Rifle Scopes 2020 BigJimFish Review / Article blog.

BigJimFish

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As with my previous 2019 and 2018 threads, the purpose of this thread is to provide a catalog of this years reviews and articles, give you a behind the scenes look at what I am working on as it is worked on, and provide a place for your input and comments. Here are this years projects:

Vudoo
.22lr's have long been a passion of mine. For years I bugged several action makers about doing a full size .22lr to no effect. I even sent a few of them design concepts for getting the magazine and locking mechanisms to work. Nobody seemed to think there was much market or that they could get the magazines to work though. Then, Mike Bush and the Vudoo guys proved successful in both regards and I had exactly nothing to do with it. I'm still smiling though. I'll be doing a review of a V-22 this year and there will be a good deal of technical data on .22lr ballistics in their as well.

Proof
My interest in Proof's carbon wrapped barrels harmonics continues. Having spent a good time with the one on my Mesa Precison Arms Crux 6.5CM I will now be looking at their .22lr blank on a Vudoo V-22 action. The idea is to determine if these things have a substantial harmonic advantage on conventional steel barrels and to gather some data on the magnitude of the advantage. The results with the 6.5CM have been promising so far. This will culminate with an article on Proof's carbon wrapped barrels.

MDT XRS Crossover rifle stock
The last couple years I did reviews on a couple of composite stocks from McMillan and Grayboe. in which I spent a good deal of time talking about composite stock technology and that technologies strengths in general as well as the specific products in each review. I had been thinking of doing a similar thing with a chassis review. There were a few new chassis launched at Shot this year that specifically caught my eye because they added interchangeable grips more involved than just going with an AR15 grip. I think grip fit is tremendously important and very often is not properly addressed so that pretty much made up my mind to do a chassis this year. The MDT XRS is going to be that Chassis.

Lapua / Berger / CPG
Capstone precision group is now the owner of Berger as well as, sort of, Lapua, SK, and VihtaVuori (all are owed by Nammo and Capstone represents all in the U.S.) They have recently opened a second rimfire test center in the central Ohio area. I'll be doing a little write up of that facility, how to utilize it, and what to expect. I'll also be doing a bit of testing there for the Vudoo and Proof reviews.

RCBS Matchmaster
At the end of last year RCBS announced a new, higher accuracy (.04gr) and higher speed, Matchmaster powder measure. Along with their new high precision matchmaster dies, this measure is certainly directed at the long range shooting community. I'll be doing a review of these matchmaster products this year.

Zero Compromise
I still have planned to take a look at the Zero Compromise ZC420 scope. This review was delayed from last year due to scheduling and availability.

Athlon Midas TAC 5-25x56 and Sub $1k long range optics
The Sub $1k long range optics review series has now been running three years. Today I posted my review of the Athlon Midas TAC 5-25x56. This Brings the total number of reviews to six over a period of three years. The only specific thing I have remaining planned, at this time, is some sort of summary of what went down with the Nikon Black FX1000. This will not be a full review as it does not look like a replacement is forthcoming and it appears Nikon will be discontinuing all rifle scopes anyway. Still, some sort of summary is in order. Despite having no more specific scopes planned at this time, I do expect to continue the theme of Sub $1k long range optics in the future as it think it is an interesting area of development and quite compelling to many shooters. Here are the links to all the Sub $1k long range optics reviews:

Sightron SIIISS624X50LRFFP/MH
Athlon Midas TAC 6-24x50mm
Athlon Ares BTR 4.5-27x50 FFP IR Mil
Meopta Optika 6 5-30x56 RD FFP
Sightron S-TAC 4-20x50FFPZSIRMH
Athlon Midas TAC 5-25x56

2019 12 24 athlon midas scopes on rifles.jpg


Athlon Midas TAC 5-25x56 (background on Kelbly's Atlas rifle) with the Midas TAC 6-24x50 (foreground on Mesa Precision Arms Crux rifle)


TriggerTech Two-Stage 700 Platform Triggers
Another review to make the jump from last year to this is the TriggerTech 2-stage. I have previously done reviews of both the TriggerTech single stage 700 platform stuff and the Bix'n Andy TacSport line of triggers.

Grayboe Phoenix Ultralight Stock
A few years back I did a review on the Grayboe Ridgeback stock and was pretty pleased with the performance and value it offered. They recently came out with a new, ultralight hunting model called the Phoenix. At 2lbs with a ton of features I was interested and asked them to send one over to take a look at.

More Harmonics / Tuning
Last years Barrel Tuning Factory Ammo? did not yield the results desired or expected. I'm not done yet with my investigation into harmonics and tuning though. I expect there will be at least one more article this year on the topic.

