I’m going to do this review a little differently. I’ll start with the price point and compare the features you get for that price point compared to more or less expensive optics. My plan is to compare apples to apples. This is my first experience with the Blackhound Optics brand, they are owned by RITON Optics.
Blackhound Optics has been around since 2018 with a rebranding in 2022, debuting their new series – Emerge, featuring premium Japanese HD glass and custom etched reticles with illumination. From the beginning, Blackhound has been the only optics company in the industry to provide the complete scope package with every scope purchase. Included in the complete scope package will be; scope, mounting rings, leveling bubbles and torque specs. The Emerge 2-12X 44 MIL came with sunshade, scope covers, battery (won’t be included in future because of shipping rules) and mounting tools. All for the $1299 price tag. Their optics are backed by a lifetime warranty, claiming that if your scope breaks or does not perform, they will make it right. After sending it in, they will assess if it is repairable, and if not, they will replace it with a new one.
The Emerge 2-12×44 MILis a FFP scope with a $1300 price tag, so I will compare it to similar FFP scopes with MIL reticles and lower magnification.
Trijicon Credo 2-10×36 $1460
Nightforce NSX 2.5-10×42 $1600
Leupold Mark 5HD 2-10×30 $2000
The Emerge 2-12x comes in either MIL or MOA reticles. I chose the MIL reticle. They both are illuminated “tree style” reticles. The MIL is graduated in .5 MILs with 10 MILs of elevation and 2.5 MILs of windage at the bottom of the tree. The .5 MIL stadia line reticle seems to be the standard with both scopes below and (way) above this price point in this magnification range (1-8x, 1-10x, 2-12x). The illumination dial has 6 brightness settings with an off position between each level. The whole tree is luminated similar to other brands at near or below this price point. The Razor HD only illuminates the center of its reticle and the Mark 5HD has no illumination for their much higher price points.
Turrets on the Emerge are low profile capped with tactile 1/10th per click and good for 30 MILs total for both elevation and windage. This is the same as the Razor HD and Credo (although a bit taller turrets), providing protection while out in the field. The turrets are capable of resetting zero but do not have a zero stop, likely because they are capped turrets. I have zero intention to dial dope on this scope and will just do hold-overs using the reticle. The Viper, NXS and Mark 5HD all have zero stop turrets, but none of the capped turret models do. It’s a 34mm tube like the Razor HD and 35mm Mark 5HD, where most of the similar or lesser priced optics are 30mm tubes. Larger Tubes usually allow for more adjustment and can provide better light transfer and a thicker tube for a little more protection. The Magnification dial comes with a short removable throw lever. The Credo, Mark 5HD and NXS all have removable throw levers as well. Neither Vortex option has one, but are an available accessory. The dial is a smooth rotation without the extra force that the Razor HD dials require to rotate them.
The Emerge is the heaviest and second longest scope of the ones I compared, there is an obvious difference from the higher end optics but not enough to offset the higher price tags. The Emerge is made with Japanese HD glass and provides a clear view for the mid-price point optics. I have looked through most of the scopes I am comparing the Emerge to, but did not have them available for a side-by-side comparison. I would be willing to say the clarity and light transfer would also be affected by the coatings on the lenses. The higher end optics usually have protective coatings that extend the life of the lenses. The eye relief is on par with the rest of the optics, 3.54” when the rest range between 3.2” and 3.7” depending on magnification. My only complaint for this optic would be the short eyebox. However, I have noticed that most LPVO optics have very short eyeboxes compared to larger range magnification scopes. The Emerge is the only scope to come with mounts, making it ready to mount and zero upon receipt. All of the others come with either sunshades or some kind of lens cap or cover and required tools like the Emerge. The rings are a pair of high, ¾” thick Picatinny mounts. The instructions come with the torque specs, which is a good thing as the rings are the kind that leave a gap between them when you are tightening them down. Not my preferred style but they are common for scope mounts.
Scope Weight Length
Vortex Viper PST Gen II 2-10×32 26.3oz 12.64”
Blackhound Emerge 2-12×44 29.12oz 12.72”
Trijicon Credo 2-10×36 23oz 13.1”
Nightforce NSX 2.5-10×42 20.5oz 11.9”
Leupold Mark 5HD 2-10×30 24oz 11.2”
Vortex Raxor HD Gen III 1-10×24 21.5oz 10.1”
Final Thoughts: This scope comes with all the accessories needed to mount it right out of the box for the $1300 price and matches several of the features of the more expensive scopes with FFP MIL reticle and similar magnification range. It’s currently mounted on a Bergara B14R .22 utilizing a Warne MSR mount, but I’m thinking about moving it to the AR10 .308 gasgun for the versatility.
By the numbers:
Comfort – 4.5/5 The small eyebox found in most Low Power Variable Optics (LPVO)could be better for positional shooting.
Durability – 4/5 I will have to guess that the larger tube and extra weight will account for some increased durability but it’s a little early to tell as I haven’t dropped the scope yet. I could not find any info about the lens coatings or if there were any. Coatings are what protect your investment.
Functionality – 4.5/5 This scope has many of the features of scopes that are at a higher price point and comes with everything you need to mount to your favorite rifle. This includes a magnification throw lever and scope caps. The turrets are clear tactile clicks as you turn them.
Weight – 4/5 This scope was on the heavier end (second heaviest of the scopes I compared it to) by 3-9oz. Putting it in the weight class with full range magnification scopes. We are talking ounces.
Value – 4.5/5 For the price point, the fact that everything you need to mount it to rifle and head to the range and has several qualities of higher end scopes this is a great value. This is a great LPVO for use in those mid range distances found in hunting and shooting steel.
Overall rating – 4.3/5 This is a great scope for what it is designed for and has features that put it in a class with scopes with a much higher price point, especially with the rings included. The reticles are not intended for precision shooting but the illumination will come in handy for early morning or late afternoon hunts.
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 on my personal experience with the product.
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