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Questions from a newbie shooter with a scope

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by RifleEnthusiast, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    So I've recently started shooting with a scope (a VX-1 4-12 with a duplex reticle) and I have a few questions, I hope someone can answer my questions here. I realize I may have wrong expectations or I may very well be doing something wrong.

    I have installed the scope according to everything I read and saw. I put it on max magnification, installed it such that the picture through the scope fills the entire view, I adjusted the focus such that after concentrating on a far object and looking into the scope the reticle looks super sharp (before allowing my eye to adjust and focus on the reticle).

    Now here's my question, while actually shooting, with the scope at max magnification, the moment I start looking through the scope everything is super sharp, while aligning the cross-hair with the bulls eye and slowly pulling the trigger..gradually the cross-hair and reticle becomes fuzzy/blurred. I am not sure if this is the "normal" eye behavior (as it tries to focus on the far object such that the reticle - the near object - gets fuzzy) or if this means that I have to adjust the focus of the scope.

    I also noticed that with the scope at less than max magnification, say 8 or 6x, the reticle does not fuzz up as much, but then the target is also smaller.
     
  2. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    :needpics:
     
  3. Creeper

    Creeper Ravensdale, WA. Member

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    IMO... You can play with the ocular focus, but I don't believe your scope has a parallax adjustment, so at the higher power, the image is focusing slightly ahead of or behind the reticle, instead of the same focal plane... which is what a parallax adjustment corrects.

    C
     
  4. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    Yes I know it's difficult explaining without pictures, but if it turns out to be a behavior of the eye, the pictures won't really make a difference, the reticle is going to be always sharp :)
     
  5. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    You are correct this particular scope does not have parallax adjustment.
    So is this a normal behavior for the reticle to fuzz/blur as the eye focuses on the target through the scope?
    As I said, the moment I look through the scope at the target, the reticle is very sharp and clear, it's after a few seconds of aligning the crosshair with the target and slowly pulling the trigger that the reticle seems a little fuzzy/blurry, which is what's leading me to think that it's the eye's behavior of focusing on the target at the distance. I guess I just assumed that the reticle should stay sharp while focusing on the target.
     
  6. PX4WA

    PX4WA Tacoma, WA Active Member

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    please don't get offended, you mention you are new so I'm starting from the basic..

    1. cheap scopes have poor clarity at high magnification.
    2. the higher the magnification, the shorter the eye relief and the point of focus is very picky

    now to the basics...

    most folks new to rifle scopes like to jump to high magnification.. I know I did... then realize how difficult it is to do so effectively unless you have an expensive scope... (nightforce is a great brand)

    start shooting at the low range of the magnification... once you are proficient and your scope is zeroed in, start increasing the magnification slowly...

    you will find a point of comfort where the magnification and the ease of use meet.. usually it's in the 4-6x range...

    lastly, the reason you lose focus is not parallax, since you note you have a clear reticle at one point, the reason is your eye relief is very narrow/short and moving your eye from the scope a fraction of an inch pulls you out of focus...

    practice good cheekweld and acquiring your target at low magnification then when you know what is going on (it starts to make sense) you can see if your max magnification is useable..

    good luck
     
  7. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    Thanks for your advice, no I'm not offended at all, I have an open mind and want to learn from more knowledgeable people, but it does hurt a little that you even hint that my scope cheap (it's a $300ish scope), and I know there are way more expensive ones out there, just kidding :))

    Let me try to explain the sharp to blurry reticle view transition, I basically put my cheek on the stock and look through the scope, the reticle looks super sharp (and the target a little fuzzy), at that time I basically try to acquire the target in the crosshair as I slowly pull the trigger, all this time the reticle losing some of its sharpness and becoming fuzzy, I believe that throughout this time my cheek is stuck on the stock and hence not moving, hence my assumption that it's just the physiology of the eye focusing on the far object (the target) and losing focus of the near object (the reticle), does that make sense?
     
  8. PX4WA

    PX4WA Tacoma, WA Active Member

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    I'll give you a piece of advice that will save you a lot of money... don't ever look down a thousand dollar plus scope ever... just don't do it... you will start to realize you need to sell a gun or two to buy a nice scope...

    I compromised and got an ACOG 4x.... still pricey but was less than a nightforce and I can shoot a few hundred yards accurately with it..

    but seriously until you get past 9x, most of the cheaper scopes and the high end ones don't start to have a huge difference (noticeable but not bad) , but once you get past 16x it's fairly obvious..


    thanks for the clarification.. so you never really have both target and reticle in the same focal plane.. so this is parallax...

    the expensive solution is to get an FFP (first focal plane) reticle scope.. the less expensive is to get one with parallax adjustment...

    the cheapest solution is to learn to look at the target and not the reticle... I may be wrong but I think the VX1 is parallax adjusted to around 75 yards...

    and parallax is less of an issue at low magnification...
     
  9. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice, I won't :)

    I don't think I was ever able to have the target and the reticle in sharp view at the highest magnification, but I think I was at up to 8 or 10x.

    When you say adjusted to around 75 yards, is that parallax-free @ 75 yards, or is that at distances up to 75 yards? I typically shoot @ 50 yards.

    That is what I've noticed the fuzziness that happens is far less at the lower magnifications.
     
  10. PX4WA

    PX4WA Tacoma, WA Active Member

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    all scopes are set to be parallax free at one distance...

    It is likely between 60 to 75 yards

    the manual may specify this further
     
  11. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    Thanks for the information, this has been very helpful.
     
  12. M67

    M67 NW Oregon Active Member

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    It could very well be your eyesight and not the scope.

    I use Nikon scopes (3X9 and 4X12) and have never had a problem, with the image or crosshairs being out of focus at high magnification, untill recently.

    I am having the same kind of problem with my Pentax DSLR's as well, when i try to manually focus the shots.

    I have made an appt with the eye Dr, so i hope all will be well again.

    Just a thought.
     
  13. Sheldon

    Sheldon California Member

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  14. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    That could very well be the case for me, I wear glasses and have astigmatism anyway.
     
  15. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    Yes there is for focusing the reticle, but no parallax/objective focus adjustments. Does the one for focusing the reticle move the focal plane back and forth, because if that is the case it may be possible to move it backwards/forwards such that the target/reticle fall on the same focal plane.
     
  16. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Fifty yards is fairly short range for your scope when set at a higher magnification. If you've followed the standard procedure for focusing the reticle, you may be able to refocus it for the shorter distance that you're shooting.
    Parallax is the effect of the cross hairs being positioned properly compared to where you are looking and I doubt will have any influence on the focus of the reticle. (I probably didn't explain that well, but you can easily look it up)
     
  17. billgrigsby24

    billgrigsby24 Beaverton, Or Active Member

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    It may be the transitioning of your eye focusing on the target instead of the crosshairs.
     
  18. Skang

    Skang WA Well-Known Member

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    most likely.
     
  19. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    Do you mostly focus on the crosshair when using a scope? I try to align the crosshair on the target, but I might very well be focusing more on the target than the crosshair.
     
  20. Simonpie

    Simonpie Portland Active Member

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    I get a similar effect shooting through an aperture. Do you have both eyes open? I find it helps. If this freaks out your sight picture, try glasses with one lens frosted (scotch tape). You still want light coming into the unused eye.
    I find I can close my eyes for three seconds and it all comes back. You'll end up practicing your "natural point of aim" techniques so everything is still there when you open your eyes again. I've also heard that eyesight degrades with oxygen loss, so maybe breathe deep a bit before holding your breath for the shot.