Confidence in your scope?

Sep 12, 2004
I have recently bought a Schmidt & Bender PM11 scope with mil dot reticle which I am very pleased with. I am successfully using the mil dot system but would like to start dialling in the adjustment for greater accuracy. My question is how accurate are the turret adjustments? If I have correctly zeroed the gun and then dial in adjustments for windage and range after taking the shot and retuning the turrets to the zero how close will they be to the original zero? I appreciate this will vary from make and model but what is your experience? Any feedback would be appreciated.
My PM2 is absolutely spot on -even after knocks!
Are you having problems with your PM2?

If you're having minor problems with perfect return to zero at 100m and have a model without parallax adjustment; it may be worth bearing in mind that the non-adjustable PM2s are set to be parallax free at 200m (ie not the more usual 100m).

-this might mean that if your head position is consistent when firing a group, but is not absolutely consistent between groups, the groups may appear to wander a tiny bit at 100m.

To round-off in an up-beat way; my PM2 has become the most 'trustable' scope I own or have owned (others include other S&B, Swarovski and -very briefly- a Leupold).

Good choice!

[ 09-12-2004: Message edited by: Brown Dog ]
Hi Brown Dog
Thanks for the feedback, I am not having any problems with the PM2 and I am very pleased with it. I have the 3-12x50 and having spent time getting the zero as spot on as I can at 150 yards (.243)I just wanted some reassurance that if I start dialing in corrections for wind etc that it would return to my zero. Probably me being foolish considering the quality/price of the scope but its good to hear some real feedback from others. How frequently do you recheck the zero?
relay and trust the scope. I have had a PMII 3-12x50 now for about 6 years or so,(got one of the first that came out) it has never once failed to adjust perfectly. in fact, using a picatinny rail on all 3 of my remington rifles, ( 2 short 1 long action) and Badger Ord rings i have swapped the scope back and forth, dialed in the required known adjustment, reset the turrets to zero and have been exactly spot on every time.
What kind of mounts are you using? the AI one is made by sports match and is basicaly and airgun scope mount and as such it is very unreliable (as well as bieng a pile of crap) the best are the 34mm Badger Ord rings.

I think that checking of zero is more a 'system' thing than just a scope thing. Personally, I'm verging on check zero paranoid (you'll understand why by the time you've read this!); I feel uncomfortable doing more than a couple of trips afield without firing at least a check shot at something!

We're all slaves to our own experience; hence (I suspect) Pete's downer on the AI mount.
My worst loss of zero ever was on an occasion whilst my PM2 was mounted on my Sauer 202. Sadly I discovered the shift on a beast rather than a target. The 1st beast dropped to a liver hit at around 150m; rather stunned at my inaccuracy, I persuaded myself that I must, somehow, have unwittingly pulled the shot. I'm rather ashamed to say that I then cracked on with the outing; the next shot at an animal at around 230m hit the beast in the gut (I hasten to add that I now twigged the error and aimed-off to drop the animal with a 2nd shot).I later found that the POI was about 60cm right of POA at 230m. The cause wasn't the scope; it was - I later found- the fact that the locking nut on the front Badger mount had quietly slackened itself off. Re-torquing it put the rifle back on zero.

-my point being that it was a 'system' loss of zero rather than just a scope problem.

Conversely, I once had a 15cm zero shift at 200m with a Swarovski 3-12x50. I had accidentally bumped the objective on a door frame; a bump that I thought so light that I paid it no heed. But the zero shifted. A solid scope problem that time!

Now my PM2 sits atop an AW rifle (in the AI mount that Pete so strongly damns!). Despite some rough use (this rifle encourages rough use!)the zero does not budge a jot! -with this set-up, both my 'system' and 'scope' trust increase on a daily basis!

I suppose, what I'm trying to say, is that your 'check-zero' interval will depend on the 'system' trust that you will develop over time. I feel quietly confident that your PM2 will not reveal itself as a weak link!

(Pete: Quit those negative AI vibes! The AI mount is in service on the L96, the L118A1 and the L115A1. If it's good enough for work, it's certainly good enough for play!
Pete, BD
Thanks for the replies, you have boosted my confidence considerably. The basses/mounts I have are a Weaver type with Warne Permanyly Attached mounts. I have not noticed any problems in this area but let me know your thoughts? I tried to attach an image but I assume you can only link to a web address where the images are hosted?
Subsonic, the only way to know for sure how well a scope works is to test it under real world conditions.

Whenever I get a new scope, I do the following tests. I mount it on a known rifle and shoot the box. Then I shot for elevation and note if the adjustments are linear - must shoot in calm conditions to assure bullet drift is not affecting your results. All this is repeated several times in a random fashion.

