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March Rife Scope Review

March 5-50 x 56Ti MTR-2 Tactical Rifle Scope

Made by the DEON Optical Design Corporation in Japan.

This review will be updated live at the end of each days testing. So come back and see how things develope.

Day 1

After my recent review of the 2.5-25x42 March compact rifle scope, I was keen to try out the full size version of these scopes and see what they had to offer.

Stuart Elliot, from BRT Shooters Supply in Queensland, was kind enough to let me had a trial of one of the full size tactical scopes. This scope was one of the 5-50 x 56 illuminated scopes and came complete with a set of Kelby's 34mm custom rings.

Now right from the first look I could tell that this was one impressive scope. With its 34mm main tube, 56mm objective lens and stand out target knobs. It is a serious piece of optical technology

At 830g (29oz) this scope is not overly heavy and is slightly lighter than some other scopes in this class. It would sit quite well on top of most long range rifles.

For this test I planned to trial this scope on two quite different rifles. First up I will be putting it on my .308 target rifle and using it under match conditions, then I will put the scope on a hard hitting .338 RUM and shooting some 250 grain match bullets out to the limits of the elevation adjustment. 

First up I had to mount the scope on my .308 target rifle. This is where I encountered my first problem. The EGW picatinny rail that was on the rifle had slots cut into it that measured 0.156" while the Kelby rings had a recoil stop insert that measured 0.196". 

So a quick zap with the Dremel tool had the back side of a couple of slots opened up enough to accept the Kelby rings properly. It then only took a couple of minutes to have the scope mounted and leveled. 

I really liked the Kelby's rings. They were very well made, had heaps of contact area and were still quite light weight.

While I had the micrometer out I also checked the slot gap on the Seekins picatinny rail fitted to the .338 RUM. The size of the slots on the Seekins rail measured 0.201" so there would be no issue fitting the rings to that rifle when it came time to change over.

All that was left now was to take the rifle down to the range and set the zero ready for next Saturday's 300 yard F-Class comp.

Scope details at a glance.

  • Focus to 10m
  • 1/4 MOA Clicks
  • 34mm main tube design 
  • 56mm objective lens diameter
  • 60 MOA of elevation and 40 MOA of windage adjustment. One turn equals 10 MOA
  • Side focus/parallax adjustment. Long eye relief.
  • Tactical turrets with zero stop facility.
  • Choice of illuminated or non illuminated reticles.
  • Supplied with Sunshade
  • Reticles: 1/16, 3/32, 1/8th dot, Illuminated or non illuminated MTR‐1 or MTR‐2 glass etched reticles. MML reticle on special order.

 

The 5-50x 56 scope is a large scope suited to full size long range rifles.

With 50 power magnification, it is ideal for long range shooting.

 Day 2
With the scope mounted the next step was to get it zeroed and ready for its first trial comp on Saturday.

This was a relatively easy job to do. I simply bore sighted the scope then went down the back paddock and fired a few shots on my private range.

Turret adjustments were accurate and in only a few shots I had the .308 load of 155 grain HBC projectiles, hitting 3" high at 100 yards. This will get me somewhere near the centre of the 300 yards F-Class ICFRA target.

On Saturday, all that will be needed is for me to fine tune the turrets using my sighter shots for wind and elevation. Then it will be time to shoot for score.

Low Light Test
After signting in the rifle I took the opportunity to conduct a low light comparison test. 

I decided to compare the big March against my Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x56 scope. This is a good comparison as both scopes have 56mm objective lenses and are both full size scopes of similar dimensions. The March however is slightly lighter.

As I own a 2.5-25x42 March Compact Tactical scope. I also decided to compared it against its big brother. 

The compact March scope proved to be out of its league with the two bigger scopes. While the compact was good in poor light, the bigger March tactical scope was simply outstanding.

The photo to the right shows the relative size of the big March tactical, against it rival the Nightforce NXS. 

