Competition Scope Testing - Another View

Discussion in 'Competition Forum (All Calibers)' started by CaptainMal, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. CaptainMal

    CaptainMal Silver $$ Contributor

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    BT1 - Steve Krauss, did some testing with his new equipment today. The venue was a private range and the results were quite interesting.

    [​IMG]relluj+vSyCj0EloCLVGRQ by Larry Malinoski, on Flickr

    From the Nightforce point of view the first success was a BR 12-42 that was absolutely perfect.
    Next Nightforce was a Competition model that had been used a few years in major shoots. Failure. Details should come from Steve but failure is the word. It moved a lot and never stopped.

    [​IMG]XAqvA07KQCmMjP1bfYTb8Q by Larry Malinoski, on Flickr

    The next Nightforce tested was my Competition. I had just sent it back to Nightforce for inspection. They did more than that. It PASSED. There was a hard-to-detect initial movement and after that none. We both looked for shot after shot. Nothing we could quantify.

    I just called Nightforce and told them their inspection/repair worked. They were quite appreciative.

    If you are a fan of the Leupold Competition - test it. The one Steve tested was a joke.

    Not all the March scopes passed. One 80X one was awful. Another 60X one moved while the same model of another 60X passed. The High Master was trouble and required some ring adjustment. It then seemed to be OK but not perfect.

    [​IMG]t+fabZtTQJGV%cW1Pvhf%Q by Larry Malinoski, on Flickr

    Hope I got the results correct. Personally I was surprised to see March failures. Also happy my Competition passed. My counclusion is to test before assuming a certain brand or model is always perfect or always a failure. Like so many issues in life, it can go both ways.
     
  2. chkunz

    chkunz Gold $$ Contributor

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    Interesting. Please describe the test apparatus and test procedure.
     
  3. bpmoss1

    bpmoss1 Silver $$ Contributor

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    Looks like he's using a leupold comp that has been modified with a fixed reticle for testing scope. That's what I thought would be ideal. My fixed 36x weaver is marginal w/ poor glass but works. Is that a Buckey's adjustable ring set-up, and can it be trusted for testing? Thanks for the post, Barry.
     
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  4. dmoran

    dmoran Gold $$ Contributor

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    Wish these scope testing threads were in the "Scope, Optics.. Forum" where they belong instead of buried in with all the event & competition venue attributes here.

    In any regards; Thanks for the results....
    Donovan
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  5. BT1

    BT1 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Details:

    17# rifle, with one scope and standard mount, Dasher with muzzle break.
    32.5 Varget pushing 105s
    40X Lupie frozen by Brackney. Bought used here on AS. Seems in perfect condition.
    Picatinny scope check base by "Field and Cave Outfitters". Great people to do business with.
    1/8" grid paper.
    SEB NEO front.

    I am no expert in scope testing. This was my first time out, but how many experts scope testers are out there? I will let the data speak for it's self. Even with ideal conditions, my old eyes had a hard time seeing the exact center of the grid. 7 different scopes, with what must have been 7 different eyepiece focuses and trying to get all the parallax out of what I was trying to see was difficult.

    I may or not agree with Larry's conclusions about what is junk and what is not. The NF Comp that I would have bet my life on, did not do as well as I had thought. It is still a great scope with great glass and I will continue using it for f-class. For long range bench work, now maybe not.

    The problem that Larry was referring to, was 2 of the March scopes had been mounted on a "Kelbly"
    picatinny rail. They DO NOT FIT a military spec picatinny rail. The spacing is different. I had to loosen one set of rings and slide to fit. PITA. I then discovered, if you are going to check a scope, you better have it properly mounted:( My quick ring move did not sit well with the tests and I had to go back and totally remount the pair of rings on both scopes. After that, the scopes performed well.

    As Alex said when he resurrected this scope testing business, please do not let anything I did influence you in regard to what is a good scope or bad, regardless of the cost. You must test your own, or you will never know.

    If Larry wants to move this thread to the scopes section, no objection here. But this now seems like an important topic for serious "competition".

    Steve
     

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  6. AlloyTargets

    AlloyTargets Site $$ Sponsor

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    Well done. Thank you.
     
  7. chkunz

    chkunz Gold $$ Contributor

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    Great Job!
    Thanks for reporting this.
     
  8. AlloyTargets

    AlloyTargets Site $$ Sponsor

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    What you learned about completey re-mounting when switching from Kelbly to mil-spec rails is great. I have done the “slip one ring thing” many times. Not again!
     
  9. Clearlight

    Clearlight

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    Without inspecting the rig used for this test , it’s difficult to comment with
    authority , but at a glance I see a lot of potential for variability that may
    not be actual reticle movement . Yes if a scope moves dramatically , there
    may be an issue , especially with known problem children like the NF Competiton . Your rig would make that failure obvious .

    A small movement , especially as you have mentioned issues with ring
    mounting with the March optics , may in fact be the rig used . Until I see a
    industrial sled recoil system bolted to an even more industrial bench , I have to question the results . The Seb rest , especially in standard
    unmodified condition is far from perfect . Without alignment bars and rings
    exactly fitted to each scope OD , I see potential slippage / alignment issues , which could easily be mistaken for small optic errors . Add some parallax error to this ( as you mentioned ) and we have a problem .

    There appears to be a large bending moment of inertia mounting a scope off to the side : having both optics directly above the recoiling device , whether rifle or test sled , would be better .
     
