Riflescope

Axeon Optics 4-12x40 rifle scope

 Axeon optics is a newer company with some interesting optic products, but they also make normal scopes. They sent me one of their 4-12x40 scopes for review. Axeon is distributed by Umarex USA. I thought this would be great to try on my .17hmr rifle. So off I went to mount it up.

 I first want to mention that this is a budget scope, so I am comparing it to other budget scopes that I have used. The Axeon has the old standby Plex reticle. I personally think plex style reticles are fine, but I prefer some sort of ranging reticle. The reticle is in the second focal plane, so it stays the same visual size throughout the magnification spectrum. As stated, this is a variable 4-12 power scope with a 40mm objective lens. It also uses a 1” main tube. It does not have a fast focus eyepiece. I tend to set the focus and leave it alone anyhow.

 The Axeon scope does have some decent features. It comes with fully coated “green” optics. The green is the actual color of the coatings. The coating seemed to give really good light transmission through the scope, even at 12 power. Clarity was nice and sharp also. So much so that I could see the little 17 caliber holes at 100yds. Axeon also throws in a set of flip covers, and they aren’t so bad that you want to toss them away. The magnification adjustment knob is also really smooth. This makes it really nice to switch magnification while looking through the scope.

Taken at 4x - Target board is 100yds

Taken at 12x - Target board is 100yds

 For windage and elevation adjustments, Axeon uses capped turrets. The caps screw on and off easily. Underneath the caps are the actual ¼ MOA adjustment knobs. The knobs are plastic, but have a decent grip to them, this made turning the knob easy. Now for the really bad part. The click adjustments are terrible. They can barely be felt. So much so that I couldn’t really tell if I went one click or four. Even with this, the scope held it’s zero every time I used it.

 The rest of the specifications are down below, so I won’t bore you with them here.

 If you are in the market for a budget scope, go at least look at Axeon. If the adjustments were better, it would be a good little scope. It has some decent features. it just needs a little refinement.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Inexpensive quality scope

Target Market:

Those wanting an entry level optic

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 4-12 power magnification

  • Plex reticle

  • Multi coated Green optics

  • 40mm Objective lens

  • 1” main tube

  • 13.25 ounces

  • 11.875” in length

  • 3.5”-4” eye relief

  • Field of View - 25f eet @ 4x, 8.3 feet at 12x

  • ¼ moa adjustments

  • 30 moa windage and elevation adjustments

  • Waterproof

  • Shockproof

  • Fogproof

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

2-7x32 and 3-9x40

What others are saying?:

Nothing found

Link to other reviews:

None found

Price point:

MSRP = $138.99

Retail =$118.67 on Amazon

I need it now! Availability:

Axeon or Amazon

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Large field of view

  • Flip caps included

  • Good light transmission

Cons:

  • Duplex reticle

  • Non-positive clicks on adjustments

  • Made in China

Score: 6.5 Okay

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Favorite Link:   Thor Targets

STYRKA S7 2.5-15X50 RIFLESCOPE

   There is a new optics manufacturer, that should be on your watch list. It is called Styrka, pronounced Steer-Ka. Being new to the market, I had not heard of them until a few months ago. They offer riflescopes, binoculars, spotting scopes, and red-dots. They sent me a riflescope and a reddot, today we will discuss the S7 2.5-15x50 riflescope. 

Tree at about 400 yds

  When I first received the scope, I noticed all the nice little extras that came with it. Probably my favorite accessory is the scope cover that is in the box. The neoprene scope cover does a nice job protecting the optic when it isn't being used. Also included is a lens cloth, one of the nice ones that you shove back in its holder when not using it. A battery is also supplied for the illuminated reticle, it's a CR2032, so pretty standard.

  I mounted the Styrka on my Savage that is mounted in the MDT chassis reviewed earlier. This scope has really clear glass. Styrka states that the S7 has blackened edges on the lenses to reduce glare and enhance image contrast. Images come through clear with no distortion around the edges, so I guess it works as advertised. The S7 is their "top of the line" scope and has Styrka's SXL-MAX optics coating to reduce glare, add light and color transmission, and give optimum clarity. I used it in low light and some pouring down rain. The scope remained clear out to about 400 yards during this, probably farther, but I couldn't test any farther where I was at. It is also waterproof, fog proof, etc. 

  The S7 2.5-15x50 they sent has an illuminated mil-dot reticle. The illumination is the typical red offered by just about everyone. Styrka also offers this scope in an illuminated duplex reticle, and a non illuminated BDC reticle. Even in all but the brightest days, the illumination is visible. The illumination has 6 brightness settings with an off position between each setting. I really like this feature for the simple fact that it only takes one click to get you to the brightness that one usually uses. The brightness knob is located on the left side, on the end of the parallax adjustment knob, along with the battery compartment. This makes the combination stick out farther then some other scopes, just something to note. The adjustment turrets are capped. Since the S7 is a hunting style scope, this made perfect sense. However, under the caps are some fairly nice target style turrets. These use the standard 1/4 MOA click adjustments. The turrets also can be reset to zero after you have sighted the rifle in. To do this, just loosen the top of the adjustment with a coin, pull the knob up, set to zero, push knob down, and tighten the screw. The turret clicks are extremely crisp and clean, which is a nice touch. 

  One thing I noticed about the S7 is the length. It is longer than I expected for a scope in this zoom range. It is not a problem, just something to consider if mounting it on a short rifle. The scope has a second focal plain reticle, so in order to use the mil-dot, you must turn the zoom all the way to max power, in this case 15x. Don't worry, the scope is quite clear at the full setting. I was really hoping for a first focal plane, but you can't have everything. 

  I really like this range of this scope. At 2.5x, it is low enough magnification to take shots extremely close. Then at 15x, it can still take long shots. I am really glad that Styrka let me try this S7 out. It is extremely clear, easy to adjust, has a lifetime warranty, and you can send it back every year for a free tune up. Give Styrka a look if you are in the market for a nice hunting scope. 

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Hunting scope with Illuminated Mil-dot reticle

Target Market:

Hunters, Target shooters

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • SXL-MAX Fully Multi-Coated Optics
  • 30mm 6061-T6 Aircraft-Grade Aluminum Tube
  • Side Focus Parallax Adjustment
  • Illuminated Reticle
  • Blackened Lens Edges
  • 100% Waterproof
  • Nitrogen Purged
  • Fast Focus Eyepiece
  • 50mm Objective Lens
  • 3.94" Eye Relief
  • Weight of 23.7 ounces
  • (LxWxH) in inches 13.69x3.09x2.37
  • Lifetime Warranty

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

Standard Illuminated Plex Reticle

Ballistic Drop Reticle (BDC)

What others are saying?:

5/5 stars @ OpticsPlanet

Above and Beyond

This scope has performed beyond my expectations. Everything seems well thought out. Love the simple reticle. Holds zero flawlessly and turrets are silky smooth. Well worth the cost of admission. Feels like some of the much more expensive European scopes.

5/5 stars @ Amazon

Outstanding Glass

When delivered, mounted on a S& W M&P 10 .308 with Burris high rings.
Using a laser boresight at 30 yards, scope was within 1/2 inch horizontally and one inch low vertically. Closest I have ever had one from the factory. Glass is clear, adjustments are precise and accurate, and above all east to work with, especially parallax adjustment.
Have fired at ranges to 200 yards, so far, with no loss of accuracy after 400 rounds.
Highly recommend it for a mid priced scope.
Will purchase another for a 5.56.

