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January 20th, 2023

ZEISS LRP S5 525-56 Named Best Overall Long Range Rifle Scope

Zeiss LRP S5 525-56 scope outdoor life review

The ZEISS LRP S5 525-56 rifle scope has won a prestigious honor from Outdoor Life magazine. This advanced 5-25x56mm First Focal Plane (FFP) optic was named “Best Overall” in the article entitled The Best Long Range Rifle Scopes of 2023. This ZEISS scope won overall top honors for its exceptionally good lenses and its best-in-class elevation adjustment. Outdoor Life’s award article summarized: “Why It Made The Cut: Built around premium glass and a reticle designed for Precision Rifle Series steel-target competitions, the [ZEISS LRP S5 525-56] has the best turrets and most adjustment range in the class.”

Zeiss LRP S5 525-56 scope outdoor life review

Zeiss LRP S5 525-56 scope outdoor life reviewThe review continued: “The LRP S5 … easily won the top award in this year’s Outdoor Life optics test, taking top spots in both the resolution and low-light portions of the test. But what wowed testers were the features built for both dialing and holding for distant targets.

The illuminated ZF reticle is available in either MOA or MRAD versions. The MRAD version incorporates a tree-style structure with abundant elevation and windage references without seeming cluttered. The MOA version is more of a hash-style, with references on the main stadia. Both are fast, precise, and simple. In keeping with those superlatives, the [ZEISS LRP S5] scope has a crazy amount of internal adjustment in the 34mm tube, 40.7 MRAD (140 MOA) of elevation travel and 24 MRAD (60 MOA) of windage adjustment. That means you can engage targets from inside 100 yards out to 1,500 yards simply by holding on the reticle’s center aiming point and dialing your aiming solution.”

zeiss lrp s5 riflescope scope optic FFP first focal plane

Advanced Optical Technology — ZEISS LRP S5 Features

The ZEISS LRP S5 525-56 has many notable features, including a lockable windage turret, adjustable reticle illumination, and a HUGE amount of elevation travel — 40.7 Mils in the MIL model and 140 MOA in the MOA version. That gives this optic the ability to shoot at extreme range without requiring holdovers.

Jim See Elite Accuracy Zeiss LRP 525-56 scope First focal plane PRS NRL 5-25x56mm unboxing field test

Permalink News, Optics No Comments »
April 27th, 2022

MIL vs. MOA — Angular Measurements for Optics Explained

Mil MOA reticle ranging PRS tactical minute angle precision rifle series
Visit PrecisionRifleBlog.com for a discussion of MIL vs. MOA.

Many guys getting started in long range shooting are confused about what kind of scope they should buy — specifically whether it should have MIL-based clicks or MOA-based clicks. Before you can make that decision, you need to understand the terminology. This article, with a video by Bryan Litz, explains MILS and MOA so you can choose the right type of scope for your intended application.

This March-FX 5-40x56mm Tactical FFP scope features 0.05 MIL Clicks.
Mil MOA reticle ranging PRS tactical minute angle precision rifle series

You probably know that MOA stands for “Minute of Angle” (or more precisely “minute of arc”), but could you define the terms “Milrad” or “MIL”? In a helpful video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballitics explains MOA and MILs (short for “milliradians”). Bryan defines those terms and explains how they are used. One MOA is an angular measurement (1/60th of one degree) that subtends 1.047″ at 100 yards. One MIL (i.e. one milliradian) subtends 1/10th meter at 100 meters; that means that 0.1 Mil is one centimeter (1 cm) at 100 meters. Is one angular measurement system better than another? Not necessarily… Bryan explains that Mildot scopes may be handy for ranging, but scopes with MOA-based clicks work just fine for precision work at known distances. Also because one MOA is almost exactly one inch at 100 yards, the MOA system is convenient for expressing a rifle’s accuracy. By common parlance, a “half-MOA” rifle can shoot groups that are 1/2-inch (or smaller) at 100 yards.

