Today I went out in the morning to put a few rounds through my AR and sight in my new Nikon M-223 1-4X20mm scope mounted on a Nikon M-223 specific mount. I took out some different loads: PMC M193, PMC Bronze 55gr. FMJ-BT, Wolf 55gr. FMJ-HP and Winchester Ballistic Silvertip .55gr. Varmint. My range is my back yard, so I had a hard time finding a good stable base to shoot from. I ended up settling on a saw table with a few blocks of wood and a bean bag shooting rest stacked on top. I justified this for two reasons. First, I think this will give me more of a real world accuracy test. Iím not likely to have a shooting bench or nice flat ground to shoot from in the field, so why train that way? Secondly, this isnít really an accuracy test anyway. The rifle is a DPMS A-15, and for the most part Mil-Spec. I canít expect it to shoot MOA, itís supposed to shoot MO-Zombie, and it does so very well. Another reason that itís not an accuracy test, is because of the scopes reticle. Itís Nikonís ďPoint Blank Reticle.Ē Itís got 3 MOA cross hairs that neck down to about ľ MOA right before they intersect with a large 3 MOA dot in the center. Itís designed for quick acquisition, and it works. Itís not so hot when youíre trying to shoot for groups.
I started by sighting it in using 3 shot groups of Wolf at 25 yards. During the zeroing I fired a round every other breath, if that gives you any idea of the pace. I then moved the target out to 100 yards, where I fired two more 3 shot groups. The groups were about 7 inches high. I went back to the gun, and dialed the scope down 28 clicks(ľ MOA adjustments). I shot another 3 rounds- and really screwed up the last shot. The other two were touching the bull though, so I was happy. Again, this reticle is really difficult to shoot for pin point accuracy at this range. The dot in the center of the reticle is 3 times the size of the bull on the target. I now started shooting every breath, to see how the rifle/scope combo would print at a real world pace. As you can see in the pictures, itís not going to win a competition, but I see them as shots having a positive effect on a threat, or maybe even a white tail. My rifle seemed not to like the PMC M193, and really didnít seem to like the Winchester. Iíll end up doing some more shooting with this ammo later and from a better rest to see if itís just me. By the time I got to those loads, my rifle was pretty warm, and that could have had an effect as well. To show the speed of the scope, I fired 7 rounds of the PMC M193 at a rubber spin target at 75 yards in less than 3 seconds. All were hits. This type of shooting is what this scope is made for.
I use my AR for mostly competition and training, and Iím anxious to start running some tactical drills with this scope on the 1X setting. The front sight is obtrusive, but I donít think itíll be a problem. I also hunt some with my AR, and before I had just used my Aimpoint. Now Iíve got a bit of magnification to play with, and I think the medium distance shots will be much easier now.
25 yard target:
100 yard target. Notice the 6 shot group above.
Wolf at 100 yards, quick pace:
PMC M193 at 100 yards, quick pace: