Weaver Classic Extreme 1.5-4.5x24mm Riflescope
By the Guns and Shooting Online Staff
Our Classic Extreme 1.5-4.5x24mm scope was a long time coming, but when it finally arrived it was worth the wait. Weaver's new line, while bearing no resemblance to previous "Classic" Weaver scopes, is a worthy contender in the upscale riflescope market. The old Classic scopes (K4, V9, etc.) remain available; these new Classic Extreme scopes are an addition to the Weaver product line. Like the excellent Weaver Grand Slams, these new Classic Extreme scopes are made in Japan, where the production of high quality optics is practically a religion.
The previous Weaver Classic scopes were traditional American style scopes in every way, particularly notable for their fine focus (rotate the entire ocular bell, which is then retained by a lock ring) and their 1" (25mm) main tubes. The new Classic Extreme scopes are European in style, with one-piece 30mm main tubes, fast, independent eyepiece ring focusing and illuminated aiming reticles for use in darkness. The Euro style ocular housing is a fat cylinder rather than a bell.
For this review we requested the smallest of the new Classic Extreme scopes, a 1.5-4.5x24mm variable power scope. We chose this scope as a fitting companion for a Ruger No. 1-S rifle in 9.3x74R caliber that we had also scheduled for review. (See the Product Review Page to read that article.) In the event, we made a wise choice. This turned out to be a fine combination; the Euro style Weaver scope seems fitting for a 9.3x74R rifle, a quintessential European caliber.
Our test scope wears an overall matte black finish without many highlights. There is a green and gold Weaver oval on the left side of the adjustment turret and a green line beneath the elevation adjustment knob; that is it for adornment. The gold numbers (1.5, 2, 3, 4, and 4.5) around the rear of the zoom ring are stamped into the ring, not just painted on. Ditto for the gold numbers (1 to 11 plus "off") around the battery turret/rheostat that controls the intensity of the illuminated dot in the center of the reticle.
The aluminum zoom ring has very fine knurling that provides a positive grip. Fine knurling is also present around the convenient eyepiece focus ring. The latter is furnished with a rubber ring to protect the shooter's eyebrow from the effects of extreme recoil. Also convenient are the large, fingertip adjustable, ¼ MOA windage and elevation knobs. These click in a very positive manner and when not in use are protected by threaded aluminum caps.
The Classic Extreme scopes feature fingertip adjustments and fast Euro style eyepiece focus. The Leupold Duplex-type reticle is equipped with an illuminated red dot at the center, for use in very low light conditions. (In much of Europe it is legal to hunt at night.) This reticle, which Weaver calls "Dual-X," is commendably restrained with a fine center "gate" where the crosswires meet and a moderate thickness Dual-X portion that does not block out too much of the view. Like the original Duplex reticle, this Weaver version is done right, without unnecessary embellishment. Simple reticles are better.
The scope's optics are fully multi-coated and the scope is purged and dry nitrogen filled to prevent internal fogging. Eye relief is a generous four inches. Weaver Classic Extreme scopes come with a limited lifetime warrantee.
As low power scopes go, this Classic Extreme is rather large due to its 30mm tube, large cylindrical ocular housing and the battery compartment on top of the ocular bell. It is 9.7" long and weighs nearly a pound. Its retail price puts it in direct competition with such well regarded riflescopes as the Burris Euro Diamond and Leupold VX-III.
Here are some basic specifications for the Classic Extreme 1.5-4.5x24mm riflescope.
We mounted the Weaver Classic Extreme 1.5-4.5x24mm on our Ruger No. 1 test rifle in medium height Ruger rings (#S100RM30MM). These rings had to be ordered, as the rifle comes with standard 1" (25mm) scope rings. Mounting the scope on the rifle was easy, as the proprietary Ruger ring system eliminates the need for conventional scope bases. The rings clamp directly to the rifle's quarter rib, a simple and very secure installation.
The 1.5-4.5 magnification range is ideal for a medium range rifle such as our 9.3x74R Ruger. (That cartridge has a maximum point blank range of about 225 yards.) We found that, after mounting, the scope was almost perfectly aligned with the bore, showing commendably precise manufacturing and assembly at the Ruger factory.
The Classic Extreme provides bright, sharp views of the target. Flare is not a problem and sharpness is good almost to the edge of the field of view, with a decrease in resolution noticeable at the extreme edge. This caused us no problem and is normally not noticeable when aiming at a target. The zoom and eyepiece focus rings turn with sufficient resistance to make inadvertent changes unlikely.
At the rifle range, the Classic Extreme performed as advertised. Everything worked fine. The ¼ MOA adjustments were reasonably accurate and repeatable and the scope showed no ill effects from the recoil of the powerful 9.3x74R cartridge. Everyone liked the tiny red dot at the center of the reticle when the illumination was switched on. It's useful without being overpowering. When elk season rolls around again we will give this rifle/scope combination a workout in the field, as Chuck intends to purchase it for his personal use. It is that good.
Overall, this new Weaver scope impressed us as a well made, serious hunting scope. It is not inexpensive, but no good scope is. ("Bargain priced" scopes are no bargain in the long run.) The bottom line is that we would not hesitate to use the Classic Extreme 1.5-4.5x24mm on the big game hunt of a lifetime.
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