Thursday, August 13, 2009


"I just got an FNAR (7.62 NATO) rifle and am looking to scope it up. I am not a thousand-yard shooter, more realistically 300-500 yards (I only have access to a 300 yard range anyway)."

The FNAR tactical / sniper rifle was first introduced to shooting, public in 2008. It is a product of the famous Belgian company FN Herstal - Fabrique Nationale.

The FNAR rifle is based on the popular FN / Browning BAR hunting rifle (no relation to the original Browning BAR M1918 rifle of World War II fame).

"Any advice on a good scope? The FNAR has Picatinny rails for the mounts."

My advice: In most cases a good scope will cost more than the gun, for the money a Leupold is hard to beat. I recommend the Leupold Mark 4 LRT 3.5 X 10. This is a Long Range Tactical scope - the difference between this and a hunting scope is the tactical scope has ballistic compensation on the turret so you can adjust for range without having to unscrew the elevation knobs and break out the screwdrivers.

"Is this fairly easy to scope up myself if I order 30 mm Picatinny scope mounts? Or should I have a gunsmith mount it up?

How would you recommend initial sighting? I have seen these bore lasers, but they seemed to be a bit gimmicky, and I didn’t see how they would really reflect well at distance.

Also, where should I sight in order to use the mil dots for elevation – 100 yards?"

You ought to be able to slap that scope on yourself no problem - it doesn't take a gunsmith, it is a simple operation you could do on the countertop at a gunshop, or anywhere for that matter. A trick with the Pickatinny rails: when you're pulling one optic off and slapping another on as mission changes (what the rails are designed for) - mark the side of the rail with a bit of paint so you always remember where your scope goes.

The bore lasers work. I once zeroed a USN Mark 12 Mod 0 SPR with a bore laser over 30 meters in a hanger because there was no testfire range available then took it out on mission and hit centermass at 300 meters. I would still prefer to zero on a range, any day.

Zero your optics for 300 meters and you'll be good for lesser distances. The technical data for ballistics (characteristics of climb, etc) should be in the literature for the weapon. Generally, the round climbs and then drops down, crossing the line of sight twice (once on the way up, at about 50 meters, and then going down, at about 450 meters).

Then you will be ready for the belltower.

- S.L.


  1. Couple caveats:

    1) Burris and many others make as nice of optics for Task Described as do some Western European companies as well as IOR in the east.

    2) Skimping on rings/mounts is equally bad as skimping on scopes. You gets whats you pays for. Best scope in the world isn't worth much if it moves around or somebody drilled holes in the wrong places and the mounts/rings aren't pointed the same place the bore is.

    3) DIY installation will either result in a bang up job, a broken scope, or anything in between. If you're paying for a premium scope that probably costs more than the rifle, why not have a gunsmith who has done the job many a time do the job? A GOOD gunsmith. He will have tools, fixtures, collimators that cost as much as your optic, (had to go look that one up on spelling, dang word I always spell wrong cos I just use them at times rather than type the word), and jigs of professional caliber and will lap your rings too, if need be, and there usually is a need.

    There's no saying an educated person can't do a good DIY install (especially with help of somebody experienced) same as there's no saying all self-proclaimed gunsmiths are good at gunsmithing. Ask around.

    4) Many laser boresighters suck and the dot is invisible even at high magnification at 100 or sometimes even 25 yards. I've been the guy standing downrange by the target putting his finger where I'm seeing a faint laser dot so my buddy at the bench can see where the dot is printing on paper...

    So, I guess what I'm saying is:

    You can spend more money on a good scope than a rifle unless you are buying a scope for a rifle that costs more than 8,000US Dollars.

    If you are buying a scope that costs more than the rifle and the rifle is accurate enough to warrant that (which often isn't the case) make sure it is mounted properly, make sure it is mounted properly anyway even if the gun won't shoot sub-MOA, and most likely not by yourself.

    Everybody knows their level of experience. With bolt rifles and some sort of mechanical rest that holds the rifle in place I can get real close by peering down the bore and through the optic, alternately, adjusting until the reticle lines up with what you are seeing through the bore. Then put some rounds down range.

    Let your conscience be your guide.
    If you ruin a scope by how you mounted it lifetime warranties don't count.

    If you mount a great optic wrong, it isn't a great optic.

    Happy Shooting,

  2. Just my two cents - the Nightforce 2.5-10 from the NXS series is another exceptional scope, it will trim a bit of weight off from what the Leupold has, and will still be more than capable for the ranges described.

  3. I guess what I was mostly saying was that if you're asking if you can do a job yourself instead of having a competent gunsmith do it, you are sort of answering your own question with your question more often than not.

    Lynx Optics of RSA are nice too especially in quality for price. There's no US distributor though. Just Guateng home office or Malcolm in Australia. They make some nice optics at a fair price if you happen to be in a gun shop in Africa or Oz, they're worth a look.