by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- The test
- First group
- Power increased
- Gun refilled
- Last group
- Results — wait a minute!
Today is the second part of the 50-yard test on the Aeon 8-32 AO scope with trajectory reticle, where I change the power of the scope to see whether the point of impact (POI) changes. You may remember last time the results were somewhat vague. Today we will double the number of groups shot under the same conditions to see if changing the scope’s power changes the POI.
The test was to shoot two 10-shot groups at 50 yards with the scope set on 32 power and two 10-shot groups with the scope set on 14 power. I filled the rifle to 3000 psi and shot off a rest with the scope set on 14 power. No scope adjustments were made during this test — either last time or this time. The pellets I used are the same JSB Exact Jumbo 15.89-grain domes that were used in the first test.
The first group was 10 pellets in 1.235-inches at 50 yards. If you look back at the last test in Part 2 you’ll see the POI has not changed much.
Now I increased the power to 32X — as high as this scope goes. I noted that the parallax had to be adjusted when I got to the max power, but that may be due to my seeing the details of the target better.
Ten shots made a group that measured 1.063-inches between centers. The center of this group is about one-quarter inch higher than the last group. It’s almost too small to tell, but it is higher on the target.
Now I refilled the Talon SS tank. It still had 2700 psi and another 20 good shots inside, but I wanted to shoot both groups with relatively the same air pressure.
This time I shot the first group with the scope set on 32 power and a strange thing happened. The group moved to the right noticeably! I’m inclined to say I think that movement is due more to filling the gun than to the scope adjustment. If I’m right, my SS doesn’t do its best when filled to 3000 psi. I won’t explore that today, but I certainly need to check it out sometime!
The new group at 32X was 1.884-inches between centers, which is WAY out of profile for this rifle — even for 10 shots at 50 yards. Something was wrong and I think it wasn’t the scope.
I adjusted the scope back to 14X and shot another 10 shots. These went into 1.391-inches at 50 yards. The center of the group is almost exactly where it was for the first 14X group.
Results — wait a minute!
So I’m looking at the target through my spotting scope, trying to make sense of what has just happened when my shooting buddy, Otho, turns to me and tells me he has just had a major group shift when he changed his scope’s power. Otho is shooting a Ruger M77 in .220 Swift at a target at 200 yards. He tried it on 8 power and again on 32 power and the 5-shot group stayed under 2 inches, but moved 3-1/2 inches to the left! He was unaware that I was testing the same thing at 50 yards. We had talked about the possibility of groups shifting when the power of the scope is changed many days earlier, and he simply wanted to see it for himself. A lucky break gave me the startling results I was looking for.
That puts the end to this test. At 50 yards the results I got from both my tests were vague at best. But at 200 yards with an accurate rifle, they jumped off the paper! That leaves me with one conclusion for this question of scope shift when the power changes.
Your groups will shift when the power of your variable scope is changed, but the amount of the shift will be small at close range — 50 yards. Only when you stretch out to long distances with this shift become so important that you need to pay attention.
As for the Aeon 8-32 scope, I found it to be compact, clear and easy to use. The crosshairs are on the thin side, so you need lots of light when using this scope. The reticle is overly complex on this model, but optically I like the scope as much as any top-flight UTG or Hawke. I would not hesitate to recommend this scope.