The working man’s all round rifle setup (.243)

This is the start of an experiment which I intend to see through over the next year or so. 


The reason for this is, I like many shooters, are on a strict budget. I have, over a couple of years of shooting, found myself into clay shooting, pigeon shooting, rabbit shooting and deer stalking. Each discipline requires a different setup and it can become costly.  I have permission to shoot any legal quarry over about 1000 acres. This is because I have a few very generous farmers. I keep the pigeon numbers down, set up a few sunday clay shoots for the farmer and his friends/family and in return I can take the odd deer and shoot game birds. In return I wish to be useful, which means having the kit to do a number of jobs around the farm. So after some research I found the best all round calibre to be .243 you can shoot almost anything reliably with it. Fox, roe, muntjac, sika, fallow and even reds (you can shoot red stags but you MUST be entirely confident in the shot.) 

(Image credit shooting uk magazine.)

So what do we need to know. What have I learned so far.

Setting up a roundly rifle for stalking and as an all rounder, everyone comes back and says the same thing, spend as much on glass (scope) as you can afford and then strap any old rifle under it. This is the prevailing theory. Now I’m not entirely disagreeting with this but I wish to put it to the test. They say buy German (swarovski, zeiss etc.) Years ago BMW and mercedes were the king of quality, now you can reliably buy cars from all around the world with greater warranty at much lower cost, I wish to test if this is the same accross other fields of manufacturing. 


So with that said I decided to look at cheaper glass, I found myself thinking where in the world are they huge on hunting, ‘Merica… came to mind (make sure you read “‘Merica” in that accent from Team America.) So after a quick look over I started to realise things are much, MUCH cheaper. Now this could be easily explained away by economys of scale e.g. a larger market. Or by other factors. But I wanted to probe the idea. So from the scope perspective why is stuff so much cheaper. Well after speaking to a few guys over facebook shooting groups they tend not to prescribe to the German only perspective, now this could be down to our American cousins being very proud of their own manufacturing. But I think cost is a factor. 

So I started to look at cheaper scopes that were big sellers in the US. Nikon and Sun optics appeared to be the ones that people suggested. 

Sun Optics were reresented at the Northern Shooting Show (2017) and I spoke to their sales director Jim and we had a look over their range. Jim very kindly gave me a scope 6-24×50. No strings attached, he said he was that confident in the system, I said I’d give an honest review. 

Part 1 – unboxing 

First thoughts, packaging is strong enough to protect the scope, however lacks the quality of some other products, for example zeiss. When you get your iPad it comes in a really tactile box which inspires confidense, minor point I know but often it shows quality.

Looking through the window and out in the garden the clarity looks spot on. The zoom between 6-12 is good but becomes harder to focus up to 24 (when I will ever shoot on 24 I don’t know.)

It’s clearly labeled made in China. Now whether it really matters anymore is the question.

Manufacturers specs 

First Focal Plane Variable Series

High performance first focal plane optic delivers no point of impact change at any magnification! Geared and ready for any high performance shooter.

• 30mm one-piece tube design for superior strength
• Precision ground, fully multi-coated lenses with wide band coating and extended polishing process for crisp edge-to-edge clarity and maximum light transmission
• Windage and elevation adjustments in milimeters
• Glass-etched reticle
• Fast-focus adjustable ocular for precise clarity
• SWP down to 10 yds
• Nitrogen filled for waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof peace


Not really a conclusion at this point but next steps are to do an in the field comparison with schmit & bender and swarovski. Checking in low light conditions and various other tests. 

If anyone has any test ideas please comment on this article. 

Further reading


  • Glass = scope

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