How to quantify precision
I have never been satisfied with how precision is quantified within the precision rifle world. The general ideas of a half MOA rifle or MOA rifle are neither sufficiently defined nor particularly statistically meaningful. When we quantify the degree of precision in our velocity using standard deviation we have a good statistical tool and this greatly aids us. Measuring the 2 furthest out rounds in a 5rd group to quantify precision is not sufficient. I think that an important step the shooting process is to more meaningfully determine the precision of a particular platform. An article on why this is so and what ways are better suited (such as circular error probability CEP or distance root mean square DRMS) will be forthcoming.

Making grip build outs from oven harden polymer clay article
This was sort of a surprise bonus article. With my range closed and the whole world hiding in their houses I decided to do an article on making grip build outs from polymer clay since I was making one for the MDT XRS. Of course, the article got a lot more time consuming and in depth than I intended. Par for the course. The end product is good stuff though with respect to both the article and the grip.

Now that I have all this written down it seems like a busy year even without a few of the other things I have kicking around in the back of my head in the maybe column. Should be a good time.
 
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Glassaholic

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    I will be most intrigued to read your thoughts on the "How to quantify precision". Always enjoy your reviews Jim!
     

    Marine24

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    Benefitted from the articles in the 2019 write up and expect the same in 2020. Would have been nice to see the Brownells MPO in your sub-$1K scope but have to draw the line somewhere.
     
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    5RWill

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    Can't wait for the proof write up. Mine thus far has been hammering with my 7 SS but i'm always interested to see others results.
     

    SCRAM2013

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    BJF,

    Quantifying accuracy is interesting.

    One could establish a desired tolerance from round one hole on paper. Then fire 30 rounds and take measurements. Run capability analysis in Minitab. If less than 1.33, it fails. Higher the number the more accurate. Log capability for each rifle and ammo.

    Looking forward to your assessment.

    E
     

    BigJimFish

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    Update 2-20-2020

    I have finished up and posted the article on .22lr lot testing at Lapua's new, Ohio, test center location. A good deal of data was analyzed from 10 different rifles for this article so it gives a pretty decent quantitative measure of just how much improvement you should expect to see on average between a random lot purchased off the shelf and a lot selected after substantial testing.

    2020 1 16 luke testing.jpg

    Former NCAA all American and U.S. Shooting team member Luke Johnson lot testing an Anne at the new Ohio Lapua rimfire testing facility

    In other news, the RCBS MatchMaster powder measure arrived yesterday. I prepped the cases to use in this testing a few months ago using the RCBS MatchMaster dies. I'll be doing the first round of testing tomorrow.

    2020 2 20 matchmaster measure unboxing.jpg

    RCBS MatchMaster powder measure unboxing

    On the other reviews, I am starting to get some sense of the time frames on some of them. The TriggerTech Diamond 2-stage should be arriving within a month. So, the next two reviews will be that and the RCBS MatchMaster stuff. The harmonics stuff is being done in tandem with the MatchMaster stuff so it should be right after that if the results are worth reporting, ie. what I want to do with the tuning works. If it goes down like the tuning factory ammo testing did last year, there will just be a blurb on this thread with the negative results. The Proof .22lr barrel is expected in at the start of May so I expect the Vudoo stuff to begin a few weeks after that. Not sure if you will see the Proof article first or the Vudoo but they will be one after the other and I expect towards the fall for the actual publication. I don't have a time frame on the Zero Compromise optic. Lastly, I'm not sure exactly when I will do the quantifying accuracy article. One of the key players in this is recovering from surgery at the moment and I don't think all the ducks are in a line yet. There is a little taste of what is to come in the .22lr lot testing article I posted yesterday though.
     
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    BigJimFish

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    Update 3-29-2020

    This week I received an MDT XRS "Crossover rifle stock." Here is a link to the ongoing SH discussion thread on the XRS. The last couple years I did reviews on a couple of composite stocks from McMillan and Grayboe. in which I spent a good deal of time talking about composite stock technology and that technologies strengths in general as well as the specific products in each review. I had been thinking of doing a similar thing with a chassis review. There were a few new chassis launched at Shot this year that specifically caught my eye because they added interchangeable grips more involved than just going with an AR15 grip. I think grip fit is tremendously important and very often is not properly addressed so that pretty much made up my mind to do a chassis this year. I think MDT XRS will make a very interesting subject. It has a number of unique features to it's design and manufacture.

    2020 3 27 XRS unboxing resize.jpg

    MDT XRS unboxing

    You were expecting the RCBS Matchmaster review by now and I'm afraid it's still going to be a while. Covid-19 has temporarily closed the lab that I will be testing the powder measures accuracy in. Additionally, a particularly long cold with a few unusual symptoms also went through myself and the rest of my family recently that may have been that virus so we are doing our best not to run about in case we could be contagious. I'm not about to be the guy who brings the virus to the good people living at either of the ranges I test at most often. So, unfortunately, the Matchmaster testing is just going to take a bit longer.
     

