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MTC Viper 4-16 X 50IR scope

It's fair to say that in life, you usually get what you pay for. However, sometimes you get far less, which isn't nice, but on other occasions, you get a whole lot more, which is nice. The latter appears to be the philosophy of the Optisan company of China, who make components for a lot of the big Japanese firms, resulting in their slogan "Japan's secret optics". Their own brand of optics are now being distributed in the UK by MTC Optics, run by Gary Cooper, top HFT shooter and airgun journalist. Earlier this year, he met up with representatives from Optisan at the Shot Show in America, and it looks like being a successful relationship. As soon as I saw the Viper scopes on Gary's stand, I knew I had to get one for review, and if you read the following, you'll know why I was so keen.

Nice Body!

First up, there's a 30mm, one-piece tube, anodised in a subtle shade of good old matt black. The large body allows for the fitment of nice big internal lenses, which produce a crisp, clear image. Each lens has an ETE Microlux light enhancing coating, to ensure the image stays as bright as possible as it travels through the body tube to the user's eye. The objective lens is 50mm, and the magnification is adjustable from 4 to 16 times.

Flip up scope covers are usually something you have to buy as an extra; not so with this scope, as they come ready fitted. The covers aren't the usual plastic either, they're alloy, and even have O-rings in them, to keep dust and rain at bay.

The magnification adjuster has an attractive machined gripping surface, and this styling is carried through to the fast focus eyepiece. I thought at first that people who have to screw the rear lens out a bit to get a clear sight picture, would have to make do with the flip up cover flipping to the side or down. However, by using the purpose made keys that come in the box, it's possible to loosen the cover's locking collars, by engaging the little studs in the holes provided. After this, the covers can then be rotated to the upright position, and then locked in place - neat.

The 1/8th MOA 'sniper style' elevation and windage adjusters are equally high tech, as they lock in place once set, by pushing them down. This ensures that once set, nothing can rotate them; if you do want to alter anything, it's just a matter of pulling them up slightly. Most exposed turrets can be set back to 0 once the rifle has been zeroed, but it's usually the case that you have to loosen a few grub screws. Not with the Viper though, a locking ring similar to those found on traditional ocular lenses, holds the numbered drum in place. This is a very well thought out optic…

Wheel Of Fortune

Side-wheel parallax adjusters used to be available only on scopes costing an arm and a leg, but in recent times, they've been cropping up on products that are within the reach of most shooters. The Viper's wheel rotates smoothly, with targets snapping in and out of focus nicely. This is no high magnification Field Target scope, but it range-finds very well over hunting distances, and focuses down to 10 yards. Should you wish, a larger wheel, that once again is included, can be attached over the standard version. Fitting the biggun' doesn't interfere with another added feature, which is the rotating adjuster for the illuminated reticle. It clicks round from OFF, all the way up to 11, which is a little dazzling, and I found 2 or 3 to be just right. Turning the brightness control doesn't alter the side-wheel setting by the way. Illuminated reticles can be a real boon when shooting at dawn and dusk or when shooting in gloomy woodland.

Smart Reticule

MTC's own-design Small Calibre Ballistic Reticle (SCBR) incorporates dots and lines to form a central crosshair, with plenty of aim-points above the central cross that can be used for hold under, with reference points on the horizontal lines that can be used to compensate for wind. The Christmas tree style lower portion is employed when hold over is require as ranges increase. Reticules like this are not new, but we are now spoilt for choice when compared to years ago, when the only style widely available was the 30/30 cross-hair. MTC include a copy of the SCBR in the user manual, so that owners can photocopy it, and write on the ranges that correspond to various aim points on the crosshair. Once you've used a set up like this for a while, you get to remember where to aim, but it's nice to have something to refer to now and again.

