Scope Failure?

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Scope Failure?

Post by Gaznazdiak » 06 Oct 2018, 4:21 pm

A few details.
I have a Hawke Sidewinder 10-50x60 scope mounted on my Howa, 24", 1:9 fluted bull barrel, in an XLR Element chassis.
This setup has delivered very satisfying performance even with my mediocre skills.

The first pic is a 5 shot group at 100m using Nosler 50gn Ballistic Tip projectiles. The pills and the cases were weight batched to get things as consistent as possible. I apparently got a little excited and pulled hell out of the 5th shot.

With the drought and Calicivirus wiping out the rabbits here and the foxes apparently starved out, the rifle has been in the safe for the last couple of months until last week when I decided to take a few target shots at 200m just because there was no wind for a change. The results were inconsistent with uncharacteristically large groups and stringing both vertically and horizontally, so I put it away and waited for another calm day to test at 100m.

Nothing has changed, the scope rings are tight, the bolts mounting the action to the chassis are tight, the small rails bolted to the action, on which the rings are mounted are tight, and the ammo is from the same batch as in the first pic. The Hawke Sidewinder has removable turrets, allowing the user to change from the standard quarter inch per click to one eighth, the locking rings that hold the turret to the scope were also tight. I was shooting off the bonnet as usual, with a rear bag to try to remove any variables my wobbles and tremors might introduce.

The second and third pics are the results at 100m today.
With the scope set at the 100m setting recorded in my range notes, I fired shot 1, it hit 4.5 inches lower than expected. I dialled 6 clicks up, fired shot 2 and it was as much higher as expected but off an inch and a half right, I then dialled another 6 up and fired shot 3 which was only half an inch higher. By this time confusion was setting in so thinking that my elevation turret was sticking, I wound it all the way up, all the way down and back to the 100m setting and fired shot 4 which hit the ground a full 18 inches lower than shot 3 and back in line with shot one, at which time I gave up in disgust. There was no wind to account for the movement to the right.

The only thing I can imagine with all other things being as they were, normal, is turret failure or perhaps something even worse.

I would greatly appreciate the input of anyone with a clue as to WTF is going on here.
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Re: Scope Failure?

Post by Wm.Traynor » 06 Oct 2018, 7:38 pm

The only faint hope you might have is if you note exactly where the turrets are in their adjustments and wind each turret, first one way to the limit back to the opposite limit, then back to their original settings. Sorry to sat it never worked for me. Otherwise it's a warranty job.
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Re: Scope Failure?

Post by Gaznazdiak » 06 Oct 2018, 7:58 pm

Wm.Traynor wrote:The only faint hope you might have is if you note exactly where the turrets are in their adjustments and wind each turret, first one way to the limit back to the opposite limit, then back to their original settings. Sorry to sat it never worked for me. Otherwise it's a warranty job.


Damn, that was the first thing I tried. Only made things worse.
What I can't get my head around is that it went from surgically accurate to absolute sh!t while it was sitting in the safe, not dropped or bumped or anything.

Warranty means shipping the bugger back to bloody England.

Thanks for the input anyway.
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Re: Scope Failure?

Post by Ziad » 06 Oct 2018, 8:16 pm

You got it from UK?
Blame it on the phone auto correct
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Re: Scope Failure?

Post by Gaznazdiak » 06 Oct 2018, 8:30 pm

Ziad wrote:You got it from UK?


Yeah mate, it was nearly $2k here, I got it from a distributor in UK for $1400 delivered.

They're an English brand made under licence in China, like every other bloody thing these days, but as the head office is in UK I imagine that it will have to go back there.

They have a limited lifetime warranty so I should be OK but what a fvckaround, if I'd payed the extra I could probably deal with the Aussie seller, now it will be through the guy in England.

I haven't looked into it yet but I imagine that's how it will work.
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Re: Scope Failure?

