It started out innocently enough. My Goombah, Mugsy, asked me to go rifle-shootin' out at the range on account of how he wanted to shoot his new AR-30 at 200 yds. Well, given that I'm on sabbatical, I couldn't say "no." Plus, I wanted to shoot my new belly gun with the special Speer Gold Dot short-barrel +P personal defense ammo I had picked up for it.
Though not at 200 yds. A 3" barrel is not really the right equipment for 200 yds.
I decided it'd be fun to shoot my old elk gun that I bought on the spur of the moment when I went to a gun show with a co-worker who wanted to buy a .22 rifle (I ended up buying both a .22 rifle and a .300 Win Mag rifle, and my coworker bought nothing). I had an old friend who had been asking me every year to go elk hunting with him, so I just bought the rifle so's I could go.
And the closest we got to an elk was that we had to wait for some to cross the road before we could get to the national forest.
But that's another story. One that happened 11 years ago.
Now, me being Me, CherkyB, I bought a really nice scope for the rifle - a Leupold Vari-X III of some sort - and I had dutifully gone to the range to zero it in and learn how to shoot a rifle. I had never shot one before, so I bought Jeff Cooper's The Art of the Rifle, read it, and then tried to put into practice what I learned. This went alright until the night before the hunt, when my buddy's dad tried out my rifle and said, "Your scope is out of focus."
And I noticed that, at 100yds, it was slightly out of focus - which it had not been prior to this. I figured despite buying a very pricey flight case for it, United Airlines had knocked something out of whack. But not to worry, as these scopes come with a lifetime warranty. I'd just send it back, and they'd re-align it or whatever.
Except I never did.
In fact, I'm not at all sure I ever shot that rifle again after the elk hunt until this past Sunday. Now, I kinda have a recollection of shooting it once after the hunt, but I can't really put my finger on when that would have been. I think it's just been in the safe the whole time, with me cleaning and oiling it maybe once every couple years to make sure the bore doesn't rust.
So, at one point, Mugsy and I switch rifles, and the AR-30 is one hell of a sweet gun. Virtually no kick, despite being .338 Lapua Mag. As I was looking through his scope, I was thinking to myself, "Self, wow this is a clear image." Then I went back to my gun, looked through the scope, and said, "My scope is out of focus."
Mugsy's reply, "Good. Then it isn't just me."
Well, today I had a little time on my hands, so I looked up the tech support number for Leupold, then I got the scope off the rifle to look for a model number and serial number before calling it in. And then it went like this:
Me, CherkyB: "Self, I can't believe that people would make such a fancy scope with fixed focus and no way to adjust it. And now, I'll probably have to find the original receipt to get it fixed, and they'll probably say I damaged it and won't fix it for free."Yeah, that's right. That knurled ring actually was a lock ring for the eyepiece, and when you loosened the ring, the eyepiece could be rotated. Which, yes - you guessed it, adjusted the focus.
Me, CherkyB: "Hmm...what's this knurled ring next to the zoom? I thought that was part of the zoom, but it doesn't turn when I zoom."
Me, CherkyB: "Oh...sweet Jesus."