Minox ZP5 5-25x56 Riflescope
When I first came across Minox sporting scopes some five-years ago, I wasn’t really blown away by the capability but a chance encounter with the ZP (professional) range in 2015 seemed to coincide with a new generation of innovation, marketing coherence and a great line of ZP optics. In 1-8, 3-15 or 5-25 formats, they offer simple hype-free performance with functional turrets and a good range of reticles without diluting their own option list too heavily. First focal plane performance, tied perfectly with great discernible clicks allowing fast adjustment and performance on the range, or in the field when used for long range varminting, with great optical performance and clear images with a solid ‘clunk’ on the easily gripped turret signifying the second rotation
Kahles 6-24x56 624i.
The Kahles 624i stands clear of the opposition, not just for it’s smaller 4x zoom range, from 6-24x rather than 5-25, but because of it’s visually and mechanically innovative approach to the parallax control, seen wrapped around the elevation turret, rather than the left side of the 34mm tube’s saddle. Continuing the ergonomic innovation, this further led to Kahles offering the windage dial to the left side to appeal to left handers or those for whom positional work can appreciate the mirroring of controls. The usual Kahles optical qualities of easily available crisp bright image with warm colouration into low light, sit alongside a quirky styling that performs just as well as it looks. Nicely different
Steiner MX5i 5-25x56 Riflescope
One of the prerequisites for a true, longrange scope are markings and identifications that allow easy recognition of which rotation the elevation turret is set in, because when adjusting vertical point of impact by over 20 mRad, you never want to get lost. Steiner’s claim to fame was their fascinating design for a spiral ‘curtain’ like collar on the turret that rises and falls between the first and second turn to display either the correct markings, while simultaneously obscuring the ones not of interest. Very innovative, a great display of machining and accuracy standards, yet retaining simple adjustability without requiring ultra-complex turret disassembly to re-set the primary zero distance.
Nightforce ATACR 5-25x56 Scope
For many years, Nightforce NF and NXS models have been the benchmark by which other long-range brands have been judged, yet always seemed to fall a little short on European optical warmth, especially in low light. The introduction of the ATACR and its higher specification glassware marked a new step for Nightforce who intelligently evolved rather than revolutionised their product line. Specifically, the ATACR shows the larger 34mm tube, now assumed to be the basis for a true ‘tac’ scope. Familiar mechanics and adjustment capabilities to the old optics paired alongside multiple reticle options, M.O.A. units and first focal plane options tick all the boxes for the market to make my favourite scope in their whole lineup, without the weight limitations of the B.E.A.S.T for super long range.
Swarovski X5i 5-25x56 P
Swarovski were always seen as the ultimate in image quality for sporting optics and those who used them for hunting would always dream of the day when such optical magnificence would be paired with a true long-range capability, high magnification and turrets to dial with. It was a little odd when it arrived that the X5 had chosen to remain at a more mechanically and optically limiting 30mm tube size, but the turret was something else in terms of high rise ergonomics and masses of travel in both directions from the zero stop, for true 1000m+ performance. The image quality and travel range are superb, but you are left wondering why they stayed with 30mm, physically limiting lens sizes within that mechanical range and, perhaps even more surprisingly straying from their long held 10mm/0.01mRad clicks into M.O.A. territory. Second focal plane also excludes it from a Tactical scope in my mind but it makes a superb long-range varminter.
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