May 28th, 2017

The Fixed Power Option — Save Thousands on a Comp Scope

Weaver XR series target scope side focus parallax
The 46x48mm side-parallax Weaver XR (matte black) costs less than $900.00 on Amazon.

With the cost of some high-end, high-magnification zoom scopes climbing well past the $3000-dollar mark, some shooters are considering a return to fixed-power optics. These are still quite popular in the short-range Benchrest game where weight is “mission critical” and the need to view mirage at lower power is not so critical. But now we are seeing some F-Class competitors considering fixed-power scopes — primarily for the increased reliability and huge cost savings. The $2000+ you can save (compared to a $3000+ Zoom) could buy a custom action, trigger, and premium barrel!

Weaver XR series target scope side focus parallax

One scope to consider is Weaver’s latest T-Series 46X target scope with side-focus parallax control. With a street price around $900.00, the new Weaver T-Series XR 46x48mm scope offers a lot of bang for the buck compared to the pricey zoom scopes. Compared to the older T-36, this new 46-power XR scope offers more magnification, more elevation, a larger front objective (48mm vs. 40mm), and a larger 30mm main tube (compared to 1″ for the old T-36). The new XR 46X Weaver also features side-focus parallax control. That’s a big change. You could instantly spot a classic Weaver T-36 by the adjustable front objective with its knurled ring and yardage markings. The T-Series XR 46X (as well as the new XR 24X and XR 36X) have the parallax control on the left side of the main tube (photo below).

Weaver XR series target scope side focus parallaxWe have looked through the new Weaver 46X scope and it is very sharp. Brightness is good — it seems comparable with a Leupold 45x45mm Competition (but that was on a bright, sunny day). Initial tests show the clicks to be tactile and positive, but we haven’t had a chance to do a full “box test” to confirm tracking. Weaver claims the new XR series scopes will focus down to 50 feet, but with the 46X we had some questions about its extreme close-focus capability. If you’re shooting beyond 50 yards, the focus should be fine.

The new T-Series 46X XR is offered with two reticle choices, a fine cross-hair (FCH), or FCH with 1/16th MOA dot. Both reticles are well-suited for benchrest work. You can find the new 46X Weaver for under $900.00. That’s way more than the old T-36, but it undercuts Leupold fixed-power competition scopes by hundreds of dollars.

Weaver XR series target scope side focus parallaxOther Side-Focuc 36X T-Series XR Scopes with Side-Focus and 1″ Tubes
The new 46-power XR scope is the star of the XR line-up. Designed to go head-to-head with Leupold’s 45X Competition scope, the 46X Weaver XR offers a modern 30mm main-tube and large (48mm) front objective. If you don’t need the bigger tube and larger objective, but still want side-focus parallax control, Weaver offers two other new XR scopes — a 36x40mm and a 24x40mm. These both retail for under $630.00.

Older T-Series Weavers for Under $450.00
If you’re on a tight budget and don’t need 46-power magnification and side parallax control, you may want to consider the older 36-power T-series Weavers. These adjustable front-objective Weaver “Tees” enjoy a good reputation for reliability. They’re not a bright as the XR models, but you can now purchase the older T-series scopes with adjustable front objectives for well under $450.00 in both black finish and silver finish. For benchrest shooting at a fixed distance, side-focus is not necessary; adjustable front objectives work just fine. Just set and forget.

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