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Old 12-02-2008, 03:31 PM
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Location: Arkansas
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Redfield Tracker woes

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Hi all,

Let me see if this makes any sense to you guys who may know scopes.....

I've got a 3 x 9 redfield tracker scope on a Ruger M77 30-06 that I've owned for a few years (bought rifle and scope together used) and I've always hunted mostly in the woods where I couldn't shoot very far so I sighted it in for 25 yards knowing that it would be high at 100 yards for sure. Not trusting that I keep from bumping the scope I fire it a few times before season to make sure it's where it needs to be. Every year I have to adjust it a little bit at the 25 yard test shot.

Have missed several deer in the past few years (longer shots on a right of way) but wrote it off to my poor shooting ability...that's why I hunt in the woods!

Missed a deer at about 250 yards last weekend.....plenty of time....plenty of steady rest for the shot....deer runs off I say "Is my scope off or am I really that lousy of a shot?"

Shot it at 25 yards.....dead on.......moved the target back to about 125 yards and was shooting 3 shot groups not too badly but they were grouping 10 inches high and about 5 inches to the I said "okay.....I'll just sight it in at the 125 yard mark"....the more I adjusted the scope the wilder the groups went off target. No rhyme or reason to the adjustment. Adjust to the left and the grouping goes to the right and low etc.......

Does it make sense that something inside a scope can go wrong so that you are on target at 25 yards but so wildly off at 125 yards?

I bought an inexpensive Bushnell scope last night and sighted the gun in today and was shooting right on the money at the 125 yard range .....3 shot groups that you could cover with a 50 cent piece which is pretty decent for me.....

By the way...I'm using a lead sled shooting rest also.

Thanks for any advice guys....

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Old 12-02-2008, 03:42 PM
MikeG's Avatar
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 32,912
Welcome to the forum. Sounds like your scope is going bad, but you can't sight in a rifle at 25 yards and expect it to be on at several hundred. For one thing the scope isn't focused at 25 yards and little errors get greatly magnified at longer ranges.

Try another scope and sight in at least to 100 yards, if not more.

Originally Posted by faucettb
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:47 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Georgia
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Several years ago, my redfield tracker went haywire. It shot good for about 8 years on a model 70 30-06. Then one year went to sight it in, and it would not sight in at all. So I tossed it and put a leupold on it, and that solved my problem.
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:14 PM
The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 21,864
Sounds like a scope problem for sure. Leupold now owns the Redfield line, but I'm not sure they honor the older Redfield's warranty. You can call them at their 800 number to find out. Just Google Leupold.

Next thing, if you have "see-through" or high scope mounts, it will affect the way the POI (Point of Impact) strikes at various distances, more so than a low mounted scope.
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:14 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Peck, Idaho
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One of the reasons a 25 yard sight in is not to good except to get the rifle on paper is because of the hyperfocal distance the scope is set at. Most big game scopes have the hyperfocal distance set at 100 yards. What this means is head or eye movement at shorter ranges will make the cross hairs move on the target.

If you put your rifle on a holder such as the lead sled and not touching the rifle look thru the scope at a 25 yard target and move your head around you will see the cross hairs move on the target. that's because the scope is focused at 100 yards. Black powder, shotgun and Rimfire scopes usually have a 50 yard hyperfocal distance set.

Some Scope makers such as Leupold will set the hyperfocal distance where you want it for a small fee.

The only way around this problem is use a scope with a focusing objective. There are two kinds on the market and you usually see them on higher power scopes and target scopes.

There is the objective lens focussing system where you turn the barrel end of the scope and line up marks in yards from infinity to 25 yards or less with a mark on the scope and many of the newer scopes have an adjustment dial on the side of the scope near the windage and elevation knobs. These are nice as you don't have to remove your head from the rifle to adjust the focus on these scopes. This is different from the ocular focusing feature on the viewing end of the lens that lets you focus the scope for your particular eyes.

For most shooting/hunting needs non adjustable focusing scopes are fine, but become necessary as powers go much past 12 power and targets become smaller such as ground squirrels, PD's and target shooting where you need maximum clarity.

Well that was certainly a mouthful, hope you guys can figure all that out. Mainly it means that scopes that do not have an adjustable focusing objective lens have the focus set at the factory at a fixed distance. Eye movement at closer ranges than this fixed distance will change the point of aim a small amount. It's also one reason that a scope sighted in by me may shoot to a slightly different point of aim for you shooting the same gun and scope.

Here's an example of an adjustable objective scope. Notice the white markings on the front that you can turn to focus the scope at any distance (on this scope) from 15 yards to infinity (that's forever).

Here's an example of non-adjustable focus fixed power and variable power scopes. This is the majority of hunting scopes sold.

Bob from Idaho
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Old 12-03-2008, 03:49 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 2
Thanks very much for the information guys....I never knew that the cross hairs moved around like that at different distances. I've got it sighted in now at 100 yards and I
generally won't shoot beyond that very much from most of my stands that I hunt.

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