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Browning X-Bolt Hells Canyon 6.5 Creedmoor


When I first saw the Browning X-Bolt Hells Canyon 6.5 Creedmoor at SHOT Show, I remember thinking to myself that many folks were going to eat it up. And as years have passed it surely has become one of the most talked about hunting rifles out there. So when I finally got a chance to check it out myself, I was eager to see if all the hype was well founded. I had already been playing with a different X-bolt model, so I was pretty familiar with it before I even opened the box. What I didn’t realize was just how deep into Hell’s Canyon I would descend.

First Impressions

My very first impression of the rifle was not unlike my feeling when I saw it at SHOT Show, it was just a plain handsome rifle. A bronze colored Cerakote job and similar A-TACS camo pattern clearly sets this rifle apart on the rifle rack. The fluted barrel and it’s inconspicuous muzzle brake flow seamlessly into the receiver, all of which is set nicely into the camouflaged composite stock. A nice soft recoil pad at the back was a welcome feature, as was the detachable box magazine. And like other X-bolts I’ve shot, it was just smooth. The sixty-degree bolt design makes shorter and faster operation, and the gold-plated trigger breaks as clean as most any hunting rifle I’ve ever pulled from a shelf. The X Bolt action features a bolt release button to unlock the bolt when the safety is on, a very cunning and intuitive design. If this rifle shot as good as it looked, I was going be hard pressed to let go of it.


I wanted to get straight to the range with this rifle, but first I had to get a scope mounted. Selecting a one-piece scope base that uses eight screws to hold it down to the top of the receiver. I found this to be a superior mounting system than the traditional four screws that most manufacturers use to mount scope bases.

I tried a couple different mounting systems and riflescopes. First a Nikon 4-16 scope which worked great, but was too high. I ended up with the system that seemed to work the best, a Crimson Trace 3-12 mounted in Warne rings and bases.
I had a small amount of Hornady American Gunner 6.5CM ammo that I could test in the rifle, but I wanted to try more than one thing just in case the rifle didn’t care for it. So I sat at my loading bench to crank out another couple options.  Hoping at least one of them would provide me with the exceptional accuracy I was hoping for. After that, I installed a Harris bipod so I could get this rifle into the field and shooting.

Continue Reading Here…


A hunter shoots the Hell's Canyon X-Bolt
The Hell’s Canyon X-Bolt is a good-looking gun, and it did well in our range testing after some honing. 

I bore sighted the rifle before I left the house, so it was straight to the paper at 100 yards when I got to my range. It only took a few adjustments to get the rifle zeroed, and I was ready to start some serious shooting in earnest. My hopes for the Hornady American Gunner were not quite met. The groups averaged around an inch, which isn’t terrible, but not good enough for me.

Some of my reloads averaged around the same. I expected that the 1:7 twist of the Browning would stabilize them well, but perhaps it just didn’t like those loads either. Adding a suppressor to the rifle improved the shot pattern. Closing most of the groups down to sub-MOA and even half-MOA accuracy with certain loads.

The four-round magazine of the Hells Canyon rifle is fantastic. Its magazine is rotary, allowing for four 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges to be preloaded in the rifle. This is more than enough for your average big game hunt. If it’s not, I’m sure Browning will sell you additional magazines. The polymer magazine feeds flawlessly, probably in part due to its slippery surface. It fits snugly into the bottom of the rifle and is easily removed by pulling on a hinged catch at the front of the magazine.

Shop Browning rifles, that’s why you are here right?

Long-range Shooting

Shooting the Hell’s Canyon rifle out in the mountains where it would be used was my next task. With the rifle zeroed and predictable accuracy, I decided to take it out a little further. We first started with a target at 440 yards. Which is a very realistic shot in these steep canyons of the Rocky Mountains. With a spotter on the target and ballistic data estimated, I dialed the scope for my shot and put my finger on the golden trigger. Wind was coming from my left at about 4 mph. So I gave a slight favor to the wind and gave the trigger a gentle squeeze.

