Tactical Scope with Gen 2 Mil Dot™
By Mike Miller
If you have been around sniper rifles, as
long as I have, you have seen lots and lots of new ideas. Some have been good,
some OK, some bad and some just terrible.
About a year ago I heard rumor of a new American Made Scope coming out
designed for hard use. Anytime I hear
American Made my ears perk up as so little is made in USA.
It took awhile to find who the
manufacture working to build the new scope was but eventually I found out it
was Premier Reticles. That
was great news as I not only have I dealt with them for several decades but
their history goes back to making optical devices, for the war effort, back in
WWII. It is hard to argue that history. If you know little about Premier you
just need to know a few things. They
have earned a good reputation by making the best reticles in the industry, they
own the patent on the GenTwo
Mildot Reticle and they provided the USMC with its latest Scout Sniper Scopes,
being the final assembly point on the scopes through a joint venture with
Schmidt and Bender. The
Gen Two Mildot Reticle was not only chosen by
the USMC but the US Army also picked it for some of their sniper scopes, so it is good to
If you are worried about a new scope
coming from primarily a reticle manufacture you should know Premiers
Premier worked on Leupold scopes for many
years (No longer available) upping the power, changing reticles and providing
Years ago Premier redesigned the Leupold
MK4 3.5-10 and several VariXIII scopes to be Front Focal Plane type with Gen Two Mildot reticles. Honestly to convert a scope to FFP from Rear
Focal Plane (RFP) takes as much if not more engineering than ground up
design. Leupold has since offered these
options from their factory so Premier no longer offers this option.
When Premier decided to make their own
scope from ground up they went out and hired the best engineers they could find
and directed them to make simply the best field tactical scope out there.
Now before I jump into this the reader needs to understand the purpose
this scope was made for. That purpose was not to cut “X’s” in paper or week end
games. It was to be used in field under hard conditions, be able to change zero
settings without tools, and be able to take every US
Military Sniper system, from its zero to its maximum range in one turn of the
elevation knob. 22 Mils will take a
50BMG way past 2000 meters so it has reached its goal in having enough
elevation in one turn to go to the farthest effective range of the biggest
sniper system we currently deploy. The
most common US Sniper
System uses a 7.62 Nato round. That
round reaches its Maximum
just over half the elevation this scope has.
This scope is designed to be used by the best under the worse conditions
This scope houses the Gen Two Mildot
reticle in the Front Focal Plane of the scope. I have said in prior articles
and still believe the Generation Two Mildot reticle is the best reticle for
field tactical applications.
A FFP (Front Focal Plane Reticle) does
not change the distances it subtends, no matter the scopes power settings. What
that means in shorter terms is no matter the power setting, you can Mil, Hold
over, Hold off or do anything that requires an accurate measurement with
reticle without changing power setting. A
RFP (Rear Focal Plane) Reticle only subtends the correct amount on one
A FFP’s distance between two Mil Marks is
One Mil on 1X or 500X. A RFP Reticle set for Mil Readings to be correct at 20X
would be twice as far between Mils, turned down to 10X ( 1 Mil would equal two
on 10X) and half as far on 40X (1 Mil spacing would equal .5 mil actual
distance on 40X). The FFP Reticle is the
reticle that appears to get larger as power is increased and smaller as power
is turned down. The RFP Reticle is the one that always appears to be the same
size no matter the power setting of the scope.
For Field Tactical Applications the FFP
is easier to make adjustments on the fly, while the RFP is easier to shoot
small groups at greater distances and power settings. It is all a trade off but
for Field Tactical Work the FFP rules as king.
In contrast top 1000 Yard Target Shooters mostly use RFP. Remember this
scope is for Tactical Purposes and the FFP was the correct choice for the
reticle in this application. The Reticle clarity is adjusted by turning the
rear ocular until reticle is clear. This
was simply to do and only took a couple of seconds. Once Reticle is adjusted
the adjustment is locked down and not touched again.
Optical quality is always subjective and
it is hard to test one scope of any top brand against one of another top brand
scope to get true feel of optical quality, but this scope has glass as good or better
than any scope I have ever viewed through. I recently had a get together with
other shooters who had a chance to use this scope and several other top brands.
Most picked this as the best optically of the high dollar scopes on deck that
day. During my tests I found the lenses
clear to edges and capable of excellent day and night performance. Color
correction through the scope was correct.
The parallax was easily adjustable from 50 yards to past 2000 yards (As
far as I got to test the parallax adjustment)
The turret design of this scope is
something different in several ways. Most scopes require a tool to change the
initial zero setting. Tools are often lost in the field. This scope does not
use a tool to change the zero setting. The turret has a recessed area a throw
lever folds into. The throw lever provides the tension to lock the turret at
its zero location. This lever looks like
a smaller version of a throw lever used to lock Bicycle Wheels in place on Mountain
Bikes. Having ridding bikes a bunch I know the design provides plenty of
leverage. To zero either the elevation or windage knob you simply shoot the
rifle and adjust with lever in down/locked position. Once you have the zero established you place
the lever in the up/release position you simply turn the knob to zero and then
lock down the lever. Understand, while
no tools are required the lever needs to be pried open with a cartridge case or
other device. If properly locked down you will tear a finger nail off
attempting to raise the lever.
