Patterned after the early Unertl Target Competition long tube scopes of the 1940s, which were employed by the Marines from WWII through Korea and Vietnam, the Leatherwood Wm. Malcolm USMC 8x Sniper Scope reproduction is every bit as stunning and useful as the old Unertls, only it is built with modern tolerances, really good glass and is something a person can afford, with an MSRP of $549. By comparison, a genuine Unertl—if you can find one—will set you back a grand or more. And most originals are in tough shape...
The Leatherwood/Hi-Lux HPML scope is a high quality 3-9x40mm scope that incorporates the company's All Terrain Riflescope construction, and this scope is built to take anything that Mother Nature can dish out. This is one tough recoil proof muzzleloader hunting scope. Features include bright fully multi-coated lenses of photographic quality, Tri-Center spring tension on windage and elevation adjustments (1/4" click), fast focus eyepiece, one-piece aluminum scope tube, and wear resistant finish - all backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
What he sent me was a .50 caliber Traditions VORTEK model, topped with one of the 3-9x40mm Nikon BDC (Bullet Drop Compensating) multi-reticle Omega muzzleloader scopes. The rifle was identical (an almost exact duplicate) to a VORTEK rifle I often use as a test rifle. The only real difference in these two rigs was that mine is topped with one of the Hi-Lux Optics 3-9x40mm TB-ML multi-reticle muzzleloader scopes - which I developed for that company
The 3-9x40mm hunting scopes have traditionally been the best selling scopes on the market. The Hi-Lux Optics "Buck Country" scope in that magnification range is one of the best moderately priced scopes available today. This scope is built with features, such as fully multi-coated lenses...and Tri-Center coil spring tension on the internal erector, which make it comparable to scopes costing $300...$400...or more.
The 1-4X optic power range has become a very hot area as 3 Gun shooters start to move around while shooting or shoot standing unsupported. Big magnification will just lead to frustration and slow shots. This low power optic concept is based on the military Designated Marksman optic requirements were moving and shooting is the norm at distances from 0-600 yards...
One of the things that made the M21 a successful sniping system during the Vietnam War was the ultra-simplistic means of range estimation that would also automatically adjust the scope for ballistic drop at whatever range the scope estimated the target to be at.
This past week, this particular Hi-Lux Optics TB-ML scope, with a bullet drop compensating BDC reticle, surpassed having 12,000 rounds fired under it. These weren't low recoiling target loads either, but rather stiff hunting loads. Easily 75-percent of the shots fired under this scope were with my favorite hunting load - 110-grains of Blackhorn 209 and the Harvester Muzzleloading saboted 300-grain Scorpion PT Gold.
When it comes to recreating older style rifle scopes from the past, Hi-Lux Optics has done an outstanding job of maintaining the "Old School" look, while also incorporating modern up-to-date optics and internal construction to make the company's contemporary copies of older rifle optics far superior to the originals. One such "re-introduction" that has gotten a lot of attention, especially from "Old School" Marines, has been the re-make of the M40 USMC sniper scope - the original of which dates from the Vietnam era.
Where most optics are designed around a single duplex reticle with a “best ballistic compromise” zeroing point (usually 300 yards for AR15s), a BDC reticle like the one on the Hi-Lux CMR4 greatly increases precision at all ranges.
One of the reasons 1-4X scope have been taking the AR industry by storm is that at 1X magnification, the scope can take the place of a both eyes open red-dot sight and with higher magnification setting it provides the power for reliable hits at longer distances.