Saturday, November 22, 2014

Tapping The Versatility Of The M40 Tactical Hunter Scope


If you are looking for a hunting rifle scope that can offer some of the range-finding and shot-placement features of a true tactical scope, but without having to totally re-educate yourself on how to use the scope, here's the answer - the 3-9x40mm M40 Tactical Hunter.

The basis for this scope is the Hi-Lux Optics re-creation of the Vietnam era M40 USMC sniper scope. What made this scope so "hi-tech" back in the 1960's was its simple ranging system, which required the shooter to zoom in and frame a known object of 18-inches between two upper cross-wires...then read the range on a scale visible in the bottom right quadrant of the rear lens.  It was easy to learn...and reasonably accurate.  The shooter then only had to apply the needed "hold over" for those shots out at 300 to 600 yards.

The Hi-Lux Optics re-creation of this scope is better than "authentic".  Today's lenses are far superior than what was available during the 1960's, and the new lens coatings make the Hi-Lux Optics M40 USMC Sniper Scope far brighter and sharper than the originals.  Likewise, a new etched glass ranging scale is more precise and reliable than the fragile plastic scale found in the original USMC scopes.

For today's hunter, Hi-Lux Optics has now incorporated a Bullet Drop Compensating reticle in the M40 Tactical Hunter version of this scope - with short cross-bar hold-over aiming points on the lower vertical cross-hair for those shots at 200 to 500 yards.  (Where the cross-hair and the lower heavy duplex post meet also serves as a 600-yard
hold-over.)

USMC Vietnam snipers mounted the original M40 scope on high-grade Remington bolt-action rifles, chambered for the .308 Winchester cartridge.  Hi-Lux Optics chose to base the location of the longer range cross-bar aiming points on the trajectory of .308 Winchester Match ammo, such as the Hornady 155 gr. OTM Match (at 2,775 f.p.s. muzzle velocity) and 168 gr. BTHP Match (at 2,700 f.p.s. muzzle velocity) loads.  Sighted right at 2 inches high at 100 yards, both of these rounds share very similar trajectories out to 500 yards - due to the higher .450 ballistic coefficient of the slightly slower 168-grain BTHP bullet.  (The 155-grain HP Match bullet has a .405 b.c.)

At 300 yards, the 168-grain bullet drops 8.5 inches, while the 155-grain hollow-point drops 8.3 inches. Moving to 400 yards, the heavier BTHP drops 24.7 inches, while the lighter 155-grain bullet is down 24.1 inches - and at 500 yards the 168-grain BTHP drops 50 inches, while the 155-grain HP drops 49.2 inches. With a .308 Winchester caliber rifle sighted 2 inches high at 100 yards, the BDC reticle of the Hi-Lux Optics 3-9x40mm M40 Tactical Hunter will keep hits in the kill zone of any North American big game animal out to 600 yards.

Now, some of you are surely saying to yourselves, "I don't shoot and hunt with a rifle chambered for the .308 Winchester cartridge."

The rifle shown at left and at the top of this post has become just about the only "big game" center-fire rifle I pack into the field these days.  It is a stainless steel Winchester Model 70, chambered for the .300 Winchester Short Magnum cartridge. For deer-sized game, my load consists of a moderate 65-grains of Accurate Arms 4350 behind a Hornady .308" diameter 168-grain polymer-tipped A-MAX bullet.  At the muzzle, the .475 b.c. bullet exits at 3,070 f.p.s..

I like the handy ranging system of the M40 Tactical Hunter scope, and it has become my favorite for this hunting rifle.  So, how compatible are the BDC hold-over cross-bars with the higher velocity of the load and the higher b.c. of the bullet?

Very compatible, it just took some shooting to determine exactly where those cross-bar hold-overs would place bullet impact at longer ranges.

Now, this rifle, scope and load consistently prints sub M.O.A. at a hundred yards.  To fully tap the flat shooting trajectory, I've sighted the rifle to print the 168-grain A-MAX right at 2 inches above point of aim at 100-yards.  With a dead on hold, that puts bullet impact right at .6 inch high at 200 yards.  Using the 300-yard cross-bar hold-over, bullet impact at that distance is right at 2.7 inches high.  At 400-yards, the cross-bar for that range prints 4.3 inches high...and at 500 yards the BDC hold-over puts shots 7.5 inches above point of aim.

