New March Scopes for 2020

Kickin45

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I am patiently waiting for anew Batch of March scopes. I’ve held off buying a Minox or a ZCO just to get a new March.
Im getting antsy
 
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wjm308

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These guys are doing some really cool stuff with their optics. I'm surprised I dont see more of these out there in the circles I run in.
I hear you Birddog, but selling through one distributor/dealer didn’t help, and this dealers primary focus being F-Class also didn’t help for the tactical long range shooter. But now they have EO and a couple others but would love to see maybe SWFA and one of the Hides niche dealers would be cool as well. Hopefully that along with some of their new scopes and reticles will open some more doors for them.
 

Birddog6424

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I hear you Birddog, but selling through one distributor/dealer didn’t help, and this dealers primary focus being F-Class also didn’t help for the tactical long range shooter. But now they have EO and a couple others but would love to see maybe SWFA and one of the Hides niche dealers would be cool as well. Hopefully that along with some of their new scopes and reticles will open some more doors for them.
Hopefully it will. They are incredibly innovative.
 
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wjm308

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I am patiently waiting for anew Batch of March scopes. I’ve held off buying a Minox or a ZCO just to get a new March.
Im getting antsy
The new 5-42x56 High Master should be in production soon after SHOT, I was always tempted by the 5-40 for its size, weight and magnification but the reticles never thrilled me but the new High Master with its better glass and new reticle has me curious; however, this new concept 4.5-28x52 has really piqued my interest, unfortunately we have to wait to find out when it might be available, but I’ve heard they might have a prototype at SHOT.
 
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koshkin

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The new 5-42x56 High Master should be in production soon after SHOT, I was always tempted by the 5-40 for its size, weight and magnification but the reticles never thrilled me but the new High Master with its better glass and new reticle has me curious; however, this new concept 4.5-28x52 has really piqued my interest, unfortunately we have to wait to find out when it might be available, but I’ve heard they might have a prototype at SHOT.
You will like the 4.5-28x52, Bill. The prototype I am looking at is really growing on me. It will be very difficult to send it back.

ILya
 
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Hairy Biker

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That 4.5 - 28 x 52 with the Xmas Tree reticle is something I am waiting on too. The eyepiece - wide angle and good eye relief should make it very forgiving for stress position shots.

But the light weight is the topping point for me. I'm tired of carrying 18 to 25lb rifles when I don't need to!
 
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Kickin45

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I’m all for more scopes from more manufacturers, but don’t we have a plethora of @4-30 range scopes on the market already?
Is the March HM that much better than all of them? Is it better in some way than the ZCO, Trij or evening old faithful Razor?
 

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They would be better off chasing the .22 crowd with a lower cost scope vs going monster high end like with the ELR One.

They seem to want to play in the $3000 and above pond and that is not gonna work for them, if they dropped in around $1800 to $2000 they would have a easier road to travel north.
 
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I’m all for more scopes from more manufacturers, but don’t we have a plethora of @4-30 range scopes on the market already?
Is the March HM that much better than all of them? Is it better in some way than the ZCO, Trij or evening old faithful Razor?

Well it comes down to the Trinity in competition - weight, optical clarity, and precision. I am liking the look of the 28x for all those three attributes.
 

