Wednesday, May 30, 2012

matches and equipment failure

Since I've started shooting in matches, I've learned one thing.
The crucible of competition tests not only the competitor, but the gear.
You can shoot for a month of Sundays, practicing your bullseye poppin' prowess at the range. Equipment won't be stressed the same as it will be in even the most casual match.

I shot fairly well last week.
Perfect score would be 300-30X. I shot 278-5X. Nowhere near perfect, but my best yet.

Too many steenkin' 8's!
 The next day, I was wrapping up the chore of cleanup, when I noticed my scope was ummm slightly loose. Not the whole scope, just the ocular bell. It wobbled around, maybe an eighth inch of free play. This is not good. for. accurate. shooting.
I've liked this scope. It was offered in the market for a limited time by Springfield Armory. It featured 4-14x power plus an interior bubble level. The reticle used a range finding system that actually made sense to me and seemed to work.

built-in level at bottom, ranging system that worked.

Seems like there were some quality control issues. SA only sold 'em for a couple years. For instance, my scope adjustment clicks are getting soft. Instead of a precise "click", the adjustment feels more like ... "cli ...ummm ... uh ... k". Like, somewhere in the mechanics are soft plastic gears, whose teeth are rounding off. 

So I tried tightening thing up. Which, being the totally unqualified, untrained optical equipment fumbler, made thing worse. Undeterred, I continued my application of uneducated adjustments and proceeded to make things worser. At one point I had the ocular bell entirely off, with the interior level assembly torqued into the 9:00 position on what remained of the mounted scope. As it ended up, I've now got a variable power scope that's no longer variable power. What cheeses me off is that this scope hasn't seen rough field use or a high round count. While it wasn't the most expensive piece of glass, it wasn't a cheap, under $100, scope either.
My plan is to head to the range early. Take the offending equipment to the 100 yard range. I'll try and "shoot the box".

Hoppes S10; Perfect target for a scope workout

If that isn't working, I'll swap out the scope.

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