Browning Hell's Canyon X-Bolt and a dog in a field
The X-Bolt handled long-range shooting well, especially with a suppressor
A shooter with the Hell's Canyon X-Bolt on a hill
Even shooting from elevated positions, the gun was more than capable of claiming prey beyond 400 yards

Watching the bullet impact is a big part of shooting at these kinds of distances. The muzzle brake on the front of this rifle helps reduce the movement of the gun. This so the shooter can spot those impacts. Recoil felt behind this rifle was quite modest, and spotting shots as close as 400 yards was doable. We fired several shots at that target before we moved to another. And we managed to hit it over and over with very predictable results. Hitting a deer or elk properly at that range would be very likely with this rifle. But I wanted to see how much further we could shoot and get the same results.

Further Still

We took it further downrange just to see how it would do. Another target that would make a nice addition to the rifle’s envelope lay at 660 yards. I dialed the 3.6 MRAD indicated by my ballistic computer and again estimated the wind for the shot. Next up I picked a target that was about 10-inches wide. Which is about right for a kill zone on a deer and exactly what this rifle was built for. The 800 milliseconds it took for the bullet to get there were easily viewed through the scope as the trajectory arched into the target. As the bullet crashed hard in the middle, it created a puff of gray.

Over and over, we sent shots downrange. I imagined each one as a potential buck sneaking away, but the little Browning was just the right tool for preventing such a scenario.


Browning Hell's Canyon X-Bolt on a hill
My only complaint is the non-common threading, though I was able to find a custom adaptor for my suppressor

I was very excited to find the muzzle was threaded on this rifle. Surely I was going to mount a different brake or a suppressor for part of my testing. To my shock and horror, Browning had gone to all the work of threading the barrel. But it wasn’t threaded in one of the common thread patterns used for muzzles. This meant that I wouldn’t be able to use any of my muzzle trinkets unless I wanted to recut the threads. Luckily, I found a thread adaptor made by X Caliber Firearms designed specifically for the X-Bolt. This allowed me to install suppressors on the rifle, which made it even more fun and accurate to shoot.


After having spent some time with this rifle, I can see why so many have chosen it. Besides its good looks and construction, the X-Bolt has all the quality features that your American hunter would like. It has a great trigger, intuitive controls, an excellent magazine feeding system, a recoil-reducing muzzle brake, and more.

It doesn’t surprise me that I like this rifle. Browning has a long, distinguished history of producing great rifles. What did surprise me was how hard it was to let it go.


If you like this X-Bolt, here is another one you might like

More Guns, or Multi-caliber Guns?

We can all agree that firearms are as addicting as any hobby, the only part we might argue with is how long it takes for the newness to wear off from our latest new toy. And as soon as it does, we find ourselves again seeking to justify reasons for another. I often draw a parallel to women’s shoes; sure, any pair of shoes will cover your feet, but ladies often have a different pair for jogging, walking, the gym, fancy walking or walking the dog. And those of us with a firearm addiction might have a similar situation with our guns, we might have three different rifles for deer hunting depending on how we plan to hunt any particular day.

One rifle chassis, untold options

This may be a luxury for some, and a dream for others. But today we are going to talk about how multi-caliber rifles can make that dream a luxurious reality.

Most of us could probably get by with a handful of firearms, for example; a deer rifle, a shotgun, a .22 and maybe a varmint rifle like an AR of some sort. But let’s be honest, none of us would be completely satisfied with a humble collection like that. Most firearm aficionados have many more than a few in similar categories, and others have piles of rifles of every kind.
But today we are talking about multi-caliber rifles, a rifle that can switch from one caliber to another. Multi-caliber rifles have been around for some time, but they have become extremely popular over the last decade or so.

But how can a multi-caliber rifle make your life better? Continue Reading Here…

Beretta Silver Pigeon

If your lucky enough and work hard you can become one of those financially secure adults that we all imagined becoming as children. And its about that time in a firearm enthusiasts life that he or she decides to start buying up guns that they want more than they need. While that statement could describe nearly any firearm, today we are discussing one in particular. Beretta is well known for making excellent shotguns, many of which I’ve been lucky enough to play with on the range. The Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon is yet another fine example of Beretta’s prime production, but this one brought up some interesting reflection. Continue Reading Here…

What is a Revolver and why do some gun owners love them?