What is a “Minute” of Angle?
When talking about angular degrees, a “minute” is simply 1/60th. So a “Minute of Angle” is simply 1/60th of one degree of a central angle, measured either up and down (for elevation) or side to side (for windage). At 100 yards, 1 MOA equals 1.047″ on the target. This is often rounded to one inch for simplicity. Say, for example, you click up 1 MOA (four clicks on a 1/4-MOA scope). That is roughly 1 inch at 100 yards, or roughly 4 inches at 400 yards, since the target area measured by an MOA subtension increases with the distance.

one MOA minute of angle diagram

MIL vs. MOA for Target Ranging
MIL or MOA — which angular measuring system is better for target ranging (and hold-offs)? In a recent article on his PrecisionRifleBlog.com website, Cal Zant tackles that question. Analyzing the pros and cons of each, Zant concludes that both systems work well, provided you have compatible click values on your scope. Zant does note that a 1/4 MOA division is “slightly more precise” than 1/10th mil, but that’s really not a big deal: “Technically, 1/4 MOA clicks provide a little finer adjustments than 1/10 MIL. This difference is very slight… it only equates to 0.1″ difference in adjustments at 100 yards or 1″ at 1,000 yards[.]” Zant adds that, in practical terms, both 1/4-MOA clicks and 1/10th-MIL clicks work well in the field: “Most shooters agree that 1/4 MOA or 1/10 MIL are both right around that sweet spot.”

READ MIL vs. MOA Cal Zant Article.

Permalink - Articles, Optics, Tactical 1 Comment »
December 21st, 2019

U.S. Optics Introduces New Foundation Series Scopes for 2020

U.S. Optics Foundation Series Scopes 34mm milrad MIL FFP SFP

If you’re looking for a state-of-the-art scope with a 34mm main tube, consider the new Foundation Series™ riflescopes from U.S. Optics. There are four new models, three zooms (1.8-10x42mm, 3.2-17x50mm, 5-25x52mm) plus a 10X fixed power. These look impressive. Check out the features of the FDN 25X 5-25x52mm ($3449) below. There are so many options! Chose among 11 different reticle types, and three illumination colors (Red, Blue, Green). Get a black Anodized finish or order any one of 8 Cerakote colors. For Elevation adjustment, choose a 1/10 MIL knob or 6.5 Creedmoor, or .308 Win BDC knobs. The Rapid Focus Eyepiece is even available with optional internal level.

This all represents serious optics technology. But you’ll pay for it. MSRP on the FDN 25X starts at $3449.00.

U.S. Optics Foundation Series Scopes 34mm milrad MIL FFP SFP

The Foundation Series is machined from aircraft-grade 6061-T6 aluminum and features a low profile ER3K elevation knob with a Zero Stop, capped US#1 windage knob, adjustable integrated parallax and illumination knob, rapid adjustable 180° magnification throw, and customizable options.

Foundation Series Models:

FDN FX10 10x42mm ($1999) | FDN 10X 1.8-10x42mm ($2499)
FDN 17X 3.2-17x50mm ($2899) | FDN 25X 5-25x52mm ($3449)

U.S. Optics Foundation Series Scopes 34mm milrad MIL FFP SFP

(more…)

Permalink New Product, News, Optics No Comments »
June 11th, 2019

New NX8 Scopes from Nightforce with 8X Zoom

Nightforce new NX8 riflescope scope 8X magnification light weight EuroOptic

New Nightforce NX8 Scopes Serve Both Tactical and Hunting Roles
With its new NX8 offerings, Nightforce offers full-featured tactical scopes that are light and compact enough for hunting. Nightforce’s NEW NX8 Scopes bridge the gap between hunting and tactical optics — allowing shooters to get greater performance out of a smaller, lighter package. Nightforce says it has accomplished that without compromising durability, functionality, or optical clarity that has made their scopes so popular.

The two new additions to the NX8 line are the 2.5-20×50 F1 and the 4-32×50 F1 with both magnification options offered in the MOAR and MIL-C Reticles. Nightforce has managed to build a package that combines an impressive zoom range with a compact scope body while still providing tons of travel, close parallax adjustment, and refined First Focal Plane (F1) reticles.

Jason at EuroOptic explains: “These scopes represent a movement that has been brewing towards hybrid use scopes (hunting and target/tactical) and are some of the best executions of that trend thus far. We expect that these additions to the NX8 series will be immensely popular and will spur further development in this category.”

STATUS: EuroOptic expects the new NX8 models to arrive in July. EuroOptic is currently taking pre-orders for all four new NX8 scopes — CLICK links below.

New Nightforce NX8 Riflescopes:

NX8 2.5-20x50mm Scope, Mil-C Reticle – C623

NX8 2.5-20x50mm Scope, MOAR Reticle – C622

NX8 4-32x50mm Scope, Mil-C Reticle – C625

NX8 4-32x50mm Scope, MOAR Reticle – C624

Nightforce new NX8 riflescope scope 8X magnification light weight EuroOptic

The new Nightforce NX8 series combines durability and high optical performance with an 8X zoom range. Compact and light-weight, NX8 scopes offer both MOA and Mil-Radian reticles.

