Author Topic: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)  (Read 6599 times)

Offline AlaSprout

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Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« on: February 02, 2011, 01:24:51 AM »
Now, I know scopes are somewhat anathema at Appleseed events.  However, I've seen at least one instructor sporting some nice optics on their rifle.  (You know who you are and you're the reason I'm having to buy a scope for my wife's 10/22.  :)  )  Anyway, I thought I'd post a call for general advice on scopes here since I've never purchased one before.

1) I'd like to outfit a Ruger 10/22 carbine with a moderate power scope that won't fog up.

2) I'd like to outfit a Ruger Mini-14 (with ATI stock) with some kind of optics as well.  I'm a little torn between a reflex sight for "tactical" work or simply installing the same type of scope that I'll be using on the 10/22.  As I'm new to all this, those of you with experience (and a little time) please expound on the advantages/disadvantages of both.  Or, if you could simply point me to some other sources of advice either online or in print, I'd be most grateful.

Oh yeah...I almost forgot.  It would be nice if the scope for the 10/22 allowed for "doping" on-the-fly at various distances.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 01:28:49 AM by AlaSprout »
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Offline Rocket Man

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2011, 03:36:51 AM »
Appleseed is scope friendly.   :)  The simple fact is that a lot of people need optics to see a 4 MOA target. If the tool helps you do your job, by all means, use it.

Scopes are not magic, however.  It's very important to find one with good eye relief, and to mount it properly.  Go through your turkey neck and cheek weld, and can you see the FULL scope image?  There should be no black ring, no need to move your head around to see clearly.  Got it?  OK, now try it from a seated position.  Your head will be in a different spot.  A lot of scopes can't give you a clear picture in both seated and prone -- you have to pick one.

In my personal opinion, unless you're going to shoot from a machine rest, a fixed 4 power scope is the way to go.  You just don't need higher magnification unless you can personally hold a 2 MOA group or better, and most of us can't.  Fixed power scopes tend to have great eye relief, are lighter, and are less expensive.  I'm fond of the affordable Weaver 4x scope, also Leupold and Nikon make great ones if cost isn't a concern.

Reflex-type sights don't magnify anything but they do put the sights in the same focal plane as the target.  This means the target won't be blurry while you're exercising Step 4A, focusing your eye on the front sight.  I have a red dot sight (Bushnell HoloSight, similar to EOTech) on my AR-15, and I'm measurably more accurate with it than with irons. 

Whether this kind of sight is better than a scope or irons depends entirely on you -- any of the three will work just fine at an Appleseed.  My advice is to take a look at them in person and see which one works best for you.

Any adjustable irons, scope or reflex sight can be "doped" for various distances.  Just find an on-line ballistic calculator, convert inches to minutes to clicks, and write it up as a table that either goes in your log book or on a card kept with the rifle.  Piece of cake!   ^:)^
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Offline OnlyHitsCount

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2011, 05:00:14 AM »
I am not the expert that many of you are, but I know that I have sure been happy with th scope that I put on my .22 last fall.  I bought the Vortex Diamondback 2-7x35.  At $179 this is the 'middle of the road' for Vortex.  More than I intended to spend, but well worth the investment.  Lifetime guarentee.  

I did have some slight trouble with fogging, but at a 'Winterseed' in Yakima where we got 4+ inches of heavy wet snow, and my breath kept fogging up my glasses too!

Hope you find what you like.   ;)

OnlyHitsCount
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 12:49:43 AM by OnlyHitsCount »
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Offline nyrasgt

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2011, 07:21:20 AM »
ALAS et. al.,
   It may help to suggest that Gun Tests magazine (no advertising) tested low-cost scopes in Feb '11 issue - can probably be found on-line.
  They pounded them on a wooden work bench, froze them, and submerged them in water.

  The only scope to completely survive was a Simmons 3x9x32 .22 Mag Riflescope #511072.  Also only scope to come in a box, has Adj. Objective, comes with mounting rings included, and can be found for under $60 on line.  Bought two from SWFA Outdoors.