Many years ago the original Equalizer that Samuel Colt brought to market changed the way people lived their lives. As the saying goes, Sam made men equal. But more than a hundred-eighty years later, has the revolver lost its place in American defense?

Pistols of all kinds seem to be coming out of the woodwork, new manufacturers and old are constantly improving and modernizing their design. All this is great for us consumers, we are definitely spoiled for choice. The first proliferate repeating pistols were not incredibly different from revolvers we shoot today, but what makes a revolver a revolver?

What is a revolver?
A revolver is a firearm that uses a cylinder with multiple chambers. The mechanics of the revolver vary, but they all share the cylinder that is rotated to fire the chambers individually. Each chamber is aligned with the breach of the barrel, the hammer is cocked, readying the pistol for the next shot. Its a fairly simple cycle, but in the early nineteenth century, it revolutionized the way people could confront dangerous threats.
Some revolvers have a fixed cylinder with a loading door, this requires loading each chamber one at a time. Others have a cylinder that opens out to the side of the frame, allowing access to all chambers at once. Some designs even break open hinging the entire barrel /cylinder assembly forward and down to give loading access to the cylinder.
The trigger and/or hammer engages with the cylinder rotation mechanism, ensuring that all are in line when the trigger is pulled.

Single action or double
Most modern revolvers are double action, that means they can be fired by either cocking the hammer manually, and pulling the trigger, or by simply pulling the trigger. A double-action revolver will mechanically cock the hammer and release it, while at the same time rotating the cylinder to the next chamber.
Single action revolvers require that the hammer be cocked to the rear manually, the cylinder is mechanically rotated to a live chamber at the same time. The trigger set during this same action, and ready to pull.
Single action revolvers were the standard back in those early days, and many still use them today. Part of the revolver attraction and the single-action revolver attraction, in particular, is derived from that cowboy western enchantment that many of us suffer from. Hopefully, they never find a cure🙂.

What makes revolvers useful?
Despite what some would call ancient technology, gun enthusiasts still find the revolver design very useful today. Much like the very first Colts, they still provide equalizing power against threats, handy taking of game, or all-day fun engaging with targets.
Revolvers typically have more room for larger caliber cartridges, which makes them a great companion for situations that might require heavy-hitting shots.
They also have the length of the cylinder for those longer magnum cartridges and even some shotshells. This may give the revolver and edge for some shooters, when they need significant power in a small package they can easily carry.
A few other advantages to the revolver that some might find useful; revolvers operate by input from the shooter. That means it’s your finger that cycles the next round into the firing position. So should you be in a sticky situation and a round fails to fire, a simple press of the trigger finger brings the next round into the firing position without having to break your hold or aim.
The simplicity of a revolver’s design also makes them generally less likely to experience malfunctions.

Choosing the right revolver
As previously mentioned, we are spoiled with choices today. You can get revolvers in nearly any caliber, and frame size. You can get five, six or more rounds into the cylinders of many modern revolvers. There are lightweight options made from titanium or composite materials, as well as hammerless designs that won’t hang up on clothing when drawn. You can get extra cylinders to shoot different cartridges if you want to, so many options make it hard to not like at least one or two.
When choosing a revolver, buyers should evaluate several options, and see which best fits their hand, purpose, and their budget.
There are plenty of new production pistols that have the historical look of the original Colts, like the Cimarron Mod P in 45LC available here on GDC for very affordable prices. And a moderate caliber like 45LC won’t overwhelm you with recoil or sink you wallet either.

If a more modern revolver is what you’re looking for, the Ruger GP-100 is available in a great variety of calibers, and a stainless steel frame for less than ideal weather.

If affordable ammunition is on your radar, you’d love shooting a 22 caliber revolver like the Smith and Wesson Model 17 available here on GDC

In my opinion, the revolver has only increased its value to shooters today. Its time-proven design has been maximized to squeeze impressive performance from wheel guns that my Great Great Grandfather would still find familiar. As with all firearms, I’m excited to see what the future holds for the revolver since I don’t think they are going away anytime soon.

Why Hunt with a Suppressor?

