Kahles 3.5-18 SKMR3 initial impressions

Feb 13, 2017
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#1
Santas Brown truck delivered two of these to the house today. 30-45 min before having to leave to go to work so I didn't get to spend
Much time with it but hope to this weekend.
Ill get up some decent pics and results as work
Allows. On to the scope,
Scope was packaged very well with a nice scope
Cover with it but no scope caps or sunshade.
This is the only real complaint I could have with it at this stage without tracking test performed.
I Feel like at this price point, all scopes should come with a decent set of caps.
Glass is always subjective, but first impressions
Of this is excellent. Seems to control CA quite
A bit better than the Kahles 6-24. It's not as good as my Minox ZP5, but not far from it.
The elevation and windage adjustment were
Firm, tactile, and audible. The magnification and parallax adjustments were spot on to me.
The size of this scope is perfect for someone
Looking for a shorter overall length, guessing
That maybe buyers that want a short scope won't be using a sunshade anyway. I found two features I've never seen on a scope before that
I thought were well thought out:
Inside the battery cover for the illumination there is a small tool (Allen wrench)that seems to
be held in place by a magnet for zeroing the knobs. So youve got the tool and storage place for it. Tooless rezero similar to the TT would be nice, but this was just an idea I thought was a nice addition.
2nd, the windage knob has an cap on the end that spins independent of the windage to prevent accidental adjustments. This was kinda
Neat as soon as I figured out what it was there for.
The 2nd revolution indicator snapped into position without the slightest hint of drag like
My ZP5 does, which doesn't bother me but worth noting since it seems to be the only major
Complaint about the Minox I've seen.
I'll put up some more info after I get to work
With it awhile and test the tracking but my first impressions are that this looks to be a great competitor to the S&B US5-20. Thanks to Jason
At EO for getting these to me.
 
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5RWill

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#2
Looking forward to your findings. I have 624i on the way to finally see for myself how it handles CA. Though i love the reticle so much i doubt it goes anywhere as long as it's minor.

@wjm308
 
Feb 13, 2017
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#3
I notice the CA with scopes, but it doesn't bother me as it does some. But just figured i would add
That as it seems to come up with conversations
About the 6-24. And this scope does handle it better. If this scope tracks and holds up as well
As it looks, they have built one fine optic to add
To the list of great glass options out there.
 
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5RWill

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Oct 15, 2009
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#4
I notice the CA with scopes, but it doesn't bother me as it does some. But just figured i would add
That as it seems to come up with conversations
About the 6-24. And this scope does handle it better. If this scope tracks and holds up as well
As it looks, they have built one fine optic to add
To the list of great glass options out there.
I've never personally seen it on a K624i but haven't spent extended time with one either. Only looked through friends and recently used one in overcast conditions so it was moot to look for CA with it being rainy and foggy. Mine should be here Saturday though and i'll compare it to what i have.

I'm happy Kahles finally changed some things up. I think we all expected this from them last year truthfully. The increased price point certainly commands increased performance to be expected out of them, in that regard i do expect CA control to be there with the very best optics out there. I can't say much about the optical quality of Kahles yet as i've said before on the days i used them i couldn't discern too much difference between it and a Gen II razor.

It's interesting we're getting more players on the high end of the spectrum in the $3000+ range this year than we are seeing in the $2000-2500 range. Kahles, ZCO, Minox, TT, and S&B all pushing new products. We did get the Leupold Mark 5, which wasn't a bad addition at all disregarding the upcharge for illumination. I wonder if Vortex has plans to continually push their products and keep in line with the rest? Gen III razor or Gen II AMG maybe? Something that undercuts the market again like they did with the Gen II razor, would be a bold move if possible. I doubt they stay stagnant. Excuse the rambling.
 
