Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Burris XTR II 3-15x50mm Scope Review

Burris XTR II 3-15x50mm Scope Review

One of the trends I am seeing in the market are optics manufacturers really starting to push themselves again to deliver exponential jumps in quality. The Burris’ premier XTR II lineup at this year’s SHOT show was definitely one of those optics which is pushing the limits within Burris and is the company’s new flagship optic line.

The original XTR v1 line of scopes was a huge success for Burris, but customers were asking for even more. Not only did Burris deliver a crystal clear 5-time zoom range on this XTR II 3-15x50mm optic, but they upped the tube thickness by 25% over the original. Burris also configured the optic design as a FFP - First Focal Plane scope. FFP is the hot feature among precision and sniper rifle shooters the last few years which in essence zooms the reticle with the magnification changes. 

The result is that whatever holdover you have on the BDC or Mil-dot is the same at any magnification; in this case from 3X all the way through 15X. The big thing with FFP reticles is that this design makes elevation and wind holdovers simple and easy without having to think about what magnification you are on. If you have a 300-yard target and that is the second dot down based on your zero, then no matter what magnification you are on that same holdover will deliver the same shooting solution. Pretty cool. When comparing this to a BDC equipped standard second focal plane scope, the reticle does not zoom, so you hold at the maximum range is not the same at the minimum range.

I choose the G2B Mil-Dot reticle which is a mil-based reticle for my custom AR 308 build featuring components from Aero Precision, JP Rifles, Feddersen, FailZero, and The Mako Group. The G2B Mil-Dot reticle has hash marks in between the mil dots for more precise aiming, distance measurement, holdover and hold-off for wind. The adjustment is calibrated in MRads or more typically known as “Mils” which matches the Mil-Dot reticle gradient. If you see your shot slatter 1 mil to the left you can make that adjustment without doing laborious math to convert what you read in the reticle with a turret adjustment. Burris notes the XTR II this G2B reticle is a “versatile, combat proven reticle that is ideal for mid-to long-range tactical shooting”, however I think it offers a lot even for the less competitive shooter.

There is a lot to love about this very high tier optic. At around $1000 on the street, this optic is not for everyone and is up there with the premium Japanese and German optics companies. For the quality it is a great deal and considerably less expensive than many competitors with similarly featured $1500-$2200 priced optics. The glass is just freaking unbelievably crisp and clear, but this is what you get in the higher tier of optics. Let’s not forget that Burris and Steiner are owned by the same parent company so… I don’t think it's a stretch of the imagination that Steiner engineering and technology had a hand in Burris upping its already exceptional game a bit more.

What Burris delivered with the XTRII really sets the bar for the rest of the market to catch up to outside of maybe Vortex. They have everything packed into this optic with the exception of laser ranging. You have the new style thicker and heavier duty and allegedly brighter 34MM tube, big ass audible click turrets. The turrets MRad adjustments are matched to the Mil-Dot reticle (as they always should be) are zero-able and even feature a resettable zero-stop. There is that very cool FFP design everyone is asking for Christmas, and the reticle is even illuminated.

Now I generally have some serious gripes about illuminated reticles because most companies try to deliver sunlight red dot illumination brightness, however in this case Burris delivered perfection. Too many times, manufacturers make illuminated reticles for daytime use and thus far too bright for the night work they were originally developed for. The illumination on this 3-15x50mm XTR II delivers eleven settings of illumination from “I can barely see a hint of the reticle in a dark closet in the basement with the lights off” to something brighter and useable at dusk. Burris has also included off positions between each illumination setting so you don’t need to cycle through all the brightness settings just to turn the reticle illumination on or off.

