Turrets

Scopes with adjustable turrets may be big and bulky but can help with long-range accuracy.

These days it seems like all the cool kids are using rifle scopes with adjustable turrets for dialing the range. Everyone who is anyone is using them. They really are the most precise way to compensate for longer ranges, but do you need or even want an adjustable scope on your favorite hunting rifle? Adjustable turrets tend to be big and bulky. They stick out and hang on things and jab me in the back when the rifle is slung. Most have an exposed elevation knob, and I get paranoid that it will get turned while I am hunting.

Another problem with turrets is that they add a degree of complexity. First of all you need to spend the time to figure out how to properly use them. Ballistic apps and other electronic gizmos can give you calculations on settings, but I have never seen one yet that didn’t take some tweaking to give the correct information for a specific bullet and rifle. And if there is a big change in weather conditions or elevation, you need to calculate new information.

Secondly, every time you shoot, you need to take that extra time to make sure the turret is set correctly. Of course I have never messed up, but I have seen plenty of other guys get flustered and forget to adjust their turret only to miss by a mile.

And finally, a good quality scope with adjustable turrets is more expensive. Yes, there are some inexpensive models out there, but typically they are more headache than they are worth. The big problem usually is that the turrets are not as precise as you need them to be.

All of that being said, being able to dial your scope to the exact range you will be shooting beats the heck out of trying to guesstimate a hold over with a traditional scope. It also can help with your confidence in being able to make a shot, and that is worth quite a bit.

If you do decide that adjustable turrets are right for you, I have two pieces of advice. First of all, practice, practice, practice. It isn’t as easy as the advertisements would have you think. And secondly, you need to make a pathological habit of checking your settings every time you set up for a shot. I mentioned this earlier, but literally every long-range shooter I have competed with has at one time or another forgot to check and lived to regret it.

Whichever way you choose to go, I hope you have a fun and successful hunting season this year.

What sighting system do you prefer? Let us know at shootingthebreezebme@gmail.com.

Rod Carpenter is a husband, father and hunting fool.

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