I received a PM from a member for details on my post in the 600 yard range thread yesterday.
This winter I started getting a focus issue with one of my GE scopes and i wanted to discuss it in detail for everyone's benefit including Vortexs.
I have 5 of these scopes and used the scope in question between below 0 and up to15-20 when I had issues. Now first and foremost I do NOT cheek weld when shooting my bench guns and usually run the scope at 50x so it takes A LOT of "muscle memory" to acquire a sight picture in this situation. Regardless 2 or 3 times I had a focus problem taking the scope from a 70* house into a 70* pickup then removing it from the pickup into 0 - 20* temps. It was on one scope and I usually have two guns along both equipped with GEs and it's usually the first gun I shoot that has the issue.
After experiencing this 2 or 3 times I emailed the Vortex service department with my concerns and was promptly issued a prepaid shipping lable and a form to describe the complaint.
I shipped the scope and received immediate notification that it had shipped, received notification when it was received by Vortex and received notification when they started servicing it. I was then notified a day later that after checking for full function 2x and checking for reticle shift they could find nothing wrong with it.
The service guy and I emailed back and forth and he explained to me that taking the rifle/scope from the warm pickup into the 50-70* colder environment without letting the scope acclimate to the cold was likely the cause of what I experienced. According to him any scope, binoculars, spotters etc. will make it's own internal mirage under these conditions while the internals of the optic are adjusting to the actual ambient temperature. He explained it to me and said he has experienced it in all types of optics. I wish there was some magic solution here but there is not. It may well be my eyes and my method of use. Some people are going to discount the service guys explanation and at the end of the day in all honesty they tested it in different conditions than I experienced the problem and if they didn't fix anything the problem is likely still there as well. Until I start letting the scope acclimate to the cold before shooting if that is the problem I can't really complain about it.
The scope was returned to me no charge for shipping both ways or service. I've yet to mount it up and try it. I'll continue to use the GE scopes. Under decent conditions I can resolve 6mm bullet holes at 600 yards and under decent to good conditions I can resolve the X and the ring around it at 1000 yards instead of just holding on the center of the box. Overall quality and sight picture combined with the VIP warranty and service makes the GE the best scope in it's price range IMO. I have over 12 Vortex scopes and have used the VIP warranty 2x now and many of these scopes have several thousand rounds on them.
Scopes are very user specific meaning what works and looks good to my eyes may not look good in the next guys eyes. A lot of us are getting older and our vision is certainly not what it once was. I would urge anyone getting ready to spend a big chunk of change on a scope to go to a store with a good selection and compare them side by side to find out what YOUR eye finds more pleasing.
There are a lot of scope options out there now and everyone should make their own choices using side by side comparison. I would caution though no matter the choice anyone makes take a little time to research problems and service experiences on the model you are leaning towards. Is it really worth it to save a little money or get a slightly better sight picture if the dependability and service is not there?
Put a new (broke in 140 rounds) barrel on the Panda, it's a Brux 8.5" twist at 28" with a radial brake.
Started off with RL 16 and 180s, at .036" off I immediately started crunching powder at 44.8g because of the new throat. Left a few sighters at .036 then seated the test rounds at .027 off and started crunching powder again at 45g, 45.2 finally tightened up but there's not much chance of seating there and keeping them there.
Had a hang fire on 45.0 and it didn't make the target. Everything was big and obviously out of tune and I wasn't getting to the 2720+ node without jamming and maybe not then.
Add me to the list of people who think the alcohol and lanolin case lube is the the best lube ever and I've experimented with a lot of them. Silky smooth in and out of the die and I honestly think I got a more consistent bump on than I'm used to getting with other lubes. I bumped 50 of the 6 BRA cases last night and 95% came off the press within .0005" with a few another half a thou more. The idea / goal for me is get a set of cases within .0015" at the shoulder anything that falls out of that range becomes a sighter.
When you are dealing with 1x wildcat brass that don't have a fully blown out shoulder like these all you are looking to do is size the absolute minimum to get the brass to chamber and in the past I've ended up having to run the piece through multiple times to get the bump desired and then the next one oversized in one stroke. Last night was the first time I've ever made it through a batch with that low of spread across a whole batch and not had 3-6 outliers that overbumped.
Cleanup is a little more involved. With one shot I used to have a dry rag and just basically polish the residue away. The Lanolin is too clingy to do this so I spray a dab of glass cleaner on a microfiber rag and give them a wipe then after seating I do it one more time and I have clean loaded rounds. Works nice for painting bullets.
I've often wondered how some of you guys get that perfect heat line below the shoulder that shows the color of the rainbow.
I always run mine until the neck starts to glow just a faint red. You have to have the lights off to see it and get the machine set just right.
I usually get a line on the case but it's not pronounced and rarely has the rainbow colors. It's more a dark line like the cases on the left in the picture where the ones on my right came out with the rainbow line.
These are 8 of 202, they are 7-08 neck turned then cleaned to get rid of the neck turning lube then bump sized to chamber with a free falling stripped bolt, (another reason to strip the bolt @bikemutt ) and finally annealed to help them blow out fire forming them to 7-08 imp.
102 of them were tumbled in a mix of corn cob and walnut with a shot of Nucar wax a shot of Sea Foam to help dissolve the heavy neck turning lube and the other 100 were ultrasonic cleaned with a squirt of Dawn and a squirt of Lemmishine.
Both sets were annealed exactly the same according to the faint glow inside the neck.
The ultrasonic cleaned cases colored up while the tumbled cases darkened at the line.
Ultrasonic cleaning is a huge ass ache for me because of our poor quality tap water up here. Requires bottled water to keep from getting spots and deposits but going forward if I want my annealed brass to look it's best I'll use this method of cleaning beforehand.