August 2nd, 2017

Kahles 10-50x56mm Scope Review by James Mock

Kahles MOAK scope 10-50x56mm 10x-50x james mock field test review

The Kahles 10-50x56mm MOAK Long Range Riflescope
By James Mock
The Kahles company of Austria is very old — dating back to 1898. With its long history, Kahles (two syllables, pronounced “Kah – less”) claims to be the oldest rifle scope manufacturer in the world.

What are the features of this scope that endear it to the discriminating long range shooter? First, it offers serious magnification — a true 10X-50X. It has a rather unique, centrally-mounted parallax adjustment control integrated with the elevation turret (i.e. they share the same axis). Included with the scope is a large ring which can be attached to the parallax control to facilitate adjustments without removing one’s head from the stock. Another unique feature is a small red and white pin that indicates how many revolutions one has made. If one red band shows, the scope is in the first revolution; with a one red and one white band, it is in the second revolution, and so on.

Kahles MOAK scope 10-50x56mm 10x-50x james mock field test review

This scope has a 56mm lens, fast-focus eyepiece, and 1/8th MOA adjustments. This is an expensive scope ($2799.00 at Brownells), but there are no short cuts in its construction. The lenses have a proprietary “AMV” multi-layer coating that’s claimed to transmit almost 100% of the light. Also, there is an oil-phobic coating to resist scratches and contaminates such as oil or dirt from sticking to the lens. The scope is nitrogen-filled and features hardened steel mechanisms for adjustments.

Kahles 10-50x56mm Specifications:
Magnification: 10X to 50X
Objective lens: 56mm
Reticle: Second Focal Plane with MOA subtensions at 40X power
Tube diameter: 30mm, Nitrogen filled
Length: 16.9 inches
Weight: 31.4 ounces
Click Value: 1/8 MOA with 20 MOA per revolution
Range of adjustments: 5.3 ft. elevation/ 3.6 ft. windage @ 100 meters
Field of view at 100m: 8.7 feet @10X and 3.6 feet @ 50X
Parallax Control: Parallax ring is centrally mounted on same axis as elevation knob.
Parallax Range: 8m to infinity
Eye relief: 3.74 inches

I first got to test the Kahles in competition at a 300-yard match. The scope performed flawlessly with spot-on, positive adjustments. The central-mounted parallax ring worked perfectly, giving me parallax-free viewing with the ring set on 300. The quick focus ocular adjustment also brought the image into sharp focus. We had some mirage today, but I had no problem seeing bullet holes with the scope set at 40x. The MOA reticle served me well by allowing me to know how many 1/8 MOA clicks to adjust from the sighter target. I shot my Bartlein 1:13.5″-twist 6mm PPC barrel with N133 and Bart’s 65gr Super Man BT bullets. I shot 296-4X out of 300 possible. The 65gr BT seems to be at its maximum range and I was edged out by an excellent 297/?x by a 6mm Dasher. The scope certainly did its part, but I didn’t.

Shooting the Kahles 10-50X at 200 yards before 300-yard match. The quality of this scope makes zeroing it a pleasure. The clicks are positive and audible.
Kahles MOAK scope 10-50x56mm 10x-50x james mock field test review

Kahles Performs Superbly Shooting the Square
With every new scope that I test, I shoot the “square” (a box test). This target below above has ½ inch squares and my aim point was the small square in the lower right quadrant. I shot two shots at it then moved the windage knob 5 MOA left and fired one. I then moved 5 up and fired again; moved 5 right and fired; followed by my final shot after clicking 5 MOA down. This last shot went through the hole made by the original two shots! That’s amazing. These were shot at 100m without wind flags.

Kahles MOAK scope 10-50x56mm 10x-50x james mock field test review

Shooting with the Kahles in 600-Yard Competition
On the 3rd Saturday of the month, we shoot a 600-yard match consisting of four, 5-shot targets on the IBS target. The 600-yard match demands a scope that is very reliable and “spot on” in its adjustments. Since I don’t have a 600-yard range on which to zero, I simply zero at 100 yards and click up 11 MOA. At our matches we shoot steel gongs for sighting in. There is NO sight-in period before the match — all competitors are expected to be “on target” upon arrival. I had to put my faith in the Kahles click values.

Our 600-yard match was my first opportunity to use the Kahles at that distance. I shot the scope set at 40X all day. The crisp adjustments allowed me to get on target quickly and in the first match, I shot a respectable 48/50 with 1X. NOTE: for this 600-yard match I replaced my 6 PPC barrel with an 8-twist 6mm Dasher. I use 32.8 grains of Varget pushing a Bart Sauter 105gr rebated boat tail bullet.

Testing with Hood Scope Checker
Many shooters’ primary concern with scopes used for competitive shooting is their ability to hold point of aim (POA). To test the Kahles, I mounted it on the Hood Scope Checker alongside my 36X Valdada. By aiming both scopes at a given point on the paper and firing several shots, one can determine if either of the scopes’ POA is moving. I don’t have a “frozen” scope to use, but the Valdada has been rock solid for me during many competitions over the last eight years. Pictured below is the setup that I used to test the scopes.

Kahles MOAK scope 10-50x56mm 10x-50x james mock field test review

Kahles MOAK scope 10-50x56mm 10x-50x james mock field test review

It is a pleasure to test a scope of this quality. Everything works as advertised and there are no unpleasant surprises. Many premium scopes fail the POA test outlined above. If a scope holds point of aim, has repeatable crisp adjustments, and sharp clear images, what more could a person ask?

Summary: A Quality Optic with Great Performance
Although I am still evaluating this scope, there are some definite conclusions that I have reached. This scope is for the person who will not compromise his demands for quality, regardless of price. This is not the most expensive large scope on the market at $2799.00, but it represents an extremely high-quality product for those willing to pay a premium for a premium product.

Are there things that I do not like about this scope? Yes, the primary one is the weight (31.4 ounces). This is not a problem for those shooting long range with 17- or 22-pound limits, but the weight is a consideration for those shooting short range benchrest varmint classes (10.5 or 13.5 pounds). Also, I would appreciate screw-on lens caps rather that the large bulky cover. I know that both of these are minor things and do not reflect the quality of the instrument.

If I had to offer any type of critique, it would be for a lower price and lighter weight. I cannot fault the price or weight too much however because quality costs and the scope has large objective lens and a sturdy tube. All in all, I can recommend this scope without reservation to all who want the best and have the ability to pay for same. — James Mock

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August 2nd, 2017

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Permalink Handguns, New Product 2 Comments »