up when he visited us this past July 4th. We zeroed his dot sight at my rifle range — and get this. He used the peep sights on the rifle to zero the dot sight! To his surprise, his rifle shot just about as well at 50 yards with peep sights as it did with the dot. I didn’t say anything, but I was thinking that many shooters don’t trust non-optical sights as much as they should.

Tip 3. While a scope may improve your accuracy, a dot sight generally won’t. It is easier to see, though.

Bob also has a Remington 700 in 30-06 that he wanted to scope. The scope that came with that rifle was bad, so he asked me what I thought he should get.

What to buy

I told Bob if he wanted a good quality scope for not a lot of money — and don’t we all want that? — he should buy something made by Leapers. That would be a UTG scope. For the money I think they are the best value on the market. Are they the absolute finest scopes that can be found? No, but at their price I don’t think there is anything that can compare.

I recommended a 4-16 variable which is what he bought and now enjoys very much. More on that in a little bit. But for now let’s get back to the subject of optics and how they work.

Bob tried to zero his 30-06 at his local gun club and had the same problems he had with his AR. He wasn’t able to get bullets on the paper. I talked him though boresighting, which means removing the bolt and centering the bullseye in the bore, then adjusting the scope until the crosshairs are also centered. He did that and got on the paper, but was still unable to get decent groups. It was many more weeks before I discovered the reason why.

Mixing ammo when sighting-in is always bad

I learned over the course of time that he was shooting a mix of military surplus and commercially-loaded ammunition in this rifle — thinking that, even if the bullets didn’t all go to the same place, they surely wouldn’t be more than a couple inches apart at 100 yards. Would they?

You know what I am going to say next, but Bob had to learn it the hard way. Bullets (and pellets) travel to widely different places downrange — even when fired from the same gun! When you are sighting in a rifle it is imperative that all rounds be the same — or as close to the same as it is humanly possible to ensure.

Tip 4. Find the best ammunition and stick with it.

Spotting scope

There’s more to this part of the tale, but now we are going to look at yet another optic that plagued Bob at the range. The public range he shoots at provides spotting scopes as part of the range fee. But they are old, tired, cheap scopes that have suffered years of abuse from thousands of users who didn’t care. In short, they are junk. Bob was having a hard time seeing whether his bullets were hitting the black at 100 yards (they usually weren’t) through these scopes, so he bought a spotting scope. Guess what his number one selection criterion was? That’s right — the price. So he bought a Barska spotting scope. What, Bob — Yugo doesn’t make optics? Barska is not a name that is widely revered in the world of shooting optics, any more than Red Star or some other brands.

But that’s not all. When he called to complain about the poor image quality, I heard the brand name of the spotting scope and told him I thought that was his problem. I was sure it was. Then, a week later, he called to tell me he had dialed the magnification back down from the maximum 60X to 40X, and was now he was able to see the target and bullet holes. Well, shut my mouth!

Here I was berating the brand, when it was operational error all along! My apologies to Barska and to all who own their products.

Folks, if your spotting scope goes up to 60 magnifications, do not turn it there and attempt to use it! Unless the name on the outside of the scope is Swarovski and you paid $3,000 for it, your scope will probably not hold up at the maximum magnification setting. The image will be blurry and out of focus, no matter what you do. There are exceptions to this, but in my experience they are very rare.

I have a Burris spotting scope that retails for just under $200. I gave a lot more than that for it in a trade, though, because it is one of the clearest, sharpest spotting scopes I had ever seen. I’ve looked through other spotting scopes that cost far more than mine that aren’t half as sharp. So I made a trade offer the owner could not refuse and he regrets it to this day. And still, as sharp as my scope is, I only run it at 40 X, because above that power the image starts to blur.

I have a Tasco Custom Shop 8-40X riflescope that cost me over $600 back in the mid-1990s. That’s over $800 today. On a sunny day the highest power I can get from that scope with clarity is about 30X. On 30X I can see .22 caliber bullet holes in black paper at 100 yards. At 40X I have a hard time seeing the bullseye as a single image. That’s what too much magnification does when the optics are not perfect.

Hey, guys — it isn’t just me! There is this telescope in earth orbit (the Hubble) that cost over $2 billion and it was blurry from day one. It cost a king’s ransom to put it right again. Fooling around with telescopes set on their maximum power will break your heart and also your bankroll if you don’t follow my advice.

Tip 5. Every telescope has a limit of power beyond which it is no longer clear.

determine the maximum magnification your scope will tolerate and don’t exceed that number. I don’t care if you are only halfway through what’s available — the rest of the magnification is nothing but heartbreak.

Tip 6. Try before you buy — if possible.

If you plan to buy a spotting scope, test it before you buy it if you can. There are formal lab tests for telescopes, but in the field I just put the scope on a target about 100 yards distant and try to see details as small as bullet holes. At the SHOT Show I look at the threads on bolts in the framework of the ceiling over the display floor. The display rooms are several hundreds yards long, so this is not a problem.

Tip 7. Buy scopes from reputable dealers, only.

Of course if you are buying through the mail you can’t always check scopes this way and let’s face it, you can’t do it at the sporting goods store, either! So make sure the dealer you buy the scope from has a liberal return policy. Of course I mean Pyramyd AIR when I say this, but there are other reputable dealers, as well. Just don’t get sucked into making a purchase based on the low price, alone, because you may discover how much real service can cost you (or save you, with the right dealer).

Back to riflescopes

I said earlier I was going to finish my discussion of the 4-16 power scope I advised Bob to get. Here is my observation. A good optics maker (UTG, Burris, Bushnell, Hawke etc.) can make a scope that magnifies up to 16 power without difficulty. Beyond that it can get dicey, though most of the better brands will usually hold up well to as much as 32 power. After that, it’s a crap shoot. Some scopes will stay clear at higher powers while others won’t.

Bob found that his 4-16 scope allows him to see .30-caliber bullet holes in a black bull at 100 yards on a bright day on 16X. So his spotting scope isn’t that important for that rifle. For his AR that has the dot sight, though, he needs the spotting scope. Running it at 40 power, he can see .22-caliber bullet holes at 100 yards. That’s all he needs.

