Field Target Scopes
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- Last updated: 21/01/2023
Field Target has well and truly come of age, and with the competitor allowed to use the scope to range-find, the trend for ultra-high magnification has really taken off. High magnification creates a shallow depth of field, so with the scope correctly set up, the shooter should be able to dial the parallax knob until the target comes into sharp focus - then read off the distance.
So, fancy practising the dark arts? Well, here we’ve laid out a few of the leading scopes, that may just guide you to a place on the rostrum.
Falcon Optics - www.falconoptics.com
Falcon’s T50 model was popular, but the new X50 has generated plenty of interest on the FT competition circuit. Sporting a one-piece tube construction, these Japanese-built scopes are capable of parallax correction down to 9m. Target turret clicks are 1/8 MOA, whilst the reticle is Falcon’s MOA200SFP design, and whilst this is fairly conventional in the subtensions on offer, it is very precise and clearly marked. An optional extra is a custom-made, Harris Engineering 130mm Side Wheel, which is, of course, a hugely popular add-on for modern FT scopes, to maximize range-finding accuracy.
Hawke Optics - www.hawkeoptics.com
WHILST a maximum magnification of 32x may seem a little conservative in today’s FT world, I would say it’s the minimum mag power that will still allow for parallax-based range-finding. This scope’s inclusion here offers an option to those who just want to own one scope that will switch between tasks. The versatile spec here offers just that, to hunters and FT shooters alike. As for the quality, Hawke’s fully revised Sidewinder now sports H5 class glass, a rotation ‘witness window’ and a slick level of build that elevates the brand somewhat. Sidewheel, sunshade and caps are all included too.
Optics Warehouse - www.opticswarehouse.co.uk
SIGHTRON are tournament proven and feature what the manufacturer calls ZACT-7, which is a 7- layer multi-coating applied to the precision ground lenses, plus there’s a 30mm body tube constructed from aircraftgrade aluminium. MH denotes a Mil-Hash reticle, and there’s also Sightron’s Exac Track windage and elevation adjustment system. Sightron’s reputation for high-grade lenses and overall build quality has soared in recent years, helped in no small part, of course, by top shots such as John Costello nailing a World Championship with one. Handle one of these models though and the quality of the glass and the obvious build quality really stands out. In a sport where brand loyalty can play a big part, Sightron has undoubtedly established itself at the top table. Throw in a lifetime warranty and the usual assurances of fog proof, shockproof and waterproof, and the case for these classy optics stacks up nicely.
Range Right - www.range-right.co.uk
Still great value for money, the Konuspro-M30 12.5-50x56 is a great value option when it comes to Field Target scopes. It comes complete with lens cloth, quality flip-up lens covers and a very handy 3” sunshade, plus at 30.6oz, it sits as a mid-weight contender in this sector of the market. Target turrets, a built-in level, side focus and an illuminated modified Mil-Dot reticle are all part of the specification, whilst the turrets show 1/10Mil click values, equating to roughly 1cm @ 100 yards, and a quarter of that over 25 yards. The turrets are push-pull lockable, whilst click movement is audible and positive too. The range of turret adjustment is less than some rivals, but given many FT shooters now centre the scope and basic zero using adjustable mounts, this aspect is largely academic. A 5.25” side wheel is also available as an extra for around £60, but focusing using the side knob proved surprisingly effective on test. Overall, a great option.
Highland Outdoors - www.highlandoutdoors.co.uk
Admittedly, not the bargain it once was, but there’s no doubting the pedigree here. Indeed, several world titles have fallen to this Japanese-made model and with factory improvements coming in periodically, this popular brand seems determined to stay competitive. Re-jigged internals a while back saw an additional lens added, improving both resolution and image clarity. Elevation adjustment has also been increased by 25% over the original specification. There are multi-coated Japanese lenses to help increase light transmission and a 30mm body tube. This model can also be supplied with Mil-Dot or Nato-style reticles, along with a detachable, oversized wheel for precise parallax focus/correction. An illuminated, half-Mil-Dot reticle is also an option, and with a host of top exponents of the sport still proving that these scopes are capable of sweeping all before them, it’s little wonder they remain in high demand.
Top British FT shooter, Matt Hirst helped with the design and development of this dedicated FT scope, and it certainly has an impressive specification. Most unusual is that top-mounted 125mm parallax adjustment wheel and whilst it means it may have to be taken off for storage in a gun case, there’s no doubting the slick handling when it matters. This model has a 30mm body tube and weighs 37.1oz. Parallax is from 9 to 65 yards and an MHR reticle is also incorporated. 1/8 MOA turrets are utilized and all adjustments are smooth in operation, plus nicely damped. Image quality is excellent, with an impressively shallow depth of field, whilst build quality is also spot on, as you would expect given the eye-watering asking price.