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I’m all for more scopes from more manufacturers, but don’t we have a plethora of @4-30 range scopes on the market already?
Is the March HM that much better than all of them? Is it better in some way than the ZCO, Trij or evening old faithful Razor?
I would agree, the market is somewhat saturated; however, this new 4.5-28x52 based on what I've seen so far fills an interesting niche. Let me give a little background. Years ago what drew me to the 3-24 series scopes was having wide FOV at the low end but being able to dial up magnification when needed, but in a small/lightweight package, something few scopes at the time were offering, so in essence the 3-24 covered two scopes, a 3-15 and a 5-25 in one, at least that was the hope. The 3-24x42 was too "dark" for me, especially in low light situations, but the 3-24x52 was a big improvement and it had no issues even keeping up with the Kahles K624i's 56mm objective in low light situations when both were set at 12x (where I usually do most of my low light testing). What bothered me most about the scope was the reticle, the FML-1 was great as a center dot scope but the rest of the reticle was too thick at higher mags and mil hashes came at .5 mil and having used the SKMR in the Kahles spoiled me; glass was never an issue for the March, I was always impressed, CA was controlled very well, as good or better than the Schmidt scope I had at the time and resolution was really good between about 5-20x with a bit of distortion below 5 and a little loss of resolution above 20x but not bad (certainly not as bad as what I experienced with the Nightforce NX8 2.5-20x50 with regard to distortion). DOF and finicky parallax also bothered me with the March, I found in transitional situations I had to play a lot with the parallax. I have always had the opinion that if March could "fix" these issues, I would buy that scope in a heartbeat (as long as the price was right). I did a review of the March, Kahles and Schmidt 3-20 a number of years ago but that was when the Hide was on Scout and all that information is lost; however, I do a slight recap in my review here - https://forum.snipershide.com/threads/middle-weight-low-light-tactical-scope-evaluation-part-ii.6255263/

To be honest, the 4.5-28x52 is somewhat of a surprise. March has always used an 8x erector for their long range FFP design (3-24 and 5-40) but my knowledge of optics continues to grow and I understand it is harder to make a high magnification erector scope and still have a forgiving DOF/Parallax, and being spoiled by scopes that offer this has me looking for this feature in almost everything these days. March is introducing the new 5-42x56 High Master which actually increased their erector to 8.4x; however, I'd rather see a 3-25x56 for my personal uses but I have a feeling it would run into similar issues as the 3-24 so my hope is the reason March dropped to a 6.2x erector was to correct some of these issues. Let's assume they have and the 4.5-28x52 has forgiving DOF/Parallax a great eyebox and superb resolution throughout the range. So what does this scope offer that others do not within its class, one of the most interesting new features is the use of the wide angle eyepiece offering very wide FOV throughout the magnification range, ILya has a prototype of this scope and he is saying the scope offers better FOV at 4.5x than the ZCO ZC420 does at 4x, and I was fairly impressed with the ZCO FOV so that is noteworthy. So with that in mind let's do a quick comparison with specs gleaned off the interweb so far:

March 4.5-28x52 compared to:
  • Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x56: Advantage for March - Weight, over a pound lighter | Size, almost 2" shorter | Wider FOV
  • Steiner M7Xi 4-28x56: Advantage for March - Weight, around 4 oz lighter | Size, over 2.5" shorter | Wider FOV
  • Nightforce ATACR F1 5-25x56: Advantage for March - Weight, over 8 oz lighter | Size, almost 3" shorter | Wider FOV
  • Schmidt & Bender PMII 3-27x56: Advantage for March - Weight, around 10 oz lighter | Size, almost 3" shorter
  • Schmidt & Bender PMII 5-25x56: Advantage for March - Weight, around 10 oz lighter | Size, almost 4" shorter | Wider FOV
  • Schmidt & Bender Ultra Short 3-20x50: Advantage for March - Slightly shorter and lighter | Higher Magnification
  • Tangent Theta TT525P 5-25x56: Advantage for March - Weight, around 10 oz lighter | Size, almost 4" shorter
  • Minox ZP5 5-25x56: Advantage for March - Weight, around 4.5 oz lighter | Size, almost 4" shorter
  • Kahles K525i 5-25x56: Advantage for March - Weight, around 4.5 oz lighter | Size, over 2" shorter | Wider FOV
  • Kahles K318i 3.5-18x50: Advantage for March - Weight, around 3 oz lighter | Wider FOV | Higher Magnification
  • ZCO ZC527 5-27x56: Advantage for March - Weight, around 8 oz lighter | Size, over 2.5" shorter | Wider FOV
  • ZCO ZC420 4-20x50: Advantage for March - Weight, around 5 oz lighter | Wider FOV | Higher Magnification
Outside of the Vortex above, most would consider these scopes to be the alpha class competitors, I have left out many of the lower class scopes because I see March as competing at the alpha class level. The Steiner M7Xi I had a lot of hope for last year when it was announced but my hopes were dashed when the FOV wasn't that great, it suffered from heavy CA and many reports said over 20x it struggled in resolution, I hope the March does not suffer the same fate.