 I took a photo through each of the two big scopes, looking at cattle in a field at a range of about 5km as the light started to fade. Both scopes were set on 22 power for the photo. The March with its MTR-2 reticle is on the left and the Nightforce with its NP-R1 reticle is on the right. I will let you decide which is the better imiage. This sort of photography is difficult to get a sharp image, but it gives you an idea the relative colour definition and brightness. With the human eye it was easy to see ducks swimming on the lake in the background through both scopes.

The low light comparison test continued until it was too dark to see. While the maximum 50 power of the March scope was excellent in good light, the power setting soon had to be reduced as the light faded. At 40 power the scope was quite good for a while and at 30 power it hung in till the light was poor.

Setting both scopes to 22 power there was very little difference between the two. As it got so dark that the reticles became hard to see, I activated the illuminated reticles on both scopes. Immediately I noticed an advantage for the March over the Nightforce.

The March scope has a rubber covered button on the side of the parallax adjustment knob. This can be seen in the photo above/right. Pressing this micro switch, adjusts the reticle brightness to four different levels depending on conditions. This is a great feature for field shooting as light fades. On the Nightforce illuminated reticle however, the brightness is pre -set and the scope parallax adjustment knob needs to be dismantled in order to adjust the brightness.  

As darkness descended, with both scope set on 10 power, the March scope held on to win the low light shoot out. It was possible with the reticle set on its lowest illumination setting to shoot a 10" steel white painted target in almost complete darkness at 400m. 

Day 3
Saturday the March scope was put through its paces at a 300 yard F-Class match at Moe. A number of the members of the Australian Long Range Forum were there and got the chance to check out the scope.

The March scope was shot over my .308 target rifle and performed very well. So well in fact that I shot my highest single round score of 60 with 8 super centres. 

The day started out with lots of mirage and the full 50 power magnification of the scope was of no use so I reduced the magnification to 20 power in order to see the target better. 

Second round, the conditions had changed significantly with a layer cloud covering the sun. This totally eliminated all mirage and it was possible to take full advantage of the scopes maximum magnification of 50 power. This is when I shot my highest score. 

It is interesting to note that another shooter was shooting with a 8-80x56 power March scope and he experienced the same conditions and together we managed to finish first and second in F-Standard class for the day. The two March scopes on the firing line are pictured above. Not a bad result for March scopes.

Day 4

 
Today I finished off my testing of the March scope with some long range field shooting out to 1000 yards and beyond with my .338 RUM loaded up with 250gn Hornady, BTHP, match projectiles. This is a serious load and would test out the strength of this March scope.

Zeroing the scope was once again a simple exercise, with the bullets landing right on the 100 yard marker in only a few shots thanks to the accurate scope adjustments.

I then loosened the screw on top of the elevation turret with a coin and set the "0" mark on the turret to align with the reference line marker under the zero stop.

 

Once zeroed, I then wound up the zero stop to contact the bottom of the elevation turret, wound it back a few clicks and tightened the two grub screws to secure it in place. Setting the zero stop is that easy.

Conditions were not ideal with a cold switching South Westerly whipping in over the trees at a rate of about 25km/hr. This made shooting interesting at the longer ranges, but with the quality glass it was possible to spot the splash right out to 1000 yards. Making hits possible.

 On 30 power however, it was much easier to recover from the recoil and  locate the target in time to see the bullet impact. With a rifle that kicks a lot less than this .338 RUM it would be much easier and the higher power settings could then be used. 

When setting the elevation adjustment the shooter needs to take care to align the desired amount of dial up with the small line marker below the zero stop. This reference marker is small and it would be easy to make a 1/4 MOA error in adjustment, especially in poor light. 

This is a seriously good scope and I can not fault it in any serious way. The only problem with it is that I now have to return it back to Stuart Elliot at BRT. I would rather keeps it for myself.

 Copyright austargets.com 2012