Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Little Gun Pron - The Scoped Marlin Varmint Slayer

I started looking for a bolt action rifle in .308 or .30-06 back in 2009. I finally picked up a Marlin XS-7 in .308 back in mid-October 2012; yes, I am pretty much The Great Procrastinator. This rifle did not come with sights but did come with a factory mounted scope rail. To make it a complete and shootable package, I needed some optics. I decided on the Hawke Optics, Varmint Side Focus (SF) 2.5-10x44 scope.  After getting the glass, back at the end of October (yeah, I cannot believe I got it so quickly), all I needed to do to make it firing line ready was to get some scope rings and mount the scope. I hemmed, I hawed, I went online and looked at rings and tried to decide if I would need low, medium or high height rings. I figured that medium would be good and just kept window shopping on the Internet. 

Sometime in November I recalled that I had at least one pair of scope rings hidden among my firearms things somewhere in my basement. I searched high and low and after awhile, sure enough, I found them. In fact I found two sets of rings, one low and the other medium height. I put them on the side, where I would not forget their location, then I forgot all about them. Just before Christmas, I had to clean the basement because the wife was throwing a party and we would have adults and kids coming over. Since chances would be that the kids would wind up in the basement, I had to search out and secure any of my firearms and ammo that were not already locked up, which wound up being nil but I had to look to be sure. While cleaning and looking, what should I come across but the two sets of scope rings. I moved them to a spot where I would be sure to see them just about every day, then immediately forgot about them again.

Yesterday, I was doing some puttering in the basement and low and behold, there were those pesky scope rings again. I decided I had better get them on the rifle and secure the scope to the rifle with them. Then I went to bed. Well, today, late this afternoon, I got the bug and finally mounted the rings to the rifle and the scope to the rings. I put the bottom halves onto the scope mount and tightened the retaining screws tightly. Then, laid the scope into the bottom half of each of the rings and started to put on the upper halves. At that point, I got some help from my son and as I held the scope in place he tightened the screws and secured the upper haves of the rings to the lower ones. He also helped in making sure that the scope went on sort of, kind of, almost level on the horizontal plane left to right. Finally, I tightened the rings so each side looked even as to the gap between the top and bottom halves.

The pic (click to enlarge) shows the Marlin XS-7 in .308 caliber, mounted with Hawke Optics Varmint SF 2.5-10x44 scope, with flip-up lens covers. All the tools needed to mount the base, rings and scope are shown. I used the screwdriver to make sure the screws holding down the mounting rail were secure (one was loose). The Allen wrench came with the rings and was all that was need to secure the rings to the rail and scope to the rings. That is an extra screw next to the wrench. Those critters in the background are Bearded Dragons and definitely not varmints. They certainly seem rather indifferent to the proximity of my varmint slayer.

It is now ready to be brought to the range (and makes a pretty picture) even though it does not have a sling. Maybe I will get one and maybe not. Perhaps, if for no other reason, I should get one to make it easier to lug over hill, over dale, as we hit the dusty trail, when we hunt with it. Of course, using the sling to steady the rifle while shooting might be a good idea but not always so practical a thing to do while out hunting. Sometimes there is no way, no how, no time that you could get the sling on for a more steady shot without spooking your prey. At the range though, there is nothing to spook - well, as long as you don't start pointing the rifle haphazardly at other folks.

Right now, I only have two different brands of .308 ammo and only
20 rounds of each. I have an order in for 100 rounds of yet another type of ammo for it. That ammo should be delivered this week. I am debating if I should go to the range with it tomorrow or wait until I have the other 100 rounds. I'll see if the range bug bites tomorrow or not. Since it took me over three years since I started looking, until I finally bought a bolt action rifle in said caliber, and then took me over two months to purchase and ultimately mount a scope on it, I guess there is no great hurry. If all goes well, the weather will hold out and I will get to take it to an outdoor range to sight it in this week. Otherwise, if I have to go to an indoor range with it, I will only be able to sight it for 25 yards. I would much prefer getting it right the first time and sighting it in for 100 yards at the outdoor range. 

Once it is sighted in, I am thinking of heading to Dutchess County (if rifles are legal hunting implements therein) or elsewhere in NY, such as Columbia County (where I am certain rifles are legal hunting implements), to get in a little coyote hunting. Only tried that once before, up in Maine, as an afterthought to Brendan bagging a bear up there. The coyotes had all the luck that day or two. I don't see any reason though for that lack of our luck to deter us now and I am pretty sure he will be happy to come along. If he doesn't, I suppose I will be out there freezing off mine arse all by my lonesome - well, just me, the varmint slayer and the coyotes.

All the best,
Glenn B

1 comment:

doubletrouble said...

Looks like you installed the medium rings? It also appears the objective bell will clear just fine w/the low rings. It's always better to have the optics as close to the CL of the bore as possible, but more important is the sight picture. When you p/u the rifle & mount it, check to see that you can have a firm cheek weld yet still see through the scope. If you have to lift your head to see, the rings are too high. Also, make sure your eye relief is correct so you don't have to shift your (head) mount position to get the full field of view.

90% of scope mounting/fitting is done before you chamber a round...

$.02 from here!