The hardest test is take a shot, then turn each or both knobs back and forth through their entire range of travel several times. Do this fast or slow. Just run them through their adjustment range. go back to the zero setting and take a shot.

A good scope will drill that shot in the same group. A bad one will put the bullet into a new 'zero'.

After doing these tests, you will be surprised at the number scopes that fail. If it passes, you will now know that mechanically your scope will work for you.

I also take the rifle out and let it bounce around in my truck for a bit just to see if it will hold zero. Most quality scopes will.

All of these little tests just help build confidence.


Have to agree with you on the Apel mounts, had their swing mounts on my 1st 202. They couldn't hold zero day to day! -wildly over-rated.

Unless you left in the last couple of years, I assume that your L96 experience was back in the 1-inch tube 6x42 days?
Off the top of my head, I can't say when we switched to the AI version of the PM2, but it was certainly in time for TELIC. The 34mm AI mount is a different beast to the old 1" mounts (for example 4 clamping screws rather than the 2 on the 1"). I'm not aware that there were any problems with it...and as you'll know from your time in an inf bn LAD, scope mount return to zero isn't really a big drama for 'Green-Army' snipers; operationally, the scope is only taken off if it's broken.
So, right now, the bulk of the Army is still using L96 but now with the AI 34mm mount. A smaller amount of the AW (L118A1) were also procured for the bunch with rather more 'demanding' requirements, this time with a 34mm AI mount specifically designed to be QD (must point out here, that I am not a hooligan; my personal experience of the AW is based on the one I bought (with the standard non-QD mount)!)[-please don't get bent out of shape if that was teaching you to suck eggs!].

Anyway; I'm certainly a slave to my experience...and I like the AI mount!

I didn't know we were looking at new mounts; I shall take a wander over to ITDU in the next few weeks for more info.

As regards the Badgers, yup, I'd put my hand up to operator error. Do you thread-lock yours as well as applying the recommended torque?

-oh yes, I do trust the L85A2. We've been told to!

[ 09-16-2004: Message edited by: Brown Dog ]
Brown Dog, I'm an Ex REME Armourer, and i did a unit sniper course with 3Bn Royal Anglian Regt, The company i work for have contracted Armourers to the RAF, I've been a gunsmith full or part time for 17 years, i figure that i am qualified to comment on the AI mounting, and with ref to the " if its good enough for work it must be good enough for play" so you would trust an L85A1 or A2 (SA 80) would you? do you routinely remove and replace the AI mount? we did, we did. it didn't return to zero more than 20% of the time. The alluminium it is made for is soft, i have seen the ring mount buckle after a knock or a fall more than once, thus the scope was pointing massively off target. The British Military are currently looking at an alternative to the alloy one piece mount from AI. I have been through every 34mm mount that is currently available, including some rings that i machined my self, i made them fit the leupold quick release bases, they worked but it was a pain swapping the scope onto different action lengths. The very best mounting system of all the 34mm available is Badger Ordnance, I would suggest that maybe you didn't tighten the bolt up on yours fully when you had it shoot loose, i have never seen a set of badger rings come loose when torqued up to 65 in/lbs. The worst ring base set up i used was the EAW swing of mounts, to many parts to come loose and always did with that big heavey scope.
Warne rings with hold zero, but are not reliable for remove and return to zero and the tollerances between the rings put stress on the scope. buy once, buy right, buy badger.
now if you want a set of badger rings and bases at a decent price let me know. I have a good source.
Oh Brownus Doggus, you didn't say you was still serving? yes the first experience had with the L96A1 was way back, it had either a S&B or a kahles 6x42 in Apel EAW fixed mounts, the worked ok. I left in 96, but i was contracted as basicaly a REME civie until Dec 99. plenty of time to see the PMII in, and don't forget, the Brits ain't the only ones using the AI. the Dutch and the Germans do to, which has been another source for my experiences. The AI one piece, 34mm mount will stand up to recoil, it will hold a zero. but it will not return to zero with enough repeatability, now if you guys are using a SIMRAD and hanging the thing of the rail on the stock the you will be ok, but if you want to mount it from a picatinny type top half ring on the front end of the mount, the situation becomes a little strained shall we say, and if, like some units, you use a NV sight that you swap off , and then back on with your day sight, you will find all sorts of cluster fucks with the AI mount.and woe betide any one who drops the sod.
i had one, i cut it up to mount my AICS with.
I think the original post was refering to a 10x42PMII, as he was using Warne rings, i wasn't aware that warne had 34mm. i have used warne 30mm, i mounted, among others, a 2.5-10x56 S&B on a 1895 marlin 450M. i know strange combination !. it worked fine until i wanted to swap the scope of an put the aimpoint on, then i lost zero by about a foot.
Which unit you in mate? maybe we know some of the same blokes? I was with, 1A+SH, 3 R Anglian, 7RHA, 4 Regt RA, 2AdFA, 14 Sig Regt. had attachments to, 1 Gren gds,40regt RA, 115 Provo Coy RMP. as Civie, 45 Sqn RE, Sennelager training centre and all the armoured units in 1UKSC(G).
have we sat across the NAFFI munching pies from each other? or even worse, rode the garrison bike? ha,,
you stick wi your AI mounts, when they do pack in let me know, i'll get you a good price Badger and you can owe me a beer..
cheers Pete
No, I don't think our paths have crossed; (although I did my sub-unit comd in one of the units you mention!(yep,I'm a rupert -does that cancel the offer of a beer?
). Was 1996 your 22?

