For those of you new to the Rok Blog, you may not know that on top of hunting 30-60 days annually for mule deer, I’m also a licensed outfitter. That is why I disappear a few weeks at a time on occassion. It’s during these absences that I seek out skilled hunters and writers to fill the void until I can get back to the keyboard.
You met Sam Millard, Rokslide’s Long Range Editor, a few weeks ago in Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting (see that post to meet Sam and win a great book.) Well Sam is back, this time with a full review on Xtreme Hardcore Gear’s Force Recon Tactical Scope Rings. Earlier this year we gave away a set to one lucky Rok Blog follower here. Xtreme Hardcore Gear also sent a set to Sam to try. Sam is here today with his thoughts and experiences with the Force Recon Rings. Take us away, Sam!
For a long-range shooter to be consistently effective at distances exceeding a few hundred yards, they must have a scope that allows compensation for bullet drop and wind deflection. Whether a ballistic reticle, adjustable turrets, or a combination of both is used, the shooter needs to know how to manipulate them to make the shot accurately.
The most important condition we have to correct for is gravity pulling the bullet down the instant it leaves the barrel. To correct for this, we elevate the barrel above the target by sighting on a hash mark below the centerline of the crosshair, or more commonly, by dialing the turret up and aiming with the center of the crosshair. To do this accurately, the horizontal portion of the crosshair must stay level and the vertical line plumb. The best way I have found to do this is to mount a stationary bubble level in the rear ring area, indexed and plumb with the crosshair, where it is visible to the shooter while in position for the shot.
Based in Lewiston, Idaho, Xtreme Hardcore Gear manufactures these rings from US sourced 7075 T-6 aircraft aluminum and then hard-coat anodizes them black. The rings provided for testing are the 30MM medium rings, which measure 1.00” from the top of the picatinny rail to the center of the ring bore. The top halves of the rings are skeletonized and clamp down with six T15 head 8-40 screws. The rings weighed 4.9 ounces on my scale. They use two 10-24 crossbolts for attachment to the pic rail, as well as clamp guide rails to align them perfectly with the rail slots. There were no alignment issues while mounting them.
I used the rings with a Savage LRP, Nightforce 20 MOA rail and Nightforce NXS 5.5-22×56 scope. The fit and finish were excellent, with the scope having approximately 1/8” clearance with the heavy taper barrel. Before mounting the scope, I ran my lapping bar through the rings, but concluded it wasn’t needed, with the bar showing even contact on both rings (rail is bedded to rifle action). The fit and finish of these rings are excellent. All edges are smooth, with the ring bores beveled slightly to prevent marking of the scope tube. The rear ring can be mounted with the level to either side of the rail, allowing right or left handed shooters to see the bubble with their non-dominant eye while viewing the target through the scope.
After torqueing the rings to the rail, I confirmed the rear ring was square with the rail with an additional level placed between the rings. I then plumbed the vertical crosshair to the level. To make this easier and ensure accuracy, I cant the rifle slightly and index off the right or left center line in the bubble, rather than centering the bubble between them. With the scope plumb and square with the rail and rings, it’s time to confirm vertical tracking by putting rounds on target.
I marked a plumb line on a target to 36”, with a few level windage lines as well. The scope tracked perfectly up the line as well as to either side. This serves two purposes: It confirms the scope’s mounting system is solid and true, and it allows me to check the click values and tracking of the scope.
While field testing, we found the bubble easy enough to see while sighting through the scope. Under very low light conditions, it took a little more effort to focus on the reference lines, most likely because the level isn’t exposed to any light from the top or bottom of the ring. At any rate, it didn’t interfere with the ability to make accurate long range shots at last light.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a set of very high quality rings for your long range rig, you owe it to yourself to check these out. The price point is comparable to other quality rings that require the additional purchase of an add-on bubble level. You can purchase the the Force Recon Tactical Scope Rings here: Xtreme Hardcore Gear.
Thanks Sam! Stay tuned by subscribing to the Rok Blog upper right at “Subscribe to blog” under Fitness/Other links. I’ll be announcing the winner for the The Vortex 15×56 Binocular in upcoming days.