For those of use who wear corrective lenses, and especially those of us who wear bi-focal lenses (graduated or not), the challenge of viewing the open sights on a firearm is quite a challenge at times.
While I usually do not have a problem seeing the sights on a firearm during daylight, and when outdoors, indoor florescent range lighting plays havoc with my eyes. While I can see the target fine, both front and rear sights are fuzzy regardless of how I place my face and I usually wind up aligning one fuzzy sight to the other fuzzy sight and take the shot. At “combat” distances, I am usually effective with my shooting a handgun, shotgun, or rifle to obtain “combat” effectiveness.
I have experimented with lasers, magnified optics, and non-magnified optics through my years of shooting. Some folks swear by a “dot” optic (tube or reflex) for quick target acquisition, and I do have such optics mounted on a few long guns and a pistol as well. My issue with optics such as these is not with the optic itself, but using my eyes in conjunction with the optic. Having astigmatism in my left, dominant eye (I am cross-eye dominant), any dot is no longer a dot and the dot is more of a dot with a tail. Add a dirty lens, with the optic or corrective lenses, and accuracy suffers when I attempt to hit what I am aiming at.
For long guns, regardless of caliber, I usually mount a magnified optic. I enjoy being able to bring the target closer to obtain an accurate shot. However, I am perfectly comfortable with a “peep” or “ghost” rear sight and I am still capable of hitting “Minute of Man” out to 300 meters or so with this type of sight. Better accuracy; however, is only obtainable with a magnified optic.
These days, and more often than not, you will find me at my local indoor range and gun club tossing projectiles at targets from seven yards to twenty-five yards. Range day, to me, is no more than simply evaluating how I can perform with a particular firearm at the particular time. The firearms that I shoot range from my EDC to other firearms that I enjoy shooting, and sometimes those that I don’t enjoy shooting, but need to. Lately, it seems, I have been shooting .22 caliber firearms more often than not. The long guns are, naturally, mounted with a magnified optic to wring the most accuracy as I can out of them – even at twenty-five yards.
My recent experiment with a 1x shotgun scope led me to ask the question, “Do I really need a magnified optic or simply a better sight?” That question begged me to find the answer.
I mentioned earlier my issue with a “dot” sight, but I discovered that I have no issue with a “dot” sight that has multiple aiming patterns. I have found that I am more accurate with a dot sight that has an encircled dot or a cross-hair pattern, and there is no astigmatism effect. Perhaps, it is the way my brain perceives these patterns and does an auto-correct thing with my vision. I don’t really know the answer to that. So, I started thinking; “Why not just substitute open sights with the cross-hair pattern of a scope, but without magnification?” The other question was, “Is there a need for an illuminated reticle?” While illuminated reticles or other sighting patterns are nice, they can fail when you don’t want them to. I also found that most illuminated sighting patterns (reticle or otherwise) are too bright for indoor use or “wash-out” when bright light is introduced (like turning on a flashlight). I felt that a standard reticle 1x scope might fit the bill for what I was looking for.
My primary objective was to mount a 1x scope on a Hi-Point 4595 TS Carbine for evaluation. Depending on how well the evaluation went, I would move on to my terminal objective, which I will reveal later in this article.
My particular Hi-Point 4595 TS carbine has had a few modification made to it. The first modification was the removal of the sighting system. The front sight was attached to the barrel. I felt that it was susceptible to damage being mounted as it was, and I wanted to clean up the looks of the front end. The rear sight, no longer needed, was removed and was eventually replaced with a UTG 6.4” 30mm Red/Green Dot sight (SCP-DS3068W). I wrote a review of the sight (Product Review – UTG DS3068 6.4-Inch ITA Red/Green Dot Sight: http://guntoters.com/blog/2014/11/22/product-review-utg-ds3068-6-4-inch-ita-redgreen-dot-sight/), and favored it enough to install a second one on a Beretta CX4 Storm carbine. Others have found their way onto shotguns, a MSR, and even on a Ruger Charger for a bit. At this point, the only remaining UTG SCP-DS3068W resides on the Beretta CX4 Storm, with the others having been replaced by magnified optics. But, I digress.
