Scope Review- U.S. Optics SR-8C 1-8x

Details

The age-old question of speed versus versatility can be argued for days when it comes to scopes. Why argue when you can have both? The SR-8 series of rifle scopes provide a generous magnification range that includes a true 1X power setting at the low end though a high end of 8X. All available models are ideal for engaging targets at distances ranging from point blank out to 800+ yards.

The SR-8C incorporates a daylight visible, 4 MOA red dot sight in the second focal plane that is precisely positioned in the center of an 8C MIL reticle in the first focal plane. The illuminated dot is optimized at the lowest power setting for rapid target engagement

In any condition and subtends at all magnification settings from 1X through 8X.

U.S. Optics, Inc. scopes are constructed of 6061 T-6 aluminum, then type III hard anodized, making it extremely durable. By using the finest materials and advanced engineering, the SR-8 is a lightweight, affordable scope that surpasses the competition.

E54A6626Magnification 1-8x Length 12 in Weight 1.60 lbs. Eye Relief 3.7 in Field of View (ft at 100 yds) No Area of Travel (MOA) No Objective Lens (mm) 27mm Elevation Range (MILS) No Elevation Range (MOA) No Windage Range (MILS) 11L/11R Windage Range (MOA)

TASK: Objectively evaluate the U.S. Optics SR8C scopes ability to enable the shooter to accurately and qndage Range (MILS) 11L/11R Windage Range (MOA) No Upgrade Nuickly engage targets at practical urban combat ranges.

CONDITION: Given a high intensity blind urban stress test, a rifle capable of match grade accuracy, match grade ammunition and a skilled marksman.

STANDARD: Maintain an accurate zero; allow the shooter to accurately and quickly engage targets both near and far while firing from a variety of positions.

PURPOSE: Provide readers insight into the capabilities and value of the SR8C as a mid-range general purpose rifle optic.

Two undeniable trends among riflescopes of late are the move toward both extreme magnification and overall magnification range; the other is variable power optics that maintain near 1x magnification. Finding myself in the market for a close to midrange rifle mounted optic capable of performing adequately in a CQB or DMR environment I decided to pick up a U.S. Optics SR8C. In my mind the only real competition in a 1-8x optic is the Leupold MKVIII CQBSS. The main factor that put the SR8C in my crosshairs was the steep price difference for an scope equipped with a Horus type reticle. The CQBSS is an outstanding optic in its own right, the alumina lens covers, locking turrets and well knurled magnification ring all deserve mention. I would happily own both optics, with the SR8C pulling duty on my MK12 SPR and the CQBSS taking up residence on my OBR for use on shorter courses of fire.

The SR8C is for all intents and purposes a fairly basic optic. Its appearance is utilitarian with all the style and panache of an M3 grease gun. Like many of the newer wide magnification range optics it has a relatively short body ahead of the turret erectors and a relatively long ocular housing. The SR8C eschews any type of locking turret as found on several iterations of Leopold’s tactical scopes. I’d consider that a drawback or a cost cutting measure if I had bought the SR8C with the intention of dialing data while shooting. However, with a Horus reticle, those scope caps will be staying put in between trips to the zero range. In addition I’ll take the added durability and weather-proofing of a capped turret, not to mention the simplistic ring slipping procedure. With a 12” overall length and weighing in at 1.6lbs. without a mount the SR8C’s size is right up there with many full size rifle scopes. At first glance those stats seem like an unfair penalty for an optic with only an 8x magnification range. However, optically while it may max out at 8x, from its baseline 1x that’s a factor of 8 which is impressive by any standard. For reference the ubiquitous Eotech paired with the G33 STS 3x magnifier weighs in at 22.4 oz. with a 7.7 inch overall length. To pick up 5x more magnification and the benefits of a Horus reticle I’ll happily accept the SR8C’s size penalty.

The SR8C is optionally equipped with the Horus H-50 reticle. The H-50 is described on the Horus Vision website (www.horusvision.com) as being a “Close Quarters Target” reticle. Overall the H-50 does an admirable job from spitting distance out to around 800 meters. On the close end of the scale the H-50 provides a crisp illuminated dot. In addition there is a roughly 80-mil bold ring to facilitate rapid target engagements. The SRC8 is advertised as a true 1x oE54A6629ptic with a second focal plane red dot. Being a ridiculously left eye dominant right-handed shooter I can say at near 1x the SR8C is quick and allows both eyes open shooting in a CQB environment. At 8x the red dot varies in size between about .2 mil to .5-.7 mils depending on the rheostats brightness setting. At lower settings it’s a rather crisp dot without the blurred corona shape found in some reflex style sights. In bright conditions the dot is easily picked up and helps draw the eye to the center of the reticle. In the SR8C the H-50 provides 12 mils of horizontal stadia for elevation holds which in a 5.56mm SPR or 7.62mm auto loading rifle should get you somewhere between 900 and 1000 meters, depending on your load, barrel length and atmospheric factors; all without dialing. With 5 mils of wind hold available at 9 mils or roughly 800 meters a shooter can account for 15 mph of wind at full value. For you Accuracy First and Applied Ballistics acolytes you can shoot using the RET technique, however with only 8x magnification and a .5 mil subtended main stadia you’ll have to get a little creative to accurately mil targets out at the farthest ranges allowed by the formula.

After running the SR8C through a near to mid-range precision shooting course I’ve gotten a better feel for the optic and its strengths and weaknesses. The course and this article are not meant to question the efficacy of short to midrange optics; I have no doubt that sales figures would certainly attest to their veracity. The course was run using traditional elevation and wind holds as well as the RET formula. Time and hit percentages were benefited by utilizing the SR8C’s variable power settings as well as the illuminated dot, which I ran at a low power setting for the entire course of fire. E54A6587-2The SR8C was well suited to the course, its clear, distortion free glass made target identification effortless and allowed for precise corrections to made using the H-50 reticle. The bright, crisp red dot not only helped center the crosshairs in hasty firing positions but also made engaging targets at CQB distances a breeze. The generous eye-box took some of the challenge out of unstable firing positions and was a welcome partner to my less than optimal cardiovascular conditioning. For the price-point the SR8C is a great option in the mid-range arena. As with anything though there are a few changes I’d like to see to improve its overall effectiveness. With the amount of twist required to move from minimum to maximum power I’d like to see a built in cattail. Nothing excessive in weight or size, just a medium sized grade 8 type hex head bolt. I’d make it user removable with three pre-tapped positions, at 1x, 4x and 8x. In addition to improving the grip provided by the objective housings mild knurling it would also facilitate a low light tactile reference point. For those of us coming over from the tried and true Eotech reticle I’d like to see illumination added to the H-50’s bold quick reference ring, not only would it help shooters in a CQB environment but it would also provide a more useable reference for applying negative leads while conducting aerial platform shooting. Lastly while the eye-box on the SR8C is flexible it is a little long at 3.7 inches. Proper eye placement isn’t difficult to find behind the SR8C however a shorter eye relief would provide greater mounting, ergonomic and shooting flexibility. All said the SR8C is a great option for anyone seeking a simple, durable, high quality variable power optic.

To watch our GoPro field tests of the U.S. Optics SR-8C 1 – 8x, click the link below…

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