I've always had to compromise to get my ideal scope until recent ultra shorts have come out, my favorite has been the S&B 3-20 but lack of a decent tree reticle has always had me selling them, the most recent one I purchased was a 2018 model with MSR2 reticle which was the nicest I've seen but the 18 mil turrets were the worst I've experienced, I ran the Kahles K318i for quite a while because it performed extremely well optically but the narrow FOV and the fact it didn't go up to 20x caused me to send it to a new owner. The ZCO ZC420 really impressed me the most, it didn't have quite as good FOV as the Schmidt US, but it wasn't bad either and it performs outstanding optically with great DOF/Parallax, eyebox and resolution, but it is on the heavy side for an Ultra Short which has always been a deterrent for me. To date, my favorite scope has been the Minox ZP5 5-25x56 and is what I have on my two main long range rifles that I use for hunting as well, but it is long and a little heavier than I prefer but acceptable for the outstanding IQ it provides and it does have my favorite reticle for a long range/tactical/hunting scope (albeit just a tad on the thin side and would prefer it to be slightly thicker).

So with that said, my short answer to your question, Kickin45, is that the March 4.5-28x52 seems to bridge the gap between the Ultra Shorts I love and the long range (5-25ish magnification) scopes, true it doesn't have the 56mm objective that the long range scopes have, but I've found today's 50mm scopes to do extremely well in low light situations. so I'm willing to give up a little on objective size if it means other areas are improved. As long as the March does outstanding with DOF/Parallax, eyebox and has superb resolution throughout the magnification range I can easily see this scope replacing my ZP5's, but... and it's a big BUT, it has got to perform on a level with the ZCO, ZP5 and Schmidt when it comes to optical excellence and all the aforementioned features.

If the March 4.5-28x52 can do all that, and be delivered in such a short and lightweight package, then that is what will set this scope apart from everything else out there as it would effectively fill the role of what used to take two scopes in the past to do.

All that being said, I have a history of getting too excited over new scope announcements only to be let down by the actual scope in its production form, but I'm always hoping, and for March, they seem to have the engineering prowess to pull off such a scope and I'm really hoping this will be "that" scope. The only new scope release that hasn't let me down of late is the ZCO ZC420 so my expectations of the March 4.5-28x52 will be along the lines of how well that scope compares to the venerable ZC420.
 

beetroot

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I would agree, the market is somewhat saturated; however, this new 4.5-28x52 based on what I've seen so far fills an interesting niche. Let me give a little background. Years ago what drew me to the 3-24 series scopes was having wide FOV at the low end but being able to dial up magnification when needed, but in a small/lightweight package, something few scopes at the time were offering, so in essence the 3-24 covered two scopes, a 3-15 and a 5-25 in one, at least that was the hope. The 3-24x42 was too "dark" for me, especially in low light situations, but the 3-24x52 was a big improvement and it had no issues even keeping up with the Kahles K624i's 56mm objective in low light situations when both were set at 12x (where I usually do most of my low light testing). What bothered me most about the scope was the reticle, the FML-1 was great as a center dot scope but the rest of the reticle was too thick at higher mags and mil hashes came at .5 mil and having used the SKMR in the Kahles spoiled me; glass was never an issue for the March, I was always impressed, CA was controlled very well, as good or better than the Schmidt scope I had at the time and resolution was really good between about 5-20x with a bit of distortion below 5 and a little loss of resolution above 20x but not bad (certainly not as bad as what I experienced with the Nightforce NX8 2.5-20x50 with regard to distortion). DOF and finicky parallax also bothered me with the March, I found in transitional situations I had to play a lot with the parallax. I have always had the opinion that if March could "fix" these issues, I would buy that scope in a heartbeat (as long as the price was right). I did a review of the March, Kahles and Schmidt 3-20 a number of years ago but that was when the Hide was on Scout and all that information is lost; however, I do a slight recap in my review here - https://forum.snipershide.com/threads/middle-weight-low-light-tactical-scope-evaluation-part-ii.6255263/

