Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom


Scope Turrets: 1/4 moa versus 1 moa:


I have doubts about the benefits of a one turn elevation knob on rifle scopes. I am not now and have never been a sniper but I have used Swarovski sniper scopes with an elevation knob that took less than one turn. These scopes were fast to adjust but just the slightest movement of the elevation knob moved the point of impact by as much as 50 yards. I might be wrong but it seems to me that by using a scope like this instead of one that requires a liitle more turning on the elevation knob and has distinct clicks that you are trading precision for speed. Estimating range has some error already, by using an elevation knob like this I believe that you are adding more error into your shot. The one turn elevation knob seems to me like something for a sharpshooter and might be better mounted on a semi auto than a bolt action sniper rifle.
As I said I am a complete amateur at this so I might be wrong. Any comments from ex or current snipers? Thanks !!!

Kodiak <rvl@inil.com>
USA - Monday, January 04, 1999 at 13:41:24 (EST) 


Kodiak...
You're comment... "These scopes were fast to adjust, but just the slightest movement of the elevation knob moved the point of impact by as much as 50 yards."... leaves me at a bit of a loss.
I will aknowledge that I've never used a Swarovski sniper scope, but the typical "one turn sniper scope" doesn't have 50 yards of adjustment from one end to the other... maybe 12-14 yarcopef total adjustment (at 1000 yards), so I can't understand how a "Slight movement" could yeld such a massive error. The real attraction of the one turn scope, besides it's speed, is that it impossable to loose count of the number of turns you've made while going from 100yds/mtrs to 1000yds/mtrs.
It's not the 1/4 clicks that are the problem (though some of the scopes are bad there), but the lines on the elevation barrel that you must count to to know how many turns you have made... multiply the turns by 12 or 15 to get those MOA, then to "add" to the readings on the knob. Even the famous MK-4, M1 turrets are a real bitch to read and keep track of while "looking" for your 670yd setting... and under stress, or poor lighting, the M4-M1 is useless in the field.
The only 1/4 minute scope that I would trust under stressful condx in the 10x B&L Tactical... the 1/4 knobs and lines on the turret barrel are really "Huge"!...and are easy to track.
But under stress, the one turn dials will beat the standard 1/4 scopes every time... the one turn scopes that I have, or have used, have sufficent friction, that they won't move unless you want them to.
And as been said here before by others... on a tactical scope, if your a 1/2 moa out, even at 1000yds it's nothing, on a 1/4" target scope, if you are one or two turns out, you're not in the game, and if you play for real, you are "out of the game" big time!.

Pablito.
Paul Pablito" Coburn <condor@mags.net>
USA - Monday, January 04, 1999 at 14:45:28 (EST) 


To Pablito:
I guess I worded my message wrong. What I meant was that for example if your scope is adjusted to 600 meters all you have to do is turn the elevation knob a few degrees of rotation and all of a sudden your point of impact is now at 650 meters. At very long distances when your bullet drop is the most severe this 50 meter difference means a lot.
The knobs on the Swarovski easily have enough friction to not turn by accident but because there are no clicks if you want to return to a certain adjustment you have to say to yourself "it was about here", and if you're off just a little there is a big difference in your point of impact.
Never having been a sniper I don't know how important speed really is. I'm interested in learning the pros and cons of the multi turn, click knobs vs the one turn, no click systems. Most of my shooting has been done on the bench so the real life side of rifle shooting is pretty new to me. I want to learn this art that is why I ask questions like this. I appreciate your response.
Kodiak <rvl@inil.com>
USA - Monday, January 04, 1999 at 16:27:11 (EST) 
Turrets: 1/4 moa versus 1 moa. Military does not need the same precision level as LE. A body hit serves equally well as a head shot. Mission is to remove other guy's troops from field of battle. Wounded or dead, either works. LE is better served by 1/4 moa. Far more precise. Example. My buddy was nailing the head on the 600 yard target repeatedly with his 1/4 moa turreted scope. I could just graze it or just go for body shots with my LR M3 with the 1 moa Elev and 1/2 moa wind. UNLESS I held off to split the difference. But REALISTICALLY, I would not have been trying for heads at 600 in a war zone and he would not have been shooting at 600 in an LE zone. Fit the tool for the mission. You can use a 1/4 moa in war, but you are at a disadvantage, just as you can use a BDC for LE plinking, but not to great advantage.
scott <xring>
USA - Monday, January 04, 1999 at 17:19:14 (EST) 
Ok, so you would try heads at 600 yards in a war zone if that is all you had! I was just making a point. The 1/4 is uneeded in the military.
Scott <xring>
USA - Monday, January 04, 1999 at 17:21:15 (EST) 
Kodiak, I am not familiar with the Swarovski, but all of the one turn scopes I have seen had 1 minute clicks to 1000, or 1/4 minute clicks to 500. If the scope just had a friction adjustment and no position clicks I would steer clear of it.

Rich <dick2@clarkston.com>
WA USA - Monday, January 04, 1999 at 17:32:53 (EST) 


ON elevation clicks. Most of my scopes are 1/4 clicks and are used primarily for hunting at ranges from 100 to 600 yards. I am forever having to bore sight in the field to determine if I am back at zero caused by just loosing track of where I'm at. Late evening complicates the problem and usually the excitement of a shot complicates it. In combat it would be fatal. 1min clicks would suit me fine. Most my targets are less than 16" high. Another problem is turning it the wrong way by accidenI'm us giving a reading that doesn't make sense. One then is plagued with the thought am I up or down? I have taken to shooting the vertical mil dots using the dot's rather than the cross hairs after finding out where (at what range) they hit. It is much quicker in a hunting situation than fooling with knobs. May not be cool but there's a bunch of dead coyotes that don't seem to care!
Actually the ability to estimate range is mighty important if your going to say you need 1/4 clicks I probably can dial as close with a 1" turrent thaan I can estimate anyway.
B.Rogers <brogers@elkhart.com>
USA - Tuesday, January 05, 1999 at 02:44:16 (EST) 
1 MOA clicks: Refer to what Rick had to say about them a while back. They are so much easier to use and far more grunt proof than the 1/4 clicks. And even at 600m you will only be 3.3" off one way or the other max. Wind and weather throw me off more than that on the first shot of the day (course I use Gods own rangefinder). As far as the scopes go, my greatest experience is with the M3's and I have found some that were very mushy and others that clicked right nicely.

Ed Engler <Ed_Engler@softhome.net>
CP Greaves, ROK - Tuesday, January 05, 1999 at 05:19:24 (EST) 


Kodiak,
If you stay 600yds or under the 1/4 Min clicks are fine but if you shoot past 600 yards you start doing a lot of clicking to get out where you need to be. The biggest avantage to the "One turn" scope is when you have to engage multiple targets at unknown ranges with some being in the 300 to 400yd range then have one out there at 800 or 1000yds then back to 450yds. When you get done spinning the dial you wont know where your at then put yourself under pressure after running for a mile or two over rough terrain in 100defree heat and....OOPs sorry I was having a Wyoming flash back...Seriously that course is the best proving ground for what works in a tactical situation because you engage targets at unknown ranges fromm 300 to plus 1000yds and there not big either!! The M3 LR paid for itself out there and made a believer out of me.

Pat <mrbullet@hotmail.com>
USA - Tuesday, January 05, 1999 at 09:31:33 (EST) 


I always read messages where people say that the scopes with one-turn elevation knobs are better because they're easier to use when shooting at multiple targets at different ranges, that makes sense to me. However I also remember reading in some books that a sniper shouldn't fire too quickly between shots and never from the the same hiding place so as not too become a target himself. That makes sense also.
Two conflicting ideas that both seem to be right. What's the story here? What do the Marines teach?

Kodiak <rvl@inil.com>
USA - Wednesday, January 27, 1999 at 15:59:39 (ZULU) 


Kodiak:
The Marine Sniper SOP is to fire no more than 3 shots from a single position. Of course any operator will tell you situatuion dictates. Gunny Hathcock as you will remember took on an NVA company in elephant valley, but thta was a specific circumstance, and he had possetion of the key terrain, and fire support was available. We train to rapidly engage targets at different ranges. This is accomplished with the use of range cards, and the two man team. Once the first target has been engaged, the spotter will call sector and range to the Sniper, so he can aquire the target. Meanwhile the spotter is dialing on range corrections. This way the target can be engaged in the minumum amount of time, with out the sniper breaking his position. The Unertle scope is very well suited to rapid adjustments due to its elevation course/fine adjustment rings.
As far as should you engage multiple targets in a tactical situation. Yes, No, Maybe. If you are on top of a fortified position(as we were in '97 in Sierra Leone) everyone already knows where you are, so it makes no difference. If you are in the jungle near an enemy CP. Then there is no way i would do it. Hope this answers your question.
John M. <wraith144@aol.com>
Camp Lejeune, NC, USA - Wednesday, January 27, 1999 at 20:00:31 (ZULU) 

Back to Hot Tips & Cold Shots