Sightmark 1-6x24mm and Firefield 1-6x Shot show 2012 mini reviews

 

Sightmark 1-6x24mm and Firefield 1-6x Shot show 2012 mini reviews:

 

By Les (Jim) Fischer (BigJimFish on AR15.com and Snipershide)

January 29, 2012

 

I have turned a corner in 2012. I have decided that I am going to review inexpensive Chinese scopes. This has been a concession for me. Like, I imagine, every other reviewer, I am a bit of an optics snob. Deep down inside I lust for the best, brightest, clearest, most expensive pieces of glass and am never truly satisfied without them. This is a sad state since I make below the median American income and can’t really afford any of them, though I save up and buy better than I probably should. Being in Vegas with its amazing spectacle of wealth and poverty may have helped point this out to me and push me in the direction of spending more time on optics for the average man. The man like me, but that spends what he ought to on optics instead of what he wants to. Certainly being at Shot and seeing all of the different low priced optics pointed out an even more compelling reason to review the lower price brackets to me. There is a great deal more difference between scopes in the low price brackets than in the high ones (actually the mid range is probably the most mundane of all.) It is not uncommon for a scope at $215 to trounce a scope at $360 even when they are imported by the same company. From the standpoint of a person writing reviews this is the gravy and in the spirit of the turkey who gave you the gravy, I give you two of the optics imported by Sellmark:  The Sightmark 1-6x24mm and the Firefield 1-6×30 (it does not have a 30mm objective but rather 30mm tube they just don’t know any better.)

 

The Sightmark 1-6x24mm next to the reference GRSC:

 

The Sightmark 1-6x24mm will be the foil in this combined review. At $360 msrp it is the vastly more expensive of the two scopes and yet I believe it to be the lesser scope. It’s reticle is a sort of circle dot  that is far to dimly lit for a 2fp scope. It also has an amazingly small field of view and yet does not seem to reap the edge to edge clarity rewards that typically accompany this sacrifice. In fact, this scope has a view so hazy that I’m sure you will immediately notice it even through the resized pictures. Perhaps the most amusing aspect of this scope is the adjustments. They are very similar to the ones that the infamous Counter Sniper scopes sport if not identical. Now, I do not accuse Sightmark of the gross advertising overstatement of the Counter Sniper scopes, (which I will not be reviewing by the way) but these are not good adjustments. They lock but feel very poor and if the reviews I have read on the Counter Sniper scopes are any indication they are not durable as well. This scope is simply not worth your $360. You could purchase a great deal more with that money from quite a few different makers.

 

The Sightmark at 1x with full illumination:

 

The Sightmark at 6x with full illumination:

 

Speaking of the more your can purchase here is the Firefield 1-6x scope next to the reference GRSC:

 

To my eyes this scope immediately appeared the better of the two and the finish actually doesn’t look bad next to the much more expensive Japanese scope (I assure you that it is not optically it’s equal.) The finish and machining on this scope look very good. Its adjustments, which are simple exposed 1/2moa adjustments, also feel ok. The power ring and diopter fell fine as well. I was quite surprised when I looked through the scope and found it to be FFP. Front focal plane scopes are significantly more difficult to construct and get right. There is much debate regarding how worthwhile, or even desirable, this is in a 1-(n)x scope as it is more difficult to illuminate brightly as well as to manufacture. Despite the focal plan difference, illumination on this scope was much brighter than its rival, though it was a bit bloomy in the process. I have no love for the simple mil-hash reticle this scope sports at 1x but provided it is accurate it would offer ranging at 6x. Now, I don’t want to make this little $215 scope out to be more than it is. The optics were similar to the above scope, offering a small field of view, insubstantial clarity, and a less then stellar eyebox. It’s only $215 though and really, what can you expect in a $215 ffp 1-6x scope that even comes with rings. You can expect less than this scope delivers that is for darn sure.

 

I thought I might be mistaken about either, or both, of these scopes so I called over the Sellmark folks and asked them if I had these two scopes price points correctly identified. They confirmed that I did. I then asked them if they were aware that the less expensive scope was vastly the superior one. They were apparently not aware of this though it seemed to cause no particular distress and only a little surprise. The sales person than took a look at the sugar and the vinegar I had placed before him and decided to go with the former asking me if I would like to do a full review of the Firefield. I just may take him up on this offer and do a low cost round up later this year.

 

The Firefield 1-6x at 1x with not quite maximum illumination:

 

The Firefield 1-6x at 6x with not quite maximum illumination: