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Terry Doe reviews the ZeroTech Vengeance 4.5-18 x 40 PHR riflescope, mounting it onto a Webley Raider Classic for the review!
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If you read my test of the Webley Raider Classic 500 in the October issue of the magazine, you’ll be aware that I inflicted a bit of unfair wear and tear on it, and to the scope fitted to it. Well, that very scope, the ZeroTech Vengeance 4.5-18 x 40 PHR, is the subject of this test, and I’d like to begin by explaining why I didn’t exchange it for an non-abused one. I think you’ll understand.
As explained elsewhere, the Webley Raider I was testing tumbled off its bench and crashed onto solid concrete. The scope in this feature took the secondary impact, which occurred a split second after the rifle had pivoted on its muzzle and smacked into the hard stuff. Visually, the post-crash inspection revealed just a tiny ‘ding’ on the scope’s fast-focus eyepiece ring, but scopes are highly technical items, and most of the meaningful tech’ is contained within the body tube and lens cowlings.
Thus, the question was, just how much damage, if any, had taken place? The only way to answer that was to test it, and that’s what you’re reading now. Before I get into the function check, let’s see what the Vengeance 4.5-18 x 40 is all about.
ZeroTech scopes are designed and engineered in Australia, where hunting conditions can be among the toughest on earth, although I’m not sure they’d involve being slammed into concrete. Anyway, as far as heat, cold, dust and the high demands of hunting in extremes goes, these scopes are purpose-built to withstand it all.
The test model has a one-inch tube, inside which the optical magic happens, and everything in there is ‘O’ ring sealed and purged with argon gas to prevent any chance of interior fogging of the lenses.
All glass-to-air lenses, known as ‘elements’, are fully multi-coated in hi-tech compounds designed to reduce reflection and channel light into the scope’s optical system, for brighter, sharper image resolution. Basically, any light that ‘bounces off’ the lenses, can’t be used to form the image, so these incredibly expensive coatings have been developed to make the most of what light is available.
Obviously, this enhanced light-gathering feature really comes into its own at dawn, dusk, and any other low light situation.
I consider the magnification range of this scope to be just about perfect for hunting. Having 4.5 x for close-quarter use on rats, feral pigeons, or tracking squirrels in the treetops, is absolutely ideal. Then, for general use I’d crank it up to 10 to 12x, with the full 18 x available for precision sniping at longer ranges, and for zeroing.
The zoom ring itself is smooth, positive and easy to grip, with gloves and without, so pretty much everything about this scope, zoom-wise, is right on point.
The chunky adjustment turrets fitted to the Vengeance are described by ZeroTech as ‘Pop-Lok’, and that certainly describes their function. Simply ‘pop’ them up to click the scope toward your chosen zero in 0.25 MOA increments, then lock them into place by pressing down. Returning the turrets to ‘0’ requires an Allen key, but that’s the work of seconds. These are top turrets.
The main focus mechanism takes the form of a sidewheel, with hand contact aided by pronounced knurling around the perimeter. By juggling the magnification, I could define targets from four yards to infinity, and that’s usually enough for my hunting needs.
At the rear of the scope sits more fast-focus technology, designed to bring the excellent PHR SFP reticle and the target image into sharp relief. Like the rest of the Vengeance 4.5 – 18 x 40, it works with an efficiency that inspires confidence.
Checking the function of a scope’s internals follows the same procedure, whether it’s been bashed about, or not. Once zeroed, it’s a simple matter of adjusting the elevation turret, say 20 clicks up, and shooting three pellets, then 20 clicks left and repeating the three shots, then 20 clicks down for more of the same, before going 20 clicks right to finish. If all is well, your final three pellets should be back at your original zero, whilst the other nine should have created a join-the-dots square. Try it again with as many ‘clicks’ as your scope’s turrets allow – as long as the number is equal for all adjustments – and you can give any scope a thorough workout walkabout.
In this instance, the Vengeance tracked perfectly, and that, too, would give me priceless confidence in the field.
The ZeroTech Vengeance 4.5-18 x 40 costs £200, or very near offer, depending on the outlet. The Thrive 3-12 x 44 model I tested from the same company, last month, cost twice as much, and that, too, was a fine instrument, no doubt about it.
For my needs, I’d go for the Vengeance, and its incredibly versatile magnification range, plus the fact that it’s quite obviously as tough as old boots, as well as technically efficient. In fact, I’d be perfectly happy to use this actual scope, despite its misadventure at my clumsy hands. I’m still fairly new to these ZeroTech scopes, but I can definitely see why Highland Outdoors, and its customers, are raving about them.
Model: Vengeance 4.5-18 x 40
Type: Compact, zoom, hunting scope
Tube diameter: One inch (25.4mm)
Objective lens diameter: 40mm
Turret index value: 0.25 MOA
Full elevation turret adjustment: 70 MOA
Full windage turret adjustment: 70 MOA
Parallax adjustment range: 3 metres to infinity
Exit pupil diameter: 8.9 to 2.2mm
Eye relief: 94 to 103mm
Length: 325mm (12.7ins)
Weight: 660grms. (1.45lbs)
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