When it comes to buying high end optics, I have a certain amount of expectations for the optics that I am buying. I expect the glass to be superb, the adjustments to be precise, and the features to be high class. The last several months that I have spent with the March Tactical 3-24×42 was not a let down.
The March has some negatives and I will address them first:
The magnification of the optic above 18x-20x gets hard to use, however it worked well in a spotting scope roll while watching a fixed target. While dialing the magnification to the top creates such a narrow field of view that the optic is just not useful for shooting. This was not really an issue for me as I don’t make shots at maximum magnification. I rarely use more than 10x but I found with this optic that 10x-15x were very comfortable areas to use and shoot at.
The next area of concern was the illumination. During low light or no light (hunting at night for hogs) I found that the scope works well on low powers but that the illumination was much too bright at night. The illumination suffered from a lot of bloom and caused distortion that made it hard to use even at the lowest setting. Also, the push button illumination is easy to bump on, which I did accidentally causing a dead battery. I think the non-illuminated version of this optic would be preferred for me, or a redesigned illumination that is softer for low light use.
The Parallax on this optic works very well, however I found it to be a tad touchy for my taste. I found myself refocusing often while glassing at long distances. Even as close as 100yds I found that a 50yd shift would cause a slight out of focus on the parallax. This is both good and bad for me, it gives me the impression that the glass is optically very clear and the parallax ensures that you get the best clarity possible. The down side is if you’re watching a moving target, like an animal, it may need to be constantly adjusted.
Last negative was the field of view and exit pupil. As I saw it, the optic has to give up something to have such a wide range of magnification, this was in field of view and exit pupil as the optic gets to the higher end of its magnification range. This is basic physics and not something that the designers can really get around due to the mechanics involved with making such a large range in magnification. I do feel as though a few improvements could be made to improve this, such as a larger objective. The larger objective now offered in the updated version of this scope should make the top end magnification much more useable as the extra light transmission reaches the eye. The down side is that the smaller exit pupil makes the eye box as you get beyond 15x very tight and hard to use.
I know that the above seems like a lot of negatives, but let me tell you that they are overall very small. Having never used an optic like this, I was not impressed when I initially looked at it. But the more I used it, the more I really liked it. I mounted this optic on my LaRue Tactical 18″ 7.62 OBR, and found the size of this optic to be perfect on a gas gun. This optic is only 11″ long and 23 oz in weight, it’s strikingly small considering what they have crammed into this small package. Also, the amount of adjustment you have on this is very impressive. You can definitely see the F-Class pedigree that March holds being transferred into their tactical line. Now I will go over my favorite portions of this optic:
The clarity and detail this scope can display is stunning! From 3x-15x this scope is easy to use and a pleasure in most conditions. I found this optic to be very comfortable and shooting at 15x the sweet spot in my optic. I was able to see details and resolution that I have never seen before in lesser scopes all the way to 15x. I was able to see details past 600+ yards that I have never seen, including individual color contrasts that were warm and pleasing to the eye.
The adjustments on this optic were flawless. Again a testament to the pedigree from F-Class that March has is seen here. The turrets are very well thought out, and the clicks very positive and evenly spaced. I felt the clicks were easy to use in all conditions including very cold weather using gloves. I dialed this optic from top to bottom several times and measured the reticle, all came out perfect. With 28 mils of elevation, this optic can be used for most any application you can imagine.
The magnification ring is not overly stiff, and not too loose. It’s precisely made and easy to adjust even with gloves on. The magnification ring does not require a super long throw in order to go from 3x to 24x, and it is designed with a very attractive knurled design.
The overall package that is this scope, is very well thought out. The scope comes with some nice leather objective and ocular covers that I promptly lost, I think they’re a nice addition. It also comes with a sun shade that in normal light conditions in Central Texas I found necessary. However, I felt that as the light started to fade the shade was better removed. The overall look of this optic is fantastic and well made. It is a very attractive piece and looked right at home on my LaRue OBR. I hated to remove it to send it back, but for the type of shooting I do it does not fit the bill for me. This optic would be well suited to a long range shooter with a focus on light weight. It’s small compact design is something that March should be proud of. I consider all that they have packed into this small optic a marvel of engineering. A big thank you to Kelblys for allowing me to review this great optic. If you are in the market for a fantastic scope that is light and great for long range tactical matches, the March Tactical 3-24×42 or 3-24×52 are great scopes that you should look at. Contact www.kelblys.com and they can help you get the March you need today.
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