TAIPAN - Field Test

I decided to replace my tired 6-24x24 Nikko-Sterling Nighteater with a 6-24x56 MTC Taipan with AMD (Advanced Mil-Dot reticule) on my Sako Finfire .22LR. The scope mounted quickly using the quality supplied mounts and I adjusted its position to give the correct eye relief.

It was obvious from the start that the optics where a considerable step up from the Nighteater and the AMD reticule looked interesting with its fine lines and multiple aim points. Ideal if you shoot HFT or hunt.

The turrets give 1/8th MOA clicks, so zeroing at my usual target distance of 20 yards meant some 40 odd clicks per inch. Luckily the MTC has a lot of adjustment and after spotting the direction marked on the barrel, and not the top, the scope was quickly zeroed. One thing to note (and remember if you are out in the field) is its anti-clockwise for Height and anti-clockwise for Right.

They are easily locked with an external locking ring. This is an excellent idea as you can't knock or rub the turrets and accidentally change zero, but can quickly adjust if you need to without the risk of loosing the turret caps or needing that elusive 1p coin!

Once set, the turrets can be easily zeroed allowing you to change elevation or windage for a particular target/weather and then reset back with confidence. MTC rate these scopes up to .308 so would also be a good call on a .223/.308 used in practical rifle shot at different distances.

AMD - FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I didn't fit the large sidewheel as if I'm target shooting its normally at a fixed distance of 20 or 25 yards, and if I'm out in the field I find side wheels can get in the way or get knocked.

At first I was worried the fine reticule would get lost on the black target, but the scope provided plenty of contrast and I never lost the reticule or required it to be illuminated. I'd be happy using this reticule for my usual Light Sporting Rifle or the timed rapid fire competitions.

Everyone at my rifle club was keen to look through the new scope and to a man they were impressed. Many already have MTC Vipers and Mambas on their rifles (both air and rimfire) so they already knew the quality was going to be good.

IN THE FIELD

So next day I headed out in the field to check aim points at different distances. One of the attractions I have for the .22LR and Light Sporting Rifle is you can use exactly the same set up for hunting and target shooting, without having to worry about special jackets or bondage gear. And my 20-yard zero gives a pretty flat trajectory out to 60 yards, with a secondary zero at 50 yards.

Setting the target up at 50 yards I fine tuned the zero (again, those 1/8th clicks proving useful) in the prone position off a bipod. I then "shot the box", going up 32 clicks, firing, right 32 clicks, firing, down 32 clicks, firing and finally left 32 clicks and firing to ensure the scope went back to zero and also showing if it was mounted squarely. This showed a lovely square 2" box and no sign of cant. I had no problems with the fine reticule as I could clearly see the ShootNC I was aiming at and the holes the rounds made. The quality of the image through the scope, even at the full 24x magnification was quite superb.

Something I noticed, and was very impressed with, was the distance scale on the focus ring read exactly 50. On previous scopes I've used I've found quite often the marks are roughly in the right position, but precision engineering like this aids range estimation when no laser rangefinder is available.

AIM POINTS

Moving back to 75 yards and taking a couple of shots I worked out my aim point was two lines down the reticule. It was at this point that the sun came out from behind the clouds and started causing glare in the scope. Luckily, the Taipan has an inbuilt sun shade that was quickly pulled out and removed the problem at the front end. Sadly I don't have one inbuilt into my forehead and had to use a hat to get rid of the glare at my end!

As well as not having to worry about carrying around a separate sunshade, it also allows a lenscap to be fitted at all times. My previous scope has a small sunshade built in, but this stopped a cap from being fitted. You'll see in the photos that the cap opens sideways as I found I couldn't get my fat fingers under the lip to open it.

At 75 yards I could see where my shots where going, I found it hard to see the new aim point on the black target. The illuminated reticule didn't help as it only lights up the very centre on the reticule. Swapping over to orange targets solved the problem and the 24x magnification still meant I could easily see where my shots were going. I don't see a problem with this in the field as I've yet to see a black rabbit, but I've heard they are out there.

AND AT 100 YARDS

Although I don't shoot vermin beyond 75 yards I moved back to 100 yards just to see what the aim point would be. Again the focus ring was smack on 100. The aim point turned out to be the long horizontal line through the lower half of the reticule. Groups turned out be around 1.5", which I was happy enough with and confirmed my decision not to shoot vermin at this distance as I can't guarantee a definite kill.

I had with me two of my fullbore rifles, one fitted with a Leupold Rifleman scope and the other a Leupold VX-L (the one with segment cut out) to use in a comparison. I turned the Taipan down to 14x to match these scopes and looked at various targets 100 yards away. The Rifleman retails for just less than the Taipan and lacks parallax adjustment. It also lacked definition and contrast compared with the Taipan, its image being far superior.

The VX-L also has no parallax adjustment and retailing for almost three times the price of the Rifleman gives a superb image as you'd expect. I struggled to differentiate between the VX-L and the Taipan in good light. I'm looking forward to comparing them both at dawn/dusk and whilst lamping.

IN CONCLUSION

To sum up the 6-24x56 Taipan I am very impressed by the quality of the glass and the quality of the engineering used in its manufacturing process. Its a superb scope at this very reasonable price.

The 6-24x56 scope retails at £285 and is worth every penny. Those who want a lighter scope or don't need the extra magnification can opt for the 4-16x50 retailing for £260.

MTC Optics can be found here

Author Andy