Category Archives: Optics

Sig Sauer Tango 6T 1-6

Low Power Variable Optics (LVPO’s) have been flooding through the firearm market for years now, likely due to the proliferation of medium-range carbines. It didn’t take long for shooters to realize the value of variable low power optics, but what makes an LVPO shine over another?

Sig Sauer has long been a big name in the firearms industry, I’ve been a big fan as long as I’ve been a gun owner. So it came as no surprise several years ago when Sig brought their own line of optics to market. What was a surprise, at least to me, was how invested I would get.

My first Sig optics was a Tango 6 5-30, a high powered riflescope with all of Sig Sauer’s bells and whistles. It has been a great scope for several years, and still enjoys its place on one of my favorite rifles.
What is the Tango 6T
Todays subject is about a newer generation Tango 6, the the Tango 6T which is a smaller Tango, a 1-6 Low Power Variable Optic. The 6T features Sig’s high quality and clear lenses for which they are well known. The 1-6 power 6T features a 30mm tube and a front focal plane 5.56 horseshoe ballistic reticle with illumination.
There are a couple different configurations for the 6T, the one I ordered came in FDE only. It also features a line lengthwise down the side of the tube, this eases the mounting of the scope by giving a reference point to evenly seat the scope in the rings. There also came a “cattail”, which is a clamp-on handle to give the user better purchase when trying to adjust the magnification setting.

I mounted the 6T in the Strike Industries ASM mount, an adjustable scope mount that can cantilever the optic out to several different positions. The ASM is a sexy looking companion for the Sig 6T.

After mounting the scope, it was time to zero it, an easy task using the finger adjustable turrets. When not in use the turrets are capped. I installed the CR2032 battery into the illumination turret and lit up the Horseshoe reticle. The 8 position rheostat has an off setting between each number, and also has a push-pull lock to avoid accidental adjustment.
On the Range
My first impression on the range was the image, my eyes were swept from their sockets by the crystal clear and bright image. I am more of a 1-8 fan than a 1-6, but this 1-6 is so beautiful I’d have a hard time turning it down for two more X’s. The 6T has parallax set to 150 meters, so shooting targets that are out there a little further is not a problem.
This was very convenient because I ran the 6T on two different rifles, both of which were very capable downrange performers. First it was mounted on the Armalite M-15 Comp Rifle, a match grade competition rifle built specifically for 3-gunning. I found the M-15 to be very accurate, and with the Tango 6T mounted on it, it was a near unstoppable setup. The low power setting of the Sig made up close targets easily and accurately engaged with both eyes open. And zooming in to 6X gave me enough magnification to pick out distant targets, and the Horseshoe reticle had very handy hold points for those distances.
I never expect ballistic reticles to match perfectly, its nearly impossible unless you are shooting the exact same ammunition in the exact same conditions as those who designed the reticle. The same goes for custom scope turrets, but the good news is that its pretty close. Modern flat shooting cartridges have a fairly similar trajectory so the drop points on the reticle are certainly close enough to be useful.

I also mounted the Sig 6T on my Desert Tech MDRX, which is a multi-caliber rifle. I shot it using both 223 and 6mm ARC barrels, both of which have been very accurate and have done well at various ranges. The 6T felt right at home on top of my MDRX, a much more compact rifle than the Armalite. Maneuvering around obstacles for shooting positions was much easier, and regardless of how close or far away the targets were, the Sig provided a beautiful sight picture with bright images. I keep bringing that up, but that may be the part I like the most about this scope, the optical clarity.

There is more to it than just optical clarity though, the engineers at Sig paid attention to so many little details. Little things like the texturing of control surfaces, high visibility green fiber optics markers around the magnification ring, and other little features that make you feel good about purchasing this scope.

The turrets of the 6T are .2 MRAD per click, which matches the MRAD reticle inside. The clicks are very clean and audible, and the grip surfaces inside the turrets are actually rubberized for easier grip whether using gloves or your bare fingers.