And There's More

A three-inch sunshade is also included in the box, which is a useful extra, as are the mounts. It's good to see such a comprehensive package, and all you need to do is supply a suitable rifle. I used the Viper 4-16 X 50 on a BSA Scorpion, and it proved to be a very nice set up. I used the rifle/scope combination in all sorts of conditions, on the range and in the field. It was a pleasure to use, as the sight picture was crisp in all light levels, and the reticle made for precise shot placement. The scope attracted a lot of interest at the shooting club I belong to, with one member ordering one the following day. MTC now have a network of dealers throughout the country, a list of which is on the company's website.


Shooting optics have come on in leaps and bounds over the last few years, and we've never had it so good. The Viper scopes are simply stunning, and there's one feature I haven't even mentioned yet, and that's the price. The 4-16 X 50IR as reviewed here is only £235, now that's a bargain!

These optics could sell for a lot more and people would still be getting a great deal (in more ways than one) so for this sort of money they'll be flying off the shelves. Other MTC Viper scopes available are, the 3-12 X 44IR (£215), the 6-24 X 56IR (£259) and the 8-32 X 60IR (£299).

MTC may be a new company, but the people behind it know what shooters want, and it looks like Optisan will be supplying just that, so this partnership looks like being a force to be reckoned with in the future.

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Technical Specifications
Name MTC Viper 4-16 X 50IR
Magnification 4-16
Objective lens 50mm
Length 15"
Weight 570g
Eye Relief 3.2"
Battery CR2032
Features Patented push-lock turret adjusters, side-wheel parallax ring, (larger wheel supplied) illuminated reticle, built-in scope caps, 3" sunshade, free mounts.

All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates

Gun Mart Shooters Forum - Get Involved in the Discussion!
User Comments
  • Bought 1 of these from the west Midlands game fair after reading reports from air gun world and air gunner. I fitted it to my HW 100TK. Within an hour I was putting 5 shots within the size of a 5 pence peice at 35 yds. I was hitting spinners out to 70 yds. The only down side is I keep leaving the IR reticule on and so discharge the battery. No fault of the scope just my age.

    Comment by: Richard Stephens     Posted on: 18 Mar 2009 at 09:11 PM

  • Yep, MTC make some nice glass at what is very good money. There's little doubt that Far Eastern optics have seen what the west can do and now can offer comparable, hi-spec equipment that really works at a fraction of the cost.

    I've just come back from the IWA show and already many of these optical companies are saying they will be producing laser rangefinder scopes and you just know they are going to be good.

    Eventually they will reach such a level where US and European glass will no longer be a first choice, or that's what I think...

    Not sure I can help about the memory problem though, as I have the same trouble.

    Keep taking the tablets

    Comment by: Pete Moore     Posted on: 19 Mar 2009 at 10:45 AM

  • I bought one of these on the strength of the many good reviews I had read. Whilst destined for my ruger 10/22 it first made its way on to my steyr 6.5x55. Frankly I was amazed at how clear the picture was and after a 5 shot zero at 100 metres I promptly put the next three shots into a perfect clover leaf with no readjustment of focus. I carried on shooting at various ranges to experiment with the small caliber ballistic reticule and only stopped when I finished the fifty rounds of homeload target ammo that was in the box. The stadia fitted my shooting nicely everywhere between twenty and two hundred and twenty metres which was as long as the field I was in could accomodate.
    Unfortunately this means that I will need to buy another for the .22, but at the price I can afford too!

    Comment by: Jonathan Angel     Posted on: 30 Mar 2009 at 07:49 PM

  • The MTC Viper certainly is a ground-breaking scope for the money, why not check out the rest of the MTC range especially the new Taipan, which is like a Viper on steroids... It costs a bit more but most of this goes where it really matters - new lenses and improved lens coating, although it also has a new reticule and mounts. We will be reviewing a Taipan soon in GunMart and Shooting Sports

    Comment by: pat farey     Posted on: 30 Mar 2009 at 10:52 PM

  • The optics are amazing especially concidering the price new.
    I am very happy with mine and not dissappoint in anyway.
    I look forward to taking a look through the Taipan when the opportunity comes.

