By Peter Cronhelm

The Tasco Super Sniper is without a doubt the best scope for the money available today. Don't let the Tasco brand name fool you into thinking the Super Sniper scopes are low-end units not worthy of being placed on an expensive rifle. Tasco is free to purchase components according to their requirements and pricing.

As a result, Tasco can build any quality of scope desired. In fact this trio of Super Sniper scopes were built to such exacting standards that they were awarded US Navy contract #N00164-93-C-205 for use on military sniper rifles. As can be imagined, a scope built to withstand the rigors of military service is more than tough enough to be used on the most extreme hunting or competition rifle. They are so tough, they are even rated for use on .50 caliber sniper rifles.

Three models, the 10x, 16x and 20x occupy the Super Sniper line. These fixed power rifle scopes feature a 30mm tube, hand adjustable micrometer target turrets, multicoated optics, an easy focus ocular lens and parallax adjustment. The parallax adjustment is via a ring that resides where the power ring would normally be on a variable scope while a variant of the SS10x42 scope has the parallax adjustment as a third turret on the left side.

All three models are identical in size and can only be distinguished by the magnification value stamped on the tube.

Model
FOV @ 100 yds
Eye Relief
Length
Weight
SS10x42
13'
4"
14.25"
26oz
SS16x42
6.9'
3.75"
14.25"
26oz
SS20x42
6.2'
3.5"
14.25"
26oz

Finished with a non-reflecting flat black exterior, these scopes look simply huge in comparison to a conventional one-inch scope when mounted on a rifle. Their commanding presence on a rifle seems to invite stares and questions from other shooters. The 30mm aluminum tube allows these large scopes to be surprisingly light yet gives them a great deal of strength. With these scopes, gone are the days of worrying about optics getting bumped in transit or otherwise knocked around with hard use.

The most amazing thing about the Super Sniper scopes is they cost approximately one quarter that of comparably equipped models from other manufacturers. In the field, the SS16x42 was compared side by side with a high-powered varmint scope from a leading manufacturer and the big Tasco was discovered to be as bright and clear as the much more expensive scope. The large 30mm tube allows more light to transit and produces a larger exit pupil making the scope easier and quicker to line up with the eye.

The hand adjustable target turrets are simply a joy to use. The ¼ minute clicks are audible as well as tactile with 15 MOA of elevation per rotation. The micrometer markings on the turret allow the shooter to keep track of the number of turns made which is important because with more than seven rotations available for a total 110 minutes of elevation this scope begs to be taken long range shooting.

A note about fixed versus variable power Mil-Dot scopes. North American variable power scopes feature a reticle and magnification power arrangement such that the reticle remains constant size while the power setting changes the size of the image. As a result, the Mil-Dot relation can only be correct at one power setting. For accuracy sake this is usually when the scope is at its highest magnification. This is not usually a problem except in very high power scopes or if the user forgets and tries to range at a different power setting.

This is where the fixed power scope really shines. There is no possibility of making an incorrect range estimation or hold-off correction due to an error in the magnification setting. Fixed power scopes are also lighter, tougher and cheaper than their variable power cousins. Viewing the world through the same magnification all the time makes it is easier to get used to how big objects look at different ranges.

Why would a hunter or match shooter want to use a Mil-Dot scope on their rifle? The first reason is quite pragmatic. Mil-Dot scopes tend to be higher-end models that include features such as large hand adjustable target turrets, parallax adjustment, top quality coated optics and they tend to be tough and long lasting.

Second, there is the Mil-Dot reticle itself. This reticle incorporates a series of small dots on the cross-wires, spaced at even distances. The distance from the center of one dot to the center of the next dot is exactly 1 Mil (miliradian). The miliradian is a measure of angle and there are 6400 of them in a circle. The Mil-Dot reticle was originally designed as a range finding device for military snipers and it does this quite well among other things.

To the hunter in the field, the range finding feature is invaluable when making a snap decision to shoot and how much to holdover. Mil-Dots can be used to range any object as long as the size of the object is known. Depending on the size of the object, accurate ranges can be accurately obtained to 1500 yards and further.

With a little bit of knowledge of the bullet's trajectory, hunters and competitive shooters can use the dots on the vertical wire as hold-over points for shooting at various distances. The dots on the horizontal wire can be used for quick windage corrections or for moving targets. With a bit of math the dots can even be used to estimate the speed a target is moving.

The Mil-Dot reticle can do just about anything except make lunch and it has no batteries to wear out nor is it affected by bad weather, water or temperature. All of which can foul even the best laser range finder.

My experience with the Tasco Super Sniper line of scopes has been so positive that when it was my own money being spent, I bought four of them. These scopes can do anything from formal rifle competition to long range hunting to ultra long range plinking. Almost every one of my most memorable shots has been accomplished with a Super Sniper scope attached to the rifle.

 
Super Sniper Scopes are distributed exclusively by SWFA, Inc.
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