New March Scopes for 2020

Hairy Biker

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Having now set the scope up on various rifles and then dry firing in the backyard, my initiation impressions are very positive. "Optical brilliance" is perhaps appropriate? Field use will tell me that.

Firstly, the initial eye relief set up is "finicky" and took me three goes with the scope already set up in the Spur mounts when I put the March on the AICS. But when the March is set up - any complaints about "eye box" and parallax shadows get thrown out the door because the sight picture leaps up in front of you. No tunnelling through the zoom setting, no donuts form low to high power and no fuzz.

Secondly, eye relief and position induced parallax. Now this is a big one and some people will get it and others will struggle. I will say from the outset that this scope forces you to hold a consistent cheek weld - the moment you get lazy, a parallax ring appears and forces you to identify and correct your hold. This is actually a big positive (it think) because it identifies an error in your shooting position and forces you to correct

I spent a some time dry firing from the Prone Unsupported position, the Hawkins position, and the Back Laying position to find fault. Every time I found something bad happening, I ran through my body position, hold, head position and cheek weld, and it was me every time. Even the Back Laying had a full sight picture, without any tunnelling, at 8 power.

Some people have raised the size of screws in the elevations and windage turrets. Word back from SHOT suggests the prototypes are doing their job and throwing up areas that might benefit from some tweaks. The DEON engineers will look at the size and placing of the screws holding the turrets and see what is possible to make those even more robust.
 
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wind gypsy

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I wish they'd drop the high zoom ratios and just make a really nice light properly featured FFP 30mm ~4x zoom ratio 3x mag low end 30mm "tactical hunter" scope
Agree wholeheartedly. 3-24x52 was the worst money I ever spent on a scope but I loved the form factor and turrets. LRHS is a much better hunting scope functionally IMO and I don’t see why march couldn’t make a lighter and better version if they wanted to rather than the $3k compromises they currently have.
 

wjm308

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Has anyone visited the March booth at SHOT? If so, please send some pics of the 4.5-28x52 and let me know what you think of the reticle (at low and high power) and how the scope performs in general. I realize that the conditions indoors at SHOT don't lend themselves to "ideal" situations to ascertain how good IQ is on the scope, but just looking for initial impressions, how easy was it to get behind, how do the turrets feel, so on and so forth.
 

Dthomas3523

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Has anyone visited the March booth at SHOT? If so, please send some pics of the 4.5-28x52 and let me know what you think of the reticle (at low and high power) and how the scope performs in general. I realize that the conditions indoors at SHOT don't lend themselves to "ideal" situations to ascertain how good IQ is on the scope, but just looking for initial impressions, how easy was it to get behind, how do the turrets feel, so on and so forth.
Big swing and miss on reticle.

Turrets were not what I’d consider alpha class. Maybe slightly better feeling than razor gen 2.

$5k+ price tag or so

As soon as I saw reticle and felt turrets, I basically just went through the motions of listening to the sales pitch from the rep.

Absolutely zero interest in it now.
 

Dthomas3523

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Was it the finished product or a pre production sample?
Finished product as far as I know. The rep didn’t mention anything about any changes or that it was a sample/prototype. In fact, he went on for a while about how nice the turrets are.
 

koshkin

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Big swing and miss on reticle.

Turrets were not what I’d consider alpha class. Maybe slightly better feeling than razor gen 2.

$5k+ price tag or so

As soon as I saw reticle and felt turrets, I basically just went through the motions of listening to the sales pitch from the rep.

Absolutely zero interest in it now.
Over $5k? You had to be looking at the Genesis, then.

ILya
 

wjm308

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Finished product as far as I know. The rep didn’t mention anything about any changes or that it was a sample/prototype. In fact, he went on for a while about how nice the turrets are.
Did you look at the 5-42, or the 4.5-28? Or both, but it's my understanding that the 5-42 has the "new" turrets with locking mechanism and the 4.5-28 has the old turrets as it's still prototype. Which reticle was in the scope, the TR1 is the only one I'm really interested in.
 

Hairy Biker

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Big swing and miss on reticle.

Turrets were not what I’d consider alpha class. Maybe slightly better feeling than razor gen 2.

