Nikko Stirling Targetmaster

Mil Dot Nikko Stirling

Was after a scope for my new Diana 31 air rifle. Have always been a Leupold man, but was assured by several different dealers that nothing in their range could withstand the weird pressure gradients that arise during the recoil of a powerful spring operated air rifle. I was a bit sceptical about this, but couldn't see any point in wrecking a good scope, so researched the market, and was assured th at the Nikko Airking offerings were made specifically for airguns .. as the name would suggest, and that they were consistent performers.

Compared them with about the only other specialist air rifle model I could find ... BSA, however I felt that the BSA offering looked and felt a little "cheap".

Settled then on a new 2-7X32 at a local gunshop, and instantly noticed a couple of sticky rings around the tube of the scope .. almost as if it had been mounted before by somebody using some type of adhesive paper inside their rings. This is despite the thing being sealed in its packaging. So I don't know what gives here.

The scope presents well, with a set of fairly sturdy looking rings being incorporated as part of the one piece, apparently steel base. The base secures into the dovetail of the rifle's receiver via 3 chunky looking "allen key" screws from the right.

The reticle incorporates a set of "mil dots" radiating out on each crosshair, apparently to allow for elevation vagaries, and wind along the horizontal axis. Nice idea ... someday when I have the inclination I'll figure how the hell it works!!

Adjustment of the power ring is positive and the friction is "just right". The adjustable objective, likewise moves positively, and the focus adjustments seem reasonably true to range.

The scope suffers from the all too common theme amongst "cheap" scopes of being a little fuzzy around the peripheries of the image when at maximum magnification, and the image is not very forgiving, in that the eye needs to be aligned perfectly to get the "full picture". If moved even slightly from side to side, immediate ghosting of the image occurs prior to complete blackout.

The image itself presents quite a "small" picture.

I am finding that the groupings are quite inconsistent from the rifle, however whether this is due to the rifle itself or the scope ... or even just the combination of the two, I can't say. Sadly though it does not instil a lot of confidence in the rig. I have lost a fair few "certain hits" on feral Indian Mynas under ideal conditions ...

This represents the first time in my shooting history that I have seriously considered removing a new scope from a rifle and trying my luck with the iron sights instead!!

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  • Side parallax
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