GUNS Magazine June 2013 Digital Edition - Page 26

a cadillac amonG TacTical opTics leuPold m8 1.1-8x24mm CQbss. o this guy calls and asks me what optic he should buy. He wants a scope to perform at close quarter but also allow him to shoot mid-range. I mentioned several. His comments were those scopes did not go low enough; the other scopes did not go high enough. His comments were true for what he wanted until Leupold hit the market with one of the most innovative scopes in many years. The initials in Leupold’s Mark 8, 1.1-8x24mm CQBSS stand for Close Quarter Battle Sniper Scope. With a 1.1- to 8-power ratio, it makes what the guy wanted possible. Leupold also put the reticle in the first focal plane. The result is a reticle, like the M-TMR and H-27D that can be extremely useful for quick shots at mid-range on 8X. But when turned to 1.1X, the center ring becomes like a red dot reflex sight when the illumination is turned on. The 34mm main tube allows a huge elevation and windage range if you prefer to dial or hashmarks if you prefer not to. The innovation does not stop there. They have designed a dial system unique, useful, and reliable. Most tactical scopes use dials without caps. I have more than once suspected my elevation settings got moved while carrying the rifle on my front or back. Caps, however, are too slow to deal with in a tactical situation. Leupold has solved that problem by designing squeezetop dials. Under normal circumstances, the dial can’t be moved. But when quick dial changes are required, simply squeeze the top and move the dial. Release and it locks where you left it. But what happens in a dirty, sandy environment? Some say it makes the squeeze top useless. Others say they have not had a problem. However, if it did happen, shooters can use the hashmarks on the reticle. In explaining the high tariff of this scope, Leupold explains the aspherical lenses and very high quality components drive the cost, and the S JacoB Gottfredson The illumination turret is located on the left side of the manifold (above) and can be set so either high or low illumination can be accessed first. Markings on the turrets are clear and precise. The elevation and windage turrets will not move during carry, but are easily changed by squeezing the turret and rotating (below). Since turret caps restrict quick access to the turrets, and exposed turrets can be spun without being noticed, the squeeze turrets solve both problems. A zero stop is included with the use of a nut at the bottom of the turret. The MK8 CQBSS is a quality engineered shortand mid-range scope. Power changes are quickly made by using the full hand. Most scopes use a small ring forward of the ocular housing. This scope uses a much larger ring accessed quickly without having to search for the ring. 1.1X to 8X zoom is no easy animal to deal with either. The H-27D reticle adds the better part of a grand over the standard mil dot. Just holding and looking at the scope gives you the immediate impression of quality stuff. Many modern scope companies market their reticles as good for a specific bullet, velocity, and ballistic coefficient. This normally denotes what I call a progressive reticle system. That is, the subtension between each hashmark on the vertical reticle increases. This in theory matches some range of bullet, velocity, and ballistic coefficient range. Neither the H-27D’s nor the M-TMR’s reticles are progressive, which is OK with me as I prefer a reticle with hashmarks that subtend the same distance for every mark. It makes ranging and holdover easier. But Leupold has made them specific for the 5.56mm and the 7.62mm with the use of BDC dials. The truth is, both systems will work just fine with any bullet, any ballistic path, at any velocity, however, ranging becomes a bit more problematic with a progressive hashmark reticle. 26 W W W. G U N S M AG A Z I N E . C O M • J U N E 2 0 1 3

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