$5k+ price tag or so

As soon as I saw reticle and felt turrets, I basically just went through the motions of listening to the sales pitch from the rep.

Absolutely zero interest in it now.
Which scope did you look at? I have been playing with the 42x High Master for several days now and I am not experiencing any of those issues. I will do a mini-review later.

The 28x is only at demonstration stage so not sure on your pricing statement too.
 
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jwknutson17

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Big swing and miss on reticle.

Turrets were not what I’d consider alpha class. Maybe slightly better feeling than razor gen 2.

$5k+ price tag or so

As soon as I saw reticle and felt turrets, I basically just went through the motions of listening to the sales pitch from the rep.

Absolutely zero interest in it now.
I've heard quiet the opposite. But guess I will have to save my judgment until I can personally put hands on. Sounds like they are like the 7-35 ATACR turrets then if they are better then the Razor gen2. If that's the case, it seems they would be a step above ZCO if they are like the NF turrets but still below the TT. Doesn't sound all that bad. (Own/ed multiples of ZCO, TT, and NF, among many others)

I'm only interested in seeing how the 4.5-28 stacks up at the moment. And if that's 5k I would pass. But in the 3s.. we may have another great option.
 

Hairy Biker

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I took the March 42x HM out to my hunting block (separate photos refer), to test its optics and handling in real world conditions.

The weather was harsh; 32 deg C at midday with a hot wind at an altitude of 900m. And there was a bushfire that broke out as I drove home that cut the road. It went from 2 hectares to 80 in 15 minutes.

Long range resolution

From my position, I had a clear and unrestricted view of trees at 3000m. Unfortunately, the photos do not do justice to the naked eye. The mirage was thick enough to make 42x slightly murky but the target tree was easy to resolve at all powers - up to 42x. My recommendation would be to try this again with the MD disk to deal with the extremely conditions and bright sunlight.

Medium range resolution

I did have a target at 700m but the wind tore it off. Instead I used the tree it was on as my target.

Same technique of testing for resolution and clarity at various zoom settings conducted. Mirage, while still a problem, was not an issue at the 700 to 1000m range. Not murky at all at 42x. Again an MD disk would be worthwhile in this environment.

Close range resolution

Zero was established on at tree at 60m. Dense forest prevented any 100m zero in the area I was shooting from.

As with previous Xmas tree experience, zero was easily established off one shot for elevation adjustment. Clicks are solid - both tactile and audible. I will play with the zero set functions later and report.

General Observations

Beasting 50lbs of gear up and down some heart breaker hills (contour busting) is something I find myself doing too much of (and I started to question why I was still doing stuff I did as a 21 yo) and the weight started to get annoying after the first kilometre and 100m elevation. The rifle and scope were banging and rubbing against my pack and my body and to break up the weight and the exertion I unconsciously started to bump the turrets but the zero lock prevented any movement. Once I found I was doing this I tried to change settings and failed.

Overall

From a field use situation, I see this scope sitting within the square range user segments. It is lovely for extra long range (noting that I did not shoot but the optical clarity would give me the confidence I needed to take that shot), it meets/exceeds the requirements of a square range - F Class, Long Range BR, Tactical Matches. And I can see it suiting short range activities - field target air rifle and tactical type rimfire would be taken to a new level.

I want to see if I can get after some rabbits on the weekend with the PCP air rifle. That will test elevation and sight changes as well as practical issues related to depth of field.
 

Hairy Biker

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700m is the tree stand to the left of the cattle yard. The ridge line is 3500m. I was working tree resolution at 3000m (below the ridgeline).


FullSizeRender 2.jpg
FullSizeRender 4.jpg

And zoomed in at 18 power at 700m. Once again the camera image does the scope absolutely no justice. The image at "competition magnification" is clear and bright.
 

Hairy Biker

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Zero Set and Turrets

Just spent a happy 15 minutes setting up the zero on the scope.

Standard March turret set up - loosen three grub screws, rotate to the O mark and tighten the screws. Crowbar not required!

The new Zero set works with the same supplied Allen key. Tighten the screw moves it down until it bottoms out. Test for return to zero function until you get the right tension - too much and turret will not move.

