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Weaver Tactical - laughable BS

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/29/2010 at 22:09
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I happened to stop by a local sporting goods store and the Federal Ammo/Weaver Optics traveling roadshow truck was parked in the lot. So I thought, might as well take a look. There were some interesting displays of various Federal rounds, with cut-aways. But then I got to the optics and wasn't impressed. I asked the rep if they had any of the new tactical scopes and he said no but quickly paged through a catalog to show me what they are. I couldn't believe that a company would come out with an FFP, mil-dot reticle scope and put 1/8 MOA turrets on it. They just don't quite get it.

I looked through a couple of scopes and they were decent but had some tunneling and poor eye relief. Then he handed me some binos and said, "Those are pretty great for $320, huh?" I replied, "Not bad." But was thinking they were no better than the Nikon ATBs I got for $160 last year. The catalog had some laughable pictures of pseudo-LEO/military-looking guys and a sheet of note paper with various nonsense scribbled on it...like someone's notes on long-range shooting. The worst was entitled "Angled Fire" and gave the formula of multiplying the distance to target by the slope's cosine (the classic rifleman's rule). If I tried that instead of the IRR (improved rifleman's rule), my drop on a 30 deg. slope would be off by 14" @ 600 yards instead of only 3" (vs. JBM). (http://glarp.atk.com/2010/2010_Catalogs/WeaverCatalog.pdf - pg. 6)

Meanwhile, there are companies like SFWA and Vortex that are striving to provide tactical and other interested shooters with quality scopes in the sub-$1000 market. I just hope that people don't have this poor excuse of a corporate compromise foisted on them by some pointy-haired boss.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2010 at 13:41
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Thanks Jon a very good point.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2010 at 17:41
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Originally posted by jonoMT jonoMT wrote:

I happened to stop by a local sporting goods store and the Federal Ammo/Weaver Optics traveling roadshow truck was parked in the lot. So I thought, might as well take a look. There were some interesting displays of various Federal rounds, with cut-aways. But then I got to the optics and wasn't impressed. I asked the rep if they had any of the new tactical scopes and he said no but quickly paged through a catalog to show me what they are. I couldn't believe that a company would come out with an FFP, mil-dot reticle scope and put 1/8 MOA turrets on it. They just don't quite get it.

Are you sure... It reminds me of the customer feed back that wants Jeep Wranglers to have leather seats and a CD player.  Sounds like Garbage In and Garbage Out to me.  Where did they get thier input?  They make stuff to SELL.  The people who,WILL, BUY IT, have told them what they want, reguardless of if it is pratical or what they need or not.  It's like PT Barnum said "No one ever went broke under estimating the average intelligence of the American public."
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/04/2010 at 09:12
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Interestingly, I saw an ad for a competitor's website selling a Weaver (#800480) that SWFA appears to not even carry. It was for a Grand Slam 3-10X mil/mil scope, but SFP. So that makes it even stranger. I still don't buy that this was all because of customer feedback. Who in their right mind would request 1/8 MOA turrets for a mil/mil FFP scope? Companies think they are making stuff to sell but misread the market all the time or simply fail to understand what is worthwhile. It sounds like with these other two "tactical" models they did just enough reading on forums or talking to people to hear "mil reticle and FFP" but then either didn't hear "matching turrets" or some bean counter pointed out they'd have to retool too much machinery..."and I know so and so who can hit a gopher at 800 yards and he swears by 1/8 MOA turrets. They are what make a rifle accurate."
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/04/2010 at 11:57
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My brother is a businessman and salesman... It's amazing what he can sell just by saying the right things to the right persons....   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/04/2010 at 12:19
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I beleive it Trays,  there are some very "talented" salespeople in the world.  Some could sell ice to an eskimo But then again others couldn't sell a $1.00 life raft to bill gates in a flood.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/04/2010 at 20:16
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I am confused. How can a scope be "mil/mil" and have 1/8" turrets? My understanding was "mil/mil" meant having a mil-dot reticle with mil turrets. But I do agree, it would be silly to have 1/8" adjustments on any tactical scope. Kind of like Luppy putting out .05 mil turrets. DOH! 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2010 at 08:35
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Originally posted by billyburl2 billyburl2 wrote:

I am confused. How can a scope be "mil/mil" and have 1/8" turrets? My understanding was "mil/mil" meant having a mil-dot reticle with mil turrets. 
 

Im a bit confused from jonomt's comments, i think he was talking about two different scopes in Weavers line up. The 3-10 he was referring to from another website is mil/mil, 1” tube, and SFP. That scope has received some decide feedback on it over on snipershide for a budget based scope with mil/mil features, if you don’t have to have FFP, and it was priced at $299 for the month of July.

 

IMO, I think jonomt is being a little bit harsh with the Weaver bashing. If he was talking about BSA/Barska/NCstar/etc. ,then I would say right on, but Weaver does make some quality scopes (atleast I thought, once again, im not an optics expert).  Also, im glad to see weaver attempting some tactical style scopes. They may not have got it right yet, but more competition/options is a good thing to me.  Also the scopes he was critical of are their lower budget scopes, i think they do have some more expensive ones around the $600 that will meet his requirements.  Im not a weaver fan boy (I could prob be accused of being a SS fan since I own a 3-9 and a 10x and im very satisfied with them), but the weaver 3-10 mil/mil has my interest for a rimfire trainer I have (what would be ideal is if SWFA put mil adjustments on the 6x for me).

