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Monthly Archives: September 2015
Thinking of splashing out on an expensive new rifle scope but you're not 100% on what you need? Nightforce USA's very own Jerry Davenport steps up with everything you need to know about selecting, buying and mounting a rifle scope.
Jerry Davenport is Nightforce Optics' International Sales Manager.
When considering an optic for your rifle, it is important to consider the type of shooting to be done with the rifle. For example, a hunter may want better light transmission and not need the extended magnification range a benchrest or precision shooter requires. A benchrest/long range prone competitive shooter may not need a ranging reticle or certain mechanical features like a tactical rifle competitor requires. Nightforce Optics offers a variety of optic and reticle options designed to fit a wide array of shooter types and applications. Many popular applications include: varmint hunting, long range hunting, precision rifle and high power competition, target shooting, general hunting, and 3 Gun competition.
Example: ATACRTM 5-25x56
All Nightforce Optics riflescope product names begin with their product family. In this example, the ATACRTM refers to our Advanced Tactical Riflescope product family. The numbers immediately after the product family name refer to the magnification range and objective lens diameter. In this case, the riflescope has a 5x to 25x power magnification range and a 56mm objective lens diameter.
Riflescope Technology – Budget vs The High Quality of a Nightforce
While construction techniques differ among Nightforce models, they all have one thing in common: a fanatic commitment to absolute quality, the best possible components, and rigorous testing. Your Nightforce riflescope will be built right and thoroughly inspected before ever leaving the factory. This is so you won’t be left high and dry with a riflescope that fails at a critical moment.
What separates a world class riflescope from a run-of-the-mill optic? Mostly, things you can’t see. It is easy to cut corners on construction inside a riflescope, where they will never be noticed…until, of course, it lets you down.
A few examples of the care we take with our NXSTM riflescopes
Tubes – machined from solid bar stock 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum alloy, not extruded or formed like those found on lesser scopes.
Lenses - painstakingly bedded with our own proprietary Mil-Spec formula. Unlike methods used by other scope manufacturers, with our bedding process there is no glass-to-metal contact that can result in breakage, stress or misalignment over time.
Adjustments - made with hardened silicon bronze to ensure a lifetime of wear resistance and reliable performance. You should expect no backlash or hesitation in your adjustments.
Screws - We machine the screw that controls NXS™ elevation adjustments to an unbelievable 110 threads per inch. It is so precise that it must be mated to its receiver by hand.
Springs – The titanium spring that maintains pressure on our elevation and windage adjustments spends two weeks in a polishing tumbler before going into a Nightforce NXS™ riflescope, to assure there are no rough spots or burrs to interfere with perfectly smooth operation.
Optical Elements - hand-bedded with our own proprietary Mil-Spec bonding agent, then cured at 160oF for 24 hours. Lenses are further secured with O-rings and machined metal lock rings, both fore and aft. This zero-tolerance lens securing method prevents any movement of the optical elements in any direction, under any circumstance.
When considering a Nightforce Reticle there are several considerations determined by your preferred shooting discipline and applications.
- Mil-Radian or Minute of Angle
- Bullet Drop Compensating ability
- Subtension measurements for estimating range
- Dot, post or line based reticles for aiming references
- Illumination requirements
- First versus second focal plane
Only you, the user can determine the optical reticle for your shooting needs; there is no single best reticle for every person.
Parallax is the apparent movement of the reticle in relation to the target as the shooter moves his eye across the exit pupil of the riflescope, caused by the target and the reticle being on different focal planes. While keeping the rifle still and looking through the riflescope, a nod of the head up and down will quickly determine if parallax is present. If parallax has been eliminated, the reticle will remain stationary in relation to the target regardless of eye placement.
the term “adjustments” on a riflescope commonly refers to the elevation and windage adjustments, knobs, or turrets.
MOA stands for Minute Of Angle. This is an angular unit of measurement, and the amount for each minute of angle increases as distance increases. One minute of angle is 1.047 inches at 100 yards, 2.094 inches at 200 yards, etc..
short for Mil-radians and also known as MRADs. This is an angular unit of measurement, and the amount for each minute of angle increases as distance increases. One mil is 3.43 inches at 100 yards, 6.86 inches at 200 yards, etc..
