Burris Euro Diamond 1.5 x 6 x 40mm Riflescope: World's Best Low Light Scope?

Many of the top manufacturers of scopes have a couple of products in their line-up that are truly exceptional. Optics designers will tell you that riflescope design is both science and art. There are many variables in riflescope design and seldom is there a free lunch. To get some attributes (light weight) means you may well have to compromise on others (tube strength and weight). If you want a very high magnification scope that can be made clear at the high end, you might need an adjustable objective that adds length, weight, cost, and complexity to the system. In large measure we have become underscoped and overmagnified.

I've mentioned this before. If I asked someone if they could hit a target with a rifle equipped with iron sights at 75 yards, perhaps they might take offense. Consider that with a six power scope, we have the same “75 yard image size” presented to our eyes at 450 yards. For years, fixed power scope buffs have used four power scopes east of the Mississippi opting for the lesser field of view of six power out west. The fundamental advantage of a scope is the single sighting plane. Too small of a field of view can be hindrance in the woods. Unfortunately, the truly superb power range of 1.5 to 6 is not at all standard, with less offerings all the time. For this year's bear hunt, I wanted a bigger field of view than a 3-9 scope could provide.

When truly outstanding scopes come along in their category, I try to note them. Two previously evaluated Burris scopes have really lit up their respective brackets. One, the fairly recently introduced Burris Fullfield II 2-7 x 35mm Ballistic Plex, remains all the scope most hunters will ever need and is as good a value as can be found in a riflescope, discount priced right at $170. The Burris Signature Select 3-10 x 40 is the other. The Signature Select 3-10 remains one of the brightest, clearest, most impressive scopes I've ever tested embarrassing far more costly scopes in my view. So, for the ultimate in a one inch tube low-light brush scope I had tried to get my hands on a Signature Select 1.5-6. I ended up with the 30mm version, a scope with very close to the same specifications.

The tested scope is Burris #200962, the Euro Diamond Electro-Dot with a German three-post #4 reticle. In either flavor, the scope nets you up to a whopping sixty foot field of view at 100 yards, with an exit pupil from 27 to 6.7 mm. With the larger, stronger 30mm tube you might think that this scope would be a real heavyweight, but it isn't. It weighs seventeen ounces, hardly the two pounder you might expect.

One thing that has been a bit of a bummer when it comes to illuminated reticle scopes is an unsightly, bulbous analog switch mounted on top of the ocular end of the scope. Spinning dials and playing merry-go-round with a rheostat scope dial is just about the last thing I'd like to be doing in the quiet hunting woods when it gets to the critical time that an illuminated dot becomes of value.

Burris has introduced a tremendous improvement, present on this scope. On the left side of the scope is the brown “digital dimmer switch.” It is right where the left-right click adjustment cap is, just on the opposite side. It is instant and it is silent. Just push the brown rubber membrane and the precise, orange electro-dot appears right at the same intensity you set it one. That's all there is to it. The lowest brightness level is plenty bright enough to my eyes. Due to improved circuitry, Burris claims a battery life (supplied CR2032 button battery) of between 120 and 200 hours. Cycling through intensity levels, though typically not needed, is performed by additional presses on the button and it remembers where you left it. To turn it off, just hold the button down for five seconds. Even if you forget to turn it off, no worries. It shuts itself off after two hours. This eliminates another common issue with dial switches and several red dot or illuminated reticle scopes in general. It is easy to forget to turn off your scope.

In general, I largely have a disdain for lighted reticles. Too many of them are overwhelming, doing more to blind you than anything else, particular the ones that light up the entire reticle like a Christmas tree or give you video-game type HUD grids. The new Burris Electro-Dot is the best I've ever seen by no small measure. It's the first illuminated reticle that makes perfect sense. The last half hour of hunting, silently hit the button and you have a very precise pinpoint dot that adds functionality without any hassle, complications, or detracting from the scope's image. The three post reticle itself is outstanding for deep woods hunting, eliminating a thick top post in favor of a thinner example to give you a less cluttered view. As the main three posts are generously thick, your eye is drawn to the center of the image without delay. With the Electro-Dot on, as you might imagine, it is instinctively instant.

The two primary benefits of the 30mm tube have nothing to do with image quality. You get a far stronger tube and a tube with more room for internal adjustments. Internal adjustment is no problem here at all, the Euro Diamond gives one hundred and ten inches at 100 yards. As you might expect from a top-of-the line Burris scope, it offers consistent, generous eye relief and a crisp edge to edge image throughout the power range. Supplied along with the scope are the traditional Burris Storm Queen type covers along with a pull-over, Scope Coat style of neoprene-nylon scope protector.

As is standard on all Burris riflescopes, the Euro Diamond is purged twenty-four times with lab grade dry nitrogen and has quad rings as its seals, not O rings. Also as standard on Burris scopes, the adjustments are tensioned with double springs and are steel on steel. Like all premium Burris scopes, the Euro Diamond has large internal lenses at 15.4mm diameter, a feature shared with the Signature Select and Black Diamond series. They are all Made in the USA, with Burris' “Forever Warranty.”

To give you an idea of what a joltingly good value this scope is, it has image quality as good as a Zeiss Victory Varipoint 1.5-6×42 T with Reticle # 60, a $2500 retail scope that runs $2200 or so street price. The Electro-Dot is markedly better than the Zeiss treatment that still relies on a rotary adjustment for its illuminated reticle. The Zeiss is a bit heavier as well. The Burris sells for a stunning, if not shocking, $1550 less than the Zeiss at $650 or so street price and as far as I'm concerned the Burris is the better scope.

It is the most impressive deep woods riflescope I've tested in memory. If the overall build and image quality isn't enough already (I think it is) you'll find it is the new, instant, silent digital Electro-Dot that sends this scope over the top into a class by itself. It is a wonderful achievement by Burris. Sometimes, albeit rarely, all I can do is say congratulations. That is the case here, where all I can say is congratulations to Burris Optics. The Burris Euro Diamond 1.5-6 x 40 E*Dot is my choice for the best hunting scope of 2010, with nothing that can remotely compete with it. This Euro Diamond is a new and higher grade of hunting scope, there's just nothing like it.


Copyright 2010 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.


Your Ad Here

Custom Search