Product Tip from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, Optics 5 Comments »
March 10th, 2019

Tall Target Test — How to Verify Your Scope’s True Click Values

Scope Click Verify Elevation Tall Target Bryan Litz NSSF test turret MOA MIL

Have you recently purchased a new scope? Then you should verify the actual click value of the turrets before you use the optic in competition (or on a long-range hunt). While a scope may have listed click values of 1/4-MOA, 1/8-MOA or 0.1 Mils, the reality may be slightly different. Many scopes have actual click values that are slightly higher or lower than the value claimed by the manufacturer. The small variance adds up when you click through a wide range of elevation.

In this video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics shows how to verify your true click values using a “Tall Target Test”. The idea is to start at the bottom end of a vertical line, and then click up 30 MOA or so. Multiply the number of clicked MOA by 1.047 to get the claimed value in inches. For example, at 100 yards, 30 MOA is exactly 31.41 inches. Then measure the difference in your actual point of impact. If, for example, your point of impact is 33 inches, then you are getting more than the stated MOA with each click (assuming the target is positioned at exactly 100 yards).

Scope Click Verify Elevation Tall Target Bryan Litz NSSF test turret MOA MIL

How to Perform the Tall Target Test
The objective of the tall target test is to insure that your scope is giving you the proper amount of adjustment. For example, when you dial 30 MOA, are you really getting 30 MOA, or are you getting 28.5 or 31.2 MOA? The only way to be sure is to verify, don’t take it for granted! Knowing your scopes true click values insures that you can accurately apply a ballistic solution. In fact, many perceived inaccuracies of long range ballistics solutions are actually caused by the scopes not applying the intended adjustment. In order to verify your scope’s true movement and calculate a correction factor, follow the steps in the Tall Target Worksheet. This worksheet takes you thru the ‘calibration process’ including measuring true range to target and actual POI shift for a given scope adjustment. The goal is to calculate a correction factor that you can apply to a ballistic solution which accounts for the tracking error of your scope. For example, if you find your scope moves 7% more than it should, then you have to apply 7% less than the ballistic solution calls for to hit your target.


CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD Tall Target Worksheet (PDF) »

NOTE: When doing this test, don’t go for the maximum possible elevation. You don’t want to max out the elevation knob, running it to the top stop. Bryan Litz explains: “It’s good to avoid the extremes of adjustment when doing the tall target test.I don’t know how much different the clicks would be at the edges, but they’re not the same.”

Should You Perform a WIDE Target Test Too?
What about testing your windage clicks the same way, with a WIDE target test? Bryan Litz says that’s not really necessary: “The wide target test isn’t as important for a couple reasons. First, you typically don’t dial nearly as much wind as you do elevation. Second, your dialed windage is a guess to begin with; a moving average that’s different for every shot. Whereas you stand to gain a lot by nailing vertical down to the click, the same is not true of windage. If there’s a 5% error in your scope’s windage tracking, you’d never know it.”

Scope Tall Test level calibrationVerifying Scope Level With Tall Target Test
Bryan says: “While setting up your Tall Target Test, you should also verify that your scope level is mounted and aligned properly. This is critical to insuring that you’ll have a long range horizontal zero when you dial on a bunch of elevation for long range shots. This is a requirement for all kinds of long range shooting. Without a properly-mounted scope level (verified on a Tall Target), you really can’t guarantee your horizontal zero at long range.”

NOTE: For ‘known-distance’ competition, this is the only mandatory part of the tall target test, since slight variations in elevation click-values are not that important once you’re centered “on target” at a known distance.

Permalink Optics, Tech Tip No Comments »
September 2nd, 2018

Huge $200 Rebate on Bushnell Elite Tactical Scopes

Bushnell Tactical Rebate Program $200 savings

With most optics rebate programs, typical savings are fifty bucks — maybe $75 if you’re lucky. Here’s something WAY better — now through the end of October 2018, Bushnell is offering TWO Hundred Dollars ($200) off the price of Bushnell Elite Tactical Riflescopes. That’s great for PRS and tactical shooters — that $200 can pay for your support bags and other essential accessories.

Terms of Bushnell Rebate
Purchase any qualifying Bushnell Elite Tactical Riflescope (excluding red dot) and receive a $200 rebate. Limited to 2 qualifying riflescope purchases. Product must be purchased between 9/1/2018 through 10/31/2018. DEADLINE for mail in or online submission 11/30/2018. Click here to Download FORM.

Here our two of our favorite First Focal Plane (FFP) Bushnell Elite Tactical Scopes. Compact for their magnification ranges, both are good choices for hunters and/or PRS Competitors:

Bushnell Tactical Rebate Program $200 savings

Bushnell Tactical Rebate Program $200 savings

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics, Tactical No Comments »
March 7th, 2018

New Kahles K525i Scope for PRS and Tactical Comps

Kahles FFP Tactical 5-25 powder scope Vortex Nightforce $4000

PRS guys — check this out. Kahles has just announced a 5-25X First Focal Plane optic that should be a class leader. If you are thinking of upgrading your tactical scope this year, the new Kahles K525i should definitely be on any “short list” of ultra-premium optics. We predict this will be one of the top-performing tactical scopes on the market. Unfortunately, it will also be one of the most expensive. Kahles lists the K525i at €3,300.00 Euros. That’s $4,093.58 at current exchange rates! You can buy a pair of pretty nice tactical rifles for that. Hopefully Kahles will consider dropping the price a bit for the American market. Don’t know how many PRS guys are willing to fork over four grand for a scope.

Thankfully, it looks like the true “street price” in the USA will be a lot lower. EuroOptic.com is now taking pre-orders for the K525i at $3,299.00 USD — that’s a lot different than the €3,300.00 Euro MSRP. Kahles says the scopes should start arriving in summer 2018.

Kahles FFP Tactical 5-25 powder scope Vortex Nightforce $4000

Kahles FFP Tactical 5-25 powder scope Vortex Nightforce $4000This scope is available in both Mil and MOA versions. Click values are 0.1 MIL, or 1/4 MOA. A variety of illuminated, First Focal Plane (FFP) reticles are offered: SKMR3, SKMR, MSR2, Mil4+, MOAK. Notably the parallax control is coaxial with the elevation turret (meaning it is centrally mounted). You adjust parallax by rotating a large-diameter control that runs around the base of the elevation turret. We know that south-paws really like that feature.

Kahles also offers two windage configurations. You can have the windage mounted on either side — on the left side for right-handed shooters or on the right side for left-hand shooters. The windage knob also features a patented “Twist Guard” rotating end cover, which is easy to control while preventing accidental windage rotation.

Manufacturer’s Product Description
K527i features: Maximum optical performance-field of vision, contrast and picture quality, Exceptional repeat accuracy, precise and clearly defined turret mechanism 0.1 MIL or 1⁄4 MOA, side adjustment left or right, Parallax wheel integrated in the elevation turret, patented TWIST GUARD windage, precise illuminated reticles in the first focal plane and large adjustment range.

“The big brother of ultrashort K318i is the new flagship of KAHLES in the field of tactical riflescopes. It combines … maximum optical performance and highest precision with unique handling and ergonomics. The rugged K525i, with its practical magnification range, has been developed for tactical use and long distances.”

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS
.: Maximum optical performance — field of vision, contrast, and picture quality
.: Exceptional repeat accuracy
.: Precise and clearly-defined click mechanism 0.1 MIL, MRAD or ¼ MOA
.: Side adjustment left or right
.: Parallax wheel integrated in the elevation turret (patented) for 20m – infinity
.: Innovative, patented TWIST GUARD windage
.: Precise illuminated reticles in first focal plane: SKMR3, SKMR, MSR2, Mil4+, MOAK
.: Large adjustment range with 2.9m (E) and 1.3m (W) at 100m
.: Zero Stop

Permalink New Product, Optics, Tactical 7 Comments »
September 22nd, 2016

Aiming Techniques for F-Class Competition

F-Class Aiming Long Range Score Shooting
The movie “The Patriot” gave us the phrase “Aim small, miss small”. While that’s a good mantra, aiming strategies for long-range competition are a bit more complicated, as this article explains…

The U.S. Mid-Range and Long Range Nationals kick off tomorrow, September 23rd, in Lodi, Wisconsin. Here are some tips that can help F-TR and F-Open shooters aim more precisely, and achieve higher scores. F-Class ace Monte Milanuk reviews reticle choices and strategies for holding off.

In our Shooters Forum, one newcomer wanted some advice on selecting a reticle for F-Class optics. He wondered about the advantage of Front (first) Focal Plane (FFP) vs. Second Focal Plane scopes and also wondered if one type of reticle was better for “holding off” than others.

In responding to this question, Forum regular Monte Milanuk provided an excellent summary of aiming methods used in F-Class. For anyone shooting score targets, Monte’s post is worth reading:

Aiming Methods for F-Class (and Long-Range) Shootingby Monte Milanuk

600-yard F-Class TargetF-Class is a known-distance event, with targets of known dimensions that have markings (rings) of known sizes. Any ‘holding off’ can be done using the target face itself. Most ‘benefits’ of Front (first) focal plain (FFP) optics are null and void here — they work great on two-way ranges where ‘minute of man’ is the defining criteria — but how many FFP scopes do you know of in the 30-40X magnification range? Very, very few, because what people who buy high-magnification scopes want is something that allows them to hold finer on the target, and see more detail of the target, not something where the reticle covers the same amount of real estate and appears ‘coarser’ in view against the target, while getting almost too fine to see at lower powers.

Whether a person clicks or holds off is largely personal preference. Some people might decline to adjust their scope as long as they can hold off somewhere on the target. Some of that may stem from the unfortunate effect of scopes being mechanical objects which sometimes don’t work entirely as advertised (i.e. one or two clicks being more or less than anticipated). Me personally, if I get outside 1-1.5 MOA from center, I usually correct accordingly. I also shoot on a range where wind corrections are often in revolutions, not clicks or minutes, between shots.

Some shooters do a modified form of ‘chase the spotter’ — i.e. Take a swag at the wind, dial it on, aim center and shoot. Spotter comes up mid-ring 10 at 4 o’clock… so for the next shot aim mid-ring 10 at 10 o’clock and shoot. This should come up a center X (in theory). Adjust process as necessary to take into account for varying wind speeds and direction.

John Sigler F-Class

600-yard F-Class TargetOthers use a plot sheet that is a scaled representation of the target face, complete with a grid overlaid on it that matches the increments of their optics — usually in MOA. Take your Swag at the wind, dial it on, hold center and shoot. Shot comes up a 10 o’clock ‘8’… plot the shot on the sheet, look at the grid and take your corrections from that and dial the scope accordingly. This process should put you in the center (or pretty close), assuming that you didn’t completely ignore the wind in the mean time. Once in the center, hold off and shoot and plot, and if you see a ‘group’ forming (say low right in the 10 ring) either continue to hold high and left or apply the needed corrections to bring your group into the x-ring.

Just holding is generally faster, and allows the shooter to shoot fast and (hopefully) stay ahead of the wind. Plotting is more methodical and may save your bacon if the wind completely changes on you… plotting provides a good reference for dialing back the other way while staying in the middle of the target. — YMMV, Monte

Permalink Optics, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
February 4th, 2016

SHOT Show Optics Reports from the 6.5 Guys

Nightforce March Vortex Youtube Optics

Our nominees for the “Hardest-working Heroes” of SHOT Show 2016 are our friends Ed and Steve, aka the 6.5 Guys. Over the course of four days, this tireless duo completed over FIFTY short videos. They visited dozens of manufacturers, finding the “latest and greatest” rifles, stocks, actions, scopes and other hardware. While in Vegas, the 6.5 Guys managed to visit most of the top-flight optics-makers. Here are videos reviewing products from Nightforce, Vortex, and March. To see 50+ more videos, visit the 6.5 Guys YouTube Channel.

2016 SHOT Show Highlights — OPTICS

Nightforce Optics — New SHV 4-14x50mm (FFP)

The new 4-14x50mm SHV scope from Nightforce is available with either 0.1 Mil or 1/4-MOA clicks, with two reticle choices: MIL-R and MOAR.

Nightforce SHV 4-14x50mm 6.5 Guys Video

Vortex Optics — New Razor 6-24x50mm AMG (FFP)

The new 6-24x50mm Razor HD AMG is a made-in-USA scope with a full 25 MOA of elevation in one turret rotaion. Vortex says this scope rivals anything on the market in its category.

March Optics — 3-24x52mm (FFP)

March’s popular 3-24x52mm scope is offered with either 0.1 Mil or 1/4 MOA clicks. The particular model featured in the video has 0.1 Mil clicks and an illuminated reticle. March Optics USA also offers a remarkable 5-50x56mm scope that can work for everything from short-range practical matches to extreme-long-range shooting. One of our staffers has the 5-50X March and he uses it for both Tac Comps and 1000-yard F-Class matches.

march optics 3-24x53mm 6.5 Guys Video

Permalink - Videos, New Product, Optics No Comments »
January 8th, 2014

Gen 1 Nightforce 15-55X Comp Scope $1850.00 at EuroOptic.com

When introduced last year, the original Nightforce 15-55x52mm Comp Scope sold for $2231.00 (or more). Now that same 2013 edition Nightforce Comp Scope can be yours for just $1850.00. This is a special promotion for AccurateShooter.com readers and Forum members. The 2013 Edition Comp Scopes are on sale because the Gen One model has been replaced by a second-generation model.

Call (570) 368-3920 to Get 15-55 NF Comp Scope for $1850.00

IMPORTANT: To get the super-low $1850.00 price you must call or email EuroOptic and mention that you saw this offer on Accurateshooter.com. Otherwise the price on EuroOptic’s website is $1950.00. To get the $1850.00 price call (570) 368-3920 or email sales [at] eurooptic.com and request the AccurateShooter.com Nightforce 2013 Competition Scope Special.

Nightforce Comp Scope 2013 Edition

The 2014 version of the Nightforce 15-55 Comp Scope will cost at least $2352.00 (MAP) and it will not arrive at dealers for many more weeks (or months). If you buy the 2013 Edition NF Comp Scope you can save $502.00 compared to the 2014 model, and you can get your scope right now. Saving over $500.00 provides a pretty compelling reason to go with a Gen One 2013 model. NOTE: This is a LIMITED-QUANTITY Offer. When these scopes are gone they’re gone (2013 model NF 15-55x52mm Comp Scope has been discontinued).

Nightforce Comp Scope 2013 Edition

What’s the Difference Between 2013 Comp Scope and 2014 Model?
The 2014 edition has turrets with 10 MOA per revolution instead of 5 MOA per revolution. The 2014 model also has a zero-stop feature and more reticle choices. Other than that, the previous 2013 Edition is pretty much the same as the later version. Both have 15-55X magnification, boht have 0.125 MOA click values, both have 52mm front objectives, and both have 80-90mm eye relief. The 2013 does have some advantages — it offers 60 MOA of elevation and 60 MOA of windage travel. The 2014 version only has 55 MOA of elevation and 50 MOA of windage. Also, the SILVER COLOR is only offered in the 2013 Edition. The 2014 model comes only in Black.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
January 6th, 2013

New Nightforce 5-25x56mm FFP Scope with 120 MOA Elevation

Nightforce 5-25x56mm BEAST Scope

Nightforce Optics has created quite a stir in the tactical shooting community with the announcement of its new 5-25x56mm First Focal Plane scope, which it calls the “B.E.A.S.T.”. The news is in the numbers — this new scope offers a whopping 120 MOA of elevation travel, and you get a full 60 MOA travel with each rotation of the turret. That’s right — 60 MOA with one turn. With many modern cartridges you can get to 1200 yards (and maybe farther*) with a single revolution — that eliminates all sorts of user-error issues when dialing back-and-forth between yardages.

Nightforce 5-25x56mm BEAST Scope

This is a first-focal-plane design, so the reticle stays constant relative to the target, allowing ranging at any magnification. The scope is offered with four (4) click-value choices: 1/4 MOA, 1/2 MOA, 0.1 Mil, and 0.2 Mil. Whether you chose MOA clicks or Mil-based clicks, you can get an appropriate reticle because Nightforce offers both the MOAR ranging reticle and the Mil-R ranging reticle. The three other reticle options are: MD2.0, TReMoR, and H59.

Nightforce 5-25x56mm BEAST Scope

Nightforce 5-25x56mm BEAST Scope

The new B.E.A.S.T. 5-25x56mm Nightforce has a mounting length of 5.92″ and weighs just 39 ounces. If you need illumination for low-light work, you’ll like the new B.E.A.S.T. scope. It offers external-control digital illumination with Unique i4F™ four-function brightness control. Other features are listed below.

Nightforce 5-25x56mm BEAST Scope

DOWNLOAD Nightforce PDF Spec Sheet for 5-25x56mm B.E.A.S.T. Scope.

Nice Scope with a Beastly Price
Nightforce says that “B.E.A.S.T.” stands for “Best Example of Advance Scope Technology” — some marketing guy’s bright idea we suppose. Perhaps “B.E.A.S.T.” better signifies “BEAST of a price”. This scope, with either MIL-R or MOAR reticles, costs an astounding $3,298.00! You can build a pretty darn good custom rifle, all premium components, for less than that!

*We used JBM Ballistics to plot the trajectory of a .308-caliber 168gr Berger Match Target BT launched with a 2800 fps muzzle velocity (sea level with 59° temp). Starting with a 100-yard zero, JBM calculates 52.5 MOA drop at 1200 yards and 62.6 MOA drop at 1300 yards.
Permalink New Product, Optics 6 Comments »
November 21st, 2012

Leupold Mark-4 FFP 12-40x60mm Spotting Scopes on Sale

Webyshops.com just let us know about a very special deal — FFP Mildot Spotting Scopes priced way below the original U.S. Army contract price. This is an excellent deal for guys looking for a spotter with mildot ranging ability. Webyshops’ buyer tells us: “We picked up a limited number of Leupold spotting scopes (it was originally a military order and they decided not to take all or did not get the budget approved for all). It has a First Focal Plane Duplex Mil Dot Reticle. Normal retail price is $2800.00. We have them available on a first come, first serve basis for $999.” CLICK HERE for more info.