Rarely will I shoot at big game much beyond 400 yards.  Shooting this rifle with the load detailed, I've found that the 400-yard hold-over actually puts shots pretty much on at about 430 yards...the 300-yard hold over hits on at around 340 yards...and the 200-yard hold over prints on at about 250 yards.

The buck in the above left photo was taken at 396 yards (lasered after the shot).  When the deer walked out into a huge alfalfa field, I ranged the buck with the M40 Tactical Hunter ranging system (framing the chest from the top of the back to the bottom of the chest) and could see it was right at 400 yards.  Using the BDC hold-over for that range, I knew that bullet impact would be a little over 4 inches high at that range, so held about 3 inches below center of the chest cavity and squeezed off the shot.  The 168-grain A-MAX drove home about 2 inches above where I was holding and this buck went down on the spot.  (The kill zone on a whitetail buck is about as large in diameter as a 9-inch paper plate.)

For the hunter who is willing to do some shooting to determine where a particular rifle, load, bullet and velocity combo prints on with the BDC hold-over bars of this scope, the M40 Tactical Hunter just could be the most practical and useful hunting scope you could ever mount on a hunting rifle - no matter if it is chambered for .223 Remington, .300 Winchester Short Magnum, or even .45-70 cartridges.  This scope, ranging system, and BDC reticle is compatible with rifles chambered for just about every popular big game cartridge...the shooter just has to do some "homework" on the range to determine where those long range hold-over marks print bullet impact down range.  -  Toby Bridges, Hi-Lux Optics      


Friday, September 5, 2014

Hi-Lux Optics Introduces New MAX-TAC Dot Sight


The Shooting Wire shares a look at the new MAX-TAC Dot reflex red-dot sight from Hi-Lux Optics.  This is a high quality and full featured electronic red-dot sight at a price that won't clean out your bank account. Here's more on this great sight -

                                    http://www.shootingwire.com/story/327767 



_________________________________________________________________________________________________


Last fall, I put the prototype of the MAX-TAC Dot sight through some fairly extensive test shooting, and was so impressed with the sight I also used it on a Traditions .50 caliber in-line ignition muzzleloading pistol to fill one of my Montana antlerless whitetail tags.

I was shooting a 60-grain charge of Blackhorn 209 behind a saboted 240-grain Scorpion PT Gold bullet (from Harvester Muzzleloading).  The yearling whitetail offered a perfect 40-yard broadside shot...and when the illuminated red dot of the sight was perfectly behind the shoulder...the trigger slowly came back...the big handgun barked...and the deer went down.  It was -15 degrees that morning.  - Toby Bridges, Hi-Lux Optics


To Read More On This Hunt Go To -  http://www.namlhunt.com/doublefeature.html


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hi-Lux Optics Buck Country 1.5-6x42mm Scope - An Affordable Classic Scope


                                                               (Click On Photos To Enlarge)

The rifle shown above is something of a modern classic.  It is the Thompson/Center Arms single-shot TCR Model 87.  The company first introduced the rifle as the TCR Model 83, in 1983.  The only real difference between the Model 83 and the Model 87 is that the earlier model, also known as the Aristocrat, featured double-set triggers, while the model shown here, often referred to as the TCR Hunter, came with a single trigger.  The interchangeable barrels fit both models.  From what I can gather, only about 40,000 were produced (both models combined) between 1983 and 1991.

What kept the rifle from being any more successful was the price.  The retail cost of either the TCR 83 or TCR 87 was noticeably higher than popular bolt-action center-fire rifles of the time, such as the Winchester Model 70, Remington Model 700 or Ruger Model 77.

Just finding a fine condition Model 83 or 87 today that's for sale is quite an accomplishment...But, finding one for sale at a bargain price is, well, PRICELESS!