    Moose

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    I will be looking forward to your input on the Zero Compromise 4X20.I have had one for almost a year and love that scope.Thank you for doing these reviews.
     

    BigJimFish

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    Update 4 -16 - 2020 or What happened with the Nikon Black FX1000 6-24x50SF Matte IL FX-MRAD

    For some time folks have asked me about the Nikon Black that was part of the Sub $1k long range optics series of reviews. Pretty much all I have said is that it had to be sent back because it was defective and, for the obvious reason that Nikon decided to stop selling scopes, I never got a replacement to complete testing with. At that point writing anything on it became pretty low priority and so it just never happened. Now, with most of the facilities I need to do many of the other things on my docket closed at the moment it seemed like a good time to give the people what they want. Since I didn't get everything done that I wanted to for a full review though, I'm just going to write this short summary.

    First off, the scope that I had did not just have one issue but at least four of which three might have been related and the other probably wasn't. We might as well start with the reticle, which was almost 2% too large in size. As an example, the reticle read 5.9 mils where it should have read 6.0 mils. You can see this in the below TTS picture. This is a good bit of deviation. While this is certainly not the first time I have found a scope to have a reticle that read incorrectly, it is not that common and almost 2% is a lot more deviation than I usually see.

    2020 4 16 through the scope.jpg

    The view through the Nikon Black FX1000 6-24x50SF Matte IL FX-MRAD at a properly calibrated HORUS CATS target showing the Nikons improperly sized reticle

    Moving from the reticle to the adjustments, they had a couple of issues as well. The biggest problem was that increasingly, as you move up from center, the internals begin to lag behind the adjustment. At optical center you can move up and down fine but as you get further up from center things start to lag. For instance, if you dial up to 8.0 mils on the adjustment, you will only get to 7.7 mils on the target. If you dial past to 8.3 mils and then go back you will be closer (7.93mils) but still not there. This is two seperate problems. First, the adjustments are just off by about 1% (7.93mils when it should be 8.0.) This is not a terribly uncommon amount to be off by. The second issue is less common. The erector spring was not strong enough to keep the erector snugged up against the adjustment and so it lagged behind when the adjustment was being screwed out. If you give the scope enough jolts from firing rounds or maybe just smacking it around it would eventually snug up. Since this difficulty can sometimes be caused by a too-tight rear ring binding the joint at the back of the erector I tried loosening the ring at the rear but the erector spring still wasn't getting the job done.

    Ultimately it was not these problems that caused the scope to be sent back early though. The issue that stopped the testing was that the diopter would not move far enough in for me to be sure that the scope was at it's best focus. That is to say, I could not adjust the diopter past the point of maximum clarity to be sure I had achieved it. Now, my vision does not need so much correction that I should exceed a scopes diopter range. I certainly never had on any other scope. Uncorrected, my vision is still better than 20 / 20 but it is better than 20 / 15 corrected. Not being able to be sure the scope was focused as well as it possibly could be would make it a bit unfair to be comparing it with others optically. That being said, based on the rate of change in the image as I turned the diopter, I think it was close and the Nikon was not stacking up well optically.

    So, at this point it seems to me that Nikon may have had the right idea in ceasing to sell rifle scopes. Certainly, the one I had didn't do so well. That being said, I'm not so sure that rest of their products are doing much better. I write this a few feet away from a $700 Nikon paper weight shaped like a portrait lens that even acted like one for all of 6 months before it just inexplicably decided it would no longer focus. Furthermore, that lens fits on a camera that since has developed a wonky LCD from what should have been a trivial 4 foot fall in a padded case onto carpet. None of these are cheap products but there not worth a damn now. It's safe to say it hasn't been much of a run for me and Nikon lately and this is hard to square that with the superb experience I have had with the Venturer 8x32LX binos that have been my field glass for almost 20 years.

    2020 4 16 unboxing.jpg

    Nikon Black FX1000 6-24x50SF Matte IL FX-MRAD Unboxing
     

    BigJimFish

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    Update 5-20-2020

    I posted the article on making grip build outs from polymer oven harden clay today. I think this is some of my best work. I hope you guys find it interesting.

    2020 5 11 featured grips on 4 rifles.jpg

    Oven bake polymer clay grip build outs on four of my rifles

    In other news, the TriggerTech 2-stages are on their way for review. Having seen the images of these with the sides off I am quite interested to see how they feel. They are a big departure from the single stages in design and fit an astounding number of both passive and active safety catches. Really interesting stuff. I also expect the Proof .22lr barrel to be heading to Vudoo any day now so the articles associated with those parts should be taking a step forward soon as well.

