MTC Taipan 6-24x56 IR Scope and AMD Reticle
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- Last updated: 27/01/2017
MTC Optics need little introduction, having hit the ground running a few years back, with a range of scopes guaranteed to ruffle their competitors feathers.
When asked to recommend a scope for Hunter Field Target Shooting, for example, MTC’s Viper range normally heads up any shortlist. Great optics and build quality, coupled with elaborate reticle designs - all for an incredibly reasonable asking price. This just about sums up the company ethos, but they don’t just stop at the HFT competitor.
The new Taipan range – named after one of the world’s most venomous snakes - is the MTC’s new flagship model, and given the specifications across the range, they are primarily suited to hunters. With my test model specified as the 6-24x50, the highest 24x mag hovers around the bare minimum for entry level FT, so I’ll be checking it for range finding potential along the way too.
The ‘IR’ in the name relates to illuminated reticle, but this new Taipan is simply bristling with an amazing host of innovative features, all included in the asking price of £284.
The first thing I noticed was the front mounted telescopic sunshade. I’ve never seen this on a scope before, and the idea is simple but brilliant. Two additional tubes slide within each other to extend the front shade from 1.5inches to 4inches forward of the front lens; there to be used and simply pulled out when required.
Metal flip-up lens covers have been a standard feature with MTC since the off, and the Taipan is no different. Couple this with a pair of split ring 30mm mounts, all included in the price, and the deal looks like a result already. The mounts are another first to my eyes too, with a double strap design incorporating individual straps. MTC claim this helps in avoiding crimping, and (for the cack-handed inclined to hang off a wrench) they will probably help. An elasticated padded cover for protecting the scope when not in use (or in transit) is also included in the package.
Yet another innovation is the provision of locking wheels at the base of the target turrets. The idea here is to prevent turrets being over-tightened, and in practise, operation is slick. Just slacken the wheel first, adjust the 1/8inch click turrets as required, then gently nip up the wheel again. Further detail comes with the coin-operated turret caps. This basically takes the place of allen screws which are used to hold the caps in place. When the turret has been zeroed, the cap needs to be completely released and replaced, with ‘0’ at point zero, so any future adjustment can be calculated, and point zero easily returned to. This design is just that bit more user friendly.
Upgraded anodising is used in the production of these Taipans and I have to say the finish on my test sample was excellent.
ETE (edge to edge) lens coating is used on this range too, which apparently aids the low-light performance. Over the course of my test period, I certainly had no complaints on the brightness score, although I’ve been nothing short of amazed at the clarity from previous Mamba and Viper models, in any case.
A Bit on the Side
Side wheels are all the rage these days, and a 3inch example is included with the Taipan. Whilst probably more relevant if FT shooting is planned, the added leverage does make parallax adjustment more comfortable; although in use, the movement was not quite ultra-smooth.
Preliminary checks confirmed that the minimum focus did indeed come in accurately and clearly at the pre-marked 10yds, whilst side parallax adjustment on the highest 24x magnification, revealed consistent repeatable readings. However, it should be noted that the pre-marked ranges on the wheel/side turret read 5yds less than the actual distance from 25yds onwards. This is very common with many scopes, and as usual, the important point here is that readings are consistent and repeatable, since FT shooters (and increasingly hunters come to that) add their own markings onto the side-wheel after checking distances through the ranges.
The new reticle design is called AMD standing for ‘Advanced Mil Dot’, with the basic idea being to clear some of the clutter from the image. Gone are the top and side windage marks, leaving the floating central cross and one further windage dot on each side. In practise, for most airgun applications, the markings left should be more than enough. The lower stadia provides no less than 10 Dots, whilst dispensing with the Christmas tree, synonymous with the SCB design. Long-range shooting is therefore well catered for, and in use the image is excellent.
With hunting in mind, and HFT at a push, the reticle allows for a multitude of bracketing to be carried out. With the scopes mag turned to 10x, a 40mm kill area sits within the centre and the first Mil Dot when viewed at 40yds, so everything else is relative. This is purely an example, and personal homework will always pay dividends. I say HFT at a push, since the 50mm objective lens necessitates the use of relatively high mounts which creates a high site line; thus a more curved trajectory on paper. If a ‘one scope for all’ approach was adopted though, this Taipan would give a good account of itself in all three disciplines.
As a hunting scope, it’s primary function after all, the specification means incredible versatility comes as standard.
Illumination of the reticle is a built-in feature with these Taipan models, with 7 power settings in either red or green. Just push either button on the side of the left (parallax) turret, and the central cross of the reticle instantly illuminates. Battery access lies beneath this same turret, so the design is more streamlined than many ‘IR’ models, dispensing with the normal rheostat pod on the back of the objective lens.
Well my only gripe would be the weight. I’m no fan of some of the top ‘high mag’ rifle scopes – including the popular Nikko Sterling FT model - for the simple fact that they transform the balance of a rifle through their significant mass. This Taipan is 2oz shy of the Nikko, and a full 50% heavier than the Viper range. Having said that, I’ve spoken to shooters who love these bold heavyweights, and pack their rifles with more lead to boot. Each to his own as they say, and there’s no doubting that we have an impressive piece of kit here; but weight can be an issue so bear it in mind.
Bleatings from a weakling aside, MTC are clearly going from strength to strength, with well thought out distinctive products, offering the shooter great features at very affordable prices. As such, this Taipan should please many a long range hunter, and deserves to succeed.
£284 including sunshade, lens covers, mounts, side-wheel extender, battery and a protective scope cover