To be honest, the 4.5-28x52 is somewhat of a surprise. March has always used an 8x erector for their long range FFP design (3-24 and 5-40) but my knowledge of optics continues to grow and I understand it is harder to make a high magnification erector scope and still have a forgiving DOF/Parallax, and being spoiled by scopes that offer this has me looking for this feature in almost everything these days. March is introducing the new 5-42x56 High Master which actually increased their erector to 8.4x; however, I'd rather see a 3-25x56 for my personal uses but I have a feeling it would run into similar issues as the 3-24 so my hope is the reason March dropped to a 6.2x erector was to correct some of these issues. Let's assume they have and the 4.5-28x52 has forgiving DOF/Parallax a great eyebox and superb resolution throughout the range. So what does this scope offer that others do not within its class, one of the most interesting new features is the use of the wide angle eyepiece offering very wide FOV throughout the magnification range, ILya has a prototype of this scope and he is saying the scope offers better FOV at 4.5x than the ZCO ZC420 does at 4x, and I was fairly impressed with the ZCO FOV so that is noteworthy. So with that in mind let's do a quick comparison with specs gleaned off the interweb so far:

March 4.5-28x52 compared to:
  • Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x56: Advantage for March - Weight, over a pound lighter | Size, almost 2" shorter | Wider FOV
  • Steiner M7Xi 4-28x56: Advantage for March - Weight, around 4 oz lighter | Size, over 2.5" shorter | Wider FOV
  • Nightforce ATACR F1 5-25x56: Advantage for March - Weight, over 8 oz lighter | Size, almost 3" shorter | Wider FOV
  • Schmidt & Bender PMII 3-27x56: Advantage for March - Weight, around 10 oz lighter | Size, almost 3" shorter
  • Schmidt & Bender PMII 5-25x56: Advantage for March - Weight, around 10 oz lighter | Size, almost 4" shorter | Wider FOV
  • Schmidt & Bender Ultra Short 3-20x50: Advantage for March - Slightly shorter and lighter | Higher Magnification
  • Tangent Theta TT525P 5-25x56: Advantage for March - Weight, around 10 oz lighter | Size, almost 4" shorter
  • Minox ZP5 5-25x56: Advantage for March - Weight, around 4.5 oz lighter | Size, almost 4" shorter
  • Kahles K525i 5-25x56: Advantage for March - Weight, around 4.5 oz lighter | Size, over 2" shorter | Wider FOV
  • Kahles K318i 3.5-18x50: Advantage for March - Weight, around 3 oz lighter | Wider FOV | Higher Magnification
  • ZCO ZC527 5-27x56: Advantage for March - Weight, around 8 oz lighter | Size, over 2.5" shorter | Wider FOV
  • ZCO ZC420 4-20x50: Advantage for March - Weight, around 5 oz lighter | Wider FOV | Higher Magnification
Outside of the Vortex above, most would consider these scopes to be the alpha class competitors, I have left out many of the lower class scopes because I see March as competing at the alpha class level. The Steiner M7Xi I had a lot of hope for last year when it was announced but my hopes were dashed when the FOV wasn't that great, it suffered from heavy CA and many reports said over 20x it struggled in resolution, I hope the March does not suffer the same fate.

