I think the look on my face says it all! After spending some quality time with the US Optics SR8, it’s clear to me that the scope is fantastic. US Optics has done their homework and listened to the needs of the shooter to make one of the best variable optics available. The above Texas Panhandle 8pt was taken at 298 yards with a single heart shot using Hornady 168grn TAP.
What this scope does that the competition does not is in the low magnification range. The SR8 with the dot illumination is easy to use like a red dot. The illumination is bright enough to use on a Texas summer day and I found it as easy as an Aimpoint with both eyes open. The SR8 was mounted in a Alamo Four Star 30mm mount and was right at home on my Mega Arms MKM MATEN 16” .308. The adjustments on the SR8 using the US#4 are positive and easy to use with or without gloves and do not get bumped off while slung or when wearing heaving clothing. I spent several days in some VERY cold weather with this optic and not once did it fog up. Also, all adjustments stayed smooth and did not get overly stiff during the cold weather. Overall the scope seemed to be unaffected by the cold I experienced.
When using this optic up close or at distance, I found the eye box to be forgiving and easy to use. I have read reports of the eye box being picky, but that was not my experience. The prototype SR8 I had for T&E used a Horus reticule that I did not care for. I’ve tried to like Horus reticules but ultimately I have decided that they are just not for me. I much prefer an uncluttered reticule that clears the field of view for quick target acquisition and identification. The issues I have had with this optic are mostly related to the reticule and are not a reflection of the optic itself.
In low light the glass remains clear and resolves well even with only a 27mm objective lens. The dot illumination that I used was too bright for any use at night however, but I believe that is not something that is a big deal. The illumination was mainly designed for fast target acquisition during daylight. Perhaps US Optics will make a low light version available, I think it would be a natural progression for this scope.
The scope does well at resolving at distance which made picking out details among shinnery oak and brush in the Panhandle of Texas easy. Comparing it to the Bushnell SMRS 1-8.5x24mm I give the edge to the SR8. The field of view on the Bushnell was better as was low light resolution. But that’s where the edge stopped as the SR8 had a better eye box, adjustments, weight, illumination etc. The Leupold CQBSS had better glass than both in my opinion and with locking adjustments seemed to match the SR8 in my mind. However, none compared to the SR8 with speed down low with the SR8’s dot illumination.
Everything I asked this scope to do it did well. Tracking was just like all US Optics scopes and the build quality was second to none. The scope is not perfect; however I think it’s probably one of the best contenders in the 1-8x scope market. I will be taking a look at the March 1-8x, doing an in depth review of the Bushnell, and taking another look at the Leupold. When I have done that, I will follow up again with my results. When looking to spend the money it takes to get a 1-8x scope today, the US Optics SR8 has to be considered as one of the best.
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