As far as the reticle itself, this might be one place where I wish they had put just a tiny bit more into it. Some people like a simple and clean reticle, while others like a reticle with many useful hold point to use. Being that I am a bit of a distance junkie, regardless of the rifle I’m using at the time, I find myself in the second camp. I like a reticle with plenty of hold-over positions to use and accompanying wind holds as well. While the reticle in the 6T is plenty useful, it wouldn’t have hurt my feelings to see a bit more detail to the reticle. That said, Sig also offers the 7.62 Extended Range reticle in this scope, which is better for that kind of shooting. I completely understand that most people might not need or care about this, and if you like just a few simple hold-over points, you will more than likely love this reticle.

Conclusion
In a market that is flush with many great options across nearly every price range, the Sig Sauer Tango 6T stands out as a spectacular LVPO. I think you would have to spend significantly more money to get a noticeably better scope with these same features. This while the 6T is significantly better looking than scopes that are only 10-20% less on the market. So at least in my opinion, it would be worth spending a little bit more to step up the Sig Sauer Tango 6T.

-CBM

Sig Sauer Kilo 3000 BDX Binoculars

Every hunting or shooting trip has a list of essentials, and at the very top of that gear list you’ll find things such as guns and bullets. But for many of us, it’s not very far down that list that you’ll find binoculars and rangefinder. Today we are discussing the Sig Sauer Kilo 3000 binoculars, which bring the laser rangefinder and binoculars onto the same line.


The Sig Sauer Kilo 3000
The Kilo 3000 binoculars sit at the top of the Kilo optics line, which is a series of great laser range finders. The Kilo is built on a 10X42mm body, with a built in LRF that claims up to 5000 yard capability. The armored exterior of the Kilo holds a few more secrets inside than most.
The Kilo also features Sig Sauer’s BDX technology, which allows the Kilo to communicate via bluetooth with other devices. Using data inputs from weather stations like the Kestrel Weather Meter to give accurate ballistic solutions. The Kilo uses the Applied Ballistics solver to give the shooter the best prediction for a hit. This system can be used in conjunction with Sig Sauer scopes that use the same system to show holdover and wind holds in live time with illuminative points on the reticle.
The Kilo uses a single CR2 lithium battery to power it, according to Sig, this will give you approximately 4,000 chances to measure the distance to your targets.
The Kilo weighs in at 31 ounces which is almost the exact same weight as is nearest competitors.

On the range
The vast expanse of the Rocky Mountains is the perfect place to put a rangefinder to the test, and I spend a couple days every week shooting in these beautiful landscapes. So no sooner had I gotten home with the Kilo, I grabbed my rifle and gear bag and headed up one of my favorite trails. Before I left though, I put together the chest harness that comes with the Kilo so I could hike with both hands free.

I have used quite a few different binocular chest carry outfits, and for the most part I think it is very subjective as to how comfortable they are. This one for me was not too bad, I like how quick it is to bring the binos out of the case. Both the case itself and the binoculars are suspended from the shoulder straps individually, and the bino straps are easily snapped free if you need to disconnect them to lend to a less fortunate spotting partner.

After a good sweat from the hot August sun, I found myself looking out across a steep canyon that worked its way back into the rocky and cavernous mountain range. It was a place I frequent fairly often so I already knew a lot of the distances available to me. I sat down and began to scan with the Kilo, my very first impression of the image quality was positive. I have used many of the popular brands of LRF binos, and I would put the optical quality of the Sig Kilo right near the top of its price point class. It is similar to models from Vortex, Nikon, and Leupold in the same price range. Perhaps a little better than some, but not quite as nice as the top quality optics we are accustomed to seeing from European manufacturers like Swarovski or Leica. One thing that I did find more convenient was that when using other binos I find that I frequently have to adjust the focus between my eyes to get a uniform image. But with the Kilo I found that I adjusted it once, and never touched it again, perhaps that’s a small issue but for me its almost reason enough to sell my other binos.

Like most modern binoculars, the Kilo 3000 feature adjustable eyecups to set the lenses the right distance from your eyes. And like the entire exterior of the binoculars, these are rubberized for easy grip, the control surfaces of the binoculars have an added texture as well for easy manipulation.

The laser dispersion of the Kilo was one thing I wanted to see and test, after all, a good rangefinder is only as good as its ability to precisely confirm distance. This can become very important when ranging a target that might be very close to obstructions along the way, such as a tree branch, or a ridge between you and the target.
Keeping the Kilo firmly fixed to a tripod, I measured the distance to several targets that had surrounding obstructions. I was happy to see that almost anything that was inside the reticle of the Kilo registered the actual distance. But even something as insignificant as a leaf 380 yards away that obstructed the view of a 950 yard target, was picked up by the laser. Ranging targets eclipsed the edge of a closer ridge only gave interference when the reticle overlapped the closer ridge. All things considered, the Kilo’s laser gives a very accurate and predictable measurement, so when the range comes back, you know what it reflected on.

The rangefinding capabilities of the Kilo were more than adequate for my purposes. Ive found that most rangefinders are rated for distances at the extreme envelope of their capabilities. The better quality, and usually the higher the price point, I find they come closer to their maximum range rating. Sig claims the Kilo can hit 5000 yards, which may be true. But I couldn’t hold still enough or hit a reflective enough target to read that far. It did work great inside of 2000 yards however, giving quick and repeatable readings. Whether it was rocks, or trees, dimly shadowed or glowing in the afternoon sun.
I did push it out quite a bit further, ranging buildings back down in town from my 6000 foot perch. Cars and buildings were good reflectors out to around 3000 yards, I have since gotten good readings on large reflective targets as far as 4800 yards.

I used the Kilo both in its range only setting as well as with the incline output setting, I would have liked to try out the bluetooth BDX functions as well. But that would have required me buying a whole scope to go with it, something Im not ready to do at the moment but I would really like to give the whole system a complete workout.

Conclusion
The Kilo 3000 is yet another awesome product from the elctro-optic branch of Sig Sauer. I think if you are looking for a good pair of hunting binos, you’d do very well with these. Having used many of its closest peers, I’d probably pick the Kilo over them.
-CBM

The US Optics Foundation 25X

Many years ago, when I first stumbled down this rifled rabbit hole, I would daydream about the high-end and prestigious rifles I saw in magazines and movies. The internet had not yet become the superhighway it was destined to be, but as it developed I could also visit websites and court those beautiful works of art. Not only was it the rifles, but the impressive optical sights that accompanied them. My dreams of owning such a piece of artisanship seemed unattainable at the time, but I never could have foreseen just how far down this hole I would go.

Years would pass, more than a decade, and I found myself the proud owner of what I had always considered a dream scope. US Optics had always been one of the brands I was smitten with, maybe it was the incredibly robust design that seemed overbuilt for what many would consider standard use. On top of their strength, US Optics scopes had a mechanical attractive flair. It was like looking at top-fuel race engine, you could see all the little things that made it work its magic, and that enticed me even further.

That first US Optics scope was an ER-25, it was the first but far from the last. I’ve since had four more, with the latest being the newest offering from US Optics, the Foundation Series 25X. The Foundation series is USO’s latest line of top tier telescopic sights, made here in the US. The FDN25X boasts some impressive features, some you would expect, and others you might miss if you didn’t pay close attention. The 25X uses a fairly standard 34mm tube and 52mm objective, manufactured from 6061 T6 aluminum, it shares a nearly identical body with its predecessor the B25. But there is more, the FDN25X has the new EREK3 elevation turret with 11 MRAD per revolution, a 180-degree throw magnification ring, the new JVCR reticle (my favorite) with illumination available in red, blue, or green, smooth parallax adjustment, and an internal bubble level.


As I opened the box of the 25X and first picked it up, I was surprised at the weight. At thirty-four and a half ounces, it’s not exactly light but it seemed light for its size. I was expecting it to weigh more. I surely wasn’t going to waste much time, I wanted to get this scope mounted and get shooting with it. I mounted it on the rifle it was ordered for, my custom built 257 Blackjack. It is a lightweight carbon fiber hunting rifle to haul all over these Rocky Mountains for Mule Deer, Elk, and likely a few Antelope as well. The 25X makes a great companion optic for the Blackjack, it stays supersonic beyond two thousand yards, and its energy, drop, and wind deflection makes it ideal for long-range shooting. The 25X has been designed and built for just such shooting, with high-quality lenses to give a clear picture of distant targets. The JVCR reticle gives fine wind holds and holdovers, with .1, .2, and .5 subtensions.

