Don’t put a cheap scope on a good rifle

I’ve got a gun that’s not hitting where it should. Actually, it shoots just fine at some ranges, but it’s way off at others.

I have a really good rifle that’s not hitting where I aim it. It’s frustrating, because the gun should be knocking the center out of the bull. But it’s not the gun’s fault. If I were shooting it offhand, I’d say the fault is probably mine. But I’ve been shooting it from a solid rest on a bench, and not even from very long distances. The problem comes when I shoot it at distances farther or shorter than the range I sighted it in for.

I noticed the problem when I sighted it in for 100 yards, then moved out to 200 yards to see where it was hitting. Turns out, it was hitting a smidge high and about an inch to the left. So I sighted it in for 200 yards, and then I moved in to 100. Now, it was hitting a bit low and to the right. So I flung some lead at a 300-yard target, and sure enough, at that range, it was high and left again. It was driving me nuts, because it was dead-on at 200 yards. And I mean dead-on.

I haven’t tested it yet, but I’m pretty sure I know what the problem is. That rifle’s an old, pre-64 Winchester Model 70, so it shouldn’t be missing what it’s aimed at. I’m almost positive the problem is in the cheap Weaver scope sitting on top of the gun.

It’s the classic problem of mounting crummy optics on an otherwise perfectly serviceable rifle. It doesn’t matter how fancy, how expensive, or how customized your gun is. If you put an inferior scope on it, what you have in your hands is an inferior piece of junk. The gun’s only as good as the scope you’re looking through.

I have a Ruger that has a pretty good scope on it, but I could sure stand a nicer one on that rifle. So I think what I’m going to do is put the Ruger’s scope on the Winchester, and then upgrade the Ruger’s optics. The Ruger is my go-to hunting gun, so it deserves the best scope I can buy. And the best part is that I’ll get to go to the range again to sight in two guns, not just one.