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918v

Manipulator of Variables
Jul 15, 2007
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#9
Santas Brown truck delivered two of these to the house today. 30-45 min before having to leave to go to work so I didn't get to spend
Much time with it but hope to this weekend.
Ill get up some decent pics and results as work
Allows. On to the scope,
Scope was packaged very well with a nice scope
Cover with it but no scope caps or sunshade.
This is the only real complaint I could have with it at this stage without tracking test performed.
I Feel like at this price point, all scopes should come with a decent set of caps.
Glass is always subjective, but first impressions
Of this is excellent. Seems to control CA quite
A bit better than the Kahles 6-24. It's not as good as my Minox ZP5, but not far from it.
The elevation and windage adjustment were
Firm, tactile, and audible. The magnification and parallax adjustments were spot on to me.
The size of this scope is perfect for someone
Looking for a shorter overall length, guessing
That maybe buyers that want a short scope won't be using a sunshade anyway. I found two features I've never seen on a scope before that
I thought were well thought out:
Inside the battery cover for the illumination there is a small tool (Allen wrench)that seems to
be held in place by a magnet for zeroing the knobs. So youve got the tool and storage place for it. Tooless rezero similar to the TT would be nice, but this was just an idea I thought was a nice addition.
2nd, the windage knob has an cap on the end that spins independent of the windage to prevent accidental adjustments. This was kinda
Neat as soon as I figured out what it was there for.
The 2nd revolution indicator snapped into position without the slightest hint of drag like
My ZP5 does, which doesn't bother me but worth noting since it seems to be the only major
Complaint about the Minox I've seen.
I'll put up some more info after I get to work
With it awhile and test the tracking but my first impressions are that this looks to be a great competitor to the S&B US5-20. Thanks to Jason
At EO for getting these to me.
How does the parallax knob feel in terms of turn effort?
 

918v

Manipulator of Variables
Jul 15, 2007
1,586
20
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Miserable CA
#11
You grab the freely spinning portion and the rest of the knob and hold them together, then apply pressure in the direction you want to make the adjustment.
 

wjm308

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#13
Wow, these came in much quicker than I anticipated, thanks for sharing 7WSM, I look forward to hearing more thoughts once you get it mounted up and taking it into the real world. The K525i was announced less than 2 months after the K318i, so I wonder if that means folks will start getting their K525i's as soon as early June? Back to your K318i's 7, how is the reticle at 3.5x and 18x, does it appear too small at 3.5 and too large at 18x or did Kahles balance it just right in your opinion?
 

CSTactical

Sniper's Hide Vendor
Nov 18, 2009
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#14
Wow, these came in much quicker than I anticipated, thanks for sharing 7WSM, I look forward to hearing more thoughts once you get it mounted up and taking it into the real world. The K525i was announced less than 2 months after the K318i, so I wonder if that means folks will start getting their K525i's as soon as early June? Back to your K318i's 7, how is the reticle at 3.5x and 18x, does it appear too small at 3.5 and too large at 18x or did Kahles balance it just right in your opinion?
Let me know if you want one Bill :whistle:
 

wjm308

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#23
Other manufacturers include caps and some even sunshades at this price point so I agree that is a pain point. Getting Tenebraex parts for the K624i Gen III was a pain when they first came out.
 
Jan 30, 2012
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#24
Looking forward to hearing more reports on these scopes. Australia should see the first 3.5-18 models in May with the K625i due in September. Pricing here will be around $4500. Given that ZCO may not be a feasible option in Australia, at least for some time, the Kahles starts to look like a winner for my next build. No scope caps or sunshade is a bit stingy for a scope at this price point since NF, Minox, S&B, TT all tend to ship with Tenebraex lens covers.
 
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jb1000br

Jason@EuroOptic
Dec 23, 2001
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#27
I have run my 16x nightforce on groundhogs out at about 1400yds and felt quite comfortable (and I come from nearly 1/2 my life using 42-55x scopes at 500-1000yds...whoa...half my life:eek:)
 
Feb 13, 2017
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#31
FD defense 18in.
This has got a short rail for a 18inch gas
But was able to get this mounted and the PVS30(thanks again Jason) so it may
Work on a DT covert but not sure since
I don't have one of those. Hope to have
The AMG in and get it mounted up and compare
The AMG, Kahles, and Minox all this weekend
Shooting if time and weather permits.
 