    The RCBS MatchMaster review continues to be quarantined in Wuhan virus stasis much to my annoyance. Hopefully, the folks at the lab will let me in sometime soon to get the testing on lab grade analytical balances I need to do done so I can finish that up. What I have been able to do at home with my legacy beam balance has gone well but I really need access to the big boy to do it right. Old school analog beam balances are very precise, but not necessarily particularly accurate. My ranges have now re-opened so finishing up the MDT XRS stock review shouldn't be too far out.
     

    BigJimFish

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    Update 5-22-2020

    The TriggerTech 2-stages are here. Between them, the MDT XRS, and playing with the loads from the RCBS MatchMaster, it's going to be a fun post quarantine return to the range as soon as it stops raining here and I can catch up enough on work to run off for a day. Until then, it will be fun with dry fire time.

    2020 5 22 arival pic.jpg

    The TriggerTech 2-stage 700 platform triggers arrive
     

    BigJimFish

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    Update 6-15-2020

    I have just posted the RCBS MatchMaster dies and powder dispenser review. In addition to reviewing both of those products, I also spend a good deal of time in the review discussing, and quantifying the relationship between variance in charge weight and vertical spread down range so if your interested in just how much vertical spread you get from .1gr in variation, you should check it out. The powder dispenser actually outperformed it's spec and I'll admit to loving the dies. I think they are pretty significant new product offerings.

    2020 6 9 loading with matchmaster.jpg

    Starting some fresh test loads with the RCBS MatchMaster dies and powder measure

    In other news, the MDT XRS stock review and TriggerTech two stage review are coming along well. Really, they are almost done. I should also have the Proof barreled Vudoo V-22 next week as the Vudoo guys just spun up the barrel last week and are just finishing up the cerakote and such so things are about to get rolling on that. I love .22lr's so I'm pretty excited to start hammering away with it.
     

    BigJimFish

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    Update 7-7-2020

    This is shaping up to be a big week. First off, the V-22 barreled action arrived yesterday for use both in the V-22 review and in some research I am doing on Proof carbon wrapped barrel harmonics. I have shot a few of these V-22's before but this is the first time I have had the opportunity to disassemble and really get a feel for how it all fits together. I'm quite impressed with the fit and finish as well as the tolerances. I have fit it in the MDT XRS with one of the new TriggerTech 2-stages and will have it out at the range in a couple days. I'm excited to see how it does.

    2020 7 8 vudoo unboxing.jpg

    Vudoo V-22 gen 3 with Proof wrapped barrel unboxing

    2020 7 8 vudoo XRS.jpg

    The V-22 all ready to go with the MDT XRS chassis and TriggerTech special 2-stage

    Speaking of the MDT XRS chassis, that review is done and should be up early next week. There is a lot to find interesting about this chassis. Price, modular construction, replaceable grips, stock-like geometry, and clever industrial engineering aspects. My Statics 101 professor would be proud. Just as on my previous reviews of composite stocks, I also spend some time talking about the relative intrinsic strengths and weaknesses of stocks and chassis.

    Lastly, the Zero Compromise ZCO420mpct1 scope I have been looking forward to reviewing for a while is on it's way at the moment. I do not yet have all comparison scopes on hand that I want for this review so if you are in the Central Ohio area and have an S&B PMII 3-20 Ultra Short or Kahles K318i and are interested shoot me a PM. We can take a look though them together and while were at it, if you interested, you can run you scope through the humbler to check tracking and reticle size / alignment.
     

    Bart

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    Excellent news! I always look forward to your insights, I find them very usefull...

    Jordan
     

    Moose

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    Update 7-7-2020

    This is shaping up to be a big week. First off, the V-22 barreled action arrived yesterday for use both in the V-22 review and in some research I am doing on Proof carbon wrapped barrel harmonics. I have shot a few of these V-22's before but this is the first time I have had the opportunity to disassemble and really get a feel for how it all fits together. I'm quite impressed with the fit and finish as well as the tolerances. I have fit it in the MDT XRS with one of the new TriggerTech 2-stages and will have it out at the range in a couple days. I'm excited to see how it does.

    View attachment 7369282
    Vudoo V-22 gen 3 with Proof wrapped barrel unboxing

    View attachment 7369283
    The V-22 all ready to go with the MDT XRS chassis and TriggerTech special 2-stage

    Speaking of the MDT XRS chassis, that review is done and should be up early next week. There is a lot to find interesting about this chassis. Price, modular construction, replaceable grips, stock-like geometry, and clever industrial engineering aspects. My Statics 101 professor would be proud. Just as on my previous reviews of composite stocks, I also spend some time talking about the relative intrinsic strengths and weaknesses of stocks and chassis.

