The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 4 Comments

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked…… [read more]

How Scopes Are Made in the USA

BY Herschel Smith
3 months ago

This is the Burris factory. It’s a cool video that shows some of the details, perspectives and machinery used in the manufacturing of their scopes. They’re good folks.

It’s nice to see scopes made in America. I wish there was more of this.

It was made clear, however, that not all Burris scopes are made in America, only their high end scopes. I would like to see a list of the scopes made in America versus overseas. I guess at the moment, the business model doesn’t support making lower end scopes in America.

If some enterprising reader wants to give us a list of the Burris scopes made in America, that would be much appreciated.

What Is A Reticle?

BY PGF
1 year, 1 month ago

Before you say you know it all and skip this article, there’s more here than a simple explanation. This will be a helpful start toward intermediate knowledge for those trying to learn more. It turns out there are many types of reticles. This article, in classic Widener’s fashion, provides a brief overview of 8 or so. One good thing about this format that they use is it provides a basis for further research into the areas within an aspect of firearms you need to know or have an interest in. You’ll learn something here.

Intro:

Many shooters select a rifle scope by researching its magnification, lens system, and physical specs. But it’s also important to consider the scope’s reticle in the decision-making process. Admittedly, it can be the most confusing part of choosing a scope. There are many types of reticles available on the market. Unless you’re a seasoned professional shooter, the subtle differences might be difficult to navigate.

At the very least, you should have a general understanding of reticle types. Once you know the different types, you’ll be able to easily match the rifle scope options to your hunting or shooting activity. Here’s what you need to know:

What Is A Reticle?

A reticle is a set of fine lines or fibers inside an optical device. The markings help you with aiming, measuring, or pointing. When you look through a rifle scope, the reticle is the cross, dot, or pattern that you see.

Originally, reticles were made from real hair or spiderweb, and the name “crosshair” stuck. Although optics can be traced back hundreds of years, the first practical rifle optic was invented between 1835 and 1840. After 1850, several U.S. manufacturers produced the sights that would become standard equipment for Civil War sharpshooters, basically the country’s first snipers.

Although the standard crosshair reticle was effective, shooters and equipment evolved to the point that they needed customizable reticles. The modern rifle optics industry was born, and mounted optics became more of a standard feature. While there are too many reticle models to provide an exhaustive list, we’ll look at several of the most popular types, beginning with the one that started it all.

The rest is an interesting primer on the various types.

The Hottest New Rifle Scopes of 2023

BY PGF
1 year, 3 months ago

Field & Steam

If you’re in the market for a rifle scope you can use to hit stuff that’s a long, long, way off, there’s some good news for you in 2023. If you’re in the market for a more general-purpose rifle scope, like a fixed 4X or the one-time industry standard 3-9X, you may have to fire up your time machine. Consumers drive the market, and the market says we need more long-range optics, and that’s what 2023 has given us. From a 1-10X LPVO to a 5-30X rifle scope that retails for less than seven Benjamins, you should be able to find something you like this year. Of course, there are sure to be some new red dot sights as well. From around $370 to ten times that much, here are the latest rifle scopes for 2023.

The GPO Spectra 1.5-8X44i with G4i reticle.

Interestingly:

GPO has added their very practical illuminated hunting reticle to one of their very practical hunting rifle scopes. Their Spectra 1.5-8X44i rifle scope now has the G4i reticle. This is a thin-wired German #4 style reticle with a small, illuminated dot at the center. The reticle brightness is fully adjustable and powers down when the scope has been stationary for more than three hours. This is a wonderful reticle option, in a great hunting scope, with a suggested retail price of $949.

There are others, including a reflex red dot.

Scoped Lever Action Rifles

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

Why is this in dispute?  There is nothing sacrilegious at all to me about putting a scope on a lever action rifle.  I’m in favor of whatever makes it easier for me to hit my intended target.

But I will remark that the prices of scopes seems to be going up, up, up, up and up.

This is a SFP fixed-parallax scope, albeit a good sized objective lens for letting light in, that’s going for $600.

FFP Versus SFP Scopes For Hunting

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

American Hunter.