I'm sure we can manage some lingo speak to baffle LogonID 'Raghead#1'!

Thanks for the Badger offer. I have a pair of redundant 34mm Badgers sitting in the cupboard now that I've taken the PM2 off my 202 Alaska and put it on the AW. I now have to find some 30mm rings to stick a different scope on it (needless to say, another S&B!).Although I've got Warne weaver bases on the Alaska (had to file the slots a smidge to get the badgers on), I can't bring myself to put Warne rings on; I've had their QDs and fixed in the past, but just -irrationally- don't like them. I just ordered a pair of the TPS mounts (that look like Badger copies)from the States. If they don't work out, I may be in touch!

How often are you back in Blighty? -most of my stalking is SW UK (you can probably guess where!).
A Rupert !!help,, dont give this guy a map!!.. joking aside, makes a nice change to find a Rupert who is interested in riflemanship, from what you write it sounds like you know how to find your arse with both hands, so yep, beer is on me, if you are Cav then we will definately know some of the same blokes, i've lost touch with most of the Inf guys i knew, and well i won't metion the Arty? you didn't do a stint with 4 regt did you? did you hate it too?
so you'll be on the plain then?give my regards to Imber Village,
You ever been to the IWA in Nürnberg? you would find it interesting.
what you doing with a Sauer 202? i turned a job down as a gunsmith with Sauer when i left the army in 96, the distance between home in Germany and Ekenförde was to far, typical tha i end up now working for ESA at even more distance away.
nice rifles, better than that croc of crap the blaser r93.
we will have to email each other.
Greetings: Pete and Brown Dog.

Pete...I hope this finds you recovering well from your contact with Lyme Disease?
Between the two you...I suppose I would have to say you are responsible for me purchasing an AWM-F in .300 mag. It is equipped with the AI propriatary mount and a Leupold M3 LR 3.5 X 10. Thus far I have not had the occasion to remove and re-enstall the scope. However, I thought perhaps this web sight would interest you both as AI has a video of them removing and re-mounting the scope. Zero seems to be least for the 100 yd. range they are using. You may view the video at:
Brown Dog...I am getting along well with this rifle. Tad heavy! It will shoot 190 gr. SMK into 0.260", three shot groups when I do my part. Muzzle velocity of 2950 FPS!
Confidence!! Leupold LR M3 with bullet cam? I am comfortable with the "system" repeating itself out to two hundred yds., as that distance is the longest I have tested it all with. Like most...I like, and prefer to check the "system" by shooting it from time to time. This "system" includes the guy behind the trigger!! Me.
Magnification? I am watching another I think I would like more magnification!!
I guess I am going to have to go up to Williamsport, Pa to do a thousand yds. Its only about an hour and a half drive.
For me...if I can dial the elevation up and down as much as I like and then on another day following, I can put the first round into a 1" circle @ 100yds. and maintain that @ 200 yds., i.e. 2" @200 yds. But for late is seems to be 2.5 ". Oh well.
Enjoy the I certainly enjoy your banter.
Semper Fi
Bruce ~~___/)~*~
Bruce, thanks i am finnished with the months course of antibiotics and things are looking ok. AI would of course promote thier mounting system, just like if you watch a Fiat video they suggest that thier little cars are the best small cars available, but a fiat isn't a match on a VW Golf. i tried to look at the link but it wouldn't come up. Ive done myn own testing, the mount would return within about 1.5 MOA, which isn't much at 100m, but when you get out at 800m then it is an issue. It isn't good enough for me, if i was still with an Infantry Unit i would be replacing the AI mount with Badger Rings and a picatinny rail with money from troop funds if i had to.
The AI is a sound rifle, AI are arrogant as hell and a real bitch to deal with if you are a civilian, they are only interested in LE and Military sales. They pass the civie sales on to sub contracted sales teams/people. I know about equipment failure reports bieng submitted with regards to the mount. The whole SWS package is let down by what realy is a mounting designed for an air gun and just made bigger to accomodate the PMII. when an agency is spending that much on an SWS system, they realy deserve decent mounts.
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