Link to other reviews:

None to be found

Price point:

MSRP = $814.95

Retail = $679.00 @ Shop Styrka

             $679.00 @ Amazon

I need it now! Availability:

Styrka or Amazon

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Extremely clear for the price

  • Precise turret clicks

  • Reset to zero turrets

  • Turret caps

  • Illuminated reticle

  • Off setting between each illumination setting

  • Neoprene scope cover included

  • Warranty

Cons:

  • 2nd Focal Plane Reticle

  • Parallax and brightness knob stick out pretty far

  • Poor battery life (Battery died after 1 month of being left on brightness position #4)

  • Length of entire scope is almost 14"

Score: 8.00 Great

 

Chad's Favorite Link: Veterans FOB

 

Warne R.A.M.P. Scope Mount Review

warne1 The Warne R.A.M.P mount is a 1 piece scope mount for AR-15 style rifles, or any rifle that has a picatinny rail and needs a forward mounted optic.  R.A.M.P stands for Rapid Acquisition Multi-Sight Platform. It gets the multi-sight part because besides having built in rings, it also has 2 45degree angled mounts.  These mounts allow you to install a small red dot sight on one of the canted rails.  One could mount Iron sights on these also, but would then need the optional mount for the front sight to attach on.  The RAMP mount comes in three sizes for most needs: 1inch, 30mm, and 34mm.  I have the 1" version, but they are all essentially the same.

The 45 degree mounts are really what sets this mount ahead of its competition.  With the ability to mount something small on either the left or right side of the scope, it will appeal to both left and right hand shooters.  If you decide not to use one side or the other, or neither, the angled mounts are removable with 2 socket head screws on each.  Because of the added mounts, and space to attach the mounts, it is not the lightest mount out on the market.

Another nice feature on the RAMP mount is the 1/2" hex screws on the mounting base.  They are to be torqued to no more than 65in/lbs.  Also a torx style allen wrench is supplied to tighten down the top of the scope rings. There are 2 T-15 torx screws per side and should be tightened in an x pattern.

I really like the RAMP mount.  It puts the scope at the correct height and the proper eye relief.  With the option of adding a small red dot if one desires. The only negative I can see with the mount is the weight, but it is a very sturdy mount.  If you are in the market for this style mount, you cant go wrong with the Warne RAMP.

warne2

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: 1 piece scope mount with angled side mounts for AR-15 style rifles

Target Market: 3-gun

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 1 piece scope mount
  • Proper eye relief distance on AR pattern rifles
  • Solid aluminum construction
  • 45 degree mounts for red-dot sights
  • Available for just about any scope diameter
  • Lots of color options from boring to flashy

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available? Black, Zombie green, Red, OD green, Dark Earth, and Blue

What others are saying?:

Alex on Amazon 5/5 stars. Best AR mount anywhere.

Bought one of these for my RRA LAR 15 to use with a Leupold Mark AR on top and a Leupold Deltapoint on the side. Got it, opened it, and could not have been more impressed with the build of this mount! Rock solid craftsmanship. Placed it on my AR and it holds tight and sits perfectly. Take it off...no problem. Put it back on....exact return to scope zero. Just bought another one for my RRA LAR-8! Get one, or two, you will not ever want any other mount!

Jkrispies on Brownells 5/5 stars. Great mount for a 45 secondary mount.

A little heavy (even with the side mounts removed) if you're not going to use the 45 degree option, otherwise typical Warne quality, which is the best I've found out there. Only warning I'd give is to do some research before buying this-- will your Mini-Red Dod Sight clear the bell of your primary scope? Ironically, I think the perfect use of this scope with a 45 degree mount would be on a monolithic receiver (think SCAR) and the mount backwards. Height is perfect. If you don't foresee yourself ever using the side mounts, I would recommend going with the Warne SKEL mount, which is the same mount as this minus the extra attachments, thus reducing weight significantly.

Price point:

MSRP = $195.49

Retail = $121.20 on Amazon  $169.99 on Brownells

I need it now! Availability: Amazon and Brownells

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Proper eye relief
  • Removable 45 degree angled mounts
  • 1 piece optics mount
  • Multitude of color options
  • Available for 1", 30mm, & 34mm scopes
  • Made in U.S.A.
  • Rugged
  • Returns to zero

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • No quick detach

Score: 8.50 Great85

 

 

Chad's Favorite Link: Albany Rifle and Pistol Club

Bushnell AR 3-12x40 Scope

bushnellarI purchased the Bushnell AR scope because I needed an optic for local 3-gun matches and varmint hunting. The scope had everything I was looking for at a very inexpensive price. I opted to purchase a Bushnell because I have not had any problems with any products that I have used from them. This includes some of their low end scopes and some higher end ones. bushnellbdc

The scope was mounted on my AR in a Warne RAMP mount and it fit perfectly. Once sighted in,  I tried out the BDC reticle with some 55gr ammo. I was only able to try the drop compensators at 200 and 300yds, but they seemed to be accurate enough. The BDC is calibrated for your standard 55gr ammunition, but should also work adequately with 62gr ammo. The BDC reticle is to be zeroed at 100yds and then has dots for 200, 300, 400, & 500 yard drops. The 600 drop mark is where the line gets wider (think duplex reticle). I would have liked it better if Bushnell had put a dot at 600. I use heavier bullets and just plugged them into a ballistic program so that I know what the drops actually are in comparison.

This scope has some nice features. For one, it has resettable target turrets. Once sighted in, you can take the supplied allen wrench, loosen up the screw on the top of the turret, pull the knob up and turn to zero, and push it back down, then tighten up the allen screw. The AR series scopes also have a side parallax adjustment,  which is very nice when adjustment is needed while looking through the scope. I found the scope to be very clear for the price, especially at the lower settings. After adjusting past about 11x it gets a tiny bit blurry around the edges. The eye relief must be more precise at the higher magnification also. The reticle is calibrated at the highest (12x) magnification also, but I didn't have any problems seeing any targets at this magnification.

Now for the things I didn't like about this scope. It is heavy, weighing in at more than 21 ounces. It is definitely noticeable when mounted. The target turret clicks are a little bit mushy. But I really didn't expect any more at this price point. The scope is also long at 12". Not unmanageable, but it could be shorter. The other notable dislike is the small blurriness around the edge at higher magnifications.

Bushnell

Even with the flaws mentioned above, I do like this scope. It has the right features at an excellent price. It can be used with both eyes open down at 3x and can magnify smaller targets at the 12x setting. If you're not concerned about weight, this could be a good scope for your next AR.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Inexpensive Tactical scope for AR style rifles in .223(5.56)

Target Market: Those looking for a decent inexpensive optic with some higher priced features

FNBs:

  • Drop Zone 223 BDC reticle
  • Side parallax adjustment
  • Reset to zero adjustable target style turrets
  • Second focal plane
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Finish: Matte Black
  • 1" tube diameter
  • Length (in / mm): 12 / 305
  • Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle
  • Field of View (ft@100 yds. / m@100 m): 33/8.5@3x / 11/2.5@12x
  • Adj Range in@100yds/ m@100m: +50 / 1.3
  • Weight (oz. / g): 21.3 / 604
  • Exit Pupil (mm): 13.7@3x / 3.7@12x
  • Eye Relief (in / mm): 3.7 / 95
  • Click Value in@100 yds / mm@100m: 0.25 / 6.95
  • Power / Obj Lens: 3-12x 40mm

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available? None, Comes in Matte Black only.