I have some modern scopes that aren’t that clear at higher magnification, but at the lower powers they do just fine. This is a redneck solution, but it beats throwing a scope away.

One final thing about riflescopes

Some vintage riflescopes exceed the clarity found in scopes today. I have an old Leupold M8 4X scope that is so sharp I can bisect a one-inch box at 100 yards with the reticle. Most people would prefer to use 12X for such a task, and 16X would even be easier.

The older fixed-power scopes do not have any of the fancy features found in modern scopes. Things like illuminated reticles and mill dot reticles are not found on older scopes. But for sheer clarity, some of these older scopes cannot be surpassed.

When I go to a gun show I look for the older Weaver, Leupold and Redfield scopes and if they are selling for a reasonable price, I’ll buy them just to have them. I would suppose that today’s top scopes like those made by Swarovski are equally bright and clear, but I don’t have the thousands of dollars it takes to find out.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

97 thoughts on “Clear talk about optics”

  1. I was touched by your statement “…I was thinking that many shooters don’t trust non-optical sights as much as they should.” A lot of newbies don’t bother using iron sights and purchase a high power variable and mount it thinking that it will turn them into instant snipers. A lot are incredulous when I tell them what a peep sighted CO2 can accomplish at 45 yards (when I competed in MS in my younger days when my eyesight was not so bad). They think such shots are impossible without a scope.

  2. You are right about dot sites not being necessarily more accurate than iron sights. If my saiga came with a peep sight, I probably would have left it alone. But the low light capability is nice.

    For my purposes, I would be completely happy with more models at the 3 to 5 power fixed scope range.

  3. B.b.

    Do you think for casual plinkers and light duty pesters and hunters (like me) there might be a more relevant measurement of accuracy than MOA?

    I think I’ve read somewhere the russians measured accuracy something like, Probability of 50% of shots landing within a circle that is X size at Y distance.

    • Sam,

      I do not know BB’s thoughts on that, but that is about the same really. Try looking at it like this, 1 MOA is roughly 1 inch at 100 yards.

      If you have a rifle that is shooting 1 MOA, then it is producing a 1 inch group at 100 yards. For the sake of discussion if we forget about the gazillion of other variables that can affect the flight of your projectile, then at 200 yards your group will be 2 inches in diameter while at 50 yards it will be 1/2 inch in diameter.

      Now a 1 inch circle is roughly the size of the heart/lung kill zone of most small furry woodland creatures. How far away can you consistently hit a quarter?

      • Geometrically you’re correct, but Jeff Cooper used the term “range error probability” or something like that to claim that your groups will open up faster over distance than the geometry predicts. For world champion shooters to put shoot 5 inch groups at 1000 yards is scarcely believable.


        • Oh, I am well aware of that. I had a Gamo CFX that I could on a regular basis produce 10 shot groups at 25 yards that could literally hide under a dime. At fifty yards it produced about a 4 inch group.

    • Sam,

      The circular error probability is used by most military forces for machine gun fire.

      For plinking I would forget MOA and just concentrate on hitting the target. Then pick a smaller target and continue. And so on.


  4. I can still remember when I thought it ridiculous to spend as much on a scope as on the gun it was sitting on. I have since changed my mind. No more cheap optics for me.

    I have bought three UTG scopes in the last couple years and they are very solid at a great price.

    My main addition to what B.B. says here would be to get an adjustable objective (AO). That reduces (but does not eliminate) parallax, and also lets you focus so the target is nice and clear, especially at shorter ranges.

    B.B., I’m saving my pennies for a 50mm scope to top my new Marauder. I just couldn’t afford a new scope along with the gun itself and Hill pump. Do you still like that Air Force 4-16×50 you recommended last year? Or would you recommend something else that’s hit the market since?




    • HiveSeeker,

      In the event you are looking for more magnification I would suggest the UTG 8-32 X 56. I have several of these. Many people might disagree with me but I also have several Hawke 8-32 X 56 scopes also and while they may be better than the UTG’s I would swear that it’s not by much and and the UTG is $170 less.


    • Take care. I was in your situation once and finally was able to purchase my Leapers 6-24X50mm scope. It works great except for the adjustment. You need an Allen wrench to unlock the turrets which must be raised just above a microscopic line on the turret shaft. Not only is the line hard to see but unless you get the height exactly right, the clicks are not definite and you won’t be able to adjust with any precision. Such a shame to have such fine optics hobbled by such a mechanism. Shortly after I got the scope, Leapers changed to a different turret locking mechanism that just requires twisting a dial on the turret by hand, and it solves all the problems. You’re probably in the clear buying now, but make sure you check the locking mechanism.


      • Thanks, gents, for some additional advice! I had my eye on the UTGs but will probably swing toward Air Arms on B.B.’s advice. Only thing I don’t like about the Air Force is the 1″ tube rather than 30mm, but apparently the brightness is still very good despite. I do have a Benjamin Trail NP2 that will probably be getting a 50mm scope, and that one will probably be a UTG as reviews seem to put them a notch above Air Force for shock resistance and durability (not an issue with my Marauder).

  5. Hi folks,

    great report…

    I have learned some of this the hard way 🙂

    My first air rifle was a Crosman Recruit that was “detuned” to Canadian spec and came with an Umarex 4×20 scope.

    The scope was absolute junk in any way. I guess, for the price, it’s a minor miracle it produces a magnified picture at all.

    I next bought a “Leader” 4×32. It’s obviously just a brand name for imported stuff and there are many ones that look almost exactly the same, including some from well-known brands 🙂

    I got rid of the Crosman rifle soon after because it just wasn’t what I needed. Too light, too short, too inaccurate, etc. etc.
    It’s probably ok for what it is.

    The scoped lived on on my Diana 31 that I bought next and, of course, I had trouble with the Diana’s non-optimal scope rail and the cheap mounts the scope came with. With a one-piece mount and an additional stopping block, it works ok.

