Observing what’s new
The editor heads to the Big Smoke to see what’s new from MTC
Although I live just 45 miles from central London, I avoid it like the plague. Too many people, too many cars, and too much hassle for a country boy like me. However, it’s a useful distance when there’s something good on show that I really do want to see. Just such an event saw me board a main line train, swap to the Underground and then use the Docklands Light Railway as far as Greenwich, and finally on foot to the National Maritime Museum. I was there for the launch of MTC’s new line of scopes that I’d heard about, but never handled.
The venue was the Queen’s House, spectacular in its grand setting, and we were blessed with hours of warm sunshine to put the icing on the cake. We looked across the huge lawns toward the observatory up on the hill that was at the very forefront of space research in its day. Journalists from all the major shooting publications were in attendance, many of whom I know, alongside our own Mark Camoccio and Gary Wain from our sister magazine, Airgun World. We were welcomed and soon treated to a fascinating but short lecture on the history of the venue that felt so relevant because we were there to enjoy optical devices.
All the scopes were mounted on clear plastic ‘rifles’ that were designed to look inoffensive so that they didn’t scare the hundreds of visitors strolling through the beautiful grounds. This gave us the opportunity to shoulder the ‘rifles’, have a good look at the image quality and test out the different settings. This is much better than just holding the scope in your hands and gives a more realistic impression of the performance.
The first thing I noticed was a huge improvement in the feel of all the controls. They moved with a light, smooth action that was very pleasing. Dialling your preferred
settings just seemed so easy with
these models. We looked at the Viper Pro, Viper Pro Tactical, Mamba Pro 2 and – the star of the show, for me – the MambaLite.
Technical advancements included new lenses and coatings that improve clarity and sharpness whilst having a special feature to work with today’s technologies. The coatings are designed to be compatible with nightvision equipment and digital cameras, which are all the rage today. Many scopes simply are not compatible with these technologies, but if you buy from the new MTC range you’ll have no problems.
The clever turret system that delivers three full revolutions of the elevation adjuster with one turn of the cap is on offer on the Viper Pro 10 x 44, to ensure that you never get lost when dialling for long-range shots. On all the models listed you also find the innovative rear lens cap that contains a 2x magnifier that helps you to read the numbers on the turret, a feature that suited my poor eyesight very well.
Every scope comes with flip-up covers, front and rear, that fold completely flat against the body when open, greatly decreasing the chances of them getting snagged or damaged. They’re held firmly by magnets, so there are no little springs to grow weak or fail.
For me, the star of the show was the MambaLite because this seems like the hunter’s choice. It’s available as a 3-12 x 42 or 4-16 x 42 based on a 1” body tube. As the name suggests, this is a lightweight scope weighing just 570 grammes, making it a sensible load to carry in the field. I also appreciated low turrets, which are always my choice on a hunting scope. The adjusters are very comfortable and need no screwdriver or coin to turn, and they’re properly protected by screw- on aluminium dust covers to maximise protection in the field.
Parallax adjustment is made with a side wheel dial, keeping the objective bell clean and as small as possible to allow the scope to be mounted low. MTC have been class leaders in innovative, multi aim-point, reticle design and the MambaLite uses the SCB2, which for the first time is illuminated. It offers every aim-point you could ever want for windage and elevation which you’ll now be able to utilise in any light condition.
I really like the push-button on/off control for the illumination – It’s much quicker and easier than rotating the dial each time to select your preferred setting. I have a sample of this superb little optic and I’ll bring you a review of its performance soon, but I have to say that it’s already looking like a winner to me.
I was happy to see dedicated hunting models alongside the competition ones
All sorts of strange journalists were invited
MTC’s Tony Belas welcomed us to the beautiful Queen’s House
“It offers every aim- point you could ever want for windage and elevation”