One of the issues when mounting a magnified optic to a long gun is eye relief. Normally, the scope is adjusted to your eyes at the highest magnification setting, which provides the least amount of eye relief. A balance; however, with eye relief needs to be made dependent upon the clothing you will be wearing when using the scope. Most wise hunters, who anticipate that they will be wearing heavy clothing when using the scope, will adjust the scope’s eye relief while wearing their normal hunting attire.
In a survival situation; however, you choice in attire may not be what you intended on wearing, or you may be shooting from positions that you did not anticipate. A scope’s eye relief is simply the distance from the ocular lens of the scope to your eye, and you try to achieve a balance between the scope’s eye relief and a perfect sight picture under varying conditions.
If you have read my article on mounting optics on the Henry AR-7 U.S. Survival rifle (Optics and the Henry AR-7 U.S. Survival Rifle Is the Challenge Worth It?: http://guntoters.com/blog/2017/03/20/optics-and-the-henry-ar-7-u-s-survival-rifle/), one of my main concerns was finding a magnified optic with enough eye relief to satisfy my eye relief requirement.
Magnified optics usually come in three flavors; CER, IER, and EER. Scopes built for mounting in the traditional position over the receiver falls into the CER classification, and eye relief can vary from 3 inches out to even 6 inches or 8 inches, with 3.5 inches to four inches being very common. Scopes built for mounting with the ocular lens in front of the receiver (“scout scopes”) have “intermediate eye relief” (I.E.R. – nominal about 9 or 10 inches) and scopes designed for handguns have “extended eye relief” (E.E.R. – nominal closer to 16 inches to twenty inches).
For the Henry AR-7, and because of the long LOP and the width of the stock, I needed a magnified optic with an eye relief that fell somewhere in between CER and IER while leaning toward the outer limits of a CER scope. Ideally, one would like a constant eye relief, which remains the same regardless of magnification settings. Normally, a scope manufacturer will provide a range of eye relief values for adjustable magnification scopes. The lowest eye relief value is normally for the highest magnification setting.
On a previous occasion, I happened across the Sightmark CORExs 1x24mm Shotgun Scope that is now mounted on a 20-gauge shotgun (read about this scope @ SIGHTMARKsx 1×24 Shotgun Scope – Part II Shotgun Application: http://guntoters.com/blog/2017/04/05/sightmarksx-1×24-shotgun-scope-part-ii/). The eye relief, at approximately 3.8”, is ideal for the LOP of the shotgun and keeps things from getting interesting when shooting heavy loads such as Buckshot and slugs; “scope eye’ comes to mind. As I searched though many a magnified optic for the Henry AR-7, I realized that not many had the additional eye relief that I felt I needed. I decided to give Sightmark a chance once more and perused through their offerings. What I found was the Sightmark Core HX 2-7×32 HHR Hog Hunter Riflescope (SM13067HHR), which some would consider an illogical choice to mount on the Henry AR-7. And, yes, I did question my own logic in selecting the scope. But, first let’s look at some basic information about the scope; my logic will be revealed later.
FROM THE MANUFACTURER:
- IP67 – waterproof and dust-proof
- Range-finding reticle designed for feral hogs
- Wide field of view for quicker target acquisition
- Single-piece, 1″ tube
- Aircraft grade aluminum
- Hard anodized finish
- Resettable, Capped turrets
- Shockproof, fog-proof, waterproof
- Multi-coated optics
- Body Material: Aluminum
- Diameter, Exit Pupil: 32 – 4.5 mm
- Diameter, Eyepiece: 1.65 / 42 mm
- Diameter, Objective Lens: 32 mm
- Diameter, Tube: 1/25.4 in/mm
- Diopter Adjustment: +2 to -2
- Elevation Range of Adjustment: 70 MOA
- Eye Relief: 4.7-4 / 119.4-101.6 in/mm
- Field of View: 18.1 – 4.8 m @100m
- Field of View: 54.4 – 14.4 ft @ 100yd
- Finish/Color: matte black
- Focal Plane: 2nd
- Fog Proof: yes
- Height: 1.87/47.5 in/mm
- IP Standard: IP67 – waterproof and dust-proof
- Length: 11.26/286 in/mm
- Lens Coating: Multi-coated
- Magnification: 2-7
- Material, Lens: glass
- Maximum Recoil: 1,200 g’s
- MOA Adjustment: 1/4 MOA per click
- Nitrogen Purged: yes
- Operating Temperature: 0-120 / -17 to 49 °F/°C
- Parallax Setting: 100 yds
- Reticle: Metal
- Reticle, Illuminated: No
- Reticle, Type: HHR Hog Hunter Reticle
- Shockproof: yes
- Sunshade: no
- Weight: 14 oz
- Width: 1.87/47.5 in/mm
- Windage & Elevation, Lock: no
- Windage Range of Adjustment: 70 MOA
I had experimented previously with the Simmons .22 Magnum 3-9x32mm, Truplex-Reticle AO Rimfire scope on the Henry AR-7. With the Simmons scope, I was able to wring out as much accuracy out of the AR-7 as I could reasonably expect. The Simmons scope is; however, a large package with its tall turrets and AO. It did provide enough eye relief, but I had to move the scope too far rearward for my liking to obtain it. While the Simmons is an inexpensive scope option, I simply felt that I needed a little more of a compact package that what the Simmons afforded me, and thus is the reason for the search for a magnified optic that would take the AR-7 where I wanted it to go. I also expected to pay a higher price for one of “reasonable” quality.
