If you're looking for reasonably priced scope that still performs at a high level, check out the Maven RS.1 rifle scope.
Hailing from Lander, Wyoming, Maven Optics company has made a solid debut in the rifle scope market with the Maven RS.1 rifle scope. I did a general overview a couple months ago of a scope the folks at Maven were kind enough to lend me. But today, I'm going to share the results of some more detailed evaluation of the scope.
First off, the high quality glass on the RS.1 really impressed me. Terms like "brightness" and "clarity" are tough to quantify. However, when compared side-by-side with several other scopes, the Maven RS.1 rifle scope noticeably outperformed a Leupold VX-2 and a Leupold VX-3i, but was edged out by a Zeiss and a Swarovski. Truth be told, that's not surprising at all: it beat out the mid-range scopes, but was outperformed by the high-end European scopes.
In short, the Maven RS.1 rifle scope has really nice glass. This fits with the Maven claim that they use ED glass (extra-low dispersion) for maximum light transmission and true color rendering.
Next, I tested out the internal adjustments of the scope. While a lot of people focus primarily on the optical quality of a scope (and that's certainly important), it doesn't do a darn bit of good to have a scope where you can see the target really clearly if the internal adjustments aren't consistent and repeatable.
There are a number of ways to test this and I elected to shoot a "box test" with the scope. After sighting it in for a 100-yard zero, I adjusted the scope up 3 MOA and right 3 MOA and aimed at the center of the target. My shot hit the upper right corner of the orange square almost exactly 3 inches above and to the right of the bullseye.
Next, I adjusted the scope down 6 MOA and then took another shot while aiming at the center. I did this 2 more times and then adjusted the dials back to my original 100-yard zero for the fifth and final shot. The idea is to fire five shots with the same point of aim, but adjust the scope appropriately to hit all four corners of the box with the final shot hitting the bullseye.
As you can see in the photo below, all shots hit within half an inch of where they were supposed to. Basically, the Maven RS.1 rifle scope passed the test with flying colors. For what it's worth, that specific rifle and load is normally shoots just under 1-inch groups at 100 yards.
The turrets are clean, easy (but not too easy) to adjust, and instantaneously make the right adjustments without getting hung up. They also make audible and tactile clicks. The scope also has a side parallax adjustment dial that's also the right size and provides the appropriate amount of resistance when you adjust it.
The Maven RS.1 rifle scope also has a glass-etched, first focal plane reticle. Essentially, this means the reticle changes in size as the magnification of the scope increases or decreases. Most scopes (such as the Nikon Inline XR) have a reticle in the second focal plane.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each. When using a holdover or MOA reticle on a first focal plane scope (like the simplified holdover reticle in the RS.1), the holdover points remain the same across the entire magnification range of the scope. On a second focal plane scope, the holdover points only work at a specified magnification (typically the highest setting).
On one hand, a first focal plane scope makes using a SHR reticle much simpler. On the other hand, the reticle is absolutely tiny at the lowest magnification on a first focal plane scope. For the most part, that's not really a big deal because most shooters only use a holdover reticle at the highest magnification anyway.
The Maven RS.1 rifle scope lacks a couple features other comparable premium optics have though. It doesn't have an illuminated reticle and custom ballistic turrets with a zero stop. Maven does offer a ballistic turret for the RS.1, but it's not a standard feature like Leupold offers with their VX-5 and VX-6 hunting scopes. They currently don't offer any options for an illuminated reticle at all right now, but this is their first rifle scope. Perhaps they'll offer that as a feature on a scope in the future.
No matter how you slice it, though, the Maven RS.1 is a really solid rifle scope. Though some of the really high-end optics on the market outperform the RS.1, they also cost a whole lot more. All things considered, the Maven RS.1 is a great scope for most shooters and hunters, especially when you consider the price Maven can sell them at, thanks to their direct-to-consumer business model.