Sunday, December 4, 2016

Scopes for Air Rifles?

A very good friend of mine has a really nice 22 cal air rifle. I forget what brand it is, but it cost him around $450, and got very good online reviews on several of the air rifle forums, and it's served him well in keeping the rabbit population under control on his vegtable farm.

WELL......he dropped it a couple of weeks ago, and the optics on the (CHEEP!) scope got knocked out of alignment to the point that when I looked through it, instead of seeing a round circle of light, I saw an oval.

And it kind of rattled a bit when you shook it...

So, I gave him the scope that came from Marlin on my 336 (I replaced it with a Nikon scope), along with several sets of rings of various heights so he could get it mounted to his preference. I helped him sight it in, and all is well. The rifle is a real ass kicker for an air rifle, and will punch clean through one side of a galvanized trash can, and almost through the other side at 25 yards. Pretty impressive to my thinking!

HOWEVER....he keeps reading on the forums that you need to use a specially designed scope made specifically for air rifles to withstand the back-and-forth shock that comes from the piston slamming forward to compress the air, and then the recoil from the pellet going out the barrel.

I'd never heard of that before. Can anybody with air rifle experience shed some light here, or is it just an "Internet Myth"?

He's worried that that "expensive" scope I gave him will get damaged, and even though I don't want the scope back, I'd like some info to put his mind at ease.....

9 comments:

  1. If the gun is a PCP (pre-charged pneumatic), as in fed by a scuba tank, then recoil won't be an issue.

    If it's a springer (cocked for every shot?), then yes, the bidirectional recoil will be a problem for many scopes.

    Take a look at the AirGunDepot scope page for some examples of relatively inexpensive scopes which can handle this setup.

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    1. That's what he'd read. The rifle is a single shot "break barrel" that requires cocking for every shot.

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  2. Without having actual numbers, it seems hard to believe the motion in an air rifle could be worse than the recoil from a major caliber rifle. The scope from your Marlin ought to be fine.

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    1. I guess we'll find out. So far it's working fine.

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  3. From what I have read, it is not the force of the recoil but the direction of it-forward instead of back. Apparently that is hard on the reticule assembly. Whether this is applicable to newer scopes, or simply a rumor, I don't know.
    I have a "Hawke" 4 power on a beeman .20 cal, it is a Chinese scope but recommended to me by an airgun specialist. It have given no trouble for at least ten years. One advantage of an airgun scope is adjustable parallax,and reticule focus, since a lot of shooting is close range.

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    1. Yep, that's what he read. The piston slamming forward could shake things up in a "regular" scope

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  4. No direct experience but the subject has been discussed on the Gun Talk radio with Tom Gresham. He says yes, special scope.
    Good show.
    Guntalk.com.

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  5. Don't have a clue... Sorry... :-)

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  6. I would ask the people at Pilkington's ( http://www.pilkguns.com ) or Pyramyd Air
    ( http://www.pyramydair.com ) for their input on the scope.
    But I have been told by a fairly serious air gun shooter that a good scope made for air guns is well worth the money.

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Keep it civil, please....