OK, so I bought one of these. A 4-20X50 model. Never would have predicted it a few weeks ago but, heh, long story.
Anyway, so far I’m pretty impressed with it. The first thing Weaver needs to do is correct the catalog. It comes with ¼ MOA (actually measure IPHY but more on that later) clicks and has a full 59.5 IPHY of total elevation travel.
Now the ¼” clicks, yes, are stupid this day and age with a Mil reticle, but 1/8” clicks are twice as stupid. At least ¼” are usable and pretty much put it on par with 95% of all tactical scopes out there. 1/8” clicks would make the kind of shooting I like to do (and most others) miserable and would not be acceptable. Now I obviously don’t like ¼” clicks but I sort of bought this scope as a temporary solution until the SS 5-20 is available and since I’ll be making up a BDC label for the turret for hunting season anyway I think I can suffer through. Living with it day to day will bother me but it's unlikely I'll notice it on my upcoming hunt.
While I’d certainly like more than 59.5 IPHY of travel, that’s enough to get most things done for most people. A far cry from 34 MOA which simply would not be enough for most tactical shooters—you likely couldn’t even get a 100 yd zero with a 20 MOA base. That also would have made the scope unusable to me. I believe that number comes from their 4-20 1” tube Super Slam, the 30mm tube Euro Super Slam is advertised as having 50 MOA which is pretty close. Probably where the 1/8" clicks came from too.
Mounted on my 300 RUM with a 20 MOA base I have about 50 IPHY of up left, which is enough to get me past 1500 yds with the big 240's…so I think I'll be OK for hunting season. Another note--it's range of travel is "square" so if you need some windage it will not limit your elevation. If you need more travel I'd suspect stepping down to the 3-15X50 will offer a lot more though I don't know exactly how much. (Much as I recently chose the 3.5-18 IOR over the 6-24X IOR for an application where I needed more travel.)
Like many MOA scopes, since "/100 yds and MOA are used pretty much interchangeably in the catalog and the user's manual, it was no surprise to find the clicks were actually IPHY instead of MOA even though they actually say MOA on the turrets themselves. Another nice source of confusion Mil clicks eliminate. They are accurate IPHY clicks though--well within 1% which is about as accurate as I can measure. So it doesn't bother me as it's easy enough to switch ballistics programs to IPHY, but if a guy didn't know it would cause some frustrations. He'd probably be reducing the BC's in his ballistics programs and blaming the bullet companies for lying! That's why I say ALWAYS measure your clicks. The clicks feel good and the reticle tracks very accurately and repeatably.
There is some measurable cant to the reticle, but not much--less than 1 degree which is certainly considered in spec for a scope in this price range. It amounts to about 1 click at 1000 yds with this rifle, so I'll zero one click to the right and call it good.
One of the reasons I'm impressed by it overall is its glass. It's surprisingly good--I mean REALLY good for that price range. I haven't compared it with everything but it would surprise me to find anything better for the price. The view reminds me of a SIII 6-24--clear, crisp, sharp with those big ol' mildots…. I'd have to compare the two side by side but I'd say its glass is at least close to that level. On 4X there's virtually no tunneling and the FOV is quite large--actually larger than the 4-16 PST on 4X despite what the specs say. So it's magnification range adds a lot of usable versatility. The eye relief is really long and actually gets a tiny bit longer at 20X which makes it good for hard kickers.
The reticle is a pretty standard mildot. Not fancy, but it gets the job done. It looks very sharp and well made. About the only criticism I have of it is they made the posts fairly thin at .58 Mils which makes it a bit thin on 4X if you're hunting in thick cover in low light. If it had thicker posts or illumination it would be much better for that. Don't get me wrong, it's still quite usable on 4X, much like a scope with a standard duplex, but it could be better for those applications. If it had the IOR 3-18 reticle it would be golden. Or illumination would do the trick. But my hunt this year should be mostly fairly open country so I'm not worried about it.
And the most important thing to me about the reticle of course it has--FFP. I want to hold wind with the reticle and being able to do that on any power is a must for me. I can also use the dots for hold over for a quick shot in mid-range even with the scope on low power.
Overall build quality seems very nice. It looks better in person than in pictures. In pictures I thought--mainly the turrets--had a sort of "made in China plastic" look to them. They aren't nearly so bad in person, they feel good and work well. I'm not a big fan of the locking design but that's actually one of the reasons I got it as I was just too worried about the turrets on the PST getting turned accidently in the field. They work as advertised and are very easy to reset to zero, etc, so they're usable. The rest of the scope looks really well made, the power ring turns nicely, the parallax adjustment is a bit easier than I prefer but it feels much like a S&B in that respect--I just prefer a bit stiffer. It works very well though. The fast focus has just the right stiffness. Overall it gives you the impression of a very nicely made scope.
Obviously I just got it so I can't comment on its durability yet, but it's on my IOR killin' big kicker so that'll be a nice test. Seeing "MADE IN JAPAN" stamped right on it gives me more of a warm fuzzy these days than so many competing scopes where it's anybody's guess where the guts came from.
I figured I should give you guys my first impressions of it as I know many are searching for scopes in this price range. No, it doesn't have all the features we like--if they'd just put .1 Mil clicks on them they'd really be a fantastic value. Their Euro Super Slam version is also available with illumination so they could add that as well with little effort. So I see this scope as a good value, but could be a lot better. It has much potential if Weaver would just make a couple changes…. But beggars can't be choosers I guess. Hopefully with the success of their 3-9X Mil/Mil they'll get the hint and realize these would fly off the shelves with just that one change alone.
Edited by Jon A - September/07/2010 at 18:47