2 Burris scopes, HFT based review.

Discussion in 'Equipment Reviews' started by raisedbybrocks, May 14, 2010.

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  1. raisedbybrocks

    raisedbybrocks Member

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    Burris signature select 3-10 x 40 and Burris RA Compact 3-9 x 32, Review and comparison.

    The signature select I have had for over a year now and have been using it for sporting FT, HFT and Hunting. I bought it having been very impressed with a fullfield 2 kindly lent by Mr Tom Morgans.
    It was imported from the states for a total cost of around £360 at the time.

    Being now helpless without the ballistic plex reticule, I needed another Burris to go on my custom hw95. A fullfield 2 I purchased some time ago seeming now a permanent resident of Zeds shed. I liked the look of the timberline 3-9 and ordered one but had no luck actually receiving the item from Crazy cameras.(Totally Crazy man):confused:
    This ra compact come up on e-bay a few weeks ago and I snapped it up having now received a refund for the fraudulent timberline. I paid £150 for it including postage.

    Now to the scopes.

    Both are of fixed parallax and as these are designed for full bore rifles, parallax comes set at 50 yards. Re-parallaxing was painless on both these scopes, as the front lenses were not glued in any way. A locking ring simply prevents the lens from turning unintentionally. This can be slackened and the front lens turned outwards bringing the parallax in to your chosen distance. The fullfield 2 I had needed a little heat from a hair dryer before the lens would shift.

    Both scopes are made in the U.S. not the Philippines, as are the 3-9 x 40 fullfields and the timberline range. Not to say that the Philippines made burris are not good, my Fullfield is excellent.

    Both are 25mm tube design.

    For sporting FT I set the Signature parallax to around 25 yards. This giving me a slight hint of a blur at around 50 yards and a more pronounced blur at 55 yards. The scope being usable way out to 80 yards for long range plinking. A soft blur being visible at 12 yards. Reducers still perfectly shoo table at 8 yards. These scopes really do have excellent depth of field. This is down to high quality lenses.

    I have since set the Signature more towards HFT and brought the px in to around 20 yards so that if I look carefully I can just detect the slightest hint of a blur indicating the target to be 43 yards +for 8 yard reducers the reticule remains clear with no need to blink or move my head. Edges of the kill fuzzy but clearly visible.

    Eye relief on the signature is not overly long at 3-4 inches. The scope is not in the slightest fussy as to head position making it very useful and comfortable to use from different positional shots. I have found very little parallax error with the signature, even at 55 yards where the image is slightly blurred. The only range I have detected slight error is at 10 yards when I had the px set a bit further out, and this was only a pellets width.

    The optics are excellent on the signature it is always set at x 10 mag and it provides a big bright clear image right into dusk. Comparing it briefly to the Euro diamond which has a 30mm tube, I would say the diamond is just that shade brighter, but it does have a 30mm tube, also I would say my x10 mag is a little lower than advertised, the Euro diamond s x10 mag appearing slightly larger.

    The ballistic plex is quite chunky but not obtrusive. I have never lost the reticule on dark shadowed targets. I thought at first that it was not fine enough for my tastes but have not had a problem achieving excellent tight groups out to 45 yards without the reticule blocking my view. For wind I use the edge of the plex on the horizontal as a guide or simple aim off using widths and half widths of the kill so I don t really miss Mill dots from this perspective.

    A note on the Ballistic plex. If you read the notes on the Burris site you will see on all but the larger mag burri the reticule is set true near the highest mag of the scope. On the signature this is 9.5. The aim points are most useful at this setting.
    ( I would be very interested in how Timberline users use their reticles, as they are set at x14 mag? Therefore if shooting at x10 mag the gaps will be way too far apart. Are they?)
    So at the reticles true mag setting on medium mounts running JSB s at around 780 fps with a 25 yard zero, the first dash down will be spot on for 35 yards next 45 next 55 and the bottom bar around 70 yards. I have managed to tweak this for mozzies running at 810fps by using low mounts.

    Now to the Burris Ra compact.
    This scope has really blown me away at first glance. It is actually a version made for the sako quad rifle so has 4 pretty coloured alloy rings on each turret allowing 4 different zero settings. Useful for me, not really but I didn t let it put me off. I was very keen to win the scope on ebay as I know they were produced in the U.S. and originally priced in line with the mid range Fullfields. Now they have been replaced with the Timberline range at a much lower price and made in the Philippines. So £150 seemed a good deal.
    I was hoping that optically it would be as good as my Fullfield 3-9 x 40. I was right, it compares more equally to the high range fullfields I have looked through which are U.S. made and have better lenses and bigger price tags. The lenses have a greeny blue hue to them a do the lenses of my signature. My Fullfield had a pinky hue to the lens coating, not sure what that means.

    Build quality is superb; the clicks are firmer and louder than my Signature. The alloy zero rings are gorgeous, although probably not much use to me. A very solid build as with all Burris scopes with a firm mag ring, separate from the eyepiece unlike the signature where the whole eyepiece rotates.