    Surprisingly, this € 40,- scope isn’t half bad even though it is still in the “toy” category. While certainly not a top product, it’s just fine for shorter distances and so far has survived the recoil 🙂

    I recently put a Nikko-Stirling Gold Crown 3-9×42 on my FWB300. At € 80,- it’s still affordable, but it’s obviously much better than the Leader.
    Strangely enough, the rubber on the adjustment rings and turret covers started to “rot” when the scope was only a few weeks old. The rubber completely broke to pieces and fell off on one of the covers even though the covers were sitting in a drawer as I was too lazy to put them back on yet.
    Usually this happens after many years/decades when the softeners evaporate from rubber and plastics, so it’s really strange.

    I guess they’ll simply replace it… And I don’t mind that as I like the scope a lot.

    As for the bore-sighting thing… I don’t really understand the use. When I shoot RWS Gecos, they land in a different place than H&N Sports which land in a different place than JSB… you get the idea. So who cares where the barrel is “pointing”?


    • Stephan,

      We airgunners don’t boresight as much as firearm shooters do. Yes, the bullets do all go to different places. The objective of boresighting is simply to get the bullets striking somewhere on the paper target, so the scope can then be adjusted.

      I can’t tell you how many times I have mounted a scope on a rifle, only to discover that it was striking the target several feet from the point of aim! Boresighting reduces this to inches when it is done right.


      • BB,

        that does make sense. I wasn’t considering guns I can’t have at ranges I can’t shoot at.

        At my available 10 meters I have had the “not on the target” problem as well, but that was solved by a larger piece of paper. There are advantages to an attic range 🙂


    • CptKlotz,

      I have the same experience with different pellets, plus,… stock, 12fpe and HO tunes. Talk about what NOT to
      do. ;( Yea, it’s all good and I love it. But it does require RE-shooting all of the pellets to see what will group best.

      Not only do the pellets land different, but the group location will change depending on the # of shots with the (same) pellet. (seasoning the barrel) ? Gunfun1 recommended 100 shots minimum per pellet type. I try to stick to that.

      One nice thing,..the bull stays clean if the pellets group elsewere. Find a gun’s favorite pellet, zero the scope and have fun hitting the bull over and over.

      Still working on that with the TX on a HO tune,.. but getting close to reviewing data and making a choice.

  6. Great blog B.B!

    This blog subject hits a bit of a nerve with me so please don’t mind if I spout off.

    I think that a scope is the most misunderstood piece of shooting equipment there is. I’ve seen people waste money buying unsuitable (for their application) scopes and getting totally frustrated. With scopes, the bigger is better approach bites a lot of people.

    It may sound strange but all of the dozen or so scopes I have have been bought based on the LOWEST power on their range and the largest exit pupil.

    Why? Because I hunted in swamps and heavy bush. Light gathering power, field of view and quick target acquisition were critical features. When the buck bolted there was no time to play peek-a-boo with a high power scope (in this environment, anything over 3x is “high power”) – you had 1 to 3 seconds to make the shot.

    The weight of the scope is something that I consider – many of the larger (50 and 56 mm lens) scopes weigh a couple of pounds so you have to consider what you are going to do with it. The 8×32 Walther scope I have on my AR20 is VERY heavy, which is fine for a bench or FT rifle where weight equals stability but I would not want one on my regular rifles that I usually shoot offhand.

    Another thought about purchasing a scope and rings is how well does it suit the stock and the shooter. Too high or too low will make it awkward to get a clear view through the scope if the stock is not adjustable. This may not be a problem for bench shooting where you have unlimited time to get comfortable but when hunting the rifle has to point “on target” when shouldered.

    I used to spend hours shouldering the rifle – flying birds make excellent subjects for this practice. You should be able to stand comfortably/normally and focus on your target then shoulder and have the crosshairs be on target when the shoulder/cheek contact is made with the stock. If the rifle/scope didn’t shoulder well then I would modify the stock by adding or removing wood as required until it did.

    Just my 2 cents

    • I think this speaks to how common benchrest shooting has become. Before my time, it was apparently used for load development, but now it has become the standard for shooting. At the shooting range, everyone is shooting over a rest. What gets me is the people benchresting firearms at the 7 and 15 yard lines. The groups you shoot are gratifying, but they don’t say a lot about shooting skill. All of my airgunning is done offhand, although some scopes, like the BugBuster are still suitable.


      • I hear you about everybody bench shooting… it proves the hardware, optics and pellets are good.

        There is merit in bench shooting though. A friend of mine who is totally new to guns and shooting asked me to teach him how to shoot.

        I started him shooting at 30 feet (near-zero range for this rifle) off of the bench until he got the feel of the rifle/trigger and was fairly consistent and could start calling when he pulled a shot.

        Then, again from the bench, I had him use a center-hold for a series of targets placed at ten-foot intervals starting at ten feet out to 80 feet so he could see the trajectory. He clearly understands the terms near-zero mid-range and far-zero since he had the proof in his hands.

        Next bench sessions were where, using the targets he had shot with a center-hold for reference, I had him compensate for the difference between POA and POI on targets set at the marked ten foot intervals. Had him finish his first can of pellets doing this.

        The second can of pellets were shot off-hand at spinner targets set at 30 feet.

        He is into his third can of pellets now shooting hoof-hand at the spinners at random ranges.

        He is doing very well with his shooting. The shooting-bug has bitten him hard – he is talking about going to the dark side and getting into FT shooting next year. 🙂

  7. BB,
    Are Leapers, UTG, Airforce, and Centerpoint scopes all made at the same facility? I have the idea that they are just different brands for the same scopes.

    David Enoch

    • David,

      No. Leapers used to make all Centerpoint scopes under contract, but that changed several years ago. AirForce scopes have never been made by Leapers.

      The similarities may be because the same factory is making these scopes.


      • Are Leapers and UTG the same?
        I am just curious.
        I think you said that Leapers is getting ready to start producing their scopes in the US. Has that happened yet?
        David Enoch

        • David,

          UTG (Under The Gun) is a brand name of some Leapers products. Leapers makes all UTG products.

          Leapers is training their team for U.S. production at this time. They hope to be in production by the end of this year.


              • B.B.,

                Leaper’s was my first scope and I like it a lot. Your ” get it now ” statement ” hit me wrong “.

                If I remember correctly, you spoke highly of the move.