Extra low dispersion glass. ED glass, standard in the Nightforce ATACRTM and B.E.A.S.T.TM riflescopes, is the best glass available and provides the ultimate combination of image resolution, light transmission, and color rendition available in a riflescope today.
calibrated reticle spacing(s) or increments at a given magnification. Remains fixed with a first focal plane reticle, varies by magnification setting with second focal plane reticles.
First vs Second Focal Plane
A reticle gets its name due to the position of its placement in the erector tube assembly. A first focal plane reticle (FFP) is in the front portion of the erector directly adjacent to the adjustment turret mechanism and a second focal plane reticle (SFP) is located in the rear portion of the erector tube near the power zoom ring.
Since a FFP reticle is in front of the magnification element of the riflescope; the reticle gets magnified throughout the magnification range. The reticle is able to remain in proportion to the target as the magnification is increased or decreased. The reticle will visually decrease in size as the magnification is decreased, and increase in size with the target as the magnification is increased. However, the reticle’s subtension (MIL or MOA line spacing) remains true on all magnification settings.
A SFP reticle is located in the rear portion near the power zoom ring that is used to adjust the magnification of the riflescope. Since it resides behind the magnification element of the riflescope, the reticle does not get magnified throughout the magnification range. The reticle will remain visually constant to the target as the magnification is increased or decreased. This means that visually, the reticle will remain the same size, but the target will appear to get larger or smaller when the magnification is increased or decreased. The subtension of the reticle can only be true at one magnification setting. However, a formula to figure the correct reticle subtension at any power is:
Calibrated magnification ÷ actual magnification = magnification factor.
Mounting your Nightforce Optics Riflescope
You will need the following:
- The correct base and ring/mount combination for your rifle and optic
- A stable stand which holds the rifle securely and level and preferable on a level working surface
- Ring/mount and ring top installation tools
- A sine bar or other method for ensuring the rifle is level with the riflescope
For initial fitting of the riflescope to the rifle, set the Nightforce riflescope to the highest magnification. Place the riflescope in the lower portion of the rings as far forward as possible. Install both ring tops. Tighten ring top screws with just enough tension to hold the riflescope where positioned, while still allowing smooth movement fore and aft and rotationally.
2) Hold the rifle in your normal shooting position with the riflescope positioned fully forward in the rings, preferably while adjusted to maximum magnification. Place your head as far forward on the stock as you might position it in field use. Slowly move the riflescope back just to the point where the full field of view is obtained. It is recommended to mount the riflescope at this position with as much eye relief as possible (3.5”–4”) or slightly forward to ensure maximum eye relief. Tighten the ring mounting screws to the manufacturers specified torque value. Tighten the screws in an alternating “X” pattern.
Zeroing your riflescope
A quick way to get your first shot on target with a new installation is to first bore sight the riflescope. A simple yet reliable method is by looking through the bore at a round, high contrast target, approximately 5”– 6” in
diameter, that can be seen clearly with the naked eye at either 25, 50 or 100 yards/meters, yet is small enough to “float” in the center of the rifle bore when viewed through the opened action. This can save you time and ammunition.
- Ensure that the rifle is unloaded and the chamber is empty. Remove the bolt and place the rifle on a steady rest.
- Looking through the bore from the action end, center the round target downrange so that it is floating in the center of the bore, then adjust the elevation and windage adjustments until the reticle is centered on the target while the target is still centered in the bore.
- If you feel confident in the bore sighting, proceed to live firing at 25, 50 or 100 yards/meters. To aid in the sight-in process, be sure your sight-in target is large in size, and offers a contrasting color (i.e., orange). After confirming point of impact, proceed to step four. Note: if you have sighted in at 25 yards/meters, you will need to move the adjustments four times more than you would with a 100 yard/meter sight-in. If you sighted in at 50 yards/meters, you will need to move the adjustments two times more than you would with a 100 yard/meter sight-in. If the first shot isn’t on target, recheck your bore sighting and/or move to a 25 yard/meter sight in distance.
- Without changing the adjustments, move the rifle to center the reticle on the target. Carefully turn the windage and elevation adjustments without moving the rifle, until the reticle is aligned on the center of the bullet hole from that first shot on the target.