    Lastly, the Zero Compromise ZCO420mpct1 scope I have been looking forward to reviewing for a while is on it's way at the moment. I do not yet have all comparison scopes on hand that I want for this review so if you are in the Central Ohio area and have an S&B PMII 3-20 Ultra Short or Kahles K318i and are interested shoot me a PM. We can take a look though them together and while were at it, if you interested, you can run you scope through the humbler to check tracking and reticle size / alignment.
    You are going to love the ZC 4x20 with MPCT 1 reticle.I had mine on my vudoo yesterday and I could see the 22 rimfire bullet holes at 300 yds.Great scope and I'm saving for a 3rd one.
     
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    BigJimFish

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    Update 7-11-2020

    Thursday the Zero Compromise ZCO420mpct1 arrived. It came early that day and I had the day off so I went ahead and started to run some mechanical tests so that I would know if I needed to apply any correction factors to my dope and so I would have some time behind the glass familiarizing myself with it before shooting with it.

    I am quite impressed. The mechanical testing, shooting it, how much better the glass and optical design is than some other scopes I have on hand, everything. The ZCO is off the a great start.

    2020 7 11 zco tts test target.jpg
    Yep, the mpct1 reticle in the ZCO is the correct size. The adjustments are as well.

    Similarly, the Vudoo / Proof .22lr had a great first day despite only being fed middle of the road CCI STD velocity fodder. I was really just running some rounds down the barrel prior to taking it to the Lapua test center to pick out a lot of Center-X and wasn't expecting much with the CCI. Somehow, I ended up hitting 50% on a 6" x 8" plate at 300 yards though. Having no wind at all helped, but that CCI had an ES of 60fps on the few shots I chronoed so I still think I was mostly lucky. Despite the tight chamber, the Vudoo was feeding the CCI fine and I didn't have any particularly hard bolt closes. It also fed, fired and ejected 100% from the magazine with no problems. Great day all around.

    Expect the MDT XRS review in a day or two and the TriggerTech two stage will follow in a couple weeks.

    2020 7 11 zco mdt vudoo proof baracade.jpg

    MDT XRS, ZCO 420, Vudoo V-22, Proof barrel, TriggerTech 2 stage, Oven bake polymer clay grip, that's about half this years review and article stuff all bolted together.
     

    Moose

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    I am running the same scope and reticle on my Vudoo and it is a match made in Heaven.Will be looking forward to this review.
     

    BigJimFish

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    Update 7-12-2020

    The MDT XRS review is up. I found it an interesting product both from it's combination of Chassis construction and traditional stock geometry and feel, (I might add the original AI AICS stuff also did this), and also because of the industrial design aspects of it's modular construction. MDT has made maximum use of the materials and manufacturing processes in this stock to produce something quite solid with substantially reduced manufacturing costs. I also think this stock plays into a trend we are seeing for stocks that allow some adjustment or replacement of the firing hand grip to get decent fit. I think this is a pretty important development.

    Next up I should have the TriggerTech 2-stage review. I think I will try to time this up for it's official release on July 24. That would be a novelty wouldn't it. A timely review.
     

    BigJimFish

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    Update 8-2-2020

    I've been shooting a good bit lately and also getting a lot of work done on the last few reviews of the year. The TriggerTech two stage review is actually finished and I'll be putting it up to coincide with their official release which has been moved to Aug 7th.

    I noticed something interesting on the ZCO the other day. I had heard people say that it was good at seeing through mirage. Honestly, I had thought this was pretty unlikely. Mirage is caused by uneven heating of the ground causing significantly different temperature / density pockets of air to exist between you and the target effectively acting as lenses bending and distorting light on it's way to you. The result is a distorted target that looks like it is dancing or boiling and is often quite literally not where it appears to be. I didn't think this was something a scope even could address. I was evidently mistaken and I am not sure how but often the target will appear totally clear, sharp, and stationary though the ZCO when the foliage around it appears to dance and boil in quite obvious mirage. This is a very pronounced effect and certainly has something to do with the ZCO specifically as the other scopes I have had at the range at the same time showed as much dancing and boiling of the target as it's surroundings. I'm quite curious has to how ZCO has accomplished this. If anybody has an idea, let me know.

    Lastly, I have an interesting test target here from the Proof barreled Mesa Precision Arms rifle. It is a charge weight variance load development target where only powder charge weight is varied. I think there is something pretty unusual about it compared to every other load development target I have done. Take a look at it and tell me what you think is unusual.

    2020 7 30 mesa 65cm 140gr load testing analysis resize.jpg

    Proof barreled Mesa Precision Arms 6.5CM load development target.
     

    LRCampos

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    Looks like the point of impact did not change through 2.5 grains of powder.

    LRCampos.
     

    DownhillFromHere

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    I noticed something interesting on the ZCO the other day. I had heard people say that it was good at seeing through mirage.
    I received my ZCO 527 / MPCT2 Thursday and had it on the range Friday. Mirage was boiling along with those of us shooting in the 90-degree temp / 75-degree dewpoint humidity. Like you, I was skeptical as to whether an optic could "see through mirage."

    Well, it looks like ZCO can, better than my Vortex Razors... well, for double the price, one would hope for noticeable increase of goodness. But there ya go. Normally, on summer days, bullet splashes on white-painted steel at 540 yards wiggle and bubble and blur... not so with the ZCO. I found myself ignoring the steel (which was shot up with downrange access temporarily off limits) and shooting at lemon-sized stones and and sticks on the berm that I had never even noticed before.

    Sigh. You didn't have to show a photo of your Vudoo with a ZCO on it. I don't want to order another one.... but....
     

    BigJimFish

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    Looks like the point of impact did not change through 2.5 grains of powder.

    LRCampos.

    No impact shift though 2.5 grains of powder and also not much variance in group size. If I hadn't labeled the target as a load development powder charge weight stepping target it would certainly have been thought to be an accuracy test target using all the same ammo. That is not what I have seen with other rifles / barrels in the past. However, it does fit nicely with my suspicions about the harmonics of Proof's carbon wrapped barrels.
     

    rhsc

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    No impact shift though 2.5 grains of powder and also not much variance in group size. If I hadn't labeled the target as a load development powder charge weight stepping target it would certainly have been thought to be an accuracy test target using all the same ammo. That is not what I have seen with other rifles / barrels in the past. However, it does fit nicely with my suspicions about the harmonics of Proof's carbon wrapped barrels.
    - that the carbon wrap damps the harmonics?
     

    BigJimFish

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    - that the carbon wrap damps the harmonics?

    That could be it. The wrapping might damp the harmonics in the way wrapping up a pitchfork damps it's sound. That is certainly a theory. It might also be more about how the carbon wrapped barrel vibrates than if it is having the vibrations damped. In removing steel and adding carbon, you get a barrel that is significantly lighter and tremendously stiffer. Both of these changes will result in a barrel that vibrates at a faster frequency and with lower amplitude. You would expect a faster frequency to mean it is harder to find an accuracy node as the node would be smaller. However, you would expect a lower amplitude to mean that being on a node should matter less as the barrel does not swing as far when it vibrates. Of course, all three of these things might be true (ie. less vibration from damping, higher frequency vibration, and lower amplitude vibration.)

    In any case, I think it is quite possible that you cannot really tune a Proof barrel with a load or presumably with a tuner either because of a combination of their not being enough difference between being in or out of a node to notice and the nodes being too small to stay in anyway. In practice, this pretty much looks like the barrel is always in tune and this gives you a great deal of freedom in how you load as you are not restricted to particular accuracy nodes. This also gives you more choice when it comes to factory ammo as all of that will also be in tune. I should note that I have found even though powder charge doesn't seem to have much effect on accuracy with a Proof, seating depth does still matter and you can still have VLD's totally shit the bed for that reason.
     

    rhsc

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    O.K., so it seems that the carbon wrap may minimize a particular variable where the barrel harmonics are concerned. That's significant, if it can be born out by a number of examples.
     

    BigJimFish

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    Update 8-4-2020

    2020 7 19 TriggerTech Diamond profile.jpg


    The TriggerTech 700 platform two-stage trigger review is up. Quite an interesting trigger. It is very significant departure from their single-stage in terms of design. As you might expect, it feels excellent. These triggers (Diamond and Special models) will be officially released this Friday (Aug 7th) making this perhaps the only well timed review I have ever done.
     
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    BigJimFish

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    Update 9-1-2020

    I've actually finished up the Zero Comp ZC 420 review as well as the Proof carbon fiber barrel's review and am just waiting for some of the front page content to age a bit before posting them. I will put the Zero Comp up this weekend or early next week. Come to think of it, I should probably put it in the drafts with a schedule to go live as I have a cousin's wedding I have to be in on the weekend to take up several full days of my time and I'm going to get crazy behind on work. Only thing worse then a wedding is a funeral.

    Anyhow, the Vudoo V-22 review shares some data with the Proof review and I thought I would share a couple of test targets.