While the UTG SCP-DS3068W sight served my immediate needs, the sight had some failings (dot vs. astigmatism and the need for a very small hex-head wrench to secure the turrets) and I knew that, eventually, it would be replaced with a better optic. Enter the Sightmark COREsx 1×24 Shotgun Scope.
Some things to be gleaned from the specifications is the 3.8 inches of eye relief and the compactness of the sight.
The Sightmark COREsx 1×24 Shotgun Scope is robust and the weight of the scope reflects just how robust it is. After all, the scope is made for shotgun duty, and as noted in the specifications, will handle up to 1000g’s of recoil force.
The 3.8 inches of eye relief was perfect for my eyes with the scope mounted on the Hi-Point 4595 TS carbine. Clarity is excellent indoors or out, natural lighting or not. The simple duplex reticle suits the characteristics of the Hi-Point where hold-over and the need for BDC or MIL-Dot marks are not needed for the most part. The tiny dot in the center of the cross-hairs catches the eye quickly. One major advantage of the 1×24 scope is that both eyes can be open when using the scope. Although the objective lens diameter is only 24mm, the 40mm ocular lens provides an excellent scope picture while removing a lot of effort by the operator to get centered in the lens.
The Sightmark COREsx 1×24 Shotgun Scope would also be an excellent substitution for open sights on many rifles. With the proper height of scope rings, there should be little if no issue with the front sight bleeding into the sight picture. For the Hi-Point 4595 TS, a set of Warne 1” Lever-Lock Low rings were used. With no front sight to concern myself with, I could mount the scope as low as possible.
Although there is a slight bit of magnification, the sight can be used with both eyes open, which is an obvious advantage.
A popular feature these days for a number of scopes is the illuminated reticle. The Sightmark COREsx 1×24 Shotgun Scope is not equipped with one, and that may be a drawback with some folks. However, it is no different than using an open sight with a black or beaded front sight. Under most conditions, the reticle is just fine, and if need be, the target can be illuminated and the reticle become crystal clear.
The Sightmark COREsx 1×24 Shotgun Scope could be an excellent substitute for open sights on a long gun for those, like me, whose eyes are old and are straining to properly see and align front and rear sights with the target. There is the advantage of not having to line up front and rear sights. I find that I can acquire my POA more quickly using a scope of this nature than I can with open sights. Also, after taking the shot, the reticule is quicker to get back on target over re-aligning a set of open sights.
Will the Sightmark COREsx 1×24 Shotgun Scope remain on the Hi-Point 4595 TS carbine? At this point that is undecided. I am currently experimenting with a similar, but variable power, scope setup. I do feel; however, that the Sightmark COREsx 1×24 Shotgun Scope is very compatible for use with the .45ACP cartridge given the short range nature of the cartridge. You can read about that experiment @ Hi-Point 4595TS and 995TS WC Advanced Optics Project More Optical Delusions!: http://guntoters.com/blog/2017/04/03/hi-point-4595ts-and-995ts-wc-advanced-optics-project/
CONTINUE TO PART II?
If you feel the need to read about using the Sightmark COREsx 1×24 Shotgun Scope as it is intended to be used, go to: SIGHTMARKsx 1×24 Shotgun Scope – Part II; Shotgun Application: http://guntoters.com/blog/2017/04/05/sightmarksx-1×24-shotgun-scope-part-ii/
Sightmark COREsx 1×24 Shotgun Scope: http://www.sightmark.com/product.php?item=6
Hi-Point 4595TS Carbine – Product Review: http://guntoters.com/blog/2016/06/12/hi-point-4595ts-carbine-product-review/
Hi-Point 4595TS Carbine – Product Review, Part 2: http://guntoters.com/blog/2016/06/20/hi-point-4595ts-carbine-product-review-part-2/