Kahles 2.5-12 x 56 Helia
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- Last updated: 16/12/2016
Having just tested Kahles outstanding Tactical K624i recently, a more hunting-orientated optic was in order for a spot of Roe stalking in Argyll. Their Helia range was designed to give a perfect true x5 magnification/zoom range coupled to a new digital illumination reticule. The 1-5x24i is ideal for driven hunts and the introduction of the 2.4-12x56i now offers an all-rounder.
All–rounder is a good name for the Helia 5 as on lower power it is good for close range woodland use and up high it’s great if a Roe popped out of the tree line at range and the illumination perfect for the dark Scottish timber. At x2.4 you have 16.5 meters field of view (FOV) at 100m, so still good wide observation even at 50 yards when a Roe surprises you in the woods. At x12 the FOV shrinks to 3.3 meters at 100 m but you get that extra precision for a longer range shot.
With a 56mm objective lens there’s no compromise on light gathering when the mag is turned up and at all settings it’s over 90%, which is impressive. The zoom ring is suitably chunky with a raised ribbed surface, great for numb fingers on a cold day! The 30mm body tube is made from stress-relieved aircraft grade aluminium and finished in a satin black. There’s the option of a rail mount too, which increases the weight from 689g to 709g. The eyepiece is fast focus with 95mm eye relief and +2/-3.5 dioptre range.
With a 30mm body tube you have a nice range of adjustment for both elevation and windage, in fact 1.9 meters at 100m or 2.1 yards in old money. The only thing that bugs me about European scopes is the adjustment in metric; my old brain only works in good old Imperial so I have to make a conscious effort to remember adjustments! I had the Reticule 4-Dot which I mistook for having four dots but is in fact a No4-style with illuminated centre dot and the G4B reticule is the one with four larger additional stadia for trajectory compensation.
Both types are second focal plane so stay the same size as you change power and the 4-Dot is precise. The cross hairs are fine and have a nice open central section as not to obscure your target before the thicker outer sections start. Against some foliage it gets a bit lost but I like the fine precise aiming point. In any case the illumination makes it instantly visible so no probs which is the point of the new Helia 5 system.
The illumination turret sits to the left of the saddle and has a fantastic lighting system designed to be used in all conditions. You have an infinite illumination range with smooth adjustment to set exactly how you like it and is easy changed as required. It also includes their Automatic Light function that senses when the rifle/scope is canted and thus not in use and so switches off only to be restarted as soon as the gun is reacquired.
It automatically turns off after 4 hours. An inclination sensor detects the angle of the rifle. At 0-45° (up or down) the reticule is lit, at 45-75° there is a two minute delay then turns off and at over 75° the illumination is switched off instantly. Also if the gun is motionless for two minutes it turns off but any movement switches it back on.
I fitted the Helia 5 to my Tikka LSA 55 in .308 Win. Click adjustment`s were positive.
The 56mm objective can sometimes be a big large for low scope mounting but with a sporter weight barrel profile it was not a problem!
What you instantly notice is the superior lens quality; bright, crisp and vivid with a lot of image contrast. In fact the AMV coatings, equalised for best optical transmission are honestly excellent at low light gathering, which let’s face it is when most shots at deer are taken. Illumination is equally as good with precise and no nonsense settings with the spare battery carried under the windage cap.
Unusually the weather was hot in Argyll so the Roe were even more nocturnal than ever keeping to the woodland edges and shade but it was the rut, Aug 5th so I stood a good chance.
I spotted a roe doe in the long grass at 5.00am some 125 yds off and so decided to sit and wait as a buck would surely show. A long wait but a nice buck emerged from the woodland edge but kept to the overhanging trees canopy. No worries up to x12 and on with the illumination and set to just become visible and the Geco 170 grain flattened the buck where he stood, much to the doe`s surprise or disappointment!
Kahles have done it again, a really well built purposeful scope designed from the inside out to perform in any weather and yet give the highest possible performance. Image quality is never in doubt and is perfect even in poor light and the illuminated reticule is there when you need it, even the auto function has its uses.
The 4 Dot reticule is ideally suited for deer stalking but I would chose the G4B with its trajectory compensating reticule design that best suits my style of shooting. The five power mag range does make for a versatile scope for nearly all your stalking needs at sensible ranges and is waterproof and gas tight to a depth of 4.4 yds even with the caps removed.
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