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TEST NEW BURRIS ELIMINATOR AND LEICA ER

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2010 at 09:20
John Barsness View Drop Down
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This is the February 2010 article written for opticstalk.com by John Barsness, co-author of the quarterly on-line magazine Rifle Loony News, available through the website www.riflesandrecipes.com.

 

            The two new riflescopes reviewed this month are opposites in many ways. The much-anticipated Leica is pretty much a traditional hunting scope, while the Burris Eliminator LaserScope combines laser and electronic technology to provide an aiming point that automatically compensates for range out to 500 yards.

            Let’s do things alphabetically and look at the Burris first. At first glance it looks like the laser rangefinding scope Burris has had on the market for a few years now. Unlike conventional scopes, with a tube between two bells, it’s a modernistic design with built-in clamps that fit Weaver/Picatinny bases. The Eliminator is a 4-12x42 variable, and weighs 27 ounces.

            A push-button on the side of the scope turns on the laser. This works like any other rangefinder except that the center of the reticle does dual-duty as the aiming point for both scope and laser. The range is displayed in an LED in the view of the scope—and simultaneously one of a series of LED dots located from the center of the reticle downward along the lower crosshair lights up.

            The lighted dot is the aiming point. Theoretically, you just put this on the target and pull the trigger, since the scope compensates for both range and up-and-down angle of shots out to 500 yards. I field-tested it on two different days, first on a level shooting range out to 500+ yards, and then in a local canyon where shots could be taken at various angles. Instead of shooting groups at paper targets, I shot at various rocks and twigs sticking out of the snow. This is one advantage of a typical Montana winter: The snow leaves an instant record of where the shot struck—and every shot landed within 2-3 inches of where the illuminated dot was placed, all the way out to 500 yards, and many were direct hits. (Of course, I picked windless days for the shooting.)

            Not every cartridge/bullet combination has the same trajectory, so the scope has to be programmed for the ballistics of the specific load used. The test rifle was a semi-custom .223 Remington, built on a Remington 788 action with a medium-weight stainless E.R. Shaw barrel and a Timney trigger. It’s quite accurate, especially with the test load, a 50-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip and 26.0 grains of Ramshot TAC, which chronographs around 3350 fps. (Partly the 788 was chosen for the test because it’s so accurate, but it also has a long Weaver base screwed-and-glued onto the action, and I always have a lot of ammo loaded.)

            Programming the scope with the bullet and velocity data would have gone much more quickly with the help of an 8th-grader, but I muddled through. The written directions that accompany the scope are pretty straightforward, so programming only took about 6-8 minutes. With familiarity the task could easily be done in half that time.

            I used the side-button on the scope itself during all the shooting tests, but the scope also comes with a remote button on a Velcro strap for mounting on the rifle’s forend, a handier arrangement for some kinds of hunting, especially where the hunter needs to be a motionless as possible. I tested this secondary button set-up at home, and it works.

            I didn’t test the repeatability of the scope’s standard adjustments, because there wasn’t any point, but for the purposes of the test I did sight-in the rifle 2” high at 100 yards, and that was easily done. (The reticle itself is a pretty much standard plex-type, and works fine even when not lit up electronically.) After the shooting tests, I made my standard nighttime eye-chart test at 25 yards, with the scope set on 6x. It rated a 6+ on the chart, about average for multi-coated scopes and perfectly adequate for most hunting. I expected it to test about like that, despite some Burris scopes testing 7 or even a little better, because complex reticles are normally mounted on a thin, uncoated sheet of glass. This reduces the amount of light reaching our eye slightly.

            All in all the Burris Eliminator is a remarkable piece of technology, especially with the real-world price of around $850. It’s on the heavy side, so will probably mostly be used by varmint hunters in its present form, but we all know how electronics shrink over time. I’d expect a smaller version to appear in the future.

            The test Leica ER was a 2.5-10x42mm, with a 30mm tube in an anodized matte-black finish (apparently the only finish available, at least right now). It’s remarkably compact for a scope of those dimensions, and weighs only 16.6 ounces. I mounted it in Talley steel rings on Mr. Miserable, my old .338 Winchester Magnum, built on an FN Mauser action with a medium-weight 22’ barrel and one of Mark Bansner’s High-Tech synthetic stocks.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2010 at 10:08
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Any idea the level of protection the aquadura would provide against external fogging?  Also, are the Leica's available with an illuminated reticle...and did the lack of one detract anything during your test?  Thanks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2010 at 10:15
John Barsness View Drop Down
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All the hydrophobic coatings provide some degree of exterior fogging protection, because the tiny droplets tend to bead up together and run off.
 
