I bought my scope 3 years ago and since then I have used it more or less continually; It sat on top of my Sumatra pcp for several months but most of the time it has been mounted on a Gamo springer: first a Hunter 440 and latterly my Whisper X. These are my impressions of using the scope over this period. Counting up a stack of empty pellet tins (Iím a hoarder!) tells me itís survived the launch of more than 5000 pellets Ė thatís just on springers Ė and itís still going strong.
The scope was supplied new with a one-piece N-S mount and pivoting, tinted end caps intended to keep things showerproof in field use. It has some decent features:
Target turrets for windage and elevation
Adjustable front objective
Although one gets used to judging holdover I have become a fan of mil-dots and with this scope on the Sumatra I have on several occasions dropped feral pigeons and other pests at ranges of 75 Ė 85 yards. The technique relies for its accuracy on pre calibrating the mil-dots, using a laser rangefinder to measure the distance to target and standardising on a particular level of magnification e.g. 9 X. Needless to say, a stable shooting platform is also essential.
On my Gamo springers the scope has proved to be a solid work horse and based on this experience I would always choose a springer-rated scope and a one-piece mount for use on all but low-powered spring guns. The unique 2-way recoil of springers can be destructive of scopes and this applies particularly to magnum springers so it is desirable to buy a scope that is up to the job, which the Air King has proved to be. The Nikko Stirling one piece mount which came ďfreeĒ with the scope has also proved to be robust and although I check the tightness of mounting screws periodically everything seems to stay firmly in place.
To summarise, Iím impressed with the Nikko Stirling Air King 3 Ė 9 x 42 AO which I regard as a good all-round hunting and plinking scope offering excellent value for money. The optical quality is not superb but itís adequate. I would not hesitate to buy another of these should I decide to add to my small collection of air rifles (but of this at present Mrs Mick is blissfully unaware).
Good shooting and have fun.