Parallax

Spec Ops Shooting

Ultimate Firearms Training Guide

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Parallax is like radioactivity in that it is feared mostly because it isn't understood. For all the overly complicated articles I've read that warned me about its mysterious effects, it was finally Leupold that cut through the hocus-pocus with one uncomplicated declaration: "Don't worry about parallax."

Here's why: if you're using a quality rifle scope that's been factory-set to be parallax-free at 150 yards, the worst possible parallax error is only 1.3 inch at 500 yards! Unless you're wearing an Olympic Gold Medal for long-range shooting, that's too little potential error to reduce your accuracy in any significant way.

Further, if you've properly focused your adjustable objective lens—a feature worth having—it reduces potential parallax problems even more. And if you have developed a spotweld so you consistently place your shooting eye at the exact same spot time after time, you have reduced it still further. I would guess these two additional factors probably cut potential parallax error to a half-inch or less at 500 yards.

And indeed, an adjustable objective is important for scopes of lOx or larger since the higher magnification scopes are a little more prone to parallax problems. Still, though, you should understand parallax so you can argue coherendy over a beer with fellow snipers.

The problem with rifle scopes is that the enure reticle sits in one spot; unlike open sights, a scope has no rear aiming point to align precisely with a front aiming point. Imagine that you had a rifle with only a front blade for aiming; unless you placed your shooting eye at exactly the same spot on the stock, you could not have consistent accuracy. You realize that even using extreme care in placing your cheek at precisely the same spot for each shot, you'd still be a little off sometimes. The sight picture would look just the same, but you know that to

Skmperscopp Basics 97

Duplicated from The Ultimate Sniper by John Plaster, copyright 1993,2006 by John Plaster. Published by Paladin Press

100 THI- Ul.'l'imati: Sniprr

This polarizing filter allows a sniper to see through glaring windows.

100 THI- Ul.'l'imati: Sniprr

The fine honeycomb mesh on the KillFlash eliminates a scope lens reflective glare.

windows. Though of interest mostly to police snipers, there have been enough shots through glass in Iraq that this polarizing light capability may be worthwhile for military snipers, too.

When operating in the glaring light of snow or open desert, your scope often conveys too much light to your eye, degrading your vision. Just as you'd wear sunglasses to cut such blinding glare, you can reduce light transmitted through your scope by attaching an aperture to your objective lens. All this really means is reducing light transmission by partially covering the lens—just be careful not to let tape or adhesive touch the lens surface! I use slide-on expedient covers made from tape and plastic scrap and painted camouflage. It doesn't need to be fancy to work.

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