I went to the range on Friday morning and took my buckmark and my M1 carbine. My range trips have been too infrequent of late and it really showed in the results of my efforts, especially with the buckmark. Handgun skills are just perishable like that.
I shot with the 4x scope on my carbine for a while and then I took it off and switched to the irons. Irons on this carbine are just more fun. The gun balances better and is just more enjoyable in general. Unfortunately for me shooting with irons on even a 25 meter target meant that I couldn't really see where I was hitting. The bullet holes were just too small until I got some clustered together. That is a problem. It would be an even bigger problem with my AR-15 since its .223 caliber bullet would be even smaller (although a lot faster) than my carbine's .30 caliber round.
My only recourse was to spend money, much to Amybear's chagrin. I could have purchased a spotting scope, but frankly I wouldn't save any money and they are only useful for one job. I decided to pick up a pair of 7x35mm or 8x40mm binoculars instead because they're multitaskers. I chose this magnification and objective size is multipurpose. Not too little, not too much. They have big enough lenses to work in dim light or daylight. They aren't too heavy. The eyepieces can be adjusted for guys with thick glasses. I can use them for birdwatching or take them on vacation.
When I got to Dick's, I tried out several pairs of binoculars in turn. The Nikon Action EXs were obvious best performers. They're no Swarovskis or anything, but they're definite closer to the knee of the price curve. I could tell the different in the quality of the optics from the others. I used a coupon from a recent night at the Blue Rocks to cut a few bucks off the price.
I'll try them out on Saturday when I take Mabel (pictured badly on the left with my Mossberg 590) for her first range visit. Hopefully things will go smoothly, but there is always the potential for bad things to happen. Especially considering the idiot who built the lower receiver.
Oh, and as you can see from the picture, my answer to the big-and-slow or small-and-fast debate in firearms performance is "both." This is oddly similar to my answer to the Predestination vs. Free-will and Faith vs. Reason debates.