    2020 8 25 lapua center proof center x summary.jpg

    Proof barreled Vudoo V-22 Lapua Center-X lot testing target from the Lapua test facility


    The 20 rd groups here are very helpful in getting the best DRMS (distance root mean square) numbers for shot dispersion. This is basically like a two dimensional standard deviation. DRMS is the diameter of a circle expected to fit the center point of 63% of all future shots in it. Eventually, it is this sort of measurement I will be talking about in the quantifying precision article. This will happen once I work with the software folks and get things were they need to be for most shooters to easily generate and work with measurements like this. For the best lot of ammo tested, the DRMS was 4mm or .16" @ 50 meters. Even with conventional analysis, that 20rd group translated to .52" @ 50 meters and that is meters and a circle holding the center of all shots not yards and the distance between the centers of the furthest two. Go to yards and only the furthest spread and you are way under .5" for all 20 rds. Proof has only been doing .22lr barrels for a short while now. I think this barrel may have been from the second run of full size 1.2" cylinder .22lr barrels. Looks to me like it is going well.


    2020 8 25 lapua center proof assorted summary.jpg

    Proof barreled Vudoo V-22 assorted ammo lot testing target. Note: RWS target lot was 20yrs old, Midas, and Eley were 7years old. Some groups are 20 rds, others are 10.

    I was curious how other stuff would do so I ran through a great deal of what I had in the match ammo box. For those wondering, no, aguila's 60gr stuff does not stabilize in a 1-16 twist. It also doesn't eject reliably from a Vudoo even if you had a 1-9 and the SD is too large to make any improvement is BC worth chasing it.

    The Vudoo review is going to incorporate data from at least seven Vudoo V-22's chambered by them and probably an 8th. The best 10 rd group so far is .18" for a circle containing the center of all rounds @ 50M which is really absurd and all the rifles have been shooters. So far, these were all 1-16 twists but I may try to get one of the 1-9's in the review as well. It will depend on timing and how long the review has already grown with the pertinent information about the action design and such.
     
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    Moose

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    Great review on my favorite scope.I own 2 of the ZC 4x20 scopes and I am saving for another one.Thank you for taking the time to put this review together.
     

    BigJimFish

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    What does the gen 3 vudoo have over the gen 2?

    So, Vudoo has made a bit of a mess when they named their generations. They have a gen 1, 1.2, 2, and 3. The 1, 1.2, and 2 all represent different bolts in the same repeater receiver. The gen 3 is a different, single shot, benchrest action.

    Gen 1 uses an actual Remington 700 cocking piece at the back and disassembles like a Remington 700 with the funny little tool or shoelace to pull back the cocking piece and has a whole other special rig necessary to remove the firing pin spring if you want to do that as it is held under pressure with a roll pin.

    Gen 1.2 replaces the 700 cocking piece with their own which is held in place with a setscrew and threads to the firing pin instead of attaching with a roll pin. It disassembles first with an altered 700 bolt tool but after that needs no special tool for getting to the firing pin spring as you can loosen the allen head set screw and unthread the cocking piece from the firing pin.

    Gen 2 needs only the allen wrench to disassemble. You loosen that and then essentially just unthread the cocking piece from the firing pin. Once it comes apart the rest of the bolt sections are attached to each other with spade fittings and you just rotate and separate them. This design is both the easiest to totally disassemble and also can be held to higher tolerances.

    Gen 3 is the different, single shot, action. It is 3-lug instead of 2 lug and has a single shot feed ramp where the opening for the magazine is on the repeater. Other than that, the design is similar to the Gen 2 except that it takes it's own, proprietary trigger. The trigger is similar in footprint to a 700 trigger and uses the same pins (why they kept the pin interface I do not know as I think it is a PITA) but features a 90 degree cocking peice interface instead of the angled one on a 700 trigger. A 90 degree interface both puts less force from the firing pin on the trigger and also does not result in the trigger putting upward pressure on the firing pin pushing it off it's axis. 90 degree cocking piece interfaces are superior though you then obviously do not have the choice of all the 700 triggers for the gen 3 but rather will use the one it comes with.
     
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    BigJimFish

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    I forgot to mention that the gen 1 and 1.2 have a side bolt stop that interfaces with the left locking lug as is common in custom center fire actions. 2 and 3 have a bolt stop that is offset above the lug and interfaces with a channel on the bolt.

    I also understand that gen 1 bolts can be upgraded to gen 1.2 without much fuss if the owner is so inclined. I don't remember the cost associated.
     

    BigJimFish

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    Update 10-8-2020

    The Proof carbon rifle barrels review is up. This review analyzes the behavior of both a Proof carbon barrel in 6.5CM and one in .22lr in order to understand how Proof's carbon wrapped barrels differ from conventional steel barrels with respect to harmonics and cooling. Of course it also talks about the weight advantages and how the barrels shoot in general.

