Friday, June 2, 2017

The Burris 4x Mini

I hesitated a bit before posting this as the Burris compact scopes aren't well known, but the word does seem to be getting out, as prices have been rising lately. I currently own three: A 6x mini with adjustable objective that's mounted on my Theoben Sirocco, and two fixed objective 4x minis, like the one above. This one cost me $150, with shipping, and the previous one I purchased last fall cost $125. The 6x AO scopes have been trading for $275 and up on eBay.  There's also a 3-9x fixed objective mini, and a 4-12x AO mini. 

There's a real craze these days for high powered "Sniper" scopes with magnifications as high as 32x or 40x, but for most uses it's overkill. There are instances in which you need high magnification, i.e., in which the target is very small, or it's a high precision event, like bencherest.  (I shot airgun field target with a 6-18x scope, and that's a game where you need to keep your pellets inside of 3/4" at up to 50 yards. Some guys used fixed scopes up to 40x). But for hunting and most recreational shooting, unless you're a varmint under taking our groundhogs at 600 yards, more modest magnification is called for. When I started shooting in the 1960s most scopes were in the 4-6x range.

4x is, I think, the best all-around magnification for .22s,  deer rifles East of the Mississippi, hog rifles, and the like. They give you fast target acquisition, a wide field of view, and more than enough accuracy for hunting. The 20mm objective on this scope looks tiny, but it's more than big enough- a  20mm diameter objective divided by 4x magnification  yields a 5mm exit pupil (the size of the bundle of light exiting the rear of the scope into the user's eye) which is more than enough for daylight use. In fact, the U.S. Army determined sone years ago that a 5mm exit pupil was ideal. Your pupil isn't going to get any bigger than that in daylight. [For some reason most fixed 4x scopes today are 4x32, which makes no sense. That gives you an 8mm exit pupil, and even the youngest shooters don't have pupils that big, except maybe after an hour in  a completely darkened room.]

Burris scopes are extremely well made, with thick wall tubing and excellent glass, and Burris still services every scope they've ever sold. They'll even adjust the parallax. The 4x and 6x non-adjustable minis have the parallax set at 100 yards, I believe, but they'll set them to 40, making them excellent .22 scopes.  If only they'd bring back the minis, I bet a lot of shooters would happily fork over the dough to buy one.

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