The Elevation Knob is designed for one single rotation from
0 to 22Mils. This design does not allow for a shooter to be off a turn which
has become common for long range shooters with multiple turn knobs. The knob has slight markings at every .2 of a
Mil with number markings at 1.0 Mil spacings.
The knob has two types of detents or “Clicks” as you turn it. Every .10
Mil is a slight click while every full Mil Spacing has a much heavier clunk
type of click. This is so a shooter can
count his Mils up in dark, quickly, without light and by feel. The knob can
also be set up so the shooter can give Premier his or her data and Premier can
make it so the heavier clunks fit into the shooters yardage marks. You would
have heavy clicks at all the ranges you wanted and smaller less harsh clicks on
each side so you could fine tune for environmental conditions. Something many
tactical shooters need/want.
With 22Mils in one turn the Elevation
Knob has clicks very close together for the .10 Mil spacing. This means for a
.10mil click you have to be careful or you will end up with a .20mil adjustment
instead of the .10 Mil you wanted. It’s a trade off, if you want 22 Mils in one
turn the clicks have to be close together or the turret will be overly
large. This turret is as large as I want
in a scope so the clicks need to be close together. Another version of this scope will soon be
out with approximately 15- 18 mils per turn and two turns for a total of 30-34
Mils (Not set as of this writing) but I prefer the single turn 22 Mil version.
One turn is what I want. Remember this
scope is for field tactical work and not punching X’s in paper. Even if the
shooter accidentally makes a .20 Mil adjustment instead of a .10 Mil adjustment
he/she will have only made about a 1/3 MOA error or roughly 1.5” at 500 yards.
Folks for field work that sure beats the minimum of 1 MOA (5” at 500 yards)
minimum adjustment the Unertl MST100 and Leupold Ultra Mk4 M3 scopes make! At
worse making a click mistake to 2/10ths of a Mil adjustment is fine enough for
field work, while the newer version will probably find more favor with Match
and Hostage Rescue use.
The windage knob of this scope has 8 Mils
in each direction adjustment in 1/10th Mil clicks. These clicks I
found easy to make 1/10th Mil adjustments. Clicks were positive and
precise. Zero is set same way as the elevation knob.
No scope is worth anything if it will not
track. This scope shinned in tracking department. It was tested under field
conditions/temperatures of high 30’s F to low 100’s F, with over a dozen Box
Drills ran. The drills where 10 mils up, five mils left, ten mils down, ten
mils to right and lastly five mils back to the original starting point. It
worked flawlessly every time I ran the drills. One Mil adjustment on this scope
is exactly one mil. The adjustments are accurate and repeatable.
After running the drills in the worse
conditions I could find in my area of California (Sorry its no Alaska) I put the scope in the freezer for two
days and then took it out and checked adjustments again. They remained accurate
and repeatable. The scope knobs functioned correctly and I found no issues with
the scope being cold. Obviously this can not duplicate the Military Test of
working in minus 40 C to 60 C temperatures and submersion to 1atm (33 feet). I
asked Premier how the scope functions in those temps and was told the scope passed
when they tested it under US Military Testing procedures. Remember this scope
is designed for military use so no wonder it was tested by the manufacture to
the same standards the US Military would require. I was notable to test to US Military level
myself because a lack of facilities to do so. Throwing the scope in the freezer
is the best I could do. It passed that test.
This is harsher testing than most testers have done to other scopes.
I shot with the scope to 1000 yards and
found no issues running the knobs, tracking or focus. It was a pleasure to use.
This is a side mounted Parallax
Adjustment scope. The knob was easy to
access from shooting positions, smooth and easy to correct for distances
between 50 yards and just over 2000 yards (The farthest distance I could work
at). This is far easier than the front
adjustment some use and often requiring you to break your shooting position to
adjust parallax. Some shooters
complained of no markings on the knob for parallax adjustment. Frankly there is
simply no reason for markings. To adjust parallax you turn knob until target is
clear as you can make it. The US Army did away with yardage markings on
Parallax adjustment knobs several decades ago because it just confused the end
users into thinking something was wrong when the numbers did not match up with
what they saw. I would not add markings
on parallax to any scope.
Lit Reticle Feature:
The lit reticle is adjustable and the
controls are housed inside the parallax adjustment knob. You pull the knob out
and adjust to the level on intensity you need for conditions. This includes NVD
settings. Once done you turn the knob
back to zero, the off position and then slide it inside the parallax knob, to
keep it from damage. A nice feature is the knob will only slide back in when in
off position. This keeps the shooter from running down the battery when not in
use. It has eleven intensity settings with an off setting between each number.
