The specs are on the website. In a nutshell, this a 4-16×50 Tactical scope with the reticle in the Front Focal Plane. The scope is big and heavy. I strongly suspect that I can pound nails with it with no ill-effect. The particular scope that I have has a modified version of a mil-dot reticle, but I think the final version will have some other reticle, but still mil-based.
The knobs have ¼ MOA clicks, but I am not sure whether the updated knobs will be MOA-based or Mi-based. I hope the latter.
The scope has a fast-focus eyepiece, 35mm maintube, side-focus and a pretty massive turret box. I think the production version will have a slimmer turret box.
Here are some pictures:
Scope with rings and scope caps (both came with the scope)
Ellis MK-7 next to IOR 3-18x42FFP
Ellis MK-7 mounted on a Savage 12FV
Production scopes are supposed to have substantially better glass. I was asked to not talk about the glass source, but I have some great hopes. The glass that is currently there works pretty well in good light. Resolution is about on par with better Japanese scopes like Bushnell Elite 4200 and similar. Depth of focus is quite good (as you would expect on a scope this long) and contrast is good as well. Field of view is fairly narrow, although that is likely a part of the compromise with eye relief. Eye relief on this scope is unusually long which necessitates somewhat narrower field of view. There is some tunnel-effect. Some people are bothered by it. I am not one of them, since the effect is not all that objectionable. This particular scope suffers from some flare and ghost images when it encounters bright light sources in overall dim light. I suspect that new glass and coatings will do away with this.
Knobs are accurate, but I am not big on the feel. Still, knobs will be entirely different on the production scopes. Side-focus did not exhibit any noticeable whiplash and, while stiff, was easy to use. Illumination knob is next to the Elevation knob. As is it is a bit too bright, but the system will be completely redone. New illumination system will be digital in nature and use two buttons for adjustment, similar in size to the ones on Eotech. Illumination LEDs will also be different and appreciably dimmer, i.e. better for low light use. More importantly getting rid of the illumination knob will make the elevation knob a bit easier to use.
Changing magnification take some effort. Power ring started out very stiff and while it loosened up somewhat, it is still pretty stiff. From usability standpoint, this power ring is probably one of my biggest gripes with the scope: when shooting prone, I can not change the magnification without disturbing scope position. I talked to Ryan (proprietor of Ellis Optics) about it and that may be addressed with an easier to grip magnification ring. We’ll see if that helps. The mechanism is direct drive without any torque amplification. I suppose that simplifies the construction and makes the scope more durable. Usability does suffer some.
Overall, testing the mechanics of this scope was pretty boring: POI remained constant with magnification, box test worked out just fine
According to Ryan the scope is designed to be used on some pretty potent stuff: 20mm Vulcan, etc. That is the reason for designing it with so much eye relief. That sounded like a challenge, so I tried to break it. I do not have anything that kicks all that much, so I had to improvise.
I wrapped the scope with a towel and kicked it around the parking lot a little. That did not have any lasting effect on the scope. I dropped it from a height of a few feet a few times. Didn’t hurt the scope.
I beat it up with a rubber mallet. Still didn’t budge.
I froze it and dumped it into warm water. Didn’t budge and didn’t leak.
Bottomline, this is a work in progress. I would like to see the updated version with different glass illumination, and I hope to soon enough. In the meantime, the scope appears to be exceptionally robust. Long eye relief should also be a selling point for people who need something for a big kicker.