Ob­serv­ing what’s new

The ed­i­tor heads to the Big Smoke to see what’s new from MTC

Air Gunner - - Scopes -

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.

PLAS­TIC RI­FLES

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.

GEARED TUR­RETS

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.

PA SIDEWHEEL

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”

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