JVCR Reticle detail, and green illumination

So with the 25X mounted in rings on a 20 MOA scopebase, I wandered off into the hills to get it zeroed and to put it to the test. Zeroing the scope was simple, the new EREK3 elevation turret was easy to figure out with a brief revision of the manual. I removed the center screw on top of the turret and adjusted my reticle with the provided hex wrench. After a couple adjustments, it was zeroed perfectly and my elevation set to zero. Normally I slowly work my way out from closer targets to more distant ones, but that day, I went straight for the long shots. The first shots after zero were 1230 yards, I dialed 6.5 MRAD on the EREK3, and fired a few shots. After getting the wind call right, they were hammering the steel. The EREK3 turret is a good combination of stiff, and crisp. Not too hard to turn, but firm enough to avoid accidental movement.

As it happens, my first trip out with the FDN25X was a shoot with Donald Trump Jr. He was impressed by performance of the 257 Blackjack, and the FDN25X

The clicks are both audible and tactile, adjustments are easily made from the shooting position by simply counting the clicks either felt or heard. The magnification ring is also a welcome improvement, with only 180 degrees of rotation, you can go from 5x all the way up to 25x with one movement. Instead of having to release and turn again like other scopes. It’ also easier to turn than previous models.
After zeroing my scope, I swapped out the scope base for a 30MOA, to get the scope closer to an internal mechanical zero (to avoid the extremities of erector movement). And with it freshly zeroed, the turret had a full twenty-one MRAD of elevation available. It is highly unlikely I will ever use that much elevation, according to my ballistic computer, twenty-one MRAD will take the supersonic Blackjack to 2159 yards.

The EREK3 elevation, and US #1 windage turrets

The JVCR reticle is one of my favorite reticles, I’ve got another one in another US Optics scope. The .2 MRAD marks are all over the reticle, giving a quick and easy reference for adjustments. The open center floating dot makes a perfect reference point when trying to shoot tiny groups on paper, and the open space around it will make it easy to hold center on any of the animals I plan on hunting this fall. I ordered green illumination on the scope, mainly because I’ve had red on every other scope I’ve ever had and wanted to see something different. I’m not overly worried about it, as illumination has rarely been used in most hunting scenarios I’ve been in. But for that occasional need, it is sure nice to have.

One little thing that I found that did bug me perhaps, is an abnormal crescent shaped shadow when the scope is dialed to either of its extremities. This is normal as US Optics has it listed under their FAQ’s on their website. To be fair, it is only visible at low power (less than 8x), and only when the EREK3 turret is almost all the way up or down. I think it is very unlikely that it will ever be an issue, because if Im dialed all the way up, I’ll very likely be zoomed in at least to 12x or more. And if it is an issue bottoming out the scope, then you’ll need to use an additionally canted base. Like I said, a small issue, but one you may want to know about.

The anti-cant bubble inside. When looking thru the scope and focusing on the target, the highlight of the bubble is seen at the bottom of the reticle

Another very cool feature of the Foundation 25X is the internal level or anti-cant device as it’s often called. I always loved the idea of having it inside the scope, but so many times its been done poorly. Not that I have anything against it being external, especially good ones you can see from the shooting position. But it is so much nicer to see in real-time, through your aiming eye without taking it off the target. The way US Optics executed this level is very nice, I ordered the internal level, but it is so subtle that I didn’t even notice it the first time I looked through it. It is tucked neatly at the bottom of the field of view, and like I said, its so low profile that you actually have to make an effort to see it. I’m not sure if the engineers at USO want you to look at the actual bubble itself, or if you are meant to see the highlight reflecting on the bubble as your reference point, either way, it is very handy when you’re in the shooting position.

I also tested the scope for actual click value, which can vary greatly in rifle scopes. I tested the click value by measuring the turret movements against the values of the reticle, as well as against a ruler at a set distance. By doing this you can tell if the clicks actually represent the value claimed. I’ve never tested one that came out perfect, but this one is close enough for my purposes. Under 10 MRAD of adjustment, the actual value was no more than .02 MRAD off of claimed. And at 20 MRAD, it was just over a tenth MRAD from claimed value. I am not a rocket surgeon, but I think its safe to assume that the difference between claimed and actual is spread progressively across the curve as elevation increases.
In addition to testing click value, while I had the scope clamped down solid I also checked the tracking and for reticle cant. Cranking the turrets up down and left and right shew no inconsistency, they always returned back to the exact same spot as I counted the clicks. No noticeable movement in the reticle either, as I zoomed from one magnification to another.