New and exciting technologies keep entering the hunting market, whether its electronics, optics, or some other new development, it can be hard to keep up with the times. But one of the fastest growing trends is hardly new, its actually very old technology.
People have been using suppressors for a very long time, perhaps the only reason they have recently seen a surge in popularity is perception. The laws surrounding suppressors are strict, and regulated at the federal level. Many people are still under the impression that they are illegal entirely, which was a popular but inaccurate concept propagated by years of ignorance.
In today’s discussion, we are going to talk about suppressors and how they can be a very useful tool when hunting.


Why are Tipped Bullets so Popular?

You may have noticed a trend over the past decade or so, not the gradual return of high-waisted jeans or a familiar form of music past. The trend of which I speak is at the cutting edge of much of our shooting, and it brings more than just a bold new look. Tipped bullets are quickly becoming the standard from many bullet makers, by tipped I mean they feature a uniform front end that is typically made of some kind of polymer, but can also be another material like aluminum or something else. The purpose of the tip is to increase the bullets uniformity and efficiency, which translate into more consistent and accurate shots. As well as bullets with higher ballistic coefficients which allow them to retain their energy and reduce the effects of wind.

You may ask yourself what is driving this movement towards more and more differently tipped bullets? After all, man has used non-tipped bullets for centuries. Do you really need a bullet that was digitally carved by a modern aerospace Michael Angelo to knock over a deer in the next pasture?

Technology has caught up to and even surpassed what most of us consider standard shooting gear, and the bullet-tipping madness is a direct result of this ballistic renaissance. Competitive shooting, and particularly long-range competitive shooting, has driven the demand for perfection into overdrive. People regularly shoot distances that were unheard of as little as a decade ago. I shot a distance of 2100 yards yesterday, just because it was Tuesday. The market has allowed for some very impressive enhancements in our projectiles. Among them, as you might have guessed, is our bullet-tipping subject.


The shape, weight, and profile of a bullet have everything to do with how it flies. The tip of the bullet has an especially critical impact on a bullet’s flight and its behavior upon impact. The very first projectiles were quite rudimentary, but our forefathers kept improving on the design. Each revision became better than the one before it. If you could separate the tipped generation of bullets, the generation just before them would probably be the cup and lead-core soft-tip generation. It was a great development that is still popular today, but it is quickly being overtaken by its plastic-tipped offspring.

Many shooting enthusiasts probably don’t need a bullet with a perfect profile, but the bullet manufacturers are happy to market them to you and praise their superior performance. You could argue either way depending on the application. If all you need is to whack a deer one or two hundred yards away, then using bullets designed 50 years ago is not going to make or break your hunt. But if you are trying to hit a target that is 1,200 yards away in a stiff wind, you would be much better served using one of today’s high-performance tipped bullets.


The plastic (or other) tipped bullets have a much more uniform and consistent shape, unlike lead-tipped or hollow-point bullets, which can get dinged or damaged before you even purchase them. Because of their lightweight front end, tipped bullets also change the balance of the bullet in flight. With a more balanced center of gravity, the trajectory can be improved. For match or competition applications, these aspects of tipped bullets make them superior for accuracy and long-range shooting.


For hunting purposes, not only do you get the inherent ballistic advantages, but also good terminal performance. Tipped hunting bullets are designed to have the tip driven into the core of the bullet to ensure proper mushrooming of the bullet. These properties help improve all types of ammunition when tipped bullets are used.

In my experience, tipped bullets have better results than their soft lead-tipped predecessors. They have worked well for me in every facet of shooting, whether it was paper, steel, or meat. That said, I do not shoot them exclusively. I will not be leaving my boat-tail hollow-point bullets just yet. They also have their place in my repository. Tipped bullets can do a lot of great things. But for shots that are way out there, I trust a good hollow point with its easily ruptured tip to open up when a tipped bullet may not.


Tipped bullets are everywhere. They have filled a spot on every retailer’s shelf and in every category. There is certainly nothing wrong with this, as the performance they bring is typically superior to the alternative. Whether you have a nice buck picked out or you are trying to break a distance record, there is probably a perfect tipped bullet for you. Do not be afraid to give them a try. You may never look back.


