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Old July 19, 2018, 12:23   #1
V guy
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Hard Recoiling Semi's

I have been viewing "Tibosauraus Rex" on youtube; he is an optics and long range expert. He is clearly a German Glass lover, but tests many many lower cost scopes.
He has over 100 videos posted.

"TR" says that the FAL is one of the hardest recoiling rifles there is, and may be the king of all the scope killers. He has two fals that he uses in scope tests, an Imbel and a DSA.

He has not been able to kill a primary arms 1-6x24 Gen III on an FAL...yet.
He also approves of the SWFA 10x and variable on an FAL.

According to him, M-14's are ALSO almost as hard on scopes... and these guns can kill cheap scopes in a heartbeat. Again for the M-14, in the low priced range, he likes the SWFA 10x or variable.

HK91/G3's are also hard on scopes, and require well built ($$$$) to stay together.

Also noted was that air rifle scopes are the very hardest on scopes, due to violent recoil impulses and harmonics.

The most expensive scopes use not only the best glass, but the best glues and assembly techniques to keep them together under recoil. It goes downhill in quality as you get cheaper (and less reliable), as you go down the scale.

So for us who do not want a S&B or Zeiss or Mk4 LRT scope, the next level of well built mid range $$ scopes, besides the SWFA line appears to be the Better Athlon, Vortex, Primary Arms and Nikon scopes, with Leupold's warranty backing up their glass on most all they make.

Any reviews of the Athlon or Viper scopes here?


Have you killed a scope on an FAL?
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Old July 19, 2018, 13:02   #2
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no fal kills . . . .

2 killed scopes on each:

RWS model 34 1K fps air rifle
killed 2 bushnell . . . was then informed of scopes especially built for air rifles, bought one and better mount, its still on the RWS 15 yrs now.
(air rifles have 2 shocks on the scope . . . per 1 shot)


Winchester 70 featherweight "laminated classic" 24" .270 WSM
(that dam near had the kick and noise of a 444 lever gun i had)
killed 1 nikon, 1 simmons
(ended problem with burris short size, magnum scope 3X9)

a little surprized on his lower end findings.
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Old July 19, 2018, 13:12   #3
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A cetme/hk. That was by far the hardest kicking, loudest, most unpleasant rifle I ever fired. Glass would have been out of the question.
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Old July 19, 2018, 13:13   #4
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I'm not surprised at the FAL, I was surprised how hard it kicked with a scope shooting one of the steel plate matches in Charlotte. You could forget about staying on target.

I have a Weaver V9 on mine, I have probably 10 Weavers and never managed to break one yet, including the one on the 338 magnum.
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Old July 19, 2018, 13:24   #5
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vzi94XoY8g

His FAL, primary arms 1x6 test.
HK91/G3, Cetme, ought to be the same outcome.
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Old July 19, 2018, 13:37   #6
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How about a Unertl?

Has he killed a Unertl?

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Old July 19, 2018, 13:40   #7
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It seems like my CETME Sporter has less recoil than the HK91s I've shot. Perhaps due to a different buffer?
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Old July 19, 2018, 14:44   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 357ross View Post
A cetme/hk. That was by far the hardest kicking, loudest, most unpleasant rifle I ever fired. Glass would have been out of the question.
The absolute worst beating I've ever taken was shooting a H&K G3 at Battlefield Vegas in Las Vegas. Recoil wise, it was like bring hit by George Forman each time it fired. My (and their's) FAL is a pussycat by way of comparison. There's some felt recoil but nothing like that G3.

I guess the FAL's bolt group and associated motion during cycling makes it hard on glass?
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Old July 19, 2018, 15:07   #9
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The CETME/HK type rifle can be mild or harsh on recoil depending on how the bolt-gap is set, and depending on whether the rifle has been otherwise altered.

I've owned a couple, and neither had recoil any worse than any other semi-auto of similar caliber and weight.

I don't care for the CETME/HK design for various reasons. Inherent issues with recoil is not among the reasons I don't like the model.

Its a matter of assembly, not an issue of design.
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Old July 19, 2018, 15:07   #10
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.22 was the killer

I had a friend who worked at the Denver Research Institute (a division of Denver University) in the 60's. They made a instrument that would simulate the recoil of any rifle caliber with an air cylinder hitting the base mounted of a scope. The device was made for Redfield, then located in Denver. He said that a .22 LR semi-auto was like tapping the scope with a ball peen hammer.

That said. Some kids shooting 2 or 3 bricks of .22's in a day would damage a scope faster than a hunter shooting a .375 H&H 4 or 5 times a year.

But a FNFALer shooting 2or 3 hundred rounds on a weekend is a whole different
story.

