Pneumatic Pnews

Monday, November 14, 2005

Tech Force airgun scopes - part 2

by Tex Force

We're still talking about Tech Force scopes this week. I'd like to look at some of the more powerful scopes, plus hit some points we missed last week.

One-inch tubes light the way!
All light that passes through a scope is subject to a small amount of absorption. No scope can ENHANCE light unless it is electronic. What you see through the scope will look brighter because it is magnified, but a tiny amount of light will actually be lost. How much loss is determined by the size of the lenses, the number of lenses and the lens coatings.

Tech Force scopes have one-inch tubes that allow a large amount of light to pass through and allow larger lenses to be installed. There are less expensive scopes, often touted as rimfire and airgun scopes, but their 7/8" or 3/4" scope tubes have smaller lenses and are not as bright. An example of one of these inexpensive scopes is the Tech Force .22 Cal. and Low-Power Airgun Scope (fourth scope down on the page). These are good for non-recoiling guns, but they are not as useful as the scopes with one-inch tubes I covered in last week's post.

What about more power?
A more powerful scope lets you see smaller or more distant targets, but it is also more difficult to control. As the power increases, every movement of your body is magnified by the scope. Even the beat of your heart can move you off target when the magnification is really cranked up. For that reason, powerful scopes usually have a broad range of power, so the shooter can dial down when he needs to see the target better.

Also, as the power increases, the field of view decreases. You may be able to see an ant crawling on a blade of grass, but determining WHICH blade of grass might be the challenge! A 4-16x scope is closer to ideal for general shooting than an 8-32x, so consider that when making your decision. Tech Force Target/Hunting scopes (2nd down on the page) are packed with features like sunshades and 10-yard focus to give you the flexibility you need and the high magnification you want.

What about the 6-24x and 8-32x scopes?
These are specialized scopes for hunters and long-range target shooters. Those who shoot the sport of field target often choose them. You already know that powerful scopes like these can give you a splendid closeup view of your target, but they are also useful for extremely fine rangefinding! When the power is cranked all the way up to 32 magnifications, the view through the scope is so good that you can focus to a very fine resolution at long distances. In other words, you can determine ranges at 50 yards with the same accuracy that a 16x scope will have at 25 yards. If you are careful, you can be accurate within a yard or less!.

Good scopes deserve good rings
You need scope rings to attach a scope to an airgun. If you are going to buy a good scope, I recommend B-Square Air-Match scope rings (4th item from the bottom of the page) because they are wider and support the scope tube better. They have four screws for each ring cap instead of two. When they clamp down on the scope tube, the pressure is spread over twice the area. If you pay more for a quality scope, it's better to protect it with quality rings. They don't cost much more, and this is the best set for the money. Be sure to buy rings with the recommended height for the objective bell of the scope you're mounting. For example, the 8-32x scope has a 50mm objective and needs the high version of these rings.

Do you need a scope stop?
A scope stop prevents the scope from slipping under recoil. You need one with most spring guns but not with pneumatics or gas guns. The stop projects below the scope ring or base into a hole or groove on top of the air rifle receiver. The B-Square mounts I recommended come with an adjustable stop pin that can be removed if you don't need it. While some airguns such as the Tech Force 97 (second gun down) and Tech Force 99 Magnum (third gun down) come with recoil stops built in, many guns - like the Beeman R9 (third gun down) - just have a hole for the pin in their receiver and need the scope stop pin that comes with better scope rings.

I hope these two postings have helped you understand scopes better. If you have any other questions, please send me a comment by clicking on the word "comments" at the bottom of any posting.


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