   Don't think there's anything out there more rugged and less costly; one man's opinion (backed up by GT magazine) only.
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Offline Xeyed

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2011, 11:46:54 AM »
A great resource is the Rimfire Central Optics Forum.

http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=b00d7dd95c03a3497c19c99657cf09c3&f=32

Grab a beverage. Read and learn.

Popular choice is a Mueller APV. Bought one for my LTR and Love it. Also look for good deals on 4x name brand scopes.
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Offline Shooter30-06

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2011, 12:41:52 PM »
Count this aging Instructor and my better half as two who had to mount scopes.  I have mounted three different models and I have some definite opinions.  My first try was a Bushnell Rimfire scope.  I found this to be less than ideal because the scope fogged up on me at a rainy AS and because the rimfire mount is too high for a good cheek meld on a 10-22.  My second attempt was a Bushnell 2-7x ceterfire scope using low mount rings.  This has proved to be a good rig which AK uses.  The next try was a Nikon fixed 4x centerfire Prostaff using low mount rings on my 10-22.  I believe the Nikon is clearer than the Bushnell and recommend spending a few more dollars for the Nikon although my wife would argue about this.  The parallax of the centerfire scopes has not proved to be problematic at 25M.  I shot a 235 the other day using the Nikon.  I hope this helps.
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Offline GoldFish

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2011, 01:14:30 PM »
This thread is going to blow up in a hurry...

For the 10/22:  Magnification wise, I would recommend either a 2-7 or a 3-9.  A 2-7 is plenty of magnification, but sometimes, if it's not a high-end (and hence, pricey!) scope, the 3-9x scopes are of slightly better quality.  Personally, I love Bushnell optics.  I don't believe there is a better combo of value and quality for the price range of approx. $40-$60.  Other quality scope brands of worthy consideration are Weaver, Simmons, and Tasco, (both a little less expensive) and Burris, Nikon, and Leupold (both a little more expensive).

For the Mini-14:  There are pros and cons to a 'reflex'/red-dot sight.  The pros are mostly if you're going to be doing a lot of 'runnin' and gunnin' but are not going to be doing a lot of precision shooting, like is done at Appleseeds.  Before you buy an optic for your Mini, you should really think of what the primary use for that rifle is going to be:
'Tactical,' where you'd be primarily doing quick shooting while standing/moving and where quick target acquisition is key, and where magnification can actually make things more difficult, or
'Precision' marksmanship, where you'd be spending the majority of your time in prone and where target magnification makes things a little easier.
Deciding the primary use for the rifle is the first step, BEFORE you buy an optic.  I typically am not a fan of 'multi-purpose' equipment.

Whatever you decide on, my advice is to buy quality equipment and only buy once.  If you buy bad equipment, and you'll end up spending more money repairing and replacing, not to mention the frustration and aggravation...

My .02

---GF
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 03:30:13 PM by GoldFish »
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Offline George63

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2011, 01:28:34 PM »
I would get AO, almost impossible to put the eye in the same place for the three positions, I know it is 4moa and all that but when someone is shooting nice groups and POI changes between positions they get confused about what the issue is. Better to take the equipment out of the equation and let the shooter concentrate on fundamentals. I have Mueller APV and simmons 22 mag scopes on 10/22's both good AO scopes, the mueller is more $ but can be used on centerfire.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 01:35:48 PM by George63 »

Offline Brandon1

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2011, 01:46:22 PM »
One thing I have found out is that each scope is a little different. Well that is to my eyes. Each of us have different vision issues . The best advice I can give you is look through a bunch of scopes. Figure out which of those are in your price range and get the best one your budget-eye says you can.
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Offline Mark Davis

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2011, 01:47:59 PM »
In addition to George63, comment
Parallax can a lot of greif, most adjustable parallax scopes come in the higher power and price range.
Parallax is an  opitical error hard to describe but easy to check.
With your scope trained on something about 82' distant move your head around while keeping your cheek weld, if the crosshair moves around the target, your scope is not error free at that range.
You will have a tough time shooting small groups, and a vexing problem with "shifting" groups.
Each scope is set to be parallax free at some distance, so rim fire scopes will have a closer parallax free range than your old centerfire scope.
So a parallax adjustment is a real plus.
Most side focus and adjustable objective scope adjust the parallax with the focus.
Parallax errors are worst at short ranges and higher magnifacations.
A quality 4 power rimfire scope avoids many problems.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 11:08:40 PM by clodhopper »