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wjm308

Send it!
Nov 30, 2012
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#32
FD defense 18in.
This has got a short rail for a 18inch gas
But was able to get this mounted and the PVS30(thanks again Jason) so it may
Work on a DT covert but not sure since
I don't have one of those. Hope to have
The AMG in and get it mounted up and compare
The AMG, Kahles, and Minox all this weekend
Shooting if time and weather permits.
Sweet 7WSM, I had an F&D with an 18" 6.5 Creedmoor that I really miss, that was an awesome rig and the most accurate piston gun I've had. I'm going to build another large frame AR later this year or early next, but would love another F&D... since I have an AMG and Minox ZP5 I am curious to hear your results with the K318i in comparison.
 
Feb 13, 2017
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#33
Amg just got here. First time with one but have used the Gen II razors for years. This thing is a feather compared to the Razor II. Glass is great,
No discernible CA that I can pick up. Really gonna have to get some optical resolution charts and get all these mounted up and start using them. Picture on the Kahles seems to pop a little better.
Like most everything about all three of these scopes, but will have to admit, the picture through the tube, overall build quality, size and length is quickly making the Kahles 3-18 my favorite overall. Now to get em mounted,
Box test and tracking asap and burn a lot of powder using them. See which ones work the best and go from there.
 
Feb 13, 2017
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#36
Got a few min to check out the AMG and one of the Kahles lowlight performance after I got done splitting some wood.
Forgot and left the Minox at the house, gonna have to redo this, but the results were suprising
And results were agreed on by all three present.
With the power and parallax set on the same settings for both scopes and focusing on the same target, the AMG edged out the Kahles for light gathering and image clarity in the higher (18x) magnification ranges all the way down to about 10-11x where they swapped and the Kahles took over from there to 6x. Both looked good but I need to test these with the Minox as I used it

For about the last month of deer season and it performed remarkably well in lowlight.
 

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Feb 13, 2017
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#41
During the bright daylight I would say the AMG is 95-97%+\- the clarity of the Kahles but was a little harder to get image focused in perfectly as quickly as the Kahles. Eyebox was a bit tighter as well. But as light fell, the AMG impressed in the higher mag ranges. Couldn't match the Kahles in low light at lower mag ranges but it was impressive none the less. AMG definitely has a lot of performance for the price and weight.
Kahles has impressive performance for its
Short length. And the feel, fit and finish of the scope and all adjustments speaks volumes of
The work they put into this. Would like to have
A S&B US 5-20 to compare side by side directly with this one.
Both the AMG and Kahles have the Minox beat in the size and weight category, with fit and finish I would put the Kahles, then Minox, then the AMG.
Ergonomics and adjustments I would give to the
Kahles and the other two a tie not far behind at all. Overall glass id still give the Minox the edge,
But not on low light performance yet as have to compare them all side by side in the same light.
Performance per $, kinda hard to argue with the AMGs results if this was an apples to apples comparison. For the lightest weight for a dual purpose rifle Hunting and matches, performance
Per dollar, I'd prob go AMG. If I needed a shorter
Scope because of space restraints that I had with
The NV clip-on you're left with just a few choices.
Mark 6 3-18, SB US 5-20, and the Kahles. Sorry
But the Mark 6 doesn't get an invitation to this party.
No space restraints, 6-7 oz not going to matter,
500-600 extra dollars to spend, need a little more mag on the top end, ZP5 MR4
Would be the winner.
All three have reticles That are the Results of the manufacturers listening to what the users want.
And either one id be happy with in all my scopes
With the MR4 probably being the favorite.
That will be about all the rambling till I get some tracking results.

PS Being a glass whore hurts the damn
Wallet. If I were married this endeavor would've probably been the start of a divorce.
😁
 
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5RWill

Optics Fiend
Oct 15, 2009
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#42
Mine will be for a TL2 switch barrel. ;)

Definitely interested to hear how this shakes out compared to the AMG and Minox though. It's gonna be an amazing year!
We just need to get Vortex to produce a 3-18 AMG. No way they don't have something in the works.

On the Minox i wonder given the shortage of currently available models when we'll realistically see this ZL5.

During the bright daylight I would say the AMG is 95-97%+\- the clarity of the Kahles but was a little harder to get image focused in perfectly as quickly as the Kahles. Eyebox was a bit tighter as well. But as light fell, the AMG impressed in the higher mag ranges. Couldn't match the Kahles in low light at lower mag ranges but it was impressive none the less. AMG definitely has a lot of performance for the price and weight.
Kahles has impressive performance for its
Short length. And the feel, fit and finish of the scope and all adjustments speaks volumes of
The work they put into this. Would like to have
A S&B US 5-20 to compare side by side directly with this one.
Both the AMG and Kahles have the Minox beat in the size and weight category, with fit and finish I would put the Kahles, then Minox, then the AMG.
Ergonomics and adjustments I would give to the
Kahles and the other two a tie not far behind at all. Overall glass id still give the Minox the edge,
But not on low light performance yet as have to compare them all side by side in the same light.
Performance per $, kinda hard to argue with the AMGs results if this was an apples to apples comparison. For the lightest weight for a dual purpose rifle Hunting and matches, performance
Per dollar, I'd prob go AMG. If I needed a shorter
Scope because of space restraints that I had with
The NV clip-on you're left with just a few choices.
Mark 6 3-18, SB US 5-20, and the Kahles. Sorry
But the Mark 6 doesn't get an invitation to this party.
No space restraints, 6-7 oz not going to matter,
500-600 extra dollars to spend, need a little more mag on the top end, ZP5 MR4 Would be the winner.
All three have reticles That are the Results of the manufacturers listening to what the users want.
And either one id be happy with in all my scopes
With the MR4 probably being the favorite.
That will be about all the rambling till I get some tracking results.

PS Being a glass whore hurts the damn
Wallet. If I were married this endeavor would've probably been the start of a divorce.
😁
I'd honestly like to see how the Mark 5 stacks up. I know lots will roll there eyes thinking the MK5 doesn't remotely compare but the 5-25 was very impressive for it's price point IMHO.

I'm almost 100% going AMG less i find another Kahles at similar price mint/new condition. Depends part of me wants the locking turrets on the amg. The other wants the SKMR3. I know the EBR7B is very similar to the SKMR3 but it's horizontal holds aren't as clean. That probably me being really nit picky. The other thing is it's only a 5oz difference. That said the lighter the better for this particular rifle.
 
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Apr 24, 2017
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Hoover, Alabama
#45
We just need to get Vortex to produce a 3-18 AMG. No way they don't have something in the works.

I'm almost 100% going AMG less i find another Kahles at similar price mint/new condition. Depends part of me wants the locking turrets on the amg. The other wants the SKMR3. I know the EBR7B is very similar to the SKMR3 but it's horizontal holds aren't as clean. That probably me being really nit picky. The other thing is it's only a 5oz difference. That said the lighter the better for this particular rifle.
I honestly think between the K624i and AMG 6-24 it is a wash. As far as the horizontal holds on the EBR7B, to me it is pretty thick at higher magnification in the 20-24 mag. In the 12-18 range the reticle is beautiful and is really easy to use. I have seen a couple GEN3's with SKMR/SKMR2/SKMR3 in the $2300-2500 range. Any hesitation I had about the K624i I hope will be cleared up in the K525i.

If there is an AMG 3-18 in the works, at the same price point as the 6-24, you could not keep enough in stock. The same is true for the k318i. It might be me but I think the 3-18 and the 6-24/5-25 serve a different purpose and why I am holding out for the K525i.
 
