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What Are Some Of Your Favorite Scopes and Models
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In all honesty, I cannot disagree with Sambarmans approach to scopes, He is correct and most US scopes get returned for repair for erector etc breakage...Ive sent more than a few back,most were from 2 to 10 or more years, some from recoil and others just wore out, but my choice of scopes being Leupolds are returned to new within a few weeks and returned, so I can live with that to get the centered reticle, and a few actually lasted for 20 oor more years. I dislike having to shim scope bases to get a centered reticle with the old scopes, so though correct, I won't give up the centered reticle as a rule..

I have an old Baush and Lomb 2x7 that was on an old 1903 springfield since man got rid of Obsidien...It is still clear as a bell and works perfectly, Have not put it on a gun in a number of years until recently as it was the only scope in the shop that would work with a
weaver side mount on my 1917 Enfield due to the adjustment placement...whoever did the mounting knew his business because I centered the cross hairs prior to instalation, mounted both scopes and both shot dead center at 100 yards without touching the adjustments, that is easy to do but damn time consuming, but its a great fix once done...so I'll save them for the Enfield only, at least until I sell the rifle. I will probably keep both the scopes for whatever reason and they are worn and ugly and no resale value..but work great.

So thats the rest of the story....


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 39418 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Thanks Ray,

Is your B&L the old 'Custom' type with no turrets? I have great respect for that concept.

I wish Leupold would bring back that reproduction Lyman Alaskan but give it authentic reticle movement, this time.

I realise many people are short of time. Toothpaste with a snapcap makes sense at home ... but not so much if you're backpack hunting.

I just bought a couple of new radios for listening to the news. The pocket one is analog and was going in moments; the other is digital and required reading of the 10-page booklet and finally help from a daughter to get it progammed, but should be better in the long run.

But it's only a radio. When it came to my hunting rifles, esp. those for big, wary and/or dangerous game, I used to just send them to a competent gunsmith, with the best scopes I could afford. That cost a few bucks but it was money well spent. Lately I have mounted a few scopes with reticle-movement myself. Using shims can be ok but windage adjustments and milling mounts to line up are better.

Some people think image-movement scopes can be justified if they do away with need of less-secure windage mounts, and maybe they have a point. However, with Burris Signature mounts and Optilock bases you can have adjustment and solidity, so vulnerability within the scope once more becomes the question.

If enough scope customers jumped up and down, as buyers of Winchester 70 rifles did after 1964, maybe we could get somewhere. Meanwhile, the only answer is to hunt down the remaining good reticle-movement scopes. Their prices have been rising since I wrote the book, so maybe some scope maker will get some cajones.
 
Posts: 4336 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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Hi Sambarman,

I have an old Weaver K-V with a moving post reticle in great shape that I used to use on my lever 308. It does have a great FOV, eye relief and decent glass. But it just spends time in my cabinet these days. More of a novelty to me then anything else really. I have become too fond of modern coatings and water proofing to give those things up, where I hunt that matters more then a little extra FOV. I respect your research, but I also think that the centered reticle design in most modern scopes have come a long way, and that their designs and materials have improved considerably since moving reticle scopes started loosing out to them. My favorite varmint scope is an old Redfield golden 5 star, the last of the Denver made scopes. They were known for being capable of holding zero well beyond anything else in its price range because of Redfields turret design. And as you know most breakthrough designs get plagiarized and built on rather fast. I am curious if you are familiar with that particular patent from your research?

I also think it is unrealistic to expect the average gun enthusiast to go as far as milling mounts to get a centered scope. However a good adjustable base system should be easy enough to produce. I could see potential marketing value in something like that with reliability and superior FOV as great selling points, but retooling for manufacturers is no little thing either.
 
