Author Topic: Search for a better scope for my Cobra  (Read 722 times)

Alan

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Search for a better scope for my Cobra
« on: May 27, 2018, 03:15:45 PM »
I believe I've given up on a FFP scope for the time being. The one I think I'd be happy with (I played with one at the local gun store) is a Leupold 3x9 which costs nearly $1,400! That won't happen!

The transitional distance between hash marks on most MIL dot and MOA scopes, are only accurate at some given setting—typically 10 power. When most of your hunting is under 100 yards, the field of view, and the exit pupil size all but eliminate quick shots. In an effort to fix this issue, I opted to buy a lower power scope. After much soul searching, I settled on a Barska Level model, in 1.5x6x44.

I tried ordering the scope from them, but they don't ship items the same day unless you order before 9 am. I don't know how to do that, as they don't open until 9 am! As the attached clearly explains, I managed to get around that, but I still missed a couple of days afield. So here is the (verbatim) email I sent them.

As you folks are aware, I did my best to order a scope (1.5-6x44mm, Level model rifle scope,with MOA reticle, 30 mm tube, and rings) directly from your company. Unfortunately, your shipping schedule didn’t fit mine! I cancelled the order with you folks, and placed an order with Amazon. As it was, I ended up missing all but the last day of a special hunt, which is also unfortunate. But the truth is, it isn't the shipping schedule (or my hunt) I’m writing about. Rather, it is my state of confusion.

The description uses the word Level. Indicating of course, that the scope has one. Guess what, it doesn’t have one built in, or even an external one! If it doesn’t, why does the descriptive name include the term—Level?

As with all MOA and MIL reticle scopes, the measurement between segments is at some specific power level. If one reads the single-sheet manual, it references 10 power. How can that be? The scope only goes to 6 power! And, nothing in the manual says anything about what power to use so that the described MOA is correct. Turns out, setting the scope to about half way between the marked 4 and 5 on the scope’s power ring, sets the transitioned distance between full and half hash markings at ≈4 inches at 100 yards! Correct MOA at any power, it is not!

It is also noted that in the box there is an Allen wrench for the scope's mounting rings. However, there isn't the requisite Torques wrench for the scope adjustment towers to allow resetting to zero. That’s an oversight, no pun intended.

All is not bad, however. The scoped image is very clear, and the distance markings are very precise when properly focused. Rather surprising, actually. The fit and finish is also very good, and it appear rugged from outward appearances.

Nonetheless, I’m a bit perplexed. I can return this scope to Amazon, and send along a copy of this email. Obviously, there wouldn’t be any argument about a refund. But I’m giving you all an opportunity to make this right. How you do that, is up to you. At a minimum, you should supply a correct manual for the scope, rather than a generic, cover-all-models, sheet of paper!

And lastly… I’d actually prefer to call you folks to discuss these issues. Unfortunately, no one ever answers the Customer Service line—it always goes to voice mail and into never, never land!

Alan Applegate


What Barska does is unimportant, even if it is nothing. I'll just spend some target time to get the correct power versus the hash marks, and move on. My comments about a clear image is dead on. Again, no pun intended, as the comment is truthful. It makes the Hammers I've been using, look rather dusty in comparison.

The parallax adjustment as noted, is close enough to be scarily accurate. I spent about 20 minutes cross-checking the distances with my laser range finder. That fact alone will probably cinch the deal for me as I spend too much field time fiddling with the rangefinder on shots over 75 yards or so.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the eye relief and field of view. Obviously, most of that is a result of the lower overall power. But when you've been using 10 power as long as I have, getting back to half that is a relief in more ways than one!


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Alan

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steveoh

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Re: Search for a better scope for my Cobra
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2018, 05:34:40 PM »
I have an inexpensive Barska binoculars.  They are just plain horrible. Won't stay in focus.

A while back there was talk on the forum about a BSA FFP bought directly from China. I jumped, and I'm happy. Maybe give one of those a shot?

http://airgunguild.com/airgun-optics-and-accessories/bsa-4-14-x-44-30mm-tube-ffp-on-sale-!/
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Alan

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Re: Search for a better scope for my Cobra
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2018, 05:13:23 AM »
I don't want to steal my own thread, but...

