A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Dan Weaver of B.O.S.S. Accuracy in which we had a discussion about scopes and there calibration. He mentioned that he had made some targets that would give you some very valuable information about your scope vs what the manufacturer tells you about it. So he was kind enough to sends me couple of targets to take a look at.
My first impression was how big it is and that the writing is big enough that you can clearly see it through your scope. To many times somebody may have a good target but make that MOA (minuet of angle) block lines or wording to small that it cant be seen clearly from the FFP (field firing position)
The target is very easy to use and setup but like most things that relate to long range shooting you only get as much as you put into it. If you are hastily in the setup proses or try to cut corners there would be no point in the effort you are going through. The main details to properly setup the target would include leveling the target to insure the accurate data from the elevation adjustments. A good 100 yards between you and the target.
You can use ether a laser range finder or a long steel tape measure or something similar. I would recommend using a tape measure because of the tolerances that accompany a laser range finder. Lastly a good solid shooting position to remove human error.
The first thing that I did was to check my scope click value and that my scope is true to my bore. This is simply done by by aiming at the bottom of one of the “Straight Tracking Channels”. Once you have your cross hairs sable on the center of the circle with the rifle held in place simply fire a 3 shot group into the circle. Note: If some sort of strapping system is used to secure the rifle make sure that it is not secured over the barrel as this will change your zero and accuracy. After you fire your group all that is needed is to dial you scope 15 MOA and shoot for the same spot as before. But now your bullets will hit 15 inch’s higher than your first 3 shot group. If you see your bullet impacts move outside of the “Straight Tracking Channels” than you know that your scope is not level with the bore of your gun. To fix this simply rotate your scope in the opposite direction. Once you fire your second 3 shot group it will hit on one of seven lines indicating the actual click value of your scope.
As you can see there are clear marks that tell you what your scope click value really is vs what you were told by the manufacturer. This target is setup for 1/4 MOA scopes and I am not sure if they are available in 1/8, 1/2 or full Min. And as luck would have it my scope dialed directly to .25 so that is a good thing even though I have done this in the past with a different scope I found this to be much faster and more accurate. Now you might be thinking, so what if my scope is off a bit and if you only shoot inside the first few 100 yards it would not make much difference. But here is some food for thought if your scope is .26 per click vs .25 and you were shooting at a target at 1,000 yards you would be almost a full minute off at the target which is the difference between a hit and a miss. So you can imagine if you are shooting beyond a 1,000 yards it starts to multiply very quickly. So if you are looking for cold bore hits doing this is a absolute necessity. Now that you have done that here comes the real test, scope repeatably. After you have shot your second three shot group dial your scope back to your zero and shoot again. Did they hit in the same spot? We all hope that they do but very few scopes are capable of doing that. In Dan Weavers words “Many weak or stressed erector springs will allow the system to settle in after a few shots but this certainly is not optimum”. A scope that cant come back to your zero after repeatably being changed to shoot at distant targets is absolutely useless. If you dialed for a shot at 1,000 yards and returned to your zero and then dialed for the 1,000 yard target again. Your impact would be different from the bullets you just fired if your scope could not be zeroed correctly. Very Important.
Now after I was done with that I decided to check the accuracy of the Mil dots in my scope. Very simple proses to do and all you need is a stable shooting position and to make sure that the target is level. As you can see from the target on the right is you can check your mil dots using one or two mils. I decided to use the one mil option and turned my power setting to 12.5. Now on my scope I have two option for mil dot ranging, 12.5 or 25 power. At 12.5 each mil dot and hash mark is one full mil and on 25 power each mil dot is one full mil and the hash marks are a half mil, very convenient. Now with my scope on 12.5 power and looking at the target. The mils in my scope lined up perfectly but when I turned to 25 power and checked again it did not line up. Now this is nothing wrong with the target it is just that the target pointed out a flaw in my scope. On 25 power each mil in my scope actually equals more like 3.3 instead of 3.6. Which tells me that my scope is probably not a true 25 power sense it lined up perfectly on 12.5. No big deal really as long as I know what it really is and with out this target I probably never would have thought about it twice. The best part is that the targets are very reasonably priced at only 3 dollars each. When I first saw this target I thought it would be in the price range of about 10 bucks so I was happy to see that is was so affordable. You can find these target at bossaccuracy.com which also offers much more than just targets. I think that these targets would be a absolute for the long range shooter or hunter that is looking to get the most from his rifle and scope and I plan on using this target on a regular basses.