    2020 8 25 temp testing proof vudoo.jpg

    Testing the Cooling Rate of the Proof Carbon Fiber Barreled Vudoo V-22 at the Lapua Test Center

    For this year all that is left in the way of reviews is the Vudoo V-22. I'm just about done with this. So far it includes data from seven different Vudoo rifles. I'm going to try to add an 8th, a 1-9 twist. as well as add some more data from some more lower cost practice type ammo. It should be up around this time next month.

    As for next year, Minox is interested in me doing a review on the new 5-25x56 LR and I may try to bring in a Burris XTR III and perhaps one of the many ~$2k LOW OEM'd scopes to make a nice ~$2k test set. I expect to also have a look at Grayboe's new super lightweight Phoenix crossover stock. There are a few other things on my plate as well in a less advanced state of discussion
     

    BigJimFish

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    Update 11-9-2020

    The Grayboe Phoenix lightweight stock and Grayboe's bottom metal arrived Friday. This weights in at 32.3 oz without bottom metal but with the larger, heavier, tool-less cheek adjust knob and 36.2 oz with bottom metal. It should be an interesting stock to take a look at especially since I have it's bigger brother Ridgeback on hand as well as a competitor in the McMillan Game Warden.

    2020 11 9 Phoenix unboxing.jpg

    Grayboe Phoenix Unboxing (may be purchased with or without bottom metal and M-LOK pic rail section)

    The Vudoo V-22 review is also done and should be up in the next couple days. I just need to give @RAVAGE88 a call tomorrow and make sure I have a couple of points in the background correct. Frank just posted an everyday sniper podcast on Vudoo with the head skunk himself yesterday so it seems it's Vudoo season.

    2020 11 9 V22 in Phoenix.jpg

    Vudoo V-22 in the Grayboe Phoenix stock.
     

    BigJimFish

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    Update 11-13-2020

    The Vudoo Gun Works V-22 review is finished and posted. A lot of folks were instrumental in helping this review come to pass. In addition to the folks at Vudoo, Lapua, and Proof quite a few members of SnipersHide helped me with photos of their Vudoos or 40x's or provided me with their lot testing data print outs. Thank you all for your part in making this a better article.

    In all likelihood, this will be the last 2020 review as I expect the Grayboe Phoenix one will probably land in 2021. At that point I will make up a new blog thread for 2021 that will include that stock, the Minox 5-25x56 LR and some of it's competitors, the quantifying precision article that did not get finished this year, and maybe a piece on 700's in general that I have been mulling over.

    2020 10 22 v22 40x comparison.jpg

    Image illustrating the key engineering differences between a Vudoo V-22 and a Remington 40x action.
     

    BigJimFish

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    Some black Friday deals popped up in my e-mail on stuff I have reviewed recently I thought I would share:
    -Mesa precision arms has a huge discount on their lightweight 6.5CM rifle.
    - Triggertech and MDT always run epic black friday deals worth checking out.
    - Grayboe has 15% off everything
    - McMillan is doing a sale but their website concerning it seems to be having issues

    There is probably some other stuff but that is what popped up and I figured I would share it with you guys especially since there seem to be a lot fewer black friday deals this year than last due to record sales in the gun industry.
     
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    BigJimFish

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    Update 1-10-2021

    First off, I just posted a review of the new Grayboe Phoenix ultralight, adjustable, hunting stock. I would have made that the first post for the 2021 review and article blog but I feel like I have too much floating up in the air with the $2k scopes to be ready to start that yet. When I actually start getting some product in hand I'll get that thread started. The holiday / trade show season is always hard to get much accomplished in when it comes getting your ducks in a row and unsurprisingly the whole Covid mess has made that worse, not better.

    As for the stuff on the list for 2020 that did not get done: more on harmonics / tuning and how to quantify precision. The harmonics / tuning article is probably never going to happen. I feel like I am just chasing my tail with this one. Just as soon as I think I have something figured out I start to get some contrary test results. Bottom line, I thought I was getting somewhere and had something to say but I wasn't and don't. I could talk out my ass a while but there are plenty of options on youtube to do that for you if your so inclined. As for the how to quantify precision article, I think it will happen eventually. I don't want to do it until I have a good cheap, easy to use, tool for you and there is some following up I need to do with folks regarding that. Maybe this next year, depends on how busy I get with some home improvement stuff I need to get to or the wife is going to skin me.

    Lastly, I'll be ditching my twitter account. I'm sure you'll all be heartbroken to miss out on my 2-3 tweets a year. 144 characters wasn't really my thing. I know that surprises you all. Of course, I'm canceling twitter because of censorship, whereas I merely neglected it because it was a shitty platform and I hated it.