                Really,…I am not sure what to make of that.

                I recently got a Hawke Varmit (older/used),…and while the turrets are better,…I am not sure the sight picture is,…at least not yet.

                • You’re probably right and I was willing to pay the extra money to help them break the ice but I changed my mind and decided to go with what all the good reviews are all about instead of waiting another year to find out how the new plant’s working out

  8. I have always prefer ed to use my non zoom lenses on photo images that really demand quality. Zoom lenses or multi focal length have improved to be very good and practical, but still cannot equal even the simplest single focal length lenses of decent quality. It is physics and I suspect rifle scopes are the same. It does seem like there are too few fixed low power rifle scopes available. I have a 4x Burris mini which I really like, and a 4x bsa which has proved to be excellent in my use.

    • Rob,

      That’s a good comparison. I tried to stay away from zoom lenses when I did film photography. With today’s digital cameras, though, I am using prosumer point-and-shoot cameras for all my work and they do have zoom lenses.


  9. Very good information BB. Most once a year hunters don’t know any of this. I have helped out at our range sight in days prior to our deer season. It is a wonder that any deer are ever shot. Many of these folks don’t have a clue on how to sight in their rifles or what scope to use. At least they are smart enough to come to the range for help.


  10. BTW,

    I wanted to mention this article about pistol shooting:


    I still find pistol shooting pretty difficult even though I tried to apply the things I’d read (watch the sights,
    apply pressure with the middle finger only, squeeze the trigger etc.).

    I think that article elaborates on some of those concepts for people who don’t have a lot of experience…

    (I also found out that the 14x14cm targets I was using are, in fact, neither air rifle nor air pistol targets
    but simply unofficial “hobby” targets… Seems my pistol shooting was a little less terrible than I thought.
    On a “real” 17x17cm pistol target, the bull is quite a bit larger… 🙂


  11. This is a valuable caution seeing that we are living in the age of optics. I don’t think it is too much to say that the firearms mechanism has not changed since WWII but the optics have. As another indication, a family friend is an ex Force Recon Marine and Vietnam vet who was in night combat. He told me all about how he took the M1 carbine, Swedish K, and 1911 into the field, and I’ve never been able to ask for more details. But after a recent range trip, he told me that he had never shot with a scope in his life. Apparently during his service, scopes were only for snipers whereas now the likes of me can carry them around.

    Interesting about the red dot. My impression before was that they are at least as accurate as iron sights and faster to acquire. But it seems as if they are just faster to acquire.

    The Leapers scopes seem to be one of the few exceptions to the rule about you get what you pay for. When the San Francisco PD were called about the scope in my carry-on, they were full of admiration about the quality of the scope and the price. So, here’s the question. What is the difference in image quality between a $100 Leapers scope and a Leupold scope of the same specs? I assume that the difference would be range dependent.

    Also, while I hear about Swavorski as the ultimate class act in scopes, does anyone know anything about Schmitt and Bender? I understand that is the issue scope for army snipers and each one costs about $10,000.

    Tyler, thanks for your informative response about traveling with guns. I’ll leave the international travel to you. But I will say that my anxiety level traveling domestically is way less than it used to be.


    • Matt,

      I could have mentioned Schmidt & Bender and a couple others. I was conserving words.

      Leupold doesn’t make a $100 scope. If they have one in their lineup, I’ll bet they get it from overseas and that’s the difference. Leapers makes its scopes overseas, too, but they control the plant, where the others do not.


      • Yes, I figured that Leupold would not even deal with that price range. What I meant by comparison is that how does a Leapers 6-24X50mm scope compare with a Leupold scope of that power and objective size (which would probably cost a fortune). What I’m guessing is that inside of 100 yards there would be very little difference.


  12. Hi folks,

    I like this report B.B. because it IS right on target (pardon the semi-intended pun). Anyone with any doubts about the “need/importance” for super-ultra-hubble space telescope class” of optics on their rifles ought to think first about Carlos Hathcock (non-veterans should google his name)…he used a Unertl 3×9 (so called “minimum power” by many these days) for most of his 93 confirmed. Did the shots qualify as the “once in a lifetime” type of shot that todays hunters and shooting-sports enthusiasts dream about? I think so, as his life literally depended on each single shot. Yes there are/were others equally skilled. Point is, as stated by other folks on this blog, a high-power scope doesn’t make a shooter capable of making miracle-shots a regular occurance. No single piece of equipment will do that on it’s own. A scope, like all the other parts of your shooting gear can work you HELP the shooter toward that goal IF the shooter does his/her parts (yes, parts, with an s).
    Is your chosen gun itself capable of the accuracy that you seek? Probable that and more. Are your skills also able to provide it ad well? And your chosen ammo, and the list goeson and on.
    A $50 4x fixed “can help as much as a $2,000 6-342x scope if all other parts of your gear are equal. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting too old to carry the Hubble around on any of my guns…besides, NASA never returned any of my calls when I wanted to borrow it . 😉
    I know, very long-winded, but there’s a point in there somewhere, lol.


    • True, but I believe it is a fact that elite shooters have exceptional eyesight, so clarity of image is a factor. The scopes allow the rest of us to level the field a bit.


  13. BB,
    I love these blog subjects. Not only they are very informative but they also get good comment from the readers, which makes the whole more interesting.
    I like to do the same as Vana, shooting offhand and spending time om acquiring the target in a fluent way. Low powered scopes are fine for that. I tend to use a heavier rifle for that as for instance a Diana 27 is a bit too light for me to get a steady upswing and stabilizing before the shot. I normally do that ambidexterity 5 shots one way and then 5 shots the other way.
    Vana is completely on target with his remarks, a relatively low powered scope which is not to heavy is the best. For me preferably low mounted as not to disturb the balance of the rifle and exactly so that when I touch the stock I have the target though the scope in view.
    I have some older German scopes (Anschutz, Waldlaufer) which have the three thick lines, two horizontal and one pointed below vertical. (Leopold calls that German1). For the fast acquiring of a target they are really easy to use. in my opinion slightly faster than the thin lines of my Hawke.
    As I like to buy older scopes belonging to the rifle of that period, I have seen some pretty useless scopes from the ’70 s including one from Gamo with plastic lenses. I am still doubting which way it is intended to look trough as the picture itself is in both directions equally awful.
    And yes, I do agree with everyone who say that peep sights and iron sights are quite underrated. It is enormous fun to use them for fast acquiring a target and surprisingly accurate as long as you practise it regularly.
    In general, It’s great fun to muck around with these old rifles and I sure get a kick of landing a pellet exactly where is intended. Therefore it’s quite nice to read how others are doing and using their experience.
    So BB and readers/writers, carry on as the results are much appreciated!