    Comment by: Kevin Baker     Posted on: 10 Mar 2010 at 12:45 PM

  • I have two Vipers and am very happy with them both, however my only moan is the unrobust finish which let down an otherwise superb package.
    A real shame really.

    Comment by: Kevin Baker     Posted on: 01 Apr 2010 at 11:16 PM

  • I purchased my Viper shortly after they had come on to the market and paired it up with an HW100. Sadly the HW100 (in .22) had to go as I never got on with it but, it was replaced by Daystates Airwolf MVT in .177, well, what a team!!!
    I put the Combo through a comprehensive pellet and zeroing test on the 70 yard outdoor range at Broomhills near Luton and settled on Daystates .177 Select in 4.53 Calibre. After this I set off for the farm I shoot on and culled the Bunnies. Six a day for eight days on the trot from ranges from 20 yards to 58 yards (off a bipod).
    This sight, if practised with first, will allow you to maximise your skills and perform to your limit and, see what you're acheiving while you're doing it. The sight picture is very clear and was a large step up from the Hawke SR6 3-12x50 that I was using. My only complaint is, that the illumination on it's lowest setting is too bright when lamping, or at least, it is on mine.
    I know that the £250ish price is "top end" for a lot of you but, you do get the works with it as a package and it really is a very good scope and you won't be dissapointed by it. Sadly, Tim Finley has got me itching for his Schmidt & Bender FT scope!!!! Heaven alone knows how I'm going to afford it but that's what will replace the Viper.

    Comment by: Richard Baxter     Posted on: 07 Apr 2010 at 11:30 PM

  • How do I go about getting sidewheel and or scope / scope mount magazine.

    Comment by: Rodney Boatner     Posted on: 19 Aug 2010 at 06:00 AM

  • This scope comes complete with extender sidewheel, mounts, sunshade and flip-up lens covers as part of the package.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 19 Aug 2010 at 10:31 AM

  • I've just bought an MTC Viper 4-16x50 and oh my god what a scope. It replaced a Hawke Nite-eye 4-16x50 and there is just no comparison. The optics are just fantastic, the quality of glass and coatings make the biggest difference with the transfer of light to the shooters eye (an extra hour at night at least when compared to the Hawke Nite-eye). This scope combined with my Weihrauch Hw100kt is the best combo i could possibly put together. No pest species is safe now!! Although £235 may sound like a lot of money to some shooters (when you can buy a functional scope for as little as £40-£50) but when you consider what you're getting for your hard earned cash - I could bang on about the quality of glass all day but it's all been said before. The SCB Reticle is one of the finest aiming references i've ever had the pleasure of looking through, while there is a lot going on when your first look through the eye piece you soon learn how to use it to its maximum potential and is only very finely etched into the glass so after a short while you totally get used to it and when it's illuminated it's just a god send. I think I've put my two pence worht in now, You get the idea. Knowbody will be dissappointed with this purchase. ENJOY!

    Comment by: Nick Lloyd     Posted on: 16 Sep 2010 at 09:35 PM

  • I treated my self to MTC viper 6-24X50 IRS, when I was waiting at my gunsmiths for some repair work that was being carried out on my Savage 110 in .22-250,
    While I was there I came across the viper sat on the optics shelf in the shop,
    After some questions and a little chat with the owner of the shop, I thought it would look very nice on my .22-250, so while I was there I had it fitted to my rifle. Then I was on my way home eager to try it out.

    All I can say is WOW, for the price you pay for what you are getting, It’s amazing!
    Crystal clear glass, locking turrets, illuminated recital, and the additional extras you get with it as well, e.g. flip up covers, sunshade, and protective cover when not in use.

    With in 30 minuets I had it zeroed at 100 yards and shooting perfectly!
    Its nice to also have 1/8" MOA for fine tuning Like Nick Lloyd said, the recital takes a little getting use to, but its very much worth it when you do.

    For anyone wishing to get a good solid scope with out breaking the bank, I would highly recommend it!

