Optics test — please help
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- P.O.I. rings
- What do you want to know?
- Not cheap
- New scope
- That’s it
Today will be different. For once I am stymied how to test two new products in a meaningful way. Maybe I’m biting off too much to test them together, but they do seem to compliment each other, so this seems to be the thing to do. I’m hoping some of you can help me decide how to proceed.
The first product is a set of the new UTG Precision Optics Interface (P.O.I) rings from Leapers. I saw these rings at the 2016 SHOT Show and told you about them in the Day Two report.
P.O.I. rings are very stout, and come with a torx wrench for installation.
These rings are supposed to be more accurately aligned, and have tighter tolerances than other rings. They are made thicker, so the appearance is one of strength, but how do I test strength and precision? I want you to tell me what you think I should do. Remember that I am not a tsting laboratory. I have to test in the same way you would.
What do you want to know?
I’d like to know what you expect from rings. These have Weaver bases, so they fit both Weaver and Picatinny rails. But I can always install them on a rifle that has 11 dovetails by using the proper adaptor. One thought I had was to mount the rings on my super-accurate AR-15 for one test. How easily do they mount? How readily do they align with the bore? I already have a jumbo scope on that rifle, so there is a baseline for comparison. I know what the rifle can do; can it do it any easier or better with this scope?
My AR-15 currently has an 8-40X56 Tasco Custom Shop scope. I set the power at 30X because the optics get hazy and dark fast at higher power.
The joint where the caps meets the ring base is very smooth. You can barely feel it. So the scope tube is surrounded more completely for better purchase.
The bottom jaw that clamps to the rifle’s scope base is guided by two steel pins that keep the jaws in perfect alignment. This jaw is spring-loaded, so it backs out smoothly when you loosen the Torx screw with the wrench that is provided.
The spring-loaded jaw is guided by steel pins, to move effortlessly and stay in perfect alignment
I also want to test the rings on an accurate air rifle. My TX200 is the most accurate springer I own and my Talon SS is the most accurate PCP. I know I should test the rings on the TX, but it doesn’t recoil very much, so I’m not sure what that would prove.
Just because these new rings have the UTG name, don’t think they will be cheap. The advance literature has a suggested retail price of $64.97. They may not cost quite that much, but they will never be budget rings. I hope to discover if they are worth the expenditure.
The other item I need to test for you is a new UTG scope. It’s the Accushot 8-32X56 with a G4 illuminated dot reticle. It looks similar to this scope. This is a large scope for target and long-range shooting, but the feature you will like most is the G4 reticle. There is a 1/2-mil dot at the center of the reticle that is the only thing that illuminates. Like all UTG illuminated reticles, it has 36 colors/degrees of brightness. That comes in very handy when you are colorblind as I am. I can barely see the red dot, but there is a purple color that stands out for me! When the only light is a 1/2 mill in diameter, you need all the help you can get!
This scope is made for long-range precision, and that is exactly how I intend testing it. But once again, how do I do that? My AR-15 should be involved, I think. But what air rifles? Should I use one of the the two already mentioned? What about something else?
The new UTG Accushot 8-32X56 scope with illuminated 1/2-mil dot at the center of the crosshairs. This is a large scope!
This is what the G4 reticle looks like. The tiny dot is illuminated in this image!
Another feature this scope offers is one I have never noticed before, because I don’t typically use the illumination feature on a scope. With one click you cal recall the last color and brightness setting, rather than having to toggle through a menu of colors and brightnesses. I plan to learn how that works, because with a dot of light this small I’m going to need a lot of help!
The scope comes with a set of 30mm rings that have Weaver bases, but I will be setting them aside to test the new P.O.I. rings, instead. It also comes with batteries — one for the illumination and a spare. The reticle is etched into glass, so there is nothing mechanical to fail.
All lenses are emerald-coated for maximum light transmission. They are protected at both ends of the scope by spring-loaded lens caps.
The scope has side-mounted parallax adjustment. And it focuses from 10 meters to infinity — making this a fine scope for field target. Naturally an optional larger UTG sidewheel can be slipped over the focus knob for better acuity in determining distance (i.e. — a rangefinder).
It will be easier for me to evaluate the scope, because I know things to do to test it. But I still want to hear what you have to say. Sometimes I’m too close to these things, or I don’t think the way some of you do.
There you go. That is your assignment. Help me make sense of this pair of product tests for you.