Posts: 9761 | Location: Tooele, Ut | Registered: 27 September 2001Reply With Quote
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Thanks Wstrnhuntr,
Yes, image-movement scopes have improved since 1958. I recall Weaver putting carbide balls into the bearing points of their Model T scopes and Vortex's hardened steel erector-tube belts to prevent damage from recoil. There have been various efforts to improve erector springs and hingeing, too. The best is probably Swarovski's four helical springs behind the tube, which prevent the breakages from twisted flat springs. I do worry about eventual longitudinal movement causing parallax, though.

And, for the average hunter, your concerns with waterproofness and light transmission are probably just as important. That said, some of the lenses and coatings in the old Zeiss/Hensoldt and Nickel scopes were so good that such concerns are of little importance in a scope, if not binos. On waterproofness, Kahles started using O-rings c. 1971, about 12 years before they left the high moral ground, and Zeiss scopes of the time were pretty good. Pecars also had good coatings and water resistance - and they kept the faith until the Berlin factory's lease was terminated in 2006.

For the dangerous game hunter, field of view can be less important than the country that the field stop in image-movement scopes hide in trying to mask reflections from the erector-tube walls. As an example, my old B. Nickel 1×12 has only 12 inches of hidden field, whereas my son's modern Kahles Helia C 1.1-4x has 29.7 feet at 1.1x, enough to hide a lot of belligerent buff.

The rubber eyepiece explains 12.2 ft of that Kahles's hidden field and 0.1x magnification possibly another 12 feet - but 30 feet of hidden landscape is still a worry when hunting dangerous animals that live together.
 
Posts: 4336 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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Sambarman is correct in his approach to scopes and the centered reticle, no doubt about that and I grew up when only the "old scopes" were available, and I had to shim mount and sight it, thenstart over maybe several times, but when sighted the stayed good short of a 10 earthquake..He is spot on.

That said, I chose long ago to go with the Leupold centered reticle as it simlified my life and I considered it the best thing since sliced bread and became my trade off..Have some scopes gone south? yes on several ocassions but Leupold fixed or replaced them and I got them back in less than 10 days. Recently I shimmed and skimmed several old weavers to center and it takes less time today because I got the hang of it back in the day, and its fun in my state of unemployment and shop puttering...but all in all I will stick with the centered recticle for my hunting and use my bore scope to check the scope each morning of a hunt.....the secret is to be prepared for scope failure, the borescope and a replacment scope or rifle on your hunt in the outback..be prepared is the motto of the boy scout ya know! tu2


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 39418 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Don't say I don't listen to you, Ray; I carry one of your favorite Leupold 2.5x Compacts in case the little B. Nickel lets me down. I don't worry about it losing zero but some Europeans reckon his waterproofing could have been better.

I have separate Burris Signature ring inserts for the Leupold, packed around the barrel, with the scope trussed up in umbrella covers.

I even carry a spare scope in case the 1.5-6x Hensoldt on the .338 goes wrong. In that case it's a Nickel of the same size but with higher Optilock mounts.
 
Posts: 4336 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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Back in the summer of 1963 I had gotten a Win 70 featherweight for a HS graduation present and wanted a scope. My dad and I went down to the sporting goods store, and I had a Weaver 4x in mind. The dealer handed me a Leupold 4x after I had looked at the Weaver and I was instantly sold. I still have that rifle and the Leupold, in a Weaver pivot mount.


JJK
 
Posts: 299 | Location: E. Texas, NE Louisiana | Registered: 10 September 2006Reply With Quote
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Well this thread reminds me of my new cell phone, it has it all, it speaks 5 different languages, I speak 1/2 spanish and 1/2 English, Saeed is my witness!! It would take a piolets license to learn to work the phone or my new car or station wagon, not sure what it is, but man does it have lots of buttons..Last month I spent 30 minutes on the side of the road after dark in the middle of far West Texas trying to find the light switch or button, whatever!! finally got the book out and light a match..then there was the dimmer swithch problem..I ended up flipping half of Texas and most of New Mexico the bird...

