ZeroTech Trade ADV 4.5-27 x 50
- By Chris Parkin
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 20/01/2023
Zero Tech’s Trace riflescope embodies all the functionality a daylight target/ varmint shooter wants from a high magnification optic, yet remains reasonably modest in size. Built around a 30mm main tube, the hard anodising throughout is smooth and does not gather dust from your skin. Flip-up aluminium lens caps are supplied front and rear, both of which can be rotated and locked in position (with supplied tools) to suit. Zero Tech also supplies a detailed instruction manual and a neoprene stretch cover.
There is 55mm of free tube space in front and behind the saddle for scope mounting and that gives plenty of movement to set correct eye relief. The ‘ADV’ in the name stands for ‘Advanced’ and this is a First Focal Plane (FFP) optic, not to be confused with the cheaper non-ADV, second focal plane (SFP) options. The turrets and RMG reticle are both calibrated in MRAD, with 100 0.1 MRAD (1cm @ 100m) clicks per rotation, which, of course, exactly match both the hash marks and aim off dots on the reticle. Both turrets lift to unlock and rotate with audible, well-separated clicks to make mechanical alterations within the tube. The turret caps are 32mm in diameter and easy to grip, with heavily inlaid segments on their crowns, a bit like castle tower fortifications. Once zeroed, you can slacken off the outer caps and rotate to mark the zero position. Alternatively, with them completely removed, there is also a zero-stop facility, which allows negative travel to be enabled as well. The overall mechanical range is 17.5/16 MRAD (elevation/windage). At 17x magnification, the reticle spans 20 MRAD for further long-range aim-offs as well.
The parallax is adjusted on the left side of the saddle, offering 270º of rotation to adjust from slightly less than 25m out to infinity. There is no illumination control and although turret rotation is smooth, with a similar physical grip design, it’s quite small with a 30mm diameter and not that easily gripped with cold fingers. The zoom collar shows tactile knurling, with the full magnification range taking less than half a rotation to zoom through. There is a wing which stands vertically on 20x magnification and this would definitely be useful on the SFP version, but other than offering easy grip, it’s not optically necessary on this FFP unit. Reticle focus is facilitated with a fast-focus collar at the rear of the ocular body.
I used the scope when reviewing a Christensen Arms Ranger rifle in 22 rimfire across multiple distances. This gave me plenty of opportunities to dial as desired and check out the functionality. Reticle focus is crisp and seemed rather nice as the aim-offs are fine, yet the harder-to-read numbers float away more boldly from the mass of lines for easier visual reference. Zooming in and out is smooth, with no perception of mechanical noise from the internal lens package. Parallax is also the same, smooth and silent without backlash. A bit more grip on the dial would be nice but the depth of field is quite accommodating in the eye box, with eye relief spanning 91-100mm. It varies through the magnification range - the lowest is the longest and the highest is the shortest.
Elevation alterations tracked well and once zeroed, the scope’s adjustments matched my very regularly used, multiple-distance rimfire course of fire on steel gongs. That’s not to say the precise reticle isn’t also good on paper targets, where the crisp parallax and focus alterations made shooting at close ranges at tiny targets really pleasurable. Not all scopes in this price bracket will offer full mag clarification so close, something that’s especially important for rimfires. 100mm of eye relief makes the scope equally suited to centrefire recoil and engagement ranges too.
Offering 27x magnification with a 50mm objective lens is pushing the boundaries. Most high-end optics that dally with 25x or beyond have already graduated to a 56mm objective for greater light entry into the tube. Zero Tech is stating 92% light transmission, which is impressive, but I would say that although good for image clarity and contrast, this is more easily appreciable on lower magnification. Above 18-20x, the exit pupil is understandably more critical to engage and it’s a little less bright. But these are the compromises of a wide magnification range and a compact objective lens. However, they never interfered with my shooting enjoyment in daylight conditions. This is not a low-light optic in my opinion, but no item can be all things to all users.
The Zero Tech is certainly a scope worth looking at, as it shows good colour balance and a flat field of view, which is noticeable on paper targets where the text is easily read from edge to edge. In terms of varminting, this is perfectly capable of taking on vermin and pest species, especially crows at long range, where the fast-dialling capability with good, firm detents (clicks) makes adjustment fast and totally tactile. Your brain can count the clicks without you ever needing to break eye contact with the quarry.