Is the Sightron S-TAC2-10X32HHR2 the Hunting Scope You've Been Looking For?
By Randy Wakeman
There are some problems with 30mm tube scopes; not necessarily a performance problem, but a weight problem. A 30mm main tube is somewhat stronger than a one inch tube (assuming it is made of identical alloy with walls of the same thickness) and has more room for internal adjustments, but 30mm tubes are bulkier and can get heavy in a hurry.
The heaviest part of a riflescope is often the glass. With large objectives, regardless of main tube diameter, rifle scopes may quickly sail past one pound, into the 1-1/2 pound area and require mounting high above the barrel. Not exactly ideal for carrying around all day. The Sightron S-TAC2-10X32's 32mm objective lens solves this problem and, with the magnification set at 4.5x, still provides a 7.1mm exit pupil. Let's take a peek at this new Sightron's specs.
This is a one pound scope, which is lightweight compared to many 30mm scope scopes. The Sightron has a very generous 100 MOA of internal adjustments. When you run out of adjustment trying to sight in a new scope, it is no fun. Many scopes have only around 50 inches of internal adjustments; this Sightron has twice that.
The mounting latitude is reasonable. I had no problem mounting the S-TAC2-10X32HHR2 on a short bolt action 6.5mm Creedmoor test rifle.
Scopes of this optical quality with a 5:1 zoom range can get expensive in a hurry, but the S-TAC2-10X32HHR2 retails online for about $365, almost a 50% discount. You can save about $50 by purchasing the standard S-TAC2-10X32 model (with a Duplex type reticle, instead of the more complicated HHR-2 reticle). The S-TAC 2-10x32 is lighter, has more internal adjustment and costs a bit less than the bigger Sightron S-TAC 3-16x42mm I recently tested.
The HHR-2 reticle is based on 2.6 MOA 300 yard, 5.6 MOA 400 yard and 9.2 MOA 500 yard aiming points below the intersection of the cross wires. There are also hash marks strung along the horizontal cross wire and on the upper half of the vertical cross wire. Although I had the impression that it was excessively busy, in actual practice I didn't find it overly distracting.
Let's say you are shooting a 6.5mm Creedmoor rifle, using the Hornady 143 grain ELD-X Precision Hunter factory load that has a muzzle velocity of 2700 fps and 7.9 inches of bullet drop at 300 yards when zeroed at 200 yards. The 300 yard aiming line of the S-TAC reticle is 2.6 MOA, or 8.166 inches at 300 yards, so the HHR-2 reticle works well with this and similar hunting loads.
(Unfortunately, to take advantage of the scenario above the hunter must be capable of making one shot kills at 300 yards on a routine basis in the field, which few are. Here at G&S Online, we NEVER recommend shooting beyond the +/- 3" maximum point blank range of the cartridge and load. -Editor)
The scope has a convenient Euro style, quick focus ring at the end of the ocular bell. The metal on metal windage and elevation adjustments are remarkably crisp. The zoom ring is easy to grasp and turns with the proper amount of resistance. This is a scope that will not overwhelm lighter hunting rifles, yet offers the 30mm tube strength and generous internal adjustment range that some shooters want.
There are scopes that are a bit more versatile, but not by much. The problem is that they can weigh about 1-1/2 pounds and carry a 2017 discount retail price upwards of $550. The Sightron S-TAC2-10X32 is easier to carry (15.8 ounces as measured, not including a mount base and rings) and easier on the wallet. It is an overlooked gem, a scope that offers the primary benefits of the 30mm tube, without excessive bulk and weight drawbacks.
Copyright 2017 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.