April 21st, 2018

The Fixed Power Option — Save Thousands on a Comp Scope

Weaver XR series target scope side focus parallax
UPDATE: The 46x48mm side-parallax Weaver XR (black) is on sale now at Amazon for $666.00! You can save over $300.00 on this optic right now — but don’t delay. These special deals don’t last long.

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 normally retail for around $600.00. (And the 36X is on SALE now for $499.99 as of 4/21/18).

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.

Permalink Gear Review, Optics 6 Comments »
May 6th, 2017

Optics Review: IOR Valdada 36x42mm Benchrest Scope

IOR Valdada Benchrest 36X 36x42mm optic scope James Mock

Note: In this review, James Mock talks about his experience with an IOR Valdada 36X fixed power scope. A newer, slightly-modified version of this optic is now available. The current IOR Valdada 36x42mm scope is just like the scope James reviews, except that the rear ocular lens is slightly smaller and the new version is about three ounces (3 oz.) lighter. All of Mock’s observations and comments otherwise apply to the current production model.

IOR Valdada 36x42mm Benchrest Riflescope

Review by James Mock
For the past eight years I have been using the IOR Valdada 36x42mm Benchrest scope on my 6mm Dasher/6PPC switch barrel rifle. It has performed flawlessly during this time. Perhaps this may be the best 600-yard fixed power scope in existence. With the 1 MOA reticle one can judge the distance from sighter to point of aim very accurately. With this knowledge, he/she can either adjust the reticle to the point of aim or may use the hash marks for a definite aiming point. The 1/8th-MOA adjustments are positive and repeatable. There is a provision to set a “zero” after adjustments.

The lens in this scope may be its outstanding feature. The glass comes from Schott Glass Werkes of Germany, and in my opinion it is as good as one can buy. Another great feature is the spring that is set against the erector tube (this is similar to the system used by the Nightforce BR model). The photo below shows the housing containing that spring.

IOR Valdada Benchrest 36X 36x42mm optic scope James Mock

Reticle Options — Fine Cross-Hair or MOA with Hash Marks
The IOR Valdada 36x42mm scope is offered with a fine cross-hair for those not wanting the MOA reticle. My choice is the MOA reticle with 1/8th-minute dot in the center.

Tested in Competition — This Scope’s a Winner
My first success using this scope was at the NBRSA Nationals at Desoto, Kansas in 2010. I won the 200-Yard Sporter Agg with a .1727. The scope performed flawlessly and I was lucky enough to pull the trigger at the right time. The following year I finished second behind Jeff Thompson III in the Sporter 200 at the NBRSA Nationals at Midland, Texas. Hall of Fame shooter Don Powell commented that my shooting had really improved since I switched to the Valdada. This scope is rock solid and it surely didn’t hurt my shooting.

IOR Valdada Benchrest 36X 36x42mm optic scope James Mock

I have not shot much short range Benchrest in the last few years, but I still use the Valdada in 300- and 600-Yard matches quite often. Its adjustments are crisp and accurate. The adjustments move the reticle 0.125 inches at 100 yards and therefore 0.75 inches at 600. Using the MOA reticle and the precise adjustments, one can determine the number of clicks needed by using the reticle to see how far off of the aiming point one is on the sighting gongs. If a person wants to “hold off” rather than adjust the scope, he/she can do so by using the hash marks for a definite aiming point.

Updates to IOR 36x42mm Scope — Slimmer and Trimmer
Since I got my IOR Valdada 36x42mm scope, there have been some changes made. My scope weighs about 25 ounces but the new one is about 3 ounces lighter. The folks at IOR (Valdada) got input from Bart Sauter and made the ocular (eyepiece) lens smaller and the scope lighter. Bart is now a distributor for Valdada and many in the Benchrest community are now using this fine scope. Billy Stevens won the Super Shoot and qualified for the World Team using the Valdada. If you are interested, please contact Val Leautu in Littleton, CO at 303-979-4578 or Bart Sauter at 270-879-4279.

Permalink Gear Review, Optics 1 Comment »
January 13th, 2017

March Unveils Impressive New High Master Series of Scopes

March High Master Benchrest Longrange scope optic zoom ED glass Super-ED

At SHOT Show in Las Vegas, March Optics will unveil its new “High Master” series scopes. These top-of-the line optics are designed for Benchrest and Long-Range Competition. We’ve always been impressed with the clarity and sharpness of March optics, and now they are even better. The High Master line of scopes boast class-leading, state-of-the-art ED glass that delivers outstanding sharpness with near-zero chromatic aberration.