So perhaps SAmbarman has a point, btw Id love to have a crank phone on the wall.. jumping


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 39418 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Be thankful for all the buttons, Ray. Hell is where they give you two buttons and 50 functions to be achieved by how many times you press or swipe them.

All the best
- 'Sam'
 
Posts: 4336 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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PS: we have a crank phone on the wall. You don't have to wind a handle but the only people who call us on it it are either spivs or nutters
 
Posts: 4336 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by jkingrph:
Back in the summer of 1963 I had gotten a Win 70 featherweight for a HS graduation present and wanted a scope. My dad and I went down to the sporting goods store, and I had a Weaver 4x in mind. The dealer handed me a Leupold 4x after I had looked at the Weaver and I was instantly sold. I still have that rifle and the Leupold, in a Weaver pivot mount.


That story brings a tear to my eye, JK. You may have got one the last of the great ones. Winchester was not the only brand to take a wrong turn in '64.
 
Posts: 4336 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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#2 is my favorite.

1. My Leupolds VX-3's are fine for the money.
2. Kahles Helia and AH's have better low-light capabilities than VX-3 Leupolds. I grab my 3-9X42 (mounted on a beater K-1 Merkel) most often for deer and hogs. A sleeper scope in my opinion. Used ones sell for $500-600 sometimes less.
3. Swarovski Z-5i in 5-18X44 is surprisingly light and clear. It does take extra time to adjust the parallax dial for best focus for 300 yards or less.
Haven''t tried it in low-light yet. Love the 18X for zeroing it in at the range.
Best advice. Buy what you like and view through the scope outside in natural light before you buy if possible.


Life itself is a gift. Live it up if you can.
 
Posts: 4499 | Location: Near Hershey PA | Registered: 12 October 2012Reply With Quote
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I forgot about the Bushnell Elite 3200's. 3-9X40's are a steal at under $200 in minty condition and readily available. The Bausch & Lomb Elite 3200's can be just as good if you can find one that was made just prior to the Bushnells. They had the same specs and coatings. Of course, neither is as low light friendly as the Kahles's.


Life itself is a gift. Live it up if you can.
 
Posts: 4499 | Location: Near Hershey PA | Registered: 12 October 2012Reply With Quote
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Ive never had a weather problem with a Leupold and I live next door to Alaska in cold wet weather in the winter..I used Weavers in Texas 41 years ago then moved to Idaho, cut my ranching to a gentleman farmer, with a few horses, within two years all my Weavers fogged up and cross hairs sprung...Went to Leupold and have never had a fog up..Most all of my problems with Leupold and all other makes showed up with a 7.5 lb 505 Jeferys IMP. that I got a good buy on shattered my 3X Leupold and about 10 other top notch scopes that ended like BBs in box car inside..sent all of them back with no results but tough cookies.. But Leupold sent me a new 2.5x compact fixed scope and it took the beating in stride and its still cooking. Ive had a couple of hiccups since then, returned to Leupold and got the fixed or replaced and returned within 10 days or sooner. A couple of gunshow scopes if you know what I mean, cheap and non functional.

It seems the weakness in all scopes starts with the 458 Lott and up, seldom had problems with lesser calibers, regardless of the make and in the power range of below a fixed 6X, after that recoil and damage raises its ugly head varibles and large scopes..I have to say that in my investigations I get many " I have old Betsy big bore and she never missed lick with my 4X16 or whatever, and Ive shot her 5 boxes of ammo..Closet Queens last longer for sure as a rule..breakdowns occurred with me within 50 rounds to 250 rounds, but they all suffered the malady of recoil..Above the 458 Lott and up sooner or later is almost a guarentee with any varible scope, If not then your lucky or delusional.. rotflmo


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 39418 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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So, Atkinson, scopes aside for a minute,... How's the deer hunting going for you this season?
CB


Life itself is a gift. Live it up if you can.
 
Posts: 4499 | Location: Near Hershey PA | Registered: 12 October 2012Reply With Quote
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I used to always buy Leupold. Then I got hooked on Swarovski. Very happy now.


