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. read more

Back to the basics — Scope tips: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Use a bigger target
  • Don’t look through the sight when adjusting it!
  • Don’t go too far!
  • Don’t adjust on the basis of a single shot
  • Don’t change the reticle!
  • What have you learned?
  • Big bore match at the 2015 Texas airgun show
  • Coming tomorrow: Log-in to make a blog comment

I was at the range last week with my brother-in-law, Bob, who was visiting us for the Fourth of July. He brought his Colt AR-15 to get my help sighting-in, which I was glad to do. He has had a lot of problems sighting-in this rifle with optical sights, and I wanted to see what they were firsthand. Boy — am I glad I did! I think some of you will be, too, because this experience made today’s report.

Bob had already gone through several scopes on this rifle — never being satisfied with any of the results he got. This time, he had a dot sight mounted on the gun, and the mounts allowed him to also see the rifle’s standard peep sights. An AR-15 is hard to boresight (align the bore of the rifle with an optical sight) because you can’t see down the barrel. With a bolt rifle you can simply remove the bolt and look down the barrel while aligning the scope’s reticle. When the bullseye appears to be centered in the barrel at the same time the crosshairs are centered inside the bull, you’re boresighted. A shot at this point should strike pretty close to the bullseye. read more

Back to the basics — Scope tips: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Droop — or downward slant
  • My point is…
  • I must care about this
  • Scope placement

This series examines the task of mounting a scope on an air rifle and sighting it in. Part 2 addressed mounting a scope, but it didn’t cover all of the problem areas, so today I’ll continue the discussion.

Droop — or downward slant

I will say that 80 percent of all the firearms and airguns I have examined have some degree of downward slant of their bores in relation to the line of sight of a scope that’s mounted on them. And I will go on to say that half of those are so serious as to cause problems. The airgun term for this is droop. The firearm world has no term for it and is generally ignorant of the problem. The single firearm that doesn’t seem to have this problem to the extent mentioned here is the AR platform. Perhaps the designers recognized the problem and solved it through engineering. I don’t know, but ARs seem to be relatively droop-free. read more

Aeon 8-32X50 AO scope with trajectory reticle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSA Supersport SE: Part 4

This report covers:

  • Is compact good?
  • The trajectory reticle
  • Thin reticle
  • Buy this trajectory reticle for targets, only
  • And the scope?
  • Brightness
  • Image area
  • Reaction to recoil
  • Do scopes need to be broken in?
  • Evaluation so far

Today I start looking at the Aeon 8-32X50 AO scope with trajectory reticle. We actually began our look in the final section of the BSA Supersport SE review, which is why there’s a link to Part 4 of that review at the top of this page.

For starters, I said this is the shortest 8-32x scope I’ve ever seen. I showed you a picture of the scope mounted on the BSA rifle, but the only comments that picture got were about the Diana Bullseye ZR recoil-reducing scope mount. Apparently not many of you own an 8-32X scope; and so when you see one that’s several inches shorter, it doesn’t make much of an impression. So, the first thing I’ll do today is show you the Aeon scope next to a UTG 8-32X (no longer made), so you can appreciate what I’m saying. The Aeon is 13.75 inches long, compared to 17.52 inches for the UTG. read more

Back to the basics — Scope tips: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

• What we’re doing
• Many things going on
• First things when mounting scopes
• Clean the gun and mount
• The mount
• Installing the mount
• Install the scope
• Install top caps and screws
• Align the vertical reticle
• Time to tighten the caps

What we’re doing
Today, I’m going to mount a scope for you and show some of my mounting techniques. These have been available for 10 years in the Pyramyd Air articles pages as a 3-part series — Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Many things going on
I’ll also add some things to this report. For starters, I’m making this a multiple blog by also reporting on the new Diana Bullseye ZR recoil reducing scope mount. And, I’m installing this mount on the BSA Supersport SE that I promised would have a Part 4. Another benefit! Finally, I selected the Aeon 8-32X50 AO scope with trajectory reticle for the rifle. The special trajectory reticle can be useful when shooting rifles at different distances. Aeon also has the same scope equipped with other reticles. read more

Back to the basics — Scope tips: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Reason for this report
  • What I won’t do!
  • Things to consider when mounting a scope
    • Consider the scope mounts.
    • Consider the type of scope
    • Consider the gun and where the scope has to fit
    • Pay attention to how much elevation your new scope needs

    Reason for this report
    This report is for a friend who recently acquired a new-to-him 30-06 bolt-action rifle. He asked me for some tips on mounting a scope and sighting-in the rifle, and I’m afraid what I gave him was a college-level course instead of the basic information he needed. Despite my “help,” he stumbled through the process, making many mistakes as he learned what I am going to try to tell you in this report.

    This misadventure opened my eyes to a need for even more basic instruction about rifle scopes. If my friend is having problems, so are hundreds of others who read this blog. read more

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

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

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

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

This report covers:

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

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