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  10. CaptainMal

    CaptainMal Silver $$ Contributor

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    Since there were other similar topics here in the "Competition" section, I put this here. We are talking "competition" quality. For hunters and casual shooters, "minute of deer" is fine. It's only when dealing with 1/4 MOA movements that affect competition scopes and winning performance, that this kind of testing is relevant.


    No clue how to move it. Moderators can if they so choose.

    Thanks Steve for clarifying some things. Our opinions are a bit different and it's a judgment as to how much movement is too much. Agree that the actual seeing is quite difficult, especially if the fixed scope is not parallax adjustable. Then it's quite important to look into the center of the eye box each time and get that repeatable. There did seem to be a 1/16+- MOA error just in the sighting to determine movement.

    Very informative operation and most all competitive shooters with high standards would welcome the opportunity to actually see this done and view the results. Then you can better quantify your opinions on the validity of the testing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  11. Alex Wheeler

    Alex Wheeler Gold $$ Contributor

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    The beauty of this type of test is it removes all of that from the testing. All that matters it that the 2 scopes remain in the same location relative to each other. The rings the 2 scopes are mounted in and the base between the 2 are the only points of possible failure. The base can slip on the action, the rifle can twist, cant, not return to battery, ext., none of that comes into this test. Hell, when we do it the bullets dont even hit the paper. The rifle is only there to provide recoil. The only valid scope test IMO is the one that duplicates what a scope actually goes through in real life. Recoil & muzzle blast. I dont recognize anything that does not subject the scope to recoil and blast as a valid test. All these published scope tests prove is you need to own a scope check and check your own. We have seen good and bad from every model so far that we have had a decent amount to test. There really is no way to know without checking yours.
     
  12. BT1

    BT1 Gold $$ Contributor

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    As I noted, the most important lesson I learned yesterday was to be much more careful when mounting or changing scopes. I thought I have been careful over the years, but see a renewed importance. This scope testing method is certainly not perfect, but does add to the list another tool we can use to help in selecting the best possible equipment.

    I do like the idea from "clearlight" of having the scope to be tested directly above, rather than to the side. I have been involved in testing industrial products for years and no system of checks is perfect. You try to minimize the variables, but eliminating all variables will always be a problem. First thing I always think of is, if the data does not fit my expectation, then blame the "checker" or the calibrated instrument. This is not intended to be a laboratory test, just a tool to help us otherwise accuracy challenged shooters;)

    Steve
     
  13. bpmoss1

    bpmoss1 Silver $$ Contributor

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    Alex, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Anyone who owns a rifle with a scope on it that competes, or just shoots for accuracy (not limited to but most important to benchrest) should own a scope tester w/ fixed scope and mount/use it properly before proceeding to load development or competition. Otherwise you risk losing your mind and quiting the sport. @Alex Wheeler , we wonder why longrange br is shrinking while other shooting sports grow and how to turn it around. I believe a big part of it is frustation due to an absolute need for accuracy (to even have a chance) and being able to achieve it or not. When you have a rifle that shoots and you nail a load that shoots you're on top of the world (weather you win the match or not) and will want to continue. But if you struggle and struggle to get your setup to shoot it can frustrate a person to the point that they say screw this and move on to something else that they can find pleasure in. Other shooting sports are not SO dependent on accuracy. This said, I believe BAD SCOPES are a HUGE part of the FRUSTRATION that is responsible for the decline in benchrest. A person has to know their scope holds first thing. You can't just buy a high end scope and assume it will perform as it should. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO, BUT CAN NOT, AND THAT'S SAD SAD SAD. I believe a scope checker is our most important tool in benchrest and they're simple to use. Barry.
     
  14. BT1

    BT1 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Hope to follow thru on your idea regarding over/under mounting of the scopes rather than side by side. It is a good one also a more compact package for transport. Just got off the phone with a well respected short range BR shooter and he thinks this type of scope tester is basic equipment for anyone competing at group shooting. They all (most) do it. What type of scope tester do you think we should use? Not being a wise guy, just interested in what others are doing. I can not see how someone looking to shoot the smallest groups possible would not first check to see if their scope, rings and base were staying solid. This test would seem to check for all these issues. If a problem was spotted, you could check all the possible suspects and retest, before blaming the scope.

    Steve
     
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  15. BartsBullets

    BartsBullets Gold $$ Contributor

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    CaptainMal,

    In the third pic that looks like my old shooting buddy Bob Davidson! Great guy! He’s the King of Frog Legs!

    Bart
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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  16. steve_podleski

    steve_podleski

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    Another piece of equipment that is essential is a scope that is used as the standard must have 100% tracking or no movement? How do you guarantee that?
     
  17. Alex Wheeler

    Alex Wheeler Gold $$ Contributor

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    We use a scope with frozen internals like Steve and Larry did.
     
  18. bpmoss1

    bpmoss1 Silver $$ Contributor

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    By using a scope that has been modified with a fixed reticle. Turrets are removed and reticle tube is fixed solid with set-screws.
     
  19. AlloyTargets

    AlloyTargets Site $$ Sponsor

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    Anyone going to SHOT, please talk to Vortex, Leup, etc and see if you can pique their interest in making a 40x frozen scope with adjustable parallax and a 30mm tube.
     
  20. bpmoss1

    bpmoss1 Silver $$ Contributor

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    Or better yet a 45x.
     

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