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5RWill

Optics Fiend
Oct 15, 2009
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#46
Surprising indeed. Just goes to show LOW glass hangs with the best of them, and is only held down in price by perception.
AMG is not LOW glass, to my knowledge it's American glass. Which makes it all the more impressive. The only part of the AMG that is outsourced is the reticle to my knowledge which is made in Germany.

I honestly think between the K624i and AMG 6-24 it is a wash. As far as the horizontal holds on the EBR7B, to me it is pretty thick at higher magnification in the 20-24 mag. In the 12-18 range the reticle is beautiful and is really easy to use. I have seen a couple GEN3's with SKMR/SKMR2/SKMR3 in the $2300-2500 range. Any hesitation I had about the K624i I hope will be cleared up in the K525i.

If there is an AMG 3-18 in the works, at the same price point as the 6-24, you could not keep enough in stock. The same is true for the k318i. It might be me but I think the 3-18 and the 6-24/5-25 serve a different purpose and why I am holding out for the K525i.
After using the SKMR3 it's hard for me to sway away from it. It could use some upgrades like 2/10th vertical spacing, other than that it's nearly perfect. Such a minimalist design. That said the AMG makes sense for comp/hunting rifle in both price/value and weight. Plus the locking turrets. I'm looking forward to see how my 624i handles CA. I would like a 5-25 and all but it being new it's going to command $3300 for some time.
 

bjay

Private
Oct 19, 2009
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Aloha state HI
#47
AMG is not LOW glass, to my knowledge it's American glass. Which makes it all the more impressive. The only part of the AMG that is outsourced is the reticle to my knowledge which is made in Germany.



After using the SKMR3 it's hard for me to sway away from it. It could use some upgrades like 2/10th vertical spacing, other than that it's nearly perfect. Such a minimalist design. That said the AMG makes sense for comp/hunting rifle in both price/value and weight. Plus the locking turrets. I'm looking forward to see how my 624i handles CA. I would like a 5-25 and all but it being new it's going to command $3300 for some time.
Actually,at hide a lot of our friendly dealers willing to work it out and give HIDE members discount..i pre-ordered for one k25 and i got it for less than 3k shipped..and should be delivered August or sept.
20180414_052015.png
 
Likes: 5RWill
Apr 24, 2017
715
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Hoover, Alabama
#48
AMG is not LOW glass, to my knowledge it's American glass. Which makes it all the more impressive. The only part of the AMG that is outsourced is the reticle to my knowledge which is made in Germany.

After using the SKMR3 it's hard for me to sway away from it. It could use some upgrades like 2/10th vertical spacing, other than that it's nearly perfect. Such a minimalist design. That said the AMG makes sense for comp/hunting rifle in both price/value and weight. Plus the locking turrets. I'm looking forward to see how my 624i handles CA. I would like a 5-25 and all but it being new it's going to command $3300 for some time.
Correct, American glass with German reticle

Reticles are like women and so subjective, to each their own. I will tell you that I have handled pretty much everything besides Tangent Theta and Minox. I have said this before, but the Kahles was my favorite, hands down. I decided to go with the AMG due to cost, Micro-Adjustment Zero LTec turrets, and how well it handled CA. I am currently building a TL3 with a BarLoc and the AMG will go on that because of the of the micro-adjustments, but I will put a K624i or K525 on my backup rifle and switch to whatever one I like more.
 
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bjay

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Oct 19, 2009
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#50
That is only $230 more than I was quoted from several hide vendors Q4 2017 / Q1 2018 for a K624i
I also like AMG but im becoming 34mm tube whore..i always thought AMG k24 sb5-25 bit too long..althou scopes that less than 13" on 24" or longer barrel IMO (preference) off proportioned :) that is why i kinda liking k25 being almost 2" shorter than k24.. again its just preference. K25 is short Amg version? With 34mm tube...skmr3 and ebr7b ret are almost identical
 
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