Pride Fowler RR800-2 10×42 Riflescope

 

Pride Fowler RR800-2 10×42 Riflescope

Having recently looked at another PFI scope (the 3-9×42 RR800-1), I was curious to see how the 10×42 version is going to do.  It is equipped with the same rather unique reticle design as the 3-9×42 I looked at, which I found to be quite effective.  Having already trained myself to use the reticle properly on the other PFI scope, this time around I was mostly looking to see how the RR800-2 stacks up to the competition.

The competition in this case primarily comes from SWFA’s SS scope line that contains three different 10×42 scopes ranging in price from $300 to $800.  As it happens I own two of them, so it was natural to run them side by side with the PFI’s design.  There is of course other competition in varying price ranges: Hawke Sidewinder 30 Tactical, Leupold, IOR, and Schmidt and Bender come to mind.  I have looked at all of them at one time or another and found that they are all rather competent designs for the money, with S&B being the most  expensive by a solid margin.

First of all, here are some specs for the three scopes I looked at.  I also included the specs for the much more expensive Leupold Mark 4 LR/T 10×40.  From early testing, I know that the HD version of SWFA SS runs circles around the Mark 4 in most ways, so if push comes to shove, I can make some educated guesses on how the Leupold stacks up to the PFI.  Perhaps, more importantly, to the best of my knowledge all four of these scopes have seen use in the hands of the US military to varying degrees, most recently a number of PFI scopes were adopted by a variety of units in the military.  I am not sure what quantitied were purchased, but I have heard some very positive feedback so far.

 

PFI RR800-2

10×42

SWFA S.S.

10×42

SWFA S.S. 10x42HD

Leupold Mark 4 LR/T 10×40

Length, in

13.5

13.88

13.5

13.1

Weight, oz

16.9

21

20

21

Main Tube Diameter

30mm

30mm

30mm

30mm

Eye Relief, in

4.2 – 3.5

4 3.75 3.4

FOV, ft@1000yards

11.3

13

10.5

11.1

Click Value

1/4 MOA

1/4 MOA

0.1 mrad

1/4, 1/2, and 1 MOA available

Adjustment range

~100 MOA

150 MOA

38 mrad (~130 MOA)

75 MOA

Single turn adjustment

15 MOA

15 MOA

5mrad (~18MOA)

depends on the knobs

Parallax Adjustment

Side

Rear

Rear

Side

Price

$650

$299

$799

$1399

Country of Origin

Japan

Japan

Japan

US Assembly, Pacific Rim parts

Generally, I tend to bounce scopes around a fair bit to try to see how they fit on different rifles.  In this case, I simply mounted the RR800-2 onto my 308Win Mauser and did all the testing on that rifle.

mauser_pfi

I found this scope to be commendably well-built.  All three turrets, windage, elevation and parallax, are covered by screw on caps.  Under the caps are the somewhat low profile but large diameter knobs that are easy to grasp.  While this scope is not intended to be used in a knob twisting mode (long range shooting with RR800-2 is all about the reticle), I did spend some time on making sure they work well, and they do.  Quarter MOA adjustments were accurate and had reasonably good feel. 15MOA per revolution was sufficient to reach out to about 600 yards with 175gr SMKs that my rifle seems to like.  Here is a snapshot of the knobs:
pfi turrets

For the most part, I kept the windage and elevation knobs covered and used the reticle the way it was intended to.  I did exercise the side focus quite carefully looking for signs of hysteresis and did not find anything objectionable.  Overall, I thought that mechanically this was a well-built scope, with all controls well-regulated and smooth.  Eyepiece focus is of a traditional type, with fine threads and a lock ring.  In term of overall size, the scope is very similar to the other 10×42 scopes I have seen.  Here it is side by side with the two SWFA SS designs: 10x42HD is on the left and the original 10×42 Super Sniper is on the right.
pfi_swfa

What really sets the Pride Fowler scope apart is the reticle.  I talked about it in some length when I reviewed the 3-9×42 PFI scope, but it bears repeating that when properly matched with a cartridge, like the 308Win, it is the fastest way I know of to hit man-size targets out to 800 yards.  Transitioning between targets at different distances is very fast if you have a rangefinder and spend some practice time with the reticle:

pfi reticle

It is a bit unusual to have the 100yard aiming point above the center of the reticle, but it is not difficult to get used to.  Holdover marks matched the trajectory of my handloads very closely.  If I sighted in dead on at 100 yards, the errors accumulated a bit beyond 400 yards.  I ended up making sure I am dead on at 400 yards and that made the rest of the distances almost spot on.  Close enough to hit 10” circles out to 600 yards or so, which is about the best I can do with 308Win anyway.  Perhaps a more skilled shooter would be somewhat more limited by the reticle than I was, but for a rather average shot like me, it is plenty accurate enough. It looks a little thinner in the picture above than it does in real life, so it was reasonably visible in low light.  Still, I would have probably liked the thick bars to be a little thicker and a the horizontal ones little closer together for low light use.

Optically, the scope looked very respectable.  Eye relief was quite flexible and overall the scope was easy to get behind.  There was no tunnel vision of any sort.  The black ring around the image was very thin almost as if it was floating in the air.

Image quality was similarly respectable.  Overall, it was slightly better than the regular SS 10×42, but not as good as 10x42HD.  The HD scope was better than the other two by a solid margin, both in terms of resolution and contrast.  The only flaw that 10x42HD has is a little bit of tunnel vision.  The regular SS 10×42 and PFI were fairly similar in terms of center field resolution, but the PFI was better near the edges.  Contrast was similar between the two, but not quite as good as on the 10x42HD.

Flare was reasonably well controlled although a sunshade helped with that.  Low light performance was overall similar to the SWFA SS 10×42 and a bit behind to 10x42HD.  However, the standard Mil-Dot reticle was a bit easier to use in low light the Rapid Reticle in the PFI scope.  Notably though, the light had to be quite low for that to be noticeable.

Bottom line, this really comes down to whether you like the reticle or not.  One of the guys who helped me test the scope, thought that the reticle was simply to busy for him (you should have heard what he said when I was testing a scope with a Horus reticle a while back).  He much preferred the Mil-Dot reticle in SWFA’s scopes.  For those who are comfortably with somewhat busy-looking reticles and are willing to spend some practice time with them, the PFI RR800-2 offers a compelling alternative.

 Posted by at 6:11 am