WHAT A SIGHT! 2
Mark Camoccio tells us why we should be considering this fine optic
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.
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