Weaver Classic Rimfire 2.5-7x28mm Riflescope
By the Guns and Shooting Online Staff
Bill Weaver introduced his first riflescope in 1930 and over the years the Weaver name became synonymous with well made, reasonably priced (not cheap) scopes. These are what we at Guns and Shooting Online sometimes call "three-star" scopes, although the Weaver brand has expanded upward into the higher reaches of the four-star class with their excellent Grand Slam line.
Weaver developed the first scope with internal windage and elevation adjustments and the first with O-ring seals. More recently, they introduced the QuadZero adjustment system, which uses double in-line force to retain zero.
The Company has changed hands several times in the last couple of decades and is now, once again, owned by ATK. As we write these words the Weaver riflescope lines include the Grand Slam deluxe scopes, T-Series target scopes, Classic Extreme (30mm main tubes), Classic V-Series variables, Classic K-Series fixed power scopes and Classic Rimfire scopes. All are covered by Weaver's Limited Lifetime Warranty. It is the Classic Rimfire line, specifically the 2.5-7x28mm variable power model, which is the subject of this review. (There are also Classic Rimfire 3-9x32mm variable and fixed 4x28mm models.)
We were attracted to the Classic Rimfire 2.5-7x28mm because it is a slim and relatively lightweight scope that we felt would be perfectly suited for the slender, fast handling, Henry Lever Octagon .22 Magnum rifle that we were in the process of reviewing and for which we needed a dedicated small game hunting scope.
Here are the basic specifications for the Weaver Classic Rimfire 2.5-7x28mm riflescope:
Our test scope is the black matte version and the Weaver brand is identified only by a small green and gold oval on the adjustment turret that, along with the small gold numbers on the zoom ring, gives the scope an understated, classy look. Unlike some rimfire scopes, neither tip-off mounting rings nor lens caps are included with the Classic Rimfire.
Weaver Classic Rimfire scopes are made in Japan and built on one-piece, aircraft grade aluminum main tubes. They are purged, dry nitrogen filled and guaranteed to be waterproof, fogproof and shockproof. The optics are fully multi-coated and the scope is focused to the user's eye by means of rotating the entire ocular bell on fine threads and securing it with a knurled locking ring. The Weaver Dual-X reticle is nearly identical to the standard Leupold Duplex big game reticle.
As befits a rimfire scope, its parallax correction is set for 50 yards. This is mainly what separates today's better rimfire scopes from their centerfire counterparts, which are usually focused to eliminate parallax at 100 yards. At one time, typical rimfire scopes were built on small diameter tubes, had very short eye relief (around 1.5") and could not take the recoil of powerful centerfire rifles. While these limitations may still apply to a few "bubble pack" rimfire scopes, the better rimfire scopes, such as our Weaver Classic Rimfire 2.5-7x28mm, are no longer limited in these ways. Strangely, the "reverse recoil" of spring-loaded adult airguns is very hard even on centerfire riflescopes, but our test scope is designed to withstand the heaviest of these.
We mounted this sleek and attractive Weaver Classic Rimfire scope on our Henry Lever Octagon rifle using tip-off rings. The Weaver's 2.5-7x magnification range was judged to be particularly appropriate for a .22 Magnum small game hunting rifle. This scope's physical design is well thought out and we found plenty of room between the adjustment turret and the front and rear bells to conveniently space the mounting rings. The relatively small diameter of the objective bell means that low mounting rings can be used on most rifles.
After bore sighting, we first zeroed the Henry .22 Magnum at 25 yards, using five cartridges to get the last bullet in the target's "X-ring." We then moved back to 100 yards for the final sighting-in. This took only four groups, thanks to the Weaver's accurate, coin-slot, windage and elevation adjustments, which had only a minimal tendency to interact with each other.
Subjectively comparing the Classic Rimfire to three other rimfire scopes at the range that day, its optical quality is commensurate with its price. It delivers good, clear views of the target that are entirely adequate for small game hunting from 25-100+ yards. We judged it clearly superior to the cheaper rimfire scopes and not quite as good as the best (more expensive) rimfire scopes.
Its zoom ring turns with appropriate friction and the zoom range is ideal for small game hunting. At the low power end of its magnification range (2.5-3x) it has a very wide field of view that is ideal for shooting running game. The middle of the magnification range (4-5x) is the "all-around" area and we particularly liked the view through our test scope at 5x. At high power (6-7x) the scope provides enough magnification for long (.22 rimfire) shots at the smaller varmints. The bottom line is that we would not hesitate to mount this scope on an adult rimfire hunting rifle and it has found a permanent home on our Henry .22 Magnum rifle.
The Weaver Classic Rimfire 2.5-7x28mm offers a useful zoom range, adequate optics, wide field of view, generous adjustment range, light weight, mounting flexibility and solid construction at a reasonable cost. It delivers good performance for the price and we give it a positive recommendation. You can visit Weaver online at www.weaveroptics.com
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