All the technology went to Burris when that company was formed and relocated
in Greeley, Colo.
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Old July 19, 2018, 17:11   #11
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air rifle like most RWS single cock are absolutely brutal on most scopes

always buy a scope made for air rifle and mount for air rifle too, buy once, cry once


M14/M1A is also very hard on mounts and scopes

best to keep scope and mount as low as is feasible

less weight in scope and mount makes a big difference

cannot remember the exact reason but the scope & mount weight in relation to distance from reciprocating mass of bolt & op rod is the reason

I am sure one of our engineers can step in and make any corrections to my way of explaining this
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Old July 19, 2018, 20:24   #12
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The thing about gas guns - and spring-piston air rifles - that kills scopes is the counter-recoil when the bolt (or piston, on air rifles) goes forward. Way back in the olden days (1981~ish), I and a friend used to regularly kill cheap scopes on our M1As. The brand that we were using had a lifetime warranty, and we would shoot one until it broke and then swap it out with another one while the first was being repaired. We were too poor to afford good glass at the time - soldiers, married, with families, but Uncle was giving me all the free ammo that I could shoot. And shoot it I did!

The scope manufacturer finally got tired of getting the same scopes back for rebuild every few months, and began doing half-arsed repairs. We dumped those scopes and moved on.
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Old July 20, 2018, 07:55   #13
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I have been shooting a Nikon Monarch 3 1-4x20mm on my ParaFAL for a few years. Mount is a Nikon M223.

So far it held up without any complaints.
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Old July 20, 2018, 08:20   #14
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Originally Posted by moonbat60 View Post
I have been shooting a Nikon Monarch 3 1-4x20mm on my ParaFAL for a few years. Mount is a Nikon M223.

So far it held up without any complaints.
That sure is a high set up. I tried it and couldn't get a weld.

I have a Minox 2-9x with no issues and probably 2000 rounds on it. It was a $300 scope
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Old July 20, 2018, 22:19   #15
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Old July 21, 2018, 07:19   #16
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I have a Red Star 4x Chinese scope that they used to sell for Sks's on my Cetme. No issues other than the poor optical quality.
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Old July 21, 2018, 08:06   #17
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Originally Posted by W.E.G. View Post
The CETME/HK type rifle can be mild or harsh on recoil depending on how the bolt-gap is set, and depending on whether the rifle has been otherwise altered.

I've owned a couple, and neither had recoil any worse than any other semi-auto of similar caliber and weight.

I don't care for the CETME/HK design for various reasons. Inherent issues with recoil is not among the reasons I don't like the model.

Its a matter of assembly, not an issue of design.
This is interesting info. In years past, I owned two Hk 91s, both seemed to me to have noticeably more recoil than either the M1A or the FAL. Felt recoil can be very subjective, but friends who shot all three rifles seemed to agree. In any event, it was one of the reasons I ditched the Hks and never looked back. I personally think the FAL is pretty gentle, but that might just be a function of how the rifle "fits" me.

I would wonder if setting the gas too high would affect the scope, since there would be the additional shock of the B&C striking the recoils plate. I would presume that TR would have the FAL adjusted properly, but who knows ?

And 10x on a FAL ? To each his own, but I see no earthly reason for 10x on a FAL other than maybe just for shits 'n grins.
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Old July 21, 2018, 08:46   #18
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Never broke a scope on a rifle. Have broke a Bushnell on an airgun, a scope that was retailed by an airgun company as an airgun scope. Sent it in, they repaired it, been trouble free since then on the same airgun.

Been shooting springer airguns for years and there's a lot of truth in how they can wreck a poorly made scope. That doesn't translate into expensive, however. PCP need not apply.
On my first R1 I mounted a Burris R/A 3-12X32 on a one piece mount. That scope lived on that rifle for a decade or more and never failed. And I shot it a lot. Daily, even.
I recently picked up another R1 and looking for a scope, I looked into what I knew. Quickly I found out that Burris no longer makes that line of scopes but I found a similar line of Burris that I liked the sound of. All descriptions of the items included nothing about airguns so I called the company. Fella on the phone reassured me that ALL Burris scopes are built to withstand forces and vibration in both directions and should withstand springer airgun recoil perfectly well. And with a lifetime warranty I'm comfortable with the choice.

The accuracy on my old R1 finally took a dump so after much testing and a few cuss words I was at a loss as to which item was the problem. So I split the scope and rifle, rifle went to Beeman for inspection, scope went to Burris for inspection.
Rifle was worn out, spring failed causing the problem. Repaired and returned to me for a fee.
Burris declared the scope healthy, cleaned and relubed the unit, filled in all the gold lettering that I had worn off, and returned it to me free of charge.
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Old July 21, 2018, 09:43   #19
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Burris used to be American scope for hard kicking guns. Not sure how they are now since they started making them overseas but they were really good. I still have mine on the same guns and never a failure with many years of shooting.
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Old July 21, 2018, 11:33   #20
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Are FAL's simply destroying cheap scopes, and getting a poor rep for accuracy?