I lucked into the Model 87 shown here a couple of months back on the Montana Armslist on the internet - and bought the rifle with two barrels (.22 Hornet and .30-06), a new riflescope, with two bases and sets of rings already attached, and 5 boxes of .22 Hornet ammo - for a whopping $400. I've since turned down a $600 offer for the rifle with the .22 Hornet barrel - and a $300 offer for the .30-06 barrel.  I've wanted one of these for years, and this one is staying right here.

When I bought the rifle, the .22 Hornet barrel was on the frame, and had a current model Redfield 3-9x42mm model scope mounted on it.  The scope had less than 50 rounds fired under it, and I put another 20 rounds through the .22 Hornet barrel the day I bought it.  The scope seemed to perform well enough, but I just did not like its overly large size.  It was just too big and bulky for the slim and trim lines of the TCR Model 87.  The scope I chose for this barrel is the 1.5-6x42mm Buck Country model from Hi-Lux Optics. The scope is considerably shorter, and looks much better on the rifle.


This has long been one of my favorite scopes in the Hi-Lux line, and it retails for just $129.00.  It's built with much of the quality and ruggedness of higher priced models in the line.  The BC156x42 features multi-coated high quality lenses that are super bright and sharp.  The fingers actuated windage and elevation adjustments are crisp and positive - and the somewhat European styling of the scope simply adds to the overall look of a classic single-shot like the TCR Model 87.

What really impressed me was my very first shot with the rifle with the Hi-Lux Buck Country 1.5-6x scope mounted in the same rings used to mount the previous scope.  Switching out the two scopes took all of about ten minutes.  My first shot out of the .22 Hornet barrel with the new scope at 50 yards, shooting Hornady "Varmint Express" ammo, with the 35-grain V-MAX bullet (at 3,100 f.p.s.), was perfectly left-right center on the target, and about an inch above the center-x of the Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C target.  Two following shots punched a .455" center-to-center group.

A new target was then stapled to the 100-yard target board...and the very next three shots produced a .335" group.  Never before in my life have I been able to pull a brand new scope out of a box, and stick it into existing rings on an existing base - and have a rifle sighted in...without ever turning an adjustment turret.  That group is shown here.

When shipped, Hi-Lux Optics scopes are set at "optical center" - with the same amount of adjustment up and down, and left to right.  The odds of being able to take a scope that's perfectly centered optically, and dropping it into a set of rings on a rifle, and have it perfectly "on" at 100 yards is beyond comprehension.  In my mind, it also says a lot for just how precisely the TCR Model 87 was built - and especially how precisely centered the holes for mounting a scope base were drilled.

I've also put a few boxes of Sellier & Bellot 45-grain soft-point rounds through the Hornet barrel, punching several sub 1-inch hundred yard groups.  The scope took the needed 1/4-inch click adjustment in windage and elevation well.  The rifle tends to prefer the Hornady 35-grain V-MAX, and I was able to easily return to the zero for those rounds by turning both windage and elevation the same number of clicks in the opposite direction.

I'll shoot and bust a few ground squirrels with the .22 Hornet barrel, Hi-Lux Optics 1.5-6x High Country scope, and Hornady's "Varmint Express" ammo until I pick up a set of loading dies for the .22 Hornet. It's been more than 40 years since I've owned a rifle chambered for the .22 Hornet.  I had forgotten how accurate a good rifle in that caliber can be...and how much fun it is to squeeze off a round that tends to have "zero" recoil.

Now, I'm eyeing up that .30/06 barrel for the rifle - and wondering what scope to mount on it.  I'm kind of leaning in favor of the new Hi-Lux Optics 3-9x40mm M40 Tactical Hunter, with a built in ranging system. What do you think?  -  Toby Bridges


                         For More On The Buck Country Scopes - Click Here


        




Thursday, June 19, 2014

Where Can I Buy Leatherwood/Hi-Lux Optics Riflescopes?



We know, that compared to other name brand rifle optics, we are still somewhat the "new kids" on the block.  However, when it comes to quality, reliability, precision, brightness, sharpness, clarity and toughness...our products will definitely stand up against any other scope line on the market.