I have a pair of cheap Bushnell, 10x50s. They're indeed CHEAP! Bushnell's turnaround is about 6 weeks, which is ridiculous for a $37.50 pair of binocs! So, I've taken them apart (twice!) to fix the focus screw mechanism. I also found the prism set screws, and managed to get the culmination where it should have been from the factory. As Forest Gump might have said, Cheap is as cheap does!

I do have a pair of B&L 8x50 made in the late 40s. They're wonderful, but way too heavy to sling around your neck!
  • Roswell, New Mexico
Alan

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Alan

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Barska 1.5x6x44 Level rifle scope
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2018, 01:25:36 PM »
The interesting thing about all of the correspondence (they don't answer emails it appears, and only answer the phone when they feel like it, so it seems), no one had the answer to my questions.

The main question is, at what power are the MOA markings correct? The manual says to use 10X! How is that possible when the max power is 6?

I'm not one to drag my feet, so it didn't take me long to figure one what the real distance between the hash marks are. The photo shows a reticle very similar to the one in the scope, and close enough for this discussion. According to the manual, the distance between a big and a little hash mark is 2 MOA. Obviously, between two big hash marks is 4 MOA. At 10 power, mind you!

The real distance is off a bit. At 6x, the distances are 3 MOA and 6 MOA respectively. If you set the scope ar just past 4x, they're 4 and 8 MOA respectively. Sharp-eyed scope users will note that at 6x, the hash marks are very close to MIL dots. Geez! I didn't order a MIL dot scope!

As I said above, the image through the scope is very clear. Barska says it has 85% transmission, and it is at least that. And, I like the lower power, and less weight when compared to the previous Hammers scope. I could send the scope back to Amazon as Barska suggested, but I don't think I'll do that for several reasons besides what I just said.

There is one other interesting item. I did some searching for the words Barska on a couple of popular forums. I did not get very many hits, and those I did, were about average; bad vs. good. In comparison, do a search on Hawke, and you get a real myriad of information, most of which is at least an 8 on a 10 scale.

All said and done, it is no wonder to me, why you don't hear more about Barska/Airgun use. Seemingly, they just can't seem to get the act together (especially their phone support), and they've been in business since 1994!



« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 01:28:00 PM by Alan »
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Alan

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Alan

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Re: Search for a better scope for my Cobra
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2018, 11:24:33 AM »
Here is an update, but I digress first.

I wanted a scope with about 4X power, with a TRUE MOA reticle, wherein the MOA markings are lines, NOT DOTS! The reason is, dots cover up small game, especially when you MUST set the scope to 10X to make the markings true MOA. Or MIL as they usually are. Although I've looked at about every single manufacturer I can find, they seemingly etch all of their glass with dots! What's with that?

So I find the Barska, Level model (no level, just a name) in 1.5x6X, x44 (30 mm tube), and the reticle is lines! Perfect! Except, they aren't MOA, even though Barska says they are. I suspect they would be, if the scope actually went to 10 power, but in this case, 6X is the max. Someone must have dropped the ball of this one.

As I explained above, you can sort of get by, if you set the power just over 4X, wherein the markings are very close to MOA (4 inches between cross hatches), but NOT DOTS! This fact has increased my hit count by quite a bit, because I don't have to compensate for the width of those darn dots!

Some may argue, but 4X is really enough for an airgun, unless you're target shooting. It really is a case to too much, being WAY too much. What's more, target acquisition is much quicker, which for some game (think grackles) is a big plus.

