Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Burris MTAC 1.5 x 6 and P.E.P.R. Mount Range Visit, First Impressions

The meteorologists predicted that the gloomy weather of the past few days was going to clear out Friday (May 2nd, 2014).  Friday morning dawned and the weather panned out.  I took advantage of the opportunity to go out to the rifle range to get the Burris MTAC 1.5 x 6x in a P.E.P.R. Quick Detach 30 mm mount sighted in.  I grabbed my rifle, targets and ammo and was out the door.

I arrived and immediately setup on the 25 yard line.  The night before, in anticipation of the good weather, I leveled out the mounted scope using Weaver's Modular Level System. That allowed me to get right down to shooting as soon as I got my target setup.  I am a huge fan of Shoot-N-C targets by Birchwood Casey.  It saves time and frustration when trying to see where your shots are landing.

Elevation Turret

I unscrewed the turret caps in anticipation of making my corrections.  Both turrets had clear markings indicating that each click was 1/2 MOA and which direction to turn the knobs to move your shot.  I appreciated this since I would have thought it was a 1/4 MOA per click due to conflicting information on Burris' website as of this blog post (note the highlighted row on table listed on the linked webpage).  My experience does seem to indicate that the clicks are indeed 1/2 MOA.  I may email Burris to ensure that the clicks are indeed 1/2 MOA just so that I am clear (and my readers are too!).

25 yards: First two shots 1/4 inch left of the red dot... and then craziness.

My first shots were low and to the left.  I made my adjustments and was just a 1/4 inch to the left of the bull with my next two shots.  I loaded up three more rounds and had at it again.  This time the majority of my shots stringed to the left.  I was perplexed.  I knew I was holding steady and breaking my shots fairly clean.  I checked the scope and mount.  The Burris P.E.P.R. mount had come loose from the receiver.  This was an oversight on my part.  The mount clamp tension can be loosened and tightened.  I had overlooked this when setting up.  I was able to tighten the tension to the point that the mount was now rock solid while still being able to lock down the quick detach levers without damaging the rail.

I got back on the gun and stacked three shots on the orange center dot. I checked that the mount was solid.  It was, and it stayed that way for the rest of the day.  I promptly moved over to the 100 yard line.

100 yards: Two shots on the right = Room for improvement

Ammo used for zeroing

I got set back up and fired off three rounds.  The group was about seven inches high and centered.  I dialed in the correction and was rewarded with a much more centered shot at my point of aim.  After a few slight corrections I settled in for my final grouping to confirm I was zeroed.

The center dot on the reticle (also the 100 yard aiming point) is 2.4 MOA at 100 yds at maximum magnification.  In other words, at max magnification (6x) the center dot on the reticle covers 2.4 inches of the target when said target is at 100 yards.  I was able to achieve a six shot group roughly 4" with two of those shots not being broken smoothly (flinched slightly).  The four "good" shots of the total six were in a group roughly 2.25 inches with Federal XM193F 5.56 mm M193 55 gr FMJ.  I really was pleased that I was able to keep two-thirds of the shots within the 2.4 inches of the center dot / aiming point.  If I had been doing my part, then I bet all six would have been within at least 3 inches.  Being satisfied with that group I decided to call it a day.

My initial reaction: I really do like the Burris MTAC.  The glass is very clear and the reticle is simple and easy to use.  For now, I do not really have a nitpick.  I will have a better idea of how well the drops work once I can get out to further ranges with the setup.  As a side note, the Ballistic CQ reticle can be illuminated.  For this outing I did not turn this on.  It was simply a beautiful day out and was not needed.  In case anyone wonders, on the highest illumination setting on a bright sunny day there is some washing out of the illumination.  This just results in the reticle looking like it is not illuminated or just partially illuminated.  I have found that it does not bother me since the reticle can still be used.

I'll be more sold on the Burris P.E.P.R. mount once I have more time with it and proves itself solid.  I really think the mount will stay locked tight, but that first looseness did put doubts in my mind (even though I should have known to tighten it prior).  I guess I'm just spoiled by my LaRue mounts.  I took a chance on the Burris and I hope not to be disappointed in the long run.  Time will tell.

My next goal is to get on a range with greater than 100 yard lanes so I can confirm that the bullet drops on the reticle are fairly accurate.  Obviously, if you take a look at the reticle, then you will realize the reticle is not meant for precision.  If I am hitting center mass on man, deer, coyote, etc sized targets at extended ranges, then I'll consider it good to go.  I'd also like to get an idea of what measurements of game and pest animals looks like at the extended ranges through the lens so that I can begin to range using the reticle.  For example, back to brisket on a deer is average 18-19 inches.  The subtensions listed plus knowledge of common dimensions of the target can help a person figure out the distance to said target based on some simple math.

All told, it was a good day to be on the range and get the optic squared away.

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