Lite Sight

Phill Price finds the hunter’s scope from the MTC range

Airgun World - - Contents -

Is the Mamba Lite, from MTC Op­tics, Phill Price’s ideal hunter’s scope?

MTC has been one of the favourite brands in air­gun cir­cles for a long time, and their range has re­cently been re­freshed. As be­fore, many mod­els have a com­pe­ti­tion bias, but I’m not a com­pe­ti­tion shooter so my eye was drawn to the Mamba Lite. As the name sug­gests, this is a light­weight model that sits well on sport­ing ri­fles like the Daystate Hunts­man, BSA Scor­pion or Air Arms S410. It has every­thing a hunter needs and none of the things he doesn’t. It’s built on a one-inch body tube which saves weight and also makes it sit slightly lower to the ac­tion. The weight is just over 500 grammes so it doesn’t over­whelm sport­ing ri­fles and spoil their fine han­dling in the way that un­nec­es­sar­ily heavy scopes can.

By us­ing a 42mm ob­jec­tive (front) lens, lots of weight is saved com­pared to 50 or 56mm ob­jec­tives, and when the qual­ity of the lenses and their coat­ings is good, you can get a re­ally bright sight pic­ture. Per­haps at the very last min­utes of the day the big­ger lenses might show their worth, but for 95% of the day 42mm is plenty for my needs. I value qual­ity over quan­tity any­time when it comes to im­age.

SIDE FO­CUS

One com­pro­mise MTC chose was to use side fo­cus, which it seems is what most peo­ple want th­ese days. An ob­jec­tive-mounted par­al­lax ad­juster is far sim­pler and uses fewer lenses, sav­ing weight, but to be blunt, it’s just not cool any more. The left side of the cen­tral sad­dle houses the par­al­lax ad­juster and also the con­trol for the il­lu­mi­nated ret­i­cle. This is clever in that the rub­berised push but­ton is mul­ti­func­tional; press and hold and the il­lu­mi­na­tion comes on; click again, and the ret­i­cle gets brighter. Keep click­ing and it gets brighter and brighter un­til it re­sets to the dimmest set­ting again. Press and hold to turn off.

The ret­i­cle is MTC’s own SCB-2 which is a multi-aim-point job with mark­ings for hold over and windage, in­clud­ing a ‘Christ­mas tree style’ sec­tion that helps you to add windage cor­rec­tions as you in­crease hold over for dis­tance. At the mid­dle, there’s a box that brack­ets the cen­tre of the cross hair and it’s only those parts that il­lu­mi­nate. This is a good thing be­cause if the whole ret­i­cle is il­lu­mi­nated it can of­ten daz­zle your eye and ob­scure your tar­get.

The el­e­ments of the ret­i­cle are very fine in the way that many tar­get scopes are. This can aid ul­tra-pre­cise shoot­ing, but can make the ret­i­cle a lit­tle tricky to see in com­pli­cated back­grounds or in poor light. Mak­ing use of the il­lu­mi­na­tion in those con­di­tions be­comes very im­por­tant.

ME­TAL CAPS

I was pleased to see fin­ger-friendly windage and el­e­va­tion ad­justers cov­ered with screw-on me­tal caps that do two jobs. Firstly, they shield the ad­juster mech­a­nisms from the weather, and se­condly, they en­sure that the drums can­not be turned ac­ci­den­tally, de­stroy­ing your zero. Tar­get shoot­ers might need ex­posed ad­justers, but hunters need the se­cu­rity of a guar­an­teed zero at the mo­ment that a shot at our quarry presents it­self. The mag­ni­fi­ca­tion range is 3 to 12x, which for me cov­ers every pos­si­ble hunt­ing sit­u­a­tion and then some. At the bot­tom end you get a wide field of view and a bright im­age, ideal for pur­su­ing rats or feral pi­geons in dark farm build­ings. At the top end, 12x is eas­ily enough for snip­ing even the long­est range rab­bits on open fields. As for me, I shoot al­most every­thing off 7x, so I’m hap­pily cov­ered as well. The diop­tre ad­juster at the rear has a large ridged ring to en­sure that you get max­i­mum grip when fo­cus­ing the ret­i­cle to your eye. It looks a lit­tle flared be­side the other neat lines, but is very prac­ti­cal.

SUITS YOU!

I mounted my test scope onto a Daystate Hunts­man Re­gal, where it looked just right. The light­weight build felt well bal­anced on this model of ri­fle and I was happy to see that the flat-bot­tomed sad­dle gave plenty of clear­ance above the mag­a­zine. This al­lowed fit­ting and re­moval of the mag’ with­out a strug­gle, some­thing that you un­der­stand the im­por­tance of when you need a quick reload in the hunt­ing field.

I found the im­age qual­ity good and bright in weak win­ter light as I pur­sued grey squir­rels in bare woods. I like to get out for three or four hours at a time when I’m able, so the light weight was much ap­pre­ci­ated as I ghosted around the farm on max­i­mum alert for sign of greys. Hav­ing hunted with it on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions, I can say that this is my kind of scope and it shows its worth in the real world, rather than in the ar­ti­fi­cial en­vi­ron­ment of com­pe­ti­tion. MTC has plenty of com­pe­ti­tion scopes if that’s your bag, but only one true hunter’s model, and that’s the Mamba Lite.

Hav­ing hunted with it, i know that this is just my kind of scope.

Il­lu­mi­na­tion is con­trolled with this push but­ton.

With it’s mod­est weight, the Mamba Lite sits well on sport­ing ri­fles.

3 to 12x mag’ will cover every hunt­ing sit­u­a­tion I can think of.

Multi-aim­point ret­i­cles of­fer all kinds of shoot­ing so­lu­tions.

The diop­tre ad­juster sits well proud of the oc­u­lar bell.

High-qual­ity flip-up lens comes as stan­dard.

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