  14. Just to show you…
    While this observation had to do with camera lenses, it’s clearly (pun intended) relevant to shooting scopes.
    As a young photographer, I’d meticulously check both the local camera store ads in the papers as well as the Pop/Modern Photography ads mostly out of NYC for the best monthly deals. Imagine my enthusiasm when I saw listed several lusted-after lenses for unbelievably low prices. One was a “Famous Name” brand and the other listing for “all famous name brand lenses.”
    You can see this one coming, right.?
    In the fullness of time, the orders arrived (allow 4 to 6 weeks) and after unpacking the packages, found a lovely 400mm “Girl Watcher” made by the “Famous Name Brand” lens company. Yup.
    The other package contained famous name brands alright, however. One was a “George Washington” wide angle. There was an “Abraham Lincoln” telephoto, and, mysteriously, a “Huey Long” macro. I’m still wondering about that last one.
    You get what you pay for, (but the “Girl Watcher” actually wasn’t too bad, although I wish they’d mentioned the “assembly required” part first.

  15. To all,

    Something I learned lately,…I had trouble seeing the target clearly at 50 yds. ( 60ft. into a dark woods ) I am sitting in shade, but in whatever the sky happens to be, be it full sun or clouds.

    An experienced shooter at work told me that if I moved (into) the dark woods, the target should become clearer.

    Why ??? Because my pupils are smaller in the brighter light,..and,…smaller. By moving into the woods, my pupils would expand, allow in more light, and I should be able to see the target better.

    Yet to try it,…the skeeter’s are bad enough in the sun/shade. Go in the woods,.. and I may have as well rang a dinner bell, with me being the entree.

    Just “passing it along”……

    By the way,..a box fan blowing on you outside will keep 99% of the skeeters off of you. Much nicer !


    • Chris USA
      Me and Buldawg was talking the other day about something similar.

      We can both see the pellet fly to the target when we shoot out across the feild in the evening before the sun goes down.

      The feild will be lit up real bright but where we shoot from will be in the shade. I shoot out of the breezeway so that does help a lot.

      But yes pupil dilation is a big thing. If your pupil is big it will let more light enter.

      • It is most definitely very cool to be able to watch the pellet fly all the way to the target and is one of the things that got me so interested in the Brod I am building to out shoot the Rapid as with the Rapid you could see the pellet fly the whole 100 yards and hit the spinner just as if you were riding on the pellet.

        It was very cool and the scope he was using was an AEON 6x24x50 side focus scope so it was not a ultra high priced scope as it was a mid 300 dollar scope it just that the gun did not move when fired so the scopes focus was dead on the pellets all the way to the spinner.


        • Buldawg
          I shot at a couple starlings with my .25 caliber gen 2 wood stock Mrod.

          It was a plowed corn feild and out about a hundred yards. You could see the dust fly after watching the pellet fly out there. And I was shooting the 31grn Barracudas with the scope on 6 magnification. The birds would kind of jump off the ground flapping their wings like they didn’t know what happened then land again.

          Well I got 2 of them on two different days. Definitely a different experience when you can see a projectile fly and make contact on the target.

          • Gunfun1
            Yea it is most definitely cool to be able to see that as it happens and is one of those things that firearms are not capable of due to the recoil causing the scope to be shifted off target by the guns recoil.

            Just a quick note for all here on the blog and anyone with a Benjamin 90 ci buddy bottle that may have seen cracks form in the outer plastic protective black coating on the tanks as it is not the actual carbon fibers or a safety issue per PA and Crosman, but I called crosman about it after several readers on the GTA commented that the tanks would be replaced free of charge for this issue. I called Crosman last Monday and was instructed to return the tank to them with me paying the shipping to them and enclose a note with the bottle as to what pellets or magazines or whatever parts that are closely equivalent to the shipping cost to them without ant insurance and as cheapo as possible by UPS to cover the shipping cost and they would replace the tank along with your request for pellets or parts to replace the cost of shipping. My tank was received by them on Thursday last week and I just got a UPS shipping notice that I will be receiving my new tank this Friday so Kudos to crosman for standing behind their products as they did not ask how old it was or if I was the original owner just that I return it to them for replacement.


            • Buldawg
              I remember when you told me about what Crosman said about that air tank.

              Remember what I said. And another reason to get Crosman products. I thought that was very good customer relations on their part.

              And that reminds me. How did that big tank work out you got from your buddy.

              • Gunfun1
                Yea I was very pleased that crosman is replacing my 90 ci bottle with a brand new one no question asked and it will be here tomorrow so I can complete the deal with my friend for the FWB 124 I now have and am enjoying very much.

                he will get the new bottle plus some cash in trade for the mid eighties 124 as it is still a san Rafael sold gun so according to BBs report on the 124s puts it before 1986 time frame.

                My big 66 cf bottle I got I have not had to use yet as I fill at home from my shoebox but I am getting ready to empty my older 90 ci bottle in to it as it has 3500 psi in it now and get the smaller bottles ready to sell one and trade the other and then start the long slow process of filling the big bottle to 4500 psi.


                  • Reb
                    They are both spoken for unless you are willing to go over 280 bucks for the one bottle with a manufacture date of 1/14 on it as I already have a buyer on the GTA that I have promised it to for 280.00 bucks shipped and the new one I am getting is going to my friend in trade for his FWB 124 I have been given so it is not available for any price.

                    Sorry as I was not aware you were in the market for one.

                    There is this one for sale on the GTA right now.


                    Let me know what you were thinking.


