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GUNS Magazine August 2011 Digital Edition - Page 12
• J A C O B G O T T f r E d S O N • Using tactical long-range riflescopes. Tony Burkes looking through Premier’s tactical offering. The illumination and parallax adjustment knobs are integrated. A revolution indicator keeps the shooter aware of where he is, which extends when moved to the second revolution. extremely useful reticles as well. The Lever Lock system allows removing the turret to re-zero without wrenches. ThE fAr ShOT ptics used by tactical long-range shooters should be O reliable, tough and highly flexible as well as possess superior optical glass. Those specifications don’t often come with an inexpensive price tag. On the other hand, if you are faced with an enemy, or even competing, you want the best that can be had, either from your department, your unit or your wallet. You’re on the 400-yard line. Each competitor has been given a number, and one of the many targets on the line has yours written on it. You squint at the targets, trying to decide which is yours. The numbers seem light, gray and almost indistinguishable. The event is timed, and you are getting a bit antsy, then nervous and, finally, downright frustrated trying to find yours. That scenario indicates a lack of fine resolution as well as poor contrast. And it is not an uncommon situation. But for those willing to put out the bucks, and depending on your visual acuity, there are manufacturers who have taken the time and effort to produce “best in class glass.” Among them are Leupold’s Tactical Mark 4 ER/T series, Nightforce’s NXS, US Optics’ T-Pal series, Premier Reticles’ Tactical, Schmidt & Bender’s PM series, Zeiss’ Tactical and Hensoldt. These world-class offerings range in price from about $1,600 to as high as $3,500 retail and up, depending on model, reticle, illumination, front or rear focal-plane reticle, zero stop and objective size. All have parallax adjustment. You will see any or all of these at any tactical-rifle match that includes police, military and civilians. It might be difficult to say one of them is more prominent than any of the others. However, since Zeiss, Hensoldt and Premier Reticles’ tactical scopes are so new to the market and relatively more expensive, there are fewer of them. Targets at such matches are shot from as little as 11' to 1,000 yards and beyond. Such shooting is more difficult to do with a fixed-power scope, thus I would venture to say all are variables, ranging from 2-10X to 8.532X. However, for very close work, the smaller end of the range suffers from a blurred image at very close range at anything above about 3.5X to 5.5X. Most use variables with a low end of about 3.5X to 5X and a top end of about 15X to 25X. Parallax adjustment is essential. Precision work is often required, and when it is, the scope has to be parallax free. Most of these scopes, if not all of them, use some sort of hashmark or bar system as part of the reticle. Most of the hashmark systems are mils and The Zeiss Victory Diavari 6-24x56 T FL scope is on a nesika sniper rifle. The glass is excellent with superior light transmission, resolution, contrast and color balance. The hensoldt is a true long-range tactical scope with superior optics like its Zeiss cousin. It is shown here aboard a Barrett .338 Lapua Mag at a recent tactical match. SOME Of ThE MOrE POPULAr rIfLESCOPES UP TO ThE TASk fOr TACTICAL ShOOTErS maker magnification weight (ounceS) Length (incheS) adjuStment range* eye reLief (incheS) foV** (feet) Price $3,000 $3,500 $1,625 $3,200 $3,300 $2,640 $2,353 Zeiss 6-24x50mm 29.1 14.84 +-57 .6"/57 .6" @100y 3.54 18.7 - 5.1 Hensoldt 6-24x56mm 30 15.16 +-80/35cm @100m 3.6 20 - 5.6 Leupold 6.5-20x50mm 22 14.5 70"/70" @100y 3.6 14.3 - 5.5 Schmidt & Bender 5-25x56mm 38.1 16.14 +-26/6 MRAD 3.35 17 .4 - 4.9 Premier 5-25x56mm 39 16.34 108"/43" @100y 3.54 20 - 5 US Optics 5-25x58mm 40 18 60-68"/24" @100y 3.5 17 - 5.5 Nightforce 5.5-22x56mm 32 15.2 100/60 MOA 3.9 17 .5 - 4.7 Note: *The first number is the elevation adjustment, the second number is the windage adjusment. **FOV is field of view at 100 yards.These are not the only powers or models available. 12 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • AUGUST 2011