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November 14, 2012

Scope Clutter and Reloading Advice

By David E. Petzal

Thanks to Deadeye Dick for this idea, but before we get to scopes, here are two more handloading tips that I want to get down before I forget them.

Before I resize my cases, I clean the carbon off the necks with a metal polish called Simichrome. Then I wipe off the black ugh and throw them in the case tumbler with the fired primers still in place. This saves you having to poke pieces of ground-up corncob out of the flasholes.

If you want to do a really thorough job of degreasing, soak the re-sized shells in acetone for 15 minutes. You do this outdoors, or in the garage with the doors open. They dry off very quickly, and if you want to speed up the process even more, turn a fan on them.

OK, scopes. Because long-range shooting is now all the rage, some scope designers have made their reticles things of unholy complexity, packed with dots, lines, very small lines, squiggles and, in some cases, runes. This is due to the belief that a) the more complex it is, the better it is, and b) the people who design hunting optics have apparently done precious little hunting and intend to sell these things to people who are likewise unqualified.

The reason complex reticles are useless for big-game hunting is a) they make quick aiming impossible; b) they’re a pain in the ass in low light; and c) unless you’ve done a ton of shooting with them, you’ll forget how they work in the heat of battle.

Where they can work is in prairie dog shooting, or woodchuck assassination, where the light is good and the stakes are not high and you have plenty of time to figure things out.

The Army and Marines, who have really gotten long-range shooting down pat, still use plain mil-dot reticles. The Army’s newest sniper scope, a Leupold MK IV, employs an illuminated TMR reticle, which has horizontal and vertical dots on its wires, and nothing else.

I’ve never shot with a complicated reticle. The ones I have used are made by Nikon, Bushnell, Leupold, and Burris. The reticles are all variants on the Duplex, with and without mil dots, or with altered mil dots (the Nikon). They are all simple, and you can aim quickly with them. They also work extremely well. If you follow the directions they will get you exactly where you want to be.

But they’re not foolproof. The Leupold CDS system, in which you adjust the elevation knob for long shots, is supposed to be more or less indestructible. However, a month ago I encountered a CDS scope that some nitwit had used on a prairie dog shoot, and cranked the life out of. It was busted but good. The Burris Eliminator laser rangefinding scope is bulky, and the batteries on the one I hunted with crapped out when the temperature got down around zero. (Burris says it has a new version, the Eliminator III, that is smaller, and that it has solved the battery problem. I just got one, but have yet to use it, so we shall see.)

The one complication that I do like unreservedly is the illuminated dot in the center of the reticle. I think it’s the fastest of all ways to aim, and I’ve never had a bit of trouble with one. Also, they are the cat’s meow in poor light.

Comments (49)

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from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Yeah Dave, you tell 'em . Just how much technology do we need??? It won't be long before we can go put our rifle on a treestand and stay home and use the computer to kill our deer. What a fine bunch of hunters we be when that happens. I guess the idiots that design these scopes believe that big game animals just stand there waiting for some nimrod to adjust all those hickey doos on the scope, hell they will probably die of old age or laugh so hard they faint. Thanks, Dave. best regards, Deadeyedick

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Almost forgot this. Are you sure that acetone does not cause weakness in the brass and I use plain old US Army brasso.

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from crm3006 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

I don't like complicated scopes, (or anything else) either. I have a mil-dot on a .223, and a lighted reticle on a Burris on my .375 H&H. Most of my scopes are of the duplex reticle type, zeroed in for 200 yds., and I know the bullet drop at three hundred. This is about as complicated as my feeble brain can stand.

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from Del in KS wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Dave, You may recall last year I bought a new elk rifle consisting of Weatherby Vanguard 2 in 300 Roy, Talley base and rings with a Bushnell elite 6500 2.5-16X scope with DOA reticle. Haven't had a chance to use it on an elk. However last Saturday It worked just fine on a nice 11 point Missouri Whitetail. He was walking behind a doe at 204 yds when one shot put him down so fast thought I had missed. Can't wait to see a bull in that scope.

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from hengst wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Perfect words of wisdom. I am glad I stuck with a Zeiss 6.5 X 20 mil-dot reticle for my 300 mark V. Perfect combo because I am easy to confuse "in the heat of the battle"

Del, My buddies and I have it figured out. When using a Wby if you think you missed because said animal is gone, you didn't. So far 4 pronghorn and 2 muley using 257 or 300 Wby and the result has been the same on all of my animals. They don't lie nothing hits harder.

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from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Before I resize my cases I clean the necks with 0000 steel wool and inspect the cases. Cases that pass the test get put in the tumbler and those that don't go in the trash can. The steel wool makes them nice and bright to see any cracks in the cases.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Acetone will have no ill effect on the brass, but will mess up your painted fingernails, so watch out! Seriously, using acetone is a great tip!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Cleaning the carbon inside and out of the necks is a excellent idea and while your at it check the neck for cracks especially in reformed cases. But leaving the primer definitely isn't a guarantee you’ll have complete empty case of media which not if but will happen. That extra step poking that bit of corncob gives a good chance to inspect the cases and knocks that bit of carbon out of the flash hole. Besides, last I checked, corncob media makes a very poor propellant and adds case volume resulting in a allergic reaction of overpressure

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

As for scopes, I'll just stick to Duplex. Leupold VXII 3x9x40, the distance from the center to the point of the lower reticle is 4" at 100 yards on 9 power. While out plinking at long range, try using the upper point of teh lower reticle as I use to place on the back or tad over of critters way out dar!

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

After several years of fiddling around with a 7x57 Mauser (now turned 7x57 Ackley Improved) before I finally managed to make it produce consistent excellent accuracy (via the third barrel I put on it), and having gone through several poor-to-decent scopes on the rifle during that time, I recently mounted and zeroed a Shepherd 310-P1 (3x-10x) scope on the rifle.

This American-made scope has a vertical string of rings for ranges out to 1000 yards, and right and left windage MOA marks on the horizontal recticle. Although the scope is a bit counterintuitive to zero, once you've got it zeroed (which only takes a couple of rounds if you follow the directions properly) the scope stays that way. I have to say the Shepherd is a pretty incredible scope that works as advertised if you shoot the right bullet weight with approximately the correct ballistic coefficiency at approximately the proper muzzle velocity. I've made consistent hits (on metal plates and/or water-filled plastic jugs) out to 700 yards. Optics quality is excellent, as is the scope's low-light abilities.

I acknowledge that I would never take a game shot over 300 yards in most conditions, and maybe 400 yards in perfect conditions. But it is nice to know where the rifle will shoot out to 1000 (or at least 700, in my case), and it is a definite confidence builder to see a water jug burst, or hear a metal plate ring, way, way out there.

Highly recommended.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

No fancy reticles for me either. Leupold Duplex and LRD and Burris Ballistic Plex are fine. Also have one CDS turret on a 3-9x40 VX-II. Enough high tech for me!

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

N.B.: I forgot to mention that the Shepherd scope is, in essence, a range-finding scope. The rings on the 310-P1 model, for instance, and starting at 300 yards out to 1000, encompass 18" of target area. If the deer vitals or elk vitals (or, in Iraq or Afghanistan, using the Shepherd P2 model on more than a few M-14s, another kind of vitals) fit within a given ring, then that ring is your range. "Find the ring that fits" is the mantra I use. There's no math involved except when it comes to windage, and there the MOA hashmarks on the horizontal recticle are clear and easy to use so long as the shooter remembers what MOA means (in terms of length of measurement) at whatever range the target is. This just takes practice, as making accurate shots in windy conditions always requires practice.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

ive never seen the need for all that crap in the scope...just give me a vertical and horizontal line, i can figure out the rest without mil dots and x's and y's and laser rangefinders built in.