- Fire at least a three-shot group at the desired close-range zero distance, then fine-tune your zero as needed.
We get asked questions like, "how do I get in shooting?" all the time. Mike Powell steps up to answer those questions with his guide into entering the world of the sporting rifle shooter.
Bain of foxes everywhere, Mike writes a regular fox control article for Sporting Rifle Magazine and is one of the UK's foremost sporting rifle experts.
ENTERING THE WORLD OF THE SPORTING RIFLE
Today it seems more people than ever are joining the ranks of the sporting rifle shooter. This is distinct from target shooting which is a totally different discipline requiring different equipment altogether. Although you obviously require a rifle for target work my brief here is to explain the way the beginner can get into live quarry shooting.
For many would be shooters a start may well have already been made by way of the air rifle route. I myself started many years ago in this fashion and had immense enjoyment doing so, but then inevitably the desire to have something more powerful led me into the world of the firearm. It may surprise some would be shooters that some air rifles are designated as firearms due to the power they generate. Anything producing over 12ft lbs is classed as a firearm and the same procedures to acquire a firearm certificate (FAC) have to be followed as if were a true firearm.
So we assume you are thinking of purchasing a rifle that is classed as a firearm, for many the commonest step will be a rimfire, possibly a 22Long Rifle (.22LR) this being the most popular for the first time firearm owner to cut his shooting teeth on. There are others but we will come to those later.
Unless you are going to shoot targets only, when you will need to be a member of a shooting club the first requirement will be to find some land to shoot over, today the word permission is used. This can be perhaps the hardest part of the whole exercise as much land already has people shooting over it. Much has been written on ways to go about obtaining shooting permissions, all I can say is that unless you know a friendly landowner or someone who will take you under their wing allowing you to shoot over their own permissions it can be a difficult task! But let’s assume you find somewhere, the next step will be to apply for a firearm certificate which will allow you to purchase both a rifle and ammunition of your choice and use the rifle, in the first instance on designated land.
Applying is pretty straightforward and can be done online. Application forms have been simplified and providing there are no medical or previous criminal problems and that you can prove that you have a need to possess a firearm there shouldn’t be too much of a problem acquiring one. The most common reason for you to obtain a FireArms Certificate (FAC) is for vermin control. The various costs again can be obtained online from your local police force.
If you have permission to shoot over some land it is probable that the land will be inspected by a licensing officer who will also check your plans for security at home. You will require an approved gun cabinet which will need to be securely fixed to a wall in the house, preferably out of sight.
Contrary to what you may hear, most police force firearm licensing units are helpful and if you ask for help it will normally be given. In Devon where I am located the local police licensing unit is both helpful and efficient and I have never had a problem with them. I would add though that it is far better to ask them what you want rather than telling them!
We will assume that in due course your FAC duly arrives with permission to purchase a rifle, ammunition and probably a sound moderator. You will have stated on applying for your FAC which type and calibre of rifle you require and how much ammunition you wish to purchase at any one time, and how much you will have in your possession, again at any one time.
The decision of what calibre and rifle you will require will of course depend on the type of shooting you will be doing. For normal vermin control as I said earlier the old standard 22LR still takes some beating being able to deal with rabbits, crows and other small ground game and even at close range the odd fox. However shots at the latter should, certainly for the newcomer be limited to fifty yards or less. There are however several other small calibre rifles on offer which may well be of interest to the newcomer, one such is the 17HMR. This is a high velocity rimfire offering flatter shooting out to longer distances than the 22LR. It is less likely to ricochet and will account for a fox out to fifty or sixty yards. Calibres such as the .204 Ruger and .20 Tactical are probably best left until you have had more experience, although the former is really catching on with its extremely high velocity and ability to shoot accurately with a very flat trajectory out to 250-300 yards. This type of calibre however is not cheap to run especially if you are using a lot of ammunition, you can of course load your own, however this is something for the future, not when you are just starting out.
