Weaver is one of the old names in rifle scope manufacturing and was originally a US based scope manufacturer. In fact, they are celebrating their 80th year. Some of the old classic Weaver scopes are considered almost legendary, such as the model 330C that were used on some WWII sniper rifles. Weaver was eventually sold (several times) and they are now Japanese made scopes. I have used several Weaver scopes over the years and they have always been good quality glass and scopes. They have also made several different tactical scopes as well and have recently come out with a Grand Slam Tactical as well as a tactical line that is more specialized scope specific for that use. Midway USA is a very large and full featured online shooting sports supplier and they worked with Weaver to offer a Midway USA exclusive version of the Grand Slam Tactical 3-10x40mm scope with mildot reticle combined with mil adjustment knobs. The popularity of Mil/Mil scopes continues to rise and we took the opportunity to get one of these scopes here and give it a full run through.
This particular Grand Slam Tactical model with Mil adjustments is available exclusively through Midway USA, which is where this scope came from. The scope itself comes in a standard Weaver Grand Slam box that is labeled with “Tactical” and it has the normal users manual with instructions and a mildot addendum which includes some basic instructions on how to use mildots to estimate range. It does also include a good diagram of the dimensions of the mildot reticle. Finally, an allen wrench for removing the large knobs is included also.
The Grand Slam line is one of the higher end scope lines that Weaver offers, which made it a bit odd that there were no lens covers of any sort included with the scope. Even lower end scopes will include a bikini style cover, but this is not a real issue as most owners will procure some good flip up scope caps to use on their scopes in the field. I will mention that the Weaver scopes do come with a limited lifetime warranty which always gives some peace of mind that a company stands behind their product and of course, it is nice to have in case something does fail in the future.
The entire scope is finished in matte black which is very uniform and even. There are no bright or shinny pieces on the scope which lends itself well to tactical use and looks good. Even the Weaver logo on the left hand side of the scope is subdued and does not include any of the green color from their standard logo. The markings and letterings on the scope are a nice laser etched marking and are not brilliant bright, but more of a dull silver that again fits into the overall tactical appearance of the scope. The scope tube is a 1″ diameter tube made of aircraft grade aluminum and is a single piece tube with just a slightly elevated shoulder for the adjustment knobs to sit. The taper to the bell is gradual and the overall length and size of the scope is fairly compact, especially when compared to many of the large tactical scopes on the market now, with an overall length less than a foot and an overall weight less than a pound.
The scope did not come with a sun shade and checking into it, Weaver does not offer a sunshade for these 40mm Grand Slam scopes, but I did come upon a forum post that indicated that a sunshade from the old Weaver 3-9x40mm Tactical scope from about 10 years ago would work as well as a 40mm sunshade from a Simmons scope. I have also received report that the 40mm Nikon sunshade (RSH-11) will also work and are readily available. We happened to have one of the older Weaver 3-9x40mm Tactical scopes, and low and behold, the sun shade from this early tactical scope fit right on the scope and the matte finish was even a good match. I’m a little baffled as to why there are no sunshades for this scope available from Weaver as these can be a good little money maker with decent profit margins. Incidentally, the older weaver 3-9x40mm Tactical scope will be a subject for another article in the future as it is a neat little FFP scope that came out when FFP wasn’t as popular as it is today.
The eyepiece on the scope is a fast focus eyepiece that adjusts through the entire dioptre range in less than 360 degrees. Like most fast focus eye pieces, there is no lock and in this case, there is no marking on it to help determine if the eyepiece has moved from its desired setting. There is a decent amount of resistance and the eye piece is not something that usually gets fiddled with, but even just two dots, one on the eye piece and one on the tube for reference would be nice to have. The adjustable eye piece itself does have a rubber ring on it to cushion any impact with the head that might happen during recoil, but with a full 3.5″ of eye relief this should not be a problem with just about any rifle and we had no problems at all on the compact 308 rifle we mounted it on for testing.
The power adjustment ring is aluminum and has large raised knobs all the way around it to aid in gripping; additionally there is also a larger protrusion at about the 5x mark. Whether using the larger protrusion or not, gripping the adjustment ring from any location was positive in all conditions as well as with and without gloves. The resistance is fairly high to keep it in place and it is smooth all the way around without any stickiness to get it going. It felt good and works well. The power magnification numbers are set down low but with the tapered eye piece the numbers are fairly easy to read with just a slight rising of your head, though the reference dot is harder to see, but it is located directly on top of the eye piece so you can adjust the power by just moving the desired power number to the top of the eyepiece at the 12 o’clock position.
