The Sightron SIH412X40FTMOA Riflescope
When I found from the 2017 SHOT Show that my favorite High Power Springer “Do-All” scope had been discontinued, I was almost depressed. However, there was a new scope that seemed to have some potential – the Sightron SIH412X40FTMOA.
I’m a great fan of the Diana 54, but the problem with it is that, at full power, the gun will serve the scope between 15,000 and 30,000 G of force (in about 0.1 Milliseconds) upon every trigger pull. Yes the shooter does not feel anything, but the scope bears the brunt of the “free-recoil” of the sled-equipped action.
The Diana 54’s sled system decouples the action from everything else during the firing cycle. Only the action’s and the scope’s weight are there to resist the forward recoil when the piston stops at the end of the compression stroke.
So, there are few guns that can put out more forward recoil than the Diana 54. That is why they are known “scope eaters”, especially, in the full powered versions.
The challenge then was to find a mechanically-strong scope with good optics and a useful reticle (multiple aiming points), at a reasonable price. And one that the 54 would not break…
Enter the Sightron SIH412X40FTMOA. This scope is a new SI series, Field Target line, Hunter oriented 4-12X40 AO model.
The Sightron SIH412X40FTMOA has a 1 Inch tube and Adjustable Objective. Focus is from about 8 Yards to infinity at 12X, the reticle is the new MOA-20, that presents a useful number of divisions to estimate the range, as well as to place accurately the shot.
Weighing in at just over a pound, the Sightron SIH412X40FTMOA is no lightweight: but neither is it a heavyweight. In general-purpose airguns, you do NOT want a top-heavy rig, as it throws the balance off and makes the “artillery hold” that more difficult.
With a length of 13 Inches and mounting space of 6 Inches, the scope has more than enough room for double screw mounts (about 2.3 Inches on either side of the saddle) and still allow some fiddling with the eye relief on most airgun rails.
The eye relief itself is 3 Inches and change, so not even hard kickers such as the Kodiak/Patriot/Diana 54/Hatsan 135 should produce a “scope eye” as long as the shooter knows how to mount a scope.
There’s 60 MOA of full travel in windage and elevation, with 4 turns of the turrets in total. That means that 1 rotation of the turret equals 15 MOA, or about a full sitting-on-haunches squirrel’s height at 50 yards.
The use of properly drooped airgun mounts should bring the Point Of Aim close to Point Of Impact at about 40 Yards for springers, which is a good starting point.
First I wanted to know whether this scope would be truly useful in hard kickers. So I installed the s Sightron SIH412X40FTMOA in a full powered Diana 56TH that I had to “shoot-in” as part of the tuning process.
Everyone knows that spring-piston airguns kick hardest when new. Before everything gets settled and wears into place and fit, the gun is a badly sealed, oil-burning, hard-kicking piece of artillery. The pellet it likes at first will not be the pellets that end up being THE pellets for the airgun, so considerable effort is always put into the initial “run-in” of every new airgun that comes through my shop.
This initial regime of shooting and cleaning will determine the long-term life of the barrel as well as the long-term accuracy potential.
Using a good set of RWS Lock-down mounts, I installed the Sightron SIH412X40FTMOA on the beast to unleash the full power (23 Ft/Lbs in .22 caliber using 14.3 Grain pellets) and the 30,000 G of recoil onto the test subject.
With the gun affixed to a gun vise, the windage and elevation clicks were measured and the tracking checked using the “box method”. Then the shooting started.
Every shot was tracked and accounted for (as part of the running-in process) and after 1,000 shots, the gun was re-set into the vise and the clicks and tracking were checked.
So, with the confidence that comes from this testing, I installed the Sightron SIH412X40FTMOA scope into a Walther LGV that I am using as a research “mule” for dynamic anti-bounce pistons and proceeded to shoot a Field Target Match with it.
For those that have shot FT matches, I do not need to say how uncommon it is to get to a match with a new scope and a “new” rifle; with no markings on the AO apart from the manufacturer’s markings and NO D.O.P.E. But, I had the advantage of knowing how accurate the rifle was, how consistent the scope’s zero was and the exact subtensions in the reticle. And I had PP-Calc on my Android phone.
Sightron’s website has all the info needed to feed the ballistic program of your choice.
So, armed with this I arrived at the Wappingers Falls, NY Field Target match.
Walther LGVs seem to have peculiar and inconsistent amounts of “droop” (a product of their lever-driven wedge closure) so the Sightron SIH412X40FTMOA scope was set in an adjustable set of B-Square mounts that have been completely worked over for complete reliability and consistency.
I sat down to sight in and develop the trajectory curve of the rifle-pellet combination and I have to say that it was not that hard. After zeroing in at 35 yards, and a few additional shots at 55, 40, and 10 Yards, I was good to go.
The field of competitors was daunting, even though I was shooting in Hunter Class (12X scope limit), I was also using a sub-12 Ft/Lbs gun at a range where “invisible winds” can kick your butt over and over again.
The scope worked admirably. I could focus range out to about 40 “Yards” (“Yards” because I was using the marks on AO, not a calibrated tape), with little trouble. (When shooting in Hunter class I always focus-range and then check the “milling” range to either ratify or rectify the range to be used for holdover).
Beyond the 40 “Yards” it was much more reliable to use the stadia-ranging or bracketing technique to come up with a logical range.
I hit the 75 Yards “bonus shot” once, and finished the Match with a clean lane (4 out of 4 hits) on the target-in-a-barrel that is always challenging for scopes because you have to resolve a black target in the deep shadow of an overturned 40 gals. drum with shot-up faceplate and paddle that do not reflect ANY light at all. A strong finish always leaves a good memory!
Above all, I hit a few long (50 Yards plus) targets when the wind was blowing, and I hit 3 out of the 4 elevated (42 degrees from horizontal) targets. So, by the end of it, I was happy with the way the Match had run for me. (Hector won it! – Editor).
If you are in the market for a good quality scope for less than $300 for general purpose shooting with hard-kicking airguns, or Hunter Class FT shooting, the Sightron SIH412X40FTMOA is definitely worth considering. It certainly worked well for me!
You can find the Sightron SIH412X40FTMOA scope by following this link: https://sightronusa.com/index.php/product/sih412x40ftmoa/
Hector Medina is Airgunsmith at Connecticut Custom Airguns.