I've always had to compromise to get my ideal scope until recent ultra shorts have come out, my favorite has been the S&B 3-20 but lack of a decent tree reticle has always had me selling them, the most recent one I purchased was a 2018 model with MSR2 reticle which was the nicest I've seen but the 18 mil turrets were the worst I've experienced, I ran the Kahles K318i for quite a while because it performed extremely well optically but the narrow FOV and the fact it didn't go up to 20x caused me to send it to a new owner. The ZCO ZC420 really impressed me the most, it didn't have quite as good FOV as the Schmidt US, but it wasn't bad either and it performs outstanding optically with great DOF/Parallax, eyebox and resolution, but it is on the heavy side for an Ultra Short which has always been a deterrent for me. To date, my favorite scope has been the Minox ZP5 5-25x56 and is what I have on my two main long range rifles that I use for hunting as well, but it is long and a little heavier than I prefer but acceptable for the outstanding IQ it provides and it does have my favorite reticle for a long range/tactical/hunting scope (albeit just a tad on the thin side and would prefer it to be slightly thicker).

So with that said, my short answer to your question, Kickin45, is that the March 4.5-28x52 seems to bridge the gap between the Ultra Shorts I love and the long range (5-25ish magnification) scopes, true it doesn't have the 56mm objective that the long range scopes have, but I've found today's 50mm scopes to do extremely well in low light situations. so I'm willing to give up a little on objective size if it means other areas are improved. As long as the March does outstanding with DOF/Parallax, eyebox and has superb resolution throughout the magnification range I can easily see this scope replacing my ZP5's, but... and it's a big BUT, it has got to perform on a level with the ZCO, ZP5 and Schmidt when it comes to optical excellence and all the aforementioned features.

If the March 4.5-28x52 can do all that, and be delivered in such a short and lightweight package, then that is what will set this scope apart from everything else out there as it would effectively fill the role of what used to take two scopes in the past to do.

All that being said, I have a history of getting too excited over new scope announcements only to be let down by the actual scope in its production form, but I'm always hoping, and for March, they seem to have the engineering prowess to pull off such a scope and I'm really hoping this will be "that" scope. The only new scope release that hasn't let me down of late is the ZCO ZC420 so my expectations of the March 4.5-28x52 will be along the lines of how well that scope compares to the venerable ZC420.
Reading between the lines, if Vortex made a Razor with improved glass and weighed a pound less, you'd have your perfect scope.
A 4-20ish AMG would almost fit the bill but would be a little on the long side.
A Gen 3 Razor with a bump in glass quality and gone on a diet will have a:
-good reticle
-good locking turrets
-good glass
-good eybox
-good FOV
-not too long
-not too heavy
-priced well

I know this is a March thread, but I think if Vortex pulls of the Gen 3 Razor and can get a reticle that works well at max and minimum magnifications, they will have all the tools to create the perfect dual purpose optic and we can all stop having to make compromises.
 
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wjm308

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Reading between the lines, if Vortex made a Razor with improved glass and weighed a pound less, you'd have your perfect scope.
A 4-20ish AMG would almost fit the bill but would be a little on the long side.
A Gen 3 Razor with a bump in glass quality and gone on a diet will have a:
-good reticle
-good locking turrets
-good glass
-good eybox
-good FOV
-not too long
-not too heavy
-priced well

I know this is a March thread, but I think if Vortex pulls of the Gen 3 Razor and can get a reticle that works well at max and minimum magnifications, they will have all the tools to create the perfect dual purpose optic and we can all stop having to make compromises.
I agree beet, and I've been imploring/begging/offering bribe money (well okay I haven't done that but if I thought it could work ;)) for the 4-20 AMG ever since I got my hands on the 6-24 AMG which was soon after it was announced; however, I do not expect to see a new AMG for a while most likely not this year. I think the best chance of a new scope would be in the Gen III lineup but while I expect somewhat of a weight reduction I do not expect enough. I believe the Gen II's were geared toward the competition community alone and for the most part they could care less about weight, and I don't see that changing with Gen III, I think the new Gen III long range scope will probably check off all the boxes except for one and that's in the weight category. I could be wrong, and I hope I am wrong but I just don't see that happening unfortunately.

