The editor tells us why there are different adjuster turret types
The editor describes the various types of turret adjuster and explains the difference
The vast majority of conventional scopes have a central ‘saddle’ on which we find adjuster drums for windage, left to right, and elevation, which is up and down. These are used to ensure that our pellets are landing exactly on the reticle (cross hairs) at a chosen distance. Most move a defined amount with a tactile and audible click, that helps us to make precise changes.
In the past, the adjuster drums were low to the scope’s body and covered with a screw- on cap that aided weatherproofing. The cap also ensured that the adjuster could never be moved accidentally, thereby affecting your zero. For most people, this design is just what we need, and as a hunter they’re the only type I use. Once I have my rifle perfectly zeroed, I like to lock everything down securely so I have total confidence that it will be correctly sighted every time I take it from the gun safe.
In recent years there’s been increasing interest in the second type which goes by several names, including sniper and exposed turrets. These are typically tall and large, displaying all the adjustment information on their outside. This allows instant adjustments to be made, even with gloved hands and it’s very useful if you like to ‘dial’ in your corrections for distance and the wind. This is the technique used by military snipers who might well engage the enemy at 1000 yards or more. How much of a benefit that technique is to the airgun hunter pursuing his quarry inside 35 yards is open to debate, but in field target ( FT) competitions they’re used all the time. The shooter makes very precise adjustments to ensure that the pellet’s trajectory is compensated for at ranges from 8 to 55 yards which is a tough test for a sub-12 ft.lbs. airgun pellet.
Early exposed turrets were free to turn at all times and people had bad experiences with them getting rotated accidentally and their zero being lost. I’ve been witness to that problem and I can tell you the hunter concerned was really annoyed. Today most have locking mechanisms that avoid this problem all together, so be sure that any scope you buy has this important feature.
As ever, spending a little time weighing up the relative merits of the types will help you to select the right one for your type of shooting.
“These are typically tall and large, displaying all the adjustment information on their outside”
BELOW: Exposed turrets display all their information for instant adjustments in the field
ABOVE: Low profile ‘ hunter turrets’ feature a screw- on metal cap