USMC Retired
DSC Life Member
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Posts: 617 | Location: Maryland Eastern Shore | Registered: 27 September 2013Reply With Quote
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Atkinson:
... within two years all my Weavers fogged up and cross hairs sprung...]

Ray, what sort of reticles were they? Weaver (and Kahles) apparently used spider webs for fine 'cross-hairs', and I wonder if it was the black widows let you down or some metal set-up.
 
Posts: 4336 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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I would venture to say that one shooter in a million or two actually knows shit from Shinola about scopes and their enter workings, and I count myself in that catagory regardless of my years of hunting the four corners of the earth..If they work and the guarentee is good, that has worked for me fairly well, so Leupold its been always..

then I became interested in the subject and have comunicated with Sambarman, and friends at several of the scope companies I met at SCI and such gatherings, listened to all of them and none actually disagreed with him, and bottom line the scope junkies seemed to place more emphisis on costs and sales!! Ive learned a lot from Sambarman and appreciate his time and effort, and patience, dealing with my set in my old ways type of curmudgeon..Scopes are complicated as computers...and I still like the centered cross hairs, but do understand its a trade off, and they do go south from time to time but Leupold fixes them in a timely manner and it they cannot or the scope is outdated they send you another, and that sells me on Leupold..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 39418 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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CB,
My hunting this year has been as lean as ever it seems to me, and for several reasons, a death in the family, my roping habit interfering, weather and travel all working against it, still have a little time so maybe get a little more hunting in on some exotics that need culling in Texas on a friends ranch, if the weather permits, we got a world of snow and single digit and below 0 weather..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 39418 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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While I don't have any issues with Leupold, I have found the Swaro Z3 to be a pretty fair value for the dollar on what you get.I got away from Leupold about 30 yrs ago after buying a Nikon 6.5-20, it got me to looking at other stuff back then. I still have a couple of Leupolds from back then, a 2-7x33 and a 3.5-10x50, no issues with either one, both bought for a reason that is still applicable to them.
Over the last 12 yrs I got into new guns that needed scopes, first one got a Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40, it was a better price than a Leupold, and I still think is a better scope than a VXIII, bought a 4.5-14 a year later. Then I got into a deal on a Z3 1-4x24 on another one, was impressed enough with that to p/u a Z6 1-6 for another gun. Then I got to a Z3 3.5-10x42, blew a VXIII away in my book.Last 3 have been FFP scopes, a Delta Stryker 4.5-30, a Sightron 4-16 and a Tract Toric 4-20.
THe Z3 3.5-10 is a really practical scope with the BRH reticle in it, I can't find fault on it for a hunting gun like the OP has posted he has. I'd be trying to make a deal to put them on all but the 416, for that I could see a 1-4 or 1-6 being more practical than a 1-10, probably more durable mechanics too. Not like the 416 is a gun you'll be taking shots with over 300yds, and 6x is plenty for that, along with it having better low light vision than a small tube 10x.


Krieghoff Classic 30R Blaser
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Ruger #1A 7-08
Rem 700 7-08
Tikka t3x lite 6.5 creedmo
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Win 1885 300H&H. 223Rem
Merkel K1 7 Rem mag
CCFR
 
Posts: 275 | Location: southern AB | Registered: 17 May 2011Reply With Quote
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Sorry to hear of your bereavement, Ray. I hope it was no one painfully close or young.

If I ever come across Shinola, I probably won't know it, either.

I've been peering into those old scope ads that people try to sell on eBay. Before 1957 they always said how strong and reliable their products were but, after constantly centred reticles, seemed to rely on other puffs.

Weaver started saying that their reticles were fixed and that only the image moved. That was true but having an unstable image is just as bad as a loose reticle. (Redfield, on the other hand, claimed it was better to have the reticle movable on the articulated erector tube, to keep it in line with the lenses there - never mind the ocular lenses behind it.)