The Sightmark Core HX 2-7×32 HHR Hog Hunter Riflescope is a robust scope with an eye relief, at 4.7-4 / 119.4-101.6 in/mm, that is not common in this class of scope.
Although intended for larger calibers of firearms, the Sightmark Core HX 2-7×32 HHR Hog Hunter Riflescope, will fit my needs well on the Henry AR-7.The turret adjustment are low, finger-adjustable, protected by metal caps, and do not interfere with the hand when working the charging handle of a semi-automatic firearm.
The reticle is what Sightmark calls their “Hog” reticle. It’s intended use is on fast moving animals and the hash marks on the horizontal plane provide a sort of “lead” on the target when the target is on the move. The center of the cross-hairs consists of a circle-dot arrangement, which I find more useful at this time. With a 2 through 7 magnification level, the front sight of the Henry AR-7 is not in the sight picture, and although I am usually not distracted by such it is nice to not see it.
I will say that the sight picture is interesting and different from the Sightmak COREsx 1x24mm Shotgun Scope. With the Sightmak COREsx 1x24mm Shotgun Scope, there is an inner and outer boundary to the scope picture. This is primarily due to the narrow objective lens and a large ocular lens, and it takes some getting used to. With the Sightmark Core HX 2-7×32 HHR Hog Hunter Riflescope; however, the scope picture is full and not constricted. The glass characteristics are very good in low and bright light.
I removed the Burris scope rings form the Simmons .22 Magnum 3-9x32mm, Truplex-Reticle AO Rimfire scope, and used them with the Sightmark Core HX 2-7×32 HHR Hog Hunter Riflescope, since they are of the same tube diameter. All I had to do was clear the rear sight housing with the magnification adjustment housing. Given the length of the scope, at 11.26/286 in/mm, and the length of the top rail of the AR-7, I knew that I would have no issue with the objective lens housing clearing the rail or the top of the barrel. There was also no interference with the locking nut on the barrel of the AR-7.
Although the Sightmark Core HX 2-7×32 HHR Hog Hunter Riflescope does not have the AO feature of the Simmons .22 Magnum 3-9x32mm, Truplex-Reticle AO Rimfire scope, the diopter of the Sightmark brings everything into focus quite well and quickly. The 2x magnification is excellent for most of my shooting distances and the 7x setting extends the scope well beyond the accuracy of the AR-7 (and my eyes). I would rather have a bit of over-kill in my optics than not.
At first, the magnification ring is stout to turn, but does loosen a bit after use. The current scope setup keeps me from “crowding” the stock to get a proper scope picture, standing or sitting, and also allows for a good (but not perfect) cheek position on the stock. It’s all pretty comfortable, really. All in all, the AR-7/scope combination is a pretty good setup.
It should be obvious that the scope has to be stored separately from the AR-7, but that is not an issue since the AR-7 would be stored in a back pack or some other medium for transportation. The QD scope rings allow for quick attachment and removal.
The Sightmark Core HX 2-7×32 HHR Hog Hunter Riflescope would be an excellent magnified optic where a little longer eye relief is necessary, and especially for those with short arms. How many times have you seen a youthful shooter strain at the stock when trying to peer through a scope?
Depending on the LOP of the firearm, the Sightmark Core HX 2-7×32 HHR Hog Hunter Riflescope might not be a good choice. However, with scope rings mounted close the hub of the scope tube, there is plenty of adjustment for tailoring the eye relief to your eye; it could possibly serve as a forward mounted “scout” scope in some applications.
I am impressed with the scope; a Sightmark Core HX 2-7×32 HHR Hog Hunter Riflescope has found a home on a CZ 527M Carbine.
If cost is a factor, expect to pay about $119 from on-line vendors. MSRP is $149.
Sightmark® was introduced at SHOT Show 2007 and provides state-of-the-art, affordable optics and accessories for the rifle, shotgun and pistol. Sightmark is based in Mansfield, Texas and is part of the Sellmark Corporation that also includes; Firefield: http://www.fire-field.com/, Pulsar: http://www.pulsarnv.com/, 12 Survivors: http://www.12survivors.com/, and Southern Crossbow: http://www.southerncrossbow.com/.
Core HX 2-7×32 HHR Hog Hunter Riflescope (SM13067HHR): http://www.sightmark.com/product.php?item=446
The Importance of Eye Relief: http://guntoters.com/blog/2015/02/07/the-importance-of-eye-relief/