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2010 at 08:40
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Lumberjack, get the SS6x and have Kenton industries do a set of speed dials for you.  Problem solved.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2010 at 12:15
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Whoa, whoa. Hold on, son! I'm not confused about any of this. In my first post, I was talking about two scopes (that are priced @ $625 and $695) which Weaver is marketing as tactical scopes. They got two out of three things right:
  1. The scopes have a ranging reticle (which happens to be in mils)
  2. The scopes are FFP, so the reticle subtensions are always proportional to the object being ranged
What they did not get right for a scope aimed at this market is the inclusion of turrets that do not match the subtensions of the reticle. It doesn't matter whether they're 1/8 MOA, 1/4 MOA or IPHY, they don't match and that means that you cannot use the turrets to dial in a correction that matches what you saw through the scope, e.g. the first shot was 1.2 mils low so you could dial up 1.2 mils. So in my opinion, they still miss the boat on these two scopes. The strength of an FFP scope is in the combination of the focal plane and matching reticle/turrets.

Weaver also sells another scope that I mentioned later. That is the 3-10X Grand Slam. The reticle matches the turrets (mil reticle/ mil turrets) so that is good, but you can only range on one power because it is an SFP scope. So it is not as versatile as a SS 3-9X and only beats it on one measure, which is an additional 11% magnification.

So I'm sorry if I come across as harsh, but the reason I mention these things is because there are companies that get this market - like SWFA (Super Sniper line) and Vortex or Bushnell with their 3-12X Elite 4200 - and that are providing scopes in the sub-$1000 range. Weaver (ATK) appears to be going for a share of this market but without really understanding the formula for a successful tactical scope. My $.02 is to steer clear until they offer matching turrets in an FFP scope.




Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2010 at 12:37
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For what its worth, when I talked to Weaver at last SHOT they said that mrad-based turrets were coming in the future.

My problem with Weaver Tactical scope is actually different and it is not a problem unique to Weaver: adjustment range is more limited than I like.  It is only about 34MOA for the 4-20x50 and and 45 (or thereabouts) for the 3-15x50.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2010 at 13:07
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

For what its worth, when I talked to Weaver at last SHOT they said that mrad-based turrets were coming in the future.

My problem with Weaver Tactical scope is actually different and it is not a problem unique to Weaver: adjustment range is more limited than I like.  It is only about 34MOA for the 4-20x50 and and 45 (or thereabouts) for the 3-15x50.

ILya
That is a problem indeed. One I still can't understand considering how often it is mentioned.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2010 at 13:14
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Originally posted by cyborg cyborg wrote:

Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

For what its worth, when I talked to Weaver at last SHOT they said that mrad-based turrets were coming in the future.

My problem with Weaver Tactical scope is actually different and it is not a problem unique to Weaver: adjustment range is more limited than I like.  It is only about 34MOA for the 4-20x50 and and 45 (or thereabouts) for the 3-15x50.

ILya
That is a problem indeed. One I still can't understand considering how often it is mentioned.

Understanding it is really not a problem.  This is really more of a "shooter eduction" issue.  

I would guess that most of these very "tacti-cool" scopes are bought by people who never shoot beyond 100yards and even that off the bench.  Hence, there is a vested interest for the companies making scopes to add all sorts of features without getting the basics right.

However, properly worked out basics are the things that make the scopes work for truly challenging situations.  That is one of the reasons I like Super Sniper scopes so much: they do not offer all that many frills, but everything on those scopes is well thought out and works as advertised.  I do not care about trendy features that look good on the range nearly as much as I care about the scope working under ALL conditions.

For example,  I usually lean toward moderate magnification scopes, fairly thick reticles, stiff knobs and large adjustment ranges (at least 30% larger than I expect to ever need).  Only when my basic requirements are satisfied, I start looking at additional features.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2010 at 13:18
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Still you'd think they'd atleast try to get it right. But then again, that would indicate that there were no bad scopes to be bought too. Good observation Ilya.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2010 at 16:27
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Well, I do feel sympathetic to any scope designer who needs to accomodate these parameters to make a successful scope - especially in a variable. I haven't thought about elevation much because both the scopes I own that are considered "tactical" have elevation out the wazoo - beyond what my .308 can even use (34 mils/117 MOA and 29 mils/100 MOA, respectively + a 5.8 mil/ 20 MOA base). On a hundred-yard zero that means (theoretically anyway) a shot out to 1300 yards (although I hate to think what a 165-gr bullet would be doing at .9 mach.

The SS 3-9X and the Vortex PST 4-16X are both examples of scopes in a reasonable price range that offer plenty of travel (~21 mils/72 MOA if I recall) for a typical .308 load, especially if mounted on a 20 MOA base...although with the PST 4-16X you might still find yourself wishing for more with that high of an upper end on the magnification.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/07/2010 at 18:44
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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
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/07/2010 at 22:51
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Thanks Jon; your opinion and observations are always welcome and valued.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/08/2010 at 10:33
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Originally posted by Magnumdood Magnumdood wrote:

Thanks Jon; your opinion and observations are always welcome and valued.


I'm going to pretend that I'm the Jon you're thinking of here. Big Smile

JonA, knowing your expertise and shooting experience, your well-written review has given me a more positive outlook on at least this particular Weaver. My only gripe still is that the turrets aren't in mils. (I won't say anything more about their marketing materials).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/13/2010 at 21:57
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Weaver has always been a sleeper company in the optics world IMO.  I have had really good experience with their V series line, especially their V16.  Their durability has been top notch as is their turret design as far as durability and repeatability.  Their glass is always top notch for the price point as well. 

I agree with the above posters though regarding matching up turret and reticle.  Based on my style of shooting their new scopes just don't fit what I need.  A good MOA BDC reticle with Moa turrets and a hash-mark mil reticle with .1 mil turrets and scopes would fly off the shelves. 

My opinion anyway.
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I think they may have something with their new 3-10x mil-dot reticle with mil adjustments.  I'm considering buying one, but currently I'm all setup for using MOA adjustments and I'm not sure I want to start getting different guns setup using different methods and then have to keep it straight in my head.
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