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from O Garcia wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

all scope manufacturers who featury battery-powered illuminated reticles should consult Aimpoint on how to make a battery last long. Aimpoint makes an optical sight for hunting, but it's non-magnified.

as for those range-estimation stadia wires, mil-dots, etc. they all require you to assume an average "something" - size of a buck's or bull's chest, height of a man (if you're a sniper), etc.

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from O Garcia wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

*feature

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from O Garcia wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

and that's just scope clutter. DP hadn't even yet touched on the outrageous trends in:

-scope size
-scope prize
-scope bases/rails with built in XX number M.O.A. of elevation so you can really stretch your relatively
slow .308 out to 1,000 yards

that have all been driven by the recent WOT/tacticool craze.

I remember the picture I saw on another magazine (Shotgun News, a mag which features very few articles about shotguns, but has one of the best airgun writers I know; Tom Gaylord). It was a lineup of rifles on an "extreme range" firing line, AI Arctic Warfare, Sako TRG-42, custom Remington M700, etc. in gulp! - .338 Lapua, .338 Rem Ultra, .300 Winchester. They were all wearing Nightforce, US Optics or Schmidt & Bender scopes with upper magnifications of at least 12x. US Optics scopes are like Ruger Super Redhawk revolvers, they're huge with a capital H. And with US Optics and Schmidt & Bender, your scope will cost at least as much or even more than your sniper rifle.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

I like cleaning the case necks with 0000 steel wool and removing any other spots from cases before hitting the tumbler the first cycle with fired primers still intact. I like running clean cases through the resizing dies and tumbling again to polish after all case prep is done. I usually only use new brass for hunting rounds. Weatherby/Norma brass needs zero prep before loading unless you want a little more shine. Most other new brass needs full-length resizing before the first loading.

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from fordman155 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Dave: stating a scope reticle is complicated is a subjective call. To you and me, some of the reticles are complicated compared to our tried-and-true (ordinary) duplex reticles. If a hunter has a "new-fangled" reticle and they practice and know how to use it, then it is not complicated----to them. A buddy has a Nikon ProStaff BDC that he loves. I ended up with one also, but it wouldn't be my first call for a scope. I think it is a bit busy compared to the reticle I like the best --- the AccuRange reticle on Redfield's Revolution scopes. The simple holdover points on the verticle line match up perfectly with the handloads of my 257 Wby and 300 Wby Mags.
BTW: The Total Gun Manual is an awsome book. I started on the first page of the book and am now on article 180--15 Classic Shotguns. And pheasant season in SW Kansas is a huge let down this year.

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from hutter wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Deprime brass and drop in tumbler with walnut media and a few table spoons of Hoppes #9 mixed very well. cleans all carbon,inside and out including primer pocket. And it won't hurt brass as it is NOT a copper cleaner.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Not sure that I would add any solvent to cleaning media that is oily and could contaminate primers or powder. Hmmm

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from Proverbs wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Nice timing on this post. I just spent three weeks' spare time researching and examining scopes for a model capable of quickly adjusting zero from 200 to 500 yards. There are so many new models in the past year it can make your head spin. Some are so complicated that I think they have very limited value.

I already have some BDC scopes from Nikon and Leupold. The Nikon with BDC circles are the fastest and easiest to use when hunting big game. The Leupolds have too many lines (hash marks) to quickly use in the field, but allow for more precise aiming at paper at the shooting range.

I'm looking for a reticle that is more simple and fast than the multiple-hash marks, and for something a bit more precise than the circles so I don't have to make excuses for 4" groups at 200 yards when I'm practicing at the range.

I think I found it and ordered it yesterday from a little-known engineering company in Oregon. This company makes glass for a couple of very big names in scopes and the specs look terrific. This company, Kruger Optics, has a BDC scope with only two hash marks that also vary in width to serve as a quick-guide for wind adjustments. I'm probably not explaining it very well, but once I get a chance to test it at the range I'll be able to comment further.

According to USPS, the scope will be delivered tomorrow. It's going to be tested atop a Sako tactical bolt action heavy barrel in .308, so all the pressure will be on the scope.

In a nutshell, this scope could be an improved combination of BDC (speed) plus ease of use and accuracy. Which is exactly what is needed in today's world of BDC scopes!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Proverbs wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Nice timing on this post. I just spent three weeks' spare time researching and examining scopes for a model capable of quickly adjusting zero from 200 to 500 yards. There are so many new models in the past year it can make your head spin. Some are so complicated that I think they have very limited value.

I already have some BDC scopes from Nikon and Leupold. The Nikon with BDC circles are the fastest and easiest to use when hunting big game. The Leupolds have too many lines (hash marks) to quickly use in the field, but allow for more precise aiming at paper at the shooting range.

I'm looking for a reticle that is more simple and fast than the multiple-hash marks, and for something a bit more precise than the circles so I don't have to make excuses for 4" groups at 200 yards when I'm practicing at the range.

I think I found it and ordered it yesterday from a little-known engineering company in Oregon. This company makes glass for a couple of very big names in scopes and the specs look terrific. This company, Kruger Optics, has a BDC scope with only two hash marks that also vary in width to serve as a quick-guide for wind adjustments. I'm probably not explaining it very well, but once I get a chance to test it at the range I'll be able to comment further.

According to USPS, the scope will be delivered tomorrow. It's going to be tested atop a Sako tactical bolt action heavy barrel in .308, so all the pressure will be on the scope.

In a nutshell, this scope could be an improved combination of BDC (speed) plus ease of use and accuracy. Which is exactly what is needed in today's world of BDC scopes!

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Complex reticles are not nearly as important as quality lenses. Write with some experience, as have used several of the high end scopes housing these fancy items. They have not helped my hunting success, and in addition to your points a,b, and c there is a point d, protruding knobs that hit various objects like logs , branches and so forth. A high quality rifle with high quality optics trumps complex reticles every time. I. Am at the range practicing three days a week since retirement and hunt all over creation over 100 days per annum, so see plenty of the new fangled optics in action. A plain Jane reticle housed in sturdy, water proof does not rip, tear, or run down at the heels just when you need it...guarenteed. A lot more practice beats a little fancier reticle every time. My name is Happy Myles and I approve this message

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from RPeterson wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Happy Myles: what are your favourite scope brands/models and magnification? Thanks Kindly!

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from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Happy,
I don't travel to hunt much but it is 10 miles from my house to the range and I run the wheels off of my pickup running back and forth to the range. Some weeks I go to the range almost every day testing loads, sighting in firearms and just plain practicing. I see guys at the range that have scopes that they don't have a clue how to adjust or what the adjustments will do when they do turn the turrents. I end up helping them quite often.
Give me a plain duplex, I happen to like Nikon scopes, I have had Leupold scopes before and they are good, but at the present time I have 11 Nikon scopes that have served me well. They are bright, clear and track well when making adjustments. I shoot hundreds of rounds getting ready to shoot probably 3 times during our deer season. Oh well at least I'm ready when the time comes.

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from 99explorer wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

I think the most critical feature of a scope is how well it is mounted on the rifle. Mount screws (bolts) are the weakest points in scope mounting.
A good gunsmith can open your receiver's threaded scope mount bolt holes from 6x48 to 8x40. Enlarge the holes in the scope mounts to match, and use 8x40 screws touched with Loctite to secure the mount solidly to the receiver.
A number 8 bolt has almost twice the strength of a number 6 bolt. Military sniper rifles are modified in this manner and routinely absorb beatings that would demolish most hunting rifles.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Not to pick nits, but the #8 screws have a nominal shear strength of approximately 46,346 lbs/sq.in. while the #6 has about 38,900 lbs./sq.shear . Only about 18% increase in shear strength by my math.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

I'm still thinking of buying the Trijicon scope as my next purchase.

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from jhjimbo wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

For fast target acquisition i had a 2.2X9 Swarovski 30mm tube, on a Steyr-Mannlicher. It had a post and one horizontal line, no vertical line above the top of post. Very quick and effective to 100 yards or so.
#8 screw is interesting although i have never had a problem with #6. I agree the quality of the #6 is important. I can see why snipers in combat would like the #8 for the big .338's.
Brass is only tumbled with no special attention to the inside. The outside is not cleaned past what the tumbler does and is not polished. I have heard that about 70% of recoil is held by the brass expanding against the wall of the chamber at the moment of ignition and the remainder is held by the bolt. Do not want to over stress the bolt and have it fail.

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from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Resize.
Inspect.
Polish.
Inspect.
Clean primer pocket.
Inspect.
Reprime.
Inspect.

Scopes.
K.I.S.S.
Keep It Simple Stupid!
If hi-tech "trips your trigger", hey, go for it.
A plain jane old Weaver K4 on a Marlin 336RS .30-30 Win is a deer slaying dude!

Until the 6x48 screws shear on my old P-H, I ain't "screwing" (pun intended! ) with it.
In my opinion, if a 6x48 won't hold, the screw "ain't" the problem!

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from murdock32 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Well first I have to say I have about everything one could call fancy and technical in scopes and all other, but also have compound bows and a recurve and a Long bow without any sights. So if it works for U then use it. So don't knock those who buy high end optics with fancy recitals, because they want to. Its their choice to buy as they wish to. We all want everything we can buy. Dave your out of line, and of all the freebies U get, I'm sure U have many more than all of us.

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from Egrill wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Dave, great comments on the complexity of scope reticles! The speed of modern centerfire rounds cancels any need for the newer crowded aiming devices. With the average shot on game being less than 250 yards, simply apply your crosshairs on the vitals and get ready to take some pictures. I've kept records on all of my western big game hunts and the farthest shot I've taken is 502 with the average shot well under 250. The 502 was an extreme exception and down hill so it was actually pretty easy. All kills done with a VXIII 2.5x8 or an older Burris Signature 3x9. The 2.5x8, ironically sits on my 300 Wby, which begs for some modern laser mess-not happening. The speed and efficiency at which it comes out of a scabbard or truck is its key and I practice. What is common to all of the kills excepting one mule deer, is that the speed in which the shot opportunity happens is so fast I can't describe it. Most have involved changing position in a flash with zero time to worry about a ballistics mess on my scope. Every veteran hunter that I've taken advice from (guys with lots of real experience all over the globe) all have said the same thing, more or less: your opportunity, when it presents itself will be less than 5-10 seconds, so be ready. Buy a simple but GOOD scope and be ready.

On the leaving the primers in before tumbling. Thank you, Dave, I've seen Jesus and my reloading pit is forever changed. Great idea.

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from Egrill wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

On more comment on my above post and topic of modern scope reticles: I'm not some old curmudgeon, only 41 so I consider myself part of younger , modern generation especially as it relates to all of the newer scopes, etc. WIth reference to an earlier post, the Nikon, Nightforce, Huskemaw, etc ARE complicated messes. Technology is a wonderful thing and I embrace it but not in regards to this topic. I do see an advantage when used with modern muzzle loaders but that is an exception.

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from hutter wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

To WA I have used the #9 method for over thirty years and have NOT had even one miss-fire.#9 is a solvent not an oil, meaning it evaporates. Try it.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

hutter,

I did a little research and this is what I found for the chemical content of No. 9 by percentage:
30-40 Kerosene
30-40 Ethyl Alcohol
Less than 10 Xylene
Less than 10 Amyl Acetate
Less than 10 Ammonium Hydrochloride
Less than 10 Citronella

I know that from spilling and leakage in my cleaning box that it does not totally evaporate. If it does, then why does Hoppe's claim it is a rust preventative? Citronella is an aromatic oil. If it works for you then it works.

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from DakotaMan wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

The value of aiming points on a reticle depends entirely on what you intend to do with it. Obviously, if you are shooting at something the size of a 30 gallon oil drum from 50 yards away, a duplex reticle in a 2.5-10x scope is perfect (that is what I use on my deer rifles). This is a great sighting device for timber hunting and deer shots under 300 yards (where most of these shots take place).

On the other hand, if you are engaged in long range target shooting or if you are prairie dog hunting at 600-1000 yards, the big magnification mil-dot reticles allow clear vision of target with instantaneous ranging ability and deadly accurate aiming points for accommodating bullet drop and windage.

I do a lot of target shooting at 100-200-300-400-500-600 yards with as much 1000 yard shooting as I can get (not near enough) and I'm here to tell you that you can hit a prairie dog in the head out to 600 yards regardless of wind given such a nice reticle (and a rifle/load/dope that can do it).

The only way you can do that with a standard cross hair is to adjust the turret settings and this normally takes too much time for normal hunting situations. There are many on this forum who think a 600 yard shot is a long ways. That is because they don't practice at that range and they use a 3-9x scope with a duplex cross hair and a rifle that couldn't shoot a 10 inch group at that range. A lot of modern equipment however is capable of less than 2" groups at 600 yards but you have to use the appropriate aiming device and it is not a 3-9x scope with a duplex reticle.

I have always enjoyed my 3-9s for deer hunting but I sure don't castigate those who know how to use a better piece of equipment for highly accurate long range shooting. I also don't assume that anyone owning an 8-32x target scope with advanced reticles is an idiot. As a matter of fact, I see some really great shooters using them. I sure can and have learned something from them.

American hunting is changing. Our hunting equipment has taken a huge leap forward. The barrels are better, the bullets are better, computers/meters give us precise info regarding windage and drop, the sighting devices are better and the Internet provides tons of knowledge regarding long range success.

Like archery, it is not for everyone but for those who want to master yet another challenge to make outdoor sportsmanship even more enjoyable, it is out there and it is growing.

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from DakotaMan wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

The value of aiming points on a reticle depends entirely on what you intend to do with it. Obviously, if you are shooting at something the size of a 30 gallon oil drum from 50 yards away, a duplex reticle in a 2.5-10x scope is perfect (that is what I use on my deer rifles). This is a great sighting device for timber hunting and deer shots under 300 yards (where most of these shots take place).

On the other hand, if you are engaged in long range target shooting or if you are prairie dog hunting at 600-1000 yards, the big magnification mil-dot reticles allow clear vision of target with instantaneous ranging ability and deadly accurate aiming points for accommodating bullet drop and windage.

I do a lot of target shooting at 100-200-300-400-500-600 yards with as much 1000 yard shooting as I can get (not near enough) and I'm here to tell you that you can hit a prairie dog in the head out to 600 yards regardless of wind given such a nice reticle (and a rifle/load/dope that can do it).