What others are saying?:

Bryan on Amazon: 4 out of 5 stars

Pretty good scope: Install and zeroing were pretty easy. I bought this and the Millett 1 piece mount sold as a combo here on Amazon. The mount allowed forward offset to improve eye relief on my flat top AR. Eye relief (real world) is around 4 inches. The eyepiece is large and the optics art crisp. Both eyes open works great. Not as crisp as the Nikon I have in the same price range but acceptable. There is both a focus and a parallax adjustment to make sure you get the cross-hairs in sharp focus which is nice. The turrets are a little mushy and don't give good tactile feedback but are acceptable. The zoom has no stops which I don't really like and it's pretty high effort which may be the price for a weather seal on this scope. Adjust zoom requires a firm grip on rifle because even with bipod, you need good leverage to change it. So far, it has held a crisp zero through 40 shots and the MOA system is nice for no shoot ranging. This is a good varmint scope IMHO. If it stays as good as it has been while new, I will be very happy.

CavScoutDM on Brownells: 5 out of 5 stars

Great scope @ Unbelievable price: I mounted this scope on my just finished 24" Long Range AR15 and I couldn't be happier. Repeatable, clear, and the BDC works great with just a little practice. Bushnell hit a home run with this one, I just wish I'd seen the 18X as I would have bought it instead of the 12X. No matter though as I said before they knocked it out of the park with this one!

Price point:

I need it now! Availability: Amazon, Brownells, or your local gun shop.

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Side parallax adjustment
  • Target style turrets
  • Reset to zero turrets
  • Good glass clarity at most magnifications

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Long length
  • Semi-mushy turret clicks
  • Not super clear at 12x

Score: 7.5 Good75

 

Chad's favorite link: AR15 Podcast 

 

Xtreme Hardcore Gear Force Recon Tactical Rings

Xtreme Hardcore Gear Force Recon Tactical Scope Rings

When you are dumping money into a precision rifle, whether it be an AR-15, AR-10, or bolt action platform, theres a saying that goes "spend two times the amount of the gun on the optic." Easier said than done if you do in fact mind sleeping on the couch for a week. No matter what you spend on the rifle itself or the glass, they still have to interface together. The scope rings are just as important, as they determine how true the relationship will be between where you are aiming, the adjustment of your dope turrets, and where that bullet will go.

Xtreme Hardcore Gear Force Recon Tactical Scope Rings

High quality rings will make sure your scope is and remains mounted securely and consistently shot after shot. Generally speaking, the higher the price tag, the better the machining of the pair of rings to be within tight tolerances and will hold your scope true to the rifle's bore. Of course, if you are canting your rifle or resting on uneven ground, everything goes out the window. Thats where a bubble level comes into play. There are a handful of scope level products on the market, either clamping onto the scope tube or mounting via picatinny rail somewhere on the rings. I've seen plenty of rifles with them, and I have a couple on my own tack drivers. What I haven't seen is a premium quality scope ring with an integral bubble level... until I found the Xtreme Hardcore Gear Force Recon Tactical Rings.

Xtreme Hardcore Gear Force Recon Tactical Scope Rings

Besides being a mouthful, the Xtreme Hardcore Gear Force Recon Tactical Rings are one of the only sets of scope rings I've seen to both be of high quality, and integrate the bubble level. At around $180 they are certainly a premium, but perfect for a high dollar rifle that's purposefully built for small groups at long ranges. A scope won't track correctly along the X and Y axis (windage and elevation) if your scope and bore aren't perpendicular with the ground, thats a simple as I can put it. Firing a bullet from an non-level position will skew that bullets course exponentially the longer the distance, and your scope's tracking adjustments will be diagonally "hinky" as well.

Xtreme Hardcore Gear Force Recon Tactical Scope Rings

In addition to the integral bubble level, these rings offer a level of precision only rivaled by $200+ ring sets. The Xtreme Hardcore rings are designed and machined to not allow the scope to move under any recoil scenario. The rings interface with the rail with a robust .875" mounting platform while the two cross slot bolts provide awesome clamping power without any protruding bolt heads. The cherry on top is the pair of steel guide rails that press into the ring base. The ring base clamp rides on these rails to keep the clamp perfectly aligned as the two cross slot bolts are drawn tight against the pic mount.  Another detail I appreciate is the rings and caps have a .030" radius on both sides of the scope bore to eliminate any marring or sharp contact points on your scope. Together with the provided 6 torx bolts for an evenly distributed force onto the top of the scope, these features add up to the best scope rings you can buy for precision work.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: The Force Recon Tactical Rings feature a built in level housed into the rear scope ring, assuring a perfect parallel which is essential for long range shooting.

Target Market:  Long range rifle shooters

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Ring Bore Diameter 30mm with tolerances +/-.001"
  • USA Mills Billet 7075 T-6 Aircraft Aluminum
  • Black Anodize Mill Spec 8625 Type 3 Hardcoat
  • Rings are matched within .002"
  • 6 Cap Screws (USA 8-40)
  • 2 Clamp Screws (USA 10-24 SHC Grade 8)
  • 2 Clamp guide Rails: (USA .125 Precision dowel pins)

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black, 30 & 34mm diameter

What others are saying?: "While field testing, we found the bubble easy enough to see while sighting through the scope. Under very low light conditions, it took a little more effort to focus on the reference lines, most likely because the level isn’t exposed to any light from the top or bottom of the ring. At any rate, it didn’t interfere with the ability to make accurate long range shots at last light. In conclusion, if you’re looking for a set of very high quality rings for your long range rig, you owe it to yourself to check these out. The price point is comparable to other quality rings that require the additional purchase of an add-on bubble level.  You can purchase the the Force Recon Tactical Scope Rings here: Xtreme Hardcore Gear." Rockslide Blog

"I mounted each ring on my Badger scope rail and then did an alignment check with a 34mm lapping bar. Then I checked the alignment with a set of scope alignment bars and they were Dead On. The rings mounted Rock Solid and look Great. The level is calibrated perfect and there is no issues with these rings. These rings are of Excellent quality and I would highly reccomend these for any Tactical build. I like the fact that they are the lowest available for a 34mm scope. At .900" height they put my eye right on with my McMillan A5 stock." Sniper's Hide Review

Price point:

I need it now! Availability: Brownells or Amazon

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Level verifies action/bore and scope are perpendicular with ground / shooting rest is level.
  • Less play forward/aft on picatinny rail before screw full torqued
  • Base clamp rides on stainless steel guide rails keeping the clamp perfectly aligned
  • 6 Torx bolts make a good solid mount
  • Rings and caps radiused on both sides to eliminate any marring or sharp contact points

Cons:

  • Clamp Screws used as crossbolt (some folks don't like this)
  • Bubble location makes visibility difficult in low light

Score: 8.5 Great

 

 

Featured FFL:

For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.

Ryan's Links:

Gun & Gear Review Podcast

Hunter of Design

Burris Predator Quest 4.5-14x42mm Scope

  Burris Predator Quest Scope

What makes one particular scope more suited for hunting predatory animals than other scopes? Its a valid question.  After all, if any given hunting/field scope gives you the ability to hit a deer-sized target at 100 yards, it should be fine for coyotes, right? Well, yes it should. Most hunters will take small game using a rifle/scope setup that is no different then their big game rig or even their range plinker. Any optic could be used for predators, but there are certain unique aspects of this kind of specialized hunting, and a scope can be built around those factors to give an edge to the shooter.

