- By Graham Allen
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 15/12/2016
MTC Optics is owned and run by Sammie and Gary Cooper who have been supplying quality optics since 2006. They’ve carved out a rather nice niche for themselves by keeping their overheads to a minimum and passing on the savings to their customers. I bought one of their first models, a Viper 4-16 X 50 as soon as I saw them and it’s been fitted to loads of air rifles and rimfires and is still in regular use. The numerous useful features of these Chinese manufactured scopes instantly impressed me; a lot of my mates were too, and they also bought them after they’d seen mine. The build quality and overall design is very good and it’s no surprise that they’ve sold very well over the years. MTC’s customer care is excellent too, so there are a lot of happy shooters out there.
I’ve obviously kept up with new additions to their range and the Mamba, Taipan and Connect scopes have all been impressive. They’ve done it again with the introduction of the Genesis 5-20 X 50 and Sammie recently sent one down for review, so here’s what I think.
Once again the packaging is first class, with the contents well protected in a sturdy box, held closed by concealed magnets. The box includes the scope (obviously!), a screw on 3” sunshade and the welcome addition of a set of genuine Butler Creek flip up lens caps. The Genesis has a 30mm tube with the saddle incorporated into it, which houses the windage and elevation turrets and sidewheel parallax adjuster. The target style adjusters are protected by screw on caps and each click moves the point of aim ¼” at 100 yards. Beneath the saddle is a small circular housing that has the coil erector spring inside; this is in place of the more usual flat spring inside the scope and is a more robust way of ensuring the internal image moving system stays where it’s wanted. The sidewheel, which focuses down to 10 yards on full power, was a little stiff initially, but soon freed up with use, with targets snapping into focus nicely.
The magnification adjuster rotates smoothly from 5 round to 20 and there’s a raised ridge incorporated into it to allow for a sure grip even when wet. Mounted at 45 degrees on the eyebell is an 11-position dial to vary the level of red illumination of the centre cross of the AMD reticule. I’m not sure if the figure of 11 is a nod to Spinal Tap, but most scopes seem to have this as the maximum level, just like the amps in the film. There is of course an OFF position and I just wish I could remember to turn scopes off after use! MTC are obviously aware that users can leave the reticule switched on and rather kindly include a spare. Batteries are changed by simply unscrewing the top of the adjuster dial. Getting the crosshair in pin sharp focus is a simple affair thanks to the fast focus ocular lens and once I was happy, I re-fitted the rear lens cap.
The Advanced Mil Dot (AMD) reticule is, as its name suggests, a simplified Mil Dot crosshair and only has aiming marks on the bottom vertical line. These comprise of small circles in place of the usual dots and small lines half way between them. Aim points extend 2/3 of the way down the stadia, so you’re spoilt for choice. The reticule is ‘true’ at 10 magnification, i.e. it can be used as a conventional Mil Dot if required. Overall design and build is rather stylish and the matt black anodising faultless. The tube is nitrogen purged to prevent fogging and is waterproof and shockproof. The Genesis is no lightweight though, as all those fully coated lenses and anodised alloy add up and the kitchen scales show 769gramms or 1 lb 11oz; it’s not overly heavy of course, but it’s worth taking into account when putting a rifle/scope combination together.
Overall length is 14 inches, 17 with the sunshade fitted. This new offering is made in Korea (a first for the company) to MTC’s specification and is a notch above their previous optics. I’m not criticising past models, far from it, as I’ve already stated my liking for the brand, but this new scope is superior in every way to its predecessors.
I mounted the Genesis on a BSA Scorpion SE pre charged pneumatic air rifle using Sportsmatch mounts. I soon had a 30 yard zero and loosened the grub screws on the turrets and set them to 0. This makes resetting the zero a doddle, which was important, as I had a good play with the turrets, dialling up and down and left and right. Nine full turns are available on the adjusters, so there’s more than enough movement available. No matter how much I turned the turrets, the zero returned to where it was originally set, helped I’m sure by the coil erector spring. Changing magnification didn’t alter zero either, so full marks all round. I used the BSA/MTC combo an a couple of trips to the farm, where I hoped to take care of feral pigeons, magpies etc, but there wasn’t anything about unfortunately, so had to make do with a solitary squirrel up in the woodland. I ended up spending quite a while shooting acorns off a log just for the hell of it. The image clarity was very good even at first light and the minimal depth of field was a bonus, as I could really get the targets in perfect focus using the sidewheel.
Several trips to outdoor and indoor ranges showed the scope to be an impressive all-round performer and the AMD reticule had plenty of aim points out to 55 yards. I’ll be fitting this classy optic to my custom Anschütz .22 rimfire and using it when tackling a few rabbits up the golf course. After that it’s off to Bisley with it mounted on my Steyr .308 target rifle, where all those aim points will come in handy at range. Many shooters equate MTC Optics just with airguns, but those who do so are doing the company a disservice, as all their optics can be used on any firearm, no matter what the power source.
The Genesis 5-20 X 50 is available in matt black or silver and costs £349, which a very good price for a scope of this quality. MTC had better make sure they’ve got plenty of stock, as I can see this model being very popular indeed.