Zero Compromise Optics ZC527 mpct1

Dthomas3523

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Since there are a ton of people who are either on the waiting list, or are considering getting on a list but are waiting for more reviews to come in, I'm going to write up something a little early.

Few things beforehand:

A) If you decide you want to get on a list and the Hide vendor lists are a bit long, a dealer local to me has recently signed on with Zcomp and isn't on the Hide yet. PM me and I'll get you connected. As always, Hide Vendors are awesome and you should utilize them as often as possible. I have a Zco 527 mpct2 on the way shortly from CS Tactical.

B) this will NOT be a side by side comparison overall. Yes there were optics such as Schmidt 3-27, Hendsoldt, and Tangent Theta compared, it is far too subjective of a subject. At a match today, I heard everything from "my vortex, nf, (pick a brand) is just as good to "this hands in there with tangent and hendsoldt," to anything in between.

C) Zcomp will definitely need some time to show that it can hold up as time goes by. This is just a non negotiable period that all new manufactures go through.

D) I have been hypocritical of Zcomp in the past, mainly for their giving hard or close to hard dates for release they did not meet. I understand this happens. Just pointing out that I have been hypocritical of them in the past, before anyone starts accusing me of being a fanboy. I have owned/own Tangent Theta, Atacrs, Kahles, Schmidt, Vortex, Sig, etc etc, and have paid for all of them.

Now, onto my thoughts. I'm just going to start at one end of the optic and move through to the other end.


Diopter/Lock​
Diopter works just like most fast focus diopters. The diopter itself is a little stiffer than most I've felt, but in a good way. I don't mind since its rarely adjusted after the first time.​
Lock​
The diopter lock is the best lock I have seen yet. The knurling sits flush with the main tube size of the power selector ring, but also has plenty of knurling to grip. Many locking diopters I have used will get tight and then turn slightly with the lock. The Zcomp does not do this, you tighten it down util it stops and you're done. I was absolutely done perfectly IMO.​
Magnification Ring​
IMO has the perfect amount of tightness while not being able to move by accident. Honestly, most of the knobs/knurling on the Zcomp will put a smile on your face. I need to do some more testing to see how easily the magnification numbers are visible with your face on the rifle, as I just move it until I'm satisfied with what I see in the optic, not to a certain power.​
The integrated throw lever is very nice. This is one of the few, if not the only optic I'm considering not buying a throw lever for.​
Parallax​
The parallax knob is like all the other knurling/knobs on the zcomp. Its a pleasure to use. Extremely easy to turn, but will not "sting" your hands. The adjustment seems very forgiving. I will need to continue testing, but it seems parallax free at +/- 300yds.​
Illumination​
Knob is comfortable as the rest. The auto on/off seems to work as advertised. Daylight bright still needs more testing. I'm not convinced its daylight bright "enough" that it would be considered usable. I'm not going off into the weeds on this one. We will mess with it some more and report back and/or get with zcomp.​
The adjustment is on/off. You turn one way from off to get into NVG settings, and the other way from off to go into regular illumination. I would have personally preferred individual detents, with "off" detents in between. But that's a personal preference. This method is just fine.​
Again, I haven't used illumination much as I rarely need it. I will revisit this as the week goes on.​
****** I do not like the compartment removal for the battery. Its not easy to open with a coin, and it seems easy to cross thread back on. I definitely do not find it field expedient. I think this design could have been better. Make sure if illumination is vital for a hunt or something you have put a new battery in beforehand. *******
Turrets​
I'm sure this is what everyone wants to hear about. I'm not sure if my mpct1 is one of the first batches, or if its one with the elevation turret changes that have been rumored. My elevation turret does feel slightly different than the windage. Not in a bad way.​
My turrets do no exhibit the excessive play that has been reported in some samples. There is very very very SLIGHT play if you force it, but that is just how a push to lock turret is going to be. When i say you have to force it, I mean it. And you'll probably move to the next detent trying to anyway.​
I had zero issues with the locking mechanisms. Over the past few days I would close my eyes, spin the turrets, stop randomly and press down to lock. I had 100% success rate.​
Turret feel: this is gonna get a little subjective and I'm going to do a comparison here as its the only way I know how to describe them. The turrets are not as tactile/hard/thick as a Tangent Theta. I think my Kahles k525i has more tactile clicks in the elevation turret.​
Before you stop reading, they are very tactile and there is no mush and no question when you hit a detent.​
Here is where the turrets really shine. When spinning fast(as you likely would under time) they are incredibly smooth. Probably the smoothest turrets I've ever felt. To be honest, I didn't know I would like a turret like this, as I don't think one existed yet. It is really a joy to move rapidly.​
If you sit it next to a Tangent and turn it click by click, you're going to likely think the Zcomp is inferior. But give it a shot and spin the turrets like they are meant to be, and you might change your mind.​
Windage turret is a bit more tactile than the elevation my my sample of 1. It works perfectly and locks perfectly. Not sure what else to say about it.​
NOTE: my zero stop is kinda funky in the .4/.5 under zero area. From what I understand, these turrets have a double detent design. I feel like mine stops at .45 instead of .4 or .5. Not a huge deal. Something I may or may not address with zcomp down the road. But to be fair. I'm mention that I have experienced this in my sample of one so far.​
Eye box​
As @arm017 stated in his review, this thing has a sweet spot in the 15-18x area. Its like a heads up display. 27x is very good as well and I think on par with other optics in its class.​
This is pretty subjective as well. The best I can tell you, it aint shitty and won't be a reason you don't buy one.​
Glass​
I don't know what to say here except; it performs as good/better/slightly less than every top tier optic you can name. Does it give up in some areas to a TT? Yes. Does it give up a lot? No. But it also, in my opinion, has many other qualities I value over TT or other optics as a whole.​
Reticle​
Skmr/Skmr3 perfected. This is subjective, but its about as perfect as it can get for my eyes. Was able to make impacts out to 845yds today holding 5.7 or so on a no dial stage (very little wind to be fair) with mpct1 reticle.​