                    • I’m actually holding onto my money until I see what happens at the show.
                      I made reservations yesterday and found out my rent is late this morning.
                      You gonna be there?

                  • Reb
                    Unfortunately I am not going to be able to make to the show it as we still have not heard what all the tests on the wife’s knee has shown or not shown so until we know if she requires more surgery or not I have to save my money as well and is why I am selling/trading my two 90 ci bottles as I need the money for one and the other is for trade for a 124 that I was given another deal on that I could not refuse.

                    So hopefully next year I can make it but hope you find one there for a good price as I just got me a 66cf SCBA bottle for another price I could not refuse and do not really need the smaller bottles but they are nice and small to carry at the FT range. Once I put the regulator in my 177 Mrod FT gun I will not need to fill in the middle of a match as I do now since I will get 60 plus shots per fill and I got the 66cf tank to be able to fill my bottled Mrod 25 cal once it is built as it will have a 550 cc fill reservoir and be regulated as well so the small bottles would only fill it once to 3500 psi hence the need for a bigger bottle.


                • Buldawg
                  Let me know what the fill times are and from what psi to what psi with that big tank.

                  I may get a big one at some point in time so I would like to know how it works out.

                  • Guynfun1
                    Right now the big tank is at roughly 3500 psi as I just emptied my 90 ci bottle into it as much as it would fill and then did the same with my 80 cf scuba tank and the two 45 cf SCBA 2500 psi tanks and shot my 2240 to use up all the way down to 1000 psi in the bottle I am selling. So I have to fill the 66 cf SCBA bottle up with 1000 psi of air to 4500 psi and I imagine it will take several hours to do so with the cool down breaks in between fill cycles but I will let you know how long it takes to get the last 1000 psi into it.

                    I am getting the one 90 ci tank ready to sell and the one I am trading for the 124 will be here tomorrow so I will get that one and the cash to my friend this weekend and it will be one less thing to deal with and am really enjoying the 124 as it is a much better replacement for the M8 as a all day fun gun to shoot.


                    • Buldawg
                      I have not shot a 124. And if a chance would come up for me to get one I don’t think I will pass it up.

                      But yea let me know how that topping off goes on the tank.

        • Back in the day as a young troop I was acquainted with a crusty old senior armorer type fella’ bordering on elderly. He must of been at least 28 or 29 years old, but he claimed he could actually see 7.62 NATO bullets going down range, at least if the light was right. Being a young armorer type, I tried to replicate this but couldn’t quite get it right. Ultimately I discovered the two things that made it possible, neither one necessarily involving a scope (though a scope made it easier.)
          One was shooting INTO the sun against a darker shaded target where the sun would be reflected off the copper jacket as it rotated going down range. Very pretty, by the way.
          The other was shooting enough to one day realize that you don’t even blink any more while firing full power ammunition. To this very day I can win money at the range with that one.
          The old armorer had (somewhat against the rules) modified an M60 barrel with a scope mount and was developing a sniping M60, somewhat successfully as it turned out. It worked best off a tripod with a T&E mechanism installed and a long eye relief pistol scope.
          I did shoot this one but never could quite see the burst-of-six flying in close formation that he claimed, but I believe it. The critter was pretty damn accurate as long as you loaded it with short six round belts and just held the trigger down and let them run through.
          Ultimately the only real difficulty was the day a Major wandered up just behind the firing line, and was curious about the small crowd of officers and EM types clustered behind the M60. Upon spying what appeared to be an unauthorized modification of government property, with ice hanging from every word, asked the old troop where exactly he had gotten the M60 barrel assembly.
          “Army surplus, sir!”
          And it was true. He even had the receipt.

          • !03David
            I guess I should have phrased that a little different as I cannot see firearm rounds in flight but then I had always worn glasses from a young child after being bitten by a bulldog above my right eye at 3 years old and it weakened my right eye muscle so I needed corrective lenses as well as it being hereditary also in my family.

            So I had 20/200 and 20/225 eye sight for most of my life and was very nearsighted so seeing a bullet in flight was just not happening for me until 2008 and the new technology for correction of cataracts with lens implant surgery and I now have 20/20 vision in both eyes and am now far sighted and need reading glasses to see up close. Talk about a complete 180 in eyesight as it took several years to fully get accustomed to the drastic change I now had in eyesight.

            I would wager to say if the surgery had not been done I would still not be able to see even slow moving pellets in flight and it does have to be just the right lighting condition even now to see them as I do tend to blink at times when firing still.

            I do like the old timers ingenuity as to the unauthorized modifying of his m60 as it was his life out there so if it gave him any advantage at all more power to him. Its a shame our troops are not qualified to carry guns except in battle these days as what good is a military force without weapons, such idiocy in our govt today that started in 1990 with our then (I did not do it ) Clinton as idiot in chief that believed our troops should not carry weapons at all times and now the even worse Muslim in chief we have now.

            I want my country back.


            • Well, one has to be holding the gun looking parallel to the projectile’s flight, and the sun has to be centered directly above and close to the flight path, but I know what you mean.
              I was one of the first kids to get contact lenses while still in grade school. Very new and very high tech in the 1950’s. Before that they were actually still made of glass. At about eight, I can recall discovering I could see better through 2X cheapo ($1.99 or 300 Post Toastie box tops or 400 Burma-Shave lids) kiddie binocs than with my (allegedly) razor-sharp pre-teen naked eyeballs. Fortunately, I mentioned this to my parents, and away we went to the Eye-Doc.
              Fade to black and come back 60 or so years later and the contact lenses are still not only well and good but used everyday. Don’t even have regular eyeglasses…unless you count the (pretty indispensable) readers.
              However, this past Monday a towering major class woman, named Phyllis fit me with hearing aids.
              Yikes! Are we getting old, or what? Especially since I thought Phyliss to be a very young, almost child, a youngster of no more than, late 30’s, early 40’s. I thought for a moment, despite her extreme competence and professionalism to ask to see her High-School Diploma.
              We get older but the (medical) technology gets better and we get better because of it. Say what one will, but we’re likely quite a bit younger at our age than our parents were.
              Although there certainly are times we’re not so sure. But…
              When I returned home from the hearing aid fitting, My Louise asked, “How did it go?”
              I looked her directly in the eye and said, “What?”
              And just for a moment, I read her thoughts. “Oh, SH…,” she began, before the blink-of-an-eye realization kicked in and she realized I was funnin’
              That’s a dangerous thing to do when dealing with the hyper-intelligent.