Burris Predator Quest Scope

Predator hunting is a lot different than hunting a 'prey animal' in a few ways. Coyotes and Bobcats have keen senses to spot and stalk their own prey, which makes it very hard to stalk them in return. Typically its either 'spot and shoot' or use a caller/decoy to lure them close enough for a shot from a concealed positon. The opportunity for that shot is extremely shorter and quicker than with any other game because of the clever, skittish nature of these animals. Sometimes the coyote will be running along your perimeter at a brisk pace, at range, and that is the only opportunity it will lend you. Or maybe its a bobcat sitting patiently and statuesque at the end of a windy field, defiant to come any closer. Being a great shot and having plenty of luck is preferred, but having a scope specialized for the conditions is what could mean the difference to not taking a shot out of doubt, or splattering the dirt all around the 'ol Wiley as he high tails it into the next county.

Burris Predator Quest 4.5-14x42mm

The Burris Predator Quest scope is designed to give the predator hunter a better tool for the job. The optic is backed by Les Johnson, a world champion coyote caller who's been on numerous award winning television programs on the Sportsmans Channel. While I'm sure Les is a good hunter and decent shot, his history with scope endorsements is a tad shaky. In short summation, the brand Predator Quest started with Les' first video in 2004, and his first scope endorsement was picked up by Simmons. I have not personally tested one, but from other reviews on various predator hunting forums online, the quality was wanting and many reviewers warned others from wasting their money. Thankfully the power of consumer and industry feedback response led to the Predator Quest line being picked up by Burris Optics.

Burris Predator Quest Scope

Burris Predator Quest Specs

It doesn't take a keen investigator to see that the Burris Predator Quest scope is essentially the Fullfield E1 scope with a snazzy graphic of the Predator Quest logo, optional camouflage finish, and an included ARD (Anti Reflective Device) that screws onto the objective end of the scope to cut down glare that could spook critters. Burris just chooses to not call it the Fullfield E1 - Les Johnson Signature Predator Quest Edition. That is a mouthful after all. Despite the reskinning of an existing product, the Predator Quest scope carries features that lend themselves to predator hunting. Available in 2-7x, 3-9x and 4.5-14x there is enough magnification power variety to suit the sub 100 yard rabbit hunters, the 200 yard max varmint cullers, or the short to long range quick encounters where wind and drop will be the biggest obstacles.

Burris Ballistic Plex E1 Reticle

The Ballistic Plex E1 is Burris' flagship crosshair for hunting riflescopes these days. Its designed to help shooters overcome two of the biggest challenges when shooting long-distance: determining holdover at distance and compensation for wind drift. It is a BDC system (ballistic drop compensation) and the four hash marks on the lower vertical crosshair are calibrated to provide aiming points from 100 to 500 yards for many of the 'most common' hunting cartridges. Becoming more familiar with MOA-EBR style reticles, BDC systems have fallen out of favor in my collection, however I do see their validity when used in the field for lightning-fast compensations, as long as the shooter is confident their exact load of choice will impact where they are expected in relation to the reticle's factory determined 'guesstimation.'

As for compensating for that pesky crosswind that will push most .22 calibers around like child's play, the E1 reticle has cascading dots on either side of each elevation hashmark to give the shooter a left or right holdover mark for a 10mph crosswind. For different angles or speeds of gusts the shooter can split or multiply the distance between the dot and the vertical crosshair. Fortunately the day I went to zero this scope on my Savage 22-250 was quite gusty, however without a meter to accurately read the wind speed my shots at 300 and 500 yards opened up quite a bit. Still on paper, which means on coyote... but the faster velocity of the 22-250 resists the wind better, especially with higher BC projectiles so the points of reference weren't dead-on exact but close enough to walk a few in where I wanted.

While you can't bank on the windage dots to deliver minute of angle results because of variables like fluctuating gust strength, velocity and ballistic coefficients, etc, they do offer another benefit when trying to squeeze in one desperate shot on a fleeing coyote or bobcat. Instead of using your best 'Kentucky Windage' to lead the scrambling varmint, you can use the windage points as point of aim reference. You may only get 1-2 shots before the Songdog reaches a sanctuary, so being able to track and lead the moving target at 200-500 yards with the E1 reticle is definitely alot easier than using a duplex or other traditional crosshair.

The overall fit and finish of the Predator Quest scope was very satisfactory. The Realtree Max 1 Camo finish is very effective (and matched my Savage very well) with matte black turrets and magnification adjustment ring that give it a nice contrast. Adjusting the magnification ring is smooth with a good resistance, the ring itself has scallops for grip texture I found to be positive enough for adjustments in the field. The parallax adjustment was not ideal, being a ring on the 42mm objective bell that was difficult to turn.  Additionally, the camo finish makes it hard to see the yardage marking, while the matte black version had red colored yardages that are easier to read. It makes me want to set it at one setting and not touch it, trying to focus in on an animal means taking your supporting hand and even your head off the stock... this scope would have been so much better if it had a side parallax adjustment turret! Perhaps I'm just spoiled with higher end optics, but being able to adjust parallax without breaking cheek-weld or ready-position seems like a darn good idea for a predator scope, where seconds matter and fumbling fingers mean missed success.

The elevation and windage turrets are pretty decent. Being capped helps prevent shifting from zero during transport/handling/storage. The clicks are 1/4" MOA and have a nice detent that are entirely finger adjustable, and are audible and tangible as well.

Burris Predator Quest Scope

Lastly, the glass quality of the Predator Quest is on par with it's price bracket. The lenses are Index-Matched, and have a Hi-Lume® multi-coating that provide enhanced light transmission in low light environments and glare-resistance. With the addition of the screw-on Anti-Reflection Device, Burris really wanted to be sure no glints of glare from the sun off the objective lens would spook off foxes or coyotes. I like the addition of the ARD, and the fact it is removable. I would be afraid that an errant stick or perhaps careless storage practices would cause the thin honeycombs of the ARD to become damaged fairly easily, so scope caps are probably a wise investment.

 

Burris Predator Quest Scope

Overall, I am already quite fond of this scope. I was really interested in testing/evaluating it, because it seemed like a good match for my Savage rifle, and also I could find no other reviews on the scope online. The mystery and curiosity finally got me to pull the trigger with my credit card, and I feel like it was a gamble that paid off. Despite the few personal preferences/dislikes I have found, its still a great option for a predator/varmint rifle in .223, 22-250, .243, or other popular calibers suited for small game.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  World Champion coyote caller Les Johnson and Burris have teamed up to produce a riflescope uniquely designed to take out fast-moving predators.

Target Market:  Varmint Hunters

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Also available in 2-7x35mm and 3-9x40mm at different price points
  • Ballistic Plex E1 reticle: compensate for wind, elevation, moving targets out to 500 yards.
  • First-rate glass
  • Index-Matched Lenses
  • Hi-Lume® multi-coating, glare-resistant
  • Capped Turrets
  • Screw-on Anti-Reflection Device
  • Nitrogen-purged, Waterproof, Shock and Vibration proof
  • Burris Forever Warranty

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Matte Black or Camo (Realtree Max1)

What others are saying?:

 No other reviews found

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:  Readily available online at Brownells or Optics Planet

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Elevation and Windage turrets are solid - slight turn resistance and detents for positive adjustments
  • Included ARD (honeycomb) is a nice addition, can slip scope cap over both
  • E1 Reticle is clean and useful for acquiring moving targets and doping for wind

Cons:

  • Parallax adjustment is difficult - a large ring forward towards objective, really hard to turn and bumps/texture not deep enough for grip. A side knob would have been much more ideal / hold scope back from a more perfect score.
  • Parallax yardage markings are difficult to read with camo finish - easier with matte black version
  • Glass clarity is good, noticeably less bright/clear than other competitors but on par with others in price point.

