May 24th, 2017

Schmidt & Bender 5-25×56 PM II 2FP Scope Review

Schmidt Bender 5-25x56mm Second Focal Plane MOA riflescope scope Rifleshooter field text box gear review

Schmidt & Bender 5-25×56mm PM II SFP Review
Test conducted by RifleShooter.com
For police and military use, the Schmidt & Bender PM II (Police Marksman) is the gold standard of extreme use rifle optics. Other high end scopes aspire to the PM II’s level of durability, optical clarity, repeatability, and performance. With our assistance, RifleShooter.com recently conducted an in-depth test of Schmidt & Bender’s 5-25×56 PM II, Second Focal Plane (SFP) version. Here are the results…

» READ FULL 5-25x56mm PM II Scope Review (LONGER VERSION)

Schmidt Bender 5-25x56mm Second Focal Plane MOA riflescope scope Rifleshooter field text box gear review

The test scope is a 5-25×56 PM II (SKU: 677-911-995-A8-A2) with a Second Focal Plane (SFP) P4FL2-MOA reticle; double-turn elevation with rotation indicator; single turn windage; 1/4-MOA click values; illuminated reticle; and side adjustable parallax from 10 meters to infinity. This is an impressive beast — a big, sturdy, well-made optic.

Schmidt & Bender scopes have sophisticated features and a wide array of available options. The many options and features of the 5-26x56mm PM II are explained in this Schmidt & Bender video:

Second Focal Plane (SFP) Reticles
The Second Focal Plane (SFP) reticle design works well for long-range target shooters, benchrest shooters, hunters, and law enforcement. Often, SFP reticles are associated with Minute of Angle/MOA-based reticles. For target shooters who like to dial-in the elevation corrections, frequently SFP is the preferred reticle type. Also, these reticles are offered with thinner lines and markings to aid in target shooting, by not covering up as much of the target area, which is absolutely necessary in such cases as F-Class and Benchrest shooting. With a SFP reticle the size/width of the reticle lines stay constant at all magnifications.

Tall Target and Box Tests

Commentary by Rifleshooter.com Editor
To get an idea of how the PM II tracked I wanted to conduct a tall target and box test. I set up a couple of ISPC targets at 100 yards (below).

Schmidt Bender 5-25x56mm Second Focal Plane MOA riflescope scope Rifleshooter field text box gear review

The target on the left is for the tall ladder test, the target at the right is for the box test.

With the scope zeroed* I set up a tall target test at 100 yards. I placed a 1″ orange dot on a pair of targets (above, left). We then used a four foot level to draw a plum line moving up from the dot and fired the three shot group below.

Schmidt Bender 5-25x56mm Second Focal Plane MOA riflescope scope Rifleshooter field text box gear review

I dialed 30 MOA of elevation on the scope and fired another group. Measuring the distance between the two groups, would indicate how well the scope is tracking.

Schmidt Bender 5-25x56mm Second Focal Plane MOA riflescope scope Rifleshooter field text box gear review

Since 1 MOA is 1.047″ at 100 yards, 30 MOA would be 31.41″ (30 x 1.047″ = 31.41″), looking at my tape measure, everything checked out (above).

Next I conducted a quick box test and set up an IPSC target with a orange paster at 100 yards. To do this I first Fired one round with the scope zeroed, then…

Dialed 6 MOA left, fired one round
Dialed 15 MOA up, fired one round
Dialed 6 MOA right, fired one round
Dialed 6 MOA right, fired one round
Dialed 15 MOA down, fired one round
Dialed 6 MOA left and fired one round

After this, you want to see two holes close to each other on the first target, as well as the correct spacing dialed in between each hole, so how did the PM II do?

Schmidt Bender 5-25x56mm Second Focal Plane MOA riflescope scope Rifleshooter field text box gear review

Well, it worked like a champ! The rest of my time with the PM II has been equally impressive.

SUMMARY — Our Assessment of the 5-25×56 PM II

Here are our key conclusions from testing the Schmidt & Bender PM II 5-25×56 SFP:

— It’s a lot of scope. The PM II is pretty much the best scope you’ll be able to buy anywhere in the world. There is a reason they are in such widespread Military and Law Enforcement use, it has earned its reputation.

— Great zero stop. The PM II has the easiest-to-adjust turret and zero stop system I have ever used. On the PM II, Schmidt & Bender’s exclusive “Sub Zero Stop” system allows movement below zero. On the test scope it was 1.75 MOA. This is a great feature if you switch ammunition or elevation and need to bump your zero down.

— Tracks well. This was to be expected with its widespread use by military units throughout the world.

— Crisp, precise adjustments. The tactile feel of the knobs is exceptional.

— Crystal clear glass. Great light transmission and reticle.

This Schmidt & Bender catalog page shows reticle options for the 5-25×56 PM II:

Schmidt Bender 5-25x56mm Second Focal Plane MOA riflescope scope Rifleshooter field text box gear review
Click image to zoom

Turrets and Controls — How They Work

On the right side of the optic, you’ll notice a .250 MOA single-turn windage adjustment knob. On the top you’ll note the .250 MOA elevation adjustments. The tactile feel of each “click” is impressive — crisp and precise. A large parallax knob is located on the left side of the turret. The smaller knob located closer to the eyepiece is the adjustment knob for the illuminated reticle.

