GooseBrown Review - Burris XTR II 8-40x50 F-Class MOA Reticle and XTR Signature Rings

Discussion in 'Scopes & Optics' started by Goosebrown, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. Goosebrown

    Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer

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    I have been looking for a real good piece of glass for my long range rifle for years. No money and not the right rifle has always stopped me till this year. Research let me to Burris and so far I am very happy.

    This is going to be a two part review, as I have the scope mounted but it hasn’t been to the range yet. Will add that info as soon as I get to try it out.

    The rifle -
    Savage 12 BVSS with 260AI rebarrel to replace the shot out 22-250 with the bubblegum - butt 1-12 twist.

    The goal -
    Shoot 300 and 600 yard matches at Tri-County. Possibly in the future I will get a 22-250 barrel with a 1-8 or 1-7 to shoot long range varmint.

    Research -
    I talked to the shooters at Tri-County and my friend that shoots Tactical Rifle all over the country what to look for. What I came up with was:

    • Clarity
    • Clarity
    • Clarity
    • First Focal Plane reticle
    • Useful Reticle Design
    • Robustness
    • High magnification

    I went to Sportsmans Warehouse and Cabelas and looked through every high end scope they had working down from most expensive.

    Clarity: Schmidt and Bender, then Leopold mk4. After that NightForce and then Burris then Vortex. I realize that this is subjective and dependent on whether or not you are looking through the top of the line for each manufacturer or the bottom. I wanted to spend under 1500 so I was looking at lower end. I REALLY liked the Mk4 but at 1800 for the model I wanted, it was too expensive even though they are local and good folks.

    First Focal Plane reticle: This was new to me and my buddy’s S&B had it and I instantly fell in love with it. Although I expect to mostly shoot known distance, having the ability to range easily with the scope was high on my list. In Leopold that adds about $300 to the scope. The NightForce offerings in my price range didn’t have FFP. Vortex did but I didn’t like the clarity as much as the others.

    Useful Reticle Design: Here there were a LOT of choices. I really liked the NightForce on their bench rest scopes. Very clear to shoot. Berger team uses them exclusively or did last I checked. After that, I like the milrad system better than MOA. Most scopes have one or the other and neither is bad, but you want to be sure that the turret adjustments are in the same system as the reticle. Milrad with Milrad or MOA with MOA. Burris was the odd man out with their F-Class reticle. More on that later.

    Robustness: I have no doubt that when you get a NightForce scope you are capable of swimming from Cannon Beach to Vladivostok, getting out of the water and low crawling to Moscow to cleverly snipe some communist leader that likes to wrestle bears in the buff, all without getting the merest of fogs in the scope nor a single nick on the tube regardless of whether or not you are a bleeding wreck when you get there or not.

    I will be shooting from a bench.

    As long as it doesn’t fall apart on contact with the first recoil, I think I am going to live.

    High Magnification: This one came from target people, not the Precision Rifle people who tend to agree that 15-20 power is what you need if you are going to have to acquire targets in the field under time pressure. Again I feel like that is less important to me.

    Final decision? Get the Burris then take it to Sportsmans and Cabelas and look through it and the others to compare before mounting it. In that event, I could tell if it sucked right out the gate and return it if I wanted to.

    That worked great and the guys there even participated and thought the Burris looked as good or better than the comparable Vortex and NightForce scopes (sub $1500).

    Opening the box -
    This was like opening an Apple iPhone. That exciting. The interior of the box was Spartan. The scope with the sun shield wrapped and placed on the back end of the scope and a pamphlet with battery and 2mm hex key placed vertically on the side. Other than that, nothing. Just a good looking, sleek, matte black scope with clearly marked turrets with highly knurled knobs. Excellent initial experience.

    On examination the scope was exactly how I expected it to be. No surprises. Feels exceedingly well made. A bit heavy. No sharp changes in diameter of the tube where the objective end expands. Very positive audible clicks on the two turrets and smooth silent focus changes with the focus knob. The illuminated reticle control is on the focus knob and it has strong audible clicks on it.

    By the way, Burris states that the illuminated reticle is for low light only and won’t really show in full sun. I haven’t tested it, but you may want to remove the battery when you aren’t shooting in poor lighting conditions. The battery, even on one of the two off positions, does discharge over time.

    By the way, the illuminated reticle dial DOES go to 11. I hope that is in a nod to Spinal Tap.

    Mounting -
    So the Burris has a 34mm tube which jacks up the price of rings to way more than I think they ought to run. I looked at several and since I am not going to be on an AR platform, I shied away from the PEPR mount. I ended up going with Burris XTR Signature Rings in 34mm because my other best rings are Burris Xtreme rings which I think are fantastic with three hex screws where everyone else has 2. This is irrational of me, but I think that it holds the scope better without as much torque applied to the barrel because of the barring surface and the even torque you can apply.