We are expanding our dealer list, making it easier for you, the consumer, to actually pick up and compare a Leatherwood/Hi-Lux Optics scope with other brands.  However, if you cannot find our products in any of your local gunshops, here is a list of very reputable internet retailers where you can learn more about our scopes...read some reviews...and actually purchase the great models that make up our line.


SWFA Outdoors

http://swfa.com/Leatherwood-Rifle-Scopes-C96.aspx 


OpticsPlanet

http://www.opticsplanet.com/leatherwood-riflescopes.html



Midway USA

http://www.midwayusa.com/find?userSearchQuery=Hi-Lux+rifle+scopes



Creedmoor Sports

http://www.creedmoorsports.com/shop/Hi-Lux-Leatherwood-Rifle-Scopes/



Brownells

http://www.brownells.com/search/index.htm?k=hi-lux&ksubmit=y



Natchez Shooters Supply

http://www.natchezss.com/brand.cfm?brand=LF



Ironsight Inc.

http://ironsightinc.com/index.php?route=common/home



Buffalo Arms

http://www.buffaloarms.com/Leatherwood_Malcolm_Scopes_pr-4430.aspx



Taylor's & Co., Inc.

http://www.taylorsfirearms.com/accesories/scopes.html 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Unique Application Of Hi-Lux Optics AR Tactical Scope...


The following is an excerpt from a feature article about the new LHR Sporting Arms .50 caliber Redemption Carbine big game muzzleloader, which was just published on the NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING web magazine.  This short and fast handling muzzleloader was designed and built for getting on target quickly...and taking the shot.  To tap the accuracy and knockdown power of this new frontloader, for this report the Redemption Carbine has been topped with one of the Hi-Lux Optics 1-4x CMR scopes for AR style cartridge rifles.  Here's what NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING had to say about the scope... 





"As soon as I realized that the 20-inch barreled LHR Sporting Arms carbine is as fast shouldering as it looks, I knew immediately it was built for hunting the "heavy cover" where shots are generally well inside of a hundred yards - often calling for fast shot placement. Choosing the ideal scope for the short .50 caliber was a pretty easy choice - since I just happened to have one of the Hi-Lux Optics 30mm tubed 1x to 4x variable Close-Medium Range (CMR) tactical scopes on hand...and which needed a home.

This scope is actually an extremely popular scope for AR style cartridge rifles, with the low magnification ideal for fast target acquisition during those up close and personal situations ...yet offering enough magnification for punching some tight 100+ yard groups.



The only way this scope could have been any more perfect for the .50 caliber No. 209 primer ignition in-line carbine would be if those BDC hold-over marks seen below the center circle and dot had been calibrated for the ballistics of the short-barreled muzzleloader. (They are actually to allow for the trajectory of .223 Rem. or .308 Win. rounds.) This illustration shows the center portion of the reticle illuminated (available in either green or red). When the illumination is switched off, the center shows up like every other feature shown here.

The 30mm tube lets in a lot of light, making this one of the brightest scopes I now have on a muzzleloader. When the center illumination is switched "off", the small center dot is fine enough to allow precise shot placement out at 100 yards or a bit farther, yet bold enough that it's not lost when trying to catch up with a running target."




                                                         To read the entire article/report, go to -

                                    http://www.namlhunt.com/mlrifle15.html 










Friday, April 4, 2014

Part 2 - Testing The New 3-9x40mm M40 Tactical Hunter Riflescope


                                                                                        Click On Targets Below To Enlarge

Yesterday (April 3, 2014) was a great day for shooting in Western Montana.  The high temperature for the afternoon was 55 degrees, humidity was right at 50-percent, and the light 3 to 4 m.p.h. breeze was mostly right in my face.  During the entire 3 1/2 hour shooting session, I put a grand total of 29 rounds downrange - giving the rifle plenty of cool down time between shots.

Since I was shooting at 400...500...and 600 yards, far more time was spent walking downrange to post new targets...and to move the portable target board ever farther back...than shooting.  The purpose of this test shooting was to determine how well the BDC reticle of the Hi-Lux Optics 3-9x40mm M40 Tactical Hunter printed hits at those distances.

