This is the 10th in a series of articles written for Opticstalk.com by John Barsness, co-author the quarterly on-line magazine Rifle Loony News (www.riflesandrecipes.com)
Recently I’ve been testing a couple of new scopes, one much anticipated and the other something of a surprise, a Schmidt & Bender Summit 2.5-10x40 and a new Redfield 3-9x40. Let’s look at the Redfield first.
Leupold bought the Redfield name a year or so ago, and there was much speculation about what would happen. Some people guessed Leupold might just let the name die, but instead they started another company, also in
At first glance the new Redfield 3-9x40 appeared pretty conventional, a matte finished scope with the typical American lock-ring for focusing on the rear bell. (Also available are a 2-7x33, a 3-9x50 and a 4-12x40.) There are two choices in reticles, a typical plex called the 4-Plex, and the Accu-Range reticle, which came in the test scope. This is a plex reticle with a circle around the intersection of the crosshairs, with a dot below the bottom of the circle on the vertical crosshair. It’s fairly simple, but provides some ranging capability, plus several aiming points that can’t be confused with each other.
First some basic indoor tests were made. An electronic scale confirmed the specification weight of 12.7 ounces. Next the scope was mounted on a semi-custom Winchester Model 70, rebarreled to .300 H&H with a cut-rifled, hand-lapped barrel by
The eye relief is listed as 4.0” at 3x and 3.7” at 9x. Using a flashlight shining into the objective lens, the eye relief on the test scope measured 3.9” at 3x and 3.4” at 9x, a little less than the specs but still probably within manufacturing tolerances.
Next I stuck a collimator in the muzzle and looked for any trace of “runout”—reticle shift between 3x and 9x. There wasn’t any, and in the final bench test the 1/4” adjustments also checked out. The reticle moved with each click and, as far as could be told on the collimator grid, accurately. The turrets are finger-adjustable, with ¼” markings on top, and the clicks easily felt.
However, it’s one thing to check out adjustments inside, with no rounds fired, and another on the range. Range day proved to be about the nicest day of the first week of December in my part of
After a couple of shots at 25 yards to get basically zeroed with some Winchester Silvertip 180-grain ammo, the first 3-shot group at 100 yards measured slightly over an inch, but was several inches high and to the right. I wanted to sight-in the rifle 2” high at 100, so made the appropriate number of clicks and fired another 3-shot group that again measured just over an inch. The center of the three shots was 2.25” high, and right on horizontally.
The next test was a version of shooting the square. First I clicked 5 inches up and shot one round, then clicked 5 inches right and shot another, then clicked 5 inches down and shot another, and finally clicked 5 inches left and shot a final round. The first three shots all landed within less than ¾” of where they theoretically should have, the second shot landing within ¼”. The final shot landed within ¼” of the lowest shot in the initial group.
This may not seem very impressive—after all, that’s what a scope should do—but I have tested a p