Sunday, May 1, 2011

Burris TAC30 Fullfield II Mil-Dot 4.5-14 Scope Review

Burris Tac30 Fullfield II 4.5-14 Scope Review
From Handgun to Long-gun Scopes, Burris has proven itself again to me.

Many a bygone bullets ago, I made the decision to buy a Thompson Center Contender. Unfortunately the 30-30 crushed two Leupold handgun scopes and upon the second return and claims of some problem with a run of scopes, I laid down the extra cash for a variable Burris 2X-7X AO handgun scope. The Burris handgun scope lasts to this day almost 15 years later.

Although I own many scope brands, when I picked up my tack driving DPMS .308B, for me there was only one logical choice in a higher end scope... another Burris. After looking at a number of model I decided on the then new Burris Fullfield II Tactical 4.5-14 scope with Ballistic Mildot reticle and AO - Adjustable Objective.  Today, nearly a year later with thousands of rounds sent downrange with me behind the scope I can tell you everything I like and don't about the scope. 

Today Burris is still regarded as one of the top scopes and for good reason. They remain a top high quality scope for the money.  The regular Fullfield II has a reputation for extraordinary performance, extremely clear optics and of course it's forever warranty all at a reasonable price.  The Tactical version adds a few extras. It features the excellent Ballistic Mil-Dot reticle and can take a beating, target turrets, and crystal clear optics. A riflescope's weight and profile can make a big difference to the shooters who actually lug it the rifle. Though I wasn't planning on lugging the rifle on a 20 mile hunt, the Tac30 Fullfield II Tactical scopes weigh reduction of 25% to 50% less than many other scopes in their class was appreciated in case I do start a hunting hike.

Their TAC-2 adjustment knobs are small when compared to most tactical turrets. But they are designed for maximum efficiency and easy accessibility. Easy-on, easy-off dust covers keep adjustments out of harm's way and are supposed to be watertight.  After shooting a little in the rain with the Burris TAC30 Fullfield II scope, I can tell you, I have had no issues what-so-ever. The radial dial helps indicate at which revolution the knob has been rotated so I don't get lost in my knob spin count at long distances and can always return to true zero. By having four scales of reference, I could always see one of them, whatever my shooting position may be. Once the rifle has been sighted in, TAC-2 knobs can be set to zero by loosening the three set screws, rotating the knobs where you want them, then tightening the set screws. This is a feature found are higher end scopes, so I am glad Burris included it on this model.
scopes by Burris Optics 5

Bullet drop compensating reticles are all the rage now, because you can add yardage calculated bullet drop points without having to play around with windage or elevation knobs. This makes for a very versatile reticle when paired with the a top half standard Mil-Dot reticle. The calibration marks allow dead-on aiming from 100 to 600 yards for most common flat-shooting rifle cartridges. The additional Mil-Dot quadrants can be used to gauge distance and help compensate for wind drift.  From my experience, unless I am banging away all day at longer ranges, I never touch the adjustment knobs - it is a great system that just works.  If you like to turn knobs, great, however I like the option of being on target now when the target presents itself, versus having to figure out how many clicks I need to be on target.  Once you have a little time behind the scope you really will not want anything else.

To assure there is not lose of zero, the Tac30 also includes the Burris Posi-Lock, but this time you don't need to lock it permanently.  There is a extra spring casing where the posi-lock that provides more stability to the reticle. Whatever is going on in there, I have had no issues with loosing zero.

The power ring has a calibration mark set at roughly 14 power which provides the trajectory compensation shown in the table. You can also alter the magnification and make your own calibration mark.  I have found that by setting power to 10X my .308 rounds more closely match the 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700 yard ranges.  It's not perfect but closer than at 14X.  I also applied an enclosed reticle sticker to the eyepiece to show my at a glance my yardage calculations.  With the Mildot and bullet drop reticle it has been a great combo.  I paired this with a free Iphone ballistic calculation app called IStrelok which includes the Burris Ballistic Mil-Dot reticle and shows me precisely where to aim.  I have another Iphone Ap called Mil-Dot which allows you to estimate distance based off of the height of an object in Mils.  Great combo.

Clarity of the scope has been awesome.  These scopes feature excellent quality lenses and the highly efficient index-matched HiLume multi-coating on every lens surface to assure a bright, clear and high-resolving sight picture.Yes the scopes with names we all have hard time pronouncing and prices 3X the price do have a little crisper optics, however I can't imagine justifying the 3X cash outlay.  I do have an older Fullfield but Burris has definately done something to this line of Tac30 Tactical scopes, because the optics are noticeably better.