Leupold Mark 4 Mark IV spotting scope

The rugged, waterproof Leupold Mark 4 Tactical spotting scope is currently in service with several branches of the U.S. military. The LEUPOLD Mark-4 12-40×60 Tactical Spotting Scope, Duplex Mil-Dot Reticle (67180) utilizes a front focal Duplex Mil-Dot Reticle. With the reticle located in the front focal plane, the reticle magnifies with the image, so you can calculate range at any power setting.

LEUPOLD Mark-4 12-40×60 Tactical Spotting Scope
Duplex Mil-Dot Reticle
  • Xtended Twilight lens system provides high definition and superior luminance.
  • Lightweight (37 ounces).
  • Very compact design (12.4″ long).
  • Ranging capability at ALL power settings.
  • Universal 1/4-20 thread tripod attachment mount
  • Includes soft-side protective case which remains on the scope during use.
Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
November 18th, 2012

Feature Story on Varmint and Hold-Over Reticles

In our articles collection, you’ll find a story of interest to varminters and game hunters. Choosing And Using Modern Reticles, by author John Barsness, reviews the many “hold-over” reticle options currently available for hunting scopes. The latest “hunting hold-over” reticles, such as Leupold’s Varmint Hunter Reticle, offer both vertical marks (for hold-over) and horizontal bars or dots (for wind compensation). The idea is to allow the shooter to move quickly from one target distance to another, without having to dial elevation changes with his scope turrets. Likewise, the horizontal wind-hold markings give the shooter reference points for winds of specific velocities. That makes the process of “holding-off” for wind much more predictable.

In the Barsness article, which originally appeared in Varmint Hunter Magazine, the author traces the history of ranging/hold-over reticles starting with the Mildot reticle. Barsness explains how to use the mildot reticle, noting how it is best used with a First Focal Plane scope design.

First Focal Plane vs. Second Focal Plane Designs
If nothing else, you’ll want to read this article just to improve your understanding of First Focal Plane (FFP) vs. Second Focal Plane (SFP) optics operation. If you want to use the markings on a reticle to range at various magnification levels, then you want the FFP design, preferred by the military. If, on the other hand, you prefer the viewed appearance of your reticle to stay constant at all power levels, then you’ll probably prefer the SFP design.

Barsness explains how the modern “Christmas Tree” design reticles, such as the Zeiss Rapid Z, evolved, and he explains how to use these reticles to adjust your point of aim for different target distances. These hold-over reticles can be very handy, but you must remember that the yardages which correspond to the stepped vertical markings are determined by the ballistics of your cartridge. Thus, if you change your cartridge, or even change your load significantly, your hold-over yardage values will change. You will then need to field-test to find the actual value of the reticle’s hold-over points.

Even if you are not a hunter, you can benefit from reading the Barsness article. For anyone shopping for a varmint scope, the article is a “must-read”. And Barness clears up some common misconceptions about FFP vs. SFP optics. Barsness also offers good, common-sense advice. We agree with Barsness when he says that some reticle designs have become too complicated. Barsness writes:

These days there are reticles with everything from a few extra dots along the vertical cross hair to reticles that cover the bottom third of the scope’s field of view, providing an aiming point for every blade of grass in North Dakota. Here we run into the basic fact that simpler reticles are easier to use, if not quite so versatile.

Personally, I particularly like simple reticles in shorter-range varmint rifles, whether rimfires or small centerfires such as the 22 Hornet. These aren’t likely to be used at extended ranges, or in any significant amount of wind. Hence, something like the Burris Ballistic Plex reticle provides about all the information we can realistically use — the reason there are Burris Ballistic Plex scopes on most of my rimfire or small centerfire varmint rifles.

CLICK HERE to Read ‘Choosing and Using Modern Reticles’, by John Barsness.

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January 17th, 2012

Media Day Report: New High-End FFP Tactical Optics

While we were somewhat disappointed that we didn’t see many all-new precision rifles at Media Day 2012, there were plenty of new riflescopes on display. Among the most impressive new optics were rugged new high-zoom-range, First Focal Plane (FFP) tactical scopes from Hensoldt (Carl Zeiss), Leupold and Trijicon. These new scopes all featured fat tubes, compact overall length, and abundant elevation travel. These lastest top-end FFP tactical scopes offer as much as 26-power in a form factor not much bigger than a “normal” 4-16X scope.