Should you be going down the road of becoming mainly a fox shooter then you will need something more powerful. Perhaps the most common calibre for fox control is the .223 centrefire, it is accurate, and ammunition is readily available and both good secondhand and new specimens are readily available. There are several other calibres that are used for foxing such as the 243, 222 and the aforementioned .20 calibre rounds. I have used several different rifles and calibres for my fox control work and one thing that they all do is to kill foxes very efficiently. It really comes down to a matter of what you prefer.
Should you be fortunate enough to have deer of one species or another on your ground you are indeed fortunate, however you will have had to mention this on your firearm application as deer will need to be specified on the FAC, of course a larger calibre rifle will be needed for deer and as a general rule .243 is the smallest legal calibre used for deer. There are exceptions for two species, Chinese Water deer and Muntjac, these can be shot with .22 centrefire calibres, however there are regulations governing their use and should be checked upon. Different rules apply in Scotland, but as with all things relating to shooting there is a wealth of information easily accessible on all these aspects of your new sport on line.
If your quarry is deer a .243 will be fine for roe and the other smaller species, and although quite capable of killing larger deer such as Sika, Fallow and Red it would be preferable to go for something larger such as a .308. Once again there is a wide choice of calibres to choose from and advice is always on hand to guide you.
There is a great deal to learn about sporting rifle shooting in all its forms, and it would take far more space than I have here to cover all aspects of this very addictive sport. Once you become involved, so many avenues will open up to you, you may wish to specialise in small vermin control. Seeking out and stalking wary rabbits can stand you in good stead for the day when you may wish to pursue larger game. Foxing as I said before has gained many followers over the last decade and can be a very exciting sport especially as it will probably lead you into the world of night vision with all the paraphernalia in the world to tempt the enthusiastic newcomer! I would suggest you seek out the advice of someone who is really experienced in this form of shooting as the equipment involved can be costly. The Sportsman Gun Centre have many experienced shooters among its staff who will be only too pleased to help.
Joining a shooting forum is quite a good idea, although you will find the need to separate the wheat from the chaff if you ask a question, as everyone will have their own fairly positive ideas on what you should or shouldn’t do!
Whichever path you decide to follow in this absorbing and exciting sport always remember any of the weapons you handle are not only capable of killing vermin etc. they can equally kill humans so safety should always, without exception, be at the top of every shooters list. I have walked the hills and valleys of Devon with gun or rifle for more years than I care to remember and have loved every minute of it, may you get the same pleasure wherever your shooting road leads you.
Winchester Ammunition “We Are the Legend”
Winchester is one of the oldest American Ammunition manufactures. In fact we can trace our routes back to 1873. This being less than a decade after the American civil war, when westward expansion was at full gallop.
Winchester actually developed the first commercially successful centre - fire cartridge .44WCF (.44-40). This was designed for double duty in both rifles and hand guns. This was literally the cartridge that “Won the West”!
Winchester Ammunition today: our quality statement.
Firmly committed to quality manufacturing for more than 148 years, the Winchester brand is more than ever before synonymous with innovation and industry leadership.
With one of the most modern and technology driven ammunition factories in the world, Winchester takes pride in delivering cutting – edge product for professional and recreational shooting.
As an ISO 9001:2008 certificated manufacturer, Winchester is committed to meeting customer expectations 100% of the time, utilising the continual improvement process.
Winchester ammunition products undergo demanding internal tests for precision accuracy, functioning, endurance and reliability, and is in strict compliance with industry standards.
Winchester works hard every day to uphold its legacy, which has been built over time, to produce the finest ammunition products in the world.
Winchester everywhere, all the time and at any time!
Winchester offers you the possibility of discovering our new products with modern digital media (web, tablet, smartphone)
After 148 years’ existence, Winchester is continuing to develop tools on the frontiers of digital technology for hunters and shooters. A rich heritage that Winchester does its very best to maintain for plunging you even further into the world of the American legend.
Surf on our new website www.winchesterint.com to find the product that best suit your needs.
Winchester TV your VOD channel offering high-quality content
Watching your favourite TV programmes for free, on the device you want when you want, is now even easier! Just log on sit back…and watch your favourite programme at your convenience.
Winchester TV .com is the web TV platform broadcasting over 175 episodes of cult shows.
