March X , just another experience

Discussion in 'Equipment Reviews' started by wiseguy, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. wiseguy

    wiseguy Active Member

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    A long story, but here I share my experience with March from the last months.

    November last year I decided to switch equipment, after several years with a Steyr LG110 and a Sightron SIII combination, which brought me a lot of good results.

    After talking to a lot of other FT shooters and playing with their gear, I decided to go for the Anschutz 9015 and bought one.
    Pure because this is a good and nice looking air gun and gave me also something to play technicaly with, as these are not directly suitable for FT.

    Anyway, one thing I needed to be sure of, was that I wanted to invest in a scope I could trust, under all circumstances with a superb image quality.
    The SIII never let me down, but reading on the other available scopes suitable for FT I decided to look for the March X series scope.

    Spent time reading a lot on this scope and had the chance to get some hands-on time with these scopes during several FT shoots abroad.
    It looked like a decent build quality scope and it ticked the boxes regarding price/quality, functionality and image quality.

    So when end November 2017 a nice offer came in via email for a Black Friday sales offer, I decided to go for the March 10-60x52 with MTR-FT non-illuminated reticle (with discount 2221 gbp).
    Order was placed, payment and export license paperwork arranged within hours and scope was shipped the same day.
    It would leave me plenty of time to get to know the scope really well before the 2018 FT season would start in early 2018.
    So far so good, until the other week...

    TNT arrived during dinner-time with a large bubble foam wrapped scope box, "here you go sir and have a nice day".
    After dinner I couldn't wait to unpack this beauty, but what a unpleasant surprise when I unwrapped the bubble foam from the scope box....
    The March box was totally smashed, cracked open and bend. It looked like a tank rolled over it.
    Before opening the box I decided it would be wise to take pictures, as this might become handy for later evidence.

    I opened the scope box and found the March scope and accessories inside, all looking in good condition, no visible damage to outside of the scope itself.
    Turrets, zoom and side-focus all went smooth, so I was relieved as I feared for the worse.
    The only visible damage was the large flip-up cover and the internal white foam parts where the scope sits in between in the box, one was torn apart by the side impact on the scope.

    Of course I immediately reported the shipping damage to the seller, who quickly replied that a new box would be arranged and apologized for what happened.
    Just some bubble foam around a 2200bgp scope box surprised me, but the seller told me they never had issues shipping this way worldwide.
    My concern on the condition of the scope itself after this damage was waived, "just test it, they should be able to withstand even a .50 and are dropped in the factory as well for testing".

    Next evening I mounted the March on my Anschutz 9015 and went to the club, proudly telling this would be the gun and scope for the coming FT season.
    Took some special printed scope test-pages and paper target visuals with me and placed them at several distances, 25m, 50m and 100m (indoor range with very good lighting).
    After placing the Anschutz in the bench rest I started to play with the scope in order to get the best setup for ocular setting and try to range find.

    Within a few minutes my excitement changed into disbelief. Whatever I tried, I could not obtain a sharp image....
    Dialing in with the side-focus the blurred image was getting sharper, but at the moment you think "now it will be crisp sharp", the image went blurred again.
    Reading numbers on the special test-page was very hard and changing zoom in/out, ocular settings or turret up/down didn't improve the image quality at all.
    Reticle was crisp sharp however. Even mounting a scope enhancer for better view didn’t help.
    I also brought my Sightron SIII with me and I mounted that scope to make a comparison.
    This was stunning, the SIII was clear and had no issues at all to get a crisp sharp image.

    Other club members also took a good look and tried, but all confirmed the March was not giving a sharp image.
    We also tested then against a Nightforce NXS 12-42x56 and a Kahles 10-50x60 which both outperformed the March by far in image quality and sharpness.
    Still in disbelief I went to the club the other day to test again in outside daylight, only to find out the image quality was still far from perfect and still not sharp.
    If I had to compare it, it would not even match my ten times cheaper Hawke scope I use for plinking.

    So, I got worried the scope did in fact suffer from the transit damage, something must have gone wrong inside somehow, however on the outside nothing was noticable.
    Emailed the seller again and raised my concerns, quite soon followed by some tips and how-to's the scope needed to be basicaly setup, aligning rings, ocular etc.
    Replied I was not a novice regarding scopes , having owned several high-end scopes before (Nightforce , Leupold) in firearms precision shooting and also told that other experienced shooters confirmed what I encountered was the same with them.

    So we made the agreement to ship the scope back for investigation.
    Convinced as I was the scope was faulty I asked to upgrade to a 8-80x with illuminated reticle as during testing I lost the thin reticle on dark targets and illumination would surely help out.
    So we made the deal, if the scope was faulty I would upgrade to 8-80x illuminated and pay the difference (600gbp).
    If the scope turned out to be oke, I would get my money back.
    Shipped the scope back first week december 2017, properly packed box in larger box with lots of protection, you never know....