Score: 7.5 Good

 

 

Featured FFL:

For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.

Ryan's Links:

Gun & Gear Review Podcast

Hunter of Design

Vortex Viper PST 1-4x24mm Scope

  Vortex Viper PST 1-4 x 24mm

Yet another Vortex optic has snuck itself into my collection, this time its the variable low-power option of the Viper 1-4x24mm. This scope is at home on top of almost any carbine or low to intermediate range rifle. While 4x magnification isn't generally enough for MOA sized groups past 100 yards, this scope is meant for efficiency and speed. Weighing in at 16.2 ounces, this optic isn't the lightweight in it's class... but it's built with the same strength, glass clarity and dependability of the other scopes in the Viper PST line, which is to say very impressive for the price point.

Vortex Viper PST 1-4 x 24mm

For the same cost of a military-grade red dot scope, this Viper gives you the benefit of both a red dot and a low power scope.  The TMCQ (Tactical Milling Close Quarter) MOA (Minute of Angle) reticle is designed for close to mid-range shooting situations, as well as effectively estimating ranges, holdovers, and windage for longer pokes. At short range distances inside of 25 yards I could shoot with both eyes open at the lowest 1x magnification setting, using the reticle's thick circle and illumination with a 10 brightness setting rheostat. One major issue with most red dots or even holographic sights is that under intense bright conditions, the dot/reticle can almost disappear if you aren't in the shade. The Viper has a reticle with a thick 22 MOA circle thats etched onto the glass. I have actually rarely used the illumination as it's not often been needed, however it is useful and well executed. The clicks on the rheostat are very positive, with each step in between brightness settings being an off setting, so its easy to activate the illumination to the last setting used by one click either left or right. The thick circle glows bright and fills the role of a 1x red dot very nicely. At 1x, the distance for eye relief is a generous 4 inches, which again draws comparison to the function of a red dot.

Vortex Viper PST 1-4 x 24mm

At intermediate ranges between 50–175 yards, the extra magnification helps despite being only 4x. Zeroing the optic at 100 yards as opposed to 50 yards will lessen hold over needed at 200 yards, you just have to remember your point of impact will be between 1-2 inches lower than point of aim at closer ranges. While a 1-4x scope would seem underpowered for distances approaching 200 yards and beyond to most shooters, the reticle subtensions on this Viper are set MOA (minutes of angle) and make compensating bullet drop an easy task as long as you understand what your bullet is doing, in terms of velocity and inches of drop.  The lines of the reticle are thin, so if you are not accustomed to fine lines and small numbers, or have 'old, tired eyes' you may find yourself passing this scope over. But the thin width of the lines makes for finer aiming, and hopefully smaller groups on paper. There are 30 minutes worth of holdover dash marks on the reticle for both elevation and windage, which could lend itself to the 5.56 55 grain bullet reach outwards to 600 yards as far as drop is concerned, with plenty of windage marks. A simple brushing up on the MOA system of measurement and getting to know your gun's caliber trajectory will get you the most out of this reticles potential.

Vortex Viper PST 1-4 x 24mm

While this isn't a magical do-it-all scope, the ability to engage targets from 25 yards to 600 yards (depending on caliber/load) is within the realm of possibility for this scope. It's understandable how this scope has become a favorite of competitive shooters when drilling close range cardboard targets one minute and knocking down steel targets at 100+ yards the next. The 30mm tube lets in more light than 1 inch tubes conventionally, and the glass clarity is on par with the rest of the Vortex Viper PST family, which is arguably also equivalent or surpassing of most competitor scopes, certainly those who fall below the price point. You do get what you pay for when shopping for scopes, and a lifetime guarantee and overall quality and longevity you get from a Vortex optic is one of the best bangs you can get for your buck these days.

 

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  The Viper PST (Precision Shooting Tactical) riflescope boasts features associated with top-tier riflescopes, and delivers the performance and features tactical shooters demand at an economical price.

Target Market:  Range Shooters, Hunters, 3-Gun Competitors

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Extra-low dispersion (XD) glass increases resolution and color fidelity, resulting in crisp, sharp images
  • Proprietary coatings increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces
  • TMCQ (Tactical Milling Close Quarter) is a hashmarked ranging reticle using MOA-based subtension lines for ranging, holdover, and windage corrections
  • 220 total minutes of adjustment for elevation and windage each
  • Field of View: 98(1x)-27.5(3x) feet at 100 yards
  • Eye relief approx 4 inches.
  • Reticle protected between two layers of glass for optimum durability and reliability
  • Illuminated reticle provides precise aiming under low-light conditions
  • Ultra-hard, scratch-resistant coating protects exterior lenses from scratches, oil and dirt

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Capped and Uncapped versions

What others are saying?:

 "Bolted this baby on my 20" flattop and couldn't be happier! Zeroed in easily and hasn't missed a beat in aprox 1000 rounds. Battery life is good, still on the original. Acquiring sight picture while illuminated is QUICK! Reticle is very fine and clear allowing me shoot 100yd moa groups off the bipod at will. Customer service is stellar at Vortex, friendly folks on the phone. " - Stickman User Review, vortexoptics.com

"The reticle is easy to see and a great size. While the illumination is not visible in daylight, it does provide a contrast in a situation where the crosshairs would otherwise get blacked out. Perfectly illuminated for night time. I love the "CQ" part of the reticle which is, in my humble opinion, better than the solid round EOTech reticle that tends to be "too busy" for my taste. The glass is very clear, and in fact in 1x it's clearer than some red dots I've used! The 1x is a true one 1x. Knobs are easy to grasp, adjust, set markings to zero, re-zero, etc., etc. Clear markings all around including magnification knob. All around, I can't find anything to complain about, and I expect my next scope will be a higher power Vortex PST MOA for my .308 bolt action. Can I give a better endorsement than that?" jkrispies user, brownells.com

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:  Readily available online at Brownells and most sporting goods stores.

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Design and Function are a perfect match for a carbine to midlength AR-15 platform, especially in the weight department
  • Glass is very clear for a 24mm objective
  • Eye relief is approx 4 inches
  • Reticle can both serve as a 1x Red Dot or capable of mid range shooting
  • Water/fog/shock proof
  • Nice tactile and well marked turrets
  • CRS Zero stop feature
  • Great Warranty, lifetime no questions asked.

Cons:

  •  Illumination of center circle/dot of reticle is okay, but does not fully illuminate elevation hashes all the way to 30 MOA on either end, but does illuminate the full width of the windage marks.

Score: 9.0 Amazing90

Featured FFL:

For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.

