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Weaver Tactical Super Slam 3x15x50mm Riflescope

Written by Tactical Response Staff

To complete the KFS Industries TACMOD Sniper Chassis System, we selected the Weaver Tactical 3-15x50mm scope. Weaver is an ATK Sporting Group company. Other ATK companies include BLACKHAWK!, Bushnell, Uncle Mike’s Federal Premium, CCI-Speer, and Savage Arms.

This scope is from their ruggedized Super Slam™ series of tactical scopes. These upscale scopes are available for both patrol rifles and sniper rifles. They come in power-objective versions like 1-5x24mm, 2-10x36mm, 3-15x50mm and 4-20x50mm. Based around a 30mm tube, this scope has an illuminated, first-focal plane reticle and an external parallax adjustment.

All Weaver Tactical scopes use 30mm tubes instead of the traditional 1-inch tube. A larger tube allows a larger range of elevation adjustment, the best low light transmission, and highest resolution images even at the maximum resolution. The police sniper certainly wants the most light gathering (light transmission) under all conditions.

The 50mm lens does just that. Big lenses and big tubes are the keys to a dim light-tolerant police scope. All rifle scopes have multi-coated lenses. The Weaver Tactical scopes have an extra hard coating on the exterior lenses.

 

EMDR Beats MIL-Dot

The Super Slam reticles include Mil-Dot, Close Intermediate Range Tactical (CIRT), and Enhanced Mil-Dot Ranging (EMDR). The Enhanced Mil-Dot Ranging scope has a first-focal plane glass-etched reticle. The Weaver Tactical scopes use the first plane reticle. Most scopes use second plane reticles.

A first plane reticle means the calibration is valid at any magnification. A first plane reticle will size along with the image when changing magnification. With a second plane reticle, the reticle will be calibrated at the highest magnification. A second focal plane reticle remains a constant size when changing magnification. A first focal plane reticle is a big advantage for judging size and distance at any magnification.

Unlike some reticles, the EMDR is open in the very center for an easy target acquisition. The center crosshairs are 15 percent thinner, so they block less of the actual target at longer ranges. The Enhanced Mil-Dot Ranging reticle has 1 mil spaced ranging dots and ½ mil hash marks.

Of course, “mil-dot” means “milradian” and not “military.” A milradian is 3.6 inches at 100 yards. At 100 yards, the 10 mil distance of the thin crosshairs until they become thick crosshairs is 36 inches. The 5 mil distance between the center of the crosshairs and the thick crosshairs is 18 inches at 100 yards. A 6-inch diameter head will just fit inside the inner center two mil-dots at 100 yards.

 

Illuminated Reticle

The CIRT reticle with the patrol rifle-oriented 1-5x24mm scope and the EMDR reticle with the sniper rifle-oriented 3-15x50mm scope are illuminated with a choice of red and green. Only the center wires of the reticle are illuminated, while the outer sections of the crosshair remain black.  

The Weaver Tactical gives the officer a choice between red and green illuminated reticles. Green is six times easier to see than red against most backgrounds. The option of having two colors of illumination is a tactical advantage. In some cases, red is the better choice. In other case, green is the better choice.

Both green and red illuminated reticles are adjustable in five different brightness levels. One of the complaints about illuminated reticles under dim/low light scenarios is that the reticle is too bright. Not so with the Super Slam. In fact, from the lowest level of red to the highest level of green, the police sniper has 10 different brightness choices.

The illumination dial is on the same turret as the external parallax adjustment. The dial is graduated in red light settings from 1R (low) to 5R (high) and green light settings from 1G (low) to 5G (high). An “O” (off) setting is between 1G-5R and 1R-5G. An illuminated reticle is critical for a police scope since 45 percent of police rifle shootings takes place in low light.

One of the first thoughts about any illuminated optic in police use should be battery life and Plan B for a dead battery. In this case, Plan B is built right into the scope. The default black reticle is hard-etched into the glass, so a black crosshair will always be available. No more broken crosshairs. In addition to being a backup in case of battery failure, the non-illuminated black EMDR reticle is the better choice in bright light.

 

External Parallax Adjustment

The Weaver Tactical scopes have a side focus, external parallax adjustment. Parallax is the apparent movement of the reticle with respect to the target when the shooter moves his head up or down, left or right behind the eye piece. In other words, parallax is a definite sighting error where the reticle is not aligned with the scope’s own optical axis.

External, manual parallax adjustments are important on scopes of more than 10X power, and critically important on scopes used at ranges less than 200 yards. Remember that more than 97 percent of police sniper shootings are under 200 yards.

On a police scope, having an external parallax adjustment is a definite advantage over an internally corrected fixed parallax. The clear need for an external parallax adjustment over an internal fixed parallax will be obvious when you rotate the turret almost 180 degrees to adjust from 15 yards to 200 yards. This is an outstanding feature.

 

Downrange

The Weaver Tactical scopes use reset-to-zero turrets so there are no caps to lose. Simply lift the dial indicator cap, make the elevation or windage adjustment to zero the scope, and push the cap back down. After the elevation and windage are zeroed, reset the dial indicator caps to zero.

Loosen the knurled, top-most cap, which is actually a retaining screw. Remove the top cap, raise the dial indicator cap, rotate it to zero, and replace the top cap. Adjustments can now be made for longer range shots and yet the scope can quickly be returned to the original zero.

The 3-15x50mm Super Slam we tested allows 8 to 10X for police sniping and 15X as a spotting scope for the sniper/observer. It is better to have the option to go to that higher power and not need it than to need more magnification and not have it.

The Weaver Tactical does not have a built-in bullet drop compensation feature, nor is this necessary on a police scope where 95 percent of police sniper shots take place between 5 and 100 yards. Of the rest, just over 2 percent were between 100 and 150 yards and just over 2 percent were between 150 and 250 yards. Clearly, a bullet-drop compensation feature is not needed for a police sniper scope. Sighted in for 100 yards, both the 223 Rem and 308 Win shoot flat to 200 yards.

Just how good is the Weaver Tactical Super Slam series of scopes? The brutally honest customer reviews at OpticsPlanet.com are clear on this: 4.8 stars out of 5. This includes a 4.8/5 rating for the “value for your money” category. That says a lot for a $1,234 MSRP scope. That kind of rating puts this Weaver scope in the Nightforce, Zeiss, Nikon, Schmidt-Bender and Leupold class. It is an outstanding police sniper scope with online pricing under $800.


Published in Tactical Response, Jul/Aug 2014

Rating : Not Yet Rated


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