Had this scope been a first-focal-plane (FFP) scope, it would not have mattered at what magnification the scope was set, and we likely would have had 300 pounds of meat to haul out. In a FFP optic, as the reticle is etched or marked on a forward lens in the scope, the holdover hash marks below the crosshair would have been the same value, placing a bullet in the same place at 4X as they would have at 12X. However, this was a second-focal-plane scope, which means the reticle was marked or etched on a lens in the rear, closer to where you look into the scope.

Being a SFP scope, the reticle on my 4X-12X Bushnell will always appear the same size as the magnification is adjusted, but changing the magnification does change the hash marks on the reticle in relation to the target. This is where some of you readers may want to start looking through your scope and twisting that magnification ring. In the story above, at 300 yards, the second hashmark represents approximately 10.5 inches (3.5 inches x 300 yards) of drop at 12X magnification. At 4X magnification, that second hashmark just turned into 31.5 inches (12X = 10.5 inches; 12X/4X = 3 times more value; 10.5 inches x 3 = 31.5 inches). This hold at 4X put the bullet 20 inches over the intended point of impact.

With a FFP scope, the reticle will grow and shrink as you adjust the power ring. This does little good on a scope with a standard duplex reticle, as your only holding mark is the crosshair itself, centered at any power. Where FFP is a help is when you have a drop reticle with hashmarks for simple holdover or when you are using a system such as MIL-DOT. If the scope on that rifle had been a FFP scope with MIL-DOT subtensions, the magnification power would not have mattered as the second hashmark would always be a 10.5-inch value at 300 yards.

FFP Vs SFP Lead

That’s all well and good, but that reticle sure does appear small on any power for a FFP scope.  If you plan on shooting from one ridge to another, a FFP scope is the best bet.  If you plan on shooting east of the Mississippi, you’re probably better off with a SFP scope.  I’ve had a FFP scope mounted and wished I had a SFP scope.

But YMMV and everyone has his preferences.

Optic Choices: First or Second Focal Plane?

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 8 months ago

American Rifleman.

On an FFP the reticle expands or contracts in conjunction with the magnification, allowing the gradations of the reticle design, whether milliradian (mil), minute of angle (m.o.a.) or bullet drop compensating (BDC) to remain proportional. With the high range of magnification possible on today’s optics, it is a true luxury to crank the power to whatever is ideal for the level of support, the field of view desired and the precision of shot placement, then simply hold on the correct reticle gradation for the range and begin to press the trigger.

[ … ]

Most AR shooting, in whichever role—whether sporting, competition or duty/defense—is done within the “sweet spot” of the .223 Rem. trajectory where the shooter can simply hold on the intended target and get the hit. With the common 50-yd./200-yd. zero the bullet’s path is within the margin of error out to about 250 yds. This lets a shooter enjoy a consistent reticle image that remains the same, regardless of the magnification, and is still bold and visible at the low end.

However, if the shooter has to hold over for the occasional long shot with the magnification topped off at the maximum, the reticle holds are “true.” Six power is a good compromise for visibility at distance but is still low enough that many shooters can use maximum power from an unsteady support without getting motion sick from the image and, thus, prone to snatching the shot off.

I think this is a pretty good article, explaining what you’re giving up with each choice.  For FFP scopes and high powered rifles, the reticle adjusts according to magnification.  This lets the shooter more accurately judge holdovers with extreme distance and magnification.

But that reticle looks mighty small on low power.  For SFP scopes, there is no need to go to high magnification to make accurate judgments of holdovers because the reticle is always the same size.  But for extreme long range shooting (as long as you can get with an AR), that reticle won’t adjust with magnification.

Again, I think this is an informative article.

Ron Spomer: How Much Scope Power Needed for MOA Shooting?

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 11 months ago

3-Gun & Tactical Rifle Scopes

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 1 month ago

In the interest of following up George’s question on rifle scopes, I currently use a Vortex Strike Eagle (although I don’t currently shoot 3-Gun).  It’s a second focal plane scope, and it’s price point is very reasonable.  I am interested in the newer Vortex Viper, but it’s price point is higher.

Here is a video that is a little dated, but still has some interesting information and perspective.

Also, Vortex explains first and second focal plane for us.

Please feel free to weigh in with comments explaining your choice of scope and why you chose it, along with price point.


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