Ryan's Links:

Gun & Gear Review Podcast

Hunter of Design

CCOP USA 1-6X30 Tactical Rifle Scope with Illuminated Reticle Review

1624i_1Allow me to let you into a little industry insider secret. Everyone walking the SHOT show has a shopping list.  It doesn't matter if you are from the media, a retailer, manufacturer, owner or representative, we all walk around the grounds of SHOT with an item in mind we want to checkout/try/asses for the purposes of buying it later.  I’m no different, one of my top items in mind while I was wondering the endless halls of the 2014 SHOT show was a variance 1-4X or 1-6X tactical scope for my favorite AR15.  Don’t get me wrong. ACOGs are great and so are EOTechs but they are very specialized and wonderfully engineered tools that will execute the task they were built for flawlessly while burning a very big hole in your pocket… I was on a task to find a good quality glass that will give me both the CQB red-dot reflex sight capabilities but will also give me some magnification capabilities for the 75-200 yard range where a red dot sight starts to be more of a guess and less of a precision tool.  I could, I suppose, go for an EOTech with a magnifier, but there are 2 things I didn’t like about this combo: first, the logistics of mounting/un-mounting and the need to carry the magnifier somewhere while it’s not mounted was a little too annoying for me. Second was the painful $1000 price tag (on the low end!)  All of the above made the variance scopes very popular recently with the tactical shooting community, particularly the AR15 and AK47 owners.

So, I’ve set a goal to find something good for a sub $300 budget.  Now don’t get me wrong, I checked, felt and drooled over ALL the optics in the 1-4X/1-6X categories. I’ve been to every optics vendor from Sun Optics to NightForce. I checked the offering from Vortex, US Optics, Leupold, and many other vendors I can’t remember their names (so, so many…)  After 3 loooooonnnnnggg days of wondering the grounds, in a dark corner of the basement level, I ran into a small booth of a company called CCOP-USA. A new(ish) Chinese manufacturer that I haven’t seen before that offers all kinds of optics and optics accessories. Tired and disappointed that I couldn't find what I was looking for, I had no big expectations for their product and figured they’d be low quality as most of the other no-name eastern manufacturers I saw so far.

1624i_6Boy was I wrong. First, they had both 1-4x AND 1-6X options. The first thing you notice when you look through the glass is how clear it is and how much light goes through it. This is probably due to the 30mm tube (most other 1-4X optics have a 24mm tube which let less light through.The Illuminated reticle and the big diameter make it feel like a red-dot reflex sight. Having the reticle backed by the black reticle and lines guarantee that even if the battery runs out you can still use the optics (point down for EOTech on this one).  One huge compliment for these guys is that their 1X is the closest 1X I’ve seen in any of these 1-4X/1-6X optics. Including some of the expensive brands!

1624i_3A twist of the ring and you get up to 6X magnification. Considering most “budget” scopes are 3-9X this covers a very good distance.  So, getting one is a little slow (about 7-10 days to get it) but when I got it, I couldn't wait to mount it and head to the range.

I had it mounted on my PS90 with a one piece scope mount that also positioned the optics high enough at my eyes level.

1624i_2

Zeroing was real easy thanks to the “clicks” adjustment mechanism on the scope (which usually only exist on the more expensive scopes).1624i_4

I had it zero at 25 yards and then switched to 50 yards, 75 yards and 100 yards. I had no problem staying on target and hitting every time.  SO, to the question you’re probably asking yourself by now, what’s the cost?  Well, this is one of the coolest thing about this scope. MSRP is only $310 and you can find retail in the $190-$250 range.  I gave this product a score of 8.0.  The only reason I didn’t score it higher is because I don’t have it long enough to testify to its long term usage durability but I promise I’ll have a follow up review in a few months.

I guess SHOT was successful after all…

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Best Bang for your buck in the variance range tactical scopes

Target Market: Tactical shooters / AR15 and AK47 owners that look for a budget aware alternative

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Model: SCP-1624i
  • Magnification: 1X-6X
  • Tube Diameter: 30mm
  • Objective Diameter: 24mm
  • Field of view @100yards: 115-19.2ft
  • Eye Relief: 4.5"-4"  
  • Exit Pupil: 10-4mm  
  • Click Value: 1/2"  
  • Length: 265mm  
  • Weight: 508g
  • Reticle: CQB
  • Illumination: Red / Green
  • W/E: ≥40'  

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Comes with a soft elastic scope cover

What others are saying?: Their eBay store has over 3700 reviews with a positive percentage of 99.7%

Price Point:

MSRP = $310 Retail = $225

I need it now! Availability: CCOP USA 1-6X30 Tactical Rifle Scope is available here.

Our Rating:

+ Easy on the budget + A twofer: you get a CQB sight and a 6X scope in one package + Zero adjustment is easy with no tools required + Shock proof + Water proof + Fog proof + Illuminated reticle + Black reticle marking to backup in case of dead battery

- New/unfamiliar manufacturer with no history or long term reviews. - Shipping could take up to 10-15 business days

Score: 8.0 Great80

 

 

Joseph's Featured Link:

Big D Armory

BigDArmory

Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm Scope Review

Vortex Diamondback Welcome to Vortex Anonymous, my name is Ryan and I'm an addict. It's been 6 days since I last bought a Vortex scope, and I don't know how long I can resist the urge to buy another. Who wants to be my sponsor?

Its easy to become a Vortex fan after picking up any one of the Viper scopes. For the moderate price tag, you get really clear glass, superb reticles, a plethora of magnification options, and a lifetime/no questions asked warranty that will cover just about anything you can throw at the optic. I already owned two Viper scopes, but was interested in picking up something from the cheaper family, known as the Diamondback series for testing and evaluation.

I picked up a Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm scope to add to a 22-250 bolt gun. I bought it as Sportsman's Warehouse for the average retail price. Comparing the glass indoors with other brands in the same category including Nikon Prostaff, Redfield Revenge and some of the low end Leupolds, the Diamondback certainly seemed to be as good in most areas, with an edge over most in glass clarity. The other factors that stand out most are eye relief, light transmission and turret manipulation.

I found that I was doing the 'chicken neck' much more with the other scopes to get proper relief, whereas the Diamondback's eyebox was just easier for me to find rapidly, even at high magnifications. The clarity and light transmission of the glass were very good, and even when holding side-by-side with a Viper scope in the same magnification the difference are very small. The capped turrets are surprisingly pleasing. Rotation is smooth but tight, with lightly audible clicks and fine tangible detents with every 1/4 MOA turn. I boresighted with a laser at night under 2 minutes because throwing the scope up to check the point of aim, then turning the turrets just by feel was accurate and fine. They are slotted for a coin as well but really not needed at all. Once zeroed, they can be rezeroed so that adjustments in the field or at the range for known variables are easy to make and then return to zero.

Vortex Diamondback DBC Reticle

If I were asked to pick the negative aspects of this scope, it would be that at 12x objects beyond 100 yards do come a little fuzzy.  Also, the limitations of factory preset parallax at 100 yds is something I can't help but notice. If you want adjustable parallax, save up those pennies and get a Viper. Also most Vipers come with a sunshade, something you will be hard pressed to find to work with this Diamondback.  But if value and budget are your concern, this scope still has plenty of shining features that will prove its worth in the field time and time again.

