Discovery HD 10x44 SFIR
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- Last updated: 15/01/2018
Discovery Optics are a relatively new brand, and manufactured in a factory founded in 2014 by an ex-designer of Vortex. A modicum of pedigree from the off then, and look beyond that distinctive blue livery, and they come brimming with a host of interesting features built in. RRPs are reasonable and with a choice of models on offer, the Discovery brand looks likely to establish a foothold in the market.
On test here, is the Discovery HD 10X44 SFIR model, available from UK importers, Sure-shot Airguns, and before we see how it shapes up, let’s first decode the basics. ‘HD’ strands for high definition, 10x is the magnification, which in this case is a fixed power and 44 is the front objective lens diameter in mm, ‘SF’ refers to the side focus dial, and ‘IR’, the illuminated reticle.
This scope comes complete with mounts and a snazzy sunshade, along with some pleasingly flexible rubber lens covers, so that asking price is looking better by the second. The usual fast focus eyepiece ring sits at the rear ocular lens, and this can be used to initially get the reticle in focus along with the subject. There’s a reassuring amount of resistance to the movement too, so it can’t be accidentally moved off the desired point too easily.
This model is a bold design all round, with a 30mm body tube and super chunky turrets. OK; if you like the tactical look, then you will appreciate the oversized adjusters, but otherwise, I see them as unnecessarily wide, which can prove an irritating detail when trying to source a padded case for the rifle /scope combination.
The turrets are the push-pull lockable variety, so just need to be pulled up or out to activate, they can then be twisted to adjust, and then snapped closed to lock in position. Always useful if you do a lot of dialling in on range, just don’t forget to put them back to zero after the shot if you are changing distances! Markings are bold and clear to read, and the 1/10 Mil clicks are positive in operation. Another great feature is the way the turrets can be adjusted, and then set back to zero, to establish a clear reference/ starting point. This is done, once zeroing has been completed, by unscrewing and removing the finger-friendly cap on the top of the drum, pulling the main turret tube up and off the spindle, pushing back at the desired point to mark a proper ‘0’, and then the screwcap top can be screwed back down to lock the turret in place.
Many scopes offer variable options, but the advantage of a fixed magnification, is that there are no unnecessary lenses or adjustment mechanisms inside, which should mean in theory at least, that the image is clearer. Edge to edge picture quality is impressive, with no aberrations or distortions detected, and the grid test (shooting the box) moving the zero and tracking it back, worked perfectly.
The sophisticated reticle design is particularly fine, with central stadia offering 1-Mil lines, ½-Mil marks, and even ¼-Mil lines inside the inner central cross. In use, and in poor light, I reckon the ¼-Mil marks are a little too fine, but a floating central cross is a nice touch. Hollow outer posts and progressive windage dots all come together well, and the result is a reticle with a wealth of aim points, suitable for outdoor airgun HFT for example.
Side parallax adjustment on the left-hand knob is a minimum of 10 yards, then 15, 25, 35, 50, 100, 200, and ∞, so clarity can be set at the desired range. The parallax dial was a little stiff on my test model, but this would probably ease with use. Illumination of the cross hair is also possible by turning the outer left knob, which acts as the rheostat. Illumination comes in either green or red, and both get 5 steps of brightness in each, and back to a central off position. Clarity and brightness are good, and there’s a robust feel to the mechanics.
All in all, a boldly presented product, and with several models in the pipeline, this brand not only warrants consideration, but looks like making quite an impact. This Discovery HD model is indeed a chunky offering, and perhaps a little heavy when compared to some rivals, but with plenty of features for the money, it should be seen as competitively priced at £240, given the specification and respectable build quality. Nitrogen filled, shock-proof, water-proof, and fog-proof, along with a Limited Lifetime Guarantee, means it comes with plenty of built in reassurance too!