The only way you can do that with a standard cross hair is to adjust the turret settings and this normally takes too much time for normal hunting situations. There are many on this forum who think a 600 yard shot is a long ways. That is because they don't practice at that range and they use a 3-9x scope with a duplex cross hair and a rifle that couldn't shoot a 10 inch group at that range. A lot of modern equipment however is capable of less than 2" groups at 600 yards but you have to use the appropriate aiming device and it is not a 3-9x scope with a duplex reticle.

I have always enjoyed my 3-9s for deer hunting but I sure don't castigate those who know how to use a better piece of equipment for highly accurate long range shooting. I also don't assume that anyone owning an 8-32x target scope with advanced reticles is an idiot. As a matter of fact, I see some really great shooters using them. I sure can and have learned something from them.

American hunting is changing. Our hunting equipment has taken a huge leap forward. The barrels are better, the bullets are better, computers/meters give us precise info regarding windage and drop, the sighting devices are better and the Internet provides tons of knowledge regarding long range success.

Like archery, it is not for everyone but for those who want to master yet another challenge to make outdoor sportsmanship even more enjoyable, it is out there and it is growing.

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from crm3006 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

DakotaMan- You make good points, as usual. Long distance shooting is a game of practice, practice, and more practice. Modern, improved equipment that gives you an edge cannot be sneered at.
However, for those that don't have the opportunity to get to the range, or the distance for targets, or, as you stated, the proper equipment, shots over 300 yds. are a very risky proposition. Most of the hunters and shooters that I observe probably should keep their shots at 200 yds. or less. This includes me.

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from DakotaMan wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

CRM3006 thanks much! I agree with you wholeheartedly that most hunters and shooters do not need to be outfitted with big optics. You certainly don't need them for typical timber deer hunting. As a matter of fact, they would be a handicap in that environment. One of my favorite deer rifles only shoots 1 MOA and I limit my shots to about 200 yards with that. I won't be attempting any long range shots with it and I appreciate all hunters who stay within their limitations when hunting.

Most deer are taken well within 200 yards but where I grew up, prairie dogs were often way out there to say nothing of coyotes, antelope and an occassional trophy muley. I guess that got me interested in long range hunting and as a result I've been pursuing it since the mid-60s. I appreciate the advances in technology and as a result I've been able to enjoy several of my rifles even more. The accuracy they afford simply extends the opportunities for enjoyment. I love taking aim at a quarter from 1000 yards away and thinking that Daniel Boone could never have attempted such a thing.

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from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Nice to see you are enjoying your Weatherby Vanguard Dell. I am using my Vanguard this year after using a Ruger No.1 for the last few seasons. The Weatherby is much more accurate, and for some reason I can shoot it much better offhand. I have shot 6 deer with it now and have never missed with it or lost one. Mine is the .257 Wby. Mag., it kicks like a little girl and shoots groups under 3/4" at 100 yards. I love it.

I swear the only reason I used the Ruger was because it was prettier and I had so much more invested in it. I have finally decided it is better to shoot a gun you can hit with. I think I missed four deer with that No. 1.

Oh and all my scopes just have the duplex reticle, everything else is just clutter to me too.

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from crm3006 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Only shoots 1 MOA ??? And you have not tinkered, polished, jiggered, re-done, re-barreled, or performed ancient primitave rites in the dark of the moon? For shame! LMSAO!

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from Big Bob W wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Simple scopes. Duplex, simple crosshair, crosshair with a post. Leupold, Weaver, Redfield, Tasco and Simmons. I no longer really work on long range shooting. 200 yds is enough. I am capable of hitting my target out to a full klick and can get on a stationary target in three shots max with a spotter calling point of impact. Last three big game tags filled,(1) a 450 lb cow elk, 75 yds, Savage Model 99 firing 300 Savage, 150 gr Nosler partition, 42.5 gr IMR 4064, 4x Weaver with a post reticle. (2) a 200 lb muley doe using the the same rig & bullet combo killed at 50 yds. (3) 750 lb 5x5 Bull Elk, 100 yds using a custom sporterized 1908 Mauser in 7x57 with a 162 grain Hornaday ballistic tip, scope a 3x9 Leupold Vari-xII with medium duplex reticle. Powder H4350. Longest big game kill a 70 lb Coues Whitetail at 500 yds using a Ruger M-77 in 270 Winchester firing 130 gr Remington Bronze Point, scope a Tasco World Class in 3x9 with standard crosshairs. Powder - 59 gr H4831.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Taking aim at a quarter at 1,000 yards? WTH are you using for a scope? The Hubble? I think I've heard it all now! LMAO!

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from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Yeah WTH Dakotaman??? Your scope weighs more than your rifle is all I can figure.

I am using factory .257 Weatherby ammo, the round nose 117 grain bullets work much better than the 115 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips or 100 grain Spire Points. Less meat damage, better blood trail, it is nicer in every way. The deer fall down faster... I am shooting deer at less than 50 yards though. Results may vary.

Just saying everyone is living in their own little world. You can't shoot a deer at 200 yards around here much less 1,000, there are trees and hills and other objects. If you did shoot a deer at 1,000 yards two other people would beat you to it and have their tag in hand.

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from Gregg Williams wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I have several firearms rifle's made for deer hunting i use tasco scopes mainly bought though walmart, i had my eye operation to me im lucky they work good for me to see though with my glasses, i got 2 BSA made scopes and one tasco with mil-dots or dial for range drop! i shot at NRA shoot the one i shot best with was a 6.5x55SE newer swede gun by CZ-usa American 550, the other ones that day were a savage edge 25-06rem & Remington 788 22-250rem, the best on that day for me was 3-9 tasco but the bsa and tasco mil-dot got me a 49 out of 50 at 200 yards with 25-06, i had them only 2 days before the shoot the 6.5x55 i had 50 out of 50, 5 shot group .8 on paper the 200 was 2.5 i moves by mil-dots i don't shoot at 200 yards normally, i reload to handling the kick & if the gun groups good with the load, try going up or down if you get the sweet spot it what that gun wants! with powder & bullet, change bullet weight or powder it may change drastically in way it shoots i started on 6mm Remington is close to 243 win! muzzle brakes help tame kick too!

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from Safado wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Excellent post; there are so many things that I agree with I'm kicking myself for getting in so late. Dave is on the mark with both the scope and re-loading comments. Tumbling with the fired primer in is something that I will start doing. I had heard about soaking in acetone, also ammonia but hesitated to try it.
Sarge, you are clearly a very experienced hand loader; your input is always spot-on.
jhjimbo- I have the same set up a Swarovski scope on a Steyr Mannlicher rifle mine in .308.
I have a Nikon 8 x 32 x 50 BDC scope on my Savage 22-250 that is so accurate it deserves the best glass that I can afford.
WAM-I like your process; specifically the steel wool first step and tumbling a second time.
Happy- I always enjoy your input.
Dr. Ralph, Your .257 Weatherby is giving me rifle envy. I love the Talley one piece rings and a great caliber.

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from fordman155 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Yesterday (opening day in Kansas) I got a shot at a mulie buck at 530yds. I had a good zero on my 300 Weatherby. I knew what holdover point I needed on the Redfield Revolution scope. I shot, the buck staggered and then fell. If I would have had to mess with clicks on the scope the mulie might have jumped the 4-wire fence and took off because the herd he was in already saw us and time was short.