Each main tube is constructed of aircraft-grade 6061T6 aluminum. Double-spring tension and an oversized ball-joint secures the hand-fitted internal zoom assembly. The adjustment systems are positive, repeatable, steel-on-steel, with audible clicks.  Fit and finish is the impeccable quality I have come to expect with any of my Burris scopes.  Everything fits, and feels solid.  The finish has definitely taken a beating out on the range and during hunts, however it still looks great.  It pains me think I may be covering up that beautiful Burris finish with a potential Duracoat/CeraKote camo job on the rifle, however the big black rifle sticks out a little when compared to my Ghillie suit.
My DPMS 308B has a higher riser to begin with, so I paired the scope with Burris' own XTR Xtreme Tactical Medium height rings to keep the scope as close to the bore as possible. If I were mounting it to a standard AR A3 flat top I would go with the high or x-high rings. With the Burris XTR rings, I have tested removing the scope and remounting and all has held zero perfectly after the remount. 

Burris has an add on pica-tinny top rail mount which replaces the top ring on the scope.  What this little handy ring top does is provide a rock solid pica-tinny rail to mount a tac light, laser, or halographic sight.

Some will think, hey that's not a bad idea at all and you would be absolutely totally right. Having a red dot and scope combo is super handy. For my deer rifle, this allows a quick target acquisition for near moving targets and a 75 yard zero for my Burris Fast Fire II, all while my scope is zero'ed at 200 yards and zoomed to 14X where the Ballistic Plex is calibrated. Overall I love the setup and everyone who has shot my rig says it makes such great sense that it will be the same format they will use to set up their rifles.

The other nice part about having a picatinny on top of the sight is that I can add a laser designator for night hunting, hogs, or other vindictive little critters.

It took me a while to find the right Butler Creek scope covers, however it was just a matter of a little measurement.   These have provided easy to use protection for the lens, and I have even do a little modification to the front cover to reduce glare.  Some game get a little spooked when your scope is giving off a glare.  I took a pointer from what snipers do and drilled a hole in the front cover and inserted a shorted rubber cork in the hole.  Yes I know that snipers usually cut a horizontal slit, however since the Burris Plex adjustment spins the front hood and the scope cover, I figured a round hole would make more sense.  Works great.  When I want to go low glare, I just leave the scope cover closed and just remove the cork.

The scope is a quality piece of equipment so I am nit-picking here. The power adjustment ring takes a little effort to move as do all of my other Burris scopes.  They feel like they are hydraulically braked or something.   I have other scopes that require about half the effort to change powers and any of my Burris scopes do.  I don't change power often, but when I do it seems to be in a hurry.  I also think the Mil-Dot calibration should have been at 10X vs 14X since most Mil-Dot systems are calibrated on a 10X system.  Just a preference.

I really like this TAC30 Series of scopes. It does everything it should, holds zero perfectly, and has already over a year later taken a beating.  When at the range I have had more than a few folks not how clear the optics are. Overall I highly recommend this $500 scope is you are looking for a high quality scope for your tack driver.  The 4.5-14 magnification range is perfect for mid-range intent of my bull barrel DPMS 308B which I now zero'ed at 200 yards.  If you are the precision benchrest type I would up the power to their 6.5-20X model, however for mid-range 50-500 yard hunting/target shooting this is great option.   In fact I like this scope so much I am now eye-balling the Tac30 1-4X for an upcoming AR build.

Fullfield II™ Tactical Scope

Item #
Field of View
(in feet @ 100 yards)
Exit Pupil
Click Value
(in. @ 100 yards)
Max Adj.
(in. @ 100 yards)
Eye Relief
22 low - 7.5 High
9 low - 3 High

Burris scope users tend to be pretty hardcore and even our very modestly priced Fullfield TAC 30mm and Fullfield II Tactical 1" scopes are up to the severe duty requirements put upon them by these hardcore shooters. These scopes feature excellent quality lenses and the highly efficient index-matched HiLume™ multi-coating on every lens surface to assure a bright, clear and high-resolving sight picture. Each main tube is constructed of aircraft-grade 6061T6 aluminum. Double-spring tension and an oversized ball-joint secures the hand-fitted internal zoom assembly. The adjustment systems are positive, repeatable, steel-on-steel, with audible clicks. The bottom line is unfailing shot-to-shot accuracy, no matter how extreme the conditions or how heavy a magnum with which the scope becomes partner. 

Each scope is moisture-purged and injected with laboratory-grade nitrogen before the one-piece outer tube, one-piece eyepiece/ power ring and the Burris-exclusive quad seals take their turn in keeping it that way. TAC-2 Low Profile Knobs are easy to operate, very reliable, and are resettable to zero once sighted in (see page 14). These scopes are welcome on long hikes, weighing in at 25% to 50% less than many other scopes in their class. Warranty? You bet. Even at this modest price point each Fullfield TAC 30 carries the famous Burris Forever Warranty.

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