Magnum Legends: 300WM vs. 7MM RM

Campfire Discussions

Is there anything more soothing than a campfire surrounded by a relaxing group of hunters vigorously discussing the pros and cons of one hunting cartridge to another? How many times have we entertained each other with heroic stories of hunts past, and how “that old magnum” or something similar saved the day with an unbelievable take down on a monster buck?
Well stoke up the fire folks, and draw near, as we’re about to analyze two of history’s greatest contenders.

The .300 Winchester Magnum has reigned supreme for nearly 60 years and is one of America’s most prolific cartridges. It is used by hunters, target shooters, law enforcement, and military snipers. The difference is significant between the .300 Win Mag and our other contender, the 7mm Remington Magnum. Many would be surprised to learn that even though both cartridges share ancestry from the Holland & Holland Magnum family, the 7mm Rem Mag is actually older than the .300 Win Mag. It was born from one of my favorite cartridges, the .264 Winchester Magnum, which was adapted to accept the .7mm bullet.

Colloquially known by many as the “seven em em,” it has a near-religious following among hunters. But it hasn’t enjoyed anywhere near the popularity of the .300 Win Mag. Perhaps the more common and seemingly more American .30 caliber gave the Win Mag a leg up.


Both cartridges share a common ancestry and have identical case heads. They use the standard magnum bolt face (.532), which means that either of them can be chambered in magnum actions. The .300 Win Mag was released in the Winchester Model 70, while the 7mm Rem Mag was made for the Remington 700. These are two of the most common and widely used rifles in American. Almost every popular firearms manufacturer in the U.S. and some others offer rifles chambered in these two cartridges.

When selecting a rifle for either of these two cartridges, I would select one that has an aggressive twist rate. The way bullets are advancing technologically could bring additional heavy bullets to market, and you don’t want to be stuck with some 11- or 12-inch twist rate. For .300 magnums, I like a 9- or 10-inch twist. It’s fast enough for the heavier bullets I like to shoot. But it’s not so fast that I can’t run them hard. In the 7mm magnums, I like a twist of 7.5 to 8.5 inches for the same reasons.


If you purchase ammunition, the popularity of the .300 Win Mag may be appealing. There are literally hundreds of different manufactures for this ammo. There are as many loads as you can think of, whether it is for hunting, match shooting, plinking, or anything else. Bullet weights range from very light 125-150 grains, all the way up to super heavy 220-240 grain. Since .30 caliber cartridges enjoy great popularity, there is a larger assortment of bullets to choose from as well. 

The 7mm genre, while still quite popular, does not have quite as broad a selection. But there are more than adequate options comparable to the .300. Bullets range from 120 grains all the way up to around 197 grains. The lighter 7mm bullets are usually fired a little faster, so while the .300 Win Mag may shoot a 180-grain bullet at 2,900 fps, the 7mm Rem Mag might shoot a 160-grain bullet at 3,000 fps or more. So the energy delivered to the target is somewhat comparable. 

If you twisted my arm, I’d say my first-choice factory ammunition for the .300 Win Mag would be the Hornady 195 ELD Match and HSM 180 Berger VLD ammunition for the 7mm.

Shop your magnum ammunition here 


The slenderer 7mm offers some ballistic advantages, but there are plenty of .300 Win Mag options that deliver high performance as well

There is something to be said about the near-mystical performance of the slenderer 7mm bullet. In weight for weight comparison, 7mm bullets have a slenderer profile than .30 caliber bullets, which typically gives them a superior ballistic performance. This may be the source of the devout following it enjoys with a near-magical ability to carry energy downrange bucking wind all along the way.

The shape and angles of a bullet, combined with its weight, are what give a bullet its ballistic characteristics. The guys in lab coats have come up with a numerical grading system and called it a ballistic coefficient. The higher the number, the better it performs against wind deflection, loss of speed, and drop. 

