Most of my take on these two scopes is in the three videos linked below.
However, for those who are not itching to watch the entire long thing, here is a brief summary.
I called this review “LPVO Royalty”, but it would probably be more accurate to call it “Tactical LPVO Royalty”. Aside from what I have in the spec table below, there are other equally high performing LPVOs out there aimed at the hunting market. Most of them have SFP reticles (except for the FFP Blaser), but most importantly they have simpler hunting type reticles.
To make it into the mix here the scope had to have the following features:
-High erector ratio LPVO with no more than 1.1x on the low end and no less than 8x on the high end.
-Day bright reticle illumination
-FFP Tactical tree or hash based reticle that facilitates extending the range
-Optical and Mechanical performance commensurate with the $2k+ price tag.
The new Kahles K18i is an exceptionally nice scope based on what I can tell, but it is SFP. Once the erector raton of an LPVO gets above 6x, I prefer FFP. Still, I probably would have tried to get my hands on it, but after I gave a bad review to the K525i, Kahles people are not exactly inclined to loan me anything and I did not want to buy it. If I revisit this topic, I might put more effort into getting my hands on it, but for the time being I had enough to do and my Youtube channel does not make enough money for me to start buying $3k scopes. Given that I do not exactly baby these things, it is not clear how much I could recoup by selling it later. That is one of the reasons I do not like to borrow scopes from private individuals. I do not want to beat up a scope someone paid for.
Nightforce NX8 has a lot going for it in terms of packaging, but I thought it was tricky to get behind and optically subpar above 5x or so. ATACR is a different ballgame, but NX8 is not my cup of tea.
March has several nice high end LPVOs, but the one that would belong in this group is the 1-10x24. It is an interesting little scope (I am looking at a prototype right now), but I do not review stuff that is not in production.
Hensoldt reportedly has a new 1-8x24, but I have never laid eyes on it or seen it in the US.
Zeiss and Swarovski high end LPVOs are hunting scopes.
Blaser 1-7x28 is an exceptional design that could really be in the mix with a tactical reticle, but they do not seem interested in it competing against their sister company's Minox ZP8.
If you look at the attached spec table carefully, a couple of things stand out. The first and most obvious one is that ATACR FOV is kinda narrow and that the S&B is really expensive.
None of these scopes have adjustable parallax, but bot Minox and S&B switch parallax distances as you change magnification. I think I prefer the setting that ZP8 has, but both are very good.
There is a lot more detail in the videos, but in a nutshell, I think the S&B is the best tactical LPVO on the market today, if money is no object, but in terms of bang for the buck, Razor Gen3 is where its at.
I am definitely keeping the Razor, but I am very tempted to buy the PMII as well. It is indeed that nice.
I gave it a couple of days and figured it is time to do a live show on intermediate magnifications in LPVOs and a couple of other updates.
I am budgeting 30-45 minutes for this, but it might go to a full hour depending on how it goes.
I'd like to do a quick overview of how the hog hunt went, the gear I was looking at and why I love doing this stuff.
Let's aim for tomorrow (Tuesday, October 12th) at noon Mountain Time.
Here is the wrap up of the Steiner M1050r LRF bincoulars that I have been playing with for a quite a while now.
Observation optics is a pretty involved subject as is, further complicated by the fact that most observation optics are not made for shooters. Here is a live show I did on observation optics that touches on this:
This binocular is decidedly not intended for birders. As the name implies, it is squarely aimed at military and law enforcement applications. It is a very competent overall design, but there is a feature that is sorely missing.
Let me know what you think once you watch the video. The binocular in question is the Steiner Military 10x50r LRF: https://bit.ly/2WA88hY
It is a solid design overall with excellent optics and good LRF performance. There is, however, one critical feature missing.
The registration for SHOT 2022 is finally open and I am in the process of making something resembling a schedule for it. The way it usually works, I make a detailed schedule and it goes to hell in a handbasket eight minutes after the show starts. Still, I have to make plans.
Interestingly, the Safari International event is in Las Vegas this year and overlapping with SHOT.
SHOT is Tuesday through Friday and SCI is Wednesday through Saturday.
I normally do not go to SCI given that it is more of a hunting oriented event. However, given that I am gearing up for my4th hunt this year (aoudad sheep in April, spring black bear in Alaska in June, hogs in Texas two weeks ago and New Mexico elk coming up in December), I can no longer say that I am not really a hunter with any sort of honesty.
I may not be a good hunter, but I am a hunter. Apparently.
With all that, I may be able to sneak over to the SCI show on Saturday. I always run out of time at SHOT, so I doubt I will be able to give up...
Folks, I am going to do another livecast tomorrow focusing on LPVOs and FIxed Power scopes when both are equipped with an offset RDS.
Matt of Everyday Marksman and Jacob of Pro-gun Millenial will join me tomorrow.
Yesterday's livecast, once we got done with the original topic of discussion veered a little bit toward other aspects of shooting quickly with conventional riflescopes and the topic of OEGs (Occluded Eye Gunsights) came up. I figured that I should probably write a short article on how they work when I realized that I already have and that Guns and Ammo makes this one available online.
It went into the 2019 Retro issue when they asked to write a little bit about OEGs since they were famously used in the Son-Tay raid.
It did make me want to re-visit the subject, so I pinged the good folks at Armson USA to see if I can borrow a modern OEG form them and go over the subject in more detail.