July 26, 2021

Spotter Up

In Depth Tactical Solutions

March Scopes are made in Japan by Deon Optical Design Corporation. They are known for producing high-quality precision rifle optics popular with competitive shooters. One of their new offerings is a first focal plane, “low-variable-power” optic boasting a 1-10X magnification range. Producing a scope with this magnification range presents some unique challenges. Producing it in a light-weight, compact package means there will be some trade-offs. The March F 1-10X24 has some unique features not typically found on low-variable-power optics.

Not too many low-variable-power optics have parallax adjustment, usually they use fixed parallax somewhere between 100-200 yards. The March Optics 1-10 has a left-side mounted parallax adjustment allowing for extreme close range (about 8′) to infinity. This has its advantages and disadvantages. While the effects at low power (1X) are basically nil, at higher magnifications the scope becomes noticeably sensitive to the parallax adjustment. On rifles and carbines meant for fast work, this can be a speed-bump.  The large, grey button in the middle of the left side knob is the illumination on/off switch.  Notice also the markings on the front and rear rings.  The front ring is 33mm to accommodate the objective bell,  the rear ring is 30mm.  This means you are committed to the March Scopes mount, and that there is minimal ability to move the scope forward or backward within the mount rings to set eye-relief.

 

The Mount

The March F 1-10X24 comes with its own proprietary mount.   It uses 4 crossbolts to mount to Picatinny rails.  While this mount is very robust and mounts the optic at the correct height for AR-style rifles, it is not quick-detach,  which I see as a bit of a disadvantage if you like running back-up iron sights like I do… call me old-fashioned.   Because the front and rear rings are different sizes (33mm front, 30mm rear), there aren’t really any other mount options for this scope.   The illumination dial is concentric with the parallax dial and a little difficult to use without interfering with the parallax setting.

 

 

There are 6 illumination settings, which adjust the brightness of a center-reticle red dot. The illumination adjustment dial is the small numbered dial inside the larger parallax adjustment dial on the left-side of the scope (from the shooter’s perspective). I found it difficult to adjust this dial without inadvertently adjusting the parallax.

The March F 1-10X24 also comes with an add-on plastic magnification ring throw-lever.  Due to the configuration of the magnification ring,  it can only mount in one orientation, that is,  it isn’t position-adjustable.  The Elevation and Windage knobs are comfortably large and calibrated in .1 mil clicks.  Reticle focus is obtained by rotating the scope eyepiece which is held in position with a locking ring.

 

The View

TACTACAM view of March F 1-10X24 at 1X with red dot at full magnification. Target is 1/4 scale Tac Strike silhouette at 100 yds. Notice the blurring approaching the edges of the field of view. This is somewhat exaggerated by the Tactacam, but I did find this to be a bit of an issue, particularly at higher magnifications. The thick and thin crosshair lines are actually in the second focal plane, the 1 mil stadia lines are in the first focal plane. I think this is pretty clever and gives a thick, useful reticle at both low and high power while eliminating some of the alignment issues that are typical – maybe unavoidable – in scopes with reticle segments in both the first, and second focal planes.

 

Same Tac Strike 1/4 scale steel silhouette at 100 yds shown here at a magnification of 10X. Notice the blurring of the reticle approaching the edges of the field of view.  I experimented with the reticle focus and the parallax and could never get it to sharpen up at high magnification.  Squeezing that much magnification range into such a small package really pushes the limits of the glass and the current technology.  Is it a problem? Well… that depends how you are using the reticle. If you intend to make precise ranging calculations with it, yes, it might be a problem. If you are using it for gross holdover adjustments, you can probably get away with it at practical 5.56-7.62 distances. The red dot is shown here at full illumination. It was a very bright Northern New Mexico Day in the mountains somewhere above 8000′. The dot was visible, but I would really like a little bit more. Field of view at 10X is about 40 mil or 12 feet @ 100 yds. This compares favorably with the very few other 1-10X optics on the market.

 

RATINGS:

Size/Weight: 5 out of 5 – The March F 1-10X24 is very compact and fairly light in comparison with similar LVPO’s.   In fact,  I would accept a slightly larger, heavier package if it meant less fish-eye effect at high magnification.

Mounting System: 3 out of 5 – The supplied mount is quite robust, but lacks quick-detach functionality.  I would like to see it with throw-levers.  This one scores an extra point low because it is proprietary and the user is stuck with the supplied mount instead of aftermarket options.

Features: 4 out of 5 – I’m torn on parallax adjustment on LVPO’s.   I always thought it would be a good idea, but seeing it in action… I have mixed feelings now.  Perhaps its something one could learn to live with, and with enough practice eventually realize some of the added benefits of this adjustment.  On this particular optic, it just seemed to complicate reticle and image clarity issues.  I like the push-button illumination on/off, but the illumination rheostat knob is difficult to use,  the parallax adjustment always seemed to interfere.  I like the add-on magnification ring throw-lever, but don’t like that it can only be used in one timing location.

Reticle: 4 out of 5 – There is some very clever engineering in the reticle design,  making use of essentially a duplex “fire-dot” style reticle in the second focal plane makes it very usable at any magnification.  Placing 1 mil-subtension stadia lines in the first focal plane gives reliable angular measurement at any magnification.  I have to compliment the Deon Optics engineering department for this innovative answer to the problem presented by extreme magnification range scopes with FFP reticles.  I am not a fan of the “Christmas Tree” reticle, so no problems there, but I would have liked some .5 mil minor stadia lines in addition to the 1.0 mil major stadia.   The real problem, which isn’t actually a reticle issue,  is the “fish-eye” effect that makes the reticle start to blur significantly past 5.0 mils from center.  Speaking of which…

Clarity: 3 out of 5 – While Japanese optics are known for excellent clarity and light transmission, I don’t think the issues with this scope are related to the glass chemistry, as much as the lens geometry.  I think they just tried to pack too much magnification into too small of a package and the results were unfortunate.  At low power, clarity is just fine, but try as I might, I could not get the reticle to focus from about the 5.0 mil line to the edge of the glass at the higher magnification settings.  As you can see from the images above, the 10-15 mil stadia were so blurry at 10X that they are basically unusable.

Value: 2 out of 5 – If this were an inexpensive optic for the casual user in the…. $500 or less range,  I would be inclined to accept some of these deficiencies.   For a scope retailing in the $2750 range… I have much higher expectations.

FINAL SCORE 70% – FAIR

This is a lower score than I would have liked to give this optic, but my integrity as a reviewer demands an honest opinion – which is what this is… just my opinion.  I think Deon (March) is a company known for some high quality scopes.  I think they use some very innovative engineering.  This particular scope probably needs to go back to the drawing board.    My main gripes:

1.) First and foremost is the fish-eye/blur effect, which makes the reticle almost useless at higher magnifications

2.) Proprietary mount is required and the supplied mount doesn’t have QD functionality.

3.) Needs more illumination settings and illumination knob needs to be a little more user-friendly.

 

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

 

 

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