Saturday, January 12, 2008


I’m a cursed man.

Every time something good happens to me, or I get something I really want…some tiny and almost insignificant detail goes wrong which screws up the whole thing…or at the very least makes things about a hundred times more complicated than they should be.

Take today for instance.

I decided to finally trade in my awful $15 Tasco rifle scope for something that, you know, actually works. I mean my tasco scope has a tiny objective lens (meaning a very dark image), parallax errors, tiny field of view and tons of distortion.

So Sunny and I were going shopping anyway, so we stopped off at Wally World and I headed to sporting goods.

Now, rifle scopes can cost thousands of dollars, so I wasn’t expecting to get anything really good, just better. However, it turned out they had a ton of scopes on sale (it coming up to hunting season and all), and I managed to score a Simmons 3-9 X 50. Basically, I got about a hundred bucks worth of scope for $40.

Great right? Good day so far.

Then I realized that there was no way in hell that the new scope would fit in the rings I already have. So I talk to the girl behind the counter.

“Hey, this is a long shot, but I need a Weaver rail to fit a Remington 597. Have any in stock?”

So she rummages around for a few minutes and hands me a selection of rings.

“No, I need the base. The actual rail.”

(There was no point looking at rings yet. If they didn’t have a Weaver Rail, they might have a Leopold rail, which would need totally different rings).

So she hands me a selection of rails. Apparently, it was too much trouble for her to look through her own stock. She just piled every different type she had on the counter and let me sift through them.

Anyway, she had every type of rail apart from the one I needed.

So Sunny and I jump back in the car, and we ride over to J&S, the local gun store. The people there were much more helpful.

“Hey.” I said. “I need a Weaver rail and rings for a Rem 597. Do you have any in stock?”

“We should have, let me check.”

So she vanishes for a few moments, and returns with the exact rail I need and rings to fit it. These are also a lot cheaper than I expected. About 16 bucks for the rail and 6 for the rings. I thank her and leave the store.

So I get home and go to work with my screwdriver. The rail fits like a dream. The ring saddles fit like a dream. I put the scope on top…and hit a snag.

The objective lens on the front of the scope is just way to big to fit. It hits the rear iron sight. This is very bad news. If I tried to mount the scope as is, not only would the recoil knock the scope out of alignment every time I fired, there’s a good chance I’d bend it, rendering it useless.

So I figure I don’t need the iron sights with a scope, so I try to remove the rear sight. I unfasten the screw…and manage to drop it. It goes to the same place that socks and car keys go when you really need them. For the time being (at least until I can hunt down a replacement screw) my rifle has no iron sights…period.

Then I realize to get to the second screw, I need to remove the rear posts…and that requires a teeny-weeny allen wrench that I don’t actually own. Cursing loudly, I measure the scope, and realize that it’s not even going to fit if I completely remove the sight. I check the packaging, and there in writing almost as tiny as the screw, it points out that the rings are only good for scopes with a 40mm or less objective lens.

Balls. I think. There’s no way J&S will take the rings back for me to swap them out. They’re not defective…I was just too dumb to check I’d bought the right ones. Plus, arguing with a bunch of heavily armed gun store owners in their gun store is probably not very good for your health. So, using my best puppy-dog look, I ask Sunny to drive me back to J&S so I can buy the rings I need.

J&S isn’t exactly next door. It’s at least a 20 minute drive…but we go anyway. You can probably guess the next bit.

Yup, the store was closed.

So, getting more and more frustrated, I again ask Sunny to drive me over the Wally World again. They probably have the rings I need if not the rail. So I talk to the Wally World monkey:

“Hey, I need a set of 1 inch weaver rings to fit a 50mm objective scope.”

She points over my shoulder.

“All the rings we have are over there.” She says.

There I see the worlds largest collection of scope rings. 20mm or less, 30mm or less, 40mm or less.

Now, you’re probably expecting me to say they didn’t have the rings I need. In fact they most certainly did.

The problem was, all the scope rings I couldn’t use were between five and seven dollars. The ones I need? Twenty bucks. Don’t ask me why. For some reason that extra half inch of steel is worth an extra fifteen dollars.

Anyway, I get home, and start installing them. I won’t bother you with the details. Let’s just say it involved two more dropped screws and half an hour on my hands and knees with a flashlight.

In other words, all the things I should have been able to get in one place resulted in 2 unscheduled extra store visits, a set of rings I can’t use, and an extra 20 bucks.

On the upside, I have an absolutely awesome wife who’s willing to chauffeur me around the get things right.

Oh, and a half-inch group, from the sitting position at 50 yards. Yay!

1 comment:

MC Etcher said...

Umm. Since I don't know anything about guns, all your talk of Rail Guns and BFG's frightens and confuses me.