Mark Camoc­cio brings us part one of his re­view of this re­mark­able op­tic

Air Gunner - - Contents -

Part one of Mark Ca­mac­cio’s re­view of the SIII SS from Sightron - it’s more than good enough for the top HFT boys

Field tar­get is an ex­act­ing sport, and is open to any­one to en­joy at their own level. How­ever, for the top ex­po­nents on the com­pe­ti­tion cir­cuit who are se­ri­ous about bring­ing home sil­ver­ware, in­vest­ment in ul­tra-pre­cise, tech­ni­cal kit is pretty well a given. Once the small mat­ter of a su­per­ac­cu­rate ri­fle has been sorted, it’s time to throw re­sources at some glass­ware ca­pa­ble of rangefind­ing tar­gets out to 55 yards.


Sev­eral scope man­u­fac­tur­ers jos­tle for po­si­tion in FT cir­cles, and Sightron is one of the big names that has earned a loyal fol­low­ing in re­cent years, off the back of se­ri­ous re­sults at the sharp end. John Costello’s World FT ti­tle in 2013, us­ing an SVSS 10-50X60 model, put the brand firmly cen­tre stage, and on test here is the lat­est ver­sion of the later SIIISS model, again a ded­i­cated FT scope aimed at com­pe­ti­tion shoot­ers. John’s SVSS was built around the larger 34mm body tube, but this new SIIISS fea­tures a 30mm tube, which for a start helps to re­duce weight dra­mat­i­cally from 45oz to around 30oz.

So, let’s first con­firm the spec­i­fi­ca­tion of this new model, and then take a closer look at each as­pect.

The 10-50 denotes vari­able mag­ni­fi­ca­tion be­tween 10x and 50x, and the ‘60’ con­firms a front ob­jec­tive bell of 60mm. ‘ IR’ in­di­cates an il­lu­mi­nated ret­i­cle, and ‘ MOA’ to’ Minute of An­gle’ val­ues and the MOA2 ret­i­cle fit­ted. The scope comes well pack­aged and you also get a 5-inch side wheel, a large padded scope bag, and a rub­ber push-fit scope en­hancer in­side the box.


So, first task is to check that the ret­i­cle and tar­get are in fo­cus. Use the rear quick fo­cus to ad­just the im­age, and fine tweak un­til the ret­i­cle and tar­get are clear at the same time. Now we need to fit the rub­ber en­hancer. This is a push-fit onto the rear oc­u­lar lens. It is a bit of a fid­dly job, and needs to be done by hold­ing the rub­ber fit­ting firstly at the right an­gle, bear­ing in mind the wide sec­tion that cups the eye socket, whilst try­ing not to un­set­tle the rear fo­cus ring that we have just set. The cup then needs to be pushed into place far enough on to set the cor­rect eye relief, too. It’s not rocket sci­ence, as they say, but it is awk­ward.

Now it’s time for mount­ing so the 5-inch par­al­lax ad­juster side wheel needs to be fit­ted. First, check that the three small, Allen-headed screws are slack­ened enough so that they don’t foul the in­ner cir­cle, push the wheel over the side par­al­lax knob un­til it sits fully on, and firmly in place, and then gently tighten all three screws al­ter­nately. The ini­tial po­si­tion of the wheel doesn’t mat­ter, since it comes with no range mark­ings what­so­ever. This makes sense be­cause many man­u­fac­tur­ers’ mark­ings are of­ten out by a few yards, and the fi­nal set­tings are down to per­sonal eye­sight in

any case. This Sightron ef­fec­tively gives the shooter a blank can­vas, and al­lows us to set ev­ery­thing just so.

OK, in the­ory, the larger 34mm tube utilised in sev­eral FT scopes these days al­lows for more me­chan­i­cal ad­just­ment range to be squeezed in­side, yet in prac­tice, with many shoot­ers us­ing ad­justable mounts and su­per-high scope rails, this as­pect be­comes largely aca­demic. ‘Cen­tring’ the op­ti­cal sys­tem is pop­u­lar, where the tur­rets are set to the mid-point of their ad­just­ment, po­si­tioned in the mounts, and then the scope is ac­tu­ally ze­roed via an ad­justable mount sys­tem, is again pop­u­lar. Ei­ther way, this new SIII has plenty of ad­just­ment range in both windage and el­e­va­tion, for con­ven­tional mount­ing. High 30mm ring mounts are the ticket, to cope with that hefty 60mm ob­jec­tive.


‘ Tar­get’ tur­rets come as stan­dard, and these both have screw caps and ad­just­ment val­ues in 1/8MOA. Mark­ings are pin-pre­cise and marked from 0 through to 9, with plenty of in­cre­ments be­tween. Cru­cially, the tur­rets are re­set­table so that you can set zero at a de­sired range in the usual way, then slacken off the small tur­ret screws, quickly ro­tate the loose tur­ret – which is now to­tally free of the ad­just­ment spin­dle – po­si­tion it at zero, and then re-tighten the tur­ret screw. Your ini­tial ref­er­ence point, that ev­ery­thing else stems from, is now set.

Next month, I’ll con­clude the re­port and we’ll see how this scope shapes up where it mat­ters.

This model is sig­nif­i­cantly lighter than many ri­vals

Tar­get tur­rets are clearly marked

The Sightron SIII SS 10-50X60 FT IRMOA is an im­pres­sive piece of kit

Mag­ni­fi­ca­tion all the way to 50x

The rub­ber scope en­hancer is a nice touch

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