    Comment by: Robert Wane     Posted on: 08 Aug 2011 at 03:28 PM

  • Yep hard to knock a scope like the Viper - well built, useful features and good optics. Too many people write-off scopes like these as airguns-only, which is a big mistake...

    Comment by: peter moore     Posted on: 08 Aug 2011 at 04:12 PM

  • Bought one in South Africa. Tried it today. Faulty!!!!!!!Phoned the distrubutor in Pretoria. Have to send it back to Pretoria and then to be send to UK. I will be without a scope for this hunting season.Well Done MTC Viper.

    Comment by: jimmy Dippenaar     Posted on: 20 Feb 2012 at 02:37 PM

  • Hi,

    I own an Air Ranger 6.35 and i'm thinking which one to choose between the MCT Viper 8-32x60 or the Targetmaster (Nikko St.) 10-50x60. I'm a bit impressed with the Viper as it comes fully loaded and earned very good reviews, but i have people telling me that the Targetmaster is a better and much reliable scope for targetting long distance. Anyone can help??

    Comment by: Chris     Posted on: 15 Mar 2012 at 10:41 AM

  • i've just bought a m.t.c viper 4-16x50 irs scb three week's ago and paired it with my CZ 452 american .22 RF what a setup, the scope it's self is a dream to use well worth the money £225.

    Comment by: craig     Posted on: 21 Feb 2013 at 07:43 AM

  • I'm tempted to buy this scope to go with my new AA S400. So has nobody experienced the whiting out issue I keep hearing about ?

    Comment by: Nigel     Posted on: 06 Mar 2013 at 10:08 PM

  • If you position your head correctly and get your eye in the right place, you won't have a problem.

    It's the same with any scope and I've not found the Viper to be any worse in this respect than my other scopes.

    Comment by: Troll Hunter     Posted on: 07 Mar 2013 at 10:17 AM

  • Have both viper 4-16 and 8-32 both on .177 BSA ultra and r-10 fantastic optics for the money.Unfortunatly you have to be on 10 mag.to rangefind accurataly.The 4-16 is better at airgun ranges .I rangefind on 16 mag on both and the 8-32 is ok up to 40yds then every thing after is coming up 50 yds (with my eyes) on the side wheel markings.Seems good quality build but have to sort the rangfinding out.

    Comment by: George Price     Posted on: 20 Mar 2013 at 01:55 PM

  • I am awaiting delivery of a mtc mamba 4-12.
    I have on my 243 a zeiss1.5-6 diavari it is very good but for whatever reason the fine centre crosswire has become detached from the thicker crosswire and needs repairing.
    I decided on a back up scope and chose mtc on reviews and reccomendation.
    I have been shooting rifles for 40 plus years and for stalking,mainly woodland and perimeter I think 200 yds is a very long shot and have come to the descision that optics that are very clear at 1000 yds are nice to have but totally unnecesary.I am told I will be pleasantly surprised by the performance of the mtc.I hope this will be the case especially if I am saving a great deal of money we will see!

    Comment by: jeff brand     Posted on: 03 Nov 2013 at 09:06 AM

  • Yes MTC offer some goods glass at sensible money. However, in my opinion you can never have too much clarity on target at any distance and as a long term hunter too I would always opt for the best optic I can afford. How old is your Diavari, I'd speak to the Zeiss importers they might be able to send it back to get it repaired.

    Good luck with the new scope.

    Comment by: Pete Moore     Posted on: 04 Nov 2013 at 08:24 AM

  • Hi i live in South African and here the hunting is good my Viper is on my 308 Musgrave this is one of the best scopes i have used.I had to import it from the UK and will get the bigger model once the exchange rate gets better.I use it for culling and night shooting this is my work horse rifle. 10/10

    Comment by: Mario     Posted on: 22 Jan 2014 at 08:48 PM

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MTC Viper 4-16 X 50IR scope
MTC Viper 4-16 X 50IR scope
MTC Viper 4-16 X 50IR scope
MTC Viper 4-16 X 50IR scope
MTC Viper 4-16 X 50IR scope
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