Scope Cuts

I got a scope cut the other day in exactly the same way I got the last one worthy of note—by firing a serious rifle from the prone position without getting my shoulder solidly behind it. Not only did it mar my beauty, but it cracked a Decot shooting glass frame beyond repair.

I was at fault for not remembering the lessons of the past, but I hold no grudge against myself. Scope cuts are an occupational hazard of rifle shooting, just as warts go with frog handling.

Usually they come about through improper scope mounting, with the scope set too far back, or from a cheap scope with not enough eye relief. The best scope cut I’ve ever seen was delivered to the late Sam Curtis via an el cheapo scope mounted way too far back on a Savage .30/06. Sam sighted the rifle in over a Jeep hood, and the scope got him so good that he had to go to the hospital for stitches.

The other outstanding scope cut, whose aftermath I saw but was not present at the birth, came in northern Quebec when an inexperienced shooter twisted himself into an ungodly prone position so his nose was right against the ocular-lens bell of the scope on a .300 Weatherby, and when he pulled the trigger the metal sliced into the bridge of his nose like an axe cutting into a log at a 45-degree angle. Blood? Wow! Was he a mess. There was no doctor around, so he had to be flown out to where there was one.

Scope cuts are not only an occupational hazard, they are the badge of the rifle shooter, and you wear them with pride. When I was teaching Susan Casey to shoot for her elk hunt, she got a pretty good cut, and I put a Band-Aid on it. Susan, who has enough guts for the entire 196th Light Infantry Brigade, wanted to see what the damage was so she peeled off the Band-Aid and looked in the car mirror.

Smiling a bewitching smile, she said: “I’m a badass.” And she is. That’s how you think about scope cuts.

And now, some other things to think about:
There is no chance of ebola coming here.
Even if it did we would instantly contain it.
Even if we did not contain it the disease would never become an epidemic.
There is no chance of ISIS attacking us here.
The President has your back.
The Secret Service has his back.

Me, I’d buy another gun or two of the quick-firing variety.