Burris even has a well thought out side focus knob which is neither interfered by the illumination knob, nor interferes with it… and then there is the huge magnification range. Normally you would see a 3-10x or 3-14, but here we have a scope that can deliver everything you might need on very close (maybe too close) targets all the way out to the distant capabilities of the shooter with a 15x magnification.  This is a very nice setup affording the shooter lots of flexibility. The range is also one of the widest magnification ranges on the market. Bushnell, Nikon, and Vortex top tier models are almost there with similar features and arguably similar optic quality, however from a price and quality perspective the XTR II is a very attractive option when you add in all the features. Burris has just put in all into an exception package that just works.

I did initially have this optic on my FN SPR and then on a Remington 700 Sniper build with a fancy KRG chassis, however I felt this optics abilities were outrunning the speed of me on the bolt action. On 3x this is a very fast optic which delivers the same point of aim even through the entire magnification range. In the end, I felt this optic was best placed on a semi-auto which could really use the wide zoom magnification range and the extremely user friendly FFP reticle. Some may read that previous sentence and know that I needed a semi-auto for the fast follow up shot I missed the first time… maybe so, however this scope makes it easy to zoom in a bit and still use the same exact hold.

I am not one of those guys who likes or enjoys figuring out the math on a reticle calibrated for 15x when I need to be at 3x of magnification. For me, simpler is better and I like the FFP concept both in theory and in use. Literally just print out a ballistics card noting all the holdover points for your pet round and you are good to go at any magnification. This is a great optic which deserves to be on a rifle that can deliver the accuracy and do it quickly. There is a lot to love about this scope and not much at all to hate and probably the reason I tightened it onto one of my most expensive and accurate AR30 builds to date.

XTR II™ Riflescope 3-15x50mm

All hand-fitted internal assemblies are triple spring-tensioned for absolute shockproofing, even under severe recoil. They are vibration resistant, even on extended vehicular patrols.

- Zero Click Stop adjustment knobs let you quickly and easily revert back to the original yardage setting without counting clicks
- Advanced windage and elevation adjustments are fast and easy; accurate and repeatable reticle adjustments match the measurement system of the reticle
- High-grade optical glass provides excellent brightness and clarity with lasting durability
Index-matched Hi-Lume® multicoating aids in low-light performance and glare elimination, increasing your success rate
- Double internal spring-tension system allows the scope to hold zero through shock, recoil, and vibrations
- Waterproof
- Nitrogen-filled body tubes prevent internal fogging in the cold and rain
- Precision-gauged and hand-fitted internal assemblies maintain a consistent point of impact through the magnification range, regardless of shock and vibration
- Solid, 1-piece outer tube is stress-free and durable; withstands shock and vibration from even the heaviest-recoiling calibers
- Covered by the Burris Forever Warranty™

Item Number: 201031, 201032, 201030
Magnification: 3x-15x
Objective Lens Diameter: 58 mm
Clear Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
Ocular Lens Diameter: 44.25 mm
Finish: Matte
Focal Plane: FFP
Main Tube Size: 34 mm
Field of View: 36 low – 7.5 high (ft. @ 100 yds.)
Eye Relief: 3.50 – 4.25 in.
Exit Pupil: 11 low – 3.3 high (mm)
Click Value: 1/10 mil; 100-Click Knob (201031)
1/4 MOA; 100-Click Knob (201032)
1/10 mil; 80-Click Knob (201030)
Elevation Adjustment, Total Capability: 110 MOA
Example: 50 MOA is roughly 25 MOA from center.
Windage Adjustment: 55 MOA
Example: 50 MOA is roughly 25 MOA in any direction from center.
Parallax/Focus: Side focus/PA
Adjustable Parallax: 50 yds. – infinity
Length: 14.13 in.
Weight: 30.90 oz.
Illumination Control: Rotary dial; intermediate "battery saver" stops
Illumination Settings: 11 brightness settings
Battery: CR2032
MSRP $1200-$1260


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Other Products Featured in this Article
Aero Precision Receivers
Weaver Optics Rings
Feddersen Barrels
The Mako Group Sniper Stock
Magpul Grip
JP Rifles Trigger, Ambi-Selector, Handguard
Fail Zero Bolt Carrier Group

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