WHAT A SIGHT! 2

Mark Camoc­cio tells us why we should be con­sid­er­ing this fine op­tic

Air Gunner - - Contents -

Mark Cam­ma­cio con­cludes his re­view of the FT su­per- scope from Sightron - the S111 SS

Field tar­get scopes are com­plex pieces of kit, and Sightron’s lat­est SIII SS 10-50X60 FT IRMOA mode has dis­tin­guished lin­eage. Last month, we set ev­ery­thing up, and now it’s time to see how it feels and per­forms. Im­por­tantly, the tar­get tur­rets carry markings that make it pos­si­ble to keep track of how many rev­o­lu­tions the tur­ret has trav­elled through. This will ap­peal to ex­pe­ri­enced field tar­get shoot­ers; the abil­ity to see eas­ily that the tur­ret needs to be re­turned to zero, be­tween rang­ing a tar­get, can prove vi­tal in the heat of com­pe­ti­tion. Again, the ro­ta­tion lines are pre­cisely marked, and with su­per-pos­i­tive clicks, this is a re­as­sur­ing scope to use.

Again, per­sonal taste comes into play, but I have now de­vel­oped a pref­er­ence for lighter kit, and this scope, whilst still a size­able beast, is no­tice­able for its lack of un­nec­es­sary bulk. Weight is rea­son­able and at just over 30oz, as men­tioned, it is sig­nif­i­cantly lighter than both Sightron’s own older SVSS spec, and ri­val Sch­midt and Ben­der’s top FT model, which tips the scales at over 44oz.

ON THE RANGE

The MOA2 ret­i­cle has a neat de­sign, too, with a float­ing cen­tral dot and equidis­tant lines sur­round­ing. Many FT shoot­ers dial the tur­rets for each tar­get dis­tance, but if holdover is your thing, then there’s plenty of aim/ref­er­ence points here to play with. The ret­i­cle fea­tures il­lu­mi­na­tion and this is sub­tle in that it only il­lu­mi­nates the cen­tral dot. With 11 stages of bright­ness, ad­justable via the rheo­stat con­trol, mounted just be­hind the mag­ni­fi­ca­tion dial at the rear, it can be set to suit per­sonal pref­er­ence and light con­di­tions. I’m never both­ered about il­lu­mi­na­tion, but I know plenty of friends who use it reg­u­larly, so all are catered for.

This field tar­get model fea­tures ful­ly­coated lenses, as you would ex­pect, and that means the Sightron Zact-7 TM 7-layer process. Edge-to- edge image qual­ity from the Ja­panese-made glass is extremely im­pres­sive, with no aber­ra­tions or dis­tor­tions de­tected, although at such high mag­ni­fi­ca­tions, field of view (FOV) is pretty small. If you’ve never used this type of scope be­fore, then that as­pect can be a lit­tle dis­con­cert­ing be­cause just lo­cat­ing the tar­get can be tricky ini­tially – in a dark area of wood, for ex­am­ple! With prac­tice and ex­pe­ri­ence, sweep­ing in the right area soon be­comes sec­ond na­ture, but many FT shoot­ers will wind down the mag’ to max­imise FOV whilst ini­tially lo­cat­ing the tar­get, then wind­ing the mag­ni­fi­ca­tion right up to the max­i­mum 50x to max­imise depth of field dif­fer­en­tial, when par­al­laxrang­ing the tar­get.

The rub­ber en­hancer it­self is a lit­tle too flex­i­ble, in my opinion. It can bend out of align­ment too eas­ily, slightly ob­scur­ing a full cir­cu­lar image on oc­ca­sions, but it’s ef­fec­tively a con­sum­able, and can be re­placed with some­thing more user-friendly.

On the range, I set­tled down for the par­al­lax evaluation ses­sion, with a se­lec­tion of tar­gets set out at 5-yard in­ter­vals, from 10 yards out to the estab­lished max­i­mum dis­tance of 55 yards. Ini­tial zero was set, and then I conducted the stan­dard grid test of shift­ing zero by a set amount, to the right, down, left, and then back up, and with the zero re­turn­ing per­fectly, the in­tegrity of the mech­a­nism was con­firmed. Min­i­mum fo­cus started at 12 yards for me, against 10 yards claimed.

In re­gard to mark­ing dis­tances, I would

“this scope, whilst still a size­able beast, is no­tice­able for its lack of un­nec­es­sary bulk”

al­ways rec­om­mend set­ting dis­tance mark­ers on the wheel, only af­ter a few shoot­ing ses­sions. Ini­tially, just make tem­po­rary marks on the wheel us­ing Tippex or cor­rec­tion fluid, which can be eas­ily rubbed off when a more per­ma­nent tape or markings can be ap­plied. Stick to a set rou­tine for turn­ing the wheel, start­ing at min­i­mum dis­tance, and slowly twist­ing through. Go very gen­tly past the point of per­fect clar­ity, and then re­turn to it – then mark off the range on the wheel. I re­peated the process, sev­eral times, and fine-tuned the markings, and then al­low­ing for tired eyes, I started afresh on a dif­fer­ent day. When all the ranges snap into the same point, it’s time to mark the side wheel prop­erly.

In use, this Sightron proved very con­sis­tent, and I was able to read ranges, nor­mally to within one or two yards ei­ther way; prac­tice, fa­mil­iar­ity and light con­di­tions will all play a part, of course. The wheel move­ment is smooth, but con­trolled, and all feels very re­as­sur­ing and well engi­neered. Range­s­ports make a neat set of dis­tance stick­ers that can be used, but any tape or pa­per ap­plied un­der clear tape can be used once you are happy that the marked dis­tances you have ar­rived at are ac­cu­rate.

CON­CLU­SION

The neo­prene pro­tec­tive scope bag sup­plied is fairly use­less, since it won’t fit over the scope with the rub­ber en­hancer in place. Tak­ing the en­hancer off and on con­tin­u­ously isn’t re­ally an op­tion, given how tricky it is to get it on and set in the right po­si­tion. Get past that mi­nor gripe, though, along with the ir­ri­tat­ing over-flex­i­bil­ity of the rub­ber en­hancer it­self, and this Sightron has to be seen as a se­ri­ous prospect. Pedi­gree of the brand is wholly jus­ti­fied, and it re­ally does de­liver in terms of build qual­ity and per­for­mance. All the usual ba­sic as­sur­ances are here too, such as fog­proof, shock­proof, and Sightron’s Limited Life­time War­ranty, so all things con­sid­ered, the SIII SS 10-50X60 FT IRMOA just has to be on any FT scope short­list.

SIII SS 10-50X60 FT IRMOA needs to be on any FT scope short­list

Note the rev­o­lu­tion track­ing sys­tem

I wound up to full mag’ to rangefind

Start with tem­po­rary range marks un­til you’re sure

That side-wheel action is su­per-smooth

Ret­i­cle il­lu­mi­na­tion is con­trolled by this rheo­stat

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