The only thing I haven’t been able to test so far with the Foundation 25X, is its durability over time. My First US Optics scope took such a beating I was sure it would break, banging into rocks, falling off the tailgate onto concrete attached to a twenty-pound rifle, stuff like that. But I was blown away when not only did it survive these events, but didn’t even lose zero. That is a pretty hefty standard to live up to, and I hope that the Foundation scopes are up to it. Time will tell, I certainly don’t plan on dropping it, or bashing it against rocks, but who knows what the future holds?

There is no way this rifle and scope aren’t coming with me for hunting season this year. The 257 Blackjack will light up anything I intend to hunt, and coupled with the impressive view from the Foundation 25X, it should be unstoppable. I am extremely anxious to get up into the high country, and get comfortable and effective with this rifle and scope. You will no doubt be hearing from and seeing more pictures of us in the fall.
-CBM

US Optics TS8X

Low Power Variable Optics (LVPO’s) have been flooding through the firearm market for years now, likely due to the proliferation of medium-range carbines. It didn’t take long for shooters to realize the value of variable low power optics, but what makes an LVPO shine over another?

I’ve had several different models from a wide range of manufacturers, and today we will discuss in depth the US Optics TS8X.

The Tactical Sport 8 power LVPO is one of several great scopes I’ve been able to shoot in the offshore line of scopes from USO. So far they have proven to be a great option for shooters in my opinion. I have been shooting USO scopes for many years now, and to be completely honest I was a bit worried when I saw they were releasing a more affordable line of scopes. My concerns were quality and performance, for which USO’s are well known. My concerns were assuaged with the TS20X, which quickly became one of my favorites. The TS8X has so far been just as good an experience.

Why an LVPO?
I also have the TS6X, which is the little brother to the TS8x. I wanted the 8X because having used several 1-4’s and 1-6’s, I wanted just a little bit more power for seeing those downrange targets. Again in my opinion, a 1-8 or 1-10 is about perfect for a medium range rifle, for distances around six to eight hundred yards. The TS8X fit that spot perfectly in my estimation, and with the RBR Reticle, it would give me plenty of holdover points for shooting at those further distances.

Features
The TS8X features a 30mm tube, with adjustable diopter eyepiece, covered turrets, and an illuminated front focal plane reticle.
Many manufacturers have moved to the 30 or 34mm scope tube now, it gives a larger tube to pass light through, as well as allow a larger erector to increase the internal mechanical movement of the scope. The parallax is fixed for 100 yards, which leaves the diopter eyepiece focus the only adjustment for the image seen. This is common in most LVPO’s, particularly in this price range. If I had one wish for the TS8 it would be adjustable parallax, I frequently shoot well beyond 500 yards with this scope and others like it. The ability to adjust parallax for those distance targets would be very welcome.
Another feature that thankfully is becoming more commonplace, is the reticle placed in the front focal plane (second focal plane models are also available at a lower cost). This means the reticle is magnified with the power setting of the optic, keeping the reticle values always the same regardless of power setting.

The RBR reticle is illuminated red, with an adjustable rheostat for brightness. It also features both MRAD hash marks (both whole and half) as well as range based holdover points, including wind holds at five and ten MPH.

With the stiff competition in the LVPO market, the TS8X fits in the middle ground of price range. There are many options that are far less in price, and many others that cost double, triple, or more.
My initial concerns about quality were more based on mechanical performance and robust construction. I knew that due to its price point, it would likely not have the same optical quality as scopes costing more, which I was okay with.
Speaking of optical quality, I found the image to be bright, and clean. Not much to complain about there, but don’t expect to see the same image as a $1600-$2400 scope.
I found the RBR reticle to be very useful at distances out to nearly 1000 yards, at 8X it could possibly be a little thick for tiny targets, but I don’t expect many people will be doing benchrest or squirrel hunting at that range. For real world shooting, such as echo targets inside 600 yds, it is perfect. The rifle its currently mounted on will be doing some coyote hunting, and I’m very confident that anything inside 800 yards will be easily identified, targeted, and engaged using the RBR.
As I mentioned above, the reticle features both MRAD marks, as well as estimated drop and wind marks. This is handy, because if you need an honest elevation or wind call, you have the actual MRAD values. Whereas if your shooting at the aforementioned coyote, you can use the drop values according to how far away he is.

