I recently had the opportunity to examine the Tasco SS10x42. This scope is very close in design to the SS10x42M that I wrote about in a previous article. It exhibited enough difference that I felt I should pass along the information.
First, the design and specifications are identical to the SS10x42M with two major differences. The Parallax adjustment ring is not located as a third turret - see the article on the SS10x42M. The parallax ring is located instead where you might normally find a power adjustment ring on a variable scope. The second item of interest is that this scope has a very good integral sun shade built into the objective end. Production models of the SS10x42M may in fact also have a built in sun shade but the unit I currently have does not. Without calling Tasco, I would guess that the unit they sent me to review was an early production model, or a factory demonstrator. I do believe the current literature mentions a sun shade on all models.
The SS10x42 is very close to the Bausch and Lomb Tactical in layout. The optics are sufficiently clear and bright. The scope appears very sturdy. Again, the impression is one that makes me long to try driving a nail with the scope tube to see how it holds up. Unfortunately, I cannot convince the current owner into letting me test my pet theory out on his property. Drat! This of course is the problem with writing about any given product. Short of testing to destruction, I cannot vouch for or verify any manufacturer's products for strength against misuse or hard knocks. Appearances seem to indicate that the Tasco series of sniper scopes should be able to handle the typical abuse one might expect during a sniper crawl. They are said to be shock proof, fog proof, water proof to 15 feet in salt water, and built to take abuse in a righteous military manner. Temperature rated from -minus 50 F to plus 130 F.
A notable difference between the test model SS10x42M and this SS10x42 is that the elevation and windage turrets on the SS10x42 have a far more definite and solid audible click when dialing in an adjustment. But again, as noticed in my previous report, the windage turret is less audible than the elevation turret. The improvement over the M model in my possession is dramatic. I can only assume, again, that the M model I have was one that had been passed along to several writers for review and has seen long use. The clicks on the 42 model, are dramatic and precise in feel.
Elevation adjustment is roughly 120 MOA. From bottom to top, that is eight turns of the dial. Both the windage and elevation knobs have 15 minutes per rotation, in quarter minute clicks. This should be more than sufficient to reach 1000 yards with the .308 Federal Gold Medal 168 grain load. A slower or less ballistically efficient round might run out of elevation travel before this, but flatter shooting rounds will experience no problem.
The scope exhibits fairly good repeatability. Of the 50 odd five shot groups I have fired thus far, the first round is usually within 1/4 of an inch of the mean center of impact. This includes dialing up and down the scale in both windage and elevation. This is obviously important for a scope that may in fact be called to settle a hostage situation. Of course, I urge any of you employing this scope in a law enforcement role to test and verify the repeatability issue on your own.
The parallax adjustment ring on the model is quite easy to manipulate. It does not bind or exhibit any roughness in motion. The markings range from 10 meters to 500 meters, after which you must place the ring on the infinity symbol to shoot beyond this range. This is pretty standard for this type of set up. One improvement on this scope over the Bausch and Lomb Tactical is that the parallax ring is the only part of the ocular bell that turns. With the B&L Tactical, if you adjust the parallax setting, the entire rear of the scope turns, which results in your flip up scope cap getting in the way at the most inopportune times. With the Tasco unit, only the ring rotates, leaving the ocular bell fixed.
Eye focus is achieved by rotating the very end of the ocular in the same manner as many European and more expensive American glass. This is done by employing an internal ring that holds the ocular lens. The bell portion of the ocular is marked +/- so you can keep track of the direction you are moving the focus. Once focus is set, you may place you flip up scope cap over the ocular, and forget it. This will also serve to assure it doesn't get bumped.
The reticle is the standard mil-dot pattern. The inner lines are fine. The .75 MOA mil dots are circular. Oddly, Tasco did not provide the same reticle diagram with the SS10x42 as they did with the military model. The mil pattern is standard, but having the diagram handy helps the uninitiated in understanding the mil-dot reticle. If you are new to this pattern, a little research will be in order. To help, visit Tasco site.
In all, for the money, the Tasco SS10x42 provides a very good option for both the tactical shooter and interested civilian. It provides a surprising amount of value and design for a scope in the low $400 range. The optical clarity is on par with its mid priced competitors and you will have to double the price to see any improvement in this area.
I must admit to a bias against Tasco, as I have only, till now, experienced their low budget offerings. I have never been all that impressed. But this opinion is changing with the introduction of these new Tactical scopes. They are really quite nice and very affordable when compared to the upper end of the competition. They are offered in 10x, and 16x. For police I would suggest both of these are too much scope, as 4x or 6x would provide a more usable field of view. This might be worth mentioning to the powers that be at Tasco. This scope would make an excellent 6x.