How can they be among the worst guns for accuracy, only followed by an AK, or shot out Mauser?

After their initial firing recoil, the FAL bolt slams reward, hits the recoil shield, followed by the 3rd hit, of slamming a round into the chamber; just like like the G3 and M-14. Harmonics, recoil and shock are not recipes for accuracy or scope life.

I can now see how they might be affecting a scope and its mount, unlike an AR.

Bolt actions like the new Ruger Precision bolt, only have to handle recoil.

Anyone actually use a top line scope and mount, (if such a mount exists) recently on a FAL?
I have no scopes on my FAL's and rely upon the irons.

I may try a 10x SWFA, on a DSA mt I have.
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Old July 21, 2018, 12:27   #21
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I have a Weaver V3, 1-3x20 on an ARMS #3 mounted on my full-length Imbel on Imbel FAL. I can't attest to its longevity over hundreds of rounds because I only use it for shooting (or shooting at) feral pigs. From sighting in a few years ago, and through the present, it might have handled a hundred rounds so far. And so far, so good.

https://swfa.com/weaver-1-3x20-class...fle-scope.html
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Old July 21, 2018, 12:57   #22
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And 10x on a FAL ? To each his own, but I see no earthly reason for 10x on a FAL other than maybe just for shits 'n grins.
I have an 8x on an STG IMBEL. I reported in an earlier post it was 9X but looked again. Glad I'm not in the 10X boat It's fun to shoot steel out at 300-400.

I do have a friend with a 18X on a 16" AR10
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Old July 23, 2018, 10:25   #23
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I recently installed a vortex viper 1-4x24 on my hardest recoiling FAL. 17in barrel with an alloy lower, no extras other than the scope, rings and mount. I'm a couple hundred rounds in and good so far. Shot a 2 gun match with it this past weekend. I was running her fast and hard for around 110 rounds.

This seems to be a decent scope for the money. I'm hoping it lasts.
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Old July 24, 2018, 08:52   #24
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I can attest to the M14/M1A being a scope killer. If there is any flaws in the crosshairs they will crash!....Cheap scopes will crash crosshairs or the zero may start bouncing around

The most memorable M14 scope failure I've experienced was a new Redfield 6x40 that lost one arm of the crosshair within the first ten shots and all of it in less than twenty shots.....Mailed the failed Redfield back to Colorado and they sent me another new scope and it lasted fine(I still have it years later).

A big part of the M1A/M14 scope issues I think stem from the old B-Square mounts that just attached with the big side screw and located with the vertical/horizontal receiver slots. These had a tendency to hammer loose and are awful. I started using better M14 mounts and experienced way less scope issues afterwards
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Old July 24, 2018, 12:19   #25
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The impacts is probably what kills them. FAL hitting backplate and then carrier hitting receiver into battery is probably pretty harsh.
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Old July 26, 2018, 12:04   #26
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They had a lot of trouble with accuracy on the first Garand sniper, the M1C rifles, with the Griffin and Howe, receiver mount.

They said it had to do with harmonics and vibrations............ or receiver heat treatment, they thought.

As it turns out the Garand has among the fastest firing rates of any semi, kind of akin to an MG 42, and like the M14 and FAL, the same slam-bam problems for scopes.

I suspect that the Lyman Alaskan scopes they used on the M1C's, were simply dying.
The M1 D model, supposedly had fewer problems.

I had an M1D that I eventually sold, and could not get the scope on paper, yet the iron sights indicated that it was a very accurate bbl.

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Old July 26, 2018, 12:39   #27
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I recently installed a vortex viper 1-4x24 on my hardest recoiling FAL. 17in barrel with an alloy lower, no extras other than the scope, rings and mount. I'm a couple hundred rounds in and good so far. Shot a 2 gun match with it this past weekend. I was running her fast and hard for around 110 rounds.

This seems to be a decent scope for the money. I'm hoping it lasts.
Vortex's various options have a good reputation to holding up to harsh-recoiling semi-autos, especially large-frame AR's, which have a comparatively massive bolt carrier.
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Old July 26, 2018, 13:39   #28
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I remember reading an interview w. Bob Sowash, he did a lot of the first R&D on sabot slugs back in the '80s'. The first guy to post a 1" group @100yds. w/ slugs.

In the interview, he said, during his R&D days, he went through about thirty scopes a year. The expensive scopes held up the best. He wrecked a lot of expensive scopes.

I've hunted a bit w/ 12ga. slugs w/ iron sights. Scoping a slug gun was always questionable for me. Most kills were under fifty yards, often times moving targets. A few under a hundred yards. Almost all in close cover.

I've gotten some chuckles through the years at the range when some guy was totally consternated that he couldn't get his sluggun properly sighted in w/ his 'practically new' (run o' the mill) scope.
I would suggest he upgrade his glass.
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