I mounted the TS8X on my Desert Tech MDR, which at the time was a sixteen-inch 223. The scope was easily zeroed with no tools, and in no time I was shooting steel all over the range.


I love using the scope at 1X, with the reticle lit up, it is just like using a red dot scope. Up close shooting at steel, animals, or whatever else is easily done with both eyes open. Cover the target with red as you break the trigger will give you sure hits.
I then switched out the barrel for the new Hornady 6mm ARC barrel, to see how the TS8X would match up to its ballistic curve.
Without even rezeroing the scope, I was in business, perhaps more a testament to the rifle than the scope. I later made a few corrective adjustments, and the rifle was punching centers very consistently. The click values of the turrets seemed to be close enough to values marked, but to be honest, I hardly had to move them.
Stretching the rifle out would require using the drop points indicated on the RBR reticle, I figured they would be close since the 6 ARC is not too far off of the 223 trajectory it is based on.
It was close enough to be dangerous that is for sure, at 960 yds I shot over the target. The 6 ARC has less drop than a 223 at that distance, so I held a corrected hold (7MRAD) and a bit of left wind for a perfect center punch hit.
I followed it up with a few more shots to confirm, inside I was giggling like a child watching the trace of my bullets on the way to the target.

I’m not sure if its the TS8X or just better optics that we are spoiled with today. When I first started shooting these farther distances, it seemed like 10X was barely enough, and 15-25 was more like what you needed for shooting long range. But I found shooting almost everything inside a kilometer to be relatively easy with the 8X of this little USO.
I guess the technology is catching up, soon one thousand yards will no longer be a long range benchmark. It will be more like medium range for drills at a beginners carbine class. If you find yourself on that spectrum, the US Optics TS8X will fill the need for a medium range optic. And it will do it without needing a signature loan to checkout, and you’ll still have the quality and guarantee US Optics has always put on their scopes.
-CBM

Riton Optics RT-S Mod 7 4-32X56

Riton Optics is a relatively new manufacturer of optics, since their start in 2013 they have been working in the Arizona heat to make affordable sighting optics without sacrificing quality.
My first encounter with Riton Optics came a year or so ago, when I put their RT-S MOD 5 6-24X50 scope on one of my rifles. I wasn’t sure what to expect as Riton was relatively new to me, but in a short time the scope’s performance had earned my praise. That same scope has been hauled all over these Rocky Mountains on my Tikka , dropped, snowed on, rained on, used as a crutch, and still maintains a perfect zero. Its no stranger to distance work, these past two seasons it has been used to take five mule deer and two cow elk from two hundred to eleven hundred yards. So I can say with pretty good certainty that these scopes are robust enough for western hunters.

The Riton Optics RT-S Mod 5 6-24X50 mounted on my Tikka T3 25 Creedmoor

I recently talked myself into one of Riton’s newer and bigger scopes, the RT-S Mod 7 4-32X56. The Mod 7 is definitely a step up in both price and performance from my Mod 5, at more than twice the price, the Mod 7 delivers quite a few more features to the optics aficionado. Both scopes are front focal plane (FFP), which means the reticle is magnified with the power adjustment. This feature allows shooters to use the reticle for accurate holdovers and corrections regardless of the magnification setting. The 8X zoom of the Mod 7 gives a substantial power range from 4X up to 32X, like many scopes, however, I found the very top end of the magnification (29-32x) to be too dark and aberrated to be very useful in the field. It was fine for shooting paper targets up close though.