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from elmer f. wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

i have to agree with you about your description of many modern scopes. 3 years ago, i bought my first mil dot reticle scope. i fell in love with it very quickly. all of my current scopes on other rifles will eventually be replaced with mil dots. most of my shooting, like most of us, is done at paper. but it is seldom wind free here. for those of you who have not shot much in the wind, i STRONGLY advise you to do so as soon as you possibly can. the experience is priceless. actually KNOWING how far to push your scope off target in the wind will make you a much better shooter and hunter. i know some people have no trouble at all memorizing the formulas and instructions for adjusting the dope on a scope for various wind speeds. but when you are hunting, you will seldom have time for that. i set my reticle to the point of impact range i am expecting to shoot, and leave it alone. then push the rifle and scope to where i feel it needs to be to get a dead center hit. getting experience in this is what will mean the difference between spending money at the taxidermist, or just telling a story around the campfire about the big one that got away.

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from old skipper wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

I agree with Egrill to a large extent. Lest we forget, the idea is to anchor the critters we shoot at in their tracks. A finely tuned .300 Weatherby with a 3.5x-10x Leupold shooting 180's at 3200+fps, sighted 4" high @ 100yds and I only need to answer one question-is he less than 400 yards-if so shoot center of mass -if not stalk closer or let him go.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Complex reticles are not nearly as important as quality lenses. Write with some experience, as have used several of the high end scopes housing these fancy items. They have not helped my hunting success, and in addition to your points a,b, and c there is a point d, protruding knobs that hit various objects like logs , branches and so forth. A high quality rifle with high quality optics trumps complex reticles every time. I. Am at the range practicing three days a week since retirement and hunt all over creation over 100 days per annum, so see plenty of the new fangled optics in action. A plain Jane reticle housed in sturdy, water proof does not rip, tear, or run down at the heels just when you need it...guarenteed. A lot more practice beats a little fancier reticle every time. My name is Happy Myles and I approve this message

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from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Before I resize my cases I clean the necks with 0000 steel wool and inspect the cases. Cases that pass the test get put in the tumbler and those that don't go in the trash can. The steel wool makes them nice and bright to see any cracks in the cases.

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from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Happy,
I don't travel to hunt much but it is 10 miles from my house to the range and I run the wheels off of my pickup running back and forth to the range. Some weeks I go to the range almost every day testing loads, sighting in firearms and just plain practicing. I see guys at the range that have scopes that they don't have a clue how to adjust or what the adjustments will do when they do turn the turrents. I end up helping them quite often.
Give me a plain duplex, I happen to like Nikon scopes, I have had Leupold scopes before and they are good, but at the present time I have 11 Nikon scopes that have served me well. They are bright, clear and track well when making adjustments. I shoot hundreds of rounds getting ready to shoot probably 3 times during our deer season. Oh well at least I'm ready when the time comes.

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from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Yeah Dave, you tell 'em . Just how much technology do we need??? It won't be long before we can go put our rifle on a treestand and stay home and use the computer to kill our deer. What a fine bunch of hunters we be when that happens. I guess the idiots that design these scopes believe that big game animals just stand there waiting for some nimrod to adjust all those hickey doos on the scope, hell they will probably die of old age or laugh so hard they faint. Thanks, Dave. best regards, Deadeyedick

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from Del in KS wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Dave, You may recall last year I bought a new elk rifle consisting of Weatherby Vanguard 2 in 300 Roy, Talley base and rings with a Bushnell elite 6500 2.5-16X scope with DOA reticle. Haven't had a chance to use it on an elk. However last Saturday It worked just fine on a nice 11 point Missouri Whitetail. He was walking behind a doe at 204 yds when one shot put him down so fast thought I had missed. Can't wait to see a bull in that scope.

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from RJ Arena wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Acetone will have no ill effect on the brass, but will mess up your painted fingernails, so watch out! Seriously, using acetone is a great tip!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

I like cleaning the case necks with 0000 steel wool and removing any other spots from cases before hitting the tumbler the first cycle with fired primers still intact. I like running clean cases through the resizing dies and tumbling again to polish after all case prep is done. I usually only use new brass for hunting rounds. Weatherby/Norma brass needs zero prep before loading unless you want a little more shine. Most other new brass needs full-length resizing before the first loading.

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from Proverbs wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Nice timing on this post. I just spent three weeks' spare time researching and examining scopes for a model capable of quickly adjusting zero from 200 to 500 yards. There are so many new models in the past year it can make your head spin. Some are so complicated that I think they have very limited value.

I already have some BDC scopes from Nikon and Leupold. The Nikon with BDC circles are the fastest and easiest to use when hunting big game. The Leupolds have too many lines (hash marks) to quickly use in the field, but allow for more precise aiming at paper at the shooting range.

I'm looking for a reticle that is more simple and fast than the multiple-hash marks, and for something a bit more precise than the circles so I don't have to make excuses for 4" groups at 200 yards when I'm practicing at the range.

I think I found it and ordered it yesterday from a little-known engineering company in Oregon. This company makes glass for a couple of very big names in scopes and the specs look terrific. This company, Kruger Optics, has a BDC scope with only two hash marks that also vary in width to serve as a quick-guide for wind adjustments. I'm probably not explaining it very well, but once I get a chance to test it at the range I'll be able to comment further.

According to USPS, the scope will be delivered tomorrow. It's going to be tested atop a Sako tactical bolt action heavy barrel in .308, so all the pressure will be on the scope.

In a nutshell, this scope could be an improved combination of BDC (speed) plus ease of use and accuracy. Which is exactly what is needed in today's world of BDC scopes!

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from 99explorer wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

I think the most critical feature of a scope is how well it is mounted on the rifle. Mount screws (bolts) are the weakest points in scope mounting.
A good gunsmith can open your receiver's threaded scope mount bolt holes from 6x48 to 8x40. Enlarge the holes in the scope mounts to match, and use 8x40 screws touched with Loctite to secure the mount solidly to the receiver.
A number 8 bolt has almost twice the strength of a number 6 bolt. Military sniper rifles are modified in this manner and routinely absorb beatings that would demolish most hunting rifles.

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from DakotaMan wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

The value of aiming points on a reticle depends entirely on what you intend to do with it. Obviously, if you are shooting at something the size of a 30 gallon oil drum from 50 yards away, a duplex reticle in a 2.5-10x scope is perfect (that is what I use on my deer rifles). This is a great sighting device for timber hunting and deer shots under 300 yards (where most of these shots take place).

On the other hand, if you are engaged in long range target shooting or if you are prairie dog hunting at 600-1000 yards, the big magnification mil-dot reticles allow clear vision of target with instantaneous ranging ability and deadly accurate aiming points for accommodating bullet drop and windage.

I do a lot of target shooting at 100-200-300-400-500-600 yards with as much 1000 yard shooting as I can get (not near enough) and I'm here to tell you that you can hit a prairie dog in the head out to 600 yards regardless of wind given such a nice reticle (and a rifle/load/dope that can do it).

The only way you can do that with a standard cross hair is to adjust the turret settings and this normally takes too much time for normal hunting situations. There are many on this forum who think a 600 yard shot is a long ways. That is because they don't practice at that range and they use a 3-9x scope with a duplex cross hair and a rifle that couldn't shoot a 10 inch group at that range. A lot of modern equipment however is capable of less than 2" groups at 600 yards but you have to use the appropriate aiming device and it is not a 3-9x scope with a duplex reticle.