Clicks. The clicks in the elevation are loud, crisp and positive. There is no backlash, the turrets are not mushy to move. The turret is big enough and tactile enough for both big changes and single clicks. There is no mush here.

Some photos to illustrate!
 

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wjm308

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Zero Set and Turrets

Just spent a happy 15 minutes setting up the zero on the scope.

Standard March turret set up - loosen three grub screws, rotate to the O mark and tighten the screws. Crowbar not required!

The new Zero set works with the same supplied Allen key. Tighten the screw moves it down until it bottoms out. Test for return to zero function until you get the right tension - too much and turret will not move.

Clicks. The clicks in the elevation are loud, crisp and positive. There is no backlash, the turrets are not mushy to move. The turret is big enough and tactile enough for both big changes and single clicks. There is no mush here.

Some photos to illustrate!
Thank you for taking the time to do all that and post HarryB. Those turrets look intriguing, if you could help clarify, I see a lever on top that looks like ON/OFF, is that the locking mechanism? And if so, do you flip to turn off and the turret works just like any other non-locking turret, but when you flip to ON the turret won't move? If that is the case I think I will like that much better than the lift/drop to lock mechanism on Schmidt, AMG and ZCO. I'm sure it comes down to personal preference but I actually prefer that I think, but I'll have to use it in person to know for sure. My old 3-24x52 turrets were a bit mushy, sounds like these new ones are improved based on what you and ILya have mentioned so far.
 

Hairy Biker

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Good question - well asked. The locking lever is a simple slide. Move to the blue dot and click through elevation/windage. Move it back to the red dot and the turret will not move. I know that because I did not check the setting and applied a lot of manual pressure on one turret and no movement.

Same for the fast focus turret. slide out to blue to move, slide in to red to lock the focus.

I would just stress the tactile nature of these turrets - the clicks are solid, can be felt through the knob as you move it and they are audible.
 
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jwknutson17

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Good question - well asked. The locking lever is a simple slide. Move to the blue dot and click through elevation/windage. Move it back to the red dot and the turret will not move. I know that because I did not check the setting and applied a lot of manual pressure on one turret and no movement.

Same for the fast focus turret. slide out to blue to move, slide in to red to lock the focus.

I would just stress the tactile nature of these turrets - the clicks are solid, can be felt through the knob as you move it and they are audible.
Sounds like they did their homework. If the glass in the 4.5-28 is good, with those turrets and in the $3's I will try one. Heck I've tried ever available scope in the Alpha class besides the Hendsolt, so I may give it a go. I don't expect it to be a TT, but competition is good for everyone.
 

Hairy Biker

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Sounds like they did their homework. If the glass in the 4.5-28 is good, with those turrets and in the $3's I will try one. Heck I've tried ever available scope in the Alpha class besides the Hendsolt, so I may give it a go. I don't expect it to be a TT, but competition is good for everyone.
Is the TT your benchmark for others to beat?
 

jwknutson17

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Is the TT your benchmark for others to beat?
So far I haven't found anything that beats it for me personally. Glass and turrets and tool less zero are my favorite. But you have to really pay to play. I have found that the ZP5 gives you almost as good glass, amazing FOV, and forgiving eye box with great reticle at much less of a price. The ZCO is nice also, but I still like the ZP5 better, even if it was the same price tag. I currently put my personal list as TT>Minox>ZCO>S&B/NF>Steiner/Vortex/USO, etc etc. If it fits in there above or equal to the Schmidt glass and NF ATACR turrets like on the 7-35 quality, it will be success.
 
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wjm308

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ILya has the 5-42x56 with the FML-TR1 reticle and just released a video of this new reticle. It is a simplistic design like the MR4 and Gen 3XR where he has a center cross with a center dot, the cross section is .2 mil away from center and .2 mil in width so it maintains .2 mil from center both horizontally and vertically. I know sometimes my brain gets fooled by "gaps" but once I understood it was all .2 mil it was easier to comprehend.

1579803889836.png

 
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Hairy Biker

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I saw this explanation of the HM lens on another forum. It makes sense given what I experienced the other day in that dreadful heat and high wind.