Now you need never miss any of Winchester’s international hunting adventures , as special guests Bob Foulkrod, Melissa Bachman, Ron Spomer, Allen Treadwell, Steve Farris and many others, take you on gripping and exciting hunting expeditions across Africa and North America on the trail of Big Game, Turkeys Waterfowl and game bird.
Click on: http://tv.winchester.com
Winchester Ballistics calculator
The Winchester Ballistics calculator allows users to choose their type of ammunition and compare up to five different Winchester Products with easy-to-read, high tech ballistics charts and graphs. Choose from six different categories including shotgun slug, rim-fire, centre-fire hand gun and centre-fire rifle ammo ballistics.
Customise the shooting conditions in the ballistics calculator to replicate ballistics performance in your shooting or hunting environment. Enter specific conditions like wind speed and outside temperature, adjust zero marks for sighting in, and then view the ballistics of your favourite load.
The ballistics calculator provides easy to read ballistics charts and graphs while visual illustrating the point of impact, drop drift and trajectory. The ballistics charts provide detailed ballistics information on time of flight, drop, drift velocity and energy. http://www.winchester.com/learning-center/ballistics-calculator/Pages/ballistics-calculator.aspx
To provide you with the ideal bullet for every use…
Winchester Ammunition is the fruit of extensive research calling on our engineers' know-how in ballistics and field experience
The technical solutions retained for each bullet correspond to specific application.
Big & Heavy Game
(Wild Boar, Red Deer, Elk and Moose)
For heavy game, maximum weight retention will guarantee the energy transfer and deep penetration required for piercing dense tissue. Winchester has developed some of the hardest hitting ammunition in the world, namely Power Max Bonded, and Accubond CT.
Power Max Bonded calibre choice - .243Win, .270Win, .270WSM, .7mm Rem Mag, 7mmWSM, 30-30Win, 300WM, 300WSM, 30-06Spg. 308Win & 338WM
Accubond CT Calibre choice -270Win, 270WSM, 7MM Rem Mag, 300WM & 30-06Spg.
(Roe, Fallow, Sika, Muntjack & Chinese water deer) (Fox)
For Medium game, with thin skin and limited density a rapid yet controlled expansion bullet is required. This will enable you to recover meat in the best possible condition. Winchester has developed the combined technology Ballistic silvertip and the legendry Super X power point.
Ballistic Silvertip Calibre choice -22-250Rem, 223Rem, 243Win, 270WSM, 270Win, 280Rem, 7mm Rem Mag, 300WSM, 300WM, 30-06SPG & 308Win
Super x calibre choice – 22Hornet, 22-250Rem, 222Rem, 223Rem,243Win, 6.5x55Swd , .270WSM, .270Win, 7mm Rem Mag, 30-30Win, 300WSM, 300WM 30-06Spg, 308Win , 338WM 44-40Win
For varmint, a projectile that is capable of absolute precision with maximum upset at the very extremes of range is required. Winchester has developed a cost effective yet lethal bullet, Varmint X.
Varmint X calibre choice – 22-250Rem, 223Rem, 243Win
For target shooting, an accurate yet cost effective solution must be found. Winchester has this covered with Full Metal Jacket training ammunition.
Full Metal Jacket calibre choice – 223Rem, 6.5x55Swd, 308Win & 30-06Spg.
Non Toxic – lead free
In some situations, a lead free bullet must be used. Winchester has painstakingly developed the bench mark in lead free ammunition, Power core.
Power Core calibre choice – 223Rem, 243Win, 270Win, 7mm Rem Mag, 308 Win, 30-06Spg, 300WM
When it comes to rim-fire ammunition, there are some basic attributes that the hunter will look for. The round must be accurate, hard hitting and cost effective. Think rim-fire, think Winchester Subsonic and the incredible 17HMR Varmint HV. Not to mention our Super X .22magnum
Calibre choice- .17HMR, .22LR and 22M
(Target / Plinking)
The target shooter is looking for an accurate yet cost effective round for training. Winchester has a choice for you in both.22LR and .22magnum in the lead round nose .22LR and the Full metal Jacket .22magnum.
Calibre choice- . 22LR & .22M
The eye is in the detail
The information enclosed is guide to what Winchester Ammunition can provide its customer. We recommend checking out www.winchesterint.com to discover what we can do for you and your hunting.