              • 103David
                I had to much astigmatism to be able to benefit from contact lenses so I was stuck with glasses and learned to adapt quite well and could actually work on most jobs on vehicles without the need of my glasses as I could see good to 3 feet without corrective lenses but not well past that and that was the biggest hurdle to get past with the cataract surgery by not being to see closer than 2 to 3 feet without reading glasses and now have glasses all thru the house and garage just to see what I am working on at the place I am at.
                I remember those Post Toasties lids and kiddie binoculars as well and they did help more than I think the maker realized when they introduced them to us kids. LOL

                Yea I just smile when the young kids say ” you don’t look that old ” as I also believe that we are better off due to the medical technology than our parents were but there are times that my 18 year old mind and my 60 year old body just don’t get along or agree and its those times that I wish I had not beat my body up so much as a kid.

                I have Tinnitus ( ringing in the ears ) and it gets so bad at time its hard to hear and it irritates my wife as well when I keep asking her what she said and have used it to my advantage at times playing with her as well and get the same realization from her when she catches on that I am doing it on purpose. There are time though that I wish I had hearing aids so I could take them out or turn them off to make it quit but like most thing as we age we learn to live with it and have got to the point I can tune it out pretty well.

                My wife always reminds me I have to sleep sometime and pay back is he…,’ LOL

                Got to have the fun while we are still here to enjoy it.


                • BD,
                  RE: a few bits of dialogue during the first week of the new hearing aids.

                  Companionably reading quietly in bed.
                  He: “You know, we can send out for Chinese or pizza.”
                  She: “I’m not hungry.”
                  He: “Yes you are. I can hear your stomach growling.”
                  She: “Since when?”
                  He: “Since last Monday and the new hearing aids.”
                  She: ” I think you’re wrong.”
                  He: It’s either you or one of the terriers. Or all of you.”
                  She: “Or you.”

                  We all settled on Chinese as pizza gives one or more of us gas.
                  I’m not entirely prepared to find out just yet exactly which one of us that may be.

                  • 103David
                    We have the same issue at times as well only we no longer have our dog Lucky to blame it on as we had to put him down a year ago but our 9 year old grandson has willing filled the open spot only he sometimes give us a warning ahead of time if he realizes it in time which is not often.

                    I have yet to tell what he eats to cause the gas or if there is really any difference between him and the dogs gas but I have yet to figure out how to hide it when the grandson is not here so have just played like I did not hear it and wait to see if the wife notices LOL

                    We do get in battles at times as well between my grandson and me so just glad we have ceiling fans.


  16. I just wanted to put in my plug for the Leapers UTG scopes. I purchased an air rifle last year that included a scope. That scope did not last 300 shots. After reading various blogs and comments here, I purchased a UTG bug buster as a replacement. I almost didn’t purchase the bug buster because of the low cost but I’m sure glad it did. At under a $100, my initial thought was that it could not be a quality scope. I’ve been extremely pleased with the quality – so much so that I now also have a 4X16 SWAT scope on another air rifle. It is better than all but one of the scopes on my powder burners, and that one cost almost 10 times the amount of the bug buster. Thanks, everyone, for your comments and recommendations.

    I still miss shooting with open sights but since I can no longer clearly see the back sight, I now have optics on everything.

    I did not realize the UTG stood for Under the Gun. It seems like it should be OTG – Over the Gun.


    • Jim
      A nice little scope I had was a UTG fixed magnification Golden image scope. It was a 4 power. Very crisp image. And wide feild of veiw. I think it was like a $49 scope. And I had a bug buster. The only reason I liked the bug buster was because it would focus down to the closer distances than most other scopes.

      But for shooting at different distances I still like my 1/2 mildot retical Hawke scopes.

      Scopes are probably another one of those things that should be chosen because of a particular job they will do. Type of retical, parallax adjustment, fixed or adjustable magnification. All should be thought about for the type of gun it will be used on.

      Expensive definitely ain’t always better.

  17. Off topic:
    How is the Burris signature rings test you mentioned in the March 26th blog comments coming along ?
    What’s the verdict ?
    For FT with a R9, which rings would you buy ? Signatures, BKL, Sportsmatch/Beeman, or Leapers Accushot ?
    One piece or two piece rings ?

    • John,

      I haven’t started the Burris test yet. They are so much bother to set up that it’s a daunting task to find the time.

      I never use one-piece rings unless I can’t avoid it. They are too restrictive for positioning.

      As for the brands, I would use any of the ones you mentioned. The UTG mounts are inexpensive and good enough for me.


  18. A couple of personal observations.
    We have two of the Leapers 4-16 on my sons .22 Marlins ($165 up here in Canada).
    On my Savage I have the Hawke Sidewinder Tactical ($550).
    Apart from the etched reticle they are pretty similar.
    On my Slavia I have a Hawke 3-9 Airmax ($189 and I’m very pleased with it)
    All have at least a couple thousand rounds shot through them (the Slavia more like 7000). They all hold zero, and give crisp and bright images.
    Add my vote to the argument that Leapers is great value for the money.
    I have a friend who this past winter purchased a Leica 3-12 for $1500.
    It seems to be no better in both my, and my friends opinion. Same bright crisp image, turret adjustments feel the same, holds zero, etc. Only time will tell if the extra cost means that it last longer, but for the casual shooter I can’t see spending mega-dollars on a real high end scope.
    I’d love to have a Nightforce or a Schmidt & Bender, but until I can truly say my life may depend on my scope, I’ll remain a huge fan of Leapers and Hawke.

  19. BB,

    Has there been a date for the release of some of the newer Leapers 8x scope line? I recall you tested one, but some
    of the higher magnification weren’t available yet. will there be a 2-16x or a 3-24x?


