The editor takes a look through Nikko Stirling’s latest optic

credit: Archant

This new scope from Nikko Stirling has its importer, Highland Outdoors, very excited. You see, it contains their full wish list of features, some of which buck the current trends. Take, for example, the parallax adjuster. I believe that every airgun scope needs this facility, and the fashionable way is to use a side-wheel, mounted on the central saddle, but this is not without some trade-offs. It needs an extra lens to function, compared to an objective-mounted adjuster, which makes the scope heavier and more expensive. There’s nothing wrong with objective PA adjustment in my book, so it’s a great choice.

Next, we come to the diameter of the scope’s body. The world of ‘bigger must be better’ has taken many airgun scopes to 30mm, but the Panamax uses the good old 1” size. I understand that for snipers shooting at 1300 yards, a huge range of vertical adjustment would explain the need for the bigger tube, but for airgun use there’s no benefit. The 1” body is lighter and allows the scope to be mounted lower to the action.

Lastly, they’ve also ignored the trend for tall, exposed ‘sniper’ turrets in favour of low, yet finger-friendly ones, which I believe are exactly what hunters need. They cannot be turned accidentally and don’t catch on everything they touch.

The power adjustment range is impressive going from 4.5 to 14 which covers everything we could ever need, from close-range ratting to the longest range target shooting. Just how they’ve squeezed this extra amount from the scope I don’t know, but it’s very welcome. This is complemented by a mil-dot reticle that has additional hash marks between the dots. This adds a further level of precision to your shots. I was really pleased to find that the reticle was medium thickness when too many scopes today use ones so fine that they’re easily lost in poor light or against confusing backgrounds. I was able to shoot with perfect accuracy right out to 55 yards at our club range, which is about 20 yards further than I ever hunt.

I noted their claim of a 20% wider field of view compared to other 1” scopes and although I can’t verify that specific number, it certainly was a noticeable improvement. I like wide angle scopes because they make my life easier when I’m trying to find my quarry.

I applaud Nikko Stirling for doing things their own way rather than simply following the trends. I feel this scope really does suit the hunter’s needs and offers everything you could require, at a price most of us can afford.