    The depth of field is of course excellent. I have tied to get it as nearly set to my signature as possible and set so it gives a slight hint of blur towards 45 yards. I have not yet managed to achieve this, It starts to blur at around 50 yards whilst still remaining perfectly usable at 8 yards. Too good perhaps with no visual hints on range. I think I need to get more used to it as optically it is different from the signature. Maybe I am spotting the details of slight blur more with the signature. The Ra gives a compact sharp image, the reticle appears more fine as well which I quite like. The signature obviously bigger and brighter but optically different it actually appears more washed out but I think it gives a truer image of what your looking at appearing clear yet not enhanced like the coatings on Bushnell scopes. The signature is better, but I really like the RA.

    The eye relief is a good inch longer than the signature if the scope is positioned further forward it is quite accommodating to different eye positions. If you try to set it too close to your eye it becomes very critical on eye position. It is much more eye relief critical than the signature which is very forgiving. This could be a problem with a poor fitting stock but it doesn't bother me.:p

    Parallax Error. It seems just possible to get a tiny error on the close ones but you have to move your head so the picture begins to go at the edges, so not really possible with the critical eye position and a good fitting stock. At 45 yards it is still clear as a bell and I have not yet found any parallax error. I ve yet to see a Burris that suffers particularly on this front.

    So on first impressions, I m impressed and would recommend them for airgun use as a second hand buy and probably a future classic scope. I would also highly recommend the fullfield 2 for hft as I find it optically very similar to the Ra compact, depth of field is not quite as good as the Signature or Ra but it is still very very good and much better on this front than any of the other low-mid range HFT options I have viewed so far.

    Thanks hope you enjoy the review and pictures and sorry Tom if I have given away any of your Burris secrets.
     

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    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  2. Andy006

    Andy006 Member

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    Thanks for that great review. I too have had Timberlines and thought they were good until I looked through the RA version. I like the RA's. Let me know when you sell it.;):)

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  3. raisedbybrocks

    raisedbybrocks Member

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    Cheers Andy, I can't see me parting with it:p It is however much more eye critical than the Timberline, which was a surprise. Not really a problem for me but can be annoying for someone having a go with my kit if they have a funny shaped head or wonkey eyes.:D
     
  4. johnjames

    johnjames New Member

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    burris

    had and still got some of the burris you mentioned, Even better than the fullfield is the short mag or the compact both 3-9x32 with ballstic plex, as you said both easy 2 re pax, but that is prob why they are double the price and they are hard 2 get as they been replace my cheap model timberline.
    Did you find on the timberline reticle lighter and spaced more apart?
    John.
     
  5. raisedbybrocks

    raisedbybrocks Member

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    Its a compact Ra 3-9 x 32, a lucky secondhand find, so I don't know about the timberline, I have peaked through one and remember thinking the fullfield has nicer glass. I would be interested to know how 3-14 x 32 timberline users get on with the reticle spacings as they are set at 14 mag I believe.;)
     
  6. raisedbybrocks

    raisedbybrocks Member

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    Burris RA Compact/Pentax Lightseeker SL

    Well, I'm getting fonder and fonder of this scope. I competed in SFT class at GP 3 in Tondu with the Ra. It has a marginally better depth of field than the Signature. Getting a slight blur at 53 yards if the sun is not on the target. I was really impressed with it for SFT purposes, it did help me range a couple of targets. I got caught out with a 55 yarder which was really hard to read with mk 1 eyeball as it was in a sea of moving tree tops. The sun was on the target and it was so crystal clear I called it at 45 yards:eek: Had no problem seeing the reticle on an 8 yarder. I remember on a 55 yarder in the woods seeing the pellet split on the edge and catch the light as it bounced off, so still very clear at 55.:p
    I'm also really impressed with the reticle over the signature, its much finer and I've also noticed the lines seem a bit longer giving an extra fine hold off for wind. I like it like it like it, will have to properly test it for HFT use but might have to move the Signature on, although it is stunning. Only problem is finding another RA, so I can have one on the s200 and one on my HW 98 special. Found this Pentax, looks to be the same spec, reticle and similar pricing to what the RA compact originally was. I've got a feeling it is exactly the same scope in fact. Anyone got one of these?
    http://www.opticsplanet.net/pentax-riflescopes-lightseeker-89561.html
     
  7. simmmo

    simmmo Active Member

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    Compact and short mags I have have 1/8th adjustment at 100yds not 1/4. Short mag to me seems brighter.

    Andy
     
  8. johnjames

    johnjames New Member

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    Same as simmo short mag best small scope that i have had.
    John.
     
  9. rogb

    rogb Señor Member

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    Very good reviews by the way:) Looking at the ret pics on Optics Planet, the Pentax IS a Burris.
    I had a Timberline for a short time and it was very good even if it was made outside the US.
     

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