During my earlier testing (and March 17th report on this blog), I had done my shooting at 100...200...and 300 yards, loading the .300 Winchester Short Magnum cartridge to get a .475 b.c. .308" diameter 168-grain boat-tailed polymer-tipped Hornady A-MAX bullet out of the muzzle at approximately 2,850 f.p.s. (2,874 f.p.s. actual avg.).  The BDC reticle of the M40 Tactical Hunter has been designed around the ballistics of the .308 Winchester.  The purpose of my testing has been to determine how compatible the BDC hold-over aiming marks are with other popular big game hunting cartridges.  So, I picked up where I had left off during my earlier testing of the scope.

Sighted on at 100 yards, I found that the 200 yard aiming point printed hits on the average just about 3 inches high at 200 yards...and that the 300-yard aiming point would group, on average about 3 1/2 inches above point of aim at 300 yards.  This was when shooting the 168-grain A-MAX at approximately 2,850 f.p.s.  So, when I shot my first group at 400 yards, with the 400 yard hold-over of the scope's reticle, shooting the same load, I wasn't too surprised to find that it printed 4 1/2 inches above point of aim...and at 500 yards with the 500-yard hold over, hits averaged 5 1/2 inches above point of aim.

I've determined that the continued rise above point of aim is due to shooting such a high ballistic coefficient bullet at a higher velocity than typical with a .308 Winchester.  The load I was shooting produced the ballistics of a .30/06.

I had a healthy supply of loads along that would put the same bullet out of the muzzle at 2,782 f.p.s., which is within the ballistics of the .308 Winchester.  A couple of shots at 100 yards allowed me to tweak the scope to put hits "dead on" at that range.  Then I went to the 400 yard target board, using the 400 yard BDC mark, and my first three shots printed just 2 1/2 inches above the bull.  (Center-to-center, the group went 2.550" across - shown at right.)


At 500 yards, using the 500 yard BDC hold over, my group opened some - to 3.826" center-to-center - shown at left.. Now, I'm not complaining at all.  After all...we're talking about shooting at 500 yards...and even with the scope at 9x...that tiny 1-inch dot in the center of the target is pretty much covered up by the aiming mark.  At that range, I was basically holding as close as I could to what I felt was the center of the target.  As you can see in the accompanying photo, the hits were a bit more scattered...but all would have taken the game being hunted - at 500 yards.

I had kind of forgotten what it was like to shoot at 600 yards.  To walk out and move the portable target board to 600 yards...walk back to the bench...shoot the first shot...then walk back out to see where it hit...then back to the bench to shoot two more shots...and to retrieve the target and target board after the last shot...means having to walk 3,600 yards - just to shoot those three rounds at that distance.  That's more than 2 miles of walking.  My first shot at 600 yards had been 2.8" below the center of the target.  The second round printed on the outer lower left edge of the paper, 5.115" from the center of the bull.  And shot No. 3 printed at about 2 o'clock, 2.115" from the center of the bull.  On average, the three hits were less than 3.4 inches from the center of the target - which is outstanding.

Now, it looks as if I am faced with one more long afternoon of long range shooting...to determine where those M40 Tactical Hunter longer range (400 to 600 yard) BDC hold overs do put the hits pretty much on when shooting at 2,850 to 3,050 f.p.s.

It's a Dirty Job...but someone has to do it! - Toby Bridges, Hi-Lux Optics    
 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

301 Yard Shot Thanks To The Hi-Lux Optics TB-ML Muzzleloader Hunting Scope



"Watching with the binocs, it seemed as though time stood still in the quiet valley. I wondered as he stood there “Was he hit...and why did he stay out in the open?”  After about 5 seconds, he staggered sideways and fell down dead. I wondered, Could it really be?”   The feeling was unbelievable. After 30 minutes of seeing no movement, I pursued the animal and thought about how until 2 years ago I was afraid to ethically black powder shoot past 125 yards. The information on the NAMLHUNT.COM website and the multi-range reticle of the Hi-Lux Optics TB-ML scope have been game changers for me."

Mike Ross,
New Virginia, Iowa


To Read Mike's Article On This Great Hunt, Go To -

http://www.namlhunt.com/mladventure3.html