----

The HM in the name stands for High Master. This scope uses the High Master lens system which is essentially Super-ED with the use of material that is temperature tolerant to prevent focus drift. Let me explain that a little more. The Super-ED material used to virtually eliminate chromatic aberration has a high fluorite crystal content. As we all know [HB Comment: hmm - I didn't], fluorite crystals are sensitive to temperature. This material is designed to eliminate that problem so that this HM lens systems provides the best IQ possible and is not affected by temperature.

The next innovative feature is the Wide Angle eyepiece. This eyepiece is 26 degrees as opposed to the usual 20 or 21 degree eyepiece and also has a lockable fast diopter adjustment. The benefit of a wide angle eyepiece is that it provides for a greater field of view (FOV) to the eye. In this case, the FOV is 25% larger than regular eyepiece. In essence this means that at 10X on the scope, you have the field of view as large as the one provided by a regular scope set at 8X.

Needless to say that between the HM lens system and the WA eyepiece, the picture is breathtaking; it's awesome.
 

Denys

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Big swing and miss on reticle.

Turrets were not what I’d consider alpha class. Maybe slightly better feeling than razor gen 2.

$5k+ price tag or so

As soon as I saw reticle and felt turrets, I basically just went through the motions of listening to the sales pitch from the rep.

Absolutely zero interest in it now.
I don't know what you looked at and to whom you talked but you have it all wrong. The March-FX 4.5-28X52 that was at the show is a concept model, not finished. It didn't even have proper knobs; it was put together to show the size, heft and glass. It has the HM glass and the Wide Angle eyepiece.
When I was showing it to people, I always made it a point of highlighting the fact this was just a concept model and that it was unfinished, especially regarding the knobs and other aspects. I reiterated that it was a CONCEPT and would not be ready for many months, even a year.

Also, since the bigger, more expensive 5-42X56 has an MSRP of $4,200, I struggle to understand where you get the idea that it will be $5000. The price has not been announced as of yet, but I suspect it will be somewhat less than $4,200.
 
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jwknutson17

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I don't know what you looked at and to whom you talked but you have it all wrong. The March-FX 4.5-28X52 that was at the show is a concept model, not finished. It didn't even have proper knobs; it was put together to show the size, heft and glass. It has the HM glass and the Wide Angle eyepiece.
When I was showing it to people, I always made it a point of highlighting the fact this was just a concept model and that it was unfinished, especially regarding the knobs and other aspects. I reiterated that it was a CONCEPT and would not be ready for many months, even a year.

Also, since the bigger, more expensive 5-42X56 has an MSRP of $4,200, I struggle to understand where you get the idea that it will be $5000. The price has not been announced as of yet, but I suspect it will be somewhat less than $4,200.
Thanks for setting that straight. Sucks when people get it wrong and post on an open forum. I'm excited to try one out when its available. I'll reserve my judgment until I actually get the finished product in hand though. 😉👍
 
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Denys

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Thanks for setting that straight. Sucks when people get it wrong and post on an open forum. I'm excited to try one out when its available. I'll reserve my judgment until I actually get the finished product in hand though. 😉👍
As well you should. The 5-42X56 went through some changes and adjustements ater it was first revealed last year at SHOT 2019. The production model was well worth the wait. Everyone who came by the booth and picked it up to look through and knob around loved it. I did not hear one complaint or criticism and trust me, I was all ears.
 
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Denys

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I resorted to coining a new term; knobing around. This the activity in which people engage when fondling a new scope, consisting of furiously turning the knobs to and fro, followed by carefully clicking one or two positions while looking away from the scope and listening for the audible sound. It's quite the ritual.
 

Hairy Biker

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Spent yesterday in more hot, dry and gusty wind conditions to trial the March 42x on the HW100. In summary, this is a powerful scope with a lot of potential but also, as I have said before, needs skill and understanding to use.

Time spent setting up the scope properly is really important. The HW100 is a hunting air rifle and the German stock design demands a low scope mount that I did not have the time to set up properly. This meant Prone positions were tricky as I had limited cheek weld. Sitting and Standing positions were not an issue and I would like more time to work out the prone set up.

