Burris TAC 30 scope review

Reviewed by shooter521

TAC30 on top, CRS on bottom. The TAC30 is a couple inches shorter and about 3 oz. lighter than the CRS. Eye relief is also shorter, making an extended mount (like the LaRue SPR-E or ADM Recon-X) unnecessary.

Side view of both scopes. The TAC30’s illumination control is the copper-colored pushbutton on the left side. Also worth noting is that the TAC30’s entire rear bell moves when you change magnification; this is both a good and a bad thing.

TAC30 on 1x with reticle illuminated. Illumination range goes from barely noticeable to afriggin’ nuclear glow

 Daylight visibility should NOT be a problem. [B]NOTE:[/B] No neighbors were harmed during the making of these pics.

TAC30 at 4x, illumination off. The canting is a result of me not holding the scope straight, rather than the reticle being tilted within the scope itself.

Closeup of the “Ballistic CQ” reticle design. All the pics and literature I’ve seen show a solid circle, but that is obviously not the case. I wonder if the design was changed to reduce obscuring of the target? Once properly zeroed, the large center dot is your 100 yard aiming point; the bottom of that dot is for 200 yards, and the smaller dots below are for 300, 400 and 500 yards. The “reverse” dot at the bottom of the circle is the 600-yard aiming point.

TAC30 mounted on my Recon Carbine in the LaRue SPR-E mount. I found I had to orient the optic pretty far back in the mount, and move the mount back two rail addresses in order to achieve a proper sight picture. It works. Apparent in this picture is that, while visually appealing, the Flat Dark Earth anodized finish is neither flat nor dark earth. :):  It is somewhat metallic, and has a rather greenish hue, much like the upper receiver of the FDE SCAR-L. Bottom line – it will get the rattle can treatment once the weather warms up.
Update 2/27

After mounting my new Burris TAC30 on my Recon Carbine, I was able to get a little range time to get the optic sighted in today.

First, the optic and gun specs:

Burris Fullfield TAC30 1-4x
Reticle: Ballistic CQ, illuminated
Length: 10-3/16″ (Burris says 11.3″)
Weight: 13oz. (Burris says 17oz.)
FoV @ 100 yards: 100ft. @ 1x, 32ft. @ 4x 
Exit Pupil: 24mm @ 1x, 6mm @ 4x
Adjustment Value: 1 click = 1/2 MOA (1/2″ at 100 yards)
Eye Relief: 3.5″ to 4″

Recon Carbine
Caliber: 5.56
Barrel: 16″, 1×7 twist, 416 Stainless, mid-length gas (GTS Recon barrel)
Trigger: RRA Match (2-stage non-adjustable, ~3-1/2 lb. pull)

As soon as I got to the range, I put up an 8″ circle target at 50 yards and fired 3 rounds off the bipod from the bench. The group was at the upper right edge of the 8-1/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper, and I was able to quickly and easily make adjustments to get rounds impacting in the center of the circle. The TAC30 windage and elevation knobs are easily finger-adjustable (a coin slot is also present in the face of each knob), and the clicks are audible and feel positive, even with light gloves on. Once zero was established, it was time to perform the Zoom Test and the Box Test.

The Zoom Test checks for shifts in POA/POI between power levels. It is performed by firing at a designated point at 1x, then switching to 4x and firing at the same point. I used a 4″ circle as my aiming point, because the large size of the TAC30’s center aiming dot would have covered up anything smaller. As you can see, there appears to be a bit of downward shift between 1x and 4x, but I believe that to be negligible, as I am basically shooting within the dot size on 1x and it’s hard to get a really tight group to see just how much shift is occurring.

The Box Test checks the accuracy and repeatability of the scope’s windage and elevation adjustments. It is performed by firing at a designated aiming point (in this case, the upper left black square on the target), making a specific number of clicks right and firing another group, making the same number of clicks down and firing a group, then left, then up, to hopefully finish where you started. The TAC30’s click value is supposed to be 1/2 MOA, which equates to 1/4″ at the 50 yards I was shooting. Each grid square on the target is 1″, and the large black squares are 4″ on center. I made 16 clicks in each direction, which seems to verify that the TAC30’s adjustments are both accurate and repeatable.

After all that was done, I did a bit of distance shooting from prone, at steel targets hanging some 200 yards distant. I was able to get first-round hits on full-size, 45% and 25% IPSC targets with the scope set to 4x. The 25% target required using the top of the center aiming dot to make hits.

Finally, I dialed down to 1x, fired up the illumination, and did some hammer pairs and singles from the low ready at about 15 yards, shooting at a blank 8-1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper. Kept everything in the equivalent of about a 6″ circle.


I like the Ballistic CQ reticle. The center dot appears as 4 MOA at 1x, which mimics the Aimpoints I have on my other carbines. This makes it fast and easy to pick up at close range, if a bit imprecise (but this really isn’t a precision scope). At 4x for longer shots, the center dot covers 2.4 MOA, which allows very small targets to be hit out to 200 yards or so. I will need to do a final zeroing at a 100-yard known distance range, since that is what’s required in order for the other aiming points in the reticle to work properly, but right now I’m dead-nuts at 50 yards and minute of steel at 200, which makes me a happy guy.

I did notice that with the scope set to 1x, objects from about 5 to 25 yards appeared a bit [I]smaller[/I] than actual size (objects in this scope may be closer than they appear). Dialing in just a bit of power (1.1 or 1.2x maybe) made things appear more true at those distances and allowed me to engage close targets much faster.



Relatively light weight, clear glass, daylight-bright illumination, accurate and repeatable adjustments, Ballistic CQ reticle.


That damnable illumination button! As has been stated by others, adjustments can be hard to make, especially with gloves on, and it’s very easy to “miss” the illumination setting you want, or accidentally change settings when you try to turn the illumination off. I would much rather have a traditional dial. On the up-side, the illumination has a “memory” and turns on to the setting it was in when you last turned it off, and shuts off automatically after 2 hours.

Also, the fact that the entire eyepiece turns when the power is adjusted is [I]stupid[/I]! It prevents the use of a Butler Creek flip-up cap, and provides no improvement in speed or ease of adjustment, since only a small portion of the eyepiece is knurled (like a standard power ring on other optics, rather than the whole thing being knurled as on the Leupold CQBSS). I will be ordering a Cat Tail for it shortly.

Do I like the TAC30 better than the CRS? Yep; the second focal plane setup and the Ballistic CQ reticle are easier for me to use and fit my needs better.

Is it “Aimpoint fast” on 1x with illumination? Not quite, but could be with a bit more practice.

Is it the perfect “do-all” optic? I don’t believe there is such a thing. The TAC30 is a very good optic that allows rapid engagement of targets at short to medium ranges, but it is not without its flaws.

Am I keeping it? You bet your butt!


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Founding staff member, avid shooter, hunter, reloader and all around gun geek with an obsession for perfection

One Response to Burris TAC 30 scope review

  1. Cary Kieffer says:

    I just recently got one of these with the Fastfire micro red dot on top. 437$ to my door from sportsmans guide.This review was spot on. Its a nice scope and I like it alot. Inspite of the brightness button and the whole eye piece turning points the writer made, both of which could be better. If your looking for a reasonably priced ar scope, check one of these out.

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