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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have not missed many deer in my life, but have missed a few due this Phenomenon. I hunt mostly swampland and thick, thick brush for deer. Most of my rifles are scoped because of bad eyesight. I have missed maybe three deer because of bullet deflection. Hitting a limb that is close to me between the deer and me. After doing so I have passed on a couple of nice bucks for fear of this occurring. Most of my scopes have been 4x12x40. I like this scope size because I can shoot paper and see where I am hitting at 100 yards. I have encountered the same phenomenon with 2x7x33 scopes also. I normally use the lowest setting at dusk for better light gathering, so before anyone says you are using to much power this is not the case.

HOW CAN A LIMB THE SIZE OF MY ARM DISAPPEAR between me and my intended target at under 30 yards. This has always intrigued me. Do I have an X-RAY vision scope or what. Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon.
 

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Parallax...

More common with higher powered scopes than with lower powered scopes. Changing the eye relief or even the optical alignment of the eye with the centerline of the scope can change the affect of parallax either way - - better or worse. Scopes with range adjustable objective lenses can help, but aren't always the best solution either.

Parallax can be a real booger.
 

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You're not alone Gabby. There is a scientific name for it, I just can't remember what it is at the moment. Something to do with lens infraction and the glass being built specifically for infinity focus rather than macros or close-up focusing. Double lensing generally eliminates the aberrations you are referring to as ghosting, but rifle scopes and telecopes are not built for macro work like microscopes are Gabby.

Same phenomenon as when you are taking a picture with your camera phone and a little bit of your finger gets in the way ... blurry, but transparent. It's known as a photographic aberration.

When I was in sniper school we were taught to always adjust focus from low to high to make sure there were no obstructions ... tall grass was our biggest enemy. But I've experienced it with leaves and tree branches, bushes, etc. I've learned to recognize certain little hints that would indicate an obstruction - although it is getting tougher with age.

ETA: DWB is correct ... "parallax view" is the scientific term I was trying to remember. Thanks DWB!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallax
 

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Here is a link that might explain it better...

Parallax in Rifle Scopes

There are other explanations out there, but this one is about the best I've found. The others offer lots of conjecture about how to "correct" it - - and a lot of them are a bunch of hooey. If the scopes you have do not have the range adjustable objective, or a specific parallax slider adjustment, then parallax cannot be corrected in those scopes... Period.

The only thing left is to adjust is the ocular lens - - for the focus with your eye for a given range, based on your vision. It doesn't necessarily correct the parallax, but it does mitigate the effects somewhat. Of course, that won't help one bit when you have the ocular lens focused for your eye to a range of 100, 150, 200, or whatever yardage, and there is an obstacle between your objective lens and the intended target.

The best way I can think of is to get a good set of binoculars, and when you spot some distant target that you want to hammer, use the binos to scan from near to far, and from right to left through your intended line of fire. That is the fastest way of picking up on potential obstructions that could ruin your shot. It might also require a minor shift in your position and re-acquiring your natural point of aim to "miss" the obstruction, but still put a round on target.

Hope this explains it a bit better.
 

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You remind of a story a guy I worked with years ago told me one day. He said a friend of his wanted to try hunting/camping using horses with him having never done it before, and during the hunt the guy tried to shoot a Deer while sitting in the saddle.. and instead shot the horse he was sitting on in the back of the head. Not really sure how true that story is, but said it was similar to what you're talking about with using scopes. Being that close, I would tend to think that the scope mounting/height above the barrel may also have come into play...?
 
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Want to see something cool?
Mound a rifle scope on an AR15. That big honking front sight looks like it would be in the way but it disappears due to parallax.
 

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Gabby,
I hope you aren't using those grab handle mounts some people call see thru scope mounts. That much scope elevation above the bore centerline could do it but I think the posters ahead of me have a better line on the issue.

Or you were perched atop one of those korn-likker stills I remember smelling in the woods when I lived in NC. That will make you THINK you have x-ray vision. :flute:
 
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Been thinking about this some more... Seems I read something quite a while ago that variable scopes that are in the 6-20x neighborhood and do not have a range adjustable objective lens are generally set for zero parallax at 300 yards, and some shotgun scopes are set for zero parallax at 50 yards.