Briefly, shot a few groups at 82 metres. Used both hold off and dialing to shoot the groups. Wind was gusting up to 2 MIL at this range and reading mirage through the scope was important to keep the pellets close.

I think it was a 3 MIL change between 40m and 82m and the scope returned to zero with no problems.

Rabbit hunting was cut short by a wall of smoke rolling down the valley. The one rabbit I got was easily framed in the reticle and the scope allowed for easy searching into the depths of the shadows in the briar patch.

Really looking forward to seeing how much of this technology gets transferred into the 4.5-28x52mm!
 

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wjm308

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Some more info coming out on the 4.5-28x52 over on Accurate Shooter - https://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2020/01/shot-show-2020-focus-on-optics/

The concept 4.5-28x52 scope is coming in under 30oz at 29.8oz, it is looking really short from the pictures too, definitely "ultra short" short. If the FOV is as good as ILya says it is, this will not just be an amazing competition scope but a very viable crossover (long range hunting) scope as well. Those who know me know I have an affinity for compact, lightweight FFP scopes with excellent IQ, the problem with many is their lack of DOF and finicky parallax and sometimes tight eyebox (and I am very picky about reticles). Only the top alpha class ultra shorts seem to have figured out this issue (Schmidt, ZCO and Kahles). If March has also figured out how to "fix" all these issues in this new 4.5-28... well I guess that's the big question we're all waiting to have answered, usually the Ultra Shorts keep their magnification down at the top end, but the 4.5-28 seems to be breaking some "rules" by offering a full size zoom range into a compact body along with a generous FOV. Not sure how long it will take to bring to market from concept but I sure hope it comes this year, I really want to check out this scope (if it is priced right).
 

wjm308

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I'm really liking the new FML-TR1 reticle, March just posted dimensions. Guys who like the MSR2 but wish it had a tree I think will really like this. .2 mil gap from center to illuminated cross, .2 mil in width and .2 mil to the main stadia line keeps the center clean and the thicker illuminated dot and cross should make it easy to spot in difficult lighting and low magnification.

I've always been critical of March's reticles but I think this is one I can finally get behind, we'll have to see it in real field situations before I know for sure, but so far so good.


1582047281632.png
 
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Winny94

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I'm really liking the new FML-TR1 reticle, March just posted dimensions. Guys who like the MSR2 but wish it had a tree I think will really like this. .2 mil gap from center to illuminated cross, .2 mil in width and .2 mil to the main stadia line keeps the center clean and the thicker illuminated dot and cross should make it easy to spot in difficult lighting and low magnification.

I've always been critical of March's reticles but I think this is one I can finally get behind, we'll have to see it in real field situations before I know for sure, but so far so good.


View attachment 7252886
interesting. My initial reaction is I dont like that much of gap around my dot, but now that im thinking about it, it gives a lot of option for holding deadon, on an edge, and bracketing.
 

wjm308

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interesting. My initial reaction is I dont like that much of gap around my dot, but now that im thinking about it, it gives a lot of option for holding deadon, on an edge, and bracketing.
That was similar to my initial reaction, I did not like the gaps, but once I realize everything is based on .2 mil then it's easy to use those and identify .1 mil marks as well. Again, I want to see this in real world situations and get an opportunity to use it both near and far before I make a final judgement.
 

Hairy Biker

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Living in a windy place, I seem to spend my time bracketing the target, so this looks like a great option. Also love the balance in the Tree part of the reticle pattern.
 

charnicus

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I'm really liking the new FML-TR1 reticle, March just posted dimensions. Guys who like the MSR2 but wish it had a tree I think will really like this. .2 mil gap from center to illuminated cross, .2 mil in width and .2 mil to the main stadia line keeps the center clean and the thicker illuminated dot and cross should make it easy to spot in difficult lighting and low magnification.

I've always been critical of March's reticles but I think this is one I can finally get behind, we'll have to see it in real field situations before I know for sure, but so far so good.


View attachment 7252886
I think this is another home run reticle for the year. Just like you said, MSR2 with a tree. Maybe a hint of LRR-mil.