Viper Pro Tactical
Phill Price views an array of scopes from MTC Optics
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.
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.
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.