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?

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.


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

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.


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.


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.

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (704)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (40)
Air Power (10)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (22)
Ammunition (277)
Animals (285)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (373)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (86)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (28)
Australian Army (7)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (3)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (219)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (18)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (3)
Blogs (24)
Body Armor (23)
Books (3)
Border War (18)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (38)
British Army (35)
Camping (5)
Canada (17)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (16)
Christmas (16)
CIA (30)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (3)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (218)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (210)
Department of Homeland Security (26)
Disaster Preparedness (5)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (15)
Donald Trump (27)
Drone Campaign (4)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (2)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (39)
Featured (189)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (1,766)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (15)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (44)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (9)
Georgia (19)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (1,637)
Guns (2,306)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (8)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (16)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (3)
Horses (2)
Humor (72)
Hunting (33)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (108)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (4)
Infrastructure (4)
Intelligence (23)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (171)
Iraq (379)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (64)
Islamists (98)
Israel (19)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (3)
Jihadists (81)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (7)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (6)
Lawfare (14)
Leadership (6)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (50)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (280)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
Media (68)
Medical (146)
Memorial Day (6)
Mexican Cartels (41)
Mexico (61)
Michael Yon (6)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (5)
Military Equipment (25)
Militia (9)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (25)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (25)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (95)
NATO (15)
Navy (30)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (3)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (62)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (221)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (7)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (72)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (4)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (648)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (970)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (492)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (75)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (37)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (668)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (28)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (23)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (52)
Survival (185)
SWAT Raids (57)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (38)
Tactical Gear (14)
Taliban (168)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (21)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (96)
Thanksgiving (13)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (24)
TSA Ineptitude (13)
TTPs (4)
U.S. Border Patrol (6)
U.S. Border Security (19)
U.S. Sovereignty (24)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (10)
Uncategorized (98)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (3)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (412)
War & Warfare (41)
War Movies (4)
War Reporting (21)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (79)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (21)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

April 2024
March 2024
February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2024 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.