I have been looking for a new small caliber rifle for quite some time. Limited budget meant limited options. I had a free slot on my FAC for a .223 Rem, but would have gone for 1:1 variation if any interesting .222 or .22-250 appeared. I had my heart set on CZ 527 Ebony Edition for not a lot of money and local, but it was threaded in M14 thread not matching my moderator. Then I spotted a nice Tikka M595 for even less available with a moderator and Optilocks, plus some ammo and gun case. The guy dropped the price even more and agreed to deliver it to me from Wales 😯 So I became a proud owner of my first Tikka rifle. I just had to figure out what to put on top of it…
I am a big fan of European optics. However, when money is an issue one cannot always afford latest Zeiss or Swarovski… Minox is still a new brand on the market, and I have been interested in their offer since they came on US market. It was still not well known in Europe when I got a set of Minox 8.5×42 binoculars from the US. They were much cheaper and all I could afford at the time. I was really impressed with the quality and for the money I got them there was nothing near that price range on the market at that time. So since I found out they started a range of rifle scopes I wanted to get one. I was looking for something lightweight and 40-42mm objective size. I got a good deal on ZA5 2-10×40 riflescope and bought it, again from the US…
Minox ZA5 rifle scopes
Minox offers two lines of rifle scopes at the moment: ZA3 and ZA5. They differ mainly in magnification range ZA3 being x3 and ZA5 using x5 magnification. Three scopes matched my requirements of being lightweight, 40-42mm objective and x10-14 magnification. I had to choose between ZA3 3-9×40, and ZA5 2-10×40 and 3-15×42. I quite fancied 3-15×42, but I got really good deal on 2-10×40 so that was it.
Minox ZA5 2-10×40 is one of the lightest on the market at only 400g (14oz). At the time when I was doing my research no other company offered something as light and x5 magnification range, maybe only new Swarovski Z6 1.7-10×42, but still 100g heavier and x6 times more expensive…
All Minox riflescopes are assembled in the US with German components. Minox uses Schott glass in their optics and it is a good quality glass, people say the same as Zeiss uses in their products.
When I finally laid my hands on the scope I knew it was a good decision. Nice high quality scope with bright optics. Magnification ring is nice and rubberized giving a good grip and it is low, so should let be mounted even lower if bolt lift is an issue (e.g. CZ 527…). The box contains usual leaflet/manual with all the info how to zero rifle scope, warranty card (Minox gives worldwide lifetime warranty, something not available from top four manufacturers anymore…), Allen key for resetting turrets, cleaning cloth and nice neoprene cover (Something I do not use, but probably should…)
On top of Tikka
I used low Optilock rings to mount Minox scope. I probably could go for Extra Low rings, but could not get any… I put magnification ring up to x10 to set eye relief and leveled the scope. I also bore sighted it to get the reticule on the target. It was all nice and easy and reticule was on the target with its settings out the box. I had to do nothing to put it on the target.
Minox riflescope made very positive initial impression. Turrets had very positive clicks and could be reset after zeroing. Magnification ring worked well and the scope had good field of view at low ranges with no “tunnel effect” quite common even on more expensive scopes. At x10 eye box was not an issue and looked liked I could also live without parallax adjustments.
Zeroing session could not be more straightforward. First shot was on paper and I only needed some minor adjustment. These were also first shots from the new rifle so I was even more pleased.
I currently do not have any other similar riflescopes to do side by side comparison, so I could only compare Minox ZA5 2-10×40 to Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14×50 I have on top of my .308Win.
I must say they are quite close. Zeiss is slightly better in low light only because it has 50mm objective and thicker reticule. However, I could easily shoot roe deer at ow light when I set magnification to x6 when I could barely sex roe deer with my 8×56 Zeiss binoculars. I think it is good for typical deer stalking conditions. However it is not a scope for night wild boar shooting.
In my opinion there is nothing close to Minox riflescopes at this price range at the moment (US prices). They are still quite new on the market, but I think it will change and the prices will go up (They are already quite expensive in the UK…). So if you are looking for a nice good low light scope that will not ruin you, Minox riflescopes seem to be a good choice.
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