By: Bob Coles - MOA Gunsmithing
One year ago to the day I posted about the Hi-Lux PentaLux optics. Today I am writing about field testing the glass I mounted on a wildcat Mauser chambered in the hot 22-284 Winchester. After a routine scope mounting and bore sighting in the shop it was off to the range for zeroing and some evaluation. The day was cool, around 37 degrees along with no wind. I set up the bench bags that would give the rifle a solid rest. Removing the bolt to compare bore centered on the target with optic center of the reticle proved right on target at 50 yards. 20 fresh rounds loaded up with 75 grain A-Max bullets are charged with H1000 powder, a proven 1/4 moa load. You see the rifle will be used to test the accuracy of the optics. Ocular adjustment was easy with a few turns giving way to a crisp clear glass etched reticle. Then on to dialing in the focus of the target which is made very convenient via a side focus knob. Slipping a round on the benchrest follower allows the bolt to lock up a snug chambering then a light touch to the 6oz Jard trigger ignites the fun. Low and left is where the bullet printed. I adjusted just a few clicks up and right and had the second shot dead center. Clicks felt good and positive although seemingly quiet (I couldn’t hear a freight train going thru a nitroglycerin plant ….thanks Clark). Two shots fired and we are ready to go to the 100 yard target. After dialing in a clear target at 100 yards the focus knob read 100! That’s factory calibration for ya!
So far things are going good at the bench. Another round is chambered then fired out to the 100 yard mark. This time all that is needed to center the shot was one click left of windage and with the .01 mill adjustments pin point accuracy is easy. I was pleased with three zeroing shots allowing the fourth shot to drill dead center at the 100 yard mark!
Another feature of the PentaLux is an illuminated reticle. I ordered green illumination and the rheostat has two off positions 180 degrees apart on the dial. This optic is built with a 30mm main tube, fast eye focus, zero re-settable turrets (no zero stop) and side parallax adjustment (a Leatherwood first). For a five times magnification (4-20 tested) scope it has a compact profile and the 50mm objective lets in plenty of light. I hope Leatherwood/Hi-Lux will offer a sunshade for the PentaLux line as I am fond of using them.
Turret covers protect the adjustments from accidental moving when handling and moving thru the woods, while looking for that shot opportunity at your game. A handy throw lever is screwed to the power ring for quick positive dialing magnification.
The reticle is calibrated in mil’s and moa with ranging scales to size up targets at distance. Clicks are in .01 mil’s (.036″@ 100 yards) as opposed to moa clicks (1″ @ 100 yards). You have probably noticed the bright blue elevation turret in the pictures. This is a modification I made to allow quick zero settings at various ranges. After turning down the knurled edge on the turret, providing a smooth round surface, I ordered a custom ballistic tape from http://www.customturrentsystems.com (post 5/20/2015). The tape is calibrated for the 22-284 Winchester round with meter marks from 100m to 1000m. Ballistic load data is printed around the top edge and click marks circle the bottom edge. The tape is created from a vast choice of colors and fonts along with character sizing.
The PentaLux is a well built scope with features that are easy to use (side parallax, power throw knob, fast eye focus) and as always, the erector tube stabilizer. I sent 20 rounds down range that day without a hint of zero shift! I sent a 75 grain A-max bullet down range at 20 power only to have the second shot enlarge the same hole slightly. After cranking the power ring back and forth several times ending up back at 20 power.
In conclusion, I like the PentaLux in 4-20×50! Sure, it could use a sunshade and I modified the elevation turret for my ballistic load, however, it is well built, holds zero and crystal clear with sharp focus. Check one out on your favorite rifle. Just be forewarned……you’ll likely buy other Leatherwood/Hi-Lux optics.