The BDC reticle is built around a 100-yard zero. Hash marks indicating each 0.10 mil-click run around the base of the windage and elevation turrets. Each 0.50 mil is numerically indexed on the adjustment ring as well. In addition, range call-offs in hundreds of meters for a specific load are superscripted just above those for the mils.
A fully checkered sleeve for the ocular bell controls the scope’s magnification setting. Turning the ocular sleeve clockwise boosts magnification and turning it counter-clockwise reduces magnification.
A thumb pad at the front of the bell provides a visual and tactile indication of the magnification setting. The pad rests at 12 o’clock at 1.1X, and at six o’clock at 8X. In addition to its nearly 8X zoom capability, the 34 mm aluminum main tube provides an overall adjustment range of 100 mils for both windage and elevation. The large, illumination adjustment knob is mounted on the left side of the bridge directly opposite to the windage turret, and it is knurled and grooved for easy grasping. There are “off” position detents between each of the eight numerically indexed brightness settings, so the reticle is never more than one click away from being off or on the appropriate brightness setting. The brightness knob is a large, knurled and grooved turret so you do not have to fumble around for it. The brightness knob also serves as a housing for the CR2032 battery that powers the illuminated reticle.
The reticle is in the front focal plane, which means that as magnification is increased the size of the reticle will increase proportionately. At first, this appears to be a surprising choice; second plane reticles are almost universal among riflescopes made for the American sporting market. One might think that the more precise aiming point that a second-plane scope delivers at higher magnification might provide a useful advantage to a precision marksman; however, the constant subtension of a first-focal-plane scope and the ranging ability it provides at any power setting is far more important to a trained precision marksman taught to calculate range in mils by observing targets.
The Horus Vision H27 reticle is offered in Mark 8 scopes produced for the military and law enforcement. Leupold’s new Marine-Tactical Milling Reticle (M-TMR) is offered in the Mark 8 for civilian shooting enthusiasts.
The mil-based Horus Vision H27 reticle employs a two-dimensional grid system that helps enhance both accuracy and ease of use. It has two thick, horizontal stadia arms and a fine, 0.5-mil vertical stadia arm in the lower field of view. The fine grid marks in the lower half of the field of view do not obscure long-range targets that require a lot of holdover. A five-m.o.a. illuminated dot expands to a donut-style ring at higher magnification setting. Leupold’s M-TMR is designed to simplify successful range estimation and target engagement. Its stepped configuration might be called a triplex reticle. The centermost arms subtend 0.10 mil. Both the horizontal and vertical arms are indexed with perpendicular hash marks every 0.10 mil. The second set of stadia arms subtend 1 mil and are indexed every 0.50 mil. The outermost arms subtend 2.0 mils and are indexed every 0.50 mil as well. When the illumination knob is turned to one of the eight “on” positions, only the second set arms are illuminated.
Given the military use for which the CQBSS was originally developed, ruggedness and durability were critical elements of the design. The CQBSS is filled with an argon/krypton gas blend that helps make the scope fog-proof and waterproof, having been tested to 66 feet of submersion. The Mark 8 has a matte-black finish and features Leupold’s Index Matched Lens System with DiamondCoat 2, which helps provide increased light transmission and scratch resistance that exceeds military specifications.