Post by No1_49er » 06 Oct 2018, 8:45 pm

Might be worth talking to this guy: - https://opticalrepairs.com.au/about-malcolm/
I doubt that any warranty that you have will cover P&P, so the $ for a repair here might be a less costly option?
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Re: Scope Failure?

Post by Gaznazdiak » 06 Oct 2018, 8:48 pm

No1_49er wrote:Might be worth talking to this guy: - https://opticalrepairs.com.au/about-malcolm/
I doubt that any warranty that you have will cover P&P, so the $ for a repair here might be a less costly option?


Thanks for that, I'll give them a ring.
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Re: Scope Failure?

Post by Apollo » 06 Oct 2018, 9:08 pm

I'd be sending an email to Hawke in the UK first setting out the details of where it was purchased and the problem then await their advice. Never know it may work out better but sending it to anyone other than that might be very expensive plus you will blow any warranty for the future and end up with a boat anchor.

This sort of story is the risk in buying stuff, anything from overseas that needs a warranty repair. Near always it must be sent back to the place of purchase but there have been a few exceptions, not many I have ever heard of though.

"Made under Licence in China" doesn't sound good and to me would be a warning to stay away from, but that's just me.

You could always get in touch/ring the Australian Distributor and see what they have to say. Probably send it back to the selling dealer. You never know your luck though.

For interest, what calibre rifle has this been on. I'm guessing a .223R by the bullet weight so really not anything in the way or recoil damage.
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Re: Scope Failure?

Post by Gaznazdiak » 06 Oct 2018, 10:29 pm

Apollo wrote:I'd be sending an email to Hawke in the UK first setting out the details of where it was purchased and the problem then await their advice. Never know it may work out better but sending it to anyone other than that might be very expensive plus you will blow any warranty for the future and end up with a boat anchor.

This sort of story is the risk in buying stuff, anything from overseas that needs a warranty repair. Near always it must be sent back to the place of purchase but there have been a few exceptions, not many I have ever heard of though.

"Made under Licence in China" doesn't sound good and to me would be a warning to stay away from, but that's just me.

You could always get in touch/ring the Australian Distributor and see what they have to say. Probably send it back to the selling dealer. You never know your luck though.

For interest, what calibre rifle has this been on. I'm guessing a .223R by the bullet weight so really not anything in the way or recoil damage.


Yeah mate, 223.
One of the reasons I chose the Hawke was that the Sidewinder is rated as suitable for springer air rifles so the tiny recoil of the mild loads I use in the 223 should be nothing for it. Especially considering that with the chassis and the scope it weighs nearly 7.5kg.
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Re: Scope Failure?

Post by grandadbushy » 07 Oct 2018, 1:23 am

Gaznazdiak mate i'm not familiar with the scope but have you checked the screws on the rings and mount
to see if any have loosened or broken ?
A bloke I know had a similar problem and found one of the mount screws had snapped probably was over tightened by the gunsmith or
shop owner
Probably not this but worth a look could save you some dollars
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Re: Scope Failure?

Post by pomemax » 07 Oct 2018, 1:26 am

When it was sitting in safe did you give it a good oiling when you were not using it ?
Yes I have had scoped do the same thing cant explain why that,s when i got it back to where it should be I started bore sighting after it was right and keeping a record of position and believe it if i don,t use a particular rifle for some time some will move not all .
Did you check the focus control for parallax?
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Re: Scope Failure?

Post by Gaznazdiak » 07 Oct 2018, 9:41 am

pomemax wrote:When it was sitting in safe did you give it a good oiling when you were not using it ?
Yes I have had scoped do the same thing cant explain why that,s when i got it back to where it should be I started bore sighting after it was right and keeping a record of position and believe it if i don,t use a particular rifle for some time some will move not all .
Did you check the focus control for parallax?


