MTC Optics Taipan 4-16x50 IR Scope
- By Pete Moore
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 14/12/2016
OK I know I’m a rimfire and centrefire rifleman and hunter, and MTC Optics are perhaps perceived as mainly building for the airgun community. However, a scope is a scope and I have put supposedly, dedicated airgun glass (if there is such a thing) on a fullbore and found it to do the job well.
A call from Sammy at MTC asked me if I’d like to look at their latest model, the Taipan, and what arrived did impress me as it addresses a number of areas that seem to appear on most modern scopes of this type. This is the flagship of their range and uses specially selected lenses and offers two reticules their SCB (small calibre ballistic) also used on their hugely successful Viper and the newer AMD (advanced Mil-Dot) which is exclusive to this model. Both have something to offer, but for my needs, which is mainly 17HMR at longer ranges 170/180-yards the SCB looks like a plan.
Typically the Taipan comes with all you need – bolt-on, 3”side wheel, twin-strap mounts, Allen keys, battery, flip-up lens caps and a sunshade. Plus the dedicated C-spanners for adjusting the lens cover positions and a scope jacket, but first the nuts & bolts.
Black anodised it shows a one-piece, 30mm body tube, lockable target turrets and a combined rheostat/side focus drum. The spec of this model is 4-16x50, also available; 10x44, 3-12x44 IR, 6-24x56 IR, 10-50x60 IR which seems to cover all needs. The ocular bell has twin, extended lugs on the magnification ring and a fast-focus eye piece. For the sunshield MTC use an integral, telescopic design. With a maximum extension of 4” it can be adjusted to suit, OK it makes the bell a bit wider, but it’s always there if you need it… The target turrets are lockable and though more a range-type feature they can be useful for winding in corrections in the field. MTC uses a locking wheel at the base that only need 1/6th turn to operate.
The Rule of Eight
Turrets offer 1/8” clicks @ 100-yards which gives 64 per turn (8”) and a surprising 11 full turns (88”) from top to bottom in both windage and elevation. Drums are divided into eight main sections and subdivided into 1/8; windage differs with a central 0 mark and 1-4 in either direction. The fixed section of the turrets are marked with horizontal stadia that go from 0-11, this allows you to return to a setting or simply not to get lost in elevation. Both are marked as to direction, but they are very small, better would have been something larger on the saddle.
Operation is simple – rotate the locks anti-clockwise then zero in the normal manner. Once done you can return to 0 by undoing the slot head screw in the top 2 ½-turns to free them, and then lock them back down again when sorted. Simple, with no need for Allen keys as a coin will do the job! The side-focus on the left of the saddle is marked – 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 300, 500 yards and 8 operation is smooth yet firm.
The extension wheel is held by Allen screws and marked the same, but I imagine most will use tape and set their own ranges. I’m not a big fan of these but the ability to rangefind or focus the target certainly does help. Distances match reasonably well, but with the big wheel fitted you do need a reference point on the body tube to line up with.
Illumination uses push button operation and offers red - R and green - G. There are two buttons – top (R) and bottom (G), each gives five levels of brightness so you can toggle up/down. The battery cover uses an interrupted thread and locking plunger to secure it, which is quicker than having to unscrew a plate.
My example came with the AMD reticule that offers a floating centre cross with nine (circle-type) Mil-Dots on the 6 o’clock arm, with ½-Mil subtensions in the form of hash marks. The format is of the #4 pattern with three thick, outer arms at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock with a fine line running up to 12 o’clock. Not a true Mil-Dot layout, but given most of us only use this for range correction a practical blend of the two. These give any number of aim-off options, plus there’s stadia for windage too. Typically and sensibly only the small cross is illuminated.
The optional SCB reticule takes into account the fact that a Mil-Dot subtends 3.6” @ 100-yards, which can be too big for airgun/rimfire needs. As often as not you have to guess where to hold along the subtension. This pattern offers .5, .75 and 1 Mil-Dot-type hash marks around the central area of the free-floating cross and offers just a bit more latitude for hold over etc. But go on the website as both are illustrated to see what I mean. As the ret is in the 2nd focal plane thought must be given to subtension values as they will only be full value at a certain power, normally maximum.
I was impressed by the build quality and thought that has gone into making the Taipan a practical option, regardless of how you use it. I put it on a number of rimfire and fullbore rifles with no ill effects, which leads me to conclude that it should not be classed as just an airgun scope; which it is certainly not.
For: New and useful features
Against: Don’t assume this is just an airgun scope
Verdict: Well priced and well worth a look
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