The 7mm bullet has a higher BC compared to an equally weighted .30 caliber bullet. With the recent release of a hoard of incredibly efficient bullets, it’s not difficult to load a 7mm Rem Mag into a better than typical .300 Win Mag load. But to be fair, the .300 also has some wickedly efficient bullets that will certainly overtake the 7mm Rem Mag. This, of course, comes at a cost of higher recoil. 

High BCs and magnum velocities are the spice of life. But for hunting big game like deer and elk, my preference would be the 7mm Rem Mag – less powder, less recoil, and a killer flat performance with comparable energy. Bullet weights for either .30 caliber or 7mm are well within the standard range for big game. My choice as far as bullets go would be Hornady 195 BTHP for .300 Win Mag and Sierra 183 Match King or Hornady 162 ELD for the 7mm Rem Mag.

7mm Rem Mag ammunition, above, offers higher velocities than .300 Win Mag, which offers some heavier bullet options


The same qualities that make these two cartridges excellent in shooting, also make them very good at killing game. Let’s look at two of my favorites: the 195 ELDM .300 Win Mag (2,930 fps) and 162 ELDM 7mm Rem Mag (3,050 fps). At 200 yards, the .300 Win Mag drops 3 inches and velocity slows down to 2,609 fps, but it still carries 2,947 pounds of energy. At the same distance, the 7mm Rem Mag drops 2.6 inches and velocity slows to 2,766 fps, and it still has 2,752 pounds of energy. Both of these sets of numbers will take down nearly any big game animal in North America.

At 500 yards, the .300 Win Mag drops 45.6 inches and the velocity is 2,165 fps, leaving 2,029 pounds of energy. The 7mm Rem Mag drops 39.8 inches with a velocity of 2,366, leaving 2,014 pounds of energy. Did you see what happened there? The 7mm Rem Mag drops almost six inches less and is 200 fps faster, with only 10 pounds less energy. If we go out a little further, it actually reverses, and the 7mm Rem Mag is ahead in drop, velocity, and energy. 


You could switch things up and turn the tables another way. The reason I mentioned these numbers is that they are directly related to killing animals like elk and deer. While both of these cartridges will do the job, you can see why I might favor the 7mm. That’s not to say the .300 Win Mag won’t do the same things, just with higher recoil and more powder.


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Riton Optics RT-S Mod 7 4-32X56

Riton Optics is a relatively new manufacturer of optics, since their start in 2013 they have been working in the Arizona heat to make affordable sighting optics without sacrificing quality.
My first encounter with Riton Optics came a year or so ago, when I put their RT-S MOD 5 6-24X50 scope on one of my rifles. I wasn’t sure what to expect as Riton was relatively new to me, but in a short time the scope’s performance had earned my praise. That same scope has been hauled all over these Rocky Mountains on my Tikka , dropped, snowed on, rained on, used as a crutch, and still maintains a perfect zero. Its no stranger to distance work, these past two seasons it has been used to take five mule deer and two cow elk from two hundred to eleven hundred yards. So I can say with pretty good certainty that these scopes are robust enough for western hunters.

The Riton Optics RT-S Mod 5 6-24X50 mounted on my Tikka T3 25 Creedmoor

I recently talked myself into one of Riton’s newer and bigger scopes, the RT-S Mod 7 4-32X56. The Mod 7 is definitely a step up in both price and performance from my Mod 5, at more than twice the price, the Mod 7 delivers quite a few more features to the optics aficionado. Both scopes are front focal plane (FFP), which means the reticle is magnified with the power adjustment. This feature allows shooters to use the reticle for accurate holdovers and corrections regardless of the magnification setting. The 8X zoom of the Mod 7 gives a substantial power range from 4X up to 32X, like many scopes, however, I found the very top end of the magnification (29-32x) to be too dark and aberrated to be very useful in the field. It was fine for shooting paper targets up close though.

