Location: United States
Can the back/forward action of a semi-automatic centerfire cause problems with some low-end scopes?
I grew up with a Marlin .22 bolt-action that I used for squirrel hunting, and this thing was just about as reliable and accurate as you can get. I put a cheap little Bushnell 3-9 power on it and it just shoots like a dream. About one time in four I can hit the pushpins holding the target up on the 50 yard range.
Move that Bushnell to my Ruger Mini-14 Ranch, and the shots are all over the place (by that I mean most/all within a 4-5 inch circle at 50 yards, uninspiring). Now Mini's aren't known for their accuracy, and to be honest the scope mounts they provide on the Ranch are pretty much junk. I switched to the peep sight and actually had better accuracy with that (16 out of 20 in a 3x3 inch square, the rest very close).
So I'm wondering if it's possible that the back/forward motion of the semi-automatic that could be giving my cheap little Bushnell some problems. I tried Google and couldn't find anything about this topic, so maybe it's just me.
The reason that I ask is that I recently upgraded to a JLD PTR-91 (H&K 91 clone in .308), and I'm driving about 75 miles in a couple of weeks to sight it in (the closest range I could find that goes out to 200+ yards). I want to do it right the first time, so if I get there and the Bushnell is again all over the place, it will feel like a wasted trip.
So am I fine with the Bushnell on this rifle out to 150-200 yards, or should I be upgrading? With a budget of $200 or less and knowing that the rifle is a semi-automatic, is there a much better alternative? I'm more interested in long range shooting for this rifle and not CQB/Home use, so I'm looking for a centerfire/deer scope rather than something that straddles the line between "tactical use" and decent accuracy at a hundred yards.
Thanks for reading!