  20. Gunfun1
    The 124 I would say would be very similar to your HW30S you had in terms of shot cycle and power although I have never shot a 30S either so cannot say for sure as well. It is very similar to the M8 only much smoother cocking and a more refined appearance and about the same shot cycle with just a little more power as it shoots JSB 8.44s at 725 fps and is the pellet I will be shooting out of it unless they prove to be inaccurate which is doubtful as that is the pellet that all the forums I have read about the 124 say is the pellet for it.

    I am on my third fill cycle of 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off and it has filled from 3200 psi to 3900 psi in 45 minutes of actual fill time so I would say it will take 2 hours of total on time to fill from 3200 to 4500 psi or thereabouts. I did the fill calculation for your Mrod and filling from 3000 psi down to 2000 psi with the 66 cf tank at 4500 psi you will get 42 fills out of the 66 cf tank between refills with your shoebox.

    As you know I fill my guns at home directly from the shoebox and only use the tank in the field so with my 177 Mrod filling from 3000 to 2300 psi it will get 61 fills from the tank from 4500 psi or 11 fills on the 25 cal Brod from 3500 psi to 2500 psi refill pressures for the 550 cc tank size it has so that is why I bought the bigger bottle as that little 90 ci would get 2 fills on the Brod out of it so I could not shoot it much on the small tank out at the range.


    • Buldawg
      I like filling my pcp’s directly from the Shoebox now also. It’s only taking 8 minutes to fill my Mrod. And only about 3 minutes to fill the 1077 pcp conversion. So I’m happy with that.

      I figured I may go to a big tank if I do decide to go bigger on my .25 Mrod also. And that is a good amount of fills from the big bottle.

      And I never had a HW 30. I had the HW 50s. And the M8 is more easy to cock than the HW 50s. And the shot cycle is smoother on the M8 also.

      • Gunfun1
        Yep you are right as I got mixed up and thought it was a 30 instead of the 50s so my bad as the 50s is most definitely more powerful than the 124 is from what I have read on the two so that would not be a fair comparison for the 124. It is very close to the M8 in cocking and shot cycle just maybe a slight bit more recoil but is no harder to cock than the M8 was and most definitely better quality all around.

        I like filling my guns right from the shoebox as well as it is much less strain on it filling for ten minutes or less at a time and I believe will allow it to go much longer between rebuilds doing it that way. I have taken Vana2’s post about how he uses the yellow coiled air line in between the first stage compressor and the shoebox to help condense out any moisture before it get to the shoebox and then into the gun and now have 40 feet of the yellow coiled air line coming off the first stage compressor and running under the tool box the compressors are on and back up to the shoebox with a air/water separator/filter between the line and the shoebox so just trying to trap as much water and any debris as possible especially here in the summer as humid as it gets as its not bad in the winter.

        I got the bigger tank so I could fill my Brod at the range more than two times and yes for a stock Mrod you get a lot of fills on the big tank.


        • Buldawg
          Yep I use a big orange house on mine that’s about 40 feet long also.

          That will help the shop compressor to not run as often also because of the volume if air that is in the hose. Plus that could help keep the intake air going into the Shoebox cooler.

            • Gunfun1
              Yea I got my hose’s from harbor freight and they had the orange hose that was bigger in Id than the yellow hose but it said max psi of 100 psi and my compressor shuts off at 130 psi so I was afraid it would not hold up as the yellow hose is rated for 200 psi so I got two of them and hooked them together into one long hose and ran it under the 5 foot long tool box to spread it out for the most length and surface area of air contact.


              • Buldawg
                My compressor goes to 160 psi. My hose is rated at 140 psi.

                I set my regulator on my compressor at 100 psi max. I don’t have anything that I use that is above the 100 psi.

                And when I use it with my Shoebox I only use 90 psi. which is what they say to u

                • Hit the reply button by accident.

                  But 90 psi is what I use. They can go to 100 psi if you got a cooling fan. The Shoebox will fill a little faster with a higher intake air pressure but will also create more heat.

                  And that makes me think. I wonder if the heat that the Shoebox creates will help dry the output HPA.

                • Gunfun1
                  Yea I set my regulator at 90 psi as well and the compressor for my shoebox is dedicated to it only so it only goes to 130 max psi but if the hose that harbor freight had is only good to 100 psi and it burst while filling my tanks I would lose all the pressure in the tank and compressor and do not need a hose whipping all over the place especially if I am standing there filling just my gun as I have been hit by a rubber air hose that burst in the auto shops I worked in and it hurts like the dickens so I do not want to be hit by a plastic hose releasing up to 4500 psi whipping around for sure.

                  I have an oil filled compressor that is used for general purposes and is a 1982 model craftsmen 12 gallon tank that is still working like new and has eaten a corn snake that was after a mouse that made its home inside the belt guard and I think I may have changed the oil in it once ( maybe ) as I am not even sure of that but it is just like a Timex and just keeps on ticking.

                  Oh and I do not think I have even cleaned or replaced the air filter either since it was new.


                    • Reb
                      Yea they do hurt for sure and I got hit three or four time before I could get hold of the end of the hose to get it unplugged from the wall.


                  • Buldawg
                    Your hose would whip around from your shop compressor if the hose blew.

                    You will not loose air from the bottle you are filling. There is one-way check valves in the first and second stage cylinder’s. They are inside the fitting that screws into the cylinder by the small diameter transfer hard lines between the two stages.

                    You don’t even need to have a hose hooked to the intake side of the Shoebox. It will still try to draw air but the Shoebox wouldn’t have enough air supply for the second and third stages. It would try to fill your gun or tank but would take forever.

                    And if you shut the Shoebox off with no hose hooked to the intake side no high pressure air will escape. If it does you need to rebuild your check valves in the cylinder’s.

                    • Gunfun1
                      You are right but I just was not willing to have any hose blow as my Harley is right close to that box and I do not want any scratches or dents in the paint from a hose whipping around.

                      But yea I forgot about the check valve in the shoebox so no high pressure air hose whipping around which is good.


                    • I was doing a brake inspection and going from RF-RR, IR235 in my right hand and leading the hose with my left.
                      When it blew it left a 1/4″ tear in my work shirt, a blood blister the size of a pingpong ball and eventually a dime size scab where it drew blood

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