Trying Out a New Scope – The Redfield Revolution
Just before hunting season this year, I took my .30-30 Marlin and my .30-06 Winchester Model 70 Lightweight out to the range to sight in. To my dismay, at 100 yards, I could not get the Winchester inside an 18” grouping with a 3×9 power scope, so I put it aside and took my trusty Marlin with a 4x, which was getting me within a 3” grouping. I bought my Winchester second hand from a dealer 15 years ago or more, and never had a problem with it before. The last season I used it, I jumped a deer in the field and shot it on the run with no problems. So this targeting issue made me wonder what might be wrong.
I called my buddy, Jeff Nesbit, before I went on my trip and he said, “Bring the rifle in and we’ll take a look at it,” but I didn’t have time to go to his shop before opening day. So last week I went into the store and Dick Nesbit, Jeff’s dad, put it up in secure bench rest to bore sight the rifle. When he did, he said, “There’s something wrong with the crosshairs… When you move your position, they line up differently each time and that shouldn’t happen. There is some misalignment inside the scope.” It was an old, low cost Simmons scope that came, used, with the rifle, and I hadn’t been happy with it because of the narrow field of view. He asked how old the rifle was and I told him the story of its second hand purchase, and he said “It could be off if there is rust inside the barrel, but one way to tell for sure is to put a new scope on it and try it out. If you can get consistent shooting from the new scope, that would eliminate the barrel. The rifle is worth something if there isn’t a rust problem.”
Nesbit Guns offers free mounting and bore sighting with any new scope purchase, as long as the rifle is pre-drilled, which most new rifles are. Dick showed me a couple of scopes… and inexpensive Tasco and a Redfield Revolution 3-9 40mm for about $159. I chose the latter, since, if I had to get a new rifle, the scope would be worth porting to a new purchase; and if I didn’t need to, I plan to keep the Winchester a long time.
I took the gun out to the range today, and I’m glad to report that after sighting in the scope, I was able to get a 1” grouping using a front rest. Now this final test was at 50 yards using 180gr Winchester ammo. I wanted it about an inch or so high, which will put me about on target at 100 – 150 yards. This grouping is a little to the right, but I was starting to get a bit tired. I initially was sighting in at 100 yards, but I forgot to bring my binoculars, so I wasted about 10 cartridges before moving to the 50 yard target. What I really wanted to check was that the barrel was not a problem and I believe the photo proves it. I plan to do some serious, long range practice before next deer season, but it was starting to rain and I decided that was enough for one day.