Leupold was in the best position. Already having a lifetime-guarantee from before they needed to make good on it much, they let it take the place of the old assertions of strength.
 
Posts: 4336 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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My new favorite is the Swarovski Z5i in about any configuration. I like these better than the 300mm tubes.
 
Posts: 9380 | Location: Texas... time to secede!! | Registered: 12 February 2004Reply With Quote
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I don't like 30mm scope tubes, wouldn't have one, actually I like my 2.5X Leupold Alaskan best of all, and the 3X and 4X fixed Leupolds will remain my favorite scopes, but with ANY scope or rifle I will always have iron sights for backup or just for hunting with irons as I choose, and enjoy..A shallow V or a peep sight suits me equally..I think its a shame for a hunter that cannot shoot with irons short of phyical problems such as eyesight for instance...


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 39418 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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If only Leupold had made that return to the Alaskan reticle-movement, I'd have to find one.

It's amazing what FoV and eye relief they used to get from some 7/8th-inch scopes back in the early '50s, before the decadence.

In regard to open sights, your eyes must be better than mine, Ray. I can still use them and have shot some reasonable groups recently even with my old 6.5x54 MS. However, I found the white diamond behind the new Marble's folding rear sight on my Win/Miroku .45-70 shows double even when my left eye is closed. That's disconcerting and is bound to give a different POI than when using the tang sight, which keeps everything together.

I told my ophthalmologist but he didn't explain it to me or seem alarmed. I may have to replace both those M86 Marble's contraptions with a receiver sight and put a scope on the MS.
 
Posts: 4336 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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The best scope I ever looked through was a Leupold. I always like the low cost Bushnells for what they cost me. My favorite scope, I'm almost afraid to admit, was a Simmons because of the diamond shaped reticle center that made it easier for me to use. My friends found that hilarious.
 
Posts: 14127 | Location: Iowa | Registered: 10 April 2007Reply With Quote
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I love my Bausch & Lomb BALVAR 2.5 - 4 x 25 scope on my .300 Savage 99.

State of the art 1952, and with no turrets to fiddle with...
 
Posts: 81 | Location: Olde England | Registered: 03 May 2012Reply With Quote
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That sounds like a great combination, HistoricBore. I've got a couple of B&L scopes and love the glass, field blending and eye boxes. Unfortunately, no mounts have been made for rifles designed since about 1970. I bought some for the Remington 760 but they moved the base holes on the 7600 and redrilling them in the mounts won't work.
 
Posts: 4336 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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I also grew up with old scopes.

Years ago I started to up grade to Leupolds.

When I replace a older scope I move the older one down the line.

So now I have 22's with with scope worth far more then the rifle.

One will not regret buying a better grade of scope.

I have lots of rifles that the scope cost me more then the rifle did.
 
Posts: 17865 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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I too have returned to some older scopes and its been entertaining for sure..I picked up a 2.5X Weaver. 2x7 Baush & Lomb, $25 for one and $40 for the B&L, I also traded for a rifle with an old Lyman Alaska 2.5X. and it was a jewel and I mounted it properly on my .270 and some guy called and wanted to buy the scope..I explained it was not for sale, too hard to come by and had gotten impossible to find or afford!!

He bought the damn scope and a set of rings and bases..My retirement life style improved greatly!! jumping


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 39418 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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His peace of mind when hunting may have improved, too, Ray wave
 
Posts: 4336 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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Sambarman and those with dwindling eyesight, might take a suggestion...On the rear sight file a medium V and flatten it just a tad, with a 3 corner file. On the front install a post. File the front down to zero with flush post, such as the picture you get with a pistol sight, It was a common practice with the Texas rangers of years past, and passed on to me by my ranger grandfather, as they aged it became a practice and it sure has worked for me and I find it has all the features of a receiver sight but it on the barrel..Give it a try its very fast and very accurate..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 39418 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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