The March engineers tell us: “We’ve found a way to improve upon perfection with our new High Master™ line. Meticulously designed and individually hand-assembled by the expert engineers at March, these scopes feature our new Super-ED, high-refractive glass for unparalleled quality and exceptional clarity. This high-tech glass greatly reduces chromatic aberration for a previously unheard-of level of sharpness and brilliance.”

New March High Master Scopes

March 10-60x56mm Zoom Scopes for Ultimate Long Range
(Five Versions: MAR1078 3⁄32 MOA DOT Reticle, MAR1079 1⁄8 MOA DOT Reticle, MAR1080 MTR-1 Reticle, MAR1081 MTR-3 Reticle, MAR1082 MTR-4 Reticle)

March High Master Benchrest Longrange scope optic zoom ED glass Super-ED

NOTE: The new 10-60x56mm scope features the same mechanical precision and user-friendly design as March’s match-winning 10-60x52mm zoom scope, but with a larger 56mm objective lens and enhanced glass.

March 40–60x52mm EP Zoom Scopes for Benchrest Competition
(Three Versions: MAR1083 CH Reticle, MAR1084 3⁄32 MOA DOT Reticle, MAR1085 1⁄8 MOA DOT Reticle)

March High Master Benchrest Longrange scope optic zoom ED glass Super-ED

NOTE: For shooters seeking “one-hole” accuracy in the Benchrest game, this is the scope. The new High Master 40-60x52mm EP Zoom scope gives serious Benchrest shooters an ultra-sharp, high-magnification variable scope with zero POI shift when changing magnification.

March 48 x 52mm Fixed Power Scopes for Benchrest Competition
(Three versions: MAR1075 Cross-Hair Reticle, MAR1076 3⁄32 MOA DOT Reticle, MAR1075 1⁄8 MOA DOT Reticle)

March High Master Benchrest Longrange scope optic zoom ED glass Super-ED

NOTE: These new March 48-power scopes look to set new quality standards among high-magnification, fixed power scopes for benchrest competition. Fixed-power scopes are lighter and simpler than variable scopes of equal magnification. In weight-limited Benchrest classes this fixed 48X will be a top choice.

Permalink New Product, Optics 8 Comments »
January 5th, 2016

New Nightforce 42x44mm Fixed-Power Competition Scope

Nightforce Competition 42x 42 x 44mm 1/8 MOA

Nightforce Competition 42x 42 x 44mm 1/8 MOAHere’s big news for target shooters (especially benchresters). There’s a new, premium fixed-power scope option with ED glass. Nightforce Optics just introduced its 42 x 44mm fixed-power competition scope. This 20.7 ounce lightweight is a “clean-slate” design, all new from the ground up. Clicks are 1/8 MOA (0.125″ at 100 yards), while the side-focus parallax control adjusts all the way down to 10 meters. Two glass-etched reticle designs are offered: CTR-2™ and CTR-3™.

Nightforce is proud of the engineering that went into this new optic: “By eliminating the inherent weight of a variable-power mechanism, we were able to build the Competition™ 42 x 44mm at just 20.7 ounces without sacrificing the stunning images produced by ED glass and the robust mechanics for which we are known.” MSRP for this new scope is $1795.00, but expect the “street price” to be lower.

Nightforce tells us that the 42X Competition was built strong to handle the recoil of the large cartridges used in F-Class and 1000-yard benchrest. In addition, new 42X Comp scope will focus sharply from infinity all the way down to 10 meters, making it an excellent choice for short-range rimfire and air gun competitions, as well as long-range target applications. Other scope features include: high-visibility engraving and fast-focus eyepiece. The scope ships with a screw-in sunshade, plus objective and eyepiece lens covers. Nightforce says: “ED glass provides exceptional resolving power and color contrast [and the] 44 mm objective lens gives excellent light transmission without adding unnecessary weight.” For more information call (208) 476-9814 or visit NightforceOptics.com.

Nightforce Competition 42x 42 x 44mm 1/8 MOA

Nightforce Competition 42x 42 x 44mm 1/8 MOA

Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome submissions.
Permalink New Product, Optics 2 Comments »