MTC 3-12x44 and 4-16x50 RIR Mambas
By: Pete Wadeson
MTC Optics has grown steadily over the last five years and offers a comprehensive range of scopes. All offer specialised features for specific needs and situations that range from 12 ft/lbs air rifle up to big bore centrefire equipment. This month - and following on from the Mamba Lite I tested last issue - I’m looking at two more that bear the name, which though different show some similarities.
SCB and RAQ reticules
The two models are the 3 – 12 X 44RIR with the Rapid Target Acquisition (RAQ) reticule and the 4 – 16 X 50RIR with the SCB pattern. Everybody I’m sure knows the superb Christmas tree/ladder- style SBC, but the newer RAQ is an adaption of the German #4a design; both scopes can be purchased with either fitted.
Classed as speciality hunting scopes, ETE microlux fully multi-coated lenses, unique to MTC’s top range optics are used and when light levels are low, they certainly show their worth. Both are set in the 2nd focal plane, so nothing changes in the view - no matter what power setting you are on. However, you must bear in mind that if using the SCB reticule you will need to use it at a specific power to ensure the subtensions are consistent.
Considering the price (sub-£200) I feel they offer one of the most clear and well defined sight pictures I’ve experienced. These robust scopes have a matte black, anti-glare finish, one-piece, 30mm body tube and are waterproof, fog/shockproof and Nitrogen-purged. The chunky eye-bell offers a fast focus ocular and firm but positive zoom ring operation. Both areas are aggressively lugged allowing for ease of operation.
Different is the rheostat design (RIR module), which borrows a little from the Swarovski Z6i system in that it uses +/- rubber buttons to increase/decrease illumination instead of a rotary dial. Pressing + lights the reticule to the lowest setting, repeat and you have three stages of illumination, press – to bring it back down, in equal stages to its lowest setting. Press either at this stage turns it off. Pressing both buttons simultaneously also turns it off but with the added bonus when you switch on again, it has memorised the last setting used and comes on at that level. Top-mounted the battery is housed in a drum on top and most unusual is that the whole unit is removable.
NV and repair
So why would you want to remove it? You can take it off if you were fitting a rear-mounted NV monocular adaptor to the ocular bell as it would get in the way. Also, unlike integral rheostats shown on most other scopes, if it was to go wrong it can be taken off and be replaced without having to send the whole scope away, which makes some kind of sense. It’s retained by two Allen screws and a key is included for the purpose.
Turrets are low profile, hunter-types under removable caps; the right side (windage) is wider and holds a spare battery for the rheostat. They are easy to dial with your fingers due to their slotted edges. Inside/on top the drums are free-rotating vernier scale so you can set to 0, however this sort of set up is more ‘zero and forget’ than one for constant twiddling. Click values are ¼ MOA @ 100-yards and offer 60-clicks per turn (15 MOA) and six full rotations top to bottom (90 MOA).
The side parallax/focus dial is ridged for extra grip like the magnification ring and is marked with pre-set ranges. These increments are 10, 25, 50, 100, 200 and 500yds and 8. There’s room to mark supplemental distances between the 10 and 50-yard settings. All markings can be easily seen from the shooters perspective too.
Optical quality is superb, as is the build, coupled with the magnification ranges and sensible size objective lens. The 3 – 12X44 model with (RAQ) reticule lends itself perfectly for point and shoot opportunist airgun hunting. For Hunter Field Target and those perhaps wanting a bit more control/precision; the SCB option would be highly recommended. Equally the 4 – 16X50 is in my opinion one of the best dawn/dusk low light hunting scopes only rivalled by the MTC Viper.
Typically included in the MTC package are their adjustable, flip-up lens covers complete with C-spanners to set them up, plus a sunshade, spare battery, 30mm scope rings and Allen keys. MTC Optics has kindly donated a 4-16x50RIR with SCB reticule in a free entry prize draw elsewhere in the magazine. So check it out!
For: Well made, fully featured and cost effective
Against: Not a lot
Verdict: Two more good MTC scopes to add to their roster of optics
|Model||Mamba 3 – 12 X 44RIR / Mamba 4 – 16 X 50RIR|
|Reticule||SCB and RAQ / SCB and RAQ|
|Click values:||¼” MOA / ¼” MOA|
|Clicks per turn:||60 / 60|
|Full rotations:||6 / 6|
|Body Tube:||30mm / 30mm|
|FOV ft @ 100yds:||40-11 / 30-8|
|Weight:||21.65oz / 23.55oz|
|Length:||14.26” / 14.77”|
|Price||£189 / £199|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates