very impressive Docter Optics scope
Initial tests of my new Docter Optics 2.5x10x48 30mm rifle scope, (formerly Carl Zeiss Jena, interesting post WWII ocupation story).
The scope was compared to several quality scopes: Burris, Leupold, Nikon, Zeiss, Swarovski, Seeadler (German), and Bushnell. Unfortunately, I was not able to compare to German made Schmidt and Bender (a favorite), and U.S. made NightForce... mainly because I'm not rich.
Construction: The Docter scope is built like a tank, very heavy-duty and strong.
Eye relief / Field of view: similar to all tested quality scopes at night and in daylight.
Light transmission / twilight factor: The Docter scope was equivalent to the Austrian made Swarovski scope. Docter was superior to all others, especially at night and in low-light conditions. It was brilliant, crystal clear! In fact, at the range it was used to find holes in targets that were shot with rifles using other scopes of equal or greater magnification.
Harsh weather: All tested scopes were left outdoors in -20 degree F for two hours to cold soak. All scopes continued to function. However, the Docter was superior because the dioper control ring (eye focus piece) and variable ring did not become stiff and difficult to turn as did the other scopes. Its large adjustment rings remained very smooth and could even be operated while wearing gloves.
When brought inside from the cold, all scopes became unusable for a few minutes due to condensation on both the ocular and objective lenses (lens covers were left off while outside). The Leupold fogged the least.
The Docter scope came with clear scope covers with two heavy rubber straps connecting the two caps. Because they are see-thru, the scope could easily be used in a hurry in inclement weather with the caps on. The rubber straps maintained their elasticity when frozen. I really liked them.
Again, I really liked the large easy to use dioper eye piece and variable power control rings. They felt to be very high quality, worked smoothly while frozen, and could be easily used with gloves. Other scope control rings became very stiff to impossible to turn. The Docter scope eye focus on the ocular objective works very well and focuses quickly there is no locking ring to have to deal with. I was delighted to discover that my reading glasses were not required because the focus corrected my small sight imperfection.
The eye piece has a protective heavy rubber ring that remained soft, even while frozen. It provides the shooter / hunter with two benefits: increased accuracy due to relief from anxiety of being injured while using a rifle with violent recoil, and for shooters who require very little eye relief. Secondly, I liked how the rubber eye piece ring tightly sealed the protective cap (scope cover) preventing snow, moisture, and dust from getting on the ocular lens. Additionally, the rubber ring made removal of the ocular lens cover very quiet, very good for hunters.
Initial shock test: The test used a Model 70, 300 Winchester Magnum with 200 grain Barnes bullets loaded to near maximum pressure. The recoil was significant and the scope perfectly maintained zero (see attached final target). The temperature was 8 degrees F, and 25 rounds were fired at 100 yards. Windage and elevation adjustments were sure and positive clicks.
Reticle: Reticle choice is personal preference. Most American hunters and shooters like second focal plane reticles (the reticle always stays the same size regardless of magnification; considered good for long range shots because the reticle takes up a small part of the target).
The Docter scope that I am testing is a first focal plane, which I prefer for many reasons. The reticle increases and decreases in size as magnification is increased or decreased. As the variable power is adjusted the target size as viewed and reticle size increase. This greatly helps to see the reticle in low-light conditions. As far as the reticle covering more of the target at very long ranges…. I find this argument insignificant because 400 yards is my maximum shot distance, and I think that most game is taken at much closer ranges. Additionally, many scope manufacturers state that a first focal plane scope does not change point of impact with magnification changes as second focal plane scopes are prone to do. The first focal plane offers simple and consistent hold-over calculations at any magnification, along with easy to use range marks.
Future tests will occur during the next hunting seasons. These tests will include range mark use, humidity / fogging tests during rainy warm weather. Shock tests will be conducted by evaluating the scopes ability to maintain “zero” after miles of harsh, bumpy ATV trails and snowmobile vibration. In both cases, the rifle will be in a Kolpin gun boot mounted to the vehicle.
Negative findings: the center of the crosshairs were somewhat difficult to see at night, as with all non illuminated reticle scopes. However, it was the best tested. I wish that I had the 56mm scope, or one with illuminated reticle crosshairs.
Suggestions: The objective lens clear cover is loud to remove; the ocular end is very quiet due to the rubber ring on the eye piece. A piece of a foam or rubber ring inside of the scope cover would make it quiet. This will also seal the weather out.
Have been hearing great things about Docter Optics scopes, so where can we check them out? I don't think that you can buy them locally.
Midwayusa.com and budsgunshop. com both carried them at one time. I think opticsplanet.com has them currently.
I have the 4.5-14x40mm scope. I bought it as part of a package deal with a CZ 550 in .375 H&H, but I currently have it on my Ruger No. 1 in .30-06. It's a really nice scope, but I think I'd rather have a pair of fixed low power Leupold's for the money that it costs to get one Docter.