Purpose of side wheels?

Forums Optics, Scopes, Rings, & Mounts Purpose of side wheels?

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    AlliInLL
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    Hello all,
    My question is about the side wheel on scopes. What do they do? Why are some wheels BIG and others smaller? Why are some only half a wheel? Main question is…what is the purpose of the wheels?

    AllInLL
     

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    X27
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    They adjust the objective on a scope.. Essentially bringing what ever you are looking at in to focus at the distance you are viewing it.  The wheel serves difrent types of shooter differently.  I am mostly a hunter I have a range finder to get my distances so I added a side wheel just to have a larger quicker way of adjusting my focus. 
    Field target shooters and others use there wheels differently. They use there wheels to range targets and estimate hold corrections for there scope. what they will do is measure out we’ll say every 5 yds making sure it is in perfect focus and mark the distance on their wheel, they will do this from 10 to 100 yds for example.. They will also shoot these distances and chart the drop or how much hold over/hold under they need to hit the target at that range… Now when they are shooting at some target at an unknown distance they adjust there wheel till the target is perfectly in focus look at the wheel, they can see based on there side wheel mesurment distance marks how far the target is away and now they know where to aim using the chart they made… How many mill dots in there scope they need to hold over or under to hit the target accurately..

    My side wheel is small because I don’t need a big one, the benefit of a big one is its easer to make finer adjustments to the focus. Being bigger also means there is more area to mark your ranges on, I believe the benefit to half side wheels and the ones that look like snail shells is that they are big enough to give the benefits of having a big wheel but shaped in such a way where they don’t hit or bump into parts on the gun.

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    AlliInLL
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    They adjust the objective on a scope.. Essentially bringing what ever you are looking at in to focus at the distance you are viewing it.  The wheel serves difrent types of shooter differently.  I am mostly a hunter I have a range finder to get my distances so I added a side wheel just to have a larger quicker way of adjusting my focus. 
    Field target shooters and others have wheels they measure out well say every 5 yds make sure it is in perfect focus and mark it on the wheel, they will do this from 10 to 100 yds for example.. They will also shoot these distances and chart the drop or how much hold over/hold under they need to hit the target at that range… Now when they are shooting at some target at an unknown distance they adjust there wheel till the target is perfectly in focus look at the wheel, they can see how far the target is away and now they know where to aim using mill dots in there scope to hit the target accurately..My side wheel is small because I don’t need a big one, the benefit of a big one is for easer finer adjustments to the focus along with a bigger/more area to mark your ranges on, I believe the benefit to half side wheels and the ones that look like snail shells ext is they are big enough to give the benefits of having a big wheel but shaped in such a way where they don’t hit or bump into parts on the gun.

    X27, thank you very much for this information! Wow, I didn’t know scopes were so complicated. As with all things PCP, this is all so interesting. Still waiting for my AA510S to arrive so I can get started in this game.
     

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    Jonnes
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    Those big ones are primarily used by Hunter Field Target (HFT) and Field Target (FT) shooters for faster target acquisition. It’s easier to focus on different distances with a large wheel, than with a small knob. The downside of those things is, if you drop it or bump into something, your focus knob will break. Happend to me with two scopes. :( 

    Welcome to the club by the way, and good luck with your Air Arms S510, great PCP and very accurate! I used to own one with a nice walnut stock, I still regret it a little bit that I sold it, but I had to make room for a rimfire rifle.

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    AlliInLL
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    Thank you, Jonnes. Yes, I’m eagerly awaiting this first PCP! Haven’t had time to check into where I can get a tank filled so I’ll use the Hill pump I also ordered. Next thing, finding some good dove recipes! My current rifle is a Gamo Whisper. Bagged quite a few blue jays and a couple of doves but some got away wounded. Moving up to .22 and I want something with more accuracy than the springer.

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    pbguns
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    Just be careful with the jays AFAIK ​blue jay , which, like all songbirds, is protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

     

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    AlliInLL
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    What? Did I say something about blue jays? Not me. Nope, not me. I don’t know anything about it. They’re such purty birds, uh huh. Except when they chase my cats!
     

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    mcdonama
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    “Jonnes”Those big ones are primarily used by Hunter Field Target (HFT) and Field Target (FT) shooters for faster target acquisition. It’s easier to focus on different distances with a large wheel, than with a small knob. The downside of those things is, if you drop it or bump into something, your focus knob will break. Happend to me with two scopes. :( 

    Welcome to the club by the way, and good luck with your Air Arms S510, great PCP and very accurate! I used to own one with a nice walnut stock, I still regret it a little bit that I sold it, but I had to make room for a rimfire rifle.

    a good quality side focus is needed 

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    zebra
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    “AlliInLL”Thank you, Jonnes. Yes, I’m eagerly awaiting this first PCP! Haven’t had time to check into where I can get a tank filled so I’ll use the Hill pump I also ordered. Next thing, finding some good dove recipes! My current rifle is a Gamo Whisper. Bagged quite a few blue jays and a couple of doves but some got away wounded. Moving up to .22 and I want something with more accuracy than the springer.

    
If you are just using it for a little pest control in the backyard then don’t worry about buying a large side wheel. It is a good idea to buy a scope with an adjustable objective though. Many rifle scopes have fixed objective lenses set at 100 yards which is no good for air rifles. 

    For what you want to do, you want a scope that focuses from 10 yards to infinity. Lots of scopes have this at all price ranges; just make sure you confirm yours has it before you buy. 

    Using a scope is more complicated than it looks so it’s worth reading up on the basics. At a high-level, the problem is that guns (all guns) don’t shoot in a straight line. The barrels are angled up because the pellet starts to drop as soon as it leaves the barrel. If you zero your scope for 30 yards, the pellet will hit bellow the center of the cross-hairs if you shoot at 20 yards and above it if you shoot something at 40 yards. 

    Most of us prefer mil dot scopes because they make it easy for us to memorize where the pellet will hit (the POI or point of impact) at various distances. It might be one dot down at 20 yards and one dot up at 40 yards etc. There is no scope where you just point and shoot and expect to hit the target at any distance. 

    All the calculations with scopes give me a headache. To make it worse, every time you change the magnification, all the mil dot calculations (hold over or hold unders) change unless you buy an first focal plane scope. 

    Some light reading for you…

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    AlliInLL
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    Zebra, thank you for the info. I keep seeing pictures of scopes with all kinds of different sized wheels and I thought of “why” and purpose. Yes, I’ll just be paper and target plinking in the backyard, “hunting” will consist of any blue jays stupid enough to visit my yard and doves/pigeons for dinner. Longest length in backyard is about 40 yards max so I do plan on setting different targets at different ranges. The mil-dot scope will come with the rifle and I do think it’s a first focal plane scope.

    Thanks a lot for the great information!

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    oldspook
    Spectator
    Spectator

    “AlliInLL”Thank you, Jonnes. Yes, I’m eagerly awaiting this first PCP! Haven’t had time to check into where I can get a tank filled so I’ll use the Hill pump I also ordered. Next thing, finding some good dove recipes! My current rifle is a Gamo Whisper. Bagged quite a few blue jays and a couple of doves but some got away wounded. Moving up to .22 and I want something with more accuracy than the springer.

    
Doves are federally protected:  https://www.fws.gov/le/dove-hunting-and-baiting.html

    Blue Jays are addressed in California code here: https://books.google.com/books?id=FNk3AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA373&lpg=PA373&dq=Blue+Jays+protected+species+in+California&source=bl&ots=ftOHQAWGFT&sig=UQ6dchP8v01ur-HcYxuh6dX2YMc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwit8NyNw7jPAhXIGR4KHfzwDvoQ6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q=Blue%20Jays%20protected%20species%20in%20California&f=false

    You can probably get a license for the Doves in season not sure what you can do about Blue Jays.
     

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    AlliInLL
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    Thanks for the info, Oldspook, but all I saw was about ‘baiting’ doves, which I’m not doing. I’ll have to check into seasons, though.

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    oldspook
    Spectator
    Spectator

    “AlliInLL”Thanks for the info, Oldspook, but all I saw was about ‘baiting’ doves, which I’m not doing. I’ll have to check into seasons, though.

    
You are more than welcome.  I’m sure a call to animal control would provide all the information you need with regard to the laws in your county and state.  Don’t mention the Blue Jays to her.  ;)

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    ricksabian
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    “AlliInLL”Thank you, Jonnes. Yes, I’m eagerly awaiting this first PCP! Haven’t had time to check into where I can get a tank filled so I’ll use the Hill pump I also ordered. Next thing, finding some good dove recipes! My current rifle is a Gamo Whisper. Bagged quite a few blue jays and a couple of doves but some got away wounded. Moving up to .22 and I want something with more accuracy than the springer.

    
Lady, you’re exactly the kind of person who should never own a gun of any sort.  Do you just kill anything that flies over your yard for kicks?  You’re shooting PROTECTED SPECIES because you took it upon yourself to be the executioner of any animal that gets anywhere near your yard, without bothering to see if it was even LEGAL or not.  You’ve admitted that you’re a crappy shot and have left many birds wounded to suffer and die slowly.  Don’t bother calling animal control.  Call the Sheriff’s Department and tell them exactly what you’ve been doing.  When they show up, let them take your gun away from you before you do something even stupider.  If you were MY neighbor, I would have already called them for you.  Learn to respect and live with nature instead of declaring war on it.

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    DellaDog
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    Sheesh, lighten up.
    I’ll bet your neighbors just love you.

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    Trailryder42
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    One side benefit of having a large side wheel that hasn’t been mentioned yet is that it provides more leverage on the parallax knob. Some knobs are pretty stiff to turn. The increased leverage the wheel provides makes the knob easier to move, especially in cold weather. Focus with the smaller knob can mean a very small degree in range of movement of the knob, where-as, extending that degree of movement out to the larger diameter of a wheel, provides a larger range of fine adjustment for the same degree of movement and the increased leverage of the wheel makes it easier and faster to do so.

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    dodge3500
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    I couldn’t even tell you the last time I actually saw a bluejay but I do see doves often at my mom’s bird feeders.The only pest birds that need killed around my area are those dang starlings ,man those things are terrible .
    Ooh pigeons need thinning too .
    I don’t suggest shooting anything protected or outta season,thats just asking for loads of trouble..

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