Sightron SII Riflescopes
By Chuck Hawks
2004 marked Sightron's 10 Anniversary. A milestone for one of our newer, and better, riflescope companies. I had read many favorable comments about their scopes from friends and, of course, edited Randy Wakeman's articles that appear on Guns and Shooting Online, some of which dealt quite favorably with Sightron products. But I had not used any Sightron scopes myself.
All that has now changed. In the last year I have had the opportunity to review two Sightron SII riflescopes. Now I understand why everyone is so impressed with Sightron!
In only 10 years, Sightron has become a major player in sporting optics. At present their telescopic sight line encompasses the economical SI series (7 models), SII series (37 models), and deluxe SIII series (2 models with 30mm tubes). Sightron also offers an electronic sighting device (red dot sight) and a line of binoculars and spotting scopes.
It is the SII Series riflescopes that are the focus of this article. The SII Series constitutes, by far, the bulk of the Sightron line. There are so many models that I do not have the space to describe them all individually. Sightron divides their popular SII line into the following categories in their 2004 Catalog:
With so many models available, there is an SII scope for virtually any conceivable purpose. Most SII scopes come standard with a Plex reticle, but some models are available with a plain crosshair, crosshair and dot, Mil Dot, Illuminated Mil Dot, Illuminated Plex, or crosshair and double diamond reticle.
All SII scopes incorporate Sightron's proprietary ExacTrac drift free windage and elevation adjustment system, which they claim offers perfect point-of-impact at or off zero adjustment. SII scopes are built on one-piece, 1" (25mm) aluminum alloy main tubes and the optics feature exclusive "ZACT-7 Revcoat" 7-layer multi-coatings. They are also nitrogen charged, waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.
SII scopes are covered by Sightron's excellent written Lifetime Replacement Warrantee. This warrantee provides that Sightron will simply replace any product found to be defective due to workmanship or materials with a brand new product. There is no time limit, and the warrantee is not restricted to the original owner.
Inside of every attractive black and gold Sightron SII box, protected by bubble wrap and a cloth pouch, is an SII riflescope, instruction manual, warrantee registration card, and lens cleaning cloth. My first impression of the Sightron scopes that I have reviewed was that they appeared to be business like hunting or target scopes of high quality. They are finished entirely in an attractive, deep satin black. The only color is a red dot and the name Sightron in small gold letters on the left side of the adjustment turret, and the AO or zoom scales where applicable. The tiny legend "Made in Japan" is printed in black on the black ocular bell and is difficult to find, let alone read.
The windage and elevation dials are protected by conventional threaded caps with rubber seals to keep out moisture and dust. The adjustments themselves "click" in 1/4 MOA increments on hunting scopes and 1/8 MOA increments on target scopes. Target scopes have fingertip adjustable target knobs, while hunting scopes have flat knobs that are designed to be turned by means of a coin or something similar. There is a gold index mark to provide a reference point, and the concentric outer calibration scale is marked in inches at 100 yards. The latter feature can be turned independently should you wish to re-set it to "0" after your rifle is sighted-in. The available adjustment range is substantial, a fine feature on any riflescope that is often overlooked by inexperienced shooters.
The Sightron Plex reticle is typical of its type. It is quite serviceable under a wide range of viewing conditions, and is probably the best all-around big game hunting reticle. My Target scope was ordered with the fine crosshair and dot reticle for ultra precise aiming at small targets. The eye relief provided by SII scopes is generous.
These are good scopes to look through. They provide sharp, low distortion views from edge to edge, an opinion seconded by other Guns and Shooting Online staffers.
Sightron SII scopes are shipped focused for 20/20 vision (0 diopters). Focus is adjusted by loosening the knurled lock ring and rotating the ocular bell. Turn clockwise for nearsighted eyes or counter clockwise for farsighted eyes. Like most "American" style scopes, the ocular bell has fine threads and it may take a number of turning to set the focus correctly for your eye.
I did not submerge an SII in hot water or drop it from a height because I do not treat any of my scopes that way. I am willing to accept Sightron's word that they are nitrogen filled, fog proof, and shock proof. Certainly they perform well in rainy Western Oregon, which is a far more practical test from my point of view.
Sightron SII riflescopes are competitive with other premium scopes in terms of both performance and price, and deliver excellent value for the dollar. The Sightron SII has definitely been added to my "short list" of recommended scopes. For more information, visit the Sightron web site www.sightron.com
Copyright 2004, 2012 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.