Minox ZA5 3-15x42 BDC
By: Pete Moore
If there’s one thing I know about Minox binoculars is that they are tough! The last time I tested a pair I managed to drop them out of a high seat and they bounced off every rung on the way down. The only damage was a big dent in the objective bell, but apart from that they worked just as well as they did before. Oddly enough this impressed the hell out of the importers as to their build and me too.
Time moves on and at the CLA Game Fair this year I noted that Viking Arms are now distributing Minox telescopic sights, which was news to me as I did not even know they made scopes. Logical really if Leica are doing it; then why not Minox? The only difference being I have been waiting two years for the Leica’s and the Minox turned up a week after I asked for it…
The range offers two models the ZA 3 and ZA 5 all of which show 1” body tubes, fast-focus eyepieces and use fully multi-coated Schott glass throughout. There are two reticule choices only - the BDC (bullet drop compensating) and Minoplex, pretty much a Dual-X. Though designed in Germany the scopes are made in the USA and it looks to me like the whole thing is American-driven or inspired, much like the Kahles Kx series!
The ZA 3 is the entry level with a single 3-9x40, next the ZA 5 in 2-10x40 and 3-15x42 all in both BDC and PLEX choices. Slightly more precision are the ZA 5 4-20x50 SF (side focus) in the two reticule styles. Essentially one model in a range of build and specification options. Unusual and definitely missing is any form of illumination…
Smooth and slippery
Viking sent me the ZA 5 3-15x42 with BDC ret. First impressions are good with a light and reasonably compact package. The magnification ring is rubber-covered and smooth with a raised vane, it offers a reasonable grip when dry, but gets very slippery when wet… Turrets are easily dialable under screw-off caps. Click values are ¼” with 60 per turn (15”) with seven full rotations in elevation (85”) and six in windage (80”). The drums are divided into 15 and further sub-divided into four, they dial smoothly with audible clicks for easy counting. The only difference in this information is the ZA 5 4-20x50 offers the option of finer 1/8” clicks should you prefer.
The BDC reticule shows an open Dual-X with two elevation bars below the cross and three windage/lead marks. I could not find any information on subtensions, but being American the chances are it’s based around a 200-yard zero with the bars being used for longer range holdover. As ever it’s best to shoot the target and see what calibres conform to the real bullet drops/distances.
The glass is of good quality (unsurprisingly) being made by Schott of Germany and gives a crisp and bright sight picture right up to the periphery of the lens. It shows a very slight (almost imperceptible) yellow tint, which should in theory improve low light operation, which was pretty good. Minox also gives a comprehensive, full coverage, lifetime warranty with service provided in the USA.
Prices look pretty good and though a new product the Minox name is well known and respected throughout the world. So it seems logical their first telescopic sights are going to reflect the company’s status and reputation.
• Minox ZA 5 3-15x42
• 1” body tube
• Length 12 ¼”
• Weight 13.7”
• Click values ¼”
• Clicks per turn 60
• Full revolutions in elevation 7
• Full revolutions in windage 6
• FOV @ 100 yards 31.5 to 6.3 ft
• Exit pupil 2.8 to 14mm
• Parallax set at 100-yards
|ZA 3 3-9x40 PLEX||£270.00|
|ZA 3 3-9x40 BDC||£283.00|
|ZA 5 2-10x40 PLEX||£411.00|
|ZA 5 2-10x40 BDC||£441.00|
|ZA 5 3-15x42 PLEX||£441.00|
|ZA 5 3-15x42 BDC||£476.00|
|ZA 5 4-20x50 SF PLEX||£505.00|
|ZA 5 4-20x50 SF BDC||£537.00|
|For||Good build quality in a light and compact package|
|Against||No illumination or 30mm body options|
|Verdict||Good first effort and well-priced too|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates