31 Jan 12

“If all the troubles of the world were gathered into one big heap, upon observing it, the vast majority of us would discreetly claim only our own… and silently depart!”

Kenny Rogers

I’ve been pig-hunting here in south FL the past two days. No luck on pigs yet. We can’t seem to find them!

However, I did discover something interesting about my Aimpoint T1.

I’m hunting with my XCR in 7.62×39, equipped with my Aimpoint T1, forward-mounted. Ammunition is DPX. The T1 has been on this rifle since August of 2008, and I never turn it off. Even in storage, it is always “on.” In addition, I’ve never changed the battery! I’m trying to see how long it actually lasts (plus, I’m lazy).

When hunting from an open vehicle, I normally have my rifle slung in front while I’m seated, so I can spring up instantly and get on target fast. Yesterday, I broke from my normal MO and placed my XCR in a horizontal rack on the hood of the Jeep in which we were riding.

A half-hour later, after bouncing around over rough terrain, I retrieved the rifle in order to adjust brightness of the aiming point, only to discover that the dot was gone! I instantly concluded that, after three-and-a-half years, my Aimpoint battery finally expired.

So, I deployed my Troy/LaRue iron sights and continued to march. I have carefully sighted-in and confirmed both T1 and BUIS, so I was supremely confident that I was good to go, either way.

Then, in a moment of curiosity, I decided to inspect the T1’s battery compartment. So, I unscrewed the battery cap, and then screwed it securely back in place.

When I subsequently mounted the rifle, I discovered the dot had returned, none the worse for ware. The battery, as it turns out, is still fine! The cap had not been secured adequately, and, after sufficient bouncing, the battery experienced a contact compromise. Compared with most “troubles,” this one was, as it turns out, minor!

The lesson here is, once again:

Check your critical gear the way they vote in Chicago: Early and Often! Any piece of equipment that requires batteries will have contact issues at one point or another. Happily, most, like the one I experienced, are easily fixed in the field.

The second lesson is: Always have BUIS mounted, sighted-in, and ready to instantly deploy when batteries fail, which they all do, invariably at “inconvenient” times!