We are being invaded by squirrels. They are eating the bird food. Wife has declared war on the damn things.

I have four scopes. They range in age from 30 years old to “who the heck knows?” One came on the M1. It is a fixed four power. It is currently dismounted. The scope on the Rem. 700 is a beautiful Nikon scope, but that is not moving. The “varmint” scope that I picked up to go on a flat top AR-15 from the 1990s is a cheap one. There was another scope which I pulled off a donated .22.

I started with the donated scope. It was OK, but I did not like it. I switched to the varmint scope. That sort of worked. I had to put a 20MOA base under it and then managed to foobar things.

As I’ve said, I normally use iron sights. I’ve got red dots which are all co-registered with the backup up iron sights. And I have that Rem. 700 that was sighted in 30 years ago at 100 yards and just works.

What I ended up doing is messing things up badly. When the target is at the exact correct distance, then the varmint scope put round after round through the same hole exactly where I was aiming.

On the other hand, if the distance was anything other than that “correct” distance, the point of aim and point of impact were way off. All of this is because the scope is 2 inches above the bore.

Now, this scope has a very delicate and precise point of aim. It is a small, very small, dot in the center held there by two very fine crosshairs. The crosshairs are so fine it is difficult to see them. The center dot is very small too. And there is a muddiness to the image that bothers me.

I bought a cheap scope. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Rifle scope.

First, it is much shorter than the other scopes. Second, the objective is 40 mm vs something smaller on the varmint scope. Third, it is freaking clear. It is only a 3-9×40, while the varmint was 8-32. I had the varmint at 8x, while I’m running the Vortex at 5x.

I purchased the “Dead-Hold BDC” This gives me hash marks on the crosshairs. This allows me to easily figure out my hold based on distance.

The turrets are cleaner and feel nicer to the touch.

And for those that suggested that bore sighting with that cheap-ass laser wouldn’t work well, the first rounds were on paper, 0.5 inches right of point of aim. The elevation was spot on. I made the adjustment for windage and then proceeded to put 10 rounds through a dime size hole.

The other big thing I noticed is the speed of target accusation. With the old scope, I would spot my target, shoulder the rifle, then spend time searching for the target.

With this new scope, I shoulder the rifle and everything just lines up. The target is in the center of the crosshairs.

If you have been considering a low-cost rifle scope, check the Vortex out. Make sure you get the right reticle for you.

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By awa

6 thoughts on “New Glass”
  1. Also, some scopes, SOME, when you change power it moves point of impact. Low cost doesn’t always mean junk either. I have a 2-10 Simmons 50mm I paid $40 bucks at a yard sale… I shot a 1 inch group at 250 yards with it, on 10 power is where it stays.. on squirrel proofing bird feeders- I have a 2 foot square plastic platform on a 5.5 foot 1inch pipe out away from the trees. They can’t climb it and reach the edge and theres nothing to jump from to it. And Mr .22 makes short work of em..

  2. I have a Vortex Crossfire. Lot of glass for the cash, there.
    One podcast I listen to, “Guns and Gear review,” has a co-host who notes we are in something of a golden age of firearms and associated gear, such as scopes. I think he’s right.
    Caveat Emptor still applies, of course, and remember to never buy any optoelectronics from Amazon. 🙂

  3. It was a few years ago that I had a friend tell me to check out Vortex. I watched a video review by Clay Martin on the Vortex Razor Gen II EBR-7C MOA 4.5-27×56 FF (Christmas tree) scope and decided to spring the money to sit on top of a worthy 308 cal. rifle. Looked at the Accuracy Internationals and was about to lay down a little over a couple of thousand but saw a sale on a Berretta Tikka TAC A1 going for half the money of the Accuracy, so I bit on the Berretta (my Scottish forefathers are sleeping peacefully as a result, but the scope purchase made them rollover, I’m sure).
    The Barretta does not have MOA built into the rail so I mounted the scope with a LaRue Tactical 20 MOA PSR QD mount and went to the range to sight it in. And, after twelve rounds of getting used to the rig and sighting it in, as advertised, all rounds punched paper within a half inch square. I then used a six foot ‘cross-frame target’ to check tracking for elevation and windage which produced results as advertised. The scope was dead on, making the two grand I spent for it feel much better.
    Went to my friend’s farm field to have some fun. Broke the rig in with 75 rounds, per Barretta instructions and selecting Hornady A-Max Match 168gr. The barrel loved that round. At 250 yards the drop was 7-10 inches depending on the wind. At 500 yd. a little under 4 feet, 800 yd. 15 feet, and 1000 yd. another 15 feet of drop. Lobbing rounds holding 30 feet above the target here in central Florida proved to be very challenging due to variable winds, which is almost always true on any given day. –a 5-15 mph wind variable makes things tough.
    At all distances, all shots were under one moa accuracy when low or no wind factor. And the 168 Amax handled the wind calls reliably out to 700 yards but 800 and out, things start to become…. unreliable. If the wind remained consistent accuracy was predictable if not, forget it, the round just isn’t going fast enough to handle the changing environmental conditions.
    All in all, not a bad rig to fire prone from, for $3200 bucks. The Razor is crisp, clear, and the holdovers are dead on too, which I prefer over dialing. A great piece of glass for the money.

  4. My local shop recommended Vortex glass to me a few years ago. I was eyeballing a set of Nikon binocs, and they handed me a set of Vortex. Never picked up the Nikons again. The Vortex were equal to, or better for a lower price.
    I recently picked up a Vortex spotting scope as well. Not their top of the line, but a 20-80X for less than $1K was worth looking at. Compared it side by side with a Swaroski in the shop. Using the Vortex, I could read the breaker schedule in an open panel across the shop. Using the Swaroski, I could read the amperage ratings on the breakers themselves. At a distance of about 200-250 feet, that was the difference between the two, the rating on the breaker itself was blurry on the scope selling at 1/3rd the price. Pretty sure I would be able to identify the game using the sub $1,000 scope.
    Now, they do not compare to a Leopould, or Swaroski, but for everything buy the longest distance, precision shooting, the Vortex is hard to beat. If you need to see the eyecolor of the deer before you bag it, get the Swaroski, if you just need to identify doe vs. buck, go Vortex.

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