Kahles K525i DLR Riflescope
- By Chris Parkin
- 61 Comments
- Last updated: 25/05/2021
When Kahles launched the 624i a few years ago, the concept of a rotating parallax dial wrapping the upper elevation turret was a totally new idea. Where some optics offer changes for the sake of marketing variety, Kahles seemed to deliver something with genuine ergonomic benefits, as range changed, so did the parallax adjacent to it.
The latest 525i specification in its ‘Dynamic Long Range’ (DLR) format has grown to 5x from the 4x erector tube of old, for a greater magnification range. It is directly able to compare and compete with the benchmark specifications of rivals in the tactical, long range and precision rifle markets.
Its 56mm objective lens initiates the performance criteria with plentiful light entry into the internal lens packages. The 34mm tube is one piece with a central spherical saddle carrying the elevation on top, surrounded by the parallax dial, and now a three-lobed extension, a bit like the oversized side parallax wheel on an FT air rifle. It is removable and the underneath control collar shows tactile grippy serrations if you want a more compact layout.
The elevation turret shows almost three turns from the zero stop dial, with a small red/white button popping up to illustrate turns two and three. Each rotation shows 10 MRAD and the clicks are deep and tactile. They are also visually distinct with broad separation and very slightly audible for true all condition adjustment capability, without overturn or possible mistakes.
Kahles offer the scope with the windage dial to the left or right side, here it is on the left with 8 MRAD available in either direction. It features ‘Twist Guard’ which is patented but seems to offer no great benefit in terms of locking rotation. It consists of a freely rotating outer cap that may ‘deflect’unwanted manipulation of the turret caused by foliage or other equipment.
Once the scope has been sighted in, the turrets can, of course, be set to zero. With two Allen screws loosened, the turret can be dialled back to mark zero without any confusing clicks. When re-locked, I was left with 19 MRAD available to dial for long range on a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle using a 20 MOA rail. I used the scope on two rifles. It tracked perfectly and worked with my previously confirmed DOPE for the ammunition in use.
Moving rearward, a large throw lever is attached to the zoom control. It is also removable, as it may foul the bolt handle on some rifles. The ocular bell is parallel for accessory fitting and a fast-focus eyepiece offers easy setup on the first focal plane (FFP) reticle. This gives a precise aiming solution in collaboration with the crisp optical picture, as a fuzzy reticle always makes parallax set up harder.
Mechanical controls gain as much attention and affection as the once hallowed image quality holy grail and Kahles have always been an excellent performer in the past. Setup and zero were effortless, the zero stop just two clicks below my 100m setup position.
The SKMR reticle is available in two formats (SKMR3 or SKMR4) and is the personalised design of a leading US Precision Rifle competitor. Kahles offer massive detail of its intricate design and options on their website. It is a useful if busy reticle and intrinsically highlights the fact that rets are as personal as shooting styles. So, if someone were to specify their own design, as is done here, it can be quite weighted towards the specific technique for a popular competition format that is all about changing distances, rather than fixed range target shooting.
The design shows posts at 9,12 and 3 o’clock. The 6 o’clock arm features windage bars and shows graduations in 0.25,1,2 and 0.5 Mil. These can be used for aim offs or target/miss measurement as desired before making a correction with accurate aim off, or corresponding dialled corrections from the turrets. Being FFP, no mistakes are possible and the markings, although plentiful, are well defined and not too onerous that they obscure too much of the target when trying to see the fall of shot. It is worth studying the Kahles website carefully to see if the reticle will suit you, but be assured, the image quality is first rate. The bright picture shows great colour rendition and detail resolution suited to its price point.
The right-side dial shows linear brightness control without clicks or intervening off positions, illuminating the whole Christmas tree shape in a red hue without sparkling or internal reflections. There isn’t a positional ‘off’sensor but there is a timer to safeguard the cr2032 battery. No lens caps are supplied but overall protection is assured by the Neoprene cover.
With a 95mm eye relief, the scope easily maintains the bright sight picture without vignettes through the recoil pulse, helping to spot long range impacts. The eye box and exit pupil were always accessible and notably so when swapping to less conventional left-handed use with intrinsically poorly aligned cheekpiece position.
‘Up’ and ‘right’ were counter-clockwise on both turrets, however, the opposite can be specified at the time of ordering. I found left side windage adjustment a little alien but if it suits you, you will quickly adapt.
I will say that the three lobes of the parallax dial atop the tube are a distinct benefit. They allow minimal fingertip pressure to alter the parallax, preventing the rifle from being disturbed whilst in the aim. There is no backlash and it’s the feature of the Kahles that most appeals to me. Is it any better than its peers in the high price bracket? No. But it offers variety and unique tactile functionality that the discerning may desire.
Easier access to parallax control with either hand has definite benefits when trying to correct the image with a rifle of limited stability. Paired to premium optical performance, the Kahles is a genuine contender in its marketplace, yet by the time shooters are ready to spend £3k on an optic, they are likely to have a good idea of what will suit them personally. If the reticle suits your needs, I can’t say I have any doubts about the Kahles and enjoyed using it.