Another piece of advice I want to share is the inherent disadvantages of a BDC (Bullet Drop Compensation) reticle.  The Vortex BDC reticle manual groups data in terms of rifle classes that are pretty generalized. For instance, if your caliber fits into Class A (High Power Big Game | Moderate Ranges) you would use 100 yard zero on main crosshair, the 3rd hashmark would apply to 400 yards, or 30 inches of drop.  But for what grain bullet and what velocity?  The bullet drop of a .308 win 150gr bullet and a 180gr bullet in the same gun will have different rates of drop and a BDC reticle doesn't account for this without the user doing multiple tests with different bullet weights and taking detailed notes.  An MOA EBR reticle shows even subtensions in minutes of angle (or MRAD if you prefer mildots, guy in the back of class wearing a boonie hate) and I find it more advantageous for non-seasoned shooters to think in terms of what is bullet X doing at 415 yards in minutes of angle.  Using any number of ballistic calculators available, you could determine to the fraction of an inch where that bullet will drop, and it is much easier to 'mind the gap' between 2 or 5 MOA dash increments and make a more precise shot. That may not matter much when you have a deer in your scope at 100-200 yard, but the difference exponentially grows at longer distances, and I share a belief that BDC reticles give novice shooter a false sense of confidence that can easily translate to bad call and a poor shot. If that error leads to a shot outside the vitals in a game animal, I can't help but wish that individual did their homework better. The V-Plex reticle is Vortex's take on the tradition duplex reticle and would better serve a shooter who is intimately familiar with the lead they are sending downrange than a novice leaning on the BDC without reading up. Just my 2 cents.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Diamondback riflescopes completely change the rules when it comes to “you get what you pay for.”

Target Market: Rifle owners, hunters, 100-300 yard multicaliber shooting

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Fully Multi-Coated - Increases light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.
  • Second Focal Plane Reticle - Scale of reticle maintains the same ideally-sized appearance. Listed reticle subtensions used for estimating range, holdover and wind drift correction are accurate at the highest magnification.
  • Single-Piece 1" Tube - Maximizes alignment for improved accuracy and optimum visual performance, as well as ensures strength and waterproofness.
  • Aircraft-Grade Aluminum - Constructed from a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum for strength and rigidity.
  • Waterproof O-ring - Seals prevent moisture, dust and debris from penetrating the riflescope for reliable performance in all environments.
  • Fogproof - Argon gas purging prevents internal fogging over a wide range of temperatures.
  • Shockproof - Rugged construction withstands recoil and impact.
  • Hard Anodized Finish - Highly durable low-glare matte finish helps camouflage the shooter's position.
  • Precision-Glide Erector System - Uses premium components in the zoom lens mechanism to ensure smooth magnification changes under the harshest conditions.
  • Capped Reset Turrets - Allow re-indexing of the turret to zero after sighting in the riflescope. Caps provide external protection for turret.
  • Precision-Glide Erector System - Uses premium components in the zoom lens mechanism to ensure smooth magnification changes under the harshest conditions.
  • Fast Focus Eyepiece - Allows quick and easy reticle focusing.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black matte finish, multiple magnification/objective sizes available.

What others are saying?: “This is the second Vortex product I've purchased.  Why? Quality and Confidence.  I love the quality of their optics.  Clear glass, great light control, solid construction but lightweight delivery.  I really like the Deadhold BDC reticle and how once I've got it sighted in.  It's extremely accurate, regardless of the change in distance.  My first time using the scope I made three adjustments with the clearly defined dials (no guessing in the field) and was dialed in on the bullseye.  I also have complete confidence that should something happen to my scope, I will have no problems getting back outdoors and doing what I love.  The only improvement I'd suggest is threading for a sun shade. But no question, I'm happily a Vortex customer for life!" Vortex Reviewer

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: Readily available online at Brownells.

Our Rating: + Sleek, lightweight, perfect for mounting to a hunting rifle + Capped Turrets with Audible and Tangible windage and elevation adjustment clicks, very smooth and firm + Glass is extremely clear + You can beat the scope (against the concrete) but you won't beat that warrantee!

- BDC Reticle in MOA works for some as a quick reference for hunting, but can still cause false-confidence and poor shot placement due to caliber/velocity variances that have been averaged or generalized. - No sunshade, but Vortex does have a Killflash / ARD out there that should work - Object outlines get fuzzy when using 12x magnification

Score: 8.0 Great

 

AIM Sports Mosin Nagant Combo Kit Review

mosinkit The Mosin Nagant 91/30 rifle is one of the most common and sought after budget rifles even still today. Russia's old warhorse is still circulating around the world, and if you don't already have one or two sitting in your safe, you are missing out on some of the most fun and affordable shooting there is to be had. Many DIYers choose the platform to build hunting, varminting, or tactical bolt guns because of its low cost and availability. Most Big Box Sporting Goods stores like Big 5 will carry the 91/30 is stock as well as Cabelas or Bass Pro Shop.

Many Mosin owners who do not claim to be purists may be tempted to accessorize the rifle. Some manufacturers have come up with kits to make it cheap and easy to do this. I myself in a moment of weakness gave into temptation and bought a "Deluxe Accessory Kit" from AIM Sports. After installing the scope mount, the scope and rings, and the recoil pad, I thought I had made a reasonably good investment for $75 after tax. Then I started looking at the fit and finish, and after a few more minutes was immediately flooded with regret. Upon racking the bolt and dry firing the rifle a few times, I witnessed the lens in the scope minutely tilt forward each time the firing pin dropped. Cheap Chinese made optics with poor internals, who knew? Luckily I had opened the packaging very discretely with a blade so I was able to repack everything and return it with no questions asked.

The conundrum with putting a scope on the Nagant is three fold.  One, you have to use a "Scout" scope with a long eye relief in order to operate the stock bolt (Alternatively you can pay to have a bent bolt modification and use a traditional scope with conventional eye relief).  Two, the mounts are often questionable unless made right, and that will be costly.  Third and lastly, any scope that costs less than the rifle itself is probably rubbish.

This scope in particular is an AIM Sports 2-7 x 32mm with a 1" tube, that has an an eye relief of 8.5"-10.5" and 1/4 M.O.A.windage and elevation adjustments, a blue lens coating, a length of 10.5" and a weight of 9 oz. The clarity of the optic (before the lens issue) was moderately okay, the parallax was set within 60-100 yards and I felt like it would have been useful at shooting between 100-300 yards. The magnification ring was very gritty when rotating through the levels and had a very alarming click, almost like a bearing falling into a detent, at the 7x position. The ring also appeared to be sealed with a very sloppy O-Ring, which gave it alot of play forward and rearward. Even if the scope hadn't failed after dry firing, I have absolutely no confidence it would have held up to a single round of 7.62x54R. Pretending it would have held integrity, the scope and rings surely wouldn't have survived the first shot anyway.

The scope rings included are junk, with just two screws per ring they were too short to even bite the threading. I found myself screwing one side an eighth of a turn, then alternating back and forth so the top segment of the ring would tighten down evenly, but the opposite screw would still pop right out onto the floor. I had to use some extra screws from my drawer to replace all 4 of AIM's. After all that trouble and handling, the blued finish had looked like it had been in action for a few years. The thumb adjustment knobs were a soft metal and were no match for my screwdriver either apparently. Now, onto the scope base.

The picatinny scope base itself mounts into the rear sight block, requiring the removal of the rear sight and leaf spring. Easy enough, but it mounts using the single pin hole and thus becomes a "seesaw" or "teeter toter" that requires set three screws to be tightened down against the receiver. There was no instruction on how to use these set screws to obtain the optimum angle, and tightening one just caused the other end to dip down. When I tightened all three to a degree I felt left the mount level the the bore, I was still unsatisfied with the security and how easy it was to push a side down or up. The instructions called for the leaf spring to be removed, but I found that leaving it in at least gave some tension and improved the mounting. When the rings and scope is mounted, I found that the extra couple inches of rail in the front interfered with using the scope covers, so it would have to be cut off.

mosinkit2

At least the rubber recoil pad had to be an improvement to the stock Rusky metal butt plate, right? Guess again, as it didn't line up with either screw hole, and a flush fit would have required sanding and reshaping the contour of the stock. Even then it didn't line up with the stock, but perhaps thats just a difficult task with all the different variations in these stocks that came from all over Europe.