I have always enjoyed my 3-9s for deer hunting but I sure don't castigate those who know how to use a better piece of equipment for highly accurate long range shooting. I also don't assume that anyone owning an 8-32x target scope with advanced reticles is an idiot. As a matter of fact, I see some really great shooters using them. I sure can and have learned something from them.

American hunting is changing. Our hunting equipment has taken a huge leap forward. The barrels are better, the bullets are better, computers/meters give us precise info regarding windage and drop, the sighting devices are better and the Internet provides tons of knowledge regarding long range success.

Like archery, it is not for everyone but for those who want to master yet another challenge to make outdoor sportsmanship even more enjoyable, it is out there and it is growing.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Taking aim at a quarter at 1,000 yards? WTH are you using for a scope? The Hubble? I think I've heard it all now! LMAO!

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from crm3006 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

I don't like complicated scopes, (or anything else) either. I have a mil-dot on a .223, and a lighted reticle on a Burris on my .375 H&H. Most of my scopes are of the duplex reticle type, zeroed in for 200 yds., and I know the bullet drop at three hundred. This is about as complicated as my feeble brain can stand.

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from hengst wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Perfect words of wisdom. I am glad I stuck with a Zeiss 6.5 X 20 mil-dot reticle for my 300 mark V. Perfect combo because I am easy to confuse "in the heat of the battle"

Del, My buddies and I have it figured out. When using a Wby if you think you missed because said animal is gone, you didn't. So far 4 pronghorn and 2 muley using 257 or 300 Wby and the result has been the same on all of my animals. They don't lie nothing hits harder.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Cleaning the carbon inside and out of the necks is a excellent idea and while your at it check the neck for cracks especially in reformed cases. But leaving the primer definitely isn't a guarantee you’ll have complete empty case of media which not if but will happen. That extra step poking that bit of corncob gives a good chance to inspect the cases and knocks that bit of carbon out of the flash hole. Besides, last I checked, corncob media makes a very poor propellant and adds case volume resulting in a allergic reaction of overpressure

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

As for scopes, I'll just stick to Duplex. Leupold VXII 3x9x40, the distance from the center to the point of the lower reticle is 4" at 100 yards on 9 power. While out plinking at long range, try using the upper point of teh lower reticle as I use to place on the back or tad over of critters way out dar!

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from jhjimbo wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

For fast target acquisition i had a 2.2X9 Swarovski 30mm tube, on a Steyr-Mannlicher. It had a post and one horizontal line, no vertical line above the top of post. Very quick and effective to 100 yards or so.
#8 screw is interesting although i have never had a problem with #6. I agree the quality of the #6 is important. I can see why snipers in combat would like the #8 for the big .338's.
Brass is only tumbled with no special attention to the inside. The outside is not cleaned past what the tumbler does and is not polished. I have heard that about 70% of recoil is held by the brass expanding against the wall of the chamber at the moment of ignition and the remainder is held by the bolt. Do not want to over stress the bolt and have it fail.

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from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Nice to see you are enjoying your Weatherby Vanguard Dell. I am using my Vanguard this year after using a Ruger No.1 for the last few seasons. The Weatherby is much more accurate, and for some reason I can shoot it much better offhand. I have shot 6 deer with it now and have never missed with it or lost one. Mine is the .257 Wby. Mag., it kicks like a little girl and shoots groups under 3/4" at 100 yards. I love it.

I swear the only reason I used the Ruger was because it was prettier and I had so much more invested in it. I have finally decided it is better to shoot a gun you can hit with. I think I missed four deer with that No. 1.

Oh and all my scopes just have the duplex reticle, everything else is just clutter to me too.

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from crm3006 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Only shoots 1 MOA ??? And you have not tinkered, polished, jiggered, re-done, re-barreled, or performed ancient primitave rites in the dark of the moon? For shame! LMSAO!

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from old skipper wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

I agree with Egrill to a large extent. Lest we forget, the idea is to anchor the critters we shoot at in their tracks. A finely tuned .300 Weatherby with a 3.5x-10x Leupold shooting 180's at 3200+fps, sighted 4" high @ 100yds and I only need to answer one question-is he less than 400 yards-if so shoot center of mass -if not stalk closer or let him go.

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from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Almost forgot this. Are you sure that acetone does not cause weakness in the brass and I use plain old US Army brasso.

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

After several years of fiddling around with a 7x57 Mauser (now turned 7x57 Ackley Improved) before I finally managed to make it produce consistent excellent accuracy (via the third barrel I put on it), and having gone through several poor-to-decent scopes on the rifle during that time, I recently mounted and zeroed a Shepherd 310-P1 (3x-10x) scope on the rifle.

This American-made scope has a vertical string of rings for ranges out to 1000 yards, and right and left windage MOA marks on the horizontal recticle. Although the scope is a bit counterintuitive to zero, once you've got it zeroed (which only takes a couple of rounds if you follow the directions properly) the scope stays that way. I have to say the Shepherd is a pretty incredible scope that works as advertised if you shoot the right bullet weight with approximately the correct ballistic coefficiency at approximately the proper muzzle velocity. I've made consistent hits (on metal plates and/or water-filled plastic jugs) out to 700 yards. Optics quality is excellent, as is the scope's low-light abilities.

I acknowledge that I would never take a game shot over 300 yards in most conditions, and maybe 400 yards in perfect conditions. But it is nice to know where the rifle will shoot out to 1000 (or at least 700, in my case), and it is a definite confidence builder to see a water jug burst, or hear a metal plate ring, way, way out there.

Highly recommended.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

No fancy reticles for me either. Leupold Duplex and LRD and Burris Ballistic Plex are fine. Also have one CDS turret on a 3-9x40 VX-II. Enough high tech for me!

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

N.B.: I forgot to mention that the Shepherd scope is, in essence, a range-finding scope. The rings on the 310-P1 model, for instance, and starting at 300 yards out to 1000, encompass 18" of target area. If the deer vitals or elk vitals (or, in Iraq or Afghanistan, using the Shepherd P2 model on more than a few M-14s, another kind of vitals) fit within a given ring, then that ring is your range. "Find the ring that fits" is the mantra I use. There's no math involved except when it comes to windage, and there the MOA hashmarks on the horizontal recticle are clear and easy to use so long as the shooter remembers what MOA means (in terms of length of measurement) at whatever range the target is. This just takes practice, as making accurate shots in windy conditions always requires practice.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

ive never seen the need for all that crap in the scope...just give me a vertical and horizontal line, i can figure out the rest without mil dots and x's and y's and laser rangefinders built in.

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from O Garcia wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

all scope manufacturers who featury battery-powered illuminated reticles should consult Aimpoint on how to make a battery last long. Aimpoint makes an optical sight for hunting, but it's non-magnified.

as for those range-estimation stadia wires, mil-dots, etc. they all require you to assume an average "something" - size of a buck's or bull's chest, height of a man (if you're a sniper), etc.

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from O Garcia wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

*feature

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from O Garcia wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

and that's just scope clutter. DP hadn't even yet touched on the outrageous trends in:

-scope size
-scope prize
-scope bases/rails with built in XX number M.O.A. of elevation so you can really stretch your relatively
slow .308 out to 1,000 yards

that have all been driven by the recent WOT/tacticool craze.