Offline unforgiven1203

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2011, 02:07:27 PM »
my 10/22 is equipped with a center point (walmart  69.00) 2x7  with illuminated mildot retical. I've found this to be very reliable and accurate, I have shot many "rifleman" scores (in all kinds of weather)with this setup and recomend this brand often.
    If you want something more "tactical" look at the 1-4x24 from primary arms (www.primaryarms.com) I have 1 on my m4gery and it shoots wonderful!  Many more rifleman  scores (in all kinds of weather) with this one! they are about 125.00 shipped and you couldn't ask for a better company to do buissiness with.
  I have also had good luck with bushnell in the past but cannot recomend any specific model.
  Hope this helps,
Darwyn

Offline DUHON

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2011, 03:26:50 PM »
I can give my .02 on the Mini-14. I had the traditional scope mount in the back. Shot OK. Little cramped shooting prone.  I upgraded the mount with a "scout type mount" http://www.amegaranges.com/ I can tell you that it has made a world of difference. When shooting squares at appleseed I can get 5 rounds inside a dime head. I can get a good cheek weld with this mount also. I got a great deal on a Leupold scope to go with it. In beleive that they make one for the 10/22 too.

Offline Longshot

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2011, 05:01:16 PM »
Amen to fixed 4X. I use a Simmons black powder scope on my LTR, lots of eye relief, not expensive, and diamond reticls is easy to use for newbies. Tends to keep them from "fussing" shots.

 My Mini-14 WAS ( I shucked it after 10 years) a scope-killing machine. It massacred no less than 6 scopes of various qualities, so it went down the road. My Mini-30 however, has proven to be the rifle I wanted when I bought the 14.
Given the accuracy of the average Mini, I'd go reflex, and give up some long-range precision   :cool2:  for rapid, both-eyes-open target aquisition.


 If you continue to collect 2 cents from eveyone, you can buy a scope...   **)


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Offline oldfudd

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Re: Advice on Scopes
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2011, 06:56:29 PM »
If you're considering a scope for your .22, be sure to look at the Nikon ProStaff for rimfires.  They're priced at about $100 and I think the optics and brightness can't be beat at anywhere near that money.  I liked my first one so much I bought another one for my other .22.

Good luck.

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Offline nygunnutt

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2011, 11:38:23 PM »
  I agree with much of the advice you have received. My two cents are. Throw out the mount that comes with the 10/22 and install a "Weaver" style, it will be much more secure and give you more latitude when adjusting your eye relief. I know it is overkill but, I have also epoxied my base to the receiver. Mount the scope as close to the bore as possible. Don't cheap out on rings. I have had fantastic results with the Burris signature series rings and they won't mar your scope if you decide to up-grade down the road.
If you are like me and shoot more than Appleseed with your .22, go with an AO.
  I have owned many Mini's and due to their accuracy limitations. I would go with a 1-4 or a 2-7 like the others have mentioned.
  As for "Doping on the fly" I would go with a Mildot and check out Nikon's excellent Spot-on site. (It works for more than their scopes) I have used it, printed out the results and taped it to the inside of my scope covers. I hope this helps.
 http://www.nikonhunting.com/spoton/

 I also value the opinions of the guys at Accurate shooter. http://www.accurateshooter.com/

Offline Xeyed

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2011, 11:58:35 PM »
Boy are you getting a lot of good advice.

Here is a good link when looking for deals.

http://www.samplelist.com/Riflescopes-C4.aspx

Don't be afraid of the Demo/Refurb stuff. I've bought Demo scopes form them and could not tell the difference from new.

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Offline George63

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2011, 03:05:11 PM »
The 10/22 scope base can and will come loose, being screwed into an aluminum receiver. A bed of RTV will take care of this and the scope base could still be removed unlike using epoxy.

