MTC Viper Pro Tactical
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- Last updated: 21/02/2018
Any newcomer to airgun shooting can surely be forgiven for being a little confused where glassware is concerned. For with a plethora of scope brands from which to choose, and a host of models that are quite similar, it can be a something of a brain scrambling exercise.
MTC Optics have made quite a name for themselves over the last decade and can’t be accused of resting on their laurels, as new models have emerged at regular intervals. The company has also gained a reputation for innovation, and deserves credit for their ground breaking Connect model, and the recent Viper Pro ‘Smart Turret’ system. For those unfamiliar, this sees a removable top elevation turret, which has a 3-1 gearing. The idea is for a range tape with target distances to be put inside the turret, and subsequent dialling of the turret sees it turn through three revolutions, yet the range markings only show once through a small window. It’s ingenious, and prevents the errors that can occur through losing track of how many times the turret has been turned during a tournament for example.
It’s undoubtedly clever, but as usual, a step too far for many shooters, who just want to keep things simple. This new Viper Pro Tactical 3-18x50 model, on test here, dispenses with the 3-1 Smart Turret, but still retains all the other features that have made this model so popular. Magnification is variable between 3-18x, and the 50 in the specification relates to the objective lens diameter in mm. Let’s just confirm the rest of the overall specification, and then we’ll take a closer look. There’s magnetic, flip-up lens covers, incorporating a magnifier, the company’s SCB2 reticle including illumination, side parallax, lockable tactical turrets, a new lens coating, and a 30mm body tube.
The 30mm body tube referred to is significant here, and MTC have been at pains to point out that this is a true 30mm, and not restricted down to 25mm like some rival designs! A quick zero of the mechanics, and then it was time for my grid test, to check the integrity of the system. At this point, I should say that the ¼ MOA clicks were inaudible on my test model, and not overly positive. That said, all adjustments came in spot-on. To unlock and lock the turrets, the small collar at the base of the windage and elevation turrets just needs to be unscrewed slightly, the adjustment made, and then re-locked by reversing the movement of the collar. It’s quite a neat feature, and avoids those chunky turrets being accidentally caught and moved as a rifle is taken in and out of a case for example.
Flip-up lens covers come with this scope, and they are super neat in the way that they sit flat down on the scope, straight out, or up. The rear cap even has a magnifying lens built-in, which means that tired or ageing eyes can more easily read the turret markings. The only irritation on test came with the way I had to adjust the rear ocular lens via the quick focus, to bring the reticle fully into focus- and this then left the magnifier off centre, due to the way the lens cap threads into the back. Normally an internal carrier can be moved so that the thread locks up at a different position, but I couldn’t seem to shift anything! This was a brand-new product of course, and I suspect this gripe will be sorted if mine wasn’t isolated!
Parallax is marked up from a minimum of 10 yards and then, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50 at the lower levels. The SCB2 reticle is extremely fine and precise, and looks great in bright areas. I did find in dull, dark wooded backdrops, that I could temporarily lose the centre. But overall, it’s a design that has proved very successful on the HFT circuit, from shooters with better eyes than mine no doubt!
An interesting feature of these new models is the new lens coating, that apparently makes the glass far more compatible with digital camera usage, and with an increasing number of shooters attaching some form of device to allow filming through the scope, this is a prudent move by the company. Edge to edge clarity is certainly impressive, and overall resolution and image quality overall, was all well up to the mark.
Four new models, including this Viper Pro Tactical, were recently revealed at the Press Day launch at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich in London, and having attended that event, I can vouch for the company’s focus, and sheer enthusiasm for their products. Having now handled and used this Tactical model, I have to say it represents fair value for money. Indeed, just attend any national HFT competition, and the number of MTC scopes on show, and in the prizes, tells its own story.
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