I do like the scope, but it remains to be seen what Barska has to say, but I'm not holding my breath.
  • Roswell, New Mexico
Alan

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caniborrowsomeammo

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Re: Search for a better scope for my Cobra
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2018, 02:09:25 PM »
Finding a reasonably priced FFP scope is kinda hard as there aren't many out there. But they seem to be catching on. I have a (midpriced-$8-900) Sightron SIII on my Flex zeroed at 75 yds. and I really like it. They have a lifetime warranty AND a custom shop. Has hashmarks in MOA2. Though at low power the reticle washes out shaded areas of a tree so I use 10x and up. But if I were to do it again I would go with a SFP model and deal with the magnification conversion for distance shooting with the Flex as my max is ~180 yds, and I'm at the bottom of the reticle. ( Hell no I cant hit anything at that range :'( )
I have the 10-60 SFP-MOA-H on my FT gun, quite a lot of optic for the money IMO. That gun is a dove killer at ranges to ~57 yards but you run out of parallax/focus any farther out.
My take on optics is you really cannot be over scoped at distance with my old eyes, especially when I prefer head shots only with no waste of meat on Eurasians.
Buncha BB guns that I don't get to shoot as much as I like. Building duck boats now that I'm "retired".

Alan

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Re: Search for a better scope for my Cobra
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2018, 02:35:32 PM »
I'm lucky, in that I have 20-10 vision in one eye, and 20-15 in the other at a distance, and I'm 78! It isn't my ability to see, it is that I don't like the reticle to be lost within the target (FFP?), or the target lost within the reticle (SFP)!

I look back on the hunting I did with my dad. The highest power scope he ever owned, was a 3x9. His favorite rifle was a 30-06, and it had a Weaver 4X mounted on it. He brought home a lot of meat with that combo.

Oh! I often take Eurasian doves and pigeons out to 150 yards with my .25 caliber Cobra. And I did a couple of those shots today, with the scope set at 4X!
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Alan

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Christopher

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Re: Search for a better scope for my Cobra
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2018, 07:38:41 PM »
Alan, not sure what your experiences have been with Hawke scopes, if any, but they offer a FFP scope now. It fills out most of your criteria. It is  FFP scope, the power is 4-16, the markings are lines, with the exception of the windage holdover markings. But it’s not an MOA. Anyways, here’s you a link. https://us.hawkeoptics.com/sidewinder-ffp-4-16x50-mil.html

Chris
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Alan

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Re: Search for a better scope for my Cobra
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2018, 06:54:09 AM »
Maybe I'm over-stating the issue.

All FFP scopes have the same issue. At some given (high) power, the reticle becomes to large to use on small game. At some given (low) power, the reticle can't be seen as it blends into the game and/or background.

All SFP scopes, with a MIL dot reticle have the same issue. The scope must be set to some specific power (typically 10X) so that the MIL dots are true size (≈3.6 inches at 100 yards). Again, the issue is correct holdover for the same two issues as mentioned above, only reversed so to speak.

The scope I have is a Barska, Level model, in 1.5X6 power. The reticle is supposed to be MOA. That is, one inch at 100 yards. It is sort of, if you set the power correctly. In this case, 6X wherein the major notches are 6 inches apart, and the minor ones 3 inches apart at 100 yards. Set at about 4 and a fraction, they become essentially MIL dots which I'm used to. And thankfully, when the reticle is lit, is doesn't have any fringing like every other lit scope I have owned. I use the lighting when the ambient requires it so the reticle isn't lost when transposed on the game in question.

Part of the issue is the etching of the reticle itself. What I would like to have is similar to the one below. You still have a holdover reference, even if the reticle's vertical etch can't be seen agains the game.



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Alan

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oldpro

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Re: Search for a better scope for my Cobra
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2018, 08:41:00 PM »
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Alan

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Re: Search for a better scope for my Cobra
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2018, 09:32:32 AM »
I did look at them.

I've grown rather fond of the Barska, if for no other reason than clarity. Part of the issue is the larger exit pupil due to the lower magnification. At about 4.2X (on a linear scale), the MOA crosshairs are 4 inches apart at 100 yards. That is close enough to MIL dots, that relearning holdover wasn't all that difficult. The crosshairs themselves, are ≈1 MOA so I don't cover the target with a huge 2 or 3 MIL dot!
  • Roswell, New Mexico
Alan

I have an Omega compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your portable tank as a courtesy.