Offline DKZ

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2011, 03:15:15 PM »
BSA makes a scope called the "sweet 22" specifically for the 10/22. It may be a bit pricey, but it sure is a nice scope.
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Offline DKZ

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2011, 03:17:41 PM »
The 10/22 scope base can and will come loose, being screwed into an aluminum receiver. A bed of RTV will take care of this and the scope base could still be removed unlike using epoxy.

Good advice. Ive been dealing with this problem and appreciate the advice. Thanks!
"The last hope of human liberty in this world rests on us" - Thomas Jefferson
 
 "If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, Our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.-"Samuel Adams, 1776

Offline Cyclops WY

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2011, 10:52:30 PM »
What is RTV?  Real Tacky V  (5)

Thanks,

Cyclops WY
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Offline Rocket Man

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2011, 11:40:48 PM »
Stands for Room Temperature Vulcanizing compound.  Kind of like a caulk that never completely dries, so you can scrape it off afterwards if you need to.  You can find it in any decent hardware store.   8)
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Offline George63

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2011, 12:08:40 AM »
RTV : silicon gasket sealer, blue is the most common, like Rocket Man says hardware store or any auto parts store will have it, also comes in black (can look nicer for black parts) works great as a light thread lock, ie AR float tubes that love to loosen up

Offline Cyclops WY

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2011, 12:55:06 AM »
Thanks gents.......I usually just tighten until something breaks. :o
Then duck tape comes out.

Cyclops WY
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Offline Mark Davis

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2011, 01:22:38 AM »
Red RTV is high temperature, great for making handles stay on bullet moulds.

Offline AlaSprout

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2011, 12:49:19 AM »
I sincerely appreciate all of you who've taken the time to offer advice.  I never dreamed I'd get this much feedback.

I went down to Gander Mountain this afternoon and had a look at the Nikon Prostaff.  I kind of liked it.  They even had a model where the reticle had built in "Bullet Drop Compensation".  Still, you had to remove a dust cap to get at the delicate looking reticle adjustment where you had to use a coin or screwdriver to make the adjustment.  Only in the $400.00-range Leupolds did I see a model where the reticle adjustment was a large external knob manipulated by hand.  That's what I was looking for.

Perhaps I came into this with unrealistic expectations, but the "reflex" sights were disappointing.  (Do they all use batteries;  is that the definition?)  I was expecting some kind of simple reticle and low magnification.  The battery was dead on all but the $400.00 X-brand model and the $1,000.00 Trijicon model.  So, I didn't get to see or experiment with much.

I guess I've got more research to do.
Liberty has never come from the government.  Liberty has always come from the subjects of it.  The history of liberty is a history of resistance.
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Offline Rocket Man

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2011, 03:54:43 AM »
Reflex sights all use batteries, except for a rare few that concentrate sunlight or have built-in tritium vials.  There are also a few very-low power scopes (typically 1.1x) that don't need batteries, but have a narrower field of view.  Unfortunate that you didn't get to try many that worked.

My old Bushnell Holosight runs on two "N" size batteries and goes for about $250 these days I think.  I've only changed the batteries twice since 1998, and so far it's lasted longer than the trigger on my AR-15.  If it conks out I'm likely to switch to an Aimpoint, more expensive but I like the sight picture.  These have phenomenally long battery life -- basically you don't bother turning it off.  The ruggedized Holosight is made by EOTech, and both it and the Aimpoint are more expensive, but boy do they run.  Another, similar sight (never actually seen one) is the Zeiss Z-point, which recharges its battery from a solar cell.  There's also the Leupold Delta Point, etc.  Many to choose from in this category.

Trijicon (maker of the ACOG scope) makes a reflex sight with NO batteries, running on a combination of sunlight and tritium, for about $400.  If you like how it works, it's about as rugged as optics get.  I don't like how the reticle washes out in mixed lighting conditions but that's just me.

There are much cheaper red-dot type sights, but I haven't found a cheap one that's worth getting.  The low-end Airsoft grade stuff tends to eat batteries, wander under recoil, and be difficult or impossible to zero.  I haven't tried them all, of course.  If there's a good one out there, someone here has probably already found it.   :D

Another option you might consider is a low-power scope, such as the Sightron 1x20mm muzzleloader scope.  A good one's about $100.  I find them less forgiving of motion and imperfect head position than the other options above, but then, we try to avoid those bad habits at Appleseed shoots.

Bottom line, you just have to try before you buy.  There's a huge number of options.
... if ever a mistaken complaisance leads them to sacrifice their privileges, or the well-meaning assertors of them, they will deserve bondage, and soon will find themselves in chains. -- Joseph Warren (anon)

Offline didactic

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2011, 11:02:01 PM »
A few thoughts:

1.  I've had good success with 1.5x-4x "shotgun" scopes on .22's, usually running from $50 to $90, and with medium-price 2x-7x variables.  AO is nice, but usually not available on the lower-power scopes unless they're made for .22's or air rifles (like the BSA mentioned above).

2.  You do not really want, and don't at all need, high magnification for 25m shooting.  You might see the target in more detail, but at the cost of much smaller field of view (causing trouble keeping track of which target you're shooting at).  And also more apparent tremor and shake.  This can make beginners (especially) more tempted to "fuss" their shots, or jerk the trigger when the sight picture looks right, before it "gets away from them."

3.  You can see the target "better" (in more detail), but you can't necessarily HIT better with a high power scope, at least in the Appleseed context.  The accuracy DIFFERENCE between what a normal eye can see with a 2x and what it can see with a 16x is less than .5moa, or roughly 1/8" at 25 meters - in other words well less than half the diameter of the "V" ring on the Stage 4 QDAQT.  (If anybody wants the technical explanation for this, PM me.  But we'll spare everybody else the ordeal of math in public!)
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Offline AlaSprout

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2011, 12:35:20 AM »
I think I missed something.  What does "AO" stand for?
Liberty has never come from the government.  Liberty has always come from the subjects of it.  The history of liberty is a history of resistance.
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Offline Xeyed

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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2011, 01:40:09 AM »
AO Stands for Adjustable Objective.

Adjustable Objective allows you to correct for Parallax error at shorter Ranges. Most scopes are set for Parallax to be correct at 50 to 100 yards. The error gets worse at shorter distances. Air Rifle Scopes can often correct Parallax down to 5 yards.

Your next question is probably what is Parallax Error.

Here is link that will tell more than you ever wanted to know about parallax.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallax The short version is that it is an error at short distances that will introduce an aiming error to your sight alignment.

And for those of you that want to see the math.

http://www.opticstalk.com/parallax-error-finally-cracked-the-enigma_topic20137.html

And here is good link for Scope information.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telescopic_sight



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Re: Advice on Scopes (No, Really!)
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2011, 08:46:07 AM »
I have scopes on several of my rifles (the ones I shoot anyway ;D).

Multiple calibers, multiple scope sizes, types, manufacturers, etc.

The basic reason for a scope at 25 meters is to allow someone (who cannot see the front sight, or the target, due to problems with their eyes) to once again get good sight alignment on the target.  A scope can be used for other things but that is the basic reason.

Remember these?

1. Sight ALIGNMENT (even with a scope you still have to have your eye in the same spot behind that scope - so good alignment is still necessary)
2. Sight PICTURE  (you still have to put the aiming point, whether cross hairs, dots, chevrons, etc., on the same place on the target)
3. Respiratory PAUSE (you're still doing this - and a scope can make this harder on you as many folks get thrown by how much the cross hairs bounce around on the target and take too long to make that shot because the bouncing cross hairs bother them = fussing the shot)
4a. Focus your EYE on the FRONT SIGHT  (this is where you get a little bit of a break if using a scope rather than iron sights)
4b. Focus your MIND on KEEPING the front sight on the TARGET (still have to do this even though the target may look bigger)
5. SQUEEZE the trigger (no change between iron sights or scope, except sometimes folks having issues with step 3 due to the cross hairs bouncing around will see another negative effect here and stop squeezing the trigger and try to quickly squeeze = jerk = the trigger)
6. Follow Through (you should still do this and maybe a scope makes it a little easier on you)

A scope can help someone with vision problems.  It can hurt them and anyone else using a scope if they don't have the 6 steps down pretty good.

Good luck.  Practice.