07 Apr

Glass More Important than Gun, NRA for Kids, and Another Crashed Scooter

Steven K. Ledin,

I was asked by a friend of a friend to mount a scope on his new gun. He's a new shooter, and contacted one of our guys in Product Intelligence about what glass to put on his Mossberg 4×4. Dmitry owns the gun, and he was one of the smart ones regarding what to spend on what kind of optics. The Mouseburger isn't a high end gun, and in fact is quite entry level. No matter, all the new price point guns will be reliable and shoot straight enough for hunting purposes. Most will shoot better than higher end guns built a couple decades ago. Metallurgy and innovations in manufacturing now allow the building of really good, straight-shooting guns that will hover around the magical one MOA with loads that they like. The key to this set up is glass and mounts, and Dmitry listened to our guys when they recommended a scope that costs more than the gun. He put on one of my very favorite hunting scopes, the excellent Leupold VX-3 3.5-10×40 with the CDS dial. Watch the video about the CDS and installation.

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Even inexpensive guns will be reliable and shoot well enough for just about any hunting adventure here in the states, but the glass is more important than the rifle. A lot more. If you can't see what you're aiming at, the gun is no good at all. I used DNZ two piece Hunt Master series low mounts # 701L2. Same pattern as a Remington 700. In my experience, DNZ mounts have great QC symmetry out of the box and generally don't need lapping. And they're made in the U.S.! But me being me, I lapped them anyway. It always makes me feel better when I mount scopes as well as can be done. You can see by the picture that there's a bit of space between the objective lens and the barrel, and many people would think this is a mistake. It's not. Being close to the barrel is not imperative. There, I've said it and I'll say it again. No matter what you've been told your whole life, having your objective lens hugging the barrel is not necessary, and in many cases like this, not possible. If I would have mounted it any lower you would be busting your knuckles on the ocular housing. Giving it an extra 1/8" of clearance makes it easier to shoot and work the action.

He opted for the Leupold upon our recommendation, and I always appreciate when a novice listens to what experienced people have to say. Dimitry did good. I will caution him about the recoil on the gun, though. It's chambered for .300 Winchester, and the gun with the scope mounted is pretty light at 7.5 pounds. The stainless fluted barrel is pretty thin, and there is no porting. It is gonna spank him fairly good. When hunting you don't feel the shot, but on paper, especially when you're in the zone and shooting well, sometimes you forget to hold on as tightly as you should, and sometimes you sneak up on the scope a bit, too. The recoil pad is pretty good, and that will help a lot with softening the blow. He'll get some of the superb Leupold Alumina covers when he can. They may seem like a lot of money for flip up caps, but once you use them you will never be without them on your Leupold scope. They are the best ever made.

We packed 315,000 packages of kale seeds with our church Sunday for delivery to South Africa and surrounding communities. My Shirley and I are so blessed, and we try to remember those less fortunate. Ideally, the recipients will be able to sustain themselves with up to 200 pounds of produce from each pack of seeds. Other teams packed squash, pumpkins, onions, and other vegetables.

Friend Chase and wife Brittany had a baby! I bought a Junior NRA membership for the little unit. I like doing this not only to start the kid right, but it's the child's first piece of mail! Congratulations to Emmett Chase for being born to great parents!

My Shirley got a new scooter last year. A Honda Elite 250. I was following her on my OPMODasaki last year when I noticed her kickstand was down. I gestured for her to take a right and get off the busy Route 25 highway we were on. If she would've turned left it would've been a disaster when the stand hit the ground. I had to stop her. I would rather have her drop it at 5 mph rather than 35. she didn't put the hooks on hard enough. I watched her, helplessly, and she dropped the bike in slow motion and skidded into the left front wheel of a car crossing the highway. She was not hurt badly, but she totaled the bike. The whole front end was destroyed. She felt so bad, but we were both unbelievably lucky that that's the only thing that was smashed. I put it under a tarp in the yard until I got to work on it this spring.

My Shirley's death-defying escapade didn't faze her too much, and she wants to ride again. We found an identical Honda Elite 250, same year and color, with a windscreen and stereo. We bought it. Nice little bike! She's so cool in her pink helmet and leather jacket.

But wouldn't you know, some things don't last. She didn't turn hard enough yesterday and bashed a curb hard, dumping her in some bushes. The helmet and jacket did their job!

I don't know if the wheel is salvageable, but I can bang out the wheel and tube it or swap it out with the front tire from the other trashed scooter we still have. I bent the bars back so I can still drive it. Hopefully she's gotten this crash thing out of her system.

Illinois finally became a right to carry state. The last one out of 50. Took long enough. Frankly, I didn't think it would ever happen. I have plenty of credentials, so I applied online and got my instructor's number. Just received my CCW card, so I'm legal now almost everywhere in the country again.

Planted some seeds in the greenhouse hoping to kick start the growing season.

Hope you are all well!


About Steven K. Ledin

Steve has never not known guns. Before motorcycles, money, or girls, they have always been part of his life. He was tenured as General Manager of one of the country’s largest gun stores and ranges, a buyer in a big box sporting goods store, and is currently OpticsPlanet’s Director of Product Intelligence. He was a US Navy gunners mate, and is an NRA certified instructor in ten categories, as well as an Illinois CCW instructor. He shoots competitively and has hunted from Alaska to Africa. He thoroughly loves life with his beloved wife, Shirley, and their three wildish dogs Tinker, TranRek (pronounced “Train Wreck”), and Crash Almighty. He is a stubborn stage 4 cancer survivor not yet ready to cash in his chips.

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