I predicted an ultra short revolution (well okay, that is aggrandizing it a bit) and felt we got that in 2018 (http://forum.snipershide.com/threads/2018-year-of-the-ultra-shorts.6868822/) and now I am going to predict that we are going to start seeing, shorter/lightweight FFP tactical/hunting crossover scopes with higher magnification erectors. The Burris XTR III and Nightforce NX8 are good examples of this already and hopefully there is more to come. If the March 4.5-28x52 is executed properly it might shake things up a bit, only time will tell.
 

Kickin45

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Great info @wjm308 Thanks for taking the time to explain, much appreciated
I see now the benefits IF the March is everything you hope it to be.
I hope it is as well. If it’s length stays as advertised, it’ll make a great LR308 gas gun scope.
lets keep our fingers crossed
 
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wjm308

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Nobody is gonna spend that kind of money for a March, except maybe in very limited quantities

Trends are going down, not up, they have it backward
Apparently ZCO didn't get that memo ;) Personally I think if the value is there, people will pay (as in the example of ZCO), but that is the big question - whether or not they feel the value is worth the cost over other "cheaper" options.
 

wjm308

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Zco is not as expensive

it's in line with the market

this is $1000 more than a Zco
For which, the 5-42, it is $600 more than ZCO. What I'm most curious about is the 4.5-28x52, that is the one I really see as being a competitor to the ZCO and others like it, I'm hoping that price will be much closer or even lower.
 

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March does just enough wrong that people avoid them in quantity,

if it wasn't for the F Class and BR Crowd they'd be dead in the water, there are less than a handful used in other styles

I know they are lacking in sales and use outside of these two disciplines,

the few guys who chase them is not enough, and if you see $600 more of value in a March over a Zco, you have X-Ray eyes
 

koshkin

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It is on March to convince the market that they are worth the money. If the scopes do not sell, then they will either have to lower the price or make a better product.

Some of their SFP and fixed power products start in the $1700 range, but their FFP scopes tend to be expensive.


Honestly, their Genesis scopes are not of huge interest to me other than for technical reasons. I want to see further development of externally adjustable riflescopes designs. As electro-optic integration becomes more common, I expect to see that a little more.

The scopes that are of interest to me are the new FFP introductions at SHOT: 4.5-28x52, 5-42x56 and 1-10x24. I want to see how well final production models are executed.

ILya
 
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wjm308

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the few guys who chase them is not enough, and if you see $600 more of value in a March over a Zco, you have X-Ray eyes
I'm not saying I see $600 more value in the March 5-42x56, I have no idea what the value is as I haven't seen it. I am a proponent of new designs and designs that push the boundaries of what we already have today, I have hope that these March scopes will do that, but until we get them in shooters hands and understand their full potential (or lack thereof) we won't know.

I do not think the March 5-42x56 was designed to compete with the ZCO and others like it, I think spec wise it pairs more reasonably with the Schmidt & Bender 5-45x56.

Let's wait to see the 4.5-28x52 come to fruition and where that will be priced as I think that is much better aligned to the ZCO and other alpha scopes with similar designs.
 

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Nothing competes with the FFP 3-24x March scopes for weight/size except the Leupold Mk6 and that's 34mm and has a poor reputation (I like mine though)

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
 

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At 40 x the image is outstanding. The 5-40 was already very good, this new model
is remarkable. Couldn’t resist a screenshot out of the vid. The video was shot on a hot
soupy day, and haze from the bushfires over here is evident.
 

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I just received another one that should be pretty much identical to the production version. This has entirely new turrets that lock (including locking parallax) and re-engineered illumination control.

The turret feel is really exceptional on this one.

ILya
Optically your impression?
 

wjm308

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The turret feel is really exceptional on this one.

ILya
I like that they went with 10 mil turrets, a lot of shooters have not been too happy with the "let's pack as many mils per turn approach". I absolutely love the Schmidt's Ultra Short 3-20, but the 18 mil turrets on my scope last year were the worst I've experienced and I wished they would have gone back to the 14 mil that was on my previous one. Kahles is probably the best I've felt for high mil per turn, ZCO very close as well.