The sling looked like a standard replica of the original russian slings, khaki colored even though the package specifically calls it green. I didn't even take the sling out of the package as I knew this kit was going to be returned promptly. If you have a 91/30 or M44 and wish to outfit it with optics and accessories, I would be reluctant to try this kit. I didn't get a quality equivalent to the amount I paid for, and I can't imagine it working for anybody else (unless that particular kit was an older generation).  Bottom line, it's a disgrace to the Motherland.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: This all-in-one kit includes everything you need and is the easiest no-drilling, no-tapping, no-gunsmith-needed option for the Mosin Nagant 91/30 and M44 rifles.

Target Market: Mosin Nagant 91/30 and M44 rifle owners.

FNBs (features & benefits of this product):

  • 2-7x32 Scout Scope  w/ blue multi-coated optics deliver bright, crystal clear views.
  • Precise fine-crosshairs Plex reticle for dead-on targeting
  • Waterproof, Shockproof, and Fogproof (no confidence in these statements based on test items)
  • Scope Covers
  • Scope Rings
  • Picatinny Mount requires no permanent modification to gun.
  • Recoil reducing rubber butt pad.
  • Replica Russian Sling

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Thin Blued Metal

What others are saying?: 

  •  "The rubber but stock and strap are the only things in this kit worth a dime. the scope is almost impossible to sight in, and even if you get it there a few shots later its way off again. mount is really cheap so im not sure which is worse." Amazon Customer Review
  • "The mount (not the other stuff) is cheap. The front attach screws are short, only about 2 threads holding. The other screws on the mount can not be made tight enough to hold the mount in place from recoil. Poor design, poorly executed. I sent it back. The rest of the kit maybe okay, I never got past the mount. This is not my first (or second, or third scope mount)." Amazon Customer Review

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: Amazon.com or Big 5 Sporting Goods

Our Rating:

+ Collectively all the accessories in one bundle does save money.

- Everything aside from the sling I wouldn't trust to last the first or second range trip, let alone combat or hunting field use.

40 Score: 4.0 Bad

Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10x32mm FFP

Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10x32mm I must admit, I'm quickly becoming a "Vortex Fanboy."  It's not difficult, when a company puts something out there that takes the market by storm and genuinely gets the community talking.  I hear the same story whenever I ask the guy behind the counter about them:  "I know quite a few guys who, after looking through a Vortex or trying a buddy's, came in and swapped out their Nightforce glass for one."  Now I'm not much of an optics snob, but my collection of glass has seen some nice upgrades in the last year.  Finding out that as I'm willing to spend more on frivolous bolt-ons that don't really make my groups any tighter, a nicer optic will help in leaps and bounds.

Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10x32mm

I had a rifle length AR-15 build that used to host an entry level Leupold VX-1 that was 3-9, but I decided to slap in onto my father's trusty 40 year old winchester deer gun instead.  I had wanted this build to be a range/coyote/3-Gun platform, which is asking alot in the optics department.  I looked at Trijicon ACOGs and the new VCOG, but I felt there wasn't enough versatility with those. There are plenty of 1-4x or 1-6x scopes that could fit that bill, but I like giving my eyes all the help they can get.  Additionally, all those have reticles that are so frackin' tiny, I need a new prescription  just to read the hashmarks.  So one day I popped into a Sportsmans Warehouse and the counter jockey put this vortex in my hands.

Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10x32mmFirst Focal Plane (FFP) was the ticket I was looking for.  A scope that dials down to 2.5x for close range cardboard or fur works well, and the 10x power is just enough for 100-300 yard shooting.  Vortex also offers a 2.5-10x44 cheaper flavor, but without a parallax adjustment or illuminated reticle...  all things I felt were standards I needed, as I've grown accustomed to them on another Viper I have on my bolt rifle.   It's also a nice balanced weight at just over 18 oz and the smaller bell gives alittle more flexibilty in the rings department.  I still had a hell of a time finding 30mm rings high enough to make a flattop rail / A2 buttstock work, but I ended up ordering a Burris PEPR and it fit the bill.

Zeroing at the range: Very enjoyable.  Usually zeroing an optic in can be tedious, frustrating, and pricey on the round count. I did a preliminary laser boresighting the night before, but it was just barely on paper at 50 yards.  A couple rounds of adjustment back at the 100 yard bench and it was right where it needed to be.  I shot a few mags at 2.5x at 20 yards, trying to best simulate competition conditions.  Went well, quickly transitioning to 6-10x on the fly is tough because the magnification ring is snug, which isn't a bad thing.  I threw on a quick lever which made it easier (if Vortex included this in the package, I would be extremely pleased as coughing up another $50-60 for a CNC'd two piece ring is tough to swallow.

The scope does comes with an inspection certificate, CR2032 battery, a bikini scope cover, cleaning cloth, CRS zero stop shims, allen wrench, manuals, and a Vortex pin.  The other Viper scope I own with a 50mm objective came with a sun shade.  I really wish this did as well, but no luck! Maybe I'll pick up a killflash scope cap one of these days.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  The Viper PST (Precision Shooting Tactical) riflescope boasts features associated with top-tier riflescopes, yet comes in at a street price under the $1,000 mark.  Born from an intimate understanding of riflescope design, forward-thinking engineering, and open ears to a market incredibly vocal about what it wants in a riflescope, the Viper PST series delivers the performance and features tactical shooters demand at an economical price.

Target Market:  Range Shooters, Hunters, 3-Gunners

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Extra-low dispersion (XD) glass increases resolution and color fidelity, resulting in crisp, sharp images.
  • Proprietary coatings increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.
  • FIRT FOCAL PLANE: Scale of reticle remains in proportion to the zoomed image. Constant subtensions allow accurate holdover and ranging at all magnifications.
  • Reticle protected between two layers of glass for optimum durability and reliability.
  • Illuminated reticle provides precise aiming under low-light conditions.
  • Ultra-hard, scratch-resistant coating protects exterior lenses from scratches, oil and dirt.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black Matte Only

What others are saying?:

"For those that hunt predators, this FFP scope should be a dream come true, as it is nice and light (just over 18 oz) and offers the ability to conveniently and quickly compute ranges at any magnification. It would probably work very on an AR platform as well. "  - Snipers Hide Review

Price point:

  • MSRP = $899.00 full MSRP, $799.00 street price

I need it now! Availability:  Readily available online  at Cabelas. And most outdoor box stores.

Our Rating:

+ Design and Function are match for a rifle length AR-15 platform, especially in the weight department + Glass is very clear, eye relief is approx 4 inches + Standard quality: Water/fog/shock proof + Ability/Confidence to fully use turrets and reset to zero using CRS Zero stop feature + Tactile, Robust turrets and parallax adjustment + FFP gives a nice fine crosshair for more of a quick, close, "reflex" style of engagement at low magnification, easy to read and use to estimate distance at 10x magnification + Fantastic Warranty, lifetime no questions asked.

- Vortex Accessories are very expensive ($50-60 for a rapid lever for magnification ring!!!) - Less accessories for 32mm bell (no shade included)

Score: 9.0 Amazing

I put in extra hours at the salt mine and sold some hardware that had 'sentimental value' to pick this scope up as soon as I could locally.  Would do it again in a heartbeat.

90