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September 30, 2008

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Going Long With The Uselton Warbird and Swarovski Z6

Rifle_and_scope The rifle I used for my Colorado mule deer is a Uselton Warbird Mountain Light chambered in the screaming hot 7.82 Lazzeroni Warbird. For those unfamiliar with the cartridge, it is a .30-caliber magnum that, in my rifle, sends a 150-grain bullet downrange at 3,715 fps. To put it in perspective, when it hit my mule deer at 450 yards the bullet was going as fast as it would have been when exiting the muzzle of a .30-06.  The bullet shot through both lungs and broke the off-shoulder of the buck before exiting. The deer took half a step forward then sank to the ground.

The scope I used was a Swarovski Z6, specifically the new 2.5-15X56 that is equipped with what Swarovski calls its Ballistic Turret. The turret gives the shooter a quick way to adjust their zero for a variety of distances. I’ll give a more detailed account later, but the way it works is that after setting the zero you want—in my case 2.3 inches high at 100 yards, which translated into a 325-yard zero—you feed some data into a ballistic calculator. The information that comes back allows you to configure a series of color-coded indicators on the scope’s elevation knob for other points of impact. I set mine up with 400-, 500- and 600-yard zeros.

The good news is that the process looks more complicated than it is to use. The better news is that it actually works. My chief complaint with most reticles with multiple aiming points is that they are visually complicated and require way too much thinking for a hunter to use under field conditions. Not so this system. Assuming you have time to accurately range your target dialing in the proper amount of elevation is easy.

—John Snow