I remember the picture I saw on another magazine (Shotgun News, a mag which features very few articles about shotguns, but has one of the best airgun writers I know; Tom Gaylord). It was a lineup of rifles on an "extreme range" firing line, AI Arctic Warfare, Sako TRG-42, custom Remington M700, etc. in gulp! - .338 Lapua, .338 Rem Ultra, .300 Winchester. They were all wearing Nightforce, US Optics or Schmidt & Bender scopes with upper magnifications of at least 12x. US Optics scopes are like Ruger Super Redhawk revolvers, they're huge with a capital H. And with US Optics and Schmidt & Bender, your scope will cost at least as much or even more than your sniper rifle.

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from fordman155 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Dave: stating a scope reticle is complicated is a subjective call. To you and me, some of the reticles are complicated compared to our tried-and-true (ordinary) duplex reticles. If a hunter has a "new-fangled" reticle and they practice and know how to use it, then it is not complicated----to them. A buddy has a Nikon ProStaff BDC that he loves. I ended up with one also, but it wouldn't be my first call for a scope. I think it is a bit busy compared to the reticle I like the best --- the AccuRange reticle on Redfield's Revolution scopes. The simple holdover points on the verticle line match up perfectly with the handloads of my 257 Wby and 300 Wby Mags.
BTW: The Total Gun Manual is an awsome book. I started on the first page of the book and am now on article 180--15 Classic Shotguns. And pheasant season in SW Kansas is a huge let down this year.

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from hutter wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Deprime brass and drop in tumbler with walnut media and a few table spoons of Hoppes #9 mixed very well. cleans all carbon,inside and out including primer pocket. And it won't hurt brass as it is NOT a copper cleaner.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Not sure that I would add any solvent to cleaning media that is oily and could contaminate primers or powder. Hmmm

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from Proverbs wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Nice timing on this post. I just spent three weeks' spare time researching and examining scopes for a model capable of quickly adjusting zero from 200 to 500 yards. There are so many new models in the past year it can make your head spin. Some are so complicated that I think they have very limited value.

I already have some BDC scopes from Nikon and Leupold. The Nikon with BDC circles are the fastest and easiest to use when hunting big game. The Leupolds have too many lines (hash marks) to quickly use in the field, but allow for more precise aiming at paper at the shooting range.

I'm looking for a reticle that is more simple and fast than the multiple-hash marks, and for something a bit more precise than the circles so I don't have to make excuses for 4" groups at 200 yards when I'm practicing at the range.

I think I found it and ordered it yesterday from a little-known engineering company in Oregon. This company makes glass for a couple of very big names in scopes and the specs look terrific. This company, Kruger Optics, has a BDC scope with only two hash marks that also vary in width to serve as a quick-guide for wind adjustments. I'm probably not explaining it very well, but once I get a chance to test it at the range I'll be able to comment further.

According to USPS, the scope will be delivered tomorrow. It's going to be tested atop a Sako tactical bolt action heavy barrel in .308, so all the pressure will be on the scope.

In a nutshell, this scope could be an improved combination of BDC (speed) plus ease of use and accuracy. Which is exactly what is needed in today's world of BDC scopes!

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from RPeterson wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Happy Myles: what are your favourite scope brands/models and magnification? Thanks Kindly!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Not to pick nits, but the #8 screws have a nominal shear strength of approximately 46,346 lbs/sq.in. while the #6 has about 38,900 lbs./sq.shear . Only about 18% increase in shear strength by my math.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

I'm still thinking of buying the Trijicon scope as my next purchase.

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from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Resize.
Inspect.
Polish.
Inspect.
Clean primer pocket.
Inspect.
Reprime.
Inspect.

Scopes.
K.I.S.S.
Keep It Simple Stupid!
If hi-tech "trips your trigger", hey, go for it.
A plain jane old Weaver K4 on a Marlin 336RS .30-30 Win is a deer slaying dude!

Until the 6x48 screws shear on my old P-H, I ain't "screwing" (pun intended! ) with it.
In my opinion, if a 6x48 won't hold, the screw "ain't" the problem!

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from murdock32 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Well first I have to say I have about everything one could call fancy and technical in scopes and all other, but also have compound bows and a recurve and a Long bow without any sights. So if it works for U then use it. So don't knock those who buy high end optics with fancy recitals, because they want to. Its their choice to buy as they wish to. We all want everything we can buy. Dave your out of line, and of all the freebies U get, I'm sure U have many more than all of us.

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from Egrill wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Dave, great comments on the complexity of scope reticles! The speed of modern centerfire rounds cancels any need for the newer crowded aiming devices. With the average shot on game being less than 250 yards, simply apply your crosshairs on the vitals and get ready to take some pictures. I've kept records on all of my western big game hunts and the farthest shot I've taken is 502 with the average shot well under 250. The 502 was an extreme exception and down hill so it was actually pretty easy. All kills done with a VXIII 2.5x8 or an older Burris Signature 3x9. The 2.5x8, ironically sits on my 300 Wby, which begs for some modern laser mess-not happening. The speed and efficiency at which it comes out of a scabbard or truck is its key and I practice. What is common to all of the kills excepting one mule deer, is that the speed in which the shot opportunity happens is so fast I can't describe it. Most have involved changing position in a flash with zero time to worry about a ballistics mess on my scope. Every veteran hunter that I've taken advice from (guys with lots of real experience all over the globe) all have said the same thing, more or less: your opportunity, when it presents itself will be less than 5-10 seconds, so be ready. Buy a simple but GOOD scope and be ready.

On the leaving the primers in before tumbling. Thank you, Dave, I've seen Jesus and my reloading pit is forever changed. Great idea.

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from Egrill wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

On more comment on my above post and topic of modern scope reticles: I'm not some old curmudgeon, only 41 so I consider myself part of younger , modern generation especially as it relates to all of the newer scopes, etc. WIth reference to an earlier post, the Nikon, Nightforce, Huskemaw, etc ARE complicated messes. Technology is a wonderful thing and I embrace it but not in regards to this topic. I do see an advantage when used with modern muzzle loaders but that is an exception.

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from hutter wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

To WA I have used the #9 method for over thirty years and have NOT had even one miss-fire.#9 is a solvent not an oil, meaning it evaporates. Try it.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

hutter,

I did a little research and this is what I found for the chemical content of No. 9 by percentage:
30-40 Kerosene
30-40 Ethyl Alcohol
Less than 10 Xylene
Less than 10 Amyl Acetate
Less than 10 Ammonium Hydrochloride
Less than 10 Citronella

I know that from spilling and leakage in my cleaning box that it does not totally evaporate. If it does, then why does Hoppe's claim it is a rust preventative? Citronella is an aromatic oil. If it works for you then it works.

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from DakotaMan wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

The value of aiming points on a reticle depends entirely on what you intend to do with it. Obviously, if you are shooting at something the size of a 30 gallon oil drum from 50 yards away, a duplex reticle in a 2.5-10x scope is perfect (that is what I use on my deer rifles). This is a great sighting device for timber hunting and deer shots under 300 yards (where most of these shots take place).

On the other hand, if you are engaged in long range target shooting or if you are prairie dog hunting at 600-1000 yards, the big magnification mil-dot reticles allow clear vision of target with instantaneous ranging ability and deadly accurate aiming points for accommodating bullet drop and windage.

I do a lot of target shooting at 100-200-300-400-500-600 yards with as much 1000 yard shooting as I can get (not near enough) and I'm here to tell you that you can hit a prairie dog in the head out to 600 yards regardless of wind given such a nice reticle (and a rifle/load/dope that can do it).