The elevation knob is a large design that is similar in shape to the Bushnell Elite Tactical knobs. The knob is tall and wide with plenty of gripping surface as well as large and fairly tall protrusions, or knurling, on the top. There are clear markings on the shoulder area below the knob indicating which direction is up and down. The knob design uses the single screw that goes down through the top and the knob has teeth on the inside that align with the teeth on the actual adjustment aperture under the knob. This design is very easy to loosen and move the knob to bring it to zero, but it has the potential to have your numbers on the knob not exactly match up with the indicator mark on the scope body, though the knobs on this scope lined up very well. This design is common on the Bushnell Elite Tactical and Zeiss Conquest scopes as well as some others. The clicks on the elevation knob are nice with a good positive tactile click and a slightly subdued audible click. There was no initial stiffness when the scope came out of the box but there is just a tiny bit of “wiggle” between the clicks, though the clicks themselves continue to remain very positive after a decent amount of use. Everything seems like it will hold up well.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, this particular scope has MIL adjustments with each click being .1 MIL. This is also known as Metric adjustments as it also equates to 1 cm per click at 100 meters. Each rotation of the knob has 5 full MILs of adjustments which can take a 175gr 308 round from 100-600+ yards in the first rotation and from 600-900+ yards in the second rotation and then beyond 1100 yards in the third rotation. The down side is that there is not a huge amount of total elevation adjustments available. The factory number is 16.5 MILs (~56 MOA) of elevation adjustment but this scope only had 16.2 MILs. To get the full use of the scope it does require a canted base, I used a 20 MOA for our tests and had no problems and was able to get 11+ MILs of up elevation from my 100 yards zero allowing for 100-1000 yard shooting, depending on the load and rifle.
The windage knob is the same design as the elevation knob and has all the same features including clear indications as to which direction is left and right. The knob has the same 5 MILs of adjustment per revolution and it only counts up in one direction. The clicks were the same as the elevation knob and beyond that; there is not a whole bunch to comment on for the windage knob.
One thing you will notice is that there is no adjustable objective (AO) on this scope. I prefer adjustable objectives for long range shooting scopes to help keep parallax under control, but I have shot many non adjustable objective scopes at long ranges and if you keep a good and consistent cheek weld every shot, you can avoid problems with parallax and be very accurate at long ranges. I could not find any info on what range the scope is set to be parallax free at, but typically it is 150 yards for most non AO scopes.
The scope has a traditional mildot reticle of wire construction and according the detailed diagram that came with the scope, it has .25 MIL diameter dots which would be the USMC dots, though they are round and not football shaped. All of the dimensions are the typical standard mildot dimensions and since it is a second focal plane scope, the mildots are only accurate at one power, 10x in this case. This does allow the clever little trick of zooming in on a 2 yard tall target, such as a 6′ tall man, until 2 MILs covers that target, then look at the power ring and that is the range to the target in hundreds of yards. This is a quick and dirty method of range estimation that works fairly well. Of course, you can cover a 1 yard size target with 1 mil and do the same thing.
For our tests, we mounted the scope onto a Remington 700 with a 20″ barrel using TPS rings on top of an EGW 20 MOA rail. As you would expect from a fairly simple and straight forward scope, there were no mounting problems. We shot the scope through the ‘box’ to test the repeatability and accuracy of the adjustments which results were very good; each group around the box was where it was suppose to be and the 5th group was right back where the first one started. The MIL adjustments worked well and I was able to measure the exact MIL movements with the mildot reticle as compared to what I dialed in on the knobs, everything synched up as it should and it does provide the convenience of the reticle and the adjustment knobs being in the same units.
They eye relief on the scope is a good 3.5″ (89mm) and there were no problems at all on the lighter 308 rifle we used and it allowed for a good cheek weld and solid sight picture. I did test the scope at some mid 400+ yard ranges with shots on targets that were blended in with their surroundings and I was able to pick them out and engage very nicely. The contrast on the scope was good as is the clarity of the optics. Weaver claims 94% light transmission with their Grand Slam scopes, which is very high, and the scope did have good brightness. The optics themselves seem quite nice for the price range and I did have some similarly priced scopes along side to compare it to. The optics compare quite favorably to the Bushnell Elite 3200 and 4200 series of scopes as well as the SWFA SS 10x42mm. I did give the Leupold Mk4 glass higher marks, but it is in a much higher price range so I would expect that to be the case. The Weaver glass has always been very good glass for their price point and it was no different here, I am quite happy with it.
For a scope that is around $400 (2010 USD) this is a nice option. The optics are very strong for the money and the scope is light, fairly compact, and simple to use with very nice knobs. An adjustable AO is nice to have but not necessary and I would like to see some more accessories available from Weaver such as readily available sun shades. I do feel that the scope is a very good offering in this price range and worked well in our tests and for the more budget minded shooter it is a good step up from the low end scopes especially if you are looking for MIL knobs to match the mildot reticle. This scope does find a nice niche in the market for the price range combined with variable power, MIL/MIL setup, good quality glass, all from a quality Japanese scope maker.