Several months before my precision rifle class was scheduled to start, I picked up the Vortex Viper PST (Precision Shooting Tactical) shown in the above photo. It was what I should have bought the first time. But, I think many of us have been in the situation where we sometimes just didn't know all the details about a choice, a scope in this case. We learn by doing and so I applied those lessons to the purchase of the Viper PST.
The Viper PST that I selected was the 4-16x50 model with a first
focal plane illuminated reticle. It too uses .1 mil dot turrets along with
a mil dot reticle. Unlike the Bushnell it replaced, the elevation turret
has a zero stop. After using the 6-24x Bushnell, I decided I didn't need
that high of a magnification level which prompted my choice of 4-16x.
While not a determining factor in choice, the Vortex weighs in at 5.5 ounces
less than the Bushnell. With the 22 ounce Viper PST added to the 9 pounds
of rifle, a couple ounces for the Karsten cheek rest, and several ounces more
for the optic's base and rings, my Savage hits the scales right at 11 pounds.
I wouldn't want to carry this around the woods all day looking for white tail
deer, but sitting along the edge of an alfalfa field....hmmmm.....interesting
And before I forget, the markings for all of the knobs were
done in white! What a concept....using contrasting colors to allow a
person to read the markings. Speaking of knobs, the elevation and windage
turrets are great. The clicks/detents give good tactile feedback so
counting them by feel without having to look at them is a plus. The
parallax control, adjustable from 50 yards to infinity, is on the left side of the
tube, just opposite the windage turret.
After the first scope was mounted, I quickly realized that
maintaining anything resembling a good cheek weld was certain to be a challenge.
Back to the web for some more research time. Solutions available range
from Velcro attached pads to bolt on. I opted for the bolt on option and
ordered a Karsten cheek rest
from Karsten. The installation details are in the link. It was
pretty straight forward and was the right solution for me. I used it during all
of my load development and also during the precision rifle course. Worked
just like Karsten said it would.
The barrel on the Savage 10 FCP measures 24" in length and is the heavy weight profile. This .308 Winchester chambering uses a 1:10" twist which allows the longer .308 bullets to be used. The barrel is free floated in the HS Precision stock and sports a recessed crown, as shown above.
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