The only way you can do that with a standard cross hair is to adjust the turret settings and this normally takes too much time for normal hunting situations. There are many on this forum who think a 600 yard shot is a long ways. That is because they don't practice at that range and they use a 3-9x scope with a duplex cross hair and a rifle that couldn't shoot a 10 inch group at that range. A lot of modern equipment however is capable of less than 2" groups at 600 yards but you have to use the appropriate aiming device and it is not a 3-9x scope with a duplex reticle.

I have always enjoyed my 3-9s for deer hunting but I sure don't castigate those who know how to use a better piece of equipment for highly accurate long range shooting. I also don't assume that anyone owning an 8-32x target scope with advanced reticles is an idiot. As a matter of fact, I see some really great shooters using them. I sure can and have learned something from them.

American hunting is changing. Our hunting equipment has taken a huge leap forward. The barrels are better, the bullets are better, computers/meters give us precise info regarding windage and drop, the sighting devices are better and the Internet provides tons of knowledge regarding long range success.

Like archery, it is not for everyone but for those who want to master yet another challenge to make outdoor sportsmanship even more enjoyable, it is out there and it is growing.

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from crm3006 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

DakotaMan- You make good points, as usual. Long distance shooting is a game of practice, practice, and more practice. Modern, improved equipment that gives you an edge cannot be sneered at.
However, for those that don't have the opportunity to get to the range, or the distance for targets, or, as you stated, the proper equipment, shots over 300 yds. are a very risky proposition. Most of the hunters and shooters that I observe probably should keep their shots at 200 yds. or less. This includes me.

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from DakotaMan wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

CRM3006 thanks much! I agree with you wholeheartedly that most hunters and shooters do not need to be outfitted with big optics. You certainly don't need them for typical timber deer hunting. As a matter of fact, they would be a handicap in that environment. One of my favorite deer rifles only shoots 1 MOA and I limit my shots to about 200 yards with that. I won't be attempting any long range shots with it and I appreciate all hunters who stay within their limitations when hunting.

Most deer are taken well within 200 yards but where I grew up, prairie dogs were often way out there to say nothing of coyotes, antelope and an occassional trophy muley. I guess that got me interested in long range hunting and as a result I've been pursuing it since the mid-60s. I appreciate the advances in technology and as a result I've been able to enjoy several of my rifles even more. The accuracy they afford simply extends the opportunities for enjoyment. I love taking aim at a quarter from 1000 yards away and thinking that Daniel Boone could never have attempted such a thing.

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from Big Bob W wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Simple scopes. Duplex, simple crosshair, crosshair with a post. Leupold, Weaver, Redfield, Tasco and Simmons. I no longer really work on long range shooting. 200 yds is enough. I am capable of hitting my target out to a full klick and can get on a stationary target in three shots max with a spotter calling point of impact. Last three big game tags filled,(1) a 450 lb cow elk, 75 yds, Savage Model 99 firing 300 Savage, 150 gr Nosler partition, 42.5 gr IMR 4064, 4x Weaver with a post reticle. (2) a 200 lb muley doe using the the same rig & bullet combo killed at 50 yds. (3) 750 lb 5x5 Bull Elk, 100 yds using a custom sporterized 1908 Mauser in 7x57 with a 162 grain Hornaday ballistic tip, scope a 3x9 Leupold Vari-xII with medium duplex reticle. Powder H4350. Longest big game kill a 70 lb Coues Whitetail at 500 yds using a Ruger M-77 in 270 Winchester firing 130 gr Remington Bronze Point, scope a Tasco World Class in 3x9 with standard crosshairs. Powder - 59 gr H4831.

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from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Yeah WTH Dakotaman??? Your scope weighs more than your rifle is all I can figure.

I am using factory .257 Weatherby ammo, the round nose 117 grain bullets work much better than the 115 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips or 100 grain Spire Points. Less meat damage, better blood trail, it is nicer in every way. The deer fall down faster... I am shooting deer at less than 50 yards though. Results may vary.

Just saying everyone is living in their own little world. You can't shoot a deer at 200 yards around here much less 1,000, there are trees and hills and other objects. If you did shoot a deer at 1,000 yards two other people would beat you to it and have their tag in hand.

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from Gregg Williams wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I have several firearms rifle's made for deer hunting i use tasco scopes mainly bought though walmart, i had my eye operation to me im lucky they work good for me to see though with my glasses, i got 2 BSA made scopes and one tasco with mil-dots or dial for range drop! i shot at NRA shoot the one i shot best with was a 6.5x55SE newer swede gun by CZ-usa American 550, the other ones that day were a savage edge 25-06rem & Remington 788 22-250rem, the best on that day for me was 3-9 tasco but the bsa and tasco mil-dot got me a 49 out of 50 at 200 yards with 25-06, i had them only 2 days before the shoot the 6.5x55 i had 50 out of 50, 5 shot group .8 on paper the 200 was 2.5 i moves by mil-dots i don't shoot at 200 yards normally, i reload to handling the kick & if the gun groups good with the load, try going up or down if you get the sweet spot it what that gun wants! with powder & bullet, change bullet weight or powder it may change drastically in way it shoots i started on 6mm Remington is close to 243 win! muzzle brakes help tame kick too!

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from Safado wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Excellent post; there are so many things that I agree with I'm kicking myself for getting in so late. Dave is on the mark with both the scope and re-loading comments. Tumbling with the fired primer in is something that I will start doing. I had heard about soaking in acetone, also ammonia but hesitated to try it.
Sarge, you are clearly a very experienced hand loader; your input is always spot-on.
jhjimbo- I have the same set up a Swarovski scope on a Steyr Mannlicher rifle mine in .308.
I have a Nikon 8 x 32 x 50 BDC scope on my Savage 22-250 that is so accurate it deserves the best glass that I can afford.
WAM-I like your process; specifically the steel wool first step and tumbling a second time.
Happy- I always enjoy your input.
Dr. Ralph, Your .257 Weatherby is giving me rifle envy. I love the Talley one piece rings and a great caliber.

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from fordman155 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Yesterday (opening day in Kansas) I got a shot at a mulie buck at 530yds. I had a good zero on my 300 Weatherby. I knew what holdover point I needed on the Redfield Revolution scope. I shot, the buck staggered and then fell. If I would have had to mess with clicks on the scope the mulie might have jumped the 4-wire fence and took off because the herd he was in already saw us and time was short.

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from elmer f. wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

i have to agree with you about your description of many modern scopes. 3 years ago, i bought my first mil dot reticle scope. i fell in love with it very quickly. all of my current scopes on other rifles will eventually be replaced with mil dots. most of my shooting, like most of us, is done at paper. but it is seldom wind free here. for those of you who have not shot much in the wind, i STRONGLY advise you to do so as soon as you possibly can. the experience is priceless. actually KNOWING how far to push your scope off target in the wind will make you a much better shooter and hunter. i know some people have no trouble at all memorizing the formulas and instructions for adjusting the dope on a scope for various wind speeds. but when you are hunting, you will seldom have time for that. i set my reticle to the point of impact range i am expecting to shoot, and leave it alone. then push the rifle and scope to where i feel it needs to be to get a dead center hit. getting experience in this is what will mean the difference between spending money at the taxidermist, or just telling a story around the campfire about the big one that got away.

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