Progress continues on shooting the Handi rifle in .30-30 Winchester. The guys over at Graybeards Outdoors Forums tell me that the .30-30 is one of the great Handi rifles and I admit to doubting them when I couldn't get mint to shoot. After working through a dozen different loads I began to suspect that the scope on the rifle was not holding zero.
So, yesterday while I was out running errands I stopped by a box store to look at their scopes. I found a Nikon Prostaff Classic rimfire scope. It's a fixed 4X. I mounted it yesterday afternoon and this morning took the rifle to the range. Yeah, I know it's a rimfire scope and that the parallax is set at 50 yards. However, if you've ever used a Nikon camera, you'll appreciate the quality of their lenses. The folks at Midway USA give this little scope a 5-star rating even on hard-kicking centerfire rifles.
I bought a set of Nikon binoculars several years ago and they stay in my hunting bag. I've been really happy with the brightness and clarity of those binoculars and thought that I'd give the little Nikon scope a test drive.
The little scope is very bright and the reticle is very clear. Eye relief seems to be about 4", which is plenty of relief. It sits low on the rifle and it's very easy to get a good cheek weld on the stock, while still providing enough room for the hammer to move.
Shooting prone, off the ground at the range, I was able to keep all the shots inside two inches. One load, featuring a 155 grain bullet and IMR 4895 powder showed real promise with less than 1/2 inch of vertical dispersion. I haven't put that load over the chrony yet, but the book tells me that I should be getting about 2100 fps out of that particular load.
Now that the scope is dialed in, it should be an easy task to find the load that this little rifle prefers.