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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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