There is a thread on the Hide that brings back the topic of drop tests, but in an even sillier way than is typical. Someone over there has already tried to get me to chime in, but I think I will skip that thread. I have tried to explain why this is stupid on the Hide before, but was mostly met with an online equivalent of a blank incomprehending stare.
I will give it a shot here for albeit briefly, since it is a good follow-up to discussion I had with SlavGuns on Arken optics: https://darklordofoptics.locals.com/post/4779477/starter-precision and starter precision scopes.
This most recent Hide has a link from a gentleman who has an Arken EP5. He shoots a plate at 1000 yards, then takes the scope off the rifle (it is in a QD LaRue mount, which is already not a great idea), chucks it 25 feet onto soft dirt, walks over to pick it up, mounts it back on a rifle and hits the plate again. Then, he proudly announces that the Arken EP5 is good to go.
I have no idea who the gentleman is, so none of this should be viewed as an attack on his intelligence or integrity. Smart people say and do stupid things all the time. This is CLEARLY not something he has ever bothered to think about. He likely saw some knuckle dragging lunatic on Youtube do this. It probably looked cool. A lot of this stuff makes sense if you do not bother to think about it.
There are several problems here. The most obvious, aside from the fact that his "test" is just stupid, is that he looked at one scope and pronounced EP5 as "good-to-go".
I just had a livestream with SlavGuns and out of six Arkens he had, three had problems, including some Arkens.
All of this is anecdotal data, but six data points are a lot better than one (deeply flawed) data point.
I have an Arken scope here. It works great. However, having talked to many people with Arken scopes, I think my experience with it is not representative. When I talk to people who buy Arken scopes and who actually shoot, they tell me they see these go down in every competition they have been to. Arken did a great job getting many scopes out there. Now, they need QC and engineering to catch up with their sales and marketing.
As far as the test itself goes, aside from the fact it is meaningless on a sample of one, it really does nto tell us anything. If you drop your rifle in the field, you should check zero. If you have a decent quality scope and something shifted, seven times out of ten, it is the mount. If you have a QD mount, it is probably nine out of ten or higher.
As far as the impact itself goes, what people at rifle scope QC departments do to their products to check for zero shift is orders of magnitude more severe than chucking it onto the ground.
Now, intentionally dropping the whole rifle with the scope is equally stupid since depending on the exact angle, what it hits, the exact type of mount, how well the whole thing is bedded, the types of turrets the scope has, where the rings happen to be, whether it is fast focus or traditional eyepiece, and a myriad other factors, you can get very different results. With this attempt of a test, it is impossible to correct for all the variables, so when something goes wrong you have no idea what the root cause is. If nothing goes wrong, you have no idea if that is repeatable.
It does provide ample opportunity to rig the results to get what you want. I once saw this test set up so that the product of a company the reviewer hated was in a QD mount, while the other product was in a fixed and properly torqued mount. Naturally, the QD mount shifted and it was blamed on the scope.
All influencers claim impartiality and all that. However, most of them live off of affiliate links and it is very hard to not bias toward what pays you more. That is one of the reasons I was so happy to see SlavGuns raise the issue of 50% failure rate on his Arkens. A little intellectual honesty goes a long way.
That is also why when posting affiliate links, I tend to prefer to deal with large companies that carry many brands, like Brownells or Eurooptic, for example. It makes no financial difference to me which product I recommend, and as the memebrship here grows, I hope to phase out the whole affiliate business completely.
I do not think most reviewers/influencers rig the results (although some clearly do, just based on how they position the cameras and do the tests).
As the (slightly modified) saying goes, "never ascribe to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence".