by Joe Gorman
Leupold VX*R 2-7x33mm Ballistic FireDot Reticle mounted up on my stock Colt M4 carbine (stock except for the JP Enterprises roller trigger) was just the ticket for reconnoitering a new dog town. In the field I found the intermediate work this scope offered the right amount of magnification and bright clear optics.
The reticle is designed for larger game/intermediate ranges as the stadia are thicker than the standard Leupold fare. That's ok, even for prairie dogs, if your shots stay under 200-yards or so. More than that and you'll want more magnification and thinner reticle lines.
Conversely, when you're hunting larger game, the Ballistic Firedot Reticle gives useful holdovers for ranges out to 500-yards. The adjustable intensity red Firedot provides quick reference, especially in low light conditions, when the cross hairs would otherwise be lost. Plus, the little red light will turn off all by itself, should you forget to shut it down.
The Leupold VX*R 2-7x33mm scope, mounted in a robust 30mm Leupold Mark II Integrated Mounting System, could be removed quickly to allow for other optics to be placed on the shorty Colt and could then be remounted with a return to zero. This scope also features large, 1/4 MOA finger click adjustments. Small, light, tough and bright, the Leupold VX*R with Ballistic Firedot is a winner.
So my little Colt M4 got quite a workout on our last South Dakota trip. With the Harris S-LM bipod in place on the MIM Picatinny rail adapter, I could get prone and make 200-yard shots on distant dogs or setup an impromptu coyote ambush.
All the accuracy testing I do with the various rifles that come through the Shooter's Report office are done while laying prone and shooting off a Harris bipod of one flavor or another. While I'm fairly certain I can get a little tighter groups with a Caldwell lead sled, I'm also certain in the real world I'll be taking a long range shot prone. The combination of the Harris S-LM and the MIM Picatinny rail adapter provide a sold footing and the LM variant provides a little longer legs for shooting in the weeds. This is as solid as you can get when hunting on foot. The swiveling action of the Harris bipod (tune-able with a knurled thumb knob) is almost a necessity for those who venture off the bench and into the field.