Viper Pro Tac­ti­cal

Phill Price views an ar­ray of scopes from MTC Op­tics

Airgun World - - Contents -

Just a short while ago I was happy to be in­vited to the Na­tional Mar­itime Mu­seum in Green­wich, in sight of Lon­don’s bustling fi­nan­cial cen­tre. There we were in­tro­duced to all the new mod­els in MTC Op­tics’ range. The scopes were dis­played out­doors so that we were able to view the hill­side above and get a feel for the sight pic­ture that these ex­cel­lent scopes of­fer. We were pre­sented with some tech­ni­cal back­ground in­for­ma­tion on how these mod­els have been im­proved over the out­go­ing ones, and I was look­ing for­ward to see­ing for my­self how they per­form.

One model that caught my eye in par­tic­u­lar was the Viper Pro Tac­ti­cal which is the same as its sta­ble­mate, the Viper Pro, mi­nus the com­pli­cated geared tur­ret sys­tem. I like sim­ple kit, plus this ver­sion is £40 cheaper, which has to be a good thing. The spec­i­fi­ca­tion is un­ques­tion­ably im­pres­sive, start­ing with the mag­ni­fi­ca­tion range that starts at 5x and goes all the way up to 30x. This would have been unimag­in­able just a short while ago and truly al­lows you to set it for any con­ceiv­able air­gun shot, from up-close farm­yard rat­ting, to the very long­est tar­get shot you could try.

BIG EYES

Up front, a huge 50mm ob­jec­tive lens gath­ers ev­ery bit of avail­able light to de­liver a bright, clear pic­ture. Of course, at very high mag’ this is tech­ni­cally dif­fi­cult as the laws of physics dic­tate, so I was in­ter­ested to see how the Viper Pro would per­form. As be­fits a lon­grange op­tic, the windage and el­e­va­tion ad­justers are tall, ex­posed units with deep knurl­ing to en­sure a good grip even with your win­ter gloves on. Be­low these, I was very happy to see ro­tary lock­ing rings so that once you have your zero set, it can­not be lost by the ac­ci­den­tal turn of a dial.

As you’d ex­pect of such a scope, it has to be big to fit all that tech­nol­ogy in­side. It’s 417mm long, but weighs less that I was ex­pect­ing, at just 732 grammes, which isn’t too bad at all and makes it a very vi­able hunt­ing scope. It utilises a 30mm body tube which al­lows it to of­fer 42 MOA of ver­ti­cal ad­just­ment and lat­eral ad­just­ment. If you need more, the Viper Pro of­fers 73 MOA from its clever geared tur­rets. The Tac­ti­cal’s tur­rets are cal­i­brated 1/4” MOA for fine and pre­cise cor­rec­tions en­sur­ing that your zero is ab­so­lutely per­fect.

TO­TALLY FO­CUSED

Par­al­lax ad­just­ment is achieved with a neat side­wheel and MTC of­fers an over­sized, 3” add-on wheel for those who would like to use this scope’s abil­ity for rangefind­ing. I was very im­pressed with just how smoothly this turned and how well the im­age snapped in and out of fo­cus on full mag’. It also fo­cuses from 10 yards to in­fin­ity, prov­ing that it’s a proper air­gun scope.

The ret­i­cle is MTC’s own SCB2 that has ev­ery pos­si­ble aim­point for windage and range cor­rec­tion. As the im­age shows, it’s a cross be­tween a clas­sic mil-dot and a ‘Christ­mas Tree’ type which cov­ers all the bases. The

“Even at 15x the im­age qual­ity was still pretty good and I could see a lot of de­tail”

cen­tre il­lu­mi­nates red, con­trolled by a push but­ton on/off con­trol on the left side of the sad­dle, on top of the par­al­lax ad­juster drum. I like this a lot be­cause you don’t need to go all through the var­i­ous set­tings to go back to your pre­ferred one.

To keep the lenses free of dirt, MTC in­cludes a set of sub­stan­tial flip-up lens cov­ers that are a lit­tle bit unusual. Most cov­ers use a spring to lift them, but these need to be lifted with your hand and when in place, are held by mag­nets that can­not break and never wear out. I’ve bro­ken stacks of lens cov­ers over the

years, but these look like they should last. The rear one in­te­grates a mag­ni­fier that helps you to view the set­tings on the tur­rets, some­thing my ever-wors­en­ing eye­sight ap­pre­ci­ated.

EX­CEL­LENT IM­AGE QUAL­ITY

What I was most keen to ex­plore was the im­age qual­ity be­cause this scope is well above the price you’d ex­pect to pay for the av­er­age air­gun scope, so it had bet­ter be worth the money. I started by view­ing all man­ner of ob­jects from 25 to 100 yards at many dif­fer­ent mag­ni­fi­ca­tions. As is usual, the lower mag­ni­fi­ca­tions de­liv­ered brighter and more colour saturated images, but I was im­pressed as I wound the mag’ up. Even at 15x the im­age qual­ity was still pretty good and I could see a lot of de­tail in the bark of the trees and the veins of the leaves. As I pushed the mag­ni­fi­ca­tion fur­ther the im­age did be­come a lit­tle ‘milky’. This ex­pres­sion de­scribes the wash­ing out of the colours and the di­min­ish­ing de­tail of im­age. How­ever, even at the max­i­mum 30x mag’ I was able to read the small print on a piece of pa­per clearly at 30 yards. Not many scopes I’ve ever han­dled have been able to do that.

It’s clear to me that these scopes are op­ti­cally ad­vanced com­pared to your run-ofthe-mill air­gun op­tic, which is only fair be­cause they cost more, too. This scope is a bit too big and tech­ni­cal for my own use, but I can see the ap­peal for those who want to hit the long­est tar­gets that an air­gun could ever en­gage. I ap­plaud MTC for push­ing the bound­aries of what an ‘air­gun scope’ can do and if lon­grange shoot­ing is your thing, have a look at one. They re­ally are some­thing spe­cial.

De­spite its size it’s not a heavy scope.

The tall tur­rets of­fer easy di­alling.

Il­lu­mi­na­tion is con­trolled by this push swtich.

A mag­ni­fier in the rear lens cov­ers helps you to read the tur­ret in­cre­ments.

Par­al­lax ad­just­ment down to 10 yards shows this is a proper air­gun scope.

I felt the lens cov­ers were well built.

You don’t see 30x mag’ ev­ery day.

Lock­ing rings on the ad­justers en­sure no loss of zero.

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