So far as I know, an illuminated reticle isn't available (yet, anyway) in the new Leica scopes. As far as aiming in dim light, the reticle of the scope tested was plenty good.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2010 at 10:29
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I love these tests thanks JOHN
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2010 at 10:44
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John,
Good review-Thank you.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2010 at 10:57
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Thank you for the review very informative as always.
 
Duce   Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2010 at 11:52
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John,

Once again, Thanks for another helpful review.  It is always appreciated.
I like the compactness of the Leica.

Steve
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2010 at 15:15
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I would be interested to hear from those who have peaked through both, how the Leica ER compares optically to Zeiss Victory.....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2010 at 16:12
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Nice report, John!

 
With the Leica ER's short eyepiece design, how did the tube length compare to other scopes of the same or similar length?  Just curious if the short ocular housing provides a significant enough mounting length advantage on magnum length bolt actions that it would eliminate the need for extension mounts.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2010 at 16:37
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pass thru,
 
I'm going to get a Zeiss Victory to test, because I'm curious too! I haven't tested any scope from Zeiss except a Conquest for several years.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2010 at 16:42
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Awesome.....I'll keep my purse strings tight until I see your report!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2010 at 16:43
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Ted,
 
The tube length of the Leica between the bells is 6-1/4 inches, which is nice and long. When mounted on the FN action of my .338, for instance, there's plenty of tube for flexibility in mounting. It would mount real easily on a long-action Winchester Model 70 or Remington 700, for instance.
 
The tube length on the S&B Summit and a 2.5-10x42 Leupold VX-7, on the other hand, is 5-1/2 inches.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2010 at 16:46
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That's a pretty significant difference!  Thanks for the info.  That's the one area where I see the Leica ER having a decided advantage over competing premium scopes.  It's a nice design feature!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2010 at 18:44
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                 Whatever          I bought my first car for $700.....       
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2010 at 19:33
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Heck, I bought my first car for $15!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2010 at 21:33
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shoot, I didn't even have to pay for my first........... oops.... got a little carried away there.  Big Smile

Nice review John, sure glad I talked Chris into having you on this forum.... oops, did it again! Bucky
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2010 at 23:05
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Good read John, I think alot of us were wondering how the new Leica scopes would be, looks like they did it right.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2010 at 08:13
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seems like the S&B is as good as the leica but a couple hundred less?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2010 at 10:06
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Actually about $300 less--and if we count optical quality as the entire measure of a scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2010 at 11:36
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Quote Heck, I bought my first car for $15!
 
In the summer of '35 I presume?!? Wink Big Grin
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2010 at 18:12
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Fall of '68. It was a '58 Mercury station wagon with power everything (including windows), push-button auto and a 430 V-8. It wasn't in the best shape, but it ran, and had so much room that I could keep it running by ferrying lots of my friends around, and hitting them up for a quarter now and then--and gas cost 25 cents a gallon.

Of course, it got about 5 mpg in town, maybe 8 on the highway, and neither "park" nor the emergency brake worked. I eventually fixed the brake but until then I carried a brick on the front seat, and when I had to park on any sort of an incline, I tossed the brick in front of the appropriate tire.
 
The reason I got it so cheap is that it had been given away in a raffle, and the guy who won didn't want it. I drove it for about 6 months and then sold it to another  guy for $25.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2010 at 20:49
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JOHN

If optically its a toss up then I would also assume (partiallybased on your tests of both) the S&B would perform, track, be as reliable as the leica. It seems THe only real differences in these super premium 1" scopes would be available reticles and mounting length.....and cost
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2010 at 21:18
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...and hydrophobic lens coatings ("Aqua-Dura") on the Leica.  Also, the Leica has a 30mm tube, not 1".

Edited by RifleDude - February/09/2010 at 21:19
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/13/2010 at 17:28
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In checking the spec's,  the Leica is lighter, has a 30mm tube, has a larger objective, is easier to mount (more straight tube fore and aft of the adjustment housing) and has longer eye relief.  Just looking at the spec's, the Leica is very interesting!  NV Hunter 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/14/2010 at 18:11
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Yeah, it's a very nice scope. Obviously they put a lot of thought and R&D into it.
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