The only scope I had that was not on a rifle, was a Centerpoint 4-16 power Mildot scope from Walmart. Now I know some folks just threw-up a little in their mouth when they read that, but I have used these scopes on a few of my air rifles and have found them to be more than decent.
I finally got a morning here in SoCal with no wind, so I headed up to the Central Valley area of California to sight-in and maybe kill something with it. The major issue I had was that I made the mistake of using high scope rings when I mounted the scope. With the Rynite stock having no comb what-so-ever for a decent cheek weld, I made do by laying my left hand on the buttstock.
After sighting-in, I shot my only group using the Centurion 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum 30 grain HP - "White Box" ammunition (as always, I shoot 3-shot groups at 75 yards, which is the typical distance that I shoot ground squirrels).
The group was a little less than 3/4" at 75 yards.
My next group was shot using the Centurion 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum 30 grain JHP - "Varmint" ammunition (again, a 3-shot group at 75 yards).
The first two shots were touching each-other, with the final shot hitting right next to them. Using the eyes of the target made it much easier to shoot than the first target with the large black dot for a bullseye.
After shooting my groups, I set-up the Chronograph and put a 5-shot string of the "White Box" ammunition through it to get an idea of the fps. Here are my results:
This was very impressive, but speaks more to the ammunition in this lot, than to the rifle. However, the speed was a slight-bit better than what I expected out of the Contender's 23" barrel.
After I put everything away, I spent a few minutes just shouldering the rifle and taking pot-shots at various rocks. The rifle has great balance, with the barrel being just the right weight for my style of shooting. I was still wishing for lower rings, but I was able to put part of my lower cheek on the buttstock while shooting off-hand, or with my mono-pod, so my shots were consistant. I had expected this to be a perfect walk-around rifle and was not disappointed. My only change in the near future will be to replace the scope on the rifle with a compact in the 4-12 power range.
I hurried over to some areas that I knew held ground squirrels, but unfortunately the wind started to pick-up just a little, keeping the temperature down. Ground squirrels like warm, sunny mornings so they can soak up some rays to take the chill off. As I drove to my areas, I passed this guy doing exactly what I was hoping they would be doing in my hunting spot:
When I got to my hunting spot, I parked my truck and grabbed the 5mm Contender, a handful of White Box ammo and my shooting stick (mono-pod). I walked towards the edge of a small orchard, towards a sun spot on the hill behind it. It was hard to see anything in the brown grass, but I could see something shining near a large series of holes. I shouldered the gun and cranked my scope up to 14 power. Sure enough, it was a large, lone ground squirrel soaking up the sun. I moved next to one of the trees and leaned my shooting stick against a sturdy branch, making it into an instant bi-pod. I estimated the ground squirrel to be at least 100 yards, but my range finder confirmed it to be 123. Just when I pulled the hammer back on my Contender, the ground squirrel stood up facing to my right. I tend to hate standing shots because I start feeling confident that I don't have to worry so much about bullet drop, but then I end up missing to the left or right! Not this time! I took my time and paid attention to the wind, holding along the edge of his body. Right when I pulled the trigger, I saw the squirrel drop it's head down into the chest. The faint "pop" and the roll down the hill told me I got him. My first shot while hunting with this rifle and the ground squirrel was DRT!!
The bullet had entered the squirrel's side and exited through its back on the opposite side. Not super-explosive like some of my past 5mm shots, but it left a decent sized exit hole, none-the-less!
I gathered up the ground squirrel and took some pictures just as the wind really started to pick-up. I wanted to hunt more, but I had a long drive and I had to be home by a certain time. I'll get out again soon and hopefully there will be plenty of targets to "test" my new rifle on!