Yes mate I did give it a good oil before putting away, but I dry patched it all out before firing the 200m shots, then put it away again for a week as is.
What I don't understand is the massive difference in 7 days sitting untouched. I treat it like it's made from egg shells, the biggest impact it ever gets is the tiny recoil from the mild .223 loads I use.
I also spent the time when I first installed it, testing to generate range notes for 100, 200 and 300m, so I just have to consult them to know what to dial up for each range and that has served me well until now. All other variables removed, Occum's Razor has it looking like some internal drama or turret problem.
As the turrets are easily swapped I'm hoping that is the culprit.

GB
Yes mate, I checked them all after the 200m last week were unusual. All tight, none apparently broken.
I'm going to pull everything apart today and put it back together from scratch, rings, rails, scope out of rings. Can't make it any worse.
What really put the wind up me was dialing six quarter inch clicks up and seeing it impact 18 inches low.
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Re: Scope Failure?

Post by SCJ429 » 07 Oct 2018, 11:06 am

Are they a good thing optically? What are they like when you wind the magnification up? Sorry to hear you are having some issues with it.
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Re: Scope Failure?

Post by Gaznazdiak » 07 Oct 2018, 11:28 am

SCJ429 wrote:Are they a good thing optically? What are they like when you wind the magnification up? Sorry to hear you are having some issues with it.


The Sidewinder I have is razor sharp up to the high 30's, then starts to soften slowly to 50.

I rarely use above 20x for hunting and 40 for plinking.

The main reason I chose the 10-50 was the 60mm objective lens and side parallax adjustment.

I do all my hunting at dawn and from dusk till full dark, so I wanted to be able to gather as much light as possible to give me the ability to use a higher magnification in low light.

Up until now, I've been very pleased, the build quality is excellent and the lifetime warranty makes them great value for money.

I'm not convinced there isn't something stupidly obvious that I'm missing.

I just can't picture how it could degenerate so quickly, and with such erratic symptoms. If it was the elevation turret, logic would suggest the problem would be vertical and fairly consistent, but it started by stringing wide groups a 200 then just went berserk at 100 with 18 inches down from an input of 6 clicks up.
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Re: Scope Failure?

Post by Apollo » 07 Oct 2018, 11:53 am

I wonder if you are aware of the method to center a Reticle using a mirror.

If you are and have the scope off then I'd be tempted to give that a go and watch the two images as you move the elevation and windage turrets. See if they track correctly every click of the turret. Then run them through a box tracking test to see if you return to zero.

Once on center zero if you have a small rubber mallet I'd give the scope a gentle hit and see if it moves the reticle thinking it might show a problem with the erector tube spring.

Just a thought or two if the scope is off.
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Re: Scope Failure?

Post by bladeracer » 07 Oct 2018, 11:55 am

Does it still shoot a tight group? Does the rifle need a few rounds down the tube after cleaning for it to settle in?
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Re: Scope Failure?

Post by Gaznazdiak » 07 Oct 2018, 12:20 pm

bladeracer wrote:Does it still shoot a tight group? Does the rifle need a few rounds down the tube after cleaning for it to settle in?


I had put it away oiled, but dry patched until they came out clean last week before firing six 3shot groups at 200m that were about 150% normal size and stringing erratically, which made me decide to move to 100 this week when it was calm again, so all up, the shot that came in 18 inches low was the 22nd since the clean.

Normally at 100m, with the rifle's favourite round, Nosler 50gn BTip with 26gn of 2206H, I can get a 5 cent piece size group so a vertical spread of over 22 inches is somewhat disturbing.
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Re: Scope Failure?

Post by Gaznazdiak » 07 Oct 2018, 12:24 pm

Apollo wrote:I wonder if you are aware of the method to center a Reticle using a mirror.

If you are and have the scope off then I'd be tempted to give that a go and watch the two images as you move the elevation and windage turrets. See if they track correctly every click of the turret. Then run them through a box tracking test to see if you return to zero.

Once on center zero if you have a small rubber mallet I'd give the scope a gentle hit and see if it moves the reticle thinking it might show a problem with the erector tube spring.

Just a thought or two if the scope is off.


I haven't heard of that method, I'll do a ewe tube search to see if I can get some insight on it, thanks.
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