Schmidt Bender 5-25x56mm Second Focal Plane MOA riflescope scope Rifleshooter field text box gear review

Schmidt Bender 5-25x56mm Second Focal Plane MOA riflescope scope Rifleshooter field text box gear review

Here the view from behind the scope. Note the DT (double turn) elevation turret. At its current setting in the photo above, it is still on the first revolution (.250 MOA below 0) and as adjustments within the first revolution are made, you’d read the white numbers. During the second revolution, the windows in the top of the turret turn yellow, as shown below.

Schmidt Bender 5-25x56mm Second Focal Plane MOA riflescope scope Rifleshooter field text box gear review

Test Rifle — .300 Win Mag in Accuracy International AICS AX Chassis
For testing and evaluation purposes I mounted the PM II in Spuhr ISMS mount on a custom made .300 Winchester Magnum rifle. Testing was done with handloaded ammo: Sierra’s 195-grain Tipped MatchKings over Norma brass and Hodgdon H4831SC powder.

This is the test rifle I used. It was built primarily with parts from Brownells.

Schmidt Bender 5-25x56mm Second Focal Plane MOA riflescope scope Rifleshooter field text box gear review

  • Stiller action
  • Accuracy International AICS AX Chassis
  • Shilen Select Match barrel, #7 1:10″ twist
  • Badger Ordnance FTE brake
  • Spuhr ISMS mount
  • Jewel HVR trigger
  • Aimpoint T1 micro sight
  • Sierra 7 bipod
  • Here is the Schmidt & Bender 5-25x56mm PM II SFP (foreground) alongside three other S&B products:
    5-25×56 PM II FFP (Desert Tan), 12-50×56 PM II, 3-20×50 PM II

    Schmidt Bender 5-25x56mm Second Focal Plane MOA riflescope scope Rifleshooter field text box gear review

    Better Pricing, Better Warranty, Better Availabilty
    In addition to increased production and availability, Schmidt and Bender has reduced retail pricing on PMII models 14-19% depending on the model. S&B Marketing Director Kyle Brown commented, “S&B improved its warranty in the USA for 2017, and now offers a USA 20-Year Transferable Limited Warranty. We have reduced our pricing to be competitive; and have greatly increased our on-hand inventory levels to supply our customers with complete and on-time deliveries.”

    Schmidt & Bender has made an effort to support the Precision Rifle Series (PRS). Brown said “for 2017 we have made a very hard push to become more active in PRS with our brand and with our products.”.

    To learn more about Schmidt & Bender optics, CLICK HERE.


    * Zeroing Process for PM II: The zero stop and turret settings are controlled by set screws. Zeroing is a breeze. You don’t have to move caps, insert shims, move clutch mechanisms, and so on. Simply loosen the screws, swing the turret back to “0” and you are all set. To establish a 100-yard zero, I hung a target at 50 yards, fired one round, dialed a correction, fired a confirmation shot and moved back to 100 yards. I fired one round at 100, made a correction and was zeroed. That’s it, three rounds, done.

    Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Optics 8 Comments »
    January 28th, 2011

    SHOT Show Report: New 3-20x50mm PMII and 1-8x24mm from Schmidt & Bender

    Schmidt & Bender has a very impressive new tactical scope in the PMII (Police and Marksman) line, the 3-20x50mm PM II/LP/MTC/LT. A first-focal-plane design, the new 3-20X PMII features very bright glass, and a double-turn, locking elevation turret. The scope can be ordered with a variety of reticles, and either 1/4-MOA clicks or one-tenth milrad clicks, with MTC turrets.

    YouTube Preview Image

    First delivered in late 2010, this unit has already drawn praise from the tactical community. JR, posting on SnipersHide.com Forum, declared: “I had the opportunity yesterday while at the Modern Day Marine show in Quantico to take a look at the new 3-20×50 PM II and to say that it impressed would be an understatement. The overall size was right between the 3-12 and the 4-16 and the 50mm objective is perfectly proportioned to this optic. Locking MTC turrets are very user friendly and it’s nice to have the option to leave them in the unlocked position when needed. Having a parallax range of 25 metres to infinity can also be very beneficial in many circumstances. Overall I was very impressed with the newest PM II … this scope will most definitely be sitting on one of my rifles before the year is over.” Another observer, writing in the Optics Talk Forum states: “If money is no object, consider the Hensoldt. But I think the scope that will be hardest to beat in the high-end tactical market will be the Schmidt & Bender 3-20.” That’s probably an intelligent call. However, at $3100.00+ per unit, we wonder how many shooters can actually afford the new 3-20x50mm PMII.
    Schmidt & Bender 3-20x50

    Schmidt & Bender 3-20x50

    New Illuminated 1-8×24 Hunting and Multi-Gun Scope
    At about $1899.00, Schmidt & Bender’s new 1-8x24mm Zenith scope is considerably less expensive. This scope is designed for short to medium-range tactical use, multi-gun competition, and hunting. One nice feature is that the scope has a “pure 1-power” setting that is 100% parallax-free. There will also be an illuminated version offered for $2149.00 US.

    Schmidt & Bender 1-8x24

    Permalink - Videos, New Product, Optics No Comments »