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Cooper Model 57M Classic Rifle & Burris Fullfield II 4.5X14X42PA Scope

The day finally arrived when I could test the new Cooper Model 57M Classic Rifle and Burris Fullfield II 4.5X14X42PA scope.  It was cold and a bit windy for a 22LR test, but I could not wait any longer.

Click here for photo gallery

The Cooper 57M Classic is without doubt the best production rifle you can buy. The workmanship and  finish are impeccable. It even smells good...I love the smell of the beautiful black walnut stock. Cooper actions and stock hardware are machined from solid bar stock steel. All the barrels are premium match grade and air gauge  inspected. The stocks are hand crafted - cut, shaped, sanded, filled, checkered, and oil finished all by hand.  Stocks are also hand fitted to the barreled actions to fit the individual rifle. This assures perfect wood to metal fit. The actions are glass bedded behind the recoil lug and 1" forward of the breech.  The barrels are free-floated. Once the rifles have been tuned they are final  inspected and tested. Each rifle is shot for accuracy in its individual stock, off bags, using a Leupold 36x Benchrest Scope. Prior to shipment, each and every  rifle must shoot at least one 1/8" group. A test target is shipped with every  rifle, and Cooper guarantees every 22LR to to shoot " 5-shot groups at 50 yards using premium grade match ammunition. I believe what they say, because I got some pretty impressive groups using Federal Bulk HV ammo and CCI Minimags on this windy day.
Click here for the target.

UPDATE On the following day with winds gusting to 20 mph, I went back to try shooting groups again. The wind cut the test short, but I was able to shoot a few groups with CCI Green Tag and Federal HV. CCI Green Tag ammo again turned in the best score, but not by much.  The best of the five shot groups was a .26" with Green Tag, followed by a .45" by the Federal.  The largest group was .80". Not bad for conditions, and a real showing for the Federal at 1/5 the cost of the CCI ammo.

Everything about this rifle is superior. The trigger breaks like glass from the factory at about 2 pounds.  The magazine holds 5 rounds and the action is smooth as silk.  The wood has a beautiful grain and the metal has a smooth matt finish. It comes from the factory with Leupold type scope mounts installed, grip cap, rubber butt pad and sling studs.  This was the first rifle I have ever owned that was just like I wanted it right out of the box.  No tinkering needed to the bedding, trigger adjustment.  Just add scope and ammo and you are ready for small game or target shooting.

The ODHA uses Leupold scopes almost exclusively, but it was time to check out one of the best things to happen to scopes in twenty years. Burris has come up with one of the best reticles for hunters on the market called the Ballistic Plex. It is  similar to the regular Dual-X reticle but part of the bottom post is replaced with hold over aiming lines that match most standard loads like 3006 zeroed at 100 yards  and most magnum loads zeroed at 200 yards. (click here for more info) The plex on the horizontal zero line  can also be used for windage adjustments. Burris offers Ballistic Mil Dot and Tactical scopes as well.  We chose the Burris Fullfield II 4.5x14x42 scope with Parallax Adjustment and Ballistic Plex reticle. The scope is not too large, light weight, has hand adjustable windage and elevation knobs, and comes with scope covers . The knobs are low profile with serrated edges and also have a coin slot on top. The scope is very clear, the windage and elevation have click adjustments. Zeroing was easy.  After getting on the paper at 25 yards, you could just reach up and turn the knobs while looking through the scope to move the crosshairs form the aiming point to the point of impact. Does the Ballistic Plex work? You bet it does. The scope comes with a data sheet for most common loads. After zeroing the 22LR at 50 yards, it provides a holdover line for 75yds, 100yds, and 125yds.  The aiming lines are almost dead on out to 100 yards. I will conduct a test in the future to see how well the compensation system works, but I can tell you now that it is very close - within a couple of inches at 100 yards and closer for centerfire rifles.

UPDATE I went back to the range to try the Ballistic compensation system using CCI Mini Mag ammo.  According to Burris data, with a 50 yard zero, the first hold over line should be on at 75 yards and the second hold over line should be on at 100 yards. After getting a 50 yard zero, I tried my luck at 100 yards. The bullets were dropping in at 100 yards and were only 1.5-2" low, just as the Burris table showed.  I was amazed  to say the least. Shooing against a light colored background, I could actually see the bullets through the scope as they flew toward the target.  I was shooting at a 3"  "Shoot-N-C" bullseye and was constantly hitting in the bottom half of the bull.  Of course, every brand of ammo will be a little different, but changing the 50 yard zero a half inch up or down will put you on mark with most high velocity ammo. Target ammo may require use of a lower hold over line. Now that we know it works for 22LR, I will have to test the system on a high powered centerfire. I am betting it will work again.

As for the first test of the Cooper Classic and the Burris Ballistic Plex, I am very excited about them both.  Come back soon to see more test results.

Chester Cupp



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