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Bucklands Riflescopes

Bucklands Riflescopes

Tony Buckland (AR Buckland Gunsmiths) is perhaps best known for his range of straight-pull L1A1 SLR rifles. He has even developed a side cocking handle to alleviate problems with primary extraction too. Plus he offers a number of different types and calibres including 22 LR and 223 Rem as well as 7.62 NATO. Checking out his advert in the mag I saw he has a range of scopes from TAC Vector Optics that would seem well suited to military look-a-like 22 semi auto fans and centrefire Practical/Service-style rifles, so I thought I’d have a look.

Four examples arrived – Goliath 4x32 (kinda’ ACOG looking), Templar 1-4x24, Apophis 1-6x28 and the big boy of the bunch the Gladiator 2-12x32. Made in China they are reasonably well presented and offer all the bells & whistles you might expect – multi-colour rheostats, tactical turrets and some rather interesting reticules, mounts are included. Oddly enough the Apophis and Gladiator have 35mm body tubes and all the three variables are first focal plane (FFP) systems. Prices are very good with the most expensive giving some change out of £250.


In terms of build these scopes are more like Leapers optics, also Chinese, being well priced and offering good ability. A look at their website shows it is in fact very similar to Leapers as to the product range too.
Let’s start with the Goliath 4x32, which under all the cosmetics is actually a familiar design, as it’s doubtless a copy of Walther’s RS55. The look is ACOG with the typically wide objective style that fits to the saddle section. A tri-colour (red, green and blue) rheostat drum dwarfs the two small turrets, which are much like those found on red dot sights. The eyepiece area is longer and focus adjustable and mounting is by a one-piece, Picatinny base with twin clamping screws.

Click values are stated as 1⁄4” with 48-clicks per turn and five rotations. The reticule is a simple ladder-type with an inverted chevron at the top and well spaced and easy to use and see. It’s marked 4, 5 and 6 (100m increments) and probably set up for 223 Rem-type spec. Oddest of all are the iron sights; at the back is a fully adjustable U-notch and on the objective bell is a long, integral blade with red fibre insert. The bell is flanked by sections of Picatinny rail for lights and lasers etc. At just £94 this is going to appeal to 22 rimfire shooters big time.


Next a classic 1-4x24 the Templar. This is a proper scope and shows a 30mm body, tube, fast focus with big, finger-friendly slotted turrets and a twin colour red and green rheostat on the left of the saddle. The 1-4 spec will again suit rimfire users along with Service Riflemen looking for a compact optic that conforms to the maximum mag requirement for Service Optic class. It is well presented with a semi-matte finish and the mag ring is deep and also slotted for easy manipulation.

Click values are 1⁄2 MOA and offer 50-clicks per turn and ten full rotations are available with horizontal stadia on the drum to check where you are. The turret can be slipped to 0 once zeroed by a central Allan screw. The glass-etched reticule has skeleton outer arms with a Mill-hash central cross. At x1 it’s a bit fine and a little tight at x4 on longer targets; illumination is surprisingly precise with no flare out or distortion with green working very well in the light. Basic, flip-up lens caps are included (not Butler Creek but they work) along with a decent set of low/medium 30mm rings. Allan keys are included. Price £120.

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We now move up to the Apophis 1-6x28 and it’s a lot heavier at 18oz, not surprising as it’s a 35mm body tube. This is compact and shorter than the Templar, with the same click and rotation values – 1⁄2 MOA, 50 per turn and 10 full rotations but with lower and less tactile turrets. The rheostat is on the left of the saddle and offers red and green in five levels of illumination for each. The reticule is very busy and complicated with a multi-ring horse show circle at the top with a Christmas tree stadia set up spreading out below it with range and lead/windage marks.

Being FFP it’s tiny at x1 and in your face at x6. Plus I had problems setting focus as to magnification selected with constant adjustments required as I dialled in the mag. This was my least favourite model and I feel a simpler Mil-Dot reticule would be much better. Price £217.


Top of the range is the Gladiator 2-12x32 and very much a bigger version of the Templar and heavy at 24 oz. Build quality is good with the same tall, angled and slotted turrets and big mag ring. On the left of the very long saddle is a parallax drum in yards with the rheostat (red green illumination) positioned in front of elevation turret. Click values are 1⁄4 MOA with 60-clicks per turn and 10 full rotations, drums are marked with stadia for turret position indication.

The reticule is overly simple with a Dual-X type pattern with a floating inner Mil-Dot cross hair. Here the dots are not that much wider than the stadia they are on. Cheap see-through lens caps are fitted as the Templar and mounts are included. Price £249.

Of the four I do not like the Apophis due to the overly complicated reticule and the issues I had with focus as to mag setting. Pity as the spec is useful! The Goliath stands alone as a cost effective ACOG-u-like, which will doubtless prove popular. The 1-4 Templar is perhaps the best general use model and the larger Gladiator will allow you to step it out though is a bit bulky by comparison. Fitted on a flat top AR15 I found the mounts a bit low as to head position and feel some riser blocks would help. However, prices are all very good for what you are getting and build quality is more than acceptable and performance up to the needs of the rimfire semi-auto and Practical-style rifle shooters.

Diverse and practical range of optics
Compact and cool looking

A bit over the top in places

More aimed at the action/ practical shooter, at the price well worth a look

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