Not sure that is a hard and fast rule, and I reckon scope manufacturers might build their scopes with various ranges of zero parallax... You should be able to research your particular scope(s) and learn more about them and what you can expect from them. Optics are one of the topics that make for interesting reading on MO...
 

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Here is a link that might explain it better...

Parallax in Rifle Scopes

The only thing left is to adjust is the ocular lens - - for the focus with your eye for a given range, based on your vision. It doesn't necessarily correct the parallax, but it does mitigate the effects somewhat.
Which is what I was talking about when I mentioned it was getting harder to do with age.

I have found though, since I switched to these progressive bifocals, that I'm able to adjust better than I was there for awhile.

It just hit me ... I wish they called them Conservative bifocals.



Sent from my DROID RAZR using Outdoor Forums mobile app
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I heard of parallax distortion in scopes before but I thought it had more to do with side to side alignment and focus. I'll have to read the topics listed. I don't believe scope height has anything to do with it either. I have seen people crease their truck hoods and tool boxes with low mounted scopes. All my rifles at mounted low with Leupold mounts now and have had problems with them and high mounted scopes. I sure would hate to be the guy who shot his horse. I can see clearly how it could happen. Although I prefer variable scope to none variables I have noticed that a low mounted 1.5 scopes you can see your front sight turn it up to 3x it goes away. Imagine that X-RAY vision.
 

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... I have noticed that a low mounted 1.5 scopes you can see your front sight turn it up to 3x it goes away. Imagine that X-RAY vision.
That right there is the perfect example of parallax. On my 336C (.35 Remington), the VXII 1-4x20 is mounted low. At 1x, the front sight & hood are pretty obvious, at 2x - not so much, at 3x - barely noticeable, and at 4x - you wouldn't know it was there. And that occurs regardless of how I have the ocular lens focused.

On my Ruger 77RSI (.30-06), I have an old Redfield Tracker 2-7x32 mounted in the Ruger factory rings. At 2x, the front site ramp is blurred, and you hardly notice it. At 3x - barely noticeable, at 4x - it's gone, and same for any of the higher powers.

On an old Mauser (8mm), I have a Leatherwood 2-7x32 EER scope in an after-market mount. At 2x, the front sight and hood don't show up too much at all, and any powers above that, the front sight and hood are invisible.

Each of the three examples above are an indication of how the zero parallax range can vary from scope to scope, for a specific magnification power. Not really a conclusive, scientific study or anything like that, but something that is noticeable to the shooter.

I reckon as more & more folks get into more long range shooting, and especially with the 'net, and the availability of more and more higher powered scopes, the parallax issue will continue to be discussed. Perhaps, manufacturers will get the hint and start publishing more info regarding their various scopes in particular with regard to specifications that include zero parallax range at various magnification settings. In particular, for those scope that have no range adjustable objective lenses.
 

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It's not the SCOPE'S fault - it's your BRAIN and EYES fault...
See... You turn on your "Predator" brain - and your brain focuses on the DEER... Not on the Branch....

If you had to focus on all the branches, leaves, and junk in the way - you wouldn't be able to pick out the DEER.....

Second.... You focus your eyes on SOMETHING.... which means everything else is OUT OF FOCUS....
This is especially important in dark, shady spots - where your eye can't focus on both close and far at the same time....
It's about Aperture opening - just like how a Camera lens works......
A good Portrait focuses crisply on the Object and puts everything out of focus.... Wide aperture opening, not so bright light....
A good Landscape tries to get everything into focus simultaneously.... Small aperture opening, very bright light....

Literally - your Eye Focuses on the Deer... and the Branch is out of Focus.... The brain fills in the missing pieces so you aren't distracted by a million fuzzy LUMPS surrounding a deer head.....

So... Don't blame the scope...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
truckjohn, are you saying I get tunnel vision when I see a deer. If that's the case you Sir have hit it on the nail .LOL
 
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