Sightron’s 6-24×50 SIII on a McRee 338LM rifle. The MP-MODSS stock and Stiller TAC338 barreled action was the perfect platform to check the scope for accuracy and long-range effectiveness, proving capable of long-range sub-MOA accuracy. The combination of a 20 MOA rail and the Barrett 15/40 rings allowed the SIII scope and McRee rifle to shoot over 2,200 yards—way over the maximum supersonic range of the .338 Lapua. Accuracy decreased but the author could still hit the target, when the wind gave him a chance.
Military snipers obviously have a very precise set of requirements for their riflescopes. Their advanced training can overcome most differences in scope design—such as high or low magnifications, front or rear focal plane reticles, MilDot or Canadian dot and even complex reticles. They are impervious to multiple turn turret confusion and they can shoot accurately with almost any MOA/MRAD turret and reticle combination. But what they can’t do is hit the target reliably when their scope is not rugged enough, does not have sufficient glass or if the tracking system does not allow accurate elevation and windage corrections and consistent return to zero. In the past, meeting those “simple” requirements meant high-dollar, top-of-the line scopes from a very short list of manufacturers. Not anymore.
Sightron is a U.S. based company that manufactures U.S. designed scopes in Japan. Japanese lenses are known for their quality and U.S. design is second to none, so this is a winning combination. The SIII scopes feature one-piece 30mm main tubes formed from aircraft-quality 6061-T6 aluminum, high-definition lenses and rear focal plane reticles. The lenses are multi-coated with their proprietary Zact-7 Revcoat, a seven layer multi-coating process. Sightron claims that it allows light transmission of over 99% per lens—on par to tactical scopes of double the price. At around $800 for the top models the term “affordable” might look out of place, but for top-quality tactical scopes it’s actually a very reasonable price tag.
Note the SIMRAD dovetail for the KN202G FAB 3rd Gen autogating night vision system with XR5 tube. The 6-24×50 turrets have a lower profile than the 10-50×60 ones, both featuring clearly engraved index marks.
What surprised me about the SIII scopes was its ExacTrack windage and elevation system. I am a little paranoid about erector systems and the accuracy of their turret clicks. I use Patagonia Ballistics LoadBase 3 ballistic software that outputs the ballistic tables in your scope’s true MOA or MRAD correction values. The accuracy is assured by using these tables, but every time you shoot you are memorizing a “false” bullet trajectory. This problem would never exist if when you clicked 75-MOA on a Barrett for a long range shot you moved the point of impact — the true 75 MOAs—not 78 or 72, just 5% off.