New 3.5-26x50mm Hensoldt Was Outstanding
Hensoldt showcased a very impressive, prototype 3.5-26x56mm FFP tactical scope. Though this scope offers a whopping 7.4X zoom range and 26-power on top, this new Hensold is relatively compact. The reticle in these prototype versions was a very useful (and simple) milradian-based reticle that we hope Hensoldt retains in the production versions. The Hensoldt boasted an impressive 36 Mils of total elevation travel in two (2) turns of the turret. The new Hensoldt still shares the same superior glass and compact size that puts these scopes at the top of their class. We tested a prototype mounted to an Accuracy International AX 338. Expect the production version to be the same size and cost approximately $4000.00.

As you can see in the video, the new Hensoldt coupled with the new Accuracy Int’l AX in 338 Lapua Magnum worked very effectively at 900 meters in some tricky winds. This combination made it fairly easy to break clay pigeons on the bank at 900 meters. Off camera this combination continued to show great accuracy and very effective design features.

New Leupold MK-8
Leupold showed off a brand new MK-8 3.5-25x56mm with a Horus reticle and a beefy main tube. Again, this featured a lot of elevation in one turn as well as a pinch-and-turn locking turrets. This is a big leap forward for Leupold and we feel this will be well-received in the tactical world. Along with the new MK8, we also sampled Leupold’s new MK6 3-18x50mm. This shared similar features as the 3.5-25, and was incredibly compact as well. We expect the MK8 to sell near $4000 and the MK6 to be substantially less, likely under $3000 according to company reps.

Trijicon made a departure from their standard fare and jumped into the tactical scope world with a beefy Front-Focal Plane 3-15x50mm. This featured a well-executed MOA-based reticle and turrets with 30 MOA per turn (a Milrad version offers 10 Mils per turn). The Trijicon showcased the “short and fat” appearance that seems to be the latest design trend in tactical scopes. But though the Trijicon had a fairly short OAL (for its zoom range), it was still quite heavy at 47 ounces. The glass in this prototype version was disappointing for a scope that will retail in the $4K range. Reps told us the production version glass would be much improved. (It had better be, if Trijicon hopes to play in this stratospheric price range.)

It was apparent at Media Day 2012 that scope companies have worked hard to provide more features and more performance in their high-end tactical scopes. Consequently, the latest generation of scopes offer some very interesting and useful innovations — wider zoom range, more compact size, more elevation travel per rotation, and “goof-proof” turret mechanisms. We can only hope that, with more competition in this market, prices may become more reasonable. $4000 is an awful lot of money to pay for a scope.

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December 26th, 2011

March Unveils New 5-40x56mm FFP Tactical Scope for 2012

Here’s a sneak preview of the new March FX 5-40x56mm tactical scope from Kelbly.com. This FFP scope features a 34mm main tube, side focus adjustment (10 yards to infinity), and 24 milrads elevation travel (about 94 inches at 100m), with 0.05-milrad click values. The March FX will be offered in both a non-illuminated basic version (weight: 860gm or 30.3 oz.), and a higher-priced illuminated version (weight: 890gm or 31.4 oz.), with four brightness levels. So how much will these babies cost? MSRP for new March FX has not yet been announced, but we expect to get pricing info at SHOT Show in January.

March FX 5-40X scope

First Focal Plane Reticle and Huge Magnification Range
Yes the FX features a First Focal Plane (FFP) milrad-type Reticle. This means that the ranging stadia (hash marks) remain constant relative to the target at all magnifications. So, you can range your targets using the milrad system at any power settings. That’s a big deal for tactical shooters. This new FX scope also offers an 8 times power range — the highest magnification ratio in any FFP rifle scope made to date. Is that valuable? Our tactical shooting buddies say yes.

March FX 5-40X scope

On some tactical courses of fire, you can definitely use the full 40X magnification on precision targets at 800-1000m. However, for target spotting and close-range multiple target courses of fire, the 5X magnification, with its wide field of view, definitely comes in handy. AccurateShooter.com’s “Master Fabricator” Mark LaFevers currently uses a 12-42X Nightforce NXS in tactical matches. He likes the Nightforce but he tells us that: “The NXS I’m using with its minimum 12X does not open up enough for some of the close, multiple-target stations.” Overall, Mark was very intrigued by the new March FX: “I like the March’s 34mm tube and first focal plane design which allows ranging at all magnifications. Depending on the price, this scope would be a contender for the kinds of unknown distance, tactical competitions I’ve been doing. For benchrest, on the other hand, you really need a more finely-graded MOA-based adjustment system, in my opinion.”

March FX 5-40X scope

March FX 5-40X scope

March FX 5-40X scope

Story Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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