    Weeks passed and despite asking several times, still no evaluation had been completed on the involved scope.
    Apparently it had been sent to the March Factory in Japan for evaluation.

    So early February (more than 2 months after the return shipping), after asking again on the status, I was told the factory could not find a fault on the scope and it met its specifications according the seller.
    I was really puzzled, this was not what I had expected at all as I and others were convinced the scope was faulty.

    At that moment I lost my faith in the March product itself and the after-sales from March.
    What we saw in only a short period of testing, took several months for March.
    Again I was told the scope was probably not tested properly, the scope was not suitable for indoor, probaly we made a mistake, etc.

    To end this ongoing discussion, I finaly went for the refund and not a replacement (was offered however) because as I said earlier, I need to trust the scope and that trust is what I had lost.
    If this high-end scope would be oke, why would a replacement scope be better.

    Now it's March 2018 and I have no March X, but will stick with the SIII for now.
    I got my refund this week, 3 months after the initial purchase. Chapter closed.

    Just in case anyone has a similar experience in the near future, the March 10-60x52 serial number was X1567, as it will be brought onto the market again when its back from March Japan ;)

    cheers,
    Rob

    8F373043-3AFF-4F57-961C-9C8BFC7C2C65.jpeg D9376A5B-AA00-4834-9225-EBAF4266B255.jpeg D3DE78B7-9967-416F-B7DF-AD9590BAC9F4.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  2. RobF

    RobF Administrator Staff Member

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    Who was the reseller?
     
  3. wiseguy

    wiseguy Active Member

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    Sent you a pm on this.
    Regards,
    Rob
     
  4. nemesis

    nemesis 55yrd standing expert, or was it 8 or 9?

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    Yet another horror story about these scopes. The good news is you got your money back.
    Have a look through a schmidt bender pm11. The optics are far superior and the temp shift is easily learnt. The after service with them is second to none too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
    RAMBO likes this.
  5. Darron

    Darron Reformed Bandit

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    I have had a look through several PM11 and the optics are on par with March 80x no better or worse. I’m not sure about the temp being easy to learn I certainly wouldn’t want a scope that needs 5 pointers.
     
  6. nemesis

    nemesis 55yrd standing expert, or was it 8 or 9?

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    Having a 5 pointer is no different to having an adjustable Andras one. They both cover the same spectrum. Regarding optics, check out where the sand comes from to make March's and schmidt's optics and theirs your answer.
    I think with March most of the sand ends up inside their scopes and sticks to the ret,or is that dust.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  7. Darron

    Darron Reformed Bandit

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    Don’t have any dust or sand inside mine and whilst I have an Andreas pointer because I thought I had temp shift at below 7 degrees when I changed from ftp to 9015 it became clear the shift was in the gun and not 5ne scope! Don5 know if it will shift in high temps yet tbf.
     
  8. DYNO DAVE

    DYNO DAVE Senior Member

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    Well I have had both and they both have good points and bad points , the Schmidt for me was fantastic rainge finder ,it had a large field of view, down side for me was to heavy, you need a 50 ft adapter, and the temperature shift is mental , from 0 degrees to 35 it moves 25mm on the wheel , I had it all worked out but it was hard work at times , so I bought a March x and I think it's a better allround scope than the Schmidt, very little temperature shift , and a good bit lighter,
    Now boys this is only my opinion.
    Regards Dave
     
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  9. Tom555

    Tom555 New Member

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    I have the new upgraded S&B FT2 and I can say that it is a great piece of kit. Great optics, huge FoV and so far not temp shifts (but I have to admit that I have not done any more sophistocated checks).
    It is a little heavy but I can deal with it.

    Before I made my decision I also checked the March 8-80x but in direct comparison that was never an option for me. Snap-in in range finding was good but the marks on the wheel so narrow that it was hardly
    possible to say what was the range. Also the FoV was so narrow that it took me quite some time to find the target. An added red dot was almost a must.

    Cheers
    Tom555
     
  10. nemesis

    nemesis 55yrd standing expert, or was it 8 or 9?

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    Have you been told by Schmidt how they cured it. I have a good idea of the cause on the PM11.
     
  11. Tom555

    Tom555 New Member

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    I was told something some time ago by someone how is close to S&B but I don't remember it any more. I think they changed the inner range finding part but I cannot say what and how much. I also heard that the temp shift came from the lenses, at least to certain extend. They also increased the aperture.

    What do you know about the cause on the PM11?

    Tom555
     
  12. nemesis

    nemesis 55yrd standing expert, or was it 8 or 9?