The PSR reticle in the Riton Mod 7

The PSR reticle featured in my Mod 7 was also a significant step up from the Mod 5. I say step up, some might call it stepping out, the PSR reticle is a bit busier than some. It is a “Christmas Tree” style reticle, with a broadening grid of wind and drop values. I am growing more and more fond of these kinds of reticles, and this one is done very well. Subtensions are clearly marked (on the evens) so you can keep track of your holds, and the marks are thin enough to not bother your view of potential targets. A hollow center and .2 Mrad hash marks come in handy when doing long-range work. The illumination rheostat allows shooters to adjust reticle illumination to fit their surroundings.
Speaking of Mrad, the Mod 7 is available in Mrad which made me very happy. It was one of few complaints I had with my Mod 5, that it wasn’t available in anything other than MOA. Seems like most Riton optics are MOA, could be related to their military background, but I am glad to see newer products available with an Mrad option.
The Mod 7 has a 34mm tube, this again is a step up from the Mod 5’s 30mm tube. The bigger tube allows for more internal travel, giving the Mod 7 a total of 30 Mrad of elevation adjustment. That’s more than enough elevation for your average long-range shooter.

Turret details and throw lever on the Mod 7

Another feature I appreciated on the Mod 7 was the integrated throw lever on the magnification ring. Some call it a “Cat Tail”. You can run the scope with or without it, the throw lever gives you more purchase when trying to adjust the power ring, not a big deal, but a nice touch.
The Mod 7 also features a zero stop in the elevation turret, something the Mod 5 did not. This feature is handy, as you can return your elevation turret to zero without even needing to look at it. This will save you from a miss by being a rotation or more off.
One of the features both scopes have that I don’t like is there isn’t graduation marks on the turret housing to show which rotation you are on, to be fair it is much less of a problem on the Mod 7 because there are only two turns. The Mod 5 has several more, making it hard to be sure which rev you are on unless you keep track in your head.

I mounted the Mod 7 on my Desert Tech SRS A2 rifle, which seemed like a good fit for the scope. With the new hunting weight 6.5 Creedmoor barrel mounted in the rifle, I figured it would make a good companion for this years elk hunts.
But first I took the rifle to the range to get a good solid zero and check a few other things. My first impression with the Mod 7, was that the eye relief seemed to be just a bit touchy. Not so much as to be a problem, just more so than I was used to. I quickly zeroed the rifle and adjusted the zero stop per the instructions, easy enough and very functional. I then took the rifle up into the mountains to do some more testing at further ranges. I was very happy with the optical clarity of the Mod 7, even when looking at animals and trees at a mile or more away, it was a very clean and bright image.
As I mentioned earlier, the quality does degrade some at the very upper end of the scopes magnification, this is something I have noticed with most scopes including the Riton Mod 5. This is a phenomenon I have noticed on almost all riflescopes, but it is significantly less an issue as the price tag goes up.
It doesn’t bother me much as I rarely use a scope at its maximum power setting, for that matter I rarely use them above 60-70 of their maximum. The glass clarity of the Mod 7 is a great improvement over the Mod 5, as it should be at this price point.

The turrets on the Mod 5 have a push pull locking system, whereas the Mod 7 does not. I am torn a bit as to which I prefer, sometimes I like having my turrets locked, to avoid involuntary elevation changes. And other times I like just being able to turn the turret without having to unlock it. For hunting, I think I prefer the locking system, but for range or competition use I would prefer it without.
The turrets are plenty stiff so as not to be inadvertently moved, the clicks are plenty audible, though I would like them a tiny bit more defined. The line between too stiff, and to mushy a click is a hard line to walk sometimes.

As it turns out, I really enjoyed the throw lever on the magnification ring. To be honest I couldn’t describe the tension on the magnification ring, because with the throw lever it doesn’t even register.

It didn’t take long for me to get quite proficient shooting with the Riton Mod 7, so when the time came to put this rifle into action I was quite comfortable. The late season elk hunt had arrived, and I took my Riton topped SRS up into the snow covered mountains. The first shot I was given was some 475 yards away from a young cow, I dialed the 2.0 MIL on the Mod7’s elevation turret, and pressed the trigger. The cold and clean mountain air was visibly disturbed by my shot, I watched the trace cut through the bright image before me as I followed the shot in. I watched the cow drop, kick, and slide down the snowy slope.

The Riton Mod 7 has turned out to be a strong, clear, accurate and repeatable rifle scope. I look forward to using it more in the future.


One of the five deer killed over two seasons using the RT-S Mod 5 6-24X50