If the shooter forgets to turn off the reticle it will automatically turn off
after six hours.
The lit reticle itself only lights the
center cross hair area. There has been much debate on how much of the reticle
should be lit. Typically the reason the center area only is lit is to keep the
light signature down so enemies with NVD’s have more trouble finding you. It
does make Holdovers and Ranging Abilities harder to complete at night. The whole reticle being lit allows easier use
of the holdovers and Ranging capabilities but provides a larger light
signature, this easier for enemies to find you. It’s a trade off and only you
will know what is right for you. I have used both and like both.
The scope caps on the Heritage are a work
in process. They will probably be shipping by the time this article is made
public. Premier sent me prototype caps that look great and function well. These
are a huge step up from the typical ones on the market. One thing these caps do away with is the
slipping off problem of most scope caps.
These are captured by a ring on the scope body at the front and rear
ocular ends. Quality of the scope covers is outstanding. A high quality finish
to a high quality scope.
was able to use this scope many times during the month of testing. It was used
on the following weapons systems:
Brown Built Remington 700 Custom 7.62 caliber with 20” BBl and McMillan A3/A5
Stock. This stock has proven to be my
favorite stock of all time.
Precision Built 24” bbl 7.62 caliber Custom Remington 700 with McMillan A3/A5
used was Black Hills
175 and 155 grain Match. This is ammunition that has proven capable of sub .50
moa groups in these rifles many times so I have confidence in any results shot
with Black Hills
ammunition. The rifles speak for
themselves when ever they are shot. They just pound round after round in the same
scope was used at many square range shooting facilities to 1000 yards and I
found no issues with scope or its functions shooting from the four positions,
standing, seated, kneeling and prone. Prone was shot with bipod, with rucksack
and with Quick Cuff Sling (Discloser My sling design if you did not already
know). Seated was shot with Quick Cuff Sling and Tripod.
do believe though the only way to really check how equipment is used is to use
in field. I took the 4x4 and headed to hills and spent a couple of days. I
dropped a bunch of resetting LV
Shooter targets around a valley and started shooting from different places that
required weird shooting positions.
Nothing like hiking to a spot and saying shoot from here to build skills
and see how equipment really works. If you are like me hiking will provide
plenty of dropped and bumps (Clumsy) to equipment. This is where you see if adjustments come
loose, zeros shift, knobs get bumped off settings and just what will go wrong.
Nothing went wrong or came loose on this scope.
This is not the same as six months in an AO but gives a good idea of
what to expect. Many other scopes have fallen on their ears with these
tests. The Premier scope came through
fine. Nothing came loose or moved.
has hit a homerun here. I may not be
fair here because I have not seen anything negative with this scope but I have
seen other manufactures suffer getting new stuff just right and that is always
in the back of my mind. So while I see nothing negative with this scope I would
not be surprised in some small issues show themselves as more and more of these
find their way to end users. I do believe if any issues come up with their
scope Premier will handle them quickly. With that said I don’t expect anything
seriously to go wrong with this scope. Mine
has been beaten and still works perfectly. By the way before I received this scope it was
previously beaten/tested by a former USMC Scout Sniper who sent it directly to
me with note saying he could not break it. God knows he tried as when he
shipped it to me it was just thrown loose in a box, no padding, just left to
bang around and shipped ground UPS. When
I was through with this scope I shipped it back to Premier so the next guy can
see if he can break it.
Marine Tester before me ended up purchasing one of these and I hope you all
purchase enough of my slings I can also.
Time to save pennies.
has filled a need and done so very well. This
is not the end for the Heritage line. Look for 5-25 power and knobs with less
but adjustment per turn in next few months.
I am certainly excited about the new scope line.
Range: -3 to +2.5
Objective Size: (Clear Aperture) 50mm Tube
Click Value: 0.1mrad/1cm Length
22mrad per revolution Width 101mm/3.98” 0.1mrad per Click Height 78.5mm/3.09”
Single Turn Turret Weight: 35oz/1kg
Elevation-: Total Internal Max
34mrad/117MOA Levels Of Illumination 11 Intensity Settings
±8mrad Reticle Illuminated Gen 2 Mil-dot™ 0.1mrad per Click Warranty Lifetime
Single Turn Turret Special Feature 1 Pull
Out Locking Illumination
Field Of View: @ 100m 3x=12.8m, 15x=2.8m
Special Feature 2 Power Off Between Settings
Range: 50m - infinity Special Feature 3
Eye Relief: 90mm/3.54” Special Feature 4
Pupil: 3x = 11.5mm, 15x = 3.5mm Special Feature 5 Lever-lock™ Dials On Turrets