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    It's complicated to explain without photos. But given how it under ranges in hot temp and over in cold, confirms my belief what I think is the cause. Further more given what you say about them changing the parallax mechanism also makes me feel confident in my findings. I'm tempted to modify an internal component and see if it works. In my opinion it's nothing to do with the lenses or expansion of the alloy scope tube.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  13. C.Eaton

    C.Eaton Confirmed Anschutz Nut...

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    Sorry to hear of your experiences with your 10-60 March.
    I would say that your experience is quite common in regards to the first use of the scope and is purely down to careful focussing of the eye-piece to your eye. This is absolutely critical with any scope but more so Marches.
    I've heard this a few times with new March owners, but once the eye-piece is properly set up then everything is fine.
    There are other issues with the 10-60 which have been highlighted by the cold weather and I think you'll find that the 8-80 will be far better for you in this regard, so hopefully they will be able to sort you a replacement quickly.
     
  14. Tom555

    Tom555 New Member

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    How is the range finding with the PM11 between 45-50m?

    I would say until 45m it is quite easy to get the correct range. Between 45-50m it starts to get slightly more difficult but still quite good. The 1m marks between 40-50m are
    constant and 3mm apart. I made my marks around Aug/Sep at around 20-25 degrees and range finding during the winter was quite the same.

    Tom555
     
  15. wiseguy

    wiseguy Active Member

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    I guess you didn’t read the entire (long) story.
    Me and a few other tried all we could to get a sharp image, including ocular setup, adding a scope enhancer etc but no improvement.
    I guess if you spent several hours to achieve a working scope setup (not even mounting) and still fail in that, you may state that it’s either faulty or too complicated.
    I was offered a replacement but wanted to know first if this particular scope was oké or not, hence the shipping damage.
    When after 2 months the factory stated it was oké I gave up...
    Regards,
    Rob
     
  16. nemesis

    nemesis 55yrd standing expert, or was it 8 or 9?

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    I know exactly how the FT11 rangefinds as I was the first person who secrely tested it for them a few years back. I did a report on my findings for Schmidt, shortly after they took it off production. All went quite until last yr when they announced they'd cured the shift, nobody knows who supposedly tested it for them.
    The PM11 snaps in at a simular ratio all throughout the parallax range. The reason why the FT11 becomes vague at above 45yrd is because they altered the ratio on the worm drive in an attemp to increase the gaps between 50 and 55yrd. They totally made a balls up. Thats why its vague because they wouldn't listen. The FT11 is only another way of making more money in an attempt of creating a scope for us low market FT shooters. Why cure the PM11 when they can produce another scope and charge a higher price for it.
    All they needed to do was cure the PM11 shift.
     
  17. RobF

    RobF Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree neil with your theory that temp shift nothing to do with lenses or the tube’s expansion. I have a theory as to what part does it and an idea of how to solve it. It would probably vary between scope makes/design.

    I’ve also got a test in mind to show why a march is narrow and an s&b wide despite being set on the same mag.

    Narrow field of view isn’t a problem anyway because you should be able to find a target blind with your position. Small gaps aren’t an issue either if you can range find precisely, I only have 5mm between 50-55 yds but can tell to the yard if not smaller in good conditions.

    Whilst if you have good optics then you can drive a scope’s character to wide and bright it’s not the most ideal if you are looking for ultimate performance in my opinion. Narrow will be better so if you want bright you want a larger front lens... there’s no other aperture you can change that will make an actual difference. Baffles just remove unwanted parts of the image, effectively throttling it not making it better.
     
  18. Tom555

    Tom555 New Member

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    nemesis / neil?,

    I think I read your report on the FT2 some time ago. Then I had a chance to spend a weekend with the upgraded FT2 and also a chance to compare it with the initial FT2.

    The upgraded FT2 was much better than the initial one in range finding between 45-50m; there was no comparison.

    I also had the chance to check the March 8-80x and at least for me it was definetely easier to "range-find" with the FT2. So there was definitely some good improvement with the FT2.

    Overall the gaps between the 1m marks are smaller in the upgraded one.

    Tom555
     
  19. Tom555

    Tom555 New Member

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    nemesis,

    can you please briefly summarise why the FT2
    a) had issues with range finding at 45-50m and
    b) what caused the temp shift

    Tom555
     
  20. nemesis

    nemesis 55yrd standing expert, or was it 8 or 9?

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    The issues were as previously mentioned. You say you read my report on this so you should know the answer. The ratio on the parallax worm drive was a different ratio to the one covering the parallax between 10yrd-46yrd. It made it vertualy impossible to mark the distances on the side wheel, it was practically two scopes in one.
    Apparently the development of the scope was given to someone as a project towards obtaining their doctorate degree.
    Regarding your second question I'm sorry but I can't say. I'm pleased to hear that the new FT11 is temp stable.
     

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