The PSR reticle in the Riton Mod 7

The PSR reticle featured in my Mod 7 was also a significant step up from the Mod 5. I say step up, some might call it stepping out, the PSR reticle is a bit busier than some. It is a “Christmas Tree” style reticle, with a broadening grid of wind and drop values. I am growing more and more fond of these kinds of reticles, and this one is done very well. Subtensions are clearly marked (on the evens) so you can keep track of your holds, and the marks are thin enough to not bother your view of potential targets. A hollow center and .2 Mrad hash marks come in handy when doing long-range work. The illumination rheostat allows shooters to adjust reticle illumination to fit their surroundings.
Speaking of Mrad, the Mod 7 is available in Mrad which made me very happy. It was one of few complaints I had with my Mod 5, that it wasn’t available in anything other than MOA. Seems like most Riton optics are MOA, could be related to their military background, but I am glad to see newer products available with an Mrad option.
The Mod 7 has a 34mm tube, this again is a step up from the Mod 5’s 30mm tube. The bigger tube allows for more internal travel, giving the Mod 7 a total of 30 Mrad of elevation adjustment. That’s more than enough elevation for your average long-range shooter.

Turret details and throw lever on the Mod 7

Another feature I appreciated on the Mod 7 was the integrated throw lever on the magnification ring. Some call it a “Cat Tail”. You can run the scope with or without it, the throw lever gives you more purchase when trying to adjust the power ring, not a big deal, but a nice touch.
The Mod 7 also features a zero stop in the elevation turret, something the Mod 5 did not. This feature is handy, as you can return your elevation turret to zero without even needing to look at it. This will save you from a miss by being a rotation or more off.
One of the features both scopes have that I don’t like is there isn’t graduation marks on the turret housing to show which rotation you are on, to be fair it is much less of a problem on the Mod 7 because there are only two turns. The Mod 5 has several more, making it hard to be sure which rev you are on unless you keep track in your head.

I mounted the Mod 7 on my Desert Tech SRS A2 rifle, which seemed like a good fit for the scope. With the new hunting weight 6.5 Creedmoor barrel mounted in the rifle, I figured it would make a good companion for this years elk hunts.
But first I took the rifle to the range to get a good solid zero and check a few other things. My first impression with the Mod 7, was that the eye relief seemed to be just a bit touchy. Not so much as to be a problem, just more so than I was used to. I quickly zeroed the rifle and adjusted the zero stop per the instructions, easy enough and very functional. I then took the rifle up into the mountains to do some more testing at further ranges. I was very happy with the optical clarity of the Mod 7, even when looking at animals and trees at a mile or more away, it was a very clean and bright image.
As I mentioned earlier, the quality does degrade some at the very upper end of the scopes magnification, this is something I have noticed with most scopes including the Riton Mod 5. This is a phenomenon I have noticed on almost all riflescopes, but it is significantly less an issue as the price tag goes up.
It doesn’t bother me much as I rarely use a scope at its maximum power setting, for that matter I rarely use them above 60-70 of their maximum. The glass clarity of the Mod 7 is a great improvement over the Mod 5, as it should be at this price point.

The turrets on the Mod 5 have a push pull locking system, whereas the Mod 7 does not. I am torn a bit as to which I prefer, sometimes I like having my turrets locked, to avoid involuntary elevation changes. And other times I like just being able to turn the turret without having to unlock it. For hunting, I think I prefer the locking system, but for range or competition use I would prefer it without.
The turrets are plenty stiff so as not to be inadvertently moved, the clicks are plenty audible, though I would like them a tiny bit more defined. The line between too stiff, and to mushy a click is a hard line to walk sometimes.

As it turns out, I really enjoyed the throw lever on the magnification ring. To be honest I couldn’t describe the tension on the magnification ring, because with the throw lever it doesn’t even register.

It didn’t take long for me to get quite proficient shooting with the Riton Mod 7, so when the time came to put this rifle into action I was quite comfortable. The late season elk hunt had arrived, and I took my Riton topped SRS up into the snow covered mountains. The first shot I was given was some 475 yards away from a young cow, I dialed the 2.0 MIL on the Mod7’s elevation turret, and pressed the trigger. The cold and clean mountain air was visibly disturbed by my shot, I watched the trace cut through the bright image before me as I followed the shot in. I watched the cow drop, kick, and slide down the snowy slope.

The Riton Mod 7 has turned out to be a strong, clear, accurate and repeatable rifle scope. I look forward to using it more in the future.

-CBM

One of the five deer killed over two seasons using the RT-S Mod 5 6-24X50