Here at the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience, many of us are pretty fond of “busy” “Christmas tree” reticles. “Busy?” Those that don’t like this style of scope use the term “busy” to describe them, but I prefer the definition used by shooting instructor David Bott, “a very detailed reticle providing a tremendous amount of data.” We love the Vortex reticle options, specifically the XLR, and while at Shot Show stopped by the booth of the folks that started the whole “busy reticle” thing. What a nice group of folks! (They later sold to new folks that do not stand behind old products)
We decided to add a few Horus Hunter 3-12×50 Long Range scopes to our arsenal. They are “cheap Chinese glass” however we planned to use them only on .223’s in a static environment at the range for training purposes. Unlike most of our scopes that have MOA reticles, these have “Hunter’s MOA.” The difference between the two is small, and if you never plan to shoot beyond 800 yards, it is not very important. If however, you are interested in going further, and your gun and bullet is capable of good accuracy, this is worth knowing.
Horus Vision Optics – Hunter’s MOA
An MOA is equal to 1.046 inches at 100 yards. Most of us round this down to 1″ at 100 yards, and THAT is what we call “hunter’s MOA.” For those with big brains, expensive guns and mad hand-loading skills, greater accuracy is sometimes necessary. Take for example a 2,200 yard shot. A difference of .047175… MOA at 100 yards is tiny and can be rounded down, but multiply this by 22 hundred yards and now we are at over 1MOA difference. This translates to about 22 inches, which would likely mean a miss.
So, with our new scopes, (which turned out to be junk) do we care that they are not quite as accurate as “engineer’s” MOA? Nope. We will likely only use these scopes at 600 yards at our Shooting Range in Jackson Hole, so it is not very important. At 700 yards, the difference only translates to about 1/3 inch, which wind, bullets, temp and other factors make seem like small potatoes. This tiny difference at 600 yards, considering Jackson Hole weather fluctuations, is not worthy of concern.
I also noticed a Vortex Viper in the Horus booth with an H102 reticle. Wow! I didn’t know that that was even a Vortex option! OK, now I was in heaven!
I spoke to Paul in the Vortex booth and learned that nope, Vortex did not have that option available. He suggested that perhaps it was something they did for the military. I want one.
I later did some research and discovered that Horus appreciates the value of their reticles and has a very high licensing fee for their scopes to the tune of many hundreds of dollars. For a $1000 scope, a Horus reticle would add a big percentage to the price, which is not marketable to folks spending their own money at that price point. For those spending upward of $2,000 on a scope or spending “other people’s money” the increased price is not a concern. Makes good economic sense!
We look forward to trying more Horus scopes in the future & we will update this article when we try them out on the range!
Update on our Experience (Sept 2016) – Horus Hunter Review
Well, what an awful experience! Between our training academy and our coaches, we bought more than a dozen Horus Hunter scopes at Shot Show 2016. This has turned out to be a horrible waste! We have learned that Horus is great at designing reticles, but is careless when placing their former good name on cheap junk.
So, a bit of background about Chinese scopes. generally, “Chinese glass” has a rightfully lousy reputation. What frequently occurs is that a Chinese company will be asked to manufacture a replica of a quality scope for a fraction of the price. Corners are cut in every way, not only by labor costs. The high specs a company’s founder wants as a legacy is ignored, and wherever a cheaper option is available – it is done. It an original part can withstand 100,000 uses, the knock-off version will have a part that is designed to withstand only 100 uses. This is not morally wrong, and I don’t advocate “a law” and buyers must beware. We were not aware enough. We did not think that Horus would themselves order a junk scope with their name on it.
We have had over 500 people try out the Horus Hunter, and compared to Vortex, Leupold and even Simmons scopes, people do not care for the Horus scope. “It is really fuzzy” is the most common comment.
We have come to the conclusion that these Horus Hunter scopes are the worst money we have ever spent. If you don’t want to make the same mistake, investigate well before buying! This is a good place to start: https://ioutdoorpursuit.com/rifle-scope/
The following scopes are WAY better from our experience!