It comes with bikini covers, a neoprene scope condom, and paperwork. Nothing else. I didn't even notice a hex key for zero'ing the turrets. (Hex key found, they stick it into one of the pieces of foam. See pic a few posts down).

I'd like to see some covers, a sunshade, hex key, etc in the future.



So, my "cons" or complaints thus far:

Jury is still out on illumination
Doesn't come with little things (that's saying something if I have to list this as a con)


Where this optic shines:

Reticle if this type of reticle is for you. They got it as perfect as you can get for this type of reticle
25m parallax. The TT only goes to 40-50m (spec'd 50). So if you want to use this on say a vudoo rifle, the TT isn't the best option

Fit and finish....... this is the absolute BEST fit an finish, ergonomics, feel, looks, etc etc. on any optic I have seen. And I mean it's BY FAR the best in my opinion. They really knocked it out of the park with the tension of the knobs, knurling, and smoothess of he turrets when spnning rapidly.



So, I'm sure people are going to be asking "is it worth buying over xyz?" That's a personal question, but I'm going to list a couple example scenarios.



Should I buy this or the TT?

Do you like the gen2xr and/or gen3xr? Is 50m parallax fine?

If yes to both, can't go wrong with the TT. Its proven and its awesome.

Like the mpct1/mpct2 and/or need 25m focus? Get a zcomp, you won't be left wanting.




Should I buy a zcomp or something like two Razor Gen 2's or two used Schmidt's I found at a really good price?


This is a tough one. If your budget only allows for one zcomp or two of another proven optic.........if said optics have the feature set and reticle you like, unless you don't mind swapping the zco off and on, or don't mind not having a backup optic for a worst case scenario..........buy the two optics.



I've already saved up $2800 for a k525, is the Zcomp worth an extra $800?

Unequivocally, YES YES YES. If you'r already in the upper 2k price point, specifically a k525i the Zcomp does everything it does and better. I would also say it does most everything better than a 5-25 schmidt (does parallax to 10m like a schmidt).

I would also say the same thing about a TT. If you already have 2800 and the reticle/parallax of the TT works for you save up the 4k and get one.




So for me, I'm going to be running the Zcomp because the reticle is perfect for me, and I'll be using them on my vudoo, so 25m parallax is important. The excellent controls/ergonomics/fit and finish is a bonus.


It easily competes with anything in the $3k+ price tier.



(disclaimer, again, Zcomp needs to show that it can hold up over time)
441CFB5C-DB3D-4240-9247-4D239C62117D.jpeg
 
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Dthomas3523

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Also worth mentioning. I have not performed a mechanical tracking test yet. Frank has said in his review he did one, and it was spot on.