    Well the Burris XTR Signature Rings were as good as the Xtreme rings but WAY better. If you know what I mean…

    The Burris XTR Signature Rings come with delrin (or delrin like for the ARs among us) inserts in 0, 5, 10 and 20 MOA thicknesses and you can mix and match the inserts to provide up to 30(?) MOA compensation up or down on the rings. That way you can add to your 20MOA base or if you don’t have one you can add that compensation with the rings instead. I have a regular rail so this is a nice feature.

    A note on height. I did the math to get the lowest set of rings I could to allow the scope to work. I chose a 1.5” height figuring that it was a 50mm objective and I had a bull barrel. However, I did not account for my Picatinny rail and I think that jacked it up. Mounted I have an inch between my objective and the barrel. Too much. However I think that the 1/2” would have been too tight. I suppose I could change the rail for front and back mounts, but I don’t want to do that. There appear to be 1” versions of the Burris XTR Signature Rings but I didn’t find any in stock.

    I guess being a little too tall is better than the objective hitting the barrel.

    Reticle -
    I am going to copy a little here from the Burris site since they explain their system better than I do. I am also going to include a picture of their reticle from their site because I don’t know how to take one clearly here.


    • Illuminated center dots at the 0, 10, 20, and 30 MOA marks —unlike any other reticle of its kind
    • Front focal plane reticle means trajectory compensation and wind hold-off references are accurate at any magnification
    • 0.5-MOA grid design is accurate at any magnification
    • A secondary, 20-MOA-offset, 0.5-MOA grid provides an extra 20 MOA of additional adjustment, with the MOA hash marks for wind hold-off still visible
    • Second MOA grid has horizontal wind hold-off references
    • Ultra-fine crosshair at each 10 MOA section
    • 0.5-MOA illuminated dot at each 10 MOA section for maximum versatility

    What this means to me, without having taken it to the range, is that I am going to be able to compensate an additional 20 MOA ON THE RETICLE for long distance shooting by choosing the lower set of cross hairs which also has the appropriate windage marks next to it just like the center cross hair.

    The scope has 70 MOA elevation adjustment internally with knobs. Another 0-30 MOA based on ring inserts, another 20 MOA with the second crosshairs and if you really need it at that point, another 20 in your rail for a whopping 140 MOA adjustability for elevation. That means you can mount this on a 45-70 and get pretty dang close at 1000 yards.

    Pre-Range Initial Conclusion -
    All in all this looks like a VERY well designed and implemented scope. I am very glad I looked at it next to the real kings of optics. I know I could do better at twice or more the money, but I think in the price range, this is a fantastic scope.

    Bought from SWFA with their tax day deal for $1124. Rings were $115 off Amazon. I try to buy local but no one I knew had them in stock.

    Would I recommend to a friend? Absolutely at this point.

    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
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  2. SA Shooter

    SA Shooter
    Hillsboro, OR
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    Thanks for the review!
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  3. Ilikegunz

    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Great write up! Thank you for taking the time!
  4. orygun

    West Linn
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    @Goosebrown Man, It's been almost a year. No follow up?
  5. Goosebrown

    Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer

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    Oh yes. Lots to tell.

    After one season it shoots very well. I didn't come in in the top ten but it was my first year competing.

    I love the scope and recommend it to anyone that wants to shoot long range and certainly for long range benchrest.

    The view through the scope is rock steady and the parallax adjustment is crisp.

    Last month I shot the box which is a process of zeroing the rifle and firing a single shot then adjusting scope up 3moa and right 3moa up and shoot a round. Then re zero. Then 3moa down and 3moa right then fire a round. Then re zero. And then the same for the left.

    Finally finish with a shot to the center.

    The idea is that you should end up with a target with the first shot and last shot in the same spot after having put four shots in corners of an imaginary box. I used the paper with the 1" squares. All after adjusting elevation and windage over and over through the process.

    I did that three times and at 100 yards the holes were all 1/4" or so from they should have been.

    That means that for me the scope tracks perfectly after a full season of shooting over a year of lugging the rifle about. Maybe 400 rounds.

    Will post the pics when I figure out how to take a pic as the targets were shot in the rain and are crinkley.

    So the scope works. It is durable enough for a season. It is clear and delivers on its promise. It tracks all the adjustments in windage and elevation over and over and ends up back at zero.

    I would like to thy a NightForce But I would never hesitate to get a Burris XTR II another time.
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  6. Ilikegunz

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