I will be performing one in the next week or two and will update accordingly.
 
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MarkLeupold

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@Dthomas3523 This is a very good review and I wholeheartedly agree with it. Couple of quick points:

1. I agree that the illumination is not daylight bright in either green or red mode. Not a big deal because the reticle is way more crisp with it off and I won't use it unless I need it (which means it's dark enough to not see the reticle and hence, dark enough for the illumination to be effective).

2. The hex wrench for adjusting the turrets came with mine. It was stuck in one of the foam blocks on the ends of the box to keep it from rattling around. I would hope they send at least that in the box (but then again, my spuhr didn't come with any kind of wrench...).

3. The neoprene cover is nice, but I'll be getting flip covers for it when Tenebraex drops some. I can understand it coming without just to keep cost down. It would be another $100 on top of the price when some guys will never touch them. The guys that need/want them can spend the extra $100.

I can't wait to get it on a rifle...
 

Dthomas3523

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Found the camouflaged hex key.

Try blaze orange guys.......

Jk. Thanks for letting me know where it was. I was more using it as a “complaint,” to show there really wasn’t much to complain about.

4CEAF8E9-C254-4401-82FA-13A43CE7BDA6.jpeg
 

JPOPS

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Awesome right up. Per our conversation I’m really interested to know if your MPCT1 is still a first run on the turrets. I guess we will find out sooner or later when the MPCT2 gets to you.

Looking forward to receiving mine as well. Thanks for taking the time put this out.
 

Dthomas3523

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@Dthomas3523 are you going to update this review with your MPCT2 or start a new review? o_O
I think I’ll do another (albeit smaller) review on the mpct2. Busy getting my shit pushed in at Rifles Only.

I will say, the second batch turrets are badass. Not that the first batch are bad, but I’m liking the second batch turrets better.
 

bjay

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I think I’ll do another (albeit smaller) review on the mpct2. Busy getting my shit pushed in at Rifles Only.

I will say, the second batch turrets are badass. Not that the first batch are bad, but I’m liking the second batch turrets better.
Help me out brother..which bet LRR and k525 should i let go for another zcomp?
Both new
 

Dthomas3523

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Help me out brother..which bet LRR and k525 should i let go for another zcomp?
Both new
I’d personally let the LRR go, as I like the skmr1/3 better. But the Schmidt is better glass imo.

I’d just put them both side by side and mess with them. Go with your first instinct on which you can live without or you’ll be second guessing it.

Or, move both and get 2 zcomps. 😎
 

bjay

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I’d personally let the LRR go, as I like the skmr1/3 better. But the Schmidt is better glass imo.

I’d just put them both side by side and mess with them. Go with your first instinct on which you can live without or you’ll be second guessing it.

Or, move both and get 2 zcomps. 😎
I dont know if id concider that as helping lol...but you're right maybe upgrade all my main scopes to zcomp..;)
 

Dthomas3523

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@gebhardt02

Could you give us a definition of what “daylight visible” means to zcomp? Lowlight visible, full broad daylight visible, etc? Seems it’s different for different manufacturers.

Serious question and am by no means being a smartass here.

Just looking for clarification so I can give an opinion on the illumination which was one of the only categories I am waiting to give an opinion.

Thanks
 
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Dthomas3523

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Also, @gebhardt02, is the manual says we can use whatever torque a ring manufacturer suggests. I’m assuming this is due to the robustness of the 36mm tube design?

Spuhr recommends between 15-25” lbs. So, theoretically I should be fine using the max if 25” lbs?
 

Dthomas3523

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Are you guys torquing 55 for your arc rings on tube?
I always did with other optics. Back to running spuhr with zcomp thoigh.

I can’t see why it would have any issues considering the tube design.
 
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gebhardt02

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@gebhardt02

Could you give us a definition of what “daylight visible” means to zcomp? Lowlight visible, full broad daylight visible, etc? Seems it’s different for different manufacturers.
It should be visible under most daytime conditions, but super bright daytime without any cloud cover might be difficult. We've found the reticle design and thickness to be easily visible during these conditions. Add in